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They Giveth And They Taketh Away

Published by under Beta,beta testing,Blog,Breaking News,community news on Jun. 16. 2011.

It’s amazing how a day of two can give you a new view on a given subject. What once was greeted with great anticipation and high hopes falls at the very first hurdle.


I’m thinking about Origin and the new wave of beta invites.



Firstly Origin, EA’s answer to Steam.

I was kind of indifferent to this news when it hit. I don’t have many Steam related games on my account as I tend to play MMO’s and you don’t need a second party platform to enjoy them fully. Also I though having SWTOR exclusive for digital download from Origin made good business sense. After all, doing it yourself gives you a greater income before the more important subs start rolling in.

Well that thought process lasted until today, when a tweet from a fellow follower of TOR has shown me the light.

Disclaimer – This article has change vastly from the time I looked it up early today until the time I posted. Many things have changed in that time.


So a big thanks to Airia and Johua for pointing out that new info has arisen in this time frame.


The current role of Origin remains unclear. Will new EA releases be playable on almost everyone’s favourite platform Steam ?

Or indeed will EA stop supporting Steam enabled games altogether and set the focus for everyone to use Origin and boycott Steam.


Even with the added bonus of not needing Origin to run your installed or downloaded games, players have a well established friend player base already in-place. Steam is the equivalent of the gamers face-book social network. They may well revolt against the machine if Origin does not offer much more than the current one they now use.


For me and TOR it matter not a jot. If I download it for ease or buy the box I still have no need for Steam or Origin after a point of download if I choose to go that way.


And to quote The Gaming Vault web site –

Gamers around the world are already tearing apart the pre-emptive failures of Origin, criticizing their EULA which reeks of EA’s typical “we own you” licensing.

You agree that EA may collect, use, store and transmit technical and related information that identifies your computer (including the Internet Protocol 37683v1 Address), operating system, Application usage (including but not limited to successful installation and/or removal), software, software usage and peripheral hardware, that may be gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, dynamically served content, product support and other services to you, including online services. EA may also use this information combined with personal information for marketing purposes and to improve our products and services. We may also share that data with our third party service providers in a form that does not personally identify you. If you do not want EA to collect, use, store, transmit, or display the data described in this section, please do not install or use the application.

This particular clause basically gives EA the right to use any data on your computer for any reason they choose. While Steam has a similar clause, they make it explicitly clear what data they will ever extract, and the process is entirely opt-in. It does not appear to be case with Origin.

I’m not going to imply that EA is a large and well established publisher but doing this kind of thing can only hinder your capital in the long run. It’s like a big record label pulling all it’s songs from iTunes to be exclusive to their own download launcher.


Taking your game off the radar of so many potential new clients seems a funny way to do things. TOR should by right be the highest grossing EA/BioWare MMO title to-date. So more players means more cash and steam has an already well established fan base set-up.


Edit – Joshua’s added info

You can add the games to Steam using the “Add non-Steam Game To Library” function in the library tab. However you will not get Steam achievements for those games (Who cares about achieves).

So yes, you could also buy SWTOR, download it, and then launch it via Steam if you are so inclined.


The next topic revolves around beta invites.


Ok I know what your thinking. How can I find a downside to beta invites ?


Well first off, these are not beta invites as we first thought. These are survey invites that may or may not lead to a beta invite.

All well and good so far, apart from no e-mail in my in-box like many others who are following SWTOR.


Though I do not expect one any time soon. I’m sure BioWare are quite happy for me to plug away and speculate about the game week in and week out. So no matter how many games I’ve tried and tested in 15 years of MMO’s and muds, it may be in the best interest of all concerned to leave me out of the loop and keep me doing what I’m doing now.



Moving on. Now, this was a survey and as such I expect a number of questions were asked and answered. (just a hunch)

I was quite surprised to find a fair few people who failed the survey.


Answer me this.

How can you fail a survey ?

If indeed BioWare was looking for all play-styles and backgrounds to come and play TOR single and MMO players alike.


If you are looking for all types of gamers wouldn’t it just be better to just send a mail out and say Hey you <insert name here> here is the NDA in full, sign it or sod off.


Could you imagine how you would feel at failing a survey, and you see any hopes of a beta test slide ever further away. Surveys are a way to see what the public thinks, such is the nature of the beast. How can you ever conceive that your way of thinking is FAIL ?

Then a game that you have followed telling you that your thoughts are FAIL.




Darn talk about a kick in the nads when you have just had an amazing high. At one point you are almost in beta for a game you love, the next you’re nothing but a FAIL.


I don’t get it, I really don’t.


