The Old Republic: PvP And Stuff


See what I mean about the videos? Another one! The Old Republic has got them coming out of its ears. If an MMO has ears. Open posts? Something like that. But actually this is a bit more like it: a demonstration of one of the PvP maps, or “warzones”, in action. It looks like a pretty spectacular venue for competitive space biff, even if they combat looks pretty standard fare for an MMO. The big gun firing on the spaceship floating in the distance is exactly the sort of stuff I demand to see in my sci-fi games.

93 Comments

  1. smokingkipper says:

    Was going to jump in with a “meh”, but this does actually look pretty nice.

  2. jon_hill987 says:

    So is this just going to be WoW with a Star Wars skin?

    • Nevard says:

      Have you ever played WoW? Because that’s definitely not a WoW battleground there.

    • Metal Chao says:

      They’re definitely WoW characters though.

    • yeye says:

      same thought here. such a pitty, what they are making out of this…. despite the scenario there is nothing new.

    • Torres says:

      I hope the next WoW won’t be an Everquest clone with Warcraft skins.

  3. Lewis B says:

    Why are they release trailers where the animation, movement and combat look absolutely horrendous!!??

    They can’t honestly be serious.

    • Jar says:

      This.

      With the money they are spending on this game, they cannot seriously have worse-than AO quality player graphics and animations.

    • DH says:

      I don’t know what made them think that mess looked good enough to release, but on the bright side… well, given the seemingly WoW-ishness of the characters and the combat, it makes me think that the entire trailer was being played by scripted bots.

      Look at PvP in WoW — No one stands still, except occasionally to cast a fast spell or something. Melee classes absolutely never stop moving… if TOR does end up having WoW-ish gameplay, then at least things won’t look quite as incredibly boring once it’s actually being played by real people.

      But really, whoever looked at that trailer and thought, “This looks like a high-quality production. We should show people to impress them” is completely insane.

  4. Raphael says:

    Those animations look far too MMO-ish for lightsaber battles : stoically being cut in half three times in a row while showered by blaster rays isn’t really convincing.

    • Starky says:

      So many people have this issue about star wars games, that lightsabers are not deadly enough, and every battle should be one hit one kill.
      Which is fine in theory and “realistic” or at least canon – but makes for utterly shit gameplay for any kind of multiplayer.

      Even single player it gets dull. It’s also almost impossible to challenge the player – combat balance becomes a knife edge – either it’s too easy, or just a load of cheap deaths. Even if you land on that knife edge it’s just random luck if you kill or die.
      There’s almost no way to do realistic melee combat with a weapon that powerful and still have it be fun.

      You’ve just got to suspend disbelief – chalk survival against those hits down to personal shields, glancing blows and force protection.

      Hell gameplay wise the only way I think you could actually do something like a lightsaber where it’s about timing, parrying and dodging would be some kind of rhythm game hybrid.
      Think Guitar hero where you take turns, they make their sequence of 5-10 “notes” then you have to do the same, the difficulty of your “notes” based upon how well they did on theirs.
      Whoever wins that round gets to go first (as they have momentum in the fight) and set the difficulty.
      The rhythms get harder and harder until one person makes a fatal mistake and dies.

    • Pattom says:

      Lifting some of the combat elements from Assassin’s Creed might work. Put the focus on dodging, blocking, and countering enemies’ attacks: that way a solid hit can kill without feeling cheaply earned.

    • DrazharLn says:

      Or from bushido blade.

      Or make a predominantly visual change and have attacks wear down some focus value or something. When focus reaches zero, the next hit will be a killing blow; before that, all hits are parried visually.

    • DrazharLn says:

      I’m aware that this wouldn’t work very well for non-close-combat enemies, but I’m sure some balanced and neat solution can be found.

      Like personal shields (kinda lame), or balance it so that it’s pretty damn hard for close-combateers to get at long range people.

      Obv. when the jedi catches the stormtrooper (after avoiding getting shot up), the Jedi would kill the stormtrooper very quickly.

      Creative answers can be found.

