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Free to Play Isn’t Play for Free

Many industry experts said that SWTOR could be setting the stage for a new F2P model for MMORPGs. Other said it would be the last subscription-based MMORPG and that they expect future games of the same caliber to be based around F2P models. That hasn’t exactly happened yet. While there are more free to play MMORPGs than ever before, there are still games coming out with subs, at least for now. And this brings up a great conversation about free to play MMOs. While a game may be labeled “free to play”, this doesn’t make it play for free. You still may end up needing to pay for certain features or items you want in the game. And you might have to pay for features that subscribing members don’t have to pay for. The upside is that you only have to pay for the features you want and you can…

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR PvP Rant 2013

Are you a fan of PvP in SWTOR? If you are, then you might have a rebuttal for this SWTOR PvP rant from Hyperspace Beacon. Or maybe you’re none too pleased with SWTOR PvP and you agree with what they have to say. I agree that they make some good and valid points but overall, I enjoy PvP in SWTOR and I don’t agree with the rant. Also, they begin the piece that blasts into SWTOR PvP with the lines “I will not pretend that I see the whole picture. All I can see is the situation presented to me. And from my perspective, PvP in Star Wars: The Old Republic is broken.” Honestly, this opens the doors largely to criticism of this review because it’s little more than an opinion-based rant of one person’s limited point of view of an aspect of the game. That being said, without the opinions of…

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SWTOR Mid-term Report Card

Have you been playing SWTOR since the beginning? Those of us early adopters, beta testers and long time fans have seen a lot of changes over the years and months. While there were some bumps along the way, they’ve really shaped up with a lot of new content and features. Massively took a review-style look at where SWTOR is today. Massively’s Larry Everett writes: Well, we are about six months into the second year of Star Wars: The Old Republic. The first year was fraught with high expectations and slow delivery. Many failed attempts at greatness made the first year of SWTOR a bit of a downer. However, in this second year, in light of the ever-changing market of MMORPGs, the Star Wars MMO took steps to put itself on a better path. Using the Bartle Test as my litmus test, I will break down and grade this year’s performance so far. He…

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SWTOR Lack of “Real” Game Updates

We’ve been writing here about Game Update 2.2 as well as the news that more features and additions are coming in the summer for SWTOR but there are many complaints coming in from players who are just not happy with the content BioWare is pushing out. The argument is that these “updates” don’t really contain any quality new game content and most consist of bug fixes and cosmetic changes here and there. In an article on Just Push Start, there is the argument that BioWare is not putting out any good, quality game updates and therefore, are disappointing their fans. Here’s a piece of that story: The release of SWTOR Game Update 2.1 a couple of weeks ago wasn’t well received by a lot of people due to the implementation of the appearance designer through the use of Cartel Coins. If you’re expecting a much better game update with 2.2…

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Summer of SWTOR – By The Numbers

Are you wondering more about the future of SWTOR? We recently told you about what is expected to come in summer for SWTOR but a lot of players are complaining that BioWare is not giving us any GaddockTeeg took to Reddit to share some thoughts about Here is part of what he had to say: I don’t understand why people are upset about a large portion of the community being upset about the recently released plans for SWTOR’s Summer updates. I have been playing this game since the first day of prelaunch and have dedicated a lot of time to a game that I find incredible fun. I have seen the many, many highs and lows that swtor has endured and stuck with it because I saw great potential. Now, in a time of great prosperity I feel like this potential is being wasted. Let’s compare the lowest of low…

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SWTOR New Dyes- Random Packs is a Crapshoot

If you’ve had any experience in the new SWTOR armor dyes found in the Cartel Market, then you might already know there are some issues with getting the colors you want. The dye modules are preset combinations, for one thing, and you have to be lucky and get the colors you’re looking for, or you have to keep buying until you get what you want. There’s a real gamble to get the Primary/Secondary/Third color settings that you want, especially on the first go at it and some players are not happy about it at all. They feel it’s a ploy from BioWare to get more money. Why, when people are already willing to spend real cash in the Cartel Market, don’t they just make it possible to buy what you want when you want it? Some players are flat-out boycotting the dye kits in the Cartel Market for this very…

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Should You Do the SWTOR Bonus Series?

We wrote about this before in the past- those bonus series of quests on each planet. Just when you think you are finished with all there is to do, there is another quest that leads to a whole chain of more missions. So what do you do? Do you do them or do you skip them and move on to the next planet? That is the magic question, after all! Well, of course it is your personal decision as a player- some people like getting all the content completed where others just want to blow through to that level cap. But let’s explore the pros and cons of doing the bonus series quests and you can make a decision for yourself. Rewards- Well first, there are rewards for doing these quests and there are some differences in these rewards from regular rewards. While you will get the same credits and…

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The Problem with Gamers Today – An Entitled Generation

