Are Bioware Austin Afraid Of the Cold???

This is just a quick blog to get down in writing my utter dismay at Bioware Austin in having the Swtor Community Cantina cancelled for PAXEast in Boston.  Why am I dismayed at that you may ask, well today I find out that Bioware Edmonton is going to be there and be there in a big way having 3 full days of panels including daily meet and greets with the developers.

Jeff Hickman announced in his blog post a few weeks ago about the cancellation of Shadow Realms that 2015 is going to be a big year for Star Wars The Old Republic.

Shadowrealms fades back into the shadows...

Shadowrealms fades back into the shadows…

So we are now three months into 2015 and so far we have had a pretty lackluster start to The Old Republic year.  Thus far there have been no indications that Bioware is in any way hyping the game to take advantage of the new Star Wars movie coming out in December.

But that is not why I am writing this, on the 21st of February Eric Musco posted the following in the thread:

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Community Cantina Tour Arrives in Boston, Massachusets!

It's too cold for us in Texas...

It’s too cold for us in Texas…

Of course quite a few people are upset at this due to having already paid for travel and accommodation, but I guess at the time it is hard to argue against playing it safe when the weather over there has been fierce.

Skip forward to a tweet I saw today…

Bioware Tweet

Clicking on the blog link takes you to their blog  post which starts with the following…

Bioware edmonton blog So I am now highly dubious that the weather had any part in the cancellation of the Boston Community Cantina when it obviously is in no way hampering Bioware Edmonton in going and being a big part.  We’re talking informative panels, daily signings and meet and greets scheduled for everyday of the convention.

Why isn’t Star Wars The Old Republic being represented in any shape or form at PAXEast when Bioware IS going to be there in a big way.  I really feel that our beloved IP is the red headed stepchild of Bioware/EA that is to be hidden away under the stairs, out of sight.

This year our Community Team and representatives like Jeff Hickman have talked up big how important this year is going to be to Star Wars The Old Republic.  Yet so far all we have had is a vague roadmap, bad exploits that are not fixed in a timely matter, exciting announcements like the Operation Victory tournament which are then cancelled at the last minute, none of which is inspiring any confidence in Bioware’s claim to make 2015 a great SWTOR year.

If you read this…what do you make of our community team cancelling the Cantina when all other Bioware ip’s are being represented in Boston…leave your thoughts below I would love to hear them.

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This Year On Star Wars The Old Republic…

Well only 2 weeks after it was revealed at the Pax South Cantina we finally have our 2015 Swtor Roadmap, and it was pretty much word for word to what was read out there, so why did it take them so long to post it. The only difference anyone has been able to find is that Zoist which was expected on April 28th is now a vague spring 2015.

This is a Roadmap?

This is a Roadmap?

So what do we get, later this year we will get two major updates (let’s not call them expansions) focusing on story driven content similar to what we received with the Shadow Of Revan.

The first to be released in summer (North American summer) and the second by years end.  Staying true to Biowares philosophy, no details will be given so suck it up!

But wait there’s more…never let it be said that Bioware is tight-lipped, they can tell us what is coming up in the first half of the year…(just don’t expect any real details)

On Thursday 12th February Game Update 3.1

Hard Mode Flashpoint: Blood Hunt

Hard Mode Flashpoint: Battle Of Rishi

Start of PVP Season 4

Look PVP was mentioned in the roadmap, just not in the way you were hoping for.

Then April 28th ohh sorry make that sometime in Spring 2015 (again North American spring) Game Update 3.2

Behold the “Outfit Designer” actually don’t as we really don’t want to tell you anything about it yet…please continue your wild speculation on our various social media sites. (Bioware has an ongoing raffle to see which player gets the closest to what the actual “Outfit Designer” will be. But don’t worry none of you are close to anything resembling it, as all your Idea’s are way to sensible and practical than what will be finally delivered…we have been burned before am I right.

