Happiness is a Warm Gun

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Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Jacan Na'al on Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:01 am

Principal Lead Combat Designer Damion Schubert talks about creating the Trooper class.

It was a tense day in the combat design pit. We had completed the first pass of our new character class, the Republic Trooper, and had made it available for the team to play. As part of the process of class development, we run internal playtests and gather feedback from volunteers who offer their time. After our first such playtest with the Trooper, we anxiously gathered around a computer, watching survey results trickle in. We were somewhat nervous. The Trooper is a true design challenge. He has no Force powers to lean on; he doesn’t have a wide array of sexy lightsaber moves. While heavily armored, we didn’t want that armor to provide the Swiss army knife flexibility built into the Bounty Hunter’s power suit. The Trooper is simpler–he has a really big gun and a variety of ways to wreak havoc with it. How would people respond?

They responded well–far better than we imagined, in fact. The scores that day were the highest we had seen to date. It turns out there are a lot of people who like to blow things up. And that’s what the Trooper does best.

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When we start designing classes, we want to start with the experience–what should it feel like to play– what should it feel like to play as a Jedi or a Bounty Hunter? When doing so, we often touch upon character archetypes seen in the films: what would it be like to play the Han Solo experience, the Boba Fett experience or the Darth Vader experience? We were still concerned about how these classes would fit into an RPG advancement system and fulfill certain MMO needs, but first and foremost, our top concern as we were designing the Trooper was “Will playing this make me feel like I’m a Trooper?”

With the Trooper, we took a lot of inspiration from Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers from the movies. We knew we had an archetype that inspired a lot of fans, but, to say the least, the classic movie depictions are not exactly heroic roles–heck, Episode IV Stormtroopers probably couldn’t hit the wall in a 10x10 room. This is improved to some degree by the new Clone Wars animated series that has come out, but you’re still not talking about fantasies on par with playing as Obi-Wan.

And while we didn’t want to bog ourselves down too early with MMO details, we couldn’t ignore balance and fairness, especially in PvP, which raises a central question: How does a Trooper hold his own against a Sith? Sure, the Trooper can be at a pretty severe disadvantage if he finds himself within melee range of a lightsaber-wielding maniac, but if a Trooper engages any other class on his own terms, he should have better-than-even odds.

It turns out that a Trooper facing off against a Force user isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem at first glance. Lest we forget, it was the Clone Troopers who established that Jedi were mortal during Order 66.

The writers were more than happy to help us out here–story-wise, you’re not playing just any Trooper, but rather a rising star of the Republic Special Forces unit known as Havoc Squad. The fact that the Trooper was not a faceless red-shirt, but rather the crème de la crème of the Republic Army, gave us a lot of leeway to create a compelling and visceral fantasy for the Player to experience.

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The Trooper has evolved over time since that first playtest, but at the core he remains the same: a dedicated soldier who believes in military precision, tactical superiority and above all, a whole lot of firepower. With his impressive arsenal of assault rifles and grenades, the Trooper is the best ranged damage dealer the Republic has to offer.

That’s not all the Trooper is about, though. He’s got the ability to adjust his combat capabilities to meet different challenges. He’s got an array of morale-themed party buffs designed to strengthen himself and his party. He’s got just enough control to be able to maintain range and keep the fight on his own terms.

But really, what’s the Trooper about? A simple philosophy: “Happiness is a warm gun.”

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Jacan Na'al


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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Guest on Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:30 am

He’s got the ability to adjust his combat capabilities to meet different challenges. He’s got an array of morale-themed party buffs designed to strengthen himself and his party. He’s got just enough control to be able to maintain range and keep the fight on his own terms.

That sounds like stances, group buffs, and some kind of stunning effects. I like ranged classes. I might have found my main.

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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Arashi Storm on Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:55 pm

I just hope they let us have two classes.
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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  thedoon on Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:49 am

Same here becuase I know I want to be a jedi but I would also like to be something else at the same time to switch it up a little bit you know.
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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Arashi Storm on Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:54 am

Exactly, one day I might be in the mood for playing ranged and the next swinging a LS.
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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Naidon on Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:34 pm

I like what I am seeing on the Trooper. I was concered about how they would do against a melee fighter and I am glad to see their thoughts on the topic. It's early, but this could be my main.

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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  thedoon on Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:32 am

Yeah it sounds like the trooper wouldn't get owned by a jedi. It's good that they will be able to stand there own. Cant wait to try it out.
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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Gatho on Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:22 am

What can I say. Love it.
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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Toranilor on Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:54 pm

Trooper seems awesome...

Again, I'm having second thoughts on what class to play as..
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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Arashi Storm on Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:13 pm

I hear ya Toran. I am gonna be pretty upset if we can't have two characters at the same time.
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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Mictian on Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:43 pm

Naidon wrote:I like what I am seeing on the Trooper. I was concered about how they would do against a melee fighter and I am glad to see their thoughts on the topic. It's early, but this could be my main.

Then again, it would seem odd that a lone trooper could take down an armed jedi, im still having doubts about the trooper's ability to stand it's own against a jedi, despite all that's been said, haha
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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Arashi Storm on Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:34 pm

It's very possible. Especially if you think about their arsenal. Sticky grenades, rockets, regular grenades, and then of course a blaster rifle. A jedi has little defense against area of effect weapons. And the trooper is suppose to be elite. I don't know why they are calling them trooper though if they are elite. Commando, shock trooper, special forces would be more fitting. I guess it also depends on how they set jedi up.

A jedi should really be unmatched in melee combat. With the force to guide a jedi and the light saber as a weapon it's just tough to beat up close. Its such a tough subject to talk about though because if you look at the lore you would say jedi are pretty much gonna win in a one on one. But when it comes to a game, especially an MMO, you just never know.
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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Jacan Na'al on Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:59 am

Probably elite is in skill and equipment, not necesarily in rank (a rank is simply a word isn't it?)
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Jacan Na'al


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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Bahn Durm on Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:55 am

I definitely think it could be possible.
Maybe part of their training comes into something similar to the Clone Troopers.
Part of the lore of Order 66 was that the Jedi didn't know they were going to be attacked because of the Clones' lack of emotion. Therefore, the Jedi couldn't sense any future wrong-doing. Perhaps that could be part of the elite training of the Trooper class; training to void yourself of emotion when necessary.

Speaking of the name, it probably comes from the thought that "a single, concise word is more powerful to the player than a two word one". A lot of MMOs use singular names for their class titles. That's probably why they chose 'Trooper' instead of 'Elite Troop' or 'Advanced Commando'. Plus, 'Trooper' is the only term that doesn't really sound like all the other terms for the Star Wars soldier types.

Yeah, I'm expecting them (BioWare) to be able to pull off a great sense of balance between classes through a reasonable lore. You'll definitely have your kiddies that complain about how their "super l33ts j3di was pwnd by some f**kin' soldier b*llsh*t".
But then there will be those with a sense of reason and will want to be the Trooper in which those kiddies complain about. ^_^
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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Naidon on Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:50 am

Everyone has made good points on this. I am just looking for balance. Maybe I can only win half my battles with a Sith, that would be ok. I just dont want to see a Sith walk right up to a Trooper and one two dead. I just wont play anything thats an easy kill for a Sith becasue there are going to be so many. Hopefully I am not solo anyway. I expect to see some OUF around.

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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Arashi Storm on Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:57 pm

I've got your back.
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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Bahn Durm on Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:15 am

Same
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Re: Happiness is a Warm Gun

Post  Carlen Darko on Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:27 am

Well, I can't wait to get in game and see what a sticky does to things...

*hehehe sticky sticky STICKY!
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