"The Star Wars™ galaxy is massive and you will be able to visit numerous worlds during your travels in the The Old Republic™. To give you an early taste of what the experience will be, we’ve added a new feature to the website, allowing you to explore the Galaxy Map for yourself. You’ll get to see the five major sectors of the Known Galaxy, check out profiles of the planets, and even examine interactive models of the player Starships.
Apparently there was a Beta Testing snafu this week as a number of TOR newsletter subscribers received e-mails asking what they thought of their Beta Testing experience. The folks receiving the e-mails thought they had accidentally missed out on their Beta Testing chances and they naturally weren't pleased. Kotaku reports that BioWare has since issued the following statement:
"Earlier today, two e-mails were sent to members of the Star Wars: The Old Republic community. These e-mails were sent to a larger group than intended, and have caused some confusion in the community. We can confirm that these e-mails were from EA and BioWare and apologize for any confusion they have caused. Please note that receiving these e-mails does not affect your chances to be invited to test the game. Thank you all for your understanding!"
Not so much in the damage control department, but more in the clarifying department, TOR community manager Stephen Reid took to the official Star Wars: The Old Republic forums to set the record straight in regards to pre-orders and early game access.
"...Nothing has actually changed since we announced pre-order access in July.
Everyone who pre-orders Star Wars: The Old Republic and redeems their pre-order code will get Early Game Access. Those who do this will be able to download the game client and play the game ahead of the release date.
While we aren't ready to talk about the exact timing of when Early Game Access starts (that depends on a number of factors including Game Testing and pre-order numbers), we'll announce that before the start date. Our planning accounts for allowing people to download the client before the Early Game Access start date, too.
However, when you actually gain admittance to Early Game Access will be determined in a first-come, first-served manner dependent on when you redeemed your pre-order code.
While we understand all of you want to be in Early Game Access on Day One, part of the point of a head start program like this one is to allow us to gradually ramp up the population of our servers so that on launch day, the general play experience is as pleasant as possible. While we're going to be allowing a lot of people into Early Game Access at regular intervals, we cannot allow everyone who pre-orders in at once. That would defeat the point of a gradual head start.
The next obvious question is "I pre-ordered on Day X, when do I get access?" While we cannot answer that for everyone, I will say (as I did in July) that those who pre-ordered early will be getting Early Game Access, well, earliest. At this point we still have pre-orders available and therefore, anyone who pre-orders will still gain Early Game Access, but as they're redeeming their code later, they'll get Early Game Access later. As I've said before the difference between 'early' and 'later' should be a matter of days, not weeks.
Next up, DarthHater.com got a chance to chat with BioWare's Daniel Erickson along with the aforementioned Stephen Reid while at EuroGamer Expo 2011. Click here for the detailed interview which hits a wide range of topics from species to guilds to social networking. Oh, and if achivements are your thing, then there's another reason you might want to check out the interview.
Wrapping things up, Joe.ie presents a new hands-on preview of The Old Republic while DailyMail.co.uk contends that TOR, due to its high price tag, is "the Avatar of gaming."