Dragon’s Prophet (Europe) – “Closed Beta Drags-On”

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Second phase of the Dragon’s Prophet Closed Beta and RENA engine info released

Berlin, 11 April 2013: Infernum is glad to announce the second phase of the Closed Beta testing for Dragon’s Prophet will begin tomorrow on the 12th of April. The doors of Auratia will open for all members of the Founders’ Club as soon as the update goes live. A website designed specifically for the European Closed Beta experience can now be found at:https://www.dragonspropheteurope.com/community/beta-status

This critical next step in  Dragon’s Prophet’s ongoing development will see a client update with five expansive areas and their instances awaiting the growing Closed Beta community.

Impressive landscapes inhabited by new dragonsare awaiting testers in the latest update.
New functionality and game mechanics will also arrive tomorrow, which will be placed under heavy scrutiny by veteran MMO players who’ve been working closely alongside Infernum’s QA department to help bring Dragon’s Prophet closer to release. Social Rewards   will grant bonuses for players who want to collaborate together, Achievements System have arrived and the Crafting System has undergone a complete revamp.

During the first phase of Closed Beta, RENA, Runewaker’s proprietary game engine has raised questions from testers who’ve been wondering how the technology works. The graphics engine utilises a combination of normal and gloss mapping coupled with a deferred rendering technology, ensuring the game’s environment remains as immersive and realistic as possible with optimal performance. Shading and lighting are also part of the experience, thanks to the use of motion blur, advanced anti-aliasing technologies (such as FXAA and TAA) and full-screen horizon-based ambient occlusion. Dragon’s Prophet utilises the DirectX 10 technology for performance reasons, and will integrate the strongest aspects of DirectX 11 as soon as it is released.

The plot thickens, the development journey continues!

More information can be found on the official website: www.dragonspropheteurope.com

About Dragon’s Prophet: 
Dragon’s Prophet is a new online role-playing Game which features all virtues of a classic MMORPG and “evolutionizes” them. Players will experience immense dragon features and an epic story in a modern fantasy world featuring next-gen elements such as action-based combat, deep character development and the extensive cross-server Frontier PvP system. Dragon’s Prophet is being developed by Runewaker Entertainment, known for their successful blockbuster MMO Runes of Magic. In 2013, Infernum will publish Dragon’s Prophet in Europe, together with co-publisher Deep Silver.


Title: Dragon’s Prophet
Genre: Fantasy MMORPG Platform: PC
Publisher: Infernum Productions Developer: Runewaker Entertainment
Release: Q2 – 2013 Closed Beta: 19th of March 2013
USK: Pending PEGI: Pending
Languages: German, English, French – further languages planned Website: www.dragonspropheteurope.com


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FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn Closed Beta Phase 2 Now Underway

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We are pleased to announce that the second phase of closed beta testing for FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn < http://www.finalfantasyxiv.com/>  on PC is now underway! Running across weekends throughout April, those lucky enough to get into this early beta phase will be able to explore the rich forest environments of the city state of Gridania, with new features such as PC gamepad support and personal Chocobo mounts, as well as brand new Full Active Time Events, now joining the beta fold.

There’s lots more to come from the beta testing phases, with the PS3 version and a huge amount of new content and environments to explore arriving with beta phase 3 later this summer, so keep an eye out for more news and announcements in the coming weeks.

Those who haven’t already can apply to become a beta tester here:  http://entry.ffxiv.com/beta/eu

‘Like’ the FINAL FANTASY XIV Facebook page here:  www.facebook.com/FinalFantasyXIV

SWTOR Targets November 25 For Next Beta Test Weekend

In “Next Beta Testing Weekend – FAQ“, Stephen Reid said:

Updated the FAQ with this question and answer:

When will the Beta Testing Weekend start?

We are targeting November 25-28 for our upcoming Beta Testing Weekend. Exact timing on when you will be invited will be specified in your invite email.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic – Game Testing: official ‘invites have been sent’ thread UPDATED yesterday , 11:09 pm !

