Friday, 28 May 2010

Companion and Sith Warrior

Most of what this Friday update brings has already been revealed over the last day by other sites (particularly IGN and GameSpot), but it's nice the see on the official site regardless. And with a few new snippets here and there (such as a new biography page).

First there is another game system update as they explain Companion Characters. Here is the official news:
Every Star Wars™ hero needs a companion. Han has Chewie, Luke has R2-D2 — even Jabba has the cackling monkey lizard Salacious B. Crumb. These characters will complement your strengths or weaknesses, and provide company for the epic journey you will inevitably undertake. Whether they’re combative, friendly, flirtatious, or even just good for a laugh, they always contribute to your development and serve as a sounding board for your choices. In Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, a variety of these Companion Characters will join your cause.

Learn more about Companion Characters and how they can shape and enhance your game play by visiting the Game Systems section!
The text is, as far as I can tell, the same as the text in IGN's article so there's not really much new there.

Second is an update to the the Sith Warrior class, now officially including the two advanced classes for the class (namely the Juggernaut and the Marauder). It also adds a "known associates" tab (listing a companion for the class) and the new movie and screenshots have been added to the site as well. Here is the official news:
Wondering how you will be able to customize the Sith Warrior to fit your specific play style? We are excited to confirm the two Advanced Classes for the Sith Warrior: The Juggernaut and the Marauder! Whether you want to charge into the fray as a Juggernaut, punishing your adversaries while protecting your allies, or slice through enemy ranks with two Lightsabers and unmatched aggression, the Advanced Classes system in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ will give you the power to match your play style.

In conjunction with the Companion Character section released today, we present you with one of the Sith Warrior’s Companions – Vette! You can learn more about this known associate on the Sith Warrior page or by accessing Vette’s biography.

Check out the newly updated HoloNet to get details about the Advanced Classes available to the Sith Warrior. Also be sure to visit the media section for a new video featuring the Sith Warrior as well as some screenshots showing the Juggernaut and Marauder in action!
What connects the two updates is a new biography entry, that of the Sith Warrior's Companion character Vette. Here's the description from her HoloNet entry:

Slave, Treasure Hunter, Survivor

Few people have seen as much of the galaxy as Vette and few have had as little control of their destiny. Born a slave on the occupied world of Ryloth, Vette was separated from her family at an early age and sold to a series of minor crime lords. When legendary pirate lord Nok Drayen utterly destroyed her latest owner's holdings, Vette and the other slaves were given their choice of freedom or joining up with Nok. Vette became a pirate, travelling the known worlds and learning to get in and out of places she wasn't allowed.

Years later Nok Drayen mysteriously and suddenly released all of his people from service. Vette was left on Nar Shaddaa where she joined up with other young, idealistic Twi'leks and used her criminal abilities to rob and ruin those who exploited Ryloth's cultural artifacts and people. An unquenchable spark, Vette is older than her years but far from mature, delighting in silly pranks and always ready to laugh at people who think too much of themselves.
She sounds like an interesting character. And I think that this, these companions each unique to the classes, help show what sets The Old Republic apart from other MMOs and help it feel like something truly special.

On that note ComputerAndVideoGames has a short article up quoting some comments by BioWare designer and writing director Daniel Erickson on just that; how The Old Republic hopes to bring something to MMOs that before has been exclusive to single player games. Here's an excerpt:
"We've always had that thought in the back of our heads: That Old Republic should be all the things we thought an MMO would be in the first place - which is all the parts of an RPG. Which means - and this is the most radical idea - it should just be fun. Like, just fun to play. You shouldn't be trying to ignore all of the content to get to the end as fast as possible."
Well, here's keeping my fingers crossed. If I can just play the game and enjoy it instead of feeling the constant drive to get to some mythical place where the game's fun supposedly truly starts (and I've been there, and it doesn't) then it'll have succeeded in my book.

[link] to article at CVG.

