SWTOR is Giving Away Shadow of Revan Expansion

If you like free stuff or feeling like you’re circumventing Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s cash shop, then you might like this announced offer. For a limited time, players can pick up free Shadow of Revan content for the MMORPG with a simple code.

free shadow of revan content

From now until November 1st, players can head to the game’s code redemption page and put in a special promo code to get Rise of the Hutt Cartel and Shadow of Revan content for absolutely free. This effectively adds new story content and raises your character’s level cap to 60.

The promotion is part of the inclusion of several heroes from The Old Republic series in the mobile game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, which has added Bastila Shan, Jolee Bindo and Jedi Knight Revan as unlockable characters. These characters are part of a special event happening in Galaxy of Heroes between now and October 25th.

All of the specific details, links, and the unlock code itself can be found here.

Our Thoughts

It’s hard to really gauge for sure how many free players of SWTOR there were who didn’t otherwise get these expansions, but at the same time it’s really hard to balk at any free stuff. Especially free stuff that normally is behind a paywall.

Source: official site

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SWTOR Adds a New Huttball Arena

The Fame and Fortune update to Star Wars: The Old Republic has officially released after some delay, and it’s brought with it…Huttball. There’s more to the patch than that, actually, but that appears to be the party piece of the update. More Huttball.

fame and fortune update

The new Huttball arena is Sky Shredder, an abandoned factory set in the gas giant of Vandin where teams will have to watch out for acid fire, poisonous gas and electric shock traps along with whatever weapons the other team is bringing along.

As mentioned before, there’s more to this update than a new Huttball battleground. Of note is the addition of level sync to all Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne chapters, meaning max level players will get Command XP for playing through the content.

There’s also a variety of adjustments to the game’s classes, Flashpoints, Operations and more. All of the details can be read in the patch notes.

Our Thoughts

Yay Huttball? Then again, this does seem to wrap up the game’s “Summer of PvP” focus that was described before, so now we can look forward to the new story-related focus that’s due to come with Jedi Under Siege along with other planned updates. Here’s hoping those won’t run into any delays!

Source: official site

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SWTOR’s Fall Content Roadmap Includes New Story

As summer winds down and most of us look forward to the autumn months, the devs of Star Wars The Old Republic are hoping that players will look forward to what’s on tap for the MMORPG. A SWTOR fall content roadmap has a number of new details, including a new story-focused update.

swtor fall content roadmap

Some time this fall will see Update 5.10 – Jedi Under Siege. This new update will continue the game’s storyline with events that take place on an ancient Jedi world that has featured in the Tales of the Jedi comics. Players can expect a new Daily area with separate stories for Republic and Empire sides, and the promise of returning favorite characters.

Further down the line, players can look forward to other features such as a new tier of equipment that can be earned via crafting schematics; a number of new Guild features including a progression system and GvG PvP matches; and a Master Mode version of Gods from the Machine.

More concrete details on all that’s coming with Update 5.10 are expected in the coming months, but those who’d like the general rundown of what’s next can check out a timeline here.

Our Thoughts

Yay, more story! Honestly, we’re kind of happy to put the Eternal Throne arc to bed and are very curious to learn more about these next narrative beats for Star Wars The Old Republic.

Source: official site

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Former BioWare Dev James Ohlen Talks SWTOR Regrets and Anthem Conspiracies

Now that game designer James Ohlen is “free” from the clutches of EA, he’s had some time to likely mull over things as well as speak out about the games he’s been a part of for the company. And that’s just what he’s done in a recent interview, where he talks about SWTOR and Anthem both among many other topics from his time in game dev.

swtor and anthem

On the subject of the Star Wars MMORPG Star Wars The Old Republic, Ohlen admits that the company perhaps tried to chase the dragon’s tail a bit too hard.

“I wish that I pushed a little bit more toward making it kind of Knights of The Republic online rather than ‘Star Wars World of Warcraft’. A lot of the feedback…was, ‘Hey, we wanted Knights of the Old Republic Online,’ something that was more similar to that than a game that was more traditional in the World of Warcraft sense. I can see where that was coming from, but I am still proud of where Star Wars: The Old Republic got to.”

As for Anthem, Ohlen responded to the prevailing assumption that BioWare’s life as a studio hinges on the success of Anthem and that EA’s finger is on the kill switch.

“I think EA is looking for BioWare to be a long-term part of the company,” said Ohlen. “If it [Anthem] doesn’t do gangbusters I don’t think that’s the end of BioWare. I think it will simply be a chance for BioWare to learn some lessons and apply it to the next game that comes out.”

Ohlen covers a broad range of other points in the interview, including word on his current work, so it’s absolutely worth a full read through.