Hello everyone –First and most important notice:

This afternoon we sent out two more batches of invites. Half were general Game Testing invites, half were additional invites to this weekend’s Beta Testing Weekend #2. These invites went out to USA, Canada and European countries (all of our launch countries). Adding more invites is pretty standard practice for us; it helps brings up our numbers so we hit our targets during testing.

Again, make sure you check your email, looking for an email from the exact email address of no-reply@bioware.swtor.com for your invite.

Please note: the email will just inform you of your acceptance to testing and will link you to swtor.com. There are no other ‘requirements’ to test The Old Republic, so don’t be fooled by a phishing email.

If you’re unsure if you’ve been invited, login to the site at www.swtor.com/tester to check – you’ll be able to download the client from there.

Second and less important notice:

We’re going to leave this thread locked as a purely informational resource. There was a little too much noise-to-signal ratio in the last thread.

When we send invites, I’ll add a post to the thread and update the main OP above.

Stephen Reid | Senior Online Community Manager
Follow us on Twitter @SWTOR | Like us on Facebook
[Contact Us] [Rules of Conduct] [F.A.Q.] [Dev Tracker]

STAR WARS: The Old Republic – Game Testing: official ‘invites have been sent’ thread.

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Beta Testing Weekends


Beta Testing Weekends for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ began earlier this month and during our first weekend, we invited more players into testing than we’ve ever invited before in a single weekend! Now we’re getting ready for another Beta Testing Weekend, starting on October 7th and finishing on October 11th. With increased invite numbers from the first weekend, even more of you will get to play The Old Republic.

If you don’t get invited to this weekend’s test, don’t worry. More Beta Testing Weekends will occur before the launch of The Old Republic. To have an opportunity to get into future Beta Testing Weekends, be sure to sign up for future testing on www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com and opt-in for game testing.

Invites to the Beta Testing Weekend are being sent this week. If you are selected, an email invite will be sent to the email address associated with your Star Wars: The Old Republic account. Please add the email address no-reply@bioware.swtor.com to your ‘safe senders’ list in your email client to ensure delivery. If you are uncertain whether you have been invited, login to the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website’s tester page. If you have been invited, the client will be available to download from that page. If you have other questions, please ask them in the official Forums.

Also, be sure to keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages for the latest updates on our upcoming Beta Testing Weekends!

Same Gender Romances Coming Post-Launch – Star Wars: The Old Republic News

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In an official statement on the Star Wars: The Old Republic site, Bioware‘s Stephen Reid has told fans that same-sex relationships between players and companion characters will be included in a post-launch patch.

Due to the design constraints of a fully voiced MMO of this scale and size, many choices had to be made as to the launch and post-launch feature set. Same gender romances with companion characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a post-launch feature. Because The Old Republic is an MMO, the game will live on through content expansions which allow us to include content and features that could not be included at launch, including the addition of more companion characters who will have additional romance options.

Participate in the discussion thread on the Star Wars: The Old Republic forum.


Star Wars: The Old Republic-Stepping into a Larger World: The Old Republic in Comics and Novel!

I’m Alexander Freed, Senior Writer here at BioWare Austin. As a sequel to two video games which derived their setting from the Tales of the Jedi comic books, Star Wars™ The Old Republic™ is intimately linked to a slew of other tales. This web of storytelling stretches back over thirty years across mediums ranging from film and television to novels, to radio plays and even coloring books!

As part of this immense Expanding Universe, it’s hardly surprising that The Old Republic would generate its own array of tie-ins. By the end of 2011, The Old Republic will have three novels, three comic mini-series, a handful of short stories and much more to its name. Being one of the largest projects in entertainment history, it’s not as if there isn’t plenty of material in the game that can be drawn from; it is, to put it mildly, a big game.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on The Old Republic as a writer for both the game and for two of its tie-in products–Blood of the Empire (first published as a webcomic then later brought to print) and The Lost Suns, a new five-issue comic book miniseries that is currently being published by Dark Horse Comics. For this Developer Blog, I’ll be sharing a few of my thoughts on expanding the mythology of The Old Republic and laying down a few rules that any new tie-in should follow.

