Wednesday, October 21, 2015

New SWTOR Companion System (the Alliance System)

Introducing the Alliance System
Be it the cheeky Astromech Droid, the stalwart Wookiee partner-in-crime, the ambitious upstart apprentice that is yours alone to mold, or any of the other 40-odd characters found in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ to-date; we all know and love our Companions (especially the chronically under-appreciated ship droids!). Companion characters have always been a big part of our personal stories, and with the upcoming release of the new Digital Expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, comes an even deeper focus on characters and storytelling. For this reason it only makes sense that we would seek to include our beloved friends (especially the ship droids!!) in that experience.

Knights of the Fallen Empire has given us an excellent opportunity to take stock of the role of Companions within Star Wars: The Old Republic (from both a gameplay and storytelling standpoint), and to enhance their behavior and mechanics, which have remained largely unchanged since the original launch of the game. I'd therefore like to take some time to share with you some details about the changes and new features related to Companions that will be coming with the launch of Game Update 4.0, as well as some of our thoughts behind these changes.

The Goal of Our Companion System Improvements
Before we dive into the details, allow me to go just a bit into the "why", to provide some context for the reasoning that was guiding many of the choices we made.

Removing Companion Usage Barriers

Here's a familiar scenario: Over the course of your adventures, you meet a new Companion character. They seem like an interesting, fun, or cool character, and you might like to run around the galaxy with them for a bit... but it turns out that their abilities just aren't a good match for your combat style... so you never use them. Ever.

One of our biggest design goals is to try and eliminate as much as possible the artificial barriers that prevent you from playing with the Companions you want, when you want, and how you want.<br />
<!--more-->Rewards for Spending Time with Your Companions, Rather than Flattering Them

Another familiar scenario: You're presented with a story choice in a conversation. You know in your mind how your character wants to answer... but the Companion you've got with you will hate that answer, and you don't want to lose Affection with them, so you instead pick the answer that the Companion wants to hear.

As much as possible, we want you to be able to participate in the story and make the decisions that you feel are true to your character.

Expandability and Versatility

Simply put, we need to make sure the Companion system has both the versatility, and expandability necessary to keep up with your desires to have bolder, more meaningful choice options, as well as to fully utilize the incredible storytelling potential of Knights of the Fallen Empire’s episodic narrative.

Companion System Changes:

With the release of Game Update 4.0, all Companion characters will now be able to switch between all three primary combat roles. When summoned, a Companion's portrait will display an icon signifying their current combat role. The combat role can be changed at any time (provided you are not currently in combat) by right clicking on their portrait, and selecting a new role.

When a Companion's combat role is changed, their ability bar will fully swap out for their updated role's abilities.

This change is huge in terms of addressing our first goal of removing Companion usage barriers. Are you a Jedi Consular who dreams of nothing but galactic adventures with Qyzen Fess, only to be foiled by the fact that you want a healer Companion? Your longing has come to an end!

Beyond lowering barriers, though, this change is also extremely important for the storytelling purposes of our third goal. Now that any Companion can fill any role, we will no longer have situations where we can't allow "serious consequences" to befall certain Companions, just because it might leave a player with no other Companion that can fill a given role.

Companion Gear Now Purely Aesthetic, Companion Combat Stats Scale With Level

This was one of the tougher decisions we had to make, and while we anticipate it being one of the more controversial, we're still confident that this is the right call to make based on comments from players.

The simple reality is that, more often than not, the need to gear Companions has wound up being more of a cumbersome hindrance -- not to mention a significant barrier to Companion use -- than a source of meaningful or satisfying Companionship and progression. The recent 12xp experience promotion and the Epic Story Boost have only brought this issue into sharper relief.

Therefore, with the release of Game Update 4.0 in October, Companions will no longer gain combat stats from their gear; Companion gear will become purely aesthetic. This change also means that players can now freely use non-modable gear pieces to dress Companions, without having to worry about subpar stats! This separates style and function giving you the maximum in options for how you dress your Companions.

As far as Companion combat performance goes, all Companions will now have baseline combat stats that automatically scale with your character level. This means that no matter which Companion you summon, no matter how long it has been since you last summoned them, they will always be able to at least perform at an adequate baseline level.

Note: Even though Companions don't gain stats from gear, there are still ways to develop their power: This is now accomplished by building Influence, which we will get to shortly.

We're going to be removing gear slots from Companions that do not impact that Companion's appearance, as those slots no longer serve any function. (Any gear equipped in slots that have been removed will be mailed back to players via in-game mail). Here are two examples of what this looks like in the Companion character sheet:AllianceDroid_854x480
First, on the left, we have the lovable ship droid Companion 2V-R8. As a droid, none of 2V-R8's gear aside from his weapon ever changed his appearance, thus he only retains his weapon slot and his Customization slot (which all Companions will retain).

