Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’

Forcing Change: SWTOR Officially Goes F2P Next Week

By Nathan Grayson on November 9th, 2012.

It's like they say: 'Red on yellow will kill a fellow, but red on black is a friend to Jack - unless they're not actually a snake at all but instead a terrifying Sith death lord.

There comes a time in every young MMO’s life when it has to start facing facts and accepting the horrible, domino-like deterministic path cruel fate has set all of us on. Primarily, this means coping with the fact that World of Warcraft looms over its genre compatriots like an imploding sun, and its black-hole-like pull will devour all subscriber money from now until the end of time. Not even Star Wars: The Old Republic – the last great white hope for subs in a post-WoW world – could change that. And so, not even a year after launch, it’ll be flipping the F2P switch on November 15th. But, of course, there are some strings attached.

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Of Monsters And Meatbags: SWTOR’s HK-51 Update

By Nathan Grayson on November 8th, 2012.

Don't worry, ma'am. We're only here to help.

Disney owns Star Wars now, so what better way to celebrate than with the most un-Disney character in the entire Star Wars universe? In fairness, Hk-51 isn’t HK-47 (who has already appeared elsewhere in Star Wars: The Old Republic), but they’re quite obviously cut from the same organic-life-loathing cloth. They probably also both loathe cloth, for that matter. Point is, don’t go into a frothy mouthed state of paralytic shock if your new companion combines the words “meat” and “bag” to form a phrase of a far more sinister nature. But the galaxy-spanning quest to secure an adorable HK-51 of your very own is only a small part of SWTOR’s upcoming update 1.5. The rest appears in a hyper-advanced eyeball stimulating holocron after the break.

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BioWare Force-Tweaks SWTOR’s F2P Restrictions

By Nathan Grayson on October 30th, 2012.

Ooo! A penny!

Soon, everyone will be able to play Star Wars: The Old Republic*. Oh, that asterisk? Sorry, my entire-one-to-one-scale-replica-of-The-Death-Star key is broken. Still though, the point remains: SWTOR’s gearing up for a F2P relaunch, but there are some nearly moon-sized restrictions keeping it grounded. Fortunately, after initial complaints and some time on test servers, BioWare’s seen fit to scale them back – if only just a bit.

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SWTOR Free To Play Is Now Free To Play

By Alec Meer on October 24th, 2012.

John (left) and Jim (right), yesterday

“Hello, Guinness Book Of Records? Was Star Wars: The Old Republic the fastest MMO to go from subs-based to free-to-play? Why yes, I could go away and do the most token amount of research instead, but I wanted to hear a human voice for a change. Also, can I have a pint of Guinness please? Yes, Extra Cold, thanks.”

And now you can try out SWTOR’s freeiness to playiness for yourself, albeit in a contained, reduced version, as the first vestiges of it are now live on that MMO folly’s test server.
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BioWare’s Schubert On MMO Past Vs MMO Present

By Nathan Grayson on October 18th, 2012.

A long time ago, in a galaxy that was still this one, Star Wars: The Old Republic lead systems designer Damion Schubert was one of the principle minds behind Meridian 59, a bonafide pioneer of MMORPGs as, well, things. Since then, he’s worked on Shadowbane and The Sims Online, among others. During GDC Online, however, he gave a talk regaling tales of Meridian clone invasions and other such emergent madness interspersed with rather comical regrets (Fun fact: It was the first 3D MMO. It also launched without mouse-look). Afterward, we sat down for a chat about how MMOs have changed since Schubert first helped hand them a lunch bag and usher them onto the bus back in ye olde 1990s. And while his eyes lit up as he reminisced about Meridian’s good old days, he was also quite adamant about his preference for SWTOR’s story-driven approach over, say, EVE-Online-style emergent madness. All that and more after the break.

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Power To The (Solo) Players: SWTOR’s F2P Restrictions

By Nathan Grayson on October 18th, 2012.

Note: 'Limited' customization options mean you probably won't actually be able to look like this. Yeah.

Hmmm. Mmmmm. Ehhhhh. Errrrrr. Also harumph. Oh, hello, didn’t see you there. When I enter my Contemplate-O-Sphere, I tend to just lose track of the world around me and emit a series of guttural droning sounds – eyes wide yet unseeing, as though I’m possessed by some kind of brain ghost. I believe many of you call it “having an idea.” Only I’m having many ideas – mostly prompted by Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s fairly alarming approach to free-to-play. In short, if you’re only playing for solo story, you’re in luck. But, if not, well…

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Bioware Reveal SWTOR’s “Terror From Beyond”

By Jim Rossignol on September 12th, 2012.

