SWTOR Ships and PvP…. ehhh I don’t know.

During the EA press conference…. well, during the end of what was a rather boring press conference… SWTOR finally had a few minutes.  Two big announcements were dropped on us like they were nothing: Space Ships and PvP.

“Every player will get his or her own starship.”

“We want a player ship to represent not only a right of passage but an expression of his or her personal style”

“They offer home for players to use as a base of operations from which to explore the galaxy”.

First Thought: COOL!

Second Thought: Wait… “Base of operations” … dang, I bet that’s totally going to be instanced and used as a way to launch into more instances and private missions.  It’s going to be handled just like KOTOR used them.  I’m willing to be it won’t be more than a few cutscenes and opportunities to talk to your companions within the ships like players have been doing in the Taverns in Neverwinter Nights.  It’s like a little place to find a temporary reprieve from the world.  I think one would be silly to think there is going to be any sort of flying these around in any sort of real-time exploration, fighting, or flight.  At most — and I really do mean this to be the extreme of what we may see — we’ll get to decorate them and invite a friend over to check out our “personal style”.

Now in regards to igniting the whole “Which side are you on?” thing, we’ll be doing that by choosing our class from the start.  I’m actually very surprised to learn that they will be doing PvP since I had assumed they were going to avoid it altogether.  The surprise comes from a lack of faith ( In before “I find your lack of faith disturbing” quotes) but it definitely seems silly to have ever ruled it out.  SWTOR will be instanced out the wazoo and battlegrounds type PvP fits it perfectly.

“War zones” <— The name of their Battlegrounds?

“Our first war zone will be on the planet Alderonn Alderaan (Thanks Wren!)” <— Okay, so there will be more than one.

Now the question is whether or not these “war zones” will be mini-game’esque or will they factor into character progression?  How will this be folded into the gameplay?  Perhaps we’ll get more answers later this week.

I’m incredible skeptical about how either of these will be pulled off gracefully to the extent that they really mean anything to the game.  I think the trailer is amazing, but also not anything like what we’re going to be doing in-game of course.  I would have preferred them showing us actual gameplay of the spaceships and actual PvP gameplay rather than just nonchalantly announcing the biggest updates to the game in many months.

Crossing my fingers for more info.

  • I like battlegrounds so long as they are cool environments full of interested player that I can force choke; hopefully it won’t be a rep grind…

  • The most likely answer for the ship is something like Mass Effect 2. That’s neat and all, but not space combat.

    As for the War Zones… tough to tell. They could be scenarios or it could be something similar to WAR’s RvR lakes.

    I’m not expecting anything too crazy out of TOR. If you look at Bioware’s games, they are very well done but pretty formulaic in their features.

  • I really hope the War Zones don’t contain point grinds.(pvp points, honor points, win tokens, renown rank). Most battleground systems devolve into both sides either improperly playing to grind extra points, players getting farmed by pre-built teams for extra points, and players just playing to grind instead of to win. I’d like the War Zones to be about the PVP instead of yet another carrot on a stick.

  • Also, it does sound like the game is going to be highly fragmented by instancing. Couple that with players potentially obtaining missions from their ships, and there’s a good possibility of it turning into a massively multi-player, single-player game.

  • Star Ships just sounded like another word for character housing to me. eg, FFXI. So instead of a Mog you’d have your version of R2D2 waiting for you.

    As far as the trailer goes, it would be great if they had a grouped instance where your plowing your way through a large scale war that was always fluid and moving. However, I’m sure our processors and their servers would explode trying to handle all the data.

  • Well me personally couldn’t be more excited, I fully expect instancing and everything else and honestly couldn’t care less because even if it just ends up a mostly single player game it’s everything I want right now. I would rather this be a guild wars clone with the bioware touch than yet another wow clone honestly so I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for now.

  • I’m not excited about this game at all, honestly. I think it’s going to be another big step in the direction of closed, hybrid payment model, contained MMO’s that we all dread.

    No more big open worlds or planets. We’ve have war zones and personalized ship instances now.

  • My interest is waning in this one. If it’s one-time payment, I’ll play it. Nothing I’ve read or seen is convincing me this is a subscription game though.

  • I’m not sure on the source of the quote about the War Zone on “Alderon”, but I’m about 99% positive it ought to be Alderaan (pronunciation is the same).

    And as far as TOR goes, it’s sounding more and more like a single-player game and less and less like an MMORPG. When I hear starships, I pray, literally PRAY for something closer to Allods ships and further from KOTOR’s “ships”.

