Hello everyone! Because we care about ensuring that Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ provides you with a consistent and quality game play experience, we will be postponing weekly maintenance this week. Downtime was originally scheduled for Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 from 2AM CST (12AM PST/3AM EST/8AM GMT/9AM CET) to 10AM CST (8AM PST/11AM EST/4PM GMT/5PM CET) and will now occur at a later date due to issues requiring additional testing that have been discovered with the Game Update 1.1 content on the Public Test Server.
These issues were primarily brought to our attention by the diligent players on the Public Test Server Forums. Your participation in testing helps to improve the game as a whole, and we appreciate your discussion and feedback. The bug reports you provide are a valuable part of the development process. Thank you!
We’re working hard to bring you Game Update 1.1: Rise of the Rakghouls and are working hard to ensure your overall experience with Star Wars: The Old Republic is spectacular! The maintenance window for Game Update 1.1 will be rescheduled for some time within the next few days, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. When there’s a definite time, we will post here on the forums as well as on the Community Blog. Please keep your eye out for updates, and we will provide information as soon as it’s available.
Tip showing how to manage and move your companion’s action bar.
So here we are at the end of a long day one of the Fan Site Summit. Games were played, secrets were shared, lasers were tagged. It was another incredible day at BioWare’s Austin studio learning all we can about everyone’s favorite upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Though there was a full slate of activity today, for this report, I want to talk about Ilum. As you may recall, BioWare introduced the planet Ilum as the first open world objective-based PvP zone at PAX Prime in August. Though brief, the glimpse we saw then of walker vehicles traversing the frozen tundra and legions of troops charging into The Battle of Ilum was enough to get the PvP juices flowing.
We were excited today when BioWare’s Gabe Amatangelo, Lead Endgame Designer for Star Wars: The Old Republic came in to talk to us about this resource-rich planet. He was able to provide some details and answer some very specific questions that have been on the mind of the community. Although we can’t show you any new screenshots or other visuals we saw, we just wanted to give a recap of the highlights here:
The gathering of SWTOR fansites in Bioware’s offices in Austin is in progress. 13 of the most prominent sites have been invited to spend time with the developers “in their natural habitat”. We are not sure what is in store during the visit, but we wanted to point out the most exciting news that come out of the event. First off the girls from Corellian Run Radio, Kathy and Roxanne, have had some solo time with Lord Malgus:
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On November 15th, fans of Star Wars™ will finally learn the answers surrounding the mystery of what became of the redeemed Jedi Revan after the events of the first Knights of the Old Republic™. Drew Karpyshyn’s Revan picks up immediately after the events of the game, and follows the former Sith Lord as he travels beyond the Outer Rim to confront a danger that he can’t quiet remember, yet cannot forget.
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“Next, our biggest event of the year, the December 20th launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic. This is inarguably the most anticipated game of the year, an epic MMO that makes each player the hero of their own Star Wars saga. The Old Republic is in Beta right now and players are blown away by the immersive story, dynamic combat and authentic Star Wars feel. In the coming weeks we‟ll invite hundreds of thousands of players into our biggest Beta test to date.”
Quote from Peter Moore
you can find the the full transcript here (under Prepared comments)
Nick Kolan: The Star Wars universe is a vast and varied place. It’s a place where entire planets are dominated by a single meteorological phenomenon, where a planet can be covered by a single continuous city or eternal drought. It’s also a universe with an extremely rich history. Making a varied and interesting environment without straying from what is so quintessentially Star Wars is no simple task.
It’s what BioWare is attempting with Star Wars: The Old Republic, though. From what I’ve seen so far, they’re on the right track. The two starter planets, Tython and Ord Mantell, contain elements of lush, naturalistic green pockmarked by signs of conflict. In the case of Tython, the conflict stems from the strengthening forces of the Flesh Raiders. The ruins of an ancient Jedi Temple tells of Tython’s longstanding status as a Jedi training world, and the massive Flesh Raider camps strewn with technological waste foretells of the growing threat.
