Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Hyperspace Beacon: Celebrating new SWTOR content


It's pretty crazy to think that BioWare's first foray into the Star Wars Universe, Knights of the Old Republic, turns 10 years old this week. For me, it doesn't seem that long ago that the game came out. Although I have trouble going back to play the game now (it's not aged well), I still appreciate what that game did to change a genre. At the time, the biggest story-driven RPGs tended to be JRPGs like the Final Fantasy series. Although Bethseda did a bang-up job with Morrowind, Knights of the Old Republic captured its audience by weaving in an amazing story with classic table-top style RPG elements. Happy birthday, KOTOR!

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of KOTOR's release, BioWare gave every subscriber 500 Cartel Coins to spend any way he or she would like. And for a limited time, subscribers can buy the title Revan's Heir from the Cartel Market for 10 Cartel Coins, about 10 cents in US currency.

But really this is small protatoes* compared to the new content coming out in Update 2.3, which includes Bounty Contract week, two new flashpoints, and a new daily area. With the recent update to the public test server, I was able to take my level 55 Assassin on a trip through the planet of CZ-198 (the daily area) to get a sense for what it's like to visit this Czerka-controlled world. Let me tell you that story.

*protato -- a protein-enhanced synthetic vegetable, orange with no eye spots on the surface. Not to be confused with potatoes, which are vegetables shaped like Kessel that make Duros sick.

Hyperspace Beacon Celebrating new SWTOR content
Right off the bat, it was obvious that Imperials were not welcome here. When the trip began, I meandered down what looked to be an officer corridor, and I ran into a Czerka employee. When I tried to ask why he had a red name floating above his head, he promptly started firing his blaster at me. Thankfully, I could use my Sith mind tricks and make it seem as if I'd disappeared. "That was rude," I thought. "I am going to write a strongly worded letter to your manager, sir."

Hyperspace Beacon Celebrating new SWTOR contentI figured the best thing I could do was pretend I was a Czerka employee. Conveniently, at the end of the other hallway stood an Imperial Reclamation Officer ready to sell me some Czerka-style clothing.

The first outfit he showed me consisted of the same ugly green and yellow uniform that the security guard who shot at me was wearing. Kark that ugly poodoo! The headgear looked like a leftover podracing helmet. And although the boots, pants, and gloves looked great, the top left something to be desired. I just am not into the body-armor look. Maybe this would look better on a more militaristic type person, but not me.

I asked to see something else. The Czerka executive outfit was more like it. The majority of the long-coat style outfit was dyed black. The boots, slacks, and gloves were more ornate than the security outfit, but not overbearing. But what really made this outfit work was the jacket. It resembled a long labcoat more than a jacket, and the kicker was the shiny blue-green Czerka logo on the back. I loved it. I had to have it. Then I noticed that in order to purchase the outfit, I had to have hero standing with the Ordnance Acquisition Corps. That's disappointing but I guess expected.

Also while standing there, I noticed an oversized sword labeled "Sword of the Vigilant" -- more like "Sword of the Overcompensating," amirite? Next to that was a new shell for an HK-51 droid. Had I one of those, it might have been wizard to make him look like one of the Czerka security droids. The best item, however, had to be the Czerka Executive Cruiser. This sleek black speeder is used quite frequently for taxi services around the galaxy but has never been available to the general public until now. Although it carries a hefty one-million-credit pricetag, I am willing to part with that money to tool around in one of those honeys.

Hyperspace Beacon Celebrating new SWTOR content
So how do I get this reputation standing?

Hyperspace Beacon Celebrating new SWTOR contentBesides the two group missions, which I will have to get later since I was alone this time around, Czerka's base offered four missions that granted reputation with the Ordnance Acquisition Corps. One was a gather quest. One was a destroy quest. One was a kill quest. And one was a kill quest pretending to be a puzzle quest pretending to be a gathering quest.

The first quest, Staff Cuts, is pretty straightforward. Czerka needs a bit of staff reduction, so naturally it's my job to accommodate that wish by splitting the staff in half with my lightsaber. The next one, Droid Demolition, might be a bit more difficult because of two factors. First, the mobs surrounding the droid container boxes contain a lot of golds and silvers. Secondly, it takes a bit to set the charges on the droid boxes. If an enemy attacked me, I had to start over, but if I started attacking first, someone else who was on the same mission could just walk up to the box and set the charges. I see a lot of node stealing in this quest's future.

The next quest, What's Yours Is Mine, took me to the Czerka railway, where I gathered up some biotoxin and destroyed kolto supplies.The last one took me to the sewers -- eww. There I solved a simple puzzle, killed a few mutated womp rats, and dealt with a tentacle monster called Project DS-5. After that, I was back to the surface to get my credit rewards and reputation. The credits were good. I earned about 8700 credits per mission, but the reputation items left something to be desired. I will probably have to run the group missions to earn decent rep. But all in all, it wasn't a bad 45 minute's worth of work.

Wednesday, I'm taking my Marauder on the same trip, and you can watch on our livestream. At 3 p.m. EDT, I will guide you through the ins and outs of the new Czerka dailies. I hope to see you then.

The Hyperspace Beacon by Larry Everett is your weekly guide to the vast galaxy of Star Wars: The Old Republic, currently in production by BioWare. If you have comments or suggestions for the column, send a transmission to Now strap yourself in, kid -- we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr