Star Wars: The Old Republic Confines Same-Sex Romance to One Planet


The hits just keep on coming for BioWare and EA’s ill-fated Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic. After a less-than stellar launch and a much maligned move to free-to-play, the game is getting its first major expansion in the form of the Rise of the Hutt Cartel, which will feature, of all things, a planet where same-sex romances are permitted.

This might not seem too strange to people who haven’t played The Old Republic, but Makeb, as the planet is called, is the only place in the entire game where player characters can engage in same-sex romances with NPCs. This doesn’t turn previous companions into romance options, or even add new companions with this feature (because that would be “too difficult” according to the developers), but rather places new characters exclusively on Makeb.

As if that wasn’t strange enough, making this part of the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion means that same-sex romances are available only after paying for it. Putting SGR (same-gender romance as the TOR forums call it) on a single planet behind a paywall just smacks of not only laziness, but a lack of respect for customers looking for that kind of content. Continue reading Star Wars: The Old Republic Confines Same-Sex Romance to One Planet

The Old Republic Will Add Free to Play Option This Fall

star wars the old republic free to play

This wasn’t the MMO people were looking for, it seems, as not even one year after release, BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic will be adding a Free to Play option to entice players to either give the game a shot or just re-up the account.

BioWare also revealed that they are increasing the frequency of their content drops, adding in a bunch of new stuff between now and the Free to Play launch. New companions, such as an HK-51 assassin droid, warzones and space combat mission are expected.

To clarify, The Old Republic will still have a subscription option in addition to the Free to Play method, and paid customers will earn “Cartel Coins” based on how long they’ve been paying, or if they bought the collector’s edition, things of that nature. Cartel Coins can be used to purchase exclusive vanity items, such as Darth Nihilus’ mask and a party Jawa pet.

Considering that almost every month since The Old Republic’s release has seen at least a couple articles about how much trouble that game is in, I’m not surprised that a Free to Play option is coming in before the game’s first anniversary. Will it get people to actually try the game? I’m certain that the price tag is right for some, but the lack of a viable end-game will cause the numbers to drop off again.

That’s just what I think though. Is Free to Play just what the doctor ordered for this struggling MMO? Will you actually play the game when it goes free?

Source – Star Wars: The Old Republic

GamerSushi Asks: Favorite Gaming News of 2011?

Penny Arcade

Kind of hard to believe that it’s the last stinking day of 2011. It’s a year that we all couldn’t wait to see at the end of 2010, particularly because we knew that there were tons of games and even more surprises waiting for us in the wings. We knew that it could stand to be one of the best years of gaming we’ve ever seen, and in hindsight, it truly might have been.

But in addition to the games, 2011 brought with it a variety of other gaming news items. We saw the announcement of the Nintendo WiiU and the 3DS. It also brought us word of the Playstation Vita, the calamitous PSN hack and the Modern Warfare 3 leak. More recently, it even brought us the dramatic Penny-Arcade/Ocean Marketing snafu. And finally, the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic and Duke Nukem Forever.

So, in a year full of twists, turns, announcements, debacles, wild successes and major fails, what would you rank as your favorite bit of news that you heard in 2011? It doesn’t have to be something we posted here on the ol’ Sushi, but if you love us that much, feel free to tell us. Go!

Roll Call: Star Wars: The Old Republic

the old republic launch

We’re finally here, friends, at the end of four years of waiting and watching and over-sized lightsabers. BioWare’s first foray into MMO territory, Star Wars: The Old Republic, begins its pre-order roll out today in advance of its actual release on the 20 of December. If you pre-ordered the game and entered the code on the TOR website you can get in early between now and the 20 depending on how far in advance you completed the process (confusing, I know).

I pre-ordered the game, but I didn’t do it until November, so I probably won’t be playing until the weekend or even the 19, but I’ve had a few opportunities to try out the Beta, so that’s OK (pretty sure the NDA on those things have expired). My guild and I are deploying as heartless Imperials and I’m taking on the Bounty Hunter class for my first outing. I avoided this build during the Beta, so I’m ready for a fresh experience when I jump in. My guild will be on the Lord Praven server, if anybody wants to play with the only GS staff member who will be giving TOR a shot on release.

