SWTOR 1.2 Patch trailer!

Beyond the much-anticipated game features like improved UI customization, PvP Warzone Rankings, Guild Banks and valuable new in-game items, the Legacy update will introduce challenging new high-level content for both experienced and new players to enjoy:

Game Update 1.2: New Content:

Flashpoint: Lost Island continues the Kaon Under Siege Flashpoint from Game Update 1.1 – Rise of the Rakghouls. Players must survive a menacing island of mystery on Ord Mantell as they hunt for clues to the Rakghoul virus outbreak that ravaged the Tion Hegemony. But the answers to this riddle may prove fatal!

Operation: Explosive Conflict sends groups of eight or sixteen Imperial or Republic players to a new zone on the planet of Denova, where traitors and mercenaries are selling the rare explosive mineral baradium to the highest bidder. Players will battle through hordes of Droids, mercenaries and deadly creatures all fighting for control of the planet and its valuable resources.

Warzone: Novare Coast pits two teams in an epic battle to control multiple mortar locations and use them to bombard vulnerable enemy bases. Like the Huttball Warzone, Novare Coast can be played Republic vs. Empire or with players of the same faction fighting each other in a thrilling contest of wills to determine each side’s greatest champions.

Beginning tomorrow, March 6th, current subscribers can start inviting their friends to join the galactic conflict as part of the Friends Trial program for Star Wars: The Old Republic. For a limited time, current subscribers will have the opportunity to send an invitation to friends who have not played the game and who do not have an active, inactive or former Star Wars: The Old Republic game account. This trial experience will give new players seven days of free access to reach level 15 across all eight classes and experience the thrilling stories that make Star Wars: The Old Republic a unique MMO experience (some gameplay restrictions will apply). Trial members will also receive a limited time offer to purchase the digital version of Star Wars: The Old Republic on Origin.com at a special promotional price.

For more information on Game Update 1.2: Legacy and the Friends of Star Wars: The Old Republic Trial program please visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic : The Old Republic Asia Pacific Launch!

The Old Republic Asia Pacific Launch

BioWare and LucasArts are excited to announce that Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ will officially launch in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore on March 1st, 2012! Fans in these regions who purchase the game will be able to experience their very own Star Wars™ saga on regional servers. Players who have already begun their journey will also have a limited-time opportunity to migrate their characters from their current servers to Asia Pacific servers after the launch on March 1st, giving them the chance to take advantage of the decreased network latency by playing on a regional server. All players who qualify for a character transfer will be notified in early March with more details.

In the press release announcing the Asia Pacific launch date, General Manager of the BioWare Label’s MMO Business Unit and Co-Founder of BioWare Dr. Greg Zeschuk expressed appreciation for the patience of fans in the region:

Our biggest priority for The Old Republic has always been to deliver a high quality product and high quality service and we are pleased with our results in North America and Europe. We appreciate that our fans in these countries have been patient and we are excited to deliver this same great customer experience to players this March.

Star Wars: The Old Republic will be available in both Standard and Digital Deluxe editions. The Standard Edition will retail for $79.99 AUD / $89.99 NZD / $389.00 HKD / $64.00 SGD and the Digital Deluxe Edition of the game, an Origin.com exclusive, will retail for $89.99 AUD / $99.99 NZD / $465.00 HKD / $76.90 SGD. 30 days of game time will be included with every version of the game, and after that time players will be able to continue playing the game by paying a monthly subscription, or by purchasing a 60-Day Pre-Paid Game Time Card for $32.99 AUS / $42.99 NZD / $249.00 HKD / $39.90 SGD. Star Wars: The Old Republic has three recurring subscription plans and players in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore will be charged in USD:

  • 1 Month Subscription (automatically billed every 30 days): $14.99 USD per month
  • 3 Month Subscription (automatically billed every 90 days): $13.99 USD per month (one-time charge of $41.97 USD)
  • 6 Month Subscription (automatically billed every 180 days): $12.99 USD per month (one-time charge of $77.94 USD)

Star Wars: The Old Republic is currently available for pre-order* at the following participating retailers in Australia and New Zealand. There are no participating retailers in Hong Kong and Singapore for pre-orders. Also, there will be no pre-orders available at Origin.com:

Australia

New Zealand

  • EB Games
  • JB Hi Fi
  • Mighty Ape

Individuals who pre-order the game in Australia or New Zealand will be entitled to the Color Crystal pre-order item, which changes the weapon effect.

