“Star Wars: The Old Republic” MMO trailer from Bioware.

It’s E3 week so I’ll probably be talking about video games quite a bit over the next few days as there are lots of announcements and first-showings taking place. Stuff like the official trailer for Bioware’s MMO based on the Star Wars license:

It looks cool as hell, but I’m not going to allow myself to get excited about it at all for several reasons. First, I remember how excited I got over Sony’s attempt to turn the original Star Wars trilogy into a MMORPG and what a major disappointment it turned out to be. It seems like it would be a great fit, but in reality the standard mission types found in an MMO just seem silly and stupid when wrapped in SW imagery. Second, there’s no way in hell the gameplay is going be to anything close to what the trailer depicts. That’s probably asking a bit much, but I’d love to play a game capable of stuff like that. Thirdly, I never got into Bioware’s other Old Republic games. I only own one and I’ve never gotten more than 20 minutes into before growing bored with the mechanics and giving up.

So the trailer looks pretty cool and I would love to have a great Star Wars game to play, but I won’t be holding my breath for it. Still, I’d love to be proven wrong in my prejudices on this count.

Bioware and LucasArts annouce “Star Wars: The Old Republic” MMORPG.

When Sony first announced the Star Wars Galaxies MMORPG back in March of 2000 I was really excited at the possibilities only to be really disappointed with the end product. After watching my friend Hairboy play the beta it seemed very much like it was just Everquest redressed with Star Wars graphics. I never did end up buying the game. Now word comes that Bioware and LucasArts have teamed up to produce a MMORPG based on the highly successful Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic RPGs:

The story-based MMO will be set roughly 300 years after BioWare’s 2004 single-player RPG Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC, Xbox) and the Obsidian-developed sequel, or 3500 years before the beloved film series.

“We’re making KOTOR 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and beyond—this game is that big, it’s got that much content in it,” explained BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka. “It’s very innovative—it’s story based.”

The game has seen a team of 12 full-time writers producing content for the past few years, according to IGN, with each class getting its own story arc as “not everybody’s fantasy was to be Luke [Skywalker].”

“You get to choose many things in the game—your faction, your class, good and evil, how your story unfolds,” explained lead designer James Ohlen.

“We thought of a Howard the Duck MMO, we thought it was a little too crazy,” Muzyka joked. He also noted that the game will feature a “full economy.”

“The game is playable,” asserted BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk, though a playable version was not shown today.

The Old Republic will allow players to choose a companion, as with the previous KOTOR games, and will have full PVP, PVE and RVR (realm vs. realm) combat along with raids. No classes have been revealed as of yet.

I have to admit that I’m not all that excited about it this time around. It probably doesn’t help that I was one of the few people who didn’t really care for Knights of the Old Republic. I bought it for the PC and played maybe a quarter of it before I got bored and moved on to other things. I never picked up the sequel. Granted, just like with Warcraft, the MMORPG by its very nature will have to play much differently than the RPG games did, but I’m still not all that excited about it. The setting is too far back in the past for me to give a crap. I’m much more interesting in the setting used by Star Wars Galaxies, but they fucked that game up so much that it’s not worth playing.

Of course my opinion may change as the game gets closer to release and we learn more about it, but my initial reaction is a solid “meh” at the announcement for now.