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The Official: e3 2009 Info on TOR (Gameplay Revealed Articles!!!)



  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 CommonPosts: 6,690

    Good find. Maybe a hint that we will be able to play other races.

  • KordacKordac Member Posts: 80

    Apologies if this has already been posted but I couldn't see it after a quick glance through  the thread. It is, to my mind at least, the best "review" of the demo so far, very unbiased and indepth. Well worth your time to read it

  • TillerTiller Member LegendaryPosts: 10,389
    Originally posted by Kordac

    Apologies if this has already been posted but I couldn't see it after a quick glance through  the thread. It is, to my mind at least, the best "review" of the demo so far, very unbiased and indepth. Well worth your time to read it
    Star Wars: The Old Republic E3 Demo Preview

    Posted by True_Avery on June 5th, 2009

    Jeff and I were the first to see this demo, and the only ones who were able to see the demo twice. Here is what we saw, as this was a watch only demo:

    The demo started off with the devs telling us about the flexibility of time in The Old Republic, and how the 300 year gap allowed both Bioware and LucasArts to fill in the gaps of history and begin to fully imagine the Star Wars timeline.

    After a brief description of the time frame, we were shown the Sacking of Coruscant video in HD. After the video it was explain to us that they wanted a similar feeling of action, story, and so on all working at once to create a masterpiece to behold. As they put it, “Choice drives story, story drives action.”

    After this, we moved onto the in-game demo:


    This was the first class we were shown, and it has been confirmed that this class starts on Hutta, a planet stolen by the Hutts and basically claimed as their home planet.

    The main quest we were on at the moment was the “Great Hunt”, a hunting competition held by the Mandalorians to find the best hunters in the galaxy.

    To start this quest off, we went into the first ever live showing of the dialogue system:


    Welcome to Mass Effect multiplayer.

    We went up to an NPC and instead of the text box appearing, a mini cinematic appeared of us talking to them Mass Effect/KOTOR style. There was a man in charge, his female assistant, and an alien hunter on the side. The three of them moved, talked, and had full body/facial expressions while speaking. After a few lines were thrown back and forth between them and to us, we had a chance to talk.

    What would happen to appear?

    A Mass Effect dialogue wheel. We chose an option and lo and behold, our character was fully voiced (by the wonderful Steven Blum, well known for his portrayal of characters like Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop) with his own expressions and so on. This continued for a few more lines before we were sent off to do our duty.

    Now, the system is, as they say, indeed fully voiced. There are optional subtitles as well. As was stated by the devs, both male and female characters have the choice between multiple voice actors to portray their character so that everyone does not sound the same.


    We ran outside of our base to see Hutta in all glory. It was about now that the Stylized realism was explained, and that they were going for a unique, almost concept art feel which was portrayed amazingly well. It was indeed like being in a 3D painting and the colors, shapes, and so on were all easy on the eyes.


    Outside, we saw the massive palace of the local Hutt lord and his many cronies littering the area. So, obviously, we attacked them.

    I will expand upon this further down, but the combat does not often have you fighting 1 person at a time. Like KOTOR, you often fight multiple enemies at once to portray you as an above the norm type of character, or “Hero” as they put it.

    We started off by fighting groups of 3, all of which had blasters. We ran close, then uploaded our blaster pistol. Now, what really sold the guns were the amazing sounds provided by LucasArts, and when he fired he would fire a small volley of shots to the person, often knocking them down or causing them to flinch in pain. As was shown, the Bounty Hunter was capable of firing his gun while moving in any direction.

    We then tested out some of his gadgets. The hunter fired a wrist mounted rocket at the thugs, which exploded and knocked the target on his back and did quite a bit of damage. After a few more shots we ran up and unloaded a flamethrower stream on their puny bodies. The stream worked upon a counter bar that quickly extinguished. As the flames hit them, they went up in flames and tried to put themselves out while also trying to attack you.

    We then backed up and unloaded on them. Two of them died pretty quickly and the last tried to find cover. He died pretty quickly with a rocket to the face.

    We then posed, then the screen went black. Next, Smuggler:


    This was an E3 reveal, but as they said a very poorly kept secret.

    We went right into combat with the Smuggler. He was equipped with a pistol and we killed guy right off the bat. The Dev noted that the Smuggler was capable of firing behind his back while running, shooting around corners, from cover, and so on. Generally, they wanted to base the class off of the combat style of Han Solo. Since the class itself is not heavily armored and limited in range, they chose this style to balance the odds against heavier opponents by basically being underhanded as hell.