On the capital city of Coruscant things get a little more complicated. Coruscant is a single massive city. That doesn’t leave a huge amount of room for visual variety. The social section of Coruscant, which contains the market and the Council building, is absolutely enormous. The Council building alone takes a long time to thoroughly explore. It’s all very clean and structured lavish.
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In my various opportunities to play Star Wars: The Old Republic, I’ve never actually played on the Republic side of things, that is, until recently. You see, the kind folks over at BioWare finally allowed the press to sample Star Wars: The Old Republic for an extended period of time and within the comfort of our own homes, though we’ll only be looking at the Republic side of things this time around.
As the team here divvied up our class assignments, I naturally jumped on the Trooper, which was the first class I wanted to play in Star Wars: The Old Republic before I found out there would be an Imperial Agent. Don’t get me wrong, I want to swing a lightsaber just as most of you do, but there is something cool about just being the guy (or gal, in this instance) with a (BIG) gun.
Tell Me a Story
I’m not going to get too specific on some story elements in order to avoid spoilers (though there may be some; you’ve been warned!), but I will touch on the various themes and experiences I played through along the way. Now, with that out of the way…
Your story in Star Wars: The Old Republic begins just like any Star Wars film, with the Star Wars theme blaring as you’re treated to an opening crawl detailing the basic story of your chosen class. Once the crawl completes, the camera pans down into a space scene involving a starship, which is of course a nod to every Star Wars film made. If you’ve never noticed this, well, now you know.
Troopers start out on the mountainous planet of Ord Mantell as a new member of the Republic special forces team Havoc Squad. The first minute or so involved my character being briefed on the situation on the ground by one of my fellow Havoc Squad members while riding aboard a Republic dropship. Things quickly take a turn for the worse as the dropship takes enemy fire, prompting the pilot to make an emergency landing. As the exit ramp opens, I am treated to a wide view of the war torn planet of Ord Mantell before I step out and put my boots firmly on the ground.
Given the warm welcome, it’s pretty easy to tell things are going to get real pretty soon, and BioWare doesn’t disappoint. The soldiers I encountered on my way to the planet’s main Republic base all needed my help, and as they made their desperate pleas for assistance, there was no shortage of the sounds of blaster fire and explosions occurring nearby.
The overall scope of the Trooper’s origin world story centers on the Republic’s struggle against a separatist movement on the planet and the danger of a stolen Republic bomb. Along the way, I participated in a variety of side quests involving assisting the local population or various members of the Republic military. The class story content and objectives were quite compelling, and the side quests felt fitting, though many of the actual objectives were fairly standard stuff. The addition of story really spices up the formula, however. I certainly can’t stress that enough. If I never see another text box, it wouldn’t be too soon!
The game opened up a lot more once I left Ord Mantell (where I only saw other Troopers and Smugglers) and made my way to Coruscant. Before arriving on Coruscant, I traveled to the Carrick space station in the midst of the Republic fleet. This is the Republic social hub shown off during the TOR main panel at New York Comic-Con last week. The station is indeed filled with vendors, a cantina, class and crafting trainers, and a jump off point to launch Flashpoints. It was a pretty neat spot, but felt sort of inorganic. It almost felt like a bit of a shopping mall in space. Everything is neatly placed and organized in an intelligent and convenient fashion, which is great for gameplay purposes but really not much else.
In order to head to Coruscant, I could opt to take a basic shuttle straight from the station to the planet or a VIP ship called The Esseles, which is a Flashpoint that would eventually bring me to Coruscant at the end. The basic story behind the Esseles is that an important Republic Ambassador is on board and one of the Sith Empire’s top brass is keen on capturing her. As members of the Republic, we’re obviously not interested in giving her up that easily (well, maybe), so this prompts the Imperial Moff to launch a boarding attack on the ship. The result is a fairly awesome dungeon crawl set up for four players to run through, participate in dialogue, and make important choices that directly affect the way certain parts of the Flashpoint play out. The Flashpoint was peppered with all manner of cinematic set pieces, especially the last boss fight, which was absolutely epic to say the least. It was a real hoot to play through it alongside other players.
