Ah, the memories.
Chances are you’re reading this post now because you were a fan or follower of Ask A Jedi back in the day. I started this site back in 2010 because, quite simply, I couldn’t get enough of Star Wars: The Old Republic! There were already plenty of great sites like Darth Hater, Mos Eisley Radio, TOROcast, Corellian Run Radio and soon TORWars, Republic Trooper and more, but that wasn’t enough for me! I wanted to be fused at the hip with the next great MMO, which by the way was set in the STAR WARS UNIVERSE and made by BIOWARE!
The next 20-some odd months that followed were nothing short of amazing, and running this site while following the game’s development was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had in my life. Obviously, it was great getting so close to the game in its early stages of development, but you know what made it really special? The people!
Over the course of that time, I got to meet a lot of great peeps from all of the fan sites above (and more!) What was so special about all of these folks is that what they were doing, they were doing out of passion. Everyone traveled to every corner of the map, from conventions like E3, PAX and more. And they did so on their own dime and their own time. I can tell you from personal experience that it was hella expensive being a TOR groupie for a few years, but it was worth every penny.
Not only that, I had the great fortune of getting to meet many designers, developers, marketing and community folks from BioWare, Electronic Arts and LucasArts. It was my first real exposure “inside” of the game industry, and I have to say everyone was absolutely awesome. The hospitality shown by each of those companies and especially individually by all of the folks we met was incredible. I felt like they really cared about the fans and the fan sites, and they did. The Fan Site and Guild Summits held at BioWare in Austin… I’ll never forget it!
And of course, there’s no way I could forget the peeps who helped me run this site… You think everyone running by you on Tatooine is some random gamer until you get to know them. We had a special team keeping the wheels greased at AAJ – dare I say the best in the business.
No, I’m not getting the band back together, but felt like I wanted to do a special post here to commemorate the occasion that today is, especially for those of us who were so close to the game!
It’s hard to believe that this time last year, we were all eagerly anticipating the launch of a brand-new Star Wars MMO. It’s even harder to believe that very same game is relaunching today, less than a year later, as a free-to-play title. So on this dawn of a new era for Star Wars: The Old Republic, I just wanted to take a minute to remember what is so great about this genre we all love – the people we play with.
Anyway, there’s a lot of Light side mushiness going on here, so I’ll start to wrap it up.
While I don’t have a lot of time to devote to gaming these days, I’ll be joining my buddies from TORWars, along with *many* other community members over in the newly formed TORWars guild on The Shadowlands server. Yes, they went Empire, but don’t hold that against them – they’re good peeps! :) I’m looking forward experiencing TOR this time around casually and socially in the best possible way – with friends!
– Bill (Lethality)
P.S. Some folks have asked what I’ve been up to, so I figured I’d give a quick update!
- I’m still working my day job as an interactive producer at a large advertising agency, desperately trying to make the jump to the game industry (If you’re hiring, let me know! :)
- I’ve also taken up as a news editor for ZAM Networks, and you can find my stuff there every day! By the way, you should keep an eye on ZAM… big things ahead.
- I’m also doing some blogging over on my MMOpinion site. If you know me, you know that I’m never short for words when it comes to how MMOs “should” work and be played, so you can find some commentary and discussion over there! You can also follow me on Twitter, which is the old Ask A Jedi feed, except re-named!
- Finally, I’ve joined forces with Andy and the fine chaps from Republic Trooper to form a new site called Titan Everything dedicated to following Blizzard’s upcoming MMO, code-named Project Titan. Right now, “following” is a loose term as I’m sure we’ll be AARP members by the time it releases, but stop by, join the community and chat it up a bit!
Although I knew the day to write this post would come, I didn’t expect it to sneak up on me so quickly!
Recently, my personal and professional life has gotten more demanding on several fronts, and I found that I was struggling to put the time into Ask A Jedi that it needed and deserved. Unfortunately I just could not work it out to my satisfaction, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon. So, rather than letting Ask A Jedi wither and die on the vine, I decided to stop publishing the site all together as of today, March 19, 2012.
I understand that this might come as a shock to some fans, as we remain one of the largest and longest-running Star Wars: The Old Republic fan sites. This wasn’t an easy decision in the first place, and that’s entirely due to all of the members of the AAJ Army! We’ve grown quite a community over the 2 years we’ve been doing this, and many of the friends I made extend outside of the game.
Turn The Page
So what’s next? Glad you asked!
I’ve become really good buds with the guys over at TORWars during our incessant chase of TOR during it’s development. If for some reason you’ve never visited TORWars.com before, you should be ashamed. It is easily the highest-quality, most professionally written Star Wars: The Old Republic site out there. Thanks to Jeff and Co. over there, I’ll be a guest poster and editor on TORWars from time to time going forward, which will give me an opportunity to stay involved with the community at the same time dealing with the increased workload at work. I can’t thank Jeff enough for this opportunity, and want everyone in the AAJ Army to now consider themselves TOR Warriors and make themselves at home over there!
