The new animated series Star Wars Rebels premiered on the Disney X D channel in early October and is creating a buzz.The action is set in between episodes 3 and 4 of the Star Wars movies – Anakin has become Darth Vader, the Jedi have been hunted down and eliminated to near extinction, and the Rebel Alliance has not yet taken full shape. The series follows the adventures of a crew of assorted humans and aliens who are performing various jobs for money while also causing problems for the Empire.

While there is an overarching theme to the series that is still developing, each individual episode is a nicely packaged adventure filled with difficult choices, tension, drama, and action. The individual characters have their own strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.

For those who have played the Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars Roleplaying Game, the series seems very familiar. (And for those who have never heard of the FFG SWRPG, it’s a pen and paper tabletop RPG in the tradition of old school Dungeons & Dragons.) There have been several threads on official and unofficial forums all drawing the same conclusion: The Star Wars Rebels crew is the perfect example of an Edge of the Empire RPG party. Each episode of the series is like a session of the RPG. Every scene of the show plays out similarly to how the scenes during the RPG adventures play out – the characters make important decisions. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Either way, those watching can feel the tension and are waiting to see what comes next.

The parallels between the series and the RPG system are enough that it makes perfect sense for Fantasy Flight Games and Disney to leverage a rare opportunity. The popularity of the Rebels show can and should absolutely be used to help raise visibility of the game. For whatever reason, the FFG Star Wars RPG system does not seem to have gotten a very large marketing push. The game and system has generally gotten excellent reviews, and players who have tried the system love it. It simply hasn’t received the widespread exposure it deserves. With Rebels now in full swing, upcoming Star Wars novels building the new “canon” of the saga, and Episode VII in the not too distant future, Star Wars fans are eager and willing to explore anything related to the universe  they so dearly love.

So, how can this happen? What would it take to raise awareness of the Star Wars RPG system and get more people playing it? I don’t think it would take a whole lot to be honest. Just a few simple (and relatively inexpensive) steps could propel the game into much better public awareness.

Advertising

The first step towards getting more people to buy something is raising public awareness of it. To this point, advertising of the Star Wars RPG has seemed very limited. I don’t think I’ve seen a single internet ad that wasn’t directly related to me recently browsing their products, and I’ve surely not seen any ads whatsoever on TV, mobile apps, or social media.  Hell, the only reason I even found out about it is through a friend who wanted to give it a try. And how did he find out about it? He was considering giving a pen and paper RPG a try, and thought, “This would be more interesting if it was Star Wars,” so he did an online search and found the game. He was explicitly searching for a Star Wars RPG in order to find the game even existed!

I understand that advertising and marketing cost money. But there’s also a reason companies invest in it – you have to spend money to make money. Without going on a complete marketing and economics tangent, let’s just say that, for whatever reason, the marketing for this game has been virtually non-existent to this point.  Star Wars Rebels offers a unique chance to change that and make a huge splash in an exciting new area.

The ads don’t have to be incredibly complex or high budget productions. The system practically sells itself. All they have to do is let people know that they can roleplay their very own heroes in the Star Wars universe. That message in itself should be enough to attract some attention. But take it a little further, and I have no doubt people would be checking it out in numbers like never before.

Consider this tweak to the message: From “Hey, you can become a Star Wars hero,” to “Hey, you can become THE crew of the Ghost, acting out the same missions you see every week on Star Wars Rebels!” Star Wars fans can be enticed by the chance to not just create random unknown characters of their own, but they can get together with their friends and become Ezra, Kannan, Zeb, Hera, Sebine, and yes, even Chopper! You can perform daring prison breaks, infiltrate the Imperial Academy, fight off deadly sun-fearing creatures, dodge Imperial intelligence, face off against the mysterious Inquisitor, and sabotage the Empire in many ways!  Wouldn’t that grab some attention?

And what better time to air such a commercial than during the episodes? Primetime advertising on TV isn’t cheap, but couldn’t Disney give them a break since, you know, they own Star Wars now and surely would see some benefit if sales of the game improved? Throw a few ads on the Disney X D website as well while you’re at it.  What downside could there possibly be by enticing Rebels viewers to become a part of their own Star Wars story by trying the Star Wars RPG?

