Hello Star Wars fans, nerds, people, cosplayers... whatever the hell.

Let’s sit down a moment and talk. We’ve had some good times, haven’t we? I mean yes, the podracing went on for far too long, and there was some sketchiness over Jacen Solo in the EU. And here, at SWTOR-RP, we’ve also had some good times. If you can’t remember at least one piece of roleplay which moved you, right down there in the heart, or which at least made you go “whooo” in a tone which is much more enthusiastic than my writing allows for, I’d be surprised. Hell, I’d offer my condolences.

So why am I here, on this hallowed day, nammering on about all of this? Because I have a very simple message for the lot of you:

Embrace all the roleplay offered to you.

"But Taeghen," I hear you cry out in despair. "There are many of us in the community who are stupid, or annoying, or have died like eighteen times, or who are so made of special snowflakes that 'Let it go' is sounding out behind them like a crude form of psychological torture." And that’s true. Likely, some of the people reading this will put me in at least one of those categories. But it’s not important. Consider the following:

Look at what we have to work with. Look at the sheer richness of Star Wars, the overwhelming diversity of it, the depth of thousands of people working together to build something glorious. We would not have the Mandalorians if people hadn’t decided that Boba Fett was that awesome. We would lack all of the tremendous detail on the Sith’s ancient ways had Palpatine not intrigued and repelled us. And then it grows even further: the Chiss are here because of Thrawn. How many bounty hunters have sprung up from this lot?

Iradox A very well writen article even if I don't agree 100% with you in regards to lore, but you already knew I would say...
Kateness Quote: so long as it doesn’t curtail others or blast into the scene demanding they be obeyed I'm probably g...
The Zen Workshop Quote: '' Do you think Lucas gave a damn how many hours exactly it took to get from Tatooine to Alderaan? No, ...

For those in the community who didn’t jump through BioWare's innumerable hoops in order to attain early… early access, logging on to SWTOR and seeing the multitude of writing chums caught up on Zakuul must be a matter of some frustration.

For those folks stuck twiddling their thumbs and waiting for the 27th, here’s some (spoiler free!) information on what you can look forward to.

The Writing

KotFE (which I will henceforth refer to as ‘Fallen Empire’, because dear god what a clumsy title) was heralded by BioWare as a return to their old, somewhat faded prestige. A rose-tinted look back at how wonderful things used to be before MMOs and big business seemed to drag them mumbling and moaning into mediocrity.

The good news? They certainly seem to have managed it. The characters are vibrant, diverse, memorable, and they interact with each other in a far less clunky manner than the original companions. Consolidating the writing talent to work on one set of companions and one plot definitely seems to have had an impact.

The bad news? They had to do away with the ‘massively multiplayer’ component to do it. It’s very much a single player experience, more akin to KOTOR 3 than the expansion for an MMO. I know some people won’t be very fazed by that, but I can imagine die-hard MMO fans will miss the opportunity to group up and take on the story together. As it stands, it’s a very personal, one-to-one experience between the player and the game.

The story feels dramatic without removing the personal aspect, and it leaves any shoe-horning of personal or emotional issues purely to the player, with the option to protest hints of romantic ties like a jealous schoolchild remaining purely an option for the player. I have heard complaints about the whole arc feeling over-the-top, but it is perhaps worth remembering that this is Star Wars. It’s based on a story about a boy who farms water going on to topple a galactic empire.

What’s always made Star Wars hasn’t been the overbaked and absurd plot, it’s been the characters and the landscapes that sell it – the living, vibrant world. Fallen Empire certainly has that. Each world is filled with the usual BioWare flair for background conversations. When you come across the meat peddler on Asylum, stop and listen, and you’ll be rewarded. Compared to the mad romp of spacebar mashing and riding speeders through corridors, things that make you stop, listen, and smile are a real breath of fresh air, and BioWare’s really pulled through on this one.

Tiaisar I'm very please with the changes it really feels like a story driven game now.
Magenta Sparrow Innovations Agree with all of this. Combat being easy is fine by me; this was always sold to us as being a story-driven game, Biowar...
Katheri +1. Couldn't care less about the lapse in combat difficulty though. MMO combat is hard to make fun anyway, particu...

Unfortunately for the Selkath—Manaan's native inhabitants—Ahto City has been a war-like playground for the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire for centuries. 

Manaan is a temperate water world in the Pyrshak System located in the Inner Rim. With Ahto City as its capital, Manaan is mainly inhabited by its native species, the Selkath, but is known to house other water-favouring species such as the Aqualish. Manaan has, however, once been occupied by the Rakata during the era of the Infinite Empire

Years after the fall of the Infinite Empire, Ahto City was built on the surface of the water to welcome outsiders, and it was not long until the Republic and the Empire set their sites on Manaan's natural deposits of kolto to aid in the war efforts. During the Jedi Civil War, Ahto City was home to battles for allegiance, though the Selkath maintained their neutrality. 

