hyperspace beacon

Hyperspace Beacon is a Star Wars: The Old Republic column by Larry Everett. [Follow this column’s RSS feed]

Hyperspace Beacon: Quality-of-life tweaks in SWTOR’s Knights of the Fallen Empire

BioWare’s Eric Musco delivered an amazing livestream last week. Many of the questions that players have been asking about the upcoming expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic were finally answered. Most players were not looking for spoilers to the story; they were concerned about the functionality of some of the systems incoming when Knights of the Fallen Empire goes live on the 20th of this month. Up to now BioWare has been pretty tight-lipped about what’s in store. And although BioWare explained that the primary reason it shied away from revealing any of that was to avoid spoilers, it was likely just avoiding saying that the systems just weren’t quite ready for public consumption.

We heard about the bigger items coming in the next expansion. We know that the new story will be a huge change in the direction of the game. I’ve written about the class changes and the group-finder changes. Crafting changes will be huge and will likely fill an article all on its own. But that about the other things? What about the small quality-of-life things that make the game more enjoyable to play? That’s what I’d like to discuss today. Musco’s livestream covered a lot of the finer points of the future game mechanics.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR’s TwitchCon infodump

So here’s a funny thing: When I watched the TwitchCon streams for Star Wars: The Old Republic, I wasn’t exactly looking to get new story reveals because most of those had already been spoiled for me. In fact, thanks to some dataminers, I even know what happens after the choice BioWare didn’t let people click on during the stream. I was looking for the information I had to be confirmed, so you can imagine my surprise when I discovered many new things.

What I’d like to do is take a few moments to discuss these new findings and the story items that were revealed during the livestreams from TwitchCon. Of course, there will be spoilers, but I would encourage you to keep reading because I will drop the spoilers behind our nifty spoiler tags, so you don’t even have to worry about things accidentally being spoiled. Here are four brand-new things we learned from the TwitchCon streams of Knights of the Fallen Empire.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Six things to do before SWTOR’s Knights of the Fallen Empire launch

When Knights of the Fallen Empire launches for Star Wars: The Old Republic, certain activities will not be available in game anymore — specifically, quests like the Makeb staged weeklies and the Nightmare achievements for Eternity Vault. You should also remember that many of the regular story missions will also not be available once you start on the KotFE missions, and the developers have said that many of those quests will affect the story in KotFE.

We have only a month until the expansion launches, so we have to prioritize which missions and achievements we want to get before the expansion. And if you’re looking for recommendations from me, how handy — I happen to have six suggestions.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR’s Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior changes aren’t bad

It’s been two weeks since I visited Star Wars: The Old Republic in this column, and it’s clear that two weeks is far too long to stay away from a game that will launch an expansion in less than two months. Much of the information we’ve been begging for has started to flow in, despite the datamining. On the 26th, the developers gave us a livestream of a few sequences from the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion. They also answered a couple of questions about companions, but not nearly as many as we’d have liked. One of the Massively OP readers Master Liu expressed my feelings on the subject matter succinctly on his blog. However, The developers did answer a few questions after on the forum, which does make me feel a little bit better, but ultimately, the questions about crafting were not answered.

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Hyperspace Beacon: What we need to know about SWTOR’s expansion companions

Tomorrow, the Star Wars: The Old Republic development team will livestream parts of its newest expansion Knights of the Fallen Empire. BioWare promises to answer questions about the crafting systems as well as revealing some information about your companions. So why has it taken the devs so long to talk about the crafting and companion system when it’s so integral to pretty much everything in the expansion?

We know from E3 that our choices during the expansion will have lasting ramifications on our personal story. We know that some companions will be chosen directly through the story. We know that some companions will be killed off or will have departed our service because of the choices that we make, but we don’t know how that’s going to affect the systems that are tied to the existing companion systems. Unfortunately, we might not even have all the answers we are looking for when the livestream is done. So I have put together a list of questions that I believe need to be answered during the livestream that are specifically focused on companions and the systems surrounding them.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR datamining and guild building

Usually, I don’t combine two topics into one article, but these two things are important and I don’t want to go another week without addressing either one of them. Unfortunately, both of these items are also completely unrelated. I want to talk about datamining and a Massively OP guild forming on the Ebon Hawk.

First, if you’re a part of the larger Star Wars :The Old Republic community, you’ll know that there has been a large influx of leaks and datamined information about SWTOR‘s upcoming expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire. I will admit that I’m highly conflicted about datamining, in general, and in this case I believe some lines have been crossed. And I’d like to clarify my position as well as probe your thoughts.

