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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Hyperspace Beacon: First impressions of SWTOR's Galactic Strongholds expansion

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

Hyperspace Beacon: First Impressions of SWTOR's Galactic Strongholds expansion
It's been an exciting weekend: I've spent many hours just absorbing the contents of the new expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Of course, the largest part of Update 2.9 is Galactic Strongholds. I'll come right out to say that the SWTOR livestreams do not do it justice. I'm finally glad that I could get my hands on it to see exactly what the hook system feels like, where I can find all the furniture, and mostly importantly, how much it is going to cost.

Beyond the strongholds themselves, BioWare also introduced a new planet and flashpoint this weekend. I took some time to also visit Manaan, and I know I'm going to sound like a fanboy when I say that it blew me away. I was absolutely not expecting something that gorgeous for a simple flashpoint.

We have a lot to talk about, and if you've spent some time on the SWTOR PTS, I'd like to read your opinions in the comments. But first here are a few of my thoughts.

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One Shots: The green marble

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, WildStar

wildstar
Man, Bunglerm00se is so lost right now, you can't even imagine it. At least he's getting a great view as he contemplates having to trudge back. If you haven't heard, space is, like, really really big. Costco-family-packages-of-goldfish-crackers big.

"WildStar is shaping up to be one of the most immersive, interesting, and (above all) fun MMORPGs I've played in over a decade of mMm-Mor-Pu-Guhing, and I'd recommend it to just about anyone!" Bunglerm00se enthuses. "This is from the first shiphand mission your character can run. In this case, my character was asked to liberate a moonbase from a deadly menace. Is there any other kind of menace, you ask? On and around Nexus, the answer is 'no.' But the scenery sure is pretty."

You know what else is pretty? Everything after the break. Just you wait and see, my friends.

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SWTOR will charge a cool 50 million credits for guild ships

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Economy, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

We hope Star Wars: The Old Republic players have been saving up their credits for a rainy day because that rainy day is here and it wants its money. BioWare Community Manager Eric Musco announced on today's livestream that guild ships, expected in next month's Galactic Strongholds expansion, will cost a whopping 50 million credits, making it arguably the most expensive single item in the game as it surpasses the cost of the ST-7 Recon Walker and Dathomir Rancor.

Massively's SWTOR expert Larry Everett notes that while it's not uncommon for a lone player to have a tenth that amount and the 'wealthy' title is granted for amassing 10 million credits, small guilds might struggle summoning the funds for these ships.

SWTOR's lead writer teases future story updates

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

BioWare writer Charles Boyd has posted a blurb on the Star Wars: The Old Republic website that talks about the game's story and how it will move forward. Boyd says that the first chapter of the next major storyline is currently available via the Assault on Tython and Korriban Incursion flashpoints.

This three-part Forged Alliances arc will lead "directly into our next major story expansion, our largest since Rise of the Hutt Cartel," Boyd teases. He says more info will be coming soon.

Leaderboard: How much time do you spend customizing avatar outfits?

Sci-Fi, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Leaderboard

OK, I'm spending entirely too much time customizing my avatar outfits in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I originally re-upped my sub in order to polish off my last couple of class stories, but now I've gotten sucked into crafting and, by extension, the substantial outfit collection minigame. Which is bizarre because in meatspace my fashion sense boils down to the first pair of jeans and corresponding t-shirt/sweatshirt that tumbles out of my closet.

What about you, Leaderboard readers? How much time do you spend customizing your MMO avatar outfits? 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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The Daily Grind: Do you craft for fun?

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

Yesterday I spent an hour or so crafting a full set of gear and mods for one of my Star Wars: The Old Republic alts. I guess I could have farmed slightly better equipment in the lowbie flashpoints, but it would have taken longer and relied on the RNG gods, so it seemed more satisfying to hop on my main(s) and trick out the new guy with homemade armor mods, enhancements, stims, and weapons. Plus, I just like to make stuff, you know?

What about you, Massively readers? Do you like MMO crafting enough to do it for fun?

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!

Perfect Ten: Why the second half of 2014 will be awesome for MMOs

World of Warcraft, EVE Online, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, The Elder Scrolls Online, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Landmark

In the midst of mid-summer doldrums, it's easy to fall into a mild depression thinking that everything cool that was going to happen this year already has -- especially in gaming. The spring launch blitz is now officially over, with two highly anticipated MMOs launched, and now some people might be wondering if the rest of 2014 will be all downhill.

Spoiler: It will not be.

We started talking the other day in the Massively office about just how much there's coming for the latter half of this year and why we're excited to see what the fall and winter months bring. There's so much to look forward to, in fact, that it was incredibly difficult to narrow it down to a mere 10 entries. But that's my job, and that's what I did. Here's why the second half of 2014 will be awesome.

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Report: SWTOR fourth biggest sub MMO, Elder Scrolls has over 770k subscribers

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Market intelligence firm Superdata says that Star Wars: The Old Republic earned $165 million in worldwide revenue last year. This would make SWTOR the fourth biggest sub MMO in the world (behind World of Warcraft, Lineage, and TERA).

