About Alec

Smuggler progression update

Scoundrels and Gunslingers rejoice! The Smuggler Class Progression Video is here. This week Bioware gives us the much anticipated progression Video. The video is an excellent update, one of the better videos. It has it all from Mandalorian bounty hunters, to a fearsome Tanterek:

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In-Depth with Eternity Vault

This week, from Star Wars: The Old Republic, we have a developer walkthrough the Eternity Vault, a high level Operation (raid) for both Imperial and Republic players.

The video that Bioware released today is the Imperials’ try at cracking the Eternity Vault, so better luck next time Republic players.

The walkthrough starts off with Dallas Dickinson, Director of Production for SWTOR, giving a short summary and intro for the Eternity Vault.

The walkthrough begins with four Imperial players being briefed by General Threnoldt, he warns them of the dangers of the Eternity Vault.  “We uncovered a new section of Belsavis prison during a bombing run; it’s been sealed for 20,000 years. The Rakata called it the Eternity Vault, it’s where they kept the prisoners and technology they could never afford to release.”

As General Thenoldt is warning the group of the prisons dangers,  its defense systems target the destroyer and cause the party to evacuate using escape pods. As the escape pods crash on the hostile frozen surface of Belsavis, it becomes clear that there is more than just four Imperial players crashed on the prison’s front door.  The Imperial players meet up and begin assaulting the prison. The main tank (a Sith juggernaut) and a Sith assassin, the off tank, rush into battle to draw attention off the rest of the group from the two large turrets and a swarm of droids. The raid group destroys the droids and takes out the two turrets with relative ease. Now the “Infernal One” kicks it up a notch with an Annihilation Droid. The Annihilation Droid is very large boasting a gnarly knock-back AoE and a brutal rocket firing arm. During the battle with this monstrous droid the party struggles a bit, first losing a Sith Marauder, who is quickly re-animated. Again towards the end of the fight the raid group sees that they have the droid’s health low so they rush him. About five out of the eight players go down, but the Annihilation Droid is demolished. Now keep in mind this entire battle takes place before the raid group ever enters then Eternity Vault – what lies in store within is the real challenge.

This is one of the first times we see a Sith Assassin tanking. He seems to be an avoidance/parry tank. Throughout the video it seems like the Assassin takes a little more damage than the Juggernaut, but could possibly be dealing more damage.  This video also shows off the Imperial Agent as a healer and he does a decent job. The main thing that healers should be excited about from this video is the customizable HUD which has a raid health bar that makes it MUCH easier to see your team’s health. (And possibly force/ammo/overheating.)

This is a level 50 Operation, and although Bioware has shown most of this info off before, there is a few things at the end of the video in a montage that look very new. Puzzles and a boss fight where in between the rocks you’re standing on lava is flowing freely. This could be environmental hazards. The montage also shows what could possibly bring the total of bosses for Eternity Vault up to five which isn’t a bad raid at all.

Be sure to check out the entire video:

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Love the lost Twi’lek!

This week we have a Fan Friday Update and Details about GamesCon 2011 from Star Wars: The Old Republic, as well as some very interesting posts on the Dev Tracker.

The Community Creations from this week’s update are stunning. A rendering of a Twi’lek lost on the moon of Endor is the first picture show and is amazing. The Rendering was done by community member “JenFX”. The second picture shown is of a Republic military propaganda poster aply named “Join Us”. The poster is also amazing and has the phrase “Healing is our daily job but destroying the enemy is our priority.” The stunning image was created by French community member “norzeele”. Inspired by Bioware’s Tatooine Developer Walkthrough, one of the forum members “Alliant” created an excellent painting of an environmental view of Tatooine’s barren landscape.  “Alliant” also created a series of iPhone and iPad wallpapers for both Jedi and Sith players.

Bioware also released a series of wallpapers based on the “Return” Intro Cinematic from E3. The first wallpaper depicts Malgus moments before he ends his Sith masters life, gaining the title of Sith Lord. The second wallpaper depicts Jedi Master Kao Cen Darach fighting off the Sith Lord Vindican. The last wallpaper is Malgus Smashing through debris mid-air jumping into his final duel with Kao Cen Darach.