    • Somnium says:

      @Starky

      Except it’s been done, and it’s been done well. In a multiplayer context as an FPS.

      There’s a mod for jedi academy called Movie Battles 2 that had one shot lightsabers. But they balanced that by having a block meter, which could run out, so if a bunch of guys with guns were shooting at you, you couldn’t stand there for very long at all. You were also vulnerable while you were swinging, and there was a bit of knockback to the guns, so if you mistimed swinging at an opponent or swung wildly you’d die.

      Lightsaber duels were far from the hyperactive bouncing around of the original JA. Instead, they were fought mostly on foot, as jumping lowered the all important block meter. You could only block in a 180 degree angle to your front, so swings that hit you in your back would still kill you. It led to climactic duels with fewer acrobatics and more actual sword fighting. Add in to that a disarm ability that was hard to pull off, and you had some really satisfying gameplay.

      I have -no- idea how this would be applied to an RPG, nor do I think it necessarily has to be. I’m simply replying to your point that one hit kill lightsabers wouldn’t be possible to do while keeping the game fun. It’s definitely possible.

    • Veret says:

      This issue has already been covered, in as much depth and detail as you could possibly want to hear. Really, more people need to read Shamus Young, particularly people who work at Bioware.

    • Lilliput King says:

      @Somnium

      I was wondering how long it would be till somebody brought up Moviebattles.

      I have fond memories of killing roomfuls of sith on mb_jabba in b15.

    • Starky says:

      And all that is great in theory, single player games, or tiny small focused mods.
      But in a large scale multiplayer setting? Never mind an MMO…

      Again though is breaks down once you get beyond dueling – get hit in the back and you die in one hit? That would be the worst mass combat ever – everyone would just run around in circles until they could hit someone in the back.
      Focus blocking meter? Sounds good in theory, but you cannot animate all those blocks and parries – it works on on one, or in single player against AI due to the fact that it can be perfectly choreographed.

      It might be possible to build some sort of dynamic animation system, so that almost every possible attack angle can be covered with a parry/dodgy/block animation – but it would be such a massive pile of work for very little gain in actual gameplay that it’s just NOT worth it.

      The Assassins Creed model only works in single player – where all those mooks wait their turn to hit you like good mooks should – but in PvP? Every fight would just be a case where 1 swings, you block and the other kills you by hitting you in the back.

      More so such systems lend themselves to very still, feet planted back against a wall style combat – which works well for realistic sword and shield medieval fighting, but not for the kind of acrobatic, jumpy force coolness that the Starwars Universe is now known for
      Purists may argue that the original trilogy wasn’t like that, but as any star wars fan knows, the only lightsaber duels in the original trilogy were an old man, a old man/cyborg and a kid with almost no training or experience, like it or not, the acrobatic martial arts wire fu style is part of the canon now.

      The only game example I can think of where such deadly combat style works with more than 2-4 players ata time is in Mount and blade 2, which is fun, but really very flawed – and NOT a good model to follow for a game with more depth. Where 2/3rds of the time combat tactics run to “run behind him and smack him in the back, or 2 on 1 someone.
      M&B is fun just to have a bash around in, but it’s very limited in scope – and limited scope isn’t something an MMO should be aiming for.

    • Lilliput King says:

      @Starky

      I agree it wouldn’t work on an MMO scale because as far as I’ve seen all MMO combat is a laggy mess.

      But I don’t really see where you’re coming from on the rest of it. Assassin’s Creed has a multiplayer mode. Loads of people have played it now! Even me! It’s basically just who gets the jump on who, but still.

      Moviebattles had 1 hit kill sabering, and had servers of 24 people. There were 8 different attack angles depending on which way you were running, and 8 different parries. Simple.

      Dunno why we’re talking about this, really, but the point is it is very possible to create a credible and fun combat system that revolves around breaking someone’s defences and going for a 1-hit kill. Mastering M-blocking in moviebattles is actually one of my more memorable gaming experiences, as it allowed you to knock your opponent’s saber out of their hand and kill them in one hit. Still, this really, really doesn’t appear to be what SWTOR is going for, so it doesn’t really matter.

