Star Wars The Old Republic Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Star Wars The Old Republic RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network SWTOR: Where to Buy a Speeder https://www.gameskinny.com/pdnks/swtor-where-to-buy-a-speeder https://www.gameskinny.com/pdnks/swtor-where-to-buy-a-speeder Fri, 31 Jul 2020 13:14:43 -0400 Sergey_3847

Mounts are a part of any MMO, and it's no different here in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Just you ride a speeder instead of an animal. Players can unlock Speeder Piloting skill and purchase a speeder.

This SWTOR guide will help you locate all the spots in the game where you can buy a speeder in SWTOR.

Not only can you get a speeder, but you can increase the speed of your speeder by unlocking higher ranks of the Speeder Piloting skill (and it doesn't require any PvP or special effort. Keep on reading if you want to know more.

Where to Buy a Speeder in SWTOR

Currently, there are five speeder vendor locations in the Galactic Republic. Here are their locations and coordinates:

  • Carrick Station (-4567, -4840)
  • Alien Enclave Market (-110, -253)
  • Republic Operational Headquarters (774, 92)
  • House Organa (-828, 846)
  • Anchorhead (1867, -3258)

The Sith Empire also has a couple of spots that offer speeders for purchase:

  • Vaiken Spacedock, Kaas City (4538, 4810)
  • House Thul (697, -1341)

The best speeder is Tirsa Prime, which can be purchased for one million credits at Alien Enclave Market from vendor named Honest Nuen. However, you have to be at Level 50 and Speeder Piloting Rank 3 to be able to ride Tirsa Prime.

How to Increase Speeder Piloting Rank

You can unlock a higher Speeder Piloting rank through Legacy perks, which can be unlocked at certain player levels. Below is the table with a complete breakdown of the Speeder Piloting ranks:

SP Rank
Required Level Number of Perks Speed Increase
1 20 1 90%
2 35 10 100%
3 45 25 110%
4 60 30 120%
5 70 35 130%

 

You can also gain access to higher ranks by purchasing them at the Cartel market for Cartel Coins, which is an added bonus to keep subscribing.

[Header image source: Steam]

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SWTOR's Best PvP Classes in 2020 https://www.gameskinny.com/1gnpw/swtors-best-pvp-classes-in-2020 https://www.gameskinny.com/1gnpw/swtors-best-pvp-classes-in-2020 Fri, 31 Jul 2020 12:23:09 -0400 Sergey_3847

The PvP meta in Star Wars: The Old Republic changes every year. During this time soon after its Steam release, both ranged and melee DPS classes are in a particularly good spot in terms of PvP.

If you're a new or a returning player, then be sure to check out this guide for the best PvP classes in 2020. We are going to go over the best classes for both Jedi and Sith factions, but be sure to check out or other SWTOR guides as well.

Best Melee DPS

Jedi: Scoundrel Scrapper

Scrapper is the sneakiest and most dangerous class in the game. It utilizes the Scatter Gun to take out enemies from behind and quickly get out of harm's way.

The main advantages of this class are burst and single target damage. If you can successfully damage your enemies from behind, then you will be practically unbeatable in PvP.

The best skill is Scrappy, which increases the damage by Blaster Whip, Quick Shot, and Back Blast by 4%.

Sith: Operative Concealment

Imperial agents can be just as devastating on the battlefield as their Jedi counterparts. Concealment class is especially effective at stealth and close-range attacks.

If you like to kill enemies undetected, then this is the best choice for melee players. The strategy is the same as with the Scrapper, where you have to attack from behind in order to make the most out of this class.

The best skill is Surgical Strikes, which increases the damage by Shiv, Overload Shot, and Backstab by 4%.

Best Ranged DPS

Jedi: Commando Gunnery

Assault Cannon is by far the most overpowered weapon in SWTOR. That's why the best class for utilizing this weapon is none other than Gunnery. Only this class can effectively squeeze the maximum damage out of it.

If you want to push Gunnery to its limits in PvP, then try to unlock the Armor Piercing Cell ability, which is available for training at Level 12.

The best skill is Blowback, which makes your next Boltstorm immune to interruption.

Sith: Mercenary Arsenal

Bounty hunters are dangerous, especially when they carry a huge load of rockets on their backs. The Arsenal class is especially brutal when it comes to burst damage.

This class becomes even more menacing, if you can unlock the High Velocity Gas Cylinder ability at Level 20, which increases armor penetration by 35%.

The best skill is Power Launcher, which increases the damage by Rail Shot, Tracer Missile, Heatseeker Missiles, and Electro Net by 6%.

Best Tank

Jedi: Guardian Defense

Guardian Defense is the most robust and durable class of all. Its abilities are focused around lowering enemy weapon accuracy, reducing the cooldown of his allies' abilities, creating barrier that absorbs most of the damage, and much more.

The best skill is Warding Call, which reduces all damage taken by 40%.

Sith: Juggernaut Immortal

The dark side of the force makes Juggernauts the most sought out tank classes in SWTOR.

If you can unlock the Soresu Form ability at level 14, which increases his armor rating by 60%, then you won't even need a healer on your team.

The best skill is Invincible, which makes Immortals invincible to damage for a short period of time.

Best Healer

Jedi: Sage Seer

The Force can be used for healing just as much as for offensive purposes, and that kind of power should not be ignored in any PvP match.

Seers not only heal effectively, but also build up a lot of rejuvenation buffs during the process. The Conveyance ability can be used to increase the healing power of a Jedi Seer by at least 50%.

The best skill is Salvation, which can heal up to 8 allies within 8 meters of your position.

Sith: Sorcerer Corruption

Even dark force can be used for healing and protection. The Corruption class can infuse its allies with dark force during healing, which makes their powers more potent.

Try to unlock the Electric Induction ability at Level 15, which can reduce all your healing costs by 9%.

The best skill is Force Bending, which reduces the cast time of healing abilities by 30%.

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Class means a great deal, but personal skill means just as much. Don't get discouraged if you're not a pro at PvP just by choosing a particularly strong class. Practice, practice, practice and get that bloodthirst going.

[Header image source: Steam]

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Going Solo: Best Scoundrels Smuggled Into Star Wars Games https://www.gameskinny.com/ur2er/going-solo-best-scoundrels-smuggled-into-star-wars-games https://www.gameskinny.com/ur2er/going-solo-best-scoundrels-smuggled-into-star-wars-games Tue, 22 May 2018 14:31:25 -0400 Anthony Merklinger

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/n/han-solo-c9640.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/n/han-solo-c9640.JPG","type":"slide","id":"184054","description":"

Han Solo

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Lots of Star Wars Games ... He's Been in Lots ... 
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A common trend in Star Wars video games is the use of heroes to tell engaging stories. These characters not only act as narrative vehicles that give players the opportunity to discover unexplored elements of the franchise’s current nine feature films, but they arguably serve as the template for character development as a discipline. In this regard, Han Solo is the scoundrel prototype by which all Star Wars scoundrels have evolved, and the Star Wars story would not be the same without him.

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Undeniably, Han Solo is more than just a character, but the symbolic manifestation of the franchise’s “third estate” -- the independent space privateer clinging to high-risk, high-reward opportunities with little to no regard for moral rights or wrongs.

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Scoundrels as playable classes offer a degree of emotional excitement unfound in Jedi or Sith paths, which can be attributed to the epic, fluid, and fate-defining adventurers of characters like Han Solo. Scoundrels, like Solo, act as free agents and can participate in a stronger and more satisfying character arc -- typically.

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Is there a Star Wars scoundrel you believe helped elevate the franchise that's not on this list? Let us know in the comments below! As always, be sure to check back with GameSkinny for more on Star Wars and the galaxy far, far away.

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Oh, yeah, and check Solo: A Star Wars Story. We've heard it might be pretty good. 

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

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Chewbacca

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Battlefront, Battlefront II, Masters of Teras Kasi
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Brute strength is not a trait one commonly associates with scoundrels featured in Star Wars video games, particularly characters who find themselves on the losing end of a Dejarik game; however, players have undoubtedly come to enjoy the piercing amicability and resourcefulness of the Wookie warrior Chewbacca -- the longtime friend of Han Solo and co-pilot of the infamous Millennium Falcon.

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What about this versatile character has enamored audiences throughout the franchise’s gaming history? Chewbacca remains an underdog, a hero of war-torn Kashyyyk, and a champion of an oppressed race. His ability to dispatch enemies with an array of explosives and the exceptionally accurate bowcaster has made him a standout powerhouse among blaster-wielding characters and even revered Force-users.

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Though Chewbacca’s gaming presence is limited compared to other heroes borrowed from the film series, his usefulness is no less prominent. From the Battlefront series to Disney Infinity 3.0, Chewbacca continues to be a vibrant Star Wars character that reminds players of the significance of camaraderie.

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/s/dash-rendar-3cc34.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/s/dash-rendar-3cc34.JPG","type":"slide","id":"184052","description":"

Dash Rendar

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Shadows of the Empire
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Born to a Corellian family, Dash Rendar -- the Imperial turned mercenary -- is one of the franchise’s early examples of developers breaking from established characters to create a story associated with the films. LucasArts’ 1996 third-person shooter, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, flexed Rendar’s rudimentary scoundrel abilities across 10 levels to defeat Prince Xizor, the leader of the Black Sun Syndicate.

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The Outrider captain’s limited video game presence underscores the archetype’s effectiveness in manipulating galactic events. Certainly, the Republic-Imperial struggle dominates the political atmosphere of the Star Wars saga, but Rendar and his scoundrel counterparts denote the underlying ebb and flow ultimately contributing to that conflict.

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Shadows of the Empire succeeded in crafting a believable Star Wars experience wherein the player had a direct hand in shaping the events surrounding the film series. With each new game title released, however, the scoundrel’s sophistication evolved to include grenades, flashbangs, self-healing abilities, and even protective barriers. Rendar’s inclusion in the franchise's gaming portfolio helped set the stage for future scoundrel player engagement.

