knights of the old republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic Trailer

I loved Knights of the Old Republic and enjoyed Knights of the Old Republic 2, and the more I see from the new Star Wars MMO The Old Republic, the more I want to play it!

The trailer blew me away, and the details from the demo thrill me!

Welcome to the first fully-voiced MMO ever, filled with BioWare-style dialog choices, including the first-ever multi-character dialog system - in other words, two characters who enter a "flashpoint," the game's term for cutscenes, will both be able to participate in a story- and character-advancing dialog engagement that can drastically alter the outcome and reward of a mission (Gay Gamer).

I hope the fact that the MMO will have a story will discourage many of the people who make MMOs less fun from playing.

Other tantalizing hints about which we received few details from a tight-lipped LucasArts: a light/dark path system for all characters that further enhances character progression (we saw a Sith character earn light side points for sparing an Imperial captain during a flashpoint scene) and, in true BioWare fashion, romance possibilities. No word, of course, on same-sex romance possibilities (Gay Gamer).

I can't wait to see how this all comes together in the game.  It sounds like it is going to be the Star Wars MMO I have wanted since they messed up Star Wars Galaxies again.

Costumes, Role Playing, and Unity

One of my absolute favorite aspects of fandom is the costuming and roleplaying, and I would have to say they are the two most maligned and stigmatized things that we do.  Let's start with the most accepted by the popular culture and proceed to the least understood.

Computer Roleplaying Games

Mass appeal of video games have normalized RPGs on the computer, and why not.  Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, and Knights of the Old Republic were all such brilliant games, it is hard to see how they couldn't have had a mass market appeal, but in the one place where Roleplaying should flourish, it is all but extinct.

There was once a type of game known as the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG).  The problem is that these too entered the popular culture, and they spawned a new bane: badge collectors.  A sizable number of the MMORPG players became obsessed with their statistics, what badges they earned, and what loot they could get.  The software companies saw these players as their core audience and in some cases, there only audience.

The games were increasingly designed for these players and not for the fans of story.  Coinidentally, the acronym was shortened from MMORPG to simply MMO.  Players have done what they can to keep roleplaying alive, but they are generally isolated to a specific server or guild, and they are not aided by the software designers who more and more are crafting games that challenge your prowess with a keyboard and mouse and don't require any thought whatsoever.

This is one of the reasons I am so excited about Star Wars: The Old Republic and Stargate Worlds.  They are trying to bring story into the games and make it front and center.  I wish them the best of luck.

Table Top Role Playing Games

Earthdawn Gamemaster's Compendium (RedBrick Li...
Image via Wikipedia

Table top RPG fans are the geeks that geeks love to hate.  Don't believe me?  Listen carefully to a lot of the podcasts out there.  It won't take you too long to find people having a geeky conversation about their favorite tech and occationally mocking TTRPG players.

Table Top games are not  as easy to play as their computerized bretheren, but they are a lot more fun.  There are more requirements to play:

  • The Rule Books
  • Friends who have free time to come over
  • Dice
  • Creativity
  • Imagination

I didn't stutter at the end, and no, I am not padding the list.  Creativity is the ability to think originally, and imagination is the ability to see with the minds eye events as they are described to you.

I think those last two more than anything else makes people not like tabel top games.  Personally, I love them.  I run an Earthdawn game at the house every Sunday.  Nothing brings friends together for a good time like a shared adventure built from the collective imaginations of everyone there.

Live Action Role Playing

Vampire: The Masquerade
Image via Wikipedia

Live Action Role Playing (LARPing) is penultimate expression of role playing.  There are numerous systems for LARPing and they all generally involve renting a location, playing in a park, or the storyteller's home.  Most LARPers dress up in elaborate costumes and carry props to aid in game play.

I used to play Vampire: The Masquerade both as a table top game and as a LARP, and I have to say, the LARPs were always more fun.  We played at local conventions and I ran a chronicle that spanned various players homes, parks, and a few businesses who allowed us to use their establishment.

Who doesn't enjoy getting dressed up and spending a night as someone else?

