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The Old Republic at a glance. -Mic Den Octela - Nov 01 02:06am
I need to mention first of all that this article is NOT a preview of The Old Republic and so, will only touch lightly on the content of the game.

What is this thing called “The Old Republic”? Well, in short, it’s a massively multiplayer role playing game set in the Star Wars universe thousands of years before the events of the original trilogy. Whilst, technically, a sequel to the Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) game series, The Old Republic (TOR) takes the franchise in a new direction. The MMORPG market has been flooded with every game setting and model imaginable. TOR promises to fill the biggest gap there is within that genre… Story.

Every MMO there is, from World of Warcraft to Star Wars Galaxies has been only partially successful in bringing a satisfying narrative experience to their players. Sure, the lore in WoW might be impressive and rich, but the delivery is weak and repetitive. After your hundredth, or so, quest most players will tire of reading walls of text in the same, bland font. BioWare will, and hopefully have, voiced all dialogue within the game. Not only that, but players will all be involved during cutscenes and conversations with NPCs. Taking their turns to choose dialogue options which may be based on their class, skills or race. This sounds like a complicated feat to pull off in such a large game and only time will tell us if they’ve been successful. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to the first time I hear my character throw in their two cents to the rest of the party during a quest.

Apart from the dialogue, TOR looks to have the rest of the standard MMO features. A decent crafting system, PvP as well as PvE and a large quantity of quests. Space combat seems, regrettably, very arcadey and reminiscent of Lego Star Wars or some of the movie games. With a set path to fly along, you manoeuvre in and out obstacles and enemy ships whilst spamming your different weapons and abilities. Outside of these random stages of combat players can also explore their own ships much like in KOTOR1 and 2. I won’t go into too much detail of the game here (will probably do as much of a full preview as possible when I have time) save for mentioning that the game comes out on the 20th of December and you can place pre-orders in a variety of places.

As the demise of Star Wars Galaxies looms ever closer, we must hope BioWare will look back on the things SOE did wrong and what they did right and act accordingly. It wasn’t really all bad, I promise.

Before I finish with talking about TOR I feel it’s important to mention that TOR will have a subscription fee. Different plans will be available. I haven’t played the beta so haven’t seen anything that breaks any non-disclosure agreements. All this can be read on the wiki and the website.

History of KOTOR/TOR
First there was the ambitious “Knights of the Old Republic”. Released in 2003 to an eager crowd, the game took Wizards of the Coast’s well established Star Wars RPG system and developed it into a functional and amazing title. One of the things that helped the game gather a following was its alignment system, which tracked everything from your actions to your dialogue choices. This affected the story and eventually the ending (light or dark based). This, coupled with amazing combat animations and a diverse skill system, came together to form a completely satisfying experience. Plus it gave us lots of new lore, a potential love interest and HK-47.
Then came KOTOR 2. BioWare managed to get Obsidian Entertainment to develop this one due to their familiarity with their work and a burning desire to make Jade Empire. I know, right? Regardless of this Obsidian did a great job and was received quite well by fans and critics alike. The only real issue was that the game was rushed and heavily patched post release. There is an unofficial patch project to restore the missing content to the game, here. Oh and it came out in 2004, which kind of explains the state of the game on release.

Then nothing… For a really, really long time. It wasn’t until October 21st 2008 when, at an invitation only press event, “The Old Republic” was officially announced. There was a lot of speculation and rumour already circulating at this time due to BioWare’s actions. Four years after the last KOTOR was released, the announcement fell on confused and some hurt ears. After all, KOTOR was strictly single player whilst TOR initially sounded polar opposite. If this still troubles you, then you might like to hear that you still have a cast of A.I. crewmates to unlock just as in its predecessors and a large amount of developmental focus has been placed on bringing players who prefer solo games together with those of other preferences.

How This Affects Us
You might be wondering, what this has to do with us. Quite simply, the release of The Old Republic means that TheJediAcademy.net will get a massive boost to activity. Some of you have noticed, and joined, the TJA guild on BioWares website. When the 20th of December comes, approximately 60+ old Academites will be reuniting under the setting of Star Wars on a regular basis once again. Hopefully more will join after that. Some of these people will never have even heard of Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, let alone our humble community. These same people will hear talk about this place, and the game, and may take interest and join us. Doing the math, the figures look good. Whether it’s new members looking for more Star Wars, Jedis and stuff or oldbies looking to get back together with old friends; the future looks good for the Academy. It may be worth pointing out to all that haven’t yet noticed, but a new subforum has opened under the moniker of Star Wars: The Old Republic. It’d be real nice of you to head on over there and spread your love.

