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1UP LucasArts Reveal Liveblog
The event will begin soon...
2:11 Scooter: Hey everyone, we are still waiting while people are checking in.
2:11 Scooter: Now the doors are opening.
2:12 Scooter: We just been told no photos or videos. USE IMAGination!
2:15 Scooter: THIS CONNECTION IS NOT VERY GOOD.
2:15 Scooter: Reception sucks here. I have no idea how well this will work.
2:18 Scooter: HOLY SMOKES
2:18 Scooter: I finally have internet!
2:18 Scooter: SW themeQ!
2:18 Scooter: Montage of movie clips
2:18 Scooter: DR Ray on screen talking about Star Wars RPG stuff
2:19 Scooter: all KOTOR footage on screen so far. nothing new
2:19 Scooter: So manu talking heads
2:19 Scooter: Now they're talking about KOTOR 2, wihch bioware didnt do, wheeee!
2:20 Scooter: Now they're babbling about the comics
2:20 Scooter: Dr Ray likes the toys, apparently.
2:20 Scooter: Some Lucasarts suit talks abougt "one of the worst kept secrets in the industry"
2:20 Scooter: Lucasrts suit = Gerry Rodriguez
2:21 Scooter: Darrell
2:21 Scooter: I totally got his name wrong.
2:21 Scooter: He finally called it the online KOTOR
2:21 Scooter: He's talkig about how awesome Buoiware is and how they're friends with EA
2:21 Scooter: Star Wars IP plus BioWare storytelling plus EA coolness
2:22 Scooter: Dr Ray and Greg are now here.
2:22 Scooter: Ray is still the Spock of hte gaming industry
2:22 Scooter: Ray is talking about the rumors, such as Howard the Duck the MMO
2:22 Scooter: I totally would play that.
2:22 Scooter: THX-1138 was another joke idea.
2:23 Scooter: MMO in the KOTOR universe, again, verified by Ray.
2:23 Scooter: "A dynamic period full of jedi and sith"
2:23 Scooter: Story-based MMO
2:23 Scooter: I hope it's like age of conan, but better.
2:23 Scooter: Ray wants to make something innovative and storybased
2:24 Scooter: Now he's talking about the KOTOR3 and going into KOTOR6, but decided to go MMO route
2:24 Scooter: listing the four pillars: exploration, customization, combat, and ...
2:24 Scooter: STORY
2:24 Scooter: story gives MEANING
2:25 Scooter: Ray is talking about living the archetypal moments of the SW universe
2:25 Scooter: Greg is talking about state of the game and how it's playable
2:25 Scooter: "We're not going to be playing it today"
2:25 Scooter: Doh
2:25 Scooter: Greg is dropping mad MMO acronyms like RVR PVP etc
2:26 Scooter: But he's talking about a game for KOTOR fans who don't play MMOs
2:26 Scooter: Companion characters are now the topic
2:26 Scooter: COMPANIONS ARE IN. HK-47 PET?!?!?!?
2:26 Scooter: You can't have Han Solo without Chewbacca is the analogy Greg uses.
2:27 Scooter: Companions will have own stories and quests, and you can manipulate them if you're an evil dark side duder
2:27 Scooter: BG2 is COMPLETELY DWARFED by this game (size-wise)
2:27 Scooter: TRAILER TIME
2:28 Scooter: still plying logos
2:28 Scooter: title scroll about imminent war between sith and old republic
2:28 Scooter: olde tyme space shio,and close up of a crystal thingy
2:28 Scooter: there's an assassin droid on screen
2:29 Scooter: some jedi dude is force choking some soldier fool
2:29 Scooter: DOORS ARE OPENING
2:29 Scooter: EPISODE 1 FIGHT MUSIC whike two jedi are dueling
2:29 Scooter: "your saga begins online"
2:29 Scooter: Star Wars: the Old republic = title
2:30 Scooter: Ray is introducing James Ohlen
2:30 Scooter: Lead designer on KOTOR and Baldur's Gate
2:30 Scooter: He's got street cred
2:30 Scooter: He's going to talk about high level design stuff
2:31 Scooter: KOTOR is the coolest game of my career, and SW: Old republic is even MORE exciting! compelling!
