Bioware Austin News | PCGamesN

Bioware Austin News | PCGamesN

Subscribe to RSS - Bioware Austin

Star Wars: The Old Republic beefs up pirate planet flashpoints for level 60 players

Comment
Star Wars: The Old Republic beefs up pirate planet flashpoints for level 60 players

With Shadow Realms banished, Star Wars: The Old Republic has once again become the primary concern of BioWare Austin. Imagine each letter of its overlong name taking up an individual day in their calendar. And then repeating, for emphasis.

The MMO’s latest update, 3.1, finds pirate haven Rishi awash with blood yet again. Two co-operative flashpoints have been retuned to match the level 60 cap introduced in Shadow of Revan.

Read and Comment

Shadow Realms is cancelled; BioWare Austin take a speeder back to The Old Republic

Comments 4
Shadow Realms is cancelled; BioWare Austin take a speeder back to The Old Republic

Oh, um. Gosh. While countless would-be BioWare RPGs surely sit half-formed in tanks, neglected like the experiments of Jon Irenicus, never before has one been announced and then cancelled. Shadow Realms was an ambitious attempt to combine the co-op convenience of Left 4 Dead with the fun and fellowship of tabletop D&D. But if you weren’t one of the very few to play it at an expo over the past year, then you never will.

Read and Comment

Has BioWare's Shadow Realms shapeshifted?

Comments 4
Has BioWare's Shadow Realms shapeshifted?

Shadow Realms is the most radically-designed BioWare game since Mass Effect. Uncloaked at GamesCom last year as a four-versus-one multiplayer proposition, it was Left 4 Dead by way of pen and paper RPGs.

But that same design doc may have been rewritten. Grain from the rumour mill spells out a full campaign to take advantage of a beefier budget from EA.

Read and Comment

The Old Republic resurrects 300 year old protagonist as villain in Shadow of Revan

Comments 1
The Old Republic resurrects 300 year old protagonist as villain in Shadow of Revan

If The Old Republic really was Knights 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 as it was first pitched, then this week’s expansion is sequel number eight. After deviations into dogfighting in Galactic Starfighter and cosmetic player housing, Shadow of Revan is a nod to the series' original playerbase, and a final act for its first protagonist and sometime plot point.

Read and Comment

Spotlight
?

Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

BioWare grant 12x XP boosts to Old Republic subscribers who pre-order Shadow of Revan

Comment
BioWare grant 12x XP boosts to Old Republic subscribers who pre-order Shadow of Revan

This might just be the best way to play Star Wars: The Old Republic - stuffed with stellar single-player stories but hampered by the trickling rate of XP in free-to-play.

BioWare are desperate to force-pull you back into their MMO ahead of its upcoming nostalgia-fuelled expansion, Shadow of Revan. To that end, they're offering a faintly ludicrous 12x storyline XP boost to players who pre-order the expansion and subscribe before December 1.

Read and Comment

EA are giving Shadow Realm’s team “the ability to fail”

Comment
EA are giving Shadow Realm’s team “the ability to fail”

Shadow Realms is the first new IP we’ve seen from Bioware since they released Dragon Age: Origins back in 2010. It’s easy for a studio to get stuck releasing games in the same franchises, especially when under pressure from a major publisher like EA. While at Gamescom, James Ohlen, Shadow Realm’s creative director, explained to me how he got EA to take a chance on his 4v1 dungeon crawler and how he got the publisher to leave his team alone while they made it.

Read and Comment

Star Wars: The Old Republic subscribers are about to get player housing

Comment
Star Wars: The Old Republic subscribers are about to get player housing

BioWare’s first MMO will never be the game Galaxies fans want it to be. And that’s fine - Star Wars: The Old Republic is quite good in its own right. But it can learn lessons from its predecessor, and ensure players are inhabiting its world rather than just passing through.

That’s what next week’s Galactic Strongholds expansion is all about: habitation. Or as BioWare put it, "customizable bastions of personal luxury".

Read and Comment

BioWare's Shadow Realms is a 4 vs 1 "story-driven" action RPG from the SWTOR team

Comments 5
BioWare's Shadow Realms is a 4 vs 1 "story-driven" action RPG from the SWTOR team

BioWare have finally let us in on what on Earth Shadow Realms is. It’s a co-operative online RPG inspired by pen-and-paper RPGs, from the Austin studio behind SWTOR.

