Sithprise! Knights Of The Old Republic 2’s New Patch

You meatbags did what?

Obsidian’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II doesn’t quite reach the level of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines on the Oh Gosh Imagine If It Were Actually Finished-o-meter, but it has folks who go to bat to it. Like Bloodlines, for a decade KOTOR 2 has relied on fans to fix bugs, restore and finish cut content, and improve support for modern systems. Unlike Bloodlines, KOTOR 2 apparently still has some sort of official support.

Yesterday brought a new KOTOR 2 patch on Steam, adding native support for widescreen resolutions and controllers, Steam Workshop for mods, and more.

This surprise update comes from porting house Aspyr as they bring Obsidian’s RPG to Mac and Linux, also fixing up the Windows edition while they’re at it. This new version brings achievements, Steam Cloud saves, native support for widescreen resolutions and resolutions up to 5K, controller support, and Steam Workshop.

Aspyr worked with the modders behind The Sith Lords Restored Content Modification to ensure it’d be up on the Workshop at launch. It’s right here. This isn’t essential, mind: the content was hardly finished and perfect when it was cut, and sometimes content is cut for good reasons too. Consider it an interesting option for a second playthrough, perhaps.

To celebrate all this, a 25% discount brings KOTOR 2 down to £5.24 on Steam until next Tuesday.

I wonder if anything will ever come of Obsidian’s hopes to work on Star Wars again. They’ve since hit it big on the Kickstarter scene, of course.

78 Comments

  1. ludicrous_pedagogy says:

    Controller support!! Yay! This is the one reason I enjoyed these games more on the old Xbox back in the day – there’s no reason for having pinpoint accuracy is a game like this, and it’s nice to just lean back and enjoy. What a wonderful sithprise for the Summer Hols!

  2. Dr_Barnowl says:

    I wondered why the hell it was getting patched…. although another opportunity to destroy my productivity on my work OS (Linux) is never a good thing…

    • Deckard97 says:

      The media machine is already in full swing for the new movie in December. Now is the time to start cashing in on anything/everything Star Wars. Wouldn’t be surprised if this game sees a big uptick in sales come late December/early January.

  3. skalpadda says:

    The stuff restored with the TSL:RCM mod definitely wasn’t cut for a good reason, but because Lucasarts were enforcing a Christmas launch and then didn’t want to pay for Obsidian to patch it up afterwards. Most of it was pretty much finished and things that have been rebuilt with the mod (such as the HK factory level) are very well done.

  4. Chris Cunningham says:

    In the last few years the corner seems to finally, mercifully have been turned: game companies realise that they can still sell their best games ten or even twenty years in the future, and so keep the source around. And a huge part of the credit for that has to go to GOG, who did an enormous amount of work legimitising “abandonware” as a business.

    In future times the thought that, say, Homeworld Cataclysm is gone forever because it was contracted out and nobody thought to hold onto the source will be as quaint as the idea that there are no episodes of Dixon of Dock Green because the BBC shot them live and re-used all their tapes every six months anyway.

  5. rustybroomhandle says:

    Sadly, KOTOR 3 may never be. Perhaps they can Kickstart a “spiritual successor” and call it “Space Kerfuffles: Laser-sword Warrior Monks of the Old Dysfunctional Democracy”, published by Paradox… as opposed to KOTOR, which was published by a pair o’ docs.

    • Cinek says:

      SKLWMODD. 10/10, would play again.

    • holymadman says:

      Just give SWTOR a try. Its free and you can bring friends, everything is more fun with friends.

      I am still a bit baffled that most people that loved Kotor outright refuse to even try SWTOR just because its an MMO. I don’t say its always the case but it often is and imho its silly reason to skip on fine game.

      If nothing else look at it this way, there are people that are part of the mmo crowd that spends hundreds of dollars on cosmetic items, they are literally funding further development of SWTOR that you can enjoy for free. All you’ll have to do is sub for a month in october once Knights of the fallen gets out to get all expansions for free. Just 15$ for 3 expansions.

      On the side note, some people also hate limitations of free/prefered players. I did the following, for 8 months instead of buying subscription i bought cartel coins and unlocked everything. I now have (almost) full subscriber access to the game, only thing missing is ranked PvP and Raids. For raids you can grind credits and buy 1 week access token thingies from AH from other players (the mmo crowd i mentioned above) as for ranked PvP i was never interested in it so i didnt even check if you can play it some other way than to subscribe.

