NYCC Community Cantina and Cosplay Contest

wpid-20151008_211427.jpgThe time has come for another SWTOR Community Cantina, the last on the calendar for 2015.  This time the Cantina lines up with New York Comic Con and there was a decent turnout at the Hard Rock Cafe. When I arrived around 6:20, there was already a line forming outside the building. They got the cosplayers inside early and the rest of us promptly at 7pm. We were given tickets for free drinks and our other goodies and Hard Rock staff were walking around with some good food (great for those who had just come over from NY Comic Con and also for those of us standing around in line awaiting entry.)

As always, the staff are super friendly and always around to chat and answer questions. They’re a lot of fun to hang with and in addition to the cosplay contest and the Q&A, they made sure to mingle and answer questions and chat with the fans.

Venue: Hard Rock Café
Date: Thursday October 8th, 2015
Time: 7 – 11PM EDT
Address: 1501 Broadway, New York, NY 10036


Costumes were rated on 4 criteria:

  1. Creativity
  2. Detail/Craftsmanship
  3. Cohesive Theme
  4. Overall Presentation

Judges were:

  1. Michael Backus (Lead Designer)
  2. Tait Watson (Community manager)
  3. Taras Harkavyi (prop maker)

Top 3 based on Judge scores (in no particular order)

  • Jedi Sentinel
  • Arcann
  • Malaena Keiran

Viewers at home (and those of us at the Cantina) were then asked to vote for the order of the final three at this link:



  1. Arcann (41%)
  2. Malaena
  3. Jedi Sentinel (22%)























Q&A with the Devs

  • Q: Describe Level Sync for us
    • A: Be able to revisit old worlds, play with friends but still feel powerful. You will have all your abilities, passives.
  • Q: You can change the role of your companions in Fallen Empire. How does that work?
    • A: Right click their portrait to change their role instantly while out of combat. You get to play with whichever companion you like rather be forced due to the their role. They get a different set of abilities depending on if they are healer/tank/dps but the visuals are slightly different between the companions.
  • Q: “Last year at NY ComiCon, you said that there was something ‘better than cross-server’ coming. What is it? Where/when is it?”
    • Musco- I did say that, and I’m going to give you the Community Manager answer that we see cross-server queuing as really addressing a symptom, rather than the actual problem. The real problem is that Group Finder pops aren’t happening as fast as we or you would like. That’s for Warzones, Flashpoints, Operations, all of it. So, we that is the problem we are trying to resolve.
    • Backus- I will probably lose my job for this, but I can say that there are two things that we are actively working on to address your concerns here and what you describe as ‘better than cross-server’. I can’t say much more than that, except that you will see an announcement and implementation before next New York ComiCon.
    • Musco- That is subject to change!
  • Q: “What’s the next stronghold?”
    • Backus- The next one? Well, I can’t say much, but I know that there have been a lot of requests and a strong desire for a more beautiful location for a stronghold. So our team is working on a bunch of new things for strongholds and is looking into some of the more beautiful or interesting locations: Manaan, Alderaan…
  • Q: “Why is there a clickable Sabacc table in the Esseles???”
    • Backus- Honestly? We did that to f*ck with you. No, but more seriously, when it comes to mini-games, they’re not as easy to implement as you might think. It takes a lot of development time and we have to balance that against the value added. Some of the games are essentially blackjack and really how much fun would blackjack be in SWTOR? Others would take significant time and I would rather give you, say, ten more chapters, then focus intensely on a mini-game. That said, we’re always thinking about it and we love to hear suggestions from our fans, so if you have an idea that you think would be awesome, write it down!
  • Q: “Space PVE?”
    • Backus- Nope

After giving away some cool free stuff, the devs spent the rest of the event mingling (and drinking, of course) and just having a good time with everyone.

Here are some more pictures from the cosplay contest and the event.






Lisa Mason

Lisa has been an avid gamer since she was old enough to hold her first controller and a game writer for more than a decade. A child of the Nintendo generation, she believes they just don’t make games like they used to but sometimes, they make them even better! While consoles will always be her first love, Lisa spends most of her gaming time on the PC these days- on MMOs and first-person shooters in particular.