If only we could talk to the monsters.
SWTOR‘s fresh content mill continues to crank on the missions for light-saberists and chums. Speaking here, Bioware’s Austin bossbloke Matt Bromberg said: “We’re committed to: about every six weeks, doing a major update for the game — which would be a new Warzone, a new Operation, a new Flashpoint, a new event — and to doing that on a really frequent cadence, every six weeks.” So that’s EVERY SIX WEEKS. Got that? (Nice use of the word “cadence” there, Matt.) The upcoming 1.4 update is proof of this policy, because it contains a new operation called “Terror From Beyond”. This features the Gree planet of Asation, and a “hypergate”, which you can see in action below.

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The Old Republic And The Revenge Of The Payment Model

By Jim Rossignol on August 1st, 2012.


Yesterday’s news about The Old Republic means that this morning we see a wave of editorials suggesting that subscription-based games are over, and that “free” is the only way MMOs can survive. This, of course, is because “MMO” essentially translates to “quest-based online RPG” (99% of the industry can’t see any other way to do it) and that tired old road is having to find new ways to keep people coming. There is another path, however, a less travelled one that might sustain the subscription model. The MMO which epitomises this is EVE Online. A sandbox model, where player-interaction is the content.

But will we continue to want to pay subscriptions for that? Or is it just a matter of time until that is made free?

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Inevitable Disturbance In The Force: SWTOR Goes F2P

By Alec Meer on July 31st, 2012.

69p to make your lightsaber purple

Well, that took all of about a fortnight. Pretty much everyone called this one, given the age of the expensive monthly subscription game seems to be over, bar a few very particular exceptions. So it is that the struggling juggernaut that is EA/Bioware’s MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic is to join the rapidly-swelling ranks of free to play. They’ve just announced that play up to level 50 will be gratis and open to all as of this Fall Autumn. That’s no moon – it’s a fully-armed and operational new business model.*
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You May Recognize SWTOR’s Newest Companion

By Nathan Grayson on July 17th, 2012.

DUN DUN DUN dundundun dundundun DUN DUN DUN dundundun dundundun.

And it’ll be terribly awkward for you, because it’s not who you think it is. You’ll be like, “Hey, HK-47, how’s it going?” And HK-51 will be like… well, I don’t know what he’ll be like, because he’s a new character. He and his exceedingly murderous brethren are, however, something of a throwback to cut content from KOTOR 2, so you might not end up totally out of your depth. For now, though, BioWare’s prepared a lavish CG trailer, because – and I guess this should’ve been the headline for the story – gameplay doesn’t exist anymore. It disappeared forever while you were asleep. Games are now cobbled together from CG, live-action footage, and meticulously photoshopped still images. You can’t actually play them, but you can hit the pause button whenever you want, which offers a truly unprecedented level of choice in how you approach every situation.

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Lite Saber: More Free SWTOR, This Time For All

By Jim Rossignol on July 12th, 2012.


Star Wars: The Old Republic now has a free trial, hooray! Anyone is eligible, which is a good thing, and the main limiting factor is that it caps you to level 15 (the level cap is 50 for subscribers, so this will get you off the starting world to Coruscant, but not much further.) PvP and flashpoints are also available in the trial. There’s a bunch more information in the FAQ, but overall this seems like a good move for the game. Allowing folks to try it out before they plunge into the depths of their wallets is always a good idea.

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SWTOR Wants You Back. Yes You, Steve

By Jim Rossignol on July 11th, 2012.

Yikes.
“Come Back and Play at No Charge* for Up to 7 Days!” Says the SWTOR site. Ha, what’s that asterisk in there? Why it’s the expiration date on this offer, which is July 17th. And this is an offer for lapsed subs only, of course. Returning folk will no doubt be thrilled to “receive an exclusive in-game pet, the Gannifari [pictured], and 25 Black Hole Commendations to use towards high level gear.” So that sound useful, if you’re a pet-loving ex-Jedi/Sith/Miscellaneous.

SWTOR is currently sitting at update 1.3, which focuses a bit more on PvP and grouping. “Grouping” is a funny word… Trailer for 1.3 below!
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Update Double-Up: TOR’s ‘Allies’ Patch And Pyro Day 2

By Nathan Grayson on June 27th, 2012.

NO GUYS TURN AROUND RUN HE'S GIANT.
I remember when games used to be obstinate, unyielding creatures. They’d prance through the room, coated in all manner of dust and bugs and glitches, and they just didn’t care. Now, though, they heed developers’ every beck and call post-launch. The things can practically grow extra arms on command. Case in point: SWTOR’s latest patch, which brings it up to not-quite-light-speed with modern MMOs and, of course, Team Fortress 2′s recent case of Pyromania. So then, let’s have a gander at what’s on the menu.

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