If we ask a Star Wars fan to say an imperial droid, we will most likely hear
probe droid, or with an other word, probot. This cult droid is known by both
of these names. Its widespread awareness is not from the film, it is not only
popular or loved because of the Empire strikes back movie. There the droid is
an episodic character, and in addition, and we only can learn an insignificant
minority of its functions. Who knows it only on the basis of the Empire SB
movie may think that this droid is good for being sent to many planets like a
Voyager to find the rebels. However, the droid is much more versatile, much
more interesting, much more exciting if we break away from the otherwise
stupid ESB, and we inspect the droid at the wider perspective in the world of
games! The expanded universe has provided this one-minute episodist with a lot
of features, virtually every game gives it something extra, an extraordinary
task, which, if we get to know it, will radiate a spotlight to the Probe
droid, instead of the glimmery candle light of the Empire of the Empire.
the droid was first released in the Empire strikes back, we cannot deny this
and it is a joy it has appeared, even if the film has turned the droid into
petty change money, the probot project itself has been completed in the EU
afterwards. According to Clone Wars, a very similar version of the
already supported the CIS army. That is, it existed in the historical
timeline, but since the CW is a later project, it is a younger appearance. In
fact, even if we go back a thousand years, there were probe droids in the Old
Republic, which are historically even older, but the TOR game is more recent
than Clone Wars.
Shadows of the Empire
The probe droid is probably looks like the
way that it was shown in the film. In the battle of Hoth they represent the easiest opponent. That is a shooting practice basically, we can practice snowspeeder attacks on them. They have no function, they just float there, sometimes they shoot, they cause a little damage, they can be quickly destroyed, they are a kind of level 1 of the game, a good early enemy before the AT-STs, and ultimately, before the AT-AT walkers. We can therefore realize that this droid is not specifically designed to fight, it is a weak opponent.
In this real time strategy game, we can obviously use them while controlling the Empire. They can be
manufactured in the city center from the second technology age. Or we can meet them if we play AGAINST the Empire. Often, the machine writes that "your enemy is spying on you". That means your opponent is just spying in the Fog of War mode, where the unexplored area is covered with black shroud. This
can be removed, for example, with a probe droid, with a high probability somewhere around your base the AI is spying your defenses. The probot flies, floats, so lava or water cannot stand in its way, so there are no natural obstacles that it cannot fly by.
If we play on a team island, we can send a probe to the enemy island.
The probe droid is available right there at the beginning of the game, we don't have to go level up like in GBG. The line of sight of the droid is very practical, larger than our swoop bikes’ and speeder bikes’. What is
important because we see the enemy coming from afar, and with a plasma launcher or mobile artillery we can destroy them, very far, in a safe distance. Its secondary capability is scanning,
which adds a little bit of additional LOS (line of sight) for a short time. The probe droid can keep it for a very short time, but the ability will be available soon after the droid regain full charge. Then we can scan again, it is very practical either in attack or defense. We'll get probe droids for the battle of Hoth, many of them help the mission.
Empire at War
The non plus ultra of the starwars strategies put the scouting into a new interpretation. This is basically the basis of today's warfare, too. In the game we have planets. On the surface our land units, tanks, vehicles, infantry are stationed. Above the planet is our fleet. The rebels have a so-called raid feature, this ability allows them to penetrate a fleet-protected planet with a smaller squad, outplaying the fleet above it, they can land on the surface without a space battle. But the Empire has no way of doing this. They need to do this linearly, hyperspace travel, arriving at the planet, space battle with enemy airforces, plus the space station, and possibly an ion cannon, and they can land on the ground just after these all. However, we do not know what forces are stationed above the planet. There are moments when you MUST attack. Such is the case, for example, when the opponent has redeployed his space forces elsewhere. When space station is relatively defenseless. Or if there are many transport vehicles on orbit. In many cases, the AI wants to hide the redeployment of its space force before an attack by lifting up some ground units in orbit in many transport ships, so we should see that there are many units over the planet under many question marks, but we do not know what the question mark covers, a Nebulon B frigate, or just an infantry transport. In this case, the Empire can send a probe droid that costs 30 money and is lost after use, but gets an accurate picture of the states above the target planet. Of course, this can be tricked in single player mode, with a pre-attack save, and then the damn hell, there are A-wings, Y-wings, X-wings, Corellian corvettes, Mark-1s, Nebulons, possibly Calamari cruisers above the planet, reload quickly, and we already know that the fleet is there. However, there is no possibility to do so in multiplayer mode. So the probe droid is perfect for spying in the campaigns. This can be replaced at later tech levels by invisibly moving units, e.g. with Boba Fett, or with a smuggler, who can go to a planet without noticing, so they can provide a perfect picture of the full space force of a planet. But Boba Fett is only available later, so we need to build a cantina for a smuggler for a couple of hundred credits, which needs an empty space on the planet in the scarce infrastructure sites, and it does not produce money as a mine does, and hiring a bounty hunter or smuggler costs a thousand of credit, (only 750 in the presence of Emperor). Anyway, it is very expensive, and slow, compairing with the direct and fast production of the
probe droid (which is 30 credit, in the presence of the Emperor only 23!). 200-300 spying missions can be executed from the price of a bounty hunter or smuggler for the same amount of money, although there is no doubt that in the long run smugglers can be better used on a professional level, because he can be quickly transferred to another planet, he will not be destroyed if we do not give him a steal credit job, he will stay in the space unnoticed above a planet and, by the end of the game, we will help us to see what is stationing in the enemy space. You can even send a smuggler above all enemy planets, so they just can't hide from us, we will see everything, till the end of the game. So this probe droid-smuggler thing is almost indispensable for the professional gameplay, providing a high level of experience and use.