Still don’t believe me? Ask yourself a few questions. When was the last time you played a Star Wars game that you REALLY loved? When was the last time you felt a sense of community? Was it here? Was it JKA/3? I know these things will cross my mind when playing TOR. Even writing this article makes me want to hop onto the server and spend the rest of the night curled up in a corner of the yellow duelling room. The Force Unleashed did little for me other than remind me how good JKA was. Star Wars Galaxies just got progressively worse and worse on a gradient that made JKA look like a timeless classic. Lego Star Wars was cute, but lacking in the combat area. All these things make me turn back to JKA, even if it is only briefly. The Old Republic is big and thejediacademy.net will no doubt want to embrace TOR into its big, loving arms. I also expect that the competitive groups within TJA will form PvP groups in TOR as well (Aurochs, chewbaxors clan).

Oh and the modding. For the love of everything that is good, or evil. We’re talking new skins, models, weapons and maps based on those introduced in TOR. Also, weapons. And guns.

I don’t want anyone thinking this means everyone will forget about JKA, however. The two games are so different that playing just one of them cannot ever satisfy the urge to play the other. Look at it this way; whatever we do we’re reinforcing the community. Gamers, whether they be young or old, who originally missed out on the wonders of jk2/jk:ja will no doubt want to come try it out. I want to be here to welcome them with open arms when they do.

If nothing else you'll be able to appreciate all the lovely cinematics BioWare gave us.

And yes I’m perfectly aware that WoW has pretty cutscenes too.


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Comments
Nov 23 2011 01:39am

Mic Den Octela
 - Student
 Mic Den Octela

Right, so I've finally finished my assignments at Uni. This means I can get back to finishing THIS article!

Also, new artice is in the works. I'm aiming for the 1st of every month.
_______________
-Padawan of Virtue
-Brother of Menaxia, *|irael, Krynn Adept, Majno, Ris Win Juljul, DaMi3N, Beowulf, Dash Starlight, Carrock and Yuken Zalak
Bartender at Munes bar. Sir Mic of Nippledom! "KEITARO! You perv!" *melee* "We live and learn... and then we die... and forget it all." - Jimmy Carr Aryniadarel - WoW Darkmoon Faire
Proudly beating Wang, since '07. (Crackdown)


Nov 11 2011 10:07pm

Dash Starlight
 - Jedi Instructor
 Dash Starlight

Nice article Mic, it's a job well done. The way I see it, is that TOR is a new game and it'll be quite populair. The JA probably needs to reinvent itself and go with/adapt to the changes if it's going to survive. I'm happy to see the JA's doing just that. :)
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The name is Bond. James Bond.

Nov 01 2011 09:41pm

Mic Den Octela
 - Student
 Mic Den Octela

ARTICLE BEING UPDATED...
_______________
-Padawan of Virtue
-Brother of Menaxia, *|irael, Krynn Adept, Majno, Ris Win Juljul, DaMi3N, Beowulf, Dash Starlight, Carrock and Yuken Zalak
Bartender at Munes bar. Sir Mic of Nippledom! "KEITARO! You perv!" *melee* "We live and learn... and then we die... and forget it all." - Jimmy Carr Aryniadarel - WoW Darkmoon Faire
Proudly beating Wang, since '07. (Crackdown)


This comment was edited by Mic Den Octela on Nov 01 2011 09:46pm.

Nov 01 2011 03:15pm

Alex Dkana
 - Staff
 Alex Dkana

Well said Mic. :)

Hope the Academy as a whole embraces TOR, it's got a lot to offer if you let it. As you say even if you don't hold much love for TOR you can't deny it's potential to boost interest in the site here and have a knock on effect with people discovering/re-discovering JK.
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To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield | Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken | Rhaiko D'kana - SWTOR EU Guild Co-Founder | Is it what the teacher, teaches? Or what the student learns? A Dkana

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