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The Mission Of Imperial Intelligence

October 29, 2010

Out of all the classes in Star Wars: The Old Republic, I’d always thought the Imperial Agent would be one of the least played at launch. Popularity-wise, they’re no force-users, and in terms of having an iconic status, the class is still no match for the Bounty Hunter, Smuggler, or Trooper. Plus, what we knew about them before today was scant at best. Until now, the details on the the Imperial Agent had been much like the class, elusive.

When the Friday update hit, the Imperial Agent came roaring into the spotlight along with boatload of new information. And God knows I’m also a sucker for anything that includes a video:

I love the 007 undertones — great kiss, great accent. And apparently too cool to stick around to look at explosions. But suddenly, the underdog looks like a winner. Dammit, how do you do that, Bioware?

The class now has its Advanced Classes detailed: Sniper and Operative. The former sounds like a “ranged rogue”, which is exactly as expected, but to me it’s the latter that looks a lot more interesting to play. Like the Smuggler, the Imperial Agent will have healing capabilities and the Operative tree will have the talents to handle those duties.

Kaliyo Djannis was revealed to be a companion for the Imperial Agent. Based on her description, I have to agree with a couple people who’ve said she brings to mind certain existing female characters from Bioware — a bit of Jack from Mass Effect 2, a bit of Morrigan from Dragon Age: Origins. And 100% crazy. Boy, wouldn’t she be a joy to romance! Assuming this “Cannibal-Demon” thing is just a name and she won’t go praying mantis on you after sex.

Also revealed is the gorgeous looking X70B-Phantom. I imagine if Aston Martin ever made a starship, this is what it would look like — sleek and technologically stacked, just how an Imperial Agent’s ride should be. But that’s not what’s making me feel a little jealous. No, what strikes me is how the interiors look so much better than the others we’ve seen so far. Watching the video clip, it’s like peering into a penthouse suite of some 5-star hotel, complete with *ahem* king-sized bed. The insides of the others look like dingy scrap yards compared to this luxury yacht.

And finally, we have the Chiss as a new entry on the Inhabitants page. In Star Wars lore, the most well-known Chiss is probably Grand Admiral Thrawn, who served the Empire brilliantly in the Imperial Navy. When deciding which species can be playable as Imperial Agents, this probably made the developers decide on the Chiss, even though the Empire was already biased against aliens in their ranks even in the SWTOR era, as shown by the discrimination faced by the Epicanthix agent in the novel Fatal Alliance. I don’t know if this class will end up being playable by any more species other than human, but despite the restrictions they had to work with, I think the Chiss was a sound choice.

Now I just can’t wait until they do the Bounty Hunter.

17 comments

  1. The Imperial Agent class video is probably my favorite to date. I also think this little teaser is going to make at least a few SWTOR skeptics believers.


    • It is a very well done video. I always thought they’d be able to do some pretty neat things with the Imperial Agent, and looks like at the very least we’ll be seeing some assassinating and womanizing ;)


  2. It seems BioWare has tried to find a middle ground between a cold-blooded assassin and a savvy intelligence operative; it’s almost as if they’ve tried to mix PG-13 James Bond with R-rated Bond. I dig the combination.

    I have to admit, seeing this video gives me even more confidence that my experience as an IA will be vastly different in flavor from that of a Smuggler. One feels like a desperado, pistol/s in hand, with an itchy trigger finger and just as twitchy a mouth, while the other feels suave, shadowy, controlled, almost surgical in his methodology. I plan to roll both eventually, so it is nice to see such a difference between the two classes.

    My favorite part of the Imperial Agent video was when he testified “Threats must be dealt with quickly, and quietly.” This to me just FELT


    • Damn cat jumped on the keyboard.XD

      Anyway, it FELT like something a covert operative would say.