2:31 Scooter: "bringing story to the online space"
2:31 Scooter: takes place 3500 years before movies
2:31 Scooter: there's a haggard jedi looking guy plus some random monster art on screen while he talks
2:31 Scooter: 300 years after KOTOR 1 and 2
2:32 Scooter: New Sith Empire is THE MAN
2:32 Scooter: terentatex= ny Star wars nerd know what this is?it was just onscreen
2:32 Scooter: Faction: Galactic Republic or Sith Empire
2:32 Scooter: classes within each faction
2:33 Scooter: he's talking about individual stories of characters like han solo and luke
2:33 Scooter: that's the dynamic he wants; players with own stories who commune with others
2:33 Scooter: players will have to make hard choices
2:33 Scooter: "good, evil, pragmatic, or unpredictable"
2:34 Scooter: reiterates that companion characters are important to both bioware games and SW movies
2:34 Scooter: companions, player choice, unique classes, and players joining together are the key factors of the experience
2:34 Scooter: now here comes the art director
2:35 Scooter: Jeff Dobson, he's worked on other MMOs
2:35 Scooter: quick aside: no in game art has been shown so far
2:35 Scooter: I WILL DESCRIBE THE GAME LOOK WHEN I SEE IT
2:35 Scooter: all art is concept art so far
2:36 Scooter: Dobson is talking about making it Star Wars and recognizable
2:36 Scooter: oh wait, a kinda cool image of a olde tyme trooper just flashed by
2:36 Scooter: looks pretty KOTOR-ish
2:37 Scooter: it's a trooper design i haven't really seen
2:37 Scooter: NOT EVEN ANTHONY knows what the trooper was!
2:37 Scooter: he's a huge SW nerd
2:38 Scooter: he's talking about how they gotta get the character art right, since that's ALL YOU SEE IN AN MMO
2:38 Scooter: why is he talking about broad shoulders and square jaws if you're going to wear space armor? that's a mystery to me.
2:39 Scooter: AHA, he just talks about how the art is designed to run across ALL range of PCs
2:39 Scooter: he's talking about a video that's coming up
2:40 Scooter: pre-production footage marker just flashed by
2:40 Scooter: unoptimized framerate!
2:40 Scooter: just location shots so far
2:40 Scooter: now jedi and droids and combat sequences
2:40 Scooter: no UI, so i cant tell you how it's actually playing out.
2:41 Scooter: anythony said it reminded him of age of conan with a bit of WoW
2:41 Scooter: combat-aninmation wise
2:41 Scooter: choppy jedi swings
2:41 Scooter: back to the title card
2:42 Scooter: ray is talking about general overview stuff
2:42 Scooter: there will be PvP, raids, etc.
2:42 Scooter: still no specifics about classes or anything
2:43 Scooter: it's still early, and now they're done talking
2:43 Scooter: So really, all that's been said and shown is some choppy combat and talks about story stuff without specifics
2:43 Scooter: we'll have breakout sessions, and will try to get more info from them
2:43 Scooter: Q&A time!
2:44 Scooter: is the footage pre-alpha?
2:44 Scooter: YES
2:44 Scooter: howlong have you been working on this game?
2:44 Scooter: NO DETAILS ON SCHEDULE
2:44 Scooter: just that it's a typical bioware game
2:44 Scooter: CONSOLE PLATFORMS?
2:45 Scooter: goeff keighley asked that
2:45 Scooter: "we'r eonly talking about PC... TODAY"
2:45 Scooter: hmmmmmm
2:45 Scooter: someone just asked if there's a subscription
2:45 Scooter: "no details on business model just yet"
2:45 Scooter: someone just asked for release date
2:46 Scooter: "some point IN THE FUTURE"
2:46 Scooter: "why go faction and then side instead of organic 'make a new dude and just go'" begining
2:46 Scooter: there is a design reason for that
2:46 Scooter: "what about the future of SWG?"
2:46 Scooter: "today we're talking about old republic"
2:47 Scooter: open beta?
2:47 Scooter: "AT SOME POINT"
2:47 Scooter: anything about classes or races?
