The big news right now is Bioware have announced that SWTOR's early access has been pushed forward to starting from the 13th December (depending on when you pre-ordered). However, it's also come out that there will NOT be a grace period for people to enter their codes after the official main launch day. It's a little concerning how much of a shambles they appear to be with dates, since they've been saying the 15th for a while now and they did also say that there would be a grace period. They also haven't updated all their images and posts, which means sometimes they have things saying 5 and 7 days headstart on the SAME PAGE. Bioware don't appear to be the most organised company in that department, or at least that's how it looks...
Also not having a grace period when your game is launching over the Christmas period (helloooo delayed postal services!) is to be honest completely and utterly retarded. From a purely selfish point of view, I don't care, the early access is all that matters to me, but loads of people are raging and some will not get their game until very late. So basically Bioware are choosing to inconvenience some players and generate a load of bad press for no real reason. Sure, they're probably trying to stop people doing the old "cancel pre-order but play headstart" trick, but seriously... All told it's just a silly thing to do by Bioware.
In other news, Mechwarrior Online's latest blog post details how their Community Warfare will work. Basically this is a galaxy scale campaign system that links to the battles we fight in, our results change who controls the Inner Sphere's vast array of systems. Also Mercenary Corporations (player guilds) can attack and claim planets, which sounds quite intriguing:
"Mercenary Corporations can bid and fight for occupation rights of border worlds throughout the Inner Sphere. Merc Corps must bid on a planet’s occupation rights via a system of contracts generated by the game.
A match or series of matches are set up between the defending Merc Corp and the challenger. The victor is determined from the results of each match, and takes control of the planet. They are rewarded with an immediate contract payout, and will continue to earn rewards while they occupy the planet."
Of course this could all work out a bit like a glorified dynamic map on a website, but we'll see. Putting my general cynicism at everything ever aside, it does sound quite promising.
Elsewhere, Egosoft have announced the imminent (as in just weeks) launch of X3: Albion Prelude. With X: Rebirth coming out next year, I don't think anyone was expecting Egosoft to release another X3 standalone expansion beforehand, so I'm more than a little surprised. Fair play to them I say, a nice surprise and they're even giving it away free to certain customers and discounted to others.
"For owners of the X Superbox, X3: Albion Prelude will be available as a free download on Steam, while for owners of X3: Terran Conflict it will be available at the 'add-on' price of €9.99. For players new to the series, X3: Terran Conflict and X3: Albion Prelude will be available for purchase as a bundle. Time your purchase right and you could enjoy substantial discounts in the Steam holiday sale too!"
So us X3 fans are proper sorted until the release of the lovely looking X: Rebirth.