Star Wars: The Old Republic Community Q&A

The addition of new species, the changes the team has made to the Marksmanship and Sharpshooter trees, the survivability of companions, and other topics are covered in this week's community Q&A over on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website. A sampling, as usual:
Lurtzello: Are the various stories ordered? Meaning, when does the storyline of each Republic planet takes place compared to the Imperial storyline and the storylines of the other planets?

Alex Freed (Lead Writer): The short, unsatisfying answer: it depends!

The longer answer: The class stories tend to weave in and out of one another--they all happen (nothing's "out of continuity"), and they all happen roughly at the same time (chapter 3 is chapter 3 for everyone, for example), but there's not a set correspondence that runs all the way through. For example, you couldn't say "the Jedi Knight is always half a planet ahead of the Imperial Agent." But you could say "the Bounty Hunter chapter 3 finale takes place before the Trooper chapter 3 finale."

For the world stories, it's a little more complicated. In some cases, only one of the world stories can happen--the Republic and Empire can't both defeat King Ulgo on Alderaan, or the villain of the False Emperor Flashpoint. For story purposes, we know these characters were defeated... but we don't know by whom.

In other cases, different factions' world stories happen roughly at the same time--aside from the final defeat of Ulgo, the rest of the Alderaan missions can be contemporaneous. Other world stories are, as you suggest, time-separated--Republic Taris takes place significantly before Imperial Taris, and Imperial Balmorra takes place significantly before Republic Balmorra.

For the most part, it's best not to worry too much about ordering individual world events unless they actively reference one another--and if they contradict one another, you can assume that we won't be writing future stories that depend on one faction's participation at the exclusion of the other. (For example, you'll note that the Corellia "Black Hole" storyline reconciles the events of the Imperial and Republic Corellia storylines so that going forward, we know roughly the state Corellia is in!).