Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Join the Fight

Yes, I'm late; work has been crazy busy and I've been dead tired coming home. On top of that last weekend was Comic-Con with a lot more stuff coming out of it, but that'll all have to wait until I've had a bit of time to compile all the new links and such.

Anyway, last Friday BioWare posted a new trailer. Titled "Join the Fight" it fully consists of ingame footage and gives each of the eight classes a brief moment. Here is the official news:

We are excited to present Join the Fight, an all-new in-game trailer for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ that premiered at San Diego Comic-Con 2011.

The uneasy peace established by the Treaty of Coruscant is broken and both the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire build their armies. As both sides prepare for open war, a new generation of heroes must rise up to meet the challenges of a volatile age, declaring their allegiances and fighting for what they believe in.

If you can’t join us in San Diego, be sure to check back here throughout the convention for more updates. You can also follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to get the latest updates straight from the convention floor.

It's a nice trailer, though some of the choices for the characters seem a bit questionable to me (just what on earth is that thing the Consular is wearing on her head; guess I'm glad that they've got an option to hide helmets). Worth a look.

The developer quotes are after the break, as well as a very brief mention of some of the things that they showed during Comic-Con.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Old Republic Now Available for Pre-Order

As the title says, EA, LucasArts and BioWare have now made pre-orders for Star Wars: The Old Republic available. Here is the official news:
BioWare, LucasArts and Electronic Arts are excited to announce that they have begun taking pre-orders for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™! Pre-Order now to get Early Game Access and as an added bonus you’ll receive a Color Stone to change your weapon effect! Supplies are limited and the order in which you pre-order and redeem your code at The Old Republic’s Code Redemption Center is the order in which we let players in during Early Game Access - so don’t delay! Visit the Pre-Order FAQs for more details.

Three versions of the game are available for pre-order:

The Standard Edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic comes with all of the essentials that you will need to get into the game, including the game software and thirty days of game time. The Standard Edition will be available in both physical copies that will be sold at most video game retailers, and a digital edition that is exclusive to Learn more at our Pre-Order page.

The Digital Deluxe Edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic, is available exclusively through, comes with both the game software and thirty days of game time. In addition, the Digital Deluxe Edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic comes with the following digital items that your characters can use in the game:

  • Flare Gun: Fires flares into the air.
  • Training Droid: Hovers at your side for combat assistance.
  • HoloDancer: Project your own holographic dancer.
  • HoloCam: Keep visual records of in-game adventures.
  • STAP (Single Trooper Aerial Platform): Sleek and unique in-game vehicle.

The limited Collector’s Edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic can only be purchased physically. Packaged with thirty days of game time and all of the virtual items that are included in the Digital Deluxe Edition, the Collector’s Edition comes with a number of physical and digital collector’s items that you cannot get anywhere else:

  • The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural: 111 pages of notes and sketches by the revered Jedi Master from the early years of the Great Hyperspace War between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire. Features never-before-seen artwork and all-new information.
  • Darth Malgus statue: The villainous Darth Malgus comes to life with this exclusive 9 in. collectible statue from Gentle Giant studios.
  • The Old Republic Galaxy Map: 14 x 20 in. at-a-glance look at the known galaxy.
  • Security Authentication Key Fob: Keep your Lightsaber and credits safe with this custom Security Authentication Key Fob for your game account.
  • Music of Star Wars: The Old Republic CD: Seventeen orchestral music tracks from The Old Republic.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic game: The full Star Wars: The Old Republic game on DVD-ROM in a collectible metal case.

The following virtual in-game items are exclusive to the Collector’s Edition:

  • Exclusive Mouse Droid: A faithful droid to join you on your adventures.
  • Exclusive Collector’s Edition Store: Unique in-game store with a dynamic array of items to assist you from your humble beginnings through your journey to become a galactic legend.

Be sure to act fast and pre-order your copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic now to ensure your place in Early Game Access!

As the post says you can pre-order from the pre-order page, which also lists the following minimum system requirements at the bottom:
OS Windows XP, Vista/7
CPU AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+ or better · Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 2.0GHz or better
RAM Windows XP: 1.5GB · Windows Vista and Windows 7: 2GB · PCs using a built-in graphical chipset, 2GB RAM recommended.
Video ATI X1800 or better* · nVidia 7800 or better* · Intel 4100 Integrated Graphics or better*
DVD-ROM 8x or better
*Minimum of 256MB of on-board RAM and Shader 3.0 or better support.
More information on pre-ordering can be found in the official pre-order FAQ.

