SWTOUR Roundup part 1 –

Now that the embargo is lifted on the Austin Fan Site Summit, people are talking and fans are anxiously awaiting all of the exciting news to come of the event.

There is so much information out already that it can be difficult to make sense of it all. Unless you have hours to pour over it all (like me) then here are some recaps of the top, must-see info in our very own SWTOUR Roundup:

Audio: Blaine Christine and Daniel Erickson via youtube, via darthhater.com

Right from the start, this audio covers one question we all have which is what they are doing to prepare for the expected huge launch of the game and to prevent servers from crashing/experiencing downtime during this much-anticipated launch.

Next they speak about Datachrons and the reward involved as well as other concepts of the Datahrons and the mini games and space content that will be available. Datachrons will affect stats but not in a big way that will affect your capability in the game before end-game. Instead, they are meant to be a fun/collecting type thing.

Another interesting topic mentioned here is how your choices will affect the storyline of the game- Dark side and Light side storylines and game choices. However, none of the choices will affect you end-game. It all has to balance out in the end to create an equal playing field.

About companions- it will be very, very difficult to kill them off but if you do, they will stay dead and there will be no way to replace them later in the game. However, there will be no mistaking that you are going to kill a companion. You will be given multiple choices and opportunities to do so.

Also, find out why lightsabers do not cut off body parts…

Audio: Damion Schubert via youtube, via darthhater.com

The gap in dedicated and casual crafters- how will it be as compared to other MMOs? Damion Schubert explains how they are trying to find a balance so crafting is enjoyable and beneficial to all player types.

Also, questions address gear changes between Light and Dark side gear and how this will affect neutral characters. Dark side and Light side rewards and benefits are still being worked out in play tests.

Great info in this one about Flashpoints and how they will work as well as what some benefits to them will be. Also some answers to questions regarding how affinity between companions will affect your Crew Skills.

Also, what is the “wall of crazy” and what might you find there?

Audio: Georg Zoeller via youtube, via darthhater.com

Discussions on PVP maps and symmetry and as well other technical details. The game design has a real focus on balance and keeping PvP fair.

Questions about balance in origin worlds, difficulty levels and placement and spacing of mobs. They want to avoid being on the “easy side” but also want to avoid “kicking the playing in the face” during the beginning phases of the game.

Audio: Writers Panel via youtube, via darthhater.com (Audio is sketchy and hard to hear)

This one is the writer’s panel via darthhater.com but it’s more difficult to hear. TorSyndicate has a version that is clearer.

Ask A Jedi also has the audio from those sessions, save the writers’ session.

The Ask a Jedi audio is missing the writer’s session but it’s also a great recap of the Q&A sessions. The Georg Zoeller Q&A was especially great and if you listen to any of them all the way through, this should be top of your list.

ToRWars: Podcast

These guys are always a lot of fun so while their audios contain the same information as the others who attended the summit, you get it with a “ToRWars style”. Their usual Sunday night podcast was made live from the Summit while everything was still fresh on their minds. Good stuff!

Video: Damion Schubert
via youtube, via askajedi.com

Damion Schubert, Lead Systems Designer on Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ spent a few minutes with Ask A Jedi talking about the Crew Skills system in the game. This one is not the same as the Q&A videos so it gives you some extra details. If you’re ready to learn more about Crew Skills, this one will be great to watch. And it’s only about 12 minutes long so it won’t take much of your day to watch the whole thing.

Video: Georg Zoeller via youtube, via corellianrun.com

In this one, Georg Zoeller goes one on one with Corellian Run for a mini interview. This clip is under two minutes long. Find out what Georg thinks about forum polls.

Darth Hater on Bounty Hunter

Darth Hater gives us a three page description of the Bounty Hunter. They cover everything from story to combat and advanced class information. This is one of the most in-depth overviews to come out of the fan summit so far.