The Old Republic hasn’t exactly been a hot topic around here, but I still thought I’d put up a Roll Call as this is the last big release of 2012 (except for the Back to Karkand DLC which also comes out today). Anybody else playing TOR? Which class are you playing as? Any interest on trying the game in the future? Also, what are you thoughts on me keeping a journal of sorts for the first month of the game as a kind of review?

What The Old Republic Needs to Do to Survive

As GamerSushi’s resident MMO player (that is to say, the person with the most experience), I believe it is my duty to try out BioWare’s upcoming Star Wars flavored offering, The Old Republic. While I don’t currently play any MMOs, I’ve made my history with that genre well known on this site, starting with Sony’s Star Wars Galaxies, then moving to World of Warcraft and trying City of Heroes and Champions Online in between.

Since I have such a breadth of knowledge about MMOs and what makes them tick, that means I’m well positioned to know that there are certain check-boxes that The Old Republic needs to cross off to be considered a “success” in this most competitive of arenas. While it isn’t going to unseat World of Warcraft, there are some very important features it needs to launch with in order to ensure that it lives past its first year. What are those things, you might be asking? Read on, and you’ll find out just what The Old Republic needs to do to stay afloat.
Continue reading What The Old Republic Needs to Do to Survive

Rumor: Bioware Blogger Reveals The Old Republic’s $300 Million Price Tag and Other EA Secrets

The Old Republic

The rumor mill churned out a doozy today, kids. A person claiming to work at Bioware Mythic started a blog, EA Louse, and has decided to air out some dirty laundry, the kind that I’m sure the masters at EA would rather the world not know. Granted, all of this is unconfirmed, but it’s too juicy to just ignore. Some of the tidbits include details about upcoming EA layoffs in November, keeping with the current trend in the industry of letting people go just before the holidays.

In addition, he or she claims that the budget for the upcoming Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic, is a whopping $300 million and that EA is panicking because they realize now that they have a failure on their hands. He goes on to claim that it will be the biggest MMO failure in EA’s history. There is plenty more on there, including some gossip about Warhammer, so head on over if you want to read more about that.

Assuming (dangerous, I know) that this is true, it would spell disaster for EA, as that is a lot of money to throw out the window. Do you see any truth to these claims? Do you think it’s ethical for an employee to reveal company dirt like this? Let’s hear it!

Source: EA Louse

Space Combat for The Old Republic Explained

TORStar Wars: The Old Republic is number one on my list for upcoming PC releases, doubly so because it has the delicious flavor of a BioWare Star Wars game and an MMO rolled in to one. I know that there was a Star Wars MMO previously, but that was Galaxies by Sony Online Entertainment, and my therapist has advised me not to speak of that relationship. Regardless of how Galaxies was handled, one of the few things SOE did well was the space combat, taking away the turn-based dance endemic to MMORPG ground combat and making a more twitch-based system that resembled the X-Wing games of yore. Before the special ships were introduced and ruined the space combat with their ability to stock the highest grade equipment, blasting around between the planets was great fun. Star Wars just isn’t Star Wars without extra-planetary combat, and it seems that BioWare feels the same way.

MMO mega-site Massively (via the upcoming October issue of PC Gamer) reports that the space segments of The Old Republic will be “tunnel-based” as opposed to the free-form combat of its predecessors. If you’re having trouble picturing this sort of gameplay, think StarFox 64 or the old Rebel Assault titles. BioWare is apparently doing this to create a “cinematic” feel for players. I’ll reserve my judgment until I play the game itself, but I’d rather see a X-Wing vs TIE Fighter scenario. Massively does mention achievements, though, so I’ll be easier to mollify if that’s the case.

What do you guys think about this? Down for some rail-shooting, or do you hope BioWare will break out the combat for the inevitable PVP arenas?

Source: Massivley

Check Out These Star Wars: TOR Gameplay Clips

I know that Bioware has shown off little bits of The Old Republic gameplay here and there, but I’ve largely been avoiding it so I could see a more lengthy piece that showed a healthier stretch all together. Well, because of E3, we’ve gotten several of those in a row, taking us on a small quest through numerous classes.