Players in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore will also be given the opportunity to receive the Founder’s Medal** – an exclusive in-game title awarded to early players of the game. In order to qualify, players must complete one of the following transactions by Monday, April 30th, 2012, 12:01AM EDT, 2:00AM NZDT; Hong Kong & Singapore: Sunday, April 29th, 2012, 9:01PM HKT, 9:01PM SGT:

  • Billed at least once for an active Star Wars: The Old Republic recurring subscription
  • Redeemed a Star Wars: The Old Republic 60-Day Pre-Paid Game Time Code

For more details on the Asia Pacific Launch, visit the Launch FAQ.
Remember to check back to www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com, as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest news and updates on the game!

Star Wars: The Old Republic | News, Updates, Developer Blogs.

BIOWARE UNVEILS FIRST GAME UPDATE FOR STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC – RISE OF THE RAKGHOULS !!

Just one month after launching the fastest growing subscription MMO in history, EA, BioWare and LucasArts are prepared to release the first game update for the critically-acclaimed Star Wars: The Old Republic
Just one month after launching the fastest growing subscription MMO in history, EA, BioWare and LucasArts are prepared to release the first game update for the critically-acclaimed Star Wars™: The Old Republic ™. Launching next week on Tuesday, January 17, Rise of the Rakghouls will introduce new, higher level group content, game feature additions and continued balancing and bug fixes. As part of the commitment to the community, BioWare will continue to release game updates to subscribers throughout the year on a regular cadence. The next update is planned for March 2012 and will include new Flashpoints, Operations, WarZones and new game systems.
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“A month ago when we launched the Early Game Access program for Star Wars: The Old Republic, we promised our fans that this would just be the beginning of our journey together,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, General Manager of the BioWare Label’s MMO Business Unit and Co-Founder of BioWare. “Rise of the Rakghouls adds a lot of the things our community has been asking for – additional higher level group content, features like anti-aliasing, PvP bracketing and more. In the future, game updates will be even more substantial, as we promise to continue to not only add to The Old Republic, but to also improve and refine the experience with the full Legacy System and new Guild features.”
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Rise of the Rakghouls features a new Flashpoint and a new Operation as well as a number of changes made throughout the entire game, including level 50 bracketing for PvP WarZones, the addition of anti-aliasing and changes to Open World PvP on Ilum.
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Flashpoint: Kaon Under Siege is a completely new and unique group combat experience located on Kaon, a planet in the Tion Hegemony, a strategically important sector of the galaxy that has remained neutral, groups of up to four Republic or Imperial players must race to Kaon to eliminate the Rakghouls outbreak, securing the allegiance of the Tion Hegemony for their respective sides. This Flashpoint will be available for level 50 characters only and will feature Normal and Heroic modes.
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Operation: Karagga’s Palace, is a continuation of the game’s second launch Operation. In the Operation, teams of 8 or 16 players will face off against Karagga and the Hutt Cartel after the Hutts abandon their famous neutrality and breach agreements with both the Republic and Empire. Concerned by the threat of another combatant in the war for galactic control, both factions send teams of their most powerful heroes to confront Karagga and determine his intentions. This Operation will feature Normal, Heroic and Nightmare difficulty modes.
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For more information on Game Update 1.1: Rise of the Rakghouls, please visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com for the full details.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is set thousands of years before the classic Star Wars movies, with the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire locked in the middle of an epic, galactic war. Players choose one of eight iconic Star Wars characters, including the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent, becoming the hero or villain of their own personal Star Wars saga. Players team up with friends online, fighting in heroic battles reminiscent of the films, immersing themselves in a galaxy full of vibrant characters and planets, while experiencing visceral Star Wars combat.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic – Recent actions against some customer accounts!

