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BioWare: 500 Worlds in SW:TOR by 2025

This weekend during Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego, BioWare senior creative director James Ohlen said that the developer is looking to play host to 500 worlds in Star Wars: The Old Republic by the year 2025. That's right: BioWare expects the upcoming MMOG to still exist online 14 years from now – the same amount of time it took to develop Duke Nukem Forever.

"I can say that we have 19 major worlds," he said during a Q&A session. "Then we have an indeterminate number of minor worlds. And our goal, obviously this being an online game, that we're hoping is going to last for decades, we're going to be, obviously, adding more to the galaxy map as the game progresses. We want to add dozens of worlds. Hundreds of worlds eventually. In 2025, we'll hopefully have 500 worlds."

"Guaranteed!" added director of production Dallas Dickenson.

Will 500 worlds be overkill? Electronic Arts' Frank Gibeau claims that The Old Republic will provide 200 hours of gameplay for each of the six available classes -- that doesn't even include crafting, raiding and other multiplayer aspects. He even pointed out that Ultima is on its first decade and still has tens of thousands of subscribers and is widely profitable for the company.

"It's just the nature of the beast that you have to build this amount of content," he said in an interview in June. "Do I wish it wasn't this expensive? Absolutely, but I think everybody does. At the same time it doesn't really do us much good to comment on how much it costs. Ultimately what matters is whether it's a good service and do people really like the game."

So far BioWare is slated to start beta testing on weekends come September. Dallas Dickenson said during the Comic-Con 2011 Q&A that fans should sign up immediately if they have not already done so.

"We're going to be allowing huge numbers of people in," he said. "If you haven't gotten in yet, this is going to be your best chance to do so. So sign up right now to be one of our testers, and there's a very very good chance you'll be playing the game in September. We're going to be inviting thousands and thousands of people to jump into the game, try it out, and give us their feedback."

Does that mean The Old Republic will launch sometime soon after that? "We are going to be beta testing weekends in September and right now our release window target, we are targeting holiday 2011 as our release window," added BioWare community manager Stephen Reid

To read the entire Comic-Con 2011 Q&A session, head here.

  • crewton
    One month to get my weekends in order! Can't wait to test out SWTOR!
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    I'm all set and ready. I'm ready for the beta invite. I bought the pre-order, and registered it, ready for early access. As long as I'm playing the game within a month of release, I'll be more than happy. I hope I can find some bugs and be helpful. I'm pretty firm in that I decided to go lightside healer. They'll likely always be in need, and I need to feel needed ;-)

    Have Tom's readers / editors / writers / forum mods setting up anything? I'd love to find Tom's peoples in-game...

    Im getting excited lol... its been years since I felt more than just ho-hum when it comes to new games arriving.
    Reply
  • davewolfgang
    ARRRRRGH - my normal hours are weekends....

    /cry

    At least I get off at 5.
    Reply
  • stingstang
    Beta testing started a few months ago. They're doing levels of tests with large updates every month or so with a new wave of people coming in.
    As to my response to them having 500 worlds? Those worlds are going to be awfully lonely if they don't ramp this game up...a lot. Not everyone is going to want to play another MMORPG hack and slash grinder to the highest level like all the others out there. Add in some SWG aspects. A REAL space combat game. Buildable houses. Player-fed world economy. PC towns with governor votes... More of the same is boring, bioware! Please understand!!
    Reply
  • vilenjan
    So Bioware thinks that their MMo will still be around in 14 years? That is ballsy considering WoW is only 7 years old and already getting stale :P
    Reply
  • Way to Run a offcolor comment and joke as an actual headline
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    ^ sounds good. I hope the initial professions is at least tripled. 500 worlds is putting a lot of kilometers on your gear. Where's the mechanics? Logistics personnel? I definitely want a second character that has nothing to do with combat, not a combat class that opts to sit at port, crafting.
    Reply
  • nisallik
    Beta Testing has been going on over a year. Last month it entered Closed Beta.

    Sadly, you need to do a bit more research on SW:TOR, as it is by far not a hack and slash grinder. I wouldn't mind BioWare trying some SWG aspects a few years from now. I'm sure they could implement it a lot better than SOE did.
    Reply
  • vilenjan
    I would love territory control objective based mass PvP, where certain planets (at the border of the empire republic) constantly shift based on player actions.
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    Perhaps a planet can be "owned" by a player organization. Any visiting non-members pay some sort of tax to them. The "ownership" of said planet can be contested at regularly timed intervals involving mass pvp between the two organizations. This is a popular mode used in another mmorpg in respect to dungeons.
    Reply