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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR and the transparency dilemma

Sci-Fi, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Community Q&A, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon
This past week on The Republic, I talked to prominent community members about transparency and broken promises in regard to Star Wars: The Old Republic. Both Heather from Corellian Run Radio and Redna from Ootinicast agreed that BioWare's community team has communicated too little and too infrequently with the players and has actually driven people away from the game because of that lack of dialogue.

Also this past week, former Operative Class Representative Snave interviewed Community Manager Eric Musco, asking why the community team has been so quiet as of late and why it promised to deliver information by the end of September but it didn't. Snave also asked why there hasn't been more transparency from community team, especially when Musco specifically said that one of the things that he wanted from the community team was more transparency. Snave accused Musco of speaking out of both sides of his mouth when he said that he wanted more transparency but then wouldn't reveal what was going on with the announcement.

Compounding recent events was a kerfuffle over the ongoing Cantina Tours. Players became upset when the Cantina Tour date for Las Vegas was moved from November 7th to November 15th, even though back in February, Community Coordinator Courtney Woods posted the planned dates of the Community Cantina Tour with the caveat that they were "subject to change."

As a community, SWTOR players don't seem to be happy with or without transparency. The SWTOR community team cannot, as the saying goes, win for losing. What is the solution here? Let's discuss the details and maybe a solution or two.

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The Daily Grind: What's your favorite SWTOR class ship?

Sci-Fi, Classes, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Star Wars: The Old Republic

I've been dabbling in Star Wars: The Old Republic lately. I know, I know, but 12x experience plus Star Wars equals a re-sub. Anyway, I've gotten another couple of class stories out of the way, and thus have been exposed to another couple of class spaceships.

Thus far the Bounty Hunter's craft is my favorite, but I've still got the Inquisitor's to see before I can crown the best SWTOR spaceship. What about you, Massively readers? What's your favorite SWTOR ride?

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's experience boost enables altaholics, story-lovers

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Classes, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Promotions, Dev Diaries

SWTOR
Eagle-eyed gamers probably noticed the "leveling boost" tucked in with Star Wars: The Old Republic's Shadow of Revan pre-order announcement, but just in case you missed it, BioWare wants to make absolutely sure you understand what it entails, and it entails story -- a whole bunch of stories in a short amount of time, in fact. In a new dev blog, the studio is calling the boost a "class leveling event" in which players are effectively "treated to an all-new epic BioWare roleplaying campaign, uninterrupted." The 12.32 multiplier to experience that players pick up by preordering the expansion and subbing up for a month is "enough to play through the game all the way to level 55 playing only epic story missions," meaning that you can play through the class stories with no quest grind in between. Skill training is free during the promotion too. But you'll have to move quickly; the promo ends on December 1st.

I've already lost two writers and three guildies to the leveling frenzy. Jef thinks he'll be done leveling all eight of his characters in 10 more days. Who'll be next?!

Try out an early discipline builder for Star Wars: The Old Republic

Sci-Fi, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Subscription

How dare the system change to accomodate the way it's actually playing in a practical sense.
Star Wars: The Old Republic players will have to adjust to a new system of leveling and advancing when the Discipline system goes live with the expansion. But you can start preparing yourself, at least. A prototype Discipline Calculator is now available on Dulfy.net courtesy of swtor_miner; it utilizes data presented during livestreams as a starting point for building a reasonable picture of the trees.

As of this writing, the only advanced class available to play with is the Sith Sorcerer, but clicking around on the calculator should at least clarify the structure if not the details for all of the various classes. The calculator will likely be expanded as more data become available; until then, you can play around with what's provided.

SWTOR dev spoilers from the NYC cantina tour

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR
During this past weekend's New York City cantina tour, BioWare fielded shiploads of player questions about Star Wars: The Old Republic. MillionsKNives on the official forums has compiled a partial list; the devs say they're unhappy with PvP balance, will continue to monitor the difficulty of expanding guild ships, and plan to use the 3.0 patch as a "testing ground" for more class story, though we won't see "full storylines like pre-50 stuff." They also confirmed that while there will be no companion story in 3.0, there will be NPCs romanceable regardless of the player character's gender.

BioWare Senior Producer Bruce Maclean spilled some wonderful spoilers to Gaddock Gaming as well. Of note, he says that Togrutas are coming as a playable race post-3.0, an appearance gear system is being discussed for 3.0 or beyond, the pod-racing prototype was abandoned in the testing stages due to lag, and faction-changing might be considered in the future.

[Thanks to greatwildhunk for the tip!]

The Daily Grind: Have you considered how much time you spend gaming?

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

I typed /played on a Star Wars: The Old Republic alt the other day, and I was surprised to learn that I've spent nearly 26 hours of my life on a throwaway MMO character! Granted, 26 hours out of approximately 700,000 (assuming I live to the ripe old age of 80) isn't very much. But still, it seems like a significant amount of time to devote to disposable entertainment.

What about you, Massively readers? Have you done a /played on one of your characters recently? Have you ever stopped to consider how much time you spend gaming?

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: SWTOR because Star Wars

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Livestream, The Stream Team, MMORPG

SWTOR
Massively's Mike Foster is a tremendous Star Wars geek who for some reason just realized that there is an MMO where he can swing lightsabers and listen to NPCs talk about Jedi/Sith relations for hours on end. Join Mike as he experiences Star Wars: The Old Republic from a new player's perspective and nerd out with him about Han Solo's demise, Boba Fett's survival, and Darth Vader's floating glove.

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Bring your own Wookiee.

Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, October 10th
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Daily Grind: What little things in MMOs put a smile on your face?

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

I loaded up Star Wars: The Old Republic for the first time in a while this week, and it seemed like BioWare upgraded its planetary approach cutscenes since the last time I played. Maybe it's just the one on Tatooine, or maybe it's always been that spiffy and I just don't remember it.

