While many members of the community and press have been wholly negative about Star Wars: The Old Republic’s turn to Free to Play, Executive Producer, Jeff Hickman is talking about its success. In fact, he’s so pleased with the way things have turned out, he’s talking about the future and some of the big changes coming to the futuristic MMO.
While Jeff doesn’t disclose numbers, he says ‘the game is incredibly healthy with an ever increasing number of players who are actively playing’ The servers, apparently, are rocking!
Jeff also said that changes will be coming to a ‘special PvP area’. He also told us to expect lots of endgame content, improvements to IIlum, and the return of the Gree Conclave.
Jeff has also announced that same-gender romance will come to SWTOR with the expansion. “I want to reveal today that we are adding SGR with some NPCs on Makeb and do intend on pursuing more SGR options in the future,”
Some other significant points Jeff raised include the ability to copy characters to a test server in the first half of the year, more Elder Game Content, and a new approach to Open World PVP. The full address can be seen here
Jeff didn’t share many new details about Rise of the Hutt Cartel, SWTOR’s first major expansion, though did reveal there will be 5 new levels, a new planet (Makeb), new storylines, skills, abilities and systems. To give you some idea of the new planet’s scope, Senior Community Co-ordinator, Allison Berryman, addressed some common questions back in December. “To give you all a better idea of Makeb’s scope,” she said, “it’s a planet of equal size to our larger planets and it contains a variety of areas — sprawling mesas, underground caverns, garden estates, and more.”
Berryman went on to talk in more detail about the inhabitants of the planet and the struggles they’re facing. ‘The people of Makeb have remained neutral in wars between the great political powers in the galaxy. Relying on their wealth, isolation, and an army of mercenaries, the citizens have enjoyed centuries of prosperity. However, in the midst of the current galactic conflict, the Hutt Cartel has recognized the planet as a crucial stepping stone to increase their organization’s standing and reclaim the strength of their ancestors’ empire. They’ve hired Makeb’s mercenaries away and have made the citizens prisoners in their own homes, forcing them to reach out to the Republic in a desperate bid for rescue.’
Berryman also made it clear that character development will be a big part of the expansion. “As part of the new content, every skill tree will be expanding and you can expect significant updates. Players will earn a new skill point with each level, and new skills will be available in each skill tree. Additionally, a new active ability will be introduced for each advanced class.”
Check out the links below for more detailed responses. More news on SWTOR as we get it.
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