Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Eternity Vault Developer Walkthrough

Last weekend was PAX and last Friday BioWare had for us a developer walkthrough of the start of the Eternity Vault Operation (first shown at GamesCom). Here is the official news:
Throughout the week of GamesCom, those who stopped by the EA booth had the opportunity to see a live demonstration of the Eternity Vault, one of the high-level Operations in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. In it, Imperial forces are sent to investigate an ancient prison that is believed to hold a powerful and deadly threat to the Empire.

We don’t want the people who couldn’t make it to Cologne to miss out. In our new video, BioWare’s Dallas Dickinson guides you through the opening minutes of the Eternity Vault. Check it out and be sure to visit our Twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest news and updates on The Old Republic.

I must say that I didn't find the walkthrough particularly compelling. Of course, as I've said before, it's true that seeing someone play an MMO is a quite different experience from playing one yourself. But watching that video doesn't give me the sense of "I want to participate in that". Quite the opposite.

Then again I've never been too fond of raids.

Read on after the break for some stuff coming from the conventions and the developer quotes.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Warzone: Huttball

Last week was GamesCom, which means again a lot of videos and interviews and all of that goodness. They showed PvP and Operations with the primary big reveal, and the Friday update, the announcement of a new Warzone: Huttball. Here's the official news (with link to a video showing the zone):
In a time of turmoil where two mighty armies ready themselves, many citizens of both the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire have begun to look for an escape from the uncertainty of impending war. For many people on Nar Shaddaa this escape can be found in the gladiatorial confines of ‘The Pit,’ where two teams compete in a violent game for the amusement of Giradda the Hutt and thousands of spectators!

We are excited to reveal “Huttball,” one of the Player-vs-Player (PvP) Warzones in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™! Watch the video to see how the game is played and be sure to check back to SWTOR.com for the latest news and updates!

It seems like a fun concept to me as far as PvP goes. Though honestly I can't see either my Republic character or my Empire character willingly participating in that. There's a war going on so the Jedi and Sith and Troopers and Agents (I can somehow see it for Smugglers and Bounty Hunters as neither are that invested in the war) are just going to participate in a spectator sport of violence?

Don't get me wrong, it looks like fun to play. But it seems like it's showing some wide cracks in BioWare's mantra of "story, story, story". And while it's fine to have things that are just there because they're fun and are outside the story, it seems that they're still trying to justify it with story which makes me very worried for the quality of the rest of their stories. We've seen such shortcuts before (like the incredibly artificial 'moral choice' in the Esseles Flashpoint). It's starting to feel like they're having a lot of trouble keeping the whole thing together.

Anyway, in the end fun is what matters, right? Read on after the break for BioWare's PAX plans, some GamesCom stuff and the developer quotes.

Monday, 15 August 2011

TOR GamesCom 2011 Plan

Last Friday was... particularly meager as far as TOR goes. Understandable perhaps with GamesCom right outside the door and them probably holding back the interesting stuff until then, but even so. All we got was a Fan Friday and a description of what they'll be showing at GamesCom (basically players get to play PvP and they're also demonstrating a little of the Eternity Vault). Here's the latter:
GamesCom is less than a week away! Taking place from August 18th through August 21st in Cologne, Germany, GamesCom is one of the world’s largest video game convention and this year BioWare and LucasArts will be in attendance to reveal new information and give gamers from all over Europe the opportunity to get some hands-on time with Star Wars™: The Old Republic™!

Attendees at this year’s GamesCom who make their way to the EA booth will be able to get hands-on play time on each of the Origin Worlds. Additionally, lucky members of the community who successfully applied through the forums will gain exclusive access to an area where they can take part in the Alderaan player-vs-player Warzone.

Throughout GamesCom we will also be running demonstrations of a small portion of the Eternity Vault, a high-level Operation or raid, on the showfloor.

You don’t have to be in Cologne to stay up-to-speed on the latest information from GamesCom. Be sure to check www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com, the Community Forums, our official Twitter and our Facebook page throughout the show for all the latest news!

So yeah, not much there. Even though, read on after the link for a few wallpapers from the Fan Friday (possibly the only worthwhile content this week), a couple of articles posted on various sizes over the last week, and the developer quotes.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Jedi Consular Records

Last Friday BioWare released a class update for the last of the eight classes: the Jedi Consular. As the other seven classes before it they list a Companion for the class, point out a species that you can play, show the class' starship (though we've already seen that in the Jedi Knight update as that class gets the same ship) and, most interestingly, show a class video. Here's the official news:
There is power in wisdom, study, and diplomacy. The Jedi Consular wields that power with an even hand. Consulars study the mysteries of the Force. They use their knowledge to bring peace, but when words fail, their understanding of the Force makes them dangerous foes. Choose your Consular’s path – become the strong, silent hand of the Jedi Council as a Shadow, or immerse yourself in the mysteries of the Force as a Sage, healing and empowering your allies.

Learn more details about the Jedi Consular:

In particular don't forget to check out the video. Kotaku might've called it boring (but then again Kotaku seems to be down on everything SWTOR) but personally I find it the best representation of an actual Jedi, much moreso than the Jedi Knight. Though it's really odd to see Stephen Reid as a Jedi Consular (I kid, I kid). It might not be the most action-filled video, but if that's representative of the class then that only makes me more excited to play it. Can't wait.

After the break BioWare's second update last Friday, a San Diego Comic-Con highlights video, and the developer quotes.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

‘The Esseles’ Developer Walkthrough

Last Friday BioWare gave us a walkthrough of the first Flashpoint that Republic players will get: The Esseles. Here is the official news:
During the week of San Diego Comic-Con, a select number of people had the opportunity to play through ‘The Esseles,’ a Flashpoint that Republic heroes will be able to experience for themselves early in their hero’s journey. In the Flashpoint, players must group together to protect a high-ranking diplomat and fend off Imperial boarding parties.

For everyone who was unable to join us in San Diego, we’ve put together a new video featuring developer commentary from Director of Production Dallas Dickinson. Check out our new Developer Walkthrough, and then secure your place in a galaxy far, far away by pre-ordering your copy of Star Wars™: The Old Republic™!

It's a nice walkthrough and serves as a nice counterpoint to the first Flashpoint walkthrough they released some two years ago. If I'm not mistaken that was the one the Empire side gets at about the same time.

That whole airlock thing seemed rather questionable though; a rather forced and unrealistic situation to try and jam in a moral choice. I find it hard to believe that BioWare's writers seriously couldn't come up with a better construction.

Anyway, after the break it's straight to the developer quotes. Yes, the Comic-Con links still have to wait until a later time.