Jun 23, 2011

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Penny Arcade: TOR Game Testing Hands-On Impressions

If you’re a gamer, you no doubt know and love the Penny Arcade, and the guys that run it – Tycho and Gabe.

And if you’re a fan of TOR, you now have a reason to like them even more: Gabe is in the Game Testing program, and got permission to share some of his impressions!

This is pretty huge because outside of structured media events or immersion days, there really hasn’t been any authorized writeups from Game Testers!

Gabe doesn’t go into a whole lot of detail, but provides his initial impressions just as he promised:

I honestly think they are making something unique and fun here. I’ve enjoyed my time in the beta even more than I expected and it just continues to improve. I’m excited to see what the final product ends up looking like and how people respond to some of its ideas.

Head on over to Penny Arcade now to check out Gabe’s full writeup!

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Jun 20, 2011

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E3 2011 – Tatooine Hands-On Impressions

Yes, one last E3 article. Yes, it’s late. But, better late than never, right? :)

I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on Star Wars: The Old Republic on three separate occasions.

This first was at PAX in Seattle last September, where there were a select group of Republic and Empire origin worlds available for play – minus the Jedi classes and Tython – in 15 minute sessions. This wasn’t really enough time to get a true feel for things, and the booth setup was less than optimal for focusing on the game. But I had a great time.

The second time was this past April during the Fan Site Summit held at BioWare’s Austin studio where TOR is being developed. I had 2 solid days of experiencing origin worlds, Warzones, and Flashpoints. It was during this event where I really got a sense for the state of the game, and where it was headed. And boy, was I excited!

So, fast forward to last week… the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. The epicenter (pardon the earthquake pun) of the video game universe for 3 days every year. It was here, playing on a recently released build of the game, with a completely revamped user interface, that I truly felt like I had a feel for what the game might be like when it’s released later this year – and it was a really, really good feeling. Let me explain.

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May 5, 2011

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FSS 2011: Hands-On the Alderaan Civil War Warzone; Marauder & Gunslinger

Let me start out by saying this right away: I’m not an organized PvPer. I love open-world, chance encounters however I rarely participate in structured matches of any kind. So I don’t find it necessary to work on specializing my gear or character build for this purpose.

With that said, after having gotten my first taste of PvP in Star Wars: The Old Republic, I can’t wait to dive into it when the live game finally comes launches.

It could just be the fact that its freaking’ Star Wars, and there are lightsabers swinging and blaster bolts firing in all directions. Or maybe it’s the fact that it felt so different from what I’ve experienced in the past. This wasn’t one-shot, stun-lock bunny-hop combat. There was strategy you could use and tactics you could apply. And the fights lasted longer than 30 seconds!

Read on to find out why I might be spending a lot more time PvPing when TOR finally ships.

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May 3, 2011

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FSS 2011: Imperial Agent Hands-On

When all of us fan site-types finally sat down to business at last week’s Fan Site Summit, Stephen Reid gave a short talk on what we’d be seeing while we were down there in Austin. He talked about how much of the information that we were going to see would undoubtedly change by launch, so there was no point in scribbling down every ability name and the percentage of healing or damage it does. Instead, he asked, that we simply play the game. Sit there, as a fan, and just play.

After thinking about what he said, this actually sounded appealing. Trying to play the game at the same time as you’re transcribing every nuance makes the play experience… unfavorable. We’ve done it before. So, while we may not have the most technically detailed writeup of the minutiae out there, I hope that these words resonate with you as a fellow player of this upcoming MMORPG obsession known as Star Wars™: The Old Republic™!

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Apr 7, 2011

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UK Hands-On Event Q&A

As many of you are aware, BioWare held a special Star Wars: The Old Republic press event earlier this week in London. As a bonus at this event, some lucky fans were able to get their hands on each of the classes for an hour or so of TOR goodness!

After the gameplay sessions, there was a Q&A session hosted by Stephen Reid, Daniel Erickson and Gabe Amatangelo. What was talked about, you ask?

Well, official TOR forum member JonoBradley from Doghouse Gamer has you covered!

He managed to get an audio recording of the 9pm session, and provided a rough transcript of the topics discussed. Here are some highlights:

  • British accents for the Empire
  • How Daniel plays games all day, and that’s it
  • Rest XP confirmed!
  • TOR for the Mac?
  • Morality/Decisions that affect your character
  • Endgame/Rerolling
  • And more…

Thanks to JonoBradley for the effort, head over and check it out!

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