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Dear Story Team, What Year Are We Currently In?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Dear Story Team, What Year Are We Currently In?
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Ylliarus's Avatar


Ylliarus
06.10.2020 , 05:22 AM | #111
Quote: Originally Posted by ceryxp View Post
::: pulls out tome of conjuration spells and begins flipping through pages :::
Where is that Summon A Dev spell?


On the topic of the Knights servitude to the Emperor. It is very inconsistent. During the cutscene with Master Orgus' Force ghost, Orgus tells the Knight that the Emperor made them do terrible things but there's never any mention of the things that were done, and it's explicitly implied later that there's been no sign of the Knight, so these likely were not things that were done in the wider galaxy but during the period of enthrallment on the Emperor's station. Perhaps not indicative of the passage of time, but it does infer that the Knight has not been out doing Sithy stuff in the name of the Emperor. After waking from their enthrallment the Knight is taken to learn how to extract information from someone. After rescuing Kira, Kira tells the Knight that their companions are still in cages in the hanger. If the Knight had been there for months why would their companions still be in cages in the hanger and not in holding cells? Later, on Tython, Master Satele is vague about the length of the Knight's absence, only saying that they were gone for so long. Was this a "I had to drive all over town to find nappies" situation or a "my parental went out for ciggies when I was 12" situation? Considering that all of the stories start and end roughly around the same time any period of enthrallment was to coincide with some other event in the other stories, but there isn't a large a gap in them.

The Consular finishes on Hoth and as soon as they get back to their ship they have the discussion with Nadia and Senator Grell about an informant and learn about the danger to the Sarkhaian royalty, so off they go to save the King and Queen from Blaesus and while there the Consular learns about the Children. That leads immediately to Tython to talk to the Noetikons who sends them immediately to Belsavis. No break there, but based on dialogue on Corellia the Consular has to be one of the last Republic characters to arrive on Corellia as the Consular's forces are the reinforcements that are mentioned in a few places. Dialogue implies that the Consular is one of, if not the, first to arrive on Belsavis, and the Knight gets to Voss after the Consular, but the Knight has to get to Corellia before the Consular. While the Knight's time on Belsavis and Voss could be less than the Consular's, and has to be for them to get to Corellia first, that doesn't allow for a months long period of enthrallment.

The Warrior, which arguably has the most direct tie-in with the Knight story, leaves Hoth having completed Baras's Plan Zero and goes to Dromund Kaas to report in. As soon as the Warrior gets there they go to Baras. Baras reveals what Plan Zero was actually all about and wants the Warrior to kill Darth Vengean, after which Baras is promoted to the Dark Council and tells the Warrior to wait for their call. The next cutscene has Baras send the Warrior to Quesh to quell a Republic nuisance. It's on Quesh that the Warrior gets a hand from the Hand. The Hand says they'll wait one day at the command center, and when the Warrior goes to speak with them they become the new Wrath by order of the Emperor. While there certainly could have been a short period of time between the Warrior killing Darth Vengean and Baras calling to send the Warrior to Quesh the Warrior has to get to Voss before the Knight so the Warrior can release the Emperor's Voss Voice from Sel-Makor's prison before the Knight kills Sel-Makor (well, Tala-Reh does the killing, but the Knight got them there). If Tala-Reh had defeated Sel-Makor first there would be no need for the Warrior to release the Voss Voice. That sequence of events doesn't allow for the Knight to have been enthralled by the Emperor for months, either.

Dialogue makes it appear that the Knight was enthralled by the Emperor for a long time, but they couldn't have been for them to partake in events on later planets in the order that it's implied that events occur.

Also, maybe I'm misremembering but weren't there text crawls that started the chapters? I seem to remember there being a text crawl at the start of each chapter during my first Consular play through, but that was in 2012, and I can't find any videos showing the crawls, so I could be wrong.
Yeah, you raise really valid points! It's a pity that we didn't get more clarity on the matter, as it would help to get a better look into the story and how all of it is connected. Of course, the fact that we don't know for sure doesn't mean the story doesn't make sense. It makes sense just fine, but more clarity always helps getting a better picture of events. As you have written down, there is enough evidence to support that the Jedi Knight story doesn't go on beyond the events of the other class stories, but that it roughly happens concurrently with the others. That means that even the period of enthrallment will fall within the 2 years timespan between 10 ATC (the start of the class stories) and 12 ATC (the year they end in).