Bioware finally released “Forum Phrases” that allows community members to post words and small phrases in the Star Wars universe’s basic written language, Aurebesh. “Use the Force” and “Great Update” are just two out of the twelve usable words and phrases. Members can use the Aurebesh phrases by clicking in the Smilies “More” section then scrolling down to the appropriate response.

Be sure to check out the entire update Here on Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Offical Site.

There was also an update on The Old Republic at GamesCon 2011. GamesCon is taking place on August 18th through August 21st in Cologne, Germany. GamesCon is one of the largest video game conventions in the world, and Bioware and Lucas Arts will be there in full force to allow European gamers the chance to get some hands on action with Star Wars: The Old Republic. Bioware and Lucas Arts will also be revealing new information about the game. Community members who signed up on the forums will get a chance to test out a PvP Warzone on the planet of Alderaan.  Bioware will be running a demonstration of small areas of the high level Operation or “Raid” Etenity Vault”. If you follow the link it will lead you to the trailer for Eternity Vault.

Be sure to check into the Community Forum throughout the week of GamesCon to keep up-to-date on the info, or wait till Friday and I’ll sum it up. 🙂

Consular update: Force Quakes!

The Consular update is here! Bioware released the updated Consular page along with a new class video, a Companion, Mirialan race update, and the Corellian  Defender Consular ship.

The main part of the update is the Consular’s new class video. The video starts on Coruscant with the Consular meditating, when some Imperials try to get the jump on him. The first is killed with a lightsaber attack. The second Imperial is killed with an unknown move that looks like a single target nuke/knock back. The third Imperial is killed with a new single target nuke move. The Consular is then shown on a ship overlooking a planet when attacked by their Imperial troops and a Sith. The Consular uses an unknown AoE knock back/nuke.

In the next scene, the Consular is in a large gun fight on an unidentified planet, when what appears to be a NPC trooper goes down. The Consular uses a rez spell to revive the downed NPC.  The Consular then uses what appears to be a buff. The buff is followed by force quake, an AoE move that has a chance of knockdown.

Towards the end of the video several clips are cut together, showing the Consular using several more unknown abilities. One ability shown is an AoE nuke that kills two Imperials but leaves the strongest, or mini boss, standing. The consular then uses a single target nuke to kill the remaining Imp. The last scene in the Consulars’ video is a duel between a Sith and the Jedi. The Consular is shown using a buff that looks very similar to the Knight’s Saber Ward ability. The Saber ward is followed by “Pebble Storm” that doesn’t seem to slow down the Sith, so the Consular throws out one more single target CC ability then finishes off the Sith. Be sure to watch the full video here.

The Consular’s new companion is Qyzen Fess, a Trandoshan hunter and tracker. He follows the traditional path to appease the scorekeeper, the Trandoshan goddess, by earning his jagganath points through killing savage beasts instead of being a gun-for-hire. His appearance is marked by his missing eye. This one-eyed killer has been traveling the galaxy for years and has had run-ins with all types making him very cautious, but once his loyalty is gained he will defend his friends to the death. Here is Qyzen Fess’s Holonet Page

The Consulars ship will be the same ship as the Jedi Knight’s, a Corellian Defender-Class Light Corvette. The Defender is a double-decker designed ship and has a very smooth layout. Check it out here on Star Wars: The Old Republic’s official site

The Miralian race was also added to the Holonet under the inhabitants tab:

Renowned in all corners of  the galaxy for their spirituality and strong connection to the Force, the Mirialan endure rigorous mental and physical training rituals to become both formidable warriors and skilled negotiators.- Holonet

The Mirialan are deeply spiritual and believe the actions of one do not just affect his fate but the fate of the race as a whole. The geometric tattoos covering the Mirialan’s face denotes their deeds and accomplishments, and upon death are used to determine the worth of that individual to the Mirialan race.  Be sure to take a look at their addition to the Holonet.

