SWTOR: Through Victory, My Chains Are Broken*

February 18, 2011

*Not applicable when dead.

Another month, another Fan Friday for Star Wars: The Old Republic, featuring fan creations and forum goodies for the community.

Frankly, I am shocked — SHOCKED! — that they are able to pull off such a wide range of expressions using a Sullustan. Though, what the heck, #1 and #4 appear to be the same smilie, and #6 is a good reason why this species should never ever ever be given teeth. Good god, get that thing away from me.

Of course, no Fan Friday is complete now without a Studio Insider with another Community Q&A installment, and Concept Artist Diego Almazan explains the process of how he created his concept for the Sith burial ground.

I really wish they had included a bit of lore to go with it. Personally, I find it fascinating that this Sith tomb or temple is also described as a “prison for the dead”. You see a lot of cases of cultures constructing temples and large necropolises to honor or immortalize their dead, protecting the tomb’s contents and grave goods from the outside…usually not the other way around.

I would assume that a Sith burial ground meant they interred their own people here. Did that include any ancient Sith lords? Because that really says a lot about how they viewed their masters. Which I guess isn’t really all that surprising, given what I’ve learned recently from reading some Star Wars books. At the moment, I’m working my way through the Darth Bane trilogy by Drew Karpyshyn and even though it takes place more than two thousand years after the events of SWTOR, it talks enough about the old self-destructive ways of the Sith Order, where Sith plotted against other Sith in a never-ending cycle of distrust and infighting.

In any case, I liked the concept art of the tomb itself. Looking forward to seeing what it would actually look like in-game.

It’s a pretty light week, even I have to admit. Questions in the Q&A are mostly from folks who are worried about one thing or another, and answers are predictably and maddeningly vague. I am hoping they are saving some big news for PAX East, at which I am definitely going to stop by their Booth 912. And if the pattern holds, next week might be the Bounty Hunter class video and update. Come on, Bioware, make it so!


  1. Well, you know how the dead Force users frequently came back as ghosts…I can see that the Sith might not want…convieniently deceased Sith Lords coming back after their funeral…

    • That’s true, I guess. Not to mention the problem with clones…

  2. my impression has always been that after death, the dark side is not a nice place to be. it grabs hold of the consciousness of its users and does not let go. That’s what I understood the prison reference to mean.

    • I thought maybe the prison reference was more literal when I read the part about “sealing away unlucky prisoners for eternity”. Which actually made me rethink that this place was instead a place the Sith used to lock their enemies up. Damn, this is why I wish they had included some description to the place.

  3. I don’t see how anyone could be against Sullustan toothy grin. That smile just says “I’m someone you can trust.”http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/alicepic/disney-movie/cheshire-cat-5.jpg

    Overall, the update wasn’t too bad. Definitely not the most satisfying—by a longshot—but far from absolutely terrible. I enjoyed the concept art, and I always like when the artists describe how they created their pieces, but the Q&A just felt so hollow for me. Most of the questions answered were from Facebook, so I don’t hold it against BioWare that they answered them. It would be foolish to assume everyone who hears about this game is going to register at the site and use the official Q&A thread. But those people are an important demographic that BioWare needs to keep informed, as well. Maybe the fact that BioWare touted their 250k Facebook likes recently should have been a clue they would go this route. In any case, that was probably the least satisfying part of the update for me–usually it’s one of my favorites.

    In Star Wars lore, it seems like powerful people, especially Sith, can be as much or more of a nuisance in death than they were while alive. If that’s the case, I imagine a Sith who has just attained power will want to make sure none of the elders will rise to challenge their seat—by sealing the “dearly departed” behind thick, heavily fortified walls.

    This was far from my favorite update, but I’m only mildly hoping for anything big before PAX East.

    BioWare stated long ago that they have a marketing schedule, and that they are sticking to it; I don’t imagine the weeks leading up to big conventions constitute “vital” marketing days for them.

    • I’m sorry, but a toothy Sullustan is just creepy 😛

      And yeah, the answers in the Q&A were really vague. Like the one to the question about solo players at endgame. It was pretty much your standard diplomatic answer that told you nothing, they might as well have fallen back on their classic “We’re not ready to reveal that yet” 😛 It also seemed like they chose the most “non-threatening” questions to answer, ones that are already known or that players are able to deduce for themselves.

      I agree, this wasn’t a terrible update, but I felt even for a fan friday it was more lackluster than usual. I’ve been preparing for a lull in news in the weeks leading up to PAX East though, so I haven’t been expecting a lot.

