Yay! Wizard is out!

Wow. What an update a week or so back. Bioware seems to be really making sure that fans of The Old Republic are salivating. Well, first of all, they renamed Jedi Wizard. It’s about freaking time! Of all the choices they had, Jedi Sage was probably the best, but most of us knew that already, right? But then, the crew skills explanation… Whoa… I can see a whole bunch of people’s eyes going huge at that.

The advanced Jedi Consular class name of Jedi Wizard was apparently a placeholder title. Personally, I doubt that it was a serious name. I mean it, come on, this is Star Wars, not Dungeons and Dragons! The Sith may have Sorcerers, but that is what they are- Sorcerers. They use Sith alchemy and Sith magic, or at least they do in the Expanded Universe. Jedi are not, and never have been the wizard type. They have been called that on occasion, but it was almost always an insult.  Yes, they have mystical powers like wizards. But where wizards usually seek power for their own ends, be those ends noble or selfish, the Jedi do not seek power for themselves. And the name Jedi Sage is much more suited to a consular type anyway. A consular is supposed to be a teacher, negotiator, diplomat, truth seeker, not some half crazy man or woman in a pointed hat with stars all over his/her robe. We don’t need fireball spells in Star Wars. We have orbital fire support for things like that. I was pretty sure that the name Jedi Wizard was going to vanish and it did.

So, the new explanation of class skills. All I can say is wow. I like it. And there was a neat little thing hidden in there. Weapon types -“blaster pistols, blaster rifles, sniper rifles, and assault cannons”. Whu…? Wait a sec… Assault cannons? We get ASSAULT CANNONS? I want one! Is that the really big gun that the trooper that Malgus pulled to him was carrying in the Hope Trailer? If so, I really want one!

So, Armstech. The crew skill that will allow characters to build weapons. Speaking from personal, real world, experience, nothing else comes close to building your own weapon. Nothing else feels quite right in my hands now, besides the sword that I built. Admittedly, I built it from pre-built parts that I got from various sources, but I assembled it. No, I cannot forge a katana blade myself. Oh how I wish… That sword is mine. Every other blade I have handled, even a three hundred year old blade that my sensei let me handle once, has paled in comparison. So it just makes sense to have people build their own weapons, even if they are not the crafting sort normally. So I can build my assault cannon.

Ah, the memories. I remember pre-CU Star Wars Galaxies where the greatest of the artisans could basically demand any price for their wares, because they were simply better than anything else out there. The demands for resources were never ending. I remember being sent out to Dathomir and getting ganked there again and again just to gather rare resources for the guild I was in, so our weaponsmith could make the best polearms/swords/scythes, etc. In The Old Republic, you can just send a minion/slave/friend. But wait, there is a catch…

Do your companions like you? We don’t know if this is going to be like the approval rating in Dragon Age: Origins. We all loved slapping Morrigan around, didn’t we? I know I did. It does make sense.  A companion who likes you will work harder for you than one who is there because he or she is a slave or whatever. This is simple work theory. Happy worker = more productive worker, usually anyway. Make your workers love you (or fear you) and they will move mountains for you. Hey, it worked for the Pharaohs. The addition of rare and artifact crating ingredients will likely keep many players playing just to get some of those. I don’t know about you, but I will. I want an artifact assault cannon. Did I say that enough? I want an assault cannon!

Anyway, The Old Republic is shaping up to be a great game. Bioware has apparently learned from the mistakes of many other games, both recent and not. The crew skills and crafting seem to be well thought out and efficient. The whole system seems to be geared both to casual players and the hardcore, ‘I want it all and the best I can get’ player. People who like to build will be able to build. Those of us who like to just go out and blow things up will be able to do that and leave our faithful minions to sweat over the workbench while we are out blowing things up. With assault cannons!

In conclusion, this week’s update was a good one. Jedi Wizard is GONE and good riddance. Armstech looks well thought out and accessible even to casual gamers, which was the idea. You don’t HAVE to spend 8 hours a day playing just to get that fat loot to craft the flux capacitor to attach to your gun to make it good. Although you likely will be able to play that much if you wish, and I likely will be playing at LEAST that long a day for the first couple. I really want an assault cannon now. Have I said that enough? Give me an assault cannon! When in doubt, get a bigger gun!