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Archive for February, 2012

February 28th Maintenence

Published by under community news on Feb. 27. 2012.

It’s Tuesday and you know what that means, time for some SWTOR server downtime. BioWare will be performing their weekly maintenance starting at  2AM CST (12AM PST/3AM EST/8AM GMT/9AM CET) on the 28th and hope to be done by 6AM CST (4AM PST/7AM EST/12PM GMT/1PM CET) of the same day. As usual they cannot guarantee that the servers will be back up by then, but there is also the chance that they will be back up before that.


No word on anything specific that will be patched this week but there is a good chance that most or all of the recent changes implemented on the Public Test Server will be included. If the maintenance start time is changed for any reason we will update this post with the new information.

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Community Q&A February 24th

Published by under community news on Feb. 25. 2012.

It’s Friday and that means it is time for one of my favorite new things BioWare is doing these days, Community Q&A. They managed to go over 10 questions again this week, another trend I would like to see continued, and answered a range of questions from implementing a LFG tool, improving end game usefulness of crafting skills, and even touched briefly on the chance the players will be able to customize their current ships or get new ones. (Hint: Don’t expect it anytime soon.)


You can find all the questions answered this week after the jump. If you have a question you would like to ask the development team post it over at the official forums in this weeks Official Q&A Thread. Continue Reading »

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RPing Illness and Disease

Published by under Role Play on Feb. 24. 2012.

((The RP XP with MJ #27))



How much further?” Jenla sneered as she stepped over a clump of something that could have been random Huttmuck or chemlizard scat.

Neither the Mandalorian nor his sister turned back, so Jenla trudged on in silence and tried to keep up.

Margis whispered to her brother, “Your mate is somethin’ of a complainer. I woulda thought the Empire raised less squeamish lieutenants.”

Boarsch raised his chin and squinted past his sister. “She’s a good officer, Margis. She’s smart and dedicated. Leave her alone already.”

Margis shrugged and gave up on the taunting. The Chiss Imp wasn’t really worth her time. Besides, they had reached the edge of the reservoir. “Here’s what I wanted you to see, Boar.”

Boarsch and Jenla stood on either of Margis and looked out at the stagnant rust-colored lake.

What are we looking at?” The agent asked.

Margis looked up at her brother. “This is my village’s water supply.”

As Jenla wrinkled her nose in disgust, Boarsch said, “You drink this?”

Margis nodded solemnly. “Almost as-is. The water purifiers gave out some time ago.”

Jenla said, “You could die drinking this slime.” That’s when Margis finally turned to acknowledge her.

A tear formed in the hardened Hutta woman’s eye. “The doctor in our village says I have about two months to live.”


Continue Reading »

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TOR Lore: A Good Blaster At Your Side

Published by under Lore on Feb. 23. 2012.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” While the validity of this statement is questionable (you don’t often see people deflecting lightsaber strikes with blaster bolts), the truth remains that blasters are still pretty awesome. Ranging from the traditional blaster pistol to the massive blaster cannons found on starships, blasters are easily the most common weapon one can find in the Star Wars universe.  Held by everyone from the common farmer to smugglers to bounty hunters, blasters of all shapes and sizes are extremely deadly in the right hands. Today we will take a quick look at the history behind these weapons, and learn a little bit about what makes them work. Continue Reading »

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1.1.4 Patch Notes

Published by under community news on Feb. 22. 2012.

The patch notes from the 1.1.4 update are now posted over at Amid the usual bug a glitch fixes are a few special updates that players should be pleased with.


The has been an update to some boss mechanics in both the Eternity Vault and Karagga’s Palace. When fighting Soa during the Eternity Vault players will notice that Soa no longer lost threat against his primary target when he casts a Mind trap, and the G4-B3 Heavy Fabricator now has fewer hit point in Karagga’s Palace normal mode. In warzones the queue interface exploit that allowed players to bring extra players into a warzone has been fixed. There is still a chance that imbalances can occur, but players will no longer be able to intentionally trigger the exploit. Also the bug that would cause the east turret in the Alderaan Civil War warzone to sometimes fire twice when captured by the Imperials has been fixed as well.


One of the biggest additions with this patch is the promised ability for players to control the appearance of their cooldown animations.. This of course comes as a welcome addition for most players after some displeasure was expressed with the last two cooldown animation updates. Players can now control if they would like their abilities to a flash when the finish a regular or global cooldown, change the art style of the cooldown animations, and chose to toggle cooldown time text on top of the ability icon in the quickbar.


For all the notes on this and previous patches make sure to visit the Patch Notes page over at

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A Look At Star Wars: The Old Republic

Published by under community news on Feb. 22. 2012.