Free Trial

Once the game becomes more visible through increased advertising, how do people get involved? How do they give it a try? The current starter boxes for Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion aren’t expensive, but do cost enough money to give potential players with only a casual interest some pause. So why not develop a starter adventure that is free to download, explains the basic rules, offers pre-generated characters, and gives players a free sample of the exciting and amazing game.

The idea of offering an initial game for free is not new – the latest Dungeons and Dragons edition has taken that approach.  Highly successful (and profitable) video games like League of Legends and World of Tanks have made millions of dollars by offering the base game for free and selling add-ons and supplements. If you have a good product (and FFG absolutely does) and offer the initial taste for free, people will absolutely spend money not only to buy additional features and enhancements to the game, but also to support its continued development.

So let’s agree that a free trial is a good idea. Now combine that free trial with the familiar characters and missions seen in Star Wars Rebels, and fans will at least download it and check it out. Some of those fans will decide it’s not for them, and will move on. And some of those fans will be intrigued, get a game together, and be hooked on the wonderful world of Star Wars roleplaying. (And “some” is better than “none” right? Which is how many new players the current non-existent marketing is pulling in.)

Accessibility

One of the main obstacles towards more widespread awareness and popularity of the system is that it’s an old school “pen and paper” RPG. Some people who are interested may think, “Well, I’d love to be able to try that, but I just don’t have enough like-minded friends in my area who would want to get together and play regularly.” This is a legitimate concern, but one that can be overcome.

Newsflash: It’s 2014. Pen and paper RPGs are not just pen and paper any more. No longer confined to poorly lit basements and the back rooms of local gaming stores, the modern internet provides many tools for virtual groups getting together to play these types of games. Applications and websites like Google Hangouts, Skype, Roll20.Net, and ObsidianPortal.com offer players many options for finding online groups. You can get together online with people you know who may not be able to meet in person for a variety of reasons, or you can find one of many pick up groups that have regularly scheduled sessions.

Some of the traditional aspects of pen and paper RPGs have been virtualized as well. There are mobile apps, websites, and a Google Hangouts plug-in that allows for rolling dice. There are a variety of applications for sharing maps and moving player character tokens around. There is an awesome application developed by a fan that handles character creation and generates character sheets. “I don’t have anyone to play with in my area,” is no longer a valid excuse for not trying a pen and paper RPG.

Another feature that FFG could develop to ease accessibility would be to provide the tools or forums for players to find active games, both in person and online. In its most basic form, this could be simply be a sub-forum on the official FFG forums where players can advertise or seek out games. Taking it to the next level, it wouldn’t be too difficult to develop a searchable site for players to specify their details and be matched intelligently by some basic logic. Finding someone to play with should not be difficult, and a broader audience brought in by improved marketing makes it even easier.

Supplements

Following the approach above, FFG (and potentially Disney) would be making a substantial investment to increase the visibility and reach of the game. A “Free to play” approach is a large investment up front in hopes that it pays off in the long run. With something as large as the Star Wars universe and as expandable as the RPG system, it would not be difficult to turn those investments into profit.

The FFG RPG system already offers impressive supplements on a regular basis. (The schedule of those releases is a lot slower than most fans would like, but that’s a different story.) The content in these supplements is top notch. Not only do they offer extensions to player classes and the expansion of popular settings, they include valuable sections that have a wide range of appeal to players of all types. For example, the book focused on Colonists not only gave existing Colonists additional talents to choose from, but also introduced three entirely new careers, had a selection of new weapons, armor, and vehicles, and offered some great campaign and adventure ideas that leverage the types of activities Colonists would be involved in. Most current players agree these supplements are well worth their cover price, and new players would surely be drawn towards buying them as well.

Aside from the hardcover supplement books, let’s go back to considering how Rebels could tie into the game. What if every week, a new adventure was released to coincide and recreate the episode that just aired? The adventure could be in electronic downloadable format and be reasonably priced, and players would throw money at it. And why limit the adventures to just the aired episodes? The crew of the Ghost could have plenty of side adventures and untold stories that are brought to life through the game. The possibilities are endless, only constrained by the imagination (and the number of writers they have available).

Conclusion

The main point I’m trying to make is that the Star Wars RPG is an incredible game and experience that has not gotten the exposure and acclaim it so richly deserves. Watching Star Wars Rebels is basically like watching a game session being played out with memorable characters, tense drama, exciting combat, and a wonderful story. Star Wars fans should know that there is a system out there that allows them to experience the same sort of story and even create their own.