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Announcing Knights of the Fallen Empire

Knights of the Fallen Empire marks a renewed focus on BioWare-style cinematic storytelling in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. Your character will become the Outlander, a veteran of the Great Galactic War who comes face-to-face with a new threat to the galaxy: the Emperor of the Eternal Throne.

 This expansion also raises the Level cap to 65, and includes the option to create a Level 60 character! This allows you to start fresh in Knights of the Fallen Empire and jump right into the new story content. We are also delivering this story content in a way never before done in Star Wars: The Old Republic: Chapters. The first nine Chapters will be available at launch on October 27th, with new Chapters delivered regularly following that. With the launch of Knights of the Fallen Empire, all of the original eight Class stories will be enhanced, allowing for a faster and more engaging playthrough for new and veteran players. Additionally, many of our existing Flashpoints and Operations are being scaled to 60+, giving you many more Elder Game options at Level 65. All Subscribers will received the digital expansion for free. We are also excited to announce the Knights of the Fallen Empire Rewards Program. Between today and October 19th, Subscribers can earn collectible rewards for each month that they maintain their Subscriber status. This reward program is in addition to the fact that ALL subscribers receive Knights of the Fallen Empire for free! To learn more about the Rewards Program and the digital expansion, please visit We look forward to bringing you this exciting new chapter for Star Wars: The Old Republic!

A man can have anything... If he's willing to sacrifice everything.

Step into an epic story-driven adventure as your character becomes The Outlander, a veteran of the Great Galactic War. A third faction threatens the galaxy as we know it, and your choices will determine the fate of both the Sith Empire and Galactic Republic. Knights of the Fallen Empire includes the first nine chapters, fueled by BioWare-style cinematic storytelling, that kicks off a new player-driven story arc that puts you at the center of a conflict where your choices have impact on outcomes including unexpected twists and betrayals. Choose your path…join or betray companions, old and new…and shape the future of the entire galaxy as well as your own. Best of all, this is only the beginning… THE ADVENTURE BEGINS ON OCTOBER 27TH, FREE FOR ALL SUBSCRIBERS!PREPARE TO FACE YOUR DESTINY. Continuous Storyline. Choices that matter. BioWare Storytelling. And MORE.


Be at the center of a personal Star Wars™ story where choices matter and impact outcomes.


You will become The Outlander, a Level 60 veteran of the Great Galactic War.


Build a team of hand-picked allies to join your alliance; meet new companions and reunite with existing companions ready to offer you their loyalty.


Play one of eight class stories enhanced to offer a deeper, more accessible experience purely focused on immersing you in a personal Star Wars story.


This is only the beginning of an evolving Star Wars story, new chapters released on a regular basis.


Nico Okarr Companion

JUL 31 When you travel with Nico Okarr, the legendary gunslinger from Star Wars: The Old Republic's "Return" cinematic trailer, you can be sure that he will always have your back.  

Nico Okarr Blaster Set

AUG 31 A stylish weapon set for the enthusiastic gunslinger; keep it for yourself or give to your Companion.

Nico Okarr Duster Coat

SEP 30 Impressive is the only word that describes Nico’s swashbuckling duster; you can be sure that wearing this duster sets you apart from other heroes.  


Star Wars™: Knights of the Old Republic™ - Inspired Swoop Bike

OCT 19 Escape your enemies in epic style on your custom Star Wars™: Knights of the Old Republic™-inspired Swoop Bike


Early Access

JUL 31 – OCT 19 Choose to be a Subscriber from July 31 to October 19 to receive the Early Access Bonus Reward! Be one of the first to jump in and get access to Knights of the Fallen Empire seven days prior to live launch.


 ALL SUBSCRIBERS RECEIVE THE ADVANTAGE OF THE EPIC STORY XP BOOST THROUGH OCTOBER 19, 2015!** The Epic Story XP Boost allows all subscribers to level from 1 – 50 by playing only the Class Story Missions and offers just over 12x XP boost to your leveling progress.

Source: Announcing Knights of the Fallen Empire submit to reddit

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I want your name beatch!

With all the character transfers to and from different servers over the last year in Star Wars The old Republic, most of us, myself included, have lost our original names. I remember waiting frantically on the day of launch to hit that create button to ensure that I got the character names that I wanted. Then when they moved us to Australian servers I managed to save those same names. Unfortunately they closed they servers, like they did lots of others, and when I transferred back to my original server my name was already taken up by some alt that never logs in ... ever! And it was not just one name that I wanted to use, seven of my eight name choices were already in use! The only level 55 that I didn't have to re-name was Methos. He was safely at home on the Harbinger the whole time, and being one of my first characters, and on that server, he was able to keep it. I've added all of my names to friends lists to see if anybody else is using them and I never see them log in on Sith or Republic side.
Coming in November, Bioware are releasing all the held names by accounts that are not subscribed. If your character is not in use and you are not a subscriber there is a chance that you will lose your name. To be honest, if you're not playing and haven't played for months then I see no reason why you level one alt should be holding a name you may never use. I guess I will be using my Cartel coins over the next few months to change my names back to what they were when I first started playing once this clean out happens. submit to reddit

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"That's So SWTOR!" screenshot contest! 2400 Cartel Coin Card prize!

