Something new to listen to when playing SWTOR

TOROZ Reader Kuuzon has given us a heads-up on a nice little piece of Star Wars remixing. Star Wars – Duel Of The Fates (The Noisy Freaks & Dead C∆T Bounce remix) takes a hefty step away from the classical orientation of John Williams’ music and it works pretty damn well.

Have a listen for yourself:

So what do you think? Can you see this in your raiding music arsenal?

Suggestion Box: Music or Not?

This week I thought we’d move the suggestion box away from the battlefield and get cultured. Specifically, let’s talk music. I still haven’t gotten sick of SWTOR’s soundtrack at all, which is probably helped by the fact it’s quite sparse depending on what you’re doing.

So jump in and let us know: are you playing SWTOR with the music on, and if not, what do you do instead?

SWTOR bonus music tracks in one spot

In case you don’t follow SWTOR’s official presence on Facebook, they’ve been releasing a music track from the game each day.

These tracks are additional to the ones buyers of the Collector’s Edition will receive, so jump in and have a listen. We’ll update this page with each new track added. Each track listed below has the Youtube version and a link to listen to or download the MP3.

Tython, The Wellspring

MP3 link

The Mandalorian Blockade

MP3 link

Korriban, The Homeworld

MP3 link

Yesterday’s Jawa

MP3 link

Average Brown Wookiee

MP3 link

Ord Mantell, The Battleground

MP3 link

Nal Hutta, The Glorious Jewel

MP3 link

Class intros and Q&A goodness

Comic-Con, Class intros, and  Community Q&A are all on the menu for this week’s update. Comic-Con kicks off Wednesday July 20th for a three hour preview night, then on Thursday the real fun begins.

 At 3:30PM on Thursday, July 21st our panel for Star Wars: The Old Republic will be held inside room #6BCF

– Bioware


Bioware will also be taking over the Hilton Gaslamp Quarter Hotel, having plenty of hands on with SWTOR and also holding a Q&A session. Bioware will be holding hands on sessions on four different days, Thursday through Saturday 12:00pm to 7:00pm. On Sunday they shut it down at 5:30.

Senior Video Editor Bryan Arndt takes us through this week’s studio insider on creating the class intro videos. The design team sat down and watched all six intros to the Star Wars saga, analyzing every second. After reviewing all six they decided to go with Empire Strikes Back as the template for the crawl in the intro videos. Arndt says the hardest part was getting the angle of the crawl right, among the complexities of the crawl dealing with exacting the color of text to the speed and margin used. After the crawl was designed they started work on the cinematic aspects of each class and go into detail about the Sith Warrior and Republic Smuggler. The Sith’s intro is a simplistic styled view very reminiscent of the movies with a larger destroyer cruising into the top of the screen. As the Destroyer comes into view a lone shuttle descends from the destroyer and blasts towards Korriban.

The Smuggler”s intro is much more intricate, involving the Smuggler breaking through a Sith blockade around Ord Mantell to get supplies to the Republics troops. The intro has the Smuggler pulling off fancy maneuvers while out-flying a Sith fighter, very cool cinematic start for the Smuggler.

As usual the Q&A is just too long for me to cover all of it so be sure to read the entire Article here on SWTOR’s official site. Here’s a taste:

Q: Will the NPCs have monologues or dialogues with each other that players can hear while walking nearby? – mmZero

A: Yes, they will. As in other BioWare games, ambient conversation is a part of the world and will help the player tune into the general goings-on of his or her surrounding area. Companions will sometimes voice their thoughts and opinions as well, as you travel the different worlds in The Old Republic.

I really enjoyed this in… well, every Bioware game, especially Dragon Age and Mass Effect. It really adds to the immersion and lore of the game – glad to see it made the cut.

Q: How many voice actors voiced this game? – DigitalMaster

A: We are working with a very large number of voice actors… possibly more than any other game made so far. Recent counts put the number at over nine hundred actors across all three languages, and that number is still growing.

Over 900…. Wow.

Q: Does The Old Republic use any of Ben Burrt’s original sound effects from the films? – MorgonKara

A: We’re definitely tapping into some of Ben Burtt’s classic material and integrating it into the game in different ways, sometimes as a layering approach and sometimes processing it to make something new. You’ll definitely hear some of his original material from the films too (it wouldn’t be Star Wars without it)!