GameSpot's Sith Warrior Preview

GameSpot has a brief preview of the Sith Warrior class, including a short trailer-like video. The article talks a bit about the two advanced classes for the Sith Warrior (the Juggernaut and the Marauder) and reveals one of the companions for the Sith Warrior; the female "wisecracking pirate" twi'lek named Vette. Here's an excerpt from the article followed by the video:
While the Sith Warrior class seems like a pretty straightforward profession with only two steps to success (step one: ignite lightsaber, step two: commence the hurting), it turns out that this class will branch into two separate, advanced classes: the juggernaut and the marauder. Juggernauts will be heavy-duty frontline fighters equipped with Force powers that increase their resistance to damage and demoralize their foes, making them even easier targets. (In online game parlance, this makes the juggernaut a Sith "tank" class.) The marauder class, on the other hand, focuses on dual-wielding two lightsabers at once and excels in combat with multiple opponents. (In online game terms, this would make the marauder a "DPS," or "damage per second," class that focuses primarily on dealing as much damage as possible.)

As Massively has noticed there is a brief moment in the video where the Sith Warrior is seen riding a speeder. This seems like a strong indication of player vehicles, but before people get too excited it's also possible that it's a static animation (perhaps shown when traveling to another zone on the same planet).

As Sean Dahlberg has noted on the official forums (here and here) the other seven professions will get a similar trailer video as well.
Yes, we plan on having videos for each of the classes and no, the Republic ones won't be saved for the end.

Both the Allegiance and Class polls have shown things to be pretty even at this point. Granted, this is only a segment of the community but it's a good sampling.

We also plan on giving the Republic their moment to shine. I can't get into the exact reasons as to why some things are released before others (and there is a variety of reasons for different assets) but we also have a lot of "Republic" people on the team, too.

So, while the proof will be in the pudding (an expression, we're not actually giving out pudding. Sorry.), the Republic will definitely get their due. And Soon™.
Does that mean that today we get both the companion update and an official update on the Sith Warrior class? Maybe even have Vette added to a new section. I guess we'll see later today.

[link] to Sith Warrior article at GameSpot.
[link] to Sith Warrior trailer at GameSpot.
[link] to article at Massively.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

IGN Interviews BioWare on Companions

IGN has an interview with James Ohlen about the companions in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Here's an excerpt:

IGNPC: How flexible are the companions' story arcs? Are they merely scripted to provide a solid context for the player's own moral choices or will the player have an opportunity to change a companion's goals and attitudes?

James Ohlen: Players can change his companion's attitudes and sometimes even his moral leaning. It is dependant on who the companion is and what kind of person the player is role-playing as. Some companions can be twisted to the darkside of the Force and others can be redeemed. Some companions can become stronger and more independent or be beaten down until they are subservient. This is done through a system that we are tentatively calling the Affection system. It's loosely based on the Dragon Age affection system and allows the player to change his companion's attitude through his actions, words and even through gifts.
Sounds good, even if Dragon Age's gift system wasn't its strongest aspect; it really only worked if you had a gift very specific to the character that they had a specific reply to (instead of just a "'ooh thanks' +reputation"). Here's hoping that they don't fill it up with a bunch of throw-away gifts to inch up the companion's affection.

Speaking of companions, here's one for your car:

Dom dom dom dom da dom...

[link] to interview with James Ohlen at IGN.

Fan Friday: Depth of Field

No, curtail your excitement. No need to check your clocks as it's still Thursday; you still have one more day of work before the weekend. But somehow the Fan Friday last week slipped through the cracks, so I'm reporting on it now.

As usual it has some fan art. There's some art by Colm that looks quite nice, though there's a little controversy on the forums because some feel that putting images together in Photoshop and recoloring them shouldn't get a spotlight. Personally I feel it looks much better than anything I could cook up in Photoshop; I think people are underestimating the amount of work and talent it takes to do such things. There's also a report on an unofficial April Fan Art Contest, where community members submit art for the rest of the community to vote on. And Ion-Silental was the winner.

As usual the most interesting part of the Fan Friday is the Developer Corner though, where we get a little sneak peak into what's in development. This time they have a brief video showcasing a conversation to demonstrate a depth of field effect (where things in the distance look a bit blurry).

They also make a brief note of the European Press Showcase that EA held in London, showing a couple of screenshots from the event (which we've already seen in the various articles):

And finally they added a couple of new avatars to the forums. :


Read the full Fan Friday on the official site and see you tomorrow for this week's Friday update.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Old Republic Is EA's Biggest Spend In History

Gamasutra reports that The Old Republic is EA's most expensive project ever. Here's the full text:
Electronic Arts is spending more money on the development of The Old Republic MMO than it's ever spent on any game in its history.

"It is the largest R&D project EA has ever undertaken in terms of total dollars that we expect to spend bringing the title to market," said chief financial officer Eric Brown at Janney Capital Markets' 2010 Consumer Conference.

