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PAX East Primer

By Michael Bitton on March 09, 2011 | Columns | Comments

PAX East Primer

PAX East is shaping up to be an awesome show for both media and fans alike as two of the most hotly anticipated MMOs, namely Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic, are set to make major splashes at the show. I spent some time over the last few weeks talking about what we might expect to see and now what we can expect to see at PAX with regards to Guild Wars 2, but I’ve not really talked too much about BioWare’s plans for the show in my column, so with roughly two days left to spare before the show kicks off we’re going to take a look at what BioWare will be showing off at PAX East this year.

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PAX East is BioWare’s first major east coast outing and so both BioWare and east coast fans (who are quite starved on gaming conventions) are both excited to finally bring the game out here, and BioWare is really coming out in force for PAX East. Those of you attending PAX East can look forward to sampling any and all of the game’s eight classes, which means that yes you’ll finally be able to check out the Jedi Consular and Jedi Knight as well as their starting world of Tython.  Previously, the only bits we’ve learned about the Jedi classes are from the Jedi Day media event that took place last Fall.

Taral V, one of the recently announced Flashpoints, will also make its debut at PAX East and I (and I’m sure many of you) am quite excited to actually play some group oriented content. I’ve sampled the Imperial Agent and the early areas of Hutta in the past, but the question on most gamers’ minds is how Star Wars: The Old Republic plays in groups, and so PAX East should hopefully answer that question quite nicely. Taral V is exciting for other reasons as well, such as the fact it is a mid-game dungeon which means we’ll be able to see what the higher level abilities and specializations are like, whereas most (if not all) of the play sessions in the past have been focused on the early game experience.

If somehow you’ve managed to get your fill of playing the game on the floor, BioWare will be giving presentations from their booth stage throughout the show and this includes Q&A sessions where fans can pick the brains of the likes of SW:TOR Lead Designer James Ohlen and Lead Writer Daniel Erickson. I’m not much of a drinker, but if I have time I’d love to do shots every time someone asks Daniel a question about space combat. I’d probably need to be taken to a hospital pretty quick.

Finally, if you want to hang out with your fellow Star Wars nerds, meet the SW:TOR community team, and even interact with the game developers in a more personal setting then you’ll definitely want to make sure you snag an invite to the Community Meet and Greet (invitation only!) which is set for this Saturday, so be sure to stop by the BioWare booth and grab an invite before they’re all gone!

When BioWare initially made waves about their presence at PAX East I wasn’t entirely sure what to think, from Community Manager Stephen Reid’s comments it sounded like they were being pretty cautious about expectations for the show, but it really is looking like it’s going to turn out to be quite worth it for anyone who can make it out there. This is a great and much appreciated change of pace for those of us on the east coast who really don’t really get a chance to go out to gaming shows that often without flying across the country. 

Are you attending PAX East? If so, what class or classes are you most excited to take for a spin at the show?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager.
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