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SWTOR: Friday Grab Bag

June 3, 2011

Quite a lot of Star Wars: The Old Republic updates to cover today, not just from the game site but from all around the net, which is something of a surprise considering how close we are coming up on E3. Granted, nothing earth-shattering, but I had expected things to get a little quiet. Or is this a sign of things moving forward, since by all accounts SWTOR is still on track for a 2011 release?

Advanced Class Page Update

First from swtor.com, the webpage for Advanced Classes has been overhauled so you can see their information laid out nicely without digging through all the regular class pages. You can view how a particular class “branches”, as well as the various skill-sets that become available as you level. A bunch of passive class abilities can be gleaned from this update, but otherwise it’s purely an improvement to the official site. Still, it’s much more informational than what we had before, and just look at all the pretty colors now!

New Lost Suns Comic

Another comic that will tie into the story line of SWTOR, taking place at the same time as the start of the game. The first issue of “The Lost Suns” will be available from next Wednesday, this time not as an e-comic, so I’m going to have to make the trek to my neighborhood comic book store.

I think this is going to be a good one. Written by the same writer who did the “Blood of the Empire” (which I enjoyed a lot), “The Lost Suns” will star Theron Shan as a Republic spy sent on a mission to discover secrets of the Sith Empire. Yep, another Shan. Glad to see Bastila’s line has been so prolific. Theron, however, is apparently the estranged son of the Grand Master Jedi Satele Shan — but he himself is not a Jedi. From the moment “a secret son” was translated from the Aurebesh found on Satele’s biography page, the identity of this young man had been shrouded in mystery, making me wonder if the title of the comic is also meant to be a clever play on words.

Ah, the delicious mystery — this is why I love comic and book tie-ins. The Q&A also states that Theron’s story will have profound repercussions on the plots in the game, along with “about a hundred pages’ worth of aliens, outfits, spaceships, and landscapes based on game content”. Sounds good, though I would probably pick this one up even if it had zip to do with SWTOR. I can never turn down a good Star Wars comic after all.

SWTOR at E3

E3 is right around the corner. This new article pretty much lays out what to expect — sneak previews of an encounter with the Eternity Vault on the planet of Belsavis, the struggle to dethrone a usurper on Alderaan, and a battle with Sandpeople and more on Tattooine.

Signs also point to the possibility of a new cinematic trailer, just like the last couple of years. If you get the swtor.com newsletter, you might have noticed an image at the bottom of the email teasing something happening on the site June 6:

If the image looks familiar, that’s because we’ve already seen snippets of it from the novel trailer for “Deceived“. As Jaramukhti has already pointed out months ago, that seemed like a hell of a lot of work just for a book trailer, no? His hopes that the footage will turn out to be the making of a new cinematic may pan out after all. Me, I’m hoping it will be a release date trailer! Too optimistic, maybe?

MMORPG.com Interview

A pretty comprehensive interview with Georg Zoeller on the subject of Advanced Classes, going over the system and looking more closely at specific abilities and details of the classes. I think the reason why there’s so much information on these ACs is that they’re really trying to emphasize the point that it’s really more like 8 classes per faction rather than the 4 — each branch will have its own story, the AC choice will not be optional, and as far as I know, once you make the decision you can’t take it back.

EA Launches Origin

EA debuts Origin today, their new direct-to-consumer gaming platform for gamers to purchase and download EA games and other content. They’re clearly gunning for services like Steam with this, which is both bad and good I guess, since I do all my digital game purchases through Steam exclusively at the moment, but buying stuff like DLC and other content for Mass Effect, Dragon Age etc. and keeping it all together could be easier with Origin.

In addition, “digital downloads of Star Wars: The Old Republic will be available exclusively on Origin later this year”. What this means for me, I don’t know. I was always planning on getting a boxed Collector’s Edition, but the idea of no-hassle digital delivery is also very appealing. But what to do, what to do, when both avenues will no doubt offer “exclusives” to tempt me?

More…?

I’ve been keeping an eye on Twitter all morning, and the forecast was calling for scattered SWTOR updates throughout the day from everywhere. There may be more coming, I don’t know, but they’re definitely ramping up for E3 and when next week rolls around I’m sure things will get even more crazy.

7 comments

  1. The news about Origin kind of came out of left field for me. I wasn’t expecting to have to consider getting another online downloading client, but I do see some good things that can come from it. BioWare has always made use of DLC content with their games, and seeing as how EA is moving in a much better direction these days, I wouldn’t mind having easy access to digital EA titles.

    That said, I always intended to get the Collector’s Edition of SWTOR, and I don’t think Origin will change that plan. Origin can’t give me a hard copy art book, or any other physical goodies that Collector’s Editions usually include.

    The update to the AC section of the site was a win in my book. A lot of SWTOR followers appreciate having something relatively concrete to use as a guideline when making future class plans (I say relatively because, as Georg Zoeller said, things are always subject to change).

