Star Wars: The Old Republic Preview

IncGamers has slapped up a two-page preview of Star Wars: The Old Republic, based on some recent hands-on time with the sci-fi MMORPG at LucasArts' offices.
Based solely on the short dialogue trees we've experienced (they're dialogue shrubs, really) it's impossible to overstate how much of a difference it makes. Having quests explained to you bit by bit, with your own conversational gambits eking out more detail, not only establishes the NPC you're talking to as a character in their own right, but also your character. You're not a faceless avatar. You're a living, breathing person in this universe, who interacts with other characters, as opposed something that has to move close to people so that you can quick-accept quests and then check your log to see where you can find the five rabbits you need to kill. And then again and again, because only one in three rabbits has an ear.

Our quest took place on what looked suspiciously like the Sith world of Korriban, where our Sith Inquisitor one of the two newly announced character classes was tasked with finding and activating an ancient artefact called the Red Engine, buried deep within an even more ancient tomb. Along the way, if we fancied killing off some escaped slaves and destroying some robots, that would be just darling of us.

The Sith Inquisitor, as a class, is based around the use of the dark side of the Force. While the Sith Warrior focuses on strength and skill with a lightsaber, the Inquisitor is more of a support/ranged class with some painful-looking lightning powers at her disposal. Healing and Force regeneration are made equally easy through the use of Dark Meditation, which functions a little akin to food in most other MMOs, although we imagine similar powers will probably be available for the other classes to minimise downtime between fights. The Inquisitor can, however, heal the dev team explained to us that, in an attempt to avoid the (need tank) and (need heal) of other MMOs, classes will be capable of fulfilling most roles on the battlefield.