  5. Taverius says:

    Why does it feel dull to me? :S

  6. noobnob says:

    “It looks like a pretty spectacular venue for competitive space biff, even if they combat looks pretty standard fare for an MMO.”

    The big gun isn’t big enough to dwarf this one vital observation on this game: it’s just going to be another MMO trying to be WoW.

  7. Brian Manahan says:

    Does this game have hats?

  8. Londinistan says:

    It costs 300 million dollars to hire voice actors…for twelves seconds.

    • Calabi says:

      … and I didnt even like the voices.

    • bleeters says:

      But it has Simon Templeman :(

    • Starky says:

      Indeed, any game with Simon Templeman (who I’ve had a man crush on for years, and is one of maybe 4-5 voice over actors who’s work I actually follow) is automatically 20% more awesome.

      I could listen to that man read the phone book.

      God I wish they’d make another Legacy of Kain game.

    • ran93r says:

      ST is indeed a mangod, Kain would have been only half as interesting without him.
      Also yes, I would cut off one of my nuts for another Kain game (the left one does ache a bit from time to time so you can have that one)

  9. Malfernion says:

    Hmm.. Looks like the horde are going to win wintergrasp again.

    • Alaric says:

      Again? Are you suggesting they’ve won it at least once before? Ha! I’ll sooner believe in god.

  10. Daedren says:

    That was almost painfully underwhelming. Two major issues that I saw:

    — Battle flow
    No one moved while fighting except for a backpedaling pistol guy. Run run run, stop. Fight while not moving. One person drops. Move again. Stationary melee battles, really? Watch any action movie. Watch someone fighting, whether with guns or lightsabers. Pay attention to their feet. The majority of them aren’t glued to the ground. Compare it to your GI-Joe animatrix crap. Redo them.

    Character animations
    — The character animations are lacking. When I say ‘lacking’, I mean they look about 10 years out of date. Watch any action movie. Watch someone with a weapon run. Compare it to your animations. Redo them.
    — The running animations are horrific. Torso and arms not moving, weapon locked in a stationary position. It looks like a poorly made 80’s cartoon. Or anime. Or some twisted love child of them both. Only thing missing was “ZAPOW!” when two static, undead looking characters clashed in a meld of pre-set, random lightsaber animations that was both too difficult and bothersome to follow.

    • ExMortis says:

      If you’ve ever played a bog-standard MMO (which thanks to many of these comments I now realize this game is emulating, thanks guys for voicing an opinion which has never been voiced before in a SWOTOR comments thread, oh wait)… anyway, the movements.

      I’m sure in-game no one is going to be standing still in PVP, there’ll be all kinds of awful juking and dancing going on while the torso and legs desperately try to realign to your autoattack target. And that probably looks a lot worse than the alternative, shown here.

      Someone COULD make an MMO where one-on-one melee combat is sort of a locked-in affair and able to actually look dynamic (Matrix Online did I think?) but that would mean being not WoW. But to be fair, WoW doesn’t have a cover system!

    • Daedren says:

      I’ve played WoW, going to even play the new expac when it comes out just so I can rage at it for stealing months of my life away.

      As much as I want WoW to fall or at least have competition, this looks worse than WoW. WoW is dated, and while I can appreciate the stylistic approach that it did, it’s not really my style. However, the animation in WoW is miles above what I see in this video. And this is a game that was released 5 years ago, albeit with maybe a bigger budget.

      Just my two cents. Just calling it like I see it. ;) I’m not saying the game is doomed or anything, but for a teaser trailer, the only thing I’ve felt teased about it wondering where the limits of mediocrity will be.

    • skalpadda says:

      It’s a shame but yes, WoW looks a lot more fluid than this. That’s not saying WoW PvP is great (it isn’t), but when your combat looks static compared to something that’s coming up on 6 years old there should be warning bells going off somewhere.

  11. coldwave says:

    I don’t even follow MMO news but even I know that THIS GAME IS GOING TO FAIL.