Star Wars: The Old Republic Collectors Edition

Image by TheScream via Flickr

Our Terms of Service team recently took action against some accounts playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, and we wanted to give you some insight into what happened and why.

First, action was taken against a number of accounts for what’s commonly known as ‘gold farming’ – or in our case, credit farming. These accounts were found to be exploiting the game in a variety of ways to maximize their credits in order to sell them to other players. Our Terms of Service team took action against these accounts and removed them permanently from the game.

Second, a smaller number of accounts were warned or temporarily suspended for exploiting loot containers on Ilum. To be completely clear, while players may choose to travel to Ilum earlier than the recommended level (40+) and may loot containers if they can get to them, in the cases of those customers that were warned or temporarily suspended, they were systematically and repeatedly looting containers in very high numbers resulting in the game economy becoming unbalanced.

None of these accounts were banned for their actions and no accounts have been banned for travelling to Ilum while still relatively low level. By comparison, the number of accounts that were warned or temporarily suspended was considerably lower than the number of accounts banned for ‘credit farming’.

It’s important to remember that our Terms of Service team is extremely careful and thorough in their investigation of any potential exploit or unusual activity in-game. Working closely with the development team and using extensive metrics based on player activity, they are able to determine what is normal player activity, what is unusual and what is exploiting. Our goal is always to ensure a fair game experience for all players while also protecting the rights of individuals, and if people are disrupting the play experience for others action will be taken.

While we will not discuss the details of any individual action, whenever we take action against an account we believe they have clearly broken our Terms of Service. Any action taken against an account can be appealed and in some cases actions have been rescinded.

While we understand people’s concern about actions taken against accounts, please remember the Terms of Service team exists to help ensure a balanced and fair game experience for all. When you see reports of actions taken against someone’s account, remember they are choosing to tell their version of the story – and there are two sides to every story.

In summary, our Terms of Service team took action against a number of accounts that were ‘credit farming’ to remove them permanently from the game. They also warned and temporarily suspended – but did not ban – a smaller number of accounts for activities on Ilum that were decided to be game exploits.

Some adjustments will be made to Ilum in the near future to discourage future exploits. However, the planet is still open to anyone who wishes to travel there.

The goal of the Star Wars: The Old Republic team is to maintain a service for our customers that is fun to play and equitable for everyone. Critical to this goal is making sure that gameplay is fair and reasonable and we are constantly on the lookout for anything that would prove to be a detriment to your gameplay experiences.

Thanks for reading, and we hope this gave you some insights.

Stephen Reid | Senior Online Community Manager
Follow us on Twitter @SWTOR | Like us on Facebook
[Contact Us] [Rules of Conduct] [F.A.Q.] [Dev Tracker]

STAR WARS: The Old Republic – Recent actions against some customer accounts.

STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC APPROACHES HYPERSPACE LAUNCH !

E3 2011 - Star Wars the Old Republic (EA)

Image by PopCultureGeek.com via Flickr

All Systems Go for Launch on December 20 with Early Game Access Program* Beginning December 13 for those who Pre-Ordered

 

 

Guildford – December 8, 2011 – After successfully concluding one of the largest-ever Beta tests for an MMO, BioWare™, a Label of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), is now making final preparations for one of the biggest entertainment launches of the year as Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ reaches stores on December 20, 2011 in North America and on December 15th in Europe. BioWare also revealed today that Early Game Access for players who pre-order the game will begin on December 13, 2011 at 12:00 PM, giving some players as  much as a seven-day head start to their personal Star Wars™ saga. To participate in the Early Game Access program, customers must pre-order any version of Star Wars: The Old Republic and redeem their code** at www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/preorder before the official launch of the game. Pre-orders are still available in limited supplies at most participating retailers and via Origin.com.

