Posts Tagged ‘BioWare’

SWTOR Bolsters Customization With Cat People

By Jim Rossignol on April 29th, 2013.


The next SWTOR update is all about customization, allowing radical visual overhauls for any and all characters. Nice move, space developers, but what won’t get me playing your game is the inclusion of cat-people. As we all know, the inclusion of cat people in any franchise (we’ll omit Thundercats for now) is an admission of creative bankruptcy. Yes, even in Elder Scrolls games. It’s just not okay. If you are looking around for that other race, the crazy alterative to elves or stormtroopers, and the best you can come up with is a man that looks like a cat, well… no. Anyway, that’s what this next update brings. Not player Jawas, or anything like that. Hell, even Star Wars Galaxies had playable Ithorians.

Grumble. Videos below.
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Hutt Hutt! The Old Republic’s Scum & Villainy 2.0

By Jim Rossignol on April 10th, 2013.


What I mean is, the 2.0 update for Star Wars: The Old Republic is live (and trailered with a video entitled “Scum & Villainy”, in reference to something Spock once said in Star Trek). The update adds a hard mode to operations and flashpoints (weird dissonance there) which preps the ground for the Rise Of The Hutt Cartel expansion, which arrives in a couple of days (or right now if you pre-ordered). That’s an actual expansion that you will have to pay $20 for, just like they did when my pappy was a boy.

2.0, meanwhile, also overhauls PvP, changing the way that characters are “bolstered” when they enter a PvP area. Wow, that really does seem like a band-aid sort of mechanic, doesn’t it? Hmm. Anyone with extensive SWTOR PvP experience able to shine a light on that?
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BioWare’s Gaider On Dragon Age II’s Flaws, Dragon Age III

By Nathan Grayson on March 29th, 2013.

I actually don’t think Dragon Age II was all that terrible. Or rather, I fully understand that elements of it were very, very bad (it had more caves than Ron Gilbert’s The Cave, for instance; and not on purpose), but others were incredibly fascinating. Party members lived their own lives, themes like racism and security-vs-freedom got the spotlight, and your choices really, really didn’t matter all that much. Was it a game whose budgetary and time constraints hung about its neck like a noose, leaving only gasping wisps of potential? Absolutely. But those limits also shaped it, so it was interesting to see a less powerful BioWare craft a narrative about, well, powerlessness. After discussing the baffling impracticality of sexism, Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider and I talked about the ups and downs of Dragon Age II and how they’ve ultimately guided Dragon Age III to a very different place.

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Dragon Age III’s Gaider On The Impracticality Of Sexism

By Nathan Grayson on March 28th, 2013.

All this talk of sexism isn’t going away, nor should it. The gaming industry’s sick, and the symptoms are plain as day. Mystifyingly often, however, the immediate reaction to even the faintest hint of that suggestion is “No, nuh-uh! You just want to censor expression! Give me one good reason we actually need to change.”* Well, if you really want to move beyond “Because jeez, it’s basic human decency to treat someone else the way you’d like to be treated,” Dragon Age III lead writer David Gaider’s got a laundry list of practical reasons for you. 14 years at one of the most influential studios out there, after all, will do that to you. Especially when it’s one that’s certainly not innocent of mistakes and missteps of its own. Prior to Gaider’s GDC talk on the very same subject, I caught up with him to discuss why sexism (and any sort of “-ism,” really) is bad for everyone: you, me, the industry, and of course, women or anyone else directly affected.

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So Long, Shepard: Mass Effect 3′s ‘Citadel’ DLC

By Nathan Grayson on February 22nd, 2013.

Sayonara, everyone. At least, until the inevitable Mass-Effect-Not-4 cameos and '20 Years Later' reunion special.

There’s just something about goodbyes. Like, growing up, I had a pet parrot. She filled my youth with eardrum-skewering screams and will probably be able to take most of the credit for my first heart attack, which will come at age 29. Also, she’s going to outlive me. But, if she doesn’t, I’ll be a complete wreck when she finally closes her infernal, saliva-less beak, er, forever. Which is my way of saying the Mass Effect trilogy is kind of like an obnoxious cockatoo. Sure, it didn’t always do me right, but we grew together, and we had some magnificent times over the years. According to BioWare, Citadel is Shepard and co’s swan song. But hey, at least everyone (and apparently, BioWare really does mean everyone) is coming back for one last reunion tour.

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No One Mention The “Mass Effect 4″

By John Walker on February 7th, 2013.

See – because it rhymes with “war”, and that’s a reference to a thing a man said in a TV show 37 years ago. The ever-watchful eye-turrets of Eurogamer spotted that BioWare community manager Chris Priestly took to the studio’s forums to declare calling Mass Effect 4 “Mass Effect 4″ is “doing it a disservice”. It’s a game that “does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side.” Meanwhile, BioWare Montreal’s head Yanick Roy has explained that Mass Effect 4 could take place after Mass Effect 3.

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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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