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.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.
Learn more about Companion Characters and how they can shape and enhance your game play by visiting the Game Systems section!
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.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:
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!
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.
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.
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.