SWTOR Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion increases level cap, and introduces new planet along with new quests, datacrons and much more. For this new adventure, our sister site Swtor Spy has a bunch of surprises for you, which will guide you through the new content.
SWTOR Talent Calculator 2.0
Skill calculator with the updated skills for all classes so you can check out all the changes to your skill tree. All Class Skill Trees have been adjusted significantly, and all player Skill Points have been refunded.
Makeb Datacron +10 Endurance Guide
The starting location for +10 Endurance datacron is in Frinn Mesa, while the datacron itself is located in the Cartel Mining Mesa. There are several tricky jumps during this adventure, thus, be patient!
SWTOR Legacy Achievements Database
We released for you online version of the in-game Legacy Achievements system with full functionality. The Legacy System has expanded to include Legacy Achievements, which recognize important accomplishments and milestones across all characters in your Legacy.
Although SWTOR Life is no more I had to notify any visitors that today is the launch of Free to Play option for Star Wars: The Old Republic and our sister site SWTOR Spy, has been preparing for it extensively. Having a responsibility for tens of thousands of visitors we have updated SWTOR Spy with new information and introduced some new functionality. If the first thing you are interested in once game is open to players is to get the new HK-51 companion you will want to read SWTOR Spy’s guide to obtaining it, because there is a rather long quest chain with multiple points of interest you should check out. The guide is full of screenshots and detailed explanations and you can find it at:
Note: HK-51 gift information and general information are included on that page as well!
Next big thing coming in this patch is the Cartel Market and you can check out the following articles and tools SWTOR Spy provided:
Cartel Market Web Calculator (simulates the in-game market. You can check out the prices of all the items available in the shop and add them to your wishlist, which you can share with your friends)
List of all Cartel Market Super Rares with screenshots (you have a chance of getting a Super Rare item from Cartel Packs you purchase for Cartel Coins. We have a list. Note: not all items are activated yet)
List of all Cartel Market Items (these are the actual items you get when you purchase something in the Cartel Market – datamined so not all are available in-game yet)
Last but not least are updates to the content SWTOR Spy is famous for and that’s been updated for 1.5.
There will be more updates over the coming days, but there is plenty to go through as it is. To all those still enjoying The Old Republic, or that are about to start enjoying it we hope you will find SWTOR Spy’s content useful.
Now that it was announced that Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk are retiring from Bioware I see no reason to continue running SWTOR Life. If a man that ran the creation of the game for 5 years and has a tattoo of its logo on his arm is now gone to make beer, I see no reason whatsoever to be spending my time on writing or talking about the game the way I did in the past 2+ years. This was a pure passion project fro me. I did hope and work on it becoming something more than a small fansite of SWTOR and we had some wonderful ups and downs throughout these two years, but I see no reason to keep doing fansite stuff anymore because I am not a fan anymore. It is now apparent SWTOR is an Electronic Arts product and not a Bioware product anymore and I want nothing to do with Electronic Arts if at all possible. I can support Bioware Austin, but I can’t support EA Austin.
I will continue working on SWTOR Spy because there is technology involved in that website and it would be a shame to see hundreds of hours I invested into that go to waste, but fanboy-ism, editorials, interviews and such are thing of the past (as far as SWTOR is concerned). Currently, I can’t think of anything that can happen to SWTOR that will make me change my mind and start posting on here again.
I would like to thank anyone and everyone that ever visited this website. Thank you for your comments and opinions and participation. SWTOR Life and SWTOR Spy together have been the second most visited website on the internet when it comes to The Old Republic and I am very proud of that fact.
I would also like to thank all the people that ever participated in the creation of SWTOR Life. I wish I could have done more for all of you, but things turned out the way they did and there’s nothing I could have done different.
I would also like to thank former and some of the current Bioware staff that showed us their support and love and selflessly provided us with loads of opportunities we did not deserve.