    How underhanded?

    The smugger starts out on Ord Mantel in the demo.

    The Smuggler is capable of using cover. How this works is that when you walk up to certain objects like corners, trees, boxes, and so on a little green silhouette will appear. You click on this silhouette and he will take the position, hiding by either crouching or standing depending and firing at his opponent. This system was pretty fluid in the alpha version we watched.

    Not much else was particularly said about this class till the end when melee moves were confirmed. The Smuggler ran up to a weakened thug, and then magic happened: he kicked him square in the groin, then shot him in the head to finish him. Yep, you read that correctly.

    After this, the Smuggler screen went black as the Smuggler waves.

    Now onto Sith:


    This next demo was based upon many things happening at once.

    The main char, now a moderately level Sith, is with another player character Bounty Hunter. We walked up to a Captain to ask him a few questions, as we have been told that he refused to follow orders to find a Jedi in his sector.

    The two walked up to him, and the conversation mini-scene began. As with the first conversation, we talked to multiple people on the bridge at once and every single one of them was voice acted with movement and expressions. The Sith questioned him on the situation, and then something interesting happened:


    SWTOR is the first RPG to allow co-op/multi-player conversations. The Sith was the character to talk to the Captain, but both the Sith and Bounty Hunter were given the options to talk one at a time. The Sith asked a question, the Captain responded, and then the Bounty Hunter commented on the situation.

    For most press, they were allowed to choose only one of the outcomes. One outcome is that we let the Captain live, and the other was to let him die. Jeff and I were allowed to see both, so here is what happened:


    In this sequence, Bounty Hunter or the Sith executes the Captain. If the Sith, he pulls his saber out and cuts him down. If the Bounty Hunter, he hits him to his knees and shoots him in the head, the Captain off camera. This was interesting, as we both assumed the decision was going to be based off of the Sith as he was the one to initiate conversation.

    We then proclaimed our dominance. The crew bowed to our will, and a nearby droid confirmed that, by Sith law, we were now captain and owners of this vessel.

    We then jumped to hyperspace only to be attacked by a Republic transport. Boarding parties came towards the ship and the two of us told the crew we would take care of it.

    The vessel we are on is massive. About the size of the ravager, expect with larger halls and so on. We ran to the halls and boarding pods smashed through the walls and Republic Troops piled out.

    The game then became very similar to BattleFront, as there were maybe 10 or more people attacking the two of them at once. The Sith used a Force ability to quickly force jump right into the group and do an AOE lightning attack. We then got to see some lightsabre combat.

    The abilities bar gave us multiple attack options. Regular attack just had him casually fighting the troopers with his sabre, but using some abilities had him either attacking much faster with quick slices, or strong and slow attacks. The combat was similar to KOTOR’s, but with a looser, almost Battlefront feel to it.

    At the end of every Trooper’s life, the Sith would perform an execution. This usually involved stabbing the trooper through the chest in some elaborate manner. Troopers would pull out a sword when confronted with Melee and would parry and attack, but in the end were no match.

    What is interesting to note, however, is that while sword fighting the character would throw his sword to the side or behind him to deflect blaster bolt fire back or away from him. This gave a pretty fluid look to combat similar to that of KOTOR, but not as stiff.

    The Bounty Hunter character was also fighting, firing rockets and blaster bolts into the groups. One of the higher level abilities we saw was the Bounty Hunter lifting off with the Jetpack and unleashing hell upon a few groups, rapidly firing blaster bolts before firing some wrist rockets their way.

    After a few groups of this, we made our way to the Engine room which was heavily, heavily detailed with a full engine working above us. We jumped down and took out a Padawan and some troops before a full Jedi ran through the shielding and took us on. The Sith deflected blaster bolts as the Jedi attacked and we fought back. After the Bounty Hunter cleaned up the troopers, he moved onto the Jedi. We then did combo moves like picking up Jedi with a Force Grip, then having the Bounty Hunter fire and wrist rocket him. The impact broke the Force Grip, but the combination did a massive amount of damage.

    After the Jedi died, the dev took his saber, equipped duel sabers, then the demo was over.


