Thursday, July 28, 2011

Things that worry me about #swtor

Tobold talked a bit, this morning, about what he calls single-playerness. In short, it is all about whether or not it is good for an mmo to have strong single-player questing elements only (Me reading into what he wrote, most of his post is about how important it is to get in on the launch to see content when it's crowded or when the worlds have dried out).
And it got me thinking about a tid-bit of information - or rather two tid-bits combined, that really nags me about Star Wars the Old Republic.

Being separated, yet together.
What I mean by the above, is that on one hand you hear about the different types of quests you will encounter during your leveling, and end-game:
Quests will be the primary means of advancement for your character. In SWTOR, there will be several types of quests:
Class Quests: These unique quest chains are specifically related to your class, and are meant to be experienced alone, but can also be completed with a group. Those quests are extremely relevant to your character's story and only you can change their outcome and the finale. Each class has an unique chain, and none of it is shared with others.
Side-quests: These quests are not directly related to any particular chain, and they can be started and finished solo in a relatively small amount of time. They still do give rewards and will be important to the advancement of your character. Like all quests in this game, they will have different outcomes depending on your choices.
Being a MMORPG, SWTOR also focuses heavily on multiplayer interactions. Many quests will have you looking for a group of other real players. The group size is slightly smaller than in most similar games (4 players maximum), and the game will feature a soft trinity system that allows players to pick their favourite role while still mantaining a certain flexibility within the group.
World Quests: World Quests are the multiplayer version of side-quests. They will feature single quests or very short chains, built for easy pick up and play, and meant to be played with a group. Your choices will still matter, but only one player will be able to pick a choice per dialogue. A random dice roll decides which player is allowed to talk (This mechanic is true for any kind of quest that is being played within a group, exception made for your personal Class Quests).
World Arcs: These epic quest arcs range from four to ten quests -sometimes even more- and feature epic storylines, big decisions, hard fights, and may have you playing them multiple times on different playthroughs in order to complete them, due to their length. Like World Quests, World Arcs are meant to be played with a group of players.
And on the other hand, you hear about how the various classes will start of and level through, not only different areas, but different *planets* alltogether, and when they are on the same planets, (as seen in the above qoute) the different classes will be doing their own unique and glorious class-specific quest-line.

We have seen how the agent, moves from planet to planet, infiltrating Hutta camps and seducing innocent, while it's starting planet best buddy, the bounty hunter is busy with 'The Great Hunt'.

Examplified from these two previews from PC GAMER The Imperial agent and The Bounty Hunter
and like Tom playing the bounty hunter said
Rather than run between my story and Josh’s Imperial Agent one, it made more sense to team up with a fellow Bounty Hunter.
By the way, those two previews are a great read, so if you haven't already, go read em :)
Anyway, the Imperial agent and his real life friends (well colleague) the Bounty hunter, are on the same frikking planet, and even *they* cannot find an incentive to coop. Imagine if one of em had chosen the Sith warrior!
So you can team up with other people playing your class, because you will be going the same places. Will that only be for the Class quests? How will the side-quests add up?

RL example; I've talked Mrs Dwism into getting the game too. We will be goodi two-shoe Republic peeps. I'll be the no-bs-trooper, and she'll be the smart-well-spoken Jedi-mage.. ehm consular. How will that work out? Will we be able to go off for two hours and do our class-stuff, then meet up at three-fifteen on Alderaan for some world-quests? Or will she be spending 45 minuttes waiting for me? Or will she have to go with me on my "learn to throw grenades" schooling, while I have to grudgingly attend a hearing on the treaty of xyloligguuu 15, because that is where her class quest takes her? so that instead of teaming up, we will be dragging each other down taking twice as long to level?
By the looks of it (at least the way I see it) we will have to level to max, then go around doing stuff together, so our class-quests progression do not get neglected, since we have been told that abilities, speeders, unique and super important stuff, lies within those class-quests.

And another thing
Did you see the class trailers? Especcially the EFFING Sith warrior part??  That is *my* future class Bioware, and he looks like every 12 year old jackass-adhd kids wet dream. "OMG leik wow cool, a mohawk and he likes has two liteswords, and his hate nows no bunds!"

That is *not* the class I want to play. That is something, Nelson Muntz wants to play. Ugh. Look at that Vid. He jumps all over the place. Everything else looks so damned great in that trailer, except that red-skinned devil-lookalike with a mohawk. Looks like what some 57 year old childless PR agent would make up, if he wanted to create an evil-cool guy that "kids theese days" would think where "aw33sum".
Fuck.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Release date to be revealed come September (swtor)

 As we get into the bulk of the summer we're going to be ramping up our beta campaign and by the time we get to around September we'll be in a position to really call the ball give the hard ship date.

