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My Excuses, Let Me Give You Them

Yep, things have been slow around here. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I’ve discovered that being perfectly happy and content with your gaming life leads to a very boring blog. I have to admit, it bothers me a tiny bit to realize how this space has suffered because I truly do enjoy blogging. But I’m certainly not going to complain about being in the perfect guild with the perfect people. Lack of blog posts is a very small price to pay for such an amazing environment.

But aside from that sickening display of love for my people, I have also been busy with alts. While I have always been someone who creates a lot of characters because I enjoy deciding how they should look and what they should be named, I never really get them very far before I delete them to create someone new. I played WoW for over 4 years and only ever had 1 toon reach max level. The second highest alt I had hit around 70. The many others I created seemed to never make it past their 30s. But as you can see from the screenshot above, I have recently made some progress with several alts. Yes, they are actually still pretty low level but I am admittedly a very slow leveler. I always have been. Too much time spent taking screenshots, tabbed out googling items, sitting idle behind a tree while talking in guild chat, etc. So I am very excited to see those alts up there. I also have a Smuggler on a separate server (co-worker peer pressure) who’s level 18. Hooray me, I’m alting!

When I’m not alting or running Operations with the gang, I am farming. Farming in SWTOR isn’t as easy as what I’m used to from my previous MMO experience, but it can still be done. Sure, most of my farming consists of just standing on the fleet and sending my minions out on missions for companion gifts and missions I can sell on the GTN, but I am also spending a lot of time making circles around a lake on Voss gathering Quick-Growth Agent so I can create stims for the guild bank. That… is pretty boring, to be honest. But it’s a necessary evil.

Okay, there you have it. My list of excuses to explain why I have not been blogging as much lately as I started out doing. Luckily, between the new busy server we are now on and the fact that patch 1.3 drops today, I am pretty optimistic things will begin to pick back up. So keep checking back. I will be blabbering about something soon enough. I may even decide to return to Twitter. I’ve really slacked off on that lately.

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How SWTOR Has Completely Changed My Play Style

I do not have a long history of multiple pc games and MMO’s. I do, however, have a fairly long history of playing WoW. I always played a healer and I always loved it. I leveled my main character as a healer the entire way. It took me forever to kill things cause I’d whack them a few times and then have to heal myself once or twice before whacking them again; but I loved it. Although I was never a raider in WoW, I did enjoy healing my guildies through dungeons and the occasional farm nights and alt nights when things weren’t too serious. I will admit after Cataclysm launched and heroics were so brutal, I let the constant “blame the healer” attitude that began running rampant in-game shatter my confidence. I started to become disenchanted with healing a bit. I pretty much stopped running dungeons and the ones I did run, I ran as dps spec. But I never really embraced being dps, so I just concentrated on dailies and achievements and started working on alts a bit more. Alts that were healers. I truly enjoyed being self-sufficient as I leveled.

Cut to SWTOR where I knew going in (thanks to joining a guild pre-game) that I was going to be a serious business raider. I studied the races and classes and I knew there were already several members of my guild who WOULD be healers as they had been raiding healers in previous games. So I became interested in giving ranged dps a go on the Jedi Consular. When I got a chance to play in the beta, I rolled a Sith Inquisitor and specced her as ranged dps (because it was similar to the Consular but didn’t spoil my story before diving into the game for real). I loved it. I was confident I had made the right decision as far as what my main, raiding character would be. However, I did truly want to have at least one alt who was a dedicated healer. After all, I really enjoyed doing that.

Except apparently I don’t enjoy doing that any longer. Because the story lines in SWTOR are so engrossing and because I was determined to get raid ready as quickly as possible and then stay raid ready at all times, I only recently began putting serious work into some alting. The first one I spent time with was a Trooper who proudly chose to be a healer at level 10. It didn’t take me long to realize I didn’t love healing with the trooper. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something just didn’t feel right about it. I wondered if it was because troopers heal with gadgets and aren’t as hands-on (or maybe i mean hands flailing about casting spells) as I was used to in the past. I stuck with it for a few levels, but I was so unimpressed with it that I didn’t spend much time on her and leveling slowed way down. After a few weeks, I reset her trees and went with a dps spec instead.

