Massively: Are They F2P Snobs?


This post originally appeared over at Simon’s blog – do yourself a favour and check it out.

As a serious journalist, such questions are anathema. However since I’m not a journalist or even entirely sane, let me respond to this post’s title by saying “Yes. Yes they are.”

So what do I mean by ‘snob’? Basically it’s someone who wants to hang out with society’s cream, while diminishing those they feel are inferior. In this case Massively appears to think that any game that is not subscription based is inferior because none of its feature columns are established F2P hybrids. There are two exceptions, but they don’t really count. One is a sporadic column on LotRO, penned by a staff writer. The other is Star Citizen (yes it has a form of subscription) which still has enough anticipation buzz to warrant the cost of coverage.

So why has the talented and always amiable Larry Everett had to put the Hyperspace Beacon in a brown cardboard box and move it to a new home? Well in my poorly researched opinion it is either a case of too few people clicking to it or (more likely) that they don’t want to give SWTOR the elevated level of coverage.

I can only, and will only, speculate on the reasons behind that, but as the title of this asserts I believe it to be snobbery. Somehow Massively feel it drags their site’s prestige and credibility down by covering a game that many feel (incorrectly) is a failed enterprise. Better to cover games that haven’t failed (because they haven’t been released) or games of modest success but possess great kudos in the community (EVE Online).

In the meantime the Hyperspace Beacon is alive and well at – or follow everyones favorite wookie on twitter @shaddoe​

The good news is Larry still pens a column for Massively about the upcoming (sub based) Elder Scrolls Online.

SWTOR Server Maintenance: 24th July 2012

A normal four-hour maintenance window for SWTOR this week:

AEST: 5pm-9pm
AWST: 3pm-7pm
NZST: 7pm-11pm

If you’re wanting your fill of SWTOR while the servers are down, why not have a listen to the latest episode of our podcast?

The full maintenance info from BioWare:

Hello everyone, we wanted to let you know that we will be performing scheduled maintenance for four hours on Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 from 2AM CDT (12AM PDT/3AM EDT/8AM BST/9AM CEST/5PM AEST) until 6AM CDT (4AM PDT/7AM EDT/12PM BST/1PM CEST/9PM AEST). All game servers and will be offline during this period. This maintenance is expected to take no more than four hours, but could be extended.

This weekly maintenance is done in order to make general improvements and to check performance of the game so that we can continue to provide a consistent, quality experience. Quite often (but not always) after a maintenance period there will be a patch to download. After the maintenance, please login via the launcher to download the latest patch. If your launcher was open during the maintenance, you must close and reopen it for a fresh login.

Scheduled Maintenance

Date: Tuesday, July 24th, 2012


All game servers and will be offline during this period. This maintenance is expected to take no more than four hours.

Thank you for your patience as we maintain service for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.

HK-51: More Details Released

BioWare, following up from the San Diego Comic Con, have provided a trailer and a brief snippet of text on the HK-51 assassination droid, which will be available in “the very near future”:

Buried deep beneath the icy surface of Belsavis rests an army of the deadliest, most feared machines in the known galaxy. Thought to have been lost when an Imperial freighter was destroyed, they have recently been rediscovered by a group of renegade Sith Lords. Now both the Sith Empire and Galactic Republic seek to control these dangerous weapons for themselves. Those who are brave enough to venture into the wreckage will emerge with a powerful new ally.

We are excited to unveil the dangerous assassination droid HK-51! Cold, calculating, and ruthlessly efficient, HK-51 will stand by your side and loyally follow your command as you and your allies continue your journey. Journalists were given a brief preview of HK-51 at E3, but now we are happy to be able to show everyone at San Diego Comic-Con, and all of you at home, the full trailer.

Here’s the trailer (you now can’t embed the vids from what I can see – thanks BioWare!)

Over to you: is access to HK-51 something you’re dead keen on?

The Casual SWTORian: Patch 1.2 Release Overview

The Casual SWTORian is dedicated each week to those who don’t have the time to immerse themselves in game developments but instead want a very simple roundup of things happening and stuff on the horizon. If you like what you read, tell our casual guru Ken.

