by: Justin Davis
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Star Wars The Old Republic is the new Star Wars MMO on the block, and it is shaping up to be an excellent set of new Star Wars adventures for kids and adults alike. But to answer the WoW vs. Star Wars The Old Republic question, we need to know just how good the Old Republic PVP will be.
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Star Wars: The Old Republic
Remember Star Wars Galaxies, Sony's (in)famous contribution to the Star Wars video game library? Remember how part of the great fun of Galaxies was fighting against your friends who happened to be heartless Imperials, or Rebel scum for that matter? Well it looks like Bioware's new MMO, Star Wars The Old Republic's PVP is shaping up to be well, galaxies better than Star Wars Galaxies, or even WoW, ever was. The new PVP system for The Old Republic is, of course, faction based, but that is where the similarities with other games vanish like poor poor Alderaan.
But what is the PVP really like in Star Wars The Old Republic, and why is it getting so much hype? Continue reading to find out why The Old Republic's PVP may be the real WoW killer we all hope it will.
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Star Wars The Old Republic: Allegiances
First things first, the PVP, along with most of the game, is based on "Allegiances". There are two "Allegiances" in the Old Republic, the Galatic Republic (the good guys), and the Sith Empire (the bad guys). Obviously, the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire are on opposite sides of an absolutely epic war, spanning multiple worlds and eons. Thus, if you roll a Jedi Knight, expect to be hit by Force Lightning at some point, and if you are an Imperial Agent, well everybody knows that Han shot first. Accordingly, if you are a member of the Galactic Republic, most, if not all of your PVP encounters will be against players allied with the Sith Empire. In Star War: The Old Republic (swtor for short), most PVP encounters will be limited to team vs team, with a current limit of 8v8. That is a lot of blaster burn waiting to happen.
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The Old Republic PVP: Warzones
Aside from "Allegiance" warfare, the other backbone of the Star Wars The Old Republic PVP experience are what the developers are calling "Warzones". Warzones look like they will be separate zones, or areas of conflict, that have special set pieces designed to give either allegiance a tactical advantage throughout the rest of the game.
Just ask Gabe Amantangelo, the lead PVP designer for The Old Republic MMO, "So like you are saying, we wanted to make the feel of the battle very immersive. We wanted to take out the sort of “otherworldly elements" like banners and flags, and stuff like that. Now when I say “take out" we gave it a visceral coat of paint, because ultimately when you have an objective based PvP type thing, you can say “Hey, there are objectives, there are banners," but it's a lot more interesting when it's a gun that you are trying to re-aim to an enemy's ship to eventually see it destroyed. I channeled scenes out of Star Wars, like what if we were playing in a scene, and that' what it is."
Sounds immersive to me. Just imagine a giant Ion Turret, like the Rebel one on Hoth, that has to clear the way for a Galactic Republic Envoy to deliver supplies to the main moon base. Unfortunately, that Ion Turret is being attacked by a ground force of Sith Empire shock troops including Sith Warriors. Instead of banners or flags glowing a certain color to indicate control shifts, maybe that Ion Turret explodes spectacularly, or a giant Destroyer ship comes crashing down into the moon after having its electronics fried.
These potentially amazing set pieces and mission based Warzone PVP are precisely what gamers and fans want to spend their credits on, and hopefully Star Wars The Old Republic can deliver on these promising ideas. Unfortunately, that is all the information on The Old Republic's PVP system we have at the moment, but stay tuned for updates as that information becomes available.