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Star Wars: The Old Republic

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."

Hyperspace Beacon: Exploits and SWTOR_Miner

Sci-Fi, Patches, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Exploits and SWTOR_Miner
Over the last couple of years, the Star Wars: The Old Republic community has changed. I believe it's matured. We changed from a community that wants everything yesterday to one that understands timetables but is still very interested in what's coming next. When we hear about the next storyline, we want to see how that's going to fit with everything that came before. Originally, I wanted to talk to the king of predicting the future of the game, SWTOR_Miner, about where the game is headed and what hidden secrets are in the client files.

However, last week something happened that redirected my thinking. Late last Monday night, Miner posted on Twitter, "Just got word that @SWTOR is cutting ties with fan sites that have dealings with me. Guess I won't be coming in from the cold." Of course, the whole community went bug-eyed, wondering what exactly had happened. So when I sat down to talk to SWTOR_Miner, the only thing I wanted to talk about was what's going on?

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Forumgoers speculate on the name of SWTOR's next expansion

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

So Obviously Revan
Forum poster Jerba explored the files posted on the official teaser page for the next Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion... and may just have stumbled on its name. Without any datamining or any breach of EULA, he found three files with the initials SOR in the filenames (SORTeaser_854x480.jpg, SORTeaser_550x120.jpg, and gt_sor_FINAL_US.mp4).

Forumgoers speculate that it stands for "Shadow of Revan," although some runners up are "Spawn of Revan" or "Shroud of Revan." Unfortunately, BioWare is not commenting on the name just yet, but that gives players room to continue speculating. Maybe it's "Same Old Revan" or "So, Obviously Revan."

Look for more information regarding the new expansion later this month.

This video reveals part of SWTOR's new expansion

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

A deadly force
Be careful watching this video because there are huge spoilers about the Forge Alliance series of flashpoints. However, if you have played all the flashpoints, then you will not be surprised that the star of the next Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion is someone we've seen before.

Writer Charles Boyd and Community Manager Eric Musco blasted through the Rakata flashpoint in a live stream today, then premiered the video for "A Deadly Force Returns," which is hopefully not the name for its next expansion. However, it does make for a great teaser.

You can catch the full 22 seconds of it after the break.

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One Shots: Avian servitude

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, Humor, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, Miscellaneous, WildStar

rift
Birds? I don't hate them, but I don't trust them either. Anything that can travel passportless with impunity is something to be wary of, especially if it has access to flight without clearing it with the FAA. And ever since the bird flu scare, I'm quite sure that our feathered "friends" are out to eradicate our entire race.

That said, I'm happy for reader Bill because he's finally putting birds where they belong: under us in full service of their land-masters. "Luck has found me again on RIFT patch day when this 'Lovely Budgie" popped out of a box. I can't help but think there is evil hidden beneath pink feathers and those big black eyes!" Bill wrote.

Oh, but there is evil, Bill. No doubt about it. Hopefully the rest of this week's player-submitted screenshots will not reek of foul intent the way that this cute birdie does.

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Full SWTOR expansion information coming this month

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

Full SWTOR expansion information coming this month
If you're like many other players of Star War: The Old Republic, then you've been wondering and waiting to hear what the fabled next expansion is supposed entail. Producer Bruce Maclean told forumgoers earlier this week that they will have to wait only until the end of the month, explaining that the team didn't want to give away any content spoilers.

Now that the gurrcat is out of the bag with Update 2.10, information about 3.0 is right around the corner. Maclean wrote today, "We're letting folks have a little time with Rakata Prime and then spilling the beans on 3.0. Look for a teaser within a week, and then a full announce before the end of [the] month!"

We're guessing the Rakata Prime flashpoint has more than a little to do with it...

Star Wars: The Old Republic launches the Legacy of the Rakata

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

In hindsight I sort of wish any of us knew how to read Rakata writing.  We can't feed this into HoloGoogle Translate.
The Rakata are kind of a big deal in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Their influence is everywhere in both the leveling game and in the overall lore, and finding out what their deal is kind of trumps other priorities of the week. So the new Legacy of the Rakata flashpoint that's just been added to the game should be of particular interest to lore hounds, as well as anyone looking to the completion of the game's Forged Alliances storyline.

