SWTOR’s Patch 1.7 gets a snazzy video


Star Wars: The Old Republic is getting hit with Patch 1.7 tomorrow. The patch is bringing with it the newGalactic Reputation system and a new event. The event, Relics of the Gree, will send players to unravel the mystery of the ancient Gree.

After the patch goes live, players will be able to journey to the News Terminals located in Carrick Station or Vaiken Spacedock to kick off the new adventures. It’s a limited-time event, so make sure to get in before February 26th to experience the event.

Skip below the cut for a sneak peek at the Relics of the Gree.

Star Wars: The Old Republic drops patch 1.7 on Tuesday


It’s almost time to see what you can do about your reputation in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Patch 1.7is bringing the new reputation system as well as the new Relics of the Gree event to the live servers on Tuesday, February 12th. The maintenance window for the patch is five and a half hours, although as with most major patches, there’s always the chance that it’ll run a little longer because of unforeseen issues.

If you’ve still got more questions about what the reputation system will add to the game, a recent development blog answers those questions. Notably, this patch has not been up for testing on the test server, possibly to keep the event a bit more of a secret. Whatever the case, players will get to put their hands on the changes in just a couple of days, so get ready to travel across the galaxy and get some props from galactic reputation.

BioWare details SWTOR’s Galactic Reputation system


If your Star Wars: The Old Republic avatars are tapped out in terms of advancement opportunities, take heart! The game’s 1.7 patch will introduce a new Galactic Reputation system and associated reward items to keep you busy.

The latest BioWare dev blog has all the details, including bits about earning rep points (via consumable trophies) and niceties like legacy titles and other perks. The reputation system is accessible to both free players and subscribers, though the latter group do get a 50% bonus.

SWTOR fan site posts cartel market poll results


Following BioWare’s promise that the studio’s made substantial changes to its Cartel Market in Star Wars: The Old Republic, fan site Darth Hater polled over 2500 players about how they use the item shop (if at all).

The results are quite fascinating. Most of those polled (89%) are still subscribed and have made purchases from the Cartel Market (87%). Only half of those polled spent real money on store currency, but of that sample, most had spent over $20 and 26% had spent over $100.

The most popular purchases on the Cartel Market from this survey were random Cartel packs (80%), legacy unlocks (61%), armor (33%), and XP boosts (20%). 22% of those surveyed said that they were disappointed with the market, while 40% were satisfied with it.

SWTOR plans to tweak endgame PvP balance

In an interview with fansite TORWars released last night, Senior Designer Rob Hinkle explained that one of the ways BioWare will attempt to make endgame PvP more fun in Star Wars: The Old Republic is by making the PvP stat (Expertise) equal across all sets of PvP armor.
Like many other MMOs with a focus on PvP, SWTOR has struggled with balancing the endgame PvP progression. Hinkle said in the interview that he frequently hears from players that they love level 10 to 49 PvP but are disappointed by their performance when they first log into endgame PvP. Hinkle described how the development team aims to make endgame PvP better by changing how Expertise will work in the “relatively” near future:

 “Instead of Expertise being a stat that you’re chasing as you’re getting better and better PvP gear, all the PvP gear no matter what tier it is will have the same Expertise level. It’s just the normal stats that will be getting better as you getting higher in PvP gear.”

Although this change will not be fully implemented until after Update 1.6, Massively’s latest Hyperspace Beacon has already scoped it out for your edification.

Star Wars: The Old Republic transmits free-to-play video

The race toward free-to-play is gaining momentum for Star Wars: The Old Republic. BioWare’s been talking the transition up quite a bit lately, and has just released a new video giving players an overview of the differences once the change is made.

While most of it is old news to those following the game, there are a few new tidbits worth noting here. One of these is clarification on character creation restrictions; BioWare revealed that the three free-to-play races are Human, Cyborg, and Zabrak.

Previous subscribers are targeted for hugs and love with the F2P transition, as BioWare is not only granting them instant preferred status but also handing them currency to spend in the Cartel Market. Speaking of which, the market is briefly shown in the video with the following categories: featured, newly added, packs, cosmetic, unlocks, equipment, and consumables.

GDC Online 2012: SWTOR, Diablo III, Koster honored in GDC Online awards

Wednesday night saw the Game Developers Choice Online awards being handed out to MMO, social, mobile, and free-to-play games. Star Wars: The Old Republic came away with the awards for best online game design, best online visual arts, best online technology, and best new online game. Riot Games won for best live game, the audience award, and best community relations for League of Legends.

Raph Koster was officially recognized with an online game legend award, and World of Warcraft received a hall of fame award. Blizzard also scored with Diablo III, receiving an award for having the best audio for an online game. The award for best social network game went to Draw Something, and thatgamecompanywon an online innovation award for Journey.

Source: GDC Online Awards

BioWare founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk announce retirement

The doctors… are out. BioWare announced that Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk, co-founders of the studio, are retiring from the gaming biz. The two have been instrumental in the creation of many hit RPGs, from Baldur’s Gate to Mass Effect. For us MMO fans, they’re best-known for helming the ship that brought us Star Wars: The Old Republic.

The two are taking a break, perhaps indefinitely, from game creation and management. Muzyka is looking to engage in charities and social work, while Zeschuk is going to dive into projects involving craft beer.

“This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make; after thinking about it for many months, I made the decision to retire from videogames back in early April 2012 — at that time I provided six months’ notice toEA, to help enable a solid transition for my teams at BioWare,” Muzyka wrote in his farewell letter.

“This decision isn’t without significant pain and regret, but it’s also something I know I need to do, for myself and my family. I’ve reached an unexpected point in my life where I no longer have the passion that I once did for the company, for the games, and for the challenge of creation,” Zeschuk said in his.

The two maintain that BioWare is in good hands and will continue to excel going forward.

Star Wars: The Old Republic previews Terror From Beyond

If you can’t wait for the next tier of Operations in Star Wars: The Old Republic, you’ll be happy to know that the newest tier is being added in update 1.4. You may be slightly less happy to know that the new operation, Terror From Beyond, is not meant to be a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination. A new developer diary explains the lore behind the operation and some of the threats that players will be facing on the swamp planet of Asation.

Colonized and largely abandoned by the Gree, Asation is a swamp planet that houses a massive hyperspace gate. The Dread Masters, a group of Sith not known for sunny dispositions, have opened the gate and started filling the planet with all manner of horrible creatures. The operation promises to offer new encounters and mechanics beyond what’s been seen in previous raids, something for dedicated endgame players to look forward to in the next major content update.

SWTOR demoing Ancient Hypergates warzone at Gamescom

If you happen to be heading to Cologne for Gamescom this month and are a fan of Star Wars PvP, you might want to swing by ol’ booth B-082 to get your mitts on the Ancient Hypergates warzone. BioWarestated that this upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic warzone will be playable at the convention.

The studio said that attendees will be able to experience the warzone with either their actual character or a new one rolled on the spot. There’s even the possibility that a developer might step in to duke it out alongside players as well.

EA BioWare will be announcing additional details about SWTOR’s future at the convention and has announced both prizes and a meet-and-greet for its fans.

Gamescom takes place from August 16th through 19th.