Author: Lisa Clark

NYCC 2011: STAR WARS THE OLD REPUBLIC Panel

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for at NYCC- the Star Wars panel! What kind of fun, exciting info is coming out of there today? Fans are hungry for info and NYCC attempts to give us anything new they can at Friday’s panel. Newsarama has been giving us the best coverage to come out of NYCC and has this to say about the Star Wars Panel: BioWare Austin’s Senior Community Manager Stephen Reid led the panel, joined by Game Director James Ohlen, Writing Director Daniel Erickson, and Cory Butler, Live Producer. They went on to provide an overview of the game (in case anyone in attendance actually did not know already) and Reid explained the backstory a bit. “But we’re making an MMO, not a movie, and gameplay is very important to us as well,” said Reid. Those of us following SWTOR already know all too well how important story…

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SWTOR Not a Threat to WAR

BioWare Mythic says WAR is not in any danger from SWTOR but will not be going free to play. With SWTOR bringing in some amazing numbers just before its arrival, it threatens to knock many other games out of the way as it approaches. But we also have to remember that this is not the first time EA has worked on an MMORPG. Warhammer: Age of Reckoning is still there and BioWare Mythic VP Eugene Evans confirms it is not going anywhere anytime soon. He said “All of these games appeal to different people for different reasons. I’m very proud to be able to say that I’m running the studio that’s run Ultima Online for as long as it has – 14 years. Dark Age of Camelot just celebrated 10 years. We hope we can run these games for as long as there is player interest.” So it’s a definite…

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GDC Online 2011: SWTOR’s Georg Zoeller and Game Feedback

We’re getting closer to the SWTOR launch and we’re trying tokeep you updated on everything relevant and interesting about the game. At this year’s GDC Online Principal Lead Combat Designer GeorgZoeller demonstrated some of the tools that the team uses to analyze playerfeedback and data, and then he explained how, through sophisticated technology,the team can make appropriate adjustments to the game as it wraps up betatesting and prepares for launch. Massivelycovered this story and it’s nearly 1,000 words of info on the game, much of itstraight from Zoeller himself. Massivelysays: He detailed what content creationinvolved, starting with assets, including creatures (which can take up to manyyears of work), static geometry, dynamic objects, special effects, visualeffects, and animations. Testing has gone on for more than a year, and BioWarehas gone through several iteration cycles. Each time the devs test, they gainfeedback and make necessary improvements. This is interesting to anyone currently…

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Stephen Reid interview on Newsarama

Star Wars: The Old Republic‘sSenior Community lead Stephen Reid did a live interview today with Newsarama. He talked about his launchbeard (no shaving until TOR launch), about the importance of story and how muchfans are really looking forward to it. He talked about how he likes to playSmuggler but is waiting for launch and that he enjoys the Bounty Hunter. There aren’t any big reveals planned for NYCC, apparentlybut there are some “visuals” on the way. Maybe that means we will see some newtrailers or something. Another interesting bit from the interview was thatBioWare intended to announce the launch of SWTOR at NYCC but things did not go accordingto plan. Newsarama has a livestreaming event cam at New York Comic Con on their website. The fullschedule is also listed on the home page. Stay tuned here throughout the weekend for more news from NYCC. Join the forum discussion on this…

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Analyst Says World of Warcraft Will Regain TOR Subscribers

Game industry analyst Michael Pachter had some new words to say about SWTOR once again. You may remember him from Pach Attack and Wedbush Securities. He recently appeared on MSNBC’s In-Game to talk about Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ and World of Warcraft™. As if the comparisons have not gotten old already, it’s now time for an industry analyst to weigh in on the topic. While he sticks to his early report that SWTOR will have 2 million or more subscribers at launch, he says that only 1 in 3 of those will come from active WoW players. He also adds that most of them will return to WoW once the initial appeal and interest in SWTOR fades. It certainly won’t be the first time that WoW has gone head-to-head with other proposed giants in the MMO field and they still came out victorious. It’s not likely that any one…

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GDC Online: Collaboration Key to Effective Storytelling

Gamasutra gave us another update from GDC Online in Austin Tuesday morning and this one contained the writers at Star Wars: The Old Republic who stressed the importance of collaboration with other non-writing disciplines when it comes to SWTOR and even just to games in general. “”BioWare writers are very different from other writers in the games industry,” said Hall Hood, senior writer at the studio. “”BioWare writers come on very early in development.”” As a writer (and as someone who has met BioWare writers), I cannot agree more. In the video game industry, we writers often get contracted on to close up some dialogue after the game is deep in development, as Gamasutra explains in their post. However, with SWTOR, this was not the case. When this happens, the main story hooks are already set in stone. Writers are often used to working alone (don’t I know this one)…

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Tips, tricks and knowledge from SWTOR Beta