The flashpoint sees players exploring the ruins of Rakata Prime, learning more about the Star Forge with Agent Theron Shan and Lord Lana Beniko, and exploring the ruins with smuggler Jakarro. It's a tactical flashpoint, as well, which makes it that much easier for players to explore and discover more of the story while leading into the next major expansion storyline. If you're interested in seeing what the Rakata left behind, you can log in now and try the flashpoint out.

Hyperspace Beacon: Five tips for making SWTOR conquests work for smaller guilds

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Guilds, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guides, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Five tips for making SWTOR conquests work for smaller guilds
In my last column, I explained the shortcomings of the conquest system in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Despite the issues I have with the system, I still think it's a great way to encourage players to revisit older content, and most importantly, to build guild unity. I know there are some guilds on my server in which members don't even have to participate at all in conquests for that guild to appear on the top ten. But what about those guilds who don't have hundreds of members? What about those guilds who have maybe 20 or so members? Can they even compete?

My guild has about 20 people who log in on raid nights; when the raid is done, maybe five or six will stick around. Now, I'm not saying that this is a healthy state for a guild (we are looking for more members!), but the few dedicated members pulled us ahead. For the last two weeks, our guild was in the top 10, and not barely in the top 10 either. This week we hit number seven, and the week before we were six.

Here are my tips for how your small guild can get ahead in conquests, too.

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Perfect Ten: MMOs that deserve another chance

Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest II, Opinion, Star Trek Online, RuneScape, Marvel Heroes, The Secret World, DC Universe Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter

ddo
First impressions matter. First impressions count. First impressions are lasting. These commonly cited maxims are true, but I would like to add one more: "First impressions can be deceiving." Due to our nature of making snap judgments, experiencing something at the wrong time or being impatient, we can rush to a conclusion that could rob us of something we could truly love.

There are few things that frustrate me more than seeing MMO gamers adopt the gospel of the first impressions and refuse to ever return to a game afterward. We keep treating MMOs as disposable, one-shot entertainment that must be plundered quickly right out of the gate instead of seeing them as reusable fun that gets better with time.

So the next time you feel bored waiting for the next MMO to launch so that you can make a two-month first impression and then leave forever, why not give an older title a second try? In this week's countdown, I'm going to make a case for 10 MMOs that deserve another chance even if you wrote them off long ago.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR conquests are good but not there yet

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Guilds, Patches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, Crafting, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR conquests are good but not there yet
I'm writing this late on Sunday night, and I have some disappointing news: My Star Wars: The Old Republic guild did not make the top 10 on the planet we were attempting to conquer. It's partly my fault; I happened to choose the planet that would be the most hotly contested. Who knew that other guilds would flock to Makeb when conquests went live?

It wasn't all bad. In fact, I'd say that SWTOR kind of pulled our guild together a bit. We participated in content we hadn't done in a long time. It was a rallying cry for us: "Hey, look, this stuff is fun, and you can still have fun doing it." On top of that, it's reintroduced the idea that open-world PvP is possible. But with all the good that it's done -- player housing, guild housing, and open-world PvP -- there are somethings that have fallen short of what it could be.

I think the best way to explain is to tell you about my week.

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The Stream Team: A SWTOR housing tour

Sci-Fi, Video, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Livestream, Housing, The Stream Team

Strongholds have opened in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and you know what that means: it's tour time! Massively's MJ hasn't met housing she could resist, so she's hopping in to show off this new system. Want to get a peek inside the Nar Shaddaa Sky Palace and check out decorating? Then join us live at 3:00 p.m. EDT for a tour of TOR's housing

Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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SWTOR's Galactic Strongholds expansion is live

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dungeons

SWTOR
Early access to Star Wars: The Old Republic's Galactic Strongholds expansion is now live for subscribers.

BioWare Producer Jack Wood welcomed players to SWTOR's third expansion with a lengthy developer blog about the studio's goals in this housing-centric update, boasting that it offers "something for everyone," whether you want to "sit back and relax in your personal stronghold," establish a guild base, participate in conquest leaderboard content, or take on the new tactical flashpoint, Depths of Manaan.

We've included a brand-new guild flagship launch trailer below.

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