 

Die-hard MMO gamers and passionate Star Wars fans worldwide are gearing up for the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic. During the weekend of November 25 – November 28, 2011, over 725,000 unique gamers participated in a highly successful Beta test for the game, logging in over 9 million hours of gameplay. With two weeks to go until launch, more than 78,000 guilds have participated in the Pre-Launch Guild Program and over 2.4 million players are registered on the game’s official web site www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com. Critics around the world are equally excited, as Game Informer has proclaimed that “The Old Republic is poised to reshape the MMO landscape,” and MSNBC has said that “Star Wars: The Old Republic is looking strong and the attention to story is paying off in a big way.”

 

Star Wars: The Old Republic is a go for launch on December 20,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, Co-Founder of BioWare and General Manager of the BioWare label’s MMO Business Unit. “We are extremely humbled by the surge of players who have joined us on this journey and participated in the Beta Weekend. Their participation has given us the opportunity to stress test the game and allowed us to tune the experience, ensuring that we deliver the smoothest possible MMO launch later this month.”

 

Set thousands of years before the classic films, Star Wars: The Old Republic is a story-driven, massively multiplayer online game challenging players with epic quests, featuring dynamic combat across iconic worlds in the Star Wars galaxy such as Tatooine, Alderaan, Hoth and more. Each of the game’s eight primary classes will enjoy their own unique storyline, all of which are fully voiced by a huge cast of actors and features a sweeping musical score.

 

Included with the purchase of every copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic is 30 days of access to the game, after which players can continue to play through subscribing at either £8.99 per month, £25.17 for three months (£8.39 per month) or £46.14 for six months (£7.69 per month).  For more information on Star Wars: The Old Republic, please visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com, follow the game on Twitter at http://twitter.com/swtor or “Like” Star Wars: The Old Republic on Facebook at http://facebook.com/starwarstheoldrepublic.

 

# # #

* Conditions and restrictions apply. Early Game Access may be up to 7 days.  The length of your Early Game Access depends on the date and order in which you redeemed your Pre-Order Code. See www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/preorderfor details.

** Codes are redeemable at www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/preorder. Pre-order quantities are limited and Early Game Access will be granted during the Early Game Access period in the order pre-orders are redeemed.

 

STAR WARS: The Old Republic – Some clarifications on item modifications

So, it turns out some of the patch notes regarding our modding system were probably poorly written (by me, I must add) and generated quite a lot of concern. I’ll try to explain the changes better and, while I’m at it, explain the logic for those changes.

To start with, we’ve introduced a new color and item type: the Custom items. Those are shown with an orange border and are fully moddable. This change is purely cosmetic. What we have done is take all fully moddable Prototype items (blue) and simply changed their icon color. This helps us create a better and more unique identity for fully moddable gear.

Since other games have used orange to signify truly rare and epic gear, let me clarify that orange in Star Wars: The Old Republic has nothing to do with ‘epic’ gear. (And for those curious, our version of ‘epic’ is a very deep purple, bordering on a rich blue). The orange we use is actually the old bronze color we developed a long time ago when our color coding was based on metals (bronze, silver, gold, platinum, etc).

Custom gear is actually pretty common: it can be obtained through class quests around level 8, as social gear, as space quest rewards and as light side / dark side gear. It is also the typical gear found in Flashpoints and as rewards for Heroic missions. Several pieces can be acquired using planetary commendations.

The second change introduced in the latest build is the locking down of the base mods (Armoring, Barrel, Hilt) and color crystal mod on the Artifact items (purple). To explain this change, I need to also explain the history of the the modding system…

So, the first version of the modding system had many issues. It is amazing that a system that is only a few months old is already quite misremembered, but that’s because while the system implementation was less than stellar, players really liked the concept that tried to shine through and now remember it much more fondly that it truly deserves. The main issues of the old system were as follow:

– There were too many different modifications. Sure, the mods had a lot of flavor and made sense: triggers and scopes for guns, underlays and overlays for armors, power cells and crystals for Lightsabers, etc. But in the end, keeping the mods in all gear up to date every few levels was a major pain on the players’ side. Remember, at that time, mods could not be extracted – so a replacement for each and every one of those mods had to be individually located every few levels. And let me tell you, creating and maintaining all those tens of thousands of mods on our end was also not exactly sustainable.

