See now this is technology I can get on board with. As someone who's not a fan of letting someone get that close to my head with a pair of scissors, the idea of a giant holographic insta-salon is extremely appealing. Unfortunately, for now, it's progress limited to the now released 2.1 "Customization" update for The Old Republic.
The Old Republic
Free-to-play becomes a more ubiquitous business model by the day on PC. It's gained enough popularity over the past few years that everyone from Valve, Sony, and EA have skin in the game. But have big publishers and smaller indies overreacted to the success of free games like League of Legends? As a market, could F2P be a balloon on the verge of deflating?
I spent hundreds of hours with my guildmates last year, chatting online while downing dragons, super-villains, and other big bads. But every now and then, it’s good for a team’s morale to drop the daggers, get out of the house, and just hang out with each other.
More and more MMOs are hosting annual conventions to help their players do just that. But it’s not just the games that make each convention different — the theme, style, and length all vary as well. We've attended and rated the biggest of them inside...
One of the most noticeably absent features in The Old Republic is a proper group finding tool. The Force may be with us, but no one else is, and that makes us sad Jedi. We knew a better solution was coming, and in a new trailer detailing the contents of the 1.3 "Allies" update, Game Director James Ohlen claims that the new Group Finder tool will reduce grouping time to "just a few minutes." No more lonely Knights!
During EA's quarterly phone call to investors this afternoon, Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic has seen a fairly significant drop in subscribers, but still has over a million paying customers. According to the report just released on Business Wire, TOR has 1.3 million subscribers still, which indicates a 23% drop from the 1.7 million of players at launch.
The Old Republic's long-awaited patch 1.2 is here, bringing with it all sorts of new in-game goodies for players to tinker with. But BioWare's taking out all the stops to make sure that gamers stick around, including giving every active account with a level 50 player 30 days of free game time and a cute tauntaun pet and offering players that've left 7 days of free game time to try out the new features in patch 1.2
The giant conference room is quiet and empty as I write this, but just outside the decorated doors, 200 rabid TOR guild leaders anxiously wait to be let inside by the developer of their favorite MMO. Starting at 8 AM PST, BioWare will begin revealing their plans for TOR's future with the guild leaders, and asking for their input on how their guild members want to see the game change.
You can watch the whole thing live on this site all day, and a full schedule of events is inside.
A month ago, BioWare announced they'd be holding a summit of The Old Republic guild leaders near their Austin, TX offices to gather feedback from the community and share their vision for the game's future. Well, my Jedi and Sith friends, the time is almost here.
The Summit takes place on Monday, and we're going to be there representing our official guild and PC Gamer as a whole. In addition to livestreaming some of the panels here on the site next week, we also want to pass along your feedback to the developers. So let us know what you like and don't like about TOR, and what you think BioWare should do about it.
EA just held their quarterly earnings call and released some juicy factoids about TOR's launch during it. Specifically, over 2 million copies of the game has been sold and 85% of players have subscribed or are still in their trial period (for a total of 1.7 million "active subscribers"). And those gamers are getting their money's worth: the average session time in the first month was FOUR HOURS, and over 1 million players were logged in simultaneously at one point.
In the Q&A portion, EA addressed concerns about the game's profitability by saying, "At 500,000 subscribers, we'd break even. At a million, we'd be making a profit but nothing worth writing home about. As it scales up from there, we're talking about a nice profit. At this point with the successful launch, we can take the worst case scenarios off the table."
You can read more long-form quotes here.
Leading a guild can be one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges in any MMO, but rarely is the ability to discuss the state-of-the-game with the developers one of those rewards. In The Old Republic it is. BioWare wants to know exactly how these community leaders feel about Star Wars: The Old Republic, so they're inviting guild leaders from all over the world to join them in Austin, Texas for a chance to go over the MMO's progress and its future. Finally, you could have an opportunity to tell the game makers why your Sith Empire needs tea-bagging emotes in PvP.
DC Universe Online's Creative Director, Jens Andersen, announced yesterday that they're undertaking a large overhaul of DCUO's holiday content. Thankfully, they're cutting the uncomfortably weird Valentine's Day event from last year, and building a new one from scratch. Their goal is to have four major events that each host open-world content, collections, and a boss encounter.
Most MMOs have at least a few holiday events, but BioWare has yet to reveal any of its plans for holiday content for The Old Republic. What's the best holiday content you've ever played in a game, and what do you want to see from holiday events in TOR, DCUO, or any other MMOs you're playing?
