Sean Dahlberg, Star Wars: The Old Republic Community Manager, posted a clarification of the Game Testing Agreement this morning:
We have seen many questions about the Game Testing Agreement and we want to clarify a few things.
1. Per the Game Testing Agreement, a user can state there is a Game Testing Program. 2. Per the Game Testing Agreement, when someone is selected for testing, they can disclose the fact that they are a member of the Game Testing Program.
That is the extent of it and anything else would be a violation of the Game Testing Agreement. Users that are found to post or even repost confidential materials will be permanently removed from the Game Testing Program and subject to discipline up to and including permanent removal from the service. This is not limited to screenshots of the game but taking "screen grabs" or sharing of confidential documentation and materials.
If you have any questions pertaining to this, ask them here.
We are intrigued regarding the use of the term "permanent removal from the service" language after stating removal from the Game Testing Program itself; this may indicate that BioWare and LucasArts are taking steps to permanently ban violators from subscribing to the retail version of the game.
Thanks for the information and it's definitely interesting that people are posting about our Game Testing Program. We don't have anything official to say at this moment but if you have any questions, please check out the Game Testing Program FAQ.
We can confirm the image in the thread is similar to the launcher graphic we saw at E3, which gives some strength to the rumor in addition to the "yellow text post and no lock" response.
Update: Sean added more (Hat tip to Tyvarion) on the subject, reminding people what potential testers are allowed to say:
The Game Testing Agreement that was agreed upon (when signing up for game testing) states:
PERMITTED DISCLOSURES 1. The fact that there is a Game Program. 2. The fact that you are a member of the Game Program.
Outside of that, it is a violation of the agreement to do anything more such as posting images or screen captures of anything related to Game Testing that is private and confidential and not already publicly revealed by The Old Republic team.
Sean Dahlberg of BioWare confirmed what people were speculating about for the past day:
You have indeed found the login portal for Game Testing. That said, this is not a new page and we are not ready to make any additional announcements about our Game Testing Program. When we are ready, we will make sure The Old Republic Community is the first to know
If you havent signed up yet to be a tester or wish to learn more, access our Game Testing Portal.
And a few minutes later, he posted again:
A couple of quick answers:
Yes, it is indeed called the Game Testing Program and not anything else. As when we originally announced sign-ups, Game testing for Star Wars: The Old Republic will be rolled out in several phases over an extended period of time. These test phases will begin with smaller, tightly focused test groups, and later tests will expand.
We thought about waiting until it hit 2,000 posts but figured it was more important to get the information to you sooner than wait.
Good insight, Skyewauker.
In regards to swtor.bioware.com, just know that we'll always keep the TOR Community updated here
I would have posted the announcement sooner but I spent too much time working on this (not really).
And then again:
Originally Posted by zechio Yea, I wouldn't read too much into what Sean said. By TOR community he could mean just about anything. I'm not saying it won't be on the forums first, but I'm not saying it will be either.
It means it'll be on swtor.com (or the TOR Newsletter) first. Whether that is the news section, forums, newsletter, etc... stuff like this we want to make sure the community knows about first.
And just FYI, swtor.bioware.com has been around for a while, too.
If you haven't already done so, then this might serve as a warning to perform an update scan of your computer or register if you would like to be considered for testing.
UPDATE: Sean Dahlberg sent out notice about the newly found website confirming what many people thought.
Two ingenious forum goers by the names of Ianril and Zechiodiscovered a little IP that then became launch.swtor.com. Originally Ianril discovered an IP address 188.8.131.52 that appeared to come from EA after doing a ARIN search. After a couple minutes of investigating Zechio found that the security certificate referenced launch.swtor.com as an address.
At this point the community is trying to figure out what this all means. A few members of the community reported seeing this after logging in:
Along with the quotes from our recent interviews, this might suggest testing might be starting:
Daniel Erickson: Absolutely. One of the most rewarding things is, even as people are beginning to test and play, as you go through one class, and you start talking to your friends who are going through another class, or you start going through another class... you are going to start putting things together in ways that you never would have when you just did the one class. You're going to start to get a larger picture of the whole story and what's actually happening in the galaxy.
"Ord Mantell is not a happy place," Jake Neri explained. "There is conflict there, but it is also an early world. One of the goals there is 'Hey, people that haven't played an MMO need to be successful there.' So we are constantly balancing those planets. I don't know if you guys were aware, but those planets are getting a lot of iteration. We did open up and start to do some testing. We are doing small groups, we are looking to expand that in the near future, and those origin planets are really a focus. We really want to make sure that they are good so we can extend into the larger game as we go."
Last week, LucasArts & BioWare extended an invitation to Darth Hater for another round of Star Wars: The Old Republic hands-on game play at the beautiful Presidio campus in San Francisco. Eager to take another look, Meg and I left GDC and made our way to Lucasfilm where we were treated to playing Level 6 Troopers on Ord Mantell, and also spoke in depth with Jake Neri of LucasArts and Daniel Erickson of BioWare.