Diplomatic shenanigans: Esseles Flashpoint

This week’s update from Bioware is the release of a video from Comic-Con titled The Esseles Developer Walkthrough:

The Esseles, a Republic transport that carries some of the most high-profiled members of the Galactic Senate across the galaxy, has come under siege from the opportunistic Grand Moff Kilran. Dallas Dickinson guides you along as a group of Republic heroes must band together to repel the Imperial boarding parties and retake their ship in this Developer Walkthrough.     – Bioware

The walkthrough begins with Dallas Dickinson explaining the situation on The Esseles – it’s the lowest level flashpoint being “around level nine” so you’ll be entering this Flashpoint as you leave your starting planet. The Flashpoint starts when the group discovers the dead Captain laying on the floor  and a panicking first officer looking for a solution. The party is then contacted by Grand Moff Kilran hailing the ship to announce that his forces will be boarding to capture a Republic ambassador.

The party heads to the cargo bay to reinforce the ships crew and repel an invading force of droids and Mandalorian mercenaries. After the battle the ambassador shows herself announcing that the attack the party just repelled was a rouse. The real threat is a Mandalorian named Ironfist who along with his bodyguards have secured the bridge and taken the crew hostage.

The party fights its way to the engineering deck where it’s faced with a lightside/darkside option for opening the bridge lockdown. The lightside is to destroy conduits that are spread across the engineering deck to override the lockdown status. The darkside option is to reset the system, opening the air locks, killing the engineers. The party chooses the darkside option and moves onto the bridge. Ironfist greets them as any villain should, then the fight begins.

Ironfist jet packs to the smuggler delivering a brutal uppercut. The smuggler breaks the engagement and heads for cover killing a bodyguard on his way. The trooper begins pulling the attenetion of Ironfist like any tank should, so the others can focus on killing the boss. Ironfist uses a blastback move where he vents his jet pack knocking the players to the ground, a pretty good CC move for a boss. The Trooper uses a cryonade and freezes Ironfist allowing the team to dispatch him with ease.

Be sure to check out the full video of  The Essles Developer Walkthrough here on Star Wars: The Old Republics official site.

What are your thoughts? Does this Flashpoint look fun to you?

Class intros and Q&A goodness

Comic-Con, Class intros, and  Community Q&A are all on the menu for this week’s update. Comic-Con kicks off Wednesday July 20th for a three hour preview night, then on Thursday the real fun begins.

 At 3:30PM on Thursday, July 21st our panel for Star Wars: The Old Republic will be held inside room #6BCF

– Bioware


Bioware will also be taking over the Hilton Gaslamp Quarter Hotel, having plenty of hands on with SWTOR and also holding a Q&A session. Bioware will be holding hands on sessions on four different days, Thursday through Saturday 12:00pm to 7:00pm. On Sunday they shut it down at 5:30.

Senior Video Editor Bryan Arndt takes us through this week’s studio insider on creating the class intro videos. The design team sat down and watched all six intros to the Star Wars saga, analyzing every second. After reviewing all six they decided to go with Empire Strikes Back as the template for the crawl in the intro videos. Arndt says the hardest part was getting the angle of the crawl right, among the complexities of the crawl dealing with exacting the color of text to the speed and margin used. After the crawl was designed they started work on the cinematic aspects of each class and go into detail about the Sith Warrior and Republic Smuggler. The Sith’s intro is a simplistic styled view very reminiscent of the movies with a larger destroyer cruising into the top of the screen. As the Destroyer comes into view a lone shuttle descends from the destroyer and blasts towards Korriban.

The Smuggler”s intro is much more intricate, involving the Smuggler breaking through a Sith blockade around Ord Mantell to get supplies to the Republics troops. The intro has the Smuggler pulling off fancy maneuvers while out-flying a Sith fighter, very cool cinematic start for the Smuggler.

As usual the Q&A is just too long for me to cover all of it so be sure to read the entire Article here on SWTOR’s official site. Here’s a taste:

Q: Will the NPCs have monologues or dialogues with each other that players can hear while walking nearby? – mmZero

A: Yes, they will. As in other BioWare games, ambient conversation is a part of the world and will help the player tune into the general goings-on of his or her surrounding area. Companions will sometimes voice their thoughts and opinions as well, as you travel the different worlds in The Old Republic.

I really enjoyed this in… well, every Bioware game, especially Dragon Age and Mass Effect. It really adds to the immersion and lore of the game – glad to see it made the cut.

Q: How many voice actors voiced this game? – DigitalMaster

A: We are working with a very large number of voice actors… possibly more than any other game made so far. Recent counts put the number at over nine hundred actors across all three languages, and that number is still growing.