I have been gaming since I was old enough to pick up a controller. I was a child of the 80s- the Nintendo generation- but once I got my first computer and discovered PC games, I knew that would be my favorite platform. We own one of every console but I still play PC games with the most frequency. One thing that has changed a great deal about video games today is the sheer volume of options we have. There is a game for everyone and everything. Another thing that has changed in the gaming community is the overall attitude of many gamers. We have become an entitled generation of video gamers. Of course, this does not apply to everyone but I use “we” in the collective sense. Gamers today are selfish and impatient. They want what they want and they don’t want to wait for it. Many successful games…

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5 Reasons You Should Be a SWTOR Subscriber

If you’re still holding back on the decision to become a SWTOR subscriber, it might be a good time to go ahead and take the plunge. When you look at all the benefits that come with a sub, you just might ask yourself why you didn’t do it earlier. Honestly, if you’re really into the game and play on a regular basis, it just makes sense to subscribe. Here are five reasons you should be a SWTOR subscriber: Subscriber Benefits in the Cartel Market: Another reason you should be a subscriber is for the Cartel Market benefits. You get access to all 6 quick bars, a minimum of 500 Cartel Coins per month to spend, 10 additional character slots per server, unlimited access to all warzones, flashpoints, space combat and operations, earlier access to sprint and speeder piloting, ability to queue your crafting items and much more. You Get 50%…

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Giant Crazy Wishlist for SWTOR- What Would You Wish For?

If you could have any features you wanted in SWTOR, what would they be? What features would you be willing to pay for if they added them to the game? Some SWTOR Reddit users have a nice thread going on about their SWTOR wishes. Everything from the practical to the ridiculous is coming out in this thread and Here are some things being mentioned in the conversation: A legacy-wide companion menu for crew skill maintenance. A legacy-wide bank. Twice as many missions available inside the crew skill selection. A way to have one companion designated for conversations while another companion is physically summoned. I’d like to be able to watch huttball while I’m queued for warzones. Legacy companion summoning. Generate a companion with the same class, items, and name as another character in your legacy with a default set of abilities associated to that class. LEGACY IGNORE. If I put…

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SWTOR PvP Imbalance and Possible Solutions

There is a lot of talk about PvP imbalance in SWTOR and the truth of the matter is it does seem to exist. Despite how hard a developer tries to prevent it, there will almost always be some imbalance amongst the classes. The real trick is to reduce this imbalance as much as possible. Some players believe SWTOR is struggling with that. Depending on who you ask, certain classes need to be nerfed and others need to be buffed and it’s the age-old battle with PvP in an MMORPG. The difference being that in SWTOR, some players have some pretty solid evidence on imbalance. Check out this screen shot for example: The fact that anyone, especially AOE, can hit for that hard in pretty outrageous. There definitely need to be some adjustments to the classes and to the types of damage but just what those adjustments are will vary according…

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How Much Do You Love SWTOR: Enough to Get a Tattoo?

How much do you love your game? Star Wars fans are notorious for going to extremes to show their love and support for Star Wars and SWTOR is no exception. While some will call the game a failure, there are others who put their heart and soul into building and creating the game and still others who were just really big fans. Some loved the game so much they got SWTOR tattoos. While a video game might not be permanent, a tattoo is so what will become of these people who love the game so much, they got a permanent reminder of it on their bodies? Let’s explore this thought for a minute. We know the BioWare doctors got launch tattoos for SWTOR and there were many other members of the BioWare Austin team who did the same. They worked hard on this project and it’s not surprising that they…

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Are UI Mods Killing MMORPGS?

In the world of MMORPGs, there are many tools designed to help us advance in the game more quickly and enjoy the game more. Mods and addons allow us to do this and often take on a life of their own with the many things they allow you to do in the game. UI mods are especially popular, changing the look of the user interface and allowing you to personalize your game like never before. I have been playing WoW since beta and long before the days of mods that currently rule the game. GameSpy has a really interesting piece about World of Warcraft mods and how they are affecting the game which has me thinking about how they affect MMORPGs in general and how we see them. Have we become dependent on these addons to enjoy our games fully? While I’ve been one to enjoy my fair share of…

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Is 1.3 Worth Returning to SWTOR For?

Some players have given up on SWTOR. Now will 1.3 be enough to relight their fires and bring them back to the game? Bioware certainly hopes so but what are the players saying? Well, the overall atmosphere is pretty positive. With server transfers solving the problem of no one to play with and all the other additions and updates, SWTOR is a new game. Some say it is finally the game it should have been at launch. Maybe BioWare was too rushed to launch it fully complete but whatever the reason, players are now saying they’re happy with the outcome of the game. Ranked warzones, new gear, looking for group finders and more mean the game is now more accessible than ever before. When you add to this that there will be more updates, more new content and free play up to 15 levels, you can see why the interest…

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Do MMORPGs Create Serial Killers and Mass Murderers?

We’ve probably all heard the stories of horrible things happening to gamers or to the loved ones of gamers- a kid who binged for so long he died at his computer playing his favorite game or maybe the mother who neglected her children and forgets to feed her baby because she is so consumed with a video game. Of all the games that get a bad rap, MMORPGs often rank near the top. I’ve always believed this is due to the nature of the game and not the genre itself. MMORPGs require a certain amount of time and energy investment. Non-gamers have a hard time understanding how someone could want to sit there for hours running around an imaginary world with the avatars of other people. But for those of us who play, it’s more than just a game. The communities that form around an MMORPG are like little subcultures….

