Rumor: The Old Republic's Space Combat Lacks Freedom [UPDATED]

Tom Goldman

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Aug 17, 2009
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Rumor: The Old Republic's Space Combat Lacks Freedom [UPDATED]



Leaked details from an upcoming feature on Star Wars: The Old Republic say that space combat will be a limited experience.

I'm labeling this one as pure rumor until clearer details come to the surface, but a German fansite that claims to have its hands on a future article covering translated by Google [http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Old-Republic-Pc/dp/B001CWXAP2/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1281388195&sr=8-9]) alleges that the game's space combat will be "on rails."

What this means is that my dream of a Tie Fighter side-game being added to The Old Republic has been killed. The translation likens space combat in BioWare/LucasArts' upcoming MMORPG to that from Star Wars: Rebel Assault, an interactive movie-style game from 1993. Space battles in Rebel Assault had players moving along a set path while simply aiming the targeting reticule at attacking enemies.

Space combat in The Old Republic is referred to as a "tunnel-shooter." The translation says BioWare preferred on-rails combat because it was more accessible. It's also called a "quick snack" with missions not taking very long to complete (the translation appears to say that none will take longer than 15 minutes, but is unclear), and is completely unnecessary if you don't want to play it.

The article straight up crushes my heart by saying:"A complexity as in X-Wing or Tie Fighter is not available, the space combat is more for casual players." Did they have to be so harsh? Tie Fighter and X-Wing are two awesome Star Wars fight combat sims from 1993 that had mounds of missions and some branching story paths depending on completed mission objectives.

So we won't be getting a ton of freedom, should this article turn out to be correct and translated properly (and I should stress that it very well might not be), but that doesn't mean the on-rails space combat will be garbage. If you've never played World of Warcraft, it has plenty of on-rails flight missions where players must bomb predetermined areas or "shoot" at enemies as they fly by, so this really shouldn't be considered bad news. I mean, did we really expect BioWare to put an entire flight sim into The Old Republic? I didn't, but why not hope for the best?

[UPDATE]According to an article in PC Gamer (found on the SW:TOR forums [http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=183181]), the space combat is indeed on rails. Players can move up, down, left, and right to avoid asteroids and such, but do not control their basic course. The missions will take 2 to 8 minutes, with PvP and multiplayer missions promised. The space combat is meant to be a cinematic experience. I'm still waiting until I play it to judge.

Via: Massively [http://www.massively.com/2010/08/08/rumor-the-old-republic-space-combat-on-rails/]

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JaredXE

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Actually, Jump to Lightspeed was the better of the expansions Galaxies had, and I wouldn't mind a space sim like that in TOR.
 

Dr. wonderful

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Part of me wishes this was true, part of me wishes it isn't.

But like you said, just a rumor...scuttlebutt.
 

Rubashov

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As long as it's not like the awful random fighter battles in KotOR, I'm fine with it.
 

sjrskl

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pc gamer also did an article about swtor (and will be released this month)is online and it seems this rumor is true, also the people on the swtor forums don't like it at all. luckily didn't expect more than a railshooter to begin with but there is a lot of crying and rage on the forums.
 

steamweedlegoblin

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Tom Goldman said:
I mean, did we really expect BioWare to put an entire flight sim into The Old Republic? I didn't, but why not hope for the best?
You might not have expected it, but I certainly did. This is Star Wars, after all. SOE did it. Why should BioWare not be expected to? This is one of those things that, if true, will mean that I will never touch this game ever, no matter how much I've enjoyed other BioWare games. Better to not include space combat whatsoever than reduce it to an on-rails shooter.
 

SharedProphet

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Space-combat-as-minigame makes a lot more sense than them building a whole new game to stick on. They're already blowing ridiculous amounts of cash on the development of this game; I would have been extremely surprised if they had time and money left over to create an entirely different game altogether (and in a genre which is far from BioWare's forte, no less).
dradiscontact said:
SOE did it.
As an eventual expansion...
 

