My name is Charlie, but if your looking for my work, I go by C. E. Dorsett. I write scifi, fantasy, and a touch of horror. I like to play with gothic, steampunk, decopunk, epic fantasy, and wuxia. I love to tell stories and talk about books, movies, series, and music.
Star Wars: The Old Republic Trailer
I loved Knights of the Old Republic and enjoyed Knights of the Old Republic 2, and the more I see from the new Star Wars MMO The Old Republic, the more I want to play it!
The trailer blew me away, and the details from the demo thrill me!
Welcome to the first fully-voiced MMO ever, filled with BioWare-style dialog choices, including the first-ever multi-character dialog system - in other words, two characters who enter a "flashpoint," the game's term for cutscenes, will both be able to participate in a story- and character-advancing dialog engagement that can drastically alter the outcome and reward of a mission (Gay Gamer).
I hope the fact that the MMO will have a story will discourage many of the people who make MMOs less fun from playing.
Other tantalizing hints about which we received few details from a tight-lipped LucasArts: a light/dark path system for all characters that further enhances character progression (we saw a Sith character earn light side points for sparing an Imperial captain during a flashpoint scene) and, in true BioWare fashion, romance possibilities. No word, of course, on same-sex romance possibilities (Gay Gamer).
I can't wait to see how this all comes together in the game. It sounds like it is going to be the Star Wars MMO I have wanted since they messed up Star Wars Galaxies again.
Headlines for February 24th through March 11th
These are my links for February 24th through March 11th:
- Darth Revan Mighty Muggs - I am a huge fan of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, so you can only imagine my excitement whe
- STO Update: New Screenshots + First Pre-order + More | TrekMovie.com -
- First look at Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy sequel cover | SCI FI Wire -
- Michael Bay to cast Frank Welker as Soundwave in Transformers 2? | SCI FI Wire -
- Up Trailer 2009 - Project: Shadow HQ -
- X-Men's Mystique to bewitch in Eastwick | SCI FI Wire -
- GateWorld » Peter DeLuise will direct SGU’s ‘Fire’ -
- Cryptomundo » “Black Tiger” Found In Sri Lanka -
- 'Vampire' discovered in mass grave - science-in-society - 06 March 2009 - New Scientist -
- 8 Confessions of a Star Wars Galaxies CSR : Regretful Morning -
- boxee blog » the trials and tribulations of innovation -
- Red Dwarf returns in a two-part Easter special - SFFMedia -
- Green Lantern producer shines a light on emerald hero's origins | SCI FI Wire -
- Box Office: Watchmen Down 24% Saturday; Is Word-Of-Mouth “Killing the Masks?” | /Film -
- The New California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. - Project: Shadow HQ -
- Superman Returns Sequel To Be Titled Superman Unleashed? | /Film -
- Stephen Fry Confirms His Turn as The Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland | /Film - I love Stephen Fry, and this just makes me smile.
- Dragonball Trailer 2 - Project: Shadow HQ -
- Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian Trailer - Project: Shadow HQ -
- 1978 Battlestar Galactica Big Screen Movie? | /Film - (sigh)
- Cryptomundo » What Was The Mystery Body? - Spread the word about this. The police know what they found and there is no reason for all this weirdness.
- Unexplained Mysteries :: Werewolf reported in Brazil - OMG, this is one of those stories that makes me shake my head and say WTF. I am not sure what is going on, but something is. There are victims, but who or what is doing it?
These topics and more covered in our daily podcast, Project: Shadow Informant.
Costumes, Role Playing, and Unity
One of my absolute favorite aspects of fandom is the costuming and roleplaying, and I would have to say they are the two most maligned and stigmatized things that we do. Let's start with the most accepted by the popular culture and proceed to the least understood.
Computer Roleplaying Games
Mass appeal of video games have normalized RPGs on the computer, and why not. Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, and Knights of the Old Republic were all such brilliant games, it is hard to see how they couldn't have had a mass market appeal, but in the one place where Roleplaying should flourish, it is all but extinct.
There was once a type of game known as the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG). The problem is that these too entered the popular culture, and they spawned a new bane: badge collectors. A sizable number of the MMORPG players became obsessed with their statistics, what badges they earned, and what loot they could get. The software companies saw these players as their core audience and in some cases, there only audience.
