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.

The Fan Friday bit of the update wasn't all that interesting this week (in my opinion); no Studio Insider this time. It included some more community art and a bunch of new forum icons (which, I think, by this point they've already got way too many of) and the following new piece of concept art:

The third update has a look back at how successful the developers felt their showing at E3 was, listing a number of awards that various news sites gave the game. Here's an excerpt from the full article:
This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo was a resounding success, with over 46,000 people filing through the doors of the Los Angeles Convention Center to see the latest the video game industry has to offer. Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ was one of the most popular games on the show floor, attracting large crowds of people throughout the week, many of whom stood in line for up to five hours to get some hands-on time with the game.

We showed off a lot of new and exciting material during the week, starting with our new “Return” Intro Cinematic which one viewer called “an epic video that captured so many aspects of the Star Wars™ universe I know and love.” Attendees at the show also had the opportunity to see the iconic world of Tatooine for the first time as well as an exciting group mission on Alderaan.

And that's it for the official updates.

But there have also been a number of additional articles and such coming from other sites in the wake of E3.

Every Monday The Escapist posts a video in their "Unskippable" series which basically consist of two guys talking through the intro cinematic of one game or other making fun of the things that happen in it. Last Monday I think was the first time that they did so for a game that hasn't been released yet (far as I'm aware) thanks to BioWare releasing their intro cinematic early. It's all meant in good fun (which doesn't mean that some of it isn't true). Watch it at The Escapist or embedded below:

Funny stuff.

Over at Massively they've written some hands-on impressions that their staff had with the game. When reading the article keep in mind that Massively gave SWTOR "Best MMO of the Show". Here's an excerpt:

I enjoyed the different choices in my conversations with NPCs, followed by the brief cinematics. The setup felt very novel and open to me, and I enjoyed thinking over my options before answering. Once I was out in the open, running around and killing, it felt like a fairly typical MMO, albeit a nicely created one. Kill 10 of these, rescue five of these, find this cave, and so on. I don't generally have a problem with this MMO staple in the beginning areas because it is a nice tool for helping brand-new players learn combat and get a feel for the world around them. I'm interested to find out whether that sort of thing continues into the higher levels. I hope not.
Despite some cristicism raised at The Old Republic, BioWare in turn has noted that development is progressing well on the game. Here's an excerpt from Eurogamer's article:
"Things are tracking well," CEO Ray Muzyka told Eurogamer. "We're progressing well. The fact we're showing it hands-on on the show floor is an indication of our confidence in the quality. We're getting a lot of positive feedback on that.

"We know how critical it is to launch as a solid game and then have really high quality service afterwards, too.

"We have plans to do follow-on content and things that'll keep our players engaged and active for years to come."

Fellow BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk echoed Muzyka's comments.

"The content's getting there," he said. "We're pretty happy with what we're showing. There's always a lot of refining and polishing.

Originally the Eurogamer article was taken as an answer to the criticism raised by the analysts, but apparently the interview was held before the criticism was made public, leading to some confusion. So in the end it's nothing more that BioWare reiterating a 2011 release and that development is going well.

PC Gamer has two articles with their own hands-on experience, though they're from before E3 describing when journalists had a lot longer to play the game (as each article describes some 17 hours of hands-on experience).

The first is hands-on with the Bounty Hunter. Here's an excerpt:

The Old Republic has all of that, and it actually is Star Wars – albeit 3,500 years before the films. But it’s also a massively multiplayer game: thousands upon thousands of players will all be playing through these stories together in the same world. ‘Story’ means major developments, unique to your character, with permanent consequences. How on Earth do you make that work for 5,000 people in the same place? Aren’t the consequences going to conflict? Won’t they realise their personal moments are the same as those of hundreds of others?

A lot hinges on those questions. Big singleplayer RPGs are expensive to make, but gamers don’t pay more for them than the next five-hour shooter. BioWare’s games thrive on being huge, while financial pressure is shrinking other mainstream games around them. About the only thing gamers are happy to pay more than £30 for is a massively multiplayer game.