Now that mostly everyone that worked on the creation of Star Wars: The Old Republic is fired or left and that sufficient time has passed to have enough distance to talk about everything that transpired I want to list the top 5 things that, in my opinion, caused SWTOR to fail. TOR is not a bad game by any measure, but considering the fact it lost at least 75% of its initial players (and if we are to be honest the number is now closer to 95%) and sold less copies than most AAA single player games do, I feel confident enough to call it a failure. If John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts, called it that I see no reason why I shouldn’t. For the past couple of months I considered hard whether to call it the biggest failure in the history of MMORPGs since Age of Conan, but the jury is still out there on that one so I’ll stick to just calling it a general failure.
Tech/Hero engine – Bioware chose to use a 3rd party engine to create SWTOR. Most companies out there invested in having a developer team that created their own engine. I am guessing that Bioware wanted to shorten the development time by using an already available engine called – Hero engine. On paper it looked like it would accomplish everything it needed to do. In reality things worked out a bit different.
As seen on Ilum, large scale PvP is impossible in SWTOR, because once more than 40 people showed up in the same place things would become a lag fest with the graphics simply killing your computer no matter how strong it was. What kind of MMO is it if large number of people can’t be in the same place?
The engine seems to be incredibly difficult to modify and implement initially unsupported features. It took them months to create a dungeon finder and server merges. Talking to the developers I heard over and over again how hard it was to put in features that were not already in the engine. … and than the bugs… oh my God the bugs.
There seems to be something incredibly hard or wrong with the scripting part of the Hero engine because even the simplest events initially had bugs.
Can you say loading times? It takes upwards of five minutes to load Belsavis! Higher the level the more loading screens you would see by moving from your ship to another planet and back to the fleet. Every time I had to go somewhere I cringed a bit.
The game was not broken at launch per se. However, due to being faced with modifying other people’s tech it took months to do things that should have taken weeks. Which brings us to our no. 2
Failure to react on time/initial number of servers/empty servers – Bioware decided to be generous with the number of servers they had at launch. Someone over there thought that queues at launch are much worse than having empty servers a month later. After all the beta testing they went with a very conservative server cap and I am not sure if they had more than 2000 concurrent players per server allowed before queue started to kick in. That is how it felt, because rarely you would see more than 50 players per planet on a moderately populated server with the most people being on fleet (100-150 max on med server). As with every MMO that launched in the past 10 years we had 25% of players leave within the first three months. In SWTOR’s case this meant 500.000 players left. You know what that did to the medium population servers? They became low pop and we had 10 people per planet and 30-50 players on fleet … in a Massive Multiplayer Online game. Can you say “single player MMO“?
It took them 6 months to initiate the first server transfers (not merges – no). By then they lost 50+ percent of their subscribers. Someone over there did not think a technology for moving player characters between servers will be necessary so they had to develop it… You know, it is unheard of for a MMO to need to reshuffle its population in between servers post launch…
This inability to react to things players demanded was visible in other areas as well, but nowhere did it hurt the game as much as the empty servers did. Next time your players tell you the servers are empty do not reply with snark comments how “the galaxy is a big place” mkay? If they had done server merges and extended the pop cap back in March we would have seen a much lower churn rate and the game would probably be in a much better state now.
Can you also say group finder? How could it take so long to make such an essential tool available?
Inability to communicate – the corporate rules imposed on Bioware have made communication with the players just a bunch of “soon” and “happy thoughts” statements. When things were the most critical the players were kept in the dark, which caused them to lose faith, which caused them to move on. There is a lot of faith involved in MMORPGs. Faith that the developer will continue to produce content for the virtual world you chose to participate in and pay subscription for and that the developer will fix the current bugs or systems that are not up to par in quality. That faith is best reinforced with honest communication and delivering on promises. Instead we had weeks and months of silence.
The most incredible display of how grossly awkward the rules of silence are in Bioware was during GamesCom 2012. I was at the SWTOR booth because they were showing the new warzone – Ancient Hypergates. I was filming the gameplay with my camera and a person from Bioware came to me demanding to stop filming! Why? Why would you want to stop your players and fans from seeing the new stuff that will be coming to the game. Are you freaking insane? Out of 10 or so games and companies I filmed during GamesCom – none of them asked me not to record. None, except Bioware! And it was at a public booth where everyone could play the new warzone!
I always understood that there are delicate forces at work with Lucas Arts overseeing all of the things happening and EA having their own policies about public presentation. What we got in the end is a community team that was let go for following company rules and bunch of angry players that left due to not having confidence in “we are working on it” sentences. Also – server merges are server merges and not server transfers.
Electronic Arts – I feel pretty confident saying now that EA killed SWTOR. Now that the good Doctors retired from Bioware the last piece of the puzzle fell in. I do not think Bioware intended to launch SWTOR in the state it was ultimately launched in. They had to release it in 2011 (and if any of you remember, it was John Riccitiello, CEO of EA, who first said SWTOR will launch in 2011) so that EA honchos had something to show to the investors in that year. Just remember the rushed announcement of the launch at Eurogamer Expo 2011 and the terrible date of the launch (launch a few days before Christmas – nice). From my last interview with Gabe Amatangelo we heard that Ilum PvP was rushed due to launch and I assume the same stands for other parts of the game that looked rushed (semi-functional GTN; basic chat functions; basic UI; bugs in end game). That was the first thing that hurt SWTOR a lot. It is almost a consensus now that if the game launched with 1.2 features things would have played out a lot different.
The second thing that EA did to kill SWTOR was pull the rug under its feet way too early. We now learned that the good doctors gave notice in April and in May we had the first wave of layoffs in SWTOR studio in Austin, TX. This means that EA pronounced SWTOR a failure 4 months after launch and I think consequently Greg Zeschuck gave notice and Ray followed. This reduced the studio’s ability to fix bugs and create new content and directed the game towards free to play and scraping the bottom of the barrel.
With those two moves there is nothing left of Bioware’s vision of this game that we were fans of and the we followed for years; instead, we have a new Electornic Arts’ SWTOR
Fear of innovation/playing it safe – It was pretty apparent Bioware will create a themepark MMO with familiar game mechanics right of the bat. When I first played the game back in 2010 I jumped right in and did not need a tutorial or anything. Everything was done in a well established manner and where they tried to innovate was quality. The quests were improved by voiceovers, cutscenes and some primetime writing. The companions had better AI and more personality than similar “systems” in other games. The worlds had more lore and very rich environments. Were any of these things an innovation? In my opinion – no. They were an evolution perhaps, but not an innovation and obviously players did not appreciate this.
As a matter of fact, they started picking on everything that was not on par with the quality in other games. You have no dungeon finder? Fail. You have no customizable UI? Fail. There’s a lesson to be had here. If you are not going to bring anything innovative and new to the table, at least have everything on par with the competition. That is, if you are planning to be a top contender on the market.
Bonus fail – Red Zone – I will never forget the fact that Bioware allowed to have players segregated by the country they live or were born in. They only allowed players in the West to purchase the game initially. This meant the United States, Canada and most (but not all) of Europe (oh and Russia too). Games are a great medium that is (mostly) race, gender and class agnostic. Whoever you are and wherever you live you can sit down and play a game and you would play it the same as any other person out there in the world. In MMOs this is even more so because you would have a chance to meet and communicate with people from different cultures and different continents as if they were right there in your room. Bioware decided to split us up into prime time countries and the rest – the Red Zone. Guild Wars 2 at least let everyone purchase the game while “they had copies”. They stopped sales for everyone once they wanted to stop the pressure on the servers. That is what means being race, gender, country and class agnostic and what games should be all about.
The game was not all fail though and that is what makes this fail hurt even more. SWTOR did some things exceptionally well and I think it would only be fair to list them here as well.
Story telling – after SWTOR it will be difficult, to say at least, to enjoy storytelling in any other MMO. I tried several MMOs since SWTOR launched and it was hard to “swallow” Guild Wars 2 static dialogues and The Secret World’s lack of voiceovers for all quests. There will probably never again be a game that invests so much into storytelling and its presentation as SWTOR did and that’s a real shame.
Companions - the first “pet” system that provided you with a genuine buddy. Companion stories made you feel connected to some of the companions and their AI wasn’t half bad. Choosing a different companion gave you an option to fine tune your game style more towards survivability or DPS or whatever you like.
