The big news came as a huge surprise. Early Access has been moved forwards and will now start on 13th December, giving some lucky folks a full week of gaming prior to the official launch. After Early Access there will no longer be a grace period, you'll need a game key to continue playing after 20th December. Retailers have been contacted and there is a push to get the game out to everyone in time (I had my email from Game today confirming I'll be getting my Collectors Edition on the 15th). In preparation for Early Access you can now download the full release game client here.
There's a huge official FAQ on the Early Access system here.
In other SWTOR news Lead Developer Emmanuel Lusinchi made an epic post on the official forums describing the how, why and what of the games item modification system. This is one of the best developer posts I've ever read, and gives a real insight into the behind-the-scenes decision making that comes with such a complex system.
Bioware have been celebrating the run up to launch by releasing a brand new track from the game's musical score every day. These free tracks are ones that do not appear on the official soundtrack CD. So far 7 tracks have been released, and they are all brilliant. You can grab the first one here (there is a download link in the track's description), and the others are linked on that page too.
EA revealed that over two million people have now beta tested the game, with over 750,000 logging in during the most recent stress test weekend. That's a big number!
From a personal point of view the big news this week was that my brother Voltaan (aka Adurj from Le Bard Connection) has confirmed he will be playing the game and has joined Convergence! I can't wait to draw blasters alongside you bruv! :)
Finally the Friday update this week gives us the character progression video for the Sith Inquisitor, which I have embedded below. Cool helmets!
You know, this time next week I may have my first update from the live game :)