Over 900…. Wow.

Q: Does The Old Republic use any of Ben Burrt’s original sound effects from the films? – MorgonKara

A: We’re definitely tapping into some of Ben Burtt’s classic material and integrating it into the game in different ways, sometimes as a layering approach and sometimes processing it to make something new. You’ll definitely hear some of his original material from the films too (it wouldn’t be Star Wars without it)!

Q: What percentage of the in-game music is original for The Old Republic and what percentage has already been used elsewhere (movies, other games, etc.)? – Nahte

A: We’ve written a huge amount of original music for the game. There are over six hours of original score that have been produced specifically for The Old Republic, plus an additional hour and a half of brand new cantina music. In addition to the original score, you’ll also hear the scores for both Knights of the Old Republic I and Knights of the Old Republic II. Lastly, the game just wouldn’t be complete without John Williams’ material from the Star Wars films.

Now these two questions are hand in hand for me. John Williams makes Star Wars what it is, his music drives the emotions that run so deep in the films. The lesser known Ben Burrt had just as much impact on the movies – his sounds are so iconic that SWTOR would be missing out on not using/sampling from them.


Alec “Dekin” Bailey signing out. For the Republic!


I’m the Map, I’m the Map!

Georg Zoeller posed a simple question to the design team: “Which part of the user interface is opened more than any other when playing Star Wars™: The Old Republic™?” It was a simple question, but the answer wasn’t any of the UI parts you might expect: not our character sheet, inventory or the Crew Skills window. No, the winner was the World Map. And it won easily – by more than an order of magnitude.

– Damion Schubert

This week Damion Schubert, Principal Lead System Designer for Star Wars: The Old Republic™ takes us through the tremendous task of building, functionality, and utility of maps for SWTOR. Maps are extremely important in any game, even more so in a MMO. Thousands of players on planets up to six times larger than any “Zone” on other MMO’s all trying to find their way across new and familiar worlds alike is a daunting task for a map maker.

The map process starts with a designer drawing a “Trigger Box”  that allows the designer to render only the objects inside the trigger box, then this basic map image goes through revision and enhancement several times to remove any objects that are misleading or were accidentally rendered that shouldn’t be there:

The end result is that we have maps that can show astonishing details about the game world. Chairs, crates, statues – all manner of items show up on the map from a birds-eye view, giving the player a real sense of where they are in the world.

– Schubert


Everyone hates searching for a quest objective for hours only to realize you’re in the wrong  section of the zone, and I personally don’t like a giant exclamation mark telling me the exact location – it kinda takes the point out of the quest. In SWTOR it looks like they’ve found a good balance by utilizing a semi-transparent circle around an area of the map that your quest objective can be found, so it still takes some searching but not aimless wandering.

The Breadcrumb system is another mechanism the designers at Bioware have added to make the traversing of massive planets a little less arduous. The Breadcrumb system works by showing the fastest routes to your active quest, which on most MMOs would be a nice add-on but on SWTOR it looks like this will be a extremely helpful tool. SWTOR has much larger “Zones” or “Worlds” than other MMOs, many with a lot of indoor complexes and entire planets that are cities. Schubert compares these to other MMO “Dungeons”, so navigating these could turn into a tedious task. The Breadcrumb system shows you which exits, tunnels, doors, and transit systems to take to get you into the action and back to your quest.

The last thing Schubert talks about is the ability to see your party members quests on your map and any shared quests (when hovered over with your mouse) shows all party mebers who currently have that quest. Combine this with the Breadcrumb system and the fact that your map goes partially transparent when your moving, makes it very easy to streamline chains of quests and side missions for grinding/static grouping.

May the Force be with you.

Bounty Hunter Progression – ugly killing

Feared and respected throughout the galaxy for the unrivaled ability to track their targets, Bounty Hunters must learn new skills to compliment the powerful armor and weapons they will acquire on their missions


This week Bioware brings us the Bounty Hunter progression video. The progression  videos are always some of my favorite updates, they let you get a glimpse at your favorite character or nemesis, and usually a glimpse at some abilities we haven’t seen or have only seen very little of.