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/c/nico-okarr-917d1.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/c/nico-okarr-917d1.JPG","type":"slide","id":"184051","description":"

Nico Okarr

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Star Wars: The Old Republic
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Captain of the XS stock light freighter Redshifter, Nico Okarr is a legendary scoundrel and master escapist whose exploits rival those of Han Solo. His experience in the Outer Rim led to a successful flight from an embattled space station above Korriban -- a feat that would prove singularly responsible for preserving the Republic against a resurgent Sith Empire in the Great Galactic War.

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Scoundrels in Star Wars video games are indeed ubiquitous, but few champions rise to galactic stardom like Okarr. His actions, abilities, and general demeanor are consistent when compared to criminals from other franchise IPs; however, Okarr subverts the scoundrel tropes by displaying an uncharacteristic heroism in dangerous situations. Many scoundrel characters -- particularly enemy NPCs -- use exaggerated reputations to buffer or intimidate for self-preservation, whereas Okarr boasts pragmatism and skill over ego.

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/l/hylo-visz-29c66.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/l/hylo-visz-29c66.JPG","type":"slide","id":"184050","description":"

Hylo Visz

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Star Wars: The Old Republic
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Considered to be one of the most prominent scoundrels from the Old Republic era, Hylo Visz is a female Mirialan responsible for breaking the Mandalorian blockade of the Hydian Way: a major hyper-trade route between the Outer Rim and Core Worlds heavily used by the Republic.

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As each new Star Wars title seeks to achieve singularity in an overtly saturated franchise, Visz’s character is a sobering reminder that Force-users are not the be-all and end-all in the galaxy. In fact, Visz is perhaps one of the earliest examples of an independent actor to dramatically shift a major military power’s ability to wage war without using the Force. She is the paragon of adventure and glory, predating Han Solo by some 3,000 years.

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Her legacy in galactic history stresses the point that Star Wars games simply do not represent scoundrels to the degree to which Jedi and Sith are portrayed. Scoundrels represent the middle ground between the Light and Dark Sides of the Force, serving as ancillary vehicles to move a plot forward -- often in isolated incidents. Indeed, performing heroic actions for the purpose of earning cash loses its luster in the face of preserving millennia-held traditions.

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/n/canderous-ordo-316b6.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/n/canderous-ordo-316b6.JPG","type":"slide","id":"184048","description":"

Canderous Ordo

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Knights of the Old Republic
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Canderous Ordo, the battle-hardened Mandalorian from Knights of the Old Republic, invigorates the Star Wars scoundrel archetype by imbuing the role with ceaseless commitment to self-evolution. As a man of challenge, the champion of Clan Ordo shies from the scoundrel’s distinctive charm, bringing a more aggressive, militaristic stance to the table that other scoundrel characters simply don’t.

In fact, Ordo’s single-minded Mandalorian philosophy dictates his motivation: resolution by combat.

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Ordo’s inclusion in the Star Wars gaming portfolio paves the way for future characters that wield strength over reason, such as Khomo Fett and Skadge, featured in Star Wars: The Old Republic; however, as many scoundrels will operate for the purposes of acquiring credits, Ordo, as a Mandalorian, seeks sport -- a quality that may perhaps blind him in regard to a character’s moral alignment.

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The antithesis of the famous quip “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Canderous Ordo is a seasoned gunslinger and an even more dangerous opponent.

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/s/mission-vao-5f851.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/s/mission-vao-5f851.JPG","type":"slide","id":"184049","description":"

Mission Vao

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Star Wars: The Old Republic
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Many scoundrels in the Star Wars franchise have emerged from difficult situations with a few well-aimed blaster shots or by the sheer convenience of astromech droids. In the case of Mission Vao, however, cunning and intellect proved to be equally effective.

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From the thralls of desperation, the young Twi’lek girl forged a life in the slums of Lower Taris, capturing the scoundrel archetype’s instinctive motivation to survive and the unfortunate circumstances by which characters ultimately fall victim to the criminal lifestyle in the Star Wars universe. Where other scoundrels may succeed in brashness, Mission Vao retains interesting and unique mechanics that set her apart from other NPCs, particularly her uncannily optimistic disposition.

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Still, Vao’s character shows that even scoundrels who suffer loss and betrayal can be loyal to a fault, as exemplified by her actions in Knights of the Old Republic. More importantly, she adds credence to the efforts of female and alien characters in preserving the integrity of the galaxy.

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/t/intro-c8542.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/t/intro-c8542.JPG","type":"slide","id":"184047","description":"

For more than 40 years, the epic space opera Star Wars has dominated the mainstream, weaving its influence across the global tapestry as a cultural adhesive. With three film trilogies, two independent anthologies (including the yet-to-release Solo: A Star Wars Story), and countless television series, comics, parodies, musical performances, and video games, Star Wars and its respective worlds from galaxies far, far away have become deeply embedded in the cultural lexicon.  

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To say Star Wars would not be the same without its eclectic roster of scoundrels, however, is a gross understatement. Indeed, as scoundrels have shaped the political, economic, and social tones of the galaxy, we look back on some of the most influential scoundrels smuggled into Star Wars video games.

"}]]]>
A Guide to the Commander's Compendium in Star Wars: The Old Republic https://www.gameskinny.com/l6skf/a-guide-to-the-commanders-compendium-in-star-wars-the-old-republic https://www.gameskinny.com/l6skf/a-guide-to-the-commanders-compendium-in-star-wars-the-old-republic Sun, 25 Mar 2018 13:40:16 -0400 Anthony Merklinger

From the gross underbellies of the criminal underworld to the sacred grounds of the Jedi and Sith academies, companions from across the galaxy stand ready to aid you in your journey through Star Wars: The Old Republic. With game update 5.8: Command Authority introduced on Tuesday, March 20, you can now make your companions more efficient with the new Commander’s Compendium.

Commander's Compedium item

Prerequisites

The Commander’s Compendium is a consumable item that will instantly raise your active companion’s influence to level 50, the current maximum as of 5.8, and becomes available to a character that meets their personal goal in the weekly Planetary Conquest event. The item binds on pickup (BOP) and will not be available to other characters in your legacy that have not met their Conquest goal.

When a player completes the mission: Personal Conquest Reward, a special Conquest Rewards vendor appears adjacent to the Flagship Commissioner in the Strongholds and Crew Skills section of the Republic and Imperial Fleets, which sells the Commander’s Compendium for three Dark Project MK-1s and 4.5 million credits, The Old Republic’s in-game currency.

For more on completing Planetary Conquest, visit our Updated Beginner’s Guide to Planetary Conquest in The Old Republic.

M1-4X

Using the Commander’s Compendium

The Commander’s Compendium will not apply to temporary companions, such as Darth Marr and Empress Acina, and cannot be reversed by customer support once activated. To use the item, open your Companions & Contacts panel (hotkey “N”), summon a companion of your choosing, and consume the Commander’s Compendium via your inventory to raise the companion’s influence to 50.

The benefits of a level 50 companion are stronger performance in tank, healing, and damages roles, decreased crew skill time requirements, and increased critical ratings for crew skill tasks. Whereas a Dark Project MK-1 would require 1h 29m 06s to craft with a level one companion, a level 50 companion can craft the same item in 22m 30s.

How to use the Commander's Compendium

How to Craft a Dark Project MK-1

Dark Project MK-1s become available when a primary crafting skill reaches 150 and can be purchased from the character’s respective crafting vendor located in the Strongholds and Crew Skills section of the Republic and Imperial Fleets. The item is classified under Strongholds & Conquests in the crafting panel (hotkey “B”) and requires:

  • Eight Refined Isotope Stabilizers, which can be found in Master Flashpoints and Story, Veteran, and Master Operations.
  • One Iokath Recombinator, which can be purchased from the Command Token Vendor on the Republic and Imperial Fleets for six Command Tokens and 3,500 credits.
  • One War Supplies: Invasion Force, which can be crafted by combining all five war supplies (Infantry Supply Kits, Armored Vehicles, Holocron of Strategy, Starship Weapons, and Crystal Capacitors) when a crafting skill reaches 150.

If you have credits to spend, you can access the Galactic Trade Network (GTN) by interacting with the Galactic Trade Kiosk in the Galactic Trade Market section of the Republic and Imperial Fleets. Search for “Dark Project MK-1.”

Tips for Earning Credits

There are virtually limitless ways to earn in-game currency in The Old Republic; however, we’ve narrowed the list by expediency and efficiency to help you acquire the Commander’s Compendium.

  • Complete daily repeatable missions by opening your Group Finder panel (click the three-figured icon in the top-left corner of your mini-map), select Solo from the menu, and travel to any of the heroic or daily missions provided. Credits earned are reflected in the Mission Rewards.
  • Sell decorations acquired from flashpoints, operations, heroics, or Star Fortresses on the Galactic Trade Network.
  • Sell supplies and crafting items, such as augments and Augmentation Kit MK-10s, on the Galactic Trade Network.
  • Train Slicing as a gathering skill to access secured terminals for credits. The best place for gathering slicing nodes is Breaktown on the planet Zakuul, though this requires the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion.
  • Purchase items from the Cartel Market (hotkeys “Control + M”) and sell them on the Galactic Trade Network.

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Follow these tips to bring your companion roster to full influence and leave no enemy unconquered in your galactic adventures. Be sure to check back with GameSkinny for more on Star Wars: The Old Republic guides.

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An Updated Beginner's Guide to Planetary Conquest in The Old Republic https://www.gameskinny.com/3137q/an-updated-beginners-guide-to-planetary-conquest-in-the-old-republic https://www.gameskinny.com/3137q/an-updated-beginners-guide-to-planetary-conquest-in-the-old-republic Wed, 21 Mar 2018 11:23:28 -0400 Anthony Merklinger

On Tuesday, March 20, BioWare introduced game update 5.8: Command Authority for Star Wars: The Old Republic and brought massive changes to its Planetary Conquest system that was first introduced with 2.9: Galactic Strongholds in 2014. Among a new interface design, players can enjoy increased challenges, opportunities, and rewards for their participation.

New interface for SWTOR 5.8 patch

Getting Started

Planetary Conquest is an in-game event that allows guilds to compete for control over sectors, or planets, by acquiring points through objective completion. The event resets weekly on Tuesday afternoon. Players can participate by opening their Mission Log (hotkey “L”), selecting the Conquest tab from the menu, and completing the objectives on the left. While some can be performed individually, others require group settings. Objectives have been rebalanced to yield points appropriate to their respective difficulty and now offer credits, experience, and Command Experience upon completion.

