Jan 11, 2012

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James Ohlen Reveals Grey/Neutral Plans To PC Gamer

It’s just one of those newsy kind of days, isn’t it? This time, Game Director James Ohlen reveals some tasty details of BioWare’s plans for the fabled “grey” morality alightment, in other words players who don’t really go extremely Dark or Light side.

Speaking to PC Gamer, Ohlen said that even going back to Knights Of The Old Republic, players would min/max morality and they had to be very careful with it in TOR:

“We don’t want to force people. We were careful about the rewards for Light Side and Dark Side as well. We don’t want to make them too impactful on the endgame because it would mean players wouldn’t be allowed to join an Operation unless they were absolutely Light Side and or Dark Side. However, once we get to the next stage of our light side/dark side system, you’ll see the rewards. Light Side, Dark Side and the grey items will all get more powerful.”

So while my Jedi Knight is still concerned with the 50 Dark side points I somehow accidentally acquired, you middle-of-the-road players can rejoice – love is coming! Hop over to PC Gamer for the full read.

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Jan 10, 2012

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James Ohlen Talks Performance To Eurogamer

One of the hot customer service topics since the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic has been the issue of performance. Even though the art is stylized and BioWare optimized it for lower-end systems, it’s still a modern, current-gen MMO. Some players have been reporting very poor performance and in some cases severe framerate drops on certain hardware configurations.

Eurogamer reached out to Game Director James Ohlen for his thoughts on the matter, and gave some interesting information about how many players might be seeing problems, and what is being done about it:

“The thing is, for the most part, 95 per cent – oh I can’t give you the exact percentage – most of our players aren’t really having performance concerns. However, we know that it’s important that there is a smaller group of people usually with lower end machines that are having problems in some areas. And one of the most important things for us to grow our service is to continue to bring in more players, including those players who only have low-end machines.”

While it’s certainly good news that BioWare is aware of the problem and acting on it, it doesn’t immediately help those players who are having the problem. Are you experiencing any performance issues? Let us know.

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Jan 4, 2012

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Community Blog: James Ohlen Talks Bug Squashing

No sooner than did Gabe Amatangelo post an update about PvP in Star Wars: The Old Republic, Game Director James Ohlen did his own post on the progression of bug fixes and patches. James takes a bit of time to help players understand the bug fixing process and why what may seem quick and easy isn’t always so, and how important it is overall:

Almost every week we will be releasing a new patch. These weekly patches are almost entirely focused on bug fixes, minor balance changes and fixing any exploits in the game. These issues are the highest priority items at the studio. They are reviewed by senior leadership on a daily basis. Bug fixes usually take longer than a week to get into the game because we need to fix the issue and then test the fix. Some bugs take longer than that because of the complexity of the issue.

You can head over to the community blog for the full update, and there’s also a thread on the official forums dedicated to discussing James’ update right here.

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Dec 23, 2011

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James Ohlen On The Near Future – New Flashpoint On a New Planet + Operation Expansion

I’ve not even generated my Legacy Name yet, and Game Director James Ohlen is already talking about the first true content patch for Star Wars: The Old Republic – coming sometime next month!

Taking to the Community Blog, Ohlen throws down a few hints as to what to expect. First up is a new Flashpoint on a “brand new world” which sounds like the Taral V scenario (on a planet you can’t otherwise travel to.) But hey, at least it’s new content!

He also teases an expansion of the existing Karraga’s Palace Operation, more than tripling its size. Does that mean the version in the game now is being replaced, or literally expanding on it? We’ll see soon!

Head on over to the Community News blog for the whole read.

"Hey guys, another big droid! What do we do?"  "Kill it."

"Hey guys, another big droid! What do we do?" "Kill it."


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Dec 13, 2011

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Early Access Developer Chat With Best Buy

Big-box electronics retailer Best Buy has recently been trying to reach out to the gaming community more than ever. This turns out to be very good news for fans of Star Wars: The Old Republic today :)

To celebrate the beginning of Early Game Access, Best Buy will be hosting a developer chat with Game Director James Ohlen, Writing Director Daniel Erickson and Lead End-game Designer Gabe Amatangelo. The talk will take place today, December 13th at 7PM Austin time (Central Standard Time) over  on Best Buy’s site.

Personally, I’m going to be knee-deep in my Smuggler story by then, but drop by if you can, it’s bound to be great! Let us know if they drop any juice info :)

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