If BioWare are at all nervous about their approach to making story work in an MMO, it’s not showing. They invited me to play it not for an hour, or an afternoon, but for two days.

And the second article talks about hands-on with the Imperial Agent. Again, an excerpt:

Story time

Tales of TOR’s focus on story have not been exaggerated: it’s immediately apparent that this is a BioWare game. The characters are charming, pitiful, disturbing and hilarious—always interesting and brought to life by the voice-overs. My personal favorite was a jittery Imperial captain who started off our conversation by confessing that he had accidentally murdered his entire squad when they threw him a surprise birthday party, but he thought he was being ambushed.

It’s this extra attention to detail that adds BioWare’s signature spark to TOR’s characters—even your own. When speaking with fellow Imperials, my Agent had an Imperial/British accent, but he adopted an American accent while he was undercover.

You’re given opportunities to roleplay in conversations by choosing responses that are nice, neutral or evil, netting you Light or Dark side points at key junctures. The types of choices will be immediately familiar to anyone who’s played a BioWare game. Here’s one: a group of Imperial soldiers have been captured by a mad scientist and had their consciousnesses transferred into war machines. The last one with any humanity begs you to destroy them all. Do you oblige him and end their suffering or hand them over to the Empire to fight in the war?

Your choices can sometimes affect who your quest-givers are and what you’re doing for them in the open world, but the real storytelling happens within the class-specific areas of the world. These are sectioned-off portions of buildings and zones that seamlessly place you into instanced areas when you enter them. Inside these areas, you choices can have real consequences on your story and the main characters in the game.

Your companions will weigh-in during conversations too, and your choices will earn their approval or disapproval accordingly, similar to Dragon Age (although in TOR you can only have one companion with you at a time). The Agent’s first companion—Kaliyo, a free-spirited, selfish assassin—reminded me a lot of DA’s Morrigan: dark, sexy and disapproving of everything I did.

They're both nice reads I think. Thanks to Massively for the links.

IGN has an article looking at everything they know about the MMO, which isn't a lot (in fairness the title says it really only covers the basics, though they're still missing things like the 2011 release date). Here's an excerpt:

What's the Multiplayer Like?

There are a number of different aspects to the multiplayer in Star Wars: The Old Republic. There are flashpoints where four players cooperatively tackle a mission, large-scale Operations where multiple groups of players take on a massive enemy and PvP.

Do I Have to Play With Other People?

Not necessarily. Bioware has said that the majority of gameplay related to the story in Star Wars: The Old Republic will be able to be completed solo, though it will be necessary to interact with other players by buying and selling goods, encountering them in public areas, and competing with them for kills. also looks at what they learned during E3. Here's an excerpt:
With EA and BioWare showing Star Wars: The Old Republic on the show floor this year those of you not at the show were able to see a lot more of the game than usual  as many outlets were livestreaming, heck, even EA put on a livestream (alternatively, check out the official Tatooine Developer Walkthrough). While the official livestream wasn’t exactly full of excitement, SWTOR Lead Writer Daniel Erickson fielded numerous questions coming in from fans and also confirmed something many fans had been speculating about for some time: yes, there will be a Jawa companion. Blizz, the ironically named Jawa, will be exclusive to the Bounty Hunter and is every bit as cute as you’d imagine. What I don’t think many of us expected watching the stream was that he’d also be a complete badass. The little guy was showing up Erickson himself in the bits of combat we did get to see. I plan on playing an Agent at launch, but man I’d love to be able to sic my very own Jawa on someone in world PvP. Getting laid out by a Jawa has got to be embarrassing.  Oh, and speaking of the Agent, a new female droid companion named Scorpio (who supposedly hates the agent’s guts for whatever reason), was also quietly revealed at E3 via press kit screenshots and some videos from the show floor that players have dug up.  Interesting!
And then there's a video interview with Blaine Christine over at G4TV:

And last, but not least, there's a bunch of hands-on impressions at Darth Hater as their staff managed to play the game during E3 a fair bit as well. Here's an excerpt:

Speaking of speeders, Tatooine seemed quite large, and transport was definitely nice to have. Although it may not be an indication the game would release with this feature, my speeder was usable inside as well as outside. This was particularly nice given the length of some of the caves and passages I had to get through.