After many years of failed diplomacy, the Sith Empire bombarded Ahto City, with rumours suggesting that the Empire grew impatient with Manaan's continued neutrality in the war. Ahto City became a half-sunken wreck during the Great Galactic War. 

The Selkath are awfully brave as Ahto City now shines above the water surface again after a rebuilding effort, but now with strict rules for visitation by outsiders. 

Will Manaan fall victim to the war again? 

Keyt Saren | CBNS Reporter
[Ahto City]

"We all have our heroes. And when we watch them fall we die inside." 
- Atris, Knights of the Old Republic II
The elite were not always considered as such. Becoming a renowned warrior requires strength, dexterity, stamina, charisma, a whole lot of blaster fire and saber swinging, and a little bit of sacrificing along the way. 

Our characters are regarded as such. They're the elite. They've saved the galaxy in some form, or for those Sithly types, they've contributed to the manic destruction of someone or something. 

As our characters have progressed through to elite status, however, they would have idolised some heroes along the way. Who are they for your character? Satele? Jace Malcolm? Malgus? Ven Zallow? A member of the Dark Council? Someone who's less under the spotlight? Let us know who your character's heroes are in the comments section below!
Aéla Dasvarat Although she follows in the footsteps of her grandmother, Aéla views her parents as her heroes. Her father was an...
Jüdas Hylo Visz. The woman forced the underworld to work together, took on the Mandalorians, took the Republic's money, ...
Infantryman https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ04Po_2EglxZsa33CxyTKpcEU1NObTBlwNWclKkBzdG3accHRV ...

It appears that our Force Vision has served us well in our speculation of what to expect from Knights of the Fallen Empire, BioWare's upcoming expansion to The Old Republic. EA held their press conference at E3, and what we saw was what we expected: a new cinematic from Blur. It delivered, and now all our Force Senses are tingling with anticipation of what's to come to the game in October this year. 

There is a lot of information to take in from the official press conference and beyond. What we've done is collated all that information into one place for you. Grab a cup of jawa juice, sit back, and let us fill you in on all this KotFE

The official site for the expansion has been released, and here is the description:

Could this be Knights of the Old Republic 3 embedded into The Old Republic? It appears that way, as BioWare describe the expansion as a focus on the player's story. It looks like the story will focus on single player gameplay, coated in all those great story-telling aspects of a BioWare RPG. 

What some of you might have missed is how we become part of the story. In a post-conference interview with IGN, General Manager Jeff Hickman and Senior Producer Bruce Maclean, both from BioWare in Austin, explained where the adventure kicks off for players. We dive into the expansion at the end of the trailer as The Outlander. We have been frozen in carbonite for some years, and when we awaken, the Republic and Empire have fallen at the hands of the third faction, and Bruce states that we're the galaxy's last remaining hope. We venture out across the universe, searching for our old companions who have scattered, picking up new companions who we get to choose from along the way. 

There will be five new companions to recruit, and to obtain them, we must go out on missions to earn their respect. These missions take us to different parts of the galaxy, and it all depends on what kind of companion they are, whether they be Mandalorian, a Hutt-hater, and so on. 

Continue below as we set out the highlights thus far, including links to other sources and videos on all things Knights of the Fallen Empire.

A.G. Kvintus Wait, let me get this straight: Republic and Sith Empire characters will join forces in an Alliance? Meaning that everyo...
Suul'an Junn I'm anxious to know just how far ahead the "time lapse" is going to take us. Sure the "O...
JuicerJames I'm actually really excited about the whole thing. Sure the time lapse might separate the RP community to Republic ...

You're a Master Jedi, the leader of Havoc Squad, a Darth and member of the Dark Coucil, you're the galaxy's most feared bounty hunter and most slippery scoundrel. What else could there possibly be left to do? Make your Darth and Master Jedi more awesome, that's what! 

The Old Republic is filled with end-game content to assist with the awesome making. All those basic commendations you've acquired throughout your travels which have granted you full 186-tiered gear isn't enough, so you have to start earning elite and ultimate comms to make you powerful enough to rule the galaxy! 

We have dailies and weeklies, most of which grant you the commendations required to help you level up. We have Hard-Mode Flashpoints and Operations with different boss mechanics to keep you guessing and moving away from all those bad-coloured circles.

If you could pick a favourite and most enjoyable Flashpoint, Operation, or daily mission, which would it be? The Dread Palace? Korriban and Tython? What about Manaan and that feeling of nostalgia when the KOTOR music starts playing? Let us know in the comments section below!

PSDuckie My favorite would have to be Explosive Conflict. My least favorite are Lost Island, Blood Hunt, and Battle of Rishi.
Daiskel Ridema Siege of Kaon! Nothing says fun like being attacked by hordes and hordes of 'zombies' all in a Left 4 Dead sty...


