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

Hyperspace Beacon: Five things you should know about Ziost before SWTOR Update 3.2

Shortly after Star Wars: The Old Republic launched, I was a part of a group of players asked which planet they would like to see next. Pre-launch we were still learning which planets were even in the game. We knew that there were more planets to be revealed and that we had a huge swath of planets that had great backstories but had not been spoken of during SWTOR’s time period. I remember that some people suggested popular planets we’d seen in the original Star Wars trilogy, like Bespin, but I think the most popular was Kashyyyk.

But not mine. Eric Musco, who was a part of TOROCast at the time, even joked about my pick. “And out of left field is Larry Everett with Ziost,” he quipped.

Three and a half years later, Ziost is coming to SWTOR while those other guys are still waiting for Bespin and Kashyyyk. In Update 3.2, we’ll learn more about Vitiate, the former Sith Emperor, and what he’s been up to since the incident on Yavin IV. We learn that he’s traveled to frozen, rocky world of Ziost.

So why did I pick Ziost as the planet I thought we would see in the SWTOR lineup? My reasoning probably mirrors the reason that Vitiate also chose that planet as a base of operations. How about I break this down into five reasons that Ziost is the perfect planet for Star Wars: The Old Republic?

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Star Wars: The Old Republic hosting double XP for Star Wars Celebration

So let’s assume for the purposes of this discussion that you’re a really big fan of Star Wars, but you can’t quite make it out to Anaheim for the Star Wars Celebration convention. Lucky you, there’s a way to celebrate at home: Star Wars: The Old Republic is hosting a double XP even for the duration of the convention, from April 16th until April 19th. It’s not quite the same thing, but you can still be up to your eyeballs in Star Wars while it’s going.

That double XP can be stretched even further with boosts and the like, for the record. A post on Reddit outlines exactly how much experience you can be getting if you make your boosts work together via multiplication, topping out at a 429% bonus. Save up some boosters over the next couple of days if you haven’t already, and get ready for leveling over the weekend.

[Source: OotiniCast; Thanks to Jake for the tip!]

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Massively Overthinking: The death of the MMO guild

This week’s Massively Overthinking question comes to us from Kickstarter donor JakeDunnegan, who is worried about the future of MMORPG guilds.

When EverQuest came along, I was introduced to the concept of guilds, which was a bit different from league play in Tribes. Voice chat in EQ wasn’t really a thing unlike the need for Roger Wilco in Tribes. And guilds added so much to playing. Since grouping was so critical in EQ, being in a guild was a must for effective play for anyone but Necros and Druids, who were the only effective solo players at the time.

Requirements for getting in some guilds were extremely stringent, yet the real-world rewards were unlike much we see today. It wasn’t uncommon at all for people to be in the same physical area to get together or folks travelling to stop in and have dinner with fellow guildies. I did this on many occassions, even planning a small weekend stop-over at a guild leader’s house about a half a day’s drive away.

All this and I played EQ for only about two years. We eventually started our own guild, and it would ebb and flow as new MMOs came out, but the game that really, effectively, killed off the concept of guilding — for me, anyway — was the ironically named Guild Wars 2.

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Global Chat: Are MMO players too mean to game developers?

Is it too easy to forget that MMOs, like all video games, are made by people just like you and I? Belghast over at Tales of the Aggronaut thinks so; he says that our inability to see devs as real folks breeds hostility and makes it “hip to be mean.”

“I have a hard time viewing these companies as the evil empires they are made out to be,” Belghast writes. “No one sets out wanting to make a horrible product, and no one deserves to feel like they are hated by the people that are supposed to be their fans.”

The blogging community has plenty of kind, helpful, and critical words to say this week, including a return to Star Wars: The Old Republic, a guide to Guild Wars 2 achievements, and why data mining messes up the fun for all of us.

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The Soapbox: The misguided quest for MMO stickiness

This guest Soapbox was commissioned through Massively Overpowered’s Kickstarter campaign and is authored by Tyler F.M. Edwards, who blogs at www.superior-realities.com. The opinions here represent the views of our guest author and not necessarily Massively OP itself. Enjoy!

The concept of “stickiness” is always a hot topic in the MMO community — stickiness being the sum of those game qualities that ensure player retention and keep people coming back. Fans and journalists talk about it often, and I don’t doubt that MMO developers devote an enormous amount of time and money to making their games sufficiently sticky.

But this obsession with stickiness can do more harm than good, and when developers focus on retention, they risk losing sight of what really matters: making games that are fun to play.

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Massively Overthinking: Crowd control in MMORPGs

Today’s Kickstarter-begotten Massively Overthinking question arrives from donor Ravenwynd, who writes,

I love control type characters in mmos. City of Heroes’ Mind Controller could lock down entire groups; EverQuest Enchanters mezzed and controlled entire groups and trains. But as devs have added PvP and tried to balance classes in their games across the genre, it seems this playstyle has gone away. You can’t have long control powers as the PvP has to be quicker, so the control powers are super short. Given the hassles of trying to balance classes for both PvP and PvE (and the nerfs to one side when balancing the other), do you think more games/studios should strive for trying to do one or the other to their best ability versus engaging in that constant balance fight?

I polled the MOP staffers for their opinions on Ravenwynd’s topic.

