Star Wars: The Old Republic

Tilce | 13 May 2011 | 26 comments (off)

Submitted by Neimad

Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) is a new massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) expected to go live in 2011. After frenzy surrounding the initial game announcement in October 2008 by LucasArts, anticipation has been building towards the development of a title whose franchise is beloved by many since the first Star Wars film opened in 1977.

SWTOR is being developed by Canadian-founded and American-owned game company BioWare, best known for their computer RPG titles Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Mass Effect, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. SWTOR is expected to take up the mantle of success in what has been a barren ground for science-fiction based MMOGs. Set 3,500 years prior to the Star Wars movies, the MMOGs tie-in to Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is expected to provide a number of familiar elements. The previous success of KOTOR and its sequel is a reason for optimism around SWTOR in by the gaming community. KOTOR and KOTOR2 currently hold Metacritic scores of 93 and 85 respectively.

The question about how SWTOR will be different from other MMOGs is best answered by a quote from the official FAQ -

Star Wars: The Old Republic will be similar to other MMOs but with several key innovations. Traditionally MMOs are built on three pillars; Exploration, Combat, and Progression. We at BioWare and LucasArts believe there is a fourth pillar: Story. Our mission is to create the best story-driven games in the world.”

The positive vibe around SWTOR is tempered by the reception given to the franchise’s last MMOG effort, Star Wars Galaxies (SWG). SWG was developed by Sony Online Entertainment and on launch in 2003 was heralded as “Easily the most gorgeous and immersive game in the genre”. While initially successful, SWG encountered a number of issues around the introduction of Jedi characters, particularly the difficulty of enabling a Jedi character on a player’s account. An expansion to allow space based content followed by further additions to make the game more accessible, including allowing Jedi as a starting class, saw a reduction in the subscriber base and the closure of game servers over the next six years has led to gamers treating the newest approaching Star Wars MMOG with cautious optimism.

During the development phase BioWare has gone to great pains to assuage gaming community concerns while revealing tantalising glimpses of what SWTOR would offer. The release of the Deceived trailer featuring a Sith Empire assault on the Jedi Temple, as well as Hope showing the actions of Republic Troopers fighting on Alderaan, and gameplay trailers from the E3 and PAX East gaming expositions have kept interest buzzing. The Fan Friday reveals have shown the eight classes available to the Galactic Republic (Jedi Consular, Jedi Knight, Smuggler, Trooper) and Sith Empire (Bounty Hunter, Imperial Agent, Sith Inquisitor, Sith Warrior), seventeen planets, six starships, as well as leading characters expected to drive the game from the as currently unknown launch date.

The most recent initiative by the developers to include the SWTOR community was the Pre Launch Guild Program. Begun in March 2011 the program allows members who have registered on the SWTOR website to lay claim to their in game group identity. Guilds can identify with the Sith Empire or the Galactic Republic, state a PvE, PvP, and/or Role Play focus, and have a geographical server preference for US East, US West, or Europe.

How and when Star Wars: The Old Republic proceeds will be one of the most anticipated gaming events of 2011. Also of interest will be the impact STOR has as a competitor in the MMOG market. With the worldwide fanbase that Star Wars has, and a potentially entertaining game from a developer whose reputation is built on the foundation of providing compelling storylines, Star Wars: The Old Republic is set to be one of the largest releases of the year.

Star Wars: The Old Republic FAQ - Star Wars: The Old Republic | FAQ
Metacritic Star Wars Galaxies - Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided for PC
Wikipedia Star Wars Galaxies - Star Wars Galaxies - Wikipedia
BioWare - About BioWare
MMOGChart -

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26 Comments so far

Looking forward to this mmo :) Nice article there Neimad

Thanks for the write up! Been looking forward to this for a long time too!

I reinstalled KOTOR for another playthru the other day, to help with waiting for this to come out.

great article :)

Judge_Kiwi | 12:07 pm - 21 May 2011

Isn’t this SWG with an updated Graphic Engine?

Hmph ... I’ll wait and see.

“Isn’t this SWG with an updated Graphic Engine?”
Ummm, no.