    There is some overlap, but also some differences with this one. We let the captain live, who turned out to share your dislike of his superior officer and claimed that finding the Jedi was a waste of valuable resources he was saving for bigger attacks. He turned out to be reasonable, and we jumped to hyperspace before falling out and being attacked by the Transport. This time the Captain informed us of an advanced boarding party in the hanger, and the two of us headed out to clean them up. We made an ally with the Captain and crew, and gained a lightside point. Killing him gave a darkside.

    After a few groups of boarding parties like above, we jumped into the docking bay where a Republic landing ship had arrived. We killed a Jedi Padawan at the door which was a fight that ended fairly quickly. We took out a few troops, then the ship got up and began firing upon them. The Bounty Hunter and Sith had to take cover as it fired, unloaded some Troopers and a Jedi Knight, then zoomed off.

    The bounty hunter dev focused fire on the troopers as we charged the Jedi. After a fairly lengthy fight, we managed to take him down with a force choke, a few lightsaber exchanges, then a lightsaber stab to the gut, killing him.

    As with above, the dev equipped the other saber and the screen went black.

    This confirmed looting, dual sabers, and gave a glimpse of combat from various classes.


    I noticed the music in the game was the music from K1, so expect some KOTOR/possibly TSL music to appear in the game.


    We noticed a few glitches in the Alpha. Some minor lag in some spots, people standing up but not moving after being killed, and so on. Minor stuff, and nothing to be concerned about. We did have the game crash on us when jumping jumping to hyperdrive, but that was quickly reset and fixed for us.

    Gaming Experience

    The Flash Point scene was a private, closed off area for only you and someone you brought along from the looks of it. no other players, so it is safe to assume this was a single player area. We saw some people on Hutta, but they were just going about their normal business.

    As the devs told us, the majority of the game can be done without a single bit of help from another player. They said that the main appeal of MMOs is the experience single player with the option of being with other players. They confirmed that names, chat, and so on could all be turned off or ignored if you really, really wanted absolutely nothing to do with other people.


    Naming filters have been confirmed. No numbers, special characters, or Star Wars names. They emphasized the strictness of this system, as they seemed to agree on the assumption it could be immersion, if not game breaking.


    PVP? Yes.

    Jumping? Yes.

    Looting? Yes.

    Crafting? Yes.

    Guilds? Yes.

    Auction Houses? Yes.

    Trading? Yes.


    Words cannot fully describe what the demo was like, but I think it was damn good and is now fully on my radar. Hope this answered some questions, and feel free to ask a few and I’ll see if I can answer them. Try to keep them relevant to this article however, as I only know what I saw in the demo.

    Nope, it hasn't. Thx.

    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
  • TillerTiller Member LegendaryPosts: 10,389
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
  • TillerTiller Member LegendaryPosts: 10,389

    New GS video up, from the show floor of e3



    And no they didn't say anything new.

    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
  • TillerTiller Member LegendaryPosts: 10,389

    Star Wars: The Old Republic First Look Preview


    That’s one hell of a trailer, isn’t it? What, you haven’t seen it yet? Then what are you waiting for? Go watch it. Down there, on the bottom left of the screen - click on the cinematic trailer. Don’t worry, we’ll wait.

    Wow. Not bad, huh? That trailer, which depicts the Sacking of Coruscant, is probably the best bit of Star Wars CGI ever made. It doesn’t tell us anything about how the upcoming MMO, The Old Republic, will play, but it doesn’t half make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.


    “Now that is what Star Wars is all about,” enthuses Blaine Christine, producer at BioWare Austin, during a behind closed doors presentation of the game. He’s just shown the trailer again in case anyone missed it during EA’s media briefing. “Kick ass action-packed combat and a heroic, engaging storyline.” Quite.

    The thing is, anyone who’s played any MMORPG before will watch that trailer and think, that’s cool, but if The Old Republic ends up simulating that kind of combat then I’m a shaven Wookiee. Well, it’s time to get your hedge trimmers out guys, because the game might just do it.

    Christine reiterates BioWare’s central goal with this ambitious project – to tell a story. While this sounds simple on paper, BioWare reckons no MMO has managed to do it before. Not properly, anyway. And by properly, BioWare means full voice over, cinematic cutscenes, Mass Effect-style dialogue wheels and decisions that have real impact on character, plot and gameplay - basically, stuff beyond pages of text and screen after screen of boring background lore.

