Monday, 28 November 2011

Tomb Raider: Sith Inquisitor Impressions

Over the large scale Beta Weekend I played a Sith Inquisitor to level 15. Here are my thoughts on the class, without major spoilers.

Story line
The storyline was good, and I found it a lot of fun to be evil and chose the dark side options all the time. I was presented with a moral choice to betray someone, which was great fun too. The dark and light side choices seem to boil down to kill someone you beat is dark side, whereas sparing their life is light side.

The general theme of the Sith Inquisitor story line was one of rising through the ranks in power, and when I stopped playing it was continuing in that line. There were a few twists along the way which I won't reveal here.

However, Sith will have to like tombs, because a lot of the quests involve trolling through one of the 3 tombs. There is even a line in one of the conversations where your character remarks that you are being sent into a lot of tombs. Which is entirely correct! The starter planet quests seem to involve at least 3 tombs, and its all just collect this artifact, collect that artifact. Luckily the starter planet has non-class quests which do not involve tombs.

The light saber bears mentioning. When you get your first light saber, it is not the epic moment I was hoping for. After reflection, I think it is an epic moment when you get your companion, and this makes up for the saber. The Sith Warrior is the opposite - epic light saber acquisition and non-epic companion acquisition.

Game play
Initially the combat is like WoW, apart from the lack of auto attack, which takes some getting used to. The resource for the SI is Force, which starts out full at 100 and each special attack uses some. It regenerates over time but you do get a basic attack which uses no force called Saber Strike. So essentially you go into combat with full force and can do a few specials before having to spam Saber Strike. Some abilities that were real fun were Shock which immobilizes the target for a short time and does damage, and Overload which does an AOE knock back, and can be used to blast enemies off high cliffs.

The Sith Inquisitor itself seems to get less powerful up to level 8-9, some of the packs of that level required crowd control and were still tricky. Then I got my companion and suddenly could mash through mobs with ease. Also at level 10 I got the choice of an advanced spec, and chose Sith Assassin, with some melee spells.

The Assassin has stealth which is of course really useful for skipping mobs, but it is based on melee so you need to get in close. It does have a positional attack called Maul which you need to be behind the mob for. Luckily your first companion is a reasonable tank, so you can go DPS.

My main issue with the SI was the lack of a closer move, you had to run in to do combat, only Shocking a mob before you were in range. The Assassin spec doesn't help this. Later on there is Death Field and Force Pull, which look useful in damaging mobs while you run in.

One warning here is that the class trainer does not pool all trainable spells on the same page. In fact they have two tabs on their window, one for base SI skills and one for your advanced spec. Therefore I noobishly failed to train my Sith Assassin spells for a level or two, which is embarrassing.

The Sith Inquisitor armour is interesting, it actually looks good. Each quest upgrades your gear and the look of the gear is coordinated, so you never end up looking like a clown. You also get only given 1 choice of gear, which is gear for your class. I also played the Sith Warrior and the exact same quests were giving me armour for a Sith Warrior, not a Sith Inquisitor. This is a major improvement over WoW, because at every stage of the game (so far), you look like a Sith and not some clown.

Companion
The companion does not speak English, so you have to read subtitles. I thought this might be a pain, but it is fine and there is a lot of fun to be had from the banter between the SI and Khem. Several times in conversations you can threaten people with the massive, monstrous Khem, treating him almost like an attack dog. This is also great fun.

There is currently a problem where your companion gets in the way a lot of the time, he will be there where you want to right click to loot, or in the way when you are trying to click an NPC to start a conversation. This can get quite irritating, and sometimes I sent him off on some mission while I was in a city, just to get rid of him.


Crew Skills
I wanted to try the trade skills, called Crew Skills in TOR, and I managed to have a small crack at them. They only seem to be trainable once you get to the space fleet, however I read you can leave the starter planet at level 1 and go do so. I did not. You can have 3 crew skills, but only 1 crafting one.

Still, Crew Skills are pretty cool, because it is your companions who are doing all the work. You don't need to find a crafting place to make things, just select the item in your skills window, click Craft and your companion will disappear and go make the item. I assume when you have people on your ship, you can order them to make stuff at any time.

