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SWTOR: Weaponry in The Old Republic

Discussion in 'The OMG Archives' started by The Bioware Beacon, May 26, 2011.

  1. The Bioware Beacon

    The Bioware Beacon Bioware RSS Newsbot

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    This week, we are offering another installment in our ongoing series of lore articles. The majority of our earliest lore focused content dealt with planets and factions, but we recently expanded our overview with a piece on lightsabers and their history in the Star Wars universe. Due to the positive response, we are now taking a look the various weapons available to the rest of the classes. Remember, hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.




    Blasters





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    Outside of a lightsaber, the blaster is the most recognizable piece of weaponry in Star Wars. These energy-based weapons are available to each of the four non-Force classes in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Blasters bear a passing resemblance to modern firearms, and are fairly similar in functionality, with several key differences.


    History


    The earliest handheld blaster weapons predate the Galactic Republic. The former Sith Lord Revan found the earliest known example in the ruins of the Rakatan Infinite Empire. The technology utilized by these weapons changed very little over the course of thousands of years, with blaster progenitors looking very similar to those used in the time of The Old Republic. However that is not to say they are identical. Over time, many technological advancements increased power efficiency, portability and rate of fire.



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    Earliest known blaster model




    Mechanics


    Blaster weapons are typically operated by using supercharged fuel (such as Tibanna gas) to propel an energized particle beam at high velocity. The gas begins in a chamber known as the Heter valve. Pulling the trigger releases a small amount of gas into a second chamber, often called the XCiter. This chamber agitates the gas molecules before pushing the gas into the actuating module. Once the gas is energized, it is electromagnetically accelerated by the actuating module and converted into a stream of particles known as a blaster bolt.


    Blaster weapons are known for their ability to be upgraded easily, and most can be fitted with features such as a laser sight, scope or larger power pack. Due to the nature of these weapons, both the gas chamber and the power cells need to be replaced frequently, with more powerful weapons needing frequent reloading.


    Variations


    Blaster weapons come in all different shapes and sizes, but most can be broken down into three separate categories. Blaster rifles offer additional power, along with a longer barrel and retractable stock. The heavy repeating blaster is the largest and most powerful variant of the blaster rifle, offering a dramatically increased rate of fire, though often at the cost of accuracy. The blaster carbine is a shorter variation of the blaster rifle, which makes them lighter and easier to handle in exchange for reduced range, accuracy and firepower. Blaster pistols, often simply referred to as "blasters, are small and compact enough to be concealed and held with one hand. Though they lack the power and range of the larger models, blasters are popular with criminals and private citizens for their inconspicuous nature and their ready accessibility.



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    Another variant of the standard model is the Plasma blasters. This specialized variation on the standard blaster is less common, and rely on a specialized firing chamber which heats the gas into a plasma state. The ionized plasma launched by this form of blaster makes it particularly effective against droid targets.


    Blasters in The Old Republic


    Each of the non-Force classes in The Old Republic are proficient at specific varieties of blasters. Smugglers and Bounty Hunters use blaster pistols, while Troopers and Imperial Agents use blaster rifles. Players who choose the Commando and Operative advanced classes appear to have the ability to use heavy repeating blasters and blaster carbines, respectively.



    Slugthrowers




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    Slugthrowers are similar in design to blasters, but they rely on a solid projectile (known as a slug) rather than a particle beam. They are considered primitive in relation to blaster weapons, but they are still commonly seen among less advanced cultures.


    Though generally considered inferior, slugthrowers do offer a few unique advantages over conventional blaster weaponry. Many mercenaries prefer slugthrowers when fighting Jedi, as lightsabers cannot deflect the slugs. Additionally, slugthrowers can be silenced, making them ideal stealth weapons due to the inconspicuous nature of the projectile. The mechanical nature of the slugthrower is also considered by some to be more reliable than the power cell-based firing mechanism of blasters, though this claim has not been conclusively proven one way or the other.


    Slugthrowers in the Old Republic


    In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Smuggler can use a slugthrower variant known as a scattergun. Scatterguns release a wide spray of solid pellets, making them nearly impossible to dodge or deflect at close range.



    Sonic Weaponry




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    Sonic weaponry is a variation of blaster technology that utilizes bursts of sonic energy. These weapons can usually be set to stun or lethal settings, depending on the power levels discharged by the blaster. Nonlethal settings use a high-pitched wail that causes disorientation and loss of consciousness, while lethal settings use a focused blast of sonic energy comparable to a blaster bolt. These weapons typically require the user to wear protective headgear to protect themselves from the effects, and can be countered by similar headgear. Like slugthrowers, sonic weaponry cannot be deflected by a lightsaber.


    Sonic Weaponry in Star Wars: The Old Republic


    Sonic weaponry is currently not confirmed for Star Wars: The Old Republic. However, it was featured in Knights of the Old Republic and is a standard weapon used by the Geonosians seen in the recent Sith Inquisitor class video.



