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Space Combat In SWTOR Confirmed

July 23, 2010

Whoa, wait, wait, wait. So I predicted something…and was right for once? Sweet. And you know what else this means? Hunter, I love ya, but you owe me 10 credits!

From an announcement today on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website:

If you’ve been following the news coming out of the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ panel at Comic-Con International, you’ve heard the announcement that we will indeed have Space Combat as part of the TOR experience! But what does that mean? Space combat is an alternative gameplay experience to the primary game of storytelling, questing, and ground-based combat. In space combat, you fly your personal ship to various “hot spots” on your galaxy map. From there, you will blast your way through asteroid fields, enemy fighters, frigates, destroyers, and a variety of other obstacles that will evoke memories of some of the great Star Wars™ space battles.

Like I wrote in my ship speculation post, I predicted some form of space combat, but wasn’t expecting a full-blown simulator type experience, nor did I think space combat would be end up being a trivial mini-game type encounter. My prediction was something that would fall between these two extremes, maybe something scripted and instanced — and perhaps that’s what a “hot spot” means? I’m grateful to Mr. Sean Dahlberg for giving us a hint of  to expect, but apparently, more will be revealed on these “space battles” in the October issue of PC Gamer which will become available mid-August. Since I’m so emotionally invested in this whole space combat thing, my guess is I’ll end up picking it up.

I guess this was the news Bioware wanted to unveil for their “Comic-Con Reveal Mission.” They didn’t quite get the numbers, but what did you expect? History has shown that special reveals generate community hype, not the other way around. And I’m sorry, but as much as I love SWTOR, nothing’s going to make me “like” something on my Facebook profile after I’ve worked so hard to keep it a clean slate for the past year and a half. But I guess it’s all moot in the end anyway, because no way they could have sat on this doozy and not reveal it at some point or another! OMGWTFBBQ SPACE COMBAT, WOOHOOOOO!!!!11!! Pewpewpepewpewpew!!!

Yeah, it’s just finally sinking in.

I always had faith in you, Bioware, thank you for this reveal of epic proportions. Even though I was pretty sure of space combat in SWTOR, the news still made my day. Hell, my week. Cheers on the Fan Friday as well, check out the cool fan creations and the Cathar models.

22 comments

  1. Sweet, This game gets more and more exciting. Space Combat is one of the the things I love about STO, that separates it from the rest of the MMOs I play.

    I agree with you on the SWTOR/Facebook stuff. I saw no reason to feed that crap.


    • Well, I figure you don’t pump $100 million into a Star Wars game and not think about putting in space combat. I’m psyched too.

      I was already following on Twitter…but my Facebook page is my temple, it’s locked down tight and nothing goes on it other than just my name and a list of friends.


  2. NOOOOOOooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

    what did we bet again?


    • 10 credits, as it was but a friendly wager ;)


      • agh, i missed everything above the image. dove straight into the meat of the story i guess.

        but yeah. 10 credits. i hate losing bets.


      • Oops, I actually meant for the pic to be at the top. Fixed!


  3. Any MMO in space in there! So I’ll be sure to try it.


  4. I figured this would be coming. It’s not really my sort of thing but it looks pretty neat.


    • It’s weird because while I had a feeling this was coming, I certainly did not expect the reveal this week. They made their “reveal mission” sound like something that was going to be smaller and not as significant :P


  5. Alrighty! That’s definitely something I’ll look forward to, but I wonder how it’ll turn out. I mean, space flight is something that no BioWare game has seriously done before (Ebon Hawk turret mini-games aside). We’ll just have to see!


    • As long as it’ll be fun and entertaining, which I think Bioware is on the ball with :D


  6. I think I heard the angels sing when I read the news on the official site. It was like readable chocolate for the eyes. I am still trying to grasp the magnitude of it all…asteroid fields…fighters…frigates…destroyers…awesomeness…

    Even if it is instanced when the game ships, I am still trying to prepare for that roller coaster floating feeling in my stomach that I know I will have the first time I go into a “hot spot” and see an ocean of star ships in combat against a backdrop as vast as endless space.

