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Or more technically – today, early access for SWTOR’s Knights Of The Fallen Empire expansion begins, for those who have subscribed since July and can download and install nearly 9GB of patch. I’ve had the description, but given what passes for broadband speed around here I might just finish patching some time tomorrow. Ho hum.

This is especially galling because I went on something of a SWTOR binge over the weekend, family commitments permitting. I’ve had that sub running since July to get the expansion goodies, but I didn’t actually patch the game up and log in until Saturday evening. I’ve returned to The Old Republic on a previous occasion and now, as then, I’ve been struck both by how in theory the game has so many things I think should be “wrong” and how, in practice, it just works for me. I spent three evenings, once the Tremaynelettes were safely tucked in bed, sitting with a great grin on my face.

I’ve been grinning at the way my Sith Marauder Force leaps to his enemies and scythes them down with lightsabers that make that perfect thrumming sound I remember from the films.

I’ve been grinning at hearing the polite, cultured tones of my Sith Assassin in conversation, the very image of a cultured, upper class killing machine.

I’ve been grinning at the graceful ballet of close quarters carnage as my Imperial Agent, having stealthed into position and set things up so he has every possible advantage of position and crowd control, finally wades in with vibroknife and blaster carbine to take the targets down in a swift sequence of swish-thunk-BLAM!

I’ve been grinning at the banter between my Bounty Hunter and Mako as they taker on the galaxy in style.

And of course I’ve been grinning at the accelerated XP, which let me take the Bounty Hunter and Sith Marauder through their story quests without any pauses to level up. When I logged back in on Saturday the BH was level 43 and on Belsavis, while the Sith had reached level 45 and was on the homeworld of the ever-annoying Voss. By last night both had dinged 50, giving me the full set of 4 Imperial level 50s, with the BH story done and the Marauder on the verge of his final showdown with Darth Fatso. In between I had introduced my Imperial Agent to Makeb, and started on the Revan storyline with my Assassin. When I do get to log in I’ll be spoilt for choice with all four of them to press on with, or a free insta-60 alt to sample the new story once I’ve decided what that new alt will be. And there’s still the Republic class stories to play through at some point.

For now though, there’s still 7.78 GB to patch. I hear there’s a new trailer for The Force Awakens – I can only hope that when the film releases I will be sitting grinning at that too.

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