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How A Classic MMO Survived A Disastrous Launch

We all know the hassle that can occur during launch for any MMORPG (or other game for that matter). Servers going down, queues that’s 3 hours long, and when you finally get into the login screen, you get dropped from the server. Or why not the lag that usually cripples any form of game play for a few days? This was the standard launch of many MMORPG’s that we have seen, World of Warcraft being one of them.

Kotaku has published a very fun and interesting article by Matt Firor, the original producer of Dark Age of Camelot (10 years and still going strong). It’s about the launch of DAoC and all the problems they encountered, everything from from crashing servers due to MYSql script in a diffrent application, to having to camp a parking spot(!) for days so not to block a IR signal they needed from a different building.

The whole article can be read at this link. It’s well worth your time and it might give you some perspective on the SWTOR launch that is coming up faster and faster. I am sure that BioWare will have their launch ironed out for the masses when the gates are finally opened up. Enjoy!

Ten years ago, I began my career in the gaming industry by signing on to help with the imminent launch of Dark Age of Camelot. That game and its team still holds a special place in my heart, though most of the founders from that day have went their seperate ways. Matt Firor, the original producer, asked me to post his recollections of that launch.

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Guild Testing Program updated

BioWare has updated their “Guild Testing Program Details” post. The updated part is in green, but I am adding the whole post so that people that have missed it can read up.

We are very pleased to announce the start of Guild Testing for STAR WARS: The Old Republic! This program will allow guilds to be considered as a whole for inclusion in the Game Testing Program, allowing us to gather important data regarding how guilds play The Old Republic, as well as how organized groups deal with various mechanics and systems in the game. The program is already underway, as we’ve invited the first wave of guilds into testing, however we’ll be adding more over the coming weeks alongside the general Game Testing invites.

How do I sign my guild up for Guild Testing?
All you need to do in order to have your guild considered for Guild Testing is to have an active guild with at least 10 members registered in our Guild Headquarters. We also recommend creating a recruitment thread on our forums, but please make sure you are following the Recruitment Guidelines we’ve set forward. Guilds that spam recruitment messages after multiple warnings, for example, will not be considered for Guild Testing.

How are guilds selected for Guild Testing?
In general, guild testing is done randomly from all eligible guilds (that is, those with at least 10 registered members in the Guild Headquarters). Throughout the program, we will be looking to let in both large and small guilds, so as long as your guild meets the minimum requirement, you have an equal chance of being invited to testing. In addition, we may, at our discretion, choose a few select guilds that are active and helpful in the community, since we could use that sort of helpfulness in-game and on the Testing Forums. Note that this will be done in rare circumstances, in order to reward our dedicated community members. Please do not contact any BioWare staff requesting access to Guild Testing, or else your guild may be removed from consideration.

How do I know if my guild has been selected for Guild Testing?
Guild leaders will be contacted directly with detailed instructions when their guild gets selected for testing. It’ll be their job to pass the appropriate information to the rest of their guild in order for everyone to be sent testing invites.

What is involved in Guild Testing?
Guild Testing works the same way as Game Testing does, however by being invited as a guild, you gain the advantage of being in the same testing group and being on the same server, allowing for more coordination amongst the guild for testing group content. You’ll still be a part of the general Game Testing population as well, and will have access to the general testing forums as everyone else does.

Are European guilds eligible for Guild Testing?
European Guild Testing will begin at the same time the European Testing Program begins in the near future.

If I receive a personal invitation to test the game, does this make my guild (or myself) ineligible for Guild Testing?
No, you and your guild are eligible for Guild Testing regardless of whether you have previously tested the game or not.

If you have any other questions about the program, feel free to post in this thread or email us at guilds@swtor.com. Again, please do not contact us asking for Guild Testing consideration or your guild may not be considered for testing.

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Tester Survey Email wrongly sent out last night

Yesterday alot of people got a mail, asking them to rate the beta so far. Alot of people panicked and thought they had missed a potential beta invite, but this is not the case. BioWare had sent out the email to the SWTOR community, much larger then intended. They have made a public appology:

Earlier today, two e-mails were sent to members of the Star Wars: The Old Republic community. These e-mails were sent to a larger group than intended, and have caused some confusion in the community. We can confirm that these e-mails were from EA and BioWare and apologize for any confusion they have caused. Please note that receiving these e-mails does not affect your chances to be invited to test the game. Thank you all for your understanding!

Later today a follow up statement was made:

A follow-up to this as there have been, understandably, a few more questions:

Does receiving these emails have anything at all to do with my Game Testing status? As I received the emails, am I on the list to receive an invite now?
I’m afraid not. These emails were sent in error to a portion of our mailing list, and do not relate to selection for Game Testing.

Am I now not eligible for selection for Game Testing?
Everyone who received the emails – assuming they are not already in Game Testing, and are already signed up to test – is still eligible for selection in the future. We’re continuing to invite more testers and our next Beta Testing Weekend is being planned right now.

Who were supposed to get these emails, anyway?
A small group of game testers as part of ongoing market research.

How come I got an invite and my [friend/significant other/guild mate] didn’t?
While a lot of emails were sent in error, they didn’t hit our entire mailing list, which means a lot of people wouldn’t get them.

As I got this email – does this now mean any eventual Game Testing invite is now going to hit my inbox?
This email was actually sent from a different email address than the one used by our Game Testing invites. To ensure you see a future email invite, make sure to add no-reply@bioware.swtor.com to your ‘safe senders’ list. As always, if you believe you have been invited to Game Testing, you can login at swtor.com/tester and check your status.

If you are still unsure if you have gotten a beta invite or not, you can visit http://www.swtor.com/tester and login to see if you have been lucky enought. This is the only way to be 100% sure you got one.

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Launch Date SWTOR

So the launch date is finaly set! December 20 for North America and 22 December for EU.

BioWare and LucasArts are pleased to announce that Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ will launch on December 20, 2011 in North America and on December 22, 2011 in the European Launch Territories! The announcement was first made by BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk during their keynote address at the 2011 Eurogamer Expo in London, England. Speaking to a packed room of press and fans alike, Dr. Muzyka acknowledged the weight of the moment and the patience of the fans.

http://www.swtor.com/news/news-article/20110924?sourceid=eag3109