Star Wars: The Old Republic Previews

A few more sites have had the chance to sit down for a hands-on session with BioWare's upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. One site did not, instead having a hands-off preview up, that being The Escapist.
First, every character will have their own personal starship. Serving as a base of operations like the ships in Knights of the Old Republic or Mass Effect, these starships will allow players to interact with their companion characters and, presumably, tie in to the game's economy and crafting systems. The ships we saw, a Corellian light corvette for the Jedi and an Imperial transport for the Sith, were actually very impressive and bound to serve the aspirations of every Star Wars fan.
The Imperial Agent's story starts off on the seedy underworld of Nal Hutta, where your contact, an Imperial known only as "Keeper" sets you off on a mission to infiltrate the organization of Nem'ro the Hutt. The dialogue is convincing, and provides players with numerous options that should be familiar to any players of Bioware's previous RPGs. You'll be able to select from a number of different of responses that fit a particular tone or position you want to take with your subject and sometimes you'll have actions you can choose to perform as well. For example, I ran into a character within Nem'ro's stronghold that got the idea he knew me from somewhere; thinking that I could use this to my advantage I played along, only to find out I apparently owed the guy money, not so advantageous after all. However, being a girl, and a particularly fine one to boot, I attempted to flirt my way out of the situation, which failed miserably and resulted in me having to shank the poor bastard. I guess he just didn't dig blue chicks.
Will Tuttle: All jokes aside, did you get to see any space combat?

Ryan Scott: Nah -- the developers were hesitant to really come out and say what the status of that stuff is, and I got the impression that it's a secondary consideration at best. That's a shame, because if they decide to add it in later, it could flop -- World of Warcraft aside, MMOs don't have a terribly high success rate with implementing major new mechanical systems post-launch. I'd love to see some tense space combat in the vein of X-Wing or Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, but that might not be in the cards.
G4 TV.
They also stressed that you can play the game solo if you want, but that at the heart it is a multiplayer game. They want you to team up and go on raids, but it's nice to know you can go rogue and be a lone wolf if you like. They also want it to be a visceral MMO, where you can feel the lightsaber blaster deflections and see the sparks dive off the blades as they clash. They've also implemented a cover system, the first of its kind in an MMO, which is one of the Smuggler-class key abilities. You'll definitely be glad its there as you start taking blaster fire. More on that in a minute.
I don't have much to say about the combat mechanics in TOR because for the most part they're precisely what you would expect from a modern MMORPG. These mechanics have been refined over a decade to the point where there isn't much more to be done with them. Perhaps that's why Bioware has been able to focus so heavily on story as a design pillar, because the way has been paved for them in many other aspects of MMORPG development. I can report that there is no auto-attack, and I never felt inclined to use a lock-on button. Manual selection of targets and 1:1 combat actions make the combat immersive rather than a mindless chore.