Gamescom 2011: Star Wars: The Old Republic Updated Preview - Three Modes

BioWare brings the two factions in The Old Republic together to play some HuttBall, one of three modes detailed at the convention.

by

The long wait for Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the Star Wars universe, marches on. After leaving this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (and the planet of Tatooine) behind, we finally caught back up with this game in Cologne, Germany, during the Gamescom convention. At the show, Corey Butler, associate producer at developer BioWare, took us through a quick, hands-off demonstration of three game modes: flashpoints, HuttBall, and Operations.

Flashpoints are The Old Republic's version of dungeons--self-contained sequences of gameplay designed for a small group of players. Unlike with a typical dungeon, however, the team at BioWare is aiming to infuse some of their iconic storytelling techniques into these sequences. A trailer for the Taral V flashpoint highlighted this by showing brief snippets from the flashpoint's storyline. These revolved around a high-stakes rescue operation to recover an incarcerated Jedi.

On the topic of player versus player, Butler unveiled a new warzone coming to TOR called HuttBall, a "brutal spectator sport" that doesn't draw the line at the game's normal faction division. Instead, the two teams in HuttBall are randomized, with light and dark players intermingling on both sides. The object of the game is to capture and transport a ball across the opponent's goal line. Of course, the other team will be trying to kill you along the way, and there are numerous traps littered across the playing field. Success lies in not being a ball hog and in knowing when to give it up if you're about to get creamed.

The final game mode shown was Operations. These large end-game missions are TOR's version of raids. The one being highlighted at the show was The Eternity Vault, a massive prison compound built to contain a powerful Force wielder. The operation can be attempted with anywhere from 8 to 16 players. Its difficulty will scale depending on how many players you bring along. Butler hinted that there was more to reveal about the mechanics of Operations but decided to take us straight into a live demo instead.

The demonstration began with a group of Sith Empire characters taking a brief drop-pod ride down to an icy planet. Immediately upon landing, one of the Sith players hopped out and killed a helpless Tauntaun. Why? Because the Sith are evil, and this is what they do. As the party approached the main gate to the Eternity Vault, they were sucked into a battle against numerous droids and automated turrets. Here we got to see the abilities of all of the classes used in concert with one another. The juggernaut led the charge, while the operative kept him healthy. The sorcerer and powertech classes laid down heavy fire on the turrets, while the mercenary dealt with most of the droids.

Once the initial wave was finished, a massive annihilation droid flew in from above and engaged the group. This massive war machine could focus its fire on a single target or spread the damage out across the whole team. At times it would lock on to a player or area, as indicated by a red targeting reticle, and fire a barrage of missiles. Any players standing near the impact site of those missiles took heavy splash damage, so everyone was always on the move. Other times the droid would fire a succession of individual missiles, which could be avoided if the players stood behind the stone columns surrounding the gate.

After a lengthy fight, the droid finally went down. However, this is where our live demonstration ended, and we were shown a brief trailer that teased what other content awaited inside The Eternity Vault. These snippets included scenes from volcanic and jungle environments, as well as what appeared to be a giant Mon Calamari dressed in ornate robes. Find out what it all means for yourself when Star Wars: The Old Republic is released later this year.

Discussion

126 comments
icetone
icetone

@spenta First off it does to ME look like Wow with updated graphics since their cartoony styles are very alike, second to me IT LOOKS HELLA FUNNER 3rd are you serious so are you saying U3 M3 GOW3 AC3 NEVER EXISTED SERIOUSLY? don't make fun of them PS3 is more than just a fp genre and fourth I am 8! So your talking to a 8 year old, WATCH OUT I MIGHT TELL MY DAD AND YOUR PARENTS IF YOU SAY SOMETHING BAD TO ME :D

spenta
spenta

Why are people bringing GW2 into the conversation? It's not even the same type of game? You might as well compare it to Mass Effect for all the comparison is worth. GW2 is not a MMPORPG, it's a series of instanced encounters and scenarios that are based out of a handful of public meeting locations, that is in no way even closely comparable to the universes that exist in games like EQ2, WoW and the soon to be released SWTOR. Not to mention that GW2 is very linear, you basically play it like you are following a scripted storyline. It's not about levels as much as it is how far in the story can you get. Once you've 'won" the game with one character all that is left to do is replay the exact same story wiith a different character or go PvP. rinse wash repeat yawn...

