The Sith's Inquisitiveness Pays Off In The Long Run

In the above clip for Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare gives hopeful Sith Inquisitors some rather fetching outfits and tactics to look forward to.

The Sith Inquisitor isn't all force lightning and stoic standing in The Old Republic. During my brief spin in the role during the game's beta test I discovered a complex class with the potential for great killing power and crowd control alike. Plus you get to specialize into either an assassin or a sorcerer, two job titles that look amazing on business cards; trust me.


    Great, the Sith Inquisitor. Whoopdeedoo!

    How about you pay attention to the launch snafu you've been alerted to, that has loads of pre-order customers unable to play on launch day due to the instant rescinding of the previously stated and commonplace grace period, given the product keys will take some time to get through the holiday mail??? Early access leads to late access leads to cancellations!

    And for those oblivious to the change, a bad surprise awaits them on launch day. Why not cover this story, in the interest of gamers hmm?

      Wow, you need to relax man. Just be glad there isn't any region-locking in place, which they could have done. I've got my order from Amazon, with express shipping. So I should get it a day or two after launch. Thats' what happened with my massive Skyrim Giant Dragon Edition. Launched Thursday, got my giant Dragon Edition on Monday. That's pretty great for something from the US. If you're that unhappy, cancel your order. The game will be better off without you. :)

        Better off without me? Was unaware TOR was your private duchy. I know many would-be players just like me rightly angry that they've been hit with a grace period bait and switch on the eve of the game launch after being encouraged by the makers to pre-order the game (to record levels) only to be thanked for that confidence and early adoption by being locked out at launch. The boards before they were just nuked were melting down with new posts from angry customers. People were mislead, money is involved, and the makers are doing a good impression of giving these paying customers the shaft. We hear claims of a mad scramble to fix things, but first - why should we believe it on the back of previous misrepresentations - and second, what the hell does this say about how these people are running a multi-year, multi-million dollar big ticket IP MMO? If this is how they organize a launch, with Europeans getting the game well in advance and the rest of us (sans digital customers) told by people like you to leave if we don't like it, I think there's good grounds to be angry and dissatisfied. And what does it say for the future of the game? It's not a healthy sign of a community that values players or is run by people who know what they're doing. This is an own goal of galactic scale and bad PR only a competitor could love. No region locking? Maybe not this week - they just got rid of the grace period. Perhaps that's after they've got your cash. The lack of reliability in official communications regarding TOR is no joke, and users are being taken for granted. It's unfortunate you aren't better informed - but the gaming press seem shy to cover the story.

          paulthegrouch +1

        You'll actually be getting it up to 2 weeks late, even with express shipping.
        Early access starts on the 13th, amazon US still has release date as 20th, even with express shipping (which I have to) currently says won't arrive till after 25th.

    I'm disappointed that the Dark Side has been painted so dark. It would be nice for TOR to give players the option not of good vs. evil, but of Republic vs. Empire.

    But George Lucas probably wouldn't allow his story to be other than black and white.

      They are already ahead of you on that one, dark/light side options are available for both factions. I played a zabrak bounty hunter with a heart of gold in the beta

        Yup, my Sith Warrior was 'lightside' in the beta; he still worked for the Sith Empire, but he did so honourably, not resorting to cruelty and exploitation to achieve his goals- a noble warrior shouldn't need tricks to become powerful, and the game let me play that role perfectly.

    Soooo when's it coming out for Australia???

      Source indicate a possible Smarch launch.

      I hate the lousy weather we get in Smarch too.

    pre-downloading it now. all signs point to it being available to play on the 13th. - 2 days. whys everybody complaining?

      A joke on your part? Or ignorance?

      My post has most of the details not being carried by this or other sites.

      You pre-ordered? Dandy. Got the game client? Fab.

      Early access for you!

      But come launch day, if you didn't or couldn't order digital and don't have a physical product key in your hands, you're locked out.

      THAT'S the problem.

      Many people are in this boat. in the USA, and elsewhere - not just Red Zoners. Holiday shipping is a nightmare but a predictable one. The industry standard grace period that the game's own site, emails and official spokesperson told us for months we could rely on so we could play on launch day as valued customers, has just been rescinded for no good reason - and we've been told they're sorry we misunderstood their earlier line, which was still going out in email form as late as yesterday.

      Then we're told they're trying to "fix" it, which seems dubious in light of the grace period trickery. They planned the launch, they stuffed it up - so if they're now browbeating the retailers into preferential shipping at this time of year is this a sign of competence and reliability for the post-launch period, or an early warning sign to heed and bail out?

      Before the site went down and nuked the forums, there were many many paying customers giving vent to this deceptive incompetent abuse. People are cancelling orders, swearing off all EA and Bioware titles, contacting consumer affairs agencies and mooting legal action. TOR seems to be taking the SOE approach to MMOs, but riling the userbase up at the start of the game rather than later on. Interesting choice!

    I hope someone starts a class action lawsuit, false advertisement.

