Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars’


Decay after death. How will it work? Lets hope we find out soon!

Decay after death. How will it work? Lets hope we find out soon!

Decay has forever been an incredibly contentious part of any MMO. There seems to be two very distinct camps regarding this, ones who completely and utterly support it, and those who think it is the worst thing since un-sliced bread.

Many games have slim to nil penalty for dying, which makes it almost just an inconvenience for players. Decay negates this, as it means that if players die too many times, their armour, weapons and even physical traits will be permanently hampered. For obvious reasons this can add to the depth of a game. It means players don’t just throw their lives away, or commit suicide to get to the closest re-spawn location.

However, Decay is far from a perfect system. It makes it so that the rich are infinitely more capable, and should be able to fight for longer even if they are far less successful. This for obvious reasons makes the whole game favour the old time and already rich players. Once they are wealthy enough, they can continue recklessly undertaking instances and other money-generating operations and become even more well off. This doesn’t sit well with many players (in particular our communist brothers!) but it does make sense in terms of the real world.

Regardless of what Bioware decide on, if they stick to their guns they should avoid most of the scrutiny from their own players. In galaxies there was so much contention, but mainly because the system was changed dramatically. If this is not done, then whatever is decided on in the beginning aught to please people indefinitely. We can only hope that there is some (albeit slight) consequence and that whatever is decided on shall not impoverish less experienced players if they should be so unfortunate as to die.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - May 8, 2011 at 23:12

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

Aiming at the Enemy

How shall players take aim in SWTOR?

How shall players take aim in SWTOR?

The aiming mechanism seems to change with every MMORPG released, and always plays a major part in how the game turns out. This decides just how players will need to choose their targets, and whether they can do so without concentrating.

In the ever popular world of warcraft players have to ensure that they are facing their target most of the time, which means players can never really take their eyes off of the action. This means no watching your specials cool-down, or keeping your eyes permanently on the group members’ healths.

Games such as Galaxies took the easy way out in this regard, and made it so that by clicking any target the player would fire, and keep that target in focus as long as they wanted. This meant once a target was selected they never needed to aim again, and could mindlessly stare at their tool-bars and chat.

In many ways this is a far neater way, and it does not punish players who may be hard of sight or motor skills.

Such a system need not be the only one, as there could and should be options to turn off the auto aim. Turning off such an option could give the player a slight advantage, but not so much as to make it necessary to remain competitive.

As the combat system continues to be updated, which it surely will be, we can be sure that new surprising combat techniques will come into play. This should keep the game interesting as there will always be new things to learn, but lets hope there are not too many New Game Enhancements as players of Star Wars MMORPGs have seen so many times before.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - May 2, 2011 at 22:22

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

Military and Political Rankins

As of yet the developers of SWTOR have only been very vague about what ranks in the Military and Parliaments of their respective sides players will be able to attain. Previous games such as Star Wars Galaxies allowed players to work up ranks over time by participating in the Galactic civil war (in many nefarious ways). However, this system did have its draw backs, as it was possible for every single player on the server to simultaneously be a general or otherwise high rank.

Of course this doesn’t seem particularly realistic, but is there any other way in a MMORPG?

Every player pays the same rate, so in theory every player should be able to enjoy equal aspects of the game. This is the problem with having realistic officer ranks, as only a few will be able to fill them.

As a major part of SWTOR will be the story line each player goes through, it would make sense for at least in this regard that players will be able to hold some sort of rank within the military or government. Professions such as Inquisitor seem to almost revolve around political subterfuge, so denying them some sort of political power is almost out of the question.

One solution that may well be implemented is some kind of informal rank system for single player, such as that we found in Mass effect. Some kind of private organisation that can offer ranks, such as the spectres would be ideal, as it allows everyone to wield some power without there being too many cowboys and not enough Indians.

It seems somewhat strange that we might see imperial agents ranking as high as Sith Warriors, but this again seems to be what Bioware has planned. Although they may be as intellectually experience, Star Wars tradition has it that Jedi and Sith tend to lead any army, even if they are padwans or knights. Lets just hope that choosing a non-force sensitive rank will not hamper the player’s chance of holding some power.

The building of the galactic Senate, during the old republic at least.

The building of the galactic Senate, during the old republic at least.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - April 29, 2011 at 22:15

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The Family Guy take on Star Wars

Family guy has now released their entire original trilogy of Star Wars remakes, much to fan’s pleasure.