Make it Count

The first thing that any potential tie-in to Star Wars™ and The Old Republic should do is answer a series of questions: What does this story contribute to mythology of The Old Republic? What does a reader get from this story that changes the way he or she experiences the game? Does it give the reader a new perspective on a character? Does it explain a mystery that isn’t resolved in the game? Does it explore the setting and the timeline in new depth?

Once you are able to answer those questions, you’ve got a good starting point to create a story that’s worth the valuable time of an both Old Republic fans as well as the larger community of Star Wars™ fans.

For the Blood of the Empire comic, we wanted to tell a story about the Sith Empire to explore that culture in a way no one had before. Our protagonist was Teneb Kel, an ambitious and clever young Sith at the very bottom of the hierarchy, scraping by and still retaining a glint of humanity. As a prequel to the game, Blood of the Empire serves to set up several major villains (players of the Jedi Consular and Sith Inquisitor classes are especially well served) and plot points.

Blood of the Empire: Penciled by Dave Ross, Inked by Mark McKenna and Colored by Michael Atiyeh

For The Lost Suns, we took a different approach. Instead of setting the story before the game begins, we decided to make it run concurrent with the game’s plotline–to make it a “ninth story” that parallels the eight class stories within the game. This time, we made a Republic spy the star–Theron Shan, son of Jedi Grand Master Satele Shan (previously seen dropping a mountain on Darth Malgus in the Hope trailer, as well as graduating from Knight to Master in the Threat of Peace comic).

With a family tie to one of the setting’s key figures and a career that lent itself to discovering the dark truths of the galactic war, Theron Shan–resourceful, jaded, and alternately suave and crude–worked perfectly as the centerpiece for a story revealing past (why did the Empire agree to a peace treaty with the Republic?), present (what’s the Dark Council‘s master plan when the game begins?) and future (what are the threats players will be facing in later portions of the game?) of the Star Wars™ galaxy in and around the time of The Old Republic.

In Paul S. Kemp’s novel Deceived, we witness the rise of Darth Malgus and the chaos surrounding the Sacking of Coruscant–one of the pivotal moments leading to the current events within The Old Republic. Drew Karpyshyn’s forthcoming novel Revan manages the trick of being both a prequel to The Old Republic and a sequel to the original two Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games, describing the journey of the titular character and revealing the identity and past of the mysterious Sith Emperor. Unfortunately, I can say no more.

Of course, players who never read a comic or tie-in novel shouldn’t feel like they’re missing an important part of the story. Instead, the goal is to reward those who do read the tie-ins with a much richer understanding of the setting. This leads into the next point for readers who aren’t necessarily fans of The Old Republic…

Assume Nothing

In addition to having connections to the game, a The Old Republic tie-in also needs to stand on its own. Not every reader is going to be intimately familiar with the game’s background and characters (especially before the game has come out!). For that matter, some may only have a broad familiarity with the Star Wars movies–perhaps they’ve only ever seen the original trilogy and don’t know Jar Jar Binks from Mara Jade.

So how do you write for an audience of casual fans along with the hardcore? You assume no foreknowledge on the part of the reader and you introduce everything he or she needs to know–and you make sure that you have characters and situations that resonate regardless of how they interact with the game.

Does a reader of The Lost Suns need to know that Theron Shan’s mother is a Jedi? Absolutely, and seeing Satele Shan in action during her youth (as we do in both the “Return” cinematic and The Lost Suns issue one) helps establish Theron’s identity and the setting as a whole.

The Lost Suns: Penciled by George Freeman & Dave Ross, Inked by Mark McKenna and Colored by Michael Atiyeh

Does a reader of Blood of the Empire need to know that Exal Kressh is the latest child of a Sith bloodline going back to Ludo Kressh (a character established in Tales of the Jedi comic series)? Absolutely not! Knowledgeable fans will spot the reference and infer its impact on Exal’s character, but it’s an extra–not an integral part of the plot.

