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Before The Dark Times: Before Story

In this series, “Before The Dark Times,” I will look back at some of the greatest moments and events in The Old Republic’s pre-launch history. I’ll look at how they panned out in the big picture and how they might affect the game now or in the future. If you’re new to this whole lark you’ll be able to get a closer look at some of the things you may have missed. And if you’ve been here since the beginning, you’ll get to reminisce.

This whole kerfuffle began just two and a half years ago. That’s roughly nine hundred days ago. Blimey.

Star Wars: The Old Republic was one of the industry’s worst kept secrets, what with various EA employees blabbing to investors long before any official announcements. Some say that SWTOR was gaming’s “worst kept secret”. But I’m not sure that can be believed, my good friend Google tells me that other titles such as Thief 4 and FIFA World Cup 2010 are also the “worst kept secret” in gaming. And I don’t think it works if there’s more than one.

Regardless, it all began on October the 7th, 2008, when gaming news sites reported that “LucasArts and BioWare invite you to attend the official unveiling of the game that’s been rumored about for years.”

INT. PLANET EARTH

A sea of millions of people stretching out to the overcast horizon. All are tired and yawning. Some sleeping.

EFFECT: Invitation floats down from heaven.

CROWD(screaming):

KOTOR MMO!

CLOSE UP: BIOWARE raises left eyebrow suspiciously.

ELECTRONIC ARTS

How’d they guess?

BIOWARE

Um … you told them.

Scheduled for October 21st, these invitations to the media came with a single enthralling, inviting, captivating, intriguing, bloody deceiving image:

thewaitisover

Some say this is when it all started, that this is when BioWare began their journey to the dark side of th

The wait is over? Yep, this was the first time that we were deceived. But hey, what’s done is done. The wait is coming to an end.

And then the big day came. October 21 2008. Within seconds of it being said, information revealed at the event was streamed via the media to gawking fans all around the internet. We were given some decent information about the game: we were told about progression, dynamic combat, companions who could betray you and a setting long before and after the Star Wars we knew. Oh and the Fourth Pillar.

I think Day One was my favourite update day. I don’t mean to sound like a pessimistic-hater-guy-who-punches-babies but I think it’s accurate to say we haven’t had a treat like Day One for yonks.

The official site also launched that day. The website that we were doomed to visit every Friday for years to come. And those good old Official Forums which have now seen every possible discussion a thousand times over. Its safe to say that back in those early days, we were innocently excited for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Join me in a couple of weeks as I drink some Coke while drying my hair – and feel epic about it.

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