And it is on Earth: set in both a fantasy realm and a demon-infused but contemporary real world populated by “heroes who wouldn’t look out of place in this room".

Read and Comment

Star Wars: The Old Republic preps for largest story expansion since Rise of the Hutt Cartel

Comment
Star Wars: The Old Republic preps for largest story expansion since Rise of the Hutt Cartel

In retrospect, overarching MMO plotlines can sound like supervillain whack-a-mole. The Galactic Republic and Sith Empire might be at war, but together they’ve bopped the Hutt Cartel’s invasion of Makeb on the head, and given the Dread Masters of Oricon a good malleting.

For now, though, Star Wars: The Old Republic’s next major storyline is swathed in mystery, preceded by two new flashpoints that make up its prelude. It might be time to take another look at Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Read and Comment

Take another look at Star Wars: The Old Republic. It's quite good.

Comments 6
Take another look at Star Wars: The Old Republic. It's quite good.

Whatever it was that draws millions to Star Wars, many were unconvinced that The Old Republic had it. The feeling of adventure, heroism, mysticism and drama just wasn’t quite right. In the old days, SWTOR just didn’t feel “Star Wars-y" enough for core fans. It’s not an opinion I ever held, but I am an extremely patient person and SWTOR, in the early days, was tailored to a player like me. But I struggled to argue with the naysayers on a critical point, it was a poor MMO.

Over two years have passed since Star Wars: The Old Republic launched.  And it has changed almost beyond recognition.

Read and Comment

Star Wars: The Old Republic made $165m in 2013, according to SuperData report

Comments 2
Star Wars: The Old Republic made $165m in 2013, according to SuperData report

Despite Guild Wars 2, Wildstar, and its own efforts to split its playerbase into have-mounts and have-mount-nots, Star Wars: The Old Republic remains one of the best PC MMOs around. 

That’s reflected in the findings of SuperData Research, who report that SWTOR made $165m last year. They say BioWare’s first MMO accounts for 8% of the market for MMOs with subscription options.

Read and Comment

Pyramid scheme: The Old Republic's PvP Huttball to get a vertical makeover on April 8

Comment
Pyramid scheme: The Old Republic's PvP Huttball to get a vertical makeover on April 8

One of those things that must have made KOTOR seem such a prime candidate for MMOification - besides its cooldown-based combat system and setting in bloody Star Wars - was its proclivity for minigames. 

In 2003, a player might have interrupted their journey of extraordinary self-discovery to play a few rounds of pazaak and watch the pod-racing, before decamping to the Ebon Hawke for a spot of turret target practice. 

These are precisely the sort of embedded distractions MMO players like to get involved in. In SWTOR, that’s manifested as something called Huttball: “the most brutal game in the galaxy", funded by its slimiest residents. To date it’s had a single PvP warzone to its name - but BioWare Austin have built a new one in portrait, on the atmospherically poisonous adopted homeworld of the Hutt: Quesh.

Read and Comment

Star Wars: The Old Republic's 2014: two new expansions and a storyline to span "the whole year"

Comment
Star Wars: The Old Republic's 2014: two new expansions and a storyline to span "the whole year"

SWTOR’s 2013 wasn’t anything at all like its 2012: last year its live team witnessed the game’s playerbase shift from subscription-only to primarily free-to-play; instigated the release of its first proper expansion; and oversaw mammoth construction of an all-new PvP dogfighting mode to banish the memory of on-rails space combat.

In 2014, BioWare Austin hope, there will be no paradigm shifts. Free-to-play will continue to draw in thousands every day, and there’ll be another two expansions - one about the size of a Hutt Cartel, the other as big as a Galactic Starfighter.

Read and Comment

A new hope: The Old Republic subscriptions "decline" as free-to-play "continues to grow"

Comment
A new hope: The Old Republic subscriptions "decline" as free-to-play "continues to grow"

I don’t know what it’s like to be a subscriber of an MMO that suddenly goes free-to-play, but it must be pretty galling. Every month, I imagine, it becomes tougher to convince yourself that whatever in-game privileges you might have add up to another $10 your peers aren’t paying.

