BioWare has released a new video for Star Wars: The Old Republic detailing end game content starting with an entry level Operation called the Eternity Vault. This is the introductory Operation offered up to players who have just reached level 50 and is available for both the Republic and Empire.
Operations are content for high level characters, BioWare’s own version of a raid. This particular raid is set up for 8 players and is commentated by the man with the greatest name in game development, Dallas Dickinson.
Take a look for yourself and feel the force flowing through you.
The assault begins with the players’ ship coming under heavy fire entering orbit around the planet Belsavus. As the ship goes down in flames, players are directed to escape pods aimed at the planet’s surface. Once there your group must meet up and begin the attack on the Vault’s outer defenses.
The first wave of trash mobs are defeated without too much difficulty. This is followed by a short boss fight with the Annihilation Droid XRR-3 at the entrance to the prison.
As combat starts Mr. Dickinson narrates the abilities and responsibilities of the different group members. Jumping from one character to another the battle ends with only half the group members alive. Not the cleanest kill, but a kill none the less.
Here’s what BioWare has to say about their latest glimpse of The Old Republic:
"A prison discovered buried in the ice on Belsavis is thought to house an ancient and deadly evil that could threaten the galaxy. To counter this threat, General Threnoldt dispatches Imperial forces to investigate the prison and confront the dangers within. Watch as a group of players work their way towards the prison gates in the opening section of the Eternity Vault, one of the high-level Operations in Star Wars: The Old Republic."
Each time the video changes perspectives you can see subtle differences in the layout of the players UI. A customizable user interface is a huge selling point for me. It will be interesting to see whether or not the elements can be changed at any time by the player or whether or not they adjust to fit your specialization.
From the preview of the rest of the Eternity Vault’s combat, BioWare is giving us a peek at a few different environments and encounters including one which seems to have a puzzle built into the encounter.
The combat scenes look familiar to an experienced MMORPG player which is exactly what BioWare is intending for The Old Republic. From the UI to the encounter mechanics, anyone who has played Warhammer, Rift, World of Warcraft, etc. will be able to jump right in. Reinventing the wheel in terms of combat isn’t what they’re going for here. The unique story-driven player experience is something BioWare intends to perfect in order to keep the Star Wars community hooked for the long haul.
What we’re also getting is a closer look at the class specializations and abilities. The Juggernaut is your typical tank, the person responsible for attracting the most attention and taking the most damage for the group. The Assassin is a strong melee DPS & force user capable of off-tanking a few mobs when necessary to compliment the Juggernaut.
The Sith Sorcerer sounds reminiscent of a Discipline Priest healer from World of Warcraft, using Force Shields to absorb damage much like the Disc Priest’s Power Word: Shield. However, this specialization isn’t limited to healing. They are a hybrid class consisting of a caster DPS and a support role who uses the force from range.
This most recent video has a polished look and feel to it. With a closed Beta already underway and the promise of a late 2011 release, Star Wars: The Old Republic is progressing fairly well. Pre-order sales continue to break records for parent company EA games so the hype is mounting at a feverish pace.
Considering the last major event for Star Wars fans was the prequels, I’d like to think BioWare has some room for error here. That being said there’s nothing quite comparable to the wrath of a Star Wars nerd. From what I’ve played and seen The Old Republic should keep us all happy for quite some time.