Posts Tagged ‘TOR’

UI Updates

As the direct interface between players and their game, the User interface can break a MMO, or any other kind of computer software for that matter.

Since the game was first released, many changes have been made to the SWTOR interface and, at least according to the Bioware staff, it is now in its optimal form pending release of the game. Many possible layouts were looked at, and a team of players and developers have worked together to decide on the best looking and most useful of these.

Although originally Bioware had elected for a more artistic feel, thankfully over time this changed to designing the interface solely around usability. As such, most of the unnecessary fluff has been stripped away and we are left with a streamlined, and thankfully minimalist UI.

Many players with low-res screens will be well aware of the problems that come with an Interface with a lot of useless additions. As almost all of the windows are necessary, having them large takes up a lot of room on the screen, stripping down the visible area of the game, which when it consists of SWTOR’s graphics, is not something anybody wants.

As of yet, no details have been released as to how customizable it should be, but we are all hoping for it to be as adaptable as possible. In many games, such as Galaxies, windows on the screen could be moved, removed, resized and otherwise adapted to each players’ individual wants. This made for happy campers, as it could be organized to fit different size screens and players which made the game in general far more accessible.

Although there has been no word on whether Bioware plans to follow suit in this regard, we do all hope to see options available which, even if left alone for most players, will help out those who would otherwise struggle to participate.

The current user interface of SWTOR. Looks nice doesn't it?

The current user interface of SWTOR. Looks nice doesn't it?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - May 11, 2011 at 00:04

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

Players drown in sorrow over lack of SWTOR Swimming

A hot topic of contest on the official forums over the last few days has been swimming in SWTOR.

At the recent PAX convention players who were able to enjoy the game for the first time found this surprising fact, and that was there is no swimming engine in Star Wars The Old Republic.

In many ways, this is not completely unsurprising. For decades many games have done without swimming, preferring to just have players that fall into water die. This saves a lot of space as the 3d engines and animations required are usually quite complex, which may be why the lack of this skill in video game characters has been so prevalent.

Even big blockbuster games such as Assassins creed did not have swimming engines, and the edition of one in the sequel was one of the major selling point. We remember 1/4 of the back panel being dedicated to just telling reads that in this game ‘You can swim!’

Without swimming in TOR we are likely to just see water as impossible to enter. This means the developers will probably not put much liquid in their terrain designs, and if pushed may try adding it in the form of Lava or Acid so they have some reason for killing off players who would be foolish enough to enter.

Many players have been complaining on the forums about the lack of a swimming engine, and fingers have been pointed in the directions of a number of developers who evidently must be responsible for this particular outrage.

SWTOR’s major predecessor Star Wars Galaxies got around the need for a swimming engine by just allowing players to traverse the surface. Although unrealistic, this did work quite well and is a perfectly viable option for Bioware to implement if they feel like adding swimming as a minor expansion some time after release.

Regardless of our characters aquatic abilities, we are still eagerly awaiting Star Wars The Old Republic and are keen to hear any news of development advancements!

We'll see none of this in SWTOR.

We'll see none of this in SWTOR.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - April 16, 2011 at 22:48

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

PAX Highlights

The Old Republic at PAX East

The Old Republic at PAX East

Today the developers of SWTOR released a video detailing some of the exciting events that happened at this year’s PAX summit.

All in all, it looks like a great time was had by all.

There were costumed jesters dressed as troopers, jedi and Sith lords patroling the show, as well as developers and higher-ups at Bioware there to talk with their fans. Many players queued for more than five hours to get in, but their perseverance was worth it in the end when they found banks of computers where they could play SWTOR for the very first time.

This proved interesting and illuminating for new players and old time fans alike. The overwhelming responses were positive, and many found hours go by before they were asked by security guards dressed as scout troopers to move along.

The developers said recently on the official site that they were very pleased with the fan dedication, although perhaps a little freaked out by some. More than one couple was at the convention on their honeymoon.

As the release date grows closer, more and more public awareness events like this will be run, and it will give players from all over the world chances to experience this much awaited game still months from release. Hopefully Bioware will be a bit more worldly-conscious than other gaming companies, and perhaps hold summits outside of the United States, as wherever they go there are sure to be big turn outs.

This time next year Star Wars The Old Republic will be in full swing and perhaps the PAX summit will bring news of exciting new expansions, but for now all of the games supporters are waiting with baited breath for the ever approaching release date.

Some highlights for the summit can be found in this video.

The PAX East summit in full swing.

The PAX East summit in full swing.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - April 9, 2011 at 01:31

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


A Zabrak Sith Inquisitor in The Old Republic.

A Zabrak Sith Inquisitor in The Old Republic.

The Zabrak race is one all real star wars fans will be familiar with.
Before SWTOR, this race was first revealed in Episode 1, the Phantom menace. Since then it has cropped up in a huge number of games, books, comics and other miscellaneous Star Wars stuff. An episode of the Clone Wars TV series featured the race heavily, with one becoming the apprentice of Count Dooku, and a powerful apprentice at that!

