Bioware let flow bits and pieces of significant information on Star Wars: The Old Republic leading up to E3, so, naturally, I found myself wondering, "With all that's been shown so far, what the heck do they have planned for E3 itself?" Our Managing Editor Jon Wood was on hand for the EA press conference last Monday where Bioware revealed their second full-length cinematic traile, information on player housing via personal starships, and some details on SW:TOR's "War Zones" PvP feature.
The following day Garrett and I stopped by the Bioware meeting room at the show to check out the game itself and find out what else Bioware had in store for us. It's no secret I'm an avid Star Wars geek and looking forward to Star Wars: The Old Republic, so how did the game's showing stack up at this year's E3?
The first thing the Bioware folks did was sit us in a small dark theater where were given a basic rundown of the game's features by SW:TOR Producer Jake Neri as well as a screening of the previously shown "Hope" cinematic, which I'd only seen on my laptop screen until then so it was definitely worth watching a second time.
Jake then talked about armor progression in Star Wars: The Old Republic, revealing to us a short clip featuring the game's Bounty Hunter class and the various armor sets he'll acquire as he progresses through the game. We were able to grab that video for you all after our appointment, so be sure to watch it here. The armor was pretty slick, and I imagine that gamers will feel pretty intimidating when decked out in that last set.
Player starships were next on the agenda, and again, Jake screened for us a short video featuring examples of the ships that will be available to Republic and Sith Empire players. Personal starships will serve as a home base for players in The Old Republic, and players should expect to find the functionality of their ships similar to the Ebon Hawk in the KOTOR games, with one key difference being that players will be able to customize their ships.
War Zones, which are basically instanced PvP battlegrounds, were covered next. Jake scrolled by a few screenshots depicting the first War Zone revealed for The Old Republic, which takes place on Alderaan. A fitting battleground given the setting of the "Hope" trailer.
Finally, Jake wanted to assuage fears that Star Wars: The Old Republic wouldn't be a full fledged MMO, and to that end he provided us with a live demo of a group play scenario where a Jedi Consular, a Jedi Knight, a Trooper and a Smuggler banded together to beat back Sith Empire forces including a large mechanized boss. The fight kind of dragged on longer than I'd like and frankly I wasn't too impressed with what I was seeing. If anything, I was pretty underwhelmed. I wrote an article about possible classes to be featured in SW:TOR when I first started here at MMORPG.com and in it I mentioned the Jedi Consular as a possible healer class, though I cautioned I never would want to see a Jedi basically sitting in the back line healing their party, but I felt there was a strong possibility it would be a reality in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Unfortunately, I was right. Right there before my eyes, I watched from the main perspective of the Jedi Consular player as she did absolutely nothing but stand around refilling the Trooper's health meter as he held the boss aggro. I died a little bit inside, but alas, nothing is perfect!
Overall, Bioware made a pretty decent showing of their game at E3. We got a new trailer, several new reveals consisting of two new races, player starships (housing), battlegrounds, group play, and the opportunity to check out the early levels of all but the two Jedi classes. While I wasn't impressed with everything I saw, I'm still excited for the future of the game, though hopefully Jedi Consular's will have more to do than sitting in the backline spamming Benevolence.