In most MMOs, exploration means completing maps and maybe getting an achievement for the effort. But in Star Wars: the Old Republic, budding explorers will receive more rewards for walking the off-beaten path, like permanent stat gains and exclusive lore content.
Each SWTOR player will have access to a personal Codex, which works as an in-game encyclopedia that expands its contents the more you see of the game world.
The Codex was patterned after similar exploration reward systems in other BioWare games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, said principal lead systems designer Damion Schubert in a developer blog post over the weekend.
“Overall, the codex system has been successful at meeting our two design goals of providing more fictional context to the player, and providing an explorer mini-game with meaningful rewards.” said Mr. Schubert.
EpicToon has broken down the main features of the Codex:
- Datacrons stat booster. Interacting with special datacron cubes planted throughout the game universe will boost your stats permanently. With such a big reward, you will have to find unconventional routes and uncover hidden paths leading to the datacrons.
- Exploration unlocks. Some Codex entries will be available at once, but others will need to be unlocked by traveling to different regions of the planet, battling rare creatures, and taking on quests from alien species.
- Designed for challenging solo play. Enemy encounters linked to exploration unlocks can be completed as a solo adventurer with difficulty appropriate for the area level.
- Progression tracker. The Codex user interface highlights discoveries in the current planet or location, and alerts the player if he has not yet collected all the data entries and datacrons.
- 120,000 words of text. Fans who want to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe can read a whole novel’s worth of lore descriptions via the Codex.
Mr. Schubert expects that datacron hunting parties will be commonplace in the game. We here at EpicToon go as far as predicting a datacron profession, a player who earns SWTOR Credits from guiding new players to these hard-to-find cubes.
All the trouble will be worth it though, as players will be encouraged to learn more about the galaxy and get lost in the intricate fantasy that the game writers have crafted. “All of these features combine to make a nice little collection game for the player, where the reward for the act of collecting is more lore and context offering insights and depth into the world of SWTOR,” said Mr. Schubert.