Sep 26, 2011

Posted by in Blue Milk & Cereal | 21 Comments

Blue Milk & Cereal: How Long Should Early Game Access Last?

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What a weekend! A release date announcement on Saturday – something we are all extremely surprised and happy to hear. With the new week, as we slowly get over the pleasant shock from this announcement – we start to analyze the date even further and perhaps the biggest thing that concerns most of the fans who pre-ordered TOR, or those who are on the verge of pre-ordering it – how long will the early access last?

As of today, we know the following information from the official TOR pre-order FAQ:

When does Early Game Access end?

Early Game Access will end on the day that Star Wars: The Old Republic is officially released. For North America, this will be December 20, 2011 while it will be December 22, 2011 for European Launch Territories.

When does Early Game Access begin?

Early Game Access will begin prior to the official release of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Precise dates will be revealed at a later time.

Early access should give BioWare the much-needed gradual population growth and spread out the strain on the servers and customer service, with waves of players, as opposed to the whole number crushing them on one single date, rendering the game unplayable as we saw with many MMO previous launches. Early access is also a token of appreciation thrown towards the fans who support TOR & BioWare the most, so it will reward the players who want to be able to advance the fastest.

But at the same time – early access shouldn’t be very long, as it would create a split in the community based on level, skill and create some in-game economy imbalance. It is going to be very interesting to see how BioWare works around these potential issues.

So while we wait for the official word from BioWare – let’s hear what you think about the duration of the early access. Should it last a week? A few days? A much longer term? Let us know by answering the poll below!

How long should Early Game Access last?

View Results

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  1. I would like it to be as long as possible, but I voted 5-7days as I think thats a reasonable amount of time to play before Christmas hits! :)

  2. I voted 5 to 7 days, but preferably 5 days, and I have a Pre-Order and Collectors edition paid for. I just think that as much as we did pay early, that’s no reason to give us a 2 week head start on everyone else. 5 days should be long enough. I think that would be a fair head start on those who may have only just found the game in stores, over the Xmas Shopping Period.

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  4. Yah well Stephen Reid twittered that it’ll be more than just one weekend.
    Allthough he said previously it’ll be days not weeks.
    So I’m guessing 7-14 days (or is that hoping?)

    I wonder if Headstart starts simultaneously worldwide since official release is two days later in Europe because of some Retailer thingamajingg

  5. ScytheNoire says:

    Being as they are also going to stagger the early access, I can see them starting up to two weeks in advance, just to space things out enough. Have to remember that the number of pre-orders is quite a lot, probably more than the number of people who will buy it off the shelf on launch day. So it’s going to take a few weeks just to get everyone in without causing havok.

  6. a week is fine (5-7), Of course I’m happy if its more, but thats fine.

  7. They’ve already said in the dev tracker that it’s not going to be weeks and it really doesn’t make sense for them to have it longer then 7 days.

  8. 5-7 days would be fine, which would not give a massive head start to anyone, but still make pre-ordering very early worthwhile. 2 days and I would wonder why I even bothered scrambling to register my pre-order code!

    5-7 days would actually be about 2 days of evening play for me, so I wouldn’t be getting a massive start at all.

  9. I answered 5-7 but this was my guess on what Bioware will so versus the amount of access I want.
    5-7 give a good mix of actual and perceived advantage with going over board.
    The CE was not cheap, setting aside the in game stuff ( 0’s and 1’s) the map and box set does not cover the 4 months worth of monthly game access we tossed into the Bioware coffers, so my thought is the addition of enough days to create the perception of value.

    But the again what do I know I had thought Dec 6 for a launch date

  10. I would think that a week would be a reasonable amount of time. You don’t want those that didn’t pre-order to fall too far behind that initial wave, although I suspect that the majority of the player base has probable pre-ordered some version of the game.

    Is it December yet?

  11. 2 weeks for those that where waiting and watching for things to hit, so Dec 6th, that would be a thank you and BioWare would know how much that number would be. 7 days or Dec 13th for those that took there time to jump in and if the game dose not sale out before hand, D-day for the rest. I’m also hoping they do another thank you to those of us that will put down for a 6 month upfront buy and not be one of the many fans that will just see how the game is before they put any more money in to it. A bird in the hand should be taken better care of then the three eggs in the nest.

    • I disagree. One week is more than enough for early access. The special care you get for paying for 6 months is…wait…smaller monthly fee.

  12. Long enough so the initial “gotta try this” urge is out of my system and I can then deal with holiday gatherings without disappearing randomly.

  13. 2-4 days because my last final is on the 15th.

  14. I selected 7-14, but I think 7-10 days would be an ideal amount of time to let player levels diffuse a little. I don’t think that 5-7 will decrease the impact felt on starting worlds and I would hate to be leveling planet after planet with an entire server.

  15. i answered 5 to 7 because im one of the people who leave for vacation and because i leave the 16th i would love it to e a week so i can at least make a character and launch my guild

  16. Well didn’t they say that you will get more access depending on which version you pre order? Makes sense that the people spending 150 bones would get a few more days then the rest, but even then I don’t think it would be more the 14 days, that’s just crazy.

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