Still determined to play a healer, I next rolled a Sith Inquisitor in my guilds part-time “let’s go be evil” guild. I knew the Inquisitor would be the type to cast heals (flail hands) instead of launching mechanical healing globes like the trooper did. But again, once I got there and started doing it, I didn’t like it. I was sort of disappointed, but then not really. Because I LOVE my main character and I don’t NEED to have alts that can heal. I was only disappointed in theory, if that makes any sense. But I did scratch my head and wonder why I no longer wanted to heal. And I think I have finally figured it out. It’s the companion. I love the companions in this game and on my main character, as I’m throwing everything I’ve got at a bad guy, it’s awesome to have someone beside me either patching me up, or kicking the guy in the shins along with me. It’s still me kicking the guys ass, they’re just helping out. But on both the characters I tried healing on, I felt the exact opposite. I felt like I was just helping them out. I felt useless. I just stood there and occasionally tossed a few heals while my companion did all the work. So I started throwing some dps in there and then I got to where I was so busy trying to bust out as much dps as possible, I wasn’t watching my companions health.

So apparently, healing a two person group (1 1/2 really because my tanking companions kept aggro completely off of me for the most part) is just not that damn exciting to me. And throwing rocks is TOTALLY exciting to me. So now all my alts are switched back to dps and for now, I have no desire to heal anything. I think that desire may be completely gone. However, I will say that to give it a fair shot I will likely try switching back to heals once I get an alt to max level and see if I enjoy it more when I have more heals to choose from and when I can run in groups and have more responsibility. Or maybe I won’t.

What? A Helmet I Actually Like?

I’ve been playing alts a lot more lately and while leveling my trooper through Coruscant, I actually earned a helmet that I don’t hate. I know, that’s unheard of. But it’s true. I’m sure other troopers have worn it and maybe most people hate it like most helmets, but there’s something about this one that I think is cute. It goes well with my face tattoo? I’m not sure what it is that makes me like it but until I earn another one, I will proudly display my head slot. I’m just sad that it’s a low level green helmet and not one I can continue to wear.

But at least I know I won’t be wearing any ugly helmets. I have already purchased orange items I want to wear to make a cool looking outfit. I just have to get to level 19 to be able to equip them and I should easily hit 19 today. So depending on how much money I have and how quickly I can afford to put mods in everything, I will make sure and post some pictures of my trooper in her hawt, new outfit soon.

I Will Pop A (Toy) Cap In Your Ass

I’m a bad ass Smuggler. Known across the galaxy (or soon will be) for leaving a trail of broken hearts and empty wallets. Always looking out for me. Walking with an attitude. Dressed like a space age biker chick.

Carrying a couple of bright orange Nerf guns….

WTF?

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Bits And Pieces

There are generally 2 reasons why my blog posting will temporarily slow down. One is life is too busy, work is too hard, not enough time in the day, etc. The other common reason is the one I’m currently suffering from… I”m so absorbed into the game that I don’t log out and leave myself enough time to do everything else I need to do.

Thanks to our guild’s very own “Mad Crafter”, Njessi, Kristalys is wearing a lot of augmented orange gear, is in a good routine of doing dailies (though not daily :P), and doesn’t require as much constant attention. Which means I finally get to spend some time working with alts. It’s been a total blast getting back into the amazing storyline questing that SWTOR does so damn well. It’s sucking up a lot of my time. I’m still not a super-fast leveler because I still spend a lot of time gawking around. But it’s keeping me very entertained.

I am also getting comfortable with raiding and don’t spend all day Friday and Saturday freaking out about how I may derp things up. And speaking of raiding, we’ve got a guildie who’s new to raiding who recently hit 50 and is starting to run with us. We also have a new trial member who answered our recruiting call for a healer and HOLY COW SHE LEVELED TO 50 IN 2 WEEKS so she could get in some raiding with us before it’s time to decide on her permanent status with us. So raiding has been a bit more light-hearted recently as we’ve welcomed these noobs into the fold.

During the first Eternity Vault clear with the noobs, our new trial member healer, Graceless, won the big-daddy Caddy that dropped. After we got back to the fleet she and I totally went cruising in style together.

