Hello there! Star Wars The Old Republic just officially launched on Steam

Now that's podracing?

    
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Remember back when EA refused to put much of anything on Steam, lest it compete with its own Origin platform? Those days have fast been coming to an end, and now even Star Wars The Old Republic has dropped on Valve’s platform, bringing the hybrid free-to-play story-centric MMO from 2011 to yet another new audience.

SWTOR, of course, is well-known to veteran fans of the MMO genre, but the Steam promo blurbs are just too cute.

“STAR WARS: The Old Republic is the only massively multiplayer online game with a Free-to-Play option that puts you at the center of your own story-driven STAR WARS™ saga. Play as a Jedi, a Sith, a Bounty Hunter, or as one of many other iconic Star Wars roles and explore the galaxy far, far away over three thousand years before the classic films. With 5 narrative expansions, become the hero of your own STAR WARS adventure as you choose your path down the Light or Dark side of the Force.”

We have so much SWTOR content from the last near-decade that I almost don’t know where to tell you to begin if you’re just now considering giving the game a spin. Its most recent major update came at the tail end of last year when the Onslaught expansion went live (as chronicled in our Hyperspace Beacon column), while a smaller update for personal conquests went live this past spring. Our own Stream Team frequently dips into the game to wander through the story.

BioWare is planning a livestream this afternoon; we’re guessing it’s meant to announce this.

Source: Steam
Update 1:01 p.m. EDT
Yep.

The official blog post now out promises “full cross-save and crossplay,” in that yes you can play through Steam even if you have an old account, since really this is just a launcher. But the Steam linkup will include trading cards, emoticons, backgrounds, and so forth in the Steam client. It doesn’t have achievements yet, but BioWare promises to add 100 in an update coming “later this year,” and they will indeed be retroactive.

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Sykes

Looking forward to their launch of retroactive steam achievements. I saw 25,000 players on steam simultaneously today – not a bad sudden spike. The game is much more of a themepark MMO now than it was at launch, with raids/events/space battles/housing/guild housing/character customization options. Questing content is still where it shines the most, and my guild usually spends time working heroic quests together throughout the worlds. Even at launch, they had 240+ hours of voice acting – the most ever in a videogame (albeit a typical playthrough only saw about 1/8th of that, as much of it was class specific story content) . They’ve probably doubled since then, though class-specific audio was too expensive to continue. The reward system is polarizing, but does allow you to play whatever content you want to play and get rewarded for it, which is nice.

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Castagere Shaikura

The game is great for the class and world stories which you can play as a F2P player. Even some of the heroics and flashpoints have solo options now. And now you can carry a million credits instead of that low cap they used to have.

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xpsync

For sure! I know i trash it as an mmorpg, but as as a single player game its got some very good story lines, not much repeatability, even with the side quests, which are actually worse, at least with class you get a new story.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

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mysecretid

Schlag! That’s no moon! :-)

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Bruno Brito

STAR WARS: The Old Republic is the only massively multiplayer online game with a Free-to-Play option that puts you at the center of your own story-driven STAR WARS™ saga.

HAH.

Sorry, i’m more interested in my own story-driven STAR WARS™ LEGEND.

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Hikari Kenzaki

It literally just installs the launcher from the SWTOR website.

I guess you can get some cheevos… yay?

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Hikari Kenzaki

There seems to be a misconception that you had to install Origin to play SWTOR. I’ve been playing since Dec 17th, 2011 and you never, ever, ever had to launch through Origin.
I bought a digital copy on the Origin store, logged into my account on swtor.com, and downloaded the launcher. The end.

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mysecretid

Like you, I never played SWTOR through Origin. In my experience, the Origin launcher has never been much beyond a metaphoric pain in my metaphoric ass.

At least the Epic launcher gives out strange free games regularly that are often intriguing, if not fun.

That said, I really hope this signals the end of every game publisher and their dog trying to create their own in-house “exclusive” Steam-a-like knockoff.

Cheers,

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bobfish

Origin literally just gave you a way to download the launcher, which you could do direct from the website anyways. Only reason it was even remotely tied to Origin was because EA used the Star Wars MMORPG to launch Origin with and immediately gain millions of users for it.

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Axetwin .

I never used Origin either, I always just downloaded the installer directly from the website.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I guess EA/Origin is going hard on being just a launcher layer and subscription Access deal instead of so much of a storefront anymore.

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Arktouros

Does this still have the ridiculous EA Origins launcher to go with it?

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Malcolm Swoboda

I don’t think… this one does? But the other Bioware and EA games do. You could always play SWTOR without Origin if you wished.

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Hikari Kenzaki

They never fully integrated SWTOR into Origin. SWTOR for Steam downloads 22mb of config files and then installs the regular SWTOR launcher.

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Anstalt

“STAR WARS: The Old Republic is the only massively multiplayer online game…..”

But, its not an MMO! A player cap of 75 is not massively multiplayer.

Regardless, this is a good move, opening the game up for more players is always a nice thing to do. It feels like this is about 8 years too late, but whatever. I am curious what the current population of the game is like, it dropped below 500k within a few months of launch so I assume it must be pretty tiny these days.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Whatever the paying population is, its enough to release at least 1-2 story updates a year. Sure people would want that to be 3-4+ but its not nothing.