Just go to this post and submit up to 3 screenshots that you think define SWTOR. Submissions will be taken until the winner is announced on Friday's community post, so show them what you got, guys! Go here 

This is my 3:

submit to reddit

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Many Looks of Andronikos Revel

Customizations for Andronikos Revel

This one is for the ladies! Andronikos is definitely the most eligible bachelor for female Sith Inquisitors. He’s not a bad bloke to hang out with for all your male Sith Inquisitors as well. There’s no doubt that Andronikos is a bad boy, so bad that even the Republic didn’t want to deal with him. He boasts dual gun-slinger style pistols with a killer attitude. Andronikos doesn’t mess around when it comes to disposing of your enemies. Just for the fun of it, I dressed Andronikos up in the relaxed jumpsuit and his six pack made we want to go on a diet. The facial tattoos also give him a look that screams ‘don’t mess with me’.

Andronikos has eight different looks to choose from, including the default look. Most of them have facial tattoos of some sort but no matter what look you choose for him he always has that cool bad boy vibe.

Read on

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Many Looks Ashara Zavros

Complete guide to the Sith Inquisitor companion Ashara Zavros customizations

A bit about Ashara Zavros from my experience (no story spoilers)

Ashara Zavros is the third companion that is unlocked at the end of Act 1 in the Sith Inquisitor class. Having played through every single class line in SWTOR, I have to say that she is one of my favorite companions. Ashara is a powerful Jedi Apprentice with Jedi Knight Sentinel type skills. She dual wields lightsabers and is the same species as Ahsoka from the Clone Wars. She has a similar type of attitude as well. There is a lot of misinformation online about her being a light side companion but as you will find out, that's not entirely true. Yes, there are a lot of light side options that she will approve of but there are also dark side options that she likes as well. She doesn't appreciate cowardice; she likes going into a fight head-on. If anything I would say that she's grey side - a warrior Jedi - a Jedi lured by the passion of the fight. Unlike many other companions, Ashara Zavros has no Like or Favorite gift preferences outside of romance. For a full list of gift preferences, check this out. Despite this I was able to complete Ashara Zavros' storyline on my dark side female Sith Inquisitor by the time I'd reached level 50. She surprised me on numerous occasions with what she thought was a right decision and I'm sure you will enjoy her storyline as much as I did.
swtor 2013-04-29 13-57-42-13
Unfortunately for Ashara Zavros, it's not possible to have her in a bikini to show off her many looks, like I normally do in these posts. For some strange reason, BioWare have chosen not to give Ashara any body skin detail. Equipping a bikini simply shows an ugly grey body suit underneath (shown below). The disappointments for this companion's customization options doesn't end there. She only has two customizations available and they only change her face and lekku (head tails in layman's terms). This is quite surprising considering the amount of customizations available for the first Sith Inquisitor companion, Khem Val, who is an ugly beast and yet has fourteen! Read on 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Interview with BioWare on the introduction of the Cathar player race with patch 2.1 in SWTOR

Patch 2.1 cusatomizations is just around the corner and BioWare were kind enough to invite GamingFace to a late night meeting in which they divulged top secret information about the new features that will be availale to players with the patch. Today the NDa has been lifted on the first juicy bit of information that we've all been dying to find out about - the new player race, Cathar. Republic players were introduced to the Cathar race early on in their class missions on both Tython and Ord Mantell. Imperial players may have come across the Cathar race on Balmorra. One of the Bounty Hunter's opponents early on in the piece is a Cathar. This cat-like race is a common sight in MMOs. People seem to have a weird fascination with the cat-look. The other way that SWTOR gamers may have come across the Cathar race is with the Trooper companion, Aric Jorgan. This Cathar companion will be getting a full facelift with patch 2.1 and GamingFace will be doing a complete "Many Looks Of' post with all the options as soon as possible, so that you can see all of the available customizations. Cory Butler from BioWare answers 7 questions below about the Cathar race and what it offers players in SWTOR.
swtor 2013-04-26 19-23-59-60

1) So, you've told us that 2.1 customizations will grant players access to the Cathar species. How much will Cathar cost players and will there be a price difference between subscribers and non-subscribers?
We currently have the Cathar Species unlock priced at 600 Cartel Coins for the entire account. This price will be the same for both Subscribers and Free-to-Play and Preferred Status players.

Read on