The games were increasingly designed for these players and not for the fans of story. Coinidentally, the acronym was shortened from MMORPG to simply MMO. Players have done what they can to keep roleplaying alive, but they are generally isolated to a specific server or guild, and they are not aided by the software designers who more and more are crafting games that challenge your prowess with a keyboard and mouse and don't require any thought whatsoever.
This is one of the reasons I am so excited about Star Wars: The Old Republic and Stargate Worlds. They are trying to bring story into the games and make it front and center. I wish them the best of luck.
Table Top Role Playing Games
Table top RPG fans are the geeks that geeks love to hate. Don't believe me? Listen carefully to a lot of the podcasts out there. It won't take you too long to find people having a geeky conversation about their favorite tech and occationally mocking TTRPG players.
Table Top games are not as easy to play as their computerized bretheren, but they are a lot more fun. There are more requirements to play:
- The Rule Books
- Friends who have free time to come over
I didn't stutter at the end, and no, I am not padding the list. Creativity is the ability to think originally, and imagination is the ability to see with the minds eye events as they are described to you.
I think those last two more than anything else makes people not like tabel top games. Personally, I love them. I run an Earthdawn game at the house every Sunday. Nothing brings friends together for a good time like a shared adventure built from the collective imaginations of everyone there.
Live Action Role Playing
Live Action Role Playing (LARPing) is penultimate expression of role playing. There are numerous systems for LARPing and they all generally involve renting a location, playing in a park, or the storyteller's home. Most LARPers dress up in elaborate costumes and carry props to aid in game play.
I used to play Vampire: The Masquerade both as a table top game and as a LARP, and I have to say, the LARPs were always more fun. We played at local conventions and I ran a chronicle that spanned various players homes, parks, and a few businesses who allowed us to use their establishment.
Who doesn't enjoy getting dressed up and spending a night as someone else?
One aspect of the LARPs I've played that made them so fun was that they were locked to the locations they took place. The story was handled through notes given to the players to explain what happened between sessions, and a couple players who agreed to play according to the scripted motives I provided for them. To this day, some of my favorite memories took place at LARPs.
We were a part of a LARP network where storytellers coordinated large scale events between cities, and at conventions our players would play through pivitol stories. The largest LARP event we threw had 500 players in attendence. 3,00o players made up the network. We coordinated through a email list.
LARPs are emense fun, and I miss them terribly. I had hoped that MMOs would provide a platform for virtual LARPs, but so far, they haven't.
Some people just love dressing up. They don't roleplay at all, they just wear the costume for enjoyment. For some, it is an uniform. For others, it is an expression of their identification with the character or race they are recreating. And others do it for the challenge of recreating the costume.
Steampunk is an entire movement built around costuming for the sheer fun of it.
Fans who Play together Stay together
Most of the deep, personal relationships I have developed with fans over the years has been between fans I have roleplayed with. We share an experience that is truly unique to the players who were there. Memories of events that are not replecatable in real life.
All these years later, I still run into people at the conventions who remeber the night my Taleison should have seen his reflection in the mirror and went mad. We talk about it like a moment from a movie or series that we loved, but our connection to the event is so much more personal because we were there when it happened.
So if you haven't before. I hightly recommend to gather up your friends and play a game with them. Feel free to choose the type, but make sure it is one that will build those memories that will last a lifetime.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
LucasArts and BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc., today announced the development of Star Wars®: The Old Republic™, a story-driven massively multiplayer online PC game set in the timeframe of the Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™ franchise. Star Wars: The Old Republic, being developed and published by BioWare and LucasArts, represents an innovative approach to interactive entertainment, featuring immersive storytelling, dynamic combat and intelligent companion characters (Star Wars: The Old Republic).
It is nearly impossible for me to contain my excitement about this game. I heard the rumors for ages, but I never dared to believe they could possibly come true.
I am not new to Star Wars MMOs. I have been an off and on player of Star Wars Galaxies for years. The love/hate development cycle Sony Online Entertainment has maintained for years has kept me falling in and out of love with the game. I often joked with my friends that a day would come when someone other than SOE would one day make a new game. That day has finally come.
I am not sure I would be as excited as I am if anyone other than Bioware were making the game. Knights of the Old Republic is one of the best games I have ever played, rivaling Final Fantasy VII for the top slot on the list. Add to that their success with Mass Effect, and my hopes are exceedingly high. Now, I will be the first to admit that Knights of the Old Republic II was not the best game and could have used much more time in development before release, but the potential was still there, and even though it was incomplete, it was still enjoyable.
