SWTOR news

Alexander Freed Leaves BioWare

And now another BioWare staff member bites the dust… Alexander Freed (my favorite BioWare writer) as officially announced on his Twitter (yes, he’s on Twitter now) feed that he is leaving BioWare and joining me in the ranks of freelance writers. It’s kind of a bittersweet announcement, really. While I love freelancing and I encourage other writers to do the same and explore the freedom of being able to work on different projects at once, try new things and do what you want, instead of what you are contracted to do. So as a friend, I’m really happy for Alex. He’s incredibly talented and I believe he’s going to love the opportunities that come his way now that he is not on BioWare’s payroll anymore. Big news! As of today, I’m departing BioWare to go freelance. It’s been a wonderful six years, but time to move on. More next tweet….

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SWTOR Game Update 1.4 is Coming!

The time is almost here. Everyone has been waiting and waiting for SWTOR game update 1.4. Now the time is nearly here. The servers are going to be down for around six hours but the good news is there will be something great coming after those hours have passed. This means 1.4 is finally coming and with such a big update, it’s going to take a few hours to get the content loaded and ready to go. And of course, expect that you will see some bugs and problems from the first day or so that the new content is up. But let’s see more than BioWare has to say about it and the downtime. BioWare has this update to offer tonight: Hello everyone, we wanted to let you know that we will be performing scheduled maintenance for six hours on Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 from 2AM CDT (12AM PDT/3AM…

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Interviews from the SWTORspere

With Game Update 1.4 on the way, we are seeing more information coming out about the new features, free to play model and other changes happening within SWTOR and the community. One of the highlights of this information is the great interviews that usually come out from BioWare staff. This is our chance to learn more about what’s really going on and sometimes, to get the very questions we want asked, asked. We have a nice roundup this week of interviews with Gabe Amantangelo, Joveth Gonzalez and Lead System Designer, Damion Schubert. Chris and Anexxia interview SWTOR Community Manager Joveth Gonzalez and get  the scoop on what his first few months on the job have been like, find out what his team has in store for us over the next couple of months as we lead up to the launch of the free-to-play option and more. You can listen to…

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Developer Dispatch — Terror From Beyond

Game Update 1.4 is coming soon and with it one of the most dynamic and difficult Operations in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. SWTOR is changing for the better and with free to play on the way, we are also seeing updates that are slowly bringing out things the game will end up with in F2P mode. Game update 1.4 is highly anticipated and the time is nearly here. Are you wondering more about what you can expect? We have a great video/trailer with a sneak peak of Terror from Beyond straight from the developers themselves. BioWare tells us more about it in this official news post: In “Terror from Beyond”, you will be called upon to face a mysterious new threat that has emerged from one of the most obscure places in the galaxy: the Gree planet of Asation. The Gree have been safeguarding ancient technologies on the planet…

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The Fan Favorite Reward is “The Party Jawa”

If you’ve been waiting to hear what the Fan Favorite would be, the info has finally been released. Not so shocking to me personally, it was the Party Jawa. I had a really good feeling when I saw the choices this would be the one to come out on top. SWTOR/BioWare let us know in this official post: BioWare and LucasArts are excited to announce that “The Party Jawa” has won our Fan Favorite voting contest. Over the past month, our Facebook Fans have had the opportunity to choose a favorite item to receive as a reward when Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ launches its new Free-to-Play option this Fall. Although it was hard to pick a favorite, The Party Jawa won by an overwhelming majority! The Party Jawa celebrates a player’s status as a veteran of the galaxy with a unique and fun animation. The Party Jawa will be rewarded…

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Developer Update: Class Changes and Balance in Game Update 1.4

Austin Peckenpaugh, Senior Designer on Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ has an interesting update today about the future of the game, class changes and balance that will come in game update 1.4. He explains in full detail on the community news page: For Game Update 1.4, we wanted to address several key issues with class gameplay usability and balance. Foremost among these are adjustments to crowd control and the Resolve system, the subsequent class changes made to harmonize with those control adjustments, and a reevaluation of stealth spec gameplay. He then goes on to talk about what some of these specific changes will be. Crowd control and resolve changes are first on the list. He explains further: In Game Update 1.4, we’ve made adjustments to the range of control abilities under a new philosophy. We want control to be something more readable, more predictable, and less chaotic in effect. To achieve…

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SWTOR New Operation Terror from Beyond

There’s a lot of great news coming out of Gamescom today, including exciting news from EA. SWTOR is getting some great new features, including a new operation called Terror from Beyond. In an EA press conference this morning, we learned about the new changes and additions to SWTOR. Matthew Bromberg, new head of BioWare Austin, confirmed a number of new changes for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Challenge of the Chevin, the new SWTOR live event, was launched today. But then there is more (coming next month): Terror from Beyond – a new Operation on Belsavis. Ancient Hypergate – a new PvP Warzone New Flying Missions – aimed at level 50 players There was also a sneak peek at a new live action trailer for the next phase in SWTOR as the Free to Play change draws nearer. It looks really exciting. Stay tuned as we will keep you updated on any new info coming out of Gamescom about…

