BioWare has released a new developer diary for Rise of the Hutt Cartel, the upcoming expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic. In the video, lead writer Hall Hood and Ryan Dening provide an introduction to the new planet at the heart of this expansion.

Old Republic depicts a galaxy-wide conflict between the Republic and the Sith Empire. The war is depleting both sides' resources. Caught between the two sides is a resource-rich planet called Makeb. Makeb has remained neutral for centuries but is abruptly taken over by the Hutt Cartel, who plan to become a galactic power as well. Both the Empire and Republic send forces to the planet to stop the Hutts' stranglehold over it.

The players find themselves in the middle of this conflict. The new quests at Makeb will directly continue the class-specific storylines from the base game. Players will encounter new challenges and progress to the new level cap of 55.

Old Republic was always a gorgeous game and Makeb seems especially striking. The planet's cities are located on the top of giant rock pillars. These cities are connected to space stations via enormous elevators called gravity hooks. Hopefully the visuals aren't the only attention-grabbing part of this new setting.

Rise of the Hutt Cartel will be released digitally this spring.

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