Both Operative and Sniper were a lot of fun to play, though it took me longer to kill things as an Operative. I'm not sure if that is the intention, or if it is just a reflection of the positional requirement of Operative combat. It could also be that I'm just more used to gunning things down at range. I was able to do a lot of sneaking about as Operative though, which sped up my mission runs considerably; it is way easier to just walk past the mobs than to fight them.

The Sniper was a ton of fun. On occasions when I crit on my "Ambush opening move, I was able to one-shot one of a group, and Scorpio's crowd control grenade would take another out of the picture for long enough that we could burn down a third while taking minimal fire. Cover Pulse was an amazingly handy ability when melee mobs closed; it would knock them back and keep them at range for a few seconds, which was usually enough time for me to take care of them. The only problem I had with it was in the final encounter of the mission chain, when my Cover Pulse knocked a mob I needed to kill over a balcony, which triggered an evasion glitch.

And that's it for all the links for now, though there's still a lot of developer quotes to go through.

Developer Quotes

  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on reviving group members in combat.
  • [link] to Damion Schubert on announcing a game.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on respawning.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on lightsaber Consulars/Inquisitors.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on death probe in instances.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on planet order. (German)
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on group quests.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on gear score.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on group quests, part 2.
  • [link] to David Bass on E3 Meet and Greet.
  • [link] to Daniel Erickson on E3 Meet and Greet.
  • [link] to Damion Schubert on dialog subtitles.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on item modifications.
  • [link] to Damion Schubert on force-user clothing.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on cross faction communication.
  • [link] to Eric Young on Eric Young in-game.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on cross faction communication, part 2.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on Hutt companion.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on planet order, part 2.
  • [link] to Daniel Erickson on number of companions.
  • [link] to David Bass on Comic-Con planning.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on game testing.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on EA call.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on EU game testing.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on EA call, part 2.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on website problem.
  • [link] to Damion Schubert on voice overs and subtitles.
  • [link] to Damion Schubert on story and community.
  • [link] to Damion Schubert on key bindings.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on boxed copies.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on Origin and playing.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on Origin and playing, part 2.
  • [link] to David Bass on survey emails.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on pre-order key.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on survey emails.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on survey emails, part 2.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on survey emails, part 3.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on survey emails, part 4.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on non-Raid engame.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on PvP info.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on class quest rewards.
  • [link] to Damion Schubert on class quest rewards.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on class quest titles.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on class quest replay.
As you can see the developers have been quite active on the official forums again and there's a fair number I felt worth quoting. So let's go through them.

The first post is by Georg Zoeller who talks about how much the focus is on saber use versus Force use in the Jedi Consular and Sith Inquisitor classes:

It's a matter of preference and skills / Advanced Class on the Inquisitor or Consular.

It's perfectly viable to spec in a way that your saber becomes a purely defensive / last resort weapon. It's also possible to make your saber based abilities viable as part of your rotation, but as an Sith Sorcerer, you will only have a limited number of those. If you want a few more, you want to be an Assassin and if you want to have a ton more, you want to be a Marauder or Juggernaut instead.

In regards to Force vs. saber use, the scale is something like this (Consular Example)

|-- more Force / less saber --> more saber / less Force -- |

| -- Telekinetics/Seer Sages --> Balance Sages --> Balance Shadow --> Infiltration Shadow --> Combat Shadow --> Sentinel / Guardian -- |

There's differentiation regarding the amount of Force powers and saber powers that are available to you in both classes, but ultimately gameplay requires you to make a choice.

You cannot be a Force user with a lot of long ranged abilities and excel at melee range with your saber. You can be one, the other, or a number of things in between, depending on Advanced Class choice (Consular for significantly more Force, Knight for significantly more saber) and skill selection.