spenta
spenta

@icetone What are you like 8 years old or something? First, it looks nothing like WOW. Second, FUNNER?? seriuosly? And third they don't put it on the PS3 because it's an actual video game not a half baked lousy graphics first person shooter which is all consoles are good for anyway.

icetone
icetone

The game looks like WOW but with better graphics and LOOKS WAY FUNNER than the last time I saw it too, WHY DON'T THEY PUT IT ON THE PS3 TOO!!!!!!! WHY!!!!!!!

muscles27
muscles27

how will my system handle this game havent got a clue about computers lol? XPS Laptop L502x 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i7-2630QM processor 2.00 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 2.90 GHz 2GB NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 540M Graphics Card Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English 6144MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [1x4096 + 1x2048] 640GB (7,200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive 8x DVD+/-RW Optical Drive Display : 15.6" HD WLED True-Life (1366x768) with 2.0 Mega Pixel Integrated Camera

NickDrakePink72
NickDrakePink72

This game is too themepark for me. I will be playing SWG emu instead. Much more interesting game and more fitting of the mmo title. SWTOR is another dumbed down hamster wheel mmo.

wallydog63
wallydog63

Yawnnn... And Bioware slides further down the ladder of interest. Bioware listens to there fanbase? They've been asking for KOTOR 3 for many years now and they give us this. Don't want it. I still want Kotor 3, but I guess it's not coming. Oh well. Plenty of great games coming out to make me forget. GW2 looks sooooo much better than this. Just my opinion though. I love the part of the interview where they ask how fan opinion is coming. Duh, like he's going to say it sucks. Had to laugh at that part. Oh well, back to DaO (the first of course.). At least they got that right.

sammoth
sammoth

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

@AzatiS GW2 and Diablo 3 is probably the only serious competition from that list.

AzatiS
AzatiS

@ j0abell This is a very valid statement. Competition is HUGE unlike any other gen/year for MMORPGs and online RPGs. Theres no so much time and why not money to spend for more than 1-2 games. As J0abell said , competition is around the corner and is BIG. WoW's Deathwing Patch , Guild Wars 2 , Diablo 3, Torchlight 2 , TERA , Blizzard new announcement coming this year for its new MMORPG i bet which wont affect directly TOR but it seriously can after 2-3 years ( depends its release ). My personal combo will be Diablo 3 + Guild wars 2. 2 F2P games , without monthly fees and boths looking too good , each on its own genre. I dont think i can afford nor ill have the time for something else.

AzatiS
AzatiS

@jspin On the other hand so are the graphics from GW2. Record from a freak web cam but guess what. Looks awesome. Also i doubt 720p is a bad res for a "web cam" if you get what i mean. Either way , i can defend my opinion all day but in the end its my opinion. You dont have to agree. SW:TOR looks decent. The live E3 gameplay talks for itself if you dont want a "bad recording". Dont tell me TORs graphics wowed you there , did they? I guess not.

jspin
jspin

@AzatiS i really hope that youtube link isnt your last defense on its bad graphics?? because obviously you havent seen the vid entirely. 11:25+ explains the downgrade of the graphics of the video for higher performance & the fact it was a live stream aka being recorded showed through a freaken web cam... its obvious with a good performance computer and a wired connection you can play the game at its fullest. game play looks alittle weak but i cant knock the gameplay unless i actually give it a shot myself

j0abell
j0abell

Of all the things this game has going for it, what's really going to save it from flopping right out of the gate isn't the IP, or the big name devs, or the AAA production - it's just that it's releasing way before its competition... If the handful of major upcoming MMOs were coming out at around the same time, GW2 and TSW would both bury TOR, leaving it neck and neck for third place with Tera. At least it'll be old news by the time they all come out.

rhymesmatter
rhymesmatter

@archiasif Well it's an mmo so they have to consider ppl with weak PC systems!Besides Graphics is not what this game is about!I have high hopes for it and in fact i like the visuals of the game so for me it's a win win!

archiasif
archiasif

Feels like they used an old engine.

