“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of players suddenly cried out in happiness and were suddenly silenced.”

BioWare has unveiled plans to release its first digital expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic this spring.  Rise of the Hutt Cartel will raise the level cap to 55, includes all new story-based missions, and introduces the new planet of Makeb for players to explore.  The personal Star Wars saga will feature the same fully-voiced conversations that the original game launched with and will allow players to uncover the nefarious plans of the Hutt Cartel.

Rise of the Hutt Cartel is set for a spring 2013 release and players can begin pre-ordering now.  If you pre-order by January 7, you will receive 5 days early access.  The expansion is priced at $9.99 for subscribers and $19.99 for anyone else.

What do you think of SWTOR’s first expansion?  We don’t have all of the details yet, but so far it looks like they are only adding one planet.  Is that enough to keep players busy?  Is this the expansion you were looking for or do you have a bad feeling about this?


  • rippled

    Looks like a good deal for subscribers (if you don’t consider “DLC”s as a blight uppon gaming) but possibly a bit pricy for f2p.

    I also hope they’re calling it a “digital expansion” for a reason. I want a proper one down the line, a TOR equivalent of MOP (wookies!)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Bergevin-Jr/1393526370 Jim Bergevin Jr

      I was just about to say the same thing. This is pretty much a DLC-type of update for which the $10 seems reasonable. The $20 tag for others may be a bit pricey unless more content is added with it between now and then.

      As for a full blown expansion – agreed. I suspect that the SSSP will be the core content there. I think we’ll start to get info on that towards the end of the summer with a possible release date for this time next year. Quite frankly if half of what I have been told is in the SSSP (and suspected would be in) is actually true, BW will be redeeming themselves in many eyes.

    • http://twitter.com/Hagg3r Michael

      Honestly if you think that SWTOR will have a full blown, 50$ boxed expansion..you are living in a dream world.

      • rippled

         Any why wouldn’t it?

        It’s not as if any company does it out of the goodness of its heart, they do it cos production facilities, tools and large parts of art design/marketing structure already in place, making it for a comparatively cheap product they can market and sell for the same price as a newly developed game.

        I mean this is EA we’re talking about. They’re milking every series they have into double digits by now. And they’re gonna opt NOT to do the mmo industry standard cash in with their mmo that is still ranked n2 in subscriptions?

        Me thinks you’re letting your hate cloud your judgment a bit there.

      • http://twitter.com/dularr Dularr

        I can’t tell which way you mean that.  

        That SWTOR will not last long enough for a large box expansion or will BW continue with the digital only download content. 

  • http://twitter.com/wordcipro matt cipriano

    Depends. If it’s one planet and that planet is the size of…belsavis then absolutely no. But, I’m willing to bet they wouldn’t make small planets ever again. I’m interested to see what the story will be like. Hopefully they will be continuing player’s individual story arcs because THAT is what I’m interested in. But to be fair, that’s just me and I have given up ToR as a dedicated mmo a long time ago so the story is all I really want.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.jenkins.73 Jason Jenkins

    1 planet for almost half the price of what we got in the orginal game, nah doubt i’ll buy it right off seeing how im staying ftp right now.  if i were to resub in the future maybe then but no not while it costs so much for ftp.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=627845789 Joel Colby Debord

    It will probably be delayed till 2014 and when it does come out it will have lots of bugs and everyone will blow threw the content within the first week and then we will hear about more layoffs. 

    • Phil

      Talk about a sh-t talker. It comes out in April – and now you look like a fool.

  • http://www.facebook.com/davidallmighty David Cohen

    Anyone else giggle at the name… as in Rise of the Cartel Coin Market?

    • crothcipt


  • http://www.facebook.com/davidallmighty David Cohen

    I think one thing people need to understand is this is not a full high end Xpac like WOW and RRift released. It is more of a Super Patch. Other F2P games also have these “adventure packs” as small xpacs to their games, and this looks to be more or less that.

    • http://twitter.com/dularr Dularr

      That’s where the five levels throw me off.  If it was a new planet with new stories, flashpoints, warzones and raids; it sounds like a great idea.  

      While I never raided in SWTOR, I suspect adding five levels will throw raiding off. Making the current raiding content obsolete.  So unless BW is planning on a years worth of new raiding content with this digital expansion they will have some unhappy raiders. 

      • http://twitter.com/wordcipro matt cipriano

        I’m willing to bet they make the nightmare modes of the current raids level 55…which would be absolutely asinine to do, but this is Jeff Hickman we are talking about.

