Rakghouls Rise Again

Your friendly neighborhood Rakghoul.

Your friendly neighborhood Rakghoul.

Recently announced on the SWTOR website was the fact that the Rise of the Rakghouls saga, recently revealed to players, has not been finished with by the developers yet!

Although part one has now been released and enjoyed by players across servers, a Part two (which has apparently been in the works for more than a year) is now on the way, and should find its way onto live servers in a few months.

Although the first encounter seemed to have a definitive ending, the developers have revealed that they left clues throughout the instance hinting and what can be expected when they return. This has prompted a resurgence of interest in the encounter, as players play through slowly and methodically, in search of the small items, or sounds, or hidden passages, which are promised to be somewhere within the haunted corridors.

The second Rise of the Rakghouls instance is also set to be one of the largest and longest ever yet made. It should take a phenomenal amount of coordination from The Old Republic players, and the developers say this will be worthwhile, as the rewards should be some of the best yet.

Although armour and weapons used by the majority of players are not ones looted from encounter bosses, this is set to change in the future with the developers deciding to take a more WoW-like approach to such matters. Rather than allow players to play through a raid once, they have decided to make more rare drops, so that players are encouraged to come back for seconds, thirds and tenths in order to completely kit their character/s out with the new gear. Although this tactic has proven unpopular with some players in the past, it is a tried and tested feature of the MMORPG industry, as it provides maximum content for minimal development time and expendature.

Lets hope when the RakGhouls rise again the players of SWTOR will find this latest Star Warsy threat a worthy and entertaining one.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - February 1, 2012 at 15:42

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Bioware Cash in on Sponsorship Deals

As with many other large games over the past few years (World of Warcraft et al) bioware has struck deals with game hardware designers, in this case Razer, to produced licences input devices for players across the galaxy to use.

However, unlike their predecessors in the sponsoring business, this deal has actually produced something that, at first glance, is not completely hideous!

With their futuristic clean cut lines and simple colour schemes, this collection of hardware for once might actually have a market in fans that are not utterly die hard champions of The Old Republic galaxy. As can be seen in the picture below they also appear to be quite functional, another unexpected boon most experienced MMORPG players would not have accepted.

The one downfall of the devices so far is the price, as all of them seem to cost about twice the Recommended retail price for similarly functioning products.
That is, except for the Keyboard, which complete with a colour touch screen should add a new dimension of intricacy to the controlling of characters, although it seems somewhat unlikely players will take their eyes off of the monitor to focus on the three inch thing near their hands, which may render it rather redundant.

Although new ground has been broken with the keyboard, this was not to be with the mouse. If players choose to spend the $130 dollars Razer is currently asking, they will get nothing other than what is fundamentally a re skinned version of a mouse made by the company that has been on sale for more than two years.

The input peripherals market is a common cash cow for popular MMORPGs across the world, so it is not surprising that it made its way into SWTOR, however the popularity and quality of the devices still remains to be seen (and is far from certain).

More details on the Mouse, Keyboard, headset and Mouse pad on offer are available on the official website for SWTOR here.

SWTOR Keyboards set for release.

SWTOR Keyboards set for release.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - December 25, 2011 at 19:22

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Collectors Edition Tempting Fans

With the finalised contents of the Star Wars The Old Republic Collectors Edition finally announced, we can see just why players have been so excited about its release.

Along side the special collectors version will be the Digital Deluxe version, which provides many of the collectors boons to budding players.

For the Deluxe edition, in addition to the SWTOR game disks and a free first month, players can expect all of the following:

Flare Gun Similar to the fireworks guns of Star Wars Galaxies, the Flare gun will be able to shoot (solely cosmetic) jets of flame into the sky.

Training Droid Although ineffective in combat, the training droid will serve as a combat target designator, highlighting primary targets on the battlefield. Seems somewhat similar to the familiars, again from SWG.

HoloDancer Again like Galaxies we will have HoloDancers, solely for our entertainment.

HoloCam This Intergalactic camera will let players participate in In-Game photography of The Old Republic, allowing them to record their favourite locations. Assumingly the images by the camera will be of a higher quality than game screenshots.

STAP Giving out a free vehicle for a special edition is a tremendously original idea, so of course we will see one in SWTOR.

Aside from the Digital Deluxe edition’s perks, the Collectors version will contain an additional two major boons:

Mouse Droid This mouse droid should function like our favourite familiars, following adventures across the galaxy and contributing their beeps wherever appropriate.

Collector’s Edition Store
The ultimate gift from the Developers to players with a little extra cash to give them, the collectors edition will feature many unique items (thankfully not useful in combat) and will even have regular updates to keep players coming back.

All in all the two new versions prevent such great items that there will surely be many players plenty keen enough to throw out the extra money to gleam these advantages over their friends and foe. Thankfully they currently offer no combat advantage, but when developers see just how much extra these editions earn for such little work, we can only hope they get no ideas to continue the trend.