Darth Hater on Imperial Agent

Again from Darth Hater, this is just like the Bounty Hunter guide/description but for the Imperial Agent. Well worth at very least giving it a skim over. Find out about story, background, companions and more.

ToRTalk: PvE Q&A

Again another set of Q&As with the same info but this is done in a podcast style and it’s all on one page. Here you will find the Community Q & A Session with the two BioWare Developers Daniel Erickson and Blaine Christine as well as Community Q & A Session with BioWare Developer Damion Schubert

Corellian Run Radio: Q&A with Damion Schubert and His Eyebrows

Wondering why on the audio with Principal Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert, on Kathy’s question about neutral gear she stumbles and stutters? This is one of those you-had-to-be-there moment but they explain it all on Corellian Run Radio. Apparently Damion was giving Kathy his “crazy eyebrows”. Lol Their post also gives highlights of the audio with their favorite reveals list.

List all the things! via darthhater.com

Leave it to Darth Hater to give us a complete list of “all the things” learned and worthy of knowing from the Fan Site Summit. This link has the ultimate list of all things learned and it’s worth reading over even if you think you know everything already (you probably don’t).

SWTOR Life’s Impressions

If you’re wondering what else people did at the Summit besides the released Q&As, then you need to check out this post from SWTOR Life. Complete with pictures and links, it gives you a day-in-the-life of approach to the summit so you feel like you were actually there.

Mos Eisley Radio: Podcast

In this podcast, you will get the following, all in one audio session:
Kathy and Carla from Corellian Run Radio
Dover and Sado from Darth Hater
Vall and Lord Hammer from TOR Syndicate
Tom and Tim of Tor-Talk
Musco of Torocast
Stephen of FUREUR

IGN: Bounty Hunter Preview

Here’s another look at the Bounty Hunter preview, this time from well-known gaming site IGN. Lots of great stuff here about the Bounty Hunter and even the playability of the game itself.

GameSpot: Bounty Hunter Preview

And here is the Bounty Hunter preview from GameSpot. Even if you have seen the other Bounty Hunter previews, it’s worth checking out what different gaming leaders have to say about it. This gives you many different impressions as we all experience games differently.

mmorpg.com: Bounty Hunter/Multiplayer Preview

MMORPG.com won’t be left out of the mix; they also have a Bounty Hunter preview that include multiplayer information. MMORPG.com Community Manager Mike Bitton recently had the opportunity to visit EA’s Redwood Shores studio for Star Wars: The Old Republic “Immersion Day””””””””””””. During the event, Mike got a firsthand chance to experience multiplayer with other members of the press. Mike chose to play the Bounty Hunter during the event. Check out what Mike discovered in his Bounty Hunter Multiplayer Preview. Let us know what you think when you’re finished.

Ars Technica: Together We Work Alone

Here’s another interesting write-up from Star Wars: The Old Republic immersion days at the EA Redwood Shores campus. Here’s a snippet:

“There are still portions of the game BioWare won’t discuss, indicating they still have a long way to go before the launch this year. But they’ve accomplished the meshing of online play and RPG better than any of their predecessors.”

Black Talon Flashpoint Preview via darthhater.com

Who doesn’t want to know what the Flashpoints are going to be like? It’s one question that we all are asking as we anticipate the release of TOR. Here’s what Darth Hater says, “While in transit to the Sith Capital, we were able to take part in the Black Talon Flashpoint. As the first Flashpoint avaliable to Sith players, Black Talon fills the same introductory role as the Esseles will for the Republic.”

Check out the link for the full breakdown of the Black Talon Flashpoint Preview.

Black Talon Flashpoint Preview via mmorpg.com

Of course, MMORPG has to check it out as well. They have their own preview from their invitation to EA’s Redwood Shores office. Be forewarned that this one has spoilers.
There you have it- a compilation of some of the best SWTOUR info available so far. After going through all of this, you will feel like you were there yourself. Don’t forget to let us know what you think. Do you like what you see so far? Disappointed by anything?