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Column: Earning a Galactic Reputation

By Michael Bitton on February 06, 2013

Galactic Reputation is a new system coming to Star Wars: The Old Republic with Game Update 1.7: Return of the Gree. Yesterday, BioWare updated the official SWTOR website with a new developer blog, giving us a few more details on the upcoming feature.

First off, if you’re unfamiliar with the basic mechanics of a reputation system in an MMO, it’s pretty simple. The gist of it involves completing tasks for a particular faction within the game and earning commensurate rewards as your standing increases with said faction. Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Galactic Reputation system will debut with six ranks (Outsider, Newcomer, Friend, Hero, Champion, and Legend) and four organizations to earn reputation with. 


Reputation is also Legacy wide, which means you won’t need to grind it out on multiple characters. This should help to reassure those who may have initially groaned at BioWare’s decision to add such a system to the game.

Interestingly, reputation earned with the game’s military factions (Galactic Republic and Sith Empire) is shared. For example, earning reputation with the Republic Hyperspace Armada will also increase your reputation with the Imperial First Mobile Fleet. This makes sense from a gameplay perspective if you want to allow for Legacy-wide reputation gains, but I think the Republic and Sith Empire should have been the exceptions here. If Star Wars Galaxies is any indication, there is a metric ton of potential in terms of doling out rewards to players who earn standing with their respective factions and I feel that shared reputation here really diminishes the sense of pride and dedication that should come with that.

The act of earning reputation looks to be based on acquiring organization specific trophies, with the resulting reputation gains determined by the trophy’s quality (from Premium to Artifact). Reputation earned will be limited by a weekly cap (per organization), but you’ll still be able to earn additional trophies which can be consumed for points once the cap resets the following week. I’m definitely a fan of this particular nuance as activity with a particular organization will never be wasted.

Finally, it looks like the curious “Bonus Points: +50%” found in the original batch of screenshots that came with the update announcement has turned out to be a bonus available to subscribers. No word on whether or not BioWare will be offering consumable reputation bonus boosts in the store, but I certainly would not be surprised.

I’m not going to say that I’m burning with excitement for the upcoming Galactic Reputation feature, but I do feel any fears I had of a terrible grind have been mostly assuaged by BioWare at this point. Being able to earn reputation across your entire Legacy and store reputation trophies for the following week really go a long way towards making this a potential net plus for the game.

 Now all that remains to be seen is whether or not the reputation rewards end up directly or indirectly becoming a requirement for future content additions. I welcome the system, but I don’t want to feel the reputation grind is necessary. It should be an optional track for those who decide to put the extra time in and they should be rewarded in a way that makes them feel good about that effort without forcing others who don’t wish to go the extra mile to participate.  Can BioWare strike that delicate balance? I certainly hope so!

What do you think of the Galactic Reputation feature coming to Star Wars: The Old Republic? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined as the site's Community Manager.