      If you absolutely hate MMO’s and their tab targeting combat systems (which are not that different from Kotor, also another reason im baffled) atleast play from 1 to 50 for free and see the story.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        SWTOR is not on Linux – gosh darn it. :)

        • DrMcCoy says:

          If you really want to try it, it does work in Wine. Or at least it did back when. There was some fiddling required to get the Internet-Explorer-based login thingamabob working, though, but afterwards it was smooth sailing.

          • rustybroomhandle says:

            Not really. Just poking fun at holymadman. I don’t really do MMOs any more. My gaming sessions tend to be in short bursts these days, and nothing multiplayer.

          • iniudan says:

            Considering how crap the first kotor run on anything but Windows XP, I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually run better in wine.

      • DrMcCoy says:

        Oh, I for one did try it. I even bought it, about a year after launch, at nearly full-price. And I deeply regret that. I was subscribed for two more months, then quit, and never looked back.

        It really is as awful as you hear everywhere. Pointless grinding, stories as flat as a flounder, timer babysitting, annoyances and time-sinks everywhere. I already don’t like WoW, but this is a WoW clone done by people who didn’t even understand WoW.

        The one word that sums up SWTOR perfectly is “pointless”. And “disappointing”. Two words, the two words that sum up SWTOR perfectly, are “pointless”, “disappointing” and “waste”. …

        • holymadman says:

          Well i wouldn’t say stories are flat,main class stories are well crafted imho but not all of side ones are. But if you don’t like mmo lvling process i can understand that. At least they offer 12x for stories missions/quests for subscribers so you can skip everything that bores you and one free lvl 60 boost with Knights of the fallen empire.

          To each his own i guess.

        • James says:

          So it’s an MMO?

        • Philopoemen says:

          I was like you, played SWTOR when it first came out, floundered along grinding and not really enjoying the pace of it all, the story was locked behind hours of killing mobs, to get gear so that when I eventually did get to the story content, I didn’t die repeatedly, and then rinse and repeat. Left it alone after my first sub ran out.

          Got a bit nostalgic a few months back and played KOTOR on my tablet, then wanted more and played through the Restored Content Mod for TSL, and still wanted a bit more. Did some reading and saw that SWTOR had a new expansion called Shadow of Revan, decided “what the hell”, and gave it a go again.

          To be honest, since coming back to it, it’s the only thing I’ve been playing – with 12x experience boost for subscribers, it plays like 8 different KOTOR stories, each with LS and DS variations. I’ve never played another MMORPG, I don’t have the time for it, and in the three months since I’ve come back to it, I’ve played in group content precisely once. Everything else is soloable. You can grind if you want to, but all that stuff that put me off originally is now optional, which has been the main reason I’ve kept playing.

          And, yep I’d love a KOTOR3, but the whole Revan storyline is continued in SWTOR, and it’s not done badly. And with the new expansion coming out in october, Bioware have already said that they want a return to the KOTOR style cinematic gameplay, with an emphasis on solo storyline play, and optional group content.

        • ansionnach says:

          Since the KotOR made by Bioware is mediocre at best, I don’t see how TOR was ever going to live up to the expectations of dangerously wrong fans!

        • Jenks says:

          SWTOR really is a huge pile of crap. I didn’t think anything could do more damage to the franchise than the shitshow that was KOTOR2, but I was proved spectacularly wrong.

      • iucounu says:

        I tried a free trial. I ran around a very bland series of fields for an hour finding holocrons and occasionally fighting with groups of monsters in a dull manner. I mean, I don’t get it: it’s not mechanically that much different from KOTOR, but the fights were somehow way more boring and grindy. Is that MMOs, basically? I don’t think I like MMOs.

      • James says:

        Indeed, the best story is generally accepted to be the Imperial Agent – mostly because your choices actually have a tenable impact on the rest of the story.

      • MooseMuffin says:

        To add on to this, they’re currently doing a 12x xp bonus for class story missions for subscribers, effectively allowing you to play only the story missions and still level up at the normal pace. This lets you do all of the best parts with none of the filler. And if subscribing sounds as dirty to you as it does to me, you can buy a 2 month time card for like $25.