    It’s DOOOOOOMED.

    I mean, three people on the internet said so.

  12. Maxheadroom says:

    being run through with a lightsaber should cut you in half, not just reduce you by x hit points.
    They really should have made it so any strike that doesnt kill you performs a block or deflection animation.

    Looks interesting enough though, and good sci-fi MMOs are pretty rare. Colour me intrigued

  13. Seth says:

    Their upper bodies don’t move when they run.

    I had to turn it off. I got the same feeling I do when a character in a movie is about to embarrass themselves. Can’t watch!

    • Smokingkipper says:

      So your saying Star Wars mmo is Ricky Jervais in The Office? :)

  14. ynamite says:

    dull

  15. brkl says:

    Surprise, it still looks terrible!

  16. Rinox says:

    I’m actually expecting this game to be more of a classic off-line RPG (that is, with extensive dialog trees and all that fancy stuff) I can play together with my friends than an MMORPG in the sense of WoW. So I don’t get what all the fuss is about on the lower res models and worlds. If it’s a giant universe with good quests and dialogues/choices that I can play together with my friends I won’t even notice the quality of the models.

    What i’m more interested in is how they’re gonna handle the “several people in a party” dialogue. There is space for real innovation THERE. Almost every RPG playable with friends basically comes down to one player talking and taking decisions and the rest just following, making dialog inherently uninteresting to the non-main characters. Fixing that could be…revolutionary.

    • mod the world says:

      Yes, considering TOR targets the system requirements of WoW, the graphic looks pretty nice.

    • DrGonzo says:

      If it is basically like KOTOR 3 then I will be happy and play it through once as a jedi probably, before never renewing my subscription.

    • skalpadda says:

      Yes, I really wish they’d show off more of the dialogue and story. All the combat trailers are just worrying but if the game manages to be a good co-op Bioware RPG I can easily forgive a few wonky animations.

  17. KillahMate says:

    I don’t think that this game is going to fail, or that it’s DOOMED.

    I do think that I, personally, am very underwhelmed by what I’ve seen so far, and that just because almost all other MMOs rip off World of Warcraft is no reason for TOR to have done so as well. Therefore I think I won’t be playing this. After so much publicity and coverage, it’s highly unlikely they’ve come up with something amazing that we just haven’t seen yet.

  18. pissant says:

    what? Trying to craft a MMOG with a coherent (multi) singleplayer game narrative is somehow ‘revolutionary’?

    No. It is to miss the point entirely, as so many developers have done since WoW was released. A MMOG should be about gameplay emerging from interaction between players and solely between players, not through interaction by players with prescripted, consumable content á la the singleplayer rpg.

    The depressing thing here is that pre-NGE Star Wars Galaxies had burgeoning potential and could’ve succeeded pre-Trammel ultima online. Old Republic is a step backward and it’s clear it has been since the interview a while back where the designer was beaming about the amount of effort going into the ‘story’ and ‘voice acting’ before anything substantive about the game itself was revealed.

    • D says:

      The video above was for me a throwback to the days of SWG. A bit more of people running around to kite, snipers crouching in the far distance, some status effects from melee (TK dizzy+kd spam!) – it would have resembled it pretty well. For a trailer, I can imagine that they try to make the video the least confusing as possible – watching a large battle in SWG looks random and chaotic – so hopefully all of these things will be in effect in the final game.

      Anyway, I could imagine having fun in there, but much will depend on balance and atmosphere. I’m not near close enough to my info-limit to determine whether this game is interesting or not.

    • negativedge says:

      hey look, this guy is right.

  19. Icepick says:

    Yeah, that was a pretty underwhelming video. The animations are bland at best, ridiculous at worst, the voice acting sucked, and that bit at the end with the 2 groups running at each other in what is supposedly to be a dramatic charge? Sheesh.

    Not really sure what I was expecting for this game, but that video really does make it look like WoW with a Star Wars skin. Still, as long as the PvP is completely 100% optional, my interest remains somewhere above zero.

