Star Wars: The Old Republic General Article: NYCC ’11 Main Panel Recap at MMORPG.com

There are 64 days left, or just over two months until Star Wars: The Old Republic goes live, and all eyes were on this year’s New York Comic-Con for hopefully some major new reveals. NYCC was basically BioWare’s last chance to make a show splash with their fans in the final stretch towards launch and they had a fairly large presence there. Not one, but two panels were scheduled, there was a Community Meet & Greet, and the game was also available on the show floor for all to sample.

 

Over the weekend, we posted videos of both panels for those of you who weren’t able to make it down to the show, and today we’ll be reviewing some of the highlights of the main panel for those of you who don’t have the time or patience to sit through roughly an hour long video.

The main Star Wars: The Old Republic panel took place in the MTV Theater, which seats roughly 1,000 people from what I’m told, and the energy in the room was pretty electric. The event kicked off with a montage of the various CG trailers released by BioWare over the last couple of years and some introductions of the panelists (James Ohlen, Daniel Erickson, and Cory Butler) by BioWare’s Stephen Reid. The panel got off to a bit of a slow start with a recap of what the game is all about for the few gamers out there who have been living under a rock for the past few years and somehow managed to miss this one.

Stephen used various numbers to highlight the presentation, but if you’re looking for the important number here it was 15. 15 is the number of Flashpoints that will be in the game at launch. Previously, most gamers were expecting a handful of Flashpoints (Black Talon, Esseles, Taral V, etc.) but as BioWare’s Daniel Erickson explained, they realized through testing that players had many avenues for leveling in the game, such as doing their class story content and then PvPing or doing Space Combat in between, but this wasn’t true for running Flashpoints. Seeking to correct this, BioWare has added many more Flashpoints to the game to ensure that there are always a variety of Flashpoints for players to run at any level range. The caveat is that not all of these Flashpoints will be story-focused such as the Black Talon and Esseles.  Some will be more focused on the action and puzzle gameplay elements. Several of the new Flashpoints will also be endgame only Flashpoints, however, the entire roster of Flashpoints will be available to be replayed at level cap in higher difficulty modes.

The next important number is the number 1, which is for the single announced Operation (raid) in Star Wars: The Old Republic: the Eternity Vault. Well, apparently there are now two Operations coming for launch, but we were only given a screenshot of a Hutt within his palace to go by, so we know it will deal with the Hutts and, well, not much else as of yet.

Stephen Reid then highlighted yet another number: 3. Three is the number of Warzones that will be available at launch. So far, we’ve seen them all (Alderaan, Huttball, and the Void Star), but apparently the Void Star has been overhauled, which explains why BioWare has been so quiet on this Warzone for months now. The Void Star was then shown off in a series of clips that really give us a taste of the way BioWare is implementing story even into their PvP. The Warzone opens with an in-game cinematic narrated by Satele Shan, and there are a number of other cinematic sections throughout the match.  The Void Star features attack-and-defend objective based gameplay with players attempting to secure valuable technology from the eponymous derelict starship, while the opposing team is tasked with defending against the assault.  There are four sections of the ship that attackers will have to blow through to get to the ultimate objective of the ship’s data core. If the attackers don’t make it all the way through before time runs out, the match will restart with the sides switched and now the former attackers will have to defend against the assault. James Ohlen, Game Director on Star Wars: The Old Republic explained that the boarding action that kicks off Episode IV: A New Hope served as the main inspiration for this particular Warzone.

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