Saturday, 20 June 2009

Threat of E3 Highlights

Friday once more and two updates. First is issue nine of the Threat of Peace comic and, apparently, this one concludes the first chapter. I really need to read the whole thing from start to finish again because I still have no idea what's going on. Anyway, here's the official news:
The ninth issue of Threat of Peace™ concludes the first chapter in a dramatic fashion when a battle breaks out between Republic and Imperial starships crossing paths in transit. Jedi Master Dar’Nala is captured by the Imperials, and Satele Shan is marooned in an escape pod with Imperial protocol droid SP-99 and only a small hope of ever being rescued.

Check out the latest issue of Threat of Peace now.
The second bit of news is the E3 Highlights we expected last week but didn't get.

Here is the main text:

Star Wars: The Old Republic (TOR) kicked off at E3 with the help of the local 501st Legion. Championed by costumed Jedi and Sith from the Old Republic era, Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder and General Manager/CEO of BioWare and General Manager/Vice President of Electronic Arts Inc., and Darrell Rodriguez, President of LucasArts, revealed the first TOR cinematic trailer, “Deceived”, at the 2009 EA Press conference.

At the TOR booth, the team took E3ers through the first live demo featuring a closer look at the game’s newly revealed class, the Smuggler, as well as the combat, flashpoint, cover, and multiplayer dialogue systems.

Highlighted features from the demo:
  • TOR will be the first fully voiced MMO – Every playable character (male and female) and every non-playable character in the game will be brought to life by voice actors - resulting in several thousand speaking roles and hundreds of thousands of recorded lines of dialogue! This gives players a compelling and immersive story telling experience.
  • Choice matters – Story drives choice, and choice drives action. Critical choices impact the outcome of your story dramatically. In the demo of an Imperial Flashpoint, attendees had to decide whether to kill an Imperial Captain who disobeyed a direct order, or to spare the Captain’s life. Depending on the choice, the TOR demo went in two different directions, each group seeing unique areas and content. Explore the press write ups below to find out what each path was like.
  • Meet the Smuggler – Blast, bargain, and charm your way through the war-torn planet of Ord Mantell. Inspired by Han Solo, the Smuggler can unleash a flurry of bolts from his blaster or dodge a patrolling group of Separatist soldiers all while hijacking enemy contraband.
  • Cover System - The first cover system of this type in an MMO! The demo team showed off the cover system for the Smuggler. Gain a tactical advantage by taking cover behind various objects (trees, rocks, buildings, etc.). When in cover, characters can switch to other cover points and also have access to special abilities.
  • Unique class stories – Each class story is exclusive and storylines are also specific to each allegiance. For example: the storyline for a Smuggler (a Republic Class) is 100% different from the Bounty Hunter story (a Sith Empire class). You won’t share any content or missions.
  • Multiplayer dialogue system – Another MMO first! E3ers got a preview at a new multiplayer dialogue system that allows players to engage in the storyline choices together. This creates a highly interactive and immersive gaming experience.
  • Additional TOR features - The TOR team would like fans to know that Star Wars: The Old Republic is a massively multiplayer online game with all the features that players can expect from a MMO.
The Development Teams at BioWare and LucasArts would like to thank the press, fans and community for all of their support. We plan to have even more new and exciting updates for you as we progress on our journey of creating Star Wars: The Old Republic.
I've left out their selection of links and awards, because you can find those (and more; every single SWTOR E3 2009 link I've seen) in a previous blog post I made. I've been keeping that list updated since E3 started and am still keeping it up-to-date. Though I think that starting now if I find any new links I'll also post a news item for them (E3 concluded over two weeks ago after all).

I also included four article links from BioWare's post that I didn't have yet (including an MTV one that seems to be a broken video and a Time one that doesn't have much of anything) and added a number of awards I didn't have yet. Though I left out the German and French awards because, one, I couldn't find them and, two, even if I could I couldn't understand them anyway. I provided links to all the awards as well since I think it's disingenuous to claim you've won something and then not show where. As such I found that a couple of the ones BioWare listed were really no more than a few individuals' personal picks and I'm sure I know a couple of thousand more people who'd vote for SWTOR.

For the rest I also changed the sorting a bit. I now made all the links on the site name and sorted the lists by site (with the exception of the Start of E3 bit).

As for the highlights themselves there's nothing there that we didn't already know. But that makes sense considering how close we've followed E3 already. I do worry about the "Multiplayer dialogue system" though. Maybe I'll rant about it in detail sometime later, but I fear that it could be a real disincentive to grouping. Why group if that means risking your story will take a turn you're not happy with, or you get alignment points you don't want? With how choices can't be undone that could become a real problem. But we'll see as they release more information on it.

Despite all this writing I did here, the update itself was rather lukewarm this week. I guess that's what you get when they show you things you've already seen from other places.

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