SWTOR Gets Fancy Galactic Maps

By Jim Rossignol on October 1st, 2011 at 10:14 am.

I have a secret plan concerning maps.
I do so love maps, and just one of the maps I have been taking a look at this morning is this one from Star Wars: The Old Republic. As if there were any doubt about the amount of content Bioware are churning out for this MMO, this Unity-powered map details every planet that features in the game, across five sectors of space, and even details a number of the spacecraft that will feature in the game. I think it’s a bit of a shame they didn’t opt for a “zoom” sort of navigation of the maps, but it’s fun to see the game laid out in this way.

Anyone have any other map-related news?

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80 Comments »

  1. Njordsk says:

    plugin required… meh

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Oh come on. I use Unity plugins every day.

    • Captchist says:

      Plugin.

      Meh.

      Use a system people will already have.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Unity is one that pretty much everybody should have!

    • Captchist says:

      Edit: Hmm, this was in response to a comment which I only see when I click reply. How odd.

      I’ve never needed this Plugin before, so I’m downloading it for one piece of content which I don’t even know whether I care to see.

      And there are a LOT of plugins out there. Every plugin you add is another which needs to be kept up to date to avoid security holes and keep compatible. It’s not worth installing a new plugin to see a map.
      They should have used Flash.

    • Aemony says:

      Unity is required? Hell no, I never use that shit and as such has no use for it simply to view some useless trivia.

    • Drake Sigar says:

      It took so long to load I opted to frolic in the garden with the squirrels instead.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Unity and flash are designed for completely different tasks – flash has tried to add high end 3d support, but it is becoming bloatware trying to do everything. Unity is designed specifically to stream AAA 3d applications onto your web browser and it does this in a slick, tidy and streamlined way.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love flash too, but it’s wrong for this application.

      And I have to say, I’m shocked there are gamers out there who haven’t needed unity yet! Its been going a long time now, in tech terms and has secured it’s place in the market as by far and away the best for what it does, and my reaction to someone not installing it is pretty much my reaction to someone not installing flash!

      EDIT: Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a go or trying to get people to change their minds or trolling or flaming peole for their decisions, I was just genuinely shocked. I do respect peoples opinions though, as long as they are well informed and not based on a position of ignorance!

    • Bull0 says:

      Very surprised someone on a PC gaming site wouldn’t have Unity installed. Might need to be handing in your card

    • DrGonzo says:

      Everytime someone uses ‘meh’ I want to punch them in the face, rather hard.

    • Njordsk says:

      same thing happens to me when I see random gressive guys over the internet for nothing.

      We’re alike it seems

    • Tams80 says:

      Meh, I can’t be bothered to care about people who can’t be bothered to install a plugin.

    • Stormbane says:

      Why exactly should PC gamers have unity installed? What uses it?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      “What uses it?”

      A tonne of browser based games and a tonne of websites who want to stream 3d interactive content

      “Why exactly should PC gamers have Unity installed”

      You don’t have too, unless I guess you want the content made to use it/

    • Unaco says:

      “Why exactly should PC gamers have unity installed? What uses it?”

      You people asking these sorts of questions f*cking disgust me.

      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/tag/rockpapershotgunity/

      You people know nothing, and should probably be marked as such (forced to shave your heads, wear a scarlet letter, cut off your noses) so we can single you out in crowds and point and laugh and say things to each other that you can’t quite work out but know is offensive and about you.

    • Web Cole says:

      “You people asking these sorts of questions f*cking disgust me.”

      Slight over reaction, surely?

    • skorpeyon says:

      @Unaco

      Perhaps I’d understand your extreme overreaction if the last post with that tag wasn’t from A YEAR AND 9 MONTHS AGO, before I’d discovered this website. And I’m one of the ones that already has Unity installed. I just think you’re jackass for acting like you’re better than the people who don’t just because you remember a series of articles that seems, to me, to be somewhat outdated. By the internet’s relativistic terms those articles are ancient. That’d be like me calling you a moron if you told me you didn’t know what “All Your Base” referred to.

    • CloakRaider says:

      “People that don’t use a plugin that I use should mutilate themselves and change their appearance so that we can discriminate against them”.

      Unaco, What the hell is wrong with you.

    • Koozer says:

      Is it international “completely miss the joke” day?

