Monday, March 21, 2011

Surprise! Unscrupulous Folks Target SWTOR Devotees

Folks.  As the old adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Allison Berryman dropped by the forums today to kindly remind us not to fall for beta scams:
It has come to our attention that there are multiple individuals and sites claiming to sell testing accounts, “beta keys,” or other offers of access to our Game Testing Program. All of these offers are false. BioWare is not issuing invites to Game Testing via any method other than those we outline here on

We must caution you that these offers are often scams designed to steal your money, credit card information, or identity. While we understand that you are eager to participate in Game Testing, your security is extremely important, and attempting to participate in these offers could put you in very real danger. 

Furthermore, the sale of accounts with access to the Game Testing Program is strictly prohibited by the Game Testing Agreement. We closely monitor the activities of all accounts involved in the Game Testing Program, and are quick to notice accounts that change hands. In the event that an account in the Game Testing Program does change ownership, we immediately take action to the fullest extent possible, including permanently banning the account from the Service.

When we send out invites to the Game Testing Program, the first step is receiving an e-mail from After you receive this e-mail, you will also be able to see the invitation and further instructions at (if you are logged in to your account). You may encounter e-mail scams that indicate you have been invited to the Game Testing Program - please make sure to thoroughly examine the e-mail and don't click any links unless you are sure it is authentic (make sure to expand the information about the sender, and check for spelling errors or other tricks that scammers often use). If you receive an e-mail and are in doubt or are concerned about its validity, please forward your concerns to 

If you discover a scam pretending to offer access to the Game Testing Program, please forward all relevant information to us at Your security and the security of your fellow community members is important to us, and we appreciate your help. 
It goes without saying, but don't fall victim to scams like these!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


PAX has come and gone, and I'm officially more stoked than ever.

There was a flood of great news, and the Taral V Flashpoint was really something to watch.  I'm sure you've seen the official one, so make sure to also check out the Darth Hater folks working their magic.  Hate on!

We also got to listen to a number of devs shed some new light on several systems.  Out of all of the goodness though, leave it to me to focus in on one tiny part - the healing.  I've got a few choice quotes below courtesy of a Darth Hater interview with Daniel Erickson.  Read on!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Prelude of What's to Come...? Guild Information Extravaganza

As you've probably noticed, BioWare gave the community a little pre-PAX treat in the forum of a slick new Guild Headquarters page.
Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of the new Guild Headquarters (HQ) as well as the Pre-Launch Guild Program. Many members of the community have already been organizing guilds on the forums, and we’re now happy to provide the tools to officially register and reserve your guild’s name. In this new section of the website, you can search for an existing guild to join or you can create a new guild and begin recruiting members. When Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ launches, you may be able to import your guild directly into the game, subject to availability and meeting certain criteria*.

Every guild gets its own guild mini-site on, complete with information about the guild, its recruitment status, and its own public and private forums. Create or join a guild now and you’ll have the opportunity to have your own space to socialize and organize before the game launches. Every guild is automatically entered into the searchable guild database, which makes it easy for players to find their ideal guild. Get your guild together early and get ready for The Old Republic!

To learn more about guilds in The Old Republic, check out the Guilds Game System page for details, and to search for or join a guild, visit the Guild HQ now! Also be sure to visit the Guilds FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions.

*Conditions and restrictions apply. See Guilds FAQ for full details.

To discuss the Pre-Launch Guild Program, please use this thread in the Guild Hall forum. To report bugs, please use this thread in the Website Feedback and Support forum. Please note that some words and phrases, particularly some relating directly to Star Wars, are restricted. If you feel your desired guild name is restricted in error, please contact us using the site support form.
So far, all of the reaction that I've seen regarding this has been overwhelmingly positive.   As Ayane points out though, there are some interesting bits in the FAQ section.

Is my guild* guaranteed to be transferred into the game and what are the criteria our guild needs to meet for the transfer?
All guilds that meet the following criteria will get transferred into the game: 1) At the beginning of Phase 3, the guild leader must log in to the website and verify that their guild remains active and wants to be imported; and 2) The guild has at least four members who have pre-ordered the game by the time we initiate the import. Details about Star Wars: The Old Republic pre-order program will be provided at a later date.
Emphasis mine.  A clever way to not only make sure that SWTOR is pre-ordered as much as possible, but also that there's a certain level of commitment among the guilds who are signing up ahead of time.  Four seems to be a reasonable enough number for most guilds.

A 500 member cap is about average right now, so folks in guilds who run the risk of exceeding that will probably institute a no-alt policy at first, which is par for the course.  Now I'm even more curious to see what sort of information is revealed at PAX!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

NEWSFLASH: BioWare is Listening!


Georg Zoeller hard at work?
So, as if there was ever any real question as to whether or not BioWare is actually listening to us, Georg was kind enough once again to sprinkle Zoeller Dust™ all over the forums.

I hadn't really planned on touching on this after Georg's first post two days ago, because it seemed to go without saying.  However, after Georg went and wrote himself not one, but two, novella-length forum posts about the subject, the natural thing to do seemed to be to chronicle his decent into madness!