      Leave the hooting and hollering to the Bounty Hunters; let the Sith Warriors leap into battle full-steam; let the Inquisitors fling lightning around the room all cavalier; I’m going to take position, deal with my target, and slip away before anyone even knows I’m there. There is something intoxicating about mystery – somehow, I see the IA using that mystery to heighten your story more than any of the other classes.

      As for the ship, I am serious growing jealous of the IA. I plan to roll an IA-Sniper for my 1st alt. Now, I love my main class (SW-Jugg spec), but in my opinion, the Sith ship just doesn’t compare with the Imperial Agent’s ride. That thing is just luxurious. It’s to be expected. After all, it has to be the Imperial Agent’s “Aston Martin”, but I still can’t help feeling envious that IAs get to roll around in a vessel like that one. I guess Republic Intelligence pays the lowly non-Force users a more handsome wage – and this simply should not be, damn it.>.<

      I can't wait to see what questing is going to be like as an IA. I love everything I've seen about them, the voice (awesome accent and delivery), the dialogue, the gear, the weaponry, the awesome ride, their own special sinister brand of savoir faire.

      I remember hearing that Imperial Agents were among the most praised classes available at PAX. Lots of people left with nothing but good things to say about the combat, and especially the dialogue and overall story of the class.

      BioWare seems to have put in a lot of work to give this class its own unique identity. I am very, very please (and leaning toward re-instating this class as my main).lol


      • I agree, the voice acting in the video was fantastic, maybe a bit too stuck-up but I think that was what they were going for. I’m very impressed with the script as well, lots of good lines there which reflect the kind of person the IA is. Before this, it was really hard for me to get a good feel for the class, but I think in the end not knowing too much was for the best because then I had no preconceptions and now I’m just like wow at everything. We now have information on most of the abilities as well as a hint of what kind of quests you’ll be getting. I just loved how the video opened with the kiss, a romance or a hint of some covert operation where you have to woo a woman perhaps? There’s going to be some amazing stories for this class.

        When I play my IA (because we all know at some point I’m going to be playing every single class) mine is probably going to a Mara Jade-like character like when she was the Emperor’s Hand.

        Anyway, I’m eagerly awaiting the update for the Bounty Hunter. I get how Smuggler ships have to feel more cramped and how Jedi ships have to be more spartan because that’s just how the way they are, etc. but I’m hoping the BH will have some pretty interiors too :)


      • Oh yes, I’m sure the fact that Monsieur Imperial Agent sounded stuck up was by design. This goes back to James Bond, I think. They make him suave, handsome, give him a cool car, a fun catchphrase (“Shaken, not stirred.”), a new attractive model to woo with every movie, all so you won’t really notice how much of a douche he can be. I mean, imagine how much Bond would chafe if Q gave him a Ford Explorer instead of his precious Aston Martin. He would be on the phone bitching to M and Moneypenny in like ten seconds flat.

        But, all kidding aside, I always did like Bond, and I always thought the James Bond stories were fun. Now I hope that fun carries through to the IA in SWTOR (based on the video, it seems pretty solid that it will). The opening kiss certainly seems to give hope for some Bond-esque romantic storylines, or at least instances where your charm will have to get the job done over a weapon.

        Mara Jade, eh? Very cool. I always really did like her as a character – and as a result of her fate, hated the guts of Jacen Solo a.k.a. “Darth Anus”.

        I’m sure the BH will have some pretty sweet interiors on their ships. Boba Fett was known as much for his ship as anything else – plus, seeing as how Bounty Hunters are always on the move looking for bounties, it only makes sense that they have an awesome ride.

        I’m sure you will be as excited for the BH video as IA players were for this one. I remember how excited I was when the Sith Warrior video was released. I hope BioWare runs these class trailers on tv when the game launches, because they are awesome.

        Now I just need BioWare to release a damn server list asap, so I can plan to roll on one of them.XD


  3. Woot! Love my choice for a main. It is exactly the play style I love, considering how much I loved using a sniper rifle in James Bond games and MOH/COD missions.
    An operative sounds pretty appealing for solo leveling with the heals.
    This also looks like a lot of fun for role players as a toon.(I don’t roll play, but if I did why not a smexy spy).
    One last thought is if they let you be a double agent.


