Feb 1, 2012

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Blue Milk & Cereal: What Are Your Three Wishes For TOR?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

Even if you’re the most loyal fan, supporter and player of Star Wars: The Old Republic, you no doubt have some thoughts on what you’d like to see in the game. It’s just human nature – we’re given an inch, and we take a mile. Since BioWare themselves know full well that the long term life of the game depends on quality of service and frequent content and feature updates, I figured we may as well find out what’s on the AAJ Army wish list!

Your wishes might range anywhere from “I want a better GTN interface” to “I’d love to see a new class” to “Why can’t we have more Warzones” to “Fix the damn bugs.” Obviously, the potential wishes of players are going to be as varied as the players themselves. But you can only pick three for this topic!

As for me? My number one wish is for the worlds to feel more alive. I’d very much like to see world events along the lines of festivals, holidays and so on that not only provide additional things to do, but a nice distraction that makes the world feel organic and bigger than just your story. That things are going on with or without you there. Luckily, Game Director James Ohlen confirmed that they plan on doing just this soon, and have had a job opening for Senior Social Systems Designer for quite some time. Here’s hoping they find that person soon!

Due to the nature of the question, this is the first Blue Milk & Cereal we’re doing without a poll! I’m counting on your comments and discussion to fuel this one, so lets see how it goes! So please, let us know – what are your top 3 wishes for Star Wars: The Old Republic?

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Jan 21, 2012

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The Making Of Star Wars: The Old Republic – Gamasutra

Although this feature is a few weeks old now, I found it extremely interesting when I read it and haven’t seen it covered elsewhere so thought it might be of interest to the AAJ Army!

Gamasutra’s Paul Hyman sat down with a few of BioWare’s best to discuss the formation of the Austin studio and the challenges they’ve seen during the making of the game, as well as their expectations for the future.

BioWare Co-founder Dr. Greg Zeschuk remarked about BioWare’s beginnings, and should be enough inspiration for fuel any entrepreneurial fires you may have burning. It wasn’t always a sure thing:

“When we formed BioWare, we weren’t even sure we would be doing anything more than playing games in my basement,” he recalls. “It’s fair to say we’ve been more than surprised at how things have unfolded.”

Game Director James Ohlen comments about different plans going forward, depending on how successful the game is. He believes WoW-like success is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, though “it would be great”:

“While I can’t give away exact numbers, I can say that we have plans for super success in the millions of subscribers… and then we have plans for if we have a much smaller subscriber base. While it would be great to get the kind of numbers that World of Warcraft gets, we don’t have to come close to those in order to be wildly successful. We could be well below WoW and still be incredibly profitable.”

One interesting fact that some players may not realize is that the Austin studio was formed, and design documents were being written, before they even knew they were going to use the Star Wars license. Daniel Erickson had mentioned this before, and they talk about it in this piece.

Head on over to Gamasutra for the full 3-page read. If you’re interested in BioWare history, and the making of Star Wars: The Old Republic, its well worth the click!

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Jan 19, 2012

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Sneak Preview Trailer Of Upcoming Content – UI Customization, Guild Banks & More!

BioWare sprung a brand new trailer on us today, all about what’s coming up for players in the game! Game Director James Ohlen touches on PvE, PvP, the Legacy System, UI Customization, Guild Banks and more.

If you’re hungry for more TOR, this is a must-see!

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Jan 18, 2012

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Design Notes: James Ohlen Talks Rise Of The Rakghouls

Game Director James Ohlen issued a new blog post this morning on some of the design notes for Rise of The Rakghouls, the first content update for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Not only does Ohlen touch on what’s happening with today’s patch, but also a glimpse into the future:

This first Game Update will show everyone how serious we are about expanding Star Wars: The Old Republic, and there’s much more to come. We have another major update planned for March and future content arriving throughout 2012 and 2013. We plan to release new Operations, Flashpoints, Warzones, Space Missions, single player content, vehicles, and companion characters. We’ll always be improving our existing game with additions like guild banks, PVP ranked matches and interface customization. Our Legacy system expands in March, bringing more options and a new level of depth to the existing character classes.

James also left us with this sweet teaser:

Expect a few surprises between these Game Updates, too. You never know when the Republic might strike Dromund Kaas, if a mysterious alien fleet could appear in the Core Worlds… or when the Rakghoul plague of Taris might infect the rest of the Galaxy. Changes are coming, and they’ll affect everyone.

Sounds good to us, James!

Hop on over to SWTOR.com to read all the words!

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Jan 12, 2012

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James Ohlen And Gabe Amatangelo Drop Some Deets On Legacy, Guilds, Warzones

Some of the press coverage surrounding Rise of the Rakghouls – the first content patch for Star Wars: The Old Republic – has revealed some interesting tidbits on the Legacy System. In two separate interviews, BioWrare developers tease players with thoughts that went into the system, as well as features they might expect.

First up, GameSpot spoke to James Ohlen, Game Director for Star Wars: The Old Republic. In the talk, Ohlen elaborates on the intentions of the Legacy System:

We wanted to have a system that encouraged players to create alts and to play the game through the different story paths. So the legacy system is meant to do that. 

As an added bonus, Ohlen reveals that the next game update, coming in March, will be when they release guild banks, PvP rankings, and more including something that intrigues me greatly – the events system:

In addition to that we have a team we’re calling the events team, and I can’t go into too much detail, but we’ll be talking more about it in the future. We have a team that is focused essentially on providing content and events throughout the galaxy that make the Star Wars: The Old Republic galaxy a living, breathing galaxy where things are changing. 

Next, PC Gamer talked with Lead Endgame and PvP Designer Gabe Amatangelo about the Legacy System as well. He expanded on the family tree concept, and revealed that your future login screen might look a tad different than it does now:

You’ll be able to use the system to create specific relationships between all of your characters, turning the jumbled pile of characters on your login screen into an organized family tree of fathers, daughters, wives, and brothers.

There’s actually some heavy new info dropped here and should get players of Star Wars: The Old Republic players pretty pumped. So if you were one of those ready to abandon the game for one of any number of minor reasons, you may want to hold out just a little longer…

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