Either way, it's a nice touch that tickles my Star Wars fancy.

What about you, Massively readers? What little things about the last MMO you played put a smile on your face?

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!

Leaderboard: Warlords of Draenor vs. Shadow of Revan

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Expansions, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Leaderboard

Last time in Leaderboard we pitted this winter's Warlords of Draenor expansion against this fall's Nightmare Tide expansion. This week, let's see how the top dog fares against another highly anticipated MMO content dump, this one bolstered by the worldwide media juggernaut that is Star Wars.

How about it, Massively readers? Warlords of Draenor or Shadow of Revan? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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Galactic Starfighter's going to be less grindy after SWTOR's 3.0 update

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

Star Wars: The Old Republic continues to make headlines, this time as a result of some changes slated for Galactic Starfighter in the 3.0 patch. The game's space PvP component isn't getting any new maps or ships, but the requisition reward curve is "getting a permanent boost," according to BioWare designer Alex Modny.

Modny says BioWare's going this route because of data that shows "new and moderate" GSF players having difficulty matching up against veteran pilots. You can read more about the changes on the SWTOR forums.

SWTOR: Shadow of Revan will include new class missions

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

swtor
Butting heads with famous Revan and his cronies is one thing, but will the new Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion allow our characters to continue their individual class stories? BioWare Community Manager Eric Musco confirmed on the forums that, yes, every class will get a single new mission with Shadow of Revan:

"Each player class will be given one unique class story mission as part of the storyline; these are entirely different from one another," Musco wrote.

SWTOR: Shadow of Revan was officially announced yesterday with a December 9th release date.

Hyperspace Beacon: Eight quests you should play before SWTOR's Revan expansion

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Lore, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guides, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Eight quests you have to run before SWTOR's Revan expansion
The next expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic is coming in December, and any BioWare fan already knows the primary antagonist: Revan.

Revan has been BioWare's focal Star Wars character since its first Star Wars game, Knights of the Old Republic. SWTOR even features Revan in multiple questlines. I could recommend that you read Drew Karpyshyn's book Revan, but there are plenty of ways to get Revan's story in-game. In fact, there are eight different questlines that you should run if you want to get caught up, and more importantly, if you want to prepare yourself for the next expansion. If you have been living under a rock for the last three years, be forewarned that this article will contain spoilers for you.

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SWTOR's Shadow of Revan expansion arrives December 9th, nukes skill trees

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dev Diaries

SWTOR
After a brief delay and much speculation, BioWare has officially revealed Star Wars: The Old Republic's next digital expansion, and it will indeed be called Shadow of Revan. A tweet from the official account names the title and promises a new level cap of 60 and a launch just in time for Christmas on December 9th. BioWare's press release previews two new planets (Rishi and Yavin 4), four hard mode flashpoints, two "role-neutral" flashpoints, two level 60 operations, and a mission storyline that will unite Republic and Empire to fight Revan's army. Players who pre-order the expansion (19.99 USD) receive a limited time leveling boost, early access to SoR, and free access to TOR's first expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel, which was granted to all subscribers last year.

Most intriguing is the addition of disciplines, a hefty class overhaul that will delete skill trees from the game. "No longer are you forced to purchase skills that are, in essence, necessary for your character to function; you simply get them automatically as you level up and progress down what we call the Discipline Path," says a new dev blog covering the 3.0 overhaul. "Much like the old Skill Trees, each path is made up of active abilities, passive abilities, and a new type of progression concept called a utility selection."

We've included the announcement trailer below, complete with the requisite ominous Star Wars music.

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One Shots: No airbags at 125 kph

Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

swtor
So here's what I'm always wondering: Why do all science fiction worlds and technology look far, far more dangerous than anything we have in the present? Star Wars is horrible in this regard. Lightsabers should be lopping off users' appendages left and right, even if they have the so-called "Force." Walkways without handrails over bottomless pits are commonplace in space stations. And their trash compactors are full of metal-devouring monsters, whereas mine has but the faint odor of eggshells.

Anyway, reader Joe's picture of his jaunt accross Tatooine in Star Wars: The Old Republic on a speeder made me muse about the safety issues of operating what is essentially a rocket-powered flying motorcycle in the middle of a canyon of jagged rock. Ain't no airbag on that thing that's going to save you when you dink into a wall, my friend.

Safety issues are but the start of our journey through this week in player-submitted MMO screenshots!

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BioWare delays SWTOR's Revan expansion reveal

Sci-Fi, Expansions, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

Dulfy.net has collected BioWare forum statements to confirm that Star Wars: The Old Republic's upcoming expansion announcement has been delayed. The studio had originally slated the reveal for September, but it's been delayed by "a couple of weeks." Community Manager Eric Musco advised players not to read too deeply into the delay because "the delay of announcement has no effect on the expansion schedule":
"In short, the process we go through internally to announce something as big as an expansion is actually quite complex and extensive. Although you are correct in that the end process may be a video, a landing page with some copy, etc. the process to get there requires a large amount of moving parts across multiple teams. Aside from just the assets and webpages there is arguably one of the most important aspects of these types of announcements, the game!

"By the time we announce we have to have a concrete idea of what will be coming in the game with the expansion, what types of perks we might give our subscribers, etc. Unfortunately with so many moving parts, we can sometimes run into the scenario like we did today. If we are not 100% confident in what we are going to put out, for a multitude of possible reasons, it can lead to a delay of announcement."
Forumgoers suggested the expansion will be titled "Shadow of Revan," "Spawn of Revan" or "Shroud of Revan"; dataminers have carved "Shadow of Revan" in stone. Musco reiterated BioWare's "commitment [to] launching it this year."

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