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Star Wars: The Old Republic Column: Sith Warriors, Clone Wars and Companions, Oh My!

By Eric Barnett on June 02, 2010

Over the past few days, we have been heavily saturated with Star Wars related news. From the announcement of the youth-centric Clone Wars MMO, to the more pertinent news about companions in SWTOR. We have to take a step back and ask ourselves, is this good news, or bad? In this weeks article, we will spend time discussing some positives and negatives associated with these new developments.

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Earlier in the week, Bioware announced an update to the Sith Warrior class. Prior to this, players were left to speculate on the classes' advancement system as depicted in the cryptic "Advanced Classes Overview" post. The update put to rest at least a few questions about the class, providing players with a brief blurb about the lore and basics of both specializations. While many community members have been screaming for more detailed information in regards to the game; Bioware and Lucas Arts remain tight lipped, only squeezing out tiny nugget updates every so often. I believe along with many others, that they are simply waiting to show off at E3; others simply believe that they just don't have anything spectacular to show off. Bioware needs to be careful as to the amount of hype that they are creating, lest they suffer a Duke Nukem Paradox, (meaning that they hype around this game has become so blown out of proportion, it would have to be no less than the messiah of games to live up to its current expectations.) I walk a tightrope on this topic however; as a gamer I want to know everything about the game as soon as possible. On the other hand, if I was a professional development studio, I would want to keep people talking about my game. This can be achieved either by creating a never ending sea of hype (as many companies do), or by simply being upfront about information as it becomes available. Either way you slice it, the Sith Warrior looks like it's going to be a fun class to play.

Companions were also announced this week for The Old Republic; stating that this addition will bring a new depth to the player experience. Players will be able to have one companion per character that varies based on the class that they play. There is again two sides to this coin; on one side this system can be beneficial like it was in Guild Wars. Players utilized companion NPCs simply when they wanted to fill their party but did not have enough people. On the other side having every archetype use the same exact companion model could ruin the atmosphere of the game. I don't believe Bioware will make this system unbalanced to the point that players will only be playing with their companion. Most likely what we will see is another person to chime in with their often unwanted opinion during dialogue sequences, and a Guild Wars style combat companion. I will, as always, reserve my judgment on this until I get my hands on the game itself.

With a bunch of Star Wars titles announced for this and next year, are we starting to feel a bit overweight having to absorb this much of one IP? Do you feel that the overabundance of Star Wars related games will have a negative or positive impact on The Old Republic? In this "I've got to have it now" society, is it better to wait for something good, or simply consume whatever is more easily accessible?

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