Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Update on EU Beta Testing brings delays

A post on the official forums talks about EU testing:
As promised, we have an update on the batch of Game Testing invites being sent to players in the EU.

After a lengthy discussion here at the BioWare offices, the decision has been made to postpone the proposed Game Testing invites for EU players for a number of reasons.

Firstly, there’s a new build of the game on the horizon. This is a major build, meaning there will be character wipes and a new client to download. As you may be aware, the current client download is around 27GB in size. If we were to invite players en masse today, those players would have to download the entirety of the client to access the game. There’s every chance that later this week, the service will go offline and this new version will be rolled out, meaning everyone currently in Testing will have to not only download the entire client again (another 27GB download), but will also have their characters erased and have to start afresh. This is a relatively large amount to download in such a short space of time and not an experience we want new testers to be exposed to.

Secondly, this new build will bring about the first localised versions of Star Wars: The Old Republic, which means those of you that speak French and German will have the chance to play the game in those languages, for the first time ever. We’re extremely excited to be able to offer this to our players and as such, we’re keen to get a lot of feedback from European testers in particular.

For those of you that may have missed the messages we put out on the subject already, last week saw a number of issues arise with key systems that prevented us from sending out invites to EU players. Had everything gone to plan, we would have been able to offer two weeks of testing time to new users. However, given the issues that arose, this was physically not possible.

So while we understand that this news may not be what a lot of you wanted to hear today, we hope that you’ll understand our position. Given the news of this new build, it’s now more important than ever that we invite European players into the Game Testing environments, so you have my word that this batch of invites will happen, it may just mean you just have to wait a little longer.

It’s also important to remember this is just the beginning. In the future, we’ll be inviting more and more testers to the EU Game Testing environments as well as future Game Testing weekends. So even if you’re not invited to this next round of testing, there will still be plenty of chances to get involved.

As ever, as soon as I get any firm news around the matter, I’ll make sure to update everyone.
This is slightly disappointing, but it is very good that they explained why they are delaying EU entry. It makes a lot of sense to wait until you get a localized version out there, so native speakers can test it. I just hope this doesn't mean UK players will be excluded, because we speak English. However, if they want to provide an English United Kingdom version of the game, I'll be very keen to test that for them. "You cannot know the power of the dark side, old chap".

On the plus side, reading perhaps a bit too much into the post, he does say "later this week" the new build will go live, which thus I can speculate to mean that EU folks might get invites next week.

Finally, the size of the client is 27 Gigabytes, which is a bloody massive amount. If then, anyone gets a weekend beta invite, it would appear they would need to run bittorrent all day just to get the client. I certainly hope Bioware do give weekend beta testers a day to get the client, otherwise you'll spend the first day downloading and certainly not playing!

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