Jedi knight Jedi Outcast
In addition to strategic issues, the game shows the other interesting features of the probe droid.
Almost at the very beginning of the game, on Kejim, there is a chasm in front of the Imperial Base. On the other side there is some base where we can't go through the chasm. But we can shoot there.
Although the troopers are behind a force field and can not be injured, they send out a probe droid to see who is shooting. As it can fly, it can cross over the chasm easily, see the area perfectly, can take recordings of the intruder, and even it can fight him/them/us with minimal firepower, though it doesn't damage too much.
The same thing happens at the
Artus prime base. Only then the probes will come if we cross the search lights of the base’s reflectors. If we fail infiltrating the base unnoticed, two probes will come from the top left and the sirens will sound.
They also protect the interiors. The probe droids are often patrolled the corridors of Kejim. It is also a completely new usage. That is, they do not
perform space exploration, or espionage, but they can guard a room, a corridor, quasi as a walking guard, a soldier, or a security personnel.
It is also a matter of area defence that the probe's sensors are extremely sensitive.
It would probably notice us eralier than we would notice it. It detects
from far away,
sends the broadcast of our situation, and until the enemy comes, it intercedes us, attacking
us. On Yavin there is also a probe droid, waiting, listening. I had to make
the screenshot from cover, because it could easily notice me, and it will attack
then. Also a good decision to snipe it down from the distance, though obviously
that would not be so a spectacular screenshot.
Use in unfriendly areas
For example, in cold areas, just remember Jedi Academy’s Hoth levels. Or in hot areas, such as burning corridors, or poisonous, gas-leaking, etc. areas. Moving on
hazardous sections does not matter to them, as they are droids. However, sometimes accidents can happen, so like in Artus Prime, when a meteor felt on a scouting probe droid, destroying it. Kyle Katarn has found its remains. But that is rare. They
are also well in zero gravity. For example, at the end of the Doomgiver level, when there will be no gravity in the ship, and Kyle floats back to the big deep chasm with the guard tower in the middle, there will be two Probe droids. Under certain circumstances, they are even more advantageous because while we are just floating, they can quickly navigate in the air. But here we can also list outdoor space-based duties. There will
be probe droids on top of Kejim base. The droid is capable of vertical movement in tiny service tunnels, where we can see such tunnels, we may soon have to fight with probot(s). The probe droid leaves the room via these tunnels, goes out to the outside, to the roof, etc., and then comes back.
For example, to be charged. NEVER seen things are in Jedi Outcast, we'll find some probe droid storage bay stations in the Kejim base! These are some kind of charging storage places. When the droid is not in use, it is resting there. In a kind of
by mode, they sleep in these storage bays, but if they see a stranger, they
immediately activate and attack. It is very interesting, because, like any
droid, they also need energy, shield replenishment, etc., but we have never
seen it before, nowhere, how they do that, so JK2 gives a brand new look in
Check out my customized Probe droid figure! That is not a full custom, I did not do it, but I customized the existing one. I had painted his ugly orange guns, I
painted his eyes more realistic, I painted it a little bit all around more
metallic, its legs were antiqued, it was basically bluish-gray plastic color,
looked like a POTF release toy droid. It was made very, very long ago. In
2006, by the time the photo was taken!
Please take a look at my custom probot figure!
Custom probot figure
Custom probe droid
figure from above, close look
Thank you for your attention, come back to CustomStarWars!
written by: Norbert Rostas 2019. 01. 05. the figure was made