BioWare responds on beta-test selection for Mac users

I few days back I wrote about being excluded from the beta-test, due to trying to sign-up on a Mac. Sean Dahlberg, BioWare’s Community Manager, has followed up with a response:

I wanted to apologize for the previous response you received in  regards to your issues signing up for STAR WARS™: The Old Republic™. While we recognize that there are other operating systems and platforms available for games today, our development is specific to the personal computer (PC) using the Microsoft® Windows® operating system at this time.

Our technology provider for the system scan is not compatible with a Macintosh running Windows, so we are unable to validate your system for testing at this time. For the purposes of providing the most stable testing environment, we are currently limiting our testing participants to those using the Windows operating system on a PC. At some point we will be evaluating compatibility with the Macintosh running Windows and we may put out an additional call for testers at that time.

We apologize for any inconvenience and that this has caused and for it not being well conveyed to begin with.

It’s a positive sign that BioWare at least haven’t rules out the option of people on Macs testing SWTOR. There’s obviously the wider frustration of SWTOR not being available for the Mac natively, but that’s another whole mountain that’s likely never to be climbed.

BioWare announces SWTOR beta: invites applications

If you haven’t heard already, BioWare have invited applications to join the SWTOR beta program. This may surprise you greatly, but the response has been enthusiastic, with the SWTOR site down due to the influx of applications:


All you can do wait for the site to return and to wonder at the infrastructure challenges facing BioWare when SWTOR actually goes live. Here’s hoping they’ve purchased a small country somewhere in which to house the servers required to run things when everyone logs in at the same time. Anyway, here’s where you need to go to sign up for the beta program, just expect an image similar to above in the short term.

BioWare interview at Comic-Con

jar-jar-binks2 Gaming site Ten Ton Hammer pulled off an interview with a bunch of the BioWare team at Comic-Con over the weekend. There’s lots of the expected “we can tell you that” featured but also some good insights into development to date.

You can read it in full here, but here are some of the more notable comments:

1. On combat mechanics

I mean, we haven’t even shown anything to the public yet past level eight. We have really, really exciting character classes that each feel totally awesome. If you’re a guy that just wants to power through a bunch of those and just have a really compelling combat experience at the top of the game, that’s an option for you. We’re already proving that to ourselves, and if folks just want to fight – and that’s the pillar that they love – they’re going to be very satisfied.

Interpretation: World of Warcraft tanks, come on in, we love you and want you.

2. On combat (again)

We really just wanted to emulate the cinematic, action-packed Star Wars combat. The decisions that Jeff [Dobson]’s combat team makes are based on those (sic) tenants – that it needs to be full of action and visceral. It needs to feel like it has an influence on the game, and it needs to be reactive in that the enemies are reacting to what you’re doing.

Interpretation: you’ll be able to hit things, make then hurt and it’ll be obvious they’re hurtin’

3. On what will make the cut

There wasn’t anything in the game that was implemented just because “it fits.” The bounty hunter needed to go in simply because it was a major part of the universe and was vital to almost every element of Star Wars.

That said, there are areas of the expanded universe that we could take and run with if they fit every part of our game. But we’re not going to look at pieces and just include them in the game simply because they exist.

Interpretation: We don’t care how much you want Gungans in SWTOR, it’s never going to happen, even if it costs us plush toy sales. (See, there was a reason for the Jar Jar Binks pic that may have made you vomit in your mouth a little).

Flippancy aside, there’s obviously some big efforts being out into making combat something different from current MMOs. This was a difference touted by Age of Conan‘s developers – things can only go up from there for BioWare you’d think.