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The Year In Review

Michael Bitton Posted:
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Do a Barrel Roll!

One of the most controversial developments of 2010 was the announcement of space combat at the San Diego Comic Con. How could that possibly be controversial? Having space combat in the game was something many fans were looking forward to, however, when it turned out that the experience would share more in common with Star Fox than X-Wing it stirred many fans (including myself) into a tizzy.

The topic was and continues to be pretty divisive for fans following the game. Many gamers consider the feature gravy and are simply happy they’ll have any form of space combat, while others have very vocally expressed their disappointment, hoping for an experience with a bit more depth and freedom than an on-rails or tunnel shooter.

Crew Skills (aka Crafting)

Just last month Bioware surprised fans hungry for juicy information but expecting little given the fact the major show season had just wrapped up with details on Star Wars: The Old Republic’s crafting systems.

To that end, Bioware revealed the “Crew Skills” system, which is a combination of crafting/gathering and a missions system that bears some resemblance to Final Fantasy Tactics’ Jobs feature. Both the crafting/gathering and missions system are handled entirely by your crew of companions, thus Crew Skills.

As part of the Crew Skills system players will be able to learn from a variety of gathering, crafting, and missions skills (three total at any given time, though limited to one crafting and/or mission skill) and assign their companions to complete tasks or embark on missions on their behalf. Tasks can be queued up and assigned remotely and will even process while the player is offline.

Each companion has different specialties and may be better at some tasks than others; companion affection towards the player will also affect Crew Skills in some way.

Gathering can be done out in the field either by the player or via his companion, or the player can choose to send their companion out on a gathering mission for a customizable period of time.

Crafting is entirely time based and is done on the player’s ship. Up to five companions can be assigned to craft an item at a time and only one item can be worked on at a time on the ship’s workbench.

Missions are where things really get interesting. While players can send their companions off to find gathering materials for the purposes of crafting, companions can also be sent out to conduct diplomacy missions spreading the player’s influence and returning with Light or Dark Side points. A more materialistic player may opt to send his companion out on a Treasure Hunt to acquire phat lewt.

EA Flies Solo

While Bioware’s Dr. Ray Muzyka downplayed the significance, it was announced that LucasArts would no longer be involved in the marketing, publishing, and distribution of Star Wars: The Old Republic , leaving Electronic Arts to handle both the publishing and distribution of the game.

While none of us are privy to what caused the change in the agreement, it’s certainly caused some head scratching.

Did we leave anything out? What do you feel was the most notable Star Wars: The Old Republic story of 2010? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Michael Bitton

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB