Date: Oct 31, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

In Game Update 1.5, we’re going to be seeing some improvements to Star Wars: The Old Republic. One of which is the introduction of new graphical shaders that specifically bring out the translucency in foliage seen on the various planets and environmental details. A couple of days ago, Ben Cloward, Senior Technical Artist of SWTOR, posted a developer blog article where he talks a bit about the shaders and shows off a few screenshot examples. Shown above in the title image is one such example, showing the game as it appears now (Before), and the post-1.5 result (After).

Here’s what he has to say about this upcoming change:

So, new in Game Update 1.5, with Shader Complexity set to High in the Graphics Preferences, if you look toward the sun in outdoor environments such as Tython, Voss, Alderaan, etc, you’ll notice that the sun shines through the trees and the grass. Before Game Update 1.5, trees and grass would look really dark when looking toward the sun, but now that the sun is shining through them, they have that same type of beautiful diffused light that you see in the real world.

Read the full developer blog here.

Date: Oct 26, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

Yesterday we received a couple dev tracker posts stating important changes to some of the free-to-play player limitations coming in this fall’s subscription model shift. The first of these is the addition of a third type of subscription group that players can belong to and receive different bonuses in– the preferred status player group. Preferred status players are those who have subscribed in the past, but have returned to SWTOR as free to play, or have purchased items directly from SWTOR’s site. This includes Cartel Coins, a subscription of any length of time, and time cards.

Preferred status players will receive more benefits than pure free-to-play players, but less than full subscription players. This status is also permanent. This is an excellent compromise, in my opinion, and will give past subscription players a reason to return yet not feel quite as restricted as players completely new to the game. Here are some of the details on the restriction differences:

Originally posted by NathanEmmott (Source)


As a Preferred Status Player, you will gain the following benefits compared to Free-to-Play Players:

    • The Sprint ability at Level 1
    • Access to your Cargo Hold (an 80 item Player Bank)
    • Access to Secure Trade (starting at level 10)
    • The ability to send Mail, including one (1) attachment
    • Increased allowance for chat message frequencies in Public chat channels (such as /general)
    • An increased Credits Cap
    • Access to the Who List
    • Three (3) additional Sale Slots on the Galactic Trade Network (for a total of 5)
    • One (1) additional active Crew Skill Slot (for a total of 2)
    • Reduced skill point respecialization costs
    • Increased Server queue priority

The addition of preferred player status will make many players happy, I believe.

Date: Oct 24, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

Star Wars: The Old Republic’s big free-to-play model switch is just around the corner, and starting yesterday, players can now preview all the goodies the Cartel Market has to offer on the Public Test Server, as well as provide valuable feedback for the BioWare team. All PTS testers will be granted a temporary sum of Cartel Coins for purchasing items and testing the feature out. Here’s the full announcement:

Players can now log into the Public Test Server and view the new Cartel Market! You can use the Cartel Market check out the pets, vehicles, XP boosts, and more!

Players on the Public Test Server have been granted a number of Cartel Coins, our new virtual currency, to test the Cartel Market. All player accounts will be set to a Subscriber status, but at some point in the near future all Public Test accounts will be switched to a Free-to-Play status in order to test all Free-to-Play functionalities. Keep in mind that all Cartel Coins you receive or acquire and all items redeemed for Cartel Coins on the Public Test Server are only available during this Public Test and will not be transferred to your regular account.

When the Free-to-Play option launches, you’ll be able to purchase Cartel Coins from our website. Plus, if you’re a current or previous subscriber, there’s good news. Check out your “My Accounts” Cartel Coins Ledger page now to see how many Complimentary Cartel Coins you will be granted when the Free-to-Play option launches!

Visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/FREE to find out more about the Cartel Market and Cartel Coins!

We encourage you to explore the Cartel Market and give us your feedback by posting on the Public Test Server forum. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to offer the ability to copy characters for this test.

Be sure to visit the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ Test Center to learn more.

For more information, view the full blog article or the forum discussion thread. Stay tuned in the days to come for a list of the items and costs currently available on the PTS.

Date: Oct 19, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

BioWare released a brand new video preview summarizing some of the recent free-to-play information that was revealed earlier this week. In it, some of the major differences between subscription players and free-to-play players are discussed, along with some nifty previews of the Party Jawa and some of the other goodies coming in the near future.