There is one exception to the rule, however, and that is to always assume that your audience is smart. Give readers a strong story with characters they care about, and they’ll figure out what matters. There is no need to spoon-feed people. Simply make sure everything they need is there and they will put it all together.

Make it True to the Setting

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, who wants comic or novel based on The Old Republic that doesn’t resemble the setting of the game? But keeping the story true to the setting is about far more than just keeping track of the timeline and spelling characters’ names right.

For the comics, it’s our job to make sure the designs you see on the page match the designs you see on the screen. Every artist has his own style, but to make sure that everything remains true to the established aesthetic of a project like The Lost Suns, BioWare supplies hundreds of pieces of reference art. Between all the screenshots and concept art of different outfits, species, weapons, abilities, environments, and characters, the amount of source material used to make sure the artists keep the comics feeling accurate to the period adds up fast.

This also means that there are designs which you’ll see in the comics before you see them anywhere else. For that matter, there are designs you’ll see in more detail in the comics than you’ll see in the game – not because the detail isn’t there, but because when you’re actually playing you tend to be too busy fighting the ancient monsters to admire the color of their scales.

Give Back As Much As You Take

One of the reasons people have come to love Star Wars is because it’s fantastic and full of wonder. A cantina full of bizarre aliens is exciting and fresh, and unexplained references to the “Kessel Run” and the “Battle of Tanaab” suggest a galaxy that is full of strange places and events. When these places and events are fully explored – when every alien species is named and every square kilometer of Kessel is mapped – they can become the focus of stories in their own right instead of remaining on the periphery.

In this case, what’s true of Star Wars in general is true in The Old Republic as well. Mysteries are there to be solved and characters, with their own unique backstories, can make for a fascinating read. In return, a good tie-in throws new characters, new settings and new mysteries back into the pot to maintain a sense of freshness and wonder.

Every piece of literature for The Old Republic to date, whether it be a comic series or a novel, has shown something new and unexplored in the game–something that genuinely adds to the setting, instead of detailing what’s already there. And when the writing team finds something new and exciting in a tie-in, it can be explored further within the game itself, thus continuing the cycle.

Tell a Great Story

None of the other rules matter if you can’t apply them to a great story with an engaging plot and memorable characters. This is also the hardest rule to follow. Usually you won’t know whether you have succeeded in telling a great story until it has been published and is in the hands of the readers. Those readers, from the ones that are knowledgeable of Star Wars lore to the most casual fan of the movies, will be the ones who ultimately cast judgment on whether or not the story you told was great.

So tell us how we’re doing so far. Tell us what you’re looking forward to, as well as what you’d like to see in the future.

In the meantime, we have more stories to write both for the game and beyond. After all, with a galaxy as large as the one that’s far, far away, The Old Republic gives us plenty of material to work with.

Alexander Freed
Senior Writer

Star Wars: The Old Republic | Developer Blogs.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic – Beta/Game Testing Weekends FAQ!

Beta Testing Weekends began last weekend, to get more people than ever before testing Star Wars:The Old Republic. We invited a number of testers in to experience the game this past weekend, and will continue to invite more testers, in greater numbers, as we move towards launch.While the number of those invited will increase over time and while we plan to invite as many people as possible who are signed up for Game Testing to test, there are no guarantees that everyone who applies will be invited.

It is also important to note that not every weekend going forward will be a Beta Testing Weekend. In September, we’re hoping for one more Beta Testing Weekend, which will be larger in invite size than the last.

Now, onto some FAQs and answers:

What’s the difference between Early Game Access, Beta Testing Weekends, Guild Testing and Game Testing?

They are four different ways to get access to play The Old Republic. Details are as follows:

Early Game Access: Available to everyone who pre-orders any edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic and redeems their Pre-Order Code. Essentially a head-start, it will begin before the formal release date/launch day of the game. The final release client will be used to play. Exact duration will be revealed closer to our release date.