Yet while your speculation is really on point in my opinion, it highlights the fact that we have to base ourselves on speculation yet again. It would do the game's story so much more credit if such things were openly stated and clarified. I get that some things can be left to the player's interpretation, such as their character's backstory. But things like what in-universe year the game's story takes place in doesn't need to be left ambiguous. In fact, I think it does SWTOR's story some disservice by not clarifying the advancement of the timeline, especially since so many other events and things have been tied to a very specific place in the timeline.

The Galactic History timeline videos for example each take place in a very specific year, or describe the events of a specific year. The in-universe year is openly stated and I don't think that has caused anyone any troubles. It's why I don't see a reason why doing the same with each new story update would hurt the game's narrative. It will actually strengthen the perception of the story, in my opinion. A clear in-universe date will take away the player speculation going on and give the narrative some much needed clarity. There are already a lot of points in the game's story that are left vague. Giving the tiniest amount of clarity regarding the current in-universe year really wouldn't be bad.
The One, True Lord Ryssius
Playing SWTOR since November 2012
Darth Malgus [EU]

ceryxp's Avatar


ceryxp
06.10.2020 , 06:22 AM | #112
Ya know, that whole thing with the Knight and the ambiguity about the length of their servitude to the Emperor could have easily been avoided with a simple dialogue change. When the Knight gets back to Tython, instead of Satele saying they were gone for so long simply say something like, "When you didn't return and missed your check-in we reached out with the Force but could not sense you. We feared you were lost to us forever."

Anywho, I completely agree. Story team input on the current year would be great. Story team input on a more definitive timeline for the game would be awesome. A finely detailed, year-by-year timeline such as the one on TOR Community would be fabulous. Unicorns would shoot rainbows from their horns over such detail.
~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~
The Jedi way is to serve.

TheRandomWolf's Avatar


TheRandomWolf
06.10.2020 , 12:17 PM | #113
The fact that KOTET, the Traitor Arc, Ossus and Onslaught have all been taking place in the spawn of one year seems a little... too much?

By the looks of it, these four major events could have lasted another three years. I mean, the base-game alone lasted that long. I do hope someone from BioWare clarifies this.
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Ylliarus's Avatar


Ylliarus
06.10.2020 , 05:31 PM | #114
Quote: Originally Posted by TheRandomWolf View Post
The fact that KOTET, the Traitor Arc, Ossus and Onslaught have all been taking place in the spawn of one year seems a little... too much?
Yes, my thoughts exactly! I could see the traitor arc and KotET fitting into the same year, albeit I'd imagine both of them take the entire span of a year. However, to include Ossus and Onslaught into it seems excessive, indeed. I think it's much more reasonable to assume that Ossus and Onslaught happen in the year after KotET.

Quote: Originally Posted by ceryxp View Post
Anywho, I completely agree. Story team input on the current year would be great. Story team input on a more definitive timeline for the game would be awesome. A finely detailed, year-by-year timeline such as the one on TOR Community would be fabulous. Unicorns would shoot rainbows from their horns over such detail.
Tbh, I would already be happy with a simple post written by Charles Boyd for example where he states what the team was thinking regarding the timeline when they wrote Onslaught and in what year he feels the story takes place in now something small but clear would be already amazing!
The One, True Lord Ryssius
Playing SWTOR since November 2012
Darth Malgus [EU]

Ylliarus's Avatar


Ylliarus
06.12.2020 , 05:23 AM | #115
Quote: Originally Posted by ceryxp View Post
Ya know, that whole thing with the Knight and the ambiguity about the length of their servitude to the Emperor could have easily been avoided with a simple dialogue change. When the Knight gets back to Tython, instead of Satele saying they were gone for so long simply say something like, "When you didn't return and missed your check-in we reached out with the Force but could not sense you. We feared you were lost to us forever."
True enough! It would have been the better approach as it would leave out any mention of the time. That way we would simply fit in ourselves that it couldn't have taken any longer than the timespan of the other classes, as the planetary missions still tie in to them.

