Within the next few hours Penny Arcade Expo, one of the biggest gaming conventions in the North America is about to begin. It is a very big convention for all the Star Wars: The Old Republic fans because, traditionally, it is the place where big reveals happen. Last year we got some gameplay footage and all attendees of the SWTOR panel got a copy of Knights of the Old Republic game. This year we’ll be having the first hands on event in the North America and all the PAX visitors will get what is called the SWTOR virus that can only be cured by more “gameplaytimis”. Some gamers will be lucky enough to get the elusive “betainvitis”, but for all of you out there that lack any of these rare and expensive medicine, we bring you the last of our gameplay videos we shot at this year’s GamesCom. This is the longest video we have and it features gameplay from most of the classes. You can see some cool Inquisitor action where he one shots some enemies with force lightning (at around 1:50). Present are also cutscenes and some more combat.
GamesCom 2010 ended over the weekend and I can’t say that I won’t miss it. You get drawn in into the whole convention madness. Free swag, people doing crazy cosplay, meeting Darth Vader in person and games, games, games everywhere. If you are a gamer in heart (like me) you surely would appreciate the atmosphere. To share some of the atmosphere of the show we present you with a video of the crowds at the SWTOR booth (that is the place we hung out the most after all) and a gallery of images. We hope you enjoy them.
Our visit to this year’s GamesCom gaming convention has been crowned by a very special meeting that we didn’t even hope for. We had the pleasure and honor to sit down with Mr. James Ohlen, Creative Director and Lead Designer for Star Wars: The Old Republic, and ask him a few questions. The short chat we had about the game was focused around space combat, player ships and advanced classes.
The spaceships are going to be used for a type of housing. They are a kind of a community feature. They are used for traveling and for space combat. There are many features incorporated into the player ships.
James Ohlen: That’s correct. We felt that in the movies, that is what you see them used as. It’s kind of a home base for some of the main characters, (especially the Millenium Falcon in the whole original trilogy), than it’s used, obviously, to travel from planet to planet (that is its main use), but also, you have space combats that are famous from the movies, like the one from the Return of the Jedi, or the asteroid one in the Empire Strikes Back.
In a thread we started on the official forums before GamesCom, we collected some question from the SWTOR community. There was an overwhelming number of questions and although we would like to be able to ask all of them we were happy to get answers to at least a few. The focus of GamesCom is Space Combat and advanced classes and in accordance to that we got to ask the following questions:
Will there be guild capital ships
Talked a lot among the design team. At launch NO, but popular feature with designers including Daniel Erickson (James Ohlen pointed at Daniel at that moment and Daniel gave a little smirk :))
Will there be interactive features in our ships besides the galactic map
Here’s word for word answer. You will get the whole answer on this question later on from our James Ohlen interview but as the most important answer of this question:
Crafting and workbenches will be inside the ship.
Will friends be able to travel from planet to planet with you in your own ship, or will they have to use their own?
No details right now. They can’t talk about it because it is not done or implemented. It’s a dream and something they would like to see go into the game, but there are technical difficulties in this feature they have to surpass first.
The motivations behind some of the restrictions in space.
They think that this is the best way to deliver a genuine star wars experience this way (a well guided single player experience).
We’ll try and get additional answers to other community questions from other areas of the game but we can’t promise anything (goes off to stalk the swtor booth).
Above video shows what was happening at the Star Wars The Old republic booth at this year’s GamesCom. This is the first time the general public was able to get some hands on with the game. We were able to capture some of the atmosphere there during the press only day (that is why there are not that many people). You can also see some of the people still playing, and then there is a change of gamers (every 15 minutes a new group was showed in). We will be releasing more of these in the coming days.
There is a live camera you can watch on Electronic Arts GamesCom dedicated website. It is broadcasting even now although it is well past midnight in Cologne. There are actually workers still building the Crysis 2 booth. The interesting thing is that you can see what SWTOR booth will look like. This, my friends, is where first people outside of the “inner circle” will get their hands on the game. People passing by will be able to witness the awesomeness of their game playing abilities.