And yes, I pre-ordered (and redeemed) my Digital Deluxe version already. :)

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Insider label

A quick update on the site; I've changed the old "fan" label to "insider".

The old "fan" label I added when BioWare started to include a "Developer Corner" in their Fan Friday posts and thus making them interesting enough to report on and give a label. But the Developer Corner has since grown into "Studio Insider" and has become a separate post. In the beginning those Studio Insiders where always next to a Fan Friday, but since then that's not always been the case. And since the interesting thing is the Studio Insider anyway it made more sense to have a label for that.

The new label also covers the Developer Corner so, with two exceptions, all the previous "fan" labeled posts now have the new "insider" label (one exception is where it was a Fan Friday post on its own and another was for last year's special Fan 'Friday' during E3 where I changed the label to just "news").

Studio Insider: Crafting the Class Intros

This Friday BioWare had a Studio Insider for us in which Senior Video Editor Brian Arndt tells us about creating the class into videos. Here's an excerpt from the full post:
Well, we are all proudly working on a Star Wars video game, a lifelong dream of mine and probably all of the team. What does the player need to see first to know they are about to play a part in the Star Wars universe? You guessed it!

As a part of the BioWare Creative Services team, we get to spend all our time in The Old Republic filming and editing gameplay walkthroughs, character progression videos, taking screenshots and even creating the Timeline video series. We work around the clock to deliver these Friday updates for the community (and even read your forum posts to see what people are looking forward to seeing and try and get them in there!). It's exciting and exhausting but a lot of fun, and the team is super passionate and proud to be doing it. So how did we end up crafting the class intro video assets for in-game, you might ask?

The studio insider post shows the Sith Warrior intro (which, as I understand from the post, has been modified since) and part of the work-in-progress Smuggler intro.

It's interesting. I recall that from my hands-on I noted that I was missing exactly this. So I quite enjoyed reading this insider post and can't wait to see the ones for the classes I'm intending to play (though preferably not before actually playing the game... silly as it might sound I don't want to spoil the feeling of those first few moments).

The article also includes a Community Q&A on the sound design. And BioWare also made a post about their Comic-Con presence. That, a long video interview with Daniel Erickson and the Developer Quotes after the break.

Monday, 11 July 2011

BioWare Blog: Maps, and their Making

Last Friday BioWare had a blog entry for us, written by Principal Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert, about the ingame maps. Here's an excerpt from the full post:

Galactic cartography

Having good navigation is important for any game, but particularly so in any massively multiplayer game, where wanderlust is positively encouraged. For The Old Republic, we realized that we had some relatively unique problems early on.

First off, once your character leaves their Origin World, other planets tend to be significantly larger in terms of land mass than those you might find in other MMOs – sometimes five or six times as large. While this is really cool for creating canonically expansive worlds in the Star Wars™ universe like Hoth or Tatooine, it also creates interesting design considerations. As the player is only adventuring in perhaps one-sixth of the map at any given time, having one world map would result in everything he cares about at a given time being compressed into a tiny corner of the map, making that map pretty much unusable.

Read the full post to get the rest of it.

It's interesting to read how maps are created for the game and what functionality they have. I think it might take a little getting used to their icons (when I played I had no clue what icon was supposed to mean what, but that I didn't really take the time to find out) and I'm not sure I like having to hover over quest icons to see their area, but it's got a couple of other nice features such as sharing quest icons with others in the party.

There hasn't been a whole lot on SWTOR this week (probably waiting for the next round of conventions), so after the break all we've got left is the developer quotes (with only one I found worth repeating in full).

Monday, 4 July 2011

Bounty Hunter Character Progression

The update that BioWare had for us on Friday was a Bounty Hunter character progression video. Here's the official news:
As your character progresses in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, you will gain experience and strength, learning new skills and earning more advanced gear.

The Bounty Hunter is feared across the galaxy for his ability to track elusive prey from the bustling metropolises of the core worlds to the further reaches of known space. As his targets become more evasive and his enemies more powerful, the Bounty Hunter will learn new skills and abilities to match the advanced weapons and armor he discovers during his travels.

Watch some of the paths along which the Bounty Hunter can progress to get a brief glimpse of the armors and abilities available as he grows in wealth and glory.

That means we've now had a progression video like this for all the armored classes (Jedi Knight, Sith Warrior, Trooper and Bounty Hunter) with the four 'cloth' classes still to go.

Read on after the break for an interview GameInformer did with EA's Frank Gibeau nd the developer quotes.