Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Sean Returns from GamesCom

That Sean returns from GamesCom wouldn't normally be that noteworthy (except that we're all, of course, glad that he returned safely). But he made a post on the forum with a couple of nice tidbits:
Well, I returned to Austin Monday night from GamesCom 2009 and what a trip it has been! I've put up a few pics I took while in Germany on Flickr.

A couple of things I wanted to touch on that I heard of while at GamesCom but didn't get a chance to comment on:

The Bounty Hunter "AI" - There seems to be some confusion here; there was no "Bounty Hunter AI". Yes, there were some of the live demos that I assisted in and I played the Bounty Hunter. Yes, I have been accused of being a 'bot' on many occasions but rarely have I been accused of having intelligence, artificial or otherwise ;) But no, we had two people running the live demos at all times and during the Imperial Flashpoints one person was the Sith Warrior and the other was the Bounty Hunter.

Why play anything but a Sith Warrior - There were some discussions I saw about "Why not just play a Sith Warrior" when compared to some of the other classes. I would like to point out that you saw a lot of the Sith Warrior at a higher level during the Flashpoint as opposed to the Smuggler and Bounty Hunter on Ord Mantell and Hutta. Personally, I think all of the classes have their own individual strengths and weaknesses and work for different playstyles. People who like to shoot big guns and use a variety of hardware will probably prefer a Republic Trooper or Bounty Hunter; those who like to use cunning will more than likely look towards the Smuggler, and those who love to get into the thick of a crowd will like the Sith Warrior; and of course, there are still the classes we haven't announced yet. End of the day, we plan on doing our best to balance all of the classes so they all can stand on equal ground in their own fields. If we just made the Sith Warrior the most powerful class, what would be the sense in making the other classes?

Human Only - You will be able to play other species, we just have not announced those other species yet.

Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed the information that came out of GamesCom (and the Developer Walkthrough Video) and this Friday we plan to update the HoloNet with the Sith Warrior page.

- Sean
So to sum up:
  • The Bounty Hunter wasn't an AI-controlled computer character as some sites had reported, but was controlled by another player.
  • The Sith Warrior will not be overpowered. (Did anyone really think that?)
  • You'll be able to play more than just a human, they just haven't announced any other species yet. (Which we already knew, but either way).
  • As suspected (pretty much as already announced) they'll officially reveal the Sith Warrior class this Friday.
Additionally, reading a little between the lines, he's pairing the Bounty Hunter and the Trooper up as both classes that appeal to "people who like to shoot big guns and use a variety of hardware". This seems (again) a definitive indication that these two classes are 'mirrors'. The Smuggler is clearly noted as a different kind of play experience (for "those who like to use cunning") and it seems logical that a similar play experience (a 'mirror') exists on the Empire side. Similar with the Sith Warrior (for 'those who love to get into the thick of a crowd') where I strongly suspect a "Jedi Knight" class will be the mirror with similar gameplay.

Which leaves only the last pairing really. I personally still strongly suspect some kind of Leia/Padmé based class, quite possibly one which uses pets (as noted below the developers clearly don't seem to think of the Companions as pets). The Empire class then is quite possibly a class making use of droid pets (after all, a 'droid army' is quite iconic to Star Wars as well). But that's all speculation.

Though some people think that with the Sith Warrior being so lightsaber-oriented there will be another Force-sensitive class on both sides (the popular opinion there is a "Sith Lord", which completely ignores the fact that the Sith Warrior is already called "Lord" in the playthrough videos). But I seriously doubt it. Their backgrounds would be too similar. With the classes we have now they really only can be those classes and only those classes could have the story of that class (it wouldn't make sense for a Jedi or a Trooper to have the story of a Smuggler, for example; or the other way around). A Sith Warrior and a Sith Lord could both have the same story, and that makes their stories less unique. It makes a lot more sense for them to add a class that provides a kind of story that they otherwise couldn't tell (and I think a politician/senator/noble/whatever class does just that).

Anyway, I'm sure that there'll be a lot more speculating in the future. But despite that I don't like the direction they seem to take the Sith class (I'm still waiting for an explanation of how a Light-side using character could fight by being 'fileld with rage') each revalation they've made towards classes does seem to support my theories.

Of course, that doesn't mean that they're right and I'm well aware that I'm probably interpreting things to fit my theories. Only time will tell.

In the meantime; welcome back Sean. I hope you had a nice time at GamesCom.

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