And an investment of that kind means a project that will take time -- the BioWare-developed Star Wars MMO won't see release before March 2011: "We're not expecting it to ship in fiscal 2010, nor have we given a specific ship date thereafter," said Brown. "We're intentionally being nonspecific on the ship date."

But EA feels it can spare no expense because of all the factors favoring The Old Republic's success. "In the past, for MMOs, the type of fiction that has resonated most broadly is fiction based on swords and knights and sorcery, et cetera," Brown explained.

"Star Wars is analogous to that -- instead of the swords, you have the lightsabers; instead of the knights you have the Jedi -- we think it's a fiction that does very well, we think it's a fiction that spans the decades," Brown added, pointing out that most if not all of the conference's attendees were likely to be familiar with the property. "We think it has very broad appeal," he said.

And EA believes the project couldn't be in any better hands: "BioWare is one of the highest-rated studios in terms of quality overall," Brown says, adding that Mass Effect 2, with a Metacritic score of 96 and among the third-highest overall on the aggregator, "is the highest-quality title EA ever released."

With a strong property, an enormous investment and the right studio, EA thinks it's found the project that should take top billing in its MMO strategy -- "our principal investment and commitment vis a vis the MMO space," says Brown.

As for Warhammer, it has "a couple hundred thousand subscribers to date," according to Brown. "But the Star Wars MMO does indeed represent our primary emphasis vis a vis this category."
Hardly shocking news perhaps, but at least it's nice to see that they're not afraid to sink money into it. That and that them being intentionally nonspecific about a release date indicates that they're willing to ensure quality first.

[link] to news article at Gamasutra.

Friday, 21 May 2010

The Frozen Wastes of Hoth

Though VideoGamer already had the exclusive announcement yesterday, today on The Empire Strikes Back's 30th birthday BioWare officially announced that Hoth is an explorable planet in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

That is not all though, as they also released the third part of the Blood of the Empire comic, as per the official news:
The third issue of Blood of the Empire™ chronicles two formidable confrontations--one between Teneb Kel and his former master, Lord Calypho, and another between Teneb Kel and the Dark Council! And what plans do the Emperor and his mysterious apprentice have in store for Teneb? The mission to determine the future of the galaxy begins here.

Check out the latest issue of Blood of the Empire now!
I'm definitely liking this comic better than the other one (Threat of Peace) as it seems to have a much more focused story and doesn't just all over the place, three pages at a time.

Of course the main news today is the reveal of the planet Hoth. Here's what BioWare has to say on the subject:
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Thirty years ago to the day, Star Wars™: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back™ opened in movie theaters, forever changing the cinematic landscape. Bursting with action-packed battles, fast paced dialogue, and characters faced with complex choices, the echoes of this landmark film are still felt today. From toys, to fashion, to punk rock, its influence is everywhere. The Empire Strikes Back has not only changed how we relate to our favorite movies, but has made a lasting contribution to our very culture.

To commemorate this monumental continuation of the Star Wars™ story, we are proud to reveal the ice world of Hoth – the latest explorable planet in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.

Access the HoloNet to learn more about the pivotal battles in the history of Hoth – and to understand why both the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire are interested in the planet. Check out this video to see Hoth’s brutal blizzards and unique wildlife. Don’t forget to visit the Media Section for never-before-seen screenshots, wallpaper, and concept art showing this barren, desolate landscape.
The descriptive text on the HoloNet is pretty much the same as in the VideoGamer article yesterday, but the flythrough video is nice to see. And of course there's a new wallpaper as well:

And on a slightly different note, it seems that GameSpot has a video interview with Daniel Erickson, taken during EA's London Showcase:

I'll add the link to the original post as well.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

VideoGamer's Hoth Exclusive

Ah, the pun just kills me. has an exclusive reveal of The Old Republic's next planet: Hoth. This includes a short description of the state of the planet during the period of the game (like what players might get to fight on the normally desolate world) as well as concept art and screenshots. Here's an excerpt:
In The Old Republic, Hoth has no allegiance, no government, is contested by players from both factions, has frozen desolate wasteland terrain and is littered with wreckage from a major battle of what's called the Great War.