      • PsychoWedge says:

        A lot of things are much worse with friends. I can’t even beginn to understand why I would want to play something like KotOR with other people. It ruins the entire experience. Same goes for basically every RPG out there.

        The problem with SWToR then is that not only is no immersion because you have people with fucky names running around your screen all the time there is also no coherence there since the class stories are for all intents and purposes single player stories that just don’t work when you see 50 other Jedi Knights run out of the instance you where just in to kill xyz.

        Now, I do realize that a lot of people aren’t bothered by that but hard as it may be to understand, there are also a lot of people whose RPG-experience is completely ruined by this. Since they play sp-RPGs.

        • ansionnach says:

          Perhaps there needs to be an anarchy MMO. With dinosaurs. Quests could include joining a lynch mob and driving the dinosaurs to extinction. Cheek of them for existing.

      • bleeters says:

        As much as I did legitimately enjoy SWTOR and will probably get back into it some day, I can’t blame anyone for letting the mmo part get in the way of their enjoyment. Lord knows the game spares no effort letting it get in your way, unless you’re willing to fork over the fifteen bucks a month they clearly really, really want you to. And it inherently limited much of what they could accomplish with the story, which unfortunately shows sometimes. It’d be like reaching the end of kotor1 as dark side, and having all your light leaning companions be like ‘well, I fundamentally disapprove of everything you’re doing as you make a mockery of our moral foundation and become that which we hate, but we can’t actually leave so cool beans’. And then you’re still a Jedi at the end because changing or abandoning your starting faction isn’t mechanically feasible, so you get the light side ending anyway only with passive aggressive Jedi at your victory parade.

        Besides, I found other players kind of a nuisance. Sometimes I just want to do some quests and advance a story in an rpg without Master XX_SithKiller_XX riding up on his luminous rancor and killing everything.

      • Punning Pundit says:

        I (Used to) play Bioware games for the interesting stories and universes, and I put up with their combat in order to experience those stories.

        The few MMOs I’ve tried have me put up with boring stories to experience yawn inducing combat. Nothing I’ve heard about The Old Republic tells me I’ll get more of what I’m interested in if I sink my time into it.

        None of that should take away from your enjoyment of it! But that’s why I don’t want to play TOR.

      • epeternally says:

        I think a lot of it is the principle. Public opinion is that The Old Republic shouldn’t have been an MMO, and a lot of people – to an extent myself included – are going to be inclined to punish the publisher for not making the game we asked for, even if the game we got was perfectly fine. Same, to an extent, with Elder Scrolls Online, though to my shame I’ve actually bought that (it was $12). It’s a perfectly decent game in its own right, but why would you want to financially support a company that isn’t listening to you. In both cases, it’s inescapable how much better these products would have been if they weren’t shoehorned into the MMO format.

    • PenguinJim says:

      “Sadly, KOTOR 3 may never be. Perhaps they can Kickstart a “spiritual successor”…”

      Mass Effect was a spiritual successor to KotOR!

      • James says:

        Indeed. In fact, we have the Prequels to thank (that is not a phrase I thought I’d ever use). Lucasarts wanted a tie-in game for the Prequels and Bioware said ‘how about this instead?’ and KOTOR was born. Then when they missed the chance to make KOTOR 2 they decided to make Mass Effect as a spiritual successor.

    • ssh83 says:

      If you get their “class story boost” you can basically play the game like single player KOTOR and just play through the story with no MMO grind. KOTOR combat was always the same as tab-target MMO anyways. So as long as you can skip re-doing the shared content when playing new classes for their unique storyline, SWTOR is effectively KOTOR 3, 4, 5. No raid or grouping required, too. Bioware Austin has since learned their lesson and after a few attempts, they’re pretty close to perfecting this.

  6. DrMcCoy says:

    The Restored Content Mod is currently broken on GNU/Linux, though. A workaround is to copy the files from the SteamWorks directory directly into the “steamassets” directory of the game install (where, on Linux, the old game data files reside (*)).

    My guess is an issue with the case-sensitivity of the filenames, when searching through the SteamWorks directory.

    (*) There’s also a “resources” folder, which holds the icons and cursors that were originally within the PE resources of the EXE file, with a json file mapping between filenames and PE resource ID. Interesting solution.

  7. Laurentius says:

    Kreia – the best NPC in cRPG, enough said.