The average Zabrak is really something to behold. They have a similar build to humans, save for the craggy nest of horns that appear on their bald heads as they grow. These occur in all kinds of different patterns, although they seem to serve no purpose other than making the Zabrak look fierce. Along with these horns, their heads are generally adorned with tattoos. These are similar to Tribal patterns we see in our day to day lives, and are supposed to resemble the challenges any particular Zabrak has faced.

Zabraks are keen combatants, trained from an early age in hand to hand fighting as well as general fitness. This makes them great explorers, and many have been found fighting on the front lines of both the Empire and Republic. The Zabrak species is capable of force sensativity as can been seen from Darth Maul, and they were one of the first species to achieve space flight. This makes them some of the most educated and galaxy-wise characters in Star Wars The Old Republic, so they are certainly not to be trifled with.

At the current time we do not know which classes Zabrak will be able to be, however it is likely that they will get a choice of almost any as they have no obvious restraints. This race was also present in Star Wars Galaxies and was ever popular, so perhaps we will see quite a number of young Zabraks running around once SWTOR is released.

Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace.

Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - April 4, 2011 at 11:43

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

SWTOR finally on the Shelves!

Star Wars The Old Republic game cover.

Star Wars The Old Republic game cover.

After many years of waiting. More than two in fact. Cries of jubilation have gone around the community of Star Wars The Old Republic, as the much awaited game has finally gone on sale in stores across America and Europe, as well as on major internet retailers Amazon and Ebay.

For those who can’t bear to read further, here is a link to the Amazon page:

Buy Star Wars: The Old Republic

Many had speculated about the price of the game. EA themselves said half a million subscribers would be substantially profitable, but now that speculation is all over, and the real prices are available for all to contemplate.
The game is currently retailing at $80USD, which includes a free month of play with every copy. During activation credit card details must be entered, however no charge will be applied until the middle of the second month of play time. After that, ever month is US$18.99, which is a very competitive price for such a vast game in the MMORPG industry.

There have certainly been mixed expectations for Star Wars The Old Republic, but with its release finally a lot of these can be put to rest. We will not know the exact sales numbers for this early period until June, however market analysts predict that It will set the new record for most sales in opening week, a record held currently by the MMO giant World of Warcraft.

For the next three days Bioware will be selling a limited collectors edition of the game for the slightly increased price of US$100. This gets shoppers a leather bound case, along with a map of the galaxy and a card signed by one of the game’s developers. Apparently only five thousand of these are being produced, we went ahead and ordered three.

As players finally venture out into the universe of SWTOR, they are experiencing for the first time what they have waited so long to see. Lets hope it holds up to everyone’s expectations!

Click here to go to the Amazon page and Buy Star Wars: The Old Republic

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - April 1, 2011 at 10:20

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Sith Warrior

A Sith Warrior prepared for Battle

A Sith Warrior prepared for Battle

The Sith Warrior class in The Old Republic will be the pinnacle of combat prowess throughout the galaxy.  Masters of the dark side of the force, they have no qualms taking advantage of their anger to bring to bear powers that Jedi do not dare utilise.

Sith Warriors focus on close combat, using aggressive lightsaber negotiations as well as force powers like lightning and choke to take care of enemies.

There are two branches of the Sith Warrior profession at this stage, Marauder and juggernaut.

Marauders are damage oriented Warriors, wielding two sabers and equipping themselves with only light armour in order to maximise their agility. Marauders use primarily lightsaber combat, rather than the force, to steam roll their way through hoards of enemies. Their lightning fast strikes and sweeps account for great DPS, which will be useful in Flashpoints and particularly deadly in PVP.

The Juggernaut spec’d Sith Warrior is in most ways the Opposite of the Marauder. Instead of using primarily lightsaber attacks, they are masters of the dark side of the force. One of the most powerful tanks in the game, they are sport heavy armour and a vast array of force shielding and aura abilities, making them able to withstand unparalleled amounts of damage (at least compared to the other Imperial classes).

Vette, the Warrior's companion.

Vette, the Warrior's companion.

The Sith Warrior’s companion is a Twilek pirate named Vette. Although pairing the height of Sith power and authority with a non-human slave turned criminal may seem a little odd, this is how the developers of Bioware feel the profession should play out. To go with this companion, Sith Warriors have access to their very own Fury star ship.

Fury, the Sith's Star-ship.

Fury, the Sith's Star-ship.

The Fury is a very versatile star ship, with military class hyperdrive technology, making locations as far as the other side of The Old Republic’s galaxy seem close. It also sports quite a wide array of weaponry, so it should be more than a match for any Jedi scum encountered in deep space.

