Archive for the ‘Star Wars Galaxies’ Category

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Ships And Speculations

June 15, 2010

An IGN preview yesterday confirmed that yes, we will be getting player ships in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Like everyone else, I got pretty excited about this and the “robust customization package” that will allow me make my personal starship unique. But I gotta say, another part of me already expected all of this. After all, you can’t expect anyone to make a Star Wars MMO in this day and age and not provide spaceships and a ton of customization options in it, especially not after an announcement that you’re EA’s “largest ever” project in the history of the company.

That said, I also speculate that player ships will have a much larger role in SWTOR than simply being pieces of eye candy that we can ogle and show off to other players.

Space travel? This  is probably a given, seeing how it’s such a huge part of the Star Wars experience, not to mention there’s also more than a dozen planets we can travel to and explore. I mean, it’s entirely possible that it might all just boil down to a few cut scenes and atmospheric space flight, but I strive to be a positive thinker — I think there’s actually going to be a much bigger space component involved.

Player housing? I’m thinking Knights of the Old Republic here, where the Ebon Hawk served as a hotspot to interact with and choose your companions before a mission. Still, I think player housing should be more than just a place to stash your junk and companions. Now I’m thinking Star Trek Online, where my bridge was nothing more than a non-functional space where I would sit in the captain’s chair and watch as my bridge officers went about their tasks while completely ignoring me. That’s just not true “player housing” to me, not without the functionality and ways to customize and interact with the ship interior.

Nothing in the IGN article says anything about interiors, but I’m optimistic here as well. Star Wars Galaxies is purported to have one of the best player housing systems out there, and we know for a fact there are former SWG devs working on the SWTOR team, so at least someone over there should know how to do it right. Also, when it comes to the matter of functionality, I have to wonder if we’ll be getting areas used for crafting on our ships. I’m thinking about KOTOR again, of course, where we were given a workbench aboard the Ebon Hawk to modify our weapons and equipment.

Space combat? Well, that’s the million dollar question now, isn’t it? I’ve made a friendly wager with Hunter over the topic, and I’m just going to reiterate my predictions here. My guess? There’s going to be some form of space combat. Again, this kinda goes back to the whole “you don’t make a 100 million dollar game without planning for this sort of thing” thought that I had (and especially not if you’re going to take on an IP like Star Wars) so the only question that remains for me, really, is: If there is going to be space combat, how well will they pull it off?

Will it be minimal? A KOTOR type activity where you spend a few minutes with a gun blasting at other ships behind a view port? Or will there be more elaborate space encounters that will actually involve ship maneuvering and complex strategies? My guess is that we’ll probably see something between these two extremes. All I know is, if space combat’s going to make it into the game, it probably won’t be trivial. I would expect it to be on par with the rest of the content, even if they’re just going to be heavily scripted space fights in instanced areas, but I’m certainly not expecting a full-blown simulator-type experience either.

This quote in the IGN preview also piqued my interest when I read it:

While the E3 demo didn’t let us go off-world, obviously a smuggler will have some advantages aboard a ship that a Sith Inquisitor will not.

This along with the details in the article that there will be ship classes (such as “Vanguard” and “Fury”) in-game are just a couple of other things that make me suspect there will be space combat in SWTOR. After all, if there was no combat, what would be the point of considering advantages and disadvantages when choosing a particular ship with which to traverse a galaxy that’s “ripe for exploration”? Granted, it’s possible this could all  just be wishful thinking on the author’s part, a sentiment I can certainly relate to right now as I’m sitting here poring over the available information and over-thinking things.

Anyway, just my thoughts. Of course, I’m well aware that I may be completely off-base here, in which case, I’ll owe Hunter 10 credits.

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If You Could Date Your MMOs…

February 11, 2010

Well, Valentine’s Day is coming up and I figure a post like this is appropriate. It was inspired, after all, by a conversation with a friend of mine, to whom I asked, “So, got any plans for Sunday night?” She replied, “Me? Hell, no. Just a date with World of Warcraft.”