(Edited to reflect that Early Game Access is not another phase of testing; apologies for any confusion. )

Beta Testing Weekends: Large scale, short-term testing. We will be inviting registered testers to play the game in greater invite numbers than ever before. The first Beta Testing Weekend started on September 2nd. They will continue beyond September and will not necessarily occur every weekend.

Game Testing: The ongoing testing program. We continue to invite those who have registered for Game Testing into the program on a regular basis. Those selected will generally test the game for an extended period of time, as opposed to a Beta Testing Weekend.

Guild Testing: We are selecting guilds who are registered on our Guild HQ for inclusion into general Game Testing (see above). Invites to a guild do not necessarily extend to all guild members.

As part of Beta Testing Weekends, will the Game Testing Agreement (specifically, the Non-Disclosure Agreement) be lifted or modified?

No. The Game Testing Agreement is still fully in effect for Beta Testing Weekends. As before, you may tell others that you are part of the Game Testing Program (or that you have been invited to a Beta Testing Weekend). However, you may not reveal any other details about your game testing experience, including any aspect of the testing process, any details of the client, or any assets from the game (including text). Even after the Game Testing Weekend is over you may not detail your experiences.

Any breaches of the Game Testing Agreement at any time will result in your potential immediate removal from Game Testing and/or prevent you from being invited to any future testing.

Will Beta Testing Weekend invites be sent in the usual way Game Testing invites are sent?

Yes. Those invited will receive an email to the email address they have registered on their SWTOR account. The email will come from no-reply@bioware.swtor.com. Ensure you have that email address registered in your email whitelist so that the email does not go into your spam folder. If you think you have deleted the email by mistake, you can check to see if you have been invited by logging in to the SWTOR.com web site at www.swtor.com/tester/. If you are unsure of an email’s authenticity, we strongly advise you to login to the website to confirm. If you are still unsure, please email support@swtor.com

After a Beta Testing Weekend is over, will I get re-invited to a future Beta Testing Weekend?

At this time, we are not planning to re-invite those who are invited to a Beta Testing Weekend to future Beta Testing Weekends. This may change in the future.

I previously participated in Game Testing, but am no longer participating. Does that omit me from being re-selected, either for a Beta Testing Weekend, or Game Testing generally?

Currently, if you have previously been selected to test Star Wars: The Old Republic, you will normally not be re-selected for future testing. (This applies whether you were selected previously for Game Testing, a Beta Testing Weekend, or any other testing access.) That may change closer to launch, but we want to get as many fresh eyes on the game as possible.

Will future Beta Testing Weekends be three days long?

Most Beta Testing Weekends will last roughly from a Friday evening to Sunday evening. In some cases, we may choose to extend the time available at our discretion.

I got an invite to a Beta Testing Weekend, but can’t test during that weekend due to other commitments. Can I postpone my invite to another weekend?

You may choose, if you wish, to decline a Beta Testing Weekend invite. If you do this, you will be put back into the general ‘pool’ for potential future selection. However, your selection in the future is not guaranteed; you will be picked randomly.

Will those invited to Beta Testing Weekends be playing on the same servers as those in Game Testing?

For the first weekend, those invited will be playing on a separate server. This will probably be the format for future Beta Testing Weekends, but if our requirements change, we may invite people to specific servers (or potentially allow them to choose from multiple servers).

Will extra time be given to download the SWTOR game client before a Beta Testing Weekend starts?

Yes. Invites to Beta Testing Weekends are generally sent out a few days before the weekend to allow time to download the client. However, because of internet download speeds and the invite schedule, we cannot guarantee you will have the game client downloaded and installed before the weekend starts.

The size of the game client is currently approximately 27Gb.

Can I use the same game client in testing and then at launch?

We cannot guarantee that you will not have to re-download and re-install the game client at any point before the start of Early Game Access. Periodically addditional content patches may be required during any period of Game Testing.

Do those invited to Beta Testing Weekends get access to Forums to talk about their experience and give feedback?