  • http://twitter.com/Hagg3r Michael

    This looks more like a paid content update that should be given for free. One new planet (one zone in SWTOR) and 5 levels with associated story quests (not class story, btw, just one story for each faction) is kind of small. Hell, that is small for a content update! To charge 10$ for it is unreal. It should be free for subs and 5$ for free players. 

    The level cap will also make all current flashpoints and operations irrelevant due to the leveling gear probably being better. If it is not better, then the old content will simply become easy as hell due to the level increase. Or they could scale the old end-game to the new level cap which would be stupid in and of itself and defeat the whole purpose of the new content. Not only that, but it would force people to level again just to do the same content they have been doing for months.

    All in all, this is the worst idea Bioware has had for SWTOR since they initially announced the Free to Play restrictions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Ruel/1460327749 Mike Ruel

    Pretty sure someone said that the first expansion would be free. I don’t have the source nor care to find the quote, but this may have also been before the f2p announcement. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Ruel/1460327749 Mike Ruel

    Pretty sure someone said that the first expansion would be free. I don’t have the source nor care to find the quote, but this may have also been before the f2p announcement. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/nigel.pearce.90 Nigel Pearce

    What a rip-off.  Plain and simple. EA are gouging the players to recoup the losses. Unsubbed and staying that way.  PS 2 will get my cash rather than throw another penny at SWTOR….

  • http://www.kaiketsu.enjin.com/ Corey “Crimzen” Jenkins

    It seems to me that it was either rushed, or just scrounged together. Wasn’t Makeb supposed to be in one of their free updates originally that we heard about like 4-5 months ago? It’s true WoW has had 5 level increases in the past with expansions, but they also had a FULL expansions worth of content. So far it sounds like they are charging for a mini update.

    Not to sound like the “GW2 fanboy” that I am, but It sounds like they are trying to charge SWTOR players for what GW2 has given for free. Even WoW and Rift give a pretty substantial amount of content with their updates,for essentially free if you aren’t counting the fact that you’re paying for a sub already.

    Looking at it from their perspective, then I would almost say that because SWTOR went F2P, this is a legit way to fund your game. However with the way their cash shop/F2P model is currently. it feels like they are essentially trying to get you to sub, on top of charging for content that should be free to those who are already paying for a sub or spending money on cartel coins.

    Just with the direction that their game is going, as well as the direction their cash shop is heading. It sounds to me that the Bioware ship is sinking a bit. Which is a shame really, because they used to be such an awesome company with top quality games.

  • crothcipt

    so if you are free to play are you ending to pay 20$ for your next 5 lvls?  Wow this is really getting out of hand.  As for the past and not really having any real end game content I don’t see how this will be any help either.

    Maybe its all the bugs that have been around since beta that will be fixed.  Maybe the 5 days of beta will be worth it then.  Well don’t hold your breath cause you have to lvl up to get to the content, there still isn’t any porting over to test server why would there be any in a beta?

  • http://twitter.com/Dope_Danny Danny Smith

    So EA’s answer to a floundering mmo? dlc. Superb. Suddenly all the “pc master race” arguments about console gamers paying for content patches seems a little moot.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Bergevin-Jr/1393526370 Jim Bergevin Jr

      It’s been moot for a while Danny – DLC has been the SOP for PC games for several years now.

  • sheduur

    The ship is sinking, EA are just the rats taking a good bite off your pockets before leaving it. What better time to still cash in after going free to pay? I am sure they see it as the last chance to get a decent payday before preparing to shut it down in 1-2 years down the line.

    I doubt it will last much longer than that. Just sad to see that this pile of crap was the final nail in the coffin to swg, as bad as that had become with the nge, but even that was better than what swtor is now…

  • http://twitter.com/wordcipro matt cipriano

    It’s funny because when they went f2p, everyone was all like “save your cartel coins for future expansions” because apparently we couldn’t compare it to WoW any longer, it was LotRO that we had to compare it to, so we did. Now, it is known that we can not use the allotment of coins given monthly to subscribers to purchase this and everyone is all like “Well nevermind LotRO, WoW charges for their expansions!” 

    Anyway, that is pretty funny Richie but I will be looking forward to the free content updates in GW2. Because at least ArenaNet keeps it real with their players without needing us to whiteknight for them.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KI7Q7KTG4XGQQ2NOM7N4IMFAIM Rae

    thanx for the link!

    the cognitive dissonance from some of the people there simply amazes me.

