SWTOR: Sith Have No Fear

April 29, 2011

Last month, we got to see a Jedi Knight Character Progression video from Star Wars: The Old Republic. Not to be outdone, the Empire gets a slick Friday update today, featuring a similar sort of video for the Sith Warrior. I like to think of the two classes as light side/dark side counterparts with similar play styles and abilities, but everything from the cinematography to the forboding music shows that they’re clearly different animals. For one thing, the guy in this very “scripted” video evidently does not have the same moral sensibilities.

Did the newbie Sith just run up and cut down that unsuspecting NPC from behind? Wow, that’s just…cool and sort of uncool at the same time. But hey, that Marauder “disappearing act” was impressive!

After viewing this, I can see the Darth Vader inspiration behind the heavy armor sets of the Juggernaut. The Marauder gear, however, is a little more baffling. The hoods and cryptic masks I understand and are even kinda badass, but what’s with the conspicuous shoulder spikes? Gah!

The second part of the update, the dev blog titled “Working on the User Interface” is also of interest to me. Thing is, UI is often a very sticky subject. I admire BioWare’s stance on trying to make an interface that will appeal to veteran and new MMO players alike, but the truth is no single UI is perfect for everyone right out of the box. Even an individual person can have multiple UI setup preferences depending on what it is they’re doing, what role they’re playing, etc.

I like how SWTOR’s interface is sleek, clean, open and discreet yet thorough enough in terms of displaying information players need to know, and I said as much when I had my hands-on experience with the demo. Still, what’s most important to me is modularity, flexibility, and customization. I would trade all the pretty bells and whistles for some adaptability. Simply give me the options, BioWare, and I’ll be okay with pretty much any UI you guys come up with.


  1. Those videos always get me jazzed. Have to say I share your skepticism of the shoulder spikes. Otherwise all the outfits looked pretty cool.

    • I hope they don’t go the WoW-route and create all these huge, over-the-top shoulder armor designs 😛

      • I think I’ll be rolling jedi after seeing the marauder armour.

        Much prefer the the ‘robes look’ of the jedi

      • The Jedi Sentinel does sport some nice threads. Now that you mention it, the Marauder armor does seem a little clunky compared to its Republic counterpart.

  2. and you want to play sith?! you can’t even handle a backstab! where is your sith pride woman? Treachery, deceit, ruthlessness. These are the ways of the sith.

    • There’s also strength and audacity. I don’t often play “rogue-style”, always preferred the in-your-face classes that go in guns blazing or swords slashing.

  3. Ugggh i hate stereotyyyyppess. The slow moving, Vader-esque Juggernaut SO turned me off in this video :(. Marauder’s are sooo beast though, somehow, i dont know how i still find myself choosing Jedi Sentinel in my mind over Sith Marauders, i just have that feeling it’ll be 7-1 Marauders to Sentinels in game, simply because they’re beast, tell me there’s some hope for the lightside?

    Lol anyhow, this video was noiiiice though, reaaal noiiiice…

    • LOL, yeah he was a little slow compared to the Marauder. But I kinda like that too, though, better to see the lightsaber moves 🙂 Because one thing I was shocked to find at PAX was how fast-paced the lightsaber combat was…so fast I could barely appreciate the movements and the stances. Anyway, based on the two progression videos we’ve seen, I can understand where your hunch is coming from. Not that the Marauder didn’t look totally badass, but the Jedi Sentinel looked very impressive, and in my opinion, was better dressed too 😛

  4. Oh dear G–, where to start?

    The Sith video, in my opinion, was superior to the Jedi video. I admit that I am a bit biased, but I just felt like the presentation really captured what I hope to feel when I play through a Sith class. Cold, deliberate, ruthless — that’s how I intend to play my Sith Warrior. I didn’t really notice the spiky shoulders so much, but a lot of that is probably because the 2nd Marauder armor had me immediately picturing a Sith version of “Destro” in my head. Overall, I really dig the style of the Sith Warrior class. I found things to like about both Marauder & Juggernaut (for the Juggs, I dig the monolithic “cyborg-like” mannerisms. I’m sure people won’t all play them that way, but if I roll a Jugg tank, I’m pretty sure I’ll play him just like that).