2:47 Scooter: "unique ones on each faction, and what are cool things you've seen in the movies, and we'll make classes out of that"
2:47 Scooter: capture the experience of the movies
2:47 Scooter: if it was in the movie, you should be able to do it in the game
2:48 Scooter: a lot of these questions are being ducked
2:48 Scooter: "that's for a breakout session"
2:48 Scooter: gameplay trailer redux
2:48 Scooter: still starts with location shots
2:49 Scooter: melee seems to be making some contact
2:49 Scooter: there's lots of shooting and force pushing
2:49 Scooter: some lightsaber just crossed with some gaffi stick like thigy
2:49 Scooter: so it looks liek there is contact in the battle animations. though he's hella choppy
2:50 Scooter: now it's breakout sessoin time
2:50 Scooter: should i try to liveblog the breakout session?
2:51 Scooter: okay, NOW WE WALK
2:52 Scooter: i just got a poster and some sweet miniatures
2:53 Scooter: anthony is excited about his miniatures
2:57 Scooter: reception SUX AGAIN
3:00 [Standby] gonna try again later
3:06 Scooter: back
3:06 Scooter: "Story driven gameplay"
3:06 Scooter: Star Wars Combat
3:07 Scooter: Meaningful in game choices
3:07 Scooter: Present: James Ohlen, exec producer rich vogel, co studio director gordon walton, and a lucasarts producer i didn't catch the name of
3:07 Scooter: "taking companion experience to the next level"
3:08 Scooter: You can ROMANCE or BETRAY your companions
3:08 Scooter: a profile on the team now
3:08 Scooter: A melding of BioWare talent plus guys who've worked on MMOs before
3:09 Scooter: world building and art and all that is from Bioware, while technology and all that is from MMO dvelopers that bioware has recruited
3:10 Scooter: here comes more Q&A
3:10 Scooter: someone asked about james talking about how you cold try to "force choke everyone you meet"
3:10 Scooter: so he's talking about the factions
3:11 Scooter: if you start in Sith Empire, you can aim to be a sith lord
3:11 Scooter: or try to be good fro mwithin
3:11 Scooter: if you start in galactic empire, you can be a goody, or you can embrace the dark side
3:11 Scooter: "it's not just about jedi knights"
3:12 Scooter: someone asked about if good/evil is binary, or shades of grey
3:12 Scooter: Ohlen is using qui-gon jinn as someone who's a bit in the grey area as an example
3:12 Scooter: Luke is also in the semi morally grey area
3:13 Scooter: a question about story, and how bioware plans to move the story forward
3:13 Scooter: "we're trying to recreate that dream of creating their own story and joining other players in the epic conflict over the galaxy"
3:14 Scooter: each class has a unique story path, unlike other bioware games where the story is basicall ythe same no mater what class you played as
3:14 Scooter: "The Sith story is just awesome"
3:15 Scooter: A Han Solo story will have a different feel than a Luke Skywalker story
3:15 Scooter: Rich Vogel is talking about how the story is much more personal focused
3:16 Scooter: not just you zipping around sucking up the same quests as everyone else
3:16 Scooter: Jen Tsao is asking about appealing to solo players vs social peeps
3:17 Scooter: "you can play on your own, but we're going to encourage you to be social; we're not goin gto force grouping, but we aim to encourage" -Ohlen
3:18 Scooter: the companion character is also an element to making oyu feel part of the story
3:18 Scooter: COMPANIONS ARE NOT PETS
3:18 Scooter: EMPHASIS HIS
3:18 Scooter: someone is asking about PVP
3:19 Scooter: "players will kill players"
3:19 Scooter: "you will be able to slaughter players in multiple ways"
3:19 Scooter: same guy is asking about space stuff
3:19 Scooter: "we're not yet talking about the space experience"
3:20 Scooter: other classes being balanced vs jedi question
3:20 Scooter: "how do we make classes that can go up against jedi"?