With more people playing SWTOR beta and game testing now, we are seeing more info coming out about it. While these players are still bound to the NDA, it is to be expected that some general knowledge will come out about the game. The closer we get to December release, the more info will come out to the public. On Reddit we are finding several posts started by users looking to share tips and tricks and other knowledge. Here is a snippet from one post, for example: Vehicle training costs 40 000 credits and a vehicle costs 4 000. Have at least that much by the time you hit 25. Companion weapons are upgradeable with mods, do not vendor them! You can only have one crafting skill but can have 2 gathering (may require confirmation). When in doubt, follow your class quests. More often than not your story quests will…

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WoW Number One Due to Lack of Competition

For the past seven years, World of Warcraft has ruled the MMORPG scene. I know as I have played off and on since beta. I took “WoW breaks” and it seemed I would return again and again when I grew bored of whatever MMO I was playing at the time. It’s a great game despite what some haters will say but even I, a longtime fan, grew bored of it. I wanted something new, something different, something more… but I still loved many of the things that made WoW so great. Some people believe that WoW has survived for so long because it has not had any real competition. Although I love many things about the game, I have to agree on this. I’ve tried many other MMOs, including nearly every free-to-play MMORPG I could find to download to my computer and none of them had the total package that…

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GDC Online: Taking Your Game Everywhere

GDC Online officially kicked of yesterday in Austin but today was the first day at the industry conference where Bioware developers were scheduled for sessions. One session that was especially interesting was “Taking Your Game Everywhere”. This panel featured BioWare’s Erik Olsen, Curse’s Donovan Duncan, ZAM’s Cody Bye and Red 5′s Mark Kern and was led by former BioWare Austin Co-Studio Manager and current Playdom exec Gordon Walton. This session addressed the idea that gamers want to be able to take their online games with them, outside of the game itself. Make sense, right? I mean it’s like a handheld but where you can still check in to your online game. It combines the appeal of games and apps for our smartphones, iPads and other mobile devices. This popular trend is something that game studios will want to get in on. Gamasutra has a summary of the panel which gives…

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Character Poll on Official Forums

This character poll on the official forums about what people plan to play for their first character. It’s really interesting as a topic because I have been asking my fans, friends and readers what they will play. So to see the poll put up to try to put a number on it is pretty interesting. Some of the numbers are unexpected even though this is not a definite example of what will happen when the game launches. For example, there are more people saying they will play Human than I thought. What do you think the numbers mean? Do you think they are a good representation of what will actually happen after launch? What do you plan to play? Join the forum discussion on this post

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Compare/Contrast SWTOR to other recent MMOs

Everyone’s talking about SWTOR and if it’s going to be any good as well as how it compares to other recent MMOs. You’ve heard all of the comparisons to WoW. We’ve heard all of those a million times, it seems but World of Warcraft is not the only game it’s being compared to. One Reddit user did a write-up on how it compares to other MMOs of today in terms of gameplay, zones and maps and more. Here’s a sampling: Leveling is slow-paced. You have to do fairly significant travel and quests for each level in comparison to WoW and WHO. Quests stayed consistent through 20 levels. ll quests are accepted via cutscene and voice over, with various conversation options that add more dialog before eventually getting to the accept or deny dialog. (Dragon Age) The UI is nothing special and doesn’t appear to be customizable. The user puts both…

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MMOSite Previews SWTOR

As we get closer to the eventual release of SWTOR, we see more reviews and previews coming out. For those who have not yet had a chance to beta or review the game, these previews and write-ups are a great way for us to learn more about the game. But as I always warn here, you have to take it for what it’s worth, which is another person’s opinion. As far as opinions go however, we can usually rely on the gamer sites like MMOsite to give us good reviews and previews of upcoming games and that is exactly what they’ve done here. Their preview is a great overview of the game for those who do not have the time (or desire) to want to go through all the videos, trailers and other information out there about SWTOR. Here’s a snippet: One of the most prominent aspects of SW:TOR is…

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The SWTOR RP Class Selection Flowchart!

A Reddit user, DarthRevan, created and shared a class selection flowchart to help us all out. His post reads: I made it relatively quickly in MS Paint, so I apologize if it’s not so visually appealing. It was meant to be functional, and is a first draft of sorts. I would love any feedback, and I might even revise it if people find it helpful with some tweaks. If someone wants to make a flowchart based on gameplay & mechanics (which I also think will be very helpful), I invite them to do so because I admit a lack of expertise on that. So without further ado: The SWTOR RP Class Selection Flowchart! Edit: I also found in the process of making this chart that it is very difficult to find short statements that encapsulate the actual choices, which are more complex. I tried my best, though. Edit 2: People…

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Drew Karpyshyn on the “Revan” and “Exile” story lines

