Monthly Archives: June 2023

Swords Drawn

I just want to pop in with a very quick post to pass on congratulations to the winners of my recent mount raffle. I had so many entries that I added a few extra prizes to the pool. Bladebreake, Nezzir, Myst Draconis and Kaliyva, enjoy your sparkly Opal Vulptilla mounts! Zingerlo, Katie Cat, Meret-isesi and Celyddon have fun blasting off in your brand new Mandalorian Heavy Jetpacks! Check the mail of those characters for your codes!

Yesterday’s big news, however, was the announcement that SWTOR‘s development will indeed be moving from Bioware to Broadsword Online. Now that the news is official and the deal seems to be inked, the “broad” strokes of SWTOR‘s future are starting to appear. As far as I can tell, much if not most of SWTOR‘s core development, design and community team will be shifting over to Broadsword. If the intention is to transition SWTOR into maintenance mode, I strongly doubt we’d see so many people making the move. Moreover, you don’t have to read too deeply in between the lines of these folks’ social media announcements to see that the SWTOR team seems quite happy with this development.

If they are encouraged, then I’m encouraged! Other MMO’s have prospered after finding new homes, and SWTOR will still have backend support from EA and Lucasfilm Games. I’m certain Broadsword’s first objective is that the transition be essentially unnoticed by players who should be able to log on, subscribe and make Cartel Market purchases exactly as they have been doing for years already.

Beyond that, SWTOR‘s content for the rest of the year is already in development, and players may not see and feel the effects of this deal until next year. With a strong core at the helm, and a supportive studio to call home, I’m hopeful SWTOR will thrive in the years to come!



Filed under General SWTOR

Looking For Love in Alderaan Places

This week let’s do something a little bit different. Last Thursday Swtorista, with the help of her audience, devoted her stream to a discussion of and tier list ranking of the major romances of Star Wars: The Old Republic. These romances can evoke very strong and divisive opinions, and for many people are an important, if not the most important, relationship our characters have in the game.

If you’ve spent any time in the SWTOR community you can probably guess which companion romances rated the highest: the sassy yet approachable girls-next-door that populate most of the original class stories, and Lana and Theron.

I’m not here to criticize anyone’s story choices or dismiss any of these characters as manic pixie dreamgirls. Because I get it. I fell for Kira immediately; Vette is hilarious, and Mako is absolutely not just a pretty sidekick, buster. As far as Lana and Theron go, It’s a credit to SWTOR’s writers that they were able to introduce two strong romantic interests after the class stories that stuck with many players. Certainly at this point, our characters have spent much more time with them than our original companions

I do, however, want to examine two of the romances that crash-landed at the bottom into the F tier and explore why they are so hated, but also give them the love that many players seemingly refuse to: Doc and Corso.

SWTOR’s most successful romances are with the companions we as players get to spend the most time with before even starting the romance. Felix Iresso is a good example of a love interest introduced too late in the story to really stick the landing. He shows up two-thirds of the way through the Consular class story, and with so little time left, he starts macking on the Consular for flirts almost immediately after joining the crew. In my own play through, I quickly friend-zoned him, but it’s a shame because, once I got to know Felix, I discovered he’s a real mensch, and maybe if they’d met earlier, my Consular might’ve given him a chance.

But Corso and even Doc are introduced early on, but their romance arcs are rarely rated highly. I think there are several reasons for this. Some of them are based on their characters, some comes from gameplay issues and others are based on how players might react to the characters.

First off, Doc and Corso can be a bit much to take. Doc is basically the SWTOR equivalent of Schmidt from New Girl, and Corso was expressly envisioned as an annoying little brother. They are not cool, and it makes sense that everyone should want their character’s love interest to be cool. It’s also fair to say that their initial attempts to woo our characters don’t get off to a good start. Corso gets drunk and makes a god-awful pass at the Smuggler. As for Doc, he is definitely a guy whose guiding philosophy is “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

For the majority of companion romances (and in particular to the most highly rated ones), it is the player who initiates the flirting. I’m not a psychologist, but there might be something to the notion that some players might react uncomfortably to their avatar being hit on by an aggressive non-player character, whether it is male like Doc or even female like Kaliyo. I don’t believe this reaction is wrong. I can see how one person might feel like having to watch their character receive unwanted attention might hit too close to home or another feel like their character should not be the passive one in the game’s most significant relationship.