Rigs83

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I'd never really have played a space shooter because I think it would be intensely annoying to have a fight between planets.
 

Woodsey

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We were discussing this in the TOR user group earlier, and I'm pretty sure it's already been debunked.

And why would PC Gamer have a cover feature that's all in relation to TOR's space combat if it's only on-the-rails in the first place? Doesn't add up, and like I said, I'm pretty sure it's been debunked already.

I take it no one's read the PCG feature yet if we're having to take hearsay from a translated German mag.
 

tehroc

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Space Combat will be garbage then. Yes the flights in WOW are just as equally lame.
 

thethingthatlurks

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That sounds really awful, actually worse than the random shoot outs in KotOR. At least it's optional, and I hope it stays that way.
 

Fappy

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I really hope this isn't true. A good example of fun (definitely not perfect, but fun) space combat is as easy as looking a few years back at Battlefront II. If space combat is anything like that (albeit better, hopefully) then I'll have fun with it.
 

Bonecrusher

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old republic seems very restricted game.
first, it is a very different game than kotor series. i think they prepared the game for 5 year old kids. heavily influenced by the new clone wars cartoons and games.
also combat (both ground and space) looks like mmo for kids game that you play minigames in order to kill opposing players.

swg was a good game. but they killed the game by removing the freelancing style of it.
eve online is also a good game.

old republic could be a perfect game by combining freeroaming sandboxing style of swg and awesome combat and space system of eve.
but they didn't.
and therefore i have very low expectations from the old republic online.
 

steamweedlegoblin

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SharedProphet said:
dradiscontact said:
SOE did it.
As an eventual expansion...
Your point? It was still done. Hell, didn't Star Trek Online even launch with space combat?

I would have no problem if true space combat needed to be an eventual expansion to The Old Republic rather than be included at launch because of the budget. But to make it an on-rails shooter would completely kill my interest in the game.
 

Therumancer

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Honestly, my visions were more along something like "EVE" or "Earth and Beyond" with the space elements.

"Star Wars: Galaxies" did do something very similar to the X-wing/Tie-Fighter games with it's space component, and while interesting I didn't think it worked very well, and I think it was a bit too twitchy for a MMORPG.

Ideally I want to be able to spend time customizing my ship, picking piloting skills, and assigning equipment and such. While I have problems with the game I think "Star Trek Online" was a good compromise in setting this up, but I still feel "Earth and Beyond" was the best ship based game even if it lacked much in the way of content (and took waaaay too long to warp around).

I suppose the focus on space fighters in the movies has lead to this kind of approach though. Truthfully since it seemed like they wanted ships to also be player housing (like some of the bigger ships in Star Wars: Galaxies) I was kind of thinking the "Earth and Beyond" thing might apply with the PCs piloting ships like the "Ebon Hawk", "Millenium Falcon", or "Slave One" especially since there will apparently be NPC companions (which I'm guessing will be similar to the crew members you have with you in Star Trek Online).
 

Thaius

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As much as I would love a straight-up space flight combat sim in the game, I would also love a well-done Star Fox-esque system. It would mean no PvP, which would be sad, but it would still be awesome.
 

The Austin

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The Old Republic community group already covered this, buuuuuut:

It's not true. It's a misunderstanding created by bad translation in a German gaming magazine, and flight WILL be open.

Or so says the group, anyways.
 

Deathfish15

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SharedProphet said:
Space-combat-as-minigame makes a lot more sense than them building a whole new game to stick on. They're already blowing ridiculous amounts of cash on the development of this game; I would have been extremely surprised if they had time and money left over to create an entirely different game altogether (and in a genre which is far from BioWare's forte, no less).
dradiscontact said:
SOE did it.
As an eventual expansion...
You're right, it's just a mini-game; Just as it was in KotOR. Most of the Star Wars focus was on the ground combat, especially in the Old Republic era that Bioware originally helped create.