Major MMO studio owned by EA, famous for its RPG franchises and particularly to MMO players for Star Wars: The Old Republic
Long-time players of Star Wars: The Old Republic
: In the next update 5.2: The War for Iokath, you will finally be able to switch factions. Insert disco horn here.
That's right: If you are a Republic character, you will finally be able to fight alongside the best people in the universe: the Sith Empire. And if you're a traitor to the Empress, you can fight alongside the Galactic Republic.
I also wanted to amplify another announcement about a couple of long-awaited companions. Republic Troopers, you will finally get your love interest Elara Dorne back, and Sith Warriors, you will finally be able to Force choke Malavai Quinn again, just as you always wanted.
I'll explain the details, my opinion, and show a teaser video on the matter below in this edition of Hyperspace Beacon.
Senya went off to do some "work," leaving Massively OP's MJ and Larry to skulk about SWTOR's
Old World of Zakuul to learn more about the planet as well as search for the Lady of Sorrows. What information will they dig up on the surveillance feeds? What more can MJ's Agent learn about the Emperor as he continues his attempts to goad her into using his dark powers? Many questions depend on the choices you, the viewer, make. We call this Choose My Alignment for a reason! Join us live at 2:00 p.m. to have your chance at swaying the vote as MJ and Larry walk deeper into the dangerous underbelly of Zakuul.
What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017
Let me start this article by answering my own headline: It's partly because I'm an idiot and cannot let go of this IP.
Star Wars: The Old Republic has been a part of my life for over six years, and not having it there to fall back on would be difficult. But I could still play SWTOR without a subscription. Many of my friends still do! The truth of the matter is that I'm still having fun in the game, just not playing the game. I still have a guild of about 50 people who log in regularly to participate in activities. I have friends whom I've grown close to. And as much as I hate to say it, there is no other game that can give me my Star Wars fix.
I guess it's possible that I could still log into the game and not pay a dime for it, but hopefully, if I tell you what happens during my typical game day, you will understand why I still hold a subscription for the game, despite not playing a single bit of the content BioWare has given and sold me.
I've read all the impressions from the PAX East show that I could find, and they were all overwhelmingly mild -- including ours. As you hopefully know by now, Elder Scrolls Online showed off its instanced PvP battlegrounds, and the media consensus is that they are... coming. And that's it. This really surprised me. It's superficially hard to tell whether people have come to expect one thing from battlegrounds (because so many other games already have them) and ESO really isn't changing the formula -- or the battlegrounds really aren't anything to write home about.
If you were to take Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler's word for it, battlegrounds will change PvP in ESO forever because they're a type of PvP that ESO has never had before, which is true. Personally, I do believe not only that battlegrounds will bring something special to Elder Scrolls Online but that other games should pay attention to ESO because it's actually doing something innovative without drawing too much attention to it.
Battlegrounds aren't perfect; there will be some drawbacks, but let's take an honest look at what this new PvP type means for Elder Scrolls Online and maybe other MMOs in the future.
What are the best and most popular MMO theme songs of all time? A couple of weeks ago I posed this question to the Massively OP community and encouraged fans to submit their own list of music themes in response. We saw a healthy amount of email votes and comment nominations since then, and I was able to compile a nice list of the top 24 MMORPG themes from it.
There were several surprises, at least to me, in the final results. I thought some games would've gotten more nods, while others seemed to come out of nowhere to demand a spot on the list. Each of the themes on this list was put out there by at least two fans, which is why we're going to start with number 24. I'm thinking we might have an honorable mentions column as a post-script, but we'll see how it goes.
Today we will begin our countdown to number one, looking at your favorite MMO themes with my own take on each. Let's get started!
Keeping an ear to the ground for Dauntless news? You should be: It's a co-op ARPG from Phoenix Labs, an indie studio made up of former BioWare, Riot Games, and Blizzard devs. It's expected to launch on PC later this year as a free-to-play (and apparently online) title that focuses on basic cosmetics and boosts to fund development costs.
It's not massive, mind you, but it's worth a look for multiplayer fans. The new PAX trailer is below.
A couple of years ago, The Force Awakens introduced us to (among other things) a lightsaber that looks poorly made, like a little kid made it
. So Star Wars: The Old Republic
added a version of it to a lockbox, and everyone got pissy. Then it got added to direct sales
, and everyone got pissy.
Including me! Except, in my case, not because I feel like one side or the other is being hard done by. No, it's that rare situation wherein I consider pretty much everyone involved to be whining about something that really requires not the slightest bit of whining. Yes, everyone here is being dumb and I am on absolutely no one's side here. Except for the side of tegu.