Warzones - I believe SWTOR had some of the best PvP arenas out there. Huttball is one of the best designed PvP maps ever (pity some classes had such clear advantage). The fact that more than 50% of SWTOR players actively participate in Warzones speaks for itself.
Classes - I like SWTOR classes. Maybe I am influenced by playing an Assassin most of the time and it was able to provide me with different play styles for a very long time. In any case I think that the classes represented well classic Star Wars prototypes and provided distinctly different ways to play your character based on the build you chose. It was not exactly groundbreaking or anything, but it was not bad
some of the raiding – I loved the fact I could kill a Rancor. I liked the SOA fight when they fixed all the bugs. I liked the Karagga fight. I liked the accessibility of raids so that most players could do them. I hated the puzzle events because they presented a barrier for groups without voice communication. I thought that having so many trash mobs is retarded.
It was announced yesterday that Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk have retired from the video game business and Bioware. Both Muzyka and Zeschuk wrote about their own reasons for leaving and the future endeavors they plan on pursuing. The two of them were called the heart and the vision of Bioware and its games and this is why this is such a sad occasion for anyone that truly loves games or calls themselves a gamer.
Here are some facts you should be aware of about the history of Bioware that I read in this great Gamasutra article. Greg and Ray were practicing medical doctors at the time when they decided to create their first game (together with a friend of their – Augustine Yip). The second game they made was Baldur’s Gate. Baldur’s Gate is largely considered as a game that revived the RPG genre. Delving into mature topics and doing unprecedented storytelling in an enormous world made it an instant classic. Every next game they made was RPG gold and the best in its genre. Great games that followed, Neverwinter Nights, Baldur’s Gate 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and their biggest success, sci-fi RPG Mass Effect, are all among the greatest games in the history of video games. Greg and Ray made these games possible with their dedication to their basic principles – quality. To quote Jason Scott Livingston’s article about the doctors’ departure:
Ray really did believe in the principle of quality: Quality in our Workplace, Quality in our Products, and Quality for our Investors (“our players are our investors”).
That is why us gamers loved Bioware and the games they made and spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours with their games. Now, that its founders left,all that remains is a memory of how great Bioware was with them and hope that there is someone out there with a heart and passion big enough to create great games like the good doctors did.
Thank you good Doctors for all the hard work and dedication. Thank you for all the great gaming experiences. Best to you and yours.
Out of all the fan sites that are out there TorWars.com is one of the most professional, the most dedicated, the most fun and, as of late, without rose-colored glasses (thank you Darth Sunshine) SWTOR fansites out there. They have reached a huge milestone by doing a 100th podcast and congratulations are in order. Joining in on the celebration are some great people from Bioware and the fansite community and this huge support is well deserved. The episode is over two hours long, but it is worth the listen. Visit War Tors, excuse me, Tor Wars and
The first booth I visited at Gamescom this year was Star Wars: The Old Republic booth. I was curious as to what will I find there. What I found were people playing the new warzone Ancient Hypergates and, to my surprise, Principal Lead PvP Designer Gabe Amatangelo himsel chilling and waiting for the press to come. I spent more than half my time in SWTOR playing PvP on the maps this man designed so I opened with: “You ruined my life by wasting sooooo much of my time”. He did not take offense. Instead we chatted for quite a while and did the interview you can see below. I took the opportunity to ask him some of the community questions related too PvP and we discussed why Guild Capital ships, same sex relationships and ship customization is something we still do not have in SWTOR.
P.S. There is a portion of the community that seems to have some beef with Mr. Amatangelo. Doing this interview was the most pleasurable interview I ever had in SWTOR. Mr. Amatangelo was very relaxed and upfront about everything we discussed. There was no sense of having to hide anything like we always had with so many other SWTOR people. It was just a friendly discussion about the game he helped make. Besides, more than 50% of players take active part in PvP he designed. I would not call that a failure. So, cheers Gabe. You’re the man!
