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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Celebrate SWTOR's sacred Life Day by launching frozen orbs of water at each other

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Humor, Star Wars: The Old Republic

swtor
If there's a Christmasy holiday in MMOs these days, you can bet your bottom credit that there will be a snowball fight somewhere in it. Apparently, MMO developers worldwide got together in 2009 and signed a sacred pact to feature snowball fights in all of their games in December. And so it is with Star Wars: The Old Republic and this year's Life Day.

SWTOR's Life Day celebration begins today and will go through January 6th. It will feature snowball fights that have a chance of awarding parcels that can be traded for rewards, grumpy parcel droids that need a good cooling off, and several new cash shop items including a mini Wampa pet.

Get in the spirit of Life Day by listening to Princess Leia's legendary song from the Star Wars Holiday Special and downing some Wookie eggnog.

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR's 2014 report card

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Expansions, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR's 2014 report card
In 1996, Richard Bartle published a study of MMO gamers that eventually led to his 2003 book Designing Virtual Worlds, which was at the time the de facto MMO genre's design bible. Of course, this was before World of Warcraft hit the scene, but many of the principles Bartle laid out still hold true. In fact, if you don't believe me, take it yourself: GamerDNA still has an online test based on the Bartle study.

Bartle categorized players based on their interests in the game; I would like to do the same this year as I did last year for Star Wars: The Old Republic since it's a good way to measure the game against the average expectations of certain types of players. Bartle divides us all into Achievers, Socializers, Explorers, and Killers. I'll explain what each of those means as I discuss the different aspects of SWTOR. If you know what that means and so you have a point of reference, my profile is SEAK, which means that I interact with all types of players.

For fun, I've added a grade-card-style of rating system: A, B, C, D, or F. Just remember the information I give about that score counts for more than the score itself.

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One Shots: It came from the comments section!

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Culture, Vanguard, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Miscellaneous

In addition to sending in your favorite MMO screenshots to oneshots@massively.com, some of you have taken to the comments section in these columns to share your pictures and stories as well. That's totally fine with me, by the way, as long as the email submissions continue as well! However, today I'd like to call attention to a few of these comments section shots and give them a little more attention up above the line.

Our first entry is from commenter Ausj3w3l, and I have to admit that it made me laugh. I think it's something about the way that this character is standing. Fat and proud, just like Mother Nature intended! "Most of the armours in TERA are completely over the top but fabulous, but eh... nothing beats the fuzzball in swim pants," she posted.

The fun doesn't stop here! We've still got three more smashing pics to go!

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The Daily Grind: Do you fill out MMO cancellation surveys?

Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Star Wars: The Old Republic

I cancelled my Star Wars: The Old Republic subscription this week. Given my history with the game I'm sure it's only temporary, but for now I got what I needed out of the 12x event and I'm off to greener pastures.

I told BioWare as much in the post-cancel survey thing, too, but I seriously doubt it'll be removing the gear grind just for me! What about you, Massively readers? Do you think cancellation surveys are a formality? Do you fill them out?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

SWTOR turning three, giving away anniversary decor

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Anniversaries, Housing

Star Wars: The Old Republic is turning three this month, and BioWare is celebrating by making the game's Coruscant and Dromund Kaas Stronghold housing instances available for three credits.

Which isn't as cool as it sounds, since their normal 5,000 credit price is pocket change that you can earn in 30 seconds. But hey, three! Fortunately the devs are doing something else that is actually cool. Namely, they're giving away slick-looking decor for your player house including a holographic projection of the galaxy, paintings, and a fireworks launcher.

You can pick these up at the Anniversary Personnel vendor in the Strongholds area of the Fleet from December 16th through January 13th.

SWTOR releases Shadow of Revan trailer to celebrate official launch

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Launches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR
Early access for Star Wars: The Old Republic's Shadow of Revan expansion technically opened last week, but for non-subscribers, the formal digital launch date is today. Predictably, BioWare has released a new trailer to coincide with the official launch. Spoilers: Revan, lightsabers, ominous proclamations, etc.

Massively's Larry Everett explored the plotline and soloability of the expansion in his column last week. Enjoy the trailer below.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic axes skill training costs

Sci-Fi, Economy, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

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SWTOR penny-pinchers rejoice, for the oppressive tyranny of skill costs are about to become history. In a post on the forums this afternoon, BioWare announced that it will be abandoning skill training costs as of next week.

"One thing has become clear from the player feedback in not only this thread, but since launch: players do not like training costs. It is a situation where every level you will see your hard earned credits go to a holographic Hutt doctor in order to make yourself a bit stronger. We have been talking about this topic internally for quite some time and when you add player feedback to the mix one thing becomes clear... We should make training costs a thing of the past," the studio said.

[Thanks to the five million people who sent this tip in!]