A Million Thanks
I’d like to thank BioWare, LucasArts and Electronic Arts on the behalf of Ask A Jedi, all of our staff, and myself for all of the support and generosity they’ve shown us over the years. The incredible accessibility to developers, gameplay at conventions and not to mention being invited to Austin on several occasions made the dream possible. The dynamic duo of David Bass and Stephen Reid are easily the best 1-2 punch in community management in the games industry. I’d call them Batman and Robin except I think Stephen’s more of a Marvel guy. I can’t call out everyone else on the community teams and the development teams by name, but suffice it to so I was blown away time and time again how nice and accommodating everyone was. And on the several occasions I got to meet and chat with BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk, they inspired me to be better at what I did and to never let go of your dream! Doctors – thank you.
I’d also like to thank the AAJ staff… Momus, Zlatto, Kray, Lady Republic, Reedyn, Cormeister, Professor Walsh, Lord Paladin, Twin Hits, Sa’Chi, Cealog, ReDDoT as well as all previous staffers and contributors for helping to make Ask A Jedi what it is today, and that is nothing less than a top-quality narrative-driven fan site. I owe all of you big time.
And last but definitely not least, I want to thank you, the readers – the AAJ Army! I never in a million years that I’d be able to start some blog and have several hundred thousand visitors read it every month. Meeting many of you either virtually or physically has made this one of the more rewarding things I’ve done.
Please let me know if you have any question or concern about any of this in the comments below… and please visit TORWars.com every day for all of your TOR needs, including class guides, videos, opinons and more… and as I mentioned, I’ll even show up there from time to time so come and flame be over there instead! :)
May the Force be with you. Always.
If you saw last week’s announcement about the Friends Of The Old Republic trial program, and wanted to check it out but you didn’t have any Friends in The Old Republic already, BioWare has a new deal for you today! And it’s limited (so far) to this weekend only:
Today we are excited to announce the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ Weekend Pass Free* Trial. Now for a limited time, you will be able to live out your very own Star Wars™ saga with thousands of other players for free! With the Star Wars: The Old Republic Weekend Pass Free Trial, individuals who don’t already have a previously-activeStar Wars: The Old Republic account will be allowed to see a portion of what the game has to offer, free of charge, with no payment method required, for up to four days!
Individuals who take part in the Weekend Pass will be able to experience the opening adventures of each of the eight character classes in the game, exploring both their Origin World and their faction’s Capital World. Additionally, Weekend Pass players will have the chance to face off against other players in PvP Warzones, or join up with friends and play through a couple of early faction-specific Flashpoints in the game, The Esseles and The Black Talon.
The Weekend Pass Free Trial opens Thursday, March 15th, 12:01AM CT / 5:01AM GMT and ends on Monday, March 19th at 2:00AM CT / 7:00AM GMT. To learn more, visitwww.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/weekendpass and come back on March 15th to create your account, download the game, and begin your free trial! Have questions? Visit the Weekend Pass FAQ.
If you’ve been wanting to try TOR, now is the time… no friends needed!Read More
In what must be the biggest home run in MMO product placement history, Star Wars: The Old Republic will be featured on tonight’s episode of everyone’s favorite geek sitcom Big Bang Theory!
We are excited to announce that Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ will be featured ina brand new episode of The Big Bang Theory! The episode, titled “The Weekend Vortex”, sees Sheldon having to choose between going with Amy to her aunt’s birthday party, or spending the weekend exploring The Old Republic™ with Bernadette, Raj, Leonard, and Howard.
You can catch The Big Bang Theory episode “The Weekend Vortex” tonight, March 8th, at 8:00PM EST / 7:00PM CST / 9:00PM MST / 8:00PM PST on CBS!
Check out the preview clip below… a situation I think all MMO gamers have faced before!
The show airs Thursdays at 8:00PM Eastern Standard Time, and has full episodes available on CBS.com if you’re in an area that cannot get the programming live. So set those DVRs or fire up the popcorn, and watch how the gang deals with TOR tonight!Read More
Yes, we’ve seen it by now, but for posterity’s sake, I just wanted to post a pristine copy here for all of us to revel in. And if you find yourself pausing it every frame to look for hidden secrets, let me know if you find any! Enjoy.
This week at GDC in San Francisco, two BioWare developers very familiar to fans who have followed the development of the game participated in a special panel entitled “There Is Another…” The Escapist was nice enough to give us a report on this session, and we learn some pretty interesting facts in the process!
To make Star Wars: The Old Republic, the staff included 30 people in production, 75 designers, 80 engineers, 40 platform experts, 10 people to localize the game, 10 composers, 140 artists, and 280 people in quality assurance.
Author Megan Carriker goes on to summarize some of the original goals of the game:
One area where they initially failed was with scaling. There are over 240k lines of dialogue in SW:TOR. Over 4,094 characters. Over 321 actors used to create these characters and dialogue. They’re in the Guinness Book of World Records now for this gigantic effort. There’s more voiceover work in SW:TOR than all previous Bioware games combined. The end goal for the game was 20 full planets, over 90 unique areas, and more than 200 hours of gameplay per class (with eight classes).
Needless to say, it’s an interesting read and wish I could have been there for the panel in person! Head on over to The Escapist for the full read!Read More