    The Bounty Hunter's flamethrower is a nifty close combat weaponThe Bounty Hunter's flamethrower is a nifty close combat weapon

    For the first time, BioWare shows how it’ll all work with a gameplay demo running off of live servers back at the BioWare Austin, Texas, studio. We’re shown the Bounty Hunter class, of the Imperial faction, making his first tentative steps in The Old Republic. Based around iconic fan favourite Boba Fett, Bounty Hunters begin on the world of Hutta – this is the first time Hutta has ever been fully realised in a video game. As a fledgling Bounty Hunter it’s your mission to find your way into an event called The Great Hunt – sponsored by the Mandalorians to find the greatest Bounty Hunter in the galaxy. This is the Bounty Hunter’s opening quest line, designed to ease players into the game, introduce the mechanics of the class and get you off the planet.

    From a third-person perspective we move towards an NPC and initiate our first ever conversation as a Bounty Hunter. Usually in an MMO a window would open with a page of text to read. In The Old Republic, however, a cutscene with full voice over triggers. The Old Republic is the first ever fully voiced MMO. Every single character class, male and female, and every single NPC, has full voice over. The amount of dialogue in the game must be mind-boggling.

    The man we’re talking to is Braden, a gruff human who acts as your mentor through The Great Hunt. Like in Mass Effect, you pick from a number of dialogue options in real time from a conversation wheel, albeit a basic one. You’re introduced to Mako, a girl who will provide intel and tech, and Jory, a “big bruiser” who handles heavy lifting. You’re impatient: “Personally I’m just here to kill people and cause damage.” As a player you can decide how you interact with people. Every conversation will be like this.

    Outside the base we see Hutta in all its glory. It’s run by the Hutts, of Jabba the Hutt fame, who moved in, enslaved the native populace and turned the planet into an industrial wasteland filled with toxic fumes and poisonous gasses. It’s a barbecue-coloured area, with spiralling structures providing an eye-catching background and imposing metal buildings ominous in the foreground. The art style suggests a look inspired by the computer-generated Star Wars series The Clone Wars, with cartooney, almost caricature character designs and a graphical fidelity that won’t push your PC too hard. “We like to refer to it as stylised realism,” Christine explains. “We’re not going for a photorealistic look, but we want something that’s easily identifiable as Star Wars: The Old Republic if you see a screenshot or you are in the game. It’s more like a painting.”

    It’s not long before our Bounty Hunter gets his wish - killing people and causing damage. As a ranged class, most of his abilities are blaster based, but he’s got some rockets for extra damage and a stun dart for crowd control. Up close, he’s got a flamethrower (you can see it in the trailer – you have seen it right?). We see him taking on multiple Fa’athra street thugs at once. BioWare wants players to feel heroic, so you’ll be able to take on groups of enemies at the same time without breaking sweat. “You’re not just killing bunny rabbits in our game.”

    Christine then takes the lid off the Smuggler class, of the Republic faction, for the first time. As the Han Solo archetype, the Smuggler is a scrappy, jaded underdog who always gets the girl and always manages to come out on top no matter what the odds stacked against him. He begins on Ord Mantell, a planet buckling under the pressure of a civil war between separatists and the Republic. Destroyed Walkers lie on the ground, and charred structural remains give the impression of a war zone. Your mission is to run guns to the Republic – no easy task.

    Again, combat isn’t far away. Like the Bounty Hunter, the Smuggler is a ranged class with a focus on blaster fire, but doesn’t have as much armour. To compensate, BioWare has implemented the first ever cover mechanic in an MMO. Once an enemy is targeted, the Smuggler can take cover and move between cover points (shown by green indicators). A green icon above an enemy head indicates you have a defensive bonus against them. When in cover, abilities change – we can see the difference in the clean, minimalist UI. In keeping with Han Solo, the Smuggler’s up close and personal attacks are, how shall we put it… sneaky. We see him kick an unfortunate soul in the nuts, following it up with a head shot. Classy.


    The point BioWare wants to make by showing us the opening sections of two separate classes is that you’ll get an entirely different storyline, quests and voiceovers depending on what class you play. “You have an entirely different storyline, entirely different quests and entirely different voiceovers,” Christine explains. “So, when people ask us, hey whatever happened to Knights of the Old Republic 3, we literally say we’re giving you Knights of the Old Republic 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and so on, all in an MMO where you can play online with your friends. What could be better than that?”

