The lights are on
Star Wars: The Old Republic is receiving a new digital expansion centered on the oversized Hutts.
The expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel, features the giant slug-like aliens as they try to become a galactic superpower, and they're not afraid of a scuffle with lightsaber-wielding foes.
The development diary below shows off what awaits Jedi and Sith on the new planet of Makeb – and if the lead writer’s words are to be believed, it’s going to be a heck of a time.
“It’s like a huge summer blockbuster,” says Hall Hood, lead writer for The Old Republic. “The choices that players are going to make are going to affect the larger conflict.”
The expansion follows the rest of the game as far as providing fully-voiced characters – something that has set the game apart in the story and immersion department. The level cap will be raised to 55, meaning more abilities, expanded skill trees, and new character balances for each class.
New enemies will also be available to smite.
“On Makeb players are going to run into the most ruthless enemies we’ve ever thrown at them,” says senior designer Brian Audette, explaining how mercenaries, new droids, and the planet’s animals will all do their best to end your questing.
As someone who bought a new PC just for the Old Republic, I’m excited for the digital expansion. The MMO created by BioWare hasn’t been a total hit during its tenure, but the decision to include a free-to-play option instead of just the monthly $14.99 subscription has helped bring the number of subscribers up.
If you’re unsure of whether or not it’s worth it to jump into the game, a listen to our podcast may sway you (just take note that many updates have further enhanced the free-to-play option, such as the number of characters you can use). I find the combination of story, ability to play solo, and interesting quests enough to keep me playing, and an expansion is what’s needed to keep interest levels up.
Rise of the Hutt Cartel will release in all territories on April 14 for $19.99. Subscribers get 50 percent off that price, and those who pre-ordered it before January 7 of this year will gain early access on April 9. Those who pre-order before April 13 will receive three in-game rewards: the Makrin Seedling Mini-Pet, the Dr. Oggurobb Hutt Holostatue, and the unique title, “Scourge of the Hutts.”
If jumping into an MMO is new to you, or you just want to know what The Old Republic is like, you can read our beginner's guide or watch our video interview with one of the game's writers.