Bioware knows what’s up.

14 12 2011

The Blog-o-sphere is afire today with reports across the board re: “I’m in early-access and it’s rockin’ hard” . Werit called the experience “flawless”. Syp (of Biobreak and Massively renown) had this to say:

“I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a (pseudo) launch day as good as this one for SWTOR, and I’m including RIFT’s stellar launch as well.”

Rift’s launch was seamless, in my experience, so that speaks a great deal to me. Even Keen & Graev, my unknowing nemesises…nemesi…nemeses (okay, the spell-checker liked that one) my blog-o-foes seemed impressed; Keen went so far as to say

“This might be my all-time favorite method for launching a major MMO, actually.”

Here I am, possibly the only blogger who openly stated his hair-brained plan was to ecstatically jump into TOR almost one month after release and I’m thinking to myself that I should’ve pre-ordered back in July. I mean, that wouldn’t change what I knew even then: holiday travel has my hands tied. It’d be a wasted two weeks of my first month of air-time. Doesn’t mean I’m not 1. a bit envious, 2. actually unabashedly excited now.

Naturally the TOR forums are rife with people griping about not getting in first, throwing terms around like “unfair” and “not what I paid for”, variations on a common and disappointing theme. Naturally those kinds of posters neither read blogs like this (or at all) nor do they read elegant and impressive posts from the Bioware team like this one. My favorite part:

“We invited more people to play Star Wars: The Old Republic today than many other MMO launches manage in their entire head-start process.”

This is still days ahead of their asserted “five-day early access”. I’ll admit it. I’m impressed – a bit staggered even – at the genius behind the way they’re leveraging their pre-orders.

  • Pre-orders give them pre-launch capital to both further fund development and set investor minds at ease;
  • pre-orders getting early-access even before early-access starts is a brilliant way to ease servers up to their capacities.

Players have really zero room to complain as there was no guarantee they’d get access on the five-days-before mark, let alone several days before even that. Of course, people do complain, due to some weird and veiled (even to them) sense of being entitled. That’s a root problem with our culture; possibly our species. (This isn’t that kind of blog, thade.) Right. Sorry.

TL;DR

This launch is hot. This game is getting uniformly positive reviews. Stow your hate and take solace in the fact that Lucas’s influence here is minimal; the real control is Bioware’s. Ball’s in their court, whistle’s in their hands, the fans are all wearing their shirts. The co-founder and live producer got tattoos. If they’re getting tattoos in the weeks preceding official launch (a process that is both intensely painful and can take hours of not paying attention to email or sitting in meetings) then you know these two are beyond confident in their software.

And it seems they have every damned reason to be.

It also seems that they are mountain men. Seriously, behold those beards. They’re epic.

I cannot wait to get my hands on that box.

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