Yes. Specific Forums for Beta Testing Weekends will be opened from when invites are sent out for that weekend, until a short period of time after the weekend’s testing is over. These will only be accessible to those invited to the specific Beta Testing Weekend.

Are invites to Game Testing still random?

Yes. Those invited to Game Testing – of any kind – are still currently randomly selected from those who have opted-in to be eligible for Game Testing.

There used to be a ‘System Scan’ function on the website as part of Game Testing sign-up, and now it’s gone. How does this affect me?

We no longer require potential Game Testing applicants to perform a ‘system scan’. If you have previously scanned your PC and have since upgraded it, don’t be concerned. You’re still eligible for selection to Game Testing.

When does Game Testing for EU-based players start?

Game Testing for EU-based players is imminent, and will include localized French and German versions of the game. Future phases of Game Testing for EU players will happen on EU-based servers. Beta Testing Weekends will also begin specifically for EU players in the same timeframe.

As EU players are being invited now and other players have been testing for longer, will feedback from EU players make a difference to the game at launch?

Yes. Every piece of feedback from a tester is potentially useful. Even if a piece of feedback is not acted upon before launch, it may be used to change the game in some way in the future.

As part of Guild Testing, will guilds be invited to Beta Testing Weekends?

Guilds are generally invited to the main Game Testing program. Individual guild members, through random selection, may be invited to Beta Testing Weekends, but guilds will not be selected for inclusion in Beta Testing Weekends as part of Guild Testing.

I have infractions on my Forums account. Does that prevent me from being invited to Game Testing?

No, it does not, although accruing enough infractions could lead to a Forums ban. If you are banned from the Forums, you would also be removed from Game Testing.

I pre-ordered The Old Republic; does that allow me access to Game Testing or Beta Testing Weekends?

At this time, pre-ordering The Old Republic and redeeming your Pre-Order Code ensures you gain Early Game Access.

I live outside of the initial launch countries for Star Wars: The Old Republic; will I be able to take part in Game Testing in any way?

We’re hoping to extend Game Testing to many more countries before launch, but we have no estimate on exactly when that will happen.

Stephen Reid | Senior Online Community Manager
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– Beta/Game Testing Weekends FAQ.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic – Sept 10th Beta Weekend is not happening!!!

Hello all,There is no Beta Testing Weekend scheduled for this weekend. There may be further Beta Testing Weekends during September, but we’re not going to guarantee it. The weekend that just finished was really our first dry run of Beta Testing Weekends as a whole, and we have plenty of data to crunch, and decisions to make before we start things up again.Further to that, as Chris Collins explained in another thread, we are about to roll out a major new build for The Old Republic. That build won’t be ready for this weekend. Just as we did not feel it was a good decision to ask potential EU testers to download our client only to have to download it again, the same applies for this weekend.

That does not mean, however, that as soon as our new build is available we’ll be rolling out a Beta Testing Weekend immediately. As with any new build of the game, we need to get feedback from internal testing and our ongoing Game Testing program before rolling it out to a massive audience. That process takes a while, and that time varies depending on how testing goes.

We rolled out this previous weekend as a relatively small scale event; from now we will do bigger and bigger events, but that doesn’t mean it happens every weekend. When we do resume, we’ll be inviting many more people in.

While many of you are excited and anxious to know what’s happening regarding Testing Weekends, I want to point out that a lot of posts on the subject with a lack of corresponding posts from us does not mean that we’re not listening, or not aware of your interest. It shows your interest in the topic, which is understandably high, but we will not always be able to react instantaneously.

In the past couple of days we’ve been preparing a comprehensive FAQ regarding Game Testing Weekends as a whole, along with some details about the weekend that just happened. We’ll post that tomorrow – in all languages, as we know the subject is of interest to everyone.

Stephen Reid | Senior Online Community Manager
Follow us on Twitter @SWTOR | Like us on Facebook
[Contact Us] [Rules of Conduct] [F.A.Q.] [Dev Tracker]

STAR WARS: The Old Republic