The Winter Of My Discontent…

Down here in Australia we are coming into Winter and with the weather turning cold and gloomy so is my attitude towards the direction my favourite MMO Star Wars The Old Republic is headed, hence the winter of my discontent.

I stayed up all last night to watch the live stream from Star Wars Celebration…and it did NOT disappoint, that trailer…OH MY GOD i am so hyped let’s watch it one more time…

Throughout the night I happily watched all the panels and enjoyed the interspersed camera shots just showing the fans soaking in all that Star Wars atmosphere, many in very well made and designed costumes.  Fathers, mothers with son’s and daughters, grandparents, 3 generations of families that have been enthralled by the Star Wars mythos.

It was in the midst of this warm glowy feeling that I realized something was missing that should have been at Celebration and been there in a big way.  Why and I mean WHY is the only Star Wars MMO out there at the moment not being promoted big time at Star Wars Celebration, who is managing this game or should I say mismanaging, as so far this year it has been nothing but a piss poor effort at marketing this game in this, the biggest year for Star Wars.

Let’s wind back the clock to the games launch and look at this flash mob video they did in Times Square (back when they were actually spending money on marketing)

Look at all those great costumes…where are they now, what happened to them?  I would imagine they are gathering dust in a storage cupboard at Bioware Austin.  Why aren’t they using these awesome costumes to promote the game at a booth on the floor in the actual Celebration venue.  You could get your photo taken with Darth Malgus or the armoured Jedi Knights or Sith, give out 7 day free trial’s to the game to everyone who passes the booth.  They could also have Satele Shan and Shae Vizla, troopers and smugglers in costume to promote the game. (They don’t even use these at their Cantina Events from what i can see)

Whoever is guiding/marketing this MMO has no vision and no money it would seem, even though supposedly the game is doing quite well financially, they just seem to refuse to spend it back on the game.  (The game has a subscription and a cash shop they are getting twice the income to a game like Guild Wars 2 which exists from the price of the game then relying on its gem store and doing quite well it would seem.)  They need to get out of the pubs/cantina and back into the actual events, like they were doing before launch, out on the floor with a booth with signage, props and costumes all of which Bioware Austin have.

All the evidence I see concerning the communication we get (or lack thereof) the bugs that are in the game that take forever to get fixed, make me feel that this game is being run on a skeleton crew barely capable of running a “Triple A Title”.  The following is an example of a bug that has been in game for 5 weeks now…

5 weeks it has been like that, not a game breaking bug…but I would say an embarrassing one, not that the bug happened, but that it is still not fixed!

Finally Bioware, stop going to the same places you go every year for your cantina’s I mean honestly give some other people in the world some love, we have a Pax down here in Melbourne PAXAUS, now why aren’t you having a cantina here, no you are going back to New York Comic-con where you have already been several times.  I am damn sure people in Europe would love to get the chance to meet you guys too…the excuse it cost’s too much is lame and no one buys it.  (Hell the prequels were made downunder because it was so cost effective for George Lucas, our dollar is back in the toilet for us Aussies but good for you Americans so stop using its too expensive as an excuse.)

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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.

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.

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.