    • Asurmen says:

      Couldn’t stand her personally. In fact the entire KotOR 2 plot annoyed me. Didn’t feel like Star Wars.

      • Lukasz says:

        I agree and this is the reason why KOTOR2 is so much better than first one (which was great)

        • Asurmen says:

          I know it’s one of the reasons yo like it over the first, but to me Star Wars is entirely supposed to be black and white Good vs Evil. I ain’t got no time for that grey nonsense.

          • tetracycloide says:

            That makes for a pretty poor rpg though, being presented with the option to be Hitler or Mother Teresa, over and over, in the same conversation.

    • Lokik says:

      I’m not even that much into Star Wars, but the dialogue, *especially* with Kreia, really got me into it.

  8. mavrik says:

    Wow… does this mean there’s hope for KOTOR1 controller support as well?

    • welverin says:

      Probably not, since the main reason this seems to exist is the Mac and Linux port, and KotOR was already on Mac.

      Though, if someone decided Linux support was worth the effort on its own…

      • mavrik says:

        On the other hand, the Android TV version does have controller support, so I’m still hoping to replay this on the couch with controller in hand :/

  9. Philopoemen says:

    It’s a bit blasphemous, but I really enjoyed the Aspyr android version of KoTOR on my tablet, so much so, that I think its my preferred way of playing this game. Makes me think there may be a TSL version in the works.

  10. ansionnach says:

    If they’re going to port the game to other formats it should be finished first. Those without the Steam version could use the mod without any of this work. Widescreen resolutions were also supported by a patch (that maybe didn’t work with Steam). I suppose this is good news for the chumps who bought a permanently DRM’d version of the game.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      The top purpose of this was to release Mac/Linux ports of the game. This is what Aspyr do for a living. Providing the additional functionality for the Windows version was just a little extra they threw in.

    • Philopoemen says:

      The mod works with the Steam version anyway. Not sure why the vehemence towards people who bought a game from 2005 on the only available platform it’s sold on.

      And I’ve still got the original CD version, but Steam was much more convenient.

      • ansionnach says:

        This is more about the publisher being perfectly happy to cash in on a game that isn’t finished. Sure, the developers worked with the modders but it’s a pity there isn’t the same level of enthusiasm for fixing the game from those making the publishing decisions (who could grant access to all source material).

        Other than that, I’m not a believer in Steam. The extra hassle people have to go through to get mods like this to work on it must surely dent it’s convenience a little? To me it’s inconvenient having superfluous software running on my machine that doesn’t even need to be there. I recognise that I may well be in the minority here but I’m not here to spread the opinions of others!

        • Philopoemen says:

          To be honest, the only extra hassle using Steam vs CD version was the 30 seconds extra it took to locate the correct folder.

          Windows 8.1 caused me more issues with it that Steam did

          • ansionnach says:

            The widescreen patch requires that the game’s executable be modified. This did not work on the Steam version and required acquiring the original .exe from somewhere else. Obviously, this patch has added support so this is no longer an issue.

    • tetracycloide says:

      What are you taking about, the steam version has no DRM.

  11. Geebs says:

    I don’t suppose there’s a mod to remove 50% of the dialogue, Kreia, and the entire first location of the game?

    • James says:

      There is a mod to skip Paragus – do a little googling! And i will never understand the Kreia hate, she’s such a great character with more depth than frankly any other RPG character I know of.

    • USER47 says:

      Yeah, let’s remove all that makes KotOR 2 stand out and only leave fighs with mobs using the most diverse combat system ever (aka lightning storm – lightning storm – lightning storm).

    • Det. Bullock says:

      Remove Kreia?

      Everytime I think I heard really everything, someone on the internet manages to surprise me again.

      • joa says:

        Kreia gets pretty tedious after a while. But people on the internet lap up that cryptic philosophical crap.

        • James says:

          That ‘crap’ is based tightly on one of the most influential people in western history. Kreia is based almost entirely on Niccolo Machiavelli – and not just the crude representations of The Prince that often get passed off as representations of him, but a far more accurate depiction of someone who held ideals (Both Kreia and Machiavelli believed strongly in their respective republics for most of their lives). got exiled, dabbled in what they previously hated – and found it necessary to achieve their initial aims. Not vague, but intelligent, requiring thought to become clear – if you actually think about what she says she makes good points worth listening to. They are, after all, copied from some of the most influential thinking in western history.

