Posts Tagged ‘gameplay’

The Battle of Alderaan

One of the most recent updates by the developers of SWTOR at Bioware was that bringing to players’ attention the Battle of Alderaan.

This is currently set up as a group mission, for parties of four players at a time, to perform something of a political intervention to dethrone the king of the usually peaceful planet. Although he currently holds the rank of king, it appears that this ex-soldier is little more than a greedy renegade, ready to take advantage of his people to further his own ends.

Players get to assault his castle and will need to fight off various waves of guards and bosses as they make their way to the throne room.

To extend this mission, I will tell you that as players draw close to the throne a large forcefield is erected around the planet’s leader in order to postpone his execution further, and players will have to make their way back through the level to deactivate the power supply for this otherwise impassable barrier.

All in all it looks like Bioware is going in a good direction with these missions. As we have known for some time, SWTOR will not entirely be a MMORPG like others such as World of Warcraft and Star Wars Galaxies. Rather, it will focus more on solo play, and working together in pairs or teams of four. This can be seen from the footage of instances released so far, as almost all seem to be completed by a group of four, encompassing one of each class on their respective sides.

Hopefully as the game nears completion Bioware will release more PvE content aimed at large groups, which would surely be popular with many players. Doing so would not only allow more cooperation, but it would mean you could take along less experienced pals, to train them up in the ways of the game (and force!).

Comparatively speaking, in the SWTOR battle for Alderaan, things go quite well!

Comparatively speaking, in the SWTOR battle for Alderaan, things go quite well!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - July 10, 2011 at 12:47

Categories: Gameplay   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Animating the Old Republic

Combat animation in The Old Republic

Combat animation in The Old Republic

Like any computer-graphics oriented program, SWTOR relies heavily on convincing animation to make things rum smoothly. There are many human and near-human characters in the universe of The Old Republic, and all of us are very used to watching humans move, and the ways in which they do so.

Early in the gaming industry, animations of humanoid characters doing even simple tasks like walking were incredibly difficult, and rarely looked natural to players. Animation has been steadily improving since these early times however, so today there are many techniques to make scenes in games run flawlessly, and have characters move about the set without looking awkward.

Star Wars the Old Republic will be no exception to the woes of natural animation, so the developers have spent many man hours making characters move seamlessly in all situations. There are a number of different things they must do to master this.

First of all cut scenes, short films within the game, must have a very high quality of animation as that will be all the player is focusing on. For these normal techniques used in the film industry can be used, and we should be able to feel like the motion is fluid and continuous.

The other major implementation of animation comes in general player movement around the virtual world. Players have to walk, run, jump, dive and who knows what else, and these should transition from one to another without too many problems. There will always be some issues with this, as in the virtual world there are infinite combinations of different movements, as well as ones which would be impossible in real life to take into account. However, if developers focus on the common movements they should be able to make the game look convincing, and we should not see issues such as rubber banding, running on the spot, and super speedy character spinning which are the hallmark of many MMORPGs, such as Star Wars Galaxies.

Recently a SWTOR devleoper released this blog post, which shows that they are currently well and truly on top of most of these issues, and from the sample videos character movement looks very appealing.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 19, 2011 at 15:08

Categories: Gameplay, Testing   Tags: , , , , , , ,