    • Kandon Arc says:

      I never thought I’d see such a viscous argument about installing a f***ing plug in. Get a grip people.

    • Captchist says:

      Relax people, Unaco is clearly being ironic.

      I’m not sure I understand the joke. But I think that’s the point.

      Anyway – it’s a Map, lets not get ideological about it. I just feel like if you require a plugin which some users might not have you get a chunk of your audience to stop and say to themselves “Wait… do I actually care enough to look at this?” And that’s really not something you want your prospective customers to ask themselves because the answer might be “meh”

    • Unaco says:

      It’s not my fault if you people have not heard of, let alone played, the single greatest contribution to PC Gaming from the last 4.7 years. I guess you kids ain’t cool.

      It also isn’t my fault if people fail to grasp comedic hyperbole, and feigned outrage. I was attempting, in a jokey way, to provide a reason for why you should have Unity installed, by highlighting a project from the Hivemind, that utilised the platform.

      @CloakRaider

      Oy vey! I cannot actually believe you thought I was being serious. Think about it… I want to truly, honestly see people that don’t have Unity disfigured and ostracised from Society? And you didn’t think, for even a moment, that perhaps I was joking? Think about it. Really. A mild flogging would be sufficient I reckon.

      @Koozer

      Yes… It seems it is.

      @skorpeyon

      No… perhaps you’d understand my comment if you had a sense of humour.

    • CloakRaider says:

      @unaco

      I have heard worse from the internet to be honest. Makes me sad that apparently that comment wasn’t ridiculous enough for me to realise it was sarcasm. Tells you a lot about comment threads and forums I suppose.

    • Wulf says:

      @Drake

      “It took so long to load I opted to frolic in the garden with the squirrels instead.”

      +1 – And that was surprising since usually Unity plugins load damn near right away for me.

      Actually, since we’re talking about Unity, here’s an idea Jim: How about an article about the really cool games which have been done with Unity? There are a whole slew I could think of that I believe have never seen RPS coverage, including some really interesting experimental stuff.

    • zino says:

      Quite. Flash is enough of a hazzle and security issue.

    • bill says:

      Ok, now you’ve all got unity – go play this, it rocks:
      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/01/20/heres-a-preview-build-of-sarahs-run/

  2. Om says:

    I’m starting to get the hang of the London tube map. That’s news of sorts

  3. Gnoupi says:

    Now that’s a publisher who really wants his game to perform well, and invest a LOT in it, clearly.

    Not that this is a bad thing. With the current state of the art, it’s hard to really impose a new MMO to the world without backing it with a LOT of content, and money.

    • Bull0 says:

      If you’re going to pick up an MMO, *shittons* of support and content is exactly what you do want. So it’s good for them and it’s good for the potential players.

    • Premium User Badge

      Thermal Ions says:

      What would be good is if you actually let people buy your game. I was greeted with this when I visited the Origin pre-order page for the game (from Australia).

      “Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ is not available in your region
      To maintain a high quality of service, only certain regions worldwide will be able to pre-order Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.”

    • hotcod says:

      You can buy it, severs are not region locked so you can pick up a retail copy for either US or EU. Bioware have even gone so far as suggesting you do this if you can’t wait but making it clear they can’t officially support it. So ya you can’t pick it up on origin but I’m not sure why any one would actually want to buy it on that anyway.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    Having the map for The Witcher 2 at hand helps a lot understanding what is going on. That’s all I have to say about maps right now.

  5. Antsy says:

    What a bunch of miseries!

    I like it. It reminds me of the interactive map Paul uses in the Dune movie. It needs a nice lady telling what you’re looking at though.

  6. FalseMyrmidon says:

    You like maps too?
    http://www.reddit.com/r/MapPorn/

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Ooooh, you’ve just made my day, probably my week, possibly my month!

    • endintears says:

      Absolutely fascinating, thanks for sharing

    • Premium User Badge

      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      I so nearly didn’t click on that. I’m glad I did in the end. Thank you.

      In case anyone is wondering, it is resolutely SFW.

      Edit: The US Highways in London Underground style is actually useful!

    • Antsy says:

      Haha! I can only imagine what you were afraid it might be.

  7. Kollega says:

    “Galactic North”.

    WAT.

    • Bull0 says:

      Lol, yeah, that’s an odd one

    • Burning Man says:

      Apparently, much like the Earth, galaxies are flat.