According to Star Wars lore, Hoth was of no real interest to the Republic until it became the site of a devastating military defeat. At the height of the Great War, Republic and Imperial fleets clashed in the Hoth system in a decisive battle which saw the destruction of some of the most advanced and powerful starships in the galaxy.
So according to the article the opposing faction is there, as well as mercenaries with an army of droids. So I assume that players get to fight those, and wampas presumably.

For more on the planet check out the Wookieepedia page on Hoth. And I take it that tomorrow's Friday update will include A HoloNet page for Hoth as well.

Thanks to Darth Hater for the link to the article.

[link] to Hoth Exclusive on VideoGamer.

Friday, 14 May 2010

The Advanced Class System

Today BioWare opened up a new area on the official TOR website. This is not another section of the HoloNet, but a new separate area altogether; name "Game Systems". Here they'll look at various parts of how the game works and first up is the recently announced Advanced Class System.

But first they have another BioWare Blog entry, this one by Principal Lead Writer Daniel Erickson, titles "Creating Worlds". Here he talks about how they go about creating the background stories for the planets, taking Voss as an example (including some screenshots of the Voss). Here's an excerpt:
Interestingly, the Mystics have been around as long at the Old Republic has--though the culture and people who would become the Voss came much later. In the first days we wanted to bring something completely new to our class offerings and a group who looked at the Force in a fundamentally different way was intriguing. The Mystics would be grey and dangerous to the eyes of the Jedi, able to see through the lies of the Sith and beholden and interested in neither. They would enable us to explore themes of religion (every culture sees gods but interprets them differently), culture (believing themselves to be the chosen people) and politics (due to the infallibility of their visions, they are happily totalitarian). We had numerous different ideas for how they would look, be thought of by the greater galaxy and behave. For a while we had a running joke of Mystic converts standing in spaceports asking weary travelers, “Have you been to Voss?”
In a way I'm sad that the Voss Mystics didn't make it as a player class. Maybe they'll do in a future expansion or such. But as it is the story of the Voss sounds like it could be quite interesting. So far this new planet intrigues me a lot more than any of the others. Either way, the blog entry is a nice read.

Second up is the announcement of the Advanced Class System. Here's the news:
Today we are revealing a new area of the website called Game Systems. This area talks about various features from a gamer’s perspective. Our first section in this new area discusses the Advanced Class System.

The Advanced Class System grants you access to unique skills and abilities, and is designed to allow you the flexibility to customize your characters to fit your play style. For example, all Smugglers are lucky, opportunistic swindlers. But, do you want to be the kind of Smuggler that sneaks into the middle of a firefight and quickly blasts away at an opponent from point-blank range? Or do you want to be the kind that keeps to the outskirts of the battle, strategically picking your targets from a distance?

These are just some of the meaningful choices that the Advanced Class System offers you to personalize – and advance – your character in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™!
I can't wait to hear what the advanced classes for the other classes are. And in anticipation of hearing more about TOR's game systems I'm adding another label for posts dealing with that.

Finally there's another bit of information come out of the UK press event, namely a video interview with Daniel Erickson. It's been posted on various news sites, but here's the video on YouTube:

I'll add the link to the original post as well.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

More UK Press Event

As noted in the previous post this week saw an EA press event in London where BioWare showed off The Old Republic to the press. And today the embargo on releasing articles lifted. So here's a few more of those articles (which I'll add to the original post as well).

First there is an interview with Daniel Erickson over at Strategy Informer. It talks about how far the game is, some of the choices they've made for it and about its scope. Here's an excerpt talking about the release date:
Strategy Informer: Not to foreshadow anything, but how much Leeway will you have should you think you'll need more time?

Daniel Erickson: What we do is we do reviews fairly early on, like there's a reason we didn't announce a release date for a while. We also don't mention features until we're pretty sure they will be in the game. We didn't announce that Spring release date until we were sure we could hit that date. You're probably not surprised that it wasn't the first release date we thought it might be. That said, Bioware is committed to shipping quality, and there's a reason our games have come out like they have. We got a lot of support from both sides, [Ed: Publishers & Developers, I'm guessing here] as really there's no sense in spending that much time and money, and then shipping it wrong. The truth everyone knows about MMO's is that you get one ship, and that's it. You can fix anything you want afterwards, but nobody is coming back if you get it wrong the first time.
I'm not to happy with how he makes it sound (in a later question) that the choice to not voice the main character in Dragon Age was somehow unfortunate, as I find that much superior to having a voiced main character. I've got much more of a connection with my character in Dragon Age than with BioWare' Shepard in Mass Effect. This because with an unvoiced main character I can decide on my character's personality instead of getting BioWare's personality choices shoved down my throat. And I find it deeply unfortunate that Mass Effect caused The Old Republic to take the same road. In the end it'll just make me leave faster by not having that connection to 'my' character.