Q: What percentage of the in-game music is original for The Old Republic and what percentage has already been used elsewhere (movies, other games, etc.)? – Nahte

A: We’ve written a huge amount of original music for the game. There are over six hours of original score that have been produced specifically for The Old Republic, plus an additional hour and a half of brand new cantina music. In addition to the original score, you’ll also hear the scores for both Knights of the Old Republic I and Knights of the Old Republic II. Lastly, the game just wouldn’t be complete without John Williams’ material from the Star Wars films.

Now these two questions are hand in hand for me. John Williams makes Star Wars what it is, his music drives the emotions that run so deep in the films. The lesser known Ben Burrt had just as much impact on the movies – his sounds are so iconic that SWTOR would be missing out on not using/sampling from them.


Alec “Dekin” Bailey signing out. For the Republic!


Combat Noise and Community Q&A

The update for Friday May 20th Bioware gives us a Studio Insider over combat audio from Audio Designer Scott Morton, a Community Creations spotlight, a video review of the April Fansite Summit at Bioware Austin, and everyone’s favorite, a Community Q&A.

Scott Morton is one of the many Audio Designers working on music and sound effects in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Morton says he spends half his time creating new sounds for SWTOR and the other half creating technical concepts of how to get them working in The Old Republic.

Audio in video games is always sort of an enhancer – when you fire off a spell or ability you want to have the gratifying bursting or bellowing sound that accompanies it, or when entering a dungeon the battle music picks up and you know you’re about to get into some action. To me the biggest part of audio in games is to help with immersion, help making me feel like I just saved a village with a heroic song or war drums beating to let me know I’m about to get my hands dirty. It wouldn’t make sense for a character’s “Stealth” ability to be one of those booming sounds, or the battle music in a zone be less than a call to war.

That’s why there are people like Scott Morton who give each class and ability a unique sound that helps let you know what you’re getting into. In the update Morton goes over how after they create a sound they have to stop and think “Does this sound like Star Wars?”  To me that’s the biggest question of all – is this Star Wars? I don’t want my blaster to sound like a phaser, or my proton torpedoes to sound like photon torpedoes, because that’s one of the things that makes Star Wars great – its unique sounds and exceptional musical scores. To read the full story and watch three short but interesting videos check out the official update page.

The Community Q&A is done this week by Senior Concept Artist Clint Young, he answers some of the community’s more art-related questions.  As usual I will post the ones I find the most interesting or informative.

Q: Are there weather condition changes on planets? – Fyror

A: Each planet has localized weather conditions. Depending on the world the weather you will encounter will include rain, snow, sandstorms and many other unfavorable conditions; it just happens to be a constant for those worlds. For example, if you’re on Hoth you can expect moderate to heavy snowfall with the occasional blizzard.

I’m kinda torn on this one, I would’ve liked to see dynamic weather, but on the other hand I think every planet in the Star Wars universe is pretty static. It’s in no way close to being a deal breaker, but would’ve been nice.

Q: Will everyone have their own unique armor/look in the game, or will we be seeing some of the same armor/look on multiple people?

A: We have thousands of different armor/outfit combinations planned for the players and are currently still building this list and will continue to do so even after we launch. That being said, there will be millions of players, so there will be some crossover in their looks. Our main concern is that each player looks specific to their chosen class and has enough variation to allow the player to feel as unique as possible. For instance, if you are playing a Jedi Knight you will look significantly different from a Jedi Consular. You will also have opportunities to distinguish yourself from other players of your same class by going off the beaten path to find rare gear.

Sort of a rhetorical question – if you’ve ever played an MMO then you know that of course your gonna see people in the same sets that are the same class, because everyone is looking for that optimal set of gear. The thing I like on this answer is how he says “Off the beaten Path” – he possibly could be hinting at leaving the areas your quests send you so you can explore but also find special weapons and armors.

Be sure to check out the full Q&A on SWTOR’s site, it’s right below the Studio Insider.

The Video from the April Fansite Summit can be found Here, it’s short but shows some in-game footage of PvE and PvP which is always nice.

The Fan Friday Community Creation update is great, it shows off some of the forums fantastic artist as well as adding a new batch of smilies and forum avatars. Also has a great piece of consept art done for the planet Hutta. Most important part of the Fan Friday was the Events section: SWTOR will be attending San Diego Comic Con, GamesCon, Penny Arcade Expo, EuroGamer, New York Comic Con, Paris Games Week, and DreamHack. They’ll also be at E3 but that’s almost a given, and that’s when I bet we’ll get are release date.

May the Force be with you.