The Degree of Innovation in Star Wars: The Old Republic
Date: 06-26-2010 Views:
KeyWords: Star Wars: The Old Republic,SWTOR,Vasily Tedeev,E3,Review
- Summary: The E3 Conference has recently ended taking away with it the flashy trailers, noisy parties and unfortunately, booth babes. At least we have received a constant stream of information regarding the most anticipated MMOs, SWOTOR among them.
The degree of innovation in Star Wars The Old RepublicBy Vasily Tedeev
V is happy that he took up writing again, something he had dreamed of doing ever since he was nine years old. Being a nonconforming combination of a social party animal and a gamer, he realized that his life amounted not to just games and women, but that he had to pursue his passions and self-development in other areas as well.
The E3 Conference has recently ended taking away with it the flashy trailers, noisy parties and unfortunately, booth babes. At least we have received a constant stream of information regarding the most anticipated MMOs, SWOTOR among them. The recent reveals with regards to game mechanics such as crafting, exploration and certain elements of PvP have caused quite a stir within the game’s formed community. Words were spoken and arguments erupted with regards to whether the Old Republic is shaping up to be a WoW clone or just another generic MMO, albeit one with high production values.
Today we take a look at how innovation is implemented in online games and specifically within Star Wars: The Old Republic - the upcoming game from BioWare. Sit back, relax and enjoy your ride.
As any seasoned industry veteran will tell you, game developers usually have a good idea of what the strong points of their game will be. Different companies prefer to concentrate on different things but the principle is the same – you focus on certain parts of your game in order for them to be superior and try to make sure that the less vital ones are at least up to the industry standard. An example would be a game designer thinking: “Right, combat will be a complete blast with some cool mechanics and elements, customization will also be very in-depth with total freedom of expression and we might throw in some social stuff for role-playing if we ever get to it but we won’t have enough time to do meaningful exploration.” So in this imaginary game, two things will be done really well, one might have some interesting features and the third will be generic or non-existent.
With SWOTOR, we can consider (with a fair bit of accuracy) the features that BioWare really wants to shine. They all have a strategic ‘fit’ within the company’s philosophy of creating games and the specific mix makes sense from this point of view.
Story – by providing meaningful interaction with the world and its inhabitants, BioWare aims to truly immerse players into their game. Although this should come of no surprise given the team’s previous titles (Baldur’s Gate, Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins), BioWare is actually being highly innovative in the MMO space as no other game in the genre has attempted to do this before them. Class stories, full voice-overs and branching dialogue options with consequences are all a significant part of the game experience. Storylines in the majority of MMOs tend to be tacked on as a reason for players to kill things rather than really engaging them and SWOTOR plans to change that.