In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, BioWare founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk talked a bit about the lessons they learned in The Old Republic’s beta and their post launch plans for the game. Anyone who has ever participated in a MMO beta, especially in the early days, probably has stories of funny exploits people come up with; and the BioWare guys have their own as well:
Have there been any surprises in the beta tests?
Greg Zeschuk: I don’t think there’s really been any surprises, but you learn stuff. Certainly the way people play can surprise us. One thing that’s really funny is that people find interesting exploits, you hear about some tricks that people have found and just “wow, that’s ingenious!”
One of the favourites when we opened the early test was that when the two factions were first in the same place we had these taxi guys right on the edge of this cliff. And so one guy got bored, he’d finished all the content and he just sat there waiting for people to arrive and then Force Pushed them off the cliff. He did that for like an hour. Everyone that showed up.
Ray Muzyka: Or actually in the earlier builds you could take out the taxis’ riders. The players would come back, they’re waiting for their vendor and there’s no taxi vendor.
Greg Zeschuk: Someone actually had to pop in and say stop…
Ray Muzyka: We fixed it too.
They also talk about an “aggressive” post-launch content plan:
An MMO is a very long term commitment, you can’t just release it and forget about it.
Ray Muzyka: That’s totally right. It’s a long term commitment, that’s the way we’re looking at it. It’s definitely not a fire and forget but more of a… we have a really aggressive plan post launch to build content and take the feedback to heart that we’re getting from players and what they want for continued expansions, and use that feedback to build new content, so we’re releasing regular content drops and regular expansions after launch, and really accommodating what the players are asking for, dependant on what they find most fun in the game.
How quickly that content will come is yet to be seen. With every single quest in the game fully voiced, it’s unknown if BioWare will run into the same wall SOE did with EverQuest 2 when they attempted to do a fully voiced MMO in 2004 and found out that keeping up with fully voiced patches is a very hard thing to do.
You can read the full four-page interview with BioWare over at GamesIndustry.biz.