You need materials to do a crafting skill. I picked Synthweaving and I needed things like Rubat Crystals, which luckily the gathering skill Archeology can find for you in crystal nodes around the world.

With the gathering skills Slicing and Archeology you can also send companions off on missions, which cost credits, and they will return later on with some findings, and some trade skill points. For example, I send Khem Val off on several Slicing missions, each cost 80 credits, took 3 minutes, and when he returned he had a lock box which gave 70-80 credits when I opened it. It also gave slicing skill, so the missions can be used to level the gathering skill instead of grinding on nodes in the world. This is a form of gambling where I assume at some point you get lucky and get some awesome return. Sending the companion off on missions is a curiously good diversion while your main toon is running around a city handing in quests.

When you do find a node in the world, you right click it and your companion goes off to gather from it. So you can be doing other things while they are gathering for you, plus would a Sith really dirty their hands doing gathering? I think not.

Speaking of which, being able to right click on the companion and tell them to sell all grey items is awesome. They disappear for a minute, then come back with some credits.


Slicing is still over powered - you get a credit box for mining a safe in the world, and each box was giving me 70-100 credits a time. I had 9000 credits by the time I hit level 14 and got my ship, so I think I will definitely take Slicing in live, despite the fact that Underworld Trading is a better fit for Synthweaving and Archeology.

Space Combat
I also wanted to try space combat. To do this, you need your own personal space ship, which you get when you complete the class quest chain on the second planet. For the SI this is Dromund Kaas. At level 14 I completed the chain and was able to find some space combat missions on the galactic map. The Sith ship looks very cool, a sort of enlarged Tie Advanced.

Firstly some ship upgrades were need, because your ship comes with slots for various things, but they are all empty. Yes, a visit to the Imperial Fleet Space Station later, I had found the Ship Upgrades vendor. I was only allowed to buy a couple of level 1 items, because they are restricted by character level. I could afford level 3 upgrades, but was not allowed to buy them.

Anyway I grabbed what I could and entered the space combat mission, by going to the galactic map and looking in the Hutta space area. The space combat itself was fun and the graphics looked good even on my system! I can see this mini-game being a fun diversion from the main game.

Conclusion
The Sith Inquisitor looks like a really good class. The class story line is very good, the combat abilities are a mixture of standard stuff and some really cool moves, plus it can tank or DPS in Assassin spec. My only hesitations are the slight squishy nature of the assassin, the lack of closing moves, and that the other Sith class looks a little bit more fun.

There are really 2 problems I have with SWTOR. 1 - I have to wait for 3 weeks to play again. 2 - I haven't decided which class to play yet.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Beta Weekend Starts Today!

Very exciting, its 9am in the UK, so we have 7 hours to wait, then us weekend testers will be able to try Star Wars The Old Republic. I am totally hyped at this point, but yet I am expecting queues and delays. Finally I will get to join in the fun with all those lucky people the Bioware random number generator picked for beta.

Much has changed since I last posted about the weekend. It was revealed, through the Force, that testers will get access on Friday at 4pm in the UK, and the weekend closes on Monday at 6am. Now forgive me for being silly, but that is not really "Friday to Monday" in spirit. Sure it is technically Friday and Monday, but yeah, like I am going to skip sleep to play a game in which my toon will be deleted when I go to bed!

USA peoples get a better deal, their access is from 10am Central Standard Time till midnight Sunday. Now I can see why this was done, if Europe got some servers at 10am GMT, what do you think would happen? All of America on the EU servers, that's what.

I hope it is different at launch. Early access which starts at 4pm on a particular day cannot be counted as giving you that entire day, more like the evening of the day. I think any American who rolls on a European server just to get a few more hours in, is quite crazy, because they will then have to dump that toon and reroll on their own servers if they came up later. Or, Bioware could use the location information for testers and give them access times which suit when their own local servers come online.

Still, given at this point I am detecting some US-centricity from Bioware, I don't hold out much hope. I suspect Early Access will be 4pm UK time on whatever day I get in. Sigh.

Anyway, despite all this timezone rubbish, it's sure exciting to finally get my hands on the game (queue)!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Game Face Episode 12

Pokket from MMORPG posted another episode of Game Face, again talking about the non-NDAed SWTOR!

TORqued Episode 9

Weekly news from TORqued!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

More YouTube Videos (Spoilers)

Yes, everyone and their dog who are in the Beta are posting up some YouTube videos. These all contain spoilers.

I have found some Sith Warrior videos, which make the class look like awesome:

Part One Two Three Four

Another Sith Warrior starter play through:
Part One Two Three Four Five

Towelee is back with a many-part Juggernaut series (and some swearing):

Playlist for all parts.

Hengest continues his series on the Jedi Knight with parts 3, 4 and 5.

Part One Two Three Four Five Six

Hengest posts a new series, this time the Sith Inquisitor:

Part One Two Three Four

First Light Saber as a JK:


Mr Total Biscuit has beta access, and has started to post videos:


Jedi Knight ship tour:


Total Biscuit plays through the Imperial Agent:


Most importantly, you can sit in chairs now!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

YouTube Round Up (Spoilers)

All these YouTube videos contain spoilers, for the game play and story lines. Having said that, knowing that a certain class has a cool story in sections gets me interested in playing said class.

Brbrainerd continues his Jedi Consular series, with commentary, with Part Four and Five:




Part One Two Three Four Five

Redrancor Directive 7 Flashpoint Parts Two and Three:


Part One.

Early Bounty Hunter game play:


Bounty Hunter Advanced Class choices and Crew Skills:


Jedi Knight gets some romance in the story line


Trooper levels 12-18 game play:


Space Combat guide:


More Space Combat:


Ned from TGN.tv doing a Bounty Hunter play through:


Monday, 21 November 2011

SWTOR Client Available For Download

The SWTOR client is now available for download. I went to swtor.com/tester, logged in and was asked to accept the test. I was then presented with a download link for the client.

I haven't received any email yet, but the portal does not lie!

Furthermore, I have access to the Beta Test Forum, so that's cool. But the content of the Beta Forums is confidential, so that is all I will say about them :)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

YouTube Video Round-Up (Spoilers)

There are way too many videos to post individually, so... here is one big-ass post. Of course all these videos contain spoilers.


Jedi Knight:

Part One Two Three

Gamespot post 2 hours of game play in one video! Although it is both the Sith Inquisitor and the Smuggler. Alas there is waffle over the cut scenes, which I don't really approve of.


Crafting and Companions:


Sith Inquisitor commentary, during wandering around killing stuff:


Sith Inquisitor videos

Part One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten

Commando ship and space combat


Jedi Knight play through

Play List of all 13 parts

Republic Trooper


Jedi Consular starting game play and commentary


Bounty Hunter starting game play and commentary


Imperial Agent chapter 3 intro (mega spoilers)


Jedi Knight play through with commentary

Part One Two

Trooper level 1-10 game play

Part One Two

Pretty sweet, but what's with all the Jedi Knight love?

You Don't Know The Power Of The Dark Side

However, Bioware will show you with the Sith Corruption feature which Ned from TGN.tv shows off here. Pretty neat, although alignment won't be obvious for classes like the Bounty Hunter, who hide their heads behind helmets all the time.

Luckily the feature can be toggled, so when you want to look all good and stuff you can, and be all evil behind closed doors. Although no one noticed Anakin's eyes glowing or anything, so clearly the Jedi Council are pretty dumb when it comes to spotting Sith. For the Sith, on the other hand, this feature is awesome cool. Sith can make truly horribly nasty decisions, knowing it will make your toon look even more Sith-like.

Jedi Consular Play Through Videos (Spoilers)

Now the NDA has dropped, I can share these videos I found on YouTube. First up, BRBrainard shows us his experiences in the Beta Weekend just passed. He plays a Jedi Consular. The commentary is quite good on the first two, and I spotted the third has appeared just recently.

Warning, these videos contain SPOILERS. Plus some minor bad language. Enjoy.



Friday Update: Stop. Hammer Time!

Yes I went there.

Friday, 18 November 2011

OMG SWTOR Info Explosion

Yes, the NDA has been lifted. So I now expect a terrifying explosion of information about SWTOR on YouTube, fan sites and the news sites who are in the beta.
Folks,

As of now, the non disclosure portion of our Game Testing Agreement is officially lifted. While all players must still accept the Game Testing Agreement, from this point on testers may now freely talk about their experiences this past weekend in the game, as well as post screenshots and gameplay videos of their testing experiences. We encourage you to come join us on the official Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ Forums to share your experiences!

The Star Wars: The Old Republic community site will have a copy of this message on the forums and it will also appear in the Patcher. Players may not talk about nor reprint posts from our testing forums as they are still fully covered by the confidentiality portions of our Game Testing Agreement. And all players who want to participate in the upcoming Beta Test Weekends still have to accept all terms of the Game Testing Agreement. So, other than that, free feel to talk about and share your experiences in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

My thanks go out to everyone who has beta tested and continues to beta test the game. It has been with your help and feedback that Star Wars: The Old Republic is where it is today. We really appreciate your efforts.

May the Force be with you!

Greg Zeschuk
VP, Electronic Arts, BioWare Austin, General Manager

This is of course a good thing, except that it is likely to get very difficult to keep up with everything. Still, I would love a look at the Sith Warrior and Bounty Hunter classes, so hopefully I'll find some game play videos on YouTube soon.

MMORPG have already posted up a preview of the 4 Sith classes; Bounty Hunter, Warrior, Inquisitor and Imperial Agent. Darth Hater were spotted putting up a live stream which went down again, presumably because the NDA drop announcement didn't happen when they thought it would.

Still, now when I get into the Beta Weekend I can join the crush and post my impressions and stuff about what I played!

Directive Seven Flashpoint Playthrough

As part of the Fan Site Summit news which is spilling, Red Rancor and TOROCast have posted part one of their video of a Flashpoint. A level 50 Flashpoint called "Directive Seven". Meanwhile a live Darth Hater stream allegedly of SWTOR game play appeared, then was taken down again. This lead to speculation that the NDA was dropped, or may be dropped at the Friday Update. Which still has not appeared.

Fan Site Embargo Over

Well in 15 minutes the Fan Site embargo is over and there should be a load of info posted. As well as a Friday Update I hope.

One little leak Google Reader caught was the reveal of a new PvP zone called Outlaw's Den. Nothing much else is known about this, but I'm sure a certain fan site will be posting all about it soon :)

Friday Update: ?

Mysterious hints abound about this Friday Update:

RockJaw: Tomorrow's update will be interesting. Sadly I'll be flying so doubt I'll see your reaction until later... ah well. Hope you like.


UndeadJest3r: @Rockjaw I just got an e-mail beta invite from Origin for a friend and I, but I'm already in beta. Can I give both invites away? #SWTOR

RockJaw: @UndeadJest3r Yes, but they need to be redeemed quick.

Let the wild speculation begin!

Could it be the announcement of when people are getting into the Beta Weekend - maybe it is random, or earliest registered on SWTOR.com get in first?

Could it be the announcement of a drop of the NDA?

Could it be that you can no longer redeem beta keys after the Friday Update goes live?

Have they sold out of all normal editions of SWTOR and everyone who hasn't pre-ordered one by now has to wait until some time after launch?

The anticipation is killing me!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

SWTOR Preview from Game Face

Pity this is for the Republic only, but I guess this preview is from the recent press beta.


Hillary "Pokket" Nicole takes a look at the Republic side of the equation from Star Wars: The Old Republic and offers her unique take on game play and more.

Beta Weekend Aiming 25 - 28th November, NDA?

This just in, the Beta Weekend is aiming for Friday 25th to 28th of November, via twitter and web.

Updated the FAQ with this question and answer:

When will the Beta Testing Weekend start?

We are targeting November 25-28 for our upcoming Beta Testing Weekend. Exact timing on when you will be invited will be specified in your invite email.
Now this last part leads to the speculation that they are also testing Early Access, by rolling people into the weekend.

These dates are "Black Friday" to the Monday, so they did at least avoid Thanksgiving day itself.

Stephen Reid tweeted that the Beta client for this weekend may work in the live game, without any re-downloading. Apart from patches, but a few hundred megs is better than 20 gigs. Right?
Will I need to re-download the game client after the upcoming Beta Testing Weekend, or can I use it during Early Game Access?

