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Star Wars: The Old Republic PC plans to show us MMOs can tell a gripping story. While most MMOs focus on combat, exploration and character progression, The Old Republic will have BioWare's usual focus on narrative.
Star Wars: The Old Republic will be BioWare's first massively-multiplayer online game. Set 300 years after the events of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games -- and thousands of years before the Star Wars movies -- it will feature an unstable galaxy on the verge of war, as the uneasy truce between the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire is breaking down.
The story's dialogue system is similar to Mass Effect, and allows you to develop rivalries, friendships and romances with non-player companions. Your choices will open or close off storylines and affect your companions. All characters, including your player character, will be fully voiced.
Your hero can follow the light or dark side of the force. Confirmed class options include Jedi Knight, Smuggler, Trooper, and Jedi Consular on the Republic side; and Sith Warrior, Bounty Hunter, Imperial Agent and Sith Inquisitor for the Empire. Each class will have its own storyline, integrated with the broader story arc.
To facilitate easier grouping with other players, each class will be flexible enough to fill multiple roles, rather than being limited to a particular archetype like tank or healer. There will also be a range of playable races. You can direct non-player companions to help with gathering or crafting. You can even send them on missions on your behalf.
BioWare has a history of telling a good single-player story. It will be interesting to see if they can pull off a cohesive and cinematic galaxy online.
Star Wars: The Old Republic will be released later in 2011 for PC.
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