  20. star_wars_meme says:

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this

  21. uNapalm says:

    Very average. The more I see of TOR the more I worry that the game will be a big disappointment. When you have games like Bloodline Champions delivering fast, frantic and simply awesome pvp, why would I want to play this?

    • Pardoz says:

      Is that a trick question? Personally I don’t give a rat’s ass about “fast, frantic, and simply awesome PvP”, so why would I want to play games like Bloodline Champions?

  22. Michael says:

    Am I the only one who is curious about the logistics of having fully voiced playable characters? Even if there’s only a single male/female voice option for each class, it still means that every time the game designers create new content they have to go through the extra step of getting the VAs back in to record. This will naturally make it more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to release new content. It’s a no-win situation for everybody.

    On a separate note, am I the only one wondering what happens if you team up with someone who uses the same VA? Imagine if two Sith Warriors teamed up and both happened to choose Simon Templeman. You could have Simon Templeman chiding Simon Templeman for cutting off that Sith officer’s head, also voiced by Simon Templeman.

    • mrmud says:

      Its one of the most important reasons this game is destined to fail

    • Rinox says:

      I’m assuming they have some sort of system in place that limits or doesn’t allow for interaction between player characters with the same voice? Not sure. It’s a good question though.

  23. Lobotomist says:

    8 vs 8

    Welcome to the new era of Massively Multiplayer Online games !

    • mavvvy says:

      Lol thats the funniest thing I have ever heard in my entire gaming life. Is that true? Cant watch vid in work atm.

      Next thing we will hear is that its actually using peer-to-peer connections

  24. Luke says:

    The more I see of this, the more it reminds me of the buildup to the release of WAR. Good ideas, but end up being ultimately boring.

    I feel that I am going to play this game, much like I tried with WAR, for something fresh and different, and having played WoW a fair amount in the past it’ll just end up being a tainted experience; the things that are taken for granted in WoW and the sheer level of polish just won’t exist, and I’ll sit there thinking “You know, as much as I hate to admit it, WoW is more fun than this.”

    I hope I’m wrong, and I really hope this doesn’t disappoint me that badly :|

  25. blargh says:

    This is disappointing on so many levels. Sad thing it’ll still probably sell. :\

    Guild Wars 2 for me, baby… And Cataclysm for a while I guess… and maybe I’ll hop back into AoC for a bit and see how it came along.

  26. plant42 says:

    Ah man. An epic battle of 5 on 5!
    “Quick! We must all run at the same speed because to do otherwise would be imbalanced!’

  27. Guilty_Sky says:

    I demand another shot of one side’s force running towards the other’s!

  28. teo says:

    This game is painfully uninspired

  29. Sutekh says:

    looks okay, but I’m not paying for it. I’d have payed for KOTOR3

  30. TariqOne says:

    Dear Bioware:

    Inasmuch as the internet told me this game is buggy, incomplete, unplayable, and an uninspired WoW clone, I am canceling my SWTOR account and submitting a complaint to my local Better Business Bureau.

    How dare you, sirs. How dare you.

    Warm regards,
    -Tariq

  31. Lewis B says:

    Oh did I mention I can’t wait for Guild Wars 2? :)

  32. ScubaMonster says:

    Nothing is more exciting than having a gunfight with both people standing perfectly still just firing at each other.

  33. Kid A says:

    Ever occur to any of the “lightsabers are underpowered, sux” gang that cortosis weave armour would probably be pretty much the standard in a Jedi-Sith war? Y’know, since it screws the crystals that focus the blade up, making it considerably weaker until the cortosis is damaged/destroyed, and all.

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      That’s dumb and lazy.

    • negativedge says:

      fucking nerd

    • Kid A says:

      Of all the places to be called a nerd.

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      Heh. To expand upon my rude and flippant comment (sorry about that, I was tired and being a jerk), I just never liked the whole cortosis weave thing from KOTOR (or maybe it was a symptom of a greater problem I had with KOTOR). I was more of a blaster fan than a lightsaber fan from the movies (Han beats Luke duh) but the lightsaber was at least a unique, really powerful weapon and stuff. But KOTOR (and the prequels) had so many people with them, that they were kind of trivialized (and with cortosis, nerfed in KOTOR).