Superdata's report also says that the pay-to-play MMO market has been in a constant decline since 2010, with monthly active worldwide subscribers bottoming out at 23.4 million. "Despite the overall decline, this category has so far managed to maximize their ability to monetize a shrinking yet loyal player base," the firm says.

Finally, Superdata says that Elder Scrolls Online has a subscriber base of 772,374 while WildStar is seeing "four to five times" as many concurrent users as it saw during open beta. Superdata's information is purportedly "pulled directly from publishers and developers."

SWTOR's legacy storage detailed

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Crafting

BioWare community manager Eric Musco has highlighted some details of Star Wars: The Old Republic's legacy storage on the game's official forums. The system will debut with the Galactic Strongholds expansion, and players will obtain legacy storage for free by completing the introductory stronghold mission. Legacy storage will also be craftable and it will appear in the game's cash shop.

The storage default is one 80-slot bay, with additional unlocks available for purchase with in-game credits or cash shop currency.

Star Wars: The Old Republic will allow you four strongholds per legacy

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

But how could you ever give up living in the midst of a harsh, trackless waste?
Eagle-eyed players following the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic's next major expansion, Galactic Strongholds, have probably noticed that players will have the option of deactivating a stronghold, which will incur a credit fee if players want to reactivate that stronghold in the future unless it was purchased via Cartel Coins. But why would anyone deactivate a stronghold? Is there an upkeep system? Is it tied to account activity? Eric Musco took to the forums to explain that there's no reason to retire a stronghold now... but there might be in the future.

Musco makes it clear that each Legacy will be limited to four strongholds total, which at launch is equal to the number of different strongholds available. The distinction is there because if you own all four and want to pick up an additional stronghold in the future, you will need to deactivate one. So rest assured that between your four options, you will never be forced to abandon one.

One Shots: Requiem for a rancor

Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Miscellaneous, WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online, Landmark

SWTOR
You know what scene from Return of the Jedi that always got me teared up? When Luke kills the rancor and the beast's owner breaks down sobbing. You just know that thing was his best friend and now... now there is a large, monstrous hole in his life.

Reader Chris could have had a lifelong companion but chose to go the Luke route in Star Wars: The Old Republic. "I let a Sith escape Belsavis in order to save the injured fighter pilot Conrad Gall from an 'ancient beast' -- a rancor, as it turns out. It was a close fight, as you can tell by where my Trooper finally took it down."

Hats off to the brave rancor, whose only crime was being born a big, fat, sharp-toothed freak. Stop the bullying, I say!

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Massively Liveblogs: SWTOR's Galactic Strongholds

Sci-Fi, Video, Expansions, Patches, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Livestream, Housing, MMORPG

Liveblog: SWTOR Coruscant Skyrise Apartment
The upcoming expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic has the potential to completely change player perception of the game. Galactic Strongholds gives players the ability to own and decorate a home on four different planets: Nar Shaddaa, Tatooine, Coruscant, and Dromund Kaas. Last week, the developers showed off the Nar Shaddaa Sky Palace; today, we see the Coruscant Skyrise Apartment.

Over the next couple of weeks, developers have promised to answer questions, including, "Who can visit your stronghold when you're not looking?" and "How many people can visit before your skyrise topples to level 1313?" They also said that they will give an in-depth tour of the prestige system and the legacy bank.

We are liveblogging right now in the comments as the developers are speaking, so join us!

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I saw a real Jedi in Star Wars: The Old Republic

Sci-Fi, Classes, Culture, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, PvE, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMO Travelogue

This is a Consular's saber, but whatever
Let me tell you about this Jedi Guardian named Nayelii. She lives on Star Wars: The Old Republic's Ebon Hawk server. She could actually be a he, but the avatar (and the name) seemed female, so that's the pronoun I'm going with at the moment.

I say "seemed" because Nayelii was wearing hooded robes, it's fairly dark through most of the Kuat Drive Yards flashpoint, and I tend to play dungeons with my camera at max range. Anyway, that's all beside the point because last weekend Nayelii put on what is unequivocally the best tanking performance I've seen in all my years playing MMORPGs.

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The Daily Grind: Are there any long-term MMO goals that you plan to complete in 2014?

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

I managed to finish another couple of class stories thanks to Star Wars: The Old Republic's double XP week. Though the game has been out for nearly three years, getting through all eight arcs is taking a while since I dabble in so many other MMOs.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though, and I think that even without another double XP event, I'll finally be finished before the end of the year. What about you, Massively readers? Are there any long-term MMO goals you plan to complete in 2014?

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 Daily Grind: What untried portion of an MMO have you been playing lately?

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Daily Grind, Star Wars: The Old Republic

So it's double XP week in Star Wars: The Old Republic right now, and I'm pretty sick of the Kuat Drive Yards flashpoint. I popped into a Galactic Starfighter queue out of sheer boredom, and while it's a far cry from the space sims I love, it was a pleasant diversion.

What about you, Massively readers? What previously uninteresting or untried portion of an MMO have you discovered of late?

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!

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