Quote: Originally Posted by TheRandomWolf View Post
By the looks of it, these four major events could have lasted another three years. I mean, the base-game alone lasted that long. I do hope someone from BioWare clarifies this.
Logic would dictate that was indeed the progression of time, yet the problem is exactly that we don't know and that it's based on player speculation. Often it is great speculation, yet it remains unclear either way. That is why some clarity on the matter would really help this issue. As I said before, it doesn't need to be anything grand and huge, it can be just a simple post by Charles Boyd in this thread, sharing with us the team's thoughts on the matter when they wrote Onslaught and subsequent story updates.

Of course, they can also solve this issue by simply adding the date somewhere into the story. For example, when we embark on the Kira and Scourge quest this late summer or early fall, we could get the in-universe year that it happens in beneath the story title when it fades in on screen during the first cutscene, or it could be included in the first mission description. There's a lot of ways it could be included in a natural but clear way into the story.
The One, True Lord Ryssius
Playing SWTOR since November 2012
Darth Malgus [EU]

Ylliarus's Avatar


Ylliarus
06.15.2020 , 02:58 AM | #116
So, once again an appeal to Charles Boyd and/or the story team:

Could we ask you to share your thoughts regarding the current in-universe year within the game with us? it would help tremendously in seeing the progression of the timeline more clearly and without too much speculation!
The One, True Lord Ryssius
Playing SWTOR since November 2012
Darth Malgus [EU]

CharlesBoyd's Avatar


CharlesBoyd
06.15.2020 , 03:13 PM | #117 Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. Next  
Hey folks!

Apologies for not getting in here sooner. Before we delve into the topic, I think it's important to reiterate what some of y'all have already pointed out - Star Wars is rarely if ever specific about the passage of time. In many cases, stories don't even mention it, and even if they do, it's generally very vague. As a result, it's pretty common for timelines to be assigned retroactively in later reference material, rather than the stories themselves.

All that being said, the passion that roleplayers, fan artists, and writers bring to SWTOR is one of the coolest things about this project, and timelines are super helpful in weaving your own works through the greater narrative. So, while we'll never get super specific on time, we can certainly work out the current in-game year, and at least put things in a relative order and proximity to each other time-wise.

But before we do that! Two up-front caveats:
  1. Remembering dates never went well for me in history class. Plus, working on the game so long, I have every different version of everything we ever considered somewhere in my head, so I'm very much capable of error
  2. Everywhere I look online, I see "the Battle of Ilum/end of class story chapter 3s from launch" listed as being 12 ATC/3641 BBY. This appears to me to conflict with the official SWTOR Encyclopedia, which places the resumption of war (and thus, the beginning of class chapter 3s) in 13 ATC/ 3640 BBY. I'm going to go with the Encyclopedia date below, but feel free to let me know if there is another source somewhere in-game or elsewhere that specifies the 12 ATC date for Ilum and causes this apparent conflict.

With the above in mind, I would say Onslaught takes place near the end of 26 ATC/3627 BBY. Here's how I get to that number:
  • Class stories begin in 10 ATC. Given the Ilum date from the encyclopedia combined with the generally acknowledged "class stories collectively occur over the course of about 3 years", I'm going to say that SWTOR begins near the end of 10 ATC, and that the battle of Ilum occurs near the end of 13 ATC.
  • I like to have the in-game years roughly match IRL years, as it makes keeping track much simpler, and is generally (though not always) in keeping with the intent of the content flow as written. So if Ilum is near the end of 13 ATC, that lines up nicely with the launch of SWTOR being near the end of 2011 IRL.

Following these premises, we get the general flow of events and years I've outlined below. Note that I consider this a rough draft for a more official release for the future, so stuff might change or get a bit more detail later. But for now, Iím interested in hearing your thoughts so far and in giving everyone something tentative to work from until that more ďofficialĒ piece can be hashed out and the correct venue for it identified (In-game somehow? On our website? Picture of me looking crazy in front of a crazy dry-erase board drawing of it all?) In any event, I think a visual representation will certainly be preferable down the road