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CNN Money Discusses SWTOR’s Free to Play Model

Star Wars: The Old Republic made big news when it announced that it would go free to play very soon. After all, it was just released in December of 2011, so it’s still a fairly new game. It’s also one of the most expensive MMOs ever made and it took years to put it all together. While some predicted the change in the model, others thought it might hand on a little longer before making the change. So, why is one of the most expensive video games ever made making such a drastic change? Here’s what CNN Money had to say about the decision: “It’s a straightforward economics problem. The subscription business model cuts off casual players, who can’t justify paying $15 a month (particularly in this tough economy) for a game they only touch on occasion. That leaves the hard-core players, who are often reluctant to split their time…

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MMORPG Interview with Jeff Hickman and Matthew Bromberg

SWTOR is going free to play and it’s happening sooner than you think. We’re all excited about the news and here’s an interview from MMORPG.com’s William Murphy to give us more info about the game, the move to f2p and other questions you might have. It’s happening, and sooner than you might think. BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic is going F2P with a hybrid business model this fall. Players have been wondering about it, journalists have been begging for it, and it seems that all this time BioWare’s been listening and reacting. After being informed of the then embargoed announcement this morning, I had the rare opportunity to sit in on a call with BioWare’s Jeff Hickman and Matthew Bromberg (who recently took over as GM of the Austin studio. We talked about the timing, the reasons, and the way in which they believe SWTOR going F2P is just finally giving…

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Twitter Post by Hall Hood (lead writer) Suggests New Event?

Do you follow your favorite game developers and staff on social media? Lots of us do and it’s one of the greatest parts of the popularity of social media. I love when I can look up someone who works on a game I enjoy and can find them on Twitter, especially if they update regularly. But one downside to this easy-access is that misinformation is sometimes spread. It’s a casualty of the platform and perhaps that 140-character limit. We saw a good example of that today. For those who follow SWTOR’s lead writer Hall Hood on Twitter, you may already know that he often teases us with snippets of things to come in the game. This morning he set Twitter afire with SWTOR fans expecting a new event after this tweet: #SWTOR SIS Intel Report: Rumors indicate Czerka research vessel “Theoretika” has been located by deep-space salvage team. Investigating. — Hall Hood…

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Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk Leaving BioWare? Unconfirmed Rumors

Rumors are going around the past 24 hours after this report on GamersGlobal says that BioWare founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk have left the company or plan to do so soon. It has caused discussions on both the BioWare forums and the SWTOR forums but no one really knows for sure if this is anything more than just a rumor. GameBanshee says: A trustworthy source has been told by an employee of Bioware Austin yesterday that neither Greg Zeschuk nor Ray Muzyka have been present at a Bioware Company Meeting in Austin, Texas, just a few days ago. The employee claimed that this has not been the case before at such a meeting. The six others members of Bioware Austin’s leadership have been there. Also, Greg Zeschuk has not been seen for several weeks now, the Bioware Austin employee claims. There are supposed to be internal rumours at Bioware Austin that…

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SWTOR Free to Play is on its Way!

EA and BioWare announced today that it will be expanding Star Wars: The Old Republic by adding a new free-to-play option this fall. And for everyone who plays between now and then or who was previously subscribed, there will be benefits by way of Cartel Coins. Players who choose to engage in free-to-play will be able to experience a majority of the game for free, including the first 50 levels and all eight classes. BioWare did state that there will be restrictions, but those can be removed with microtransactions. SWTOR announced: Now is the time to play The Old Republic™! Over the coming months there will be more frequent Game Updates, including group content like Flashpoints, Warzones, Operations, and dynamic in-game events and more included in your subscription. They go on to show what the rewards will be, including a vote for “player’s choice” rewards. The Developer Blog explained the…

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Star Wars: The Old Republic is GDC Online Awards Nominee

GDC Online is on its way and the votes for nominees are in. The organizers have now announced the finalists for the 3rd annual GDC Choice Awards and Gamasutra has brought us the full story. There is a wide range of games in the nominee list this year and this also reflects the diversity in the industry and the creativity of the game developers. However, we were not at all surprised to see SWTOR on the list. Some might be surprised to see just how much the game was nominated, however. Gamasutra reports: The most-nominated titles this year include BioWare Austin’s MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, which grabbed six nominations, as well as multiple nominations for diverse titles including Omgpop/Zynga’s addictive social mobile app Draw Something, Playfish/EA’s Facebook treatment of one of gaming’s biggest franchises, The Sims Social, Blizzard Entertainment’s record-breaking PC online-integrated title Diablo III, Tiny Speck’s quirky casual MMO Glitch, and more. …

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Anonymous BioWare Employee Rumor- Are Fans to Blame?

