The Old Republic is Massively Massive, Other Details

In fact, ‘Massively Massive’ very well could be what the M’s in “MMO” stand for in Bioware’s upcoming game, judging from the two interviews VG247 has conducted with The Old Republic’s lead writer, Daniel Erickson. You can read the interviews in full here and here, but as per usual, we bring the information to you.

So, how massive are we talking about here? Well, the game features “fully individualized stories,” according to Erickson, and these have specific backstories for any given class. Citing the smuggler as an example, he states that “You can roll a smuggler, and he’s got a crazy story. And it’s funny, and he’s got ridiculous lines, and he’s always in over his head, and everything’s always going wrong, and you can flirt with everything that moves. And then you go and roll a bounty hunter, and it’s much more serious. He’s sort of a gunslinger, and he’s one man with a gun making his way in the world.” Okay, that doesn’t really tell you how massive it is, and you could even say that they’ve already done this before. Dragon Age, for example, had your ‘Origin’ story be the introduction to the game, and for all intents and purposes, that Origin story was your backstory. This is on a completely different plane, though. He says that  “if you played that smuggler RPG, and you played that from the beginning all the way to the end, and then you decided I want something new, and you played the bounty hunter all the way to the end, you would not see one piece of repeated content….no quests, no quest-givers, no NPCs, and not one line of dialogue.”

Now that is absolutely insane. And it’s not surprising for Daniel to say that this eclipses everything else they’ve done, “One playthrough is far, far, far bigger than anything we’ve ever done before.” But that’s not all. We’ve already been told that The Old Republic features more dialogue than the entire show of the Sopranos. It gets even crazier, though, when he says that The Old Republic has more dialogue in it than fifty Star Wars novels.

Daniel also tells us that the inspiration behind the smuggler class is Han Solo, because “Han was the man. Han got the girl. Han had the ship.” This is great news to someone like me, who has absolutely no interest in playing either a Sith or a Jedi but was scared that other classes would have no real incentives to play them. I think I’m going smuggler for this one, guys.

When speaking to the design process of the game, Daniel says that “The writers were the first people that ever came onto the project team, because we had to have all of this done before the world designers came in behind us. And then they have the entire story in front of them, and we’re building areas and things to bring this story to life.” Needless to say, this is a very different approach from most studies. Most studios have the writers come in last which explains a whole lot of…everything about the industry. And about Bioware, too.

Stay tuned as we bring you more info on The Old Republic!


  1. Tom

    Here’s my issue: if no content is shared, then what incentive do I have to play with others? And if I’m not playing with others, how is this not just Dragon Age the Star Wars Edition Where You Pay Us To Play?

    On the other hand, bounty hunter and smuggler are different sides, and there could be lots of repeated content, because…if you’re a troll shaman and then a gnome wizard in World of Warcraft, there’s not much repeated content in the level grind, either.

  2. Uh, people can still play with you. They just can’t mess with your story arc.

    There’s no repeated content between smugglers and bounty hunters. The interview says so 😛

  3. Fernando Cordeiro

    As long as none of these ‘writers’ is George Lucas, I’m still listening. 😉

    • Haha! I don’t think he’s involved any more than simply receiving some sort of royalty check somewhere down the line.