Massively's guide to SWTOR's launch and beyond

Massively's SWTOR Launch Guide (Original graphic by Larry Everett)
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, we first heard mention of a new Star Wars MMO set in the popular Knights of the Old Republic era. Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare named it, and we've waited patiently impatiently through months years of hope and hype, fanboys and haters, and at least eight million articles about the fourth pillar of story.

This week, The Old Republic is the new hotness, and the Massively staffers are right there with you, champing at the bit to get in the head start already! But what if you're not an expert on Star Wars lore or TOR's gameplay? What if you don't know the first thing about purple lightsabers, astromechs, and the Kessel Run? What if you can't decide which class to play? When do you get a starship? Can you really romance your companions? How do flashpoints work? And why are there no bathrooms on Coruscant?!

Relax, young Padawan. Put your blast-shield down and let Massively be your guide... literally. We've rounded up a massive collection of helpful introductory guides for each of the eight classes, along with overviews of gameplay mechanics like companions, starships, flashpoints, warzones, and crafting. We've also curated the most illuminating lore essays from our regular SWTOR column, Hyperspace Beacon, in addition to our extensive hands-on previews from the last few years.

Take your first step into a larger world...

SWTOR Class Guides
Smuggler GuideImperial Agent Guide
Jedi Knight GuideSith Warrior Guide
Trooper GuideBounty Hunter Guide
Jedi Consular GuideSith Inquisitor Guide
SWTOR Advanced Classes
SWTOR Gameplay Guides
Companions GuideCrafting Guide
Starships GuideMilestones Guide
Guide to WarzonesGuide to Flashpoints
SWTOR Lore Guides
Lore Overview: The TOR Timeline, Essential Lore
Species: Twi'leks, Trandoshans, Chiss & Rattataki, Human High Culture I & II, Pureblood Sith
Factions: Mandalorians, Jedi Order, Sith Empire, Loyalists, Gray Jedi, The Underworld
Locations: The Galactic Core & Outer Rim, Imperial Space, Hutt Space, & Unknown Regions
Culture: Hidden Messages I & II, Lightsaber Colors, Force Religions
People: Nomi Sunrider I & II, The Lost Suns

SWTOR Previews
Trooper hands-on (Jef Reahard, October 2011)
Smuggler and Jedi Consular hands-on (Larry Everett, October 2011)
Jedi Knight hands-on (Brendan Drain, October 2011)
Sith Inquisitor PvP hands-on (Matt Daniel, August 2011)
Imperial Agent hands-on (Dan O'Halloran, June 2011)
E3 demo impressions (Shawn Schuster, Rubi Bayer, Dan O'Halloran, June 2011)
Taral V Flashpoint hands-on (Larry Everett and Eliot Lefebvre, March 2011)
Jedi Knight hands-on (Brianna Royce, December 2010)
Smuggler, Trooper, and Sith Inquisitor hands-on (Larry Everett, September 2010)
Smuggler hands-on (Seraphina Brennan, June 2010)
Trooper hands-on (Shawn Schuster, March 2010)
Sith Inquisitor hands-on (Randy Nelson, December 2009)
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Star Wars: The Old Republic is finally here, and the Force is with Massively! We've prepared a Hutt-sized feast of class introductions, gameplay guides, lore roundups, and hands-on previews to help you navigate the launch period and beyond. And don't forget our weekly SWTOR column, the Hyperspace Beacon!
This article was originally published on Massively.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.