Drew Karpyshyn had some words for the haters on his personal site. He discussed the “Revan” and “Exile” story lines as well as perspectives on KOTOR, ToR, and his upcoming novel. It’s a long but worthy read, especially since the ending paragraphs are my favorite. In this update he has details about the NYCC schedule as well as a rant about some Star Wars fans taking things out of context and blowing them out of proportion. We brought you the story recently of the supposed “leaked copy” of the Revan novel, set to release in November and the accusations that it “attempted to retcon elements of KOTOR 2: The Sith Lords”. I had no proof that this message board member really read the Revan novel, although he did supply a photo of what was supposed to be the cover of the proof copy or something. Regardless, I prefer to make…

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How SWG Will Be Won

The last days of Star Wars: Galaxies are drawing near and the game plans to close off “with a gigantic PvP throwdown for dominance” that will tell us all who runs the galaxy- Empire or Rebels. Of course some fans are saying that this is not the end and that SWG will live on- even if unofficially- but for the sake of technicalities, the end is coming. So how will this official end of it all battle be scored? How will SWG be won? Winning the Galactic Civil War explains in detail: “Meanwhile, let’s say Region Two is worth 3%, and that in this same period of time three Imperials earn 50 GCW [Galactic Civil War] points in the region and no Rebels show up at all. Region Two would give the Imperials a full 3% in the galaxy score for next to no effort compared to Region One. All…

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BioWare Hinted the Possibility of a Mass Effect MMO

How great would it be to have a Mass Effect MMO? There are certainly a lot of fans out there rooting for this very thing right as we speak. While BioWare is busy cranking out SWTOR to have it ready to ship by the promised date in December, we hear rumors that there could be more online titles in the future. It would be a win-win for BioWare and gamers alike if SWTOR was a huge success that led to more MMO titles in the future… possibly even a Mass Effect MMO. BioWare heads Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk seem open to the potential idea and even hint around that it might be considered in the future. “You never know,” Zeschuk replied to the Mass Effect MMO query by Industry Gamers. . “”I think once The Old Republic is done, we’ll take a fresh look at the market….

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BioWare Talks Future of RPGs and Narrative Maturation

What does the future hold for Bioware? They have made a name for themselves in the world of RPGs with titles like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Star Wars. What might the future hold for them and the genre? The game environments are changing dramatically and companies that want to keep up will need to be able to move with the progression. Can BioWare continue their trend of successful RPGs? In speaking to Sarcastic Gamer during the Eurogamer 2011 Expo, BioWare boss Ray Muzyka said they intend to “broaden the genre.” These days, there are different approaches to take and more options available. “The vision for us is a broadening of the genre. We see a lot of other genres incorporating features of RPGs and in turn RPGs are incorporating features of other genres. There are more action elements, there’s different ways to tell a story, there’s different ways to…

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Not Everyone Loves SWTOR

Not everyone who has tried SWTOR loves it. In fact, some people just don’t like it at all. Others point out some positives but their overall impressions are well… not that impressed. The latter would be the case of Lewis B. of Tap Repeatedly, who basically calls it a WoW clone. What do you think? Is he on to something or just full of crap? Lewis posts his impressions on the Tap Repeatedly site on Wednesday and while he had a couple of positives to add, he seemed mostly disappointed with the game. Let’s start by explaining that he played it at the Eurogamer Expo demo and his playtime was limited. He explains: The first was that the booth was surprisingly small, with Alienware laptops setup in two circles just in front of the over 18’s area. Queues were predictably long and so the demo time was quite limited (around fifteen minutes)….

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Daniel Erickson interview with a French fan site

The French guild Chimaera uploaded a video with Daniel Erickson from his French community visit last week. Here’s the recap for you: Daniel Erickson walked onto the stage with two Storm Troopers (fun!) to talk about Star Wars the Old Republic. He started by listing off many achievements they have reached with this game including one of the Guinness Book of World Records for “Biggest Voiceover Production” in entertainment history. With accomplishments like that, there’s no wonder why so many fans are amped up for this game’s release in December. The release date for Europe is December 22, 2011. Erickson was quoted as saying “The biggest story RPG in history”, which gives me a lot of hope for the depth of the lore that we will find when we boot up our computers and run Star Wars: The Old Republic for the first time, and hopefully every time thereafter. In…

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All SWTOR beta invites have gone out

Stephen Reid tweeted this announcement today, “All invites for SWTOR Beta Testing Weekend 2 have now been sent.” He added that further info could be found on the official forums. The announcement has brought about mixed emotions. There are many who are disappointed as they didn’t get an invite to beta testing and this news seems to mean that they will not get their chance- at least not now. While we are counting down the weeks until the game’s official release, many people are hoping to get to play that week of beta. With Weekend 2 invites out, many people are flocking to the boards hoping to find new information released by weekend 1 players. It’s currently unclear whether or not there will be future weekends of beta play testing available or how many more, if any, players will get to experience the game before December. Reid previously announced that…

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