star wars the old republic

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Official Site: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Studio: BioWare/Electronic Arts
Launch Date: December 20, 2011
Genre: Sci-Fi Themepark
Business Model: Hybrid F2P (Optional Sub, Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Global Chat: Something fishy in these MMOs

Fishing in MMOs: You either really get it or you really don’t. Ancient Gaming Noob Wilhelm is among those who enjoys taking every opportunity possible to cast his rod and reel in search of slimy, scaly adventure under the waves — and he’s shared how he assigns an alt the joy and responsibility of fishing in each one of his games.

“If there is fishing in a game, I’ll be there. But fishing really only needs one character,” he writes. “I generally pick somebody to be my fisherman and send them out to fish around the world, following whatever plans the game happens to have for the vocation.”

Oh my cod, you say, this column has already started to flounder. Well, fear not, we have a porpoise for everything we post, and we’re sure that you’ll get hooked on one of these MMO essays and end up trouting its virtues.

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Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Worst MMO Business Model of 2017

Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Worst MMO Business Model, a dishonor bestowed upon Star Wars The Old Republic last year in this award’s inaugural year. As a counterpart to yesterday’s award for the best business model of the year, this “award” is intended to recognize an MMORPG of any age that has demonstrated a particularly awful business model specifically in 2017, regardless of its past performance. We expanded this award to include pre-launch MMOs with launched business models as well. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Worst MMO Business Model of 2017 is…

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Massively Overthinking: Our favorite MMORPG articles of 2017

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked the writers to do something most of them hate: brag! We’ve tried to isolate our favorite personal work from the year and talk about why we think it matters, then identify our favorite work from somebody else on the site this year and do the same. I always tell them it’s easy, but it never is!

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SWTOR gradually responds to Update 5.6 credit exploit

A severe credit exploit that popped up following last week’s Game Update 5.6 in Star Wars: The Old Republic has led to massive disruptions in the MMO’s economy and forced BioWare to come up with a response.

Apparently the exploit involves a companion gift vendor who was selling wares for far below normal along with the auction house, which was used for credit laundering purposes.

The studio did acknowledge the exploit and said that it was taking action, although sorting this mess out is taking time: “We have already begun taking action against players, but the brunt of those actions are still to come. As you might imagine, gathering all of the data to understand who exploited and what they did with the money, takes quite a bit of time. Know that over time we will be applying account actions, along with removing a large quantity of credits and other ill-gotten gains.”

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Tamriel Infinium: Our 2017 report card for Elder Scrolls Online

All in all, 2017 has been a fabulous year for the Elder Scrolls Online, and although I have been light on talking about the game recently, I have jumped in regularly to explore Vvardenfell and Clockwork City. This year ESO saw its first expansion and dare I say its greatest addition to the game: Morrowind. But that shouldn’t diminish the other great stories in the Horns of the Reach and Clockwork City DLCs. Also, ESO introduced one of the best player housing systems I’ve ever seen with Homestead earlier this year. I really don’t know how ESO is going to top 2017.

Let’s pull apart the accomplishments of ESO this year into my standard for grading MMORPGs: The Bartle Taxonomy. MMORPGs are wonderful because of the breadth of different activities that players can participate in. They draw together many different kinds of players, and Bartle’s Taxonomy breaks these players into four different categories: Socializers, Achievers, Killers, and Explorers.

Most people will be a blend of two or more of these categories. I’m going to measure the merits of the game based each category individually using a scale you’ll often find in American schools: A, B, C, D, and F.

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The Stream Team: Starting SWTOR’s Knights of the Eternal Throne

It finally happened! It took a year, but Massively OP’s MJ and Larry have gone from character creation in SWTOR all the way through KOTFE. Now, it’s time to begin the Knights of the Eternal Throne story arc. Word is, there are some hefty, outcome altering decisions to be made! And those decisions are made by you! So join us live at 2:00 p.m. as Choose My Alignment continues the adventure in…

What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

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The Daily Grind: What should SWTOR do to pull out of its funk?

Is it just me, or does Star Wars: The Old Republic seem to be in a serious funk this year? I mean, the game has had updates and all, but there has been little to really stir up a lot of excitement among the existing community or to draw fans back to the MMO. Server merges, no expansion, fears over a stealth shutdown, and the same cruddy business model seem to be the order of the day.

Even our own Larry has called for SWTOR to put an end to the current storyline and move on.

Whether or not you feel that SWTOR is in a funk, what do you think BioWare should do to improve the game’s quality, content, and prospects in 2018? What could it be doing to really fan the flames of player passion and get this title noticed once more?