I’ll prolly end up playing this just from sheer morbid curiousity (and because I do enjoy Bioware’s storylines), but the whole space shooting on rails section caused me a little consternation… It’s not even as good as the Rogue Squadron style games (ie. flying around in a very limited box area), you just putter along on rails starfox style blowing stuff up…

Come on Bio, surely someone can dig up X-Wing and Tie Fighter and realise that it’s not terribly hard to convert all those funky bits of scenery in to an actually space combat sub game in it’s own right?!?!

Its a completely new engine :) with all the technology that bioware have (just look at mass effect and dragon age) i think EA would probably shut them down like they did origin if they used such an old game engine hehe

I have been anticipating this game for awhile. Like asmodai I am a little concerned with the space combat but still keeping my hopes up. In differant interviews they have said that although this is the only style of space combat available upon release it is not the end of their plans. The decision to focus on the “meat and potatoes” of the MMO before release is something I respect. Bioware is not a perfect developer but they are a group that likes to release a finished game (not including Dragon Age 2). With the amount of time put into the main game there is little doubt that there will be future expansions one of which will most likely be a huge upgrade to the space aspect of the game.

I’m sure there will be some decisions with the game that I will dislike but with what I’ve seen so far there are alot of things done right. I can’t wait.

The wait for this game is killing me.  I was a big fan of the original galaxies and have been overwhelmed by the direction Bioware is taking this installment of the Star Wars saga.

Here’s to my great hope that this game launches during the summer when I am able to put in 80 hours a week :P

Also, great article Neimad.  Hope to see y’all in game soon.

I’m just hoping it’s going to be a WoW killer. Lord knows SOMETHING needs to be done about that menace that is plaguing the game world!

“Expected to go live in 2011” ? Can we quote that ?

If you’re into quoting some random gamer on some random gaming website as a reliable source, sure! :)

I have been looking forward to this game since its inception. Just found this TOG site and wondered if we have a guild already set up? Too many on there to find it on my own.

Yes, GoCode3n there is a “pre-"guild already.

If you can’t find it here, head up to the SWTOR side

But damned if I will join, I’ll wait till there is actually a game :)

I am hoping this is something I can call home too, while I’m not really a SW fan the change from swords to guns does appeal tbh.

Someone needs to use the force to get the start date...Any takers Luke?

This game is going to suck my like away just like so many other mmo’s. I feel like this is the new one every WoW player is waiting for anyway so it’ll probably explode in popularity. Already have my class picked out ;).

Great write up & I’ll certainly be getting this game.
I think the Star Wars environment is a great setting for an MMO and have always enjoyed Bioware games, so this will a buy and try on setting and publisher reputation but the game on its own merits will determine the length of my subscription. I think I also won’t be alone in this plan

Well the date is out for the game.

31 Dec 2011.I pre ordered it.

Pre order availablility was announced yesterday, but by the time I got the email this morning the only place I could find that would get the Collectors Edition to me in Australia - Amazon - was out of stock.

EB only have the standard edition available ($88) and told me they have no info from the distributors about the Collectors Edition. Also I’m having problems trying to go through GameStop USA with an American address (friend living there) and Aussie Billing details. They want Shipping and billing to be the same if delivery outside the US...even though delivery IS in the USA - unless they outed California without me hearing about it.

Has anyone been able to secure the Collectors Edition? If you have, please tell me where! Thanks :)

Gotten a copy from Best Buy, so pulse is slowing a little :) Just hope they ship they email the access code soon.

Vexed Angel | 11:51 pm - 3 August 2011

Hoping some folks from TOG start up an NA PVP division for the Empire.

CorvanPhoenix | 01:05 am - 9 August 2011

Going to play Jedi Knight & love every second of it :D

I agree with Vindicare. I’m counting the days to see if this will make the rash we all call WOW to finally go away for so many reasons.

CorvanPhoenix | 12:01 am - 27 August 2011

WoW keeps the kids from playing adult games.  Some of the stuff that goes on there would ruin our games.  So I say - LONG LIVE WoW!

Poll: How much time do you game each week?

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