You may have to re-download the game client, but we are hopeful you will not have to. This will be confirmed after the upcoming Beta Testing Weekend.

source.

This is code for, if there are many changes to make, they may make us download it again. But if there are small tweaks, they may just patch it.

There is also a tweet which hints that something may change with the NDA for the Weekend Beta:

Reedyn: @Rockjaw Will I be allowed to have mates over and try the #betaweekend so I can lure them into #swtor - or would that be breaking the nda?

Rockjaw: @Reedyn Stay tuned....!

One would assume this could mean the NDA will be dropped, or limited.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Weekend Testing Aims


With the news that everyone registered on SWTOR.com will be in the next Weekend Beta Test, I have begun to think about my aims for the weekend. The weekend may only be 3 days long, and for some of that I may well be busy, so what can I realistically achieve during the weekend?

Playing My Main
Recently an article went up on a fan site arguing that you should play your "main" class during a beta test. The argument goes along the lines that you want to give feedback on a class you're interested in, plus make sure it is for you. This is a good enough argument to convince me.

However, will I play through many levels on a main class? No, I think I will play enough to get an idea of whether I like Bounty Hunter or not, but I do want to try other classes. SWTOR looks like being quite an alting game, with the amazing story lines for all the classes, I want to play through a few other classes on the side. So I need to decide which ones that will be.

The Sith Inquisitor story sounds pretty cool, rising to power and manipulating things behind the scenes. The Imperial Agent story sounds awesome, that you are under cover in some sort of spy movie. The Sith Warrior is the one I am not too sold on, I've only heard you are a rage monster smashing stuff up, so I am actually wanting to try out Sith Warrior and see if it has more depth.


Trade Skills
As a crafter in WoW, I definitely want to check out some trade skills. Now you can have 3 trade skills and apparently one crafting and two gathering. I definitely want to check out how much credits Slicing makes, but I am interested in the Jedi gear making skills. So on the Sith Warrior: Synthweaving, Archeology, Diplomacy or Investigation. For the Bounty Hunter I'll try Slicing, Artifice and maybe Archeology or, if I can mail stuff from the other toon over, Treasure Hunting.

Of course that list is based on my best guess as to what gathering and mission skills might play together with crafting skills, part of the fun will be to find out. I hope it becomes quite obvious, or even that the NPC trainers will give you a hint. "Hey want to Synthweave? Then you'll need Archeology to get the mats" sort of thing would be very handy.

Space Combat
I am quite intrigued by space combat. It seems that one needs merely unlock one's space ship and space combat is available. Posts on the SWTOR.com forums suggest that you get your ship when you finish the starting planet, which can be from level 10 upward.

So it may be worth burning through the class quests on the starter planet just to get off it and get my hands on the space ship, on one class at least. Given I intend on playing a Bounty Hunter, I will likely "rush" the BH so I don't totally spoil everything on the starter planet.

Level Aim
So what level is a reasonable one to aim for? Advanced class, Star ship? Advanced class I think is at level 10, so that should be a reasonable one to get to, but ship is likely after that, if I dither around on the starter planets.


Again I'll have to limit what I do to fulfill my aims, so I'll only try to get a ship on one toon, then try some space combat if I can when the ship is unlocked. On the other toon I will get it to level 10 so I can see the Advanced Class choices.

PC Performance
Now a big thing is how well will SWTOR run on my PC? It is at exactly the minimum specs for SWTOR, so I am somewhat nervous. I really want to try the game just to see how it runs on minimum settings, and whether that is acceptable. Running a Flashpoint would be good, because my PC is as slow as it gets during raids in WoW.

Happily just getting the game client and getting logged in will be all I need to get a good idea of whether I need an upgrade or not. Getting a toon off the starter planet and into the Esseles Flashpoint would be a bonus.

Conclusion
With all this to do in merely one weekend, I just hope I don't get rolled into the beta on the last day. If so, I'll just be looking at the game performance and little else!

The Republic Podcast talks Beta Weekends

Star Wars The Old Republic Post Beta Weekend, Bioware drop more news on Ilum, and the new Trooper / Inquisitor video.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Credit Sellers Already?