Soloing through SWTOR's Shadow of Revan

Sci-Fi, Expansions, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, First Impressions, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMORPG

Impressions of soloing through SWTOR: Shadow of Revan
Some people question how you can be a solo player in an MMO. To be honest, I, too, question how someone can do the whole game solo, but I do understand the desire to experience the game at your own pace. I believe the creators of Star Wars: The Old Republic understand this, too. Game director James Ohlen said that the biggest thing players wanted was the continuation of Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2. Although part of the SWTOR story did continue the Revan and Exile stories, a lot of players haven't even touched on that storyline.

In a multiplayer game, it's hard sometimes to experience the story solo with all the group-only material. However, Shadow of Revan creates an amazing opportunity for the solo MMO player to really experience the full story it has to offer.

Fair warning: I will not spoil major plot points for the expansion, but I will reveal some key characters in order to talk you through this leveling experience.

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Pick up a SWTOR stronghold for practically nothing

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Anniversaries, Housing

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If you haven't planted roots in Star Wars: The Old Republic's strongholds or are on a quest to collect them all, then BioWare has a nice surprise for you. Buried in the patch notes for this week's Shadows of Revan expansion is an announcement that the studio is selling two of its strongholds for a pittance.

"To celebrate our impending 3rd anniversary, the Dromund Kaas and Coruscant Strongholds are now available for three credits!" BioWare posted. Typically, these strongholds go for 5,000 credits or 50 cartel coins.

Leaderboard: Are you playing Shadow of Revan this week?

Sci-Fi, Expansions, MMO Industry, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Leaderboard

Star Wars: The Old Republic's latest expansion debuts this week, and it brings with it quite a bit of new content. There are of course five additional levels and a few new skills to go along with all the discipline-based class changes. And there are two new planets (Rishi and Yavin IV) along with new story and leveling content.

Is that enough to pique your interest? Are you playing Shadow of Revan this week? Vote after the cut, and let us know what you think either way!

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Hyperspace Beacon: Previewing SWTOR's Shadow of Revan

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Roleplaying, First Impressions, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Playing the Shadow of Revan
When I was first introduced to the expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, there were two things I wanted to see: the continuation of the class story and Yavin 4. And I'm happy to say that this expansion delivered both of those in a satisfying way. When I spoke to studio game director James Ohlen and lead writer Charles Boyd about the expansion a few weeks ago, they told me that Shadow of Revan would close one major chapter and open a new book for SWTOR. After seeing the expansion, I have to agree that Shadow of Revan does put a great cap on a class stories and opens the door for an exciting future for the game.

I don't want to give you the impression that everything in the expansion is exactly what I wanted, though. There is a surprising lack of exploration, the amount of content fell short, and parts of the maps felt slapped together. The screenshots depict beautiful scenes, but sometimes form outweighs function.

Before I continue, I feel obligated to tell you that there are spoilers of previous content in this piece, but the important parts of the new content will remain unspoiled.

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Here are some screens from SWTOR's new planet

Sci-Fi, Expansions, MMO Industry, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dev Diaries

Star Wars: The Old Republic's website has updated with a new developer blog called Rishi: Places of Interest. Actually, let me back up. It's not really a developer blog, even though it's listed in the site's developer blog section.

It's actually something of an in-character journal/travel log, but don't worry if you're not a roleplayer. You can still look at the pretty screenshots that focus on points of interest around the planet Rishi, which debuts in this month's Shadow of Revan expansion.

The Daily Grind: Do you display your MMO minipets?

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, The Daily Grind, Star Wars: The Old Republic

I had no idea that Star Wars: The Old Republic features so many minipets. Similarly, I had no idea that it features fluff pets that are basically tiny widdle repulsorlift versions of the class ships. So now one of my Jedi has a tiny Defender that follows him around, and it's pretty much the slickest thing ever. OK, maybe not ever, but it's definitely the slickest thing in SWTOR. I mean, come on, it does barrel rolls!

Normally I don't even use fluff pets, both because most of them are annoying and because I forget I have them. I put this one on my hotbar, though, because barrel rolls. What about you, Massively readers? Do you display your minipets?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Stream Team: Gorging on SWTOR's XP bonus for the holiday

Sci-Fi, Video, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Livestream, The Stream Team

Last week Massively's MJ showed what Star Wars: The Old Republic's duodecupled experience rush can do: two levels in one cutscene! But the 12X XP bonus is not over yet, and her level can only skyrocket once she has a speeder to get around on. To take advantage of this final week of bonus, MJ is diving back into the dark side with the aim of getting her Sith through a planet or two's worth of story. Can she keep up the evil on her Inquisitor? Join us live at 9:00 p.m. and see just how many levels she can get this hour!

Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, November 27th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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SWTOR players love that butt-ugly black-yellow lightsaber blade

Sci-Fi, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, Star Wars: The Old Republic

BioWare has released another Shadow of Revan dev blog focused on Star Wars: The Old Republic's class changes. This time, Scoundrels and Operatives take center stage.

The firm has also published one of those really long infographic things that gives your scroll wheel a workout. Among the stats are the number of active players (one million), the number of PvP kills since launch (1,790,161,866), and the game's most popular lightsaber crystal (that godawful yellow-with-a-black-center debacle).

Click past the cut to see all the numbers!

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