Secondly, as I mentioned in this week’s WRUP, I’ve taken over as leader for my SWTOR guild; I’m no longer just a placeholder. And I’d like to make the guild a semi-official SWTOR guild for Massively OP, which means that Massively OP readers will be welcome to hang out with us when they jump into SWTOR.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Eight misconceptions about SWTOR’s Knights of the Fallen Empire

The actual information coming from BioWare‘s camp about Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s next expansion has thus far been more sparse than fans might have wanted, which unfortunately leads to some wild speculation and misinformation. That’s why today I’ve put together a list of the most common misconceptions that I’ve heard about Knights of the Fallen Empire. There are many more, I’m sure. And if you can think of others, drop them in the comments after reading this list.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Ten SWTOR sites worth visiting

As regular readers surely know, I really enjoy the Star Wars: The Old Republic community. And I don’t mean the community team led by Eric Musco, although it’s great too and deserves an honorable mention in this article. No, the people that I’d like to talk about today are those people who play SWTOR, and out of their passion for Star Wars, the Old Republic, or BioWare (or all three), they create an amazing website, podcast, or some other kind of internet content. And from their creation, they inspire the rest of the community.

I really wish that I could visit every single SWTOR blog and site all the time. Unfortunately, there are just too many to track. So what I’d like to do is to point out the ones that I visit most often. These aren’t necessarily the “best”; I wouldn’t even call this a top 10 for me because there are great sites that I just can’t visit often enough. So in no particular order, let me tell you about these 10 great sites.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Everything you need to know about SWTOR’s Togruta

Since the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic, there have been two human-like species that players have feverishly demanded be made into a playable species: the squid-like Nautolans and the colorful Togruta. It’s only taken about four years, but as of the release of this article, Togruta are now in the game as more than just the Sith Inquisitor companion Ashara. (Those waiting for Nautolans will have to hold their breath a bit longer.)

For the price of 600 Cartel Coins, you can either unlock the species for a brand-new character or convert one of your existing characters into this new species. And if you’re one of the many Ebon Hawk players who have been waiting to roleplay a Togruta, then that will be 600 Cartel Coins well spent. However, if you’re thinking about roleplaying one of these odd aliens, then there are a few things that you should know about them before stepping into this new skin.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR’s group content overhaul

I am a raider. I’m not one of those raiders who spends every waking moment learning how to optimize gear and spending four to six hours a day figuring out the best and latest strats, but I do spend a significant amount of my week reading about or participating in raids. If I were to give myself a label, I’d call myself a casual progression raider. I’m not looking to get a server first, but large group content is an important reason for me to play an MMORPG.

This past week, Star Wars: The Old Republic announced its plans for raiding when the next expansion Knights of the Fallen Empire releases this October. Matching my personal sentiment on the subject, it received mixed reviews from SWTOR players. The developers answered some questions at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend as well. Although the questions and answers were strangely on point, they also received mixed reviews from the fanbase.

So in today’s Hyperspace Beacon, that’s what we’re talking about. We’ll focus on the group PvE side of the game, but BioWare also took a bit of time to outline its plans for PvP, too, so expect a bit of that as well.

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Hyperspace Beacon: The SWTOR community divide over Knights of the Fallen Empire

The past couple of weeks have been kind of strange for me. For five years, I’ve written about Star Wars :The Old Republic. I’ve embedded myself in the game and the big news and community discussions. I’ve seen some great websites come, and I’ve seen them go. There was even a point when this column had to take a back seat to another game. And somehow, there always seems to be something to talk about.

Now thanks to the announcement at E3, there has been a resurgence of discussion about what BioWare will do with its next expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire. Circus owner and showman P.T. Barnum is often credited with the quote, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” Hopefully, that is true for SWTOR because it’s certainly been a circus of criticism, zealous excitement, and wailing disappointment. In fact, it’s possible that this next expansion will do more to polarize the followers of the game more than anything that BioWare did or didn’t do at launch.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR’s game-changing expansion

As I’m writing this, it’s been several hours since Jeff Hickman, the general manager for Star Wars: The Old Republic, stepped on the stage at E3, yet my head is still spinning from all the information that BioWare dropped about its MMORPG. Perhaps it’s the games journalist in me, but I have far more questions than opinions about what we all saw today. I am both intrigued and a little scared, and I’m also extremely disappointed that SWTOR didn’t get more time on that stage if for no other reason than to explain what the hell we just watched.

I’m a person who likes to keep his sanity, so the first thing we need to do is separate the fact from the fiction. It’s also good to know what we do know and what we don’t know. Only after I’ve gathered all the information can I even begin to form a respectable opinion. So let’s do that. What do we know as truth, what has been speculated but not truth, and what does Knights of the Fallen Empire mean for the game itself?
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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR Night Life and PvP changes coming soon

Two things are coming up in Star Wars: The Old Republic that I’d like to talk about. First, BioWare is bringing back the Night Life (Festival of Splendor) Event on Nar Shaddaa. It’s a gambling event where players can win different prizes by playing slot machines. Just as in real life, the house always wins, but I’ve got some tips on how to make the house a little less likely to clean you out.

Second, Alex Modny and Eric Musco talked to Bad Feeling Podcast about some very important changes that are coming to the PvP reward system that might entice some players to jump into PvP, especially ranked PvP. Let’s dive in.

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