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Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion Rise of the Hutt Cartel now free to subscribers

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Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion Rise of the Hutt Cartel now free to subscribers

Now this is the way to encourage subscription. BioWare have used their stick to dig a trough in the earth and plant carrot seeds. After six months spent slowly relinquishing their stranglehold on free players, the developers have pledged access to their first and only expansion to new, old and returning subscribers for a fee of zilch.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer shows Hutt Cartel rising

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Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer shows Hutt Cartel rising

Like freshly made dough in a hot oven, Star Wars’ Hutt Cartel is rising. However, they are not transitioning into delicious bread but are being bitter buggers and seizing control of Makeb. If that simile didn’t rouse you to action, causing you to log into Star Wars: The Old Republic to fight for Makeb then maybe the new launch trailer will.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic double XP events kick off today

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Star Wars: The Old Republic double XP events kick off today

In this busy world of new popes and cable cars there’s scarce enough time to keep abreast of current events let alone sinking hundreds of hours into an MMO, seeking to top out your character’s level. Recognising this, Bioware have announced a set of double XP weekends, hoping to halve your time in getting to level 55.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic video shows off Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion

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Star Wars: The Old Republic video shows off Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion

For Star Wars: The Old Republic's first major content expansion Bioware have opted for a whole new planet, Makeb, and a massive chunk of story to go with it. A newly released video goes into how this expansion fits in with the story of the vanilla game and also what we can expect to see on the new planet and, perhaps more importantly, who we will be fighting.

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Rise of the Hutt Cartel patch notes released as SWTOR 2.0 hits the test server

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Rise of the Hutt Cartel patch notes released as SWTOR 2.0 hits the test serverSWTOR’s 2.0 patch has blockaded the Public Test Server in anticipation of the Rise of the Hutt Cartel’s arrival in March. As a consequence, level 55 is now something all classes can aspire to, and patch notes rise so steeply from the peak of BioWare’s Austin offices that they risk touching the sun and burning Planet Earth to the ground.

I’ve enclosed them in mostly harmless* digital form below - though bear in mind that the details are very much still subject to change.

*They broke Google Docs.

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Rise of the Hutt Cartel trailer shows off Makeb, suggests discord

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Rise of the Hutt Cartel trailer shows off Makeb, suggests discordPlayers of Star Wars: The Old Republic may have sensed a disturbance in the Force. It was the arrival of this YouTube trailer, their first chance to scope out Makeb, the new planet added by the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion. From this footage, the scenery looks pretty damn impressive and we get to see bustling cities, a gorgeous waterfall, what looks like a parched canyon and a giant floating barge.

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Say hello to The Old Republic's gay planet

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Say hello to The Old Republic's gay planet

This is Makeb. It's a gay planet. When I say it's a gay planet I don't mean that the planet itself is innately homosexual. Makeb itself is just a genderless, oblate spheroid of rock surrounding a sexy molten iron core, shuffled away in some dark corner of a far away galaxy. When I say that Makeb is a gay planet I mean that it is the only location in Star Wars: The Old Republic in which you can be gay. It's the one planet in the universe where flirtatious dialogue options will appear in conversations with similarly gendered characters. It's the only planet on which you can kiss somebody with similarly shaped genitals as the screen fades to black and "doing it" music starts playing.

That's very strange. Why have all the space-faring homosexuals been exiled to Makeb? Even weirder: why do players have to pay real money to visit this extraterrestrial homo-haven?

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion announced for Spring; pre-orders bring early access

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion announced for Spring; pre-orders bring early accessRise of the Hutt Cartel is a full-blown digital expansion for SWTOR. It will increase the level cap up to 55 and introduce five levels-worth of story-driven missions on a new planet, courtesy of the titular slimy gangsters.

It’ll cost $19.99 for free players and $9.99 for subscribers. Both will get five days of early access for pre-ordering before January 7th. It’s worth noting, too, that pre-ordering will automatically bring free player Preferred status, with all the convenience benefits that brings.

You can pre-order here. If you’d like to find out what you’re buying first, though, read on.

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