knights of the eternal throne

SWTOR expansion trailer is nominated for a Webby

Here’s a welcome shot of publicity for Star Wars: The Old Republic this week. Knights of the Eternal Throne’s “Betrayed” trailer was nominated for a Webby Award for the Long Form (Branded) category alongside companies such as BMW and Chipotle. The public can view and vote for whichever short film they think is the best, so obviously SWTOR would appreciate your help in propelling it to the top.

The trailer, created by Blur and directed by Dave Wilson, was released to promote last fall’s expansion. It shows the backstory of a powerful Force-using family and the separate paths that certain members took over the course of their lives. Also, it has a girl Force-crushing an armored soldier like he was a soda can, so that’s pretty awesome.

If you need a refresher on the trailer in question, we’ve got it for you after the break.

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Battle Bards Episode 96: SWTOR expansions

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”

With those words, you know you’re in for a rollicking good adventure — and some impressive and spellbinding music to match! On today’s episode, the Battle Bards return to Star Wars: The Old Republic to look at the music of the recent expansions. Has the Force been with this MMO’s soundtrack? I’ve got a bad good feeling about this!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 96: SWTOR expansions (or download it) now:

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Star Wars: The Old Republic reveals its first raid in two years

When the developers of Star Wars: The Old Republic told us they were going to focus on more group content for Knights of the Eternal Throne, many players suspected new raids (or operations) were coming. They were right! Yesterday, BioWare allowed its cadre of “influencers” to reveal what the first boss in the upcoming Gods of War operation looks like.

We have already dived deep into some of the other aspects of the upcoming update, including the return of a couple of companions and being able to switch factions in the new daily area. However, the important details of the operation have been absent until now.

Fan sites released a handful of videos practically giving everything away. Although they did shy away from speaking about the exact details of the fight with the first god of Iokath called Tyth, we can see the whole veteran-mode fight in Dulfy‘s video. Likewise, SWTOR Central and Kid Lee give their impressions of the battle and Corellian Run, and Bad Feeling Podcast give us a couple of fun trailers. Check out what’s public down below!

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Jukebox Heroes: The best of SWTOR expansion soundtracks

I have a confession to make: I was fairly underwhelmed by the original soundtrack release for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

Sure, it did the job, hit some of those familiar Star Wars notes, and slathered the myriad of game worlds in music, but I found it either too weird (the cantina tunes, mostly) or too long and bombastic to enjoy. Wasn’t the worst I’d ever heard, but certainly not near what I would expect from a game bearing the Star Wars moniker.

Yet while I wasn’t looking, BioWare has produced some incredible musical chops for the past two expansions. My mouth was often agape when I was listening to Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne, because I kept thinking, “What is this! What is this! This is the soundtrack this game deserved all along!” It was quite the pleasant surprise, let me just say, and today I’m going to share some of my favorite pieces from these recent expansions with you.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR’s Creative Director on Uprisings and Update 5.1

We are a couple days early with the Hyperspace Beacon this week for a reason you’re going to love: We had an exclusive conversation with Creative Director Charles Boyd about the Star Wars: The Old Republic update releasing tomorrow, and we wanted to give you some insight into what Defend the Throne might offer you. Even though you won the day at the end of the latest expansion Knights of the Eternal Throne, there are still factions that have problems with you and your Alliance. There are still uprisings all over the galaxy.

The new group content called Uprisings (pretty on the nose there, right?) is the focus of the next update. We’ll see five more four-player, intense instances launch tomorrow, along with changes to the Command XP system and (of course) a new Cartel Market Pack.

I talked to Charles Boyd on Friday to get his input on the new content and a breakdown of each new Uprising and the overarching purpose behind them all.

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Global Chat: Knights of the Eternal Throne debate

With the arrival of SWTOR: Knights of the Eternal Throne, the MMO blogosphere lit up in lively discussion about the expansion, its story, and its design. As expected, opinions were all over the place.

Xam Xam was glowing in praise for what it called a “wonderfully paced, intense, heartbreaking masterpiece.” Superior Realities was a bit more mixed but ultimately positive about the expansion: “Despite pursuing several plot threads at once, KotET is a very tight, very focused experience, and for the most part it’s an epic thrill-ride from beginning to end.”

As for the controversial galactic command system, Galactic Antics didn’t know what to think: “I don’t think I’ve come across a system such as this which has a direct negative counter to virtually every positive aspect about it before […] SWTOR has gone from a game which benefits both casuals and hardcore players to being a game which largely only benefits those who are willing and able to just grind.”

From RIFT to Elder Scrolls Online to disliked archetypes, we’ve got an interesting assortment of articles for you to peruse after the jump!

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Hyperspace Beacon: Where can SWTOR go from here?

Have you ever watched a great movie and ever wished that the director would make a sequel but also not make a sequel, all at the same time? More often, we are usually begging for a sequel only to be disappointed by it. Star Wars had the exact opposite effect to on me. I thought the sequel was better than the original. However, when Return of the Jedi released, I can’t say that I was begging for a sequel to that. I’m not a fool; I wanted more Star Wars movies, but we hit the happily-ever-after moment. The story was done.

I won’t dive too far into the spoiler territory just yet, but it’s safe to say that with Knights of the Eternal Throne that the story for Star Wars: The Old Republic is done.

