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Tag Archive 'Penny Arcade Expo'

A glimpse into the numbers of people involved in Star Wars The Old Republic “game testing”, from James Ohlen

Published by under beta testing,Events,Live Coverage,PAX East on Mar. 13. 2011.

swtorpax

 

In their latest interview from the PAX East convention of 2011, Darth Hater sat down with Bioware’s creative director, James Ohlen.

 

Darth Hater: “We also heard that in your dialogue system, you are tracking metrics on when people are pausing to see how long they’re taking to make decisions and things like that to really work on the dialogue. So you are getting ton of information from the testers?”

 

James Ohlen: “We keep on getting more and more information as the testing groups get larger. We had two groups of a thousand players on a shard and that got us a lot of information because it was a lot more people playing together. We were able to see a population that was not indicative of the final game, but it was closer to it because the populations were so much bigger than just a couple hundred. We’re able to use that to make a lot of adjustments; it also validated a lot design decisions we made months earlier. The game really gets a lot better every single month. It is pretty impressive. The developer teams are getting faster at making changes and making adjustments to feedback. Two years ago it would take so long to see a change in the game, but now you see changes every month.”

From what I remember in the past, we have never really gotten a definitive number from a developer about just how many people are involved in “game testing”.  If I remember correctly the only estimations of a number came from the statement of “more than I could fit in my office” or something to that effect. (the actual quote escapes me at the moment but it was very similar to that statement)

When they tell me that they have two groups of a thousand players on a shard that gives me a better idea as to how far they are along in the numbers of people that they have allowed in at this point.  I figure it is more than two thousand at this point, but at least I now have a baseline reference.

The comment that they were “on a shard”  also makes me wonder if they also have the ability of running more than one shard at this time with their current server structure.  I am thinking they do and that they may be currently operating several shards at this point in time.  Maybe a private in house version for the developers only that showcases the latest builds, maybe a couple for outside the office testers, and etc.   I may be way off base,  as this is just speculation on my part.

In the end though, with this developer interaction I feel better about the testing process going on at Bioware.  One of my fears from the past was that they didn’t have the amount of people testing their game that they needed to find out all that was necessary.  That a small minority of people testing would sway the design decisions in directions I as a MMO veteran did not approve of for my gaming time.

With a number of at the very least two thousand testing the game, I feel much better that a wider view of MMO mechanic and game play design is being addressed.

Now if I could just get my hands on it and test out the “Crew skills system” I could die a happy man.      :)



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Pax East SWTOR Minute by Minute coverage – Day 2

Published by under Events,Live Coverage,PAX East on Mar. 12. 2011.

Welcome to our second day of covering the Penny Arcade Expo and all the Star Wars The Old Republic news that will be pouring out of Boston. Yesterday was a satisfying day for TOR fans because of the officially released trailer and a number of great gameplay videos from both Taral V instance/flashpoint and starting worlds. There was an announcement that we’ll get some more official news today as well so keep refreshing this post for the latest updates.

Latest Video:

Latest News:

Images from the show floor:


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Mos Eisley Radio Playing SWTOR

Click for Full Size

Corellian Run Radio talking to Daniel Erickson

CRR Crew + Erickson = awesome

Fansites gathering for interview time

Torocast, DartHater, MER

You can check out our Day One coverage in the posts bellow:

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PAX East Gameplay Videos Galore – Day 1

Published by under gameplay,PAX East,video on Mar. 12. 2011.

Visitors of Penny Arcade Expo have been busy recording various gameplay sessions all throughout day 1 of the convention and we have gathered all the relevant videos in this one post. There is some more footage of Taral V flashpoint as well as some starting planets gameplay. We also have Daniel Erickson giving a few more presentation of various planets and I suspect we will be seeing all of these videos as downloadable content from the official site. Until then enjoy.

Taral V Jedi Knight group gameplay

Video shows full in-game cinematic for the instance telling us the background story of why are we fighting this hard fight. Flashpoint footage is from the first third of the instance and the person playing is a clicker (you have been warned). Quality is Full HD and the video is worth your bandwidth.



Taral V Jedi Knight group gameplay – Last Boss

Video shows the last third of Taral V instance including the fight (and wipe) with the last boss. *spoiler alert* Last boss seems to have an add so it requires some coordination and unfortunately the Trooper died and Jedi Knight was not able to take aggro from the healers quickly enough (not his fault). The person playing seems to be a veteran MMO player and you can see just how smooth the gameplay is when played by a knowledgeable player. The video is HD and gets 5 stars from me.



