SWTOR Hitting pubescent Boys where it hurts.

With its release TV-spot, SWTOR has taken a new marketing stance. That is, to reel in pubescent boys from all across the globe with their one true weakness. Forget bullets, it is of course nothing other than Women.

After a gloriously impartial campaign until now it was perhaps only a matter of time before we saw all interested parties put their morals aside and go for glory, that being to squeeze out whatever cash possible from what has traditionally been one of the simplest audiences to please, the teenager.

The New TV spot, only 30 seconds long, spends at least 10 of these focused on alluring females. First the Bounty Hunter (with a very feminine whisper of Vengance) and then the Jedi Consular. Both are clearly far from combat ready or capable, perhaps they were just lost in the woods of Alderaan when fighting between Sith and Jedi forces broke out. Or perhaps there is a future class planned, something of a battle-beautician, ready at hand to apply makeup whenever the darlings need it.

Either way, with the sights set on this big money making subscriber base, more mature players can kiss their chances of peace good bye when the new army of 14 year olds storms the game over the next few weeks. Perhaps this is not such a bad thing, because we do know Simple things please Simple minds, so we might just find that this creates a very steady subscriber base, which will stick with Bioware through Thick and Thin!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - January 15, 2012 at 21:22

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Gifting of SWTOR to continue post-christmas

2012's newest weapon of mass destruction.

2012's newest weapon of mass destruction.

With the Christmas cheer (Or Holiday Spirit for you mindless Politically Correct buffoons) truly done and dusted, it seems there has been no let up in the volume of SWTOR discs given as gifts between friends and confidants.

Recent research by the Harvard School of Psychology into negative gifting, i.e. giving gifts you expected and intend to have some detrimental affect on the receiver, may be able to shed some light on this and just why things are still rolling along so quickly at Bioware.

For years it has been recognised that (for reasonably competitive people) you can either have a) A subscription to an Online Game or b) Far reaching Achievements in life. Perhaps then this is why so many copies have walked out the door, because as shown by the Brown et Al research from the aforementioned Harvard school of Psychology, giving a game such as SWTOR to a budding enemy, or just non-cared-for acquaintance may be the ideal way to ensure he/she never again interferes with your life!

Professional rivalry? No problem. Romantic Rivalry? Not any more. The list of possible feuds that can be fixed by gluing your opponent to a computer is endless, so after all why should the end of the festive season be any reason not to make that last ditch effort to triumph over evil, once and for all?

Popular news services have commented on this as well over the last week, with quotes such as:

  • “Avoid the rush and buy for the Sith Lord or Jedi Master on your extended holiday shopping list.” – CNN
  • “I can recommend it for both Star Wars fans, online gamers and anyone with an addictive personality.” – New York Times
  • “Perfect for the recovering PC Gamer on your list.” – Complex.com

So it would seem there is little potential buyers can do, SWTOR is your number one entertainment venue or weapon for 2012!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - January 10, 2012 at 21:09

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New Players Guide

Just Yesteryear, our friendly Bioware writers released a New Players ‘Guide’ to straighten out the clinically retarded players that aspire to have a crack at SWTOR.

Rather than contribute a useful and well though out guide, helping new players to get past their first few missions, what we have landed with is a thinly veiled advertisement, saying nothing that should not appear immediately obvious upon new players entering the game and watching the introduction cinematic.

Apparently there are two factions, the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. Really??? I could see that remaining a mystery for some time had I not been so thoroughly educated.

Another interesting thing mentioned by the Guide is Role Playing. Now this is truly only mentioned by the guide, as it appears as one of the titles. The preceding paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with Roleplaying, the ever present scourge of serious gamers, so hopefully this is a subtle hint from Bioware that such Care Bears will not be welcome among the players of The Old Republic. If only.

So with the beginning quest and instructional system of the game being the only feature so far to be aggressively panned, it is surprising that the writers should come out with such an ass-backwards guide, but perhaps this was to be expected. With all severs being brought down over the  next few days in order to apply updates to the beginner tutorials, hopefully we will see the woeful experience that clueless players have been subjected to so far be gone for good. May the force be with them in their blind wanderings of the game world.

 

An Instructional Diagram from the Guide. Please Buy our game and you will be chopping ships in half with your lightsaber and floating through outer space in no time!

An Instructional Diagram from the Guide. Please Buy our game and you will be chopping ships in half with your lightsaber and floating through outer space in no time!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - January 5, 2012 at 20:57

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SWTOR Off to Flying Start

SWTOR Off to Good Start

SWTOR Off to Good Start

So only ten days after release, the initial numbers are in for the current standing of the game.

 

And so far, the result is GREAT!

With more than a Million accounts being used since the early opening of the game, SWTOR has instantly rocketed to second place in the MMO world, behind the ever present World of Warcraft.

 

New sales records have been set right around the globe, after the most rapid subscriber increase the Industry has ever seen taking place just after Christmas.
This has been helped by the overwhelmingly positive ratings the game has received, with few if any giving any less than 9/10. With reviewers so quick to find the faults of just about any hyped product in the online market, after magnificent let-downs such as Age of Conan, SWTOR has held up amazingly well under fire.