Unboxing the SWTOR Collectors Edition

Unboxing the SWTOR Collectors Edition

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - October 30, 2011 at 12:12

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Pre-Order Bonuses

A weapon colour change stone given to players that pre-order.

A weapon colour change stone given to players that pre-order.

Before the official launch of the SWTOR Pre-order pack there was a lot of speculation within the community as to what exactly it might contain. Previous games have often gone to great lengths to encourage players to part with their money before playing, and it was hoped that Star Wars The Old Republic would be no exception.

Star Wars Galaxies for example gave out substantial in game gifts with purchases, such as the AT-RT for the complete adventures, and the Grievous wheel bike for the online download. These were both extremely popular, however they did come with their downsides. Both were profusely farmed by the more untoward members of the community, which did work to the detriment of the community at large.
However, these are generally problems that should be easy to avoid, so assuming the developers at Bioware have their wits about them it should pose no issue.

The current planned gifts for players keen and confident enough to pay for SWTOR, months before they have first played it, are quite numerous. All packs feature a free colour stone to be used on players’ weapons, and there are two special editions currently planned, the Collectors Edition and the Digital Deluxe Edition.

The Digital Deluxe Edition alone contains a free Flare gun, Training Droid, Holodancer, Holocam and STAP speeder, which should be more than enough to tempt dubious buyers into dishing out the extra cash required.

The Collectors Edition goes one step further, including all of the Digital Deluxe’s gifts, as well as as a Mouse Droid and Item Store in game, along with a wide range of collectable memorabilia such as a soundtrack CD, statuette and Galaxy Map.

All in all there is quite a large assortment of goodies up for grabs if players are confident enough to pre-order the game, and so far it looks like quite a number will do so.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - August 28, 2011 at 23:19

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Ancient Greeks, SWTOR Troopers and Boba Fett

You would be forgiven for asking what a SWTOR trooper, ancient Greeks and Boba Fett all have in common, that is, until you took a closer look at their helmets.

The SWTOR Trooper's helmet.

The SWTOR Trooper's helmet.

The fact that a number of the helmets and items from Star Wars The Old Republic bear striking similarities to those which were in use during the movies set thousands of years in the future has been brought up a number of times, and nobody can deny that this is the case. However, there is a fairly simple explanation for this that anybody who knows their Ancient history should be able to figure out.

There are only so many possible distinct styles of sensible combat helmet that can be made, and the ancient Romans and Greeks had the most effective of these figured out thousands of years ago. For centuries, battles in the ancient world were fought with swords and shields, so it’s no surprise that over this long history they developed and perfected their protective gear. Most helmet designs are pretty simple, you need a slot for the eyes to see through, some kind of space for the nose, and protection pretty much every where else. In addition to this, the protection should be angled and sloped in such a way as to best deflect attacks from as many directions as possible.

The 300 Boba Fett

The Spartan Fett

When it came time for the costume designers of the Star Wars movies to design battle helmets, they decided to trust in the research of our ancient ancestors, and modelled many of the helmets in the films on them. Darth Vader’s helmet is based on those of Japanese samurai, and the helmets of both Boba Fett and the Clone Troopers are based on ones used in the Greco-Roman world. To the right is Spartan helmet from the movie 300 painted in Boba Fett colours, the similarities to the actual bounty hunter’s face plate are undeniable.

Fett's distinctive helmet

Fett's distinctive helmet

The helmet of an ancient Greek

An Ancient Greek helmet

A clone trooper helmet

A clone trooper helmet

Is it really that surprising that many of the helmets in SWTOR are similar to their descendants later in the Star Wars time line?

During the thousands of years between SWTOR and the galactic civil war, the helmets of The Old Republic would have undergone significant development, but their distant ancestors would still bear some resemblance to their predecessors. This explains why the helmets and armour of the old republic could, and should, share many features with their descendants.

For those still in doubt, the picture at the bottom of the page is of NASA’s Robonaut II. It is a multi purpose humanoid robot designed to assist astronauts aboard the International Space Station. As the designers say, it’s face is based on ancient Roman Centurion helmets in use more than two thousand years ago. Seeing as this copy-catting happens in real science and engineering, is it really so surprising that the cutting edge technology of the clone wars and galactic civil war would, like ours does, resemble that of its ancient ancestors?

The Robobnaut II’s helmet is uncannily similar to Boba Fett’s, which is not surprising since they were both based on a common ancestor.

Robonaut II, A real life Boba Fett set to move in to the International Space Station on Feb 24th

Robonaut II, A real life (albeit more cheerful) Boba Fett set to move into the International Space Station on Feb 24th 2011

For you big Fett fans, the Jango Fett collectors helmet and ultimate Boba Fett costume are now for sale on Amazon. Both would be perfect for costume parties, Halloween, or just terrorising your neighbours. Along with these is a LIFE SIZE Fett poster, the perfect wall hanging for any Star Wars fan.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - February 13, 2011 at 06:37

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