AzatiS
AzatiS

@Snaptrap And because of that mask people go nuts. Ive seen like many ingame videos and is not only generic as of mechanics , is slow paced and seriously bad "spell"/gun fxs and animations and all... I seriously think if this game had other name and/or lore with very same classes and all noone would care about it. Game looks bad , plays bad .. how people getting excited seriously... This is link from E32011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zkCWdk1u2U How is possible to like this except its heavy name alone... Look the animations and overall surroundings at 3:22 of this video... Come on people.. This game will flop hard. Quote me

Chaoscomando32
Chaoscomando32

It's looking good for SWTOR, can't wait to play.

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

He was very general in regard to the differences this has with other MMO's. Playing it and coming in with a unique approach? What?? Coming in with a unique approach is asking a lot from the player if there are no unique features. Players can do that with games like Aion but ultimately they'll end up just doing the same thing in a different order. The novelty is going to run down quick if this is just a generic MMO wearing Darth Vader's mask.

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

Huttball? *facepalm* I wanna kill some Sith slime...

Maddogtaylor
Maddogtaylor

HAHAHA the more i read the more i laugh "evil is a perspective" how can anyone say such a ridiculous comment cmon guys get real

Maddogtaylor
Maddogtaylor

cant wait for this game, looks like its really coming together. looks a bit too wow for me but hey why mess with a winning formula i guess, i just hope the similarities stop with the interface

Maddogtaylor
Maddogtaylor

@couchtater12345 haha i cant believe how liberal people are these days when they actually question obvious things like are the sith evil...keep it simple guys non of this philisophical mumbo jumbo sometimes things are just that black and white @ghosthunter chill with the religion dude, i know you could argue that the idea of the force is religious but even so lol its just a game

Hoops0123
Hoops0123

I cant wait i'm such a star wars nerd, just to be in this atmosphere of star wars gets me excited

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

@ Ghosthunter54 You were the one who brought up religion and morality on a video game board. Word to the wise...DON'T. This place has nothing to do with Poltics and/or Religion (save the occasional Congressional whinefest on banning but that's actually applicable in the right discussion.) Nothing I said was rude. Any perceived insults just that. Any attempt to make you think outside of the box was done with best of intentions. None-the-less...touched a nerve I did.

veryfrost
veryfrost

Even i preodered this game but so far from all the released video im not very fascinated about the game. I doubt that storyline or graphics will look better then Elders Scrol : skyrim. Ok, this is multiplayer game, but still how this game will be better then others multiplayer games?

02pheland
02pheland

i was excited for this game a while back but the more they show of it the more it just seems like the same old stuff from everything else wrap up in a star wars theme, sure it will be fun at first but it still has all the flaws of other mmo's. Only one left im excited for now is guild wars 2

SDSkarface
SDSkarface

@ggregd Lineage 2, and Ultima Online had this system many other MMO's before it had death penaltys upon dying in pvp.. WoW ruined and dumbed down the genre.

desauce
desauce

Just paid off my Collectors Edition preorder today. Can't wait to play this damn game.

SwiftusMaximus
SwiftusMaximus

Cramming Star Wars into the mmo set of tank ,healer etc seems to be a very awkward mix. My hands on time left me unimpressed sadly.

bolt2k9
bolt2k9

Sounds awesome!! But wait.... they all sound awesome till we finally get to PLAY them. Fingers crossed XX

Ghosthunter54
Ghosthunter54

@Poodlejumper (part 2) As for the only thing you said that was relevant, I'm not using religion for a measuring stick for morality. The argument is not theological, as I said. I'm not saying I know everything that is moral and is not, nor am I saying anyone else does. I'm saying conceptions of it change from person to person. You said I'll "find that some people are immoral or moral and their level or type of (or lack of) faith has jack to do with it" so clearly you don't think morality is determined by religion. So if people can be immoral or moral devoid of religion, there must be a standard for what is moral and what is immoral devoid of religion. So I don't see why you're then accusing me of using religion "as a measuring stick for morality." I wasn't. And i said that. I stated my argument was philosophical, not theological. No offense, but your post was rather rude and completely misconstrued what I actually said. So essentially you're angry with me due to your misconception of what I said, which is probably because you've heard too many religious people (of all religions) ignore logic and say stupid stuff. If I say stupid stuff devoid of logic, then please correct me. But please don't correct me on mistakes I haven't made.