During the biggest gaming event in Europe, GamesCom gaming convention in Cologne, Germany, we had the opportunity to talk to the man whose decisions will have a great impact on the future of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Mr. Jeff Hickman, the new Executive Producer for Star Wars: The Old Republic sat down with us and talked on a number of topics. You can watch the exclusive interview in the video bellow and here’s a recap of topics that were discussed:
Introduction of Mr. Jeff Hickamn and his previous work as well as his tasks in the future
His thoughts and plans on how to make the Free to Play model a reality
When will Free to Play launch?
Correlation between announced content (new warzone, raid etc.) and launch of Free to Play
Once Free to Play goes live, will subscribers ever have to pay for anything (like a big expansion/content pack)?
Will Makeb increase the level cap?
How do you introduce a cash shop into a story MMO?
What is your stance on “Pay to Win”
What did 50+ mean when new space missions were announced
Number one community question was “When will our story continue”. Can you tell us more about that?
Why the space missions and not Makeb?
What is the future of SWTOR in Mr. Hickman’s words?
Swtor Spy/Life: We are here with Jeff Hickman. If you would like to introduce yourself to the Star Wars: The Old Republic community, because people have not seen much of you before. They do know that you were the Live Producer before, but the first we really heard of you was when you made the announcement about free to play. If you could tell us about your previous work and what is your future role in Bioware.
Jeff Hickman: I am currently the Executive Producer on SWTOR. My background; I’ve been in the MMO industry since 2001. My first game was Dark Age of Camelot. I worked on Dark Age from the time it launched, joined Mythic about 6 months before it launched; helped launch that game. Eventually, in 2004, became the Executive Producer of DAOC. I was also the Executive Producer of Warhammer Online, so that was my game. So, for 13 years I spent my time building, launching and running big MMOs, that’s what I do. Of course, this was all in Mythic Entertainment and Mythic in 2006 became part of Electronic Arts and in 2008 Mythic became part of the Bioware team within Electronic Arts. So, in 2010, after we launched Warhammer Online, Ray and Greg came to me and said: “Hey, we’re getting ready to launch SWTOR. You’re the guy who’s launched, probably more MMOs than most people on the planet. We’d love your help, would you like to come down and help us launch SWTOR?” and I said: ”Sure, sounds good”. I moved to Austin, I love Austin, and I became the Executive Producer of Live Services. What that means is that I was basically responsible for anything not development related. That’s Customer support, it’s live production, which is the guys who monitor the live servers, who patch the live servers, who take care of emergency issues and that kind of stuff, responsible for the Community team, I was also deeply involved with Marketing, Operations and with dev to a point. My partner was Rich Vogel and I literally sat in the office with him, this far away from him, and between him and I we mad the decisions for the launch of the product and what TOR was gonna become. Rich has since moved on, he’s looking for different things for his future, and so I’m still responsible for Live Service and they also rolled up the development team underneath me. I’ve got 14 years of experience to involve and it’s an awesome opportunity and a super big honor for me. You know, I’m working with guys that quite literally are my heroes in the gaming space. You talked about James Ohlen and having your first interview with James back in 2010. Well, James Ohlen and (I grew up?) playing Baldur’s Gate and KOTOR and other games that were my beloved games before I even got into the industry back in the 90s and James was the guy on those games and now James Ohlen sits three feet away from me, he’s my creative director on TOR, this is his game; and what an honor it is to have this opportunity.
Yet it is a big responsibility as well
Yeah it is!
Because you are actually in charge of making Free to Play a reality.
That’s how I gather things are, that was your first announcement so I presume that is what your task is specifically. So, how do you plan on accomplishing this?
Lot of hard work. I think you hit it on the head. While I have broad responsibility across the development team, you know James is still the Creative Director; he’s the one who decides what the game is, the vision of the game. This is a James Ohlen product if you will and so he’s still deeply, deeply, involved in that. I help to make the decisions around a lot of the business aspects of the game. James and I work very closely together to make sure that the things that he wants to do with the game make sense from a business standpoint. Make sense within the kind of holistic structure of the game and so the Free to Play are both he and I, and the entire team of course, (there is a) giant team behind this, looking at what are the right decisions for taking this game Free to Play. What modifications do we make to the game? What does a Free to Play player experience when he plays the game? What does a subscription player experience when he plays the game? What are the different things that we need to do to keep our players engaged and how can we change the way that we’ve done things in the past to provide more frequent content updates; to give the Free to Play player a great experience, yet entice them pay a little bit here and there … This is all about business so we want a great game experience the people will love for years and years to come. What my actual plans are? Do the right thing for both our subscribers and for our Free to Play player. Do it as quickly as possible in a very high quality manner and provide a great play experience for both.