But before we headed back to the fleet we decided to strike a pose and get a screenshot to commemorate the event of the noob’s first clear. I got a little distracted.

The next night, during a joint event with The Church of Alvis, we ran through Karagga’s Palace and all busted up laughing when we rounded a corner to see that Biscotti had ran ahead and lounged himself on a couch in the hallway. I don’t know exactly why it was so funny, but trust me, it was. You can see him in the bottom right corner just chillin.

Last, I started a new Sith Inquisitor on Juyo to take advantage of the Legacy system and I’ve had a lot of fun working with her. This is like the 4th time I’ve leveled a Sith Inquisitor up to the fleet and it’s still a blast every time. Jordynn here is level 14 and she’s a keeper. I can’t wait to see how much more fun the class gets as I keep going.

The end.

Big News! I Did NOT Hit Level 50

Today is Tuesday, ┬ájust in case you didn’t know, which means yesterday was Monday. Logic. I haz it. ┬áNormally I try to put up a post every Monday as a way of officially returning to the weekly business of being a blogger. I rarely plan my posts in advance (and it shows) but towards the end of last week as I made good progress in my leveling, I did begin to put together a plan for what I wanted to post yesterday. By the time I had logged off Wednesday night, I had hit level 46 and since I had a 3 day weekend ahead of me I was convinced I would make it to 50 before the weekend was out.

Unfortunately, by Saturday evening I had ran out of rested xp and leveling was going pretty slow. I was almost through level 48 at that time. So I parked Kristalys in a cantina and logged off for the night. Sunday morning I started in again and did make into level 49 but then ran out of rested xp again. I tried to keep going, but it just was not worth it. I parked her again and haven’t logged back into her yet. I’m disappointed but at the same time, I’m excited to be so close and I know I’ll hit 50 the next time I get a chance to login and spend some time with her. Which should be tomorrow night.

In the meantime, I decided I’d spend some time working on the Trooper alt I am going to be leveling up as a healer. The last time I had played her I had just completed the quests on Ord Mantell and had gotten my first companion and was told to move on and venture into the rest of the world. So when I logged in on her this weekend, the first thing I needed to do was go the fleet. As soon as I got there, I got the pop-up that I could choose a free customization package for Aric Jorgan. Because red is my favorite color, I chose the Urban customization package. You can imagine my surprise when I opened it and slapped it on him only to discover that his pants were blue and not red. Yep, somehow the customization got screwed up. I received the Urban jacket and Urban boots but got the Scout pants instead of the Urban pants. I realize it’s not a huge deal, technically, but it just looks so damn tacky. I guess I’m going to open a ticket on it and see if they can get me the right pair of pants. I’ve not heard good things about customer support, so I will let you know how it goes.

A Little Bit Of Friday Fun

It’s been a long, rough week at work (not really but that sounds more dramatic; it’s been a pretty typical week at work) and my brain is too zapped to do a lot of witty writing (I know, I don’t write witty even when I don’t have an excuse) so I’m just going to throw a few screenshots at you and maybe type out a caveman sentence or two describing them.

First up, last night = bow chicka wow wow with Lt. Iresso.

Next I wanted to introduce you to my Sith Inquisitor. Her name is Regan and she lives on Drooga’s Pleasure Barge. Just a fun little vacation alt for when I get tired of my Jedi ways and wanna kill people with lightning.

There is something about her that I just absolutely love. I actually think she’s the prettiest of all my characters. Those gray eyes are so piercing.

And though she’s only level 10 and I haven’t logged in with her much at all, some of my best screenshots have come from playing her. The lightning definitely helps. And I love the overload ability too. So here’s a few screenshots of Regan. I hope you enjoy.

How My Legacy Name Accidentally Affected Me

So in my last post I mentioned that I had finally completed Chapter 1 on my main character and had gotten to choose my Legacy name. I had known in advance that somewhere around level 34 (depending on how quickly you completed class quests) this was going to happen. Like I’ve already mentioned, I spent a little time choosing a surname I was happy with. But other than getting the name right and reaching one of the major milestones on the way to 50, I didn’t really think much about the Legacy system. I mean, the system itself is still sort of a mystery as far as what the exact benefits are and how everything is going to work. We know it’s going to be a family tree of sorts where all of your characters on a server will be related to each other in some way, but there’s really not a whole lot of information other than that out there right now. All we have at the moment is the surname and a Legacy XP bar which begins to rack up points.