It must be somewhat easier in The Old Republic, where despite change for the better, free players are still visibly second-class citizens. Even so, as free-to-play numbers climb, subscriber rates are plummeting in the opposite direction.

Read and Comment

The Old Republic Galactic Starfighter expansion brings the dogfight to (some) non-subscribers

Comment
The Old Republic Galactic Starfighter expansion brings the dogfight to (some) non-subscribers

Since early December, interstellar jousting has been the preserve of SWTOR nobility - its remaining pocket of subscribers, sheltered under an upturned boat in an otherwise free-to-play sea. But BioWare could hold back the tide no longer, and have made the new Galactic Starfighter expansion available to the riff-raff, the rabble, and the Rattataki, effective immediately. So long as they’ve bought something from the in-game shop.

Read and Comment

BioWare's Old Republic studio hammering away at "several" unannounced projects

Comment
BioWare's Old Republic studio hammering away at "several" unannounced projects

BioWare Austin was born to make The Old Republic. That’s not a comment on the studio’s suitability to build Star Wars MMOs, but a literal fact: its staff were brought together in 2006 explicitly to make that game, and since its release five years later they’ve done nothing else but run its operations, reconfigure its systems for free-to-play, and develop its expansions.

Or so we thought. A couple of new job listings ask for hires with experience in both MMO and action games to help out on some of “several unannounced projects".

Read and Comment

EA implicate shrinking interest in MMOs in The Old Republic's free-to-play fate

Comments 2
EA implicate shrinking interest in MMOs in The Old Republic's free-to-play fate

Imagine you’re a shit-hot PI looking into the mysterious disappearance of The Old Republic’s prospects. There’s a few places you’d be tempted to start: its publisher’s investment in comprehensive voice acting it would take years to recoup; a broadly conservative game design in an era of Eve and Guild Wars 2; and reliance on a subscription model already starting to look dated in 2011.

But here’s EA’s femme fatale tugging at your ear, pointing to something else - the declining fortunes of MMOs in general.

Read and Comment

Watch a minute and a half's footage of Star Wars: The Old Republic's dogfighting mode

Comments 1
Watch a minute and a half's footage of Star Wars: The Old Republic's dogfighting mode

BioWare have changed. In Baldur’s Gate II, dog fighting meant handing over 10 gold pieces to a sprite-man named Surly in an iffy pub, and getting 20 back if you were lucky. And lots of barking in the interim.

The Old Republic’s dogfighting, built by an Austin studio that didn’t exist in Baldur’s Gate’s day, is all high production pew-pew and free-flight weaving. It’s like nothing else the developers have ever assembled.

Read and Comment

Pages

Alienware - Game VictoriousTurtle Beach
Weekend Deal Dump: From distant worlds to murderous invertebrates

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: From distant worlds to murderous invertebrates

TIE Fighter's greatest campaign: the Sepan Civil War, and benevolent imperialism

TIE Fighter

TIE Fighter's greatest campaign: the Sepan Civil War, and benevolent imperialism

We've got 3,000 SMGs for Hounds: The Last Hope, but we're no arms dealers - want to take them off our hands?

Hounds: The Last Hope

We've got 3,000 SMGs for Hounds: The Last Hope, but we're no arms dealers - want to take them off our hands?

Gwent PC Review

The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt

Gwent PC Review

We’ve got 1,000 beta keys for Orcs Must Die! Unchained - and you can get unfettered access

Orcs Must Die! Unchained

We’ve got 1,000 beta keys for Orcs Must Die! Unchained - and you can get unfettered access

WildStar is going free-to-play because subscriptions are

Wildstar

WildStar is going free-to-play because subscriptions are "the antithesis of inclusivity"

We’ve got 90 hero bundles for Heroes of the Storm; would you like one?

Heroes of the Storm

We’ve got 90 hero bundles for Heroes of the Storm; would you like one?

The 20 best RPGs on PC

Best RPGs

The 20 best RPGs on PC

We've got 1,000 starter packs for Magicka: Wizard Wars. Why not start a fight?