    • Antsy says:

      Its not odd, at all.

      Its like a competition to be the most demonstrably ignorant. Theres no prize, but I love your enthusiasm.

    • Koozer says:

      To be fair noone suggested it was made up.

    • Bull0 says:

      It’s an odd concept.

      It’s like a competition to see who can be the most obnoxious, only there’s no prize, you just damage the community a bit

    • Antsy says:

      Although I referenced your use of the word odd, I wasn’t directing my comment at you Bull0. Rather the effort people put into posting comments like “WAT” rather than spending ten seconds in google and a few minutes reading.

    • Kollega says:

      Okay, so according to this graph, galactic north should be upwards from the core, not in some arbitrary direction along the galaxy’s plane, so the authors of this map still screwed up. But thank you for calling me ignorant anyway – it was so very nice of you, even though my comment was indeed not particularly enriched with depth or meaning.

    • Bull0 says:

      @Antsy okay, cheerfully withdrawn :P

    • Antsy says:

      @Kollega Yeah, its usage on the map makes no sense at all. I don’t really understand why you’re upset about the use of the word ignorant. You didn’t know what it was, therefor you were ignorant of its meaning. Now you’re not.

    • Wulf says:

      You’ve all just demonstrated what SW:TOR’s community is going to be like when it’s in its “nice” stage.

      Masterfully done.

    • Unaco says:

      @Wulf,

      What? They had a disagreement but largely resolved it without any swearing, any insults, ad hominem or straw men attacks? It was handled quite maturely, points where conceded gracefully, and people apologised for misunderstandings?

      Sounds like SWTOR is going to have a really good community! Possibly the best community in MMO history.

    • Antsy says:

      Well it wouldn’t be an RPS article about The Old Republic without Wulf finding a tenuous hook to hang something negative about it on. At least he kept it short and didn’t fill the page with Guild Wars 2 comparisons.

      Also, reading the thread again I think I was a bit obnoxious. Well, thats a hang-over for you. Sorry folks.

    • Bull0 says:

      Straight up agree on Wulf’s annoying presence on any thread relating to SWTOR or GW2. This is one of the worst ones i’ve seen – usually he’s making some tenuous point about the game design, which is okay because hey, at least he’s talking about something real, but casting aspersions on “the community” of an MMO – thousands, nay, hundreds of thousands or millions of people – based on three RPS commenters having a fairly polite disagreement and resolving it reasonably civilly is just fucking laughable

    • Burning Man says:

      Uh, Bull0, I think you’re overreacting a tad. Just a tad.

    • Bull0 says:

      Because I said a naughty word? The facts as I presented them are wholly accurate and I didn’t actually call him a name, or whatever, so I hope you’ll allow me to cheerfully disagree. :)

  8. Bull0 says:

    If the description and art for Taris is anything to go by, they’ve really worked to keep up the continuity from KOTOR. Excellent news.

  9. Antsy says:

    The map is measured in parsecs. A unit of time in Star Wars I thought :P

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Only according to Han Solo. There is a difference between the character and the author.

    • Antsy says:

      That’s hilarious.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Ermm no. *Puts nerd hat on*. The reason why “doing the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs” is impressive is because that involves going through dangerous space, ie. the edge of The Maw Blackhole cluster and through an almost impassable asteroid field that blinds your sensors and makes you crash and die. The Kessel Run was usually an 18 parsec route but thanks to speed and piloting skill, Han Solo was able to do it in less than 12.

      This you would know if you were actually a real nerd and not one of those casual ones.

    • Antsy says:

      Et tu Biscuit?

      I don’t believe for a second that’s what was in Lucas’s mind when he wrote that line, and your arguement makes no sense to me at all!

      “Is your car fast?”
      “It can go from London to Birmingham in 118 miles”
      “…..wtf are you talking about?”

    • Bull0 says:

      “thanks to speed and piloting skill”

      speed won’t affect distance, unless it’s some sort of space physics. in which case, we might aswell just be saying “…a wizard did it.”

      Being skilled enough to take the dangerous route unscathed makes more sense, but it’s clearly an expanded universe retcon rather than the screenwriter’s original idea. Unless that screenwriter is a moron, because as is established, the question is over the ship’s speed, not Mr. Solo’s skill as a pilot. Then again, it may be Han’s unstiflable bravado coming to the fore – when asked if the ship is fast, he overrides the notion with the fact that he’s able to pilot through dangerous short-cuts to arrive at destinations faster, and therefore effectively it’s a fast ship.

