Posts Tagged ‘testing’

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

Categories: Gameplay, Misc   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: , , , ,

Beta Numbers Swell Pre-Release

Troopers, quite a force to be reckoned with as they currently stand.

Troopers, quite a force to be reckoned with as they currently stand.

In the largest recruiting drive attempted thus far the Bioware executives have decided to more than double the number of current Beta testers of the past fortnight.

This has included the addition of the first batch of overseas players, including a large number from Australia and Europe. Supposedly this is with the hope to find flaws in the game’s combat system which will be exaggerated by the latency such locations entail, but far more likely is to bring news of the game to countries where it may not get quite as much direct advertising.

With the recent lift on confidentially clauses imposed on testers, we have seen a flood of screenshots and videos of the game make it onto social media sites such as Facebook and Youtube. Whilst this has not caused any problems so far, it has revealed that the game is not quite as flawless as it may have seemed from the early testing.

There are evidently quite a number of bugs with the player combat system, meaning so far battles have been far from balanced.
Trooper is the pick of the bunch as of now, with each being more than a match for 2-3 of any other class. This isn’t helped by the fact that classes such as consular are far from perfect, with many abilities misfiring right when the player is counting on them.

With more than two months to go before the game is released there is still plenty of time to iron these last bugs out. Lets hope this is done with plenty of time to spare, or players might be quite under-impressed after parting with their hard earned money.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - October 20, 2011 at 21:17

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

Current Testers Keeping their Secrets

Testing of SWTOR

Testing of SWTOR

After being chosen to play Star Wars The Old Republic all players must agree to reveal nothing about the game to the outside world. Even further, they are encouraged to not even tell friends and fellow gamers that they have even be admitted to the test.

So far we have yet to have any major leakages from testing, but the developers and fans alike know that it is just a matter of time before one of the testers grows disgruntled and spills the beans.

Although this would undoubtedly be easy to do, such a culprit may well find themselves in a world of Legal Ramifications , especially if they do a good job of informing the public as to the contents of the game. In the past we have seen similar things, with testers being sued by companies after they decided they had had enough of the silence, and pushed ahead with their own Agenda.

Although it may be tempting for a would be conspirator to spill the beans, we have been assured repeatedly by the developers at Bioware that such an action would not only be foolish, but that it will hold back the game’s release and almost certainly invite legal action. That aside, it would also ensure that said player would never be allowed to play the game post release.

Tests are always a trying time for any development studio, and the early testing of SWTOR has been no exception. However, so far players have done a great job of playing by the rules and if this continues we may even see the game released early.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - July 21, 2011 at 22:00

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

Friday Featuring SWTOR

This weeks Friday Feature goes over some of the most recent fan art straight out of the forums of The Old Republic.

More and more we are seeing fans do request driven art works, which seems to be a good way for them to make friends, connections, and money. Many new players and aspiring artists have tried their hands over the last few weeks. This has included many of the less skilled participants, which really has brought a shine to the artworks of the more experienced contributors.

However, that is not to say that even fan art from the most handicapped of participants is not worthwhile. As can be seen from their numerous Friday Features on the subject, developers use the fan art for inspiration, and to see what players ideally want the game to be like.

One thing that has yet to be done is a centralised database for the different artists and their work. Perhaps it would be a good weekend project for fans with a little knowledge in web design. An accompanying forum would also undoubtedly be quite popular, and could be used to attract many of the players who currently keep their trolling to the forums.

For the next few months leading up to release there are sure to be many more artists bursting onto the scene, which should encourage new works, hopefully deviating from the endless characterchures produced so far.

It seems that Friday features have focused almost solely on Fan art and blogs, which will hopefully change as the game edges closer to release.

A Fan's impression of their future character.

A Fan's impression of their future character.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - July 5, 2011 at 17:04

Categories: Misc   Tags: , , , , ,

Writing Wraps up for SWTOR

Just today the developers of SWTOR at Bioware announced that the story of the game, now three years into production, is finally finished.