Over the past few weeks Bioware have been promoting the 1.2 patch and the legacy system, telling us we would know well in advance when they would drop. However, this week with almost no warning we received the Jesus patch. Other things of smaller note are the free pet, potential free game time, and the skipping of the weekly Q&A. And so, we begin:

“The galaxy is in turmoil. War rages across countless worlds as Republic and Imperial forces struggle for control of critical resources. Amidst the chaos, threats emerge from all sides. The planet Denova, known for its extensive deposits of baradium ore, has been seized by a band of mercenaries and veteran Imperial defectors with mysterious motives. If they are not dislodged, the explosive arsenal they can create will give them the power to destroy any armed force – Republic or Imperial. On Corellia, a corrupt councilor attempts to maximize hypermatter profits by playing both sides of the conflict, and the crazed mastermind behind the Rakghoul outbreak, discovered on Ord Mantell, continues to threaten the lives of all sentient beings in the galaxy…”

  • Players can now unlock a wide variety of rewards by leveling characters and reaching new Legacy levels, including buffs for your characters, unlocking additional Species choices for every class, and upgrades for your personal Starship. Build your own Legacy with the new Family Tree!

  • Guilds now have access to a shared Guild Bank, accessible on the Fleets, with expandable storage.

  • Players can now customize their User Interface by moving and resizing UI elements!

  • The Imperial Transportation Authority and the Galactic Republic Safety Council have authorized the use of vehicles in Orbital Space Stations and Spaceports.

  • A new “Customize” option now appears on the character sheet. One of the features this button enables is the ability to color coordinate any individual piece of armor with the equipped chestpiece.

  • The Sprint ability is now available at level 1.

  • Since our changes involve a number of skill changes for many classes, we are refunding all skill points to the affected Advanced Classes so players can adjust the distribution of their characters’ skills as they see fit with the new changes in mind. As a reminder, players can reset any character’s skill points in the Combat area on their faction’s fleet for free once per week (additional respecs cost credits).

  • The cooldown associated with giving companions gifts has been removed. Giving a gift now has a 3-second activation time.

  • C2-N2 and 2V-R8 have been reprimanded and now vocalize less frequently on personal starships.

  • Companions now use accurate voice responses regarding the success or failure of their Crew Missions when they return.

  • Schematics for color crystals in various colors (including endgame-quality varieties) have been added to the game.

  • Several unusual crystal formations have been reported in the mountainous regions of Alderaan.

  • Offhand weapons are now more clearly marked as such.

  • Sniper Rifles no longer drop for Republic players.

  • An issue that caused some items to be unlinkable in chat has been addressed.

  • A set of modifiable Techblades and Techstaffs has been added to the game.

  • The Korrealis line of landspeeders has been removed from vendors.

  • License costs for Vehicle Piloting rank 1, 2, and 3 have been reduced.

  • Junk (grey) items no longer appear in the buyback window.

  • The chances for one player to win the majority of rolls in Multiplayer Conversations have been diminished.

  • Several missions that require the player to defeat a specific enemy NPC have been updated. In affected missions, the player can now interact with an object in the world to spawn the target (instead of needing to wait for a respawn).

  • Corrected many instances where text and voiceovers did not match.


  • Players can now leave comments on entries in their Friends List in the Social Window.


  • The Galactic Trade Network interface now supports text-based searches without category restrictions.
  • The Emergency Fleet Pass now takes Republic players to the center of the Republic Fleet instead of the Tython and Ord Mantell arrival hangar.
  • Added musical triggers to some missions and encounters.
  • Numerous spelling and grammatical errors in text throughout the game have been corrected.


I’d also like to give a shout out to Why SWTOR will never ‘Jump The Shark’ and the SWTOR Gamers of Oceania Facebook Group who are awesome. As always, If you feel I missed anything feel free to comment below or you can start a religious debate – your choice.

SWTOR Available in another Aussie store

UPDATE: local online game store Dungeon Crawler has SWTOR on sale for $71.50.

Just a quick heads up for anyone still looking to buy a copy of SWTOR. Retail chain Game are now selling imported copies of The Old Republic at the price of $78.00.