Taral V Jedi Sage group gameplay

Jungle part of Taral V from the Jedi Sage perspective. Video is HD with detailed shot of the UI in the end



Bounty Hunter Hutta gameplay

We see the starting zone for Bounty Hunter with some great cutscenes and a chubby BH as our protagonist. HD quality is available and I recommend watching it this way because it brings out the best out of the game footage.



Hoth – presented by Daniel Erickson

We see some areas of Hoth with surprising volcanic activity and future questing grounds set inside ice caves and ship graveyards. Available in HD quality as well. Thanks to Engrey for the footage.



Tatooine – presented by Daniel Erickson

Official trailer showing in-game footage of Tatooine vistas.



Sith Warrior – 14 minutes on Korriban

The video shows all cutscenes and footage from questing inside a cave on Korriban. This is footage similar to the one we’ve see at Gamescom last year, but nice to see it again.



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Video of Working In-Game Space Combat Presented Live

Published by under Breaking News,Events,PAX East,Space combat,video on Mar. 11. 2011.

Darth Hater just released a video they shot at the SWTOR booth at Pax East where a demonstration of the Space Combat feature was held live. Presentation was hosted by Daniel Erickson and Stephen Reid and the footage is amazing in all of its Full HD glory. The video shows awesome footage of the space map and then shows us space combat inside an asteroid field. Darth Hater is working on one of their famous dissections of the video and you can find it here.

One response so far

15 minutes of gameplay footage in HD!

Published by under Breaking News,gameplay,PAX East,video on Mar. 11. 2011.

Ask A Jedi just released a 15 minute video of gameplay from PAX East. The video shows flashpoint Taral V. The footage is extremely high quality and shows Jedi Knight gameplay. In my opinion this is the best in-game footage we have seen so far. The game looks EPIC. Please visit Ask a Jedi website for more coverage from PAX and interviews with the developers. We’ll start our dissection of the video in a minute.

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Fate of Galaxy In-game Footage Trailer Released

Published by under Breaking News,gameplay,video on Mar. 11. 2011.

To start their Penny Arcade Expo presence with a bang Bioware released a new trailer for Star Wars The Old republic that consists of mostly in-game footage. We have Jawas, Rancors, PvP action, force powers and all that Star Wars goodness we’re all dying for. You can find the official news posting about the trailer here and here’s an excerpt:

Tension between the Republic and the Empire is running high. The uneasy truce established by the Treaty of Coruscant is quickly tearing apart at the seams, and a return to all-out war has begun in all but official terms. A new generation of heroes, both light and dark, emerges to face the difficulties of these chaotic times, and fight for the fate of the galaxy in this most desperate age.

We will continue our PAX East Day One minute by minute coverage so make sure you check it out here.

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SWTOR PAX East 2011 Minute by Minute Coverage Day 1

Published by under Breaking News,Events,PAX East on Mar. 11. 2011.



Last update for today – image gallery of Trooper UI – images from Engrey

Gameplay video


Images of gameplay (thank to Flipps from official forums):

Smuggler talent tree

Click for Full size

Smuggler character screen

Click for Full size

Smuggler in action

Click for Full size


Most important news (updated constantly):

  • “Fate Of The Galaxy” game trailer is available on the official site
  • This Friday’s update is the new trailer and that mystery is now solved
  • New PvP trailer with in-game footage debuted at the booth (it is not confirmed 100% it is a PvP trailer)
  • Trailer recaps the high level story — Peace in the Republic, Empire Returned, War, all set to clips of in-game footage. (source: Darth Hater tweet)
  • Shin saber form used by guardian – saber forms confirmed (source: Guild Umbra Tweet)

Images directly from the show floor:

New SWTOR PvP Trailer being played for the first time at PAX East

First showing of new trailer

Taral V Briefing by Bioware Staff

Lovely Deborah Shin giving Taral V Briefing

Ticket to Community Meet and Greet (all handed out already)


Latest News:

  • The waiting in line to get hands on with The Old Republic is 6+ hours long (queue early tomorrow)
  • Tarsal V flashpoint was epic, gotta go work now. Video to come (source: Guild Umbra Tweet)
  • People in line for Taral V get iPads with information on each class and their abilities.
  • New trailer with beautiful in game footage with HK47 cameo. (source Corellian Run Radio tweet)
  • Shin saber form used by guardian – saber forms confirmed (source: Guild Umbra Tweet)
  • The new trailer will be available at swtor.com at 11AM is available now at swtor.com
  • UI has been upgraded (source: Guild Umbra Tweet)
  • It is a PvP trailer
  • New trailer is going live now (10:20AM)!
  • Premade group has a level 32 Scoundrel (source: Guild Umbra Tweet)

First images from the booth and the queue line:

Click to see full size

Click for full size (thanks to Guild Umbra)

Huge Crowd Watching the Hope Trailer

Image by Mos Eisley Radio

With only an hour left before #SWTORPAX kicks off SWTOR Life is following the happenings at the convention Minute by Minute as news pour in. We will scour the internet and all the affiliated fansites in search for all that Old Republic goodness. Feel free to bookmark this post because we will be updating it live with new information. In preparation you can check out our other Penny Arcade Expo East articles:

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Queues at PAX East Already Forming

Published by under Events,PAX East on Mar. 11. 2011.