      I winder if EA has any experience in dealing with those... ;-)

    I have been interested in this game since we first heard about it... kinda sucks about the issues with the release and I gather codes and such... (although I hate the term "Holiday shipping" it's Summer Holidays - for us and Christmas or Hanuka or whatever - politically correct gone mad!) Anyhoo kinda puts a dampener on it all.
    But as I am NOT a first day buyer or player it really doesn't matter to me... just hope that the game is good enough to get past these issues!

    I'm sorry, but I just do NOT get it. If you are a gamer who wants to play AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, it only makes sense to pre order at wal mart / gamestop / fry's / best buy, etc etc etc.

    But all I see when it comes to game release dates on forums is "I pre ordered online and I don't get to play on launch day due to shipping - WAH!""

    I'm sorry, I don't mean to be a douche, but it is a 'Street Date' issue/policy. A vendor cannot sell the item before the listed street date. If Amazon shipped to you on the 15th so you'd have your game before release date, they would have taken your money and shipped your package before street date. Yes, they broke the rules in Euroupe supposedly, and if that is true and they are not doing it in the US that sucks. But I know for a fact Gamestop had collector's editions available for pre-order all the way up to December, so not cancelling your Amazon order was a choice, now you have to deal with that.

    It's simple, to play as soon as possible: Pick up in the dmn store.


      Don't mean to be? Fair enough. So it's involuntary? Or accidental? ;-)

      Seriously - read my posts, they go from left to right.

      Not everyone can physically go to a store or order electronically. Try to bear that in mind, please. And that holds true for the Green Zone as it does for the Red.

      The makers of SWTOR said we'd get a grace period to accommodate THEIR decision to launch on the holiday period when shipping is a bit nuts, whether you're in the US or not. We paying customers took them at their word. They then on the eve of launch say this is no longer true, and they're sorry WE misunderstood.

      Lots of pre-order customers are rightly angry, as the industry standard grace period THEY told us we could rely on via multiple means of communication (site copy, emails, official spokesperson) was suddenly and inexplicably taken away.

      Many are going to be unable to play for days and days following the 20th, some for weeks. These are the same people who helped pump the preorder sales to record levels and have now been hung out to dry - both by the makers of SWTOR and sites like this one too lazy and too cozy with the likes of EA and Bioware to cover the story. One hears claims that they're scrambling to fix it - which given previous utterances, makes believing something we'd like to be true a bit harder to swallow this time.

      It's a shame you can't muster a little more understanding and compassion - if not solidarity - for your fellow gamers. But you've got yours, so that's all okay? Needless to say, a lot of European customers who've already equally inexplicably got their physical copies are in our corner on this.

      Yet there are some gamers who want to reward this shabby treatment by buying extra copies via the electronic distribution chain EA has to preferentially get customers their copy over the other retailers or even by availing themselves of key vendors.

      Honestly, if with all the time and money they had, the makers of SWTOR made this much of a mess of a launch, what are the prospects for a viable and enjoyable experience and decent community when the game begins?

      I was optimistic, even playing the beta, despite the odd rough patch.

      Now? I am not so sure.

    For customers outside of an area they can even semi-reasonably pick up the game or make it to a launch store, I can understand that would be frustrating, and problematic, especially given the misunderstanding/decision change on the grace period. There's people here in my local city that live 20 minutes from one of those stores, have jobs and cars, and they're off the wall about their pre order not arriving on time. It's hard to have sympathy for them because it just feels like they are being lazy.

    It's good that you can appreciate not everyone has the choice to pick up in store. Nevertheless. given the official and sensible"grace period" line for months, the idea that "valued customers" now have to and try their luck/jerk retailers around/line EA's digital pockets/enrich a key seller for no reason other than to accommodate an outrageous broken promise and stuffed up launch is a bit much, no matter where you live.

    The makers of SWTOR gave an undertaking that is an industry standard (to quote their own emails affirming the existence of the grace period) and now on the eve of launch they rescind it, hurting them and us in the process. It is not a sign of confidence in us as customers or them as the people running a MMO, let alone one of this profile. Anything Goes is the maxim of a slave, not a savvy customer. Yet there are those who pride themselves on taking shabby treatment to "prove" their hard-core status, no matter the cost to the game or community from hereon out.

    It needs to be widely understood that the grace period wasn't a misunderstanding. They sent emails that specifically said there would be a grace period. Also, the official spokesperson made a point of saying so as far back as August. That the same guy and his bosses are saying they're trying hard to fix their mess and slap in our faces is somewhat less than credible in light of that. Here's some of the details the grace period fiasco thread brought to light:


    Timeline of the Grace Period cover-up | Today , 12:57 PM
    August 7:
    Senior Online Community Manager Stephen Reid posts:

    I'd like to recap on a few other key questions and answers:
    There will be a period after launch day in which those who have pre-ordered will be able to continue playing before entering their Game Code. More information on this will be made available closer to launch.
    These seem to be the key questions for those who choose to potentially import the game, and hopefully we've answered those.
    Note that this was not a case of Mr. Reid popping into a thread and making a quick comment. This was specifically represented as a summary of official answers to "key questions". The Senior Online Community Manager acknowledges the importance of these questions and answers in the post itself. He reiterated the same information on Twitter around the same time.

