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I Finally Have The Red Rhombus Title

I got a few weeks behind the rest of the guild thanks to my busy schedule, but this weekend I finally got a chance to finish Terror From Beyond on story mode and collect my new title. They had downed the dude a few weeks ago without me, but I still felt pretty special when I got the chance to pwn him in his ugly face. I love being in a guild where we stay current on content. We rock!

Also, how kick ass is this screenshot?

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.

I Can’t Believe That Just Happened

I’m a procrastinator. I openly admit it. So of course I waited until the last minute (yesterday) to decide I wanted to buy a white color crystal before the patch hit and they disappeared. Unfortunately, I didn’t have nearly enough money. I needed to make roughly 800k between the time I got home from work yesterday morning (3rd shifter) and the time the servers were scheduled to go down (11pm my local time). As soon as I got home, I logged in and started trying to make money. Someone told me pvp was a quick and easy moneymaker, so even though I never pvp I queued up for several matches. While I did have way more fun than I expected, I did not make much money from them. Not compared to the time spent, anyways. I do have slicing maxed out, so I was sending out all 4 of my minions on slicing missions the entire time. But I needed more than that.

The next thing I tried was space missions. I had heard you can make pretty good money off of those. I have always basically avoided space missions because I just don’t seem to be very good at them, but decided I would grin and bear it if they made me some quick money. I only had grade 1 gear for my ship, so the first thing I did was upgrade everything to grade 5. That took approximately $100,000 credits. I was definitely going the wrong direction. But the day was still young and I was now prepared to head into space. I will say that combat was much easier with the new upgrades and I did manage to complete several missions with no issue. But the money wasn’t as big as I wanted it to be, so I moved on.

Of course I did my dailies on Ilum and Belsavis, those are pretty good money makers. I even managed to find some random stranger to do one of the daily heroics with me. So I made up a pretty good chunk there. Next I headed to Corelia and finished up some quests there I had never bothered to finish. Also, I should mention, this whole time I’m stopping for every slicing and bioanalysis node I pass and I’m playing the Global Trade Network by mailing everything to an alt every couple of hours and putting all the mission schematics I’m getting from my slicing up for sale. Those things sell good, I made quite a bit of money just from those.

From there I went to Voss and completed bonus quests while watching for chests and nodes. Rinse and repeat. Tried another pvp match. Tried another space mission. Started the whole process over. Blah, blah. Basically all you need to realize is two things: 1. this took all day 2. I had not had any sleep since I woke up and went to work on Tuesday evening … and I am supposed to be back at work at midnight on Wednesday.

You guessed it, I called in sick to work. I’m not proud of it. I’m actually rather disgusted with myself that I put the damn game ahead of my job for even a day just because I wanted a white color crystal. As the day went on, I obviously grew more and more tired. By 7pm I had been up over 24 hours and since my job requires sitting in front of a pc and the game requires sitting in front of a pc, it was an exhausting 24 hours of sitting on my ass staring at a pc screen. Ugh. The more tired I became, the slower I was making money. But I was close and I knew that unless something major went wrong, I WAS going to make it.

Finally, about 2 hours before the scheduled server shutdown, I had collected all the money I needed for the crystal as well as a small pocket of extra money so I would be able to pay for repairs over the next few days while I tried to rebuild my bank. I used my emergency fleet pass to get back to the fleet. I logged into my alts and sent all of their money over to my main. As I went to the crystal vendor, I realized with only like $10,000 more I would have enough money to get a white crystal and one of the purple ones. Woot! I still had several minutes before my companions all returned from their missions, so I decided to make a quick run back through Belsavis because I know where several lootable chests are.

You guys, here’s the bad part of the story. I really don’t even know exactly what happened next. I remember thinking about buying both crystals, being a tiny bit short and deciding to go to Belsavis. I should have been able to get there, round up 10k in like 20 minutes and get back to the crystal vendor with over an hour to spare. But that’s not what happened. What happened was I startled myself awake about 3 hours later and found myself hunched over my keyboard, staring at a server list on my screen because maintenance had started. I fell asleep. I hadn’t bought any crystals. Even though I had just been at the vendor and had enough money for the white one, I didn’t click the fucking button. I wanted to do one more thing first. And then my body betrayed me.

