Nov 18, 2011

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Fan Site Summit: Hammer Station Flashpoint

While we have seen the Esseles and Black Talon Flashpoints in the past, BioWare was kind enough to give us access to the second Flashpoint available to players over the course of their adventure, called Hammer Station (or, alternatively, “Bringing Down the Hammer”). This Flashpoint is “neutral” in that both sides have access, and it’s targeted to low-mid lever players around level 16.

First, a bit of a disclaimer. This instance is not completely done. This was a newly-introduced flashpoint, and thus it is still being tuned for difficulty and size. That being said, the environment was beautiful and almost completely polished – our smuggler had plenty of natural cover points, the areas exposed to space looked into space and not a gray mess of textures, and so on. The quests for it seemed to be inactive, thus there may be tasks or bonus fights that we did not get to see. Remember, it’s still in testing folks!

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Nov 18, 2011

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Fan Site Summit: Outlaw’s Den Revealed!

When we headed out to Austin for the latest Fan Site Summit last week, we had no idea what to expect. We were hoping to see some cool new things and of course get our hands on the game for an extended period of time.

Well, I can tell you both of those things happened. And for me, the “cool” and “new” part surpassed all expectations. Perhaps “shock” and “awe” might be a better way to describe it.

What better place than Texas to reveal a brand new open-world area on Tatooine called Outlaw’s Den. The name, as it implies, is a pretty rough place. Just how rough? Well, hold on to your seats – it’s an entire area of the map dedicated to free-for-all combat. Yes, you heard that correctly.

What does free-for-all mean you might ask? Well, it’s exactly as it sounds for the most part. In this dangerous area of Tatooine, everyone is a potential target. This means you can even attack members of your own faction, anywhere, at all times. Even on PvE servers. The only players you can’t attack are any members of the group you’re in, be it a 4 person party or a 24-person Operation group. Beyond that, you can target and be targeted anywhere, anytime.

This is a real gem for old-school MMO players and a bit of a nod to sandbox-style game design. Literally anything goes and although there is loot to be had, the reward is ultimately the wild-west style environment and subsequent rush that you get just from setting foot on this kind of soil.

Here’s an overview of some of the highlights:

  • Free-for-all rules: Kill anyone and everything that isn’t in your own party/group, including players of your same faction
  • Rare vendors – that are killable – and don’t re-spawn on a regular schedule
  • Rare resources for Crew Skills
  • Map designed with objects and architectural features such as arenas and pits – to do with as you please
  • Commerce area with access to your cargo hold (bank) and the Galactic Trade Network (auction house.) Even this area of Outlaw’s Den is not a sanctuary. Always keep one eye open at the mailbox ;)
  • It’s well-marked so players shouldn’t be surprised if they stroll into the area

We didn’t get our hands on Outlaw’s Den, as it was in early stages of development, but we were able to see it in action as Lead End-game Designer Gabe Amatangelo demonstrated. The visuals are very Tatooine, but with a very foreboding feel.

Personally, I can’t tell you how glad I am BioWare is experimenting with this style of gameplay in their MMO. It’s great that they’re really trying to use the huge world they’re creating in the Star Wars universe to offer as many varied play styles as there are players. It may seem hardcore to some, but it’s a breath of fresh air in the genre, and from a mainstream title no less!

If you’re interested in talking about Outlaw’s Den, or anything else from the Fan Site Summit, stop by the Ask A Jedi Cantina tonight, Friday November 18th at 9:00PM EST. We’ll be holding a live Q&A, and while we may not be able to answer everything, we’ll give it a whirl!

We hope to know more about Outlaw’s Den soon, and will of course bring a full report when we do. In any case though, just think: we’ll all have the game in our hands to try it for ourselves in barely 30 days!

Not Outlaw's Den. We don't think.

Not Outlaw's Den. We don't think.


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Nov 18, 2011

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Fan Site Summit: Post Embargo Blowout!

If you thought the Fan Site Summit held last week in Austin, and earlier this week in Galway, Ireland was over and done with, boy are you in for a pleasant surprise!

Today we’re excited to bring you the first wave of coverage from our visit to BioWare’s Austin studio! There’s a lot of information to digest, so we want to provide it in a nice organized manner at a measured pace.

Starting today at 12:00 noon EST, we’ll post one new article each hour, on the hour, until 3:00PM! That will give you some time to read, digest and discuss everything with fellow future players just in time for the next post to be released!

The schedule is as follows:

12:00 Noon – Outlaw’s Den – Now Live!
1:00PM – Directive 7 Flashpoint – Now Live!
2:00PM – Coruscant Impressions – Now Live!
3:00PM – Hammer Station Flashpoint – Now Live!

We’ve got lots of screenshots and even some gameplay videos, so don’t miss anything!

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Nov 18, 2011

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Fan Site Summit: Q&A In The Ask A Jedi Cantina!

If you follow Star Wars: The Old Republic with any sort of regularity, you may have heard about a little event held last week at BioWare’s Austin studio: Fan Site Summit 2! We provided some of our general coverage over the last week or so, including some details on Ilum and a fun photo gallery. But today the doors can really come off the hinges as the embargo has lifted!

As of today, you can check out our coverage of the awesome new Outlaw’s Den area of Tatooine, the high-level Flashpoint Directive 7, leveling through Coruscant as a member of the Galactic Republic, and the low-mid level Flashpoint Hammer Station.

But what if you’ve already read all of that? What if you still have burning questions about something that came out of the Fan Site Summit?

Well, thanks to our partners at Enjin Guild Hosting, we’re proud to announce our first-ever live event – The Fan Site Followup Q&A – to be held in the brand new Ask A Jedi Cantina! We have a large-capacity Mumble server where we’ll be fielding questions from AAJ readers and TOR fans from all-over the world.

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Nov 12, 2011

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European Fan Site Summit Up Next!

The Fan Site Summit World Tour continues, next stop: Ireland!

@Rockjaw - Right – off to salvage a chunk of the day before @doctordake and I leap on a plane to Ireland for EU #SWTOUR !

Last week during the Fan Site Summit at BioWare’s Austin studio, we learned that they were planning a similar event the following week for some European fan sites in the new BioWare Galway location. Last April for the first Fan Site Summit, some of those sites came to Austin but this is great news for European fans, as it would seem to allow more regional sites to be involved and much easier on the jet lag for the sites that need to travel!

The list of sites is not yet announced, but we should be hearing from them pretty soon, and we’ll keep this post up-to-date with all of the info you need to follow them!

The good news is that we still have a lot more to talk about from the Summit, and you won’t want to miss it! Stay tuned!


Visite guidée des locaux de Bioware en Irlande by Chimaera-SWTOR

BioWare Ireland

BioWare Ireland

 

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