Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blaugust the 27th: SWTOR KotFE Livestream (with Cantina Code!)

The Latest Cantina Speeder Model, Prinawe Aggregate
So the folks at BioWare did a livestream on Twitch last night, and it was pretty cool overall. I guess they had planned to go to Pax this year and have a Cantina Event, but that plan fell through ("We've chained the devs to their desks to work on KotFE"). And so they gave away an infinitely redeemable code for the Prinawe Aggregate (pictured above). To redeem your own speeder, simply log onto the SWTOR website and then click the following link (or copy-paste into your browser address window).

You'll also receive a version of your own code to share; but again, this one is supposedly infinite. After getting the confirmation, you'll receive the Cantina reward through in-game mail on every character.

They were only about five or ten minutes into the show when the video froze, even though the audio was still working. Over 10,000 people tuned in at one point (which may or may not caused the stream to crash). The chat was going so fast that I could hardly read any of the things people were posting. Trolls, ignoramuses (e.g., people asking for the Cantina Code even though it was part of the stream title), and the folks trying to silence them made up the bulk of the chat anyway, but the occasional item from "SWTOROfficial" was lost as well.

Once they got the technical difficulties worked out (I was playing the game in the meantime, so I did not get upset), they showed a bit of the game (more of the Jedi Knight seen in the gameplay trailer) and explained how the player's decisions would make even more of an impact on the plot than in the current content. The cutscenes are much more cinematic—as has been commented upon elsewhere—with sweeping camera moves and other flourishes. As I was going through a few cutscenes on my Smuggler at almost the same time as I was watching the stream, and the differences were really noticeable.
Ahhh, Kira, I'm so glad I won't lose you.
I took notes for Scooter (who was otherwise occupied) but forgot to put them somewhere they would be of advantage as I write this. A few highlights that I can remember:
  • The expansion will be included "free" for anyone subscribed at launch (27 October 2015). So basically, $15 gives you full access to Knights of the Fallen Empire. Ironically, that's the day my 60-day time card will run out. (Of course I will be getting another one, Silly!)
  • The expansion will have nine (9!) chapters available from launch for subscribers. I think they're assuming everyone will subscribe to the game who is interested in the expansion.
  • While, based on your class, there will subtle differences in the choices you can make (e.g., Force Persuade for the Knight), I got the strong impression every class will get mostly the same story, at least at the beginning. I think this will be a good thing: if our choices really do impact the plot, the story should change significantly as we move through it. They may have devoted the resources to enable those dramatic changes instead of having the most significant plot choice be made at character creation. And personally, I'd rather have a story where I am actually making a difference than eight stories where I am mostly just along for the ride.
  • From a story perspective, your companions are scattered, and part of the plot will be finding out what happened to them.
  • However, from a game mechanic perspective, none of them are lost. No one will lose any investment in time and resources in the game, like effort spent to gain max affection, reputation, etc. Opportunities may be lost, however. For example, they specifically mentioned a current Makeb achievement that will be rewarded in KotFE, but that may not be available after KotFE launches.
  • All companions will be able to fulfill any role. I noticed that Lana, clearly a Marauder (DPS) with twin red lightsabers, was healing the PC Knight during the demo playthrough. This will free up the players to choose the companion they want rather than the companion they need to complement their own playstyle.
  • They referred to the KotFE launch period as "Season 1," which will be followed by a "break" coinciding with the launch of Star Wars Battlefront and the release of Episode VII in theaters. Then, Season 2 will come out next year.

They closed out the stream with another video showing Kira piloting the Defender in an attempt to rescue the Knight from a burning battle cruiser. More exciting cinematic style. I don't feel this was too much hype train, though I may be overestimating the degree of player impact on the plot. Now all I have to do is decide which of my stable of characters will be my first "Outlander."
Wow, has only four posts of madness left! Belghast has a set of rules for qualifying for any prizes at the end of Blaugust. Your second stop should be the Blaugust Nook, where Bel is keeping track of everything and community members are sharing encouragement and ideas.
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  1. Good write-up. I'm especially curious about how many different paths we can really take in the new setting.

    1. Thanks.

      I really don't know. They mentioned two things during the playthrough, but one had only the immediate impact of losing affection with companion, even though they said there was more to it than that. The other impacted whether you might or might not have help during a later confrontation. And, of course, there is the offer from Valkorian to join him shown in the gameplay trailer, which would seem to be a major fork.