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The Older-for-Americans Republic

SWTOR

Now some people may have detected somewhat of a Star Wars undercurrent on this site. I’d like to preface this article by saying that I am not a massive Star Wars nerd. I am quite a big fan of the series, but I would never dare to claim the upper echelons of Star Wars obsession. There are dudes who live and breathe for this stuff, I’ve only seen Return of The Jedi about 5 times.

But, from what I have seen over the last couple of years, I am a massive fan of Star Wars: The Old Republic. I follow the site, devour every piece of news they offer and even read up on the forums sometimes. I was a massive WoW head (pun intended) for several years so another MMO and one with such a great premise, each class gets a completely individualised storyline (which means the quests you do), had me drooling almost instantly.

Everything I had heard about this game just got me more excited. Until now.

With Bioware sticking to their guns by declaring a “second half of 2011” release, the question on everyone’s lips has been “Release date? Release date?!” or, if I was going to actually re-enact the level of enthusiasm people display when asking this, “IF I DON’T GET A RELEASE DATE I WILL KILL MY FIRST BORN CHILD AND MYSELF” (seem harsh? If only I was exaggerating). But never in my wildest dreams did I realise there were more problems with the release date than I had considered.

Primarily, that the release date for some won’t be the release date for others.

Bioware confirmed late yesterday that, although they still refuse to declare a release date, “[t]o maintain a high quality of service, only certain regions worldwide will be able to pre-order Star Wars: The Old Republic”.

The whole issue was brought to a head yesterday when Star Wars: The Old Republic was released for pre-order. Quickly Australasian fans noticed that their credit card details weren’t being accepted, and so they emailed Bioware concerning the issue.

Bioware, unfortunately, replied:

“In North America, Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ will be available for pre-order in the following countries:

United States of America
Canada

In Europe, Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ will be available for pre-order in the following countries:

Austria
Belgium
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Russia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom

At pre-order AND LAUNCH, Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ will be available only in the countries listed above. Details on additional countries are not available at this time, but will be released when available.”

What does this mean for us? Well it could be a manner of weeks, it could be a matter of months. Regardless, it seems like unless we get around Bioware’s system, Europeans and Americans will be playing The Old Republic before us. Which, in case anyone isn’t experienced with MMO’s, means that Australian players will be disadvantaged both while levelling and in end game content progression.

It’s really quite disappointing considering they have had Australian Beta testers on The Old Republic and we are such a small area of the world, we really don’t pose much risk to their game servers – especially if the level of traffic is their concern.

Ways to get around it? At the moment I’m researching ordering it from the U.S. and I can confirm that Amazon is accepting Australian pre-orders. Whether the game will accept Australian credit cards is to be seen. If not we will need to ebay game time cards as well, which makes things a bit complicated. I’ll post details on GamePlayer Facebook as they appear.

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