There are 13 unique Planetary Conquest events with 19 conquerable planets. Prior to 5.8, cycles operated on a fixed schedule, which gave players and guilds the opportunity to strategize and take proactive measures to build significant points at the start of the event; however, Command Authority has made the Planetary Conquest schedule obsolete, and cycles are now chosen at random (unless one coincides with another recurring in-game event, such as Relics of the Gree or Rakghoul Resurgence).

Meeting Personal Goals

Planetary Conquest’s new interface design separates personal contribution from guild invasions. To be eligible for the personal rewards, players must accumulate enough points to meet the event’s designated goal, which is usually 20,000. While the planetary bonuses for objectives have been removed, update 5.8 introduces daily objectives to supplement the one-time and repeatable tasks. One-time objective completion is now indicated by a “complete” or “incomplete" status, whereas the lemniscate that accompanied repeatable missions has been replaced with a variant of the universal recycling symbol. For additional clarity, players can filter objectives by points, name, repeatable eligibility, and percent complete.

Note: War Supplies: Invasion Force, which previously served as the “toxic waste” of Planetary Conquest, can be combined into ten stacks and donated to the guild for conquest points. Crafting War Supplies now requires additional materials.

a well-decorated stronghold in SWTOR

Applying a Stronghold Bonus

A well-received change with Command Authority is how stronghold bonuses affect player scores. Prior to update 5.8, a player could achieve a 150% stronghold bonus by unlocking several strongholds and filling their rooms with decorations. Strongholds retained a 100% decoration completion that could be satisfied by filling out the maximum allotment of decoration hooks, which contributed a 25% stronghold bonus toward the overall 150%. Players took advantage of this feature by purchasing cheap decorations, such as Basic Metal Chairs and Basic Junker’s Lights, from the decoration merchants; however, update 5.8 has removed decoration hook requirements and instead bases a player’s stronghold bonus on the number of strongholds and rooms unlocked. The Coruscant Apartment, Kaas City Apartment, and Umbaran Mobile Base are the cheapest and easiest to fully unlock (granting a 75% stronghold bonus).

A 150% stronghold bonus makes achieving personal conquest goals relatively easy. For instance, completing an operation through Group Finder, prior to 5.8, would typically yield 3,000 points. With the bonus applied, a player could earn 7,500 points for completing the same objective. Stronghold bonuses are now reflected in the Conquest interface.

Conquest interface in Star Wars The Old Republic

Guild Invasions

A new panel has been introduced to reflect a guild’s progress in Planetary Conquest called “guild invasions.” Update 5.8 categorized conquerable planets into three planetary invasion targets, each with unique reward yields: planets with the highest invasion target require the most participation points and offer the strongest rewards, whereas planets with the weakest invasion target offer the smallest rewards.

Guild leaders or officers with invasion privileges can commit a guild’s flagship to a planet, which will lock the guild into that planet’s leaderboard for the duration of the event; however, guild rewards are no longer tied to placing on the leaderboards’ top ten. Instead, guilds that meet their point goal, which corresponds to the sum of the guild’s members’ scores, will be eligible for receiving the invaded planet’s yield. Guilds that take first place still acquire the achievement: “Conqueror of...,” which can be found under Strongholds in a player’s legacy (hotkey “Y”).

More new features introduced with Command Authority are the top five guild member participation panel, where guild members can see who their highest contributors are, and the Current Conquerors panel, which shows planets that have been last conquered by an invading guild.

the current conquerors panel

Rewards

Players who complete their personal conquest goal will receive the following rewards:

  • Gathering Lockbox (Universal): “Contains [three] material gathering decorations for your stronghold, which can be harvested for crafting materials.”
  • 25k Credit Certificate
  • 2x Superior Resource Matrix
  • 10x Scrap: Assorted Droid Parts
  • 15x Scrap: Scavenged Scrap

Guilds that meet their planetary invasion target will receive the following rewards:

Small Yield:
  • Gathering Lockbox (Universal)
  • 50k Credit Certificate
  • 2x Superior Resource Matrix
  • 10x Scrap: Jawa Junk
  • 1x Command, Engineering, or Logistical Encryption
Medium Yield:
  • Gathering Lockbox (Universal)
  • 2x 50k Credit Certificate
  • 3x Superior Resource Matrix
  • 15x Scrap: Jawa Junk
  • 1x Command, Engineering, or Logistical Encryption
Large Yield:
  • 2x Gathering Lockbox (Universal)
  • 3x 50k Credit Certificate
  • 4x Superior Resource Matrix
  • 20x Scrap: Jawa Junk
  • 1x Command, Engineering, or Logistical Encryption

lots of items available from a vendor in SWTOR

Note: When a player meets their planetary conquest goal, a new vendor will appear in the Strongholds and Crew Skills section of the Republic and Imperial Fleets. Players can exchange five War Supplies: Invasion Force and 100,000 credits for new stronghold decorations. Additionally, players can purchase the new Commander’s Compendium for three Dark Projects and 4.5 million credits -- an item that instantly brings a companion’s influence level to 50 (with the exception of temporary companions).

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Following these strategies can help you and your guild obtain more favorable and substantial results in Planetary Conquest with the SWTOR 5.8 update. Be sure to check back with GameSkinny for more on Star Wars: The Old Republic!

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The Old Republic is Cool But It's Time for a New Star Wars RPG https://www.gameskinny.com/d45ei/the-old-republic-is-cool-but-its-time-for-a-new-star-wars-rpg https://www.gameskinny.com/d45ei/the-old-republic-is-cool-but-its-time-for-a-new-star-wars-rpg Mon, 05 Feb 2018 22:10:18 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

It all started with a game my parents got me when I first got the original Xbox; Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic consumed my activities after school. Exploring the different avenues of combat, the branching narratives, and character development are what sucked me in for hours on end. It was my first real taste of a Star Wars RPG. From then on I was enraptured by the Old Republic Era games, which dominated the RPG scene since the early 2000's.

But now that Star Wars: The Old Republic has been out for over 6 years, what is the next stage for the Star Wars franchise?

Knights of the Old Republic and Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords defined the Old Republic Era, giving us the classic d20 system in video game style. This was then transferred to The Old Republic, where we got an MMO twist on our favorite universe. But you can only put out so many patches before people start to ask what else is happening.

We were promised Star Wars: 1313, which was canceled. Then there was the unknown title of the open world Star Wars RPG shown at E3. Now with the shutdown of Visceral Studios, this title was also canceled.

Keeping a system you know that people love was always key with Star Wars RPG's. KOTOR series produced 2 games that were Game of the Year.

With Electronic Arts shutting down Visceral, what do we have to look forward to now in a new Star Wars game? Patches for The Old Republic or paid DLC seasons of Battlefront II? We want something more as a community, and there are several storylines in the Star Wars universe that we can go down.

One of the more obvious routes that EA can go down is the highly talked about Knights of the Old Republic III. There have been many thoughts about the premise of this game, with the most notable being a part of the crew of Revan and the Jedi Exile, exploring the evil in the unknown regions.

Another was an interesting mod that someone in the fan community had created, known as the Revenge of Revan, for Knights of the Old Republic II. This mod cleaned up loose ends to the story, being called the third act in a KOTOR trilogy. This storyline is an obvious choice for an RPG idea, mainly for the fact that any developer picking it up has a plethora of material to work off already. Since the two KOTOR games already developed the setting and mechanics, developers know they already have system that works and people love. But there are a few others that can easily takes its place.

Another story developers can follow is the Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy series and pick up where Jaden Korr and Rosh Penin left off. Though the game was more hack-and-slash than anything else, players felt what it was like to be a Jedi in the game, and their choices were just as influential as in the KOTOR franchise. The impact of the storyline was on point for what a Star Wars RPG was meant to deliver.

The immersion is one of the most important parts of an RPG. If you can say you have lost track of time while playing one, they have done their job.

But there are several eras that EA can cover that aren't already established as a video game RPG. Developers can explore the Thrawn legacy or the Clone Wars from a clone trooper or padawan point of view. They can follow the path of an unknown bounty hunter, much like what 1313 was supposed to be. They have a plethora of material they can pull from, it just matters what is allowed and what isn't allowed.

But what is it that we want as fans and gamers of the Star Wars franchise? If we're being honest, the graphics and system that KOTOR had was not the greatest, and neither the Jedi Academy games didn't have much for graphics, either.

But I believe what keeps those games alive and the nostalgia going is the stories that enraptured us when we first played them.  It was the immersion and the effects it had on how we made choices as we played. It made players feel like they were making a difference in the game, that they were important in everything that happened. This is probably one of the most important factors that should be in the next Star Wars RPG that comes out, whether it is open world or linear.

The open world gives a sense of wonder, that someone thought all this up just for us to explore.

What we all want is just a story that we can feel important in, one that we make an impact on. The Old Republic does a fantastic job in the immersion, actually changing the terrain and the story down the line depending on what players do. It even effects the main character and how they influence the story as a whole. That model is what this gamer wishes for.

I want to feel that my character is important in the world I am fighting in, that I am a fugitive of the Empire, or an important Jedi helping to fulfill a prophecy. Some may not agree. They may thing that the story eventually needs to end because the player's power becomes so immense.

Well, then end it and branch off to another story or replay it. You can go down so many avenues. Enjoy the possibilities. Try something different. Be a Jedi that turns to the dark side; be a Sith that betrays their master to protect a planet -- or even be the smuggler that hands over the fugitive. Go beyond your limits , dare to explore, and dare to be whatever you want.

We all want to be that hero (or villain). Let's hope it's delivered.

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But who knows what EA has in store for us.  Hopefully a game that delivers what this community wants, and boy, is this community picky lately. But in the comments below, tell us what kind of era/storyline they should pursue? What would you like to see next? Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Star Wars news. Until next time, stay classy, gamers!

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SWTOR Expansions Rise of The Hutt Cartel, Shadow of Revan Currently Free https://www.gameskinny.com/iybuc/swtor-expansions-rise-of-the-hutt-cartel-shadow-of-revan-currently-free https://www.gameskinny.com/iybuc/swtor-expansions-rise-of-the-hutt-cartel-shadow-of-revan-currently-free Tue, 24 Oct 2017 10:40:38 -0400 StrongerStrange

If you're a Star Wars fan, the past 24 hours have been chock-full of gaming news: Knights of the Old Republic is one of the 13 backward-compatible games coming to the Xbox Marketplace today; the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 campaign is five to seven hours long; and two expansions for Star Wars: The Old Republic are free now through November 6. 

The first free SWTOR expansion is the Rise of the Hutt Cartel. This expansion takes players to the planet Makeb, where the Hutt Cartel is planning galaxy-wide domination. The second free expansion, Shadow of Revan, sees players fighting the Order of Revan across Rishi and Yavin 4 through new Operations, new Flashpoints, and other Hard Mode content. 

Electronic Arts is also giving players free access to a KOTOR-inspired speeder, the Kakkran Daggerstar. Players can get a free code for this SWTOR giveaway here.

Codes expire November 6 at 11:59 p.m. PST. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Star Wars: The Old Republic as it develops. 

 

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SWTOR: Sisters of Carnage Update https://www.gameskinny.com/yqx9c/swtor-sisters-of-carnage-update https://www.gameskinny.com/yqx9c/swtor-sisters-of-carnage-update Tue, 11 Jul 2017 18:51:47 -0400 Robert Kazmierczak

Star Wars: The Old Republic received a big update this month. Called "The Sisters Of Carnage", this update came with some great new content, as well as balancing changes for existing stuff. 

A beachside resort was added on the planet Manaan for players to kick back and watch the waves. This water-themed resort has its own decorations, which can be found in the Deepwater Essentials Bundle on the Cartel Market. 

The biggest point of interest in this update is a new encounter in the Gods of the Machine operation, the Sisters of Carnage. Ancient twin super weapons, Aivela and Esne, are the brand new bosses for this encounter. For those brave enough to challenge these twin sisters, you will first have to defeat their brother, Tyth.  

Some multiplayer changes were introduced for the sake of balance, most of which involve small modifications to the numbers on damage or healing. On top of that, some quality of life changes were introduced for the economy and items in-game.  

You can check out the specifics in the official patch notes if you want more information.

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Complete Guide To 4th of July Events Happening in Your Favorite MMOs https://www.gameskinny.com/cahph/complete-guide-to-4th-of-july-events-happening-in-your-favorite-mmos https://www.gameskinny.com/cahph/complete-guide-to-4th-of-july-events-happening-in-your-favorite-mmos Mon, 03 Jul 2017 10:32:11 -0400 Robert Kazmierczak

It's a fairly common practice nowadays for an MMO to have events surrounding big holidays. Most games will do Christmas and Halloween events, dressing up their maps with appropriate decorations. These kinds of events are fun for players, who get to celebrate their holidays not just with their friends and family IRL, but also their fellow players and guildmates in their favorite game as well.  

Unfortunately, some holidays are bigger than others. The 4th of July is an important American holiday, but it's hardly a big deal for other countries. For global games, a company is hard pressed to decorate entire towns for one country's worth of gamers. So while some games do have Independence Day events, they tend to be smaller than some of the more worldwide holidays. 

If you're a US player, though, there are still some awesome 4th of July events happening this week. Here are some of the ones you should check out:

World of Warcraft

As one of the most well-known MMOs, World of Warcraft has had plenty of time to nail down holiday events. This year, the Darkmoon Faire will be running from July 2 - July 8, and will include games, exotic sights from all over the world, and a new band. Starting on July 4th there will be a pet battle event, allowing your pets to earn triple experience until July 11th. Finally, at sundown on Independence Day, there will be firework shows every hour over the capital cities and Booty Bay. 

Runescape 

 

Runescape has held Independence Day events for the past few years. The event usually includes a feast and some special event-based drops. In previous years, the event has been fairly small, and Runescape has made no announcement involving a repeat of the event this year. 

Star Wars: The Old Republic

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... It seems pretty unlikely that they would celebrate America's Independence Day. Currently there's no news involving the 4th of July for The Old Republic, but in previous years BioWare has done double XP weekends around the holiday. They've never been explicitly labeled as relevant to the holiday, but the events happen close enough to the holiday that it counts, right?

Black Desert Online

Despite being based in Korea, Pearl Abyss did host an event on last year's 4th of July. Black Desert Online players received a mail item with firecrackers, flares, and a Puppy Balloon headband accessory. Unfortunately, they've made no similar announcement for this year. It's possible that with the release of the updated Schultz Guard Post, they didn't feel the need for a holiday event so soon -- but they might still pull out a surprise event, so keep an eye out!

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That wraps up our (short) list of July 4th events for your favorite MMOs! Did we miss any that are celebrating Independence Day? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Reasons Why Telltale Should Start Working on a Star Wars Game https://www.gameskinny.com/itx0i/5-reasons-why-telltale-should-start-working-on-a-star-wars-game https://www.gameskinny.com/itx0i/5-reasons-why-telltale-should-start-working-on-a-star-wars-game Fri, 26 May 2017 10:59:44 -0400 Nick Lee

Now that Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy series has ended, there's certainly room for another major space adventure in the company's catalog -- but one that takes place in a galaxy far, far away. Telltale has proven they're able to handle a variety of settings in the game type, and bringing their unique style to the Star Wars universe would be absolutely amazing. 

Star Wars is the one universe that needs a return to personal storytelling coupled with dynamic game play. While Star Wars: The Old Republic provides a story line full of choices, not since Knights of the Old Republic have gamers been able to effect game play on a truly personalized level.

So why, exactly, should Telltale games be working with Lucasfilm and Disney as soon as possible? Let's take a look. 

KOTOR Revival

The classic game and its sequel allowed players to explore a diverse expanded universe while maintaining two separate stories. Telltale often allows players to take on more narrative control, however mundane certain elements they may seem at times, amping up the importance of choice. Giving gamers a wider range of narrative choices is something even KOTOR didn't fully allow, so Telltale could truly revolutionize the way storytelling is done in the Star Wars universe.

On top of that, KOTOR's deep story left gamers with a lasting impression, something other games in the universe have (in ways) failed to do. In gaming, far more liberties are taken with established IPs, and more concepts are often expanded upon to truly fit the narrative of the universe's other canon media.

A Telltale Game's series could revolve around eras we've not fully explored in other media, such as the time just before the Prequel Trilogy or the 30 years between RotJ and TFA. 

Utilizing Story, Not Just Combat

While most games in the Star Wars universe maintain a rough balance of 70% combat and 30% story, Telltale utilizes a near opposite formula that could allow for more in-depth storytelling. While this may not be what all Star Wars gamers are looking for, players of Telltale's games would appreciate being able to take control of any character from the universe and participating in the deeply personal stories that surround them.

Whether that character is well known or a new introduced one, a game like this lends itself to multiple types of stories.

The Ability to Feature Canon Stories

At Star Wars Celebration Orlando, the panel for Battlefront 2 revealed that the story of Iden Versio would be a canon one, opening the gateway for more canon stories in gaming. While this will mark the first original canon story in gaming franchise history since the canon reboot by Disney, Telltale could work on following this up with their own original character, where the story would be entirely dependent on what the majority of gamers chose. Combining this with a canon Star Wars character would be amazing, as it would be another first for the universe and gaming.   

A SWTOR Alternative

While SWTOR may be adding stories that continue to change the game's online universe, there are no other games allowing such story choice in Star Wars gaming. Telltale is the prime candidate for filling this gap -- because MMO's aren't for everyone. Further, SWTOR's PC exclusivity alienates even more of the gamer market. Switching this to a game more gamers can access would return that feeling of KOTOR mentioned earlier, while not entirely disrupting what SWTOR is doing, and continues to do.

The Continued Progress of Telltale Games

It's not often we get to talk about the change of a company from its founding to the present, but Telltale's rise is a story worth Lucasfilms and Disney taking note of. Founded in 2004, Telltale Games employs many designers that formerly worked for LucasArts. Their first game, a poker simulator, may not have been at all what we think of them for today, but over time, the company showed their dynamic range and others took notice. They went on to work on multiple CSI games and a Wallace & Gromit game, with it all culminating to a Back to the Future game and the now famous The Walking Dead series.

The studio found their niche and what fans responded the to most. Being able to not only create games based on supremely popular franchises but do those franchises justice, is outstanding. Star Wars fans should look at the rise of the company and realize they not only can be trusted with the brand, but that they'll bring new ways to look at our well known heroes without distorting them.

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The case for Telltale Games to get to work on a Star Wars game is very clear; it boils down to the fans not having enough alternatives and the in-depth stories they'd tell. 

Telltale could truly give us something both familiar and entirely new, and the pairing would be perfect. Until then, stay tuned to GameSkinny for all things Star Wars gaming.

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No Star Wars News on May 4 Is Actually Bad News For Gaming This Summer https://www.gameskinny.com/hr89v/no-star-wars-news-on-may-4-is-actually-bad-news-for-gaming-this-summer https://www.gameskinny.com/hr89v/no-star-wars-news-on-may-4-is-actually-bad-news-for-gaming-this-summer Mon, 08 May 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Nick Lee

With gamers patiently waiting for some new news on the future of Star Wars gaming, we all found out we would have to wait a little longer before more news was released -- and that's a good thing.

With events like EA Play promising to reveal gameplay from the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront 2, a lack of reveals on May 4 mean we've got little to no more exciting news in store after EA Play.

In the past two years, Star Wars promised and delivered on news on May 4, but this year, that changed. This could be because of the proximity of Star Wars Celebration Orlando and its' reveals of trailers for both The Last Jedi  and Battlefront 2's, or it could be due to the leaked trailer worrying the studios about more leaks.

While Battlefront remains at the forefront of Star Wars gaming right now, side projects like Visceral's Star Wars game, which was alluded to with the screenshot pictured above, are still keeping a low profile. So what do the lack of reveals mean for both projects and other Star Wars games?

