Alpha Base, this is Agent Ancestor. I have tapped into the communications network and am forwarding all related intelligence to you. There seems to be an ample amount of beer, lederhosen, and bratwurst. Preparing information packet.
This week kicked off Gamescom in Germany, the European equivalent of our own Penny Arcade Expos (PAX). I didn't really expect too much from Gamescom since PAX Prime is just 9 days away. Oh how wrong I was. How very wrong.
Bioware hit us over the head on day zero (yes, Gamescom hasn't even officially started) with some content bazookas. Up first? Confirmation of beta test weekends; now Dr. Ray Muzyka said "open beta weekends" but he misspoke according to Community Manager Stephen Reid. So, no open beta, but I expect the beta weekends to be very, very wide. Hopefully wide enough to allow a certain Agent to play. One can hope!
Next is the big reveal of the Eternity Vault operation! Sixteen Bioware employees got together and showed us how bad they were at the game. No really, they sucked. We'll do way better. It was nice to see the operation live, but I'm not going to lie to ya'll ... it's very similar to every other raid I've ever done in any MMO. I mean, it was definitely a Star Wars experience, it had droids and lasers and escape pods and whatnot. There's even a cinematic part at the beginning where you escape your ship, but still. It was a raid. I don't really know how far out they can go with raids and still make sure the players understand what's going on. I was happy to see it, but it was standard game mechanics. And I'm ok with that.
Finally: guild testing. Guild beta testing is active. No, Scum and Villainy hasn't been invited yet. I'll give you a moment to weep. Our adversary guild doesn't have an invite either, unfortunately. I'll update you if this changes.
So, with all this information from Gamescom, what does it leave for PAX Prime? We won't be getting a release date, so get that out of your head. I think what we can realistically expect is a dissection of the September beta weekends, as well as an explanation of how the pre-order early game access will work. We'll probably also get a deeper dive into the Eternity Vault operation, as well as more info on PVP and how it will work.
One thing is for sure; with the glut of WoW news this week, Bioware will really have to drop the hammer on us at Gamescom and PAX Prime to compete for the headlines. I expect great, great things! Fly safe, shoot straight. For the glory of the Empire!