What excites me the most about Bioware making an MMO is that they are masters of story and setting. Two things often missing from most MMOs. Even better is there goals for the game:
"Traditionally, massively multiplayer online games have been about three basic gameplay pillars - combat, exploration and character progression," said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder and General Manager/CEO of BioWare and General Manager/Vice President of Electronic Arts Inc., "In Star Wars: The Old Republic, we’re fusing BioWare’s heritage of critically-acclaimed storytelling with the amazing pedigree of Lucasfilm and LucasArts, and adding a brand-new fourth pillar to the equation – story. At the same time, we will still deliver all the fun features and activities that fans have come to expect in a AAA massively multiplayer online game. To top it all off, Star Wars: The Old Republic is set in a very exciting, dynamic period in the Star Wars universe (Star Wars: The Old Republic)."
I have been skeptical about claims like this in the past, but since it is Bioware. They are the one company that have the long track record making brilliantly enthralling role playing games. A track record is of course no guarantee. Square Enix did not do the best job with Final Fantasy XI.
What they are hoping to accomplish is a game with few instances where the choices of the players dictate the events in the setting. Many have tried this in the past, and I have heard good things about Warhammer Online.
Dr. Greg Zeschuk, Co-Founder and Vice President Development Operations, BioWare and Vice President, Electronic Arts Inc. [added], "Star Wars: The Old Republic is set roughly 300 years after the events of Knights of the Old Republic, a timeframe that is completely unexplored in the lore. BioWare has been able to add to the Star Wars history in developing the game’s story and has created an overarching narrative that players can enjoy, regardless of their play style. Our goal is to offer players an emotionally rewarding experience that combines the traditional elements of MMO gameplay with innovations in story and character development (Star Wars: The Old Republic)."
This is the dream, whether or not it can become a reality will have to wait to be seen. They have only a released a few hints at what they are working on.
1) The lightsabers in the screenshots will shrink – but not by much.
2) They really, really, really mean it when they say that there is story in this game and it is what sets Old Republic apart from every MMO out there.
3) You don’t pick good or evil right off the bat
4) There will be crafting, there will probably be guilds, there will definitely be PvP and there won’t be a whole lot of instancing
5) Star Wars: Galaxies is not getting shut down (Kotaku)
Yes, you will be able to travel to many of the planets featured in the Star Wars movies and in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. There will also be a number of new planets and star systems to explore (SWTOR FAQ).
There are many questions that need answering:
- What races will be available for play?
- How many factions will be represented in the game? Republic? Jedi? Sith? Hutt?
- What classes will be playable other than force sensitive?
- What planets will be included?
- Will there be space battles?
- How will squad based play work in game?
- How will they incorporate lightside/darkside meters into the game?
For more information see:
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Official Site
You may want to sign up for their community to try to get into the beta when it starts.
Knights of the Old Republic Online?
There is a lot of wishful thinking at the heart of the rumors going around.
- 6/12/2007- 1Up Reports that Bioware is planning an MMO release in 2009
- 10/30/2007- 1Up Reports that Bioware and LucusArts are working on a new "ground-breaking interactive entertainment product."
- 10/31/2007- 1Up's Patrick Klepek wrote: The Evidence for BioWare's Star Wars MMO
Now in an interview with Video Gaming 247, Ray Muzyka from Bioware confirmed that they are working on an MMO, and wheels begin to turn:
“I think the idea of emotion and narrative in an online game, combined with the best of breed features in MMOs ...
“And if you combine that with progression, exploration, customization and combat, which are the staples of current MMOs… with another pillar of story, and put it all in a social context, I think you have something that could be an incredibly rich and maybe the most compelling experience ever delivered. That’s our goal.”
The logical question for all of the Knights of the Old Republic fanboys like myself is, "What could be a more compelling than a Knights of the Old Republic MMO?"
I have been craving a new KotOR game for a long time. In fact, that is why I started playing Star Wars Galaxies. I really wanted more Star Wars and hoped Galaxies would fill that need. For a long time it did... until chapter 6 was released. The game became for the most part unplayable. No one wants a new Knights of the Old Republic Online than I do, but these rumors are even less than a whisper and a prayer.
I can only hope that is game is actually coming, and that if not, if we dream openly about it enough, perhaps the stars will align and this game will be made.
I will be keeping my eyes on this and hoping that something more concrete evidence of the games existence.