    At this point, I am 100% positive we’re in for another cinematic trailer. They may have stopped just short of saying “Yes, we have a new cinematic coming.”, but you barely need sight to be able to read between the lines they provided in their E3 plans.

    I hadn’t been on twitter today. If there are even more updates coming, my head will be swimming in gamer bliss.

    I won’t say BioWare is going to announce a release date at E3, because it is far from a certainty. But there are but very few conventions where a release date would get the most press coverage, and deliver a huge pop.

    E3 is one of those.


    • I’ll have to rethink this again once I see what’s in the Collector’s Edition. Yeah, I definitely want the soundtrack and artbook if they’re available, but if they end up selling the former digitally on Origin and the latter as an individual item later in book stores like what Blizzard does with their WoW artbooks, I can get it then. Guess it also depends on what digital goodies Origin will end up offering, so I can compare to what the CE will offer. The promise of no-hassle digital delivery and the possibility of a pre-load does appeal to me more than I thought.

      And you’re probably right about the cinematic trailer. I wonder what the story is behind that Sith…a young Malgus? You’d think, since that footage was used in the Deceived novel trailer. But BioWare also said it’s another interesting story they want to tell, so if it’s Malgus, what’s something that important that takes place in the past well before the events of the Alderaan invasion and sacking of Coruscant, etc?

      And I hope you don’t mind me asking, what’s your twitter handle?


      • I am positive it is Malgus. He sounds exactly the same as the voice actor from the Deceived trailer, so I would bet money on it.

        If I had to think of events worthy of inclusion in a new cinematic, I think the Sith’s recolonization of Korriban, and the Jedi’s rediscovery of their home world, are two good candidates. I’ll have to look it up a bit more, but I’m pretty sure somewhere in the time between KotOR 2 and SWTOR, the Sith lost their grip on Korriban. Malgus leading them back would be something parallel to Satele leading the Jedi back to the world of their origin, at least in importance. Either way, since the first cinematic was Empire focused, and the 2nd was Republic focused, it only makes sense to have this last one be some combination of the two. Malgus definitely looks to make an appearance, and I just have this gut feeling Satele will, as well.

        My twitter is CrazyYojimbo (no space between the words) — but I almost never use it for anything but following different news sources, or posting comments on certain sites that require a twitter account. I think my last tweet was something like last October.lol


  2. I tell you what, when i first saw the first update on fb, i was upset it seemed like i would have to wait till monday for some Fan Friday Goodness, then there came the bombshells :).

    If it’s one thing that really gets my juices flowing, it’s thinking about the advanced Classes, the more i did though, the more i just found myself saying, “Trooper: Commando, Jedi?—-> Sentinel, Smuggler: Sharpshooter, Agent: Sniper”

    I swear i’m probably never going to tank at all, but then there’s the thoughts of no one class or AC playing alike, and the possibility of being a walking tank of death, and i got excited all voer again, UGGGGH i wish there was more info aside from the tidbits on the page, but i guess that’s enough to keep my tip wet lol.

    Still, overall, i can’t wait for E3 and ya know what? It’s now or never on that damned release date, i’m convinced if it’s not dropped at E3, then it aint comin out this year.

    On another note, Collector’s edition is a must, i can only imagine what goodies IN GAME we’ll get for it. I’m hoping for an exclusive Companion maybe :D…….


    • Yeah, it was nice of them to drop so many updates. Nothing big, but I like a day filled with SWTOR goodness of any kind. And I hope you’re right. I’d be very happy if they name a release date at E3 this year 😀

      And yeah I’ve been doing some thinking. Collector’s Edition for sure. I really hope I’ll be able to get my hands on one.


  3. The news of Origin made me cringe. I knew it was coming (friend of mine is a former EA employee) but in typical EA fashion they are botching it. The trouble comes down to the fact that each of these digital distribution systems needs to be installed and running. The are competing with one another. Putting SWTOR on Origin exclusively is shooting themselves in the foot. Given the choice of Origin or Steam I am going to stick with Steam. My Steam account is closing in on 200 titles spread across dozens of developers. How is Origin supposed to compete with that. They’re going to have… Ooooh, EA games. *finger twirl* Unless a digital distribution system is multi-developer it is doomed to fail from the gate.

    By cutting SWTOR off from Steam they are only hurting themselves. This means they are forcing the choice of another install of a piece of software most people won’t use (lame) or purchasing from a brick & mortar store. The latter of which cuts into their profits more than Steam would.

    Basically EA shows, once again, it doesn’t get it.


    • Perhaps EA thinks they have more clout than they actually do. I agree, it’s probably going to end up a bad decision in the end, selling SWTOR exclusively through Origin. It’s already annoying the hell out of a lot of people, including me. I like digital delivery as much as the next gamer, but when there’s a crap load of them all with their own social networks and all that junk, it’s just not practical. Right now I only use Steam and I don’t even have that many games…but for someone like you with hundreds, I can see how this would make you cringe.



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