Ghosthunter54
Ghosthunter54

@Poodlejumper (part 1) What part of the Bible says sex is immoral? Where do I mention anything like that in either of my posts? Second, I didn't "announce their religious affiliation as often as possible in effort to cover up any cross examination of their actual character." He asked, and I told. It's still a philosophical argument, not a theological one. Look man, I don't want to start an argument with you, but you really seem to be saying things that have nothing to do with what I said. Where am I trying to cover up an effort at cross examination? I hate when people do that too. You don't know me, please don't judge me on these issues before you even know where I stand on them. Surely you don't think everyone who calls themselves Christian are carbon copies of each other? Who all argue the same way, talk the same way, and think the same way. If you do, I'd humbly suggest YOU go get some real life experience and meet some. Besides, you didn't try to cross examine anything I said anyway. You jumped on the very last thing I said, which was irrelevant to the post - it just answered a question the other guy asked, then you said I'm trying to avoid cross examination. If you want to cross examine, do so.

Merex760
Merex760

Huttball sounds awesome! The scaling raids based on how many players from 8-16 is also fantastic.

tachsniper
tachsniper

I wonder if there will be a way to form a guild of professional huttball players? seems like a nifty idea.

Vegna_Infamous
Vegna_Infamous

The news just keeps on getting better and better :D

ggregd
ggregd

@Eledran The article says "teams in HuttBall are randomized, with light and dark players intermingling on both sides."

Eledran
Eledran

@nonlinear314 No, Republic and Empire don't team up. But a Republic team can face off against another Republic team (ditto for Empire teams).

ggregd
ggregd

@SDSkarface "i hope its completely open pvp and i can walk up to anyone regardless of their level and cut them down with my saber, at any time... hopefully this can happen anywhere in the world at anytime " That sounds like great fun for all the new low level players. They'll really enjoy the game and want to keep playing after they've been ganked a dozen times in their first session. I don't know WHY more MMO devs aren't open to griefing as a playstyle...

Aladrael
Aladrael

Guild Wars 2 gonna erase this one from the market ;)

Chemical-mix
Chemical-mix

I was excited about this when i first heard of it (which for me was only about 1 year ago!), but that initial rush seems to be waning. As an ex-WoW addict of 5 years (i've been clean for 11 months now), i'm now not sure if TOR will offer me anything different, except story. I got bored of the same old thing over and over again with WoW, as you would after playing it 6+ hours a day, every day for half a decade. Nothing about it now seems able to draw me back in. So as an MMO refugee looking for a different land to settle in, i'm wondering if TOR is going to be it? As time goes by, i'm becoming less and less sure...

CarlitosWay
CarlitosWay

@YummyMango If you want pretty swords and flashy spears, there are plenty of games for that. Star Wars fans dont need that. What sense would it make for everyone to be walking around with the exact same sword that SUPPOSEDLY can conquer the world? Last time Bioware wanted to make the lightsabers noticeable, they made them into giant things and it looked horrible. Right now they are perfect.

Courtawulf
Courtawulf

CTF with ability to throw the flag. That is an amazing idea. Raids that scale the number of people is also cool. This means you can have pick-up raids MUCH more easily, assuming this game gets any sort of player base you can easilly find 7 other people to group up with. I like everything I've read in this post, I think this post just got a preorder out of me

thedirtyleg
thedirtyleg

To those of you still arguing about Sith/Jedi morality, I have four words for you: Let the Wookie win :D

YummyMango
YummyMango

Judas_||| is not entirely wrong, though I am very excited about this game, i do feel that how can one light saber be different from other light saber, I mean if color is the only difference it will get old. I know they will change grip designs but still for me personally cool looking weapons are a big thing like shadowmourne etc. I know they will surely have good gun models.

advanracer
advanracer

Ghosthunter54 :: Of all the sites to try to make a "personal" difference you chose "Gamespot"? Now there's a contradiction in terms. You're worse the a Youtube Keyboard Kommando.

YummyMango
YummyMango

Good stuff but I have a question and may be these things will be clarified later on - An operation (raid) can be of 8 to 16 people and the difficulty will be according to the number of player. My question is - 1) Will the raids reset every week? 2) If so, do we have to run with same people for one raid? 3) Will there be raid lock or some mechanism like that 4) Can we change the number of members during our ongoing raid ID means today I run with 16 people but later on run with 8-9 people because more members didnt show up? I think if that is the case (that I can run with lesser or more number of people with in range, it will solve an age old issue of waiting for people for hours to put together a raid. One more good reason hopefully to play. Already pre-ordered.