A number of tidbits about the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG were revealed at a panel at New York Comic Con last week. While some features found in other games will not be added, such as a dungeon-finder functionality from World of Warcraft, the SWTOR panel was able to give concrete stats on the flashpoints, or dungeons, that will be available at the game's launch.
In the SWTOR universe, flashpoints are the functional equivalent of dungeons, where a small group of players band together to complete story-based objectives (kill the general of the ship, for instance). Warzones in SWTOR have two teams fighting against one another battleground-style, as in the Alderaan warzone where each side fights to control a set of laser cannons to destroy the opposing side's base.
Daniel Erickson, the game’s writing director, announced that SWTOR will launch with 15 flashpoints available to play at various levels. Erickson did not discuss distribution of the flashpoints with regard to level, but said that “several” will be just for the endgame when players reach level 50.
Despite BioWare’s reservations about players cottoning to alternative methods of leveling instead of experiencing the game story, (Swtor Credits)the panel announced that flashpoints will be repeatable for experience and rewards and available in “hard mode” when players have completed them. The panel also noted that SWTOR will not include an automated tool for finding groups for flashpoints, like the dungeon finder in WoW. James Ohlen, the game director, said that such tools “take away from the world,” a statement met with enthusiastic applause.
The BioWare team also introduced the third and final warzone that will be available for launch, called Void Star. In the scenario, players work as either an offense attempting to plant four explosives on a ship, or the defense trying to stop them. After the first round, the players switch sides, similar to the Strand of the Ancients battleground in WoW.
Stephen Reid, the panel’s moderator and SWTOR community manager, leaned on the game’s extensive story content, saying that there will be “not a single duplicated mission in the gameplay experience”—for instance, someone who levels a Jedi knight and then a bounty hunter will never do the same quest twice (though there must be some near repetition, since certain classes have the same starting planets, like the imperial agents and bounty hunters).
Erickson announced that the European launch of the game, the same day as the US launch, though the team did not announce when early access for those who preordered the game will begin. Until then, the BioWare team released a new trailer to tide us over, embedded below.