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Image of Rise of the Hutt Cartel - The Old Republic Expansion

The first expansion for the popular Free MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic is set to release January 7, 2013. What better way to celebrate the games one year anniversary? The huge addition called Rise of the Hutt Cartel, is aiming to not only bring new content to current users, but also bring back the fans that have turned to the dark side by leaving.

The Old Republic had to deal with an increasingly competitive market for MMORPGs, so the logic to make a surprise announcement and go free-to-play a few months ago was warranted. The biggest changes announced will be a new planet and storyline. This will definitely spark interest in many fans but far too often are Star Wars geeks closed minded to trying completely new endeavors. That problem could once again impede the success of such a great game, but most signs are pointing to improvement.

Luckily there is an intelligent mind backing the game that knows what both old and news fans look forward too. Jeff Hickman, a game designer and lead overseer of The Old Republic, clearly understands the direction the game needs to be taking in order to survive. Hickman commented on the expansion saying, ?We know our fans want to keep experiencing the classic Star Wars storylines they love [but] the planet Makeb is shaping up to be one of our most breathtakingly beautiful settings.?

Hickman goes on further to point out how the overall storyline of clashing with the Hutt Cartel is epic and exciting, but the biggest improvement factor for established gamers will probably be the additions they can make to their already existing characters. The first and most likely improvement in any MMORPG expansion is an increased level cap. The Old Republic follows through on that desire by now allowing players to reach level 55, while they unlock a whole set of new skills.

The state of Star Wars: The Old Republic community is in shambles and is talked about like it nears the line of gaming extinction, so no one can be sure how well this expansion will improve its fan base. Rise of the Hutt Cartel is creatively founded by the games original director and editors so it could very well be too similar to what fans already dislike about the game. Hopefully though, this is just the first of many improvements to come to an already drastically different and entertaining gaming franchise.

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