    I truly hope they can afford to finish writing individual storlines someday,
    perhaps they could get the fans to create the content and VO themselves.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/KI7Q7KTG4XGQQ2NOM7N4IMFAIM Rae

      - and charge them to do it!

    • http://twitter.com/Cpt_Badger Cpt.Badger

      Hickman is terrible. He has ZERO charisma, and he is so out of touch with reality. He probably earns too much money, which distorts his perception A LOT.

      Does he even read the Torums ? The amount of negativity there should wake him up, but somehow it doesn’t.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KI7Q7KTG4XGQQ2NOM7N4IMFAIM Rae

    I’m sure that folx at TSW are thrilled with the details of this “expansion”

    way to lower the Bar, EA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shawn-Hargrave/100003202374593 Shawn Hargrave

    Seriously people need to support the swg emu’s. Swtor is a bad joke getting worse. Garry be harder on swtor F the swtor carebears let me on the show LOL ill really let them have it. I knew they werent going to have makeb be a free update lol.

    Seriously garry make the swg emu show. If we get enough people on swg emus and get disney behind it we can have a real star wars mmo.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Bergevin-Jr/1393526370 Jim Bergevin Jr

      Really? So I guess you miss the parts of various shows throughout the years where Gary says SWG was complete crap. Anyone who played the game for any amount of time throughout its history knows this as fact. What made the game good (as Gary also mentions) is the group of friends and community you played with.

  • joakimenstrom

    Haha funny to read all the hate u people constantly is writng about SWTOR. As I am a subscriber, the hutt cartel will cost me about the same as for a beer where I live……. so a none issue, as USD 9 is nothing. I still really enjoy the PVP and class stories in this game and yes I have played GW2 with my friends. We now all play SWTOR…. U guys still talk about SWG, ah ok that was so epic.
    You might not like SWTOR and obvioulsy hate EA, but please if there are any fanboys here it is the GW2, which was soooooo different.
    As an epic person once said, haters will hate. 
    But hey I might be really rich as USD 9-20 is not a huge concern….. 

    • http://twitter.com/RichieProcopio Richie Procopio

      I just reread the article and I don’t see a single sentence that could be construed as “hate”.  I don’t hate SWTOR.  I had a lot of fun with the game for several months, but (like many others) got bored with the max level experience.

      I did feel it necessary to point out that this expansion is only adding one planet and I was curious to hear what the reaction was to that.  The subscriber cost is certainly reasonable for what could be hours of entertainment.  I’m not sure about the non-subscriber cost, however, as many other games offer quite a deal more for less or no cost.

      • http://twitter.com/Cpt_Badger Cpt.Badger

        There is no “hate” on gamebreaker. Watched A LOT of shows and nothing, ever came to me as “hate”. 

        I’m constantly amazed by the fact how players call “expressing a negative opinion” on something “hate”. What is even more funny, there are no negative opinions in what Richie wrote. Just some, very VALID questions.

        I personally bought the expansion, but only because my sub took a Hickman to the knee, so I figured I could use the discount before it ends.

  • http://twitter.com/Sh1ngara Sh1ngara

    Its a money grab, what was once stated as a none expansion content patch has suffered the hickman effect and is now classed as an expansion ontop of subscription, no way to buy this with the free coins subscribers get and only purchasble on the website.

     They are also asking people to pre order with no information beyond its a planet and it has 5 more levels, thats it.

      I am a subscriber but i ordered the so called expansion today and promptly cancled my subs so i wont pay a penny whilst im leveling makeb and lucky old me my subs will end in febuary, im sure my complimentary coins will cover me till i have to put subs back on, major backfire by bioware as i would never have dropped my subs or thought about it until they did this.

  • http://twitter.com/Cpt_Badger Cpt.Badger

    I love the “Hickman effect” meme! Spread it out! :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Byrne/100001642673542 Michael Byrne

    Here’s an odd thing to consider. Bioware/EA valued a horrible speeder with Christmas lights for the Life Day event at $18…the expansion’s “full” price is $20 for free players…scares me a bit on what this planet has in store.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shawn-Hargrave/100003202374593 Shawn Hargrave

      i still dont know how they can say it was an “event” lol

  • Zenotetsuken

    Yeah, let’s add an expansion to one of the biggest flops in gaming history.  The only way EA would green-light an expansion is if it cost next to nothing to create, which indicates (to me at least) that there is very little effort/money even being put into this.

  • J.J. Duff