I’ll be (pleasantly) surprised if we suddenly see a huge marketing campaign for the game at this point. It’s been out for almost two years, and there have been no signs that they have the inclination or resources to heavily promote the game. Which is a shame, because the game can be so much fun and has so much potential.

At the very least, I hope this article inspires some new players to at least check it out and give it a try. With the right group and GM, you’ll have so much fun you’ll be counting the days until the next session. I’ve provided a list of resources below for learning more about the game and  tools to help find a group to play with. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below.

Resources

Official Edge of the Empire Site
Official Age of Rebellion Site
Star Wars RPG Subreddit
Order 66 Star Wars RPG Podcast
Roll 20 Virtual RPG Tabletop
Star Wars RPG Dice Rolling Website
Obsidian Portal RPG Campaign Tracking Website

Hey folks! It’s been awhile since posting here, but we’re back with some juicy info regarding the Star Wars: The Old Republic upcoming space expansion, Galactic Starfighter! We were lucky enough to be a part of the closed beta testing for the new content, and are now free to report on it! (Unfortunately the NDA still prohibits the sharing of any screenshot or video footage from the closed testing, so descriptions and explanations will have to do for now.)

As you know, Galactic Starfighter introduces “free flight” (aka, “not on rails”) space combat, in the form of 12 vs 12 PvP battles. The new space game definitely has a good amount of depth built into it, which I’ll dive into a bit here. With the “early access” go live date less than 3 weeks away, I’d expect to see this opening up to all on the Public Test Server any day now. And now, on to the exciting details!

Ships

During testing, we had access to four different classes of ship, most of which had multiple specific ships that fell into that category:

Strike Fighter
The Strike Fighter is considered the standard dogfighting ship, with all aspects being considered fairly average. Decent speed and maneuverability, good weaponry and defenses.
Available Strike Fighter Ships: F-T6 Rycer, F-T2 Quell

Scout
Scout ships are built for speed. What they lack in firepower and defenses they make up for in pesky elusiveness and raw speed.

Gunship
Gunships are unique in that they come equipped with a railgun for a weapon, which has a unique “zoom in and snipe” mechanic. Unfortunately, going into railgun mode leaves you very vulnerable to attack and the weapon doesn’t seem to do as much damage as would be expected considering the vulnerable position and the “charge time” associated with it.

Bomber
The bomber is a slow moving behemoth with strong defenses and not known for its one on one dogfighting ability. But what it lacks in head to head firepower it makes up for using its assortment of drones and mines. “Mine layer” may be a more apt description of this class of ship, as its weapons are really “fire and forget” type bombs that will either sit where they’re dropped and wait for enemy ships to approach or will actively hone in on nearby ships. No targeting is needed to deploy these mines and drones, which made them a popular choice during testing.Available Bombers: M-7 Razorwire

Components

I won’t get into this too deeply because the real depth of this aspect lies in the actual component upgrades and “spec” trees themselves, but the component loadouts of each ship is the main way you “build out” and improve your ship. Ships have different types of weapons, shields, engines, etc. that can be unlocked using the currency earned by participating in space combat. Additionally, each component has its very own “skill tree” that has enhancements that can be unlocked as well to further boost their power. Things like increased rate of fire for weapons, higher absorb value for shields, reduced cooldowns on abilities, and increased number of deployable drones are examples of some of the improvements that can be bought.

Crew

Another way to customize your flying experience is by assigning NPC crew members to specific duties aboard your ship. Not only will you find your class specific companions among those available to become part of your crew, but several new space specific companions have been introduced as well. Each crew member offers different special abilities for your ship, so mixing and matching crew members can lead to very different combinations of abilities. There are five different crew positions available. The Copilot position offers an “active” ability and provides the “voice” of your ship during combat, while the other four copilot positions offer “passive” bonuses:

  • Copilot
  • Offensive
  • Defensive
  • Tactical
  • Engineering

And here are the Imperial specific “space” companions newly introduced:

  • Aven Geth (Human)
  • Writch Hurley (Human)
  • MZ-12 (Astromech Droid)
  • Salana Rok (Chiss)

Cosmetics

I know what you’re thinking: “That sounds great! But can I customize how my ship actually looks?” Well, this shouldn’t come as a surprise since it was mentioned in the piece announcing the space content, but yes, you can.