By now, you’ve probably heard about the anonymous BioWare employee rumor circulating the Internet yesterday. We saw it but I wanted to dig up some more information before bringing it to you. As a journalist, I’m not one for spreading rumors with no basis to the source. This article on Bettor.com claimed that an anonymous BioWare employee blamed the fans for the current state of SWTOR. The author, Gordon Miles says: A Bioware Austin employee has lashed out at fans regarding the state of the recently launched massively multiplayer online (MMO) Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) according to GamerTechTv. SWTOR or ‘Tortanic’ is being called one of the biggest blunders of this generation as Electronic Arts (EA) has thrown away over $500 million of development and marketing funds for the project and will now have to make it free to play because of the rapidly decreasing player count. The…

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HK-51 Revealed!

SWTOR/BioWare had some exciting news to reveal today. In this update at SWTOR.com, they tell us about HK-51. Buried deep beneath the icy surface of Belsavis rests an army of the deadliest, most feared machines in the known galaxy. Thought to have been lost when an Imperial freighter was destroyed, they have recently been rediscovered by a group of renegade Sith Lords. Now both the Sith Empire and Galactic Republic seek to control these dangerous weapons for themselves. Those who are brave enough to venture into the wreckage will emerge with a powerful new ally. We are excited to unveil the dangerous assassination droid HK-51! Cold, calculating, and ruthlessly efficient, HK-51 will stand by your side and loyally follow your command as you and your allies continue your journey. Journalists were given a brief preview of HK-51 at E3, but now we are happy to be able to show everyone…

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SWTOR Scheduled Maintenance June 19th

Reminder: Tuesday scheduled maintenance is coming so here’s your chance to get some play time in before the servers go down. Scheduled time is only 4 hours and most of us will be sleeping during this period anyway. Last week’s update brought us server transfers and this update will bring us one step closer to 1.3. Learn more about what’s coming with game update 1.3. What do you do during maintenance? From the SWTOR Community News team: Hello everyone, we wanted to let you know that we will be performing scheduled maintenance for four hours on Tuesday, June 19th , 2012 from 2AM CDT (12AM PDT/3AM EDT/8 AM BST/9AM CEST/5PM AEST) until 6AM CDT (4AM PDT/7AM EDT/12PM BST/1PM CEST/9PM AEST). All game servers and SWTOR.com will be offline during this period. This maintenance is expected to take no more than four hours, but could be extended. This weekly maintenance is…

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How Awesome Would it be if SWTOR Goes F2P?

There have been rumors about it from the start and some experts even predicted that SWTOR might be the last pay-to-play MMORPG. Now that they are offering a free 15 levels of play and have hinted at the possibility of microtransactions, there is a new rumor on the scene- will SWTOR go free to play? Thanks to a story from UK magazine GamesTM, the rumor mill is abuzz again. In the article, BioWare’s associate lead designer, Emmanuel Lusinchi said: “The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well,” he says. “Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modes and situations. So we are looking at free-to-play but I can’t tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on.” So this has players wondering if they are going to switch to…

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RMT Coming to SWTOR

EA is trying to diversify their gaming experience and increase their earnings potential. This is not really a surprise as they want to keep up with the growing gaming world and give the customers/players what they want. Since SWTOR launched, many have been saying it just might be the last pay-to-play MMO to come out and it’s hard to disagree when you see the direction that games are going in. While SWTOR is not F2P, they are going to give you a free 15 levels to try to entice new players into the game. I think this is a pretty smart move as it gives you a real good taste of the game and helps you decide whether or not you want to purchase the game for yourself. It’s also a smart move on the part of EA/BioWare because it cuts off just as the story is getting good for…

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Daniel Erickson Interview – Players Progress Quicker than Thought

It seems the fans of SWTOR really got one over on BioWare, progressing much more quickly than they thought they would, says Daniel Erickson in an interview with GameSpy UK. This isn’t really surprising news to most who have played the game or even followed the news and updates regarding SWTOR. We saw firsthand how quickly some players barreled through the content, hungry for more. Star Wars: The Old Republic has done a pretty good job with supplying a constant flow of post-release content. Think about it: it’s an MMORPG that has only been out for six months and we continue to get free content updates, and there are even more on the way as evidenced from EA’s Press Conference yesterday. But are these upcoming changes to SWTOR the result of plans that were made far in advance, or are they a response to player behavior? Turns out it’s a…

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Class changes and balance in Game Update 1.3

There will be some class changes and game balance updates coming to SWTOR in Game Update 1.3. While there are bound to be some unhappy campers, for the most part, this is a welcomed change for SWTOR players. Here is an explanation of these changes from SWTOR official blog: Hello everyone. My name is Austin Peckenpaugh, and I’m a Senior Designer on Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. My job here is to create, maintain, and balance class gameplay in The Old Republic. As such, I’m here to shed some light on the upcoming changes to classes in Game Update 1.3 to give you all a sense of what’s to come and why it’s coming. Like with any major patch, Game Update 1.3 will bring with it an array of class updates. Before I go into detail on any specific changes, I wanted to use this opportunity to share our philosophy…

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