In A Minute And A Half, BioWare's Gabe Amatangelo Explains Why The Old Republic Isn't Just Another MMO

We've written our fair share of skeptical previews of BioWare's upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. So I thought I'd catch Gabe Amatangelo and ask him to explain what, specifically, it is that will set The Old Republic apart from other MMOs.

Believe it or not, his response was not "Because it's Star Wars, duh!" Rather, he reiterated the what BioWare has been saying from the beginning: This game will "put the RPG in MMO." It is about choice, about characters, and about story.

It's easy to be sceptical about this game: after all, it would be so simple to make "WoW with lightsabers" and call it a day. But it's worth remembering that this is BioWare we're talking about, and it was nice to hear one of their developers reiterate the core philosophy behind the game. These guys did make KotoR, after all.


Comments

    I am just much more excited about Guild Wars 2 than KotoR.

    Both will have great stories and social experiences - but Guild Wars just seems so much nicer.

    I am just much more excited about SW:TOR than Guild Wars 2.

    Both will have great stories and social experiences - but SW:TOR just seems so much nicer.

    As long as the game is varied and interesting to play it should be good, hope it isn't all about combat.

    I like mmo's that offer a spectrum between soloplay to co-ordinated group player(with major inbetweens being "soloplay with others around", "public quest play", and "random pug play"), rather than just those two extremes. SWTOR looks like it'll deliver this, as well as being fun mechanically, though I'm not sure how long it'll hold attention. GW2 looks like it'll deliver it too, but differently, so that'll get a good work out too.

    Being more of an MMO fan more than a Star wars fan. Guild wars 2 really does seem nicer. Its easy to turn a generic comment upon itself but when you stack up both games attributes against each other many people seem to be going in favour of Guild Wars 2 (Tim Buckley author of CAD for example who is a star wars fan is more excited for guild wars 2). I suppose it will come down to how immersive the RPG elements really are.

    WTF is an MMO?

    More to the point, WTF is a "Star Wars"?

    Meh, everything I've seen about The Old Republic shows me that it basically IS WoW in space. I'll reserve final judgement 'till release, of course, but as of now I'm not terribly impressed.

    TOR appears to have bolted on some computer RPG mechanics to the traditional DIKU-derived MMORPG experience, to really put characters front and centre, and that's an interesting direction and I wish them every success. They're really the first game to look at what made WoW so successful, and go 'why don't we really iterate on that?'. MMOs don't work like normal games: you can't make a new one with better graphics because you're competing against the old one which already has players.

    Guild Wars 2, though, took the DIKU-derived MMORPG experience and set it on fire. Literally every MMORPG mechanic has been rethought, to the point where it's completely different but not so much that it's uncomfortable. It really impressed me at PAX last year, and with an extra year and a half of TLC they're essentially launching it as a 2.0.

    Really, though, TotalBiscuit has some wise words: you can play both. Guild Wars 2 doesn't have a monthly fee, they're both going to have strong single-player storylines that seamlessly fold out into a multiplayer experience, and if you are a fan of these sorts of games you'll want to play both anyway. Both will find their audience; six months ago I'd have said that TOR was going to be DOA (see: competing against the game that already has an audience) but at this point I think the network effects that kept people coming back to WoW are fading, and people are ready to jump ship to a game that's familiar but fresh. TOR is launching at exactly the right time. The people who want a more radical change will be treated with Guild Wars 2 hopefully six months after that.

    Well done, Gabe.

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