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Never Tell Me The Odds

February 25, 2011

Another Friday, another Star Wars: The Old Republic weekly update. And it’s a dev blog. Blaine Christine is one of my favorite guys over at BioWare Austin, however, so I was only slightly disappointed that it wasn’t the Bounty Hunter class video I was hoping for. But at this point, I don’t expect to see any more exciting announcements until PAX East in two weeks, anyway.

It was nice to see Mr. Christine’s good humor come through along with his insights as he gives us an inside look at Game Testing. I feel Developer Blogs are often some of the more informative sources — straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Though, now it’s going to be kinda hard to look at him again and not picture him in Queen Amidala’s make-up and red dress. Pass the eye bleach, please!

It was interesting to read about his work as a Live Producer, but I’m not sure how I feel about some of the Game Tester thoughts they included, to tell the truth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased to see game testing is going well, and yeah I want to know how testing is going. But I can’t help it, reading exaggerated praise and quotes like “I’ve been waiting years and years and years for an MMORPG experience like this” still makes me cringe a little inside. Exaggerated hype, but very little substance. Whenever I read feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, I always find myself asking “Why?” Thoughts from testers that read more like typical quotes you’ll find on the back of a book jacket don’t tell me much and just leave me feeling empty. Obviously, this is why I prefer reading the more detailed hands-on reviews.

I do get how the marketing machine works though, and also too that they have to keep certain details about testing hush-hush. And it is quite possible that maybe I’m just being a grump. Heck, I’m certainly not above admitting a little bit of bitterness over not beta testing :P

Oh why oh why oh why do I never get lucky with these things?

6 comments

  1. In some ways, I agree about glorious praise sometimes being cringe worthy. Maybe that’s because you can only take people at their word–especially if they don’t go into any glorious details about what, specifically, they found “amazing” about the game. I’m sure BioWare probably has gotten specific praise aimed at specific systems, aspects, or elements. However, I’m sure BioWare can’t give those out right now, because they would then be unable to keep things on the down low.

    Sometimes I feel bitter about it, but only because I feel like someone has something awesome hidden behind their back that they can’t let me see, yet they harp on and on about how great it will be when I eventually do see it…

    On the subject of the Friday Update, it seems Stephen Reid shed some light on things through the dev tracker:

    “A little peek behind the curtain.

    This week’s blog was originally intended to be part of next Friday’s update. We ran into some unexpected issues finalizing this Friday’s originally scheduled content, and so chose to move that content out to next Friday. As a result, next week, you’ll get an update-and-a-half… and then after that, you’ll soon see the cool stuff we’ve all been hard at work on for PAX East.

    Part of the reasoning for this blog was to give you a peek into some of the feedback we got from our Game Testers; on the whole, feedback has been very positive and we’re excited to see the response. We also wanted to remind everyone about our Game Testing Program, as feedback from our community so far has been extremely valuable to the development of The Old Republic.

    We realize we can’t please ‘all of the people, all of the time’ but we remain committed to giving you regular updates on the development and features of The Old Republic.” – Stephen Reid

    That makes me feel a little better. This was a bit light, even for BioWare, and I wondered if there wasn’t an explanation for it all.

    If the above statement holds true, then it may just be worth it; releasing an “update-and-a-half” right before one of the year’s biggest gaming conventions is a nice little vaulting platform. Especially since this could be the last fan-geared (E3 has always been media-geared) event for SWTOR before launch.

    *Phew* Ok, enough writing.

    I think I’mma go drink some hot chocolate or something.


    • The glorious praise might have been something to put in a magazine…a dev blog, knowing that the majority of their forum community would be stalking for the update, was probably not such a great idea. Some people were already pissed about the light update, and among those there were some even more pissed about seeing game tester comments going on about how amazing it is just served to remind them they’re not playing this game :P

      I did like that one comment about the Sarlaac pit though. That one made me laugh at least!

      And yeah I saw that comment from Stephen as well. Totally looking forward to a more robust than usual update next Friday!


  2. Actually, I had the exact same reaction to the quotes from game testers. It completely looked like back of the box stuff. If there had been some “This game completely bitt. My time with it traumatized me so badly that I went crazy, killed my neighbors, and am now in federal prison for the rest of my adult life” comments mixed in I’d see it as less of a marketing/ hype sort of release ;-)


    • Haha, I’m not sure “acclaim” like that would go over so well with the retailers :P


  3. the negativity to this was hilarious. “the last 2 friday updates have been terrible!?!@?#$!@$”

    I like seeing things that improve peoples knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes.


    • Yeah same! Dev blogs are often the most informative updates. And I like Blaine Christine, he’s hilarious!



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