A New Story Arc On The Planet Zoist. Okies is this the 1st of those 2 major story updates…no, no it can’t be as this is set to be released in spring not summer so new story is always good.

The End Of PVP Season 4 And The Start Of Season 5

Holy crap you PVPer’s are ungrateful, PVP has been mentioned 3 times now in this roadmap that’s 3 more mentions than Swtor’s GSF!

And Beyond (to infinity and all that, yes we know Disney owns you now)

A New Stronghold (dammit I can’t afford to fully deck out the 4 I own now)

Playable Togruta (which we have sort of known about for the past 6 months)

Bruce then continues that there is still more to be revealed…well I would bloody well hope so your roadmap hasn’t actually revealed anything at all. (Sigh!)

In further gaming news today, this was followed by the bombshell that Biowares new IP they have been working on Shadow Realms, has been cancelled.

We then were given a blog on Shadow Realms by Bioware Austin General Manager Jeff Hickman…

Shadowrealms fades back into the shadows...

Shadowrealms fades back into the shadows…

What will this mean for Star Wars The Old Republic. Will Swtor’s original dev’s James Ohlen, Dallas Dickenson Gabe Amatangelo be back to creating more content for our beloved game. It would appear so from jeff Hickmans blog but I guess time will tell.

Bioware have a huge opportunity to use the hype surrounding the new Star Wars Movie The Force Awakened throughout this year.

Bioware should be throwing all their resources back into The Old Republic, to make an even better game with lots of varied content for both existing and new players to enjoy.  Please don’t try to make a quick buck by riding the coat tails of the new movie, hoping to get lot’s of new players who will try the game only to leave a month or two later. We need to make a game that hooks the player and entertains them into wanting to stay.

We need more quality of life patches, bugs in game since launch need to be fixed.  PVP desperately needs some dev love, listen to your PVP community, they have a ton of ideas as does the Galactic Starfighter players.   Most of all if you truly want the game to be a resounding success that it can and should have been at launch, you have to spend money and put back in place a development team that can handle the size and scope of a true AAA MMO title.

Thoughts anyone…

The Fourth Pillar?

So did Bioware paint themselves into a corner when they came up with the idea of making a story based MMO, does it really work. For the base game as it was released that answer would have to be a resounding YES! The positive comments and reviews of the game when it was initially launched praised the game for its story driven missions and fully voice acted quest system.

As people arrived at the level cap however that brilliant shine faded like the sun during a total solar eclipse. Cracks began to show, Ilum was broken, many game systems that players expect in their MMO like guild features and looking for group were absent apparently sitting on a wall of crazy.

But the most glaring issue at level cap was that your story, that fourth pillar Bioware touted so much prior to launch ground to an absolute halt!

Screenshot_2015-02-07_17_48_14_592995

My question then is “what happened?” We know that in the few months after launch The Old Republic hemorrhaged subs, game systems were broken and the subscription model became the hybrid model we have today. This undoubtedly changed things, did change things priorities were shifted (cough…cash shop). But honestly, I cannot see how they ever thought they could consistently push out story based content with full voice acting for both story and class based content as we had up to level 50 on a regular basis.

Bear in mind this is my musings as to how the game was at release…what Bioware was thinking and the direction the game was hopefully going to follow. The game we have now is shaped by the successes and failures of the game post launch, I suspect the game, in its current form is leagues away from what was planned or hoped.

The game today is a very solid and fun MMO, Swtor is in a good place, the Shadow Of Revan expansion (DLC) was great and a fun ride. It advanced our story and gave a token piece of class content. I often wonder though what the game would be like had it lived up to the mega hit Bioware had initially thought it would be.

What do you think?…Story is great but is it conducive to an MMO.

Open For Interpretation?

One of my pet hates with the Swtor community team is how they announce upcoming game systems. Usually a few lines of text that tease an upcoming bit of content but with no real details. This always leads to outlandish, way over the top speculation from the playerbase, which lets be honest, no update released from Bioware could possibly measure up to.