      /nerd

    • Antsy says:

      And even supposing Han WAS bragging about his piloting skills and that he found an alternate shorter route to Kessel, why would he brag about the distance he travelled rather than the time he saved?

      Kind of surprised they didn’t change that line while they were gouging it some more for the Blu Ray release.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Since it isn’t explained in the films, the statement must have been reconned at some point in the many books devoted to Star Wars to sound more logical in relation to 3D space and time. Also to appease the nerdcore who nitpick every single frame of the films for cannon accuracy.

    • pistolcm says:

      Although the Biscuit is correct, another side of the argument would be the fact that Han is a scoundrel, and was just bullshitting Obi Wan and Luke who obviously knew nothing of smuggling. I believe in the script that was the explanation for that line.

  10. Faceless says:

    I always found it hilarious how BioWare creates sci-fi interfaces by copying and pasting generic animated sliders and constantly moving bars. I guess it fits here, what with this being Star Wars, but even Normandy’s monitors were filled with such amateurish nonsense.

    They don’t even have text nearby. I can only imagine how people are trained for those screens. “Okay, the upper bar is for the hydrohyperbolic pressure equaliser, the two below are for crystallising fuel superthrusters, and the one after that is the ultra-umbra inducing solar euthaniser. Got it?”

    • Felixader says:

      @faceless: Health and Mana. And it doesn’t even need to be in the same postions on the screen or have the exact same name in the different games, yet people can read all of their iterations.

    • Faceless says:

      @Felixader

      Err, I meant more the fictitious interfaces on in-game monitors and the like. I didn’t mean the HUD. That’s just as shit, of course, but I meant the moving beeps and boops on the map here.

  11. Iskariot says:

    I feel like such a fool. I never even heard of ‘Unity-powered’ and I have been a fanatic PC gamer for at least 25 years.
    I never encountered anything that asked me to install Unity. So I suppose it is something others need. I do not need it at all. Perhaps because I am strictly an off-line gamer?

  12. Temple says:

    Only installed Unity the other day to try out the Valley Without Wind demo, there are a bunch of other games recently that came out needing it that I passed on -and covered by RPS.
    VWW was high on my interest list, so made me give it a go. I’ll keep unity and ditch VWW -ah, Arcen Games there is no other publisher that I want to love, but whose games I don’t like.

    Also, geez there is a lot of hate in the threads these days.

  13. Wooly Wugga Wugga says:

    People really should be using WebGL for online gaming at this stage of the game.

    That is all.

  14. brooklyn67 says:

    I also did not have Unity installed after decades of gaming, but it took about three seconds, so, whatever. I guess I didn’t realize what a philistine I was.
    My real comment is: Am I the only one who finds the maps really unimpressive? I was frankly kind of shocked to see a level of sophistication I remember from K of the OR on the original Xbox. Surely I’m glossing up those old images in my head, but wow, after all the hype I was expecting to be blown away with shiny sci-fi goodness.
    And I agree, this thread seems unusually acrimonious.

  15. mechabuddha says:

    Ooh, that FURY ship looks like a mix between a TIE Defender and a TIE Advance.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Llewyn says:

    Sigh. Reply fail.

  17. TariqOne says:

    To avoid needless clutter, insert all “WoW-clone” comments and Guild Wars 2 comparisons below. Thanks.

  18. KitchenDon says:

    Unity rocks and is growing very quickly. It’s especially nice for devs because you can use the same code and assets for web, pc, mac, iphone, android, ps3, xbox, and wii. I don’t see why one wouldn’t want to install the plugin, it literally takes just a click or two. Not like it’s gonna effect your system when it’s not in use.

    As of May of this year there we 60 million installs of the Unity plugin, and over 150,000 people actively using the software to make something.

    Here’s a list of Unity games on Kongregate http://www.kongregate.com/unity-games

    More demos from the Unity site http://unity3d.com/gallery/

    And a personal plug for an Artificial Life sim/game that I’m creating with Unity. http://breedersgame.com/

  19. mmorpg games says:

    Fancy maps, fancy voices, but ze gameplay …