BioWare's been teasing details about The Old Republic's Legacy system for awhile now, but they released the first solid details about the game today in their interview with GameSpot. You'll be able to use the system to create specific relationships between all of your characters, turning the jumbled pile of characters on your login screen into an organized family tree of fathers, daughters, wives, and brothers.
You might think twice about ogling that hot new Smuggler alt running around in the skimpy Leia slave girl outfit when you know that she's the daughter of a terrible Sith Lord with a bad temper.
Bioware have been talking Star Wars: The Old Republic updates. There are a lot of them coming.
"Our writers are working on content you won't see for over a year," game director James Ohlen told PC Gamer. "We have a lot of plans. Because of the voice overs, cinematics and moving parts, we have to look way into the future."
"We want to show our fans that we’re serious about supporting the game so we're going to be releasing new game updates on a regular basis. We have one coming in a week, then we have one in March, then a third one coming after that. Then a fourth and fifth," he continued.
Read on for more from SWTOR's game director.
I love the idea of Star Wars: The Old Republic's alignment system. It was one of the reasons I rolled a bounty hunter: I wanted to play as a deadly assassin with a moral compass; a Robin Hood figure in a galaxy far, far away.
But then someone directed me towards the exclusive loot vendors for extreme light side/dark side players. Neutrality was no longer an option. Since then, I've given a pensioner with her husband's head in a bag, killed innocent women, and shot pleading Ugnaughts. I'm Dark Side III, and I have the Interrogation Droid to prove it.
But maybe I should've stuck with my original plan. Bioware has confirmed that TOR will eventually provide bonuses for neutral players as well as extremely evil/nice ones.
Yesterday's look at the comparison between Star Wars: The Old Republic's specializations and World of Warcraft's classes began with the resolute Republic. Now, part 2 deals with the power-hungry Empire. As before, each listed class specialization gets a brief description and an approximate comparison to their WoW counterpart(s).
Star Wars: The Old Republic's (SWTOR) is in full swing, and for many of you, that means a chance to hop into BioWare's sprawling massively multiplayer masterpiece alongside fellow defenders of freedom and chokers of Imperial subordinates. However, for the ambivalent World of Warcraft (WoW) hero, taking the leap into a galaxy far, far away can be a daunting task.
Christmas is canceled: there will be no podcast this week as we're busy decking the halls of our magazine to get the latest issue to Santa's printers in time. Daniel Erickson, Lead Writer for Star Wars: the Old Republic, swung by the office to cheer us on and chat about TOR on its launch day. We chat about his favorite light and dark side moments, which classes are just plain evil, and why faction changes just don't make sense in the Star Wars universe.
We hope you'll have a fantastic holiday season full of wonder-frags and epic loots. Look for podcast #300 in the new year. It'll be the cat's meow.
PC Gamer Interview with Daniel Erickson
Editor’s note: This review is based on our impressions from our first 85 hours in the game as an Imperial Agent who reached level 35. Some endgame elements were not ready to be evaluated at the time of this review, but as always, we will follow-up this review with constant and regular updates of our impressions as the game progresses here at www.pcgamer.com and in the magazine. — LD
30 minutes had passed since my insectoid ally had asked me. It was a simple question—did I intend to resist his claim to this land?—made complicated by the previous eight hours of politics, betrayal, espionage, and war. I didn’t know what to do. After consulting five different people (including my wife over the phone), I reluctantly made my choice on the familiar BioWare dialog wheel and betrayed my always-faithful insectoid allies in order to defend the man who’d just slain his own wife to prove his loyalty. I felt used.
Happy Gamesgiving, everyone! We celebrate the Turkeyist time of the year with another hearty podcast loaded with the usual news discussion and a heaping side of what we're thankful for this year in games. Josh fills us in on everything TOR-related now that the embargo has been lifted off his weary shoulders. Greg plays an instant classic out of the Vietnamese shooter 7554, and we all can't help ourselves from talking about the Muppets.
PC Gamer US Podcast 296: Happy Gamesgiving
Update - Keys are out, go here to register.
Hey you! Yes you with the face, did you enter our Old Republic beta key giveaway? You did? Then I suggest you check your emails, because you and thousands of others should find a key there waiting for you. Remember, you have to register it on the Old Republic site before midnight tonight, or it'll expire! With that finished, you'll be able to join the beta weekend on the 25th of November.
If you didn't enter, it's too late now, the giveaway is over. Sorry.