Dark or Light

Gamescom Wrap-Up

Michael Bitton Posted:
General Articles 0

Like many of you reading this, I was also stuck at home while what I like to refer to as “Europe’s E3,” Gamescom, rolled around. In fact, all of us here at MMORPG.com remained behind this year, though our noses were firmly pressed against the glass so to speak, desperate to take in as much of the information and media coming out of the show as possible.

While I was interested to hear about the many games being shown this year, Bioware’s Star Wars: The Old Republic was definitely one of the game’s to watch. So, what did we learn about the game since Gamescom kicked off?

Bioware had a massive booth at the show, and for the first time the general public was able to get their hands on the game, well, that is if you could stomach the reportedly lengthy lines. Write-ups detailing gamers’ first-experiences with SW:TOR have appeared all around the ‘net since then, and eager fans have been poring over the markedly mixed opinions. No surprise, really, with such a highly anticipated game you’re going to have many people who will absolutely fall in love with the game after their first experience and those who will completely hate it.

The very first trailer for Space Combat in Star Wars: The Old Republic was shown at Gamescom as well, and we discussed this in great detail last week. Since then, Bioware has unveiled two of what looks to be a planned six starships to be included in the game. The two starships revealed were the same two ships shown briefly at E3 earlier this year, the Corellian-Defender Class Light Corvette for Jedi players, and the Fury-class Imperial Interceptor for players playing one of the two force-wielding Sith classes. Both ships are now up for viewing on the SW:TOR Holonet, where a smattering of screenshots, lore, and short clips of the ships’ interiors await. While many of you are likely more than familiar with my opinion on space combat in SW:TOR, I will say this, the interiors of the Defender and Fury ships are looking pretty snazzy at this point and I really can’t wait to explore and hopefully customize my own.

Finally, Bioware revealed a breakdown of all the Advanced Classes that will be available to players, and this really got fans buzzing. Read below for all the details:

The Trooper will have access to the Commando or Vanguard specializations. The Commando is a ranged DPS specialization that focuses on the heavy blaster cannon and grenades, while the Vanguard is the Trooper tank specialization, which makes use of the blaster rifle and energy shields.

The Scoundrel and Gunslinger specializations were also revealed for the Smuggler. The Scoundrel features some sort of blaster “shotgun” and oddly enough stealth mechanics. Oh, it can also heal. This is a bit weird, but OK.

The Gunslinger is more of what you think of when you think of a Han Solo-esque Smuggler. While Han stuck with a single blaster-pistol, Gunslingers wield dual blaster pistols and fill a ranged DPS role by using fast “quickdraw” attacks and the cover system.

Jedi Knights will support the team as either the dual-wielding melee DPS Sentinel or as the familiar Jedi Guardian class, which dons heavy armor and wields a single lightsaber in a tank role. The Guardian also uses “Leadership” and can provide the party with useful buffs.

The Jedi Consular’s Advanced Classes stirred the SW:TOR community into a tizzy over the past few days. Options for the Jedi Consular include the hybrid controlling/healing/damage dealing “Jedi Wizard” Advanced Class, as well as the saber staff wielding MDPS Jedi Shadow. Fan reaction to the Consulars “Jedi Wizard” class name was understandably negative, I’m not sure what Bioware’s thinking was here and I suspect that this may be changed. Yes, Ben Kenobi was referred to as an “old wizard” by Owen Lars in Episode IV, but that is pretty obscure and there are plenty of other possible names that could have been used here. This just seems like a lazy attempt to attach a familiar fantasy class name to one of SW:TOR’s “mage” classes. The Jedi Shadow, as its name would imply, interestingly makes use of stealth mechanics.

On the Sith Empire side, Bounty Hunters can either take the path of the Powertech or the Mercenary. The Powertech is one of the Sith Empire’s two tanking classes. Powertechs make use of Flamethrowers and similar to the Trooper, also make use of energy shields.

Players who select the Mercenary will wield dual blaster pistols similar to the Smuggler’s Gunslinger, but will also make use of missiles.

Sith Warriors can choose between the Sith Juggernaut and the Sith Marauder. The Sith Juggernaut is the analogue to Jedi Knight’s Jedi Guardian advanced class, however, it interestingly appears to be an “aura tank”, as it is said to make use of Fear and Darkside Auras. Certainly speculation, but I’m getting an Age of Conan Dark Templar feeling here.

The Sith Marauder, at least from the basic description we have now, seems identical to the Jedi Sentinel.

The sneaky snakes on the Imperial side can look forward to the Imperial Agent’s Operative and Sniper Advanced Classes. For me, these two, at least at first blush seem the most interesting. The Operative is similar to the Scoundrel in that it employs Stealth, but the differences end there. Instead of a blaster “shotgun”, the Operative is an expert at close-range combat using an energy blade, but can also fall back on his blaster rifle, and is capable of high burst ranged damage.

The Sniper, on the other hand, fills a ranged DPS role and makes use of the cover system, as well as ambush attacks and can even call down Orbital Strikes. My favorite post-NGE SWG class was the Officer, and so this seems like a good fit for me. I played the Imperial Agent during my E3 demo and found it to be great fun.

Last, but not least, we have the Sith Inquisitor. The Inquisitor, like the Jedi Consular, also has a somewhat dud of a class name in the Sith Sorcerer. Sure, it makes sense, but why not Sith Lord? Again, it just sounds like Bioware wanted to be able to yell out at non-SW fans who need their mage fix, “Over here! This is the mage!”

The Sith Sorcerer wields a single-bladed lightsaber and makes use of force lightning and force drain attacks. Sorcerers can fill a ranged DPS role with their lightning abilities or the healer role with their drain abilities. Oddly enough, this leaves the Sith Empire with only one healer option, while the Galactic Republic has two in the Jedi Wizard and the Scoundrel.

The saberstaff wielding Sith Assassin will allow players to live out their Darth Maul fantasy as a cloth-wearing melee DPS character, who, like the Jedi Shadow, can also utilize Stealth. Oh, and, yes, you can make a Zabrak Sith Inquisitor. Woot!

What are your thoughts on all the Star Wars: The Old Republic goodies to come out of Gamescom? Do you have a favorite Advanced Class locked down yet? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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