Here’s the announcement:

Today we are excited to release our first episode of the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ Free-to-Play Insider Preview. This new video series is your window into the latest news and information on the new Free-to-Play option coming to The Old Republic™ this Fall. The first video provides insight into the features offered to Free-to-Play players and Subscribers. Take a first look at the new Cartel Market as well as get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the Free-to-Play option. Check out the video and let us know what you think – we’ll be watching for your feedback in the forums, online and on Facebook.

In the video, one new piece of information was discovered– free-to-play players will only have three races to choose from when creating characters: Human, Zabrak, and Cyborg.

Oh, and yes, we get a preview of the Cartel Market during the video. A piece of it is shown in the title image, but we also captured a screenshot of the full size version. The Market UI looks pretty consistent with SWTOR’s overall UI theme. We don’t get a preview of any actual Coin prices in the screenshot, unfortunately, but interestingly, the total number of Cartel Coins on-screen happens to be over 16,000. This is a steep jump from the 2500ish that most CE subscribers will be getting, but it’s unsure at this time if that number compares to anything realistically.

Date: Oct 17, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: 3 comments

Yesterday, BioWare issued two sources of updated information about the big free-to-play model switch coming this November. First of all, we got a nifty Cartel Coins ledger that can be used to figure out how many complimentary Coins current subscribers will be getting.

Secondly, and probably a lot more interesting, we finally received some concrete information about the restrictions F2P model players will be faced with compared to subscription model players. The full chart can be found on BioWare’s F2P information page, but keep reading for the quick version.

Date: Oct 12, 2012  |  Written by Jason Dodge  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

The patch notes published for the Public Test Server are not final and are subject to change. The Public Test Server Patch Notes will be provided in English. The final release notes will be provided in English, French, and German when the content is moved to live servers.

Highlights

  • Travel to Section X on Belsavis and learn why the nefarious Dread Guard has seized control of this ravaged sector of the planet! Section X can be accessed on Belsavis and via the daily mission shuttles.
  • HK-51 can now be acquired as a Companion Character! A shipment of the infamous assassin droids can be found in the wreck of an Imperial transport ship, The Fatality, in Section X. Reactivating HK-51 requires finding and assembling parts from across the galaxy.
  • Nightmare Mode is now available for Operation: Explosive Conflict! Bosses in Nightmare Mode present a new level of challenge, new mechanics, and high-quality rewards (such as a new vehicle and Dread Guard set pieces)!
  • Dreadtooth, a new world boss, can be found roaming Section X. Each time Dreadtooth is defeated, he returns with a temporary, stacking power buff which increases his difficulty and the quality of his loot rewards.

Group Finder

  • Travelling to a new area while in a Group Finder queue no longer occasionally causes the UI to behave as if the player is not in the queue.

Items

  • Campaign armorings are now available for purchase on the Black Hole vendor for Black Hole Commendations.
  • Dread Guard relics are now available on the Daily vendor for 300 Daily Commendations.
  • A new set of droid armor is now available from the Daily vendor.
  • More robes have been adjusted so that their backsides are not inappropriately large when worn.

Miscellaneous Bug Fixes

  • Several typos and instances of incorrect text have been corrected in all languages.
  • The Imperial Medcenter in the vicinity of the wreck of the Ambria’s Fury has been moved Northeast.

Date: Oct 12, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

After yesterday’s announcement of SWTOR taking home four Game Developers Choice awards, BioWare showed off another surprise and released Game Update 1.5 on the Public Test Server for our previewing pleasure. Here’s a bit about what’s included in Game Update 1.5:

Game Update 1.5 is now live on our Public Test Server! For those of you that already have high level, copied characters on our Public Test Server, we encourage you to explore Sector X, Nightmare Explosive Conflict, and the other new features on the Public Test Server right now. Get on, check everything out, and give us your feedback by posting on the Public Test Server forum. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to offer the ability to copy characters for this test nor will there be any rewards offered for testing. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Game Update 1.5 contains a host of new features including:

  • New playable companion, HK-51 – Begin your journey to unlock one of the galaxies deadliest assassins.
  • Section X –Head to Belsavis to discover this new daily hub and learn what you can do to help stop the Dread Masters in their newest scheme.
  • Nightmare Mode Explosive Conflict – Take on even greater challenges in Explosive Conflict to earn the final pieces of the Dread Guard set and more.