Magicka: Wizard Wars

We've got 1,000 starter packs for Magicka: Wizard Wars. Why not start a fight?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt PC review

The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt PC review

Making it in Unreal: Starfall Tactics brings a heavy metal ethos to space strategy

Starfall Tactics

Making it in Unreal: Starfall Tactics brings a heavy metal ethos to space strategy

Hands-on with Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

FINAL FANTASY® XIV: A Realm Reborn™

Hands-on with Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

Naoki Yoshida on the success of Final Fantasy XIV;

FINAL FANTASY® XIV: A Realm Reborn™

Naoki Yoshida on the success of Final Fantasy XIV; "The most important attribute is not giving up"

The best Hearthstone decks for beginners

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

The best Hearthstone decks for beginners

Blockstorm hands on: dig a trench as Walter White for the first time in an FPS

Blockstorm

Blockstorm hands on: dig a trench as Walter White for the first time in an FPS

Drive Any Track hands on: splice your music collection with Wipeout

Drive Any Track

Drive Any Track hands on: splice your music collection with Wipeout

Nvidia Showcase: Ten tips for making stunning GTA V videos

Nvidia Showcase

Nvidia Showcase: Ten tips for making stunning GTA V videos

Blade & Soul hands on: how NCSoft are bringing Wushu West

Blade & Soul

Blade & Soul hands on: how NCSoft are bringing Wushu West

The best Heroes of the Storm heroes for beginners

Heroes of the Storm

The best Heroes of the Storm heroes for beginners

Project CARS PC review

Project CARS

Project CARS PC review

Topic of the Week: Do you want reviews in progress?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: Do you want reviews in progress?

Making it in Unreal: facing teenage demons with rage and fear in Red Goddess

Red Goddess

Making it in Unreal: facing teenage demons with rage and fear in Red Goddess

Hands on with the first pornography for the Oculus Rift (NSFW)

Oculus Rift

Hands on with the first pornography for the Oculus Rift (NSFW)

Fair play to Nick Allen: the SKT-Fnatic bug, and the ambiguities of pro League of Legends

League of Legends

Fair play to Nick Allen: the SKT-Fnatic bug, and the ambiguities of pro League of Legends

Why on earth is half the planet playing Clicker Heroes?

Clicker Heroes

Why on earth is half the planet playing Clicker Heroes?

Star Wars: The Old Republic is actually pretty good now, as long as you subscribe

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic is actually pretty good now, as long as you subscribe

Introducing The Bard's Tale IV: the sequel Wasteland 2's creators always wanted to make

The Bard's Tale IV

Introducing The Bard's Tale IV: the sequel Wasteland 2's creators always wanted to make

Weekend Deal Dump: Free fights!

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: Free fights!

Galactic Civilizations 3 review

Galactic Civilizations® III

Galactic Civilizations 3 review

Kerbal Space Program review

Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program review

The best Grand Theft Auto V mods

Grand Theft Auto V

The best Grand Theft Auto V mods

We’ve got an armoury full of keys for Warface guns, and we’re giving them away to you

Warface

We’ve got an armoury full of keys for Warface guns, and we’re giving them away to you

The best Cities: Skylines mods

Cities: Skylines

The best Cities: Skylines mods

The 17 Best Indie Games on PC

List

The 17 Best Indie Games on PC

Topic of the Week: What do you want from Assassin's Creed: Syndicate?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: What do you want from Assassin's Creed: Syndicate?

SK Telecom yield League of Legends MSI title to China's EDG as Faker falls short

League of Legends

SK Telecom yield League of Legends MSI title to China's EDG as Faker falls short

Making it in Unreal: meet the Mysty-eyed Starry Expanse team rebuilding Riven in 3D

Riven: The Sequel to MYST

Making it in Unreal: meet the Mysty-eyed Starry Expanse team rebuilding Riven in 3D

Weekend Deal Dump: Witchers, soldiers and vampire ghost knights

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: Witchers, soldiers and vampire ghost knights

Building Galactic Civilizations 3 inside the

Galactic Civilizations® III

Building Galactic Civilizations 3 inside the "stressful" world of Early Access

The studio behind Space Engineers are working on self-improving AI that may one day outstrip humanity

Space Engineers

The studio behind Space Engineers are working on self-improving AI that may one day outstrip humanity