      So yeah. I’m the fucking nerd up in here.

  34. Hillbilly Savant says:

    Not an especially enticing bit of footage on any level. Everything looks …stock. Uninspired. I mean, that’s it? That’s the fruit of all their labors, some particle effects to supplement some “+15% dodge for 15 second” skill? Very much a wow-clone in Star Wars clothing vibe there. Meh.

  35. Pehry says:

    What is it that makes people in the future (or a long time ago in a galaxy, etc.) want to run up to point blank range before firing blasters at their enemies? For that matter why can’t a WoW hunter shoot farther than 40 yards? I hate wierd limits on ranged weapons. But of course I’m biased against melee combat.

  36. DH says:

    I had a hard time watching that without being distracted by wondering why Teryn Loghain is shouting at me about the gun batteries.

  37. Antsy says:

    I remember when Jedi’s only needed one lightsaber. Apparently in the Old Republic they were just noisy nerf bats so they need more of them.

  38. X2-Eliah says:

    The dragon age 2 videos, these videos.. WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED TO BIOWARE?

    I mean – they used to make games that were, you know, nigh-perfect. Now, both of their ‘big’ releases look quite flawed in certain aspects (a unifying one – the animation).

  39. Flimgoblin says:

    Looks like a WAR scenario, which isn’t all bad because some of them were rather good fun.

    Though if anyone is seriously expecting anything revolutionary from this MMO though they really should think about the amount of money going into it – revolutionary = risky = not going to happen with that much money involved.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I must say that (I think) WAR looks better than this. Then again, Mythic did focus on RvR, so it would seem strange if it didnt.

  40. Sarkhan Lol says:

    At this rate the final game can only be impressive, because there’s no way it can possibly be as shitty as these trailers are making out. It’s like Bioware are trying to desensitize us with the constant barrage of bad videos and force low expectations so they can release a derivative product (BUT WITH FULL VOICE ACTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and still exceed our best hopes, while all their real talent toils away at Mass Effect 3.

  41. Kazang says:

    That was a thoroughly disappointing video.

  42. negativedge says:

    hey look, they made world of warcraft six years after the fact, only they made it ugly and set it in the most overused setting in the history of entertainment (yes, star wars eclipsed the mark Troy took thousands of years to set, thanks)

  43. GTB says:

    ….meh.

  44. Pff says:

    I can’t wait for this game to come out.

    Just so Guild Wars 2 can pwn it.

  45. The Sombrero Kid says:

    i think this negativity is coming from existing mmo subscribers which i think isn’t their core demographic. I think they’re aiming this at me & the millions (i suspect) of people like me who want to play games, could be convinced by a social aspect as long as it doesn’t destroy the single player aspect, have tried wow & other mmos and thought that the genre as a whole lacks narrative & gameplay and don’t mind if the social aspect of the game is less important than wow as long as the boring shit parts are made non essential/easy, their crafting system for example is inspired.

  46. Nico101 says:

    There are only two classes in this game: One with lightsabers and one without.

    Also, how do the factions differentiate each other?

    And, by the way, that final charge was so cliché it made me cringe. This vid is indeed shallow.

  47. Kronyx says:

    Why aren’t they making a Batllefront 3-esque game instead of this… Thing, is beyond me.

  48. Kurt Lennon says:

    A mainstream MMO is coming out and everyone is saying “Damn… That looks bad…” instead of salivating and drooling about how amazing and seminal it’ll be?

    Warhammer Online and Age of Conan have taught us much.

    This game does indeed look like utter garbage.

  49. Naildown says:

    Oh cmon guys..wow is wow after like 10 years of upgrades and what not..
    Im not trying to defend star wars thay might still need to rework some of the grafical stuff but its still beta and months before release..and even after we can count on patches to fix glitches etc.
    On the facts hand thay do need to release trailers and stuff on the web so thay get the hype on and not loose intrest in players even tho ppl might not like what thay C at this point.