In short, the planned events with EA's involvement will be all that's left for association with Battlefront. There are major doubts that any surprise trailers will show up after EA Play, unless it's closer to the game's launch date, and Star Wars gaming will be on hold with new releases and news during the Summer unfortunately.

Sadly, this means Lucasfilms and Star Wars' focus will be on promotion of the upcoming movie more than the side project I mentioned earlier or gaming in general. The only grace to this is that gamers will have updates to Star Wars: The Old Republic to hold them over until EA Play comes around.

Until more news comes around, get all the replay you can out of the current Battlefront game or take advantage of the new SWTOR War for Iokath update.

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If You're a Fan of Knights of the Old Republic, You Should Be Excited for the Apeiron Mod https://www.gameskinny.com/bdmb9/if-youre-a-fan-of-knights-of-the-old-republic-you-should-be-excited-for-the-apeiron-mod https://www.gameskinny.com/bdmb9/if-youre-a-fan-of-knights-of-the-old-republic-you-should-be-excited-for-the-apeiron-mod Fri, 05 May 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Nick Lee

Complete with new assets for a reboot, Poem Studios has been in the process of recreating Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in a remaster called Apeiron. The 2003 game of the year is still a favorite among Star Wars gamers and those who want to relive the trials of Bastila, Malak, and Revan with new content, worlds, missions, items, and companions.

The development of the game can be divided into two main areas, recapturing the original magic of Knights of the Old Republic and also taking new liberties with the classic. So when thinking about KOTOR, true fans should be excited for what Apeiron is doing for the vanilla version of the game.

Apeiron Honors the Original KOTOR

True to the original game, Poem Studios is planning on providing all the original content and more within Apeiron. This, of course, includes KOTOR's original missions, story, and characters. In order to play Apeiron, gamers will need a copy of the original game since the original music and audio files are being used in the mod.

And Poem is making some great progress, with the latest update to the mod being released only weeks ago.

What's Actually New in Apeiron?

Poem Studios has promised that the Apeiron mod for Knights of the Old Republic will include "added content, new worlds, missions, HUD, inventory, items, and companions."

Developed with Unreal Engine 4 version 4.15, along with several other programs for textures, animations, and assets, the project is set to add future developers, but currently, fans can volunteer as the project continues to grow.

Unfortunately, there's been no mention of how the studio plans to write stories for new missions nor are there any voice actors associated with the project yet. The mod is set to be one of the few created only for fans while incorporating them as well, but hasn't illuminated how this will be done.

Why Believe The Hype?

Gamers who loved the original KOTOR should be excited for the mod as it adds to the EU demand fans have longed for, while also extending the original favorite. While adored, vanilla KOTOR has definitely suffered in the graphics department, so updated graphics and assets will make the game feel far more real than any Star Wars game on the market right now.

Even when compared to the spiritual successor of the KOTOR franchise, Star Wars: The Old Republic, the game still had better reactions with both its story and original characters.

Further, the failings of SWTOR can finally be answered by this impressive reworking. Though the mod has been in development for over a year, gamers should keep a watchful eye on the numerous dev streams and images that keep popping up for the mod. While only glimpses, these images and live streams show us the massive attention to detail and from-the-ground-up work that is being done to recreate the game fans have so long adored.

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Poem Studios, in conjunction with fans of KOTOR, are creating a dream come true for the original Knights of the Old Republic franchise, one that never got its long-awaited third installment. Fans need to keep a watchful eye by following along the journey toward this mod as it recaptures the great fun and beauty of the original, while adding something new along the way. 

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How to Level Up Your SWTOR Companions Faster https://www.gameskinny.com/ggjbo/how-to-level-up-your-swtor-companions-faster https://www.gameskinny.com/ggjbo/how-to-level-up-your-swtor-companions-faster Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:17:05 -0400 Nick Lee

Getting companions to max influence with your primary character -- as they also reach level 50 -- isn't as difficult as it might seem. There is one primary way to go about leveling and unfortunately it doesn't merit the phrase "fast" without some credits. Giving gifts, or gifting, your companion is the main way to max them out as you complete the main story arcs or even after level 50. Another way, albeit secondary for many players, is to have your companions agree with your actions while completing the story line.

Regardless of how well you've done with conversation checks, your companions may still not be at max influence, so how do we get by through gifting alone?

Math, unfortunately, but it's not too difficult so let's have a look.

Maxing Influence Breakdown (Level 1 - 50)

Influence runs by rank, similar to leveling your main character, from 1 to 50 and requires 250,000 influence. Each of these ranks grant the following bonuses, +50 Presence, +1.5% time efficiency for crew skill tasks, and +0.5% critical rate for crew skill tasks. Using character rank 30 we can see what influence rank you'll have with a companion and can scale it in a similar sense:

Rank Influence Total Influence
5 900 2500
10 1900 10000
15 2900 22500
30 5900 90000
35 6900 122500
40 7900 160000

Using this scale you can see how the bonuses will stack as your level is compounded with a companion's influence rank. It's important to note that your companion's influence rank is a threshold. So a companion's influence rank 5 is actually influence rank 4 as it just crossed said threshold.

To actually maximize the influence rank a companion has, players will need to pass the conversation checks. These checks are simple success/fails checks on if your companion agrees with your action or they disagree. Both grant experience but will positively or negatively affect influence depending on how much they agree or disagree with said action.

Gifting For Influence

The best way to level your companions influence as you level is to gift them. Each companion has three gift types that they like, love, or is their favorite. Dependent on the gift rank and the gift type, the companion will gain a predetermined amount of influence. In the chart below, this is outlined easily for you up to gift rank 3:

Influence Gift Rank +2 higher Gift Rank +1 higher Gift Rank = Companions Rank Gift Rank -1 lower Gift Rank -2 lower Gift Rank -3 lower
Favorite 125 106 96 48 19 0
Love 70 59 54 27 12 0
Like 31 26 24 12 5 0

There are other bonuses that affect how well a gift does, and the largest bonuses can really help companion influence rise quickly. Each gift corresponds to a color which itself represents a gear level. For instance, purple gifts (a gift whose name is highlighted in purple meaning it's an artifact) will produce an extra 400% bonus affection over a green gift.

Green gifts represent premium but don't provide nearly the same amount of a bonus to companions. Gift rarity is another factor of importance so a quick way to tell is by knowing what each color represents -- clicking on each before you gift it just to double check is highly recommended.

How To Purchase and Get the Best Use Out Of Gifts

So now that you know all about what gifts are, how companions may respond, and the different types of gifts, there's only one step left. To actually weigh the cost of purchasing gifts and using them you're going to need to access to a spreadsheet.

The most reputable spreadsheets follow a look to one I have replicated and tested. Or should mine not hold up, others have shared their own calculator through TORcommunity.com. Following this you'll know exactly how many credits you'll need to successfully level a companion as quickly as possible.

How To More Frugally Level & Legendary Perks

The rising costs as the calculator displays may seem to be a bit of an undertaking and who knew all of a sudden you'd feel like you're doing your taxes. There are other ways that reduce or increase the costs, one costing time, the other costing money. The cheap way, for more time goes as follows:

  • Buy Rank 5 Favorite companion gifts

    • You'll need 500 for 10k each which equals roughly 5 million credits
    • Constantly check the GTN. Any listing for rank 5 gifts for 9 to 9.5 thousand will save credits
  • In character perks, purchase the perk that speeds up gift giving by 60%
  • Watch the news or put on your favorite show, click gifts and within 15 minutes, you will go from level 1 influence to level 50...

For the increased cost of getting the legacy perk, companion gifting will go by much faster and can save you the trouble of losing time. The legacy bonus “Legacy of Altruism,” pictured above, can be unlocked for 90,000 credits, which maxes out the bonus. This will make companion gifts 30% more effective on this character.

With legacy perk (+30% effectiveness on gifts) you can buy gifts in the fleet. Rank 1 green are the cheapest option until you reach rank 40.

  • Rank 1 to Rank 20: 100,000 credits

  • Rank 20 to Rank 30: 300,000 credits

  • Rank 30 to Rank 40: 830,000 credits

After that you'll need the Tier 2 gifts which run 600 credits each:

  • Rank 40 to Rank 50: 3.2 million credits

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With this guide you should be able to fully understand the totality of gifting and speech checks for companions, and why exactly gifting will level your companions faster. This guide primarily focuses on leveling all of your companions as opposed to just one. This will best be done once you reach higher levels as you'll have more credits at your disposal.

The ability to spend more credits may not come so easy to newer characters or players so spending any real life money or cartel coins for credits now will go a long way in maxing out the influence of each companion character.

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SWTOR is Still Worth Playing -- And Here's Why https://www.gameskinny.com/rgl61/swtor-is-still-worth-playing-and-heres-why https://www.gameskinny.com/rgl61/swtor-is-still-worth-playing-and-heres-why Thu, 27 Apr 2017 12:00:01 -0400 Nick Lee

With Star Wars: The Old Republic being released in 2011, some are still wondering if playing the MMORPG is even worth it -- the short answer is yes. With new features and gameplay fixes, improved stories like the 5.2 War for Iokath update, and numerous guilds and communities, this game is still worth it.

Before I can convince you that the game is worth anything, I have to tell you that I have followed the game since release details emerged in 2008 and have played it off an on again since. A decade later the game is still upholding promises and still evolving for Star Wars gamers. In the absence of other RPG games for the franchise, Star Wars: The Old Republic still holds up, is still worth playing, and is still quintessentially Star Wars.

In 2009 when there were small guilds like mine (called Oasis Alliance in case you were wondering) who were just forming. There was immense hope that the game would be just like Knights of the Old Republic, and we'd get to take advantage of the free to play elements, but didn't even know what the costs would be or much at all for the game.

The Cost of F2P

Initial costs deterred some gamers, but one element that tied together the game (and still does to this day) was the option for F2P. F2P is meant to be a sample of the game, while frustrating at times when leveling, SWTOR is one of the only games where being F2P can still take you immensely far story wise.

The main limit to F2P when starting a story line for a new character is the ability to pick your species/race. Being a different race barely affects the story of your character and is only limited to a few mentions in story dialogue. Other than that, being F2P still has no real effects to the class stories which just received an update.