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SWTOR delivers anniversary gifts, runs a holiday bonus XP event, and patches in a new warzone

Happy birthday SWTOR!

It has been six years since BioWare’s MMORPG launched, and that means plenty of presents for everyone. In addition to previous year’s rewards, players can log into the game to pick up a Valkorian statue (never sick of looking at that guy) and special flair. The Coruscant and Dromund Kaas strongholds are also significantly discounted during this anniversary event, costing only six credits apiece.

Game Update 5.6.1 also went out today, bringing a brand-new Yavin 4 warzone to the game. Additionally, players will see a significant increase in the command XP rewards they get from planetary heroics and daily missions.

Finally, SWTOR is hosting a “double rewards” event from now through January 1st, doubling experience points, CXP, and more.

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The MOP Up: Heroes of the Storm mains Hanzo (December 10, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Crossout, Ultima Online, Monster Hunter World, HellionEverQuest II, WakfuRuneScapeStar Wars: The Old RepublicElsword OnlineRagnarok ZeroLord of the Rings OnlineDreadnought, Sword Art Online Integral Factor, and Heroes of the Storm, all waiting for you after the break!

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Amazon stops selling digital cards for Star Wars: The Old Republic

You can no longer purchase digital time cards or Cartel Coins for Star Wars: The Old Republic through Amazon. This is clearly a sign that you can… er… no longer purchase those digital options through Amazon. They remain for sale from the official site, you can still buy physical copies of the cards off of Amazon, and so forth.

Clearly, this means that the game is in imminent danger and is going to shut down within the hour, if you go by the forum thread on the matter. Or, as people point out on Reddit and elsewhere in that same thread, it just means… you can’t buy that set of digital goods through Amazon any longer.

A number of speculative reasons have been put forth for the change: A new package being offered for a new expansion, a change in how profits are being shared, a desire for people to move through the official store fronts, or just a routine set of business decisions. There’s been no official statement on this change at this time, but there’s not much reason to think the sky is falling just yet.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR, it’s time to destroy the Eternal Empire

Those players who were looking for consequence in their Star Wars: The Old Republic storyline can, I’m glad to say, look to Knights of the Eternal Throne to get it. Although the Vaylin side of the story will remain virtually unchanged regardless of the player’s choices, it’s possible to lose multiple companions, and there is even one choice where you have to choose one companion over the other. However, the quality of the story really hinges on how much you like or dislike Valkorion’s family. They are a bunch of rich brats doing bratty things, so on a personal level, I couldn’t care less about them.

You know what I do care about, though? The Empire and the Republic. You know what most fans of Star Wars care about? The Empire and the Republic, or possibly the Jedi and the Sith. Whether it’s a story buried in the conflict of those two armies colliding or it’s a gangster taking advantage of being in the middle of those two opposing parties, the Empire and the Republic have been central to all the engaging Star Wars stories.

For this specific reason, it’s time for BioWare to tear down the Eternal Empire.

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Perfect Ten: The healthiest live MMORPGs at the end of 2017

As Counting Crows told us, it’s been a long December, although the fact that it has also only just started being December speaks to something unpleasant in the makeup of this particular month. But it also means that this is a good time to check in on the overall health of various MMORPGs and see which ones look to be in the healthiest state at the end of the year.

This is, I hasten to point out, not a scientific process; last year I pointed to Marvel Heroes as a not-quite-MMORPG title that was still in a very healthy and robust place, and it later turned out that this was entirely not true and had been built upon a foundation of lies. But we’ll cross that bridge if and when we come to it in 2018. What are the healthiest games running right now?

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Star Wars: The Old Republic is holding a Thursday livestream with author Timothy Zahn

Timothy Zahn is kind of a big deal for Star Wars fiction. Yes, he helped develop the most recent bit of Star Wars: The Old Republic story content, A Traitor Among the Chiss. But he has the pedigree for that, seeing as how he’s the person behind the creation of the Chiss, the species-defining Admiral Thrawn, and the groundwork that would lead to the extensive once-canonical fiction following the end of the Star Wars films. He is, in short, the dude behind all of it.

He’s also responsible for Mara Jade, but you can’t really hold that against him.

So it’s a safe bet that he’s going to have some pretty neat things to say when he joins the development team for SWTOR on a livestream in which Zahn discusses the motivations of the Chiss and answers viewer questions. If there’s one person who understands the Chiss mindset better than anyone, it’s definitely him. Interested? Jump along to the stream at 5:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 7th.

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