We're a couple days late on our weekly TOR round-up so let's not dally with long-winded intros...
SWTOR.com announced last week that Free Character Transfers are now available on select servers:
"The initial character transfer service is now available, allowing qualifying characters to be transferred at no charge from selected origin servers to selected destination servers. This character transfer service will be available as long as is required to help maintain population balance across the service and create a better overall gameplay experience. Select servers will be eligible for free character transfers based on the player populations of the origin and destination servers.
To qualify for a free character transfer, a player must have a character on one of the selected origin servers and must meet the following requirements:
- A player’s account cannot be in a banned status. - The character being transferred cannot be a guild master; they must either resign as master or demote themselves to a lower guild rank to be transferred. (Guild rankings and status will not be transferred.)"
The official site of Star Wars: The Old Republic has also posted their own E3 2012 round-up featuring links to a number of positive reviews for the MMO coming out of the expo. You can view the post right here.
"Hi, I’m Damion Schubert, Lead Systems Designer. In Game Update 1.3: Allies, players will notice that there is a new button attached to their minimap, for our Group Finder. Usable by any character who is at least level 10, the Group Finder should be very helpful for players who like to group up and adventure with others.
We’ve put a lot of thought and effort into making Group Finder simple for anybody to use, while still giving more control to those who want it. Our aim was to balance the needs of those who are just looking for a random group to play with, and those who are looking to play specific content with specific class roles required for their group.
Giving the player firm control over what content they want to play allows them to target specific content or rewards that they need, which is especially important given as many players are still playing through their class stories and trying to clear out their Mission Logs. If you have a mission in your Mission Log to complete the Esseles Flashpoint, we didn’t want you to get sent to Hammer Station, for example.
Still, we want as little time to pass between queuing up and jumping into a Flashpoint as possible. If everyone only queues for a couple of Flashpoints, you may end up queuing for longer, because everybody is queuing for different content. To alleviate that, we want to encourage players to queue for as many Flashpoints as are possible, so we incentivize you to do that. By default, when you open the Group Finder, the Group Finder pre-selects all Flashpoints and Heroic Missions that are neither overly easy or OMGWTFBBQ hard. If you choose to let these default settings stand (thus queuing for a random Flashpoint) and then complete that randomly selected Flashpoint, you’ll receive level-appropriate commendations. You can earn this reward once per day."
Time: 2AM 2AM CDT (12AM PDT/3AM EDT/8 AM BST/9AM CEST/5PM AEST) until 6AM CDT (4AM PDT/7AM EDT/12PM BST/1PM CEST/9PM AEST)
Moving away from the official TOR site, Massively reports on the prospects of Star Wars: The Old Republic making the free-to-play shift. This comes from an interview in GamesTM magazine featuring BioWare Lead Designer Emmanuel Lusinchi.
Forbes.com followed up on the Massively article with some words from EA's Frank Gibeau:
'“We’re going to be in the business from a long-term standpoint so absolutely we’re going to embrace free access, free trial, ultimately some day we can move in and embrace that model,” EA’s Frank Gibeau told GamesIndustry International, noting also that EA is ”really proud of Star Wars” and “ really excited about the launch.”
“I don’t think subscriptions ever go away, but when you have an IP as broad as Star Wars, we’re definitely going to look at opportunities to grow that business and look at different ways of bringing customers in and serving them,” Gibeau continued."