– Some items only had a few mod slots. I know everyone by now remembers a ‘perfect’ world where everything was moddable, but that simply wasn’t the way it worked. Most premium (green) items did not have a full set of slots and which slots weren’t present was a bit random. So, you could find a purple trigger and get all excited about fitting it on your moddable gun – until you realized the gun mysteriously had a scope slot, but not a trigger slot. Of course, your next gun could have a trigger but no scope. This left many players scratching their heads.

– Once slotted, a mod could not be removed. This had a very perverse effect: players would find a really good mod – say a purple overlay – but would really hesitate in slotting it into an armor. What if they find a cooler looking armor next level? Many players would end up saving their good mods for later and ended up over leveling them.

– Mods that were crafted or purchased were most of the time inferior to the mod already slotted onto a prototype (blue) item. This made the entire mod system somewhat useless. One of the main reason was that crafters could not create good mods. Reverse engineering – the main method to obtain prototype and artifact (blue and purple) crafted items – did not work on mod.

– Modding was only done at a workbench. This made it rather cumbersome as the players had to hunt down a workbench before they could fit a new mod into one of their items.

So, to summarize: in the old system, you could not take any piece of gear, fit it with the best mods and keep it all the way to the end levels: a lot of the green gear did not have all the slots, the mods that could be obtained were for the most part… not good, and you could not extract better one from existing gear.

So… things had to change. Because despite all those warts, some of the players who tested the system really liked the concept: that a player could find an appearance they really like and work to keep it relevant all the way to end game. So, we knew we were on to something and we also knew the old system was just not delivering.

Those changes took time to implement. Some of them concerned large amounts of data and some required new code. Unfortunately, not everything could be implemented on time for each testing build and, in some of the builds, testers were exposed to a very raw and partially completed new system. However, today, we are close to where we want to be – but not quite there yet (more on that later).

So, the changes we made are:

– Item modding can now be done anywhere at anytime. No workbench required.

– Crafters can now reverse engineer mods and create blue and purple mods.

– A new Custom quality (orange) was introduced to legitimize moddable items as their own quality and type. This isn’t a big deal but does clarify things a little.

– Mods can now be extracted from a Custom item. This is the single most important change and has many, many consequences. However, we feel that being able to slot a mod and then extract it back truly opens up the system and makes it a lot more fun, easy and safe to experiment with. I’m not 100% happy about how the system interface and GUI works today (it is still a bit clunky) but at least it is functional.

– Rather than have a whole bunch of unique mod types, some mods are now common to all items. This greatly helps players who are ‘going the mod route’ to stay relevant and competitive as they now have a much higher chance to find exactly the mods they need, level after level, be it from a crafter, at a planetary commendation vendor or by extracting it from another item.

– Partially moddable premium (green) items were removed as they essentially lied to the players: an item missing a mod slot would never be able to match a high end non-moddable item. Instead, to compensate for the loss of diversity, orange versions of all green armors was created and given to the crafters. So, yes, if you see a green armor you really like, you still can have that appearance until end level. It does take a bit of work – you either need to become a crafter yourself, befriend one or trawl the GTN.

(Note: recipes for those orange appearances are discovered through Underworld Trading missions.This allows us to have a truly large number of those recipes without overwhelming the crafting trainer inventory. As a side effect, this opens up class quest green armor appearances from other classes as well as long as you fulfill the armor requirements.)

– End game artifact quality (purple) gear is now partially moddable. Why moddable? Because that allows the players to customize stats such as critical, etc. to their exact desire. Why only partially? Because mods are now extractable… Think of it this way: it is easier to defeat the first boss from an Operation than the last boss. So we want to reward the players with the best possible loot for defeating the last boss and that loot is typically the Chest piece of a set. The first boss drops less interesting stuff, say boots. This may sound old school, and it is. But by doing so, we ensure that both players that get rewarded by looks and those rewarded by stats are properly rewarded for taking on the most difficult challenges.

