Despite my jaded attitude towards the MMORPG market lately I've been keeping a close eye on Starwars Galaxies. Mostly because unlike many, I happen to love Verant as a company and I believe they have the best shot at creating some truly unique experiences. According to a forum post by community relations manager Kevin O'Hara Star Wars Galaxies is moving along and they are planning a Beta 3 release within the next month or so.
Read more for the full update from Kevin.Our plan right now is to have Beta 3 start sometime in the second half of February or in the beginning of March. IÃ‚'m hoping to have a more specific date available at the DeveloperÃ‚'s Chat next week.
Beta 2 is coming along fine for us. The testers are shaking down the advancement and balance for several professions and are trying out some new POIs (Points of Interest like the one mentioned in ShugÃ‚'s recent post). Although we havenÃ‚'t done official beta focus testing for certain things like crafting, those systems have been turned on and players have started trying their hand at them. (Internally systems like crafting have been getting a lot of testing by the way). WeÃ‚'re getting tons of good feedback on what systems need more attention, what ones are feeling good, and of course lots of bug reports.
The team is ramping up for our two final milestones. The first being getting all of the beta 3 required art assets ready for the Beta 3 CDs (looks like there will be three of them). We also have a large laundry list of things that need to be working well in the game before we open the gates. These include greater server stability, a tutorial, all systems working, and enough balance so we donÃ‚'t have to do many (if any) character wipes during beta 3.
After that milestone, the next one is Ã‚"Gold MasterÃ‚". This refers to the final CDs you make internally that get tested and then sent to the duplication house to make lots of pretty packages for the stores. The team is already working tons of overtime with their eyes on this date (In fact we have signs with ominous numbers like Ã‚"8 weeks until GMÃ‚" around the office). I have to say it is a daunting task but so far it looks like the team is in relatively good shape to deliver the required feature set for launch.
Your question, of course, is Ã‚"What is the feature set?Ã‚" Next week before the DeveloperÃ‚'s Chat we intend on listing our launch feature set and giving the FAQ an overhaul. As weÃ‚'ve gotten into the implementation and beta testing phase, weÃ‚'ve made some changes to our initial designs for the game. In some ways I think weÃ‚'ve pulled off a bit more than we originally expected and in other ways we may not have all the things we wanted for initial launch. Often this happens because when you test you find out what people enjoy and decide to put more emphasis there. The FAQ and Dev posts have always represented what we are working towards, but not necessarily what would be in at launch. Rest assured that we will have an aggressive schedule for adding features and new content when we go live. Our goal now is to bring you a competitive, stable and fun Star Wars game. More on this next week.
Now I donÃ‚'t want to give even more attention to those who worship the floating shrub bug from a month or so ago, but the weirdest thing happened. We needed to make some changes to how our terrain worked in the last patch. When we did another bug sprung up where hundreds of pieces of flora was no longer attached to the ground. Perhaps there is something more to this shrub cult than meets the eyeÃ‚"…
Community Relations Manager