How SWTOR Ate My Summer Holiday

It’s with a great deal of pleasure we welcome the latest member of the TOROZ team. Simon Potter is Victoria-based and you can find out more about him here.

Simon will be writing regularly on what takes his fancy really – so make him welcome!



One penultimate test weekend is all that stands between humanity and the release of a game that may melt the InterWebs. It’s going to be so big, you can see it from space.

The good news for everyone in RedZoneLand, (ie. everyone who isn’t into Gridiron* or Lederhosen), is that we  get to play along with anyone else whose already signed up for testing on (so long as you checked the box before November 11). Not only that but Bioware has dropped more beta keys on US and European websites than Tony Abbott has smuggled budgies.  I’ll let that image sink in… all done? Good.

So lets do a little math. How many invites are we talking about? Massively has 75k, Curse 12.5k, had at least 14k and while the other sites haven’t disclosed how many keys they have, we can estimate at least 12k each. Add those numbers together and we’re heading towards 150k. Factor in all those preorder codes punched in to and you’re looking at a stress test even a Jedi is going to feel.

So what should you bear in mind before that email arrives and you become Charlie Bucket for a moment?

1. Remember, this is a stress test. There will be delays. There will be queues. There will be some technical issues. Relax. For every frustration you encounter in the test, that’s one more frustration that Bioware have a chance to fix for the final release. Remember /bug is your friend.

2. Watch the SWTOR forums. All information will be posted as stickies. I’d also suggest that you only post if you really need to. There will be a lot of people in there once the beta is announced and the last weekend test brought the forums down for a couple of hours due to excess traffic.

3. Download as early as possible. Speeds will be slow, so set and forget. Don’t sit there watching the progress bar. I’ve tried it and it isn’t fun, even with beer and corn chips.

4. It’s a beta. Remember that what you see will be close to the final release, but not the final version. 

5. Your character will be deleted. “No duh, Sherlock” you may be saying. But there are people out there who have mistaken ‘Beta’ for ‘Early Access’. I’d hate for you to be one of them.

6. Read up on your advanced classes. If you play one character over the whole weekend, you’ll probably level up enough to make that choice. While the client is downloading, do some research, that way you can make an informed decision and have unimpeded fun.

7. Go nuts. Try a class you wouldn’t normally go for. Make choices you wouldn’t normally make. Nothing you do will exist after the test, so use this opportunity to experiment. Save your favourite class for the real deal.

* I should note that Canadian Football is different and far superior.

UPDATE: As I’ve certainly missed a few gems of wisdom, any additional suggestions or tips regarding the upcoming beta are most welcome, however please make sure that, if you have played or are playing the beta, any advise doesn’t violate the NDA.


  1. 8. figure out professions, not just what you’ll take, but how the hell they work, I finally got the hang of them after a couple of days.

    9. don’t ragequit over losing out on loot in the very first instance on the very first pull (yes this actually happened to me.. in a beta…).

    10. gaining access to your advanced class is not as simple as visiting your trainer and making a choice, you’ll have to complete a couple of talky quests, and make sure of your choice, there is currently no way to change advanced class. if in doubt or you think you missed something, check your quest log and see if there are any entries under class, keep doing that quest/chain.

    furthermore your advanced class abilities show up under a different tab when you talk to your class trainer. for example if you decide to make your bounty hunter a merc, he will not immediately be granted any relevant skills, you have to visit your trainer and select the appropriate advanced class tab.

    11. the codex or ingame encyclopaedia has a wealth of information, clickable entries will show up as you do things and go places, but to access it after say, just having logged in, at first glance is impossible. it has no hotkey or binding under controls, there is no button for it anywhere on the interface, to find it, bring up your quest log and (from memory) look down the bottom of the page, you’ll find some tabs, one of which is the codex.

  2. man i ve been searching fow hours to find out what abilities were tech damage and what were ranged damage (i was a trooper) anyone got a link (looking up combat medic stuff)

  3. Bioware has also just unleashed 400,000 Beta Keys through the Bioware Social Network site – it’s going to be a massive Beta weekend.