    • Oh I didn’t even think about that! Some double agent missions would be amazing. Now that I think about it, the imperial agent in Fatal Alliance was a double agent, posing as a republic envoy. That’s a good sign!


  4. I loved it, though I’m not as much of a fan of the ship as everyone else seems to be.

    I was also hoping for a little more variety in the armor – much like the smuggler. I don’t think armor is always going to be the best look, but the concept art bears out the other options, so I’m at peace with that.

    Overall, a very satisfying Friday update.


    • Yeah, great update. In terms of sexiness, I don’t think anything beats the Sith Fury class ship. But the interiors of the Imperial Agent ship just makes me drool. Plus I do like the sleekness of the ship; if anything, I think it’s the perfect design for an IA.


  5. Maybe I’m too dismissive of them tacking on healing abilities to smugglers and agents, but i’m not sure why that intrigues you.

    i was actually trying to think of the car manufacturer to mention in my own post but could only come up with astin which didn’t bring up any quick google hits so i skipped it.

    The chiss are probably one of my favourite races, unfortunately they don’t get a lot of really cool primary characters. Thrawn being the only real player of note.


    • It’s not so much the fact Smugglers and Agents can heal that intrigues me, but my attraction to any class or build that has healing abilities in general, in any game. Even if you’re not the main healer or in a group at all, I think being able to throw down a heal at the most crucial moments adds spice to the gameplay experience. Maybe I just have too many fond memories of my WoW druid. Anyway, there are a few exceptions, but when I first play a game I’ll usually choose a class with healing capabilities as my first character. For me, it just provides a more interesting playstyle.


  6. [...] after seeing yesterday’s preview of the class, I think they’re onto something here.  People like spies, stealth and sniper rifles, and here’s a class that has all of them (plus orbital lasers, but that didn’t start [...]


  7. After every class update…that class becomes my main :( . Lol, on the cool though, IA is definitely going to be a beast, i can also start to see where advanced classing is going, seemingly now with 2 classes, i’ve seen a dps spec, and an all around, not necessarily healer, spec.

    But then again, i think there’s so much more than the classes than alot of forum dwellers are giving Bioware credit for. Albeit, the Loud, Proud, Rowdy Smuggler is akin to the Agent, it’s like night and die, Fifty dual wielded cheap shots, vs one calculated Headshot….or an Orbital Bombardment if an Agent felt like it.

    What’s going to be the difference between each and every class to me is going to be the stories and the companions that really make the game fun in my mind. If for nothing else, Agent makes the grade for having an insane, psycho, underground, assassin/seductress/lady who’s a killa.

    I dunno about anyone else, but i’m a sucker for chicks who murder everybody for sport, but they’re sweet on me ^_^.


    • I feel the same way, it’s getting harder and harder to stick to my first choice of bounty hunter…but I’m sure when I get to see all the cool stuff they have, I’ll be reassured in my choice :)

      And I agree with you about the story. Sure, the non-force users aren’t going to be as popular as the Jedi and the Sith, but part of their appeal is going to be in the storyline, for people who want to play some interesting missions.


  8. It is a very good video is it :) Like you, I had little interest in the Imperial Agent before I saw it but I gotta take my hat off to BioWare for really manager to imbue a lot of personality and intrigue into the class. I actually reckon now it’s going to be one of the more popular classes (after the Jedi and Sith of course) especially if there’s any sort of PvP on the go. Personally I’m going to be playing the Trooper but I reckon they will be the least popular class.

    Regarding the Empire and races… yeah, you have a good point! No doubt BioWare are taking measures to adjust the lore to make it more acceptable.


    • I agree, now the IA class is going to be able to hold its own in terms of popularity. I used to think the trooper won’t be that popular either, but then of course we saw the Hope trailer :D



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