In terms of the gameplay, I’m not quire sure how I feel about it. It doesn’t appear particularly exciting, but then again I’ve never played an MMO. In terms of MMO combat, this is about as exciting as it gets, from watching friends play WoW. It’s also fairly impressive that the entire thing is going to be voiced, which is a gigantic undertaking for that many quests.

What do you guys think? Check out the lightsaber gameplay below, along with the other class videos after the jump. I’ve even included the video that tells you all about ships, which act as the players’ homes in the MMO.

Continue reading Check Out These Star Wars: TOR Gameplay Clips

TOR: Hope of Alderaan Trailer

While the Ubisoft press conference was mostly a complete and utter disaster today at E3 2010, EA came through with some nice tidbits and announcements. In particular, there was this rad Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer called The Hope of Alderaan, which has some spectacular jedi on dark jedi action sequences. Sure, it flies in the face of Canon possibly, but who cares, because it is epic.

Still no word on a release date or some official gameplay footage yet from Bioware, but hopefully we’ll get some more information about either of those sometime later this week. We’re running on a couple of these great trailers for the last two years with no idea of when we can expect to see and play this game. Get a move on, Bioware!

Blizzard Dispenses Advice for Failing MMOs

If you’re setting out to make a successful MMO, I imagine that there’s one undercurrent of thought running throughout the entire design phase: be like World of Warcraft. It seems like a sound plan, seeing as how that game pumps out more golden Ferraris than a Twilight movie release, but it may backfire on you sooner than you think.

According to Blizzard Lead Producer Shane Dabiri, more WoW clones are not what MMORPG fans want right now. While he says that Blizzard finds it flattering that so many companies want to emulate their success with World of Warcraft (imitation is the most sincere form of adulation, after all), trying to pull the same maneuvers may not lead to the big hit that most developers hope for.

He goes on to say that people who have invested a lot of time in Warcraft don’t want to do the same things in a different game. As a Warcraft player myself, I couldn’t agree more. Before I moved over to Blizzard’s digital demolisher I used to play Star Wars Galaxies, which, while it had its problems, was a fairly unique and engaging game. All that changed when the development team took a look at Warcraft and said “we need to do that!”

Soon after that all the hybrid classes were gone, the economy got thrown out the window and Jedi ran all over the place like a herd of ill-disciplined children. Star Wars Galaxies tried so hard to be World of Warcraft but fell so far short it was almost embarrassing. Game after game has bowed to the mighty MMO, but there are few titles on the horizon that may challenge the market by being different. The upcoming Star Wars MMO by BioWare is my current favorite to at least show some decent competition, but I can’t pretend that DC Online isn’t making a strong bid either.

What do you guys think? Has World of Warcraft ruined the MMO scene, or will future MMOs learn a lesson and try something new?

Source: CVG

Star Wars: The Old Republic Timeline Trailer 3

Bioware needs to stop teasing me about this game that I can not and must not allow myself to play. Star Wars: The Old Republic, as an MMO, would probably be the end of my social life as I know it, but I can’t help but watch these awesome trailers and hold down my excitement. The newest trailer is yet another glimpse of the timeline of the new game, this time chronicling the rise of the new Mandalore. Nerdy and awesome? You bet.

First Old Republic Webcomic Is Live

swtorBioware is hard at work on The Old Republic, the MMO continuation of the KOTOR franchise. Right now, this is the only MMO that I’ve ever really been tempted to play, and the more content I see, the more I just salivate and have to avoid the Internet altogether. Seriously, this game might ruin me.

In preparation for the inevitable albeit mysterious release date of the Star Wars MMO, Bioware has published the first TOR webcomic. By the time the game comes out, there will be six total. Perhaps when the second one comes out, we’ll have a better idea of when this game might launch.

As far as webcomics go, I’m a big fan of the art, and it looks like it’s setting us up for a pretty grand and epic space opera once the game hits. While many of the commenters hilariously feel the need to gripe about what is just a bit of a prequel piece, I enjoyed it. What do you guys think?

Source- Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic Trailer

Here’s a new trailer from Bioware’s MMO, The Old Republic. While it may seem like just a regular old “making of” featurette, there’s actually a good bit of stuff from the game as it goes on. The more I see from this game, the more it ratchets up the “do want” meter that exists somewhere inside of my brain. Curse you Bioware!

Source- Kotaku