Ths progression video starts just like all of the previous ones, showing a Bounty Hunter on his starting planet in his basic starter gear.  The low level bounty hunter shows off some of his skills such as a stun dart and a jet pack uppercut. The second set of armor shown in the progression video is very cool, resembling an assassin complete with a face covering turban – reminds me of an Immortal from 300 without the mask. The masked bounty hunter shows off some more skills including a wrist rocket and his iconic flamethrower.

The video then branches into the Advanced Classes the first being the Powertech. The Powertech’s first set of gear looks like it was inspired by the Mandalorian Crusader gear. The Powertech shows off his carbonite spray, Grappling Hook, and spinning Flamethrower. The second Powertech shown is a more heavily armored character, easily identifiable as a “Tank”. The second Powertech uses the jetpack to get airborne then rains down blaster bolts followed by a wrist rocket before floating back to the ground. He then shows how the bounty hunter can close the range gap to utilize his flamethrower and carbonite freeze by way of a jetpack powered punch. After the Bounty Hunter gets into close range in this segment of the video he dodges some swings from a lightsaber then uses a melee weapon on his wrist to dispatch the Jedi.

The progression video then switches to the Bounty Hunters second advanced class – the Mercenary. A damage dealer who can also walk the path of healing, the first Mercenary gear looks like an armored Calo Nord, with the goggles and duel blaster pistols. The abilities the lower level Mercenary shows off are a damage shield and the Jetpack rocket. The second gear set shown for the Mercenary is very Madalorian looking, personally I think the best Bounty Hunter gear so far. The Mercenary shows off some pretty cool abilities including a short range explosion skill, some sort of altered fire on his blaster pistol causing them to fire green blaster bolts that looked as though they were homing bolts, a dual wrist rocket and again using the flying uppercut.

This progression video is one of the better ones released – a very cool update. The Bounty Hunter should be a great character to play or a deadly enemy for us Republic players, Either way I am excited to meet the Bounty Hunter on the battlefield, be it a Tanking PowerTech or a DD Mercenary.

As always may the Force be with you.


Kicking ass in Alderaan

This week Bioware gives us two highlight videos for the Friday Update. The first video is a highlight of E3 which shows the length of the ridiculous line and interviews people who played the game. It also showed some in-game footage including some companions. The thing that stood out was when the agent went stealth, his companion followed into stealth immediately after – very cool. A few people praised the story in the video, but at this point that’s sort of redundant, we know it’s got  the story. Then people just named off the classes they played and I noticed no-one said Trooper, although I saw one or two being played in the background. The E3 highlight video was pretty cool but nothing we haven’t seen or heard before. Check it out here for the full video

The second video is a group mission on Alderaan for Republic players. The mission on Alderaan is to dethrone a militaristic war hero who misguidedly seized the throne to protect the people. The mission starts with Princess Katay instructing you to kill this “King Ulgo” and her family will support a republic appointed leader. The four party members (looks to be one of each Republic class) charge across the war torn streets of Alderaan towards the King’s throne room to some pretty intense battle music. Once the team battles their way up the stairs they make it to King Ulgo who refuses to step down. He must be killed, but before the team gets a chance a shield is generated around his throne. This leads to what looks like a ‘destroy the generators then the boss’ fight scenario, but King Ulgo isn’t going to just let the team claim victory.

Ulgo sends in his bodyguards and droids to try and stop the team. The  battle rages on until the trooper fires a rocket into the generator shutting down his shielding. The video ends with the Jedi of the group force leaping at Ulgo. This was a much better highlight reel and definitely worth a watch so check it out here!

As always – May the Force be with you

It’s about the writing, stupid

This week I’m back from my hiatus with some more news. This week it;s ‘post-writing polish’, the excitement Star Wars: The Old Republic stirred up at E3, as well as a Fan Friday Update.

SWTOR writer Ian Ryan walks us through the process that the writers use after the actual dialog and story are finished. The main thing the writers are doing is going through and actually playing the game making sure that the environment and landscapes match the story.

As writers, we know the stories and the worlds they play out in. Armed with that knowledge, we set out to provide feedback on each planet’s art as it relates to story. While other teams continue working hard to finish The Old Republic, the writers log in to play the game. A tough life, but someone has to do it.

– Ian Ryan

The two main examples Ryan uses in his update for SWTOR is that of “The Promenade” on Nar Shaddaa and “Blastfield Shipyards” Coronet City.