      • I agree about the answers being purposefully vague. That seems to be par for the course with BioWare. It’s like asking for milk, and BioWare gives you skim—technically, it’s still milk, but just barely.

        The Cheshire Cat’s grin was creepy, too, so I guess I can’t say you’re wrong there. But I still smiled at it, funny enough.

        I haven’t expected too much from the Friday updates recently. I’ve been getting most of my info from Darthhater’s “DevTracker Highlights for the Week” posts (which are brilliant, by the by). I find those have more info than even the Friday updates. For instance, just this week I learned from the DevTracker that:

        1.) Your ship’s dock is your bank.

        2.) Every AC has a PvP-worthy spec (though I am still waiting to hear whether or not BioWare intends to throw tanks under the bus like so many other PvP systems).

        3.) Twinking a friend’s toon (by killing comparable monsters to your level in order to power level your low level friends) is not out of the question in the system, as it stands right now.

        4.)30m is the standard range for long ranged attacks.

        5.) At PAX, there will still be “placeholder” functions still in the game (things that will be replaced eventually), but those who test the game will also get to see features that will be in their final launch phase.

        6.) Finally, permanent destruction of armor due to deterioration is not something that will be a concern in SWTOR.

        In just one week of DevTracker posts, several questions that I had before were either answered, or given at least some clarification as to where they stand right now.

        Unfortunately, too many people get all their info from Friday updates only.

        To anyone casually following the game that visits here: please don’t neglect the fan sites.

        Often, SWTOR fansites have info, or at least give deeper perspective on already established info, that rivals anything you will find on just the official site. If you really want to get a feel for the game, stop by sites like Darth Hater, TOROcast, Ask A Jedi, Corellian Run Radio, TOR Syndicate, KotorMMO, Mos Eisley Radio, and many more.

        Honestly, if it weren’t for DH and the fan sites, my enthusiasm for SWTOR might have burned out a long time ago.

      • And to add to that list, there is of course the dev tracker link:


        I have that bookmarked actually, so I did see those, plus I follow DH on twitter for up to date stuff on SWTOR. They’re really good with that. Right now I write about Friday updates because I suppose it’s become a bit of a tradition on my blog, but I’ll also write about the game if I see something interesting. Sometimes I wish I could start a separate pure SWTOR blog to write about everything I find out about the game, but alas I have no time…and at this point the info is still too scarce for a generalist like me to focus on the game with MMOGC. I may revisit this again as we get closer to release and when it actually comes out though, because then I expect SWTOR will be my MMO of choice for a looooong time 😀

        I guess the thing with casual fans though, is that they might be so casual that they don’t even follow the Friday updates. At that point, they probably won’t ever think about reading fansites or blogs. At the same time, I doubt those folks are the ones badgering BioWare. Those that do are probably really into it and already know the main avenues for information. So it balances out 🙂

      • Lol, actually, I think it’s cool that you follow the Friday updates specifically. There may in fact be people who aren’t even fully aware of Friday updates. Even if the updates aren’t always chock full of goodies, they are still worth discussing. Moreover, they usually lead to good conversation. (P.S. – Yes, time can be maddening. There hardly seems enough of it.)

        I’m sure there will be an explosion of info to talk about once the NDA is lifted, and when people start getting into open beta (I know I’ll be there). That is when people outside the rabid fan community are likely to get a true taste of the game. Until then, you just have to follow the road of SWTOR info and be willing to make some frequent detours if you see anything that looks even remotely interesting.

        I’m just glad that SWTOR is heading into the “homestretch”. But somehow, I get the feeling these next few months of waiting are going to be a bitch.

  4. […] What is the most powerful tool of the game developer? Surely the player’s imagination. Like MMOGamerChick, I’ve been slowly boosting my lore circuitry leading up to SWTOR to head off a serious […]

  5. Dang, ‘prison of the dead’ is such a good way to put it! Given the nature of the Sith, it makes complete sense — once you kill someone, you want to make damn sure that they stay dead (which, given the nature of Sith magic, isn’t guaranteed). Of course, baring perma-death, just make sure that they can’t get out of the coffin when they wake back up. 🙂

    • TL;DR — Dang, I think BioWare is doing a good job!

      • According to some of the novels I’m reading, the Sith of old liked to haunt their own tombs too, waiting to impart their wisdom on the worthy. Creepy.

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