Sith warrior will without a doubt be a very popular class in SWTOR. They are the archetype Dark Jedi, which is of course what every 12 year old kid in love with Darth Vader will wan’t to play. However, they do lack a major team role (as Jedi did in Star Wars Galaxies) so if groups want to succeed in flashpoints and PvP, groups consisting solely of Sith will not give them a very promising chance.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 21, 2011 at 15:59

Categories: Classes   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Gaming Lexicon

Arnold going AFK

Arnold going AFK

Acronyms are common place in all online games such as Star Wars The Old Republic. They make the flow of chat faster and more efficient by shortening long phrases, which are used very often.

Not only does this mean players need not go to the trouble of typing out long sentences, but they can type complicated messages to team mates very quickly in the heat of battle.

For new players in the online gaming arena this whole lexicon of abbreviations and acronyms can seem very daunting. For weeks most new players will struggle to understand what more experienced members of the community are talking about, but by sticking with it they will before long figure out what all the new words and letters mean.

To make things more difficult, every game brings with it a new set of acronyms. Players of World of Warcraft will be familiar with ones such as BOE (bind on equip) and BOP (bind on pickup). However, if someone had been playing Star Wars Galaxies, they would know alternatives, such as Bio Link and No Trade.

Since the game has not been released, we do not know what new acronyms SWTOR will bring to the table. Some players have already started working together to create online dictionaries for new members, such as the one found here on the official TOR forums. That frequently updated post attempts to document all of the wide spread gamer terms, which is a full time job, as new off-shoots appear every day.

As the release for The Old Republic approaches new acronyms will continue to be invented by players. By occasionally visiting the forums less clued-in members will be able to learn what all of these mean, giving them a great advantage, or at least no disadvantage, when Bioware finally releases SWTOR later this year.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 18, 2011 at 22:42

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Taral V Walkthrough

One of Yoda's ancestors laying down the law.

One of Yoda's ancestors laying down the law.

Recently at the PAX summit, the developers of TOR revealed to viewers a walk-through of the Taral V flashpoint. This will be one of the most popular flashpoints in Star Wars The Old republic, and although the demonstrating player was predominantly focusing on healing, it is easy to see how exciting these missions will be.

The player, a Smuggler, was evidently taking the usual place of Consular in this encounter and focused mostly on the livelihood of their team mates. From this demonstration it appears that Smuggler may be more of a support class than many though, as it would be no mean feat to keep the entire team up throughout the flashpoint.

The general gist of SWTOR combat can also be seen from video. Things are not over or under quick, and it appears that players execute specials about once every second. This will be a welcome change for many ex players of Star Wars Galaxies, who would have been used to mashing furiously at their keys to fire off as many in quick succession as possible. Such a slowed down system like in TOR certainly adds more thought to the game, and turns it into a thinkers game, rather than victory being decided by who can press the buttons fastest.

The graphics of SWTOR in this video also seem to have taken a turn for the better. Especially when the game was first released onto the internet, there were many complaints about the graphics quality. The size and shape of the lightsabers was one popular gripe, however it seems the developers at Bioware have taken care of this quite admirably.

The video for Taral V follows, but bear in mind it has been filmed presumably on a phone at the recent PAX convention!


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 17, 2011 at 13:50

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Forum Guilding on TOR

Just earlier this week the developers of The Old Republic released a new forum tool allowing players to join guilds with their accounts, and have this recognised officially once the game begins.

In the morning an Email went out to all subscribers detailing this system, and within twenty four hours there were more than sixteen thousand guilds. This a huge number, especially when many already have between ten and twenty members. In previous estimates we had the number of unofficially guilded members sitting at around six thousand, but with this update it appears we were very much clearly mistaken.

Although many of these guilds may have been made by spammers, or people just messing around, they still go to show just how fast news spreads on the internet when so many are interested. This lesson was learned the hard way by Bioware today, as the servers which they believed adequate were easily overloaded by the huge influx of traffic.

So far when creating guilds on the forums players can choose the faction of the guild, as well as one focus out of Rp, PvP and PvE. They can also set certain requirements such as voice chat, forum participation or community play, however most guilds are friendly enough to not discriminate against possible candidates in this way. Players also choose the location of their guild, US East, West or Europe. According to Bioware based on this choice their guild name will be reserved on an appropriate server when the game goes live, making sure that dedicated members of the community are not beaten at the gun by those with super fast internet or line-cutting skills at TOR retailers.

One thing which disappointed some players was the maximum length of guild names. This made it impossible for one of the game’s biggest guilds, The Grand Army of The Republic, to have their chosen name. Rather, they had to settle for Republic Grand Army.

As the number of guilds continues to sky rocket Bioware will have to find some way to change the sign up process to make it less exploitable. Perhaps making a minimum number of members would fix this, otherwise they may find their servers again overwhelmed by floods of data in the future.

Head over to the SWTOR Forums and join a guild today!

Head over to the SWTOR Forums and join a guild today!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 13, 2011 at 13:22

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