Thursday, October 20, 2011

SWTOR Press Embargo Lifted

  The press embargo lifted on Old Republic today. This isn’t the NDA. That is still in effect. The press embargo is on professional gaming sites like Massively, IGN, etc. The lifting of the embargo basically means they can now post articles from their time in beta. Basically what BioWare is doing is giving the press a head start so they can get their articles out. Likely the next step is the lifting of the NDA, and then a deluge of blogs, Facebook, and twitter posts from people who have been in beta. You lucky dogs, I hate you all, well, not really. But my jealousy makes me powerful.
I find the timing of the lifting of the embargo interesting. The sort of thing that makes you go “hmmm”.  You see Friday is the start of the Blizzcon which is Blizzard’s big annual convention. By lifting the embargo the day before, BioWare has ensured a flood of new information on the Old Republic to compete with any big reveals coming out of Blizzcon. I wonder how much conversation on the show floor among the participants will be dominated by TOR news?
The Blizzard guys are very busy with Blizzcon prep and by releasing the day before, at the height of preparations, they give Blizzard little time to respond, if they would have been inclined to do so anyway. I think Blizzard will largely ignore SWTOR outside of maybe some snarky remark by one of the Blizzard big wigs at the keynote or opening ceremonies.
Surprisingly, I find myself reticent to dive too deeply into these new articles on the Old Republic. Part of what excites me about the game is the newness. New systems, new zones, new mobs, new everything. Every bit of prerelease information I get will take a little bit away from the awe of the new things I’m going to see.
My main concern is story spoilers. One of the best moments I’ve ever had in the video game was the big reveal/plot twist in the original Old Republic. If I had known that going in, it would have changed everything about how I experienced the game, and it impacted every one of my replays. So I really want to avoid story spoilers. But at the same time, I’m very curious about the systems that I’m going to be experiencing over the next couple of months.
Here’s a quick sampling from around the interwebs of what is being said.
The Escapist: “BioWare's promised to bring meaningful storytelling to the MMO genre and, based on the starting planets at least, that promise has been fulfilled.”
Massively : “Here is his final thoughts :At the end of the day, TOR surpassed my expectations a wee bit. I loved the world design and enjoyed the leveling gameplay for what it was, but I found the story elements unnecessary at best (and downright distracting at worst). Ultimately the early portions of the game are well-made and it's likely going to keep Star Wars nuts and themeparkers happy for a while. For those of us who realize that MMOs were meant to be more than casual combat games, though, I'm afraid Sir Alec Guinness said it best when he said this is not the MMO we're looking for.”
My personal favorite came from 1UP.
1UP: It's World of Warcraft with Lightsabers, and it's amazing"  & "It's not groundbreaking, but it sure is fun."
Ask a Jedi has a great roundup of all the coverage here:
http://www.askajedi.com/2011/10/20/press-testing-embargo-coverage-roundup/
Christmas can’t get here soon enough!

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