Amongst the forthcoming MMOs the one I'm currently looking forwards to the most is Bioware's The Old Republic. It's nothing to do with the game being set in the Star Wars galaxy, as I explained before, but rather the integration of story and the fact it's being developed by my favourite development studio.
Whenever I start a new MMO I always start off with a rogue-ish utility class as my main character, then move on to healers and tanks with alts. I'm not sure why I've developed this habit, but I did it in Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, EQ2, Lord of the Rings Online, and Age of Conan. I guess the stealthy classes just appeal to me more. Anyway, the class I'm currently planning on starting first when The Old Republic launches is the Smuggler. I mean who doesn't want to be Han Solo right?
Well over the past couple of weeks Bioware have released some more information on the class I'm planning to play, starting with this new video.
The latest info they have released is how their Advanced Class systems works and they used the Smuggler as the example. It's worth explaining that there are eight classes in the game (4 Galactic Republic and 4 Sith Empire), and each class will at some point have to pick an Advanced Class. This means you will have eight storylines (each with over 250 hours of gameplay) and effectively sixteen classes. Right now the Advanced Class choice is taken at level 10, but that may change before release.
The last update details the way the skill sets for each Advanced Class will work. Effectively they are like talent trees, with each Advanced Class having access to two unique skill sets and a shared skill set. What this seems to mean in practice is that each class will have potential access to five different skill sets. I'm hoping that this will lead to a good deal of class customisation and fewer cookie-cutter builds (though if one or two builds turn out to be a lot more powerful than others I guess they will end up accounting for most characters). It certainly gives the potential for some odd builds; stealth healers have been mentioned for example.
It's great that we are actually starting to get some details of the mechanics of the game now, rather than the class/planet/race reveals of before.
I think the best thing of all in this update though is the fact that Scoundrels get an ability called "Shoot First". That seems like a very amusing way of sticking two fingers up at George Lucas and his awful reimagining of the Solo/Greedo encounter!
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