Now, if purple gear was fully moddable, players would simply farm the first boss, acquire 5 pair of boots, extract the armoring, mod and enhancements from the boots and slots them in their favorite Custom items. That actually sounds cool, but it really isn’t. Letting players extract the armoring mod from the purple items would trivialize end game gear progression and stop rewarding successful and dedicated players for their efforts.

So, instead of letting that happen, we prevented the Armoring, Hilt and Barrel from being extracted, but we also made sure of dropping purple Armoring mods of equivalent power as Operation loot. This means that players going the mod route can still take their favorite orange armor and make it as good as a operation purple armor (with some temporary caveats).

– Some crafting recipes that allowed the creation of moddable armors and weapons have been replaced with non-moddable versions. Why the nerf? Because those recipes were no longer properly balanced once we allowed mod extraction. It became far cheaper and faster to create an item for the sole purpose of extracting every mods out of it than creating mods in the first place. This also allowed nearly every crafter to create every type of mods, which wasn’t very balanced either. Instead, the crafter can now make a non-moddable item for those players that enjoy that and, thanks to newly introduced recipes, a moddable (but empty slotted) version of the item.

Now, with those changes, we are closer to an actual implementation of our modding philosophy than ever before. Is it perfect? No, not yet. There are still some imbalances here and there (and I trust this community to let us know loud and clear if we miss any) but it is close and the remaining issues are on their way to be fixed. Of course, it would help to clarify what that philosophy is:

To put it simply, we want moddable items to offer an alternate and optional loot system that allows players to customize their look and their stats with more freedom and without penalty for doing so.

However there are many times where it will be easier for a player to just put on whatever stuff they just looted and not care about the way it looks. Keeping a specific outfit or weapon “up to date” or obtaining a specific look may require additional time and dedication, such as finding a crafter that can create that specific smuggler shirt or that rare color crystal.

I hope this clarifies things a little. As always, we are very much interested to hear what you all have to say on the system, but at least you now have a bit more information to go on – and of course, in a very short time, you will all be able to test this on the live servers.

Anyway, thanks to all of you who have been helping with the test of the game and offered your very passionate opinions – on this subject and others. Testing a beta isn’t easy. Things changes all the time, some stuff isn’t finished and nothing seems to make sense without the benefit of knowing what’s going on behind the scene. So thanks again and I hope to have the chance of meeting each and every one of you in game.

Emmanuel Lusinchi
Associate Lead Designer
Star Wars – The Old Republic

STAR WARS: The Old Republic – Some clarifications on item modifications.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic – New wave of Beta invites will be massive!

E3 2011 - Star Wars the Old Republic (EA)

Image by PopCultureGeek.com via Flickr

“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)

http://investor.ea.com/events.cfm?li…ed,Future,Past

STAR WARS: The Old Republic – New wave of Beta invites will be massive.

The Old Republic: Setting a Scene – PC Preview at IGN

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.

FINISH STORY BELOW :

The Old Republic: Setting a Scene – PC Preview at IGN.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Preview for PC from 1UP.com

If you don’t like MMOs, then you won’t like Star Wars: The Old Republic. Despite Bioware‘s pitch that the game is “Knights of the Old Republic 3, 4, 5, and 6 rolled into one”, based my time with the beta, TOR owes more to World of Warcraftthan KOTOR.

I sunk around 20 hours into my human Jedi Shadow/Consular before writing this preview. In that time I went from young Padawan on the reclaimed Jedi homeworld of Tython to Jedi Consular on my own ship with a mission set to take me across the galaxy. My character is now sitting aboard said craft at level 20 — the same level I quit playing most of the WOW characters I ever created. However, I don’t want to quit. I’d be playing the game right now if 1UP wasn’t currently being slammed by the rush of games being released.

Click the image above to check out all Star Wars: The Old Republic screens.

As mentioned in the headline, TOR is basically WOW with lightsabers. That’s an overly reductive statement but I guarantee it’s one you’re going to hear from disappointed KOTOR fans upon the game’s release the Christmas. Do yourself a favor and stop listening to them now. Yes, TOR plays a lot like WOW, but that’s a good thing for the most part.

FINISH THE STORY BELOW :

Star Wars: The Old Republic Preview for PC from 1UP.com.

