Old Republic: Jedi Planet Development Vid

By Jim Rossignol on February 2nd, 2009 at 11:29 am.


The Jedi planet of Tython will apparently feature rather heavily in Bioware’s Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic. The developers have talked in some detail about the development of this region in a new video, which I’ve posted after the jump. The brief segment on “reveals” in level design, is lovely indeed. And is it me, or is that game looking rather far along, considering how recently it was announced?

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57 Comments »

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  1. c-Row says:

    Guess they held back the announcement until they had enough material to show… or they rely heavily on old technology.

  2. Heliocentric says:

    Bioware have clearly learned from mass effect.

    The Dialogue on the video at 1:38 is great, but it doesn’t seem to fit within the KOTOR cannon. Other the video is worryingly generic.

  3. karthik says:

    They’re playing the “Jedi theme” from KOTOR 2 through much of that video- been a while since I’ve heard that!

    This has all the trappings of a singleplayer RPG- I wish it was.

  4. Amanda says:

    @karthik. Well, it’s described as a starter world – that could well mean that it IS a singleplayer RPG at that point – it could be your tutorial world until you’re allowed out into the rest of the world. (A little like the low level town in Conan).

    I liked the comment on reveals – I just wish there was more information out there about such techniques for level designers.

  5. TwistyMcNoggins says:

    It’s a shame that they seem to be going down the level 1 Jedi route. If I was making it I would almost have certainly made Jedi-force sensitivness a mid way part of the game. Letting you interact with the world first, seeing how it reacts to these powerful people, letting you build up a picture of how it works in your head before letting you finally get your teeth into it. The fight against the monster thing made it look like lightsabres have been toned down to stop you from being the killing machine Jedi are supposed to be. And making lightsabres rubbish is one thing no game should do.

    Take JK 2 for example. The pre-light sabre levels were undefendable crap, but that sure made the level were you got your first taste that much sweeter. JK:JA on the other hand had great levels from the start. But you never got that sense of empowerment from beating the snot out of people because you’d been doing it since level 1.

    That said, it’s Bioware. It’ll probably be quite good no matter what.

  6. Mil says:

    Sad but true: whenever I read about Tython I wonder if the planet’s first name is Monpy.

  7. James G says:

    @TwistyMcNoggins
    That is one of the issues of an MMO, if things ramp up too slowly, you’ll end up losing players. If the first few levels aren’t fun to play, who is going to be renewing their sub at the end of the month.

  8. DarthS says:

    There’s something just not right about hitting some monster with a lightsaber and not being rewarded with a limb falling off.

  9. Robin says:

    I’m quite surprised that this game is being made. The MMO market is incredibly difficult to break into, and LucasArts have already had their fingers burnt once. *And* it’s going to be set in the ‘Expanded Universe’ KOTOR era (i.e. no recognisable references to Star Wars for normal people).

    I just can’t see it appealing to enough people to make money, unless they’re doing it on the cheap.

  10. Tei says:

    I think I have already played this game (Vanguard, LOTRO, etc..) so I hope something is made to distant from other people. And I suggest vehicles could be a nice touch. Give people the ability to craft Sand-speeders, and stuff, with canons, so a whole guild can fight ship vs ship… or something, ship combat on the desert, maybe with pirates, and robots, and… ninjas^^H jedais!

  11. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    the video Bioware is worryingly generic.

    Fixed.

  12. BC says:

    It’s not really a MMO tho, is it? It’s more like a singleplayer game with other people playing alongside you with regularly updated content so you keep shelling out a tenner every month.

  13. unique_identifier says:

    @heliocentric: “[snip] … doesn’t fit within the KOTOR cannon”

    don’t tell me the munitions chief ordered the incorrect size of KOTOR rounds. its the second time this month.

  14. Heliocentric says:

    We’ve been rifling the barrel so i can’t afford these kinds of mistakes.

    Has everyone checked the gameplay footage of the social interactions at 1:38? I think its brave of them to make an mmo about developing a starwars MMO.

  15. Calabi says:

    I think in a game sense the lightsaber makes no sense if they are going to stick to all the conventions and cliches that games have.