Here we go!
  • Battle of Ilum/Conclusion of Class Storylines occurs by the end of 13 ATC/3640 BBY.
  • Black Hole, Terror from Beyond, Section X, and everything else released in 2012 IRL occurs in 14 ATC/3639 BBY
  • Rise of the Hutt Cartel occurs in early/mid 15 ATC/3638 BBY, and Oricon in the latter half of that year. (2013 IRL)
  • Tython/Korriban invasion in early/mid 16 ATC/3637 BBY, and Shadow of Revan near the the end of that year. (2014 IRL)
  • Ziost is early/middle 17 ATC/3636 BBY, followed within a few months by the events of Sacrifice and the first chapter of KotFE. (2015 IRL, part one)
  • Carbonite nap from middle/end of 17 ATC/3636 BBY until late 22 ATC/3631 BBY. (2015 IRL, part 2)
  • The events of KotFE chapter 9 and first wave of Alliance Alerts take us into the beginning of 23 ATC/3630 BBY, followed by the rest of KotFE and KOTET by the middle/end of that year. (2015 IRL part 3, 2016 IRL)
  • The battle for Iokath is in the first half of 24 ATC/3629 BBY, while Umbara and Copero occur in the latter half of that year. (2017 IRL)
  • The Nathema Conspiracy is wrapped up in early 25 ATC/3628 BBY, with the attack on Ossus occurring near the end of that year and kicking off the renewed war between Republic and Sith Empire.
  • Hearts and Minds follows a few months later, in early/mid 26 ATC/3627 BBY, with Onslaught in the latter half of the same year.
  • Task at Hand is at the very beginning of 27 ATC/3626 BBY. Although our next story release will be following it by several months IRL, it will be intended to occur within a couple of weeks of Task at Hand; more of a shift than I would normally like, but real life has intervened as we all know

Hope this is helpful! And again, let me know if y'all find any specific callouts for years that I'm missing, particularly around that end of class stories/Battle of Ilum timeframe.
Charles Boyd | Creative Director
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Selenial's Avatar


Selenial
06.15.2020 , 03:31 PM | #118
Iíll have a look and see if Iím right, but doesnít Annihilation refer to the fall of the treaty of Coruscant being in 3642 BBY? I believe thatís where the assumption that Ilum was in 3641 BBY comes from, assuming itís a year after the treaty of Coruscant falls.
We all live or die as Krayt wills, Stryfe. At his word, I would cut out my own heart. Or yours.

BenKatarn's Avatar


BenKatarn
06.15.2020 , 03:44 PM | #119
Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
*snip*
This is an insanely helpful post, and I'm very grateful for this, Charles. It's nice to see that most of this basically matches what I had worked out for myself almost perfectly, though I do have one question about this:

Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
Battle of Ilum/Conclusion of Class Storylines occurs by the end of 13 ATC/3640 BBY.
If the game starts in 10 ATC, and you acknowledge that the class stories take 3 years to conclude, shouldn't Battle of Ilum / content-at-launch be finished by 12 ATC?
  • Prologue / Chapter 1 would be 10 ATC
  • Chapter 2 would be 11 ATC
  • Chapter 3 + Ilum would be 12 ATC

The wording in the encyclopedia is a bit murky, because it states very early on that "For reference, the events of Star Wars: The Old Republic begin in 3,640 BBY". The way I tried to make that statement work with the dates was that everything added post-launch begins in that year. That way, doing the math, I ended up with the story currently being in early 26 ATC.

Spoiler

Or is the intention behind the 1.0 content ending in 13 ATC based on the month of the year as well? SWTOR launched in December, so the way I understand your statement it would be:
  • Prologue / Chapter 1 begins in late 10 ATC and concludes in late 11 ATC
  • Chapter 2 begins in late 11 ATC and concludes in late 12 ATC
  • Chapter 3 begins in late 12 ATC and concludes in late 13 ATC

Is that about right? That one year is really the only thing that confuses me in terms of the timeline.

I guess another way would be to say that the prologue is in late 10 ATC, and when chapter 1 rolls around we've already jumped into the next year.

Again, thanks a lot for your input.

---

Quote: Originally Posted by Selenial View Post
Iíll have a look and see if Iím right, but doesnít Annihilation refer to the fall of the treaty of Coruscant being in 3642 BBY? I believe thatís where the assumption that Ilum was in 3641 BBY comes from, assuming itís a year after the treaty of Coruscant falls.
According to a twitter post from Drew Karpyshn, the novel takes place in 3,640 BBY, "right after the events of the class stories".

EDIT: Here is a screenshot of said post.
- = = The Katarn Legacy = = -

BenKatarn's Avatar


BenKatarn
06.15.2020 , 03:47 PM | #120
Accidental double post
- = = The Katarn Legacy = = -