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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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Official “Invites Have Been Sent” Thread

Stephen Reid, Senior Online Community Manager on the SWTOR forum, has compiled a topic on the Official Forums to update everyone on Game Testing/Beta Weekends on a regular basis. So to keep up on this topic, bookmark the page and visit often. Source.

Hello all,

Instead of posting new threads every time we send out a new round of Game Testing invites, we’re going to try and consolidate the notifications right here.

A few parameters first, so hopefully you know what to expect:

- This thread will track both general invites to Game Testing and Beta Testing Weekend invites. (Generally speaking: Beta Testing Weekend invites are for one weekend only; Game Testing invites are for a longer period which is sometimes time limited.)

- We’ll update this original post, but also post in this thread (or the inevitable restart) to remind people that we updated the OP.

- We’ll update here either after invites have been sent, or just before. (We’ll try to update close to when invites are sent, but can’t guarantee it’ll be on-the-dot.)

- Generally speaking, when a batch of invites are sent, they’re sent in one go. If you haven’t received an invite within a few hours of the batch being sent, assume you haven’t received an invite from that batch.

- As always, ensure no-reply@bioware.swtor.com is in your ‘safe senders’ list. Email invites will be sent from that email address.

- If you are ever unsure if you’ve received an invite, login to the site and visit swtor.com/tester/ to see if you’ve been accepted to testing.

- We do not discuss exact numbers regarding Game Testing invites, so please don’t ask.

- We may choose to talk about countries or territories invited, but we also may not. If we haven’t been specific, follow-up questions won’t be responded to.

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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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SWTOR lore, essential reading

Star wars is a big universe, and is so full of resources that just the task of finding out what you need to read, watch or play in order to know a specific era, can be a daunting task in itself. To that end I give you:

Star Wars the Old Repulic Era – Essential Reading
Centrius recently posted a great article on the lore of the Star Wars universe, yet after reading it i caught myself thinking “thats great, but how about people that just want to know the essentials”. So I went on the prowl, scouring the web for information, and have come up with four avenues for gaining information about the Old Repulic Era, within which SWTOR will take place: The SWTOR timeline, the KOTOR games, the Novels and the comic books.

Timeline: The official SWTOR timeline is a video diary, narrated by a Jedi  master. This series is built as a historical review of the historical events that led to the current situation – starting with current events and working backwards.  The Series currently consists of 12x 3-5 minute videos:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL665987A6901566E6

Games: SWTOR relies heavily on the canon establish in the two computer game titles KOTOR & KOTOR2, both of which provide great insight into the conflicts and personal motivations behind the events leading up to the start of the SWTOR period. Either play both KOTOR games, go to these links on Wookipedia where loads of information is available:

Books: Star Wars has such an astonishingly huge line of novels detailing the universe, that reading them all would probably take a decade.  But for the Old Repulic Era there are only a few, which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s easy to read all the books, but then few books also means that very little has been covered, and most of the events and characters of the era are unknown to us. The Books currently available that has are directly linked to the SWTOR era are:

Deceived: http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Old-Republic-Deceived/dp/0345511387
Fatal Alliance: http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Republic-Fatal-Alliance/dp/0345511336/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315244878&sr=1-1
Revan: http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Old-Republic-Revan/dp/0345511344/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315244864&sr=1-1

Comics: The Star Wars universe also has a great range of comic books, the line of comics detailing events in the Old republic started with “Tales of the Jedi” which turned into “Knights of the Old Republic” just prior to the launch of the computer game. Later appeared a series simply dubbed “The Old Republic” and one called “Knight Errant”.

Tales of the Jedi:http://amzn.to/pOzacO & http://amzn.to/rgIfi4
Knights of the Old Republic: http://amzn.to/oj7KjS
The Old Republic: http://amzn.to/qTZ4yJ
Knight Errant: http://amzn.to/n0BXR8

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Lore, books and comics

So you like lore. Pretty much any lore that is connected to the game you like. You google to find info, read wiki pages or buy books, all to try to get a comprehensive overview of the timeline. This works pretty easy for most games, since they don’t have a rich background reaching back 5, 10, 15 years.

Then we come to the Star Wars universe and all I can say is – oh, sweet mother of everything that is geeky! The lore from the saga is extensive and you can literally lock yourself in for a year and still not read everything that’s out there.

Let’s take the books for example. They are well over 100 official books out as we speak and new ones are popping up like dandelion on your concrete driveway. I am not even going to go into the fan fiction since we all know that every Star Wars fan of worth has at least one Star Wars story hidden under their bed (and I am guessing at least 50 % has a part about princess Leia and that golden bikini – don’t deny it!).

Then you have the RP books, and for me personally, this is one of my favorite genre. You get an in depth look at all the different parts of the lore, such as characters, weapons, environments, places, etc. I can’t say that I play any IRL RP but it doesn’t matter, it’s still a great way to get down and dirty with the lore.

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