One of my favorite SWTOR love stories is with Aric Jorgan. He does not jump into it after the first flirt, but as his relationship with the female Trooper matures, his reaction changes and he and the Trooper end up in a sweet love story together. That is not how things play out with Corso and Doc. Regardless of our characters’ initial response to their come-ons, Corso and Doc keep trying. Someone who does not take no for an answer is at best a pest and oftentimes much worse. I imagine the writers and developers wanted to give players plenty of opportunities to jump into the companion romances so that they wouldn’t miss out, but fending off repeated overtures from characters you’re not interested in can feel less like banter than harassment.

I do understand the negative reactions to Doc and Corso. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to want to shove them out the airlock, but I also want to defend them and suggest that it’s worth giving one or both of them a shot. In each case, I suggest that you need to commit to the romance early on, and then you might discover they are, in fact, diamonds in the rough. And if it doesn’t work out, always remember that Lana and Theron will be waiting for you in Shadows of Revan.

Justice for Doc

Doc definitely has, as the kids say these days, “Main Character Syndrome”, and that’s apparent from the moment he is introduced in the Jedi Knight’s story. I take that as a sign that he’s a bit of a buffoon and a comic relief character. This is further reinforced by the fact that Kira starts dunking on him the moment they meet, and even the Jedi Knight’s dialogue options very often allow them to get in on the action too.

If you are a member of Generation X like me, you may very well recognize one big inspiration for Doc: the actor Bruce Campbell who is best known for his roles in the Evil Dead movies and the TV shows Xena: Warrior Princess and Burn Notice. I am certain that it is no coincidence that Doc rocks the exact same ‘stache and soul patch as Campbell’s character Autoclytus on Xena. Bruce Campbell specializes in playing comedic characters who aren’t as clever, charming and skilled as they think they are, and that sounds almost exactly like Doc. Like Ash and Autoclytus and Sam Axe, the humor of interactions with Doc comes in realizing that he is all talk and no game and then calling him out for his douche-baggery. Players who don’t get the connection to Campbell may very well have a different impression of Doc, but I think the game indicates pretty clearly that he isn’t to be taken too seriously especially when you start meeting his former girlfriends exactly none of whom come out of the relationship at all impressed with him.

But Doc’s heart is in the right place. He is out in the front lines of the war helping people when he could have a cushy practice on a core world. He may complain about it, but when push comes to shove, time and time again he does do the right thing.

All that said, the thing I find most amusing about Doc is that if he were a player character in SWTOR, he’d be a Smuggler. And not just a Smuggler, he’d be a Smuggler whose player mashes the [Flirt] button EVERY SINGLE TIME it lights up, which seems to describe how many, many people play their Smugglers. So if you find Doc to be a sexist and annoying pig, take a moment to pity poor Risha who has to deal with the same thing across the multiverse of SWTOR’s Smuggler storylines. #JusticeforRisha.

The Kind of Guy You Can Trust

Corso’s your buddy. Corso’s your pal. Corso will hold your beer while you go do something stupid. Corso will help you move even if the elevator in your building is busted. Corso will pick you up at the airport no matter how late your flight gets in. Corso laughs at your jokes, even the ones he’s heard before. Corso’s a righteous dude.

And, yes, Corso Riggs is a nerd and a dope who has absolutely no idea how to talk to women. I can relate. It is possible that, in my life, I may have, on an occasion or two, been less than smooth in my interactions with the opposite sex. If I can figure it out (kinda), I gotta believe that there is hope for Corso too.

Like a lot of you, I didn’t think much of Corso at first, but as his romance with the Smuggler played out, I discovered to my surprise that he grew on me. Part of the fun of it was calling out his old fashioned attitudes and then as things developed eventually seeing that he really is a big, dumb sweetheart. But still a nerd and a dope. Some things you just can’t change.

Tell Me What You Think and Win a Prize!

But I want to hear from you! Who is your favorite SWTOR character to smooch? Leave a comment below to enter a raffle I am hosting for a special in-game mount for your characters: your choice of an Opal Vulptilla or a brand new Mandalorian Heavy Jet Pack mount that debuted with patch 7.3!

To enter, leave a comment below with the following information:

  • Your character name (be mindful of spaces and special symbols!)
  • Your faction
  • Your server
  • Your favorite SWTOR romance
  • Which mount you hope to win: Jetpack or Opal Vulptilla

That’s it! For every 10 entries, I will draw one winner up to a maximum of 3 winners.