Hands On: The Old Republic – Part One | Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Stop hurting my droid!

I’ve had access to The Old Republic for the last couple of weeks. Which is good. Below is the first of a series of articles I’m going to write about it, thinking about different aspects, and playing as different Republic classes. Today it’s Jedi Knight, and just how it is that BioWare’s moral choices and quest styles fit into a massively multiplayer world.

In the end, no matter what makes The Old Republic different from the MMOs before it, what you’re doing eventually comes down to killing ten rats. But here’s the thing: you care about why you’re killing ten rats. And that, above anything else, is what makes TOR different enough to be properly interesting. It’s impossible not to appreciate the difference voicing a game makes. It’s extraordinary to appreciate the difference being able to answer back makes. The Old Republic is unquestionably a BioWare game.

Of course, it’s a BioWare game in an MMO. Which never stops feeling like a bear trying to wear a centipede costume. Undeniably WOW-like in its approach to structure, the more I play of TOR, the more I feel like I’m embroiled in the developers’ struggle to squeeze their sort of game into someone else’s mould. And to a decent extent, it’s working.

BioWare let me into the beta for the last couple of weeks, with free reign to play with the four Republic classes, Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler and Trooper, right up until each of them finds a spaceship. Well, it’s an enormous game, and I’m the sort that even when previewing on a beta, can’t just skip a sidequest. That woman will die! That corrupt politician will get away with it! So obviously I picked Jedi Knight, because I’m not insane, and have pretty much focused on that.

FINISH THE STORY BELOW:

Hands On: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic Previews: Full Beta Preview at MMORPG.com

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.

FINISH THE STORY BELOW :

Star Wars: The Old Republic Previews

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Global Launch for The Old Republic now!

Star Wars - The Old Republic

Image by jmtosses via Flickr

Today BioWare and LucasArts are excited to announce that the new global launch date for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ will be December 20th, 2011. Updating from previously announced plans, the release will now be simultaneous in North American and European launch territories!

Those who have pre-ordered the game and redeemed their Pre-Order Code at the Code Redemption Center before the game’s official release are eligible for Early Game Access as well as an in-game ‘Color Stone’ to change the color of your weapon’s visual effects. If you haven’t yet reserved your copy of the game, be sure to visit our Pre-Order page and secure your place in the Old Republic now!

Additionally, be sure to check back to StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest news and updates on Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: TOR: Revan Mini-Excerpt #1

Revan at the Motor City Comic Con in 2008.

Image via Wikipedia

Del Rey’s Star Wars Books Facebook page has posted the first mini-excerpt from Drew Karpyshyn’s game tie-in novel The Old Republic: Revan. Check it out below.

“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.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic heads to NYCC 2011


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!

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Beta Testing Weekends

 

Beta Testing Weekends for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ began earlier this month and during our first weekend, we invited more players into testing than we’ve ever invited before in a single weekend! Now we’re getting ready for another Beta Testing Weekend, starting on October 7th and finishing on October 11th. With increased invite numbers from the first weekend, even more of you will get to play The Old Republic.

If you don’t get invited to this weekend’s test, don’t worry. More Beta Testing Weekends will occur before the launch of The Old Republic. To have an opportunity to get into future Beta Testing Weekends, be sure to sign up for future testing on www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com and opt-in for game testing.

Invites to the Beta Testing Weekend are being sent this week. If you are selected, an email invite will be sent to the email address associated with your Star Wars: The Old Republic account. Please add the email address no-reply@bioware.swtor.com to your ‘safe senders’ list in your email client to ensure delivery. If you are uncertain whether you have been invited, login to the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website’s tester page. If you have been invited, the client will be available to download from that page. If you have other questions, please ask them in the official Forums.

Also, be sure to keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages for the latest updates on our upcoming Beta Testing Weekends!

