BioWare Austin's Co-Studio General Manager Gordon Walton parted ways with the Star Wars: The Old Republic developer and is now at Playdom. According to Walton's LinkedIn page, the MMO industry veteran departed the company after five years at some point in January.
With great thanks and appreciation, we say goodbye to Gordon Walton for helping bring the game to the phenomenal state it is in today. Rich Vogel remains the Executive Producer and VP of Production, while Greg Zeschuk continues to oversee the entire project as General Manager along with Ray Muzyka as BioWare Group General Manager and we remain confident that the game will excite and delight players worldwide.
It is business as usual at all BioWare studios, where we remain committed to creating, delivering and evolving the most emotionally engaging games in the world.
All of us here at Darth Hater wish Walton the best success in his new endeavor.
Update: Gordon Walton's statement follows after the jump.
Lance Henriksen voices another entry focusing on The Great Hyperspace War in the Timeline section of the HoloNet as this Friday's Star Wars: The Old Republic update. The Great Hyperspace War tells of the explorers Gav and Jori Daragon, who stumbled upon the Sith Empire while looking for new hyperspace routes. Thought to be Republic spies, they were captured and imprisoned, but liberated during Naga Sadow's rise to power. As the new Sith Lord, he attacked Coruscant, leading his forces from a meditation chamber far from the battle. Ultimately, Naga Sadow was betrayed by his apprentice, and fled in exile to Yavin IV. The Republic razed Korriban, wiping away remnants of the Sith, leading them to flee to deep space and discovering Dromund Kaas, where the new Sith Emperor began to rebuild his Empire.
As always, yellow text and video embed after the jump...
BioWare does not disappoint in their post count for this week's DevTracker Highlights. Lead Writer Daniel Erickson talks vague narrative timelines and how the Sith don't see themselves as evil, but everyone else does. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller dives into Flashpoints, weapon flourishes, the use of instancing on planets, misconceptions about base class and advanced class abilities, and the MMO design with concerns to testing and feedback. Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert explores how real world economics translates to in-game economies. All this and more continued after the jump.
The guys over at Ask A Jedi got a chance to talk with BioWare's Damion Schubert about crew skills today. As we mentioned on last week's podcast, many of us are very interested to learn more about this companion focused game system, and each new bit of information is like music to our ears. Be sure to head over to Ask A Jedi to check it out in it's entirety and hit the jump for some of the key points that stand out to us.
This week's Star Wars: The Old Republic Friday Update is a Developer Blog with World Designer Jesse Sky on the building of Flashpoints. In the developer blog Jesse Sky covers what a flashpoint is, the designing of a flashpoint, building of flashpoints, combat in flashpoints, and what sets flashpoints apart. As always you can find the Official Post after the jump.
Update: Community members have pointed out new screenshots that appeared on Gamespot in their "Most Anticipated of 2011" feature.
BioWare puts the pedal to the metal in this week's DevTracker Highlights with Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller driving. Georg first clarifies that players will also be able to melee on the run, and then covers how skipping conversations works when grouped with other players. Georg also explains the evolution of base class abilities and points out reasons why auto attack is utilized in a game. Georg concludes by sharing how movement and a limited form of physics can help create a heroic feel to combat. Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert also chimes in, confirming the max level of 50 and explaining why players can only skip dialogue line by line. All this and more can be found after the jump.
The EA Q3 2011 Earnings Conference Call is today! As always you can expect Darth Hater to cover the event and bring it to you live with notes on topics covered during the call. Our Liveblog of the Conference Call will start at 2PM PST / 5PM EST and last the entirety of the call. We would like to remind our readers that EA/BioWare/Lucasarts will not announce a release date on this call as EA CEO John Riccitiello stated last year, "Any announcement about TOR's release date would be a very public announcement and would not come during a shareholder call." However, if past Conference Calls are any judge, we should hear news SWTOR's slated Spring Release Window and other tidbits related to the game.
Make sure to keep your browsers locked on target here at Darth Hater. Conference Call Wrap-up continues after the jump.
UPDATE: SWTOR will ship Calendar 2011. Fiscal 12 guidance when Q4 results are announced. Fiscal 12 release for SWTOR. (For reference: FY11 ends in March)
Today's Friday update focuses on Flashpoints. Players participating in the Flashpoints work together to achieve victory. BioWare announced five Flashpoints available to players of varying level and affiliations. These include The Esseles and Taral V for the Republic, The Black Talon and Boarding Party for the Empire and Directive 7 for both groups. Directive 7 takes place end game.
Flashpoint Taral V Trailer
During the Esseles Flashpoint, an early-on event, players defend a covert Republic transport from the Imperials. The Imperial early game Flashpoint, The Black Talon, requires players to deal with a captain ignoring his orders of attack. During Taral V, which players encounter mid-game, an important Jedi needs rescue. The Empire's mid-game Flashpoint uses a similar theme, only instead of trying to free a prisoner, players need to recapture an escaped one. Both Republic and Imperial players work to stop a droid-led revolution during Directive 7. DevTracker post continues after the jump. Our media gallery with screenshots from the Flashpoint Update is below. Our dissection of the Taral V trailer is also available in the prior post.
Gamespot revealed a new flashpoint trailer: Taral V, intended for players level 32 or higher. Your Republic team must rescue an important Jedi prisoner. Gamespot conducted an interview with World Designer, Jesse Sky. When asked about the game's state, Sky said, "Development is going very well, and were all happy to be heading into our homestretch." For our take on the contents of the Flashpoint Taral V Trailer, check the media gallery below for the Working Dissection. Note: As always we will be ignoring things commented on in past dissections. We will be adding more to the gallery over time so make sure to keep checking back throughout the weekend. If you see something that you think we should add, feel free to comment on it and we will credit you for the find in the image.
This week's DevTracker Highlights focuses on the Star Wars setting, hints at what fans can expect from PAX East, how players will engage in combat, and the risks involved. Lead Writer Daniel Erickson illustrates BioWare's relationship with Lucasfilm with the reveal of the planet Quesh. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller comments on the absence of auto-attack and describes the role of death penalties. Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert also jumps in the conversation and shows how harsh death penalties can deter players from tackling challenges. All this and more continued after the jump.