Star Wars: The Old Republic Previews

We have rounded up a few new previews for BioWare's upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic (whose global launch is slated for December 20th), courtesy of its showing at New York's Comic-Con 2011.

Crave Online:
Having already dabbled in PvE content, I jumped at the chance to compete with other players. Our group settled into our computer stations and were informed that we'd be testing out the Alderaan map. My computer was loaded up with a Sith Assassin, a double-sided light saber wielding melee warrior. Even at level 14, there were enough skills unlocked to fill up the better part of two 12-slot action bars.

Fortunately, BioWare had the presence of mind to arrange said skills by basic attack, control skill, ranged attacks and buffs and debuffs.

Once all of us had the chance to look over our abilities, the map loaded up and we waited for the signal to start. Each factions starting area sat high atop the actual battle zone and spawned a number of speeder bikes. Clicking on the awesome speeder bikes mounted your character on them and sent you flying down towards the map below.

This was a nice little feature and only got better when I found out that dying did not cause you to have a respawn timer. Instead, your only delay to returning to the action was the time it took to ride the speeder bikes back from your starting area.

Stephen Reid frightened the audience when he mentioned this presentation would be a math problem. Luckily, the math he was talking about was quite interesting. He started with the number one. He explained that the number one represents that the team is working on only one game. As of right now, there are no discussions of a sequel and the team is putting all of their ideas and effort into Star Wars: The Old Republic. Stephen assured the audience that the team is 100% committed to this game and this game alone.

Reid asked Daniel Erickson to describe some of the aspects of the game. 15, Erickson began to explain, was the number of Flashpoints, special "instance" style dungeons, that would launch with the game. The crowd roared even louder when Erickson mentioned there would always be an appropriate Flashpoint for every level, in addition to endgame Flashpoints. Furthermore, there would be more narrative heavy or action heavy Flashpoints available for player's with particular preferences.

Another aspect, Erickson spoke about briefly, was the game's Operations. Operations are Star Wars: The Old Republic's answer to Raids. He teased a new Operation pertaining to the Hutts capitalizing on their neutral role in the galaxy, but cut short as to not reveal too much.

And then GameZone gives us a set of bullet points:
'¢ Fleets are the main launch point for flashpoints, auctions, and best vendors
'¢ Star Wars The Old Republic Collector's Edition has access to VIP fleet whenever visitng your city
'¢ Daniel Erickson stated, "Writing is done for TOR and I still have a job."  This means expansions are being worked on!
'¢ There are small bosses aside from the end game bosses being huge droids and rancors
'¢ Severe Lightside and Darkside points will alter the look of your character, but will not affect skills
'¢ Pazaak and other minigames will not be in the game at launch.  Maybe in the future, though
'¢ If you wish to change your character alignment you can "repent" by completing diplomacy missions, running dailies, etc.
'¢ No different lightsaber types for lightsaber users.  "Lightsaber types are restricted by class and defines the class."
'¢ Dungeon finder "words for established games, not in yet"
'¢ There is an NDA lift date
'¢ No option to purchase valor ranks with cheap currency