knights of the eternal throne

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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Hyperspace Beacon: Analyzing SWTOR's Uprising group content

Star Wars: The Old Republic dropped a treat this week by allowing fansites to tour Knights of the Eternal Throne. Although we can now see the first chapter of KOTET on YouTube, that's not the story that I want to learn about now. Don't get me wrong; the story of KOTET is very important to me, and I really want meaningful and impactful choices. But seeing someone else play through the chapters at this point is only going to set me up for spoilers and disappointment, especially since there is only one story for every player and every character.

Group content is far more important at this stage because it's part of what makes the game feel bigger, and it's been a weak point for BioWare for the last year. So let's take a look at some of the fansites that released playthrough videos of both the story mode and veteran modes of the Crimson Fang Uprising: SWTOR Central and Kid Lee. They don't offer much commentary on what was happening during the gameplay. They did mention if things were more or less difficult but offered little in the area of why or how certain things worked. I don't fault them for that; it's difficult to make commentary while fighting for your character's life. Today, I will dive deeper into the Uprisings and the things we can glean from the video playthroughs.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic provides backstory fiction for Knights of the Eternal Throne

Look, we don't want to spoil the ending of Star Wars: The Old Republic's last expansion story arc for you if you're still working your way up to it, but it's pretty unambiguous that Senya Tirall's life is not going the way that she had hoped. A new piece of preamble fiction on the official site details exactly how badly it's going as she's caught between dealing with both of her children, and if you have played through the end of the last expansion, you know that doesn't just mean convincing both kids that their mother loves them both.

It also serves as a fine prequel if you've played some of the storyline for Knights of the Fallen Empire but want an idea of where Knights of the Eternal Throne leaves everyone... and if you just want to read some fiction wherein people slash at one another with lightsabers, it's got that, too. So it's something for almost everyone. Fans of successful parenting will be disappointed, however.


Star Wars: The Old Republic releases another trailer for Knights of the Eternal Throne

BioWare suddenly released yet another gameplay trailer for the next Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion. Much like the previous Knights of the Eternal Throne trailer, this one lasts only about 30 seconds but is packed with all sorts of tidbits of information.

Voiced by Darin DePaul, the ghost of Valkorion speaks to the player as he battles against the newly self-appointed Empress of the Eternal Empire, Vaylin. The Rule the Galaxy trailer, coupled with the previous Your Destiny trailer, clearly reveals to us that players will have to make choices that could change the galaxy forever.

If you have subscribed to SWTOR from October 25th to November 27th, then you will gain early access to Knights of the Eternal Throne on November 29th. Everyone else who is subscribed, KOTET will be available for you on December 2nd. And if you're looking to learn more about what to expect in the next game update 5.0, read this week's Hyperspace Beacon.

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Star Wars: the Old Republic goes into detail on repeating story chapters

If you were looking forward to hearing about what was changing with combat and class balance in Star Wars: The Old Republic's next expansion, you were sadly denied as that show was cancelled. Instead, we should be getting a post about that in the near future, and the developers showed off how Knights of the Eternal Throne's replayable story missions will work. If you're looking for the best way to earn Command XP without a group, this is it.

Story missions will have Story and Veteran difficulty at launch, and you'll be able to replay any chapters from Knights of the Fallen Empire or Knights of the Eternal Throne. Veteran difficulty is balanced for mid-tier endgame gear and a reasonably advanced companion and is meant to provide a significant challenge for the solo player. You won't be locked into completing the content at that difficulty if it proves too hard, though, as players can scale the difficulty down mid-run if needed; scaling it up, however, requires a restart. You can catch the full presentation just below or read through Dulfy's summary of the content therein.

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