Aug 28, 2011

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Blue Milk & Cereal: Should TOR Have A “Dungeon Finder” Tool?

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!

This topic has been been discussed for years (literally), and has heated up once again with the recent Q&A sessions from PAX where it was reiterated that TOR would not ship with this feature, but BioWare is “looking into it”. Here’s an interview with Gabe Amatangelo that expands on the reasoning for the decision.

But what is a “dungeon finder” you ask? In its most simple definition, it assists a player in fidning other players who are interested in participating in specific (or random) instanced group content. Once players are matched up, they are all transported to the instance to begin their assault. In some games, those other players might even come from other servers, greatly reducing your wait time.

In theory, this sounds like a good idea – a real time saver that will get you into the action that much quicker. But let the players who already experienced the effects of a similar dungeon finder tool in World of Warcraft, tell you their experiences.

Shortly after the addition of this feature, a large number of players agreed that its addition severely impacted the game, and not in a good way either. Before, players had to travel to the location of the instance, generating some traffic and actual presence in the world. After all, MMO games are partly about the community and making new friends. The dungeon finder tool, while speeding up the queue times, completely removed any social interaction prior to making the party, and left the game world feeling empty as players just loitered in the cities waiting for their group to be formed.

So now that you know, how do you roll? Do you think this kind of grouping assistant feature is a good one for TOR? Discuss!

Would you like to see a "dungeon finder" tool in TOR?

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Aug 27, 2011

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PAX 2011: Hands-On Huttball!

One of the big reveals of out of gamescom last week was the announcement of Hutball, a brand new Warzone in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Hutball is a little different in that it’s the only Warzone (so far) where you can have same faction vs. same faction matches.

BioWare has been quoted as saying the reason beyond that was to avoid population imbalance problems between factions. Writing Director Daniel Erickson wrote a story to wrap around Hutball so that fighting your own faction would have context. Now, not everyone were pleased about this decision, including our own Professor, but, Huttball appears here to stay.

So this morning, I was excited to learn that my first hands-on gameplay with TOR at PAX Prime 2011 would in fact be a Huttball match! I could now see first-hand if this “elastic-ization” of the lore was worth the tradeoff.

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Aug 26, 2011

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PAX Prime 2011: Sleepless In Seattle!

It wasn’t but last week we were in the thick of gamescom, Europe’s largest convention, and now the gamer’s game convention is upon us – PAX Prime! And as at gamescom, BioWare will have a large Star Wars: The Old Republic will have a big presence, so we’re here to see it all first hand! News, interviews, reveals, PAX will have it all!

Keep up with Ask A Jedi as we track all of the important news and announcements coming out of the show, and hopefully bring a few surprises of our own as well! What will BioWare show? Something new? Something old? Something borrowed?

This post will serve as ground-zero for overall PAX coverage, so bookmark it and visit often. Click past the jump for total access!

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Aug 22, 2011

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SWTOR Community Cantina @ PAX Prime 2011!

If you’re headed to PAX Prim in Seattle later this week, we’ve got one last must-do item to add to your list: The SWTOR Community Cantina!

Come put a face to a name that you might be familiar with from the official Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ forums, or mix and mingle with your favorite hosts and writers from sites such CurseDarth HaterMos Eisley Radio, TOROCastCorellian Run Radio and TORWars. Oh, and of course Ask A Jedi will be there too!

When and where you ask? The event will be held at The Blarney Stone Pub & Restaurant on Friday, August 26th at 7:00pm PDT. The Blarney Stone is located at 1909 Third Avenue in downtown Seattle, just a short cab ride from the convention center.

This is a community-wide meetup, so if you have friends that might just be hearing about TOR, being them along too, the more the merrier! Although, be on the lookout for Rodians in dark corners.

We hope to see everyone there!

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Aug 22, 2011

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Blue Milk & Cereal: What News Do You Hope For From PAX Prime?

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!

With all of the excitement associated with gamescom slowly winding down, we can finally relax and… wait. What? When? Sigh… Ok scratch that!

The BioWare crew is currenty en-route from Cologne, Germany direct to Seattle, Washington – no rest for them means no rest for us!

If you can believe it, PAX Prime is already visible on the horizon – it starts this Friday! BioWare and Electronic Arts will both be in attendance, and BioWare will hold a panel on the 28th of August at 2PM PDT, at the Paramount Theater, which is capable of accommodating about 4000 fans. You can read more details about the upcoming weekend on the last Friday’s Update post.

With that in mind, we also got a have an inspiring quote from the EA Q1 2012 Earnings Conference call:

“… In the summer we’re going to be ramping up our beta campaign and by around the time we get to September, we’ll be in a position to call the ball and give the hard ship date.

A very large chunk of the community believes that we’re going to hear some really big news, so let’s hope they’re right! I personally believe that we are going to finally hear some details about the release of TOR, if not the actual release date. For now, we can only speculate!

We did this for SDCC and gamescom, so why not PAX? Let us know what you think/hope to see out of PAX!

What information do you most hope/think will come out of PAX Prime?

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