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Are Online Games Destroying Marriages?

An article on US News, just in time for Valentine’s Day, reminds us that doing things too much without your spouse could put a strain on the marriage. Whoda thunkit? MMORPG giant WoW was singled out in the piece but other MMOs were named the culprit as well. The article covers a study done on 349 couples where at least one spouse games online. According to US News, “The results confirmed what Neil Lundberg, one of the study’s authors, already suspected: “Gaming widows,” spouses who lose the attention of their significant other to gaming, aren’t happy with their marriages.” Fill in the word “gaming” in that sentence with anything else and you get the same result- gambling, cheating, eating, watching football, picking their nose… Not spending time with your spouse = a strained marriage. Gaming is just the scapegoat once again in another poor study that makes video games the…

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Is SWTOR the Avatar of Gaming?

A lot has been said about SWTOR already and it’d be a great understatement to say the game will be good. Just how good it will be is still up for debate. The Daily Mailsays it could be the video game version of James Cameron’s billion-dollar blockbuster, “Avatar”. Wow! That’s a pretty big claim but SWTOR just might be the game to be able to live up to such prophecies. The Daily Mail points out: The game is among the most expensive ever made – rumoured to have cost games giant Electronic Arts more than £100 million. But it could ‘earn billions’ say game industry insiders – dwarfing even the amounts earned by cinema blockbusters such as Avatar. World of Warcraft has had up to 11 million monthly subscribers, earning the company a reported $500 million a year in subscription fees – on top of disc prices for the game…

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Official statement on same gender romance arcs

Stephen Reid, Senior Online Community Manager, made an official statement on the SWTOR forums about the previously debated issue of same gender romance arcs and relationships with companions.  A lot of players or would-be players didn’t like the idea that the game only seemed to allow for male-female relationships  and romantic encounters. Bioware seemingly listened to the feedback and have issued a statement on the matter. Official statement follows: “Due to the design constraints of a fully voiced MMO of this scale and size, many choices had to be made as to the launch and post-launch feature set. Same gender romances with companion characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a post-launch feature. Because The Old Republic is an MMO, the game will live on through content expansions which allow us to include content and features that could not be included at launch, including the addition of more…

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Is There a Point to SWTOR Being Fully Voiced?

One big selling point of SWTOR by BioWare is that it is fully voices and highly story-based. But is the whole “fully voiced” thing a bit overrated? Others have said it before but MMOCrunch published an interesting story on the very same topic recently. The author points out, “While it seems to be a giant step forward in terms of immersing players into the game and story-line, one quickly realizes that it’s probably going to be pointless in the long run.” Could there be some truth to this? I think the idea and the concept behind total voice acting sounds awesome but is it really going to make that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things? The MMOCrunch article goes on to say, “I know for me, unless there’s vital info in the quest description, I’m not going to read it.” Well, this isn’t the case for…

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No same sex relationships with companions in SWTOR

SWTOR won’t have same sex relationships with its “companions”, but what’s the big deal? To some people, it is a very big deal. This piece on MMORPG.com discusses the topic in full detail. The big news came from Gamescon and some fans were not too happy about it at all where others were asking “What’s the big deal anyway?” For some people, it was a very big deal indeed. Here is a portion of the article: “I won’t go into the reasons BioWare has for not including this option (did they give one?), but I’d like to comment on why it’s such a big deal in the first place. I’m straight, not narrow. And while there wasn’t (that I know of) any same-sex relations in either trilogy, I’m willing to bet there have been a few instances of such things in the bazillion books which have been written. Is there…

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What’s Your Protection against SWTOR Spoilers?

There’s nothing worse than someone ruining the ending to the movie you’re all hopped up to go see. Well, maybe one thing… someone spoiling the plot to a video game you’re super excited to play. Have you ever had a buddy beat a game before you and he just can’t keep his mouth shut about it even though you’re only an hour into the storyline? So with a game as popular as SWTOR, what’s going to happen when people start playing and gamers start talking? What’s going to happen when someone shares the next storyboard when you haven’t gotten that far along? Some players don’t care; especially in an MMORPG where some play for the experience and the multi-player aspects more than the storyline. But some players do care about the storyline and some want to be able to reveal the game on their own terms and at their own…

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Making SWTOR Not Suck – Ending the MMORPG Launch Curse

Every announcement made for Star Wars: The Old Republic sends the loyal fanbase into a new swarm of debate, concern, and excitement that causes popular opinion to fluctuate faster than the stock market. It isn’t the little things though that will win it or lose it for BioWare’s latest Star Wars game, and we have learned a few important lessons from recent MMOG flops. We will make a dozen characters before settling down with a favorite one or two so if there isn’t variety in early content, compulsive altoholics will be clawing off their faces after playing through the same twenty levels every single time they start a new character. Save us the gore and plastic reconstruction bills and just give us something new to do while we are trying to make up our fickle minds. What features will BioWare have to nail in order to win player support? Ten…

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