As the launch date of Star Wars: The Old Republicnears Bioware and beta testers release more and more info into the Holonet, I mean the Internet.

The Old Republic is a Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Game taking place more than 3,500 years before the Star Wars films. It takes place during a tenuous truce between the Galactic Republic and the re-emerged Sith Empire. One of the new Player vs. Player offering, Huttball, is getting a lot of attention. Huttball, as in Jabba the Hutt, is similar to capture-the-flag in other games, but with a few notable additions.

Huttball can take place on many different planets across the system. It features two different teams facing off against one another trying to move the aforementioned Huttball across the stage to a line near the other team's spawn point. The Huttball starts at the center of the map and players must rush to the middle to gain control possession of the ball. Anything to advance the ball and foil your opponents is considered fair game in Huttball, from laser pistols to lightsabers.

 

The Huttball can be thrown and caught by players on either side. So well-organized teams can create a chain of players from the middle to the goal line. The ball can also be thrown to an empty area of the map with no receiver. Though it might not be the best way to move the ball forward, it beats having the opposite team gain control of the ball after you die.

The games take place on a huge multi-tiered level with all sorts of nasty surprises. Vats of acid, anti-gravity traps and columns of fire all must be avoid to get the ball across the map. Some areas of high scaffolding will spit flames forcing a ball-handler to stop, giving the other team time to catch up. Though that shouldn't be hard since the person carrying the ball is slowed down when they have possession.

One of the things that makes Huttball distinct from other MMO's is that Hutball teams won't be split in terms of faction. So republic vs. republic, empire vs. empire and republic vs. empire matches will all be allowed.

As the Dec. 20 launch date gets closer, more details on Star Wars: The Old Republic will be released.