Star Wars: The Old Republic Preview

GameSpot is offering up some updated impressions of Star Wars: The Old Republic, presumably based on what was seen of the MMORPG during the recent press event at LucasArts' headquarters.
The development team reiterated its commitment to deliver an enjoyable Star Wars experience above all else, and suggested that this outlook also influenced the game's character design. Rather than focus on standard online RPG archetypes such as "healer," "tank" (frontline fighter who soaks up damage from enemies), and "DPS" (or "damage per second," a combat character that focuses on dealing as much damage as possible), the team is focusing on creating characters who are fun to play and provide the kind of experience you'd expect from playing such a character in a Star Wars game.

However, in the interest of game balance, the studio is adding several game features that will help make the game enjoyable to play without having lopsided character classes or forcing players to group with certain other professions to have any kind of chance. For starters, each class is being designed around a number of different themes that can apparently be specialized in to customize your character around your playing style. The example given was the smuggler profession, whose general themes include "luck," "recklessness," "opportunity," and "cowboy." These themes contributed to designing the class around two different archetypes: a "gunslinger" archetype that uses such skills as taking cover in combat and using a "dirty kick" attack in melee, while carrying dual pistols into battle and using smooth-talking skills to get out of sticky situations; and a "scoundrel" archetype that focuses more on stealth and critical headshot hits, as well as unconventional medical skills--reminiscent of the way Han Solo rescued a frostbitten Luke in The Empire Strikes Back by gutting a tauntaun and shoving Luke's body into the beast's warm carcass.