The best deal is you have SWTOR already and are considering paying but aren't sure how much better the experience would be there are still options. The best option now is to purchase through Amazon where players can get the Knights of the Eternal Throne Premium Pack which for $40.00 gives players 90 days, but also 2400 Cartel Coins (in game premium purchase coins) and a swoop bike for moving around faster which is actually one minor annoyance with F2P on larger worlds.

The Community

Though I was in a guild pre-launch the relationship there fell apart as real world expenses and business got in the way, in place of it I found another guild as there are tons of players actively building the community around SWTOR. There are a variety of guilds who focus on all the aspects of the game, from PvE, PvP, and RP, there are mixes of things for everyone. If you want your gameplay to be raid focused, story leveling focused, or just casual with some friends, SWTOR has a guild for it.

Using the SWTOR guild directory, it becomes increasingly evident that there are options for all kinds of game play that make the experience more inclusive to each gamers play style.

Appreciate What's On the Horizon

2017 should signal that the devs aren't done with SWTOR just yet. The 5.2 update should remind gamers and newcomers alike that the story and gameplay are constantly improving.

Those disappointed by the direction toward shorter stories that seemed different from the base levels 1 - 50 character story can rest assured that the focus has returned to the original intent of the game. Starting with War for IokathSWTOR devs are promising a familiar direction that responds to what the players asked for. This direction culminates in the answer to if you should play this game, and the answer should be obvious.

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Players have to remember as I had to in my trials over the course of nearly a decade with SWTOR not to compare it with KOTOR as we mistakenly did pre-launch. Players should appreciate a game with as much content for free with the ability to pay smaller increments for a lot more options.

SWTOR provides players the options and the community to keep the game playable, so when you consider picking up the game -- go ahead and do it.

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7 Other Planets SWTOR Needs to Explore After War for Iokath https://www.gameskinny.com/b8qwr/7-other-planets-swtor-needs-to-explore-after-war-for-iokath https://www.gameskinny.com/b8qwr/7-other-planets-swtor-needs-to-explore-after-war-for-iokath Mon, 17 Apr 2017 16:18:16 -0400 Nick Lee

From the royal infighting on Alderaan to playing Huttball on Nar Shaddaa, Star Wars: The Old Republic provides a wealth of planets that don't make appearances in the Star Wars movies -- or may not be expanded upon in those films. The galaxy is a big place and there are, of course, more planets out there, ones that both the Republic and the Sith Empire could have taken -- and in some cases did take -- an interest in during the pre-Sequel era.

From desert and forest planets to worlds hidden in the Unknown Regions outside civilized space, here are seven worlds that SWTOR needs to explore after the War for Iokath

Jedha

The Spiritual Home of the Jedi Order

First introduced to audiences on-screen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jedha is actually the moon of NaJedha and is home to some of the oldest architecture in the known Star Wars universe. Further, these structures were inhabited by the first beings to experiment with the force. Those who have seen the film will see there are a lot of history that would be perfect for Star Wars: The Old Republic to explore -- not to mention characters ancient temples. 

On top of that, Star Wars: The Old Republic could use this planet to explore the origins of the force and how important Jedha may have once been -- similar to the current planet Tyhton. After the War for Iokath in the latest update to the game, powering the super weapon could easily lead either side of the Light and Dark struggle to this Mid Rim moon.

Kashyyyk

The Wookie Homeworld

The famous home world of the Wookies, and by extension Chewbacca, this world would be of importance to the smuggler track in SWTOR as that class would be the only class capable of bringing along a Wookie companion (Bowdaar).

That's not to mention that Kashyyyk itself is under used in Star Wars games and film. A full set of missions on this Mid Rim planet would include Wookies on a larger scale, exposing players to their culture and customs. Kashyyyk would further be a great world to explore because it has some of the most interesting terrestrial points of interest of any Star Wars planet in the Shadow Lands and the Black Forest. 

Bespin

Much More Than a Tibanna Gas Mine

First appearing in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Bespin is home to Cloud City, valuable Tibanna Gas, and the charming rouge, Lando Calrissian.

Bespin would work as a dual interest planet in Star Wars: The Old Republic, as Sith-Empire-aligned bounty hunters and Republic smugglers both could easily operate out of this planet. Bespin's Tibanna Gas deposits could be the impetus for conflict between the two main SWTOR factions. On top of that, exploring the planet during the SWTOR era could help flesh out not only the planet's history, but also the history of Cloud City prior to the Original Trilogy era. 

Rakata Prime

Center of the Infinite Empire

Players of the iconic Knights of the Old Republic RPG will recognize this world as the final planet visited by Revan and his allies. However, Rakata Prime can actually stray from the acts of Revan and go here directly after Iokath as, chronologically, it would be the last time a super weapon was fought over, ending in the mutual destruction of two factions -- perhaps a mirror to the conflicts occurring in SWTOR

Rakata Prime was also home to an ancient race of aliens called the Rakata, who built the Star Forge, a massive factory that created a near limitless source of power for the Sith Empire. If these beings are still alive, that would be an infinitely interesting storyline to pursue, directly tying into the events of SWTOR.  

Alsakan

A Core Founder on the Perlemian Trade Route

With a name only referenced on the planet Alderaan, Alsakan was home to a galactic conflict only explored in the SW expanded universe. Situated along an important trade route, Alsakan is an ancient and wealthy world dominated by humanoids. Their history of civil war mirrors that of the story being currently told in Star Wars: The Old Republic, so using this planet as a warzone could enhance the core through-line of the game.

Iokath will add a new setting for PvP and PvE combat, but further expanding that to another location would diversify arenas and locations, further expanding SWTOR lore without focusing on traditional story elements. 

Ossus

Home of Ancient Sith Secrets

Thought to be one of the first Jedi home worlds, Ossus was also the home to an ancient Jedi temple, as well as antediluvian Sith and Jedi secrets. While bringing this world into SWTOR would refocus primarily on the Jedi and Sith conflict, having Ossus added to the catalog of reachable SWTOR worlds could allow the game to further explore other seemingly-lost and primeval Force-centric artifacts, greatly expanding the history of the Jedi/Sith conflict, helping players better understand their actions on a personal and galactic level. 

What's more, because of Ossus' ties to ancient Force teachings, it would be a prime planet for ancient weaponry and armor, too. Here, these pieces of prehistoric loot could (and would) be imbued with forgone power, perhaps adding new mechanics to the game. 

Mustafar -- Future Home of the Shadow Collective

This lava planet is only visited twice in the Star Wars films, but it doubles as the symbolic transformation of Darth Vader. Mustafar is the ideal place for large transformative dark side options as the lava planet would most likely be exclusive to the dark side and could even feature some companion betrayal here. 

If extended to include both sides, the resources being mined on Mustafar would likely be of use as the entire genesis of Iokathan conflict, where both sides search for ways to overcome the other. It would be an unlikely regrouping point, one full of much sought-after resources. 

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These seven planets are just some of the most interesting planets containing bountiful storylines that Star Wars: The Old Republic could explore. While some are more obvious than others, there's no doubt that these planets have amazing design options, character writing exploits, and numerous story options that can be utilized in the ever expanding SWTOR.

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Everything You Need to Know about SWTOR Patch 5.2 https://www.gameskinny.com/dy6w1/everything-you-need-to-know-about-swtor-patch-52 https://www.gameskinny.com/dy6w1/everything-you-need-to-know-about-swtor-patch-52 Mon, 17 Apr 2017 16:18:32 -0400 Nick Lee

The new Star Wars: The Old Republic patch 5.2 may introduce the new story arch in the "War for Iokath," but the patch brings together new items, missions, and battles for players to delve into. The devs have also done minor bug fixes and corrected issues with features found in "Knights of the Eternal Throne."

Let's take a closer look at all the goodies coming with SWTOR Patch 5.2. 

SWTOR's New Story and Loot Drop Fixes

Forcing players to choose again between the Republic and the Sith Empire, the "War for Iokath" story line tasks players with deciding who should hold a super weapon on the ancient, droid-controlled world. The story incorporates returning companions and a new operation boss named Tyth.

The story refocuses on the classic galactic conflict as players return from the eternal throne. Returning NPCs that will aid or fight against players include Sith Warrior companion Malavai Quinn and Republic Trooper companion Elara Dorne.

Tyth, the god of rage, is the first boss in the new "Gods from the Machine" operation players have the opportunity to acquire his unique force pike. This possible drop, along with a multitude of others, has been the focus of the patch. But other player rewards are in the mix. These fixes include flashpoint drop fixes, incorporating Command Experience value for all enemies killed, and more. What's more, tier drops are also getting fixes.

From the patch notes: 

  • Command Rank 300 is now Tier 4 of Galactic Command
  • Bosses will now drop the following Unassembled Gear Pieces in existing Operations:
    • Tier 2 Legendary Unassembled Gear Pieces -- Story Mode
    • Tier 3 Legendary Unassembled Gear Pieces -- Veteran Mode
    • Tier 4 Prototype and Artifact Unassembled Gear Pieces-- Master Mode (Non-final bosses)
    • Tier 4 Legendary Unassembled Gear Pieces -- Master Mode (Final bosses)
  • "Gods From the Machine" bosses will drop:
    • Tier 3 Legendary Unassembled Gear Pieces -- Story Mode
    • Tier 4 Legendary Unassembled Gear Pieces -- Veteran Mode

SWTOR Warzones, PvP, and Intro Changes Coming in Patch 5.2

PVP and Warzone Changes

Daily missions now allow players to switch factions and fight with or against players on a daily basis. PvP arenas, specifically on Iokath, can now include new features such as turrets, which players can place and use against enemies, along with other fun items like mouse droids. 

Warzones have received updates, which increase the requirements to earn "Damage Done, Healing Done, and Damage Prevented medals." 

Star Wars: The Old Republic Story Intro Changes

The introduction scenes for each of the original eight story lines players can choose from have been "significantly updated and improved." This comes after numerous fixes to voice lines listed in the patch notes, as well as some minor appearance fixes for companions. The change wasn't expanded upon much at all by the devs, but was listed as an important note.

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The SWTOR patch 5.2 seeks to bring back players who may have been lost through the diverging "Eternal Throne" story line. This comes in the form of a return to the galactic conflict, fixes to the galactic command feature, and more rewards for players via drops. 

