• Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity

Thursday, December 29, 2011

More of The Little Things

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Back in August I wrote about how the it's little things in MMOs that can make the difference between a game seeming alive and soulful or empty and souless, how the little bits of polish can alleviate the grind and make the game fun. The little things can make just as much a difference as the epic storyline, voiceovers and reactive combat animations.

Since the game launched, just over a week ago, I've found a whole host of new little things that show the care and attention to detail that Bioware have put into the game. Here are a few of my favourites...
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Datacron Hunting

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I'm enjoying hunting down the Datacrons in Star Wars The Old Republic. These repositories of ancient lore are hidden in out of the way places on all the planets, encouraging exploration. Discovering a Datacron results in a permanent stat boost for your character (the actual stat depends on the colour of the Datacron found), and once you have collected several of them you can combine them at the matrix assembly to create the highest quality modifications for your equipment.

The colours of Datacron available are:
  • Red- Strength
  • Green - Endurance
  • White - Aim
  • Purple - Willpower
  • Orange - Presence
  • Yellow - Cunning
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 and beyond

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Last year I closed out 2010 with a post looking forwards to what we can expect from 2011, along with a few predictions. I thought I'd do the same and also that it might be fun to see how accurate my predictions for this year were. Here's what I had to say 12 months ago...

  • 2011 will bring disappointment for Guild Wars 2 fans when the game is pushed back to 2012
  • 2011 will make fantasy cool again as HBOs adaptation of A Game of Thrones becomes the best thing on tv
  • Nintendo will surprise everyone and announce the Wii2 in 2011
  • 3D (movies, tv, and games) will continue to be a big steaming pile of disappointment throughout the year
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers will avoid relegation and survive another season in the English Premier League (ok, that may be more wishful thinking than anything!)
  • 2011 will bring lots of sleepless nights and less gaming time as my wife and I are expecting our second baby at the end of June

So, how did I do?
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The Old Republic Patch 1.01

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Today the first post-launch patch was applied to the game servers, focusing on bug fixing, stability and performance. Check the patch notes below.
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas and SWTOR news

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Happy Christmas (or non-denominational holiday period) to you all!

To celebrate the festive season here is the new TV advertisement for The Old Republic, followed by some official stats from the launch and a summary of the early reviews of the game by the press. Enjoy!

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Coruscant and Smuggler builds

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Merec has now arrived on Coruscant following an eventful journey aboard the Esseles. This is really the first planet I had adventured on that offers jaw-dropping vistas at almost every turn. I liked Dromund Kaas in beta, but for sheer epic scale Coruscant has it beat hands down.

Bioware have done an incredible job in bringing the city-planet seen in the movies into the game, and there is no way screenshots can do it justice as the scale is too big and you cannot see the endless lanes of traffic or hear the roar of passing transports.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"...we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh... everything's perfectly all right now" - Further adventures with the Smuggler

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Merec is now firmly ensconced in the cantina on Carrick Station, after another couple of days of derring-do, high adventure and amusing scrapes. I've finally picked and trained in my Advanced Class as well as my Crew Skills, as well as run my first Flashpoint on the Republic Side. It's continued to be a lot of fun, but things haven't always gone according to plan...
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The Old Republic Launches

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Star Wars The Old Republic has officially launched today. To celebrate Bioware have released a great new video that details how the game was conceived and follows it through production. You can check it out via the embed below, courtesy of darthhater.com.

Monday, December 19, 2011

SWTOR server status

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My earlier assertion that there were no queues on the server on which I am playing The Old Republic has proven to be short-lived. My guild is on The Red Eclipse EU PvE server and there are currently around 90 minutes of queues to get onto the server every evening. It's not a major problem for me, it just means I have to log on 90 minutes before I'm expecting to play, but I know it's caused issues for some guild members who have had to log off and then tried to get on.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Smuggler First Impressions

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So, I've now had some time with the Smuggler class in SWTOR and I thought I would jot down some of my initial impressions of the class based on the first ten levels.

Ever since the class was first announced I've wanted to play a Smuggler as my main character. The idea of playing the charming scoundrel in a story-based game appealed, as did the new cover mechanic that was described. Plus I think Han Solo is still the best character in the entire movie series.

During my time in beta I deliberately played two classes far removed from the Smuggler, both on the Sith Empire faction; the Sith Warrior and the Bounty Hunter. That way when the game launched I would come to the Smuggler class completely fresh, both in terms of mechanics and story.

So, how have I found it? Have I regretted my decision or been happy with my choice? Is the Smuggler a charming scoundrel with a heart of gold, or a scruffy-looking nerf herder destined to end up encased in carbonite? Read on to find out...
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Played it!

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After what seems like an eternity of waiting Star Wars The Old Republic is live and I was lucky enough to be invited with the first wave of early access players. Considering it is one of the biggest MMO launches of all time it has been incredibly smooth so far - no lag and no queues. We'll see if that changes as more and more players are allowed in, but the idea of staggering the launch seems to be working well so far.

So, Merec the Smuggler is now alive and well on Ord Mantell, dodging blaster bolts as he tries his best to recover... well, that's another story for a more spoilery post!

