Starwars.com's Pablo Hidalgo checks in to the main site with San Diego Comic-Con panel coverage for Star Wars: The Old Republic. He leads off by quoting Studio Creative Director and Lead Designer James Ohlen with confirmation of space combat and then moves on to a brief game summary and talk of TOR storytelling...
"For those not up to speed with the latest on The Old Republic (AKA SWTOR), the masssively online multiplayer roleplaying game from BioWare and LucasArts is set thousands of years in the past of the Star Wars galaxy. The galaxy is caught in a tug for power between the Republic, guarded by the Jedi Knights, and the Sith Empire. "We're bringing BioWare storytelling to the game, so that means full cinematic voiceover conversations. It means we have story where choice matters, where you can go to the light side or dark side," said Ohlen.
BioWare's key strength, reflected by titles like Baldur's Gate, Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR), is story. To allow for full immersion into a world where the player feels their choices affect the outcome of events, BioWare has had manage an immense web of storytelling paths, complete with hundreds of thousands of lines of dialogue.
"For me it's been an incredible experience," said principal writer and Star Wars author Drew Karpyshyn. "This is the largest writing team we've ever had at BioWare, and it's such a strong writing team. Every player class gets a story about the size of KotOR. Even bigger. And you have eight classes, so you get KoTOR III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X, and other types of stories besides the single player experience."
"There is a multi-player element," continued Ohlen. "When you're in a group and playing our game, you can actually engage in a conversation with NPCs together as a group. It's really cool to see. You have everyone in your party trying to say a line during dialogue, so you get conversations where you'll have a Smuggler saying something witty, and the Trooper being the military guy, and the Jedi saying something wise, and the NPC can react to all these different characters speaking to him."
Ohlen described the types of stories found in the game. The Player Quests are the personal tales, while World Quests are part of the backdrop of the various environs. "They're very similar to our classic BioWare one-off quests," said Ohlen. "You come across a guy who has a problem, and you help him solve that problem." The World Arcs are sharable stories that can be completed as a group, or individually, and are available to all classes. As an example, Ohlen compared Luke's personal story of wanting to become a Jedi Knight as a Player Quest story specific to Luke's class. The overall conflict -- the Battle of Hoth, and over the Death star -- those would be World Quests and World Arcs. A Flash Point is a group-only story that can be completed in about an hour of play. "It's very similar to what you might call a dungeon in another MMO," said Ohlen."
Pablo concludes by encouraging those with teetering interest in The Old Republic to pick up the newly released tie-in novel, Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams. If you're on the fence as whether to pick up the novel as well, SW.com provides an excerpt to give you a taste of what to expect.
And let's not forget, Adrick's TFN review of Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance can be viewed right here.