Posts Tagged ‘BioWare’

SWTOR’s First Expansion Raises Level Cap, Hutts

By Nathan Grayson on December 19th, 2012.

As far as I can tell, this is actually a screenshot from the sadly unreleased Hutt DLC for BioShock.

First those ding dang dern Triads and now Hutts? Jeez, what won’t rise these days? I mean, at this rate, everyone and everything’s going to start rising, and then that’ll just be the new normal, non-risen plane of existence. Where’s the fun in that? Oh well, though. Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel: The Subtitling is now officially a thing, and it’s coming soon to a galaxy near (read: far, far away from) you. But what will it entail? Am I finally about to get the Hutt crime empire management sim of my dreams? Cross your slimy slug fingers and head past the break for details.

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BioWare Generates SWTOR’s Ancient Hypergate Update

By Nathan Grayson on December 12th, 2012.

Hypergate: from the people who brought you ULTRADOOR.

Star Wars takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, and Star Wars: The Old Republic is set an even longer time ago than that. Thus, this Hypergate – which is positively ancient, even by SWTOR’s musty standards – must be older than time itself. Naturally, then, people (and blue not-people and green not-people and spiky faced not-people) must risk reducing the precious relic to ash by waging brutal, ceaseless wars over it. That’s just how these things work. And now you can join in on the ill-advised carnage for absolutely no money*. No strings attached**. Nope, none ***. Seriously****!

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Take A T’Loak At Mass Effect 3 Omega

By Nathan Grayson on November 27th, 2012.

They say Aria's biotics are some of the most powerful out there. Well, when she's not choking them, anyway.

I’m not the sort of person who usually watches the deleted/extended scenes of movie special editions. I mean, I’m sure they’re fascinating – and I’ll definitely go for a swim in the deep end if I’m really, really into something – but odds are, I’ve already gotten the point. I’ve seen the credits roll on the vanilla version. I’ve taken the journey, and – unless it’s been a while – I’m not super interested in trying the scenic route. That’s pretty much my dilemma with Mass Effect 3‘s DLC as well. Omega, for instance, looks like a bombastic jaunt off the beaten space-path, but I already know where it ultimately leads. Still though, a new trailer makes a compelling argument for me to play it sooner rather than later – if only because it looks like a fairly robust self-contained tale. Also, Aria’s finally doing things. Explode-y things. I bet her faithful couch is terribly lonely.

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BioWare Laughs Off BLOPS2/Mass Effect 2 Mix-Up

By John Walker on November 14th, 2012.

There are a few different ways BioWare could have reacted to their game, Mass Effect 2, being accidentally shipped in boxes of Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2. It’s looking like they’ve picked the best possible one. Rather than getting upset, the studio is seeing it as splendid marketing, a promotional opportunity, and explaining to those who’ve received a copy of their game that “the universe thinks you should be playing Mass Effect right now.” They’ve gone so far as to create a competition for those with the wrong disc.

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Mass Effect Not-4 Catches Frostbite

By Alec Meer on November 12th, 2012.

An angry internet man, yesterday

Whaaaaaat! How is it possible for there to be another Mass Effect game? Surely everything was tied up and the game universe so profoundly changed by the conclusion(s) of ME3 that there’s simply no room for more? Unless there was somehow some way to tweak and retcon a story that’s already built around ad-hoc pseduo-mythology, resurrections and space magic…. No, surely no such thing is possible. While we wait to see how Bioware take ME’s prophecy-blighted space opera to new places (I’m going to bet you play as a new character who encounters/searches for a long-lost Shepherd), what we do now know is that it’ll be departing its mucky-textured Unreal-based engine of yesteryear and moving to DICE’s impressive (and, thus far, very PC-sympathetic) Frostbite engine for the next instalment.
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Forcing Change: SWTOR Officially Goes F2P Next Week

By Nathan Grayson on November 9th, 2012.

It's like they say: 'Red on yellow will kill a fellow, but red on black is a friend to Jack - unless they're not actually a snake at all but instead a terrifying Sith death lord.

There comes a time in every young MMO’s life when it has to start facing facts and accepting the horrible, domino-like deterministic path cruel fate has set all of us on. Primarily, this means coping with the fact that World of Warcraft looms over its genre compatriots like an imploding sun, and its black-hole-like pull will devour all subscriber money from now until the end of time. Not even Star Wars: The Old Republic – the last great white hope for subs in a post-WoW world – could change that. And so, not even a year after launch, it’ll be flipping the F2P switch on November 15th. But, of course, there are some strings attached.

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Of Monsters And Meatbags: SWTOR’s HK-51 Update

By Nathan Grayson on November 8th, 2012.

Don't worry, ma'am. We're only here to help.