Our Thoughts

This does bring up the point of why the early SWTOR team didn’t react to feedback about making the game more KOTOR online than Star Wars of Warcraft. Perhaps some form of external pressure? In any case, we wish Mr. Ohlen the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Source: GameInformer

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SWTOR’s Summer Updates will Focus on PvP

Apparently, today’s unofficial Developer Roadmap Day. A new SWTOR Summer development roadmap has been shared by the game’s lead producer and outlines a focused effort to bring the game’s PvPers some new content over the course of the next couple of months or so.

swtor summer development roadmap

Starting in July, updates to PvP will include allowing some – or perhaps all – of the game’s Warzones and Arenas to have cross-faction grouping. Work is also being done on a new Huttball Warzone as well as a new Arena in a compound that players have apparently seen before.

The devs are also working on a new beachfront Stronghold that will allow players to PvP in either duels, 4v4 or even 8v8 formats. Additionally, this new Stronghold will have decorations that will enhance PvP gameplay, with items that players can hide behind or obstacles to lay out.

Beyond that, the devs will also be wrapping up Season 9, work on unranked matchmaking, give more queue control to unranked players, and further work on ways to combat exploiters and cheaters as well as changing how Ranked Warzones complete.

Of course, PvP won’t be the only thing being updated for SWTOR this year. PvE players can look forward to some new updates coming this Fall, while in the near future all players can look forward to a number of quality-of-life adjustments and some goodies tied into the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story film release.

Our Thoughts

It’s, admittedly, been a while since we’d heard some large news coming from the SWTOR camp in terms of what’s coming next. We’re glad to know that not only is development pressing on into next year, but that PvPers in the game are going to get some (presumably) much-needed attention.

Source: official site

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F2P Kingdom: The Verdict on Star Wars: The Old Republic

Blame the trailer release for The Last Jedi, but this time around I finally worked myself up to trying out Star Wars The Old Republic free to play.

To be honest, I’d been putting off having this game in this column on account of a lot of assumptions held by myself and many other MMORPG players. The more I thought about it, however, I realized that those assumptions I had were formed by reading what others have rather explosively written than first-hand experience.

So with that in mind and The Last Jedi trailer repeating once more, I decided to return to the Old Republic to find the truth.

star wars the old republic free to play

The Game

There’s not a whole lot more about Star Wars The Old Republic I could tell anyone or that one of our own writers more eloquently expressed himself, but let’s assume that you’re new to this game.

Star Wars The Old Republic is the single-player multi-story RPG epic surrounded by a thin MMO shell. The game does an excellent job of letting you live out the storyline of your own character in the Star Wars universe while being officially divorced from the greater canon – a move that, honestly, makes the game’s later story content additions feel all the better. In essence, you’re getting to play a Star War fanfic in video game form.

The game itself is not exactly the pretties thing in the world, but it also most certainly isn’t the ugliest. An engine that does a good job of conveying emotion both in combat and in cinematics drives along SWTOR with all of the familiar beats of any of BioWare’s more entertaining RPGs. Of course, whether that’s entertaining to you or not is wholly dependent on one liking how BioWare runs its stories, but for me, they’re some of the Western market’s finest RPG gaming examples.

star wars the old republic free to play

As far as combat goes, every other themepark MMORPG has done this before and SWTOR most definitely is no different. You’ve got hotbars of abilities, a little global and off-global cooldown management, and that’s kind of about it. I would grant a nod to the Companions that tag along with you, but really they feel less like a vital part of the combat and more an extension of your own DPS. Or better yet, a constantly reusable healthpack, as I always set my companion to a Healer role and played the game.

That sounds like a complaint, but trust me, when the game had fixed roles for Companions and you had to suffer through hours of class and planetary questing to get to the role you wanted, it was misery. Nowadays you can have any of the Companions who join you on your adventure take up any role you want. But really, you’re probably silly if you don’t put them in Healer mode. Just trust me on this.

While the RPG element of Star Wars The Old Republic absolutely shines, the MMO portion just…doessn’t. It’s got dungeons and raids and PvP and things of that sort, but those aspects of the title feel about as tacked on as crafting systems in most MMOs do. If you’re wanting to Star Wars it up with other people at once, I’m not sure I’d call this the right tree to bark up at. That said, for experiencing the high sci-fantasy that only Star Wars can bring, there’s really no finer title.

star wars the old republic free to play

So full disclosure here: I’m returning to this game after having been a subscriber. This basically means, as illustrated in the image above, that I’m not a “true” free player but a “preferred” player. As you can see, upon my initial login I was greeted with the above screen detailing the things I wouldn’t have access to…which, honestly, kind of set the tone for the rest of my free play experience.

On the note of that experience, I’ll be breaking it up into four categories: Account Limitations, Store Offerings, Store Interruption, and Store Reliance. Each category will be rated as either Minimal, Acceptable, or Unacceptable, and explanations on why I reached those ratings will be provided. Finally, I’ll close out with my thoughts on how SWTOR treated me and how I believe it would treat the truly free-to-play.