I will accept entries for two weeks from this posting and will randomly select winners on June 27, 2023 at 1 PM ET.

If you prefer not to comment publicly, I also accept entries via email at or through Twitter.

There are no country or server restrictions on any of the prizes that will be awarded.

This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with LucasFilm Ltd, BioWare or Electronic Arts Inc.

We’re on the honor system here, so one entry per person, please.

Please only enter for yourself!

Good luck, and may the Force be with you!

If you’re a new visitor, I hope you’ll take a look around. I’ve been translating SWTOR’s alien languages for a few years now and sharing commentary about the state of the game as I see it.



Filed under General SWTOR

To Make Baskets or Broadswords

Gentle reader, you know me, I tend to ruminate on things before speaking my mind. Yesterday, however, news broke  that EA is likely planning to move SWTOR a new development home at Broadsword Online, a third party studio with experience stewarding Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot. To say that I am having a wide range of emotions in response to this is an understatement. I have many questions, and I doubt that anyone outside of EA or Broadsword can fully answer them, so I will endeavor to not jump to conclusions.

I think, I hope, that I can speculate about the near future from what we know now about SWTOR. First and foremost, SWTOR is not dead. Keith Kanneg has confirmed that there is already content in the pipeline to at least last through the end of the year. Even beyond that, SWTOR is not going away.

SWTOR makes money. Star Wars is one of the most popular IPs in the world, and the bonanza of new Star Wars stories we’ve seen in the last few years attracts players to the game. It’s not a coincidence that we’ve seen so much Mandalorian content in the game recently. Fans want to play as Din Djarin and Bo Katan, and SWTOR does a good job scratching that itch.

As far as I understand SWTOR has been Bioware’s most successful title in the last decade, even if it doesn’t always seem like it’s been treated that way.

Was SWTOR the WOW killer? Of course not. Longtime players should know how it is by now. As SWTOR grew over the years it was in directed ways. SWTOR stopped charging extra for expansions after Shadows of Revan and made it easy for story focused players to dip into the game without needing to stay subscribed throughout an expansion’s peaks and valleys. If all you care about is PVE or PVP content, you are long since used to waiting through lulls for the thing you care about. I don’t think that was going to change under EA, and I don’t think it will change under Broadsword.

But SWTOR makes money. It doesn’t make the kind of money that makes EA jump up and take notice, but it has been a solid performer for Bioware for a very long time. And as long as Star Wars remains in the pop culture, there is no reason that can’t continue. Broadsword has every motivation to keep SWTOR a successful MMO.

Can they do it? I don’t know and I have no way of knowing. MMO-RPGs based on Star Trek, Lord of the Rings and Dungeons & Dragons have continued to grow after shifting to new studios. In SWTOR, story is king, so if Broadsword can produce the same quality of story updates we’ve seen from Bioware, then I think SWTOR will be fine. It’s no secret that Bioware has shifted resources around to shore up other games, and that has sometimes come at the expense of SWTOR’s development. At Broadsword, the game will become their biggest asset, and they’d be absolutely motivated to give it their full attention. And, sure, it would be great if they could squeeze in a new operation or flashpoint or PVP map every once in a while.

I do want to finish up with some thoughts about the human cost of all of this. Corporations love to restructure because it means they get to cut costs with layoffs. It breaks my heart that any of the good people who have worked their butts off to make SWTOR a success might be let go. They deserve better from EA, and it sucks that all I can do is thank them for their hard work.

I adore SWTOR because of the many, many talented developers, artists, actors, programmers, engineers and community team members who have brought the game to life. As a member of SWTOR’s content creator program, I have been very lucky indeed to have had opportunities to interact with and even meet some of the people who make this game. They have been without exception talented and dedicated people who want to make a game people will enjoy. More often than not, I strongly believe they have succeeded. That they have produced a game for nearly 12 years where I get to play a character at the center of an epic Star Wars story is an accomplishment worthy of celebration. I cannot think of another piece of Star Wars lore that comes close to the breadth and scope of what SWTOR has carved out for itself.

I hope the people who move over to Broadsword and those that stay with Bioware do very well, and that those who cannot find continued success elsewhere.



Filed under General SWTOR