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Check in for ongoing impressions of BioWare‘s anticipated MMO.
Resting on the shoulders of Star Wars: The Old Republic are the hopes and dreams of millions. BioWare fans, Star Wars fans, and gamers looking for a new MMO to call their own each believe, or at least wish, that the BioWare-developed MMO will live up to the monumental expectations placed upon it, and provide a universe as big as World of Warcraft’s and as involved and reactive as any other BioWare title.
So the beta for The Old Republic is important. It’s the first time we’ve been able to play the game at our own pace and with our own persistent characters. We’re not entirely unrestricted — we can only talk about the early portions of the game from the Republic side — but with no short time limit and no specific class or area to focus on, it is much easier to get a sense of what The Old Republic will be like come December 20th.
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The folks at BioWare did something a little crazy recently–they allowed us to preview the first few levels of the Republic side of Star Wars: The Old Republic at our own leisure (and just in time to steal some buzz from BlizzCon, too). For us, that meant no more guilty looks at YouTube leaks or shouldering our way through long lines at Comic Con; instead, we could trot about the galaxy and pretend that we were that most coveted of species, the SW:TOR beta tester.
It also gave us the chance to see if four of SWTOR’s most hyped aspects really made the game as unique as we’ve been hearing–specifically its story, extensive voice acting, science fiction setting, and unique use of companions. They’re unique, all right, but are they unique enough?
It’s the Story, Stupid
The story (as much as I saw) is every bit as good as I’d hoped. Whether I was smack talking across the bleak wastes of Ord Mantell on my prissy smuggler or pontificating as a holier-than-thou Jedi Consular over the wooded paths of Tython, SWTOR pulled me into its world like no other MMO has pulled me before. Instead of warranting no more attention than being called “that guy over there,” quest givers morphed into something approaching real people thanks to the intense conversation options that accompany the pick-up and turn-in of virtually every quest. In the best moments, I even remembered their names. By the time I was trotting through the Senate District in Coruscant, I felt as though I knew my character as well as I ever knew BioWare staples such as Revan or Hawke.
That’s not to say, of course, that other MMOS have exactly scrimped on story. Lord of the Rings Online has done a fair job of expanding Tolkien’s base story for a few years now (and, indeed, SWTOR’s storyline divisions into chapters echo the chapters of LOTRO’s epic story), and Guild Wars featured an engaging story as well. But with its BioWare-themed conversational choice options, SWTOR takes the story concept and launches it into orbit. Not only does the need to respond to NPCs in the cinematics force you to engage with the storyline, but the need to choose specific responses alters the way other characters interact with you in cut scenes (even if it no longer affects whether your companions will leave you, as it did in early beta builds).
Some of these responses are admittedly a little vague. While I was tampering with a courier robot to secure some dirt on an allegedly corrupt Coruscanti senator, the “light side” path had me giving some bogus documents to the person who assigned me the quest. The “dark side” option would have allowed me to give the real documents to the quest giver, who came off as some youthful idealist. One can only imagine what Julian Assange would have thought of this. To be fair, SWTOR’s options are always marked with a handy “light side” or “dark side” icon which simplifies these things, but quests such as these would have caused no small amount of headaches in a “normal” BioWare game.
BioWare’s big claim that each class has a different story is also a little misleading. Sure, each class has its own companions and interactive cinematics, but questing leaves you with the impression that there are only two truly independent experiences for the Republic with some added fluff for each of the four classes. On the Republic side, for instance, Jedi Consulars and Jedi Knights share many of the same experiences on Tython; and Smugglers and Troopers share many of the same experiences on Ord Mantell. And by the time you arrive on Coruscant, most of the quests are shared anyway. Regardless, SWTOR never fails to deliver a great story experience, whether it’s in the copious codex entries that impart lore about almost every aspect of the Star Wars universe or in loading screen that reminds you where your character stands in the story line.
