SWTOR: May The Fool Be With You

April 1, 2011

Seriously, tears came to my eyes. It’s official; every situation is like five million times more intense when translated into Shyriiwook.

This week’s Star Wars: The Old Republic Friday update is a pretty creative and funny April Fool’s gag, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Community Manager Stephen Reid hinted at looking at the characters’ faces. Helloooo, we have expressions!

On the surface, a rather small “reveal”, but a welcome one nonetheless. In fact, I’m quite happy with the inclusion of expressions and blinking, as well as a wide variety of emotes. After all, I remember a few months ago nitpicking over the lack of facial expressions the characters’ “deadpan eyes” in one of the Cinematic Design videos, so really, I have all the cause to rejoice. Nice job, BioWare animators, you guys sure don’t leave any stone unturned! I am also reminded of one of the reasons why I love following games in development — seeing a project grow and come together over time, and watching as even the most persnickety of my observations gets shot down as the weeks go by!

Also of note from the forums — companion UI and the presence of love scenes. Call me crazy, but I am feeling more chemistry between those two than I ever did between Anakin and Padme from the movies. And I just have to wonder — are we going to get any “I love you”/”I know” moments? Hey, I’d play a Smuggler just for that!


  1. Haha, maybe the player will have the option to choose the text “I know” in response?

    The Deadpan Eyes you mention was pretty rampant in Fallout 3 and I’m sure even worse in Oblivion. Glad to see some actual eyebrow wiggling during dialog.

    And, if I ever play the game, those tentacle hair chicks will be my Jedi toons, all the way.

    • Speaking of Fallout 3, my husband just started playing it on the Xbox. I played it last year, but never really noticed how CREEPY the NPCs are, the way they stare at you as you interact with them.

      • Oh, come on now. Even I can’t help but bat my lashes wistfully when a Ghoul NPC starts talking to me with their serenading hand-held-voice-box-like gravelly tones and inflections. Oh, Gob! You *do* go on…

      • LOL ironically the ghouls are the least creepy of all of them! That vendor lady in Megaton on the other hand, with her cheery voice and those dead eyes and that never flinching face…*shudder*

      • Moira! She’s my fave! I know she’s a little nutty, but her comments are some of the best written in the game. Like when you first talk to her and if you go with the text options to pretend that you think this is the biggest room you’ve ever seen (as all you know is the vault, so the world is one massive room), she comments that you have no idea how hard it is to change the lightbulb.


      • I found out afterward that if you blow up Megaton, she becomes a ghoul. Doubly creepy! And she’s still so cheery! AHHHH!

  2. The videos were awesome, but the “Wookiee-fied” UI picture was absolutely outstanding. I love how the character is freaking out in chat about not being able to understand anything on the Wookiee server.

    Despite the fact that some people are bitching about there not being a “true” update this week, there really is some valuable information to be learned from this stuff.

    For one, like you mentioned, the facial expressions showing emotion have improved quite a bit. In a game where our characters are in the spotlight much more than in other MMOs, having a variety of facial animations is essential. Otherwise, I’m sure it would kill some immersion to have the exact same facial expression on, no matter what your emotional response.

    The other thing, again like you mentioned, is the companion UI.

    Up until now, I wasn’t sure if the companions would have anything more than one situational ability to use. It could be not all of those abilities are powers, but the fact that the companions actually have an action bar definitely makes me rethink what I had considered would be a companion’s role in a normal rotation.

    • Nice, I didn’t even notice the chat in that picture, thanks for pointing it out! And bah, people who complained about the update need to lighten up 😛 I’m not really for pranks and practical jokes on April Fool’s Day, but the creativity and humor all the MMO companies showed that day brought a smile to my face.

      I for one, am glad for the blinking. The eyes scare me when they just stare straight ahead!

  3. SW:TOR will have love scenes? Sweet!! 😀

  4. I’ve seen better chemistry between random rocks on my lawn then Aniken and Padme had. That scene where Aniken is all like “I’m a screaming psycho, I just got back from murdering a bunch of women and children” and Padme says “Ooh, I’m sorry you feel bad Aniken” (to paraphrase) is about as believable as Padme falling for an aardvark. No, I’m not at all bitter…

    The expressiveness of models in that clip is impressive 🙂

    • “I’ve seen better chemistry between random rocks on my lawn…”

      LOL! So true, and so disappointing…especially since I read once in an interview with George Lucas that Hayden Christensen was cast because of the chemistry between him and Natalie Portman during auditions. Ugh, really? Seriously, fire that casting director. Natalie Portman is normally a great actress, but for some reason she was stiff as a log in Star Wars. My guess is she probably can’t show her full potential in front of a green screen. The scene in AotC where she tells him she truly, deeply loves him? No, I don’t buy it. Or when she tells him she’s pregnant in RotS and he goes “That’s wonderful” was like the most unenthusiastic and flattest delivery of a line ever.

      Ack, see now what you made me do, I’ve gone and done a rant! 😛

  5. love scenes? Already got my Princess Leia outfit on…wait…wha? Nevermind.

    • Ooh, Rivs in a Princess Leia outfit? HAWT. 😀

  6. Lmao @ the Chemistry between Anakin and Padme. I can never be so blasphemous to criticize ANYTHING Star Wars, much less betray my love for Natalie “The Finest Snowbunny on Earth” aka “My Black Man’s Kryptonite” Portman…but when i think back to those scenes all of a sudden….yaaaaaa that left me empty….AND VERY SAD FOR THE RECORD 😦

    It’s spring…how come TOR isn’t out yet 😦 😦 😦 *even sadder now*

    • Anakin and Padme…was bad. Ugh, I feel like bashing my head against my desk just thinking about their movie scenes. It’s sad when I watch the Clone Wars cartoon and a couple of CGI characters pull off a better job acting. Again, Natalie Portman…fantastic actress, but I just didn’t feel her at all in Star Wars.

      And yeah…spring and no TOR 😦 I’m guess at least late summer or even fall.

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