I still disagree with the decision to split the Jedi and Sith classes into two base classes each (which only makes sense from the perspective of them wanting to tell different stories for them) but this at least explains some of their thinking behind the Force/saber distribution. Not that it's altogether surprising, but there you go.

The second post, also by Georg Zoeller, goes into detail about Group Quests:

If your question is if there is group content on the Origin Worlds, the answer is yes.

While the first Flashpoint is introduced after you finish the Origin World for your class, we do have a number of so called Group (formerly Heroic) Quests on those worlds.

Group Quests in SWTOR are dedicated to group play and come in two variations:

Group 2+ Players and Group 4 Players. The former variety is balanced to challenge two players playing together with their companions (although, especially in earlier worlds, a really skilled solo player with companion who is slightly above level sometimes has a shot at completing those as well), while Group Quests for 4 players are designed to challenge a group of 4.

Group Quests exist on every planet in the game in addition to your character's class quests, World Arcs Quests and regular World Quests. (All of which can be played in a group as well, but may not offer the same level challenge a dedicated Group Quest does.)

Group Quests can be located in the open world or instances (or both), it depends on the quest.

As characters in The Old Republic slowly grow into their role after choosing an Advanced Class, 4 Player Group Quests on Origin Worlds and for a few planets after that will be comfortably do-able without having to worry too much about the traditional trinity. Over time, these configurations become more challenging of course.

So, if you want to start the game grouped right away with a buddy or a bunch of friends as a group, yes, we do have group content available for you right from the Origin Worlds.

Even though I'm more of a solo player I like hearing about group content like this. Particularly group content that I might be able to do with a friend or two. And hopefully should be able to do those group 4 quests with two or three players when out-leveling the content slightly.

Stephen Reid made a post about cross faction communication:

There's a certain amount of confusion over this.

Currently as part of Game Testing, cross-faction communication is enabled. However, it's there precisely because we want to test it. It's looking likely that complete, unfettered cross-faction communication will not be part of the final, launched game.

There may be some form of communication between factions, but that is being tested and refined right now, so no final decision has been made.

I'm not sure I'm happy about this. I think one of the most important things in an MMO is communication. After all, isn't it supposedly about playing with others? If I've got a friend who happens to be playing on the other faction I still want to be able to talk to them. Who knows, maybe we can then arrange to play together (by one of us logging into another character on the other faction).

But there's a whole host of issues I have with current standard MMO setup which all seem to be geared to make it as hard as possible for people to play with their friends; splitting people across multiple servers (and making it very difficult and expensive, if at all possible, to transfer servers), splitting people across different factions to begin with (I never saw the point of that; even PvP would be better with a different approach), etc. And it doesn't look like SWTOR is interested in trying to fix any of those issues. So it's not really that surprising. At the very least they're considering allowing cross faction communication in local chat (which I could've sworn was in the devtracker before), or it'd be a death-knell for roleplaying as well. And there's hope that they might decide to keep cross-faction communication as open as possible.

Honestly though, why would anyone in their right mind want to limit what's basically the lifeblood of any MMO?

On a different subject Daniel Erickson made a post about the number of companion characters:

Hey folks,

There will be, at launch, five unique companion characters per class. Plus your resident butler/crafting/welcome home droid on the ship which is different per faction.

That means over forty CCs in the game with more than a dozen romances, intricate plotlines and hundreds of hours of development. Plus some surprises including a character with 100% different story content and skills depending on how you brought them into your party, one with drastically different forms, etc.

That’s as specific as I can be without spoilers but they’re deep, fun, and you can do a great deal with them. There is no limit to how many CCs you can possibly have in the long run and there is a reason you have far more slots than there are revealed CCs.

Hope that helps!


I find that last comment quite intriguing. I'm guessing that the reason for that is because they want to be able to expand the number of companion characters that exist for the classes. It would, in fact, surprise me if they weren't planning to add new companion characters as paid DLC. They've been fond in the past of adding new companions to their games as DLC. And it's understandable as that can give a focused about of new content and story. Buy a new companion for your class and you might get a bunch of new quests and a new story (revolving around said companion). Makes sense to me.