Since we are talking about “as quickly as possible” … Is November the month?
What have we said? Fall. Fall is what we’re aiming for. It is all we’ve said so far.
At the investor’s call …
They said … but it is fall
So you are broadening that deadline. Does that mean sooner or later?
As soon as it’s done at the right level of quality is when we’re gonna launch that thing and we think that we can hit the fall.
You’ve announced several new pieces of content. New warzones, new raid. Is that planned to come out before free to play launches or after?
They are not dependent on each other. If you’re a subscriber it doesn’t matter. As a subscriber you get all of that stuff. As a F2P player it almost does not matter either, because as a F2P player the restrictions you have, for example, one of the restrictions we’ll have is we will have a restriction on F2P players about how many warzones they can play in a given amount of time, so when we put out Ancient Hypergates, if you are a F2P player you will have that restriction. So, if you are currently a subscriber, which is the only kind of players that we have, you’re gonna get it no matter what. So, it doesn’t matter (if it’s released before or after F2P). We do not look at it that way. We have a track, a team of people working that are working on those six week content updates and those people, while integrated deeply with what we’re thinking about F2P, are not dependent on it. So, we’re gonna do that as fast as we possibly can, because we believe strongly that players want to see more frequent content updates and than we’re also gonna do the F2P piece as fast as we can also. It is all about Bioware quality. We are not going to launch any of these things until they are ready to go and we have, I think, really strong plans around both right now.
You answered a lot of question about the F2P model that you are going to be providing, but there are still some small things that we would like to find about. Will subscribers have to play for any kind of content? So, while it was just a subscriber game you would pay for a major expansion, but right now; I am guessing you are currently focusing more on smaller content…
What (if anything) will subscribers have to pay for after F2P launches?
I wish I had a solid answer for you on that. We’re still in discussion about some of the larger content updates that we’re planning. Great example is the planet Makeb. We’ve talked about Makeb, we have a lot of plans around Makeb. I wish I could give you more details, but I can tell you that I think the playerbase is going to be really, really pleased. More story content. New and interesting things for the players to do. More systems and interesting functions in the game … I can’t go into a lot of detail, but around things like that … This is a pretty big piece (of content). It is probably all that I can say. It is definitely still for discussion whether we sell that to the subscriber or the subscriber gets that for free because it is a big beefy chunk of content.
Makeb is going to expand the level?
… I can’t talk about that right now. She’ll kill me.
I think you guys will be very happy with what we have planned.
The one question I have personally is … How do you change a story MMO into a cash shop MMO? Because, you’re introducing a cash shop into a story MMO. There is definitely a process there. If you can talk about that that would be great.
I think the core of that is actually fairly simple to explain, though it might be a bit more difficult to implement. If you look at what we’re planning on doing; the thing we’re giving away for free is the story. We talked a lot about … months of deep investigation … what are the restrictions the F2P player has in the game, and there was a lot of people who were saying you’ve got to restrict the story. The story is what it’s all about and therefore you have to restrict it. We actually believe the opposite. We think that the story is so core to the gameplay experience; the love and wonder of what Star Wars is; that breaking up the story in some sort of way is just not the right thing to do. We want that kind of casual player to come in and kind of start to play with the story and get drawn into what they are doing and we’re willing to give that away for free. There are so many other things outside of that that you can do that, that as a subscriber you will get for just being a subscriber, or as a F2P player you can buy out of a kind of À la carte way; you know – here’s a menu of things: You want more bank slots? OK. You want more warzones? OK. Whatever happens to be. So, for us, that is kind of the core of it. Give the story away. Make the casual player understand what that is. Don’t try to monetize that. Monetize all the things around that. I think, actually, as we looked through it is not as complex as you think it is (Ed. Note: converting story mmo to F2P). It is very difficult (Ed. Note to develop that system if it was not there before), believe me, the team is working really hard over there; working day and night to get this done, but it is pretty straight forward to understand once we through everything on the paper and went: “That actually makes perfect sense.” and we feel pretty good about it.