STAR WARS: The Old Republic – Bioware Chooses to Stagger the Release of SWTOR Further

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dharhan

It seems that not only are they preparing for stable servers by keeping pre-order numbers limited, but even for those of us who have pre-ordered: our access to the game may not be granted as fast as we had hoped. In the article, they discuss slowly granting access to the game over an undisclosed period of time to the point that some folks may barely recieve any early access to the game, if any at all. Of course, this is all for the sake of a high quality launch and attempting to keep that HUGE problem every online game has at launch at bay. We’ll have to see how that works out, and hope that it doesn’t prevent those that are invested in their game already from playing for too long.

Shacknews apparently got confused, and they’re confusing you, so allow me to clarify. Nothing has actually changed since we announced pre-order access in July.

Everyone who pre-orders Star Wars: The Old Republic and redeems their pre-order code will get Early Game Access. Those who do this will be able to download the game client and play the game ahead of the release date.

While we aren’t ready to talk about the exact timing of when Early Game Access starts (that depends on a number of factors including Game Testing and pre-order numbers), we’ll announce that before the start date. Our planning accounts for allowing people to download the client before the Early Game Access start date, too.

However, when you actually gain admittance to Early Game Access will be determined in a first-come, first-served manner dependent on when you redeemed your pre-order code.

While we understand all of you want to be in Early Game Access on Day One, part of the point of a head start program like this one is to allow us to gradually ramp up the population of our servers so that on launch day, the general play experience is as pleasant as possible. While we’re going to be allowing a lot of people into Early Game Access at regular intervals, we cannot allow everyone who pre-orders in at once. That would defeat the point of a gradual head start.

The next obvious question is “I pre-ordered on Day X, when do I get access?” While we cannot answer that for everyone, I will say (as I did in July) that those who pre-ordered early will be getting Early Game Access, well, earliest. At this point we still have pre-orders available and therefore, anyone who pre-orders will still gain Early Game Access, but as they’re redeeming their code later, they’ll get Early Game Access later. As I’ve said before the difference between ‘early’ and ‘later’ should be a matter of days, not weeks.

I hope this helps clear things up a bit. I’d encourage everyone to review the pre-order FAQ and specifically the section on Early Game Access, too.

Stephen Reid | Senior Online Community Manager

Follow us on Twitter @SWTOR | Like us on Facebook

[Contact Us] [Rules of Conduct] [F.A.Q.] [Dev Tracker]

via STAR WARS: The Old Republic – Bioware Chooses to Stagger the Release of SWTOR Further – Page 22.

Good for me because I put my code in on the first day of pre-orders !!!!! YEA!!!!

Star Wars The Old Republic-Achievement Unlocked: Achievements | Ask A Jedi

Galactic Republic Emblem

Image via Wikipedia

In one of the other exciting developments (you know, aside from the official release date) from the Eurogamer Expo, Daniel Erickson confirmed achievements for launch! The guys over at Darth Hater condensed everything from the informal Meet and Greet, which you can read in its entirety here!

Better get this one before TOR comes out..

Question: Will there be achievements in the game

Stephen Reid: There will not be achievements in game at ship, correct?

Daniel Erickson: Not correct.

Stephen Reid: Not correct?!?

Daniel Erickson: Not correct. Achievements have made ship in fact. They’re not going to be the achievements, the crazy achievements that you have to place everywhere, that are like, “Hey if you drink 6 beers and fart in a cantina,” those are not going the achievements to go in. Version 1 of the achievement system which go in, which is actually doing big, heroic stuff, because there’s a ton of great optional content in The Old Republic, like, “Hey, I went to every world and kicked the world boss’s ass.” Those kinds of achievements. That’s going to be the level one system. People need reasons to go back to planets and run around and do that other stuff, so that will come second. The first system is, “Hey, here’s my bragging rights, here’s the bad ass stuff I did in-game.”

A nice surprise for everyone! Achievements are certainly a great means for motivating the player-base to do certain activities, if only at least once, and provide the collector / achiever / completionist in everyone something to do. They definitely offer people goals, and can offer fun rewards for everyone involved. Some people don’t like and don’t participate as much, but there are plenty of others who really enjoy this aspect of the game, and it’s good news that it will be there on launch day.

And sometimes, you cut it a little close…

What do you think of the inclusion of achievements at launch?