I’ve been scoping out the Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Holonet for a while now, waiting for the unveiling of the final mystery box. Today I got my wish when SWTOR rolled out their new 3-D Galaxy Map. A quick 3rd party plug-in install later, a few blips as planet flythrough videos didn’t load, and I was listening to soaring background music and exploring the Known Galaxy. This is overall a neat little feature, but I’m a sucker for maps.
I had speculated a while ago that the final box in the Holonet might have something to do with waystations or space stations. While this one contains information about known planets and known starships, I say there is plenty of room to expand it in the future. I could still be right and we will see the addition of features unique to the space travel and combat part of the game. After all, Bioware has been pretty hush, hush about that portion of game play.
The city planet of Coruscant has always fascinated me. It is a place of endless depths and endless possibilities. I literally can’t wrap my head around the thought of that many people, that much construction, that much light pollution, all in one place. The image presented in the Galaxy Map of Coruscant is really impressive. Here is this giant glowing orb of interconnected, massive circular cities. I love the fact that the cities are circular rather than the grid pattern most of us know.
I see a great deal of potential in this site feature and I’m looking forward to what they add to it in the future. One thing that can be said for the game taking so long to go from concept to play, we have a plethora of information about it right out the door. That is one thing I missed when I left WoW and dabbled in other MMOs like Rift. I can’t complain about not enough game information for SWTOR.
One bit that felt odd to me at first, but turned into a natural fit when I stopped being dense, was the ships section. Duh, how exactly do we traverse the known galaxy? Forgive me for my brief lack of vision there. I’m a table-top gamer, not just a video gamer, and I play Star Wars Saga Edition with a group of friends. We’ve done a few campaigns set back in the Old Republic era, so I’m pretty jazzed about seeing the ship designs in such detail. I have spun each ship around, looking for docking rings and lasers, missile launch tubes, and all manner of things we’ve used in our games.
I am sad to report that the darn Bounty Hunters luck out when it comes to armament on their ships. It made me want to strap an extra gun mount on the far side of the Smuggler’s XS Freighter just to balance things out. I bet that D5 Mantis gets horrible gas mileage!
I’ve read some mixed reactions from “the community” (the rabble rousers?) about today’s Holonet addition. Personally, I have enjoyed the heck out of exploring this new toy and seeing a wonderful glowing representation of sectors of the Star Wars galaxy that have so far only existed on paper for me. I can only hope that some of these people who seem hopped up on goofballs will slow down and take the time to dive into this feature. They should be looking at little gems like the sector view, which shows a grid of coordinates, and thinking about what those might mean for the game. I certainly have a few favored speculations. Then again, I also have, and use, my imagination.