    At this point I am willing to wait and see without passing judgment but the more they say the more it sounds like KOTOR. Highly instanced? Yep, you couldn’t even walk down a hallway in a space station in KOTOR 2 without running smack in to a loading screen. Space ships acting as a base? Yep, KOTOR had one. Companions? Please, please, please, take these away. I have nightmarish images in my head of players min-maxing their companions in raids. Considering they step in to the gameplay and combat, it’s inevitable that certain companions will be demanded of certain players based on their role in the group unless companions aren’t able to enter instanced dungeons and raids.

    At the very least I will buy a (standard edition) copy of the game, unless something amazing changes my opinion, and try it for the free month they’ll inevitably give all new accounts. If it is disappointing, it will be added to my stack of PC boxes, if not I’ll subscribe. Just gotta wait for the beta and see.

  • You are probably pretty spot on about the “Spaceships”. They will just be the TOR equivalent to a Mog House or Guild Housing. A place for yourself and maybe your friends to gather, craft, decorate with your spoils of war, nothing more.

    The thing that disappoints me more than anything is the inclusion of PvP in the game. Every single MMO that I have played that has had ANY form of PvP has always ended up ruining itself by attempting to balance for PvP. Things that could be fun and interesting being relegated to the recycle bin because they were too strong in certain situations. I can only hope that BioWare doesn’t screw that up as badly as NCsoft, Blizzard, Sony, and all the other game producers have done with MMOs and PvP in the past.

  • The personal ships sounds like player housing to me.

    Sounds like Everquest II’s housing , you have a central entrance and then you instance into a house. So i assume there will be a similar “dock-station” from where you enter to the ship.

    I suppose the only diff might be that you might be able to “dock” at different places [hence your house coming with you].

  • I’m not so sure that the Spaceships are instanced. I read on IGN that you’ll be able to customize, because they didnt wanted to see thousands of copies flying around. This make me believe that ships wont be instanced

  • I watched all of E3 live on IGN yesterday. http://e3.ign.com/2010/live/

    They have a schedule of live game play for the next few days. I saw on the schedule that SWTOR is scheduled for Wednesday, 340 pm PST. Lets hope it provides many of the unanswered questions we all have.

  • @Lost Rambo

    When people say that starships are instanced, they mean that the starship “isn’t really there”. Like, take a dungeon in WoW. If you enter it, you enter your or your groups instance of that same dungeon. So there are thousands of (instances of) the same dungeon with various levels of progression and contents. Contrast this to “non-instanced” meaning if there’s a dungeon and if you walk into it, you will be in the same dungeon as anyone else who also walked in to it.

    Player housing often has the same “instanced” feel to it. In DAOC, the housing zone was MASSIVE! you could potentially walk for an hour to walk between your friends guild house and yours. In LOTRO, the housing zones were much smaller and cozier, but instanced. your house was a tangiable thing (although you zoned into a ‘house instance’ when you entered it like in DAOC). In Anarchy Online (iirc) everyone would walk up to the same button and push it, and you would be teleported to your instance of housing. That’s how i imagine this game will work similarly to as well.

    “We want a player ship to represent not only a rite of passage but an expression of his or her personal style” Means: At level 30 you can buy your mount, which can be customized on the inside.

    “base of operations” Means: Hearthstone bind point + Instant travel between planet instances.

    “War zones” Means: EVERYONE INTO DARTH MAULS ROOM NAO!!!!1

  • If it’s a giant instanced POS like star trek online .. then this will be the biggest epic fail in the history of MMO games. Please don’t let this happen Bioware.

  • If these starships are available to see in the game world. And I can park mine right next to my buddies, we’ve got a winner.

    I fully expect they’ll work exactly like they do in KotOR and Mass Effect though. I don’t even look for there to be the capability of space battles on the level of Star Trek Online.

    TBH, we’re looking a a bridge instance where you pick your next destination, and then STO ground missions with awesome voice acting and stronger combat mechanics.

    This does not interest me. If this is all Bioware has up thier sleeve, I’m out.

  • Remains to be seen how this turns out. Heavily instanced games, the idea doesn’t appeal to me as I’m all about my persistent worlds but I can see it being fun if done right (big if).

    I’ll still end up getting this. I mean…it’s a freakin new star wars mmo made by bioware! even if the mmo part fails there will still be some awesome content to play through

  • Looks great – sounds exciting on the surface but this seems like it is going to be bland. All the shiny bells and whistles…good for a month or two of play followed by disappointment. Then Bioware will panic and try to salvage the game 6 months after release.

    I really don’t get why these games always fail…the Devs try to accommodate the WOW-esque player base by implementing lame features that so many people ask for. A few vocal and hardcore MMORPG fans will predict failure of the game due to a lack of substance often. These games fail even though they are tailored for the masses?

    Are they just not tailored enough for the masses (meaning…super simple and lame and superficial) or are the hardcore MMORPG fans right?