Meet Merec.
I just wanted to take the opportunity to point out a couple of important updates from Bioware today. First of all they have a handy New Player's Guide up on the official site here. Second, Game Director James Ohlen has made an interesting post detailing some of the post-launch content that is being worked on right now. You can read the post and see what's coming down the pipe here.

Right, have to go, I have a damsel in distress that needs some medical supplies recovering...

SWTOR Fun Facts

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After six years in development, Early Game Access for SWTOR begins today for a few lucky souls. By way of celebration here are a few fun facts about the game.

  • Much of Chapter 1 of SWTOR was playable in the original Neverwinter Nights game engine years ago. (source)
  • The Sith Inquisitor storyline was partially inspired by the character of Rasitlin Majere from the Dragonlance novels. (source)
  • The Imperial Agent storyline was partially inspired by Special Circumstances, a creation of the SF Space Opera novelist Iain M Banks. (source)
  • The codex in the game contains over 120,000 words. (source)
  • If read through completely the game's script would last longer than the entire 86-episode run of the HBO television show "The Sopranos". It would take 3 days without sleep. (source)
  • Just one section of Tatooine has more creatures than all of Dragon Age: Origins. (source)
  • The Jedi Sage advanced class was originally called the Jedi Wizard, but was changed due to community feedback. (source)
  • The Collector's Edition weights approximately 3.5kg (7lbs)(source)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

TWTYTW 2011

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Or, That Was The Year That Was 2011.

I made a similar post to this at this time last year, and thought it may be fun to do so again. So, here is my run down of some of the highlights of the year as far as I'm concerned.

Of course, everything in the year pales into insignificance compared to the birth of my daughter (my second child), which has made the second half of the year a time of great joy and a lack of sleep. However understanding that my good news is not of the greatest interest to everyone else, here are my thoughts on some of my media highlights of the past 12 months, using the format of last years post, by way of recommendation to anyone who may be interested.
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Friday, December 09, 2011

Lots of SWTOR news this week

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It's the run up to the launch of the game and Early Access for the lucky ones amongst us, and this week has been appropriately busy with The Old Republic news.

The big news came as a huge surprise. Early Access has been moved forwards and will now start on 13th December, giving some lucky folks a full week of gaming prior to the official launch. After Early Access there will no longer be a grace period, you'll need a game key to continue playing after 20th December. Retailers have been contacted and there is a push to get the game out to everyone in time (I had my email from Game today confirming I'll be getting my Collectors Edition on the 15th). In preparation for Early Access you can now download the full release game client here.

There's a huge official FAQ on the Early Access system here.
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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

If yer gonna do it do it right

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Just before the launch of a major new MMO is an exciting time for those who are looking forwards to playing the game. It's a time when plans are laid, time set aside, hot topics discussed and many people start their search for a good guild.

I'm lucky, I'm already an officer in a great and growing guild; Convergence. We have a lot of great and friendly members who are already very active posters on the guild forums and are busy discussing their plans and hopes for launch. We are also attracting a lot of new applicants to the guild right now (in the region of 5 to 10 new applications every single day), and it's that topic I want to talk about. Because the majority of the applications we are receiving are absolutely, bloody, horrendously, eye-gougingly awful! Seriously, after trawling through the latest batch I'm banging my head on the desk.

Ok... brief rant over. Let's carry on.
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Monday, December 05, 2011

SWTOR Hints and Tips

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With the Early Access launch of the game getting close I thought it might be nice to post a list of hints and tips I gathered whilst playing the beta. I presume that most of these will still apply when the game launches.

The following hints and tips are the kind of thing that you won't pick up from reading the manual or the in-game tutorials, and hopefully some of you will find them useful when you finally step off your starship and begin your adventures.

So, in no particular order, here they are.
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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Dancing with the Stars

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Well the wait is almost over. Bioware have announced that the Game Testing programme for The Old Republic finishes tomorrow. Ten days later the lucky ones will be starting their Early Access to the game as it finally launches for real. I can't wait!

What to do in the meantime... already I am feeling separation anxiety, I need my SWTOR fix! It'll be a good time to get the Christmas preparations sorted out (the tree is going up this afternoon), and I'll see if I can finally get my final playthrough of Mass Effect 2 finished. Once SWTOR launches I can't see myself playing anything else until Mass Effect 3 launches in March.

In the meantime I wanted to share the following video, possible the first piece of SWTOR machinima. Perhaps it will make you smile as much as it did me.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

SWTOR Release Build Patch Notes

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Bioware have just launched the final Release Build of the game to the beta test servers, and it includes a lot of additions and improvements over the last build. Here are the full patch notes. Wall of text incoming!

Patch Notes
Welcome to Star Wars™: The Old Republic™
Build Date 2011.12.01
Patch 0.742.27


Welcome

  • If you encounter any issues while using the patcher, please exit and restart it.
  • For more information on the test, view the Test Details.
  • To discuss this with other testers, access the Game Tester Forums.
Note that you may need to log into the website to view the above links properly.
If you encounter any issues that prevent you from playing the game, please e-mail testing@swtor.com and we will do our best to address your concern quickly and efficiently. May the Force be with you!

Build Notes
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