So if you are still looking for a copy head to your nearest store or shop online here.

See you all in-game!

SWTOR: Mark’s take

Now that the embargo on talking about the SWTOR beta has lifted, we’ll start giving you some impressions of the game. Starting out is our own Mark Duncan, Flash Point co-host and arguably the TOROZ staffer with the longest time in-game.

Having taken part in two betas now, I wanted to give you all my opinion of the game and perhaps give you a little insight in what to expect. The short answer is: it’s all good!

In my opinion MMOs have become stagnant over the last few years. Since World of Warcraft, I have tried many MMOs from Star Trek, Rift and Aion to DC Universe and quite a few others. They all lacked something that WoW has, and the only way I can describe that something is one word: polish.

Star Wars: The Old Republic now enters the fray and trust me, if your looking for polish, this most definitely has it.

Every thing about the game speaks quality: a whole galaxy of work has gone into making sure we have an amazing experience while playing our characters and progressing through content.

Probably the most compelling aspect in my opinion is the story. I have tried most of the classes in the game to at least Level 10 and am simply blown away by the story of each class as it unfolds. It’s like a good book that you cannot put down, I just want to keep playing to find out what my toon has in store next. It is clearly evident that the writers and the developers who implemented all this work are very passionate about the game.

Right and Wrong – those are decisions that will be a major factor for you when you play the game as both light and dark side. Decisions are common and can make a large change in how your story plays out. I won’t include any spoilers here, however having played solely as a dark side player, some of the decisions I made were downright nasty – evil just flows out of my toon and I love it!

Every class has a role and in beta I am glad to say that I have seen all classes represented well and I cannot say I have seen any particularly weak class.

As a disclaimer, please understand that all of my opinions are based on the build I have been playing which is an older build and should not be compared with the finished game that we will all play in December. If this beta is anything to go by I know what I will be doing this Christmas, and it won’t be eating Turkey!

Collectors Edition Youtube Video

New video showing all the goodies included in the Collector’s Edition, I have a spot for my Darth Malgus statue already arranged on my desk.

Check out the following link on Youtube.

Collectors Edition Goodness!

New SWTOR cinematic trailer: preview

Thanks to the Jedi Archives Online, the sneak preview of the cinematic trailer launching at E3 in a few days, is available for your viewing pleasure. As you’ll see below, not surprisingly there’s not much given away but it certainly provides a taste of what we can expect. There’s already a huge discussion thread running on the preview on the official forums.

Onto the viewing:

BioWare responds on beta-test selection for Mac users

I few days back I wrote about being excluded from the beta-test, due to trying to sign-up on a Mac. Sean Dahlberg, BioWare’s Community Manager, has followed up with a response:

I wanted to apologize for the previous response you received in  regards to your issues signing up for STAR WARS™: The Old Republic™. While we recognize that there are other operating systems and platforms available for games today, our development is specific to the personal computer (PC) using the Microsoft® Windows® operating system at this time.

Our technology provider for the system scan is not compatible with a Macintosh running Windows, so we are unable to validate your system for testing at this time. For the purposes of providing the most stable testing environment, we are currently limiting our testing participants to those using the Windows operating system on a PC. At some point we will be evaluating compatibility with the Macintosh running Windows and we may put out an additional call for testers at that time.

We apologize for any inconvenience and that this has caused and for it not being well conveyed to begin with.

It’s a positive sign that BioWare at least haven’t rules out the option of people on Macs testing SWTOR. There’s obviously the wider frustration of SWTOR not being available for the Mac natively, but that’s another whole mountain that’s likely never to be climbed.

BioWare announces SWTOR beta: invites applications

If you haven’t heard already, BioWare have invited applications to join the SWTOR beta program. This may surprise you greatly, but the response has been enthusiastic, with the SWTOR site down due to the influx of applications:


All you can do wait for the site to return and to wonder at the infrastructure challenges facing BioWare when SWTOR actually goes live. Here’s hoping they’ve purchased a small country somewhere in which to house the servers required to run things when everyone logs in at the same time. Anyway, here’s where you need to go to sign up for the beta program, just expect an image similar to above in the short term.