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Team up for epic adventure
Band together with your most trusted allies to undertake some of the most dangerous missions in the galaxy! Flashpoints are action-packed, story-driven adventures that test a group of players to their limits, putting them up against difficult foes in volatile situations. You and your group need your wits, your skills, and all your resources to emerge victorious. Every Flashpoint begins with an exciting story and contains difficult decisions – choose carefully, because your group’s choices have a meaningful impact on the challenges you’ll face, the enemies you’ll fight, and the outcome of the story! All the danger is certainly worthwhile; the rewards from Flashpoints are some of the most powerful you’ll find.
|Died||Centuries before 40 ABY, The Home |
|Chronological and political information|
“Strength that is never touched by ruthlessness is touchingly irresponsible.“
- ―Darth Vectivus
Darth Vectivus, in the life he enjoyed prior to becoming a Sith, was a male Human who served as the director of the Jonex Mine Eight Eleven B asteroid mining colony in the MZX32905 star system near the planet Bimmiel. A shrewd and principled businessman, he shut down the operation when the reservoir of dark side energy over which the colony was situated began to negatively influence his employees. Because of his own Force sensitivity, he began to study and experiment with the mysterious anomaly himself, where he developed a Force technique which involved the creation of dark side–empowered phantoms. He eventually did away with the entire mining operation and left the habitat for a time in search of the Sith. His quest was ultimately fruitful, and upon completion of his apprenticeship he ascended to mastery as Darth Vectivus, Dark Lord of the Sith. Though a proponent of the dark side, Darth Vectivus’ self-discipline and preexisting code of ethics allowed him to remain fair and balanced without succumbing to the lure of power which plagued many of the Sith Lords who preceded him. He eventually returned to the mine and maintained a plentiful existence in the company of friends and loved ones alike.
Vectivus passed into physical death centuries prior to 40 ABY, but his spirit retained its power and lingered in Jonex’s labyrinthine mines underneath the Home, where in life he had once resided. It was also there where his ghost met then–Dark Lady of the Sith Lumiya, who had since taken up residence in his home. Lumiya later raised a phantom of Lord Vectivus that encountered a young female Jedi Knight named Nelani Dinn in the asteroid mines. Vectivus had a conversation with Dinn, during which he attempted to convince her to slay him in order to save the lives of countless others. Dinn declined the offer, which prompted the Dark Lord to transform into the likeness of former Galactic Emperor Palpatine and entice Dinn to strike down the visage of a known villain. Vectivus rebuked her when she again refused him, and declared that she lacked the ability to sacrifice a life other than her own for the sake of many. He then illuminated the exit, mocked Dinn’s purported weakness, and allowed her to escape while he disappeared into the Force.
“I should have guessed it was you.”
Revan rose from his chair to face the speaker. She wore the robes of a Jedi Archivist, though she was in fact a Jedi Master. She was young for the position, but her hair was platinum white. She had cold blue eyes, and a pale complexion that spoke of a life spent inside the Archives, sheltered from the sun.
“Atris,” Revan said, silently cursing.
Del Rey’s Star Wars team will continue posting mini-excerpts from upcoming novels on their Facebook page every Thursday. The Old Republic: Revan will be released on November 15th, 2011 from Del Rey Books.
Each year, New York Comic Con attracts tens of thousands of fans to the Jacob K. Javits Center on Manhattan Island to take part in one of the largest pop culture conventions in the United States. This year, between October 13 – 16, BioWare and LucasArts will be in attendance to give fans the opportunity to get some hands-on time with Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.
Those who come by the booth will have the opportunity to experience both the Alderaan and Huttball Warzones. New York Comic-Con attendees will also have the chance to play through some of our Origin Worlds content on the showfloor.