If these players will continue to stay with the SWTOR journey remains to be seen, as this is the first major update for 2017. So stay tuned to GameSkinny for all future SWTOR updates.

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First Look: SWTOR - KOTET's New Adventure, The War for Iokath https://www.gameskinny.com/dbehh/first-look-swtor-kotets-new-adventure-the-war-for-iokath https://www.gameskinny.com/dbehh/first-look-swtor-kotets-new-adventure-the-war-for-iokath Tue, 11 Apr 2017 06:00:01 -0400 Nick Lee

Star Wars the Old Republic - Knights of the Eternal ThroneThe War for Iokath is an adventure that refocuses on the conflict between the Galactic Empire and Republic while challenging players like never before. Iokath is an ancient planet that is entirely run by droids, but has become a point of interest for both factions as they seek to shift the balance of power away from the eternal throne. Iokath is home to great technology, but above all a super weapon capable of mass destruction.

In an exclusive live stream via UStream and roundtable Q&A, we spoke to Deborah Shin, Sr. Brand Manager, and SWTOR creative director Charles Boyd on April 4 about the update and what players can expect going forward. The update, also known as patch 5.2, follows directly after the conflicts with the Eternal Throne -- who the player's character is as the head of after defeating its' former royal family. The update takes a different direction however, Boyd stated :

We think its leaning into what are players have been asking for. More multiplayer, more for guilds

 Return to the Classic Conflict

SWTOR, Star Wars the Old Republic

The focus of the new update is around what players wanted out of SWTOR, as it returns to the forefront of the classic Republic versus Empire feud. This takes on a new role in the update however, as players have the option to betray or uphold their original intentions when first starting with a faction in-game. Along with these returning faction choices come returning companions and allies. In the update the Republic will be aided by Havoc Squad's Jace Malcolm and Elara Dorne, while the Sith will be aided by Malavai Quinn and Empress Acina.

Boyd went on to say that in this update and from here on out, "Choices lead to irrevocable consequences," to which the story can change dramatically from player's actions. Another return will be the use of Theron Shan whose familial drama may cause problems as well. One of the best aspects of this is the ramifications it will have on players after they finish the main storyline of the update.

From here on, players are going to be able to engage in PvP matches with friends one day, and against them the next. The new system allows players to change allegiance per day through daily missions that yield unique rewards.

More PvP and PvE

SWTOR, Star Wars the Old Republic

Another aspect that will receive focus thanks to fans desires is the focus on teaming up with friends and fellow players to take on bosses, one of which makes his debut in the April 11 trailer named Tyth, the god of rage. Players will take on bosses such as him and be able to receive more unique items as they pair up in teams of eight or 16. Bosses such as Tyth were first tested in private test servers that Boyd said they would be "leaning on" in the future as it allows for better feedback before release.

This news, while similar to what has been done in past updates, will differ in the replayability for players. In The War for Iokath update a new tier has been added which will allow players to receive more items and loot from the Galactic Command system. At rank 300 players will be able to receive new sets of gear and replaying it will allow Tier 4 drops rather than the previous repeat gear of tier 3.

Repeat drops have also been addressed so that players will now be less likely to receive duplicate items from drops as well. This function will allow players to feel adequately rewarded for level progression.

More Features

SWTOR, Star Wars the Old Republic, I am your father

Further, PvP will still utilize features such as walkers that players can command, but has added components to change up the gameplay. These features include turrets the player can place and a remote controlled mouse droids for stealth attacks. When it comes to bringing back old players who may have dropped out due to Knights of the Eternal Throne's story or from raiding being a more neglected aspect of the game, Boyd stated:

We've seen a lot of old players return to [SWTOR]. Word of mouth has been excellent to get more operation players back. [The update] hopefully will be a good opportunity for new players to branch out. Hopefully the bug will bite them and they’ll get their gear and have experiences with friends from their guilds

Level 70 players will be able to access Iokath, and when battling fellow players they will drop Iokath specific currency. This adds in the the aspect of being able to change sides when players desire, while also allowing us to receive better replay value from the update. 

 More for the Future

SWTOR, Star Wars the Old Republic

When it comes to the state of these changes, so far they are mostly in favor of Iokath, especially the faction switching options. Faction changing previously was only done when a player either created a new character or in the previous story with Knights of the Fallen Empire. If problems should arise, Boyd assured us that the team has done a lot in terms of optimization for boss battles and to improve player rewards.

The War of Iokath brings a host of PvP changes, such as faction switching, and boss battle improvements, along with a whole new story which takes place after the events of Knights of the Eternal Throne, and a new currency specific for Iokath.

If these changes will truly continue to bring players back while adding new ones remains to be seen, but the return to the classic galactic conflict gives us hope. Finally, the story of Iokath is one that seems to be the starting point for far more in SWTOR, all hinging upon the fun we get to have now and that may be just as exciting as the update itself.

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Why I Rarely Play Free-to-Play Games https://www.gameskinny.com/dqt6u/why-i-rarely-play-free-to-play-games https://www.gameskinny.com/dqt6u/why-i-rarely-play-free-to-play-games Tue, 04 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 ReverendShmitty

I do not dislike all games of any genre, especially of Free-To-Play MMOs. I’ve enjoyed games such as Runescape, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Planetside 2, Elder Scrolls Online, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. There is simply a common trend in these games that do not appeal to me.

That said, I would never write an article with complaints if I didn't think it could prove to be helpful to game creators as constructive criticism. So let’s get into it.

Being Free

Most of these are MMORPG’s that take the same ideas as every other MMO ever, and only run with them. Health bars, mana bars, cool down bars, and little icons you click on to do stuff. Got it. But being free-to-play, which often times have a tighter budget, means they often aren’t allowed to try something new.

I’m glad they’re free so people can easily get their hands on them, but as such, they become obligated to go the safe route, which all too often means unremarkable in virtually every way.

Suggested Fix

Don't be afraid to charge for your game.

The MMO market is flooded with free-to-play titles. Over-saturation has led to stagnation in the field, with games like Wildstar and Elder Scrolls Online switching between the two.

World of Warcraft, Legion

World of Warcraft is still the biggest MMO in the world, with an estimated 4-6 million active players. And how do they keep players entertained after 12 years? Dropping enormous updates and expansions that rejuvenate the game across the board.

How do they do this? By charging a monthly subscription and putting a price on their expansions.

This not only gives them a bigger budget, which is absolutely critical for any business, but also expresses to the audience that they stand behind this product and believe it is worth your money. Free-to-play games are on the rise, but much like mobile gaming apps, majority of the money is made by a very small minority due to the lack of quality pervading the genre.

By no means should everyone abandon the model for a subscription service, but any developer who believes their game is worthy playing, should also believe their game is worth paying.

Marketing

I get it, it’s a product they spent a lot of money and time on and here I am playing it for free. As suggested above, they should at least heavily consider charging for it.

But do they really have to put an ad to sign up and become a member into every little menu? Go to a shop to buy something and boom, sign up now and immediately x amount of in-game money. Go to my character menu to see what my new armor looks like, bam, sign up for monthly drawings to win free gear.

It just gets a little tedious to look after a while of the guilt racking up, sort of like being asked to donate money during your checkout when oftentimes you can’t afford to pay, hence the reason you were playing a free game.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Suggested Fix

Less intrusive advertising.

Keep the main menu and character menu ads, but remove them from in-game menus. Show them during loading screens and the launcher, but not right below my equipment. Have a dedicated screen for it in the options so players can go sign up at any time, but don't show it and that really-cool-weapon-I-wish-I-had right above my claimable rewards.

Let us know we can sign up without shoving it down our throats or rubbing the things we're missing out on in our faces.

Perks

The biggest and by far worst aspect of free-to-play games is directly related to the Marketing point above.

The fact that members who pay a monthly fee get benefits is only reasonable, of course they should. They work for their money and should be rewarded for supporting the game.

But to constantly show this to every non-member is a bit ham-fisted. Sprint ability is a low-level ability for members but you have to wait till you’re 15 so why not sign up? Can’t customize your ally’s appearance unless you sign up. Picking out your end-of-quest reward? Can’t get these two, but members do.

By showing players what they can gain, they are also showing them what they lack. And by slapping that all over inventory menus and quest reward menus, it only succeeds in belittling everything you've done.

How do you feel accomplished after completing a punishingly difficult mission when the game immediately shows you the bonuses you're not going to get. You did the same amount of work and put in just as much effort, but because you haven't signed up (which you genuinely may not be able to afford as kid or student) you're excluded from getting the full package.

It just seems to me that selling convenience to members means creating inconvenience for non-members.

Overwatch,characters

Suggested Fix

Have perks be non-critical items and abilities.

Rather than withhold a low-level ability from non-subs, give those who do pay a sub-only cape, dance animation, or armor piece. Reward your subs not with abilities and items that everyone will get eventually-albeit much slower-but with clothing and color palettes exclusive to those who support the game.

Items like these are visible, so everyone can see who is a subscriber, while also being cosmetic items that don't allow them innate advantages. Overwatch's Loot Boxes are often looked at more favorably that Supply Drops for Call of Duty specifically because they are cosmetic items only.

Reward your subscribers without punishing everyone else.

Now, these are all relatively small matters so by no means am I trying to say free-to-play games are bad, some are quite good.

Play them all, try them out and see which ones really fit your tastes and play style. It’s all a matter of opinion and to be taken with a grain of salt. Hopefully with enough input from us players the companies will listen and make their great games even better.

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4 Best MMO Bars to Get Wasted in for Mardis Gras https://www.gameskinny.com/1lvnf/4-best-mmo-bars-to-get-wasted-in-for-mardis-gras https://www.gameskinny.com/1lvnf/4-best-mmo-bars-to-get-wasted-in-for-mardis-gras Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:23:11 -0500 Emily Parker

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Mardi Gras is, of course, famous for its masks and costumes. Celebrating in game is truly paying homage to the original spirit of the holiday. Whether you're celebrating out in the real world or planning a night in your favorite game world, hopefully Mardi Gras 2017 will be the best one yet.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/k/0/vk0v9kq-d2ace.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/k/0/vk0v9kq-d2ace.jpg","type":"slide","id":"151479","description":"

Make Your Own Mardi Gras Bar!