Account Limitations: Uncceptable

What are Account Limitations? Anything that locks content away from you, from character or class choices to hotbars, access to dungeons or end game. These are things that flag you as one of the “freeloaders” and restricts your play.

star wars the old republic free to play

SWTOR is infamous for locking away the ability to get additional hotbars behind a paywall, so of course I had to give it this rating. Not only that, but a lot of this game just feels walled off and uncomfortable.

Despite this, the base game – which lets you play every single class story up to level 50 – is widely available. That, essentially, is eight BioWare RPGs for absolutely free. Which isn’t a bad deal if one likes Star Wars stories written by BioWare.

Store Offerings: Acceptable

The Store Offerings section is a quick look at what the store has to offer. From the selection to the variety of items, this is your at-a-glance idea of whether the store is interesting and if prices seem to be fair.

star wars the old republic free to play

Yep, SWTOR has lockboxes, and yep, those lockboxes tend to have the most desirable items in terms of cosmetics. That said, the a la carte store offerings aren’t exactly bad either. It really all depends on how badly one wants a Kylo Ren-style lightsaber crystal. Honestly, the store would make a killing if it emptied its lockboxes and sold the contents individually. Then again, they did kind of try that before to not terribly brilliant effect, in my opinion.

Otherwise, the store offerings are reasonable and reasonably priced as things go. With that said, I do have to admit that I found the store interruptions…

Store Interruption: Unacceptable

Store Interruption is based on how frequently you’re reminded of the in-game store during play. This either occurs through pop-up reminders that dominate your screen or buttons that redirect you to items offered in the store.

star wars the old republic free to play

At nearly every turn, I was assailed by reminders that things were not available to me or less available to me as a preferred player. Even at level 20, a window popped up that alerted me to the fact that my XP earnings were going to be lessened unless I subscribed.

Everything about SWTOR’s store warnings were intrusive, aggressive, and unnecessary. It was like being panhandled by zombies. I honestly can’t stress this enough; you are not going to get my money if you repeatedly beg me for it or tell me what I’m not getting at every open moment. You’re just not.

Store Reliance: Acceptable

This is an overall score of whether a game enters the “pay-to-win” realm with its offerings. Does the in-game store have an abundance of boosts? Does the leveling curve feel like you need to buy pots in order to progress? That’s what Store Reliance measures.

star wars the old republic

With all of the bad things about how SWTOR treats its free players, the “pay to win” issue is, in my opinion, not one of them. It has lockouts for group content that you can buy, but I care about as much about this game’s group content as its devs perceptually do, and while having modifiable Artifact gear would be nice as a free player, having a Healer role companion makes the gear grind not feel like that big of a deal.

That said, this is solely because I treat SWTOR as a single-player RPG series. If you are looking for group content, then your restrictions will perhaps feel heavier and so you will likely want to bear that in mind when looking at this grade.

The Wrap-Up

Sometimes, the raging of MMORPG discussion threads and comment boxes bear a grain of truth to them, and while it’s easy for people to swing at companies like EA because they’re the biggest target, in the case of Star Wars The Old Republic I have to admit that there’s a bit of a reason for that.

It’s hard for me to fully recommend this game, but I also really can’t stop anyone from wanting to download and give it a try. To that point, I’m lining these findings out not as an ultimatum to never play but as a warning about what you’re getting yourself in to. Perhaps you can see past that fog. In which case, good for you. Feel free to enjoy eight genuinely entertaining single-player Star Wars RPGs.

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SWTOR’s Next Update Will Merge Servers

The next update for Star Wars: The Old Republic has been officially confirmed and with it a reduction of SWTOR servers. The upcoming server merge has been detailed in a blog post that explains the hows, whens, and whys of the move.

swtor servers

The next update, United Forces, will merge the MMO’s servers as a means to help more players come together for more multiplayer and group-related content according to the announcement. “Your overwhelming response to playing these new experiences has motivated us to continue to pursue more enhancements to making multiplayer the best it can be for you, our players,” reads the post.

The merge will shrink down the game’s 17 servers to 5: two North American servers, one EU English server, one French, and one German. According to the post, the server merge should have little impact on players, their character Legacies, or their Guilds when they next log in, though character renaming may be required. Season 9 PvP rankings should also remain unaffected.

The United Forces update is due to arrive on Wednesday, November 8th. Players can learn more about the server merge as well as what their new home will be on the game’s website.

Our Thoughts

While this update is likely to make grouping easier for players, there’s certainly no denying the specter of worry surrounding SWTOR’s shrinking playerbase. We’re not going to jump to any conclusions, though, and will instead hope that fans of this MMO will find multiplayer gaming easier after this update.

Source: official site

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