Star Wars: The Old Republic is finally here, and the Force is with Massively! We've prepared a Hutt-sized feast of class introductions, gameplay guides, lore roundups, and hands-on previews to help you navigate the launch period and beyond. And don't forget our weekly
When you start off your new Bounty Hunter, you'll be landing on the swampy slimeball that is Hutta. It seems that you've got a shot at the great pan-galactic competition between hunters, the Great Hunt -- but only if you play your cards exactly right. Unfortunately, that means butting up against some of the greatest Mandalorian bounty hunters in the galaxy, and you're not exactly a shoo-in for a spot in the Hunt.
Lucky for you, you'll start out in (and quickly improve) a suit of armor that has all of the standard tricks, like wrist-mounted missile launchers, hidden bombs, jump jets, and the like. All these tricks have a price, however: Using them builds up Heat, the main resource of the Bounty Hunter. As your Heat climbs, your armor vents it more slowly, and past a certain point you won't be able to use any of your abilities because they would just drain your armor too much. Managing your heat output versus your abilities takes a bit of practice, but it's one of the central elements of the class.
Once you hit Level 10, your Bounty Hunter can choose between two advanced classes: Mercenary and Powertech. The choice is a permanent one currently, so you'd better consider carefully before you make your decision.
A Powertech specializes in a heavier armor, one capable of mounting a shield generator and producing a variety of damaging effects. Powertechs can specialize in either tanking or damage, with both flavors sticking to the arsenal of toys that Bounty Hunters bring to the table. If you like the idea of having a few dozen different special weapons inside that suit of armor, you might prefer the Powertech playstyle.
Mercenaries, meanwhile, pack on a second pistol and a few medical techniques to keep allies safe and enemies in trouble. A Mercenary can focus on healing or damage, using darts and carefully prepared gas cylinders to keep everyone safe. This is the advanced class to pick if you want a pair of pistols and the option to go nuts with healing.
You might think that the Bounty Hunter would be a pretty straightforward character type, but there are a lot of different options in the story to shape the sort of character you want to play. Sure, you're working with the Sith in a not terribly popular profession, but your Hunter might very well just be the guy who tries to make sure that life in the Empire is as free of criminals as possible.
Plus, you totally get a jetpack, which is fun.
SWTOR column, the Hyperspace Beacon!