Thursday, 24 June 2010

E3 2010, Beta Rumors and Deceived Excerpt

Over the past week, and since my last post, three things have happened; more previews and articles and such have surfaced out of TOR's E3 presence, Paul S. Kemp posted an excerpt from his TOR-related "Deceived" Star Wars novel, and rumors that the TOR beta is about to start this weekend have started.

Let's start with the stuff you're probably least interested in after that introduction: E3. In fact, I'll start with something you've probably already seen (for one because I already posted Voodoo Extreme's version of it); the video of IGN's "Live Demo". Note that this isn't a demo at all but rather a video interview with James Ohlen taken live during E3:

Meanwhile the site has a hands on with the Smuggler. Here's an excerpt from their article, though note that the article contains some spoilers fir the Smuggler's early class story:
The cover interface was not bad. As soon as your target is selected, green images appear in the area around all of the potential cover spots you can occupy. Pick one and you will move to that spot. Once there, start shooting. There are a range of shots you can do, wit more powerful shots requiring a cooldown. The action moved pretty fast so I really only used my normal blaster attack and another more powerful blast which was able to knock NPCs down to about 50%. also has a video interview with Jake Neri (senior producer):

TOROCast, on the other hand, has a video interview with Brian Arndt. It's a nice interview since they focus more on his job instead of just getting the same information we already hear everywhere else (as they never talk about anything beyond that anyway):

Darth Hater on the other hand has a rather long Q&A podcast with the Darth Hater staff who got to play the game during E3. In it listeners could ask them questions about their experiences. It's quite informative:

Download Darth Hater podcast​​​​​

Kotaku was also at E3 and also got to play the Smuggler, of which they wrote an article. Not that the same warning as before goes; it contains some spoilers for the beginning of the Smuggler's story. Here's a spoiler-free excerpt:
Following a brief presentation of a couple trailers for The Old Republic, BioWare representatives led me to a small room lined with computers and asked me what kind of character I liked to play in an MMO. Six of the game's playable classes were available to play, with the two Jedi classes absent for tweaking reasons.

I answered rogue, and was escorted to a PC where a sleek and dangerous looking Twi'lek female smuggler awaited my input.

The basic controls are that of any other modern MMO game. You move with the W-A-S_D keys, the space bar jumps, and the number keys are used to activate various skills located on the hot bar at the bottom of the screen.
Meanwhile IGN has an article where they look at the MMOs of E3 2010. There isn't a lot on The Old Republic (or any MMO in depth) in there. In fact, let me quote all that they say on TOR:
Meanwhile, Star Wars: The Old Republic – arguably the most hotly anticipated MMO for 2011 – simply failed to shine. The story and conversation options were interesting and cool, and the graphics were decent enough, but combat, at least in those early stages, felt rather familiar. Of course, TOR and FFXIV are both many months away from release, and have very talented developers working on them, so we hope, if not expect, that these kinds of issues will be addressed before the games hit our hard-drives.
And I think that pretty much wraps up E3 for now.

Over on his blog author Paul S. Kemp posted an excerpt from Deceived, his upcoming Star Wars novel with ties to The Old Republic. As you read it you might find it very familiar, as it describes (part of) the events of the first cinematic trailer: Deceived. Here's an excerpt from his excerpt:
Ahead, he saw the four towers surrounding the stacked tiers of the Jedi Temple, its ancient stone as orange as fire in the light of the setting sun. The civilians seemed to give it a wide berth, as if it were a holy place, rather than a place of sacrilege.

He would reduce it to rubble.

He walked toward it and fate walked beside him.

Statues of long-dead Jedi Masters lined the approach to the Temple’s enormous doorway. The setting sun stretched the statue’s tenebrous forms across the duracrete. He walked through the shadows and past them, noting some names: Odan Urr, Ooroo, Arca Jeth.

“You have been deceived,” he whispered to them. “Your time is past.”
Sounds like it'll be a nice novel.

And finally there's the beta rumors. As Massively reports yesterday people started posting that they received an invite for a The Old Republic test this weekend. Apparently reports are that 100-200 people received such an invite. Then when Sean Dahlberg responded he didn't confirm, but he didn't deny or lock the thread either. Here's his post:
Hey everyone,

Thanks for the information and it's definitely interesting that people are posting about our Game Testing Program. We don't have anything official to say at this moment but if you have any questions, please check out the Game Testing Program FAQ.
And a little later he posted again to reiterate what people are allowed to disclose and what not:
The Game Testing Agreement that was agreed upon (when signing up for game testing) states:

1. The fact that there is a Game Program.
2. The fact that you are a member of the Game Program.

Outside of that, it is a violation of the agreement to do anything more such as posting images or screen captures of anything related to Game Testing that is private and confidential and not already publicly revealed by The Old Republic team.
All in all it's looking quite likely that the rumors are true. Though that doesn't necessarily mean that "beta" has started (BioWare has always referred to things as "Tests"). It's not that uncommon for MMOs to invite a small group of people into the closed Alpha or such, kind of extending the Friends & Family test. But either way it's another sign of TOR's progress, and that's a good thing.

[UPDATE] I had linked to an image which I've been asked to remove. So I did (and with my apologies).

[link] to live video interview with James Ohlen at IGN.
[link] to Smuggler hands article on at MMORPG.
[link] to video interview with Jake Neri at MMORPG.
[link] to video interview with Brian Arndt at Vimeo.
[link] to Q&A podcast at Darth Hater.
[link] to Smuggler hands on article at Kotaku.
[link] to "MMOs of E3 2010" article at IGN.
[link] to Deceived excerpt at Paul S. Kemp's blog.
[link] to Beta rumors at Massively.
[link] to Beta rumors at Darth Hater.

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