Monday, 27 June 2011

Battle for Alderaan Highlights Video

Originally meant to be posted during E3 week, but delayed at the last moment, this Friday BioWare posted the Battle for Alderaan videos showcasing a group quest (and not a Flashpoint as I first thought it was). Here is the official news:
Many people in attendance at this year’s E3 had the chance to slip behind closed doors and see a live demo of a previously unseen portion of Alderaan. In it, a group of players confronts a Republic war hero-turned-power hungry King who has seized the throne in a misguided bid to protect his people from an impending Sith invasion.

We wanted to share the experience with the community as well, so we put together this video to capture the highlights of the mission to bring down the would-be King of Alderaan.

It's a nice video and definitely helps gets excited about the thought of running in with a group of friends and doing this mission. Oh, and I quite like the Consular's outfit too.

The Alderaan video wasn't the only one they released this Friday though. They also released an E3 highlights video. That, some more articles from across the web and the developer quotes you'll find after the break.

Monday, 20 June 2011

The Post-Writing Polish Process

This Friday BioWare had three updates for us; a Fan Friday, a look back at how SWTOR did at E3 and a BioWare blog entry on what the writers are doing now that all the writing has been done.

The latter was written by BioWare Writer Ian Ryan; here's an excerpt from the full text:

If Nar Shaddaa is the Hutt version of 1970s Las Vegas, the Promenade represents the grand extravagance of the Vegas Strip. The first incarnation of the Promenade was impressive but subtle, a far cry from the glitzy and exorbitant tastes of the Hutts. The risk of a spontaneous party breaking out was slim to none. Here’s an image of the ‘old’ Nar Shaddaa Promenade:

After reviewing this, the writing team asked the artists to kick up the Promenade's glitz and glam levels a few hundred notches. Lead Concept Artist Arnie Jorgensen responded to the challenge and the result speaks for itself:

Now that's more like it! Lights pulse at every turn, expensive boutiques line the walls and yes - that's a golden statue of a Hutt taking center stage amidst the debauched revelry. Look closely and you may find even more gems. Now it looks like the kind of place you'd go to meet friends and plan your next adventure.

I'm not sure if a plaza with a giant golden Hutt is really the place where I'd want to hang out, but it's interesting to hear the writers going through the game and pointing out places that don't fit the writing. I think that helps a lot for giving the game a level of polish needed to help it stand out above the rest.

Read on after the break for the other two updates, a bunch more links to articles coming out of E3, and the developer quotes from last week.

Monday, 13 June 2011

E3 2011 Recap

Last Friday BioWare gave a quick recap of the news posts they'd made during E3 week, officially released the features video and talked about the deal with Razer to release SWTOR-branded peripherals.

The features preview video is the same one released on GameSpot last week, but regardless here it is again (with HD download available):

Over the past week, we have shown attendees at E3 and community members here some of the many ways that Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ adds a new dimension to the traditional MMO experience. To sum it all up, we wanted to provide a fast and convenient way to get a preview of the many features the game has to offer.

Get a preview of the many aspects of Star Wars: The Old Republic in our new Games Features video.

I actually misunderstood the video at first; I thought that it was a preview of the features that they were showing at E3 (no surprise since the first text the appears is "E3 2011 Game Features Preview"). But it has since been clarified that it's a video previewing features for the entire game, not just what they were showing at E3. Oh well.

Read on after the break for the other two updates and the developer quotes.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Tatooine Developer Walkthrough

Today BioWare posted a 10-minute video showing a walkthrough of a quest on Tatooine. Playing a Sith Sorcerer (Sith Inquisitor advanced class) and being joined by an Operative (Imperial Agent advanced class) they cruise across the sands and kill sand people. Here's the official news:
Those attending this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo are getting a special opportunity to play through a new quest series on the remote world of Tatooine. Whether they chose to play alone, with a companion, or grouped with other players, they are getting a glimpse of some of the secrets lying beneath the sands on this dangerous desert planet.

For those who couldn’t attend E3 this year, we didn’t want you to miss out. BioWare Austin’s Director of Production Dallas Dickinson provides commentary in a new video just posted to the site. Watch it now, and be sure to check back again tomorrow to see more of what’s being shown at E3 for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.