Disney owns Star Wars now, so what better way to celebrate than with the most un-Disney character in the entire Star Wars universe? In fairness, Hk-51 isn’t HK-47 (who has already appeared elsewhere in Star Wars: The Old Republic), but they’re quite obviously cut from the same organic-life-loathing cloth. They probably also both loathe cloth, for that matter. Point is, don’t go into a frothy mouthed state of paralytic shock if your new companion combines the words “meat” and “bag” to form a phrase of a far more sinister nature. But the galaxy-spanning quest to secure an adorable HK-51 of your very own is only a small part of SWTOR’s upcoming update 1.5. The rest appears in a hyper-advanced eyeball stimulating holocron after the break.

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BioWare Force-Tweaks SWTOR’s F2P Restrictions

By Nathan Grayson on October 30th, 2012.

Ooo! A penny!

Soon, everyone will be able to play Star Wars: The Old Republic*. Oh, that asterisk? Sorry, my entire-one-to-one-scale-replica-of-The-Death-Star key is broken. Still though, the point remains: SWTOR’s gearing up for a F2P relaunch, but there are some nearly moon-sized restrictions keeping it grounded. Fortunately, after initial complaints and some time on test servers, BioWare’s seen fit to scale them back – if only just a bit.

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SWTOR Free To Play Is Now Free To Play

By Alec Meer on October 24th, 2012.

John (left) and Jim (right), yesterday

“Hello, Guinness Book Of Records? Was Star Wars: The Old Republic the fastest MMO to go from subs-based to free-to-play? Why yes, I could go away and do the most token amount of research instead, but I wanted to hear a human voice for a change. Also, can I have a pint of Guinness please? Yes, Extra Cold, thanks.”

And now you can try out SWTOR’s freeiness to playiness for yourself, albeit in a contained, reduced version, as the first vestiges of it are now live on that MMO folly’s test server.
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Dragon Age III Going Big On Customization, Environments

By Nathan Grayson on October 23rd, 2012.

Oooooo, pretty concept art.

I think I actually like Dragon Age II a lot more than most people. Mainly, though, I appreciate for what it nearly ended up being – not so much what it was. I mean, it explored some seriously interesting subject matter and dropped the tried and tired “epic globe stroll to save the world” format in favor of a more self-contained, intimate tale. Time passed, things changed, characters (sort of) led their own lives, etc. Unfortunately, those lives all tended to lead to the same goddamn cave, and I’ve played FMV games with more robust character customization. To hear BioWare tell it, though, the recently de-doctored RPG giant is taking those complaints extremely seriously. I do, however, still have a few reservations about the resulting plan for Dragon Age III.

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BioWare’s Schubert On MMO Past Vs MMO Present

By Nathan Grayson on October 18th, 2012.

A long time ago, in a galaxy that was still this one, Star Wars: The Old Republic lead systems designer Damion Schubert was one of the principle minds behind Meridian 59, a bonafide pioneer of MMORPGs as, well, things. Since then, he’s worked on Shadowbane and The Sims Online, among others. During GDC Online, however, he gave a talk regaling tales of Meridian clone invasions and other such emergent madness interspersed with rather comical regrets (Fun fact: It was the first 3D MMO. It also launched without mouse-look). Afterward, we sat down for a chat about how MMOs have changed since Schubert first helped hand them a lunch bag and usher them onto the bus back in ye olde 1990s. And while his eyes lit up as he reminisced about Meridian’s good old days, he was also quite adamant about his preference for SWTOR’s story-driven approach over, say, EVE-Online-style emergent madness. All that and more after the break.

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Power To The (Solo) Players: SWTOR’s F2P Restrictions

By Nathan Grayson on October 18th, 2012.

Note: 'Limited' customization options mean you probably won't actually be able to look like this. Yeah.

Hmmm. Mmmmm. Ehhhhh. Errrrrr. Also harumph. Oh, hello, didn’t see you there. When I enter my Contemplate-O-Sphere, I tend to just lose track of the world around me and emit a series of guttural droning sounds – eyes wide yet unseeing, as though I’m possessed by some kind of brain ghost. I believe many of you call it “having an idea.” Only I’m having many ideas – mostly prompted by Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s fairly alarming approach to free-to-play. In short, if you’re only playing for solo story, you’re in luck. But, if not, well…

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Aria Of (Mass) Effect: ME3′s ‘Omega’ DLC

By Nathan Grayson on October 13th, 2012.

Finally, my copy of Hotline Miami XCVIII arrived!

Mass Effect 3‘s next batch of single-player DLC isn’t just any old carved up chunk of side story gristle. It is, according to BioWare, the biggest yet, which sends “Leviathan” – a synonym for the very concept of largeness (and perhaps also in-charge-ness) – tearfully packing to second place. Titled “Omega,” the new add-on comes bearing an elaborate tale in which you team up with ousted Omega ruler/master space-club-couch-lounger Aria T’loak in an effort to reclaim her old haunt. It also carries a price tag to match.

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