    The demo concludes with what’s called a “Flashpoint” – a highly customised story and gameplay experience. Our Bounty Hunter, having completed the Great Hunt quest line, is now off Hutta and on an Imperial Transport, and grouped up with a Sith. On the ship, the Sith waves in classic MMORPG style – an odd sight for a Sith. You’ve heard that the captain has disobeyed a direct order from his superior, one Grand Moth Kilram – not a particularly clever idea. With the Sith player you’ve fought your way to the bridge to confront the captain. Via a cutscene we see another MMO first (The Old Republic seems full of them) - a multiplayer dialogue system. First the Bounty Hunter selects a dialogue option, then the Sith gets a chance. The captain says he turned traitor because he doesn’t do suicide missions – he’d been ordered to go after a powerful Jedi on a Republic ship.

    Now it’s time for a choice, one that will affect gameplay, your character, story and potential rewards. Do we let the captain live and use his years of experience to help us out, or do we kill the captain? Christine asks for a show of hands – unsurprisingly, we vote to kill him. The ship and its crew are now under our control, and we soak up the Dark side points.

    The combat is fluid and exciting, unlike in most MMOs.The combat is fluid and exciting, unlike in most MMOs.

    This obviously throws up some interesting questions. Will you have to sit through cutscenes or will you be able to skip them? Who in the group makes the ultimate decision, the party leader, or is it pot luck? And what implications do choices have for the persistent Old Republic universe? If you’ve killed the captain, and you want to group with someone who hasn’t, how will both players’ stories intertwine?

    The answers will have to wait, because we’re now gunning for the Jedi warship. Via another cutscene you engage the ship. You get a report of blaster fire in engineering – the two of you head off to investigate. The Sith class is, obviously, heavy on lightsaber combat. We see him perform classic Sith moves – deflecting blaster fire with the lightsaber and paralysing enemies with Force Choke. The Bounty Hunter has a Death from Above ability that sees him use his jetpack to hover then come crashing down in a powerful attack. The two work together – the Sith Force Chokes to stun while the Bounty Hunter concentrates on DPS. Both players are able to take on massive amounts of Republic soldiers, more than you’d expect two players to handle in your average MMO. It’s a much more action-packed, fluid style of combat than we’re used to seeing in MMOs. You’re still auto-targeting, using hotkeys for special attacks and equipping passive abilities, but lightsabers clash impressively and blocking is supported by cool animations. Under the hood it might work like Warcraft, but to the naked eye it looks more like choreographed console combat.

    The Jedi’s padawan turns up. As a wannabe Jedi, he’s able to deflect blaster fire and use the Force. He doesn’t last long though – the Sith ties him up with a Force Choke and the Bounty Hunter spams him with blaster fire. The Jedi Knight – effectively the end of dungeon boss – makes his long-awaited entrance. He’s more powerful, with a few fancy acrobatic techniques of his own, but he ends up just like all the others: dead. Now it’s loot time. The Sith takes his purple lightsaber for dual wielding and the Bounty Hunter picks up some new armour. Everyone’s happy.

    We leave The Old Republic with almost as many questions as we had answers going in. We’re excited by the prospect of an experience of a quality seen in BioWare’s superb single-player games, and we know that The Old Republic will have all those things you’d expect from a traditional MMO (PvP, guilds, raids, an economy, an auction house, crafting and harvesting) too, but we’re not entirely sure how the high production value story features will work and what impact they’ll have on people who are just after a straight-up “Warcraft in space” game. The combat looks great (the Smuggler cover system is a highlight), but we imagine that, at the end of the day, much of it will work like traditional MMORPG combat, with fingers hovering over hotkeys and eyes on health bars. If BioWare, in the coming months, reveals this to be untrue, we’d be delighted. After all, one of our main gripes with MMOs these days is that they’re all too similar. BioWare should be commended for trying to do something different, for being so ambitious. And with a trailer like that, it’s impossible to feel anything other than pure geek love.

    Star Wars: The Old Republic is in development for PC. No release date has been set.



    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
  • PersephassaPersephassa Member Posts: 223

    I don't think I've ever seen so many articles covering the same insignificant amount of info. It would have been a lot easier if they just did a public demonstration and let the fans analyze it rather than leave it to these 'press' writers. :P Some of them sound clueless.

  • DeeweDeewe Member UncommonPosts: 1,980

    "If you’ve killed the captain, and you want to group with someone who hasn’t, how will both players’ stories intertwine? "

    Just for that it has to be one of the best reviewer I read so far.

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