    If one of the hot spots shows the planet Alderaan in the background while I fight, I may just nerdgasm right then and there.


    • Going through the main storyline and questing is what I’m most looking forward to, but I can’t lie — I’m really excited for space combat too! I know it’s going to be more of a side game for me, but no one’s going to keep me away from those asteroid fields and enemy fighters :D


      • According to a translated excerpt from a German gaming mag, SWTOR space combat is going to be a “tunnel shooter” (think Star Fox), because it is easier to create cinematic, scripted events and space quests.

        I’m not sure how everyone else will feel about it, but this pleases me, immensely. Star Fox was one of my all-time favorite flight games — and in my own personal opinion, one of the most fun.


      • I first saw this story on massively, and I’ve decided to write a post about that. I like your comparison to Star Fox, and funny enough, that’s exactly that I thought of too. I’m pretty ambivalent about it, but certainly not disappointed. And I have to agree, Star Fox was an excellent game!


  7. I feel very strange because I’m probably the only person on the planet who doesn’t like the idea of space combat in TOR :) Not that I have anything against space combat or space games, it’s just that I don’t think it belongs as a mechanic in traditional 3rd person MMOs. It seems far too disjointed and just comes across as a little mini-game design to try and appeal to the mass market. I would prefer it if BioWare re-focused their resources on the “main” game instead.

    Aw, and I sound like such a cynic now :P


    • I would probably agree with you on any other title. That said, I can’t imagine Star Wars without space combat; it just wouldn’t be proper.

      What is Star Wars without the destruction of the Death Star? Think about Return of the Jedi, Luke standing before Vader & Emperor Palpatine, himself, with a tremendous space battle taking place just outside.

      Even outside movies, I can hardly imagine any Star Wars game that would exclude space travel or combat.

      I wouldn’t peg you as a cynic, since you didn’t specifically say all space combat is worthless and fluff. And I can see where you are coming from, wishing BioWare used all their resources on the “main” game. However, knowing the history of BioWare, they are not prone to adding something to the game without careful thought or deliberation.

      My guess is, the infrastructure of a space combat mechanic ingame has been carefully crafted for much longer than most would realize. BioWare only reveals features when they feel absolutely certain those features will make it into the finished game (which sets them apart from many game companies, whose devs would release tidbits about possible mechanics, only to scrap them at a later time).

      In the end, BioWare has given us confirmation that space combat will be in the game. They have not, on the other hand, gone into explicit detail about just how simple or complex the system will be when the game ships. It may be what you suspect (a disjointed mini-game designed merely to appeal to the mass market), or it may be intricate, layered, and deeply, deeply kick ass, when all is said and done.

      It is too soon to tell. But like I said above, knowing BioWare’s history, and stable of games released, I have every confidence that they would not have added this feature into the game if they thought it would just be an act of fanservice.


    • I don’t think you’re cynical either, it’s just personal preference and there’s nothing wrong with that :) I agree, in any other MMO I would be pretty skeptical about the inclusion of space combat, but I can understand BioWare’s motivations to include it in SWTOR though. They wanted this game to be all about the Star Wars experience, and so much about it is about space…not to mention how popular the idea is among the fans, they’d be crazy not to consider it.

      I guess my feelings are similar to Jaramukhti’s…I’d disapprove of the whole space combat thing if it was thrown in as an afterthought, but thank goodness that doesn’t seem like what Bioware is doing :)


  8. If they can somehow make it meaningful, and as fun as say the old “X-wing vs. Tiefighter” game, then I think it’s going to be just awesome.


    • Oh man, I remember that game. X-Wing vs. Tiefighter was amazing…


  9. [...] and I made a friendly bet with each other about whether or not there will be space combat in SWTOR. A few weeks ago, it appeared victory was mine! But little did I know that our simple little wager would become so much more complicated. The crux [...]



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