Your inside track on getting into the Star War Old Republic beta
OK, so, Star Wars: The Old Republic is on its way this year and I’m trying to work myself into a MMO frenzy by starving myself of social interaction. For instance, before our podcasts, I only speak to Tom through grunts and clicks. My wife, Sarah, and I communicate through a psychic link. (The psychic channel we use is the one I usually reserve for REALLY wanting Doritos, which has reduced my nacho cheese intake to close to zilch.) The idea being that I’m so starved for human contact that playing a new MMO will be a “rad social experience.” The downside is that now I have to wait for it to come out.
Or do I? Find out after the jump…
Wait a moment. I’m Jason McMaster, damn it! “I get what I wants or I takes it,” is probably what I’d say were I a ship captain and we were on the high seas. We are not. So I have to beg or connive my way into playing early. How does one do this? Well, let’s form a plan of attack.
The most important part of any good plan when dealing with video games is a multi-layered strategy. When you want something bad enough, you can’t just go throwing out possible avenues to success. So, we’ll go through our options and the possible success rate associated with each. This is our plan.
- Create and join a guild: There’s a rumor going around that clan activity can lead to higher chances of beta acceptance. This isn’t confirmed as far as I know, but it can’t hurt.
- Contact the PR people associated with Bioware and EA: When you’re in the game writing industry, you get used to certain responses. The most common associated with MMOs are “The game isn’t in a state that we want to introduce it to the press.” What if I say pretty please and promise I won’t talk about it? No? OK then.
- Talk to someone you know at Bioware that can get you in: This method is pretty shaky, specifically because I only know one guy at Bioware and I don’t know him all that well. I might still try it, but I don’t have a lot of hope.
- Pre-order the game: I’ve done this, so my final level is in place. This is the safety net, and one I hope I don’t have to use.
So, with this in mind, we begin work. Easiest to hardest, we set up our steps. First and foremost: the pre-order. I’m no fool, so I get the super special edition to sell at GenCon next year for prices up to, but not limited to, what it’s worth at release. Also, I always have to have something better than everyone else. It fuels me creatively to lord over the less fortunate. OK, step 1 in the bag!
Now it’s guild-creating time! With the basic idea of “I don’t like playing as a total wuss” as my guideline, I create a Sith guild. I wanted to name it Qt3vil but I guess you can’t use numbers… which is weird coming from the property that spawned R2-D2 and C-3PO. So we ended up with Threevil. Fun fact: other than being the magic number, three is also the most evil number, on a personal level.
Moving on to the PR part of our plan, it’s time to draft the perfect letter. I’ll spare you the details on that end, but needless to say, they react well to positive attitudes and a level of excitement when speaking of their products. You can hate the shit out of it once it’s released, but be positive before-hand, or you’ll notice that people are less willing to give you a product you have no enthusiasm for from the get-go. Once the email is prepared, we would normally move on to the last bit, but in this case, I’m positive it’s not worth the time.
OK, now that my three-pronged attack is in place, the hard part begins: the waiting. I’m not very patient. What I can hope is that someone at Bioware or EA takes pity on me and lets me (and my rad guild, Threevil) into the beta so that we, as a powerful, tight-knit group of like-minded, evil bastards, can beat the Republic into submission while providing a more stable and entertaining play environment. May the Schwartz be with you.
(UPDATE: The following response just arrived from the appropriate PR channels: “We’re not currently allowing media into testing for Star Wars: The Old Republic. If anything changes in the near term, we’ll be sure to let you know.”)