SW:TOR Dev Diary

I’m going to admit to being a blasphemer in the geek world…I’m not really that huge of a Star Wars fan. And blaspheme number 2…I’m not a big Bioware fan, either. I didn’t think much of KOTOR, never finished a Baldur’s Gate (except that action-rpg variant), haven’t played Mass Effect yet.

So all the fuss about Star Wars: The Old Republic has kind of washed over me. Until tonight when I sat down and watched this “Developer Dispatch”:
(I can’t figure a way to turn off the autoplay on Bioware’s player, so I’m putting the rest of this post after a More link)

I found myself smiling at the art style, which trods a nice middle ground between ‘cartoonish’ and ‘uncanny valley reality’. And I liked a lot of what I was hearing, too. Talking about laying out areas so the player comes around a corner and gets a “reveal” of something cool. (I know, I’m the last MMO player on the planet that wants to actually travel by foot from point A to point B because we’re all so busy we need instant teleportation to go with our grind-free gaming.)

I’ve heard some grumbling about the light saber fighting…how can a critter get hit with a light saber and not be cut in half. I can understand that argument, but this is a game, not a movie, and 1 shotting everything isn’t going to be much fun, so I’m glad they took this route.

Anyway, a pleasant surprise for me, and now I can jump into the hype-stream and look forward to Star Wars: The Old Republic with the rest of the gaming universe! 🙂

7 thoughts on “SW:TOR Dev Diary

  1. I’m a Star Wars fan, but have never been a huge Bioware fan. Neverwinter Nights was one of my favorite games, but it wasn’t because of the story. Baldur’s Gate, KOTOR, and Mass Effect were all good, but I wouldn’t call any of them great. Bioware’s consistent and focuses on quality, but I don’t like their habit of scripted storytelling at the expense of dynamics and player control.

    Anyway, as for SW:TOR, I think the art style’s great. I expect it will be a good game. But I also expect they won’t stray far from MMO standards on combat and other things. They’ll put interesting stories in the game, but it will probably be strictly scripted.

    Bioware’s a good company, but sometimes I think they’re in the wrong business. It seems to me they’d be happier making films, because the focus of their games is increasingly on linear narratives.

  2. Actually thanks for mentioning NWN, Aaron, because that is the one Bioware RPG that I really did enjoy, though it was for the tools more than the game itself.

    “But I also expect they won’t stray far from MMO standards on combat and other things. ”

    I suspect you’re right, and personally I’m OK with that; I think they need to manage fan expectations, though. They keep beating this drum of being something different. If they keep doing that, they better deliver.

  3. Ah man, NWN? NWN 2 was soooo much better! Well at least for this guy.

    As an old SWG vet, I am saddened at what the game has become over the past few years, so I’m excited about SWTOR. Maybe then SWG can finally RIP!

  4. I don’t know about the characters yet. That lady looked almost creepy. I’d almost prefer a bit more of a stylized look. One thing that these games almost never get down right is lighting on characters. It needs to be a lot softer and more subtle to really work, at least in the examples I see there.

    That said, the worlds do look very pretty.

  5. Agreed. Welcome to the Hype…

    The Bioware crew look fairly young bunch & there’s no doubting the enthusiasm they have for the title but I think, as I have already commented, that new MMOs should be handle with care & visited only after a 6-12 month maturing period, after release.

  6. I was delighted to see a fair number of women involved.

    I’m not a Star Wars fangrrl ([cough] ignore that camping out overnight at the theater to be first in line for the opening of Return of the Jedi [cough]), but I did play Star Wars Galaxies for quite a long time (beta and early play, not after Jedi and major game changes). I am also a Bioware fan (second to Square-Enix) and really enjoy their approach to games. So I have to disagree with Aaron’s assessment and say I’m glad they make games, as I love a good linear story with my always-improving-graphics and real-time or turn-based combat.

    That said, I do wonder how that’ll translate to a large-scale MMOG. Maybe lots of instances to further the story, a la LotRO? It’ll be sad to me if it’s just open questing without a progression of events. While random questing for the sake of questing has it’s place (WoW and EQ2, for example), my personal feeling is Star Wars + Bioware = story arcs and events for solo or small party questing through some linear story arc.

    I wonder if I could say quest just one more time…

    ~Gwyn, who is at work, in a hurry, and still desperately in need of a good editor

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