    It could work if they were perhaps willing to change those conventions a little bit.

    I think surely as well it would be kind of dishonourable and excessive to use such a powerful weapon against such weak foes. Jedi’s are only supposedly to be a defensive peace keeping force. Using a Light cleaving beam which renders their foes in to pieces isnt really in keeping with that. Especially if they are willing to use it ad hoc at every threat. But of course they do because it looks cool.

    Another hole poked into the mythos of star wars?

  16. garren says:

    Environment looked lovely, but that lightsaber swinging really requires at least some scarred flesh and preferably flying limbs.

  17. Catastrophe says:

    I’d suggest they should make it so lightsabers are 1 or 2 shot kills dependant on placement of the hit and for every hit that is meant to hurt the enemy slightly it to be turned into a dodge.

    So in that example the beast would of dodged back and left, back and right a couple of times then *Zsuuuuuuu* *zsuuuuuu* *dead*.

  18. CakeAddict says:

    I wish it was just KotOR 3.. alas it is not.
    I’ll probably give it a go when it comes out but I’m not really putting my hope in it though, a mmo is rarely done well.

  19. BooleanBob says:

    @unique_identifier:

    WILLIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMS!!

    (I hope the reference isn’t a tangent too far transposed).

  20. Tom says:

    They should stop messing around, and bring on JK3 for god’s sake. I want a SW FPS, with lightsabers, limb-dismemberment and Storm troopers(And maybe a few RPG elements).
    And they should finish Republic Commando, meaning: Give it 10-20 more levels and an ending. Oh and add lightsabers.

  21. Pags says:

    I feel like the world needs a stop-making-lightsabers-rubbish brigade. Seriously, stop it Bioware.

  22. Sam C says:

    @Tei:
    It sounds like you want Star Wars: Galaxies…

  23. Jeremy says:

    Making a game set in a fictional world that has spawned endless nerd conventions always has its risks. You can’t account for every Rodney Gubler the 3rd who has memorized all Star Wars books ever written. There’s no pleasing those people unless you can actually make them a Jedi.

  24. Bobsy says:

    One of the nicer touches in the KOTOR games was that in a lightsabre duel most every hit would be shown as a parried blow or dodge by your opponent, even though they were taking “damage”. Barking, sure, but it worked. But using a lightsabre to chip little bits off a monster’s health bar just looks silly.

  25. fodigg says:

    Looking at the two released videos together, it seems that they’ve split up how they’re doing the lightsaber a bit. For humanoids, they parry and dance and nobody actually hits each other unless it’s a deathblow. For creatures, you can smack it up as much as you want and it doesn’t die until you give it a killing blow.

    I suppose that fits when looking at how Obi-Wan fought the Acklay, but it still seems kind of meh.

  26. teo says:

    Wow it looks like shit

  27. Larington says:

    Hah, we may want to be extremely critical of this (I know I do), but I have a funny feeling it’ll do really well commercially regardless of what we say.

  28. Heliocentric says:

    Galaxy did well. This has bioware who can make new ip sell millions. It’ll do great.

    But i’m more concerned about what this means about bioware and their potential input to mmo growth as a medium, as to contrast to the effort the single player space will lose from them.

    Bio deserve more profit than the people who sell shovelware. So in a way bioware being insured safety from ea closing them by being super profitable is good. But i hope the very essence of bioware isn’t killed off by shoveling out wow with light sabre’s. 3 words “level 1 jedi” tell me this is already dead inside. Will we hear them? Regardless, they need profit, so they need grind and this game is already dead to me.

  29. Tei says:

    Will guards be interactive?

    I remenber in Anarchy Online the guards where tough, almost imposible to kill… but once you reached a level, say.. 108, you was able to kill a guard. I remenber playing Anarchy Online and looking forward for this (kill guards) and buy a car. Other mmos (like AoC) make guards unkillable. More like the guards of a theme park

  30. Adventurous Putty says:

    Why is this a MMORPG?

    *sigh*

    Also: KOTOR II destroyed KOTOR I, so I’m not too excited about any of Bioware’s products in that department, to be honest.