For those that have finished the Forged Alliances Flashpoint series, you probably felt as I felt at the end of Rakata Prime: like I'd just seen a Force ghost! BioWare's plans for the development of The Old Republic's story has come to fruition, and it all started with the original release of the game with Maelstrom Prison and the Foundry

I'm not sure about everyone else, but until I played through the Maelstrom Prison Flashpoint on my Jedi Knight character, I had absolutely no idea that Revan would exist in the game's story. With the game set about three hundred years after the events that took place in the Knights of the Old Republic series, I thought him dead. But it seems BioWare wanted to Force-smack us in the face. And it worked. 

After releasing Revan from his prison in Maelstrom Prison and Foundry, he disappeared. We were all left wondering when he would return. But when he did, it was epic. Perhaps disappointing, but still epic. At the finale to the Forged Alliances Flashpoint series, Revan jumped out of hyperspace above Rakata Prime's atmosphere, and Revan's holo-image appeared. He affirmed his intention for something big (in a weird voice too. Did he have a cold?), and he made it clear that he was with neither the Republic or the Empire. Naughty Revan. You've lost the plot again. 

In today's Friday Focus, we'd like to know what you think of the Revan's return. Is it really him? Could it possibly be an imposter, with the real Revan later sweeping in to save the day? Or have BioWare taken Revan back to his bad-boy days? Let us know in the comments below!
Thralle What if the Dread Masters are influencing Revan?
Kahlaan Well, you defeat reven, but you never killed him, he vanished at the end of the fight. Basically bioware made the origin...
Dennis Well. We only see the holo of his mask, and the blonde Lana Benniko admits she feels an overwhelming force-presence appr...

Last time we looked at 3D artist Tharynien of The Progenitor server, but in this article we will be shifting the focus back to another awesomely talented role-player and 2D artist, Lasatho of The Ebon Hawk server: the player behind the Rhomel legacy. 

Let us get straight into things and start off with looking at the artist's motivation, the raw meat and bones of why she gets up in the morning and puts pen to uh… computerised drawing pad, just to give us a glimpse of her view on the world of SWTOR: her characters, her role-play and that of her in-character and out-of-character comrades. 

"Star Wars is always going to have a special place in my heart, as cliched as that sounds. Always more of a fantasy genre fan, sci-fi and space took backseat when I was growing up and I always found myself more engaged by games like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale. So when I picked up Knights of the Old Republic back in the day and had this amazing story grow around me, I was hooked. An Old Republic era MMO seemed like a no-brainer but it took the pushing of a few gamer friends in order for me to give it a chance.”

And we are glad you did! Writers, musicians, painters, video bloggers and others all contributing to the world of art open up the story of this rich universe for people like us; the readers (and writers) of SWTOR-RP and beyond, bringing a whole new dimension to our role-play. 

Dulfy.net has delivered once again. Details for the SWTOR PAX Prime 2014 event have been revealed. BioWare will showcase Rakata Prime: the finale to the Forged Alliances storyline. The world we once saw in Knights of the Old Republic has been recreated and is being used as part of the game's ongoing epic story. 

In addition to the reveal of Rakata Prime, new Cartel Market packs will be showcased which include the Gatekeeper's Stronghold Pack, and Constable's Stronghold Pack. 

I'm definitely much more excited to see what Rakata Prime will look like in The Old Republic. To see more images of the new Flashpoint, head over to Dulfy.net
Aldren I'd rather we got more planets and places to admire and roleplay in than all the amazing locations being linked to ...

Manaan's historic dealings with the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire resulted in the planet being left in ruins. Ahto City—the planet's city above the seas—was destroyed by Sith forces when their dealings with the Selkath—the natural inhabitants of Manaan—resulted in the Sith's dismissal from the planet and Manaan favouring a union with the Republic. 

Hundreds of years ago, during the days of Revan's triumphant battles against the Empire, Manaan allowed the Republic and the Sith to establish themselves on the planet in a neutral agreement to trade Manaan's most valuable resource: kolto. The Selkath banished the Sith after discovering that they were training young Selkath in the ways of the dark side of the Force. Consequently, an uprising occurred, and after the Selkath refused to give in to the Sith's demand for their allegiance, the Sith bombarded the planet. The Republic did not rise to aid their trade partners during their time of need. The Selkath shut themselves off from the rest of the galaxy for a long time, returning to the depths of their seas. 

Reports from the Pyrshak system and Republic officials have revealed that Manaan has reestablished contact with the Sith and the Republic with new arrangements for on-world visits. The planet's new surface structure, Mercantile Plaza, has implemented strict rules for landing privileges for the two super-factions. Trade agreements for kolto have been made, and the Selkath have reinserted themselves into the galactic economy. 

Stay tuned for further information as it is revealed. 

Kep Saren | CBNS Reporter
void ((For the first time during my time in SWTOR, I am honestly excited! A FP or a planet?!))
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