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GameStar about SWTOR – 08.2011

2011, August 16 1 comment

I’m just reading the latest issue of GemeStar (Germany) from Aug 2011. Usually I (Petrosis – my name in the TOR community) try to translate the articles in full, but this time I’m not gonna do it. First the article is pretty big (pages 22 to 30 inclusive screenshots and adds), and second I doubt I’ll have the time for full translation. But I’m not gonna leave the SWTOR community without at least some highlights from this big article, which claims that finally BioWare talks clear and open about the game and it is over with the half-knowledge about this epic MMORPG.

OPerations in SWTOR

I’m going to read the article and give you the most important information from the it. I was very careful and precise when translating quotes from developers. If something doesn’t look right, then it’s not the translation, but the author who is mistaken :). I follow this game since it was first announced on Oct 2008 and I know what is old and new information for the dedicated SWTOR fans.

First the article starts with the remark, that if somebody wants to annoy Daniel Erickson only have to compare TOR with WoW, and how it is similar to the MMO mammoth but with better textures. Neither Daniel nor me as reader can agree with such noobish observations.

The author talks about the class stories and how huge they are. Nothing new here. Each class will have it’s own Star Wars trilogy. And they talk about companions of course. And here is the first small gem of new info or it seems so. Georg Zöller, while talking about the combat roles of companions mentions ” by the way there will be a sixth companion, but I can’t reveal who that might be without revealing the story.”

Moral choices play big role in the story and in the affection points for your companion. Vette for instance carries a shock-necklace and if she plugs herself into a dialogue you can give her an electricity jolt to silence her, but that won’t make her like you. There are some other things that affection points can affect – besides the relationship with companions. Georg Zöller talk about something that is currently in testing: “We are still iterating if the companions loyalty can not affect its combat and crafting abilities. This would be logical, but we don’t want to punish the players fir how they play.” Who wants to be evil must remain evil without all his companions fleeing from him.

One thing is sure. Affection point will affect romances. “After the first Mass Effect players wanted affairs with Tali and Garrus” says Erickson “that is a girl with gas mask and another alien.” BioWare will allow such fantasies. Bowdaar? Noooooo!!! But there won’t be ant explicit scenes. “Star Wars movies” explains Erickson “have love scenes like in the 40-ies”.

The articles talks further about light and dark side choices and alignment. Nothing much new there. Force alignment will give access to certain gear. “There are certain places in end game, which player of the other force alignment won’t be able to visit” adds Erickson. “The Jedi council is not so blind towards the dark side like in the movies.” Besides, Erickson promises that gray characters will receive exclusive missions too. About the question if force alignment will influence appearance Daniel Erickson smiles: “Oho! That will be a KOTOR tradition, but we didn’t talk about that yet.”

Further they talk about the personal story. The story arc ends after the third chapter, but BioWare is already working on more content. Of course they are not talking about that yet. Although there are other world stories – like working for or against other factions. There won’t be faction points a la WoW. “We don’t want to throw people on battlefields and tell them: Smash so many heads, then you will get a new pair of gloves or a hat” explains Erickson. There will be world bosses, but no dynamic events like in Guild Wars 2. Why so? Erickson explains “We had to throw away that idea, because we had to do so much other stuff.”

After the third story chapter, what will be the end game? Operation (raids), PvP and few more that they didn’t reveal yet. Gabe Amatangelo talks about rewards in Operations. After each boss fight there will be a bag of rewards for each player. Inside will be class specific items and commendations with which one can buy gear. Nothing new there for the informed fans. You can’t take companions in raids. We know that too.

Further they talk about “social points”. They will give access to some titles and cosmetic items. “Those who like to hang around with sand-people costumes on guild parties must gather social points” jokes Erickson.

The companions level up together with the player and learn new talents. But those are firmly determined. You can’t choose between companion talents. “The five companions cover all needed combat roles” says Zöller. And we already know about customizing the companions with items and through changing their looks.

There is not much new stuff about crafting except the info that companions can do up to five crafting missions – one after another – while the player is offline. This would be an amazing feature for those who can’t log in each day to play. But on the other side the author of the article could have mixed things up. There are five companions for each player and instead of five missions for all companions at once he might have understood five missions per companion in a row. I think this needs confirmation on the official forums by a developer.

Further there are more known facts about PvP. No companions in warzones. Georg Zöller says that they are still experimenting with the number of players in warzones. There might be some pretty big battlefields. And they are working on an option to fight players from the same faction if there are not enough players from the opposite side.

In the open world there will be PvP too. (This part interests me the most.) According to Zöller: “There will be special PvP missions on the planets”. The author of the article suggest that players might capture buildings or eliminate enemy leaders. “Through tasks we give the PvP frames and concentrate it in certain areas” adds Zöller. Will there be armed vehicles? Georg answers with a promising “may be”. Similar to Warhammer Online players will execute missions in certain areas in which enemy players can cross their way.

PvP battles will reward players in first place with money and experience points. Warzones will reward the players with commendations. With them you can buy certain stimpacks. “Whoever gathers a lot of commendations can buy long term rewards” promises Georg Zöller. “But we don’t know yet exactly what they will be”. Through PvP one receives also valor points. With those you can unlock PvP ranks and titled. And special gear? “This is possible” confirms Zöller. “But we don’t have final solution about that”.

There is something about space combat, but we know all about that already.

With this I finished reading the article. The author seems to be familiar with the MMO world and looks competent. I had worst experience in the past, where journalists that most probably have interest in shooters and obviously didn’t like online games were writing articles about SWTOR. I hope you liked this blog. Thanks for reading!

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