I thought I would take the opportunity this morning to catch up on the news from the galaxy of The Old Republic, and despite only being out of touch for a week there has been plenty happening.
There have been two Q&A sessions over at the official website with a lot of detail on forthcoming content. You can read all of the content here and here, but a few of my favourite pieces of news are:
- an update the the social gear system will add social gear for medium and heavy armour users (this change will be particularly popular with my wife!)
- seasonal events are coming "soon" and will be lore appropriate, require discovery, and reward one-off items
- more treasure hunt style hidden quests and community events are planned
- dual spec is "coming soon" - hurrah!
- the new-and-improved colour matching to chest system will arrive with patch 1.2
- target-of-target will be implemented with 1.2 (w00t!)
- the ability to show/hide companion headgear and to raise/lower hoods on robes is being worked on (but won't make patch 1.2)
New UI changes are coming before patch 1.2, with a redesign of the ability cooldown options following feedback from the community on the most recent iteration. It's good to see Bioware listening to their community and addressing their concerns so quickly, and the decision to make all of the improvements optional is a good thing. You can check out the details here.
Bioware have announced that the game will officially launch in the Asia Pacific region (Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand) on March 1st 2012. There will be region-based servers and the ability for those from the the region who have already created characters to transfer to the new servers.
Drew Karpyshyn has announced he is leaving Bioware to concentrate on working on his original novels. Drew was one of the lead writers at the company, and as head writer on some of my favourite games like Baldur's Gate 2 and the original Mass Effect I believe he really helped to drive the profile and quality of story-driven games across the industry. Good luck for the future Drew, you'll be missed!
Finally, the new Mass Effect 3 demo has been released to general acclaim. I won't be trying it myself as I want to go into the game as spoiler-free as possible, but the positive feedback is encouraging ahead of the game's launch. If you want to try it for yourself you can grab it here.
So, that's all for now. The weather and company here is great, but I'm looking forwards to getting home later next week and seeing my family again. I'm also looking forwards to firing up the ion engines on Merec's Corellian XS Stock Light Freighter and continuing my exploration of Balmorra. I'd like to reach Hoth before Mass Effect 3 arrives to gobble up my game time.
Next time I post I'll be back in Blighty with more tales of my life as a smuggler in SWTOR.