Over the years many remakes of the classic saga have made their way onto our screens, and usually with a great deal of laughter. Spaceballs for example took a great satirical take on the series, with great additions to the expanded universe, such as the schwartz and the rings which harnessed it.

The family guy saga rather than being a full length feature, is something more like a double length episode. However, over this time each one covers all the major events of the plots of each film. This means a lot of the dialog is gone, however most of the most recognizable lines are still there.

The series includes all of the favorite family guy characters such as Peter as Han, Louis as Leia, Chris as Luke and Meg as the Sarlacc. Stewie also makes an appearance as a Darth Vader which has a lot in common with Dark Helmet from Spaceballs.

Their take on ANH, Blue Harvest, began the series with great success. As it says in the title crawl for It’s a Trap (You guessed it, their version of ROTJ) this prompted them to make the rest of the saga, and according to a recent interview with Seth McFarlane editions of the three prequels may be churned out over the next year and a half. This will please many fans, and should provide many obvious chances for humor, taking advantage of ever-so-iconic characters such as Jar Jar Binks and a young Anakin Skywalker.

While Lucasfilms stays off their backs hopefully we can see Family guy continue their run of hilarious Star Wars Remakes, and perhaps even move onto other iconic movies (The Godfather or Indiana Jones anyone?) in the future!

Family Guy Blue Harvest was far from a flop!

Family Guy Blue Harvest was far from a flop!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - April 19, 2011 at 22:00

Categories: Misc, Other Games   Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Korriban as seen from Orbit.

Korriban as seen from Orbit.

Korriban has long been the ancient home world of the Sith order. Generations lived in the hot and arid environment, as they pondered the ways of the force, and gradually grew stronger, generation by generation, until they were ready to challenge the Republic in what would be come the Great Hyperspace War.

Most players of SWTOR will recognise Korriban from KOTOR one and two, as it was the planet on which Revan and Malak turned to the dark side. This was helped greatly by the planets great Sith heritage, which makes it an incredibly focused location of dark side energy.

At a number of points in time Korriban was completely deserted by the Sith order as the conducted inquests out into the Galaxy. However, for every time they left there has been a return, and the wayward Sith always seem to be able to stumble back again to the planet which nurtured their ancestors.

Korriban is a world incredibly important to any Sith, so as such it is one of the most heavily aligned and fortified in the galaxy. Although it holds minimal strategic value, the Republic would love to possess it no other reason than to crush their opponents morally.

Korriban will be the starting planet for Sith Warriors and Inquisitors. It is located in the Outer Rim, so it is by no means a great galactic crossroads. As it is so tightly in the grasp of the Sith there would be minimal petty crime on the surface, however the number of political and honour-bound assassinations is surely astronomical.

Players that have played Bioware’s previous games set in The Old Republic will be familiar with the planet, and we can expect to see many of the features from those games. This will mean a grand Sith Academy along with Ancient tombs, and perhaps if we are lucky some invisible lizards waiting at every turn…

A temple in the familiar desert canyons as seen in The Old Republic

A temple in the familiar desert canyons as seen in The Old Republic

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 26, 2011 at 14:45

Categories: Planets   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ord Mantell

The war-torn Ord Mantell

The war-torn Ord Mantell

Ord Mantell is another planet which has featured in many Star Wars Books, Comics and Games. In The Old Republic it is like most of the galaxy at the time, a very violent planet. Decades of civil war have laid waste to its environment, and the fighting between Republic troops and the separatists resisting their rule does not look like it shall cease in the foreseeable future.


Ord Mantell was apparently settled during the early days of the Republic by Corellian colonists, so it is another very humanised world. Also like Corellia, it became something of a breeding ground for Smugglers, Bounty Hunters and other even less classy characters.

The signing of the Treaty of Coruscant marked the start of Ord Mantell’s civil war, as many underground groups wanted to see the planet pry itself free of the controlling hand of the Republic. Ord Mantell is currently the starting planet for Republic Troopers and Smugglers, so it will most likely be a low level world providing many missions for them to train on. They will get a chance to face off against less organised separatist factions whilst still on planet before their journeys take them out into the Galaxy to join the fight against the Empire. This should make it an ideal place for these players to learn their trades, as it will simulate the war torn environment that is most of the Republic during the events of SWTOR.