BioWare released a new video on Tuesday entitled “A Look At The Old Republic”. In it various SWTOR developers talk about their feelings on the day of launch and are even treated to a few clips of the crew as the opened the servers on the first day. We are also treated to the thoughts of a few players on what they think of the game so far, including a few in game experiences they have been a part of.


According to the video there have been over 2 million copies of the game sold, and over 14 million characters created by the players! Outside of that the video does not reveal much information, and most of it is old news to current players. It is still a nice little recap of the game from it’s launch to the present day, and a great video to show off to any of your friends who you are trying to convince to get in game with you.


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Razer SWTOR Gaming Mouse Review

Published by under Editorial on Feb. 21. 2012.

When it comes to peripherals, us PC gamers really love our keyboard and mouse combo. It is what separates us from our console brethren and gives us the possibility to play games like complex MMORPGs. If you take your gaming even slightly serious you probably considered getting a higher quality mouse or keyboard at some point. Razer is a manufacturer of such high quality gaming peripherals. They have been making true advancements in the field of PC gaming peripherals over the years, but this time they have something special made for Star Wars: The Old Republic fans – SWTOR themed keyboard, mouse and headset combo.
Razer was kind enough to provide us with:

  • SWTOR mouse
  • SWTOR mouse pad (review soon)
  • SWTOR headset (review soon)

to test them out while actually playing The Old Republic. Here are our impressions.


The mouse comes in a SWTOR themed box that is part see through so you can see the mouse right away. Beside the mouse you get a good length, high quality braided USB cable, the charging dock for when you go wireless and the Republic/Empire logos that you can put on the mouse to customize its looks. You can see the full contents of the package in our unboxing video below.


Technical specification

Those familiar with Razer’s Naga line of mice will instantly recognize this mouse. This is a SWTOR skinned Naga with wireless capabilities included (like the Naga Epic). This means that you can charge it on the provided base and use it as a wireless mouse. When you run out of battery power you can plug in the USB cord and flip a switch to make it a wired mouse instantly. This provides you with an uninterrupted gaming experience at all times. It has the 5600DPI Razer’s 3.5G Laser Sensor with 1000Hz polling rate maximum to ensure top precision and response times among gaming mice today. It also has customizable LED backlight illumination so you will really stand out at a LAN party.
razer swtor mouse

First impressions

I was really confused with this mouse the first moment I held it in my hand. It felt small. I had no idea how to make use of the extra 12 buttons on the sides. One thing was for sure, I have never held a mouse like this in my hand before. The manual said that it might take up to 18 hours to get used to the extra buttons and I was starting to think that his might be entirely true. The first adjustment was the placement of my hand on the mouse. The center of my palm was almost not on the mouse and I had to “skew” the mouse a bit to have the thumb positioned over the extra buttons properly. Without using the extra buttons, and using the mouse regularly I adapted to this hand position surprisingly quickly. Although it didn’t feel like my hand is entirely supported by the mouse I felt no discomfort after prolonged usage so I guess the ergonomics of this mouse are not bad, although it felt small at first touch. It was time to face the extra buttons.


Hands On

The twelve extra buttons basically represent the twelve keys on your keyboard (1 through = ). The idea is not to move your left hand to reach all 12 keys but rather use your right hand thumb to get to all of them. I decided to take it slow and do some PvE for a few hours to get accustomed to using the mouse buttons instead of the keyboard. I immediately noticed that I reach the bottom two rows of extra buttons more naturally and easily than the third, highest, row. This called for remapping my skills to accommodate for this fact. I’ve put the most used skills on 1,2,4,5,7,8,0,- keys and the less used skill (or with higher cooldown) on the third row keys (3,6,9,=). When engaging mobs I would usually start with 1,2, 4,4,5 skill combo and within five minutes I was accustomed to using the mouse in simple PvE encounters. I had a bit of trouble at first with higher level encounters because I needed to use a wider range of skills and I couldn’t remember which key was mapped to which skill. After perhaps an hour you get everything figured out and regular PvE feels alright. I felt that the true test for this mouse was going to be PvP in warzones. When the adrenaline is pumping and where hesitation can result in defeat, trying to figure out which button to press can be devastating. This is exactly what happened to me the first few PvP matches. I was standing there looking at the healers casting their heals unable to find the button to disrupt it (mapped to 10). You then start getting into the flow of things and you finally realize that you are a lot quicker with your reactions and your skill usage is much more streamlined. When using a keyboard you can map perhaps 5 skills in the vicinity of your movement keys and access those very quickly without the need to move your fingers away from the movement buttons. With the Razer mouse you can reach 8 skills easily with your thumb and 4 more with some effort, all the time without moving your hand from your movement buttons. After several days of playing the game with the Razer SWTOR mouse I have started fully utilizing both my hands and all the skills in my arsenal. After a week I went back to my old mouse to test the difference. It felt like somebody severed my right hand thumb, because it was useless now. Searching for skills on my keyboard felt like I was a “clicker” in comparison to using the skills with my thumb on the mouse. I have been assimilated and I felt like I can never go back.
Mouse in dark

