An update on Republic Trooper and a massive thank you to all of our readers!
Written By: Andy Muchmore
This past week, July 2nd to be exact, Republic Trooper turned 1 – happy birthday RT! Although it is our birthday week, I felt it was appropriate to update all of you with the status of RT as a whole. Obviously over the past several months things have slowed to a crawl and I would like to personally address the situation.
Three years ago a very good friend of mine, Dave, approached me with the idea of RepublicTrooper.com. At the time I was neck deep in other projects and I was unavailable to help out, even though I was eagerly following the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Over the years I would get phone calls, emails, texts, and the like asking if and when I would be available to “make it happen.” Around May of last year I was finally in a place where I could offer my services to Dave and help build Republic Trooper from the ground up. After several months of planning and development RT saw its first public reader and we were off to the races!
Since that time RT has seen tremendous growth and acceptance within the overall Star Wars: The Old Republic community – and I have to say, all of us cannot thank you enough for being readers, listeners, fans, and for not only playing the Trooper class in game, but being believers in BioWare and SWTOR to begin with. When RT went live we were woefully late to the game, in terms of established fan sites, but we did this for the love of the game, the love of the class, and to be honest – the love of the company that made it all happen. As long time gamers we had faith that a company like BioWare would, without a doubt, blow our minds with their new MMO.
Within a few months of being a live fan site we met and created lasting relationships with many of the premiere fan sites out there – Ask A Jedi, R2-DB, TOR Syndicate, TORWars, and even BioWare themselves. Our little slice of Internet Nerd-Pie had become a thriving community of eager Troopers awaiting their orders to abolish the Sith at a moment’s notice.
Since that time a lot has happened. SWTOR Beta, and I mean BETA, before the open weekends and all that jazz. Then we had Early Game Access, followed quickly by full launch week. All of us dove in head first eating up every piece of Star Wars goodness and not looking back. At that time – the peak of SWTOR’s popularity – our site was exploding in growth. What started with two gamer friends, who happened to be epic Star Wars fanboy’s, pinnacled when the RT staff grew to over 27 people – fan fiction authors, game analysts, podcasters, editors, graphic designers, web developers, etc. It was a fanboy’s dream come true. We had created a truly awesome place for like minded players to learn more about their class and discuss everything game related and then some, with others.
Now, fast forward about 8 weeks after launch to the middle of February. By this time many of us were hitting level 50, or had already been level 50 for weeks on end. Patch 1.1 had released, but the minimal content it had was unable to keep people’s attention. Our staff of 27 began to dwindle at an extremely rapid pace, but we still pushed forward, knowing we could weather the storm. A month later, the site was essentially back to a team of three – myself, Dave, and Mike (who was our first addition back in Sept.). This was when discussions about how the three of us can sustain the site began to happen.
Around this time many other SWTOR players were literally fleeing the game. Not because it was bad, not because it was not fun, but just because it “didn’t keep their attention” anymore. This is when I personally cancelled my account (even though it was paid through August 17, 2012) – I just became tired of playing by myself even though I was in a guild of 100+ members. Dave, Co-Founder of RT, had also essentially stopped playing the game around the same time but had not cancelled his account yet. That just left Mike, who was still actively playing, albeit incredibly casually.
All of this added up to RT hitting a severe slow down in terms of everything – content, forums, visitors – everything SWTOR based was beginning to come to a crawl. We stopped doing our podcast, the writers that were left no longer wrote, our forums went from 15 new posts a day to 1 new post a week. As much as we wanted to keep going, it was clear: the time for RT was coming to an end.
We’ve done everything in our power to try and keep things going, current, and up to date, but it’s just gotten to a point where the three of us – especially two who no longer play – can’t keep everything updated at the rate it should be.
So, with that – sadly, we will be essentially closing down RepublicTrooper.com. The site and forums will remain live so people can still find archived content or at least have a Trooper based community to host discussions with. Make no mistake we still visit the forums and will continue to do so, but outside of that, Republic Trooper is essentially no more.
I, we, can’t thank all of you enough for the experience you have given us. We’ve found many new friends, we’ve been blasted by fans (thanks Reddit), we’ve been applauded by BioWare (Stephen Reid & David Bass, you’re E P I C!), and we’ve had simply the best experience ever working on a site that started off as nothing and actually became a fan site. Without you, our readers and community members, all of this would be for naught. So, for that Troopers, I give one final /salute. You will all be severely missed.
In closing, I would like to add that while RT may be on hiatus, all of us are still HUGE gaming fans and even more so, MMO fans. Some of us, along with others from the TOR Community have moved on to a new gaming project – Titan Everything – which is following the development of Blizzard Entertainment’s upcoming MMO, currently codenamed “Project Titan”. Feel free to hit us up at http://www.titaneverything.com, or on our Twitter @TitanEverything.
Every end is simply a new beginning. Thank you all for everything – may the Force be with you all…forever.
Andy, Dave & Mike
RepublicTrooper.com Founders & Staff
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Tags: Andy Muchmore, Ask A Jedi, beta, Bioware, Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment, community, David Bass, David Souza, EA, Early Game Access, Electronic Arts, fan fiction, LucasArts, Mike Kern, MMOs, Patch 1.1, Project Titan, R2-DB, Republic Trooper, Sith Empire, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Stephen Reid, SWTOR, Titan Everything, TOR, TOR Syndicate, TORWars, Trooper