Last week there was another EA investor call or such and while it was as usually devoid of anything of substance there was a comment about scaling up testing. Which seems to have sent some people on the forums into a frenzy about closed beta or open beta or whatever starting. Stephen Reid made a clarifying post:

Take a deep breath, everyone...

Game Testing is currently ongoing for Star Wars: The Old Republic. This isn't news - it's been ongoing for quite a while. At different points in the process, we have invited a number of people to test. Some of those people tested for short periods, some for longer periods.

We've recently transitioned into longer-term and larger-scale testing. We have more people testing the game now than ever before. We are allowing them to play for longer than ever before. We're also continuing to invite people to test, so if you haven't signed up for testing yet – now is a good time.

We will be allowing more and more people to test The Old Republic before launch, and that means occasionally we'll spike in our invite numbers. It doesn't mean everyone who's signed up for testing is going to be invited in one block.

What we're doing now, essentially, is similar to a ‘Closed Beta’ for other MMORPGs, but we call it Game Testing. It's invite-only, and it's limited in size. That gives us the most 'bang for our buck' in terms of getting meaningful, actionable feedback. However, we're still ramping up, we're getting more people in... and we're still aiming to launch in 2011.

I can understand people getting excited whenever there's talk of beta. In other MMOs the game going into 'alpha' and 'closed beta' and then 'open beta' and such tend to be big moments, indicative of how long it's going to be before the game releases. SWTOR has been bucking that trend a bit by just having 'game testing' that continues to go on. And that makes sense to me; while the terms 'alpha' and 'beta' have value in development I'm not convinced that the distinction is really understood outwards that well; for people it's really just testing the game at various stages of continued development. And with how most 'open betas' these days are really still closed as they're invite only (with just a whole load more invites existing and being spread by numerous news sites and other promotions) that's not really anything other than a scaling up as well. Particularly for a game like SWTOR where there are going to be way more people interested in 'testing' it than they need it wouldn't surprise me if they could continue to feed their testing requirements from the applications all the way up to launch.

Damion Schubert made a large and interesting post looking at story and community.

When we started out this project, we decided to make an MMO with Bioware-quality story. Perhaps y'all have kind of picked up on that – we’ve been known to mention it from time to time.

A point here is that we decidedly didn’t want to make ‘standard MMO with Glowsticks’. There are some areas where we wanted to take some big chances. One of which is the story, which is really a two-part feature. Most people talk about the high-quality plots and characters, reminiscent of the best Bioware has to offer - but lots of games have good story. The bigger focus is actually on the delivery mechanism for the story: the camera-work, the full VO, the feeling of choice and ramifications, the companions interjecting their two cents from time to time – when we say ‘story’, we don’t just mean ‘we’re telling a good tale’ (although we usually are), what we mean is that ‘we’re using our Bioware-best-practices to make you feel like you actually are living the Bounty Hunter experience through the story we invite you to take part in’.

We took some chances with this design, and most worked. There are some that, quite frankly, didn’t do so great (some of which we took out, a few we’re working to change before ship). However, in the case of the story stuff – and I realize I sound like I’m tooting our own horn here – the sense I get from my own playthroughs, and from the feedback from those who have gotten to test the game, is that we have, for the most part, nailed the story experience. Put it this way - a lot of testers say things like ‘gamechanging for the MMO genre’.

So that’s pretty cool.

Anyway, one of the things about game design is that the designer is continually forced to make choices – decisions in terms of which way the design can go. Despite what some armchair designers with absolutist opinions might tell you, these choices rarely are black and white. For example, a game design idea that is excellent in one MMO might be a terrible idea to add to another MMO, and maybe an even worse idea to add to a third game. Every game is trying to do radically different things. Every game has communities that value different things. Every game is, ultimately, striving for different things.

And so it is with us.