The major question about F2P; when any F2P project is announced or talked about is what’s gonna be in the cash shop? Lets just put this question out there in as plain and as simple form as possible. What’s your stance on Pay to Win?
Pay to win is not something that we like. I don’t want to unbalance the game by putting things out on the store that somebody can walk in on day one, buy and be the winner. Having said that, there will be some things that we put out in the store that do enhance power value in some way, but not at the top end. Trying to think of a good example. We may put a medium level blue piece of armor on the cash shop for example. We might do that. We haven’t decided and we’re still talking about this, but it’s one of those things it is like … most players will have something better than this anyway, but if you don’t here’s the way that you can get a leg up to at least make you equal with the normal players. That is kind of where our thinking is at, but we are still discussing it. But we do not believe in Pay to Win.
I have to ask you this question. It is a really strange thing to have been said. Just a couple of days ago the new General Manager
He said that you are going to be introducing a new raid, a new warzone and multiple 50+ space battles. What does 50+ stand for?
That’s a great question. It’s one way of saying that they are hard mode space battles. They are space mission for players that are level 50, who have done all their space missions. Who have a super upgraded ship and now want a big challenge and I can tell you they are a big challenge.
You answered this already, but I just want to pass this onto you because this is a community question (Ed. Note question sent to us by the community to ask the SWTOR team). I think it is important for me to relate what the community wants me to ask you.
I do to.
The number one question was: “What’s going to happen with our story?”. Now we have the Epilogue screen. Some people have it for months and they want to see what happens to their companions and…
So do I. I’ve seen some of it actually, because we do believe in story and we have plans for story moving forward. Makeb is probably the biggest example of that. Makeb is a continuation of your story.
That’s my next question. Why the space missions and not Makeb?
The easiest way to say this is there are actually two very different team working on these things. We literally have a team, team catalyst is what they’re called internally, that is responsible for these frequent content updates. There’s a team who is responsible for warzones and flashpoints and some operations and some of the events. This is the team for doing interesting, frequent content updates. We also have a space team. We have a team that all they do is space and they’ve been working on these hard mode space missions for months now. And than we have another team that is working on Makeb. These three teams, while they work closely together, they are not dependent on each other and when one is finished with whatever they’re working on that is when we launch it. Makeb is on its own timeline and on its track and its not a matter of us choosing between the two, it’s a matter of which one is done first. That’s it.
One last question. I’ve been following the game for a very long time. There is one marketing story that we’ve heard all that time: “This is a subscription game, we plan to make this a subscription game”. We know how that went. We’ve seen the past 6 months. We’re at a new point of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Going forward you are going to be leading that new push for SWTOR. In your words, tell us about the future of SWTOR.
I think that the future of TOR is about lowering the barriers for people that would like to play the game, but are not ready to commit to 15 dollars a month or who are willing to wait for 3 or 4 months for a new content update. Lowering the barriers to get into the game and stay in the game I think is probably the number one piece of the future that I am focused on. Free to play is a part of that, because I think money is a barrier to a lot of people, and so I look at the focus on Free to Play, the focus on more frequent updates, yet a continued commitment to things like story and that is the future of TOR for me. It is a future where we have more people playing than we ever had before, where we have a wide variety of options on how you want to play so you play the way you want to and pay for the things that you want to pay for and enjoy the game you want to enjoy it. That is the future of TOR.
We’re in Cologne, Germany and we visited the SWTOR booth, where we found level 20 characters fighting it out in a new warzone. The objective of the warzone is to activate the two pylons which then start a countdown before they explode. To save yourself from the explosion all players must go to the middle room where they fight it out until the explosion is over. All the while each kill brings you closer to activating a special end event that will defeat the losing team for good. This last special effect is still not present in the game but we can now show you footage of how the warzone is played in this exclusive video in all its glorious HD quality (and people passing by)