It is nice to hear though that he doesn't consider Final Fantasy RPGs; they're fun adventure games, don't get me wrong, but they lack the player ownership of character and story. In many ways you're just along for the ride in the end and though TOR takes away some ownership with its voice main characters as well, at least the story and dialog choices you can make should make up for that to a good degree.

Anyway, the next article as a Hands On at GameSpot. Here they talk a bit about playing the low level Bounty Hunter, doing a quest to collect a head (and showing that TOR didn't manage to get away from the standard MMO "kill x of y" quest types) and showing some moral choices you get to make there. And they talk about the player race revealed (and spelling it correctly too). Here's an excerpt:
Though BioWare is not talking about Rattataki race-specific attributes yet, the bounty hunter's special abilities--at lowly level six, at least--were laid out for us. The bounty hunter is The Old Republic's gadgeteer class; we played as a male Rattataki bounty hunter, packing the basic arsenal of bounty hunter toys. These included rapid shots, as well as missile blast and rail shots. We also had shocking electro darts and the obligatory flamethrower attack. At the other end of the toolbar sat "recharge and reload," a gradual health and mana restorative akin to eating or drinking in World of Warcraft. This was accompanied with an animation of the bounty hunter tuning up his or her jetpack and flamethrower.
The third article is an interview with Jake Neri over at VG247. It talks about the challenges of making an MMO and meeting the very high expectations, what makes SWTOR different, as well as some current general things going on in the industry. Here's an excerpt about it being BioWare's first MMO:
VG247: This marks the first time that Bioware has created an MMORPG. Do you worry that your game will be badly received and how would you react to this?

Jake Neri: Bioware has really lead and set the standard for what an RPG is in general, so I think adding the massively part it probably the easy bit. I think getting the progression part, the story to be right and getting classes to play well is all something that comes natural to Bioware, so I don’t think that there is too much to be concerned with there.

We have heard this a lot, and we understand people are saying ‘well you haven’t done it before’, but sure there are a lot of things that a lot of us haven’t done, but when you start with the pedigree that Bioware brings to the table – look at Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Baulders Gate. They have done a great job for years, 15 plus years, so I think when you have this pedigree behind you that you can take on any category and do fine with it.

The team’s also veterans of the MMO space, a lot of us on the Lucasarts side have MMO experience, so I think you are going to find that this is not a concern.
They're definitely confident. Considering that, gameplay-wise, most of their single-player games haven't been all that interesting I'm not sure I share their confidence on that part. Based on past experience it should be functional at least. And they definitely have every right to be confident as far as story-based games goes.

Anyway, I'll add the links to the original post.

UK Press Event

It seems that this week EA had a press event in London (and I didn't even get an invite) and today the embargo on the information reveals is lifted, as Sean Dahlberg notes:
Star Wars: The Old Republic participated in the EA UK Press Event in London over these last few days. Starting 9am UTC/GMT tomorrow [That's 2am PDT, 4am CDT, 5am EDT], the embargo on this event will be lifted and you'll begin to see various updates across the web pertaining to this.

Feel free to post and discuss articles you find in this thread and I'll update the first post as often as possible.
And since then three articles (from two sites) that I'm aware of have been posted, with a fair bit of new information. First of all there's an explanation of how class specialization will work, and secondly there's the revealing of the first non-human playable race.

Eurogamer has an article explaining the advanced classes in detail. What it comes down to is that each of the eight classes has two advanced classes you can choose between. The example given was for the Sith Warrior, who can choose between a tanking-oriented Juggernaut, or a DPS-oriented (dual lightsaber wielding) Marauder. On top of that each of those advanced classes has access to three skill trees, two of which unique to the advanced class and the third shared with the other advanced class (giving each class a total of five skill trees). And though, being a pure gameplay choice, the story will be the same for the two advanced classes this means that effectively TOR has not eight but sixteen classes.

The other two articles, one at Eurogamer and the other at The Galactic Struggle, detail some hands-on experience with the game as the journalists were given the chance to play a (low level) Bounty Hunter. Part of this is the reveal of the first playable alien race: Rattataki (which is amusingly misspelled in both articles). It has also been noted that all playable races will be humanoid (which should come as no surprise).