From Darth haters transcript of the latest earnings conference call

Couple that with this lovely qoute

“Most MMOs announce ship dates 4-8 weeks ahead of launch” – John Riccitiello, Electronic Arts CEO
As seen on askajedi

That is all



squeeeeeeeeee
 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Morale choices in SWTOR, looking damn good!

After reading yet another fantastic Darth-hater live blog coverage transcript. I stumbled over this neat qoute
And my favorite moment actually I think was quite early on when I was playing the Jedi Knight on Tython. And there's a quest pretty early on where you come across two padawans who are obviously involved in a romantic relationship and you basically get the choice of essentially turning them in to the Jedi Council or leaving them be to go about their romantic business. And Jedi Code would suggest that you should go and inform the Council cause this is not something that's allowed. And I think the minute that I found that quest and had my first moment of what do I want to do, because it was a genuine moral choice. And also for me, it was a point of which it said, you know what, you can roleplay your character here. So in my case, as I recall, I chose to let them go and told them I wasn't going to tell the Council, and then I went and told the Council anyway. So that was the kind of Jedi I was playing.
It's by Community Rep Stephen Reid aka Rockjaw and it sets the game up better than any video-trailer or beta-pie leak ever could. THIS is why I am looking forward to this game. If we can get this kind of story, and class-mechanics/boss-mechanics/balancing of WoW this will make it my all time super favorite game of forever.
And I'll name my Girl after whoever they damn well want me to*

Like Rockjaw said, that is a real morale choice. From the Jedi-code there is no real good answer.
- Report them? Ain't that kindda a douchy thing to do, so you are betraying them, and that leads to the dark side!
- Not reporting them is a strict violation of the Jedi-code, and leads to the dark side!

Loving it :)

In other -not loving it so much- news: I've caved in (like the proverbial $5 whore when her plastic teeth meets a baseball bat) Just like I knew I would, and pre-ordered the CE version of the game. From Gamestop. Because where I'm from that is sort of the only place to get it from. Needless to say, I've not recieved any codes (and by the looks of it I never will). Because all they wanted to talk about in the store, was that I would DEFINITELY get the Collectors Edition sometime around launch. 100% for certain.
"But when will I get my pre-order code?"
"You WILL get the Collectors Edition, we swear!!"
"eh yea but.."
"Do not fear citizen, you will get that Collectors Edition that you payed $213 for!!!!"
/leaves store

This of course is all Rockjaws fault! It really really is
But at least he was kind enough to calm me down. Firstly by stating that the codes "early access first sign up, gets first in" thing, was more of a matter of who used their codes in the first month, rather than the first hours. AND in replying to my question (I am such a sucker for when that happens) he assured that the pre-order codes do not have any effect on getting into the beta-weekends in September. So I am not all to fuzzed if my store gets my codes this week or the next. For now I am just happy that I haven't payed for the damned thing yet, plus that I will get the box and when I get my codes I won't be severely handicapped in comparison to those who ordered the game from a retailer that knows what they are doing.


* I don't actually have any say in her name. Mrs Dwism does.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Release window narrows, plus "beta-weekend"

Another short post, just to get away from my "angry-because-of-money" thing. I really hate that I let things like being screwed over by about $60 compared to other gamers, get to me. After all, it's my choice to buy or not. So here we are

http://www.askajedi.com/2011/07/21/beta-test-weekends-in-september-holiday-launch/

Looks like the game won't be out untill "Holiday season 2011" some people consider the holdays to start around September (at least thats when the first x-mas themed cataloques starts to flow in my mail) while others consider it to be the week between christmas and new years eve.

Heres hoping its not the latter.

Pre-order SWTOR CE edition is expensive as hell (for EU players)

Oh hello there Bioware. Did you know that 150$ is not really 150 euros? Acutally its more like 213$

So.. you know.. fuck you

This

is the same as

This

But this $ is not the same as


Yesterday I didn't know, what my breaking point would be, for whether or not I'd buy the Collectors edition. now I know.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All the small things (that make for a grand mmo)

Let me start this post up front by saying that yes, this is me gushing over a game that has yet to be released. Specifically Star Wars the Old republic. Now said gushing will not be about how awsome the game will be, because - frankly - the bitches over at Bioware haven't given me beta-access. Erhhhhmm. It will not be about gameplay, but how their dev team has communicated with fans and how they have managed to keep my interest peaked.

