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Jon Wood Posted:
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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Updates from Around the Web

Yesterday, we learned that BioWare was making Star Wars: The Old Republic. In our announcement feature, we told you that we would continue to follow the story as it developed and so today we bring you this assortment of details from coverage around the web.

With the announcement of BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG less than 24 hours in the past, more and more information is beginning to surface concerning the early details of the game. Our own coverage here at MMORPG.com, which was posted shortly after the announcement, gives a good overview, but in the interest of keeping you, our readers, as informed as possible, we have spent some time scouring the web for new tidbits that we may have missed.

Our report mentioned both that the game would be story based, and that players would have access to companion characters similar to those in earlier Old Republic games. Massively is reporting that the game will make use of dialogue trees (think more like Age of Conan than say, Warhammer). These trees will allow players to make decisions within the dialogue that not only impact your companion, but that are irreversible. Remember in the old games, where you choices impacted on your companions… Kinda like that. Not a new idea for the franchise, but certainly a new concept in MMORPGs.

Players who were hoping for an updated version of Pre-NGE Star Wars Galaxies will be disappointed with a quote from BioWare founder Ray Muzyka in IGN’s recent coverage of the announcement. In their interview, Muzyka says that, “It’s not a day-in-the-life of Star Wars”. Instead, he tells them that it’s about being a hero. Obviously, this puts a damper on players who may have been hoping to spend their time strictly as an entertainer or moisture farmer.

In the same piece from IGN, we learn a little bit more about the way that the story for this game is being crafted including the fact that the game is employing twelve full-time writers are working on the game. This is a huge number of dedicated writers for any genre of game and could serve as an indication of just how serious the company is about creating the story-driven MMORPG that our original article made reference to. On top of that, each class will be getting its own story arc. While it’s not the Holy Grail of “every character has their own unique story arc”, which would take far more than a dozen writers to accomplish, it’s still more diversity than one often sees in contemporary MMOs.

1up’s coverage of the announcement included an interesting new tidbit from the developers where they point out that while there may be a tendency to assume that if you play a Sith Empire character, you’re going to be evil and if you play a Galactic Republic character, you’re one of the good guys, that this isn’t necessarily the case. Because of the variety in both factions, the line between good and evil is a shade or two more grey that all that. We also learn from this report that worlds familiar to Star Wars fans will certainly make an appearance in this new game. Still no word though on how the concept of space vs. land based play will be handled.

Some Other Points of Note:

Just a few little things that are probably wise to point out that we may have already known about the game that may have gotten lost in the shuffle:

  • We’ve known about this game’s existence since March of 2006 and for over two years, the folks at BioWare have been tight-lipped about their “secret” project.
  • The game will make use of the Hero Engine, originally developed by Simutronics to showcase in their game Hero’s Journey (which has yet to define a release schedule), and now marketed to MMO companies as the foundation for their games.
  • BioWare, a Canadian company, established an office in Austin, Texas specifically to develop this MMO.


Jon Wood