Now that Star Wars: The Old Republic has a release date, those who have pre-ordered the game might wonder when they're getting their promised early access to the game. Now BioWare has shed a little more light on how the first-come, first-served access will work.
A forum post from community manager Stephen Reid (via Eurogamer) explains. "While we aren't ready to talk about the exact timing of when Early Game Access starts (that depends on a number of factors including Game Testing and pre-order numbers), we'll announce that before the start date," he wrote. "Our planning accounts for allowing people to download the client before the Early Game Access start date, too."
But as BioWare mentioned when announcing the early access, this will be on a first-come, first-served basis; those who redeemed the codes early will get earlier access. "The next obvious question is 'I pre-ordered on Day X, when do I get access?' While we cannot answer that for everyone, I will say (as I did in July) that those who pre-ordered early will be getting Early Game Access, well, earliest." If you haven't pre-ordered yet, you can still gain early access by plunking down your money now. "As I've said before the difference between 'early' and 'later' should be a matter of days, not weeks."
Reid says the progressive early access is to "gradually ramp up the population of our servers so that on launch day, the general play experience is as pleasant as possible." This echoes comments from BioWare co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka about limiting supply at launch to keep the servers running smoothly.