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Archeage
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    \n
  • Location: Home Sweet Home
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Depending on the size of your house, it's pretty easy to turn it into a fun place for your guild to get together on Mardi Gras. This is the most customizable option, from the decorations to the music to the guest list.

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Just remember how difficult it can be to get guests to leave when the festivities are over...

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/l/9/nl9u1yq-b0cc4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/l/9/nl9u1yq-b0cc4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"151478","description":"

Withered Tree Tavern

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The Elder Scrolls Online
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    \n
  • Location: Riften City Plaza
  • \n
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This tavern is already an RP favorite, and the most likely place to find other celebrators in ESO. It has two floors, with a fireplace downstairs, and a lodging area upstairs -- which means you don't have to risk drunk riding home. It's also only one of two bars in Riften, so if you're not having your best Mardi Gras at Withered Tree, you can just bar hop to Shadehome.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/d/f/gdf8vbq-1ef11.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/d/f/gdf8vbq-1ef11.jpg","type":"slide","id":"151477","description":"

The Drowning Wench

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Final Fantasy XIV
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    \n
  • Location: Limsa Lominsa Upper Decks
  • \n
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There's really nothing better than an old pirate bar, especially for Mardi Gras. And this watering hole from FFXIV is no different. The best thing about the Drunken Wench is all the fresh adventurers you'll get to harass while you celebrate.

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Hey, it wasn't your idea to put the Adventurer's Guild in a tavern.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/l/dalaran-legerdemain-lounge-d3cce.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/l/dalaran-legerdemain-lounge-d3cce.jpg","type":"slide","id":"151474","description":"

Dalaran Lounge

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World of Warcraft: Legion
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    \n
  • Location: Dalaran (Broken Isles)
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Just like SWTOR, there are tons of bars to choose from in World of Warcraft. I'm picking the Dalaran Lounge, not only because it's current, but also because both factions can come to party. Booze and opposite factions sometimes don't mix, but you're always free to head to The Underbelly to settle any Fat Tuesday disagreements.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slippery-slopes-cantina-9ccab.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slippery-slopes-cantina-9ccab.jpg","type":"slide","id":"151472","description":"

Slippery Slope

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Star Wars: The Old Republic
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    \n
  • Location:  Nar Shadaa - Promenade
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One of the very few neutral Cantinas, the Slippery Slope would be a great place to throw your Mardi Gras festivities in Star Wars: The Old Republic. This Cantina is the best on the list for both a solo celebrator or a group. There will likely be plenty of others to interact with, and there's a ton of space and seating.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/m/community-events-854x480-4e93f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/m/community-events-854x480-4e93f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"151470","description":"

Mardi Gras is coming up quickly -- and if you haven't already started celebrating, it's about time to make some plans.

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Since we're gamers, we're probably not going to be parading around Bourbon Street and collecting colorful beads by any means necessary. We prefer to celebrate our holidays online, in the worlds we know and love.

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Unfortunately, there aren't many Mardi Gras events happening in our favorite MMO games -- but that's not gonna stop us from having a good time!

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Instead of chancing the drunken streets on Fat Tuesday, why not go out hit your in-game taverns solo, or crash the scene with a group of friends? Here are some of the best MMO bars around to spend your time and hard-earned gold in for this most inebriated of holidays. 

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Grinding to a Halt: Why MMOs Should Really Rebuild Their Quest Structures https://www.gameskinny.com/c9rdd/grinding-to-a-halt-why-mmos-should-really-rebuild-their-quest-structures https://www.gameskinny.com/c9rdd/grinding-to-a-halt-why-mmos-should-really-rebuild-their-quest-structures Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:00:02 -0500 SpaceGamerUK

MMO games need grinding to give players the ability to achieve more, and go further. The same grinding process is also the reason why people are playing MMOs less and less, even if they seem to be very interesting.

Let me be perfectly honest with you; there is no chance that there will be no grinding in games -- especially true in MMO games.

Do I think this is ok? No, not really. Grinding is boring, and some serious TLC is needed to make it bearable and interesting.

So what should really happen to make sure that grinding is brought to a halt?

For starters, a game which is not even an MMO, but at the same time is the poster boy for a bad grinding system:

No Man's Sky

Let's forget the whole discussion about what NMS was/is, and if the advertising on the Steam store was actually cheating or lying. I believe that everything has been said by everybody about Sean Murray and his vision of almost unlimited worlds -- hint: they all just appeared to be a second class cartoon with a lot of limitations.

This is not how NMS look in reality. Sorry!

What is important though, NMS is a perfect example of a game with boring grinding for no reason. Or rather I should write -- grinding is actually THE reason for everything.

No Man's Sky, due to ill design, did not present any interesting aim for the players. Very quickly it was established that there is nothing in the heavily advertised "centre of the Universe" -- the endgame for NMS. I think someone got there in the first couple of hours of the game, and was transferred to exactly the same Universe (at least it looked the same). How very sad and a boring idea for the game finale it was.

Grinding in NMS is very bad, by waving some sort of blaster taking chunks of different coloured blobs. That's it.

If anybody thinks that I chose NMS as an example of bad grinding in games because it was easy target -- this is exactly the reason! But I will not feel guilty, the grinding of the games should feel guilty of being bland.

The reason I have brought No Man's Sky is, that the grinding in the game failed badly. There was no really interesting story behind it. It seems that Hello Games people one day were sitting behind the table and decided that NMS players must grind something. Otherwise the game will have no purpose.

I think this is the worst case scenario for any game -- when grinding becomes the aim for it.

What about Elite: Dangerous?

I love the game, don't get me wrong, but repetition in Frontier's version of the Milky Way can sometimes be concerning. It certainly drags player out of the game very often.

There is an aim here though. The reason for grinding in ED is to reach Elite rank in three categories: fight, exploration, and trading. Higher ranks are also responsible for the access to some of the solar systems, and also grant access to more sophisticated space ships.

Where is the problem?

I feel that the problem is lack of variety in the quests. It is not so visible at the beginning, but with time, when players have most of the space ships and ranks it becomes very apparent; there is not too much else to do.

I am just in the middle of a passenger trip taking 6 people to some sort of Nebula. Hours of jumping from star system to star system. Nice views -- I can admit -- but nothing more. This is where the problem lies; grinding is lonely and overly prolonged.

A lot of players who are leaving ED claim that they achieved everything. Sometimes two or three times, and that is it.

I can understand this point of view and I can see where those leavers are coming from.

I didn't quit though, and regardless that I am sure there is much to say about endless grinding in ED, there is also one thing, which makes it different comparing to many other titles. The reason why grinding can be acceptable is that you can interact with other players (when you are not on your way to a nebula) and create some sort of own story.

This is an important feature of properly designed MMO games, such as Elite: Dangerous; people are never alone and they can interact not only with the in-game world but also with each other. This makes a difference and provides sense to questing and grinding.

The same principle applies to every MMO game

Let's take a look at the really big titles. World of Warcraft is certainly top of the bunch. Highly acclaimed, easily playable but still based on the old MMORPG principle of waving your sword/axe/knife or shooting, and just in world doing repetitive quests to achieve higher ranks. Mega grind in progress...

Star Wars: The Old Republic? Exactly the same. After 2 hours of playing this game I was ready to uninstall it and forget it forever. And I actually did -- until a friend, who has been playing for the last 5 years, told me exactly why he is still playing and why I was unwise to quit.

He stays in game for the people who are playing with him. It is not so much about another quest, another skill or ability any more. What keeps him coming back, grinding another quest, achieving another skill is an ability to use what he learned during team escapades against other clans or teams.

It seems to be really clear, that to avoid grinding which will put people out of the MMO game, developers must re-think the position of quests/grinding in their game design.

Quest structure should be rebuilt...

...and players should gain deeper control over their own development paths.

The easiest way to describe a good grinding system would be our real life structure.

Of course people need to work, and work quite often reminds us of proper in-game grinding. The difference is that in life we are fully in charge of our decisions and choices. Therefore we are in power to stop our grind -- change of job, move to another country, write a book, or start to write for GameSkinny (editor note -- in our JTP program hint hint)...

Good MMO games should follow a similar pattern; of course games are not real life and never should be. The popularity of sandbox games, like Life is Feudal, Astroneer, Evochron Legacy, shows quite clearly that set quests and grinding becoming rather obsolete. Players want to decide about their in-game life and what to do next.

This is the reason why in Elite: Dangerous, Star Wars: The Old Republic, World of Warcraft, and so many other games, people are slowly adding an element of team cooperation though factions, corporations, any sort of PvP interaction, and more.

This is the way of bringing grinding back to life -- making it useful for the community and a force for good.

Therefore quest structure should rely on the choice of the players. They should be less designed as a path from A to B, and should be about choices with the support of others, skip a couple of levels, jump higher, and succeed or fail. Learn from experience, learn from mistakes. Learn from others.

EVE Online is all about players and learning

There is only one world in EVE. The world is cruel and requires you to learn from all the players. It can be a painful experience, dragging people out of the game, but they have the option to work with other people, have some advice, and above all support. In exchange they just need to be useful for the community.

A few days ago I was in my tier 1 frigate flying around. As a noob in space, I wasn't grinding. I was attacking space structures surrounded by players with tonnes of skills, and flying ships I was not be able to buy for another two years of playing EVE. I was still part of this story. It was fun. Much better than endless missions for local militia.

In many games I would need to level up for ages to even gain access to this kind of "boss fight."

I think that CCP, the developers of EVE Online, learned a long time ago that the best method of keeping your game interesting and popular is to give players an ability to mould the game and run it. This is why EVE has such a sophisticated economy system, lively corporations, and constant buzz around main alliances -- as well as  space battles with thousands of players.

There is no reason to remove grinding from a game. What should really happen is developers making sure that grinding will not become the reason for the game.

With interesting, non-linear quest design, stunning visuals, and an attention grabbing believable story behind it all, every MMO game will be closer to being a better version of real life. Regardless that many look at games as an escape, we are also hoping to find something familiar there, as well as a life changing experience which would require effort but not constant boredom.

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