Monday, 16 April 2012

Rakghoul Outbreak on Tatooine!

It seems that BioWare started a live event. This first one takes place on Tatooine and involves an outpreak of the rakghoul plague. It seems new objects have appeared on the two (Republic and Imperial) Fleets as well as on Tatooine; interacting with these gives you a brief ingame cutscene like this one (thanks to Darth Hater):

See the other three videos further down (after the break). There are more, user-gathered, details on the event on the official forums. Apparently participating in the event nets players rakghoul DNA which they can trade in for goodies.

From a roleplaying perspective I'm somewhat in a quandary... both of my characters (Sniper and Sage) would probably listen to the news broadcast and stay away from Tatooine. But that would mean that I'd miss out on the event. So I might just go "out of character" and have a look (tonight) anyway.

Next to the other three videos after the break there's also a few links and a few developer quotes.

Here's the other Emprire video for the event:

And the two Republic videos:

Despite them being largely the same I find it interesting to see the differences in tone between the imperial and republic videos when viewed side-by-side like that. The empire is very much "the empire is doing this and you should obey" while the republic one is much more "we are here to help you". For example, the empire one talks about how the empire soldiers are using lethal force, where the republic one has it more as a suggestion to use lethal force or get the help from soldiers.

I wonder if the event itself it fun; seems like it might be.

In other news GameSpot has reviewed Razer's The Old Republic keyboard. They've got both a video and a written article. Here's the video:

The article goes into more detail, but you get the gist from the video. In short: it's probably best to stay away from the keyboard.

Both IGN and Gamespy have impression up for Game Update 1.2. Here an excerpt from IGN's article:

With the 1.2 patch's Legacy system, BioWare encourages you to make another character. By running a character to the cap you unlock a variety of bonuses for other characters, making a subsequent 1 – 50 run a little bit more interesting. Considering how colossal a task it has to be for BioWare to generate unique story content for all eight of The Old Republic's classes, this approach makes sense. There's already plenty of story content in the live game right now, and the Legacy update gives players with enough free time to see it all more ways to have fun.

There's not a lot to the article itself; most of the content is in a video they've got embedded (and I couldn't find an embed link for it). The video is about 20 minutes and consist of a two-person commentary as they check out the update.

Gamespy's article is lengthier and more of a critique. here's an excerpt:

Even though I've enjoyed it since launch, I was about ready to give up on Star Wars: The Old Republic. No one actually declared they were leaving, but player by player, my little guild had dwindled down to nothing as members became dissatisfied with the experience at level 50. Even those who extended the appeal by leveling alts vanished somewhere in the process. When an old raiding friend of mine (our last active member) informed me that he was leaving for another guild for consistent raid schedules, I couldn't come up with a reason for him to stay and help me report on SWTOR. Finally, a little under two weeks ago, I just stopped logging in and hoped that Patch 1.2 would make everything better. Now, having experienced the new patch content that launched yesterday, I do like what I see, but worry that it will only provide a short respite from the same larger issues.

It should be noted that while the article critiques the decision to only give free time to those with a level 50 character, that has since changed (see below).

As for the content of the article, I don't wholly disagree with it, but I think it's painting too negative a picture. It's probably more of a disconnect between what the writer in question was expecting and what the game delivered. And I'm not sure of all suggestions; server merges might make the server seem more alive, but they'll also send the (false) message "this game is dying". It's the catch-22 of the server model (and I can't help but think that if they hadn't gone for the multiple server approach things would be a lot healthier now).

For me, I'd like to see the ability to do a lot of the group content (like heroics and Flashpoints) solo as it would open up a lot of additional content for me that's locked behind my inability to socialize at the moment.

Anyway, what's left is the developer quotes.

Developer Quotes

  • [link] to Joveth Gonzalez on downtime compensation.
  • [link] to Greg Zeschuk on Legacy promotion expanded.

Only two developer quotes. There were a lot more, but they all seemed to be about issues with the patch, various support issues and such. These were the only two that seemed interesting to me. In fact, they're both interesting enough to quote in full.

The first one is by Joveth Gonzalez and is about the unexpected maintenance period they had last Friday (disabling people like me from playing that evening):

Due to the unexpected extended maintenance today, we are going to be offering all active subscribers a full day of game time as compensation. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you for your patience.

When I couldn't play Friday I was sad that I couldn't (and instead tried some Avernum, which is awesome so far), but I wasn't upset. To begin with I fully expected BioWare to be decent enough to give some free time in return for the downtime. And in part because taking a bit of a break was probably good. As such I was glad to see my expectations fulfilled.

The second post is by Greg Zeschuk and regards free playtime as well, in this case regarding the Legacy Promotion.

Hello everyone! At BioWare we're always listening to our fans and we've heard our community's comments around players with Level 50 characters being the only group awarded 30 days of play time. We appreciate the feedback and are pleased to announce that we are expanding our Legacy Promotion, also awarding 30 days of play time at no charge to players that have reached Legacy Level 6 (who may not have a 50th level character).

We just released the innovative Legacy System as part of Game Update 1.2, and felt that looking at Legacy point progression across all of your characters was a great way to reward our most avid players. This means that any of the experience you earn with any of your characters brings you closer to the goal of Legacy Level 6. The choice of how to get to Legacy Level 6 is yours.

First, you need to have passed Chapter 1 to unlock your legacy. Examples of how to get to Legacy Level 6 include:

  • A pair of characters Level 45 and 42
  • A trio of characters of Levels 45, 32 and 32
  • A bunch of characters Levels 35, 33, 31, 29 and 20
  • A single 50th level character that has enjoyed the endgame for a brief time

Remember these are just examples – you’re free to choose how to earn your Legacy experience to gain Legacy Level 6.

We've also got another significant piece of good news: everyone will have until April 22nd at noon CDT (5:00pm GMT - click here for a time zone converter) to have a Level 50 character or Legacy Level 6 on their account to get 30 days of game time on us. (Your 30 days of game time will be applied to your account on April 25th by 11:59pm CDT.) Players will now have multiple options, as well as more time, to try and reach these goals and play all the great new content in Game Update 1.2.

As always, we appreciate your feedback and will do our best to surprise and delight our customers.

Dr Greg Zeschuk
Studio GM, BioWare Austin

[As an FYI: the news story and webpage regarding Legacy Promotion will be updated tonight or early next week with up-to-date information.]

This should be good news for all those who were upset with BioWare over the free month given to level 50 characters before. And, indeed, I think that it's a good thing for it to be like this, certainly it would've been good if BioWare did this from the start.

But a part of me can't help but cringe at the thought that it feels like BioWare is caving to the whines, sending the message "if you don't like something then just whine loud enough and we'll change it". Maybe that's unfair as we don't know the exact reasons why BioWare did this (maybe they saw some cool-headed and well-reasoned critique and decided on those grounds). But I worry that this will just give people more cause to whine in the future.

Anyway, at the moment I'm glad to be happy for all those who now got free time as well and we'll see what the future brings when it's here.

And that's all for now.

[link] to keyboard review video at GameSpot.
[link] to keyboard review article at GameSpot.
[link] to 1.2 impressions at IGN.
[link] to 1.2 impressions at Gamespy.

1 comment:

Tae-Oh said...

The Rakghoul outbreak has been fun imo. I enjoy thing like this because it gives something else to do when playing swtor. I you guys are interested, There is a blogpost that walks you through the event pretty well without giving it all away.