A recent post on the blog by a "gold seller" got me thinking, has the gold selling industry started to gather around Star Wars The Old Republic already, like the vultures they are?

The answer seems to be yes. A google search on "SWTOR credits" shows 7 pages full of sites offering to sell them. Despite SWTOR not even being launched.

Prices? One site offered 1000 credits for 3 dollars, one 500,000 credits for 1000 dollars. It's amusing that they don't know what a credit is worth in SWTOR, and do not have any yet, but they can still be offering them for sale.

One site even lists endorsements from customers, because apparently they already have customers. Maybe in beta? Likely these sites are just trying to get top of the search results from Google. With such lies, I wouldn't trust any of them.

So the vultures are gathering. Remember, don't buy credits/gold from sellers, you just encourage account hacking and theft. Go and earn the credits yourself in-game honestly.

Although I have no solid credit-earning tips yet, it has been discussed on Game Breaker TV's The Republic podcast that the Slicing skill is over powered. It seems this is a very good one to pick up while leveling - you can unlock safes, terminals and other things you come across while questing, and receive pure credits from them. In massive amounts, although I expect Bioware to tune that before launch.

Once the game launches I'll be trying to make some credits from trade skills, and discuss that on this blog.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Friday Update: All Inclusive Beta Weekend

In a cunning move, Bioware's latest update is quite the doozy:
When we started our Beta Testing Weekends, we told you that each weekend would include more testers than the last. We’re excited to announce that later this month we will be conducting our largest Beta Testing Weekend yet, specifically designed to help us stress test our servers in preparation for the launch of Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.

How can you take part in this coming Beta Test Weekend? Well, for starters we are happy to announce that anyone who has signed up for our Game Testing Program prior to today, November 11th, will get invited! Invites will be sent in the coming weeks.
So anyone not signed up can try to win codes from various sites, but let's say if you're not signed up to test by now, why on earth would you be interested in testing with merely 2-3 weeks to go?

My money is on the weekend of the 26/27th November, which those in the USA call "Thanksgiving weekend". The next weekend seems too close to the current Beta Weekend, although I would be fine with that too :) Plus there are only 2 more weekends left in November.

Now an intriguing thing raises its head if it is Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving day is Thursday 24th, which usually everyone in the USA has off, and they also generally take Friday 25th too for a nice 4 day weekend. So if the Beta weekend is that weekend, might it run from Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th?

Of course, it's a little rough if it is that weekend, because then tech support staff and maybe the developers will have to work during the one period of the year that everyone is off in the USA. Which isn't a problem for those in the Galway server center in Ireland, but I guess those in the USA will be less than impressed.

Anyway that's my speculation, but I guess we will find out more soon. Given I was registered for testing since Bioware allowed it, I should definitely get in this one!

The Republic Podcast Episode 64: Sniper OP?



We take a look at the Imperial Agent video, Early Game Access, and is the Sniper OP?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Smuggler Ultimate Walkthrough

EU Game Testing Invites

So good to his word, Stephen Reid reported that EU game testing invites are being sent out. This is to the ongoing test, which has like 5 weeks left to run, maybe less if they shut the test servers down before launch. Anyway, beggers can't be choosers and all that.

This is somewhat exciting, but less so than a Beta Weekend with the EU included. See, general game testing seems to include a whole lot less people, thus your chance to get in is much better on a Beta Weekend. This is of course tempered with the fact that a general beta invite means you get to play for more than just one weekend.
General Game Testing Invites are now being sent to EU testers.

Sent Nov. 10: General Game Testing Invites

Who was invited: Testers from all European launch countries (see list here)
What was sent: General Game Testing Invites
Server locations: EU servers
Invite status: Invites will continue to be sent during today. E-mails can take some time to be sent, so please check your www.swtor.com/tester page to be sure!
source

Personally I am hitting F5 on the swtor.com/tester page right now.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Beta Weekend Number 3 This Weekend (12/13)

Some exciting news from SWTOR.com, this weekend of the 12th and 13th is Beta Weekend number 3! Well, that would be exciting if you live in North America, as the thread only mentions that testers from NA are being invited.

So erm EU invites anyone? Is this the case that the thread will be updated when EU invites go out, or are they going to move EU Beta Weekends to another weekend.