If Nar Shaddaa is the Hutt version of 1970s Las Vegas, the Promenade represents the grand extravagance of the Vegas Strip. The first incarnation of the Promenade was impressive but subtle, a far cry from the glitzy and exorbitant tastes of the Hutts.

Nar Shaddaa’s  Promenade was originally almost a skeleton on of what it became after the writers did there art pass and had the designers kick it up a few notches.

After the designers ran through and revamped the Promenade it looks the part of a Hutt’s Vegas strip. Blastfield was originally created as a downtown block of office buildings, though  the writing team had envisioned full scale ships being built they never actually said that to the designers. After the art pass on this Corellian shipyard the designers completely rehashed the original area into the full scale shipyard the writers had pictured.

One of the things that I got from Ian Ryan’s article was that he said the games writing is now finished, and that there is NO less than 17 planets. These two off remarks kinda lead towards the game being close to completion, and that there is probably a couple of planets we haven’t seen yet!

Star Wars: The Old Republic hit Big at E3 this year winning a slew of awards and lining up fans for hours and hours just to get a glimpse of this power house MMO. Nominated for 20 awards and winning 15 of those twenty is a pretty great outcome for E3 anyway you look at it. Winning several “Best MMO” and “Best Trailer” the developers, Designers and Writers should be proud of their creation. Here’s the list of awards from E3

Electric Playground – Best of E3 2011

The Fan Friday added new Forum Icons and showed off some of the communities art work. Check it out here on SWTOR’s website.

The writer update and the E3 review are also worth a look, Hopefully we get a release date later this month. I know everyone is excited for SWTOR but, we don’t want a broken game!

May the Force be with you!


Advanced Classes: more meat on the bones

Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Friday update this week is a big one as it covers the Advanced Classes for each starting class. The update includes new information on skills and abilities for each class and a better look at what roles they will be filling within the party. The new Advanced Classes page on the Holonet is very cool and the emblem for each class generates the starting planet below it on the page, making for a very nice addition to the already impressive Holonet.

After getting to the Advanced Classes page you’ll see all eight starting classes starting with the Sith Warrior. After clicking the SW’s icon it brings up a menu where you can chose between the details  and differences of abilities of the Juggernaut or Marauder. Clicking one of the two (I picked Juggernaut) it brings up another page where it shows a sample of each of the three paths on the Juggernauts skill tree, Vengeance, Immortal, and Rage.

Vengeance is the single saber offensively focused damage dealing path for the Juggernaut class. It previews two skills from each of the paths. The Vengeance preview skills are Shatter and Unstoppable – both are passive skills meaning they are always “on” and do not need to be activated. Shatter channels the Force into your lightsaber and crushes your target under its weight, dealing 569 internal damage to a target afflicted by Sundering Assault, with a further 1476 internal damage over 12 seconds. Unstoppable activates upon using a successful Force Charge, it reduces all damage taken by 20% and grants immunity to physics and movement impairment effects for four seconds.

Immortal is the second path on the skill tree, it’s the high survivability Tank tree. It’s preview skills are Invincible and Revenge, again both Passive “always on” abilities although Invincible has a cool down timer, and from the description sounds like an activated ability. Invincible reduces the damage the Warrior suffers from all sources by 60% for nine seconds. Revenge can be activated while in Soresu Form, parrying, deflecting, shielding, or resisting an attack gives a 50% chance to grant Revenge, reducing the rage cost of your next Force Scream or Smash by 1. It lasts ten seconds and stacks up to three times.

The final path is Rage, which is shared between the two advanced classes  for the Sith Warrior, Juggernaut and Marauder. It covers the more “Universal” abilities – its preview skills are Obliterate and Shockwave. Obliterate allows the Warrior to jump to a target, impaling it for 307-363 weapon damage and strikes with both weapons if dual wielding. Shockwave can be granted from each tick of Force Choke and Force Crush, increasing  the damage your next Smash deals by 25%, which stacks up to four times.

This is just a rundown of one of the 16 advanced classes. This update gave us a lot of information, and should be a definite read for everyone following the game, atleast to check out your favorite classes (Trooper!) or see what some of the differences and similarities are. The full article can be found on SWTOR website, be sure to check it out!


