SW: TOR - E3 Demonstration Report @ Massively
Massively have a write up on the Star Wars: The Old Republic demonstration given at E3.
The entire presentation laid a significant emphasis on story and story elements. Right from the beginning, the developers lay out it: RPGs have four primary elements. Exploration, combat, progression, and story. The story element is the one most overlooked in MMOs, and The Old Republic intends to address that head on. They intend to embrace story right alongside the other RPG elements. It will be a major player, and not something just used to justify the other elements.
The presentation switched to live footage of the Bounty Hunter class that we've seen before. Again, the development team sets the stage: Your are a Bounty Hunter on Hutta, trying to gain entry into the Mandalorian Hunt, the contest in which the Mandalorians search for the greatest Bounty Hunters in the galaxy. The presenter laid out some of the design goals with this campaign: Make the Bounty Hunter feel true to the universe. The bounty hunter's drive is a personal one, and their actions are mercenary in nature.
When this scene began, we were given a firsthand look at what BioWare meant by a "fully voiced" MMO. Each and every character has dialogue, and they speak back and forth in a natural way. Player characters and NPCs alike speak to one another for story events. Right off the bat, all of the characters that are introduced have an obvious personality. There is no dry quest text, it's all cinematic in nature. The Bounty Hunter is faced with some of his first decisions, and the point is made once again that your decisions will impact how characters treat you down the road.