    Also, tell me I’m not the only one that noticed the SW at 0:45 seconds using his lightsaber in a “get up” gesture? That is just so wicked.

    Another big thing I noticed with the video was the music. There were some new pieces in there that I hadn’t heard before — and one in particular really caught my attention. I think the music starting at 1:40 is the part that hit me hardest. It sounds different from most pieces I’ve heard from the SWTOR score, and the tribal style grunting had a lot to do with it. It just built progressively from there, ending in that truly awesome part at the end when the SW & Vette were taking on the 3 Jedi. I love seeing the variety in music that SWTOR looks like it will have. Kudos to Mark Griskey and the others for putting together a terrific score.

    As far as the UI is concerned, I definitely agree that customization is important. I’m sure modders will already be on it within weeks and months of SWTOR’s release, so I would be surprised if players were unable to mix and match their UI to fit their playstyle, at some point.

    For me, the part about BioWare’s UI that I truly love is having the health bar right above the hot keys. I can’t tell you how often in MMOs I have hated having to watch my hotkeys for cds, then darting back to the top left of the screen to check my health. I feel like I’m missing the action — because I’m looking everywhere BUT in front of me. Now I’ll watch my cds, check mine and any enemy’s health, then look just above to see what is happening on screen. It seems like this should have been done before in MMOs, I’m a little surprised BioWare is one of the first to do this (to my knowledge).

    In the end, it was a great update. I felt satisfied with the information we learned this week. The UI is an extremely important aspect of an MMO (it’s what we’ll be staring at for the entirety of our ingame time), so I was glad to see the process by which BioWare came to their current UI. That plus the video left me feeling more pleased than any update in recent memory.

    • I thought of you when I saw the video, knowing your love for the Sith Warrior. I bet you are looking forward to the Sith Warrior update 🙂

      I thought this video was better too, in its presentation, whereas the Jedi progression video appealed more to my emotions. I was surprised to see that the Sith Warrior progression vid was more story-based, especially at the end where he was fighting the group of Jedi with Vette by his side. And no, I didn’t notice that at 0:45, good catch! That’s pretty awesome.

      The UI is pretty nice, with the color themes and placements and all. Still, I definitely know right now that there are several things I would like to change, and I think I may have mentioned them in my PAX demo post. Especially if I am healing, I think I will want to make some tweaks to the layout and setup. I’m with you though, I really like how the health bar is right above my action bars. As someone who is used to playing a tank and have always caught myself flicking my eyes between my abilities and the status of my health, I can appreciate that.

      It was a very detailed update into the topic overall.

    • I like this video better, but as you mentioned, that is probably our bias… *superior preference* speaking 😛 The jedi vid was great in its own right, though. It fit the theme very well, showed you progression as well as a detailed shot of you getting your very own sabre. In a way it highlighted story and lore, while this one highlighted music, and a smidgin’ of humor. (The ‘get up already’ movement you mentioned, though when the Jug finished off that jedi at 2:19, the silence as it flopped around and plopped to the floor made me giggle a “hah!” as I watched.)

      I am reluctant to say, that I am digging the Juggernaut-style. Not because it’s Sith, but because it is for a game that cannot possibly run on this rig >.<

      I *really* like the leap attack Jugs get. Charge helps on my Warrior in WoW, but that leap keeps the functionality while putting the bad assery up to eleven. Add in the ranged attack by merely stomping the ground and the mechanized style… *gawd-like*.

      • Heh heh, another in the Sith warrior camp, I see 😀

  5. Once again, trying to figure out what game will go on hiatus while explore this Star Wars Universe. Galaxies came and basically went before I got into MMOs, so no appeal there. But SWTOR looks to be a solid game, if not exactly genre changing.

    OTOH, IDK why we expect every game to be revolutionary. I only need for the game to be smooth and fun to play. Evolutionary is just fine.

  6. Read just a few comments on the UI article, people are such whiners. The only hope any any dev has–besides Obiwan Kenobi–is to make the UI as customizable as possible.

    • Heh heh, agreed. I’m sure sooner or later modders will have that figured out too.

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