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E3 Impressions - Star Wars: The Old Republic

9:45 PM, Jun 8, 2012   |    comments
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'Star Wars: The Old Republic' from EA and LucasArts.

During the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), BioWare gave an in-depth look at the various updates planned for its Electronic Arts published MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Much of the upcoming new content will come from the game's next update, known as "Allies".

The LucasArts-licenced online computer game has only been out for six months or so, but it has quickly become one of the more popular ones on the market.  Both the amount and quality of the game's various content updates are a good omen for how BioWare will be supporting SWTOR in the future.

Of the upcoming game content, four specific things stick out as being worth pointing out above the rest:  the "Terror from Beyond" quest, new planet Makeb, working augmentation tables, and server-to-server characters transferrals.

The Terror from Beyond quest looks quite interesting as it sends the player to a setting that will be entirely new to the game.  Said to be the prettiest thing BioWare has done in SWTOR, Terror from Beyond features 100% new art thanks to BioWare getting new game art technology.

"You get sucked into this interdimensional portal and end up floating around on these platforms fighting a 40-foot tall huge crazy monster," explained Lead Designer Daniel Erickson.  "It's easily the most ambition project we've ever done for a boss fight."

Makeb, which will be a brand-new planet for players to explore, will have with it a wealth of new content on its own.  Erickson says that it will feature BioWare storytelling, as well as new types of gameplay and quest systems.  It will also have different stories for Republic and Imperial players.

"It's really the next chapter in The Old Republic's story," said Erickson.

The soon-to-happen implementation of augmentation tables within the MMO is a response to how difficult it ended up being for players to craft armor that could be upgraded.  As it is now, players essentially have to get extremely lucky when crafting a piece of armor to wind up with something that has an augmentation slot in it.  Soon, through the augmentation tables, players will be able to upgrade their armor regardless of whether or not it has a built-in slot.  Crafters will still matter, however, as a player cannot actually use an augmentation table without an augmentation kit which crafters will be able to create and distribute to non-crafting players.

Finally, the server-to-server character transferral capability that will soon be launching for the game is something that players should greatly appreciate.  This back-end tweak to SWTOR will allow players to literally change the server his character is on without having to make an all-new character.  BioWare is making this change so that The Old Republic players who have friends on other servers can join those friends using his already-established character.

Other content updates announced for Star Wars: The Old Republic by BioWare at E3 this year include a new companion character (HK-51 droid) and a group-finder tool.  The game is also going partial free-to-play and allows new SWTOR players to play the game without paying, though BioWare has implemented a level 15 cap.  Free-to-play SWTOR players who want to rise above the cap will have to pay to play like everybody else.

All of the content updates for Star Wars: The Old Republic that were shown during the E3 2012 will go live by the end of the year.

News10/KXTV

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