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The Digital Continuum: Is the force strong with The Old Republic?

Kyle Horner

Lightsabers, Jedi and Sith; all things that come to mind the moment someone says Star Wars: The Old Republic. BioWare probably pops up into most of our minds as well. It hasn't even been a week yet, but I'm already starting to see the potential greatness lying within BioWare's Austin, Texax studio's walls.

It's not surprising that Lucas Arts and Electronic Arts both think that this particular MMO could be bigger than World of Warcraft -- they've got invested interest in seeing that come true. My reasoning is a bit less financially induced ( In fact, I'll probably end up buying the super-limited edition and of course there's the monthly fees) and instead a matter of desire to see one of my favorite franchises both succeed in and expand upon one of my favorite genres.

Gallery: Star Wars: The Old Republic Screenshots | 68 Photos

By now it's become increasingly obvious that BioWare is all about creating an MMO that revolutionizes storytelling within the genre. Can they do it? Well that's not so obvious. While the pedigree is certainly there, promises made early in the development of any massively multiplayer online game are the things of dreams in many cases. And as much as I enjoy the titles created by BioWare, even I've got a weary eye when it comes to grandiose features that promise the world.

In case you're not aware, the biggest promise from Star Wars: The Old Republic is that every class in the game is going to have his or her own storyline. Not just a starting quest line, or an occasional quest from time to time dealing with said character. No, BioWare is promising a storyline quest for each class that will take them from level one, to max level on its own. That's an enormously large feature to promise and is surely what BioWare was talking about when they said that they'd like to try something different.

Now of course, story isn't the only thing being focused on here. There's certainly talk of combat, crafting and leveling. Although there hasn't been much discussion on elder game content, which is likely due to the fact that many things haven't been cemented down just yet. Still, the fact that BioWare has said pretty much what I've said in the past -- that badass and compelling non-Jedi classes are important -- certainly gives me a lot of hope for the direction that SWTOR is heading towards.

So is SWTOR the things that dreams are made of and will it become a game that expands the market even further than World of Warcraft? Nobody can say for sure, but it certainly has the potential to break new ground. What we can say is that for fans of both Star Wars and the Knights of the Old Republic franchises, the fact that a BioWare bred MMO is coming their way means that question doesn't really matter. Our wishes have come true. So while everyone will be pondering who's going to outdo who, we'll be busy wringing our hands in anticipation of what will very likely be one of our most favorite games in a very long time.

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