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SWTOR’s outfit designer loses weight restrictions

Here’s some good news for all you Star Wars: The Old Republic fashionistas. The game’s upcoming outfit designer will not feature armor weight restrictions, which means that light armor wearing classes can don heavy stuff and vice versa.

BioWare community production coordinator Tait Watson posted the update on the official forums earlier this week.

[Via: Dulfy; Source: Forums]

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SWTOR doubles, doubles your excitement and experience

Doors locked? Family distracted elsewhere? Called in sick to work? Check! It’s go time for some serious Star Wars: The Old Republic leveling!

From today through Monday, SWTOR is hosting a double XP weekend. This XP bonus applies to any activity in the game that generates experience, so get out there and use this time to level up! The event will conclude on March 30th at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

[Source: Double XP Weekend. Thanks to Jake and Tommy for the tip!]

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Hyperspace Beacon: What you need to know about SWTOR’s Outfit Designer

Update 3.2 for Star Wars: The Old Republic is, in a lot of ways, my update. From the beginning of the game, I wanted to visit the planet Ziost. My favorite Star Wars comic book of all time is the Tales of the Jedi series. The part of the series appears to revolve around Gav and Jori Daragon, but the truth is that Tales of the Jedi is about the old Sith Empire. The wintery world of Ziost was the capital planet of the old Sith Empire. I’ve always wanted to know what happened to that world during the time of The Old Republic, but the writers have been rather silent about it.

As many of you are aware, I’m a big roleplayer in all the MMOs that I play. I like to immerse myself into the world, the lore, and the community of each MMO. That’s probably one of the reasons that I can play only one or two MMOs at the same time. Unfortunately, SWTOR has never been particularly roleplay friendly. It’s always seemed that we roleplayers RP in spite of the mechanics of the game. And now, for the first time in the history of the game, we have been given a tool that is completely designed for roleplayers: the Outfit Designer.

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SWTOR livestream introduces new planet, outfit designer

Star Wars: The Old Republic teased at the Community Cantina and in the producer’s letter that 3.2 would be one of the biggest patches to date. And if the information given on the latest livestream is any indication, it will be.

Community Manager Eric Musco hosted Producer Bruce Maclean and Lead Designer Michael Backus in a livestream yesterday to tell the SWTOR fans about the upcoming update 3.2: Rise of the Emperor.

One of the two biggest items on that list is the cold, rocky planet of Ziost. We know from Star Wars lore that this is the original capital planet of the Sith Empire, but strange things have been happening here. And there is every sign that the dreaded Sith Emperor has awakened from his slumber here.

However, the biggest thing to be introduced in the presentation beyond Ziost was the Outfit Designer, which will allow players to equip armor specifically for aesthetics while maintaining the stats of the other armor underneath it.

The full video for the livestream is past the cut along with a truckload of images. However, if you’d like to see it for yourself, it’s live on the PTS right now.

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Former SWTOR bigwig dislikes the term ‘whale’

The latest salvo in the ongoing free-to-play culture war comes courtesy of former Star Wars: The Old Republic lead systems designer Damion Schubert. In a GDC talk titled “Embracing the Paradigm Shift: Converting a Premium Team to an (Enthusiastic!) Freemium Team,” Schubert advocates for a terminology shift from the word “whale” to the word “patron.”

“These people are very important, and we can start by treating them with some fucking respect,” Schubert told his audience.

GameIndustry.biz summarizes the presentation, which saw Schubert advance the narrative that F2P is the future. “Imagine if you will that EA and DICE manage to figure out how to make a true Battlefield 5 experience that is actually a good free-to-play experience,” he said. “They’ll have an increase in profits, they’ll claim the free-to-play first-person shooter experience, Call of Duty will have to flip, and then the whole genre will flip.”

[Source: GI.biz]

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR took its first step into competitive gaming and fell on its face

Just when you think that Star Wars: The Old Republic will change things around and actually do something that will appeal to the Killer-type of MMO player, it shoots itself in the foot time and time again.

I was caught completely off guard last week when I read that SWTOR had partnered with the Electronic Sports League. Competitive gaming was one of the last things that I thought SWTOR would get into. I thought that perhaps this was finally BioWare‘s appeal to that kind of player. But then, in typical BioWare fashion, it fumbled at the one-yard line.

In the past, I have been hypercritical of the way BioWare treats the competitive player. It has always seemed that the developer hasn’t paid anying attention to what’s worked and not worked in the past. It appeared that it copied what games like World of Warcraft would do not because it was highly successful but because WoW had done it.

This time, however, things seemed to be different. Although the proposed jump into competitive gaming isn’t completely original, it was a step outside the box.

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BioWare cancels SWTOR Operation Victory speed runs

Those of you looking forward to that Star Wars: The Old Republic speed-run e-sports thing are out of luck, at least for now. BioWare community manager Eric Musco says that the firm is “canceling its ESL Operation Victory competition,” and he cites problems with the Coratanni encounter as the primary issue.

“We spent a lot of time this week testing bug fixes to see how viable the fixed version would be in a speed running environment,” Musco explained. “We have applied improvements to the Coratanni encounter as of tomorrow’s patch but there are still situations that could impact players focused on a timed run.”

[Source: BioWare via Dulfy]

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