And finally a couple of new screenshots have been released as well, showing the two advanced classes for Sith Warrior as well as some of the Bounty Hunter gameplay:

More articles are likely to surface in the coming days, in which case I'll add them to the following list (and probably make a separate post for them as well):
  • [link] to Advanced Classes article at Eurogamer.
  • [link] to Hands On article at Eurogamer.
  • [link] to screenshot gallery at Eurogamer.
  • [link] to Hands On article at The Galactic Struggle.
  • [link] to interview with Daniel Erickson at Strategy Informer.
  • [link] to Hands On article at GameSpot.
  • [link] to interview with Jake Neri at VG247.
  • [link] to interview with Daniel Erickson at YouTube.
  • [link] to interview with Daniel Erickson at Edge Online.
  • [link] to video interview with Daniel Erickson at GameSpot.
Sounding good so far.

[UPDATE] Added a couple more links as described in this post.
[UPDATE] Added link to YouTube video.
[UPDATE] Added link to Edge Online interview.
[UPDATE] Added link to GameSpot video interview.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Blood of the Empire, Issue #2

As noted earlier today's update is indeed another issue of the Blood of the Empire comic. Here is the official news:
The second issue of Blood of the Empire™ takes us to the Imperial capital of Dromund Kaas, as the young Sith Teneb Kel and his companion Maggot leave the war's front lines--only to find new tensions awaiting them at home. Meanwhile, a mysterious Force-user sets her plans in motion on a distant, crime-ridden world. Intrigue and danger abound as the story of Imperial powers continues!

Check out the latest issue of Blood of the Empire now!
I'm no Star Wars lore expert, but I've got Wookieepedia and near as I can tell the Sith woman in the first few pages is a Zeltron.* Though I don't really believe that the comics are any direct indication of what will and won't be in the game, I do think that these near-humanoid species are probably the easiest to create, the least resource intensive. Just give them a red skin texture (or blue, or white, or whatever) and you're pretty much already there.

Anyway, it's a nice comic. If they keep this up, and don't switch too much between various characters and viewpoints, then this comic is easily better than the Threat of Peace one in my opinion.


* As one reader pointed out to me, I'm wrong. As Daniel Erickson notes she has blood of the Sith species running through her veins:
I can confirm. She is what the Empire refers to as "pureblood" which means there is enough Sith blood still running in the veins to make her red-skinned although she personally does not have enough to have any of the more shocking facial features.
I still feel that she looks more like a Zeltron than a Sith though, probably because those facial features are missing.

Shocking News: No Sarlacc Enforcer Class!

At the start of April BioWare announced that they were including a ninth class in Star Wars: The Old Republic, namely the Sarlacc Enforcer. And I'm sure that many of you were looking forward to playing the stealthy lurker. But now BioWare dashes all of your hopes and dreams by announcing that the Enforcer won't be a class after all. As per Sean Dahlberg's post:
Hey everyone,

We hope that you have enjoyed the Sarlacc Enforcer class reveal we made on April 1st. We just wanted to confirm that the Sarlacc Enforcer is not going to be a class and that it was just some fun we were having for April Fool’s day this year. We’ve had quite a bit of fun reading all the posts and threads that were created and we sure do hope you’ve had as much fun as we’ve had! While you can no longer post in this section, we are going to leave it viewable so that everyone can enjoy the fun and creativity with the Sarlacc Enforcer class!
And I was so looking forward to the Sarlacc's storyline too. <pouts>

On a more serious note Sean has also announced what today's update will be (which I guess will be available shortly):
Hey everyone,

I know we don't make these threads very often any more but I wanted to for this week to keep all of you in the loop (as much as possible). We've had four awesome week's of updates; Timeline 7, VidDoc4, Biographies update, and even launched a new section in the HoloNet: Inhabitants!

