As we all wait anxiously for the open scroll of Star Wars: The Old Republic, more fansites are donning their Jedi robes and igniting their lightsabers. Some have have been around for a while now, and others are just getting off the ground, but all these holocrons of SWTOR lore are finding their true destiny in webspace. Some of these websites stand out as potential Jedi Masters, and I would like to take a moment to take note of them.
A few months back, the first Hyperspace Beacon was launched. It recognized sites like Darth Hater and the Jedi Archive. Since then, more have proven to be beacons of light in the blackness of cyberspace. So, in an effort to keep the SWTOR community page up to date, I have explored the reaches hyperspace to find beacons of new hope.
Set your navicomputer to follow me after the break. As Matt from TOROCast may say: Don't be surprised if your website is mentioned here.
The galaxy far, far away seems to be in a constant state of war. DarthMaulUK of The Galactic Struggle has his fingers on the pulse of interstellar tussle. Representing the European SWTOR fan is not easy, but TGS does it with style. Although everything on this site is very easy to read, you had best have a large monitor. This site uses all of the browser real estate and then some, but that is totally forgivable given the sheer amount of information this site offers, all of which is just one click away. I set high my hopes on TGS coverage of Gamescom this week. DarthMaulUK flaunted his posh British accent in a revealing interview with Jake Neri back in May; I expect no less from this next convention -- both reveals and poshness.
The Galactic Struggle
I mentioned Wookieepedia on the SWTOR community page. These wiki-wizards have constructed another fully armed and operational website. Just as Wookiepedia is run by fans of Star Wars, the SWTOR Wikia is completely run by fans of SWTOR. The site's posting guidelines and fan traffic keep the information accurate and in-check. As Wookieepedia concentrates on the lore of Star Wars -- including The Old Republic lore -- SWTOR Wikia tracks the game's mechanics and quest specifics. If you're able to dodge all the silly ads that Wikia sites all seem to have, then you will find this site has the most complete aggregation of SWTOR factoids.
Star Wars: The Old Republic Wiki
Utinni! Mos Eisley Radio lights up the the podcast scene with speculation and special guests. Mos Eisley Radio shows all other podcasts how to do it. Its professional sound quality dominates the airwaves of Tatooine in this bi-weekly broadcast of the latest SWTOR news. Brooks and Zach have a fun, professional rapport which makes this broadcast one-of-a-kind. Despite my disagreement with some of the their speculations -- I don't think AdeptStrain's hiring at BioWare means we'll see a SWTOR appearance tab -- I do enjoy listening to them prophesy about the upcoming game they obviously enjoy.
As a side note, their professionalism extends even to their competing websites and podcasts. Massively received some information from one of their twitter posts, but they were professional enough to give credit were credit is due. They sent us an email informing us that they actually obtained the information from Darth Hater. If that wasn't enough, these gentlemen frequently offer thanks and recognition to other sites and podcast in their show notes.
Mos Eisley Radio
This is going to be hard to believe, but women play MMOs, too. I know, right? They aren't all men and FBI agents. Kathy and Carla of Corellian Run Radio prove this. Trust me when I say this site did not make it on this list because I needed to balance out the gender ratio here. Its news is always up-to-date and visually stunning, as well. Kathy and Carla are well-informed Star Wars fans, and the games they play on their podcasts are awesome. Other podcasters need to take note of them. Not to mention, the sound quality is on par with radio broadcasts. It's cliche to say, but I could seriously listen to Kathy read the phonebook and be happy. She is a very professional broadcaster.
Another thing that makes this newcomer-podcast stand out from the crowd is the creators' willingness to listen to constructive criticism. The first podcast, as with most newbie podcasts, was hard to listen to. I nearly did not go back to listen again. Its listeners and community on the forum gave the broadcast some pointers about what would work better and be more attractive to the audience. Kathy and Carla took the advice, and they are now a part of one of the best SWTOR podcasts on the web. Plus, they're Corellian. How can you top that?
Corellian Run Radio
A SWTOR community list would not be complete without TOROCast. Samm, Musco, and their gaggle of podcasters do it all. Musco represents the min-maxer and Samm represents the PvEer in this, the longest running SWTOR website and podcast. Matt "fo diggity" writes the most fun, and possibly the most accurate, speculative editorial articles of any website out there. I believe what is most attractive about this group of goofy gamers is their sense of fun and family. They have a rapport with their community I haven't seen anywhere else. They are not afraid to laugh at themselves or even make fun of themselves, either. Some websites take themselves extremely seriously. TOROCast realizes it is all fun and games, and the podcasters will make the most of it. I highly recommend you join in on their party.
Lastly, a site that I am personally proud to be a part of. The Old Republic Roleplay was founded by the same people who run the Star Wars Galaxies fansite, Starsider Galaxy. I can toot the horn of this site, but why should I when Darth Derriphan of the SWTOR community made this statement on the official forums: "This site is great, with some of the friendliest bunch you'll ever meet. If you're a RPer you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to join up! This site is guaranteed to stand triumphant where others in the past have fallen!" Starsider Galaxy has been around a long time; this new site should prove to be long-lasting, too.
The Old Republic Roleplay