No grace period: Oceanic disappointment

What a day. As we’ve already discussed today, early access to SWTOR for those who pre-ordered, is getting close.

However, a more important issue for Oceanic players is the confirmation that there will be no grace period.

The Pre-Order FAQ now states this:

So that means: even if you get early access, you can’t continue to play the game until you have your SWTOR product code. For most of us down this end of the world, that means waiting for a boxed copy to arrive from overseas. In my case, Amazon US is stating a delivery date of the 10th January 2012 as it won’t be shipped until the 21st December, the day after launch – even though I pre-ordered back in late July.

There’s some other interesting points made on the issue in a thread on our own forums – and from doing the rounds of other forums, not surprisingly there’s a lot of unhappy people.

Bioware’s Stephen Reid has said they are working with Amazon to speed up shipments but that availability of product on launch date is unlikely for Oceanic players. So that doesn’t sound too promising either.

To attempt some balance though, these events need to be viewed through the prism of launch territories. Because the decision was made by Bioware to launch in the USA and in parts of Europe only, the grace period issue is pretty much negated in those areas as people will get their copy prior to launch date. The rest of us can’t expect the same given we’re not in the launch territory. I’m by no means saying I agree with the way the launch areas were determined, but it’s a reality and there are ramifications from that decision, of which the grace period is one.

So what can you do about it? I’ve gone a relatively extreme route given here at TOROZ we intend on reporting on SWTOR news throughout the launch period. I’ve ordered a second copy of SWTOR and had it shipped to a friend in the US (with delivery date of 20th December), who will then kindly let me know the product code so I can continue to play once early access finishes. Would I normally do that? No. Do I like having to buy two copies of the same game to be able to play? No – but for me it’s a necessary evil. The only other option you have is to enjoy whatever early access you have and then psych yourself up for a Xmas/ New Year break from the game and hope our postal services aren’t too laid back after a few days off.

Over to you: what’s your take on the grace period?

One last thing, thanks to TOGmmog on our forums – Hitler’s take on the no grace period issue:

Paper, Scissors, Stone: So What?

I love a good piece of viral internet information, and one in particular that’s amused me over the past week is the speculation that’s built up over this tweet:

New Aussie Classification — “PAPER, SCISSORS, STONE” by… “BIOWARE & LUCAS”? Huh?

What that tweet is referring to is this little entry on the Australian Government’s Classification website (click on image for full-size):

That’s led to a bunch of gaming sites getting excited that it means that SWTOR is going through the approval process with the Classification Board, Review Board and Classification Branch.

So what?

Even if ‘Paper, Scissors, Stone’ is SWTOR in disguise, and it’s an obvious possibility – was anyone thinking SWTOR wouldn’t ever be released in Australia? I’d have actually been more surprised if EA / Bioware hadn’t started the process of approval, even if a local release is 6-12 months off. New Zealanders: sorry you may not get even a glimpse of an approval process given your more laid back laws that only require submission for approval if there’s a likelihood of the game being refused release.

Anyway, to jump on a week-old bandwagon, I’m pleased to announce that based on the above image, SWTOR should be coming out in Australia sometime in the future.

And of course, when we do have a launch date, I’ll be the first to move away from my grumpy old man persona and declare it a great step forward, but I’m not sure a standard game approval process is really that much to get excited about.

Or is it? Post your thoughts.