ETA: Scroll down to the bottom to see what a Dev had to say on the forums about the complaints like mine.
Can there be any doubt at this point that the game will be delayed from its Spring release date, despite quotes from GDC (that I’m too tired this morning to track down)?
Another Friday has come, and SWTOR releases official updates/information every Friday. As of August/September, things had picked up considerably – good, solid game information came regularly interspersed with fluff updates like Fan Fridays. This was fitting and normal if a Spring launch was to be achieved. But the wheels came off that bus last month. Since the release of the Smuggler advanced class information, we have received *no* game related information. That’s right, three, count them, three weeks have gone by without any significant updates from the Developers about the game.
Despite the fact that we are only about four months from what would typically be the Open Beta for a major release. It makes you wonder if they really don’t have anything to share or they are just willfully stubborn about letting information out. Let’s imagine the conversation in the weekly meeting about what to release on Friday (the humor I’m going for comes across clearer if you picture the people below as random Office characters or perhaps the cast of a Mel Brooks film):
Boss: Alright, settle down people. Lets talk next about what we are releasing for our Friday update. Community people, whats the word on the street:
CSR: Well, people are getting restless. Its been a month since our last class information release, and people are wagering heavily on what class will be next. Others are curious about the Legacy system, or want to know more details about crafting. And there’s always the PvP crowd wanting to know about things in the game for them.
Boss: Well, we have alot to choose from! We’re only five months from launch, we have five classes left – Can we drop info on…Bounty Hunter? I mean all we have to do is show them a few pictures of the ship, the concept art from the primary companion, and give a little information on the sub classes. We don’t have to give them detailed trees yet like we did with the Smuggler. We can do that right?
Boss: Trooper? Imperial Agent?
Boss: …Okay, well how about a Timeline update?
CSR: Um, we just did that last week boss, we’re working on the next one, but…
Boss: …Okay, no problem. Webcomics?
CSR: Done with both of them already.
Boss: Oh. Uh…ooh, locations. Give them a planet!
Random Dev: We pulled that out two weeks ago sir.
Boss: Holy Toasted Vader people. We’ve got to give them *something!*
CSR: Fan Friday?
CSR: No, it’ll be great, I can pull some fan art again, and we can have [Artist] show off some of his concept art…
Artist: Hell no.
CSR: …or he could draw a new one from…an in game screenshot. Screenshot – nothing has to be moving or working for that right?
Dev: We could probably do that. And we have all this leftover lore that we haven’t hit them with yet from that junkload of writers we hired. I could part with…say 8 paragraphs I guess.
Boss: Great, so its all settled then. They can’t complain right? I mean they are getting *two* updates. That outta hold them for another week.
Seriously though, the bottom line is simple – a lack of actual game updates creates a fear of a pushback, or worse, a Vanguard style flameout that will be crushing to anyone who has devoted a decent amount of time to following this game. Why is it that nothing is done to address this fear?
ETA: One of the official BW peeps dropped into the complaint thread forming about the update and the lack of crunch information. He said:
As we’ve always said, when things are at a quality level where we are ready to reveal them, we will. We never want to promise something that we aren’t ready to commit to.
This of course, quieted no fears, and in fact, instilled a host of new ones. Does this mean that Bioware does not have five of the eight classes, three of the six ships, around 75% of the companion characters, the PvP systems, crafting, and around 75% of the planets at quality level? If so, Fall 2011 here we come…