There have been some movies that wrapped up nicely that also did well when they received a sequel. The Terminator is the first example that comes to my mind. The sequel did just as well as the original, but that is rarer than the opposite happening. Although the Star Wars universe continued to turn with the books, when the creator went back to tell the beginning of the story, it fell flat. I have a fear that the same thing likely could happen to the story in SWTOR.

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SWTOR dev livestream tackles CXP issues, says team is ‘flexible’

Is it a good or bad sign when a developer livestream kicks off with the team using a bingo card to make fun of their own foibles? At least it indicates a measure of self-awareness, which isn’t a terrible thing.

In any case, yesterday the Star Wars: The Old Republic devs rocketed through a 38-minute livestream in which they discussed the recent expansion launch, plans for the future, and of course, the morass of pain and suffering that is Command XP. The team said that it is willing to be “flexible” on the galactic command system and will be slightly unnerfing the payout of gold mobs to be 2 CXP per kill while significantly increasing CXP for uprisings and flashpoints. Players should be happy to hear that there are plans in the works to take away some of the RNG and allow characters to work toward specific pieces of gear.

Coming in the new year are five new uprisings, master mode chapters, master mode uprisings, and possible server merges. SWTOR is kicking off both its Life Day event and 5th anniversary on December 13th.

You can watch the full developer livestream after the break!

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SWTOR nerfs command XP after community farms mobs

The new galactic command endgame system that arrived in last week’s SWTOR: Knights of the Eternal Throne has been steeped in controversy ever since its announcement. The system is taking another such hit this week as BioWare scrambled to close a path that allowed players to advance faster than devs anticipated.

So what apparently happened is that some players realized that they could grind, grind, grind out the command XP to the weekly cap by continually farming gold mobs. The studio’s response to this was to nerf the XP for these mobs from 10 per kill down to (wait for it) one.

Needed or not, the nerf certainly rubbed many players the wrong way according to several forum and Reddit posts on the subject. “[Mobs] were actually rewarding to kill and I found myself looking for new ways of getting around areas I could navigate in my sleep,” one player posted. “Doing bonus missions I would have never considered otherwise. It opened up a completely new way to play for me, and now I feel like I’ve just had a door slammed in my face.”

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SWTOR Knights of the Eternal Throne launches today; we chat with BioWare

Last year, the developers of Star Wars the Old Republic changed the focus of the game. Instead of continuing to make Knights of the Old Republic the MMORPG, BioWare decided to place heavy focus on its single-player aspects when it launched Knights of the Fallen Empire. Today, the next expansion, Knights of the Eternal Throne, officially launches and asks the question: Why can’t we have a great singleplayer game and a great multiplayer game too? Why not both?

We were invited to speak to two of the key developers behind this latest expansion for SWTOR to see whether this question was answered. Producer Ben Irving and Creative Director Charles Boyd spoke to a small group of press on the phone to answer our questions as well as talk about some of the lessons learned from last year and the changes the game made in response to those issues.

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Perfect Ten: The biggest MMORPG stories of 2016

As we start to come to grips with the fact that we will be turning over the calendar into 2017 in one short month, it might just be for the best. In the real world, 2016 was a rocky, unpredictable year, and even among our collective favorite hobby, it featured some highs and lows that very few saw coming.

This will go down as the year that Daybreak broke our hearts, a mobile game erupted into a global phenomenon, drama over an illegal emulator sparked multiple stories, and some of the biggest MMORPG launches came from eastern imports.

So while there might be a few more huge stories left in 2016, let’s spend some time revisiting the major headlines to get a better feel for the shape of the year that we are about to leave behind.

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SWTOR welcomes early access players to Knights of the Eternal Throne

The threat is still looming over the galaxy, but that’s just the way that Star Wars: The Old Republic players probably prefer it. After all, what fun is there if you’re not fighting against a sinister empire of some sort?

Today, SWTOR opened the doors to Knights of the Eternal Throne for its early access players. The expansion thrusts long-suffering heroes and villains into a nine-chapter campaign that visits two new planets and raises the level cap to 70.

There are a lot of changes that Update 5.0 brings to the game, including the galactic command endgame system, the option to fight for server-wide light or dark side points, the new uprising instances, the choice of advanced class at character creation, and the start of ranked warzone arena season 8. You’re probably going to want to pore over all of the patch notes to make sure you’re not missing out on something essential, so get to it!

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SWTOR devs answer Knights of the Eternal Throne questions

Star Wars: The Old Republic’s next expansion is but a week away, so you best start preparing yourself for the next evolution of the MMO (it’s still an MMO, right?). A good start to your preparations would be to soak in all of the details of Knights of the Eternal Throne courtesy of a long developer Q&A livestream.

Dulfy has the highlights of the expansion details. Knights of the Eternal Throne will add five new levels and nine additional chapters to the game, which will be it until the next expansion. The story was written by SWTOR veteran Drew Karpyshyn and will let players pilot a walker, go undercover as a mouse droid, and visit the brand-new planets of Iokath and Nathema.

There’s a lot more to the expansion, of course, including new character animations, the controversial galactic command system, and difficulty levels for each chapter. SWTOR’s fifth anniversary celebration is coming up in December as well, during which players will be able to buy some items for a single credit each.

If you’re the sort that would never settle for a mere recap, we’ve got the full hour livestream for you after the break!

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