    November 9: (one month ago today)
    During a fan-site summit, Senior Online Community Manager Stephen Reid was interviewed by

    You will have time BEFORE Early Access to download the game client, and prepare for your life to be kept indoors for a long, long time. However, once that Early Access period is over, you’ll be required to enter your CD key before you can log onto your account again via the launcher. If you ordered digitally through Origin, they’ll email you the key. If you ordered the physical copy, you’ll want to get that as soon as possible. When presented with the question of the CE or even Standard addition purchased via Origin…they weren’t sure of the answer on whether they’d email you your CD code or not.
    A thread sprung up immediately inquiring about the previously promised grace period and the implications for pre-orders delivered by mail.

    Hey, I read on TOROcast's update from the fansite thingy you guys had and it says that you have to enter your cd key on release date now in order to keep playing after early access is over? Is that true? In order for Amazon to ship my $150 order that same day I have to pay an extra 10 bucks, otherwise my free shipping wont get it to me till after Christmas?

    I thought there was a grace period for entering keys? What about people from Australia who are not gonna get theirs till January?
    Many follow-up posters in that thread cited the official confirmation of a grace period by Senior Online Community Manager Reid from August, and attributed the implied lack of a grace period in the interview to a mis-quote.

    Rather than correcting the false information he had posted in August, Senior Online Community Manager Stephen Reid stonewalled:

    Originally Posted by StephenReid
    We'll have more information on our launch plans soon.

    There are multiple moving parts, so I'd ask you to be patient while we get details finalized.
    December 7:

    The pre-order FAQ page was modified to inform us that, contrary to the official statement of the Senior Online Community Manager in August:

    There will be no ‘grace period’ post launch in which those who are in Early Game Access will be able to continue to play the Game without completing the following required steps for launch:
    Later on December 7, Senior Online Community Manager Reid confirmed, but did not admit, that the information he posted in August was false:

    There will be no ‘grace period’ post launch in which those who are in Early Game Access will be able to continue to play the game.
    On Twitter, he repeatedly denied any responsibility for and refused to acknowledge his false statements:

    Absolutely not in my control, yes.
    Not every decision is under my control, I'm afraid.
    Every decision is not mine to make.

    December 8:

    Forum user Horribus posts a response received from Bioware Customer Support concerning the grace period. Customer Support (falsely) denies that any official information on the existence of a grace period has ever been provided, prior to the December 7 update of the FAQ:

    We are sorry to hear about the issues you have been facing regarding information provided previously about grace period. Please be advised that the official information confirming that there is no grace period has been recently published and before the recent update we had not published any official information on this topic.

    December 9:

    As of this morning, Protocol Droids are still sending out the following information, assuring users that there will, in fact, be a grace period:

    I am Protocol Droid N0-L9 Human-Cyborg relations.

    I have received your question about the length of the Grace Period for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

    A Grace Period is a specified amount of time post-launch where players who have pre-ordered can continue to play without having entered their retail product code.

    It is common practice for MMOs to allow for a Grace Period, and Star Wars: The Old Republic will be no different in that respect.

    When the game is released, you will have a five day post-launch grace period to purchase a full copy of the game and redeem your Game Code if you wish to continue playing the game without interruption.

    Should you need further assistance with this matter, please do not hesitate to let me know. Galactic support is our specialty...


    Protocol Droid N0-L9 (aka Jigno)
    Star Wars: The Old Republic Customer Service

    We know that in August, Senior Online Community Manager Reid posted in an official summary of "key" pre-order information, that there would be a grace period. That post has not, to this day, been corrected or amended.

    We also know that, at least a month ago, he was aware that this information was false, but did not correct it until two days ago, after the pre-order FAQ was updated, by starting this thread.

    We also know that the issue of pre-order by mail customers being locked out on the 20th was known to the Senior Online Community Manager at least a month ago. They have not had "a few days" to get this sorted out by "talking to retailers", they have had at least a month.

    Despite the August post, and despite the fact that protocol droids have been telling people, as recently as this morning, that a 5-day grace period would be provided, Bioware Customer Support is denying that any grace period was ever suggested. It is apparently their position that neither posts from the Senior Online Community Manager, nor responses from their own protocol droids constitute "official information".


    Why does Bioware Customer Support deny, in the face of clear evidence, that a grace period was promised by the Senior Online Community Manager, and continues to be promised to this day, by its own protocol droids?

    If the Senior Online Community Manager's August post was not "official information", why was it never corrected, even after he was aware (at least one month ago) that it was false?

    If he was ordered not to correct the false information he had posted, after it had been cited in the November 9 thread, why?

    If the Senior Online Community Manager's August post, and subsequent failure to correct it, was some sort of rogue action, contrary to official policy, why was he not fired?

    If the Senior Online Community Manager's August post reflected official policy at the time, why does Bioware not honor its commitment to provide a grace period?

    And the big one:

    Why won't *anybody* from Bioware or EA tell us the truth about this whole fiasco?
    "There will be a 'grace period' past launch day to allow time to receive a box."
    - Stephen Reid, Senior Online Community Manager

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