Then comes the inevitable bewilderment from the community team, they are suddenly confused as to why people on the forums and other social media are in an uproar when they fail to deliver what the community expected and hyped themselves up for. Yet for weeks between the vague announcement till when they do give out concrete information, speculation runs rife on SWTOR social media which Bioware does nothing to extinguish.

An example, the Galactic Starfighter Expansion (The Secret Space Project) free flight space addon for the main game. The general feeling from the day they announced it was a version of Star Wars Galaxies Jump To Lightspeed. Anyone who played Galaxies (including me) felt this was what we wanted and hoped it would be.

What we ended up with was PVP maps in space, which while it is not a bad addition to the game is not what anyone was expecting and is certainly no Jump To Lightspeed. (and is fairly neglected as of writing this)

Let’s come to the present day and oh boy, here we go again. At the Pax South Community Cantina they announced a new upcoming system “the Costume Designer”. What is it? How will it work? Once again speculation is running wild on the various SWTOR social media sites with everyone having an idea of what it will or should be. Of course the actual Costume Designer will never be able to satisfy all these different people’s idea’s of what it should be and disappointment will once again ripple through the community.

A Vague Announcement

A Vague Announcement

Speculation...

Speculation…

I guess for me, I don’t understand Bioware’s mindset in making vague announcements of some upcoming game system and then happily allow the community to get way over hyped. I do understand generating hype and creating word of mouth, to get people excited, but wouldn’t the Community Team and Dev’s rather great word of mouth via a terrific bug free piece of content that the community loves and gets behind.

What do you think? Should Bioware keep throwing out vague upcoming announcements with we will give you details in the coming weeks as they do now. Or should they make a clear announcement of upcoming systems when they have the details to share with us… which are then not open for interpretation.

Greetings and Salutations

An introduction, hello online I am DarthBrundleFLY and this will be my attempt to put into words my thoughts and musings concerning the Bioware MMO, Star Wars The Old Republic.

My Bounty Hunter Aaylã

My Bounty Hunter Aaylã

So a little about my time with this game, I have been playing now since the 1st public beta weekend a little over 3 years ago as of writing this. To say I am a Star Wars nerd might be an understatement…lol.  I saw the original film in a Theater in Sydney in 1977 when I was a teenager and just typing that here has made me feel very very old.

Captain Azeth in Beta

Captain Azeth in Beta

I have played all things Star Wars from my Atari 2600 days to anything released by Lucasarts and over the years I have most if not all their games on Steam and GOG. My 1st MMO was Sony Entertainment’s Star Wars Galaxies, my two main characters Azeth a human bounty hunter and a Twilek entertainer named Thayla which I played from beta till the game was sunseted by SOE after 9 years.

I have also played World Of Warcraft, Lord Of the Rings Online, Age Of Conan, DC Universe online, The Secret World, Guild Wars 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wildstar, well you get the picture I like to try new MMO’s but I have pretty much always had a subscription to a Star Wars MMO.

My main in Swtor is Aaylã a level 60 Bounty Hunter Mercenary on the Begeren Colony RP server. I also have 5 other level 60’s toons.  (an Imperial Agent, a Jedi Sage, a Jedi Sentinal, a Smuggler Gunslinger and a Sith Inquisitor.) My six other toons range in level from 24 to 57 and I plan to level them in the coming months. (though after 5 times leveling through the entire game that 12x experience is sorely missed)

I do play alot of other video games when time allows and have an extensive collection of games mainly thanks to those damn Steam sales which I either have not started or am partway through, hence my seemingly insurmountable pile of shame.

So it is my hope to write about my adventures and experiences playing Star Wars The Old Republic including how I feel Bioware is continuing to expand and enhance the game. (There may be potty mouth from time to time)  I may also write about the other games I play as I hopefully work my way through this ever growing pile of shame.