One aspect of the LARPs I've played that made them so fun was that they were locked to the locations they took place.  The story was handled through notes given to the players to explain what happened between sessions, and a couple players who agreed to play according to the scripted motives I provided for them.  To this day, some of my favorite memories took place at LARPs.

We were a part of a LARP network where storytellers coordinated large scale events between cities, and at conventions our players would play through pivitol stories.  The largest LARP event we threw had 500 players in attendence.  3,00o players made up the network.  We coordinated through a email list.

LARPs are emense fun, and I miss them terribly.  I had hoped that MMOs would provide a platform for virtual LARPs, but so far, they haven't.

Costuming

Death EaterSome people just love dressing up.  They don't roleplay at all, they just wear the costume for enjoyment.  For some, it is an uniform.  For others, it is an expression of their identification with the character or race they are recreating.  And others do it for the challenge of recreating the costume.

Steampunk is an entire movement built around costuming for the sheer fun of it.

Fans who Play together Stay together

Most of the deep, personal relationships I have developed with fans over the years has been between fans I have roleplayed with.  We share an experience that is truly unique to the players who were there.  Memories of events that are not replecatable in real life.

All these years later, I still run into people at the conventions who remeber the night my Taleison should have seen his reflection in the mirror and went mad.  We talk about it like a moment from a movie or series that we loved, but our connection to the event is so much more personal because we were there when it happened.

So if you haven't before.  I hightly recommend to gather up your friends and play a game with them.  Feel free to choose the type, but make sure it is one that will build those memories that will last a lifetime.

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Knights of the Old Republic #37 Sneak Peak

star-wars-kotor-36Sneak peak is up for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic issue #37.  There are nine pages in total and it looks awesome!  Only warning is that there are some spoilers in it. Get your copy of issue #36 here

(via MTV)


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Roleplaying: Knights of the Old Republic

starwars_article_KOTORguide_pic1_en Wizards of the Coast releases a Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide.

Features new game material from a variety of sources and includes characters, weapons, droids, and vehicles

Includes an introductory adventure as well as adventure seeds and ready-to-use game statistics for key adversaries

Contains new Force powers, Force techniques, and Force secrets for Jedi and Sith characters, as well as new options for characters of all classes

New talents and feats for Mandalorian neo-crusader, Republic soldier, and Jedi (via Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide)

I have to pick up a copy of the book and find a way to run a game or better still, play in one.

Knights of the Old Republic Online?

There is a lot of wishful thinking at the heart of the rumors going around.

Now in an interview with Video Gaming 247, Ray Muzyka from Bioware confirmed that they are working on an MMO, and wheels begin to turn:

“I think the idea of emotion and narrative in an online game, combined with the best of breed features in MMOs ...

“And if you combine that with progression, exploration, customization and combat, which are the staples of current MMOs… with another pillar of story, and put it all in a social context, I think you have something that could be an incredibly rich and maybe the most compelling experience ever delivered. That’s our goal.”

The logical question for all of the Knights of the Old Republic fanboys like myself is, "What could be a more compelling than a Knights of the Old Republic MMO?"

I have been craving a new KotOR game for a long time. In fact, that is why I started playing Star Wars Galaxies. I really wanted more Star Wars and hoped Galaxies would fill that need. For a long time it did... until chapter 6 was released. The game became for the most part unplayable. No one wants a new Knights of the Old Republic Online than I do, but these rumors are even less than a whisper and a prayer.

I can only hope that is game is actually coming, and that if not, if we dream openly about it enough, perhaps the stars will align and this game will be made.

I will be keeping my eyes on this and hoping that something more concrete evidence of the games existence.

(via GayGamer.net)

Exploring the Temple of Exar Kun

A Preview of the next chapter in Star Wars Galaxies:

While exploring the Temple of Exar Kun, the team stumbled upon undiscovered catacombs hidden deep underground. What will they discover in the depths of the temple? Find out in an exciting new heroic encounter coming in Chapter 9 (Star Wars Galaxies)!

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I have enjoyed going to the temple of Exar Kun for a while, and I cannot wait to face off against the evil in the catacombs beneath it.