This got me thinking…what if we could date our MMOs? What kind of relationships would they be?

Before I go on, let me just preface this post with a disclaimer. The following comparisons are based loosely on my real life and personal experience with these games, as well as some of the more general/popular opinions that you can find out there in the MMO community. While there are some aspects I agree with and some that I don’t, the thing to remember is that this post was written purely for fun. It is certainly not meant to offend, so if you play any of the following games, please don’t get your feelings hurt. On a similar note, if you happen to be one of my ex-boyfriends reading this and find that some of it sounds a little familiar, I assure you these accounts are completely fictional and any similarities are purely coincidental…but should you still find yourself offended, well, in that case, I frankly don’t care.

Aion is the super hot foreign guy who roars into town wearing expensive designer clothes and driving a fancy sports car. You jump at the opportunity to go out with him because he’s just drop-dead-gorgeous, and you figure dating him would be a nice and refreshing change. Things are fantastic for the first month or so until it finally hits you: the two of you have absolutely nothing in common. Sure, he’s still very nice to look at, but a pretty face only takes a relationship so far. You begin to find it more and more difficult to establish a connection to him, even when the two of you get together to share stories about your lives. Whenever he talks, you find yourself doing a lot more nodding and smiling, rather than actually paying attention to the things he says. On top of that, you find out he’s a commitment-phobe. You begin to work overtime trying and get through to him, but the guy is stubborn and progress is nerve-wrackingly slow. Finally, you wake up one day, realize you’re not getting anywhere, call up him up on the phone and say, “Listen, we have to talk…”

Champions Online is the guy who catches your eye from across the room, the one who cuts a great figure and says all the right things. So when he finally asks you out, you readily agree. What could go wrong? Dinner on the first date is a pleasant experience until the cheque comes and he pats his breast pocket and goes, “Oh crap, I think I forgot my wallet. Damn, this is so embarrassing, but can you spot me just this once?” Fighting the urge to let your jaw drop to the ground, you think, okay, just this once. It’s not often you get to meet a decent guy like this, after all. So you give him another chance for now, especially since he assures you that the next date will be entirely on him. But when that night comes, you find yourself shelling out for popcorn at the movies and think, what gives? It gets worse until the day finally comes when he asks you to help him with his car payments, and that’s when you snap your checkbook shut and say, “It’s over.” (Apologies to Cryptic, even though I’m thoroughly enjoying Star Trek Online right now, I just couldn’t resist!)

Age of Conan is your overeager and somewhat awkward high school sweetheart. Your first couple weeks together are a little shaky, thanks to the unstable nature of teenage relationships (“I call and he never picks up! Why doesn’t he ever pick up?”) but the two of you manage to overcome the awkwardness to share your first kiss. In your naivete, you convince yourself that what you’re feeling now has got to be true love! And certainly, things are fresh and fun for the most part immediately after that. A few months later, however, the two of you are sitting restlessly on the couch at his place trying to decide just what else there is to do besides making out like the couple of horny teenagers you are. You turn to him and go, “Dude, you need a car.” Chances are, the rest of the world will likely open up once he gets his license, but until that happens the two of you are stuck watching the same movies and playing the same video games in front of the TV in his basement.

World of Warcraft is the popular motorcycle-riding, leather-jacket-wearing bad boy that you meet at the local nightclub. The two of you fall madly, head-over-heels in love with each other and the dates you go on are hot, heavy unrestrained nights of wild abandon. Despite its whirlwind start, you are delighted to see the relationship solidifying into something more stable and long-term. Things are getting really serious, and one day he tells you he’s decided to work on settling down a little. Good idea, you think to yourself. After all, we all have to grow up sometime. The thing is, he ends up mellowing out a little too well. One day, you look across the table at him in his khaki slacks and pastel sweater vest and you can’t help but wonder, “What the hell happened to the man I fell in love with?” On the bright side, everyone including your parents loves him now.

Star Wars Galaxies would be the sweet, down to earth guy you’ve been happily and steadily dating for years…up until the alien abduction that changes his entire personality. Enough said.

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