It seems that Star Wars: The Old Republic has been getting hit hard lately. EA and BioWare have had to make a few rounds of layoffs, so it can’t be too surprising that some features will have to be delayed. Certainly it looks bad when you can’t keep E3 promises to your fans, though.
First off, the Cathar species that was supposed to go into Game Update 1.4 will not be ready. While no reason was given it’s likely a clipping issue with their bodies and armor. It’s understandable that BioWare doesn’t want to have to deal with upset fans like they had to with Twi’lek head tails at launch.
Everyone’s favorite murder machine copy won’t be ready for some time either. The HK-51 companion has been delayed again, but will hopefully be ready by the end of the year. Paid character transfer is still being worked on as well. While the mechanics exist, proper gating to prevent players from unbalancing the servers has to be established before it can go live.
The Cartel Market will be coming to testing soon as well, if you haven’t heard of it, think of other shops free-to-play MMOs have where you can buy perks. BioWare insists that the stat gear sold will be strictly for lower levels, giving them an edge in leveling. Everquest 2 did something similar when first going free to play and it didn’t really unbalance things.
What you will see plenty of though is appearance items and fluff like that. It won’t all be as easy as just buying it though. It seems The Old Republic is taking a page from its ill-fated predecessor Star Wars Galaxies and introducing a type of trading card game where you can buy packs and hope for the loot you want.
This all of course plays in to the fact that TOR will be going free to play. The developers have been tight lipped about what exactly the limitations will be, or even a hard date for this all to take effect. The one thing we do know for sure is that there will be a public test session for it before it goes live, so keep an eye out for that.