The bad and the wireless

There are a few small things I disliked about this mouse. It is a plug and play USB mouse that works in both wired and wireless mode out of the box. However, to fully utilize all of its settings you need to download and use the Synapse 2.0 software provided by Razer. This software requires you to create your synapse account and it will store all your mouse settings in the Razer cloud. Personally I dislike the idea of having to log into a service to be able to access my mouse profiles and settings. I would much rather prefer if it had an offline feature as well and than syncing with the cloud when I allow it to go online. To be fair, the software did automatically update my mouse and headphones firmware and drivers and it is the only way you can generate the code to get the cool green color crystal for you SWTOR character.   
I had very bad experiences with wireless gaming mice over the years. With other wireless mice I tried wireless mode was laggy and uncontrollable even in regular PvE play. I must say that I didn’t have any of those problems with the Razer SWTOR mouse in wireless mode. I guess Razer advanced its wireless technology enough to be comparable to wired mouse performance. In MMOs you will not feel much difference between the two modes. I doubt though that serious FPS gamers will be using the wireless mode for quite some time. The mouse still feels more responsive in wired mode. Luckily, it is just a matter of plugging in the USB cable and you are good to go.


There is no doubt that Razer SWTOR mouse requires a certain period of adjustment. What it rewards you with in the end surpasses the difficulties of its high learning curve by a large margin. You will learn to utilize your mouse to its full potential and possibly improve your in-game performance along the way. There will always be those that will instantly dislike this mouse and will not want to adapt. Those that give it a chance will surely have a better gaming experience with it than without it. For SWTOR players and fans this feels like a must have item. With its unique The Old Republic style combined with high quality and innovation it will enrich your SWTOR experience considerably. It may be a big investment at first, but I doubt you will need another mouse for years to come.

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February 22nd Sechulded Maintenance

Published by under community news on Feb. 21. 2012.

It’s everybody’s favorite time of the week again, weekly maintenance time. Normally the maintenance is scheduled for Tuesdays, but this week it was pushed back until Wednesday for some reason. No word on exactly what  all will be patched this week but there is a good chance that all (or most) of the recent patch notes released for the Public Test Server will be implemented in the patch.


The maintenance is scheduled to start at 2AM CST (12AM PST/3AM EST/8AM GMT/9AM CET) and is currently scheduled to last for 7 hours, or until 9AM CST (7AM PST/10AM EST/3PM GMT/4PM CET). No guarantee that the servers will be down for the entire 7 hours that the maintenance is scheduled for, though there is always the chance that the maintenance period could be extended if the developers deem it necessary. As usual all the servers will be down for the entirety of the maintenance period and will most likely require players to download a patch before being able to log back in.


If for some reason the time frame for the maintenance should change we will make sure to update this post with any new information that is made available to us.

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Quick Start Guide: Maps and Navigation

Published by under community news on Feb. 19. 2012.

Eric Musco, Social Media Coordinator for BioWare, gives players the run down on all the handy map features in BioWare’s second installment in their Quick Start Guide series, titled “Maps and Navigation”. The video goes over a whole slew of navigation related tips; such as bind points, speeders, how to tell if you’ve been to a taxi station before, map filters, the map magnifying glass, and other helpful items.


Veteran players might be quick to pass over the Quick Start guides, but even they may be able to learn a thing or two from these videos. For example, I still occasionally run across players who either don’t know about the Emergency Fleet Pass or don’t know where it is located (it’s in the general section of the abilities tab by the way). The Emergency Fleet Pass allows you quick travel straight to the fleet, though it carries a hefty cooldown time of 18 hours. You can buy other Fleet Passes from a Security Key Vendor (they have a far shorter cooldown period) but everybody gets the Emergency Pass once they hit level 10.


Another aspect of the maps that Mr. Musco covers is the ability to toggle different icons on your mini-map as well as your main map. This is something that I was not aware of and can really help cut down on the clutter players can get on their mini-map when in areas with a lot of vendors, such as the markets of Coruscant or Dromund Kass.


You can check out this video over at the Quick Start Video Guide page over at

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February 17th Community Q&A

Published by under community news on Feb. 18. 2012.

Today marked the second installment of BioWare’s new weekly Q&A session with the players of SWTOR. Though BioWare has said they will limit the questions they answer to 10 a week they have been unable to limit themselves to that amount, answering a total of 12 questions this week. Topics this week included the possibility of a /roll option being implemented, endgame gear set bonuses being transferred with mods, and a lengthy post about healing during operations.


We will share some of the questions with you after the jump. Continue Reading »

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