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bobfish

Not sure where you got that number from, SWTOR’s zones hold 200 people before they create a new instance. Pretty similar numbers to WoW.

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Anstalt

Got the number from playing the game, the limit was 75 originally (might have been higher in the fleet, but definitely 75 out in the world).

Glad to hear it has been increased since I quit, back when I played the engine literally couldn’t support any higher, an instance used to start getting wobbly at 50 people!

200 still isn’t high enough to be massively multiplayer though, but at least it’s a step in the right direction compared to launch.

I’m surprised about WoWs numbers though. I’ve not played it for long so don’t have first hand experience, but I was under the impression that WoW could support many hundreds in the same instance. Or, is that 200 cap a result of years of “phasing”?

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bobfish

I think technically WoW can handle something like 500 or so in a zone, but the phasing is set to kick in long before that because the content can’t support that many.

SWTOR also did the whole mega server thing awhile back as well. But to be fair, you rarely see anyone outside of the hubs in SWTOR, since they sped up the leveling and the population has decreased, its kind of empty on every planet regardless of how many it could support.

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NeoWolf

Doing it now when the game is more or less a Dodo waiting to happen, may well be a little too late to have any relevance.

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Malcolm Swoboda

If by ‘dodo’ you mean ‘sometime 2020s’ I’d agree. If you mean in the next year or two, eh there’s not sign of that until at least some announcement of a KOTOR reboot with massive-ish multiplayer features.

I dislike a lot of this game but TORtanic, it never was, besides crashing the initial iceberg after people exhausted initial content, and whatever they hell they were trying with KOTFE/ET diminished the playerbase at least for a time.

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NeoWolf

The specific of the when is hard to say, but if they continue as they have been it is nevertheless a certainty.
I agree absolutely this game was never a TORtanic, it had the potential to be amazing, but the sheer all over the place quality swing of its post-launch content has been a bitter pill to swallow, some of it was awesome, some of it was mediocre, most of it was garbage.
This game had the potential to be the golden snitch and instead, they’ve turned it into the tin foil turnip… :(

Lots of us keep waiting and hoping for them to turn it around, I mean its frikkin STAR WARS!!! but so far there has been barely a tremor in the force and just a lot of really bad decisions backed up with half ar**ed quality work/content. Pretty much all the development talent in all areas has long since gone… breaks my heart :(

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Malcolm Swoboda

Its a 7 when they tried to sell it as a 9-10.

The (mostly) single player version of this quality approach was Mass Effect Andromeda. But at least SWTOR got post-launch support. Half the support it needed, but still just consistent enough.

I’ll never say its crap because it was never crap and isn’t crap and it’ll only become crap in the face of a future MMO/’MMO’ that outshines it greatly, and its a good time for anyone not intentionally looking to hate it. Not necessarily great, or even very good, but good.

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mysecretid

The hype machine definitely hurt the game. EA got Star Wars fanatics and game fanatics whipped into a frenzy pre-release and then delivered … a game.

My main complaint about the game now is that it seems to take forever between new content drops, and when we do get the new stuff (and I’ve liked much of the post-Zakuul content), because of the long gaps, it makes whatever content we do receive seem even less, somehow.

I was trying to recall today — does Star Wars: The Old Republic have the slowest update schedule of all the so-called “major” MMORPG games still currently active?

I do realize that the current SWTOR dev team is probably three people and a dog working out of a spare broom closet in the basement of EA corporate headquarters — but dang, we seem to wait an especially long time for significant new story content from that game.

I’d likely stay permanently subbed if they just dropped new story content more than what seems like once a year.

Not bitching or blaming — more like wishing and hoping,

Cheers!

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NeoWolf

Not entirely sure why you keep mentioning you won’t say it’s crap I’ve never suggested you do so, nor have I said it was crap.

I have said its post-launch content was crap because with the sole exception of the Shadow of Revan content, all SWTORS post-launch content has been crap (Rise of the Hutt Cartel anyone?) lol.

But the game had potential and they did nothing with it. even abandoning its most appealing factor the 8 individual class stories in favour of a single story because it was cheaper and easier and they couldn’t even do that right.

As for Mass Effect the two are not really comparable except in how badly the I.P’s have been treated. Mass Effect Andromeda’s issues had less to do with lack of post-launch content and a WHOLE lot to do with Anthem’s development and in house incompetence and stupid decisions ending up in the much-loved I.P ending up shelved indefinitely.

Really expected better from Bioware :(

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Adam Russell

I may consider it for something to do on patch day for my favorite game.

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Totes McGoats

I remember the kerfuffle on this back in 2011! If I recall you could avoid Origin only with a physical boxed copy. It was a huge mistake not be a Steam game back in 2011 – compromised some of the critical early fanbase to prop up a platform doomed to fail.

Of course you could argue the TORtanic was itself doomed either way due to overhype and foolish choices, but being on Steam from the get-go would have been a positive.

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Totes McGoats

This article from Massively-that-was is pretty funny in hindsight:

https://www.engadget.com/2011-06-02-ea-to-be-the-sole-source-for-swtor-downloads.html

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Malcolm Swoboda

TORtanic kinda implies a game should be shut own or at least maintenance mode after nearly a decade.