One of the biggest massively multiplayer online games of the year has been BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic, and fans would be glad to know that  we now have more information about the next story arc. This is thanks to BioWare writer Hall Hood, who hinted at some intriguing information about the next story arc for the MMOG in an interview with Massively.

Hood says that BioWare will be focusing on story, and that the transition of the game from subscription-based to free-to-play will be giving the studio more opportunities to advance the game's story arcs. “While we don't want to spoil any of the surprises, we can say that players have a lot to look forward to in the future,” said Hood.

The story will involve an uprising instigated by the Hutt Cartel and a mysterious “Shroud” that is connected with the Dread Masters — who are currently the main antagonists of the game.

The force is strong with BioWare

Who is this Shroud, you ask? Oh, you'll see….

“For decades since the Sith Empire returned to war against the Republic, the Hutt Cartel has been content to watch from the sidelines and profit from the chaos,” Hood said. “That’s all about to change, and the fallout from the Hutts’ actions will have long-term consequences for the entire galaxy.”

“The Dread Masters aren’t finished yet, either. They’re about to unleash something terrible that only the galaxy’s most powerful defenders have any hope of stopping. If I tell you any more, the Shroud will have me eliminated for talking. Who is this ‘Shroud,’ you ask? Oh, you’ll see….” he added.

Star Wars: The Old Republic was relaunched as a free-to-play title earlier this month. BioWare also made some changes to the original free-to-play model that the game was going to follow. According to the changes, those playing the game for free will enjoy some extra bonuses, such as a second quickslot bar, and the ability to engage in five warzones per week instead of the originally planned three warzones.

BioWare had announced back in August that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be going free-to-play. “Players want flexibility and choice. The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic universe,” said Matthew Bromberg, GM of BioWare Austin.

Current and former players have gotten additional benefits as part of the new free-to-play program. In addition, subscribers receive Cartel Coin grants and qualify for access to special in-game items. Former players who re-activate now will qualify for special benefits. To learn more about rewards, please visit this page.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most critically-acclaimed MMOs of all time, having won MSNBC’s 'Game of the Year' award in 2011, 'Editor’s Choice' awards from IGN and PC Gamer, and 'Best MMO of 2011' from Game Informer, GameSpy, AOL Massively, Ten Ton Hammer and more. The game is set thousands of years before the classic Star Wars movies, with the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire locked in the middle of an epic, galactic war. Players choose one of eight iconic Star Wars character classes, including the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent, and become the hero or villain of their own personal Star Wars saga.

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