Detour: Star Wars The Old Republic MMO

So, among other things, I’m a gamer.  Not a console gamer, mind you, but a PC gamer.  And in particular, I love the sheer scope and complexity of the massively multiplayer online games. In my time, I’ve played 3 Kingdoms, a MUD or multi-user dungeon and thoroughly enjoyed it (it’s still out there—the Wikipedia entry is here, and the MUD’s web page can be found here).  So when World of Warcraft launched in late 2004, I was there, although not without reservations.  In the years since, I’ve spent way too much time in the world of Azeroth—generally as an undead warlock—doing things with my guild, questing, and learning to PvP.

Sadly, I became quite bored with WoW and found myself playing less and less this year.

BioWare and LucasArts Do Cosplay for Star Wars...

Image by Colony of Gamers via Flickr

Fortunately for me, the good folks at Bioware and LucasArts have something I’m excited about:  Star Wars: The Old Republic.  It’s a massively multiplayer role playing game set in the Star Wars universe years (okay, 3500 years) before the events of the films.  It features a cold conflict between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, which may or may not wind up erupting into open war.

Have I mentioned that I’m excited about the game?

It launches on December 20, though folks who pre-order their copies of the game will get early access, possibly up to five days early.  Since it doesn’t cost any more to buy it early, I’m already in, as is another member of the Wretched Excess Crew, Chris.

I was actually privileged to be in the weekend-long massive beta test—something I’ve kept very quiet about up to now.  The NDA (now lifted by the developers) is one reason for that; another is that this is the second beta test I’ve participated in, much to the consternation of my friends, none of whom have gotten such invitations.  Fortunately my gamer friends, including Chris, don’t actually read this blog, and therefore I’m safe in revealing it here.

During my weekend of access to the game, I played one of the evil Sith, and found that the storyline is fascinating and involves plenty of choices between good and evil, one of the things that should make the game more interesting.  The game also gives each player “companions” who will assist them in their adventures.  Finally, the gameplay seems fun enough.

I’m expecting this game to be a considerable drain on my time over the next six months or so, but it should be a lot of fun.

Oh…before I go, check out this cut scene, illustrating the conflict on Alderan between the forces of the Empire and the Republic, including an epic battle between a Jedi and a Sith Lord:


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