It's a nice video and, I think, gives a good (brief, comparatively) look at how it is to play the game. Worth watching.

I also updated my E3 2011 Links post again, though there really wasn't a lot today on the sites I watch. I know that there's a load more (which you can all find in this officially unofficial thread on the SWTOR forums where they're doing a whole lot better job than me on tracking all the links), but it's going to take me a while to sort through all that and I really don't have the time for that now. Maybe over the weekend.

Operation: Eternity Vault

BioWare put a gameplay trailer up on their website today, giving us a preview of their raid content (named "Operations" in SWTOR) by showing a bit of the Eternity Vault raid. Here's the official news:
A terrible threat has been uncovered on the ice world of Belsavis; a danger so grave that it could make the conflict between the Republic and the Empire irrelevant. Groups of heroes must band together to venture into the ancient and deadly Eternity Vault—where an enemy older than both the Republic and the Empire has been contained… until now.

We’re pleased to reveal the “Eternity Vault”—a maximum level "Operation," which is our term for raids, in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. Hope you like it. Be sure to check tomorrow for more news and developments coming out at E3.

It's hard to tell how the raid will be just from that, but at least it seems to take place in a fairly sprawling area (a number of different terrain types at least) with a lot of stages; turrets, big droids, and finally a powerful force user. Should be fun for those who enjoy raids.

Also note that I updated the E3 2011 links post again with links for today. After the break I'll embed a couple of the videos.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

E3 2011 Links updated

Just a quick post, but I updated the E3 2011 Links post with links for yesterday and today (well, added the links for yesterday yesterday).

Monday, 6 June 2011

"Return" Intro Cinematic Released

Ok, so EA's E3 press conference was a bit of a bust as far as SWTOR is concerned. Greg Zeschuk came on stage and didn't say much of anything beyond "just go play our game" (meaning at the E3 showfloor later this week). And they showed teh "Choose" trailer, which is basically a mix of the three cinematic trailers.

Three cinematic trailers you might ask? Weren't there only "Deceived" (released at E3 two years ago) and "Hope" (released at E3 last year)? Yes, there were, but today they released the third, and also intro, cinematic called "Return". They just didn't show it at the E3 press conference.

Here is the official news from the SWTOR website:

For over a thousand years, the Sith were thought to be extinct after a grave defeat in an ancient war. But a select few survived, fleeing to unknown regions to escape Republic forces. In the centuries since, the Sith have prepared; rebuilding their Empire for the day they would make their return to reclaim what was once theirs and take their revenge on the Republic.

That day has arrived.

Watch the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ Intro Cinematic Video to see the dramatic reappearance of the Jedi Order’s most ancient and terrible of enemies.

I watched the streaming version on BioWare's website during some boring sports section of EA's conference, but have yet to see the high res version (there's just too much E3 info on so many different games coming too fast at once). But it looks absolutely amazing.

After the break I'll embed both the new cinematic as well as the "Choice" cinematic.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

E3 2011 Links

E3 2011, starting Monday, is promising to bring a whole lot of information on Star Wars: The Old Republic. In an attempt to keep track of all of it this post will list all the links (to articles and videos and such) that I've come across. Read on after the break for the list.

Lost Suns and Advanced Classes

With E3 right at the door (starting Monday) BioWare gave us an overview of what we can expect from The Old Republic during the expo. And on top of that they also talk about the Lost Suns comic to be released next week and revealed a new Advanced Classes page. Here's the official news on the latter:
Today we are excited to announce the launch of a newly redesigned Advanced Classes page. Advanced Classes give your hero access to unique skills and abilities that allow you to customize your character to your own unique play style. The new page allows you to explore each of the Advanced Classes in-depth and to check out the skill-sets that become available as you reach higher levels in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.

Check out the new Advanced Classes page and experiment with the ways you can develop your character, or if you’d like more perspective on the system, read the developer blog from Principal Lead Systems Designer Georg Zoeller.

The new page is quite neat, allowing you to select a class, then one of the class' advanced classes, then giving a preview of a few skills up to level 20.

There's much more though (and E3 hasn't even started yet). Read on after the break for information on the Lost Suns comic, a preview of E3 next week, some details on EA's new Origin online store, and the developer quotes from last week.