Please note, at this time, we will not be providing Customer Support for this test server. Attempts to file in-game tickets will result in an error message and will not be processed. Please use the Public Test Server Forums for feedback and any issues you may experience. All gameplay policies are still in place; inappropriate or abusive players will not be tolerated on the test server and we ask that you please report this behavior to Customer Support here.

Be sure to click here to view the current Game Update 1.5 patch notes.

The Belsavis dailies and HK-51 quest items were recently discovered during some keen-eyed player datamining, but it’s awesome to finally see concrete details about the next major Game Update. Many players guessed that HK-51 would be delayed until SWTOR’s big free-to-play move, but it seems we’ll be gaining access to our new companion before that time. Good news for HK model fans!

For players actively taking part in the PTS testing, BioWare has updated the patch notes to include a list of known issues regarding the update.

Date: Oct 4, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

As with any major Game Update, 1.4 has seen its fair share of bugs and issues. Yesterday, Joveth Gonzalez, Community Manager, started a thread to keep track of the top issues and concerns that BioWare is looking to quickly address and fix. Here is the post:

Originally posted by JovethGonzalez (Source)


We wanted to take some time to update the community on the status of the top reported Game Update 1.4 issues. Many of you follow our official responses via the Dev Tracker and our Known Issues thread, but we wanted to make sure that there was one central place to have the latest updates on these issues. Below, you will find the most frequently reported issues since Game Update 1.4 and their current statuses. This is not a comprehensive list, but is meant to encompass the most reported issues since the last Game Update.

We are aware of and are investigating the following issues:

• General performance issues.
• Weekly missions are not consistently available.
• Warzone matches sometimes grant the win to the incorrect team.
• Some Crew Skill Missions are currently returning less materials than intended.
• The Bounty Hunter ship cannot be destroyed during the Jindo Krey encounter in the False Emperor.
• Galactic Trade Network searches are not functioning as intended, and Strength is missing from the Stats filter.
• The Hide Helmet option does not function from the Social Tab.
• Hide Helmet for Companions does not currently function correctly.
• Right-clicking player names in chat does not open the context menu.
• Players are able to consume schematics for items that they can already create.
• Same-faction PvP matches sometimes use incorrect voiceovers.

Again, this isn’t a comprehensive list, but know that we are working to make sure that we enhance the player experience by resolving these and other reported issues. Thank you very much for your patience!

Some players have also put together a quite extensive list of bugs and issues added to the game in Game Update 1.4.

Date: Sep 25, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

During tonight’s regularly scheduled server maintenance, BioWare will be deploying Game Update 1.4 on live servers. Remember when the team announced we’d definitely be seeing 1.4 before the end of September? So far, so good– the team’s on track. Here is the official announcement, which can be found in full here:

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 EDT/8AM BST/9AM CEST/5PM AEST) until 8AM CDT (6AM PDT/9AM EDT/2PM BST/3PM CEST/11PM AEST). All game servers will be offline during this period. This maintenance is expected to take no more than six hours, but could be extended.

Travel to the Gree controlled planet of Asation, where you’ll join others in an intense series of battles leading up to a final face-off against an unyielding enemy. It’s up to your team to close the Ancient Hypergate, opened by the deadly and malicious Dread Masters, and destroy a galactic goliath before it destroys the galaxy! Learn more about Game Update 1.4 here!

After this maintenance is over, restart the game launcher to patch to Game Update 1.4.

Game Update 1.4 includes Terror from Beyond, which is the new Operation, some interesting quality-of-life changes, new gear sets, and a handful of extensive class changes.

Date: Sep 25, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: Buzz, News  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

Last week, BioWare published a Community News article detailing some of the quality-of-life changes coming to SWTOR in Game Update 1.4. Quality-of-life details are important in any MMORPG, and SWTOR is no exception– they’re the little things that make us want to make a digital home within a game world, socialize, and just have a good time with our characters. With such a huge IP like Star Wars to work with, the expectations for quality-of-life features are rather high. We want to do more than just kill mobs in SWTOR– we want to live that Star Wars adventure.

Bit by bit, BioWare is slowly adding these important, small quality-of-life features:

On top of the major features that we work on and deliver to the fans, we also try to work in smaller features to improve the overall quality of life for our players. Game update 1.4 has several of these features, and it’s worth calling these out.

The article continues to give information about the different quality-of-life features coming in Game Update 1.4, including a Group Finder end teleport, mistake purchase two-hour “buyback” options for bound items, character moods, and matching companion customization options.

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