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
During character creation, you'll choose from five races for your Jedi Knight: Human, Miraluka, Twi'lek, Zabrak, and Mirialan. You'll begin your journey as a Padawan who lands on the planet of Tython with intent join up with a brand-new Master and complete the final leg of your Jedi training. But as you arrive at the Temple's outskirts, you discover that trouble is brewing on this lush, hidden Jedi outpost. You and the other Padawans are tasked with rooting out the source of the evil and ensuring the safety of the Temple and nearby villages. Through these missions, you'll prove yourself to the Jedi Council... and earn your first lightsaber, which is, no doubt, a large part of why you rolled a Knight in the first place!
The Knight is a heavy-duty melee class, capable of soaking up and dishing out gobs of damage, so it's not a role for the sort of player who prefers to sneak around, throw lightning balls from afar, or heal her companions. Early skills include basic single- and multi-target lightsaber attacks, stuns, defensive buffs, and Force Leap, a skill that allows you to quickly jump into combat from a distance (ever the crowd-pleaser).
At level 10, Knights choose between two advanced classes: Guardian and Sentinel. Depending on your choice, you'll be wearing a wide range of armor -- everything from cloth Jedi robes to heavy assault armor. A Guardian-specced Jedi Knight can become one of the top melee tanks for the Republic faction; she'll gain heftier defensive proficiencies and crowd control tools to help her keep enemies' attention. A Knight who chooses the path of the Sentinel, on the other hand, will pick up offensive buffs and abilities along with not one but two lightsabers to carve a path of destruction through anyone foolish enough to take her on.
All Jedi Knights will work within a Focus system, similar to the Rage mechanic used by Warriors in World of Warcraft -- as you fight, some of your lightsaber attacks will increase your Focus pool, which you can then use to deliver powerful finishing moves. Over time, though, your Focus depletes if not used.
If you're looking for the iconic Star Wars class, look no further than the Jedi Knight, whose portrayal in the movies and the classic Knights of the Old Republic games is without a doubt the most recognizable symbol of the franchise. Its early melee mechanics are simple to learn for a novice MMO player, yet the advanced classes offer challenge and depth for hardcore players as they try to strike a balance between offense and defense -- and light side and dark.
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