Physical customization takes the form of paint jobs applied to your ship’s body and wings. During testing, there were generally two different pattern styles for each ship with five different color combinations. Of those, one style is available, while one is locked, and two color combinations are available with three of them locked. During testing, the indication was that these additional patterns and color combinations could be unlocked using Cartel Coins. There is also the option to “invert” the colors for no charge.

Battle Objectives

During testing, only one type of gameplay mode was available, the typical “Domination” mode where each team competes to control and hold several points on the map. In this case, the control points are three satellites spaced evenly across the map. Think of it almost like the Alderaan Civil War Warzone, except in space, where a team will want to capture and hold at least 2 of the 3 satellites for a long period of time than the enemy in order to win. Of course, just like the Civil War, getting a “3 cap” will speed along the process but spread out your defensive forces more.

Capturing a satellite is as simple as blowing up all the enemies in the immediate area and keeping your ship close to it. When your ship is in the process of capturing the satellite, a green visual effect surrounds your ship, letting you know the cap is progressing. There are lights on the prongs of the satellite that will change color based on the progress of the capture – Red means controlled by the enemy, white means neutral, and green means controlled by your team.

To add an extra little wrinkle to the game, satellites will spawn up to 3 defensive turrets over time as a team maintains control. These turrets will have to be destroyed by the enemy before they can attempt to capture the satellite themselves. The turrets don’t move and don’t have that much health, but they do pack a bit of a punch and do help supplement the defenses especially well if there are other players in the vicinity defending as well.

When your ship blows up, you will respawn shortly, usually back at the starting point for your team. (Although there is an ability called “hyperspace beacon” which allows for additional strategic spawn spots to be set.) You can also switch ships when you respawn, something that is used strategically to choose the ship that best suits the role you want to play based on how the match is going. The game ends when one team has controlled satellites long enough to reach the required score.

Flight Controls

Flight controls are fairly simple, though the overall concept of “free flight” can take some getting used to, especially when the mouse has so much control. Your mouse essentially “steers” your ship by controlling what direction it goes in. The popular “WASD” keys on the keyboard control throttle (W to speed up, S to slow down) and barrel rolling (A to roll left, D to roll right). The X key hits the brakes and brings your ship to a stop. And spacebar gives your ship a boost of speed, though it will only last as long as your ship has engine power.

Speaking of power, there are three different types of power: engine, weapons, and shields. The default setting is to have all three balanced in level, but the F1-F4 keys allow for overloading one at the expense of the other two. For example, if you want to be able to use your spacebar speed boost for longer than usual, you can shift power to the engines to get increased capability, though your weapon and shield power will suffer.

Combat

Actual combat is fast and furious, with enemies in all directions. In order to survive, you need to quickly locate the enemy and either blow them up before they blow you up, or get the hell away from them with your hull still intact. With three dimensional space, not only do you have to watch your back, but above and below you as well.

Luckily there are several different ways to target enemies. The first and most familiar is the Tab key on the keyboard, which will target the nearest enemy to you at first press. Subsequent presses of Tab will cycle through enemies. The range of targeting is fairly far, able to reach enemies as far away as the next objective. (In other words, if you’re at the leftmost satellite, hitting tab enough times will eventually cycle you to target enemies as far away as the middle satellite.) When a target is locked, several important details (such as its remaining shield strength and hull health) are visible in the target details part of the UI.

Tab is useful when first engaging in battle to find nearby enemies, but once the battle starts, different types of targeting become more important. If you’re being attacked, the R key on the keyboard will target the enemy that most recently attacked you. This is incredibly handy to identify where the danger is coming from to either turn on it or avoid it. Being the aggressor rather than the target? Visual lock on targeting is available by pressing the E key to target the enemy that’s currently under your targeting reticule. When an enemy is targeted but not in front of you in your field of view, a triangular indicator on your HUD UI will point you in the direction to turn to most quickly get them in front of you. This can be a little disorienting at times, since they’re moving as well which can cause the indicator to jump around a bit.

Speaking of targeting, there are two things to worry about when trying to blow someone out of the sky – range and aim. Primary weapons (generally laser cannons of some variety) are fired by pressing the left mouse button. Range of the weapon will vary based on the weapon type and any upgrades that have been applied. When an enemy is out of range, the targeting reticule will remain gray. Once they are within range, the reticule will turn red, and it’s time to blast away!

