The Old Republic Revving Up

It may just be my imagination, but the press corps of The Old Republic are picking up the pace — in the past month, we’ve found out four new classes (!), a new planet, and other significant scraps of info.  With the class list complete, TOR moves on into a new, unofficial stage of the pre-launch marketing.

Moon Over Endor has an excellent recap of a chunk of info on TOR that Total PC Gaming covered, and I’d like to pick out a few things to discuss.

We finally have some word on character customization — it seems as though every class will get to choose between one of two specialty paths at a certain point in the game.  Smugglers become either Scoundrels or Gunslingers, Cousulars go either healing or mezzing, and Inquisitors go either lightsaber combat or controlling/lightning.

This is pretty cool — it turns 8 classes into 16, more or less, and how can you not love the idea of becoming a Gunslinger?  Pshaw.  I am so there.  One of my biggest concerns of TOR was the role of healing in the game.  Frankly, I’m at the point where a new MMO could be released without a dedicated healer, and I’d be ecstatic.  No offense intended to healers and those who love to be healed, but it bottlenecks grouping (since everything’s balanced around having at least one healer in a group, you HAVE to have a healer) and makes players feel forced to take healing if they’re in a class that offers it as a specialty.

My “last hope” for this in TOR is that companion characters can function as healers in lou of a player character — and this article does address companions that are “unlocked” and stored at a central hub.  They also mentioned that companions are unique (it seems) to certain classes, so a Knight and a Smuggler probably won’t be sharing the same companions.

11 thoughts on “The Old Republic Revving Up

  1. lonomonkey November 30, 2009 / 9:27 am

    Sith Inquisitor lightning pro? Oh yeah!! Watch me do my best Palpaltine imitation. I just need to find myself a murderous apprentice and I’m set.

  2. Maladorn November 30, 2009 / 10:28 am

    To be honest, you could go through KotOR and KotOR II without a dedicated healer. Just max everyone’s first aid skill and keep the medkits handy. Hopefully, BioWare won’t stray to far from that starting point.

  3. br3ntbr0 November 30, 2009 / 10:48 am

    I’m with ya on healing classes. I played a few battlegrounds in WoW recently, and I was quickly reminded how terribly “un-fun” that experience can be. Its really not different from how it was in Warhammer, either.

    Any team or player that is average or better knows to focus down the healers and the rest of the team will start to melt away. Its not fun to throw out a heal and see 5-6 avatars running toward you for the insta-gib death.

    Honestly if SWTOR has any PVP the Consular will suffer the same fate. It won’t matter that you are specced for damage, you’ll still be focused and burned to the ground. The fact that you have the ability to be a healer is all that will count.

    For PVE, which is what most people are concerned about, its much less of a problem imo. So I for one will be very interested to see what SWTOR does on the PVP front, if anything.

  4. Riknas November 30, 2009 / 11:36 am

    This seems to be a good sign for SWTOR. Bioware usually knows what their doing, nevermind the fact there are -still- a large number of blank spots in the website. This would suggest they are coming along faster than they’ve expected…

    Sounds good, sounds good indeed.

  5. Melmoth November 30, 2009 / 2:09 pm

    I love the tag line on the magazine cover:

    “The most important new MMO of all time?”

    What does that even mean?

    Still, that’s the sort of genius journalism one should probably expect from Total PC Gaming, “We’ll have none of that partial PC gaming in our magazine, damn it!”

  6. WalterD November 30, 2009 / 2:51 pm

    What seems odd to me is that there is only one healing class between the two factions. Even if the game is solely PvE, it seems it would be hard to balance content when half of your players don’t even have the option of grouping with a healer.

  7. Stabs November 30, 2009 / 3:03 pm

    I find it fascinating that one side will have healers and the other not.

    Just imagine:

    “lf8m Space-Onyxia: tank 4 healers 3 dps”

    “erm, our faction doesn’t have healers”

    “how are we supposed to raid?”

    “erm….”

    “erm….”

    “right guild, alt time, everyone re-roll Good, last one out of the character creator gets -50 dkp”

    What an inspired idea to get people to play through the storylines at least twice (assuming everyone and his dog starts out on the cool side).

  8. Misanthrope November 30, 2009 / 4:34 pm

    You’re assuming that the Empire wont have a healing class. I’ve got a strong feeling that imperial agents may have healing abilities.

  9. We Fly Spitfires November 30, 2009 / 5:34 pm

    Pretty excited about the customisation paths on offer as that opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. Very cool! And even more excited than ever now 🙂

  10. Stabs December 1, 2009 / 11:41 am

    “You’re assuming that the Empire wont have a healing class. I’ve got a strong feeling that imperial agents may have healing abilities.”

    Good call Misanthrope, that never even occurred to me.

    I’d assumed Imperial Agents would be a stealth pvp-oriented class like WoW’s Rogues or SWG’s Spies.

    Of course if you’re right then that creates an even more interesting paradox.

    On the Sith side your choices will be:

    1) Something really iconic and cool (Vader)

    2) Something really iconic and cool (Boba Fett)

    3) Something really iconic and cool (The Emperor)

    4) Something as heroic as an estate agent who also gets lumbered with the boring job in pve and the I am a big target role in pvp.

    Wonder how that will work out.

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