Invitations are being sent for a weekend test this weekend!
Sent Nov. 8: Beta Testing Weekend #3 Invites

Who was invited: Testers from North America
What was sent: Beta Weekend #3 Invites
Server locations: US East Coast
Invite status: We are currently in the process of sending these invites, and will continue throughout this evening.

Update: This weekend is not for EU because Bioware are stressing their USA servers, but but Mr Reid says there will be some EU testing ASAP:
Yes, we can, but when we send our next batch of testing invites it'll be to every EU launch country.

One of the reasons for this weekend's Beta Testing Weekend is to specifically stress test servers in our East Coast data center. To help achieve this aim, we're inviting North American players (USA and Canada), who'll be playing in a similar timezone to each other, to help max out the server capacity.

We're absolutely aware of how anxious Europeans are to test The Old Republic, and we're going to be inviting many more Europeans to testing ASAP. I'm not going to suggest a timeframe, but we'll let you know as soon as invites are sent. The next batch of invites for Europeans will be to general Game Testing, which will persist beyond a weekend.
I also hope that they will want to stress the hell out of their Ireland servers too, so there might be a big EU test at some point.

Cyborgs Are Go

One nice piece of news from the Fan Site Summit going on at the moment, is that Cyborgs are in SWTOR as a race. Various fan sites such as TOROCast have this information, from the James Ohlen Q&A, so it is true.

Now TORWars posted a video with quiet audio, but SWTORFace have boosted the audio and uploaded a new version of the Q&A. Watch it for a virtual experience of being at the summit!



Now having cyborgs is very cool, famous cyborgs such as Cad Bane, Darth Vader, General Grevious, will now be joined by your character. Who knows what sort of options are available for a Cyborg or which races they are, but hopefully we will get more information soon.

Monday, 7 November 2011

TORqued Show Number 8

Hot on the heels of the SWTOR show comes TORqued number 8.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Joining a Sith and Republic Guild

Guild formation phase 3 is upon us, and my Republic guild already has the pre-req 4 pre-orders to get a green check box. The Sith guild I want to join also is a go.

However, on the SWTOR.com website, I am unable to join both my Republic and my Sith guild. The site cheerfully tells me that if I apply to a Sith guild, I will be withdrawn from my current guild. Which is frankly rubbish.

Given the game has such a lot of quality class stories, it seems obvious that people will want to play both Sith and Republic at some point. If SWTOR.com is to grow into a guild site rivaling Guild Portal (to pick an example), they are going to have to let one account be members of multiple guilds. Not just one Republic and one Sith guild either, but multiple of each.

But for now I have to be content with a promise of a slot in the Sith guild, and an actual slot in the Republic guild.

In other news, early access was teased by Mr Reid as "quite soon" we will have some information. Hopefully that grace period will also get expanded upon, as this directly affects which sort of postage I pay for, for the boxed copy of SWTOR.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Strange GAME Release Date Worries, Grace Period

So an official forum thread which concerned GAME has gotten a yellow post. In the thread the OP says GAME had told him Star Wars The Old Republic was released on Friday 23rd December, and would be in store then. Oddly the GAME website also lists SWTOR as released on the 23rd.

Stephen Reid gave a response:
We'll investigate this, but there has been no change to the release date for The Old Republic - December 20th is the release date for our current launch countries.

While we ensure messages are communicated at the corporate level, we can't be responsible for making sure every member of a big organization like GAME is aware of things like this. We rely on retailers to get that information out to their staff.

Regarding the GAME website, it's possible that their system doesn't automatically allow for a release date that's not a Friday. We will look into it, however, and if there's any specific date change for GAME we'll let you know.

What is interesting is the OP asked if the grace period for registering your key would extend to the 23rd, but Reid did not respond. There was then speculation that the grace period was 10 days, but we have had no confirmation about this anyway.

Given the game is out close to Christmas, a traditionally busy time for post (ie post is broken badly in the UK), the grace period would be a week or so, so those of us who have mail ordered can get time to receive our SWTOR packages.

Update: It was just a glitch and the GAME website is back to showing the 20th. Still no word on that grace period Mr Reid...