Getting in range is one thing, but actually hitting your target it another. They likely won’t be sitting still for you, and the way targeting works is that you need to aim your cursor and their “lead indicator” and fire. The lead indicator will be a smaller red circle that basically predicts the location of the enemy by the time your blasts get there, so it won’t generally be right on top of the enemy ship. The direction and distance of the lead indicator as related to your actual target will depend on its movement. It takes a little getting used to trying to aim in front of the target rather than actually directly at it, but it does become natural fairly quickly. When you hit the target, the familiar damage fly text will appear showing how much you’ve hit them far.

Secondary weapons vary from ship to ship, but the common “missile lock” mechanic is available as an option. This works about as you would expect, similar to the on rails PvE space game – keep the target within your reticule, press and hold the right mouse button while the missile “locks” on, and release the button. When on defense, there are audio clues as to when you’re being missile locked yourself, giving you a chance to take evasive actions.

Speaking of which, that’s a good lead in to talk about special abilities. These abilities include things like defensive moves (some of which will automatically shake missile lock), offensive abilities, and even an occasional group buff for friendly ships in your area. It will become important to become well acquainted with these abilities, what they do, what their cooldowns are, and when best to use them. Perfect timing of ability usage can often be the difference between life and death.

Summary

Overall, Galactic Starfighter is a new and exciting chapter to the SWTOR experience, and feels almost exactly like you would hope a free flight space combat game to feel. The action is fast-paced and non-stop. The options for changing your ship’s loadout gives players a chance to truly customize it to fit their preferred style of play. I’m surely looking forward to getting my hands on this once it goes live and taking my SWTOR heroics to space and beyond!

Hey people! So the fine folks over at BioWare were kind enough to take some time out of their busy days to answer some questions regarding the upcoming Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion! Among those who provided answers are: Brian Audette,Content Design Lead on Rise of the Hutt Cartel; Rob Hinkle, Senior Systems Designer; Jesse Sky, Lead Designer; and Nathan Emmott, Systems Designer.

Topics covered in the interview include new types of gameplay in the expansion, some details regarding Makeb, thoughts on crafting, hybrid specs, the Cartel Market, and more! Special thanks to Community Manager Eric Musco for arranging this and making it happen!

And as reported by Massively and elsewhere, the RotHC expansion will be launching on April 14th!

During the Livestream Q&A back in October, a player asked about the possibility of mini-games, and Damion said that Makeb has a few features that are, “entirely new gameplay activities. Entirely new ways for you to encounter and explore the world, and they’re a lot of fun.” Could you elaborate a bit on what that means and how it works?

Brian Audette: What Damion was talking about was our new Macrobinoculars and Seeker Droid content and while they’re more expansive than what you might consider “minigames”, they definitely fit that category of cool new things to do in SWTOR outside of the standard game play that people are used to.

Macrobinoculars will allow players to see the world in a different way and to identify otherwise hidden or mundane objects in order to complete quests and rack up achievements.

The Seeker Droid will let players play “treasure hunter” and search dig sites throughout the galaxy in hopes of finding unique items, artifacts, and gear.

Both features are introduced by their own exciting series of story quests that will take players across the galaxy to address all-new threats to the Empire and Republic. There is also a set of daily and weekly quests that will offer commendation rewards as well as reputation with a new organization.

It’s been said that RotHC will not see a continuation of the class specific story lines. That said, will the overall story experience vary from class to class? In other words, will an Agent have the same story experience (outside of slightly different dialogue responses) as a Sith Warrior while experiencing the Makeb storyline?

Brian: While the main storyline on Makeb is per faction and not per class, our writers have done an amazing job of making the dialogue and choices feel even more tailored to both the character class and player decisions than anywhere else in SWTOR. Having played through both Makeb’s Empire and Republic storylines as several different characters I can say that while the major plot points were the same, it felt like my personal version of that story each time as opposed to the same narrative over and over again.

Does the Makeb story shed any light on the mystery surrounding the fate of the Emperor?

Brian: Well if I told you that then you wouldn’t have any reason to find out for yourself. I will say that repercussions regarding events surrounding the Emperor are a major impetus for both the Republic and Empire storylines in Rise of the Hutt Cartel.

What was the biggest technical challenge you faced in creating the new world?

Brian: The great part about developing new content for an already launched product is that in launching that product you’ve learned a lot about what you can and can’t do well. Because of that we went into Makeb with our technical and design limitations firmly in mind and were able to make something that reached further than existing content, but was still firmly within our grasp to create.

