Sunny Days: FFXIV Alpha Test, SWTOR Game Update 1.4, WoW News

Sesame Street is awesome. Big Bird has been in the news lately, and while this is not a political blog, we would like to offer our whole-hearted support for the big yella fela.

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the numbers 1 and 4.

FF14: ARR Alpha Test Coming Soon

The venerable Yoshi-P has released his 36th Letter from the Producer and in it he states that the alpha test for FFXIV will “finally get moving around the end of October,” adding that

There will not only be stress tests for the new servers’ coding and hardware configurations, but also tests for what will be the backbone of the game’s new system, which is why we’re being very cautious with development.

 He also reveals the results of the latest poll, which asks if players want to keep the servers for the current FFXIV open beyond Nov 11, even if data after then won’t be carried over to FFXIV: ARR.

More than 35% voted to keep the servers for the current game open, so they will be reopened after being temporarily shut down on November 11. Yoshi-P says that as long as more than 30% want the servers open, they will remain open.

We’ve mentioned changes to the game’s economy and the decrease in value of FFXIV gil in a previous post.

No set date yet on the alpha, but we’ll let you know as soon as news breaks.

Lots of Goodies in SWTOR Update 1.4

SWTOR Update 1.4: Terror from Beyond has been live for a couple of weeks now, and it’s as feature-packed as a big and furry Snuffleupagus. Here’s what’s in it, from the official SWTOR blog:

  • Operation: Terror From Beyond will take you to the remote world of Asation where the mysterious Sith Lords known as the Dread Masters have found a way to unlock the ancient Gree Hypergate, opening a door to an unknown place and an unspeakable horror that now threatens the entire galaxy. It will be your mission to close the portal before it’s too late and to destroy whatever gets through.
  • New Weapons and Armor to upgrade your characters’ effectiveness and appearance with the Legendary Dread Guard gear.
  • Improved Group Finder lets you join a group for an Operation or Flashpoint and return to your previous location when you’ve completed the mission.
  • Unify Colors for Companions allows you to select an option to match all your companion’s gear to his or her chest piece for a more stylish look.
  • New ‘Facial Expression’ Emotes is a new set of slash commands that allow you to set your character’s expression. Let the rest of the galaxy know how you really feel.

Legendary Dread Guard gear is well, legendary, the best PvE gear currently available. SWTOR credits would be well spent on gearing up your toons with these amazing new weapons and armor.

Game Update 1.4 also features the new shadow optimizations, from an incremental cascaded shadow algorithm to a new system that uses a Fit to Cascade shadow algorithm. No, I have no idea what it means either, but I can tell you that the shadows are now less blocky and more realistic.

And finally, here’s a bit of Star Wars/Sesame Street trivia for you: Did you know Master Yoda and Grover are the same guy? The voice is a dead giveaway. Yes, I figured it out as a child. And yes, I probably watched too much TV then.

WoW Bulletin Board

  • There’s still time to get your drink on! Brewfest runs until October 13.
  • Hotfixes to Patch 5.0.5 have been released. Get all the nitty-gritty details here.