Before SWTOR Ord Mantell appeared in Star Wars Galaxies, although only as a space zone. Players were able to travel there to accept various pilot missions, although their ships were restricted to landing at the orbital space station.

A Republic base on Ord Mantell

A Republic base on Ord Mantell

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 12, 2011 at 13:51

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Star Wars: Clone Wars

Star Wars Clone Wars

Star Wars Clone Wars

The animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars flashed by our screens from 2003 to 2005. It reached its third and final series with quite a keen following. Many adult fans watched the show, regardless of the fact that it was aired on Cartoon Network.

The format of the series was quite unconventional, with the original show consisting of thirty two minute long episodes. This gave fans precious little time to take in the show, much to their dismay. However, since then all of these episodes have been compiled into hour length conglomerates of each season. Although concurrent episodes generally do not follow any story line, they run together quite well and the hour length features are not only coherent, but very entertaining.

Anakin and Kenobi fighting off the horde

Anakin and Kenobi fighting off the horde

The makers of Clone Wars in many ways captured just what is the essence of Star Wars. We see Jedi and clone heroes all across the galaxy fighting in large scale battles that despite the animation style, are truly epic in the Star Wars sense. Dialogue is thankfully kept short, especially necessary seeing as each episode is too short to develop any kind of substantial story. Rather than relying on speech, character expressions and body language are purposefully exaggerated, and the saying a picture says a thousand words certainly applies to all aspects of the show.

Clone Wars uses almost 2D animation, stylised like other Cartoon Network productions such as Samurai Jack. Although many star wars fans may be used to live actors, the skill which has gone into this production can easily be appreciated, and fans of comic books will be more than pleased.

There is much that the developers of SWTOR cold learn from Star Wars: Clone Wars. The most important of these lessons is just what ever successful Star Wars production has captured. That is, the epicness and limitless scale of the Star Wars universe. Battles are multi faceted, with attacks coming from all directions at once. Jedi flaunt their many skills, leaving viewers in awe. These are just the same reactions that the original Star Wars trilogy received, and one of the primary reasons it has been so popular (as can be seen from the existence of this website).

All in all Star Wars: Clone Wars does an outstanding job over its three seasons of bringing audiences just what it meant by the words Star Wars. Thirty year old men and five year old girls will enjoy this series equally, a trait which made the original trilogy the great success it was.

The Clone Wars gets a 8/10 rating, and it can be obtained from Amazon, Ebay or many other stores.

Mace Windu laying down the law

Mace Windu laying down the law

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 8, 2011 at 22:12

Categories: Films, Misc   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Feedback from Testing

As the testing of the Old Republic rages ahead, developers are receiving ever increasing amounts of feedback from their avid supporters and community. All involved are very interested in how SWTOR is developing, and nobody can bear to wait for the approaching release date.

SWTOR was announced almost three years ago, and since then Its forum community has been far more active than many actually playable MMORPGs. In fact, the number (and quality!) of daily forum posts on The SWTOR Forums has been larger than those of the Star Wars Galaxies Forums consistently for the last four months. This shows just how popular and abundant the games lovers are, and we are still many months out from release!

The developers have shown in their weekly blogs just how much input they have taken from the general community. Many player invented ideas have already been implemented into the game, and since testing began a large number of changes have been made in response to the various complaints and praise received.


One problem with the huge community and hype surrounding Star Wars The Old Republic is what will happen if the game does not turn out to be as successful as many are hoping. One other Star Wars production that did this, The Phantom Menace, will go down in history as one of the biggest blunders in the hype department. Although hype generally translates to publicity, It is very much possible to have too much. When this happens, it is impossible for any production to live up to expectations, so no matter how ground breaking or amazing the finished product is, the public will still want more.


Testing will continue for SWTOR until the release date, and we hope many of the needed changes will be made by then. Some hoped for additions, such as a proper space flight component to the game,  are looking increasingly less likely but with any luck we will still see some good updates closer to the release date.

Hype? What hype??

Hype? What hype??

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 4, 2011 at 23:20

Categories: Misc, Testing   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ewok Adventure: The Battle For Endor Review

Ewoks: The Battle For Endor

Ewoks: The Battle For Endor

The Ewok Adventure: Battle For Endor is the sequel to the awful TV movie, Ewok Adventure: Caravan of Courage. What possessed any studio to produce a sequel to the first is beyond us, but it was done, and we as true Star Wars fans were obliged to watch it.