This week, we're going to be publishing Blood of the Empire #2. We have a few things in store for all of you before we head off to E3 2010 but this week's update will be the webcomic. And check back next week for our latest Developer Blog.
And for some real shocking news, that is if you're shocked by that kind of thing, it seems that LucasArts president Darrell Rodriguez has resigned from his position. It is uncertain why he resigned, but it seems that LucasFilm's Jerry Bowerman will hold LucasArts' reigns until a full-time replacement can be found. It is said that a number of other top executives are leaving as well, though apparently it shouldn't affect any games in development. According to a statement given to IGN:
"Darrell Rodriguez has resigned and we have initiated a search for a new leader," the company said in a statement given to IGN. "Jerry Bowerman - a member of the Lucasfilm Board of Directors and a games industry veteran - will be stepping in to lead the LucasArts executive team during this transition. Lucasfilm remains fully committed to making great games and we continue to invest in our business."
Whatever is going on and whoever will become the new president, it's exceedingly unlikely that any of it will have any significant effect on the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Revealing Darth Malgus

This Friday was a day where we got to know more about those living in the universe of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Next to a trio of new biographies, we also got a new section to the HoloNet. But let's start with the biographies, as per the official news:
We’ve expanded the Biographies section of the HoloNet to include more of the exciting figures you will meet in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™!

This update includes profiles of three of the most influential people in The Old Republic era: Galactic Republic Special Forces commander, General Garza; the fierce warrior and sole ruler of the Mandalorians, Mandalore; and the star of the “Deceived” cinematic trailer, the ruthless Darth Malgus!

This is just the second in a series of regular updates to the Biographies section so be sure to check back regularly!
For this "star of the “Deceived” cinematic trailer" they've got a bit more though. Because it seems that Darth Malgus is getting his own novel:
You first experienced the devastating might of Darth Malgus on the day that changed the galaxy forever during the Sacking of Coruscant. Now you can learn more about the man behind the mask in the latest novel set in the same time period as Star Wars™: The Old Republic™!

We’re pleased to announce a remarkable new novel entitled Deceived, which tells the story of Darth Malgus and gives fascinating insight into his rise to fame and glory as the Sith Lord who destroyed the Jedi Temple. This stunning narrative finds our dark hero battling a veteran Jedi Master, setting the stage for the affairs and betrayals surrounding the last battle of the Great War before the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant.

Deceived is being written by Paul S. Kemp with the BioWare and LucasArts teams’ full cooperation and creative consultation to bring you an accurate account of the explosive incident and the ruthless man behind it.

Published by Del Rey, this 256-page hardcover book will be priced at $27.00. Mark your calendar to pick up your copy of Deceived going on sale December 28th, 2010. It’s a gripping read and and a terrific opportunity to become further immersed in the stories of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

And while we understand there is thirst for knowledge of the dark lord’s past, many are curious about what has happened to Darth Malgus since the Sacking of Coruscant. Learn more about this enigmatic character as he appears in The Old Republic by accessing the latest Biography update of Darth Malgus!

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About the Author: Paul S. Kemp is a speculative fiction writer in Grosse Point, Michigan. He has written nine Forgotten Realms fantasy novels, and recently expanded into the Star Wars™ expanded universe with Crosscurrent, a standalone Star Wars novel featuring Jedi Knight Jaden Korr and a shipload of ancient Sith out of time and place.

When he's not writing, Paul practices corporate law in Michigan, which has inspired him to create some believably corrupt villains. But whether he’s writing sword and sorcery, science fiction, or space opera, his work is always dark, gritty, and character driven. For more information on Paul S. Kemp or to read a sample of his writing, visit
For those looking for the book on, unless I miss my guess, it should be this one. Interesting how they don't have the title or the cover yet.

And finally there's the new section to the HoloNet: "Inhabitants". Here you can see creatures and humanoids and droids and such that the players might encounter. Here's the official news:
If you’ve been waiting for information about the colorful creatures, species, and droids that populate the galaxy, make sure to check out our new HoloNet expansion - Inhabitants! In this section you can find new information and media about the galactic inhabitants that will entertain – and challenge – you in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.

Inhabitants will be updated regularly, so be sure to check back often to get the latest updates and information!
Two things of interesting note I found there. First is the Salky Hound for which the screenshots show them almost as pet (or perhaps as a sort of companion). Of course those could just be NPCs with the hounds. Another thing I found interesting is getting a look at the Gormak, one of the two species living on the new planet Voss.

And if you're interested, The Holonet Project has translations up for the Aurebesh on the biographies pages as well as the inhabitants pages.

Oh, and a quick note; I've changed the old "biographies" label on this blog to "npcs" so as to include the (future) inhabitants updates as well. Though I fear that sooner or later they'll come with some equipment section to the HoloNet in which case I might have to change it again.