That means every conversation, every cut scene and every iconic moment has been decided on, and all of the lines are now off to be recorded.

However, as the recent blog post says, there is still much to be done. While the rich stories of all 17 planets may have been decided on, many of the environments and characters have yet to be designed, so with the aid of the completed stories 3d artists are now going into overdrive in order to make sure that everything fits together seamlessly.

Also in the article was a brief overview of the inspiration that went into many of the environments of the game, including that of Nar Shaddaa. Apparently the main inspiration for its glitzy glamour is a Las Vegas of the 1970s, although players would be excused for not guessing it.

Also in the article was a look at how the environments have changed over time. Again, the main promenade of Nar Shaddaa has changed drastically due to feedback from testers and story writers. In the Place of what was quite a small and diminutive statue, there now stands an enormous likeness of a Hutt.

Other wildly renovated cities include Coronet on Corellia. Originally the ship yard was just a few buildings, with only names to proclaim its shipyard-dom. However, now it is a towering vista of construction and Corellian superiority.

The development process at Bioware by no means stops when the story is written, or even when the landscape and the game has been designed. No, there are constant reviews of everything completed to date (which may be why release has been so slow) in order to ensure that the final product, when opened to players, is as perfect as possible.

The new look of the Corellian shipyards.

The new look of the Corellian shipyards.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - July 1, 2011 at 16:24

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

Fan Friday Once Again

Fan Fridays are always popular within the SWTOR community, and this week’s was no exception.

As the game’s release date draws ever closer more and more artistically inclined fans are coming into the community, which has seen a huge amount of original (and exceptionally good) artwork flood the forums.

Out of the kindness of their hearts the Bioware blog writers acknowledge many of the most outstanding works in their weekly posts, which thankfully helps to encourage similar artists to show off their talents.

Also featured are some of the games most popular blogs, which even though they attract visitors away from the main site, help to increase general interest in the game none the less.

This weeks article featured one of our spin off blogs, SWTOR Life, which was started by the SWTOR Republic team as an outlet for more trivial news and speculation we did not feel appropriate for this main site. In this role it has so far done a great job, and on the occasional week it might even draw similar numbers to this, our main site!

As release looms more blogs will come out, many of which will attempt to copy the old and more mature websites already in place. As many in the blogger-sphere know this is almost inevitable in any new area, so we shall patiently await whatever ideas are thrown our way.

For next weeks friday feature, a leaked internal E-mail from Bioware revealed a new article the likes of which, I quote, ‘ Players have never seen’. This seems like something great to look forward to, but also brings a foreboding message, as this could easily be a turn for the worse, rather than good.

Lets just hope that with new information will come the same quality seen to date, and that the avid fans will continue with current efforts to produce an ever growing wealth of concept art!

A fan's idea of a holocron.

A fan's idea of a holocron.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - June 10, 2011 at 15:43

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

UI Updates

As the direct interface between players and their game, the User interface can break a MMO, or any other kind of computer software for that matter.

Since the game was first released, many changes have been made to the SWTOR interface and, at least according to the Bioware staff, it is now in its optimal form pending release of the game. Many possible layouts were looked at, and a team of players and developers have worked together to decide on the best looking and most useful of these.

Although originally Bioware had elected for a more artistic feel, thankfully over time this changed to designing the interface solely around usability. As such, most of the unnecessary fluff has been stripped away and we are left with a streamlined, and thankfully minimalist UI.

Many players with low-res screens will be well aware of the problems that come with an Interface with a lot of useless additions. As almost all of the windows are necessary, having them large takes up a lot of room on the screen, stripping down the visible area of the game, which when it consists of SWTOR’s graphics, is not something anybody wants.

As of yet, no details have been released as to how customizable it should be, but we are all hoping for it to be as adaptable as possible. In many games, such as Galaxies, windows on the screen could be moved, removed, resized and otherwise adapted to each players’ individual wants. This made for happy campers, as it could be organized to fit different size screens and players which made the game in general far more accessible.

Although there has been no word on whether Bioware plans to follow suit in this regard, we do all hope to see options available which, even if left alone for most players, will help out those who would otherwise struggle to participate.

