Star Wars: The Old Republic Preview

After spending five hours of hands-on time with BioWare Austin's Star Wars: The Old Republic, the IGN editors have returned to their computers to bring us this informative two-page preview. A few paragraphs to get you started:
Things get more interesting in a party. Provided all members are near the quest giver, a shared dialogue sequence can be initiated. There are standard dialogue options, usually split into nice, neutral, and ill-mannered responses. In a shared conversation, my party member and I input our own dialogue choice, and a roll determines whose selection wins. Sometimes the outcome can be the difference between a "thank you" and a "shut up." And sometimes it can blow an engineering crew out an airlock.

It's a system made more exciting by the inclusion of Light and Dark Side points earned through decisions made. I'm told by one Jedi trainer to keep an eye on a young couple. It seems they might be in love, an emotional bond considered dangerous amongst Light Side saber-wielders. I track them down, learn their love to be true and am faced with a decision. If I turn them in, I get the standard quest reward and Light Side points. But if I decide to keep their relationship a secret, I get the bonus of a lightsaber crystal. Since there's no reloading the game in an MMO, these decisions are permanent, and I find I'm actually spending time thinking about how I want to treat these characters instead of blindly focusing on amassing money and experience.

At another point I'm given a quest to destroy a flesh raider elixir. Yet on my way I'm told by another NPC I'll get a cash reward should I return the elixir to him, since he'd like to use it for experimentation and research. I choose the latter path, neglecting to annihilate the concoction in exchange for a monetary bonus in addition to an allotment of Dark Side points. What are the long-term implications of these decisions, if any? I can't really say, but I can say that despite the familiar kill and collect quest goals, the storylines threaded through the tasks are strong, something I certainly hope is maintained throughout the experience.