Until next time, MrWarlock signing off


8 responses so far

8 Responses to “They Giveth And They Taketh Away”

  1. sleepron 16 Jun 2011 at 3:28 pm

    The only thing that i know, is that i’m going to be pissed if at the end of June i don’t get to test the game since it seems that the european beta is about to start. I’ve been dedicated to Bioware and SWTOR for a long time… i don’t have a fan site like you guys do. But i’ve tested several MMO’s, i have my own youtube channel dedicated to SWTOR, i do my best to answer all the questions everyone ask about the game, i have accounts in several gaming websites and MMO forums where i try to give info about it and change some peoples minds, etc.

    Yesterday when i saw that some guys who joined the forum this month have been given the chance of testing the game, i got furious… they are ignoring the people that have been extremely loyal and patient with Bioware. They said community is really important to them but they don’t seem to have any kind of appreciation for the “older” ones that dedicate a good portion of their time to them and their game.

    Sorry about the little rant guys, but i had to share it with someone!

    Have a great day! 😉

  2. Airiaon 16 Jun 2011 at 3:35 pm

    If you are going to write an article you should at least do s little research.
    First: Origin – they may or may want to make this ea’s version of steam, we really don’t know at this point and I’m not posting to argue that… But what we do know is this; that it was steam, and not ea that started removing ea games from the steam service yesterday, and that origin will not need to be opened or even on your pc to play tor, so in at least tor’s case it won’t function like steam at all.
    Second: Beta – as you know this is started through a third party survey company. The survey is looking for a specific demographic for test results, so you ask how you could fail the survey? Quite simply by not bring the specific demographic, how hard is that to understand?

    I know you are a fan-site, but you should hold yourself to a higher standard than this.

  3. Joshuaon 16 Jun 2011 at 3:37 pm

    1) EA didn’t remove games from Steam, it was only Crysis II and Alice: Madness Returns and that was because of Steam. Steam updated their publishing agreement and the studios for both those games could not meet the agreement and thus were removed.

    2) Origin, unlike Steam, does not need to be running in order to play the game, nor do you need it at all if you buy your games from a retail store. Try buying Half-Life from GameStop and not needing Steam to run it. Origin is a desktop download storefront that has abilities like a friends list and a game overlay like Steam. You will not even need Origin for SW:TOR unless you want to digitally download it, and after that, you never need launch Origin again.

  4. MrWarlockon 16 Jun 2011 at 3:41 pm

    @Joshua oh thanks for clearing that up. As you seem to be a Steam user would you know if newly d/l games from Origin would be playable on steam ?

  5. Joshuaon 16 Jun 2011 at 4:28 pm

    You can add the games to Steam using the “Add non-Steam Game To Library” function in the library tab. However you will not get Steam achievements for those games (Who cares about achieves).

    So yes, you could also buy SWTOR, download it, and then launch it via Steam if you are so inclined.

  6. Firedogon 18 Jun 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Writing blogs like this really speaks volumes of your credibility. You open your blog with misinformation regarding Origin vs. Steam and end it with your own little pitty party about not getting a survey invite and a complete misconception of how a survey actually works.

    If you want to run a credible fansite, do a little homework and don’t throw in the whole “I’ve made a blog and I should get a beta invite” routine. Many of us have been following TOR for as long or even longer than you. Many of us could also begin fansites if it interested us. The fact that you have, doesn’t automatically put you on Bioware’s must have as a tester list.

  7. MrWarlockon 18 Jun 2011 at 5:33 pm

    If you have followed the information about Origin you would also have noticed what was first thought ended up not being true. Hence I change this article to reflect that. This information came from a number of different media sites.
    Though with hindsight the info was wrong at the time, indications pointed to something that was not right.
    Also I’ve been following TOR since the day it was announced.
    And running a blog I have never said that I should get a preference over any other fan when it comes to beta testing.
    If you had read this post you can see I am stating that I have a greater chance not to get into beta. After all what I do most is speculate about the game. Being in beta would take a little steam out of the whole thing.
    So before coming in all gunz blazing and getting everything back-to-front take a little bit of your own advice and understand what you are reading.

  8. Haderachon 19 Jun 2011 at 9:52 am

    I don’t see what’s so ground breaking and hope shattering about this. What are those failed expectations, etc… Origin is EA’s online shop, so that they don’t share profit with others. Fine, can’t see the problem. Have they said they stop Steam support? They haven’t.

    So in fact the author didn’t get a beta invite and now he shares the tragedy publicly? That seems to be the real problem. It’s like a random forum drama whining.

    Not that fan site articles should claim to be professional, but this one is quite far from it.