All the things I wanted to know about mmo-development (But was too afraid to ask)

What got my mind working on this post, was that weird bird-thingy-thing. Some fellow fans are trying to get a buzz going about the game every sunday, and have thusly named the themed tweets about what they are looking forward to in the game: #SWTORsun, and it is great fun (although it could use more people tweeting about it).
One of those tweets where from Steve Docherty aka Roq777 who wrote
probably been said already, but I'm thankful for the transparency of the dev team and the way they're handling the community.
And that post started an avalanche within. So far I've enjoyed the friday updates, that swtor releases almost every friday immensely for... 2 years I guess. The great thing about the updates, where the posts about things you never assumed you'd ever care about. Like Maps, or how beta-players moved, or how you build up an UI.
It opened my eyes to the fact that mmo's are more than interesting classes, with exciting mechanics and the balancing of those (although I still think those are some core things, that just needs to be in order for a game to work), and I love em for it.
I imagine myself taking time out enjoying the work that has been put into all those weird nooks and crannies of the game, mostly because it has made me enjoy and see those same things in wow.
At the same time, whenever those things do not work, I also pay extra attention to it. Like in a cutscene in wow, where the camera-angle cuts of the dialogue or the action. Or when my map isn't giving me the information I'm looking for.
Specifically I spend the better part of 5 hours trying to not make my quest-givers text come out transparent. That time did not include all the messing around with clearing my addon folder and WTF and reinstalling the blasted game. Its all the small things, that make or break an experience (a great thanks goes out to 'Skinner' addon).

So looking forward to the next friday update (and weirdly enough I'm hoping it'll be about crafting windows or inventory setups.)...Oh and hoping that Comiccon will bring news of pre-order information (especially special edition) 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lots of afk stuff, plus; Why I am a tank

Let us start on a high note, and just keep going from there.

I just love that one.

Back in blac... ehm WoW
Anyway summer is here, and lots of stuff has happened, I've re-dipped my feet ever so slightly back into wow, and realised that although the Undead starting zone is a complete blast story-wise there are a lot of things that bother me, also I am a ui addict.

I think I spend more time tweaking my UI, downloading addons and tweaking them, than I did playing the game itself. I had fun doing both. However, without grinding, nor wearing any of the perky BoA gear, I still managed to outlevel every zone I played. That Sucks. Hard. Because now there is a direct and distinct story line, and whenever that story arc works, you want to follow it to it's conclusion. I want to know what happeneded to Johnny Awsome (although that whole "belfs are gay lol lol lol" joke sure got old fast. Like at the first time it was mentioned. How a multinational company like Blizz, who spends time ensuring that murlocks aren't mistreated, can be so outright hostile toward male characters who are not the bulging male orc figure, is beoynd me. To me this goes far beoynd sexuality. I think that Chas over at, the now closed righteous orbs said it best, when he discussed "menz" right... rant over)

To shorten all of the above a bit up; you outlevel the story, and when you move into a new zone everything starts anew. Last bit blew my immersion a little bit, but that is a side thing to the annoyance of watching a great arc get ruined by having to do grey quests. /sadface

Twitter n Star Wars ToR
In other cool news, I've made http://www.swtor-life.com's top #SWTORsun tweet list. For more on what on earth swtorsun is, check out this link http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=366402
I can honestly say that I spend way more time thinking up my tweet, than you will ever get me to admit. Twitter is a real hard nut for me to crack, since it's only 140 characters and I am a ramblin' type of dwarf! But it is great fun, and getting a mention (even though, let's be brutally honest, not all that many people joined in on the fun.. fingers crossed for next week) in a "best of" type of thing, does Oh so many good things for my lust for twitter and my vanity sucks up all the praise I can possibly get. Which is a great bridge to my last bit today

Call me Pappa (aka why I am a tank)
Yes it's true. Mrs Dwism gave birth to a little baby girl last week, when that happened someone turned on the "everything is crazy"- dial, and I've not been able to shut it off since. Everything is crazy! Fun...  But crazy. I am really digging the whole parenthood thing. I am very good at this. If I must say so myself, and while we are at it, I'll just add here, that from a completely objective standpoint I can tell ya'll that she is the most adorable smart, cute and greatest kid, you ever did see- Objectively speaking, of course.
             So now our little family has settled into our own little tri-fecta. Mrs Dwism is our healer, the little one (Mini-dwism) is our dps (poops her pants a lot, cries even more, and sleeps all raid... and yet gets all the attention and credit) and I'm the tank. There are lots of little ways this plays out for example; all the daily small problems my wife handles (like feeding), but whenever shit (litterally) hits anything, in comes the tank. Whenever any organizing needs to get done (aka, pull-order), in comes the tank. And whenever everything is fine, or there is no need for tanking. I'm away from the action in front of the pc, or sleeping. Just like any other tank.

Speaking of which. Ever since '08 when I first signed up for Swtor I have been longing for this game to come out. Now... Not so much. I've figured that, the longer it takes for this game to come out, the more independant will mini-dwism be, and the more game-time I'll be able to squeeze in!! (although I am still pretty sure that this game will be out mid-nov).
So I will most likely have way less time to post big blog posts, but look me up on @dwisms on twitter, where I'll be bugging swtor professionals and following all the cool people ;)

/dwism