NYCC ’11 – Star Wars: The Old Republic Panel

Developers impress fans with numbers, flashpoints and PvP at their main panel.

Mike Whiteby Mike White

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Ladies and gentleman, BioWare is coming out swinging. At release, Star Wars: The Old Republic will include over 100 hours of content for each class. They’ve guaranteed that if you play through every story quest for one character and decide you’d like to level another class, you won’t see a single duplicate mission the entire time. That is absolutely insane.

Speaking of insane, since March of this year, testers have logged over 4,800,000 hours of game time. I guess it’s safe to say these guys mean business.

You love numbers, don’t you? We’ve got your numbers right here. How about 15. That’s the number of Flashpoints the game will launch with. For those who aren’t aware, Flashpoints are The Old Republic’s version of an instanced dungeon. The developers assured players that no matter what level they are, there will be an appropriate Flashpoint available to them. They have not announced how many will unlock only after players reach their max level, but indicated that all the lower level Flashpoints will be available again with hard modes at level 50.

The Old Republic will also have two Operations, BioWare’s version of a raid, waiting for players to gear themselves up and eventually tackle. The first Operation, the Eternity Vault, was announced this summer with a developer walkthrough video.

The second is unnamed, but we got a peak at a screenshot from the Operation at the Star Wars main panel. In the picture, the player is behind a slotted wall looking into a scene reminiscent of Jabba’s palace from Return of the Jedi.

Moving on to PvP now, we’ve seen two War Zones so far. The first map, Alderaan, I was able to play on the show floor and is a straight-forward map where to win, you must capture and hold as many of the 3 strategic points on the map as possible. Hutt Ball is another War Zone, which I haven’t had the chance to play myself, but is a form of space football where players can group up with and fight against other players from either faction. Use of the force and any weapons on-hand is fully encouraged.

The last War Zone was shown off at Comic Con this year and is called The Voidstar. The Voidstar is a spaceship that was assumed to have been lost in space years beforehand, the Republic and Empire race to discover it’s technological secrets. To do so, the two factions will partake in an attack and defend style map where each side will take turns attempting to reach the data core in room-to-room battles.

One more little nugget of teasing goodness the panel dropped in our laps was the announcement of an open-world PvP zone called Illum. All attempts at coaxing more information out of the panel from the fans during Q&A were quickly shot down. However, the team’s Community Manager made a comment towards the end of the new trailer that we may have been taking a peak at combat scenes from the new zone.