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention? Gamescom will be the first event in the world where TOR will be available to the general public. The news was revealed by Sean Dahlberg a few days ago, but I was so excited that I forgot to post it on the site. Duh! In any case here’s the official announcement:
Touting 245,000 attendees last year, GamesCom is known as the world’s largest gaming convention. We’re excited to be presenting The Old Republic at this year’s GamesCom in Cologne, Germany for our first worldwide consumer hands-on event! It’s going to be incredible – Don’t miss it!
Visit the Star Wars: The Old Republic booth in Hall 6.1 at Booth B066 to get another look at “Hope” on the big screen, and to see all the exciting things we’re showing off. The trailer will also be shown multiple times per day at the EA booth, so be sure to stop by!
The Old Republic Booth Schedule – Hall6.1, Booth B066
* Wednesday, August 18th, 9AM – 7PM CET (Press Only)
* Thursday, August 19th, 10AM – 8PM CET
* Friday, August 20th, 10AM – 8PM CET
* Saturday, August 21st, 9AM – 8PM CET
* Sunday, August 22nd, 9AM – 6PM CET
EA released a press statement about its upcoming GamesCom appearance that includes heavy Star Wars The Old Republic presence. Here’s the interesting part for SWTOR fans:
Five EA and EA Partner titles at gamescom have already received early recognition for their outstanding quality. The gamescom 2010 award nominations were announced today and include:
FIFA 11 — Best Console
Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ — Best Online and Best of gamescom
Crysis(R) 2 — Best PC, Best of gamescom
The Sims(TM) 3 console — Best Mobile title
Rock Band(R) 3 instruments — Best Hardware
Another important thing to know is that there will be a Press Briefing on Tuesday, August 17th, at 4:00pm CET (that is 7am PST) held by Electronic Arts. A live stream of the press conference will be available at http://live-event.ea.com/gamescom/live/ . We’ll try and record it so you can view it at a more convenient time :).
Electronic Arts will be occupying a huge area at hall 6 with multiple games on display. There is a whole subsection reserved for Star Wars: The Old Republic. EA’s German site has a map of booth configurations as well as the schedule of events in the EA area. What I found interesting is that when you zoom in the SWTOR area you can clearly see 3 round tables with seats for 12 and computers all around. This looks like you will be able to get some hands-on experience with the game. Whether this will be the same demo people at E3 were able to play or we will be seeing new areas of the game (space combat perhaps?) remains to be seen.
Star Wars: The Old Republic show will be held each day at these times on the central EA stage:
We are very proud to announce that we’ll be attending this year’s GamesCom gaming convention in Cologne, Germany. It is the biggest gathering of game makers and gamers in Europe. Last year it was visited by 245,000 people, which made it one of the largest games trade fairs in the world.
We will be there to bring you the best coverage of all the Star Wars The Old Republic related events. You can expect all kinds of coverage, from news and show floor gossip to live blogging and videos from the SWTOR booth. Things will kick off on Wednesday, August 18th, which is press only day, and we’ll try and get you as much info as possible starting noon.
Make sure you keep checking our site for all the latest updates as well as our Twitter account and YouTube page (for fresh videos from the show).
We would also like to share the excitement of attending Gamescom with the SWTOR community. For all of those that will not be able to be there in person we would like you to use our site as the vessel to take your message to the Bioware people at the show. We will pick a few of the best community questions and try and get an answer from Bioware. You can submit your questions in the comment section bellow or in !
Please refrain from questions that you know will be answered with a “No comment” and no, we will not ask if they will create a Twi’lek stripper class. If everything goes as planned we plan on rewarding the best questions with swag we pick up at the show so make sure you leave a valid email.
Also, we would love to meet other SWTOR fans so anyone attending just drop us a message and we can meet and talk about the game and have some German drinks while we’re at it (I hear Cologne is a beautiful town).