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    Ion blasters function like standard blasters, but are mainly used in response to droids and other technological threats. These weapons fire ionized energy instead of blaster bolts, and an ion bolt will disable most electrical systems. Though ion weapons are not designed for use against an organic target, the sheer force of the energy released by ion bolts is sometimes enough to cause severe damage to such targets.


    Ion Weaponry in Star Wars: The Old Republic


    Ion blasters are currently not confirmed for Star Wars: The Old Republic, though they did appear in Knights of the Old Republic.



    Melee Weapons




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    Melee weapons were the first items developed for personal combat, with the earliest weapons being made out of wood or primitive metals. As technology developed, many cultures continued to craft knives, swords and staves out of materials such as durasteel. Cultures such as the Echani pride themselves on their prowess in melee combat, and create unique weapon designs to supplement their abilities.


    During the early days of lightsabers, the Jedi and Sith used bladed weapons such as the Jedi Katana and Sith Sword to practice their dueling technique, and many continued the tradition even after the creation of lightsabers. These weapons were often fitted with a cortosis-weave to allow them to parry lightsabers.


    Vibroblades



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    One of the most common forms of melee weapon during the time of the Old Republic is the vibroblade. Though technically outlawed on most civilized Republic worlds, their efficiency and killing power guarantee that they still see widespread use among soldiers and criminals alike.


    Vibroblades function by inserting a vibrogenerator into a bladed weapon, usually at the hilt. When activated, the generator sends out high-frequency sonic pulses which cause the blade to vibrate rapidly. This allows the vibroblade to cut deeply with the slightest touch, making even glancing blows potentially lethal.


    Energy Blades


    While the lightsaber has never been replicated by those not attuned to the Force, several energy blade designs have been attempted. These energy swords, also known as Flameswords, use an internal power cells within the hilt to create a plasma-charged blade. Capable of cutting through many materials, these unique weapons are only known to exist on the planet of Velmor.


    Melee Weapons in the Old Republic



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    In the Old Republic, all four Jedi and Sith classes currently begin with proficiency in vibroblades and training saber. The Imperial Agent also begins with a vibroblade proficiency, though the developers recently clarified that the Imperial Agent's blade is actually a specialized energy knife.



    Incendiary Weapons




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    Incendiary weapons do not use bolts of energy or projectiles, but instead use streams of burning fuel to create fire-based attacks. A flammable material such as oil or gas is stored in a chamber, and released in a controlled stream in front of the user. Due to the cone-shaped stream these "flamethrowers create, incendiary attacks are harder for lightsabers to deflect than normal blaster attacks. For this reason, flamethrowers are particularly popular with Bounty Hunters. Many of the more popular flamethrower models are wrist-mounted, rather than contained in a blaster.


    Incendiary Weapons in the Old Republic


    The Bounty Hunter class makes extensive use of flamethrowers in Star Wars: The Old Republic. In addition, the Republic Trooper is seen to use incendiary rounds as an ability.



    Demolitions




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    Explosive weapons are commonly used by professional military forces during the time of the Old Republic. The most common forms of explosive weapons are mines, missiles and grenades.


    Grenades


    Grenades are self-contained explosive devices that can either be thrown manually or launched across a great distance by specialized grenade launchers. These devices are loaded with a payload that can range from non-lethal stun charges, to toxic chemicals or high-impact explosives. One of the most infamous grenades is the thermal detonator, a device which can atomize anything within a 20 meter radius.


    Mines


    Mines are similar in design to a grenade, but are usually buried and triggered via remote detonation, proximity sensors, or even a simple pressure trigger that detonates when stepped on. These devices can be detected and disarmed by skilled individuals.


    Missiles



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    Missiles, or rockets, are explosive projectiles designed to be fired out of specialized launch tubes. Like grenades and mines, missiles can be fitted with specialized explosives. In the case of missiles, these explosives are designed to detonate on impact. Missile launchers range from massive tubes large enough to take out vehicles and starships, to small wrist-mounted launchers designed for anti-personnel rockets.


    Demolitions in Star Wars: The Old Republic


    The Bounty Hunter has a large number of missile-based attacks. The PAX '10 ability lists show a Sticky Grenade ability for the Trooper, as well as nonlethal flashbang grenades for the Smuggler and Imperial Agent. In addition, the Imperial Agent has the ability to summon explosive probes.



    Chemical Weapons


    Chemical weapons, commonly known as poisons, are substances designed to attack organisms. This is usually done through the use of gas, targeted injection or drugging of the target's food or drink. Due to the wide variety of species in the Star Wars universe, certain species are more resistant to certain poisons than others, with some even being immune to certain poisons entirely.


    Chemical Weapons in The Old Republic


    The Imperial Agent has access to a Toxic Dart abilities. Additionally, the shared tree for the Imperial Agent class focuses on poisons and debilitating effects.

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  2. Haloid95

    Haloid95 Galactic Fetus

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    Wow those look awesome. I like the vibroblades, they are just my favorite.
     
  3. Jayden

    Jayden I R Posting Machine

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    The wrist mounted flame thrower is probably my favorite.
     
  4. Tricorder

    Tricorder Resident Maid

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    These weapons look... well, old. :p They really have certain old-ish look.
     
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