 

However, some of these have raised suspicions, such as the game being awarded the 2010 Game Critics award for best PC game. Funny, seeing as not even testing had begun until 2011.

 

We are currently seeing the first large batch of players reach max level, which will put the second major test to the Developers, that being is there enough content to sustain a continued interest like we see in other Major MMORPGs. This has often been the failing point of other games, where players reach the maximum development of their character they realise there is nothing left to do. Usually this is countered by PvP Systems, which are thankfully present, but other end-game features such as trading and exploring found in the previous Star Wars game Galaxies are no where in sight.

 

In fact, without these added time-sinks, and companion characters doing simple tasks that occupy players in other games, we may find the gaming elite becoming positively bored in short order.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - December 31, 2011 at 20:44

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Bioware Cash in on Sponsorship Deals

As with many other large games over the past few years (World of Warcraft et al) bioware has struck deals with game hardware designers, in this case Razer, to produced licences input devices for players across the galaxy to use.

However, unlike their predecessors in the sponsoring business, this deal has actually produced something that, at first glance, is not completely hideous!

With their futuristic clean cut lines and simple colour schemes, this collection of hardware for once might actually have a market in fans that are not utterly die hard champions of The Old Republic galaxy. As can be seen in the picture below they also appear to be quite functional, another unexpected boon most experienced MMORPG players would not have accepted.

The one downfall of the devices so far is the price, as all of them seem to cost about twice the Recommended retail price for similarly functioning products.
That is, except for the Keyboard, which complete with a colour touch screen should add a new dimension of intricacy to the controlling of characters, although it seems somewhat unlikely players will take their eyes off of the monitor to focus on the three inch thing near their hands, which may render it rather redundant.

Although new ground has been broken with the keyboard, this was not to be with the mouse. If players choose to spend the $130 dollars Razer is currently asking, they will get nothing other than what is fundamentally a re skinned version of a mouse made by the company that has been on sale for more than two years.

The input peripherals market is a common cash cow for popular MMORPGs across the world, so it is not surprising that it made its way into SWTOR, however the popularity and quality of the devices still remains to be seen (and is far from certain).

More details on the Mouse, Keyboard, headset and Mouse pad on offer are available on the official website for SWTOR here.

SWTOR Keyboards set for release.

SWTOR Keyboards set for release.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - December 25, 2011 at 19:22

Categories: Items, Misc   Tags:

Pre Release Music

As noted in previous articles, the music of Star Wars The Old Republic is an incredibly important aspect of the game, perhaps more so than any MMORPG before. With more than six composers on their Payroll, Bioware has certanly acknowledged this, which should see a very immersing experience for fans.

Although the collectors Edition of the game comes with the official soundtrack and its 17 compositions, these only represent a small sample of the best the game has to offer.

Perhaps to the dismay of keen players that ordered the collectors edition of the game, effectively paying a premium for this CD, Bioware has begun releasing the game’s soundtrack, one track per day, up until the release date.

This has gotten quite a lot of attention from fans, with the videos gathering more than 20 thousand views each on the first day.

Since the composers on the job are well known and respected in the field of game compositions, many of them working on previous Star Wars Projects, a lot was expected of the team, so thankfully judging from the pieces released so far they have performed very well.

Although the writers have avoided typical Star Wars Riffs, such as those featured in the original Trilogy, this might turn out to be for the better, as it is sure to mean many more copies of the soundtrack will sell once the game is released, hopefully drawing in more potential players. The music is however, as expected, rather similar to the previous Bioware Star Wars Games, KOTOR I and II. This seems rather fitting as it is from the same (similar) Era, with the same forces battling for supremacy, with the same real life composers!

Following is perhaps the best track released so far, The Mandolorian Blockade, which has been worked on by a team of the composers. Sounds good!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - December 16, 2011 at 19:13

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Choose Your Side, or Rather Class

The puzzlingly named Choose Your Side features have continued today, as fans count down the days until release, with a match up between Imperial Agent and Jedi Consular taking place.

Always keen to make their employees seem like real people to the public (rather than the un-sleeping computer maniacs we know they really are) some light banter was put up on The Old Republic’s website detailing the hot topic of debate in the Bioware office, which class had the upper hand in a Consular vs Agent battle.

Now, seeing as many of these fights have happened already during testing the developers are somewhat playing coy with the population, because as released seven weeks ago, we already have the number for one on one combat that has taken place.

Originally the article was to be found here , but due to the need for more content to go into the weekly news it has been removed, and hypothetical ‘class Matchups’ have been added instead.

But thankfully as we have the official site’s news archived here at SWTOR Republic we can look up the numbers to see which has the upper hand.

The real numbers show a slightly different side of the story as the “they are balanced” message sent in the Choose Your Side feature. For all one on one fights that have taken place so far the current winner is the Imperial Agent, but a 69% success landslide.