And finally on an unrelated note, Alexander Freed drops by the forums to chat a bit about the Imperial Agent.

More after the jump to lightspeed!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ib'tuur Jatne Tuur Ash'ad Kyr'amur...?

It really goes with the territory, doesn't it?  When you follow a game this far out, you inevitably think Class X is really going to be the class for you. Then one day, a developer diary is released, or some tidbit of information is put out, and everything changes.

By now, many of you have had the chance to watch the Bounty Hunter.  A Kubaz scoundrel, the burnination of Tusken Raiders and a variety of Bounty Hunter approved gadgets...  All of which are great, but... the kicker to me was this snippet from today's IGN PC interview:

The quicker picker-upper?
IGN: As development continues, would you be able to provide any details as to how the Bounty Hunter's changed? How have his primary skills evolved and what tend to be the most effective skills once a large amount has been unlocked?

Zoeller: Here are some examples of recent changes to the class: the introduction of the Bodyguard skillset which adds a healing and support role to the class [and] the addition of talent choices to create synergy between blasters and tech attacks. There aren't really 'most effective' skills for any class, as what is effective varies between encounters, different builds and whether or not you are in a group or not. 
They just went and added heals to one of the most iconic classes in the game...   Did this revelation change anyone's mind, as far as their class of choice for launch?  I previously had settled on the Sith Inquisitor more or less, to be specced heavily into healing, but now this totally changes it for me.  As a kid, Boba Fett was my absolute favorite character (and action figure, for that matter), but I had originally decided against the Bounty Hunter in SWTOR as I hadn't planned on tanking.  Now, they're pretty much the jack of all trades.  What will their healing be like?  Kolto Bombs perhaps?  The Imperial Agent already uses Kolto Darts, will we see something similar using Kolto?

Nothing is set in stone (although, some people are set in Carbonite), so this too is subject to change, but...

Things just got a whole lot more interesting.  Can't wait to see if anything else is revealed during tomorrow's Friday update, and with PAX coming up next week, who knows what's in store...  I'll have to make sure to stop by MandalorianGirl's neck of the woods and see what she thinks about things.

If you haven't yet seen the video, check it out!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dr. Strangezoeller: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Lack of Auto-attacks

Darth Zoeller was once again up to his usual shenanigans today, stopping by the forums to chime in on the forum post and poll regarding the lack of auto-attacks in SWTOR:

Georg states:
I think it is worth noting in this context that the game is relatively forgiving about the timing of your button presses / clicks, and therefore this particular concern about not having auto attack should be a non issue.

To ensure equal ability activation timing (and therefore DPS potential) between players with high and low latency, the game will, during the execution of an ability, allow you to 'queue up' the next activation (within a reasonable time window).

This ensures that your character is able to seamlessly move from one attack to the next without the player losing precious milliseconds by not exactly hitting the end of the previous ability/attack (something that would, in the end, force the player to spam buttons/clicks).

Naturally, moving/jumping etc will abort such queued up attacks/ability activations at any time.

Our testers have consistently lauded the absence of auto-attack as positive so far..
And when asked what he had meant about "queuing," Georg clarifies:
This is really a technical feature, not a gameplay mechanic. Basically, instead of requiring you to precisely mash a button to time the end of a cooldown of a previous ability, we give you a (small) window in which the game accepts button/click input while your previous ability is still executing. 
It actually removes the need to closely watch the cooldown bar/UI as you can instead time your button presses with what action you see your character perform on screen (e.g. I'm close to the end of my previous attack, I can now hit the next attack and it will seamlessly execute - I don't have to wait until my character has fully finished his current move). Again, more fluid, more action-y, less vulnerable to latency.
Personally, I enjoyed the combat in Age of Conan, for example.  One of the issues would be folks simply macroing all of their attacks out, but George stated that he could "see a number of solutions" this this problem.  How many of them involved Force Choking players into submission?  The two most important factors for this to be successful to me at least, are that the system must feel "fluid" (i.e., attacks flow into one another and don't feel jarring) and it should not penalize those who for whatever reason, have a higher-than-average latency.  Here's hoping we get a few peeks at combat in more detail next week during the PAX festivities!

Musco over at TOROcast has summarized this topic in a great blog post entitled "Attacking Is No Longer Automatic."  I definitely suggesting stopping by there and reading his thoughts on the matter.  Musco has actually played the game, and he seems satisfied with the combat system so far.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Rose by Any Other Name...

Community strongman Georg has been busy once more, doling out information left and right.  Today, he had a few choice quotes regarding how character names will be handled in SWTOR:

Will we see multiple Darth Vaders running about?
As you probably already have guessed, well known names from the extended Star Wars universe will not be available to players, so you don't have to worry about running into Darth Vader.
And what about hyphen/apostrophe-usage in our names?
Yes to hyphens.

Yes to apostrophes.

No comment - yet - on titles or surnames and the like...

... I'm sure we'll talk about such things at some time in the future though
There we have it.  Does this change anyone's prospective names?  Are you planning on including any hyphens or apostrophes now?