It seems that lately, there has been less and less news leaking out about our little gem known as “The Old Republic.” So much so, that it seems that Bioware has been rehashing or just reconfirming old news. The past two weeks, though, Fan Friday has been littered with some new tidbits. The update on Jedi’s from last Friday did not come as much of a shocker. If you play a Jedi you will be able to be “bad.” Not evil, just bad.
The Jedi news did not come as a shock to me, and fits in very well with the way Bioware does their games, while not trouncing on Star Wars canon. The video they released with the news depicts a Jedi Knight standing outside an airlock, with a few enemies on the other side of the door. He then hits a button and releases his opponents into the bowels of space. Not exactly what I’d call a merciful act, and definitely does not fit the normal architecture of a Jedi. But still, it would seem this is about as “Evil” as a Jedi can get. Again, no surprise here as you can’t have your storyline Jedi Knights slip into the Dark Side of the Force (although I think that is a choice you should be able to make, there are plenty of Jedi in the books *cough* Anakin Skywalker *cough* who embrace the Dark Side and leave the Jedi way behind).
Beyond that comes this weeks major update, and that is about the Smugglers. This update was very intriguing, to say the least. There was quite a bit of re-released info about the way a smuggler plays, but Bioware also threw in some extra features as well, outlining the Smuggler’s companion, and their ship. Bioware is definitely showing their creativity in this part, but letting the Smuggler choose whichever companion they want, as long as it’s the Wookie. Oh, and of course, any ship they want as long as it’s the one that looks like the Millenium Falcon. Did you sense the sarcasm there? Good. While TOR his me super excited, this is the one aspect of the game that I feel it’s ok to complain about. There is NO (zero, zilch, nadda) customization with ship type, and in this case, companion character as well. I know that we currently do not have all of the info, so I’m holding out hope that this is something that changes in the future.
The Smuggler does have a unique play style to counteract this. One of the main things this class can do is “Stealth” and “Cover.” The stealth mechanic is nothing like you would see in World of Warcraft. In fact, it’s not even close. It would seem more like a hybrid of the “Sneak” ability in Everquest, which allowed you to be undetected by mobs by sneaking around them slowly, and not totally disappearing. In my eyes, this is an awesome addition to the game. It’s much more realistic than just completely disappearing from the screen. As for the cover system, this is great as well. A Smuggler can do more damage by hiding behind an obstacle and using it as not only a shield, but a vantage point from which to shoot and take out his enemies. This is a mechanic that is fairly fresh to the MMO genre, and a welcome addition.
As of right now, the Smuggler class has me the most intrigued. While I do plan on playing either a Jedi Knight or a Sith Warrior, as of right now a Smuggler will be my first alt. They bring a very unique play style to the game, and while their companion and ship are very Han Solo-esque, that is something that can be overlooked, especially if the story is done correctly. If you’d like to read more about this original class and it’s play mechanics, it can be checked out here, over at the TOR Official Site.