Today’s official update consists of another issue of Blood of the Empire… and that seems to be it. Luckily I’ve also still got the Gamescom wrap-up to do, so I’ll add that as well to spice things up. But first the comic; here’s the official news:
In the tenth issue of Blood of the Empire™, a battle between Republic and Imperial fleets rages over Korriban as Teneb Kel chases down his foe. The fate of the Sith homeworld and the Children of the Emperor is in the hands of one young acolyte and his slave–but duty and patriotism aren’t the only forces guiding them…
Check out the latest issue of Blood of the Empire now!
As for Gamescom, I felt that The Old Republic didn’t have quite as strong a presence as I was expecting. Maybe it didn’t stand out as much anymore after its E3 presence, but to me they (and every other MMO, not to say every other game) seemed to be rather steamrolled by Guild Wars 2’s exceptionally strong presence at the expo (not that surprising considering that GW2 was showing gameplay for the very first time). Either way, there were a number of things here and there.
- [link] to interview with James Ohlen at Darth Hater.
The always excellent Darth Hater had an interview with James Ohlen during Gamescom. I thought that they had more Gamescom interviews, but seems I was wrong. Anyway, here’s an excerpt:
Can you explain the philosophy behind how the skill sets in each advanced class work? Is it to give you further options to extend the ways you play one role in groups, does it open up additional roles, or is it best described as a combination?
James: Each of the advanced classes does allow you to modify the role you play as a group. For example, if you are a Sith Warrior and you decide to go down the Juggernaut path then you will be wearing heavy armor and wielding a single lightsaber. You are much more of a tank character. However, if you decide to go with the Marauder path, then you get to wield two lightsabers and you are dealing a lot of damage. You are much more of a dps character; you are gonna be the guy dealing the damage instead of taking it. So those are two very different classes, but you are still a Sith Warrior; you are just playing a different role in the group.
- [link] to Space Combat reveal video interview at GameSpot.
GameSpot has a video interview with Daniel Erickson about the recenty revealed space combat. it’s a nice interview that goes beyond just space combat onto a few other things. The most interesting thing for me was where they talked about giving your companions ‘kits’ to help specify what role you want them to play. I don’t think I’d heard that before. Anyway, here’s the video:
- [link] to Sith Inquisitor hands on article at IGN.
Over at IGN they played the demo at Gamescom as a Sith Inquisitor and they wrote a relatively short article about their experience. Here’s an excerpt:
Back to my Inquisitor character, he was initially tasked with proving his worth by finding a certain NPC located nearby the starting area on Korriban. By roaming outside I found myself in a red rock valley along the sides of which were carved huge, ominous figures. I trotted around and checked out the skill bar. It wasn’t very full yet, the character was very low level, but could still pull off a few useful attacks. Saber strike could be triggered at close range for a boost in melee damage played out across a flurry of strikes. Shock functioned as a simple ranged electrical attack, and lighting drain was a channeled ability that damaged, restored force, and slowed targets. If a fight proved to be especially tough, there’s also the option to meditate to quickly restore health and force over time. With a cooldown of one minute, it seems like this ability is meant to be used pretty often, keeping downtime between battles to a minimum.
- [link] to article at TenTonHammer.
Ten Ton Hammer has a fairly short article about a press demonstration that BioWare gave, talking about advanced classes and space combat. Here’s an excerpt:
If the player wants to be a character like Darth Maul, they would select the Sith Assassin specialization from the Inquisitor class. This would allow them to wield a double bladed sword and provide a stealth element to their gameplay. The contrasting specialization for the Inquisitor is the Sorcerer. As a Sith Sorcerer the player would be more like the Emperor and have ranged abilities like force lightning.
- [link] to off screen gameplay video at GameTrailers.
GameTrailers also played the demo, if I’m not mistaken as a Trooper, and they pointed a camera at the screen as they did. The resulting video is below:
- [link] to wrap-up article at MMORPG.
MMORPG.com didn’t go to Gamescom (as I understand), but they did look at all the information that’s been released and wrote an article considering their thoughts. The article is mainly about the advanced classes, but also mentions space combat. Here’s an excerpt (I might’ve missed it, but I don’t recall hearing anywhere that the Jedi Shadow can use stealth so I wonder what their source for that is):
The Jedi Consular’s Advanced Classes stirred the SW:TOR community into a tizzy over the past few days. Options for the Jedi Consular include the hybrid controlling/healing/damage dealing “Jedi Wizard” Advanced Class, as well as the saber staff wielding MDPS Jedi Shadow. Fan reaction to the Consulars “Jedi Wizard” class name was understandably negative, I’m not sure what Bioware’s thinking was here and I suspect that this may be changed. Yes, Ben Kenobi was referred to as an “old wizard” by Owen Lars in Episode IV, but that is pretty obscure and there are plenty of other possible names that could have been used here. This just seems like a lazy attempt to attach a familiar fantasy class name to one of SW:TOR’s “mage” classes. The Jedi Shadow, as its name would imply, interestingly makes use of stealth mechanics.
- [link] to off screen gameplay video at IGN.
IGn also has a (very short and soundless) off screen gameplay video with what looks to be a Sith Warrior. For a while I thought that the character’s lightsaber was horribly bugged as it looks like a normal stick, but I think now that that’s supposed to be a training weapon or such. Can’t really fault them for not trusting acolytes with lightsabers (and it’s fun for players to earn them). Here’s the video:
[link] to video interview with James Ohlen at SWTOR-Station.
The German site SWTOR-Station also has a video interview, this one with James Ohlen where they cover a variety of topics (and some interesting answers). The link above has, next to the video, also a summary of points (be sure to click the English flash in the top-right if you’re getting it in German and prefer English). I’m glad to have confirmation that twi’leks can be more than just Smugglers (I’m still hopeful that it’s a species that can be every class, considering how iconic to Star Wars the species is). Anyway, here’s the video (via YouTube):
- [link] to off screen gameplay videos at Leakerz.
[link] to more off screen gameplay videos at Leakerz.
[link] to even more off screen gameplay videos at Leakerz.
I’m not going to embed all the videos, but the gaming blog Leakerz has a whole load of off screen videos showing (well over an hour of) TOR gameplay. Unfortunately most of them are without sound (ostensibly because of the noise on the show floor), but they still give a detailed view of the gameplay. If you can’t get enough off screen demo footage then it’s certainly worth a watch.
And that’s about it. I’m sure that there are sites and articles and such that I’ve missed, but that should give a fairly decent view of TOR’s presence at Gamescom this year.
Next up is PAX.