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.“
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
Forget your Tauntaun, if you want to ride in style around the galaxy, you do it on the back of a Dewback. It’s the Sandtrooper’s beast of choice, and they’re coming to you in a future Old Republic update.
BioWare have announced that there will be celebration held in Star Wars The Old Republic to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the MMOs older brother, RPG Knights of the Old Republic. Celebrations will take place in-game and out-game, and will take place on 15th July.
I’m not much of a fighter but even I would think twice about hiring an ewok to be my backup in a brawl. Small, furry, teddy bear-like, an ewok hardly inspires fear in your enemies. Despite these qualities Bioware are adding the creatures to the mercenary roster list in Star Wars: The Old Republic’s.
With the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic 2.0, Bioware have launched a new trailer into the internet. While a great many internettians were killed by the media projectile, we can’t help but weigh their loss against the quality of the video payload delivered.
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.
If 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.
Last time I walked up and down the aisles of Waterstones I was struck by the lack of SWTOR encyclopedias. There I was wondering about the lineage of the Wookie gentry and with no tome to hand that could help me. Thankfully, publisher DK is on the case.
/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!
We'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.