Perhaps this should not be surprising. A solo class matched up against a group play style class is always bound to present some imbalances, however generally we would have expected things to have been slightly better than we have seen.

As the release grows nearer, now only 13 days away, many are racing to pre-order the game to secure their cheaper, and fully featured copies. If market research done so far is anything to go on, the game may be scarce in standard retailers for quite some time.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - December 7, 2011 at 19:09

Categories: Gameplay, Misc, Testing   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Last Chance Guild Changes

Phase 3 of the SWTOR guilding program, now officially in full swing, has made its impact on player associations over the last few weeks felt near and far.

For months now players have had time to organise themselves and their friends into guilds pre-release, so that they are assured of being on the same servers, and being on the same servers as their enemies. This has meant we have seen a wild grab for players, a guilds try to judge who will be good months ahead of the game, with only reputation to go on.

Now that the final phase is in effect, this is all set to wrap up, with players being stuck where they stand and any enemies and allies being locked in for the long hall.

The advantage of this system is that it shall see people which know each other all put on the same server, but at the same time, this tells us just how Bioware plans to run the different game servers.

As it stands at the moment players will not be able to specifically choose which server they want to be on, it shall be chosen for them. This is very different to games such as Star Wars Galaxies and World of Warcraft where there was a comprehensive list of servers or realms which could be chosen when making a character.

The way that Bioware has chosen to do it does away with this system, which hopefully will not be to the detriment of the game. One thing is for sure, which is that it is vitally important to have everything in order before guilding closes off in a few days time. Otherwise, players will only be able to request a few of their friends, with only a small chance of getting into the server if it has heavy load or a far-off geographical location.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - December 1, 2011 at 12:50

Categories: Gameplay, Testing   Tags: , , , , , ,

Beta Open to All

Over the past month the developers at Bioware have sent emails to all SWTOR accounts claiming that due to a security risk passwords must be reset. Now, this is 90% untrue, as no security risk has presented itself. Rather, this is a covert method to check which accounts are active still. Ones that do the reset are yes, and anyone that ignores is assumed to be a fake account, and will not be given the same privileges everyone else is afforded.

In this case, that is an invite to the now open beta. If you are one that hasn’t done the reset, then now is the time to stop reading and head over to the official SWTOR site to get it in, or you may find yourself excluded until release on the 20th of December.

With the open beta free for all, the number of players in game has sky rocketed, with more than a doubling of entrants within the first game.

Unfortunately for players Bioware has also released information saying that nothing they earn or complete in Star Wars The Old Republic beta will be transferred into the live game upon release. All in all this is good news for those that haven’t been playing already, as they will not be at a technical disadvantage to begin with. However, the will certainly be at a knowledge disadvantage, as the keen testers have had more than six months to master the game, so getting to the top level should be a very quick affair when done live for the first time.

Although the Beta is now open for play, this will only continue for four weeks until the game’s official release, which can’t come too soon for most.

Threats are no longer needed with the Open Beta.

Threats are no longer needed with the Open Beta.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - November 24, 2011 at 12:37

Categories: Misc, Testing   Tags: , , , ,

Collectors Edition Tempting Fans

With the finalised contents of the Star Wars The Old Republic Collectors Edition finally announced, we can see just why players have been so excited about its release.

Along side the special collectors version will be the Digital Deluxe version, which provides many of the collectors boons to budding players.

For the Deluxe edition, in addition to the SWTOR game disks and a free first month, players can expect all of the following:

Flare Gun Similar to the fireworks guns of Star Wars Galaxies, the Flare gun will be able to shoot (solely cosmetic) jets of flame into the sky.

Training Droid Although ineffective in combat, the training droid will serve as a combat target designator, highlighting primary targets on the battlefield. Seems somewhat similar to the familiars, again from SWG.

HoloDancer Again like Galaxies we will have HoloDancers, solely for our entertainment.

HoloCam This Intergalactic camera will let players participate in In-Game photography of The Old Republic, allowing them to record their favourite locations. Assumingly the images by the camera will be of a higher quality than game screenshots.

STAP Giving out a free vehicle for a special edition is a tremendously original idea, so of course we will see one in SWTOR.

Aside from the Digital Deluxe edition’s perks, the Collectors version will contain an additional two major boons:

Mouse Droid This mouse droid should function like our favourite familiars, following adventures across the galaxy and contributing their beeps wherever appropriate.

Collector’s Edition Store
The ultimate gift from the Developers to players with a little extra cash to give them, the collectors edition will feature many unique items (thankfully not useful in combat) and will even have regular updates to keep players coming back.

All in all the two new versions prevent such great items that there will surely be many players plenty keen enough to throw out the extra money to gleam these advantages over their friends and foe. Thankfully they currently offer no combat advantage, but when developers see just how much extra these editions earn for such little work, we can only hope they get no ideas to continue the trend.

Unboxing the SWTOR Collectors Edition

Unboxing the SWTOR Collectors Edition

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - October 30, 2011 at 12:12

Categories: Items, Misc   Tags: , , , , , ,

 

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