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Star Wars: The Old Republic's Galactic Stronghold expansion delayed until August

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Star Wars: The Old Republic's Galactic Stronghold expansion delayed until August

Star Wars: The Old Republic’s housing expansion has been delayed. As anyone who has ever watched Grand Designs can tell you, it always takes longer than you think it will to build a house. And BioWare is building a few. 

“We have been listening to what you, our players, were hoping to see from the Galactic Strongholds expansion," said senior producer Bruce Maclean. “When playing early builds of Galactic Strongholds it became that clear that our June Early Access date was simply not enough. For this to truly feel like an expansion, it needs to include the full set of features, including those originally coming later in the year.“

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Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion adds player strongholds and guild flagships

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Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion adds player strongholds and guild flagships

BioWare has revealed the details of Star Wars: The Old Republic’s upcoming housing expansion which was teased a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, it’s all a bit pointless. Almost entirely cosmetic, real estate in The Old Republic’s only practical use is that it provides another place for you to store your crap and check your mail. Guilds will also be able to get their own strongholds, ships in fact, and yes, they are pretty pointless too.

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

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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.

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Solving homelessness: The Old Republic to get player housing

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Solving homelessness: The Old Republic to get player housing

Up until recently, BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic had little in common with the now deceased Star Wars Galaxies. The former is a linear, narrative-driven MMO, while the latter was a huge sandbox ripe for roleplaying. But with SWTOR’s Galactic Starfighter expansion, which is like a limited, arena-based version of Jump to Lightspeed, the two MMOs have been brought ever so slightly closer together.

And now BioWare has announced player housing. How it will be implemented and what purpose it serves is still not clear. The trailer below is of a Coruscant apartment, complete with mailbox and droid pal. 

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The Old Republic Galactic Starfighter expansion is live for subscribers

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The Old Republic Galactic Starfighter expansion is live for subscribers

Star Wars: The Old Republic subscribers can now bugger off into space and shoot each other's ships as the latest expansion, Galactic Starfighter, goes live. Starfighters can flit around the black expanse of space, getting into dogfights in 12v12 PvP battles, after selecting one of three classes (scout, gunship, strike fighter).

Pilots can add a personal touch to their ships, whether that's a new paint job (hot pink or no deal) or altering the colour and sound of the blasters, or more practical alterations like switching engines or weapons, changing the shape of the vessel. 

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The Old Republic celebrates the consumption of turkey meat with a double XP weekend

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The Old Republic celebrates the consumption of turkey meat with a double XP weekend

Centuries ago, some not-yet-American folk ate a meal with a bunch of people they met and would later treat rather poorly. I'm sure there's an analogue in the Star Wars universe, somewhere. Jabba probably shared a turkey with Luke before attempting to feed him to the Rancor. 

To celebrate Thanksgiving, Star Wars: The Old Republic is putting on a double XP weekend, getting characters up to snuff for the approaching Galactic Starfighter expansion. The event ends on Sunday, December 1st 11PM PST or December 2nd at 7AM GMT. It started an hour ago, so get cracking.

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Star Wars The Old Republic characters could lose their names next month

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Star Wars The Old Republic characters could lose their names next month

BioWare are in the process of letting players know about a “Character Name Renewal" that’s going to be happening on November 12th. At first glance it sounds kind of cool; you get to rename your character! A great opportunity if you named your character ‘UberL33tStarKiller42’ and have been regretting it ever since. The real story is not as it first seems though. The full story is that unless you are a subscriber to The Old Republic, your character could be about to lose their identity, which is a bit of a bummer if you managed to bag yourself a cool Star Wars expanded universe name before anyone else took it. 

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Rift free-to-play vs everyone else’s free-to-play

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Rift free-to-play vs everyone else’s free-to-play

Trion today announced that their MMO Rift Online would be joining the great migration from subscription-based gaming to a free-to-play model, walking in the footsteps of Lord of the Rings: Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and DC Universe Online.

Though one key difference between Rift and all those other MMOs... we’ll let the list of restricted features speak for itself.

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The Weekly Playlist: the one where Rob can't move and Julian checks passports

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The Weekly Playlist: the one where Rob can't move and Julian checks passports

It's Sunday, having tired yourself out making snowmen, failing to dodge snowballs, and generally using the snow for all its worth, you've found yourself pooped and needing to just sit back and relax with a good game or two. You could stop at two but here we have five that you can throw yourself into. Actually, in Rob's case you need to really throw yourself in, can't slip a disc without a little bit of effort.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic gets free-to-play update

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Star Wars: The Old Republic gets free-to-play updateIf games have taught me anything, it’s that when life hands you lemons, you make those lemons into free-to-play lemonade with extra delicious garnishes for paying customers. In this case, BioWare and Electronic Arts have finally taken Star Wars: The Old Republic from its subscription model to free-to-play.

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Bioware address criticism of Star Wars: The Old Republic's free-to-play restrictions

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Bioware address criticism of Star Wars: The Old Republic's free-to-play restrictionsStar Wars: The Old Republic is headlong rushing towards a free-to-play release with a trial version already in testing on its public beta server. Early last week Bioware announced the restrictions on free-to-play players, included limited PvP warzone bouts and the number of quickbars they're allowed. Yup, quick bars are seen as an optional extra. Well, some of these choices have come under flack and Bioware have announced some changes.

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SWTOR 1.4 update makes your character sad, or happy, or alarmed, or cheery, with controllable moods; other quality of life improvements detailed

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SWTOR 1.4 update makes your character sad, or happy, or alarmed, or cheery, with controllable moods; other quality of life improvements detailed/conciliatory Many's the time I've felt I can't properly express myself in an MMO. My sarcasm in general chat is taken as aggression, my jokes as insults, and my upset as irony. /seeking affirmation Does this happen to you too? /relieved Finally, Bioware have ended this angst by adding mood shift controls to SWTOR's 1.4 update. /explanatory You can now have your character's face reflect your intended mood. /cutting fake joy Huzzah!

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SWTOR developers "committed" to deliver a "major update" every six weeks

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SWTOR developers "committed" to deliver a "major update" every six weeksWe've now seen a number of subscription MMOs make the transition to free-to-play, some successfully, others not, the key is keeping those players locked in and paying a tuppence here and a tuppence there. Bioware hope that they can keep gamers' attention through regular, large updates - akin to The Secret World's issues - releasing an update "every six weeks".

Expanded quotes, comments, and a video of a bear being cute, after the break.

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