3:20 Scooter: ohlen cites jango fett and general grievous as characters who can take down jedi
3:21 Scooter: "we're focused on making aheroic game, so even if you're not a jedi, you're the best representation o fthat class"
3:22 Scooter: ohlen says that he won't confirm that there is a bounty hunter class, but it seems really obvious that there is
3:23 Scooter: someone asks if bioware expects peopl eto make just one class, or to have a ton of alts a la WoW
3:23 Scooter: no content shared at all between classes
3:23 Scooter: playing as jedi vs sith would be like playing two different games
3:23 Scooter: OR SO HE CLAIMS
3:24 Scooter: seanbaby asked what happens when a bounty hunter and a jedi party together
3:24 Scooter: players can join together and help each other in their quests
3:24 Scooter: Han Solo could help Luke against a wompa, as an example
3:26 Scooter: i just asked about death
3:26 Scooter: NO SPECIFICS
3:26 Scooter: someone just asked about D20
3:26 Scooter: NOT D20
3:27 Scooter: Ohlen just dropped a reference to Wookiepedia
3:28 Scooter: in discussing creation of content
3:29 Scooter: talking about the bioware production process being amped up to create content, and getting help from lucasarts on that end
3:29 Scooter: the Lucasrts guy is talking about working with Lucas Licensing and the sound guys to make sure it's all star wars kosher.
3:31 Scooter: they're sitll talking about content creation, and how it'll be a mix of old and new stuff
3:31 Scooter: someone is asking about building your lightsabers
3:31 Scooter: we can't go into too much detail about weapons and equipment
3:31 Scooter: you can do something with your lightsaber ove rthe course of your character's career
3:32 Scooter: someone is now asking about raids
3:32 Scooter: "we're not supposed to talk about raids"
3:32 Scooter: characters from KOTOR can show up
3:32 Scooter: the ones who can survive for 300 years between KOTOR and this game
3:33 Scooter: the HK-47-alike could be HK47, or could be HK50!
3:33 Scooter: any benefit to not having a companion?
3:33 Scooter: ther emight be an achievement for not having one
3:34 Scooter: "we want to reveal over tiem what we're doing"
3:34 Scooter: that's pretty much the theme of today
3:35 Scooter: "when we're confident that the design is complete and is implemented and playable, then we'll talk about it"
3:35 Scooter: "we have lots of plans, but we want to make sure the game has the quality level of a bioware game"
3:35 Scooter: EA moneys = helpful in backing
3:35 Scooter: this is bioware's biggest, and possibly one of EA's biggest, games
3:37 Scooter: EA has been pushing themselves to make new IP and higher quality games across the board, and BioWare is part of that push
3:37 Scooter: "what are your favorite MMOs"?
3:38 Scooter: Warhammer, plus some WoW. One Age of Conan guy.
3:40 Scooter: we want to make combat visceral
3:40 Scooter: very contact oriented
3:41 Scooter: he just started talking about that combat stuff while talking about sotry stuff
3:41 Scooter: sorry if it seemed really sudden
3:41 Scooter: they like the minigames from KOTOR
3:41 Scooter: "MMO has a lot of content"
3:41 Scooter: HERE COMEZ PAZAAK (or whatever that KOTOR blackjack game was called)
3:42 Scooter: now they're switching people for the breakouts
3:44 Scooter: no one has showed up
3:44 Scooter: still waiting
3:47 Scooter: the art guy just walked in
3:47 Scooter: Jeff Dobson, art director
3:47 Scooter: just him for now
3:47 Scooter: he's loading up a SWEET powerpoint
3:48 Scooter: CONCEPTS COME TO LIFE is the title of his current slide
3:49 Scooter: he's showing off some creature and location concepts compared to in-game stuff
3:49 Scooter: talking about making paintings versus photoshopping with phots for overall art design
3:49 Scooter: now his powerpoint is about "capturng that star wars feel in the old republic setting"
3:50 Scooter: the painting on his powerpoint kinda looks like jabba's palace, if that helps
3:50 Scooter: STYLIZED REALISM is his new slide
3:51 Scooter: some character models on screen, tryin gto get that sweet spot of stylized, but realistic as opposed to cartoony
3:51 Scooter: he just namedropped Korriban
3:52 Scooter: now Korriban is all archaelogical dig-site style
3:52 Scooter: on the topic of evolving locations and whatnot
3:52 Scooter: his powerpoint is over, wheee
3:53 Scooter: anthony just asked about whether the art design is tied to the system requirements
3:54 Scooter: a gam ethat doesn't run well isn't a game that we want
3:56 Scooter: someone asked if there's gonna be busy/dense environments like Endor
3:56 Scooter: "we have a lot more to show in the coming months"
3:56 Scooter: again, theme of the day: "we have more to show/talk about later."