As I’ve written about previously, we consider community to be a very important aspect of the game’s design – on equal footing as to the ‘game-y’ aspects and the ‘world-y’ aspects of the MMO. We devote a lot of time -- and a ton of energy --to being sure that we have features that build and encourage community in the game. Some of these features are tightly integrated with the story, such as the multiplayer conversation and social points systems. Other features are wholly separate from the story, and designed to encourage and be bolstered by the community. Our Crew Skills/Crafting/Economy design, for example, really comes into its own for players willing to socialize and trade with each other, and other than leveraging the companions you gather, intersects little with the story.

Are there limitations that are imposed on our design because of story? Sure. One of the key reasons we don’t have Republic Bounty Hunters (for example) is that then we’d have to create an all-new Republic side class quest line, and create full scripted responses and VO for all of the Republic Bounty Hunter quests in the game. Given the intricacies of Bioware-style quest content, this is an enormously expensive and complicated proposition, and despite what the naysayers say, we do not have infinite resources at our disposal, and we’d really like to ship this game before 2035.

Do I think this hurts community? I reject that. I note that ‘other’ MMOs have limitations in terms of which side can play Bright Wizards and Minotaurs, for example, and they still seem to have loyal followings. All games, ultimately, constrain player actions in certain ways. Hopefully, in most cases, these decisions elevate the game design.

Are there elements of our story experience that are non-congruent with being in a shared space? Possibly. However, ultimately, all story-based games – and this goes for even single-player games – require a certain suspension of disbelief. So far, our testers don’t seem to have any problems doing so. In fact, I’d say the community makes the Bioware story experience more interesting.

As one example, a lot of people I talk to about The Old Republic initially think it’s weird that two Bounty Hunters can both have essentially the same story, with the same key moments, the same key bounties, win the same titles, and both be called, by their story NPCs, effectively the best single bounty hunter in the galaxy. Isn’t that kind of dissonant? The players that play the game don’t see it that way. Two Bounty Hunters playing the same story are having a very unique communal experience. I’ve seen them congratulate each other, share tips, help with bosses, and even compare notes about key decision points in the story (“I killed him, you saved him, what happened to you?”). Put another way, the fact that two people are walking the same path means that they have something to talk about. And this is good for community.

TLDR Version: What is going to be good for any particular MMO’s community is going to be wildly divergent between MMOs, depending on each MMO’s focus and feature set. We’re continually keeping an eye on our community to be sure that they remain healthy, but for the most part, there are some really neat interactions going on.

As I see it there are different kinds of stories. There's the developer-told game story that you experience as you do the quests and go through the dialogs; that is the story that BioWare has been promoting so heavily as being the fourth pillar of their game (and from what little I've experienced they're right to). Then there's the community story, the player story, of what players experience and how they relate to each other. That I think is what Damion is talking about. These aren't the only kinds of story though; there's the community-created story where the community is taking the role of the devs and use what tools they have available to form a narrative. That's something you see a lot more in more sandbox-oriented games and, from my experience, in roleplaying communities. Though that kind of story I'm sure will exist too, I do think that it'll be a lot less in SWTOR because it simply doesn't seems to be build as much to cater to that kind of story. Or rather it seems built to cater to the first kind first and far before any other, and then the second kind, leaving the third kind to as so often in MMO to form on its own by die-hard players who create it in spite of how poorly the game might support it.

That is fine though. As he said, different MMOs have different goals and it's not good for one MMO to try to be everything. For what SWTOR tries to be I'm sure it will be quite enjoyable.

And I guess that's all I've got for the moment.

[link] to Unskippable video at The Escapist.
[link] to hands-on impression at Massively.
[link] to progressing well article at Eurogamer.
[link] to Bounty Hunter hands-on at PC Gamer.
[link] to Agent hands-on at PC Gamer.
[link] to SWTOR Basics article at IGN.
[link] to learned from E3 article at MMORPG.
[link] to video interview with Blaine Christine at G4TV.
[link] to hands-on impressions at Darth Hater.

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