  31. motherpuncher says:

    The problem with this is that everyone will play a jedi if you can roll one from the start. Even though I never wanted to play Galaxies I liked how originally it was really hard to become a jedi, then they tossed the game in the trash. Like TwistyMcNoggins said, you should start as some nobody and possibly have to reach a very high level before you can restart as a jedi.

  32. eyemessiah says:

    Stop sitting down and thinking about questing!

    Think about something different!

  33. randomnine says:

    Hitting rats with a stick for the first 400 hours of gameplay, just so I can prove I correctly appreciate and deserve the incredible honour of joining the elite of people who play-act Jedi on the Internet, sounds great! For this privilege, I will gladly pay five thousand pounds.

  34. Orange says:

    World of Jedicraft.

  35. Rath says:

    @ Adventurous Putty
    KOTOR 2 wasn’t handled by BioWare, they handed it off to Obsidian in order to concentrate on Mass Effect and what have you.

    I just hope the first few hours of playing this game don’t end up making me wish there were a way to actually put my hand physically into the screen and cuff my character around the back of the head while shouting “get a lightsaber from someone, and cut through the floor to save yourself three hours travelling time” the way Taris and Peragus both did.

  36. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    I think it looks quite nice and I have the hope that it will be good. Kinda funny to see them with an open msn window though.

  37. heartless_ says:

    Rath has it. Obsidian destroys anything Bioware hands them. KotOR2 and NWN2 are perfect examples :P

  38. clive dunn says:

    One would presume a light saber would make a mess out of a frog (no matter how big it is) by just lightly grazing it, let alone twatting it repeatedly over the head.
    This really makes me despair and i couldn’t care less about Star Warz. And did anyone else have the desire to track down these ‘developers’ and just, you know, rough them up a bit. They just looked a bit to clean cut for my liking.

  39. Heliocentric says:

    Not if the frog was a jedi frog.

  40. clive dunn says:

    If i had the time i would make a two minute flash game where, playing as Vader, the idea is to just chop Skywalkers hand off. Points for style!

  41. Thecolours says:

    If your a fan of Kotor, than you know all to well about the lightsaber being nerfed. Why is this suprising to anyone? Plus, it’s early in development, we don’t know what tweaks they’re going to add to the melee combat.

  42. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    The section of the video which told about quest design really, really would have worried me if I had had any feelings of hope of a good game about this project.

    It’ll be polished, probably, and feature Jedi, so it will not vanish; but I doubt it’ll be good in any way, shape or form.

  43. plant42 says:

    What if I could care less about being a jedi seeing as 90% of people will want to do that… and instead I want to be a bounty hunter or something?

  44. RobH says:

    I remember reading something about BioWare hiring developers for an MMO long before the announcement. You know, back when gaming journalism consisted of more than linking YouTube videos.

  45. RobH says:

    Additionally, a very quick search of “Bioware MMO” on Google News shows that there was news of the development as long ago as August of 2006. Maybe someone will make a YouTube video of some sort that relates this fact you can link as well.

  46. Jim Rossignol says:

    You know, back when gaming journalism consisted of more than linking YouTube videos.

    Oh, right yes. I really must do better. What was I thinking? We should probably post huge amounts of original material every month, or something.

  47. John Walker says:

    RobH, certainly by the time of the announcement it had become a poorly kept secret. However, for an MMO to go from announcement to release as quickly as this might, is unusual, as Jim observed. It doesn’t seem too difficult to comprehend.

    Of course, if you weren’t being such an odious individual, you might have taken the time to notice we’d been covering the KotOR MMO rumours since this site began.

    Kieron called it in October 07, here:

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2007/10/30/sith-and-make-up/

    Take your attitude elsewhere, please.

  48. Michael Bay says:

    I wish I was George Lucas.

  49. NegativeZero says:

    I feel like I’m the only person on earth who is genuinely excited about this. :(

  50. SuperNashwan says:

    You are.
    Look at those gorgeous, carefully laid out environments. Now imagine your typical ADD MMO kiddie bunny hopping and h4xsp33king their way through it, people begging you for money and RPers peddling their bad fan fiction and getting pissy at everyone else.