's done it. It dismantled Star Wars canon with one small fuzzy teddy bear. Perhaps that's an exaggeration, but when Star Wars: The Old Republic
releases update 2.3, it introduces players to a new possible companion: Treek, the Ewok. That's right: the Ewok. It makes my soul hurt; my inner canon-lawyer is screaming. I don't want to admit that the developers were out of their minds when they created this creature, but they probably were. Maybe this is a call-out to the five year old child in all of us who actually enjoyed watching stuffed animals beat the crap out of Stormtroopers.
OK, let's give this furball a chance; maybe she's actually awesome. Let's take a moment to examine her abilities. We can tackle that canon thing later. Players constantly complain about not having enough companions, plus Treek represents some new story content. It's about time that we received new content that doesn't require a Cartel Market purchase.
This companion is the first one not to have a DPS stance. For instance, Bounty Hunter companion Mako is a healer primarily, but she can be shifted to a DPS stance if you like. Jedi Consular companion Qyzen is a tank by default, but he can be specced for melee DPS. Treek can be set to the X'ekra tanking stance, which increases threat generation by 100% and increases shield chance by 20%. If you set Treek to the healing Fektur stance, her healing is increased by 5%, her threat generation is lowered by 25%, and the cooldown of her healing abilities are decreased. That's interesting and different. Let's examine her other abilities as quoted from the tooltips on the public test server.
In X'ekra Stance, Treek glides to an enemy target between 10-30m, immobilizing it for 2 seconds and walloping it for 656 - 764 kinetic damage. In Fektur stance, Treek sends a fektur bug at an enemy target. The fektur bug lands on the target and evaluates if for up to 8 seconds. If the target attack a party member, the fektur bug flies to that party member and heals him for 1150 - 1564.
Treek hurls a spear at an enemy target, dealing 420 - 434 weapon damage and causing the target to bleed for 477 damage over 15 seconds. If Treek is in X'ekra Stance, this attack generates additional threat.
Treek blows a whistling flame at an enemy target, dealing 465 - 572 elemental damage and increasing Treek's armoring rating by 20% for 15 seconds. If Treek is in X'erka Stance, this attack generates additional threat.
Treek hurls a cluster bomb above an enemy target, where it explodes and deals 672 - 779 kinetic damage to all enemy targets within 8 meters. Does not hit sleeping, lifted, or incapacitated enemies. If Treek is in X'ekra Stance, this attack also generates additional threat and reduces the damage dealt by enemy targets by 5% for 8 seconds.
Treek tosses a medicinal berry at the ground near a friendly target, healing all group members within 8 meters of the friendly target for 1093 - 1528 amount. Requires Fektur stance.
Treek injects a friendly group member with medicine that heals for 1553 over 12 seconds and cleanses one negative mental or physical effect with each tick.
Treek heals a target group member for 2137 over the channel duration and an additional 1026 at end of the channel. Treek may not heal herself with this ability.
Tana Teeket functions differently in each stance and requires Treek to be at or below 70% HP. In X'ekra stance, Treek shatters a beehive near an enemy target, unleashing a bee swarm that stuns all enemies within 8 meters of the target for 4 seconds. In Fektur stance, Treek drops a smoke bomb, which significantly reduces her threat and causes enemies to ignore her for the next 4 seconds.
Break that down as you will, but I believe that is a nice combination of abilities. The animations are great as well. My two favorites have to be Fektur Sleesh and Daboolhat. For the first one, Treek takes a giant, green, glowing berry that is about the size of her head and hurtles it at you or a friendly player. And for the tank version of Daboolhat, Treek pulls a hang glider from who-knows-where and soars to the enemy.
OK, we've shown that this koala has her uses in combat, but what about in Star Wars canon? Endor wasn't discovered yet, right? And on top of that, how does one of these furry things get off planet? As Bill "Lethality" Leonard
of AskAJedi fame pointed out to me
, former lead writer Daniel Erickson
said during the 2011 E3 livestream, "There are no Ewoks. I can go ahead and confirm that now. Endor is not floating around yet in their time period."
Well, as unfortunate as it is, that's not quite accurate anymore. Ewoks and Endor had
been discovered by this time in Star Wars history. According to Red Harvest
, a novel that takes place eight years after the Treaty of Coruscant, the Republic secured a base on the forest moon of Endor two years before SWTOR
. I don't blame Erickson for having this tidbit of information incorrect because that novel released after SWTOR
was already far into production, and the game was not pivotal to the plotline of the book.
Our new furry Ewok companion doesn't break canon, as much as I want her to. She seems to be a worthy companion as far as mechanics are concerned, but I do want to know how she ended up off Endor. The story the character gives appears to be a stretch, but I don't want to give you any spoilers. If there is one redeeming bit to this whole clusterfudge, Treek is quite funny. I love her introduction, and her calling me chief all the time makes me laugh.
I'll let the Ewok slide this time if for no other reason than she's a hilarious tribute to Simon the killer Ewok
The Hyperspace Beacon by Larry Everett is your weekly guide to the vast galaxy of Star Wars: The Old Republic, currently in production by BioWare. If you have comments or suggestions for the column, send a transmission to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now strap yourself in, kid -- we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!