Star Wars: The Old Republic will also be taking center stage as part of three separate panels! Our main panel will be held on Friday, October 14th at 2:30pm EDT inside room 1A10 of the MTV Theater. Additionally, on October 14th inside the American Airlines Theater, members of the Star Wars: The Old Republic development team will be taking part in a Q&A panel moderated by MMORPG.com. Finally, at 2:45pm EDT on Sunday, October 16th, BioWare’s Principle Writer and Revan author Drew Karpyshyn will be taking part in a panel on writing novels set in the Star Wars™ universe.
If you are unable to make it to New York Comic Con, BioWare will also be hosting a Community Meet & Greet on Wednesday, October 12th at District 36. Lasting from 8:00PM EDT until 11:00PM EDT, fans will be able to get some hands-on time with the Origin Worlds content, have a drink at the open bar and hang out with members of the Star Wars: The Old Republic team. Space is limited, so show up early to make sure that you can get in! Keep your eyes on our Community Forums and Events Page for more details as they become available.
To stay up to date on all the latest news coming out of New York Comic Con, be sure to check back to StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages for live updates from the showfloor!
Romantic arcs are integral to BioWare‘s game design style. This is true all the way from Baldur’s Gate II to Mass Effect 3, and Star Wars: The Old Republic is no different. By giving our companions gifts and picking the appropriate dialog choices, we may gain enough affection to pursue a romance with them. This process also leads to additional quests given by the companion and a richer understanding of who that companion is. However, this romance system isnt without its controversy, especially when it is concerning the romance arcs of the Jedi Knight and the Jedi Consular.
BioWare announced that pursuing a romance as either a Jedi Knight or a Jedi Consular will result in our characters gaining dark side alignment points. This announcement has obviously caused a lot of distress in the official forums. BioWare is taking the stance established in the Star Wars prequel films, specifically Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The film established that the Jedi Order forbids romantic relationships, as it is a form of attachment. The Jedi believe attachment can lead to the dark side. In an interview we conducted during last year’s Jedi Immersion Day, Daniel Erickson expands on this concept:
When you follow the Dark side as a Jedi, what it means is that you’ve given into your emotions. You gave into the hate, and even the love. One of the things you got to see today with Tython is that there is an entire quest in there to introduce the concept of romance leading to the Dark side. It is absolutely forbidden in the Jedi to get married and to have romance. According to the rules, you can get married with permission, but it very rarely happens and you basically have to prove to them that you don’t particularly care about the other person. So it is complicated, and usually done to protect Force bloodlines.
Okay. There are threads about this but Bioware has to see that giving DS points for romancing is really a bad idea. They are contradicting themselves. Let me quote the wise Jolee Bindo:
“Love doesn’t lead to the dark side. Passion can lead to rage and fear, and can be controlled, but passion is not the same thing as love. Controlling your passions while being in love, that’s what they should teach you to beware, but love itself will save, not condemn you.”
Straight from Kotor 1. And if I remember correctly at some point in the game he tells us that he had a wife (not sure about wife) or that he was in love as well. Is he a dark jedi? No. He is not.
Please Bioware consider this because I don’t want to be left out of a part of this magnificent game because I want to roll a lightside Jedi.
He points out that in Knights of the Old Republic, BioWare reasoned a way for Jedi to be able to be in a romantic relationship and still resist forming attachments. Although Jolee Bindo’s wife did fall to the dark side, there are other examples. Alesul again offers another example, building on what DavidForce had to say:
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Here is the statement in full:
“Hello all. As I said before, it wasn’t such a trivial decision, which is why it took a while to make. However, we have good news: RP-PvP servers are going to be a part of Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Please note, the ‘RP’ part of the RP-PvP designation will be a suggested style of play, not a mandatory one. What that means is, if you feel someone isn’t roleplaying, reporting them to Customer Service will not ensure action on their account. We will also not be enforcing naming policies or similar.
For a game with a projected player base as high as The Old Republic, it’s simply not practical for CS to be watching over this. If you want to fully immerse yourself in roleplaying, we suggest you find a likeminded group or guild to do that with.
You probably have questions – throw them out and we’ll try to answer.”