That being said, anytime we do a space with as much vertical geometry as Makeb, building the 2-dimensional maps is a unique challenge. There’s also a lot of animated geometry on Makeb and that forced us to think about visual optimization in different ways. Overall it was a pretty smooth experience though.

With new abilities added to each tree, it takes more points to reach the uppermost ability. What is the design intent regarding “hybrid” specs that attempt to go up several trees at once and can sometimes create very powerful combinations?

Rob Hinkle: Hybrid specs are a difficult beast to deal with. Most players use a more traditional and expected skill tree path and that is where we spend a majority of our validation time, we want to make sure those rotations and gameplay are really rock solid. Each of our classes have a series of targets (damage over 5 minutes, damage over an alpha burst, time to kill on players, etc.), and when hybrid specs emerge that exceed our acceptable tolerance, we look to make changes that prevent the combination. We are happy that players like to mess around with their skills trees and find fun and unusual ways to play that are exciting for them, but I’m sure everyone understands that when something pops up that outshines the other classes (and this goes for anything, not just a hybrid), we have to make some changes to bring it back into line.

Update 2.0 on the open Public Test Server includes the long-requested ability to resize the buff/debuff icons within the UI as well as a new “ready check” feature. Are there any other prominent “quality of life” features included with the expansion?

Jesse Sky: Update 2.0 is primarily focused on new content and systems, so aside from those you mentioned (and bits of polish here and there), there aren’t any major quality-of-life additions. We are always looking for things to improve, however, so if there’s a specific quality-of-life enhancement you’d like to see, please let us know!

The Cartel Market has been live for about four months now. Is there any thought being given to adding account-wide vanity item purchases in the future? For example, people buying the mounts would love if the purchase awarded the mount to every character, not just one.

Nathan Emmott: A great deal of thought has gone into providing wider access to Cartel items that players purchase. While we can’t give any additional details at this time, we should begin releasing more information regarding upcoming changes to Cartel item access after the release of Rise of the Hutt Cartel.

The Cartel Market regularly introduces new highly desired armor to the game. This has dramatically decreased the demand for armor created by crafters. Will the expansion provide new opportunities for crafters? How about the ability to create “adaptive” armor?

Nathan: Crafting is still an incredibly important part of our game, and we have at times struggled with keeping balance between the options from Crafters and those of the Cartel Market items. We will continue to support Crew Skills, and they will continue to offer unique items and appearances that will not be available through the Cartel Market. We have discussed internally the ability for crafters to make some items adaptive, but we do not want to make a decision lightly; there are many subtle effects such a change could have. While I won’t say ‘never’, we do not currently have plans to introduce this option.

There has been some feedback from BioWare on the official forums indicating that season one of Rated Warzones is still being worked on. Any update on the progress there?

Rob Hinkle: Stay posted for more info after RotHC goes live.

Speaking of PvP, is there any new content on Makeb targeted towards PvP players? How does it work?

Brian: In addition to our new bolster system for Warzones that should make high level PvP a much more attractive prospect for a much wider range of players, Makeb has more than a few areas where the Empire and Republic content crosses paths and I’d expect to see some interesting open world PvP taking place there.

The limited time world events have been extremely popular with players. Will there be an event to correspond with the introduction of Makeb?

Brian: While there is no event scheduled to go live along with the launch of Rise of the Hutt Cartel, we really enjoy making and playing those experiences ourselves so I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of them in the future along with continued visits from our friends the Gree.

Finishing up with two highly anticipated features: Server transfers and the Cathar species. Will we see either or both of these go live with RotHC? Will server transfers be purchasable with Cartel Coins? Any hint as to how much unlocking Cathar might cost?

Nathan: The Cathar species is an addition to SWTOR that many of us are very excited about. Since this is our first additional playable species, we are taking extra care with its presentation and as such will not be launching with Rise of the Hutt Cartel. However, additional information on when it will be available should be distributed not long after Rise of the Hutt Cartel.

Server Transfers are also an incredibly important player service that we want to release as quickly as we can. Something of this size, however, does require extensive testing and we do not currently have a release date that we are ready to share.

Thank you so much for your time and attention. I know myself and the SWTOR community are very much looking forward to Rise of the Hutt Cartel and the rest of what 2013 may bring for Star Wars: The Old Republic.