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Star Wars: The Old Republic – Early Play Begins AND New Features Announced. Also, CAPITAL SHIPS!!

Posted by on December 13, 2011 at 8:00 pm

As promised, Star Wars : The Old Republic‘s early play period started today. Some people are crazy happy, some people are crazy pissed but what’s a solid constant is that everyone who bought the game is crazy excited to play it and get their interstellar groove on.

Let’s face it…this has been a long time coming. A real star wars game which has real potential and a real chance at making it, in the long run. That’s something we’ve never had.

Sure, there was Star Wars Galaxies and I know when it first released there was a lot of hype, and hope, for the game but we all know what happened with that. SOE and Lucasarts mismanaged the hell out of that game and, from everything I’ve ever seen and heard (and from the 2 week free trial I tried) it basically ended up being Second Life in space. Way too much to do, except play the game. Granted, I don’t know much about it but I know the time I spent playing it, I was just running around like a lost kid in a mall, screaming mommy and wanting my bankey.

I think if that had been handled better and had been scaled to stay with the times, it could have been an awesome experience.

Well, now the good folks at BioWare are rocking out with Star Wars : The Old Republic and not only is the game underway and soaking up peoples souls (in the best way possible) but it’s also promising, via announcements made by BioWare, to give us even more in the near future.

Here’s what we know. BioWare has a post on their devblog talking about some of the features they’re working on. James Ohlen, Game Director for SW:TOR outlined the things they already have in the pot and the new stuff they’re going to be working on in the future. It seems that they’re planning on added guild banks before just about anything else and they’re working on the guild-capital ship thing, hoping to get that out sometime in the foreseeable future.

I don’t know about you but I need to go change my pants…so while I do that, read over this post from the devblog.

Welcome to Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. It’s been many years in the making and the team is very proud of what we’ve achieved. Since we’re an online game we are going to continue building on the game for years to come. You can count on us to diligently expand the game and service to surprise and delight you. We’re going to not only respond to your feedback, but also hopefully exceed your expectations on how Star Wars: The Old Republic will evolve over time.

Many of you helped make the game what it is today by participating in our testing programs. You’ve watched the game grow over the past year and have been very vocal about things you’d like to see in the game in the future.

A team is never finished building a massively multiplayer game, so we’d like to take this opportunity to reveal a little information on what the team is working on for patches coming in the near future. Our priorities have been, and will continue to be, based off of the feedback we receive from our players.

  • New Content – We will be adding new content to the galaxy on an ongoing basis. These worlds will include Operations, Flashpoints and solo content.
  • Guild Functionality – Guilds are important to the long term health of any MMORPG. We have a huge list of guild centric features. This will be an ongoing effort that will probably never end. Guild banks are the first thing we’ll be delivering in our plans for increased guild functionality. Eventually we even want to deliver on the promise of the long hinted at “Guild Capital Ships”.
  • UI customization – You like choice. We hear you! SWTOR is all about choice. Being able to choose how you interact with an online game is something we feel is very important. We are going to be giving more control over the UI as an ongoing effort. This is a very big priority for us.
  • PvP – We have an entire team dedicated to adding content and features to player vs. player. We have some of the most experienced PvP developers in the world on this team. So far very few people have seen, or know much about the stunning Open World PVP on Ilum; when you get to the high levels prepare to be blown away! In addition to that high level PVP content, expect new Warzones and new PvP features on a regular basis.
  • Space Combat – We will continue to add missions to the space game. We also have a special project going on right now that will expand space gameplay in a significant way… for now the details will have to remain under wraps.
  • Legacy System – The ability to select a surname for your character is just the start of something much bigger. Soon, the Legacy experience and levels you earn will grant your characters access to powers, objects and other cool benefits.
  • And more – We have an entire team of developers working on future content. Right now we are focused on nothing else but Star Wars: The Old Republic, so expect new and cool things.

It is fair to say that we’re just as excited as you are about the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Not only are we launching one of the largest and most impressive games ever created, but we’re also excited about the prospect of continuing to work on the game so that you, the fans, will always have something heroic and amazing to enjoy. Thanks for playing.

James Ohlen
Game Director

The list is pretty specific about a lot of these things but they also leave some things for speculation. The space combat thing, for example…How are they going to expand it? Are they going to allow players to free-fly and participate in space combat? Are they going to allow the capital ships owned by guilds to get into the mix and wreck face with their turrets and launch player-piloted fighters? I WISH THEY WOULD.

I also really dig the fact that they mention their commitment to PVP. That’s super hot and I can’t wait to get out there and smash some Jedi to dust.

So – If you were already excited about playing Star Wars : The Old Republic, you should be now and if you’re not, you should be getting your pulse checked because you might actually be dead.

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