3:57 Scooter: someone asked about character customization
3:57 Scooter: "customization is important in the MMO space"
3:58 Scooter: they start with "what would be the coolest versoin of Luke Skywalker" and that's the high-end character design goal
3:58 Scooter: then they extrapolate what that class would look like in low to mid level
3:59 Scooter: this isn't a game about giving you bigger shoulder pads as you level
4:00 Scooter: someone asked how htey plan to make sure players don't end up looking like circus clowns with big purple pants
4:01 Scooter: dobson: terrible dressing is a form of griefing
4:01 Scooter: so the art tea mis doing their dmndest towards a system that makes it impossible to make terrible looking people.
4:01 Scooter: nothing worse than getting a great item and thinkin gthat it makes you look lame
4:03 Scooter: someone asked about physical character customizaton, like how the screens look all nimble, but can players make obese characters?
4:03 Scooter: there will be enough customization for peope who don't want to look like stereotypical square jaws hero
4:03 Scooter: will customization be slider based or pre-fab?
4:04 Scooter: there will be sliders, but with three settings, not a bajillion
4:04 Scooter: there will still be a lot of options, but packaged tighter to make sure people make great looking characters
4:06 Scooter: someone asked about gear design for dark vs light side
4:07 Scooter: talking about the approach of making sure that dark side gear looks, well, dark sidey, and that you wouldn't get dark side looking gear if you're a smuggler
4:07 Scooter: hmm, he casually mentions smugglers, soldiers, criminals, possible classes, mayhap!
4:08 Scooter: combat system: started with "the lightsabers hit" and evolved from there
4:08 Scooter: "if you want great fighting, dont look at MMOs, look at great console action games"
4:10 Scooter: again talking about the synergy between lucasrts and the big star wars bible and what bioware can create or use in the game
4:12 Scooter: anthony is asking about collision detectoin
4:12 Scooter: which is not really an art concern, as far as the art duder is concerned
4:14 Scooter: someone asked him what was teh coolest thing he's done lately, and he's giving one of those "i work with awesome people and life is grand!" speeches
4:15 Scooter: this art breakout session is now done
4:15 Scooter: waiting for more duders
4:18 Scooter: seanbaby is wondering wher ethe fellow named "shit" is and why isn't he commenting. and jared (who asked about the slider and obese jedi) is letting his jedi go. yea, this is what happens when we wait for people to come in
4:19 Scooter: someone is talking about fable 2 and having an accident in your pants
4:20 Scooter: STILL WAITING
4:21 Scooter: SOMEONE JUST CAME IN
4:22 Scooter: he's messing with a powerpoint
4:22 Scooter: AND HE JUST LEFT
4:22 Scooter: the powerpoint is just the logo right now
4:23 Scooter: now someone is angrily ranting about metal gear games
4:24 Scooter: THIS IS WHAT WE DO WHEN WAITING FOR GUYS TO COME TALK TO US
4:24 Scooter: DUDE IS BACK
4:24 Scooter: Daniel Erickson, lead writer
4:24 Scooter: he CANNOT TALK ABOUT GAMEPLAY
4:25 Scooter: reiterating the four pillars of bioware RPGs: combat, exploration, progression, and STORY
4:26 Scooter: "you cant do story in an MMO!", and bioware is tackling that challenge
4:26 Scooter: game setting: 3600 years prior to movie events
4:26 Scooter: 300 years after KOTOR II
4:27 Scooter: uneasy truce between Rebpulic and Sith Empire
4:27 Scooter: two jedi found the sith, got turned, and founded Sith empire, essentially
4:28 Scooter: he just mentioned the Star Forge, remember that!!?!
