The Free Agent: Episode 20 - Galactic Starfighter

Hello and welcome back to ZAM's bi-weekly column, The Free Agent. Our mission, as always, is to answer the question "Can gaming REALLY be free?"

Last time on the Free Agent we covered Duel of Champions, a TCG set in the famous Might and Magic universe. Despite having to live in the shadow cast by the recent Hearthstone Open Beta announcement, Duel of Champions is more than capable of standing on its own so, if you missed it, be sure to check out Episode 19.

But moving on to today's episode: for the first time ever, we're covering a game within a game. Curious to see how that works? Well then by all means, read on.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Takes to the Stars

Pew pew! Everyone loves space combat, which is why BioWare has announced the new Galactic Starfighter expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Available as early as December 3rd, subscribers will take off into 12v12 PVP space combat with multiple zones and gameplay modes.
It will also feature ship customization and 'ground game' rewards to boost your character.

Rise of the Hutt Cartel Goes Free to Subscribers

Starting on Thursday, September 12, 2013, active subscribers to Star Wars: The Old Republic will receive the first digital expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel, free of charge as a newly added benefit to the Subscriber Rewards Program.

Players who have already purchased Rise of the Hutt Cartel and are an active subscriber on September 12 at 4:00AM PDT (11:00AM GMT) will receive a new title, "The Risen," via in-game mail on or before September 25, 2013 as appreciation for the purchase. Subscribers who have purchased Rise of the Hutt Cartel between August 11, 2013 and September 12, 2013 at 9:00AM PDT (4:00PM GMT) will be granted 1050 Bonus Cartel Coins, which will be granted by September 13, 2013 at 9:00AM PDT (4:00PM GMT), in appreciation for their recent purchase.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Launches 2.3 Update

Are your Jedi Knight's companions starting to feel a little dated? Does your Bounty Hunter's speeder bike not command the respect and fear you think a proper mount should bring? Republic and Empire players alike have reason to rejoice this week; BioWare has released its 2.3 update for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

SWTOR: Bounty Contract Week

Blasters will be armed, targets will be named, and contracts will soon be assigned in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Bounty Contract Week has been announced and the galaxy has plenty of wanted criminals to go around.

SWTOR Update 2.1 Goes Live

Star Wars: The Old Republic Update 2.1 hit live servers today, bringing in a handful of customization features to players including the Cathar; a new playable race!

SWTOR: Rise of the Hutt Cartel Giveaway

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Rise of the Hutt Cartel is live and SWTOR players are enjoying its sweeping story centered upon the hugely important planet of Makeb. I played it and thoroughly enjoyed it and so did our Senior Contributing Editor Gareth "Gazimoff" Harmer.

SWTOR: RotHC First Look

It’s been a long time. Like many others I dove head-first into Star Wars: The Old Republic, gorging myself on the superb storytelling and fantastic voice acting. After hitting level cap I was hungry for more, with the ‘Interlude’ splash-screen promising just that. But while further content updates have added new areas such as Section X and new quests like those for HK-51, the central storyline has been paused.

That wait is now over, with Rise of the Hutt Cartel being the first digital expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic. With all-new voice acting and a new planet to explore, it’s a compelling reminder of everything that’s fantastic about BioWare’s MMO. Throw in a raised level cap, new endgame Operation and new achievement system, and there’s a lot to be excited about.

SWTOR: Rise of the Hutt Cartel Hands On

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The official launch of Rise of the Hutt Cartel can now be confirmed as April 14. Well, actually April 9 for all those plucky Star Wars: The Old Republic players who qualify for head start.

Last week, I traveled to Austin, Texas to take part in a special press event at the BioWare studio that breathes life into SWTOR. The event focused on Update 2.0 (currently on the game’s public test servers) and, more specifically, the new expansion. For those who are unaware of what Rise of the Hutt Cartel entails, take a look at the video below to get a clearer idea.

SWTOR: Bruce Maclean Interview

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Star Wars: The Old Republic is just a couple of weeks away from head start for Rise of the Hutt Cartel, its first expansion and most important update since going free-to-play in November. With those who qualify able to play the expansion from April 9 (April 14 is the release date for non-qualifying players), I sat down with Bruce Maclean, Producer of SWTOR, to talk about the new content as its launch approaches.