As such, I've compiled my thoughts briefly below, with sections dedicated to both "sides" of the debate and all of the people who are mad. I've also included a few pictures of big old lizards because I was told that I couldn't write an entire column about liking lizards and I can be petulant, too. So if you don't care about this debate, check out some lizard pictures. That'd be fun.
Massively OP's MJ has made it through the trials, and now SWTOR's Scions of Zakuul
have agreed to help her and Larry as they work against Arcann. MJ also learned a secret about Senya
. What will MJ's Chiss do about this revelation? That all depends on which way the Choose my alignment votes go. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. to sway the vote as Larry and MJ move forward with their plans to dethrone Arcann.
What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
When Star Wars: The Old Republic
first introduced the Unstable Arbiter's Lightsaber with one of its random item packs, players were unhappy about it. It was a highly desirable item locked behind an uncomfortable amount of random chance, which is bad enough in and of itself, but it was also
being advertised as if it were common. Bit unfair, that. So now you can, in fact, buy the lightsaber directly
, the first time that a high-rarity reward from an item pack has been available for purchase directly from the game's store.
The down side, of course, is that it's pricey. Sixty bucks for a lightsaber pricey.
The rationale is that this will, hopefully, preserve the rarity of the item (and the sense of it being either very expensive or a very lucky drop) while also making it directly available to fans who want it. Naturally, no one is happy about this, either. Expect a similar reaction in a few weeks when everyone just gets a half-dozen unstable lightsabers for logging in and the people who had already acquired one are unhappy about having their work ruined.
I've been considering writing this for awhile now, but I've not been sure how to broach the subject. I've not been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic
. That's not to say that I haven't been logging in or that I've not been paying attention to the community and the development of the game. But when I do log in, it's to roleplay with my guild
or GM one of the campaigns my guild has cooked up. I've not run operations, I've barely run Uprisings, and I've been done with PvP for over a year now. Usually, the developers have some event or story content that would bring me back or keep me sucked in, but not this time.
I know it doesn't mean that I will never be back to SWTOR; it just means that the gameplay itself -- in its current state -- is no longer interesting to me. It also doesn't mean that I will not log into the game. In fact, I will probably log in regularly because my roleplay guild is extremely active and healthy. And although I could probably unsub and play the just fine, I think that I will stay subscribed because the subscription isn't expensive, and I do like the perks. But I'm certainly not going to support the overzealous cash shop.
I've been covering this game for about six years, so it's probably important that I discuss the details behind my stepping away for a bit and what's been the final nail in the coffin.
Now that there's another hundred joyous galactic command levels
to grind out in Star Wars: The Old Republic
, you may feel a little overwhelmed at the sorry state of your character. The good news in this regard is that BioWare has increased command XP gains
from a variety of sources to help with reaching this new finish line.
Yesterday's Patch 5.1.2 saw across-the-board buffs to CXP rewards from operations, weekly missions, flashpoints, bosses, and minibosses. A couple of areas, such as the turbolasers in the Directive 7 flashpoint, have had their CXP payout removed. Additionally, players should be aware that they'll no longer be able to buy CXP boosters prior to level 70 or use them if bolstered to 70.
Other notable adjustments with the patch include a 250% increase to Galactic Starfighter requisition, the ability to sit in one's own ship chairs again, and tighter restrictions for free-to-play chat "in order to help address third-party service advertisement spam."
Remember all the hoopla and hate around Star Wars: The Old Republic's galactic command experience system
last fall? Remember how almost no one actually liked it because of the intense grind, and even those who tolerated it thought it was, as MOP's Larry Everett put it
, "a complicated solution for an easy issue"?
Welp, get your grinding shoes back on because BioWare is doubling down.
It would be an understatement for me to say that I'm stupidly excited to see Morrowind come to The Elder Scrolls Online this summer. I consider it possibly the greatest RPG of all time (and that's not just nostalgia: The irony is that while I bought Morrowind at launch, wrist injuries prevented me from playing it for so long that I didn't actually dig into it fully until several years later!).
But nostalgia is a powerful tool, especially when MMOs are marketing toward a slightly older crowd than your average shooter or MOBA. It's got me thinking about other MMOs that could really take advantage of older material in an overt way the same way Elder Scrolls is doing. I mean, there's a reason people whine for Cantha in Guild Wars 2 (and hope the Elona rumors are true) -- though personally, it's the Jade Sea and Echovald Forest I want to see the most!
Think about the MMOs you play that have a history, lore that exists beyond the game, even previous games in a long line of games -- World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and so on -- then tell me how you think they ought to pull an Elder Scrolls. How might your pet MMO capitalize on nostalgia?