4:28 Scooter: The Sith signs a truce, and sacks Coruscant for kicks.
4:28 Scooter: now the truce is all Cold War style, with proxy wars and whatnot
4:29 Scooter: the game begins witj everyone knowing that all out war is gonna break out
4:29 Scooter: the KOTOR timeframe allows for an exciting story
4:30 Scooter: class-based stories will give you context and feel for entire experience i nthe game
4:30 Scooter: unique stories are allowed, unlike baldur's gate story
4:30 Scooter: for example, as Sith, he knows that you train in Korriban and are just a bad dude, so they know to tell a specific "badass" story for you
4:31 Scooter: Choices that matter is another bullet point on his powerpoint
4:31 Scooter: WHO LIVES, WHO DIES is the kind of stuff you will experience, depending on your class
4:31 Scooter: there is no savekey
4:32 Scooter: your choices can't be undone or taken back like in old bioware games
4:32 Scooter: if you kill one of your companions, you cant quickload, your decision stands
4:32 Scooter: difference between morality and faction is a big theme
4:33 Scooter: bioware is trying to humanize the Sith Empire
4:33 Scooter: there's never been an evil empire in the history of the world;
4:34 Scooter: there's been evil rergimes and dictators, but there are still good people within
4:34 Scooter: for ex, as a sith, you decide whether you uphold sith values or maybe change stuff from within
4:34 Scooter: companions are a way to help guide your thinking/choices
4:35 Scooter: companions offer lots of storytelling opportunities; trying to make this like BG2 but on a bigger scope
4:36 Scooter: ONE GAMEPLAY THING HE CAN MENTION: combat is not turn-based, as you can't pause the server
4:37 Scooter: he talks about how some people played BG2 as a tactical RPG and didn't care about story
4:37 Scooter: and how they want to make story support and be interesting for even those kinds of players
4:38 Scooter: "most MMOs have background, and the people you MEET have a story, but YOU don't have a story"
4:39 Scooter: story players care about themselves and nothing else. that's a core concept.
4:39 Scooter: KOTOR twist is an example of making the story player-focused
4:40 Scooter: it's important to make you feel like you're the character class you play as all the time
4:40 Scooter: the people who are writing the class storylines have the most important job
4:41 Scooter: "you will never walk into a cantina, poke a random stranger, and see if you can do something for cash"
4:41 Scooter: "you will never walk in the street and be asked to find a lost cat"
4:41 Scooter: "Darth Vader will never talk to a farmer to get a quest to fix a tractor"
4:43 Scooter: Obi-wan and Darth Vader never had the same quest. if you play a jedi, and you play a sith, you never have the same content
4:44 Scooter: if you play as the Sith, you have to know and feel that at any moment, you can be killed
4:45 Scooter: if you bother Darth Vader, he can kill you, so if you get a quest from an NPC, it won't be something dumb, because that NPC should feel as though you would kill him
4:45 Scooter: by the way, he can confirm that farmers are NOT a class
4:45 Scooter: you cna't make blue milk and build moisture evaporators
4:47 Scooter: He commented that the moment he made the wookiee kill the twi'lek in KOTOR was what convinced him to work for bioware and be part of SW: the old republic
4:49 Scooter: he's talking about thos ekind of companion moments are a big part of what htey're aiming for in SW: TOR
4:49 Scooter: someone asked about companion death or watnot
4:49 Scooter: like other bioware games, there are multiple ones, and you decide what to do with your companions
4:50 Scooter: but with the added stress of having no save button to undo your actions
4:50 Scooter: someone asks about quest structure
4:50 Scooter: and, well, quest structure is on his "don't talk" list
4:51 Scooter: someone asked about language, and his reply is "you are extremely well traveled"
4:53 Scooter: dialogue system will be more cinematic, and not like early bioware games where you can have dialogue trees dedicated to stupid subjects
4:53 Scooter: someone aske dif your character speaks
4:53 Scooter: number one on his "don't talk" list
4:54 Scooter: this is hte last sessoin
4:54 Scooter: thanks for reading, people, my battery is bout ot run out
BOYCOTTING EA / ORIGIN going forward.