What I didn’t anticipate, since I have never been someone who does any role playing or ever worried about my alts even knowing each other, is how my Legacy name would immediately impact how I felt about my alts. I had a very low level Trooper I had created before my main completed Chapter 1 and I plan on leveling her up after Kristalys hits 50. This weekend I decided to take a break from grinding through Balmorra and spend an hour or two on the Trooper. She was only level 8 when I logged in, so you can see I hadn’t spent much time with her. And during my previous time, I had actually been having her choose some of the dark side quest options, just for fun. But when I logged in this weekend, suddenly her name was Sergeant Kristyne Greyson. Suddenly she was very definitely linked to Kristalys. And I found I just couldn’t have her pick the darkside options any more. She’s representing the family name and Kristalys is a very lightsided Jedi. Now Kristyne simply must be a good, dutiful Trooper. Also, it’s really exciting to see the Legacy XP bar just racking up the points. I can’t wait to find out what benefits I will get from it.

Already I’m wondering how this is going to play out with other characters I create. There’s supposed to be a family tree type aspect to the system, where you choose if a character is your parent, sibling, etc. I’m guessing if I ever do decide I want to level a character up with hella darkside points, I’m gonna have to make her a distant cousin or a half-sister or something. It’s just one more thing that SWTOR does that has me completely immersed in my character and her story more so than any other game I’ve ever played.

Well done, Bioware. Well done.

Early Access: Day 1 – I Made It

Yep, I made it in on the first day. I got lucky and was in the last wave of invites for the 13th. I seriously cannot even tell you how excited I was/am about that. As someone who works the graveyard shift, I usually go to bed around 11:00am-ish and get up around 5:30pm-ish. Yesterday morning after work I was so keyed up with anticipation, I stayed up until around noon and then somewhere near that time Bioware announced the 3rd wave of invites had been sent out and only 1 wave remained. I finally decided I was probably not getting my invite in that final wave, so I went to bed. Fast forward 2 1/2 hours later when, on my way back from a trip to the potty, I decide to check my email and realize I had gotten my official invite. So yeah, I have slept 2 1/2 hours out of the past 28 (at time of writing). And it was TOTALLY WORTH IT. Obviously I couldn’t just go back to bed once I learned I could log in. I had to get my character created, get my name reserved, etc. Had to. I can catch up on sleep in my later years.

Of course, the problem with being dead tired is it’s hard to focus. And I had a strange combination of dead tired and hyperactivity going. So my body was all wired and jittery but my brain and my eyeballs were pretty slogged down. Point being, I didn’t get as much accomplished as I would have liked to on the first day. I spent about 3 hours of actual concentrated game play on my chosen main character and got her about 65% through level 6. In a well-rested state of mind I likely would have been a bit further along. Although in my defense, everything is new and I was mousing over everything and everyone to see what they did. I was reading tool tips that were popping up. I was grabbing every single quest that I came across. I was just soaking it all in. I was happy just to be logged in and standing there. Also, I’m a screenshot addict and I was stopping to take a lot of those. That will be a constant with me, I will always stop to take screenshots.

The plan for today is to go home in a couple of hours and go straight to bed (duh) and then after a good day’s sleep, I will get up and hop right back in there. Day 2 should easily see me with a lightsaber, my 1st companion, crew skills and hopefully my ship. Unless something comes up that pulls me away from the game, that is.

In the meantime, since I don’t want to be responsible for posting spoilers, I thought I’d show you the characters I have created.

This is my main (as far as I know), Kristalys, a Zabrak Jedi Consular:

This is my Twi’lek Smuggler:

This is my Human Jedi Knight:

Here is what Kristalys was wearing at the beginning of level 1:

And here is what she was wearing when I logged out over halfway through level 6:

Finally, this is my first in-game mail which provided me with my special color crystal for pre-ordering my Collector’s Edition: (this is just here to keep it for me for sentimental reasons)