This film features the same characters as the Caravan of Courage. There is Cindel (four year old girl), Mace (her teen brother) and her two parents. There is also the usual gang of Ewoks, who are lead on screen by Wicket.

As mentioned in the previous review for the Caravan of Courage, this is certainly, for better or worse, a film aimed at children in terms of the characters and speech. However, this one has a very un-child friendly story. Just minutes into the film Cindel’s whole family is slaughtered by band of Marauders.

The film’s plot is similar to its predecessors in most ways in that it is silly, drawn out and unconvincing. The leader of the band of marauders who are called, guess what,  marauders, seems to be searching for some ship power source which he believes will give him magical powers. The more discerning viewer may not see why he needs to go so far afield, because some woman (whom is in league with the Marauders) has a ring which will turn her into a bird. Perhaps rather than capturing a four year old Cindel and asking her to transfer a power source’s magic to him, the chief should interrogate his bird lady.

Towards the end of the film is a final showdown between the Ewoks, Cindel, some old gentleman she picked up in the forest and the Marauders. Oh, there is also a white, fluffy, apparently sentient, animal who seems capable of running at unlimited speed and other acts of assorted wizardry. We know he is in league with the old man, but as to how his magical powers and super-fast-running work, your guess is as good as ours. Unsurprisingly, the Ewoks win the fight by a landslide using their catapults (which have become a lot more advanced since Return Of The Jedi) and rocks. Once victory is ensured, the adventurers farewell their Ewok comrades and the old man, his fluffy white wizard animal and Cindel fly off into the night.

Star Wars Galaxy again had the audacity to incorporate the Marauder race from this film into the game. Hopefully since Endor is still of little importance in The Old Republic, we will not see recurrences of this cancerous movie in SWTOR.

As far as films go this aught to satisfy only the most intrepid star-wars loving of toddlers. The whole thing is a fiasco of silly plots, characters and magicians with approximately zero redeeming traits. The film earns a 2/10 rating (Because it would be irresponsible to rank this on par with the Holiday special’s 1/10) and may god have mercy on the souls of all involved in production.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - February 21, 2011 at 14:45

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Star Wars Holiday Special Review

Leia, who for reasons unknown to us appeared to be high for most of the special.

Leia, who for reasons unknown to us, was high for most of the Holiday Special.

The Star Wars Holiday Special has a special place in the hearts of all Star Wars fans. That place must be some mouldy corner, best to be left alone.


The special launched its way onto Television in 1978 and was shown once, only once. After that everyone had had enough, including George Lucas, who tried to have it destroyed. Luckily he did not succeed, so there are copies of the special around for future generations to learn from.

It was essentially a TV movie, however there were random irrelevant cut scenes, such as a Jefferson Starship performance, dotted throughout it. Another one consisted of five minutes of pillow talk between a chair and Chewbacca’s father. Yeah, it was great.

The whole affair had little in the way of a plot. It was pretty much just Han and Chewie being late for a Lifeday (read: Christmas) celebration at Chewie’s house, and the viewers being shown the anguish this put the great Wookiees family in. This anguish was fairly hard to understand, since the Wookiees only speak Shyriiwook, their language of grunts and groans, which most of us humans do not understand.

At no point during the special was any of the cinematic magic which made Star Wars Star Wars exhibited. All in all it was a long, drawn out, collection of skits, which had no entertainment value whatsoever. Most of the spectacle has been erased from Star Wars canon, however some has been for inconceivable reasons referenced in other licensed productions.

This includes Star Wars Galaxies, which made a yearly lifeday celebration which included many of the characters from the special into the game. It even awarded players with some of the items, such as the pillow-talking chair complete with in-game sound effects, as well as paintings of scenes from the Special. Hopefully where the developers of Galaxies couldn’t, those of SWTOR will be able to restrain themselves and not include anything originating from the monstrosity that is the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Overall, the Star Wars Holiday Special earns a 1/10 rating. It is surely a product of the Dark Side of the Force. Its solo point is due to the mildly entertaining cartoon which appears half way through, which is the first time we are introduced to Boba Fett, even though he is riding a dinosaur and wielding a tuning fork.

Following is a video which should save you from watching the special yourself by summing up the whole thing in five minutes:


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - February 17, 2011 at 20:43

Categories: Films, Misc   Tags: , , , , , ,


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