I am Chris Schmidt, a Galactic Starfighter designer here to talk about one of my favorite ship roles in the upcoming Digital Expansion for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.
As you race across the map, the path is clear in front of you. You’re boosting along to try and reach an objective and—WHAM! Suddenly, your engine power is drained. Again—WHAM! Critical hit on your hull! By the time you find the culprit, you are already severely damaged. Now you’ve closed the gap on this sniper, and have her in your sights. But without warning, you see a bright flash of light as she boosts away while somehow rendering your ship too slow to catch up. What just happened?
You have just met the Gunship.
The Gunship role in Galactic Starfighter has a few unique role-defining options that can create some interesting gameplay. First and foremost, each Gunship has at least one Railgun, a powerful long-range weapon that allows you to damage enemies from a safe distance. Railguns have a firing mode that allows Gunships to zoom in and out looking for the next victim. But make sure and charge your shots fully to inflict maximum damage!
Some Gunships can swap between different Railguns while in battle, giving you even more options. Would you rather ruthlessly drain energy from your enemy’s power pools with the Ion Railgun, deliver the most deadly amount of damage, but spread over time with the Plasma Railgun, or just go right for your enemy’s shields with the penetrating Slug Railgun? Regardless of what you choose, staying hidden and moving in and out of sight may be your best chance at survival. Once you’re in Railgun firing mode, you cannot move, but you can still turn and strafe to fine-tune your aiming. Gunships benefit from the most sensitive strafing in Galactic Starfighter, allowing you to position yourself with great accuracy.
But what if your enemy gets a jump on you before you detect them? For protection you could choose the Feedback Shield, which charges your shields with energy. Once an enemy hits your shields, that charged energy is released upon them as damage! Or perhaps you choose the Fortress Shield, doubling your shield strength but at the price of rendering you motionless. Maybe that will allow you enough time to line up a shot and take out your would-be attacker.
A couple of engines unique to the Gunship add even more utility to escaping a sticky situation. Combat a wily enemy approaching you from behind by choosing the Rotational Thrusters. These allow you to quickly rotate to your target so you can defend yourself with no time to spare. If you’re more interested in a quick getaway, the Interdiction Drive both boosts your speed and cripples your target’s speed, allowing you an opportunity to get away to fight another day.
The Gunship offers a sniper gameplay style suited to picking off enemies at great range, combined with enough tricks to get out of a sticky situation at close range. Enemies are hit with instant panic when they see a Gunship charging up her railgun.