Trooper update

This week’s update is the Trooper Progression Video.  The video starts off with a low level trooper in a standard looking cloth uniform with a backpack, charging into the action gunning down his helpless enemies. Right before the video fades to the first weapon and armor upgrade you can see orange rings rising up from the troopers to his waist – it looks like some sort of self buff. His first armor shown is very clone trooper looking, with a blue and white pattern, and it comes with a bigger gun!

The next scene is the Trooper once again charging into battle, but this time he shows off more abilities, He attacks three soldiers freezing the leader with a CryoBan grenade then blasting one with a burst of blaster fire, then runs to the next one and melees him. By now the leader has defrosted and he gets dealt a rifle grenade, blasting him off a cliff.

The next progression is for those who desire firepower and utility over survivability – enter The Commando.  The Commando’s gear isn’t much heavier looking than the second progression but has the helmet goggle combo from the Trooper’s Holonet page. He’s also packing  a blaster mini-gun like from the “Hope” trailer. This Commando is standing in an open field blasting away at enemies when a blaster bolt hits another Trooper standing beside him. The Commando moves his hand to the ear of his helmet and he emits what look like radio waves,then a a small droid floats down and heals the trooper that was shot. This clip is really showing off the Commando’s versatility to both dish out damage and help keep his squad on their feet in intense combat.

The final progression for the Commando is a very cool suit of armor that looks like a mix between a clone trooper and a Bounty Hunter, and yes for you  gun nuts this mini-gun is even bigger than the last. The commando is shown destroying some sort of console then walking into a hangar that has several soldiers and droids and a particularly large combat droid waiting to ambush the Commando. The Commando opens up on his enemies with full force sweeping from side to side as droids and men fall to the ground, and to finish off this small massacre he fires a large rifle grenade ( I would say Rifle Rocket ha ha) into the large combat droid destroying it with a fiery explosion.

Now the progression video switches to the other specialization for Troopers. The Vanguard a ranged tank or damage dealer with heavier armor and shielding capabilities, and some nice utilities of his own. The Vanguards progression starts out with a heavier looking armor and a blaster rifle with a side mag very reminiscent of the E-11 Blasters the Stormtroopers carried in the original trilogy. The Vanguard is being charged by what look to be Rakghouls, while they’re charging he taps on the side of his rifle activating the “blue ammo” ability, the animation is better looking and it seems to now add electric damage to the blaster bolts then transfers to more damage upon hitting the target. As the largest Rakghoul gets closer (but not too close) the Vanguard uses the Electric Shock ability at a much farther range than was previously shown and also has a better looking animation. The Vanguard and the other troopers are now in close combat, the Rakghouls are upon them, The Vanguard uses a new personal shield ability while the other soldiers around him fall, he taps some buttons on his wrist and activates the blast ability – we saw this in the Trooper’s class video, killing the remaining enemies.

The last set of progression gear the Vanguard is very cool like a mix between a Snowtrooper and a armored down Clone Trooper, with another new rifle. The Vanguard is walking on Hoth when he gets ambushed from a high cliff-side by two imperials, The trooper gets slammed with a few blaster bolts but takes out one of his targets quickly when a Jedi appears and takes out the other. The Vanguard then spots a Sith Inquisitor as she walks towards him then stealths, The Vanguard counters by using a new ability where several droids drop down and scan the area making the Inquisitor’s stealth kick off, leaving her in plain sight. The Inquisitor Force Lightnings the Jedi (Surprise! ) making quick work of one of her targets, but the Vanguard will not go down so easily, the Vanguard charges the Sith and melees her with a Vibro Knife knocking her to the ground then empties his clip into the downed Sith.

This was an excellent progression video, and it had a ton of great stuff, mostly what stood out to me was how with the Commando it seemed to be about damaging you enemies and healing/helping your allies, didn’t really see any crowd control from him. The Vanguards approach was to survive with weapon buffs, shields, and utility, like the AoE blast and the stealth hunting droids. I’ve known since I first started following the game my main character would be a Vanguard, because I like tanking but I’ve never gotten to range tank, or from the way things are looking have the versatility the Trooper offers. If all the classes progression videos are as good as the ones we’ve already seen I think this game could do huge things for the way MMOs are made and played.


For The Republic!