The current user interface of SWTOR. Looks nice doesn't it?

The current user interface of SWTOR. Looks nice doesn't it?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - May 11, 2011 at 00:04

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Updated Advanced Classes

The current class tree of Sith Warrior.

The current class tree of Sith Warrior.

Today a press release by Georg Zoeller, the principal combat designer from Star Wars The Old Republic, detailed many of the combat classes and upgrade the developers at Bioware currently have in the works.

Advanced classes are essentially specialisations chosen by players, which moulds their characters to their play style, making them more effective and powerful in combat. Many of these have been discussed in earlier posts, and they offer players wide ranges of choice in terms of what they wan tto do in game.

Each class has two advanced classes, which are split into three skill trees. There is one tree for each advanced class, then a generic progression tree for the general profession which can be upgraded by players from either side.

Characters level up through experience, and each level can give characters access to new abilities. There are three main sources of these. First, trainers (such as those in Star Wars Galaxies) offer players of their specific profession upgrade choices. Secondly, there are specific advanced-class trainers which offer further specialisation in their chosen field, and finally players can spend points themselves (without what might be valuable guidance from the trainers) in their character’s skill trees.

Much the same as in other MMORPGs, in SWTOR players can look at all the available boxes, and detailed descriptions accompany each one saying what the abilities do, how powerful they are, and what the pre-requisites are. This means players can plan right from their first hour in SWTOR where they would like their character to go, and make choices throughout their game play to achieve this.

As mentioned many times previously each of the advanced classes are good for different things. For example, smuggler’s Gunslinger class offers high Mid – Long rande damage, as well as dual wielding capabilities. In contrast to this, their Scoundrel class offers Close to Mid range damage dealing, some healing capabilities, and they wield short range scatter guns.

Although these classes are quite specific, short range classes still have some long range attacks, and long range classes are likewise, so players will never be left out of the fight due to their advanced-class point choices.

Also in this press release Georg revealed how they are tracking current testers, which includes advanced analysis techniques such as building 3d maps of player deaths. By doing this Bioware hopes to have the game as perfectly balanced and optimised as possible before release, and there should be no bugs, hitches, or otherwise impossible feats required of players when it goes live.

Until then, we look forward to hearing more about class specialisation and hope to see some more great updates.

A map of testing deaths on Ord Mantell being used by the developers to rectify any excessively difficult areas.

A map of testing deaths on Ord Mantell being used by the developers to rectify any excessively difficult areas.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - April 9, 2011 at 22:28

Categories: Classes, Testing   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Testing Numbers for The Old Republic

Recently, figures released to online news networks revealed just how popular SWTOR is, still many months from release.

It became possible for forum members to sign up for testing in late 2009 by giving some information about themselves and their computer specs. At the time, the rush to perform computer scans on the official TOR website crashed their servers, which saw many trying for hours to get into the required application.

The haste of the masses was rather unwarranted, as more than a year later testing is still not open to the public. Currently it is only friends and family of EA and Bioware employees playing the game, however, plans are to open testing to general applicants over the next month or two.

Since it became possible to register, there have been more than one and a half million people say they are interested in testing Star Wars The Old Republic. These numbers are unparalleled in the gaming industry, and are far greater than SWTOR will ever be able to accommodate pre release. Just to put it into perspective, normal MMO beta testing programs generally involve something in the range of 2-10 thousand players.

Originally executives at EA had said the game would be substantially profitable with only 500,000 subscribers, so it looks like they are well on the track to achieve this and then some. The MMORPG market in north America alone is accounts for approximately 12 million players, with untold numbers more in Europe and Asia. This makes 2 million, or even closer to Warcraft’s 6 million subscribers a very real possibility for The Old Republic and we wish the huge team who has been working on the game so far the best of luck in achieving this, as they truly deserve it.

Many players await the chance to test their lightsaber prowess online.

Many players await the chance to test their lightsaber prowess online.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 24, 2011 at 12:09

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


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