          • joa says:

            Indeed? I am undereducated on things like this – I only knew Machiavelli as a crafty, scheming guy. People say that Kreia is interesting because she is all about shades of grey – but in the end (spoiler…) it turns out simply she is evil all along, and wishes to kill everybody. It seemed like too easy a “twist” for the narrative, and did not match what had gone before.

    • ffordesoon says:

      There is. It’s called KOTOR 1.

      Of course, you still have to endure Taris.

      • Geebs says:

        I don’t see how anybody could find Taris dull, Carth is a fascinating character and great fun to be around. I could listen to him agonise about his past forever! Bioware never surpassed him, even with that scintillating bad boy Kaiden Alenko.

        • Jason Moyer says:

          Now I’m convinced that you’re trolling. Was Sky your favorite party member in Jade Empire?

          • Geebs says:

            ……maybe a little. The first KotOR and the first Mass Effect are two of my favourite games ever, and I actually did like Jade Empire a lot, too. I do realise that Bioware games from that period had characters designed to appeal to different people, so there would always be somebody in your party that you couldn’t stand, who might be another person’s favourite. Some people really like Garrus, I always thought he was the Johnny Gat of Mass Effect.

            I still think that Kreia gets boring within the first 5 minutes due to spamming her Force Exposition power.

            That said, I’ll give KotOR 2 another try without all of the cut content and see if I can put up with it – or at least I would, if it didn’t have some weirdness going on with the OS X beta that means it won’t run because it thinks it’s been pirated. Fracking Obsidian and their terrible quality control.

            Kidding.

            Kinda.

        • PancakeWizard says:

          Tanaris is cool, but it’s the Tanaris surface that gets a bit dull. Product of its time really, but it’s just dingy instead of atmospheric.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      And here I thought she was the most interesting character in the cast.
      Nice and friendly – no but a nice change from the usual Gandalf mentors.

    • Jenks says:

      If they removed the first 6 hours of the game and added the last 6, I would consider KOTOR2 an almost worthy successor.

  12. Dare_Wreck says:

    I sure hope Aspyr gives this update to GOG, too.

  13. Det. Bullock says:

    “This isn’t essential, mind: the content was hardly finished and perfect when it was cut, and sometimes content is cut for good reasons too. Consider it an interesting option for a second playthrough, perhaps.”

    I would agree if it wasn’t for the abysmal vanilla endgame where half your crew just vanishes into thin air with no explanation.

  14. ffordesoon says:

    One of my favorite games ever just got a whole lot easier to recommend. Thanks, Aspyr!

  15. Chaoslord AJ says:

    And I finished it for the first time like two weeks ago…… NOOOOOOOOO!

    • ansionnach says:

      Wouldn’t worry about it. So long as you’d applied the restored content mod and widescreen patch yourself there’s nothing compelling and new about this patch. What is nice here is that people disinclined to do these things will now get to see them.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        Right but achievements… ;)

        • ansionnach says:

          Being a Steam heretic I have no understanding of those. Prefer to play games where completing them is an achievement. Obviously made an exception for KotOR2. Would probably have gotten the achievement for over-use of the crafting table, making everyone even more ridiculously overpowered. Now I think of it, coming up with achievements for this game would be something since there’s not a lot to it other than the basic plot and crafting.

  16. Whelp says:

    After playing the Steam version with the new patch for a few hours I can say that it is buggier than ever.
    There are audio issues (security console “buzzzz” sound that never goes away), issues with loading savegames (consistent crashing when quickloading, among other things) and random crashes that simply were not there before this patch (and that never happened in the GOG version).

  17. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    I didn’t realise VTMB was unfinished – and worse than KOTOR2, apparently?
    I remember people having problems with bugs, but was there really anything important missing? Just because fans kept polishing and adding things for years doesn’t mean the original package was incomplete.

    • ssh83 says:

      VTMB was finished but just had a lot of bugs, way more bugs than KOTOR2. However, KOTOR2 had rushed ending because they cut out an entire planet and content that lead up to the ending. Many people considered it “unfinished” as result.

  18. Enkinan says:

    I’ve had this sitting uninstalled for a loooong time now and have never played it. Time to finish up Witcher 3 and get started.