Penny Arcade Expo in Boston is about to open its doors to the gaming enthusiasts in about 30-60 minutes and excitement is mounting. The Old Republic fans are anxiously waiting for the Friday Update that will kick start PAX. I was thinking of starting a poll on what people think the big PAX Friday Update will be with options like “Next phase of beta” and “release date”, but I figure with only several hours away we’ll find out soon enough. In the meantime enjoy this image sent to Twitter by Guild Umbra of a line forming at PAX gates.


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PAX East – What SWTOR Fans Should Know

Published by under Events,PAX East on Mar. 08. 2011.

Only a few days are left before Boston hosts the 2011 Penny Arcade Expo – East coast edition. This is a big deal in the SWTOR community because Bioware seems to love PAX and always does something special at these events. This event is also special because for the first time there will be an organized gathering of SWTOR fansites and fans at two community events. Here’s a list of important things you can expect from PAX East this year.

The Old Republic booth is 912 and that is where visitors will be able to sit down and play the game. For the first time the general public will be able to experience flashpoint content. Taral V, the flashpoint we’ve seen footage of several weeks ago, is what people will be able to play through at the show. Those that lean towards the dark side can avoid playing this Republic only instance and choose to play one of the Sith Empire classes and their starting planets. Never fear my Jedi friends, you get a treat as well because for the first time the general public will be able to play on Tython and try Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular. Just to make things even more awesome James Ohlen (Lead Designer) and Daniel Erickson (Lead Writer) will be hanging at the booth all throughout the event and will be available for Q&A sessions.

The things I hate missing out on are two community gatherings that will happen at PAX. There is the Star Wars: The Old Republic Community Cantina organized by SWTOR fansites (I think the main sponsor is Darth Hater). Here are the details:
Date & Time: Friday March 11th, 2011, 7PM
Location: The Times Irish Pub & Restaurant, 112 Broad St. (Between High st & Wendell St.) Boston, MA 02110
Confirmed Participants:
Ask A Jedi
Corellian Run Radio
Curse
Darth Hater
Massively
Mos Eisley Radio
TORSyndicate

The second event is officially organized by Bioware and it is by invitation only. You can get your invitations at the SWTOR booth and if you do you will be able to attend the Community Meet and Greet hosted by SWTOR community team. The details are as follows:

Date & Time: March 12th, 2011
Location: Westin Boston Waterfront hotel
Confirmed Participants:
SWTOR Community team (meaning Stephen Reid, David Bass and Allison Berryman to name a few)
Developers (depending on how tired they are we might see James Ohlen and Daniel Erickson)

Remember that you can queue for the event up to an hour early so make sure you arrive there on time because the capacity is limited!

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Celebrating PAX – New Gameplay Video

Published by under Events,gameplay,GamesCom,PAX Prime,video on Sep. 03. 2010.

Within the next few hours Penny Arcade Expo, one of the biggest gaming conventions in the North America is about to begin. It is a very big convention for all the Star Wars: The Old Republic fans because, traditionally, it is the place where big reveals happen. Last year we got some gameplay footage and all attendees of the SWTOR panel got a copy of Knights of the Old Republic game. This year we’ll be having the first hands on event in the North America and all the PAX visitors will get what is called the SWTOR virus that can only be cured by more “gameplaytimis”. Some gamers will be lucky enough to get the elusive “betainvitis”, but for all of you out there that lack any of these rare and expensive medicine, we bring you the last of our gameplay videos we shot at this year’s GamesCom. This is the longest video we have and it features gameplay from most of the classes. You can see some cool Inquisitor action where he one shots some enemies with force lightning (at around 1:50). Present are also cutscenes and some more combat.

We’ll continue to monitor all the information pouring in from PAX and we’ll keep you updated with the most important news and footage. For now I would like to draw your attention to Jedi Archive Online, that have their man Lordhammer, from Guild Umbra, on the spot. They have the first images from PAX available here. Also covering the event are Darth Hater and ToroCast.

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