While attending GDC last week, Darth Hater was fortunate enough to be invited out to the LucasArts office in San Francisco for a hands-on demo featuring the Trooper class. After finishing our time with the game we spoke with Daniel Erickson, Star Wars: The Old Republic's lead writer about the classes, their stories, and a few of the choices players will be facing in game.
We got some sad news for all Mac users that hope to participate in Game Testing:
Star Wars: The Old Republic is currently being developed for the personal computer (PC) using the Microsoft Windows operating system. While we recognize that there are other operating systems and platforms available for games today, our development is specific to the personal computer using the Windows operating system at this time.
For the purposes of providing the most stable testing environment possible, we are limiting our testing participants to those using the Windows operating system on a personal computer. At some point we may be evaluating compatibility with the Macintosh (and possibly Linux boxes, running virtualized installations/emulators) running Windows and we may put out an additional call for testers at that time.
When asked, Erick Adams helped clarify current testing requirements:
Originally Posted by Huskell
In that last sentence you say the team "may be evaluating compatibility with the Macintosh...running windows." Does this mean Mac users running Windows in Bootcamp will not be selected to test at this time?
Originally Posted by Erick Adams
At this time, that is correct.
Looks like if you want to hope to test you need a new computer or hope they change the policy in the future. Remember this is just initial testing and subject to change.
Everyone has done it. You've signed up to be a tester, and, in the midst of your application, there was a standard agreement you SHOULD have read before agreeing to it. My bet is many of you just took it like an EULA and said "Too long, didn't read." Those of you that did read it may have gone, "What do they mean by that?" Well, I'm going to take my skills of a non-lawyer type person and translate what the agreement says, line by line, into normal English. You may notice I am also using the term "testing" instead of "beta." That is because Sean Dahlberg says this:
I would like to point out that we are doing Game Testing sign-ups; we have not done any announcements about "beta" testing. As specified in the original article, the Game testing for Star Wars: The Old Republic will be rolled out in several phases over an extended period of time. These test phases will begin with smaller, tightly focused test groups, and later tests will expand.
If you have never played a beta before I bet I know what your thinking. "I get to play the game for free before everyone else." If that is your plan, you would be better off waiting for open beta, or just for release. Closed testing, while fun, is a lot of work. Early on you are told what to do and where to do it. I have heard stories from the early WoW days where you are thrown into one spot such as, human paladin lvl 1-10 today only. You get to fall through the world and LIKE it, because your job is to find these holes so they can get a road crew in to patch them. You also get to enjoy down times when they are fixing things up. If you are familiar with WoW maintenance days think of a major patch day where the servers can be down all day, but occurring frequently.
The rumors about testing sign-ups are TRUE.The official news was released today:
We are excited to announce that we are now collecting information for those interested in applying for the opportunity to test Star Wars: The Old Republic. Our goal is to get feedback to help us make the best game that we can.
We will be selecting testers from the Star Wars: The Old Republic community based on various requirements such as systems specifications, age, and region. Because the testing program requires feedback from within the community, you must have an active Star Wars: The Old Republic (TOR) community account to participate (no banned accounts). The testing is limited to members who are 18 years of age or older and requires the acceptance of the Game Testing Agreement included in the TOR community sign-up process. Users that meet the requirements of the test and are selected for inclusion in the test program will be contacted via email (so make sure your email address is up to date).
Game testing for Star Wars: The Old Republic will be rolled out in several phases over an extended period of time. These test phases will begin with smaller, tightly focused test groups, and later tests will expand.
Want to get your name on the list of potential testers? First, make sure you are a registered member of the Star Wars: The Old Republic community. If youre not already a member, click here to become one today Be sure to check the box to indicate you are interested in becoming a tester. If youre already a member, go to the Game Testing Portal to begin the sign up process.
Please keep in mind that there are no guarantees that you will be selected once you have completed the sign up process. For more information about testing Star Wars: The Old Republic, take time to read the Game Testing FAQ.
We look forward to your help in making Star Wars: The Old Republic a success
Time to get all your information together and fight possible server crashes as everyone tries to get into testing.
Remember people to keep a lookout for scam emails, because they will likely pick up after this point.
With the recent request for Game Tester Applications, BioWare has unleashed the full fury of the hype machine they have been cultivating over the past year. The result has been an incredible load on their servers; dramatic enough to bring the entire Star Wars: The Old Republic website to a screeching halt. With issues continuing throughout the evening, this could end up being a wonderful learning experience for BioWare as it approaches it's first MMO.
The official forums exploded this morning when multiple users claimed they saw a link on the Star Wars: The Old Republic homepage linking to a possible beta signup. They also claim that the link was quickly removed by BioWare and the connected page is non-existent. At the time of this writing, no actual screen shots of this have been produced, however multiple users have posted some RSS feed captures.The first is from a user by the name of Deuterium.
The second is from Boza
While this certainly could be a forgery, the buzz across the forum seems to give some level of credibility. This event has certainly shown the amazing hype behind TOR with a forum thread growing at a rate of nearly 10 posts per refresh.While there is nothing factual or substantiated to report at this early hour, you can be sure that we will stay on top of this and keep you up to date when real facts come into play.
Credit to Syncx for compiling the information into the thread.