So, yeah, there ya go. I’m a loser who chose to play SWTOR over going to work because I had one very big goal I was trying to achieve, and then I didn’t achieve it. I really can’t even describe for you how I felt when I woke up at my desk and realized what happened. Or how I feel now, for that matter. I guess I would say I’m disgusted. Disgusted at myself for being so stupid. I’m so disgusted with myself I can’t even really be angry. It was just a stupid day full of stupid decisions. Being stupid doesn’t pay, kids. I just proved that. I’m trying to make myself concentrate on the silver lining here, and that is I now have plenty of money in-game for anything I may need. Sigh. Yeah, it totally wasn’t worth it.

Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta

Check me out! I am big pimpin’ round the fleet, blasting some Lil Wayne, doing the gangsta lean in my brand new ride. Saturday night I got my first SOA kill and we saw the Tirsa Elite mount drop for the first time even though it was the guild’s second SOA kill. Somehow, I rolled a 94 and won it. SQUEEEE!!!

Let me repeat that. On my first kill, I won the mount. Of course, when I was googling it a few minutes ago to make sure I spelled the name right, I noticed quite a few pages where it was mentioned this has a fairly high drop rate so I suppose if it’s not super rare, I shouldn’t be so excited. BUT I AM ANYWAY.

In other news, my 3 Month Update – Blog Post Roundup has been updated with a couple of new links that have found their way to me since Friday.

So Here’s What Happened….

… I hit level 50 and it somehow sucked the blogging right out of me.


The story-telling, leveling process is very cool in SWTOR and with everything being a new experience, I had plenty of stuff to write about while leveling. Now that I’m 50 … I am still having a total blast and the game is still very cool. I just, for whatever reason, haven’t had a lot to say. I blame this on several game related things and several non-game related things.

Let’s start with the non-game related things.

      • Overtime at work: money = good, mental exhaustion = less SWTOR. Also, for years now I’ve done the majority of my blogging at work and when work is behind & I don’t have time to write posts, I don’t make the time to write them at home. It’s just too much of a routine to write them at work.
      • High School Basketball season: I love watching sports live, I love my friends, I love watching my friend’s kid play sports live. Especially when she’s the star bball player averaging 26 points a game her senior year. Add to that I decided to become her official photographer for the season and I spent a lot of time driving all over the state watching basketball games these past few months. March Madness baby, it’s a real thing. Also, my twin nephews just spent 6 weeks playing in an indoor soccer league and I went to those games too
      • The winter blues: they cannot be escaped.
      • There are too many games: I still play WoW a bit, I play Xbox games (bought Skyrim this weekend but haven’t started it yet), I have about 18 games through Steam … there are too many games. And Guild Wars 2 is coming. And Diablo 3 beta is coming. WTB moar time.

Now the game related things.

    • I have managed to overwhelm myself with screenshots and it just seems too daunting to sit down and weed some out for editing. Also, I’m still genuinely worried about posting something that may be a spoiler for someone since the game is so new.
    • I’m not gonna lie, I miss achievements. SWTOR does have the codex system that pops up text when you discover new lore/creatures/etc. And I am obsessed with trying to complete my codex. But it’s not the same as achievements. It’s not exciting for me to write a post “Hey you guys, I just found a Wampa” because everyone who goes to Hoth will find a Wampa. BFD. If we had an achievement system similar to WoW then I’d be more excited and could post things like “Hey you guys, I just finished questing in Hoth and got the ‘Didn’t Have To Sleep In A TaunTaun’ achievement”.
    • When I’m logged in, I am so worried about doing dailies to gain raiding gear and farming slicing nodes to gain credits that I don’t spend any time on my alts. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy my dailies, but there’s just nothing new to talk about there, whereas working on an alt would give me a whole new cool storyline to post about.
    • I am not a raiding expert. Or an expert on anything for that matter. I’ve never been one who could theorycraft, crunch numbers while analyzing my dps, remember every detail of every wipe or kill we experienced 2 nights ago, etc. My posts are fluffy. I am aware of it. And fluffy posts are not a necessity in this world, so I’ve found myself putting blogging on the back burner in favor of other things. The problem is, I really enjoy blogging and it frustrates me that I am not posting at least twice a week. I’d actually prefer 3 or 4 posts a week. Sigh.

Okay, I’ll stop there. That’s enough QQ’ing for one day. Although I’m really not QQ’ing so much as just trying to offer an explanation for why things are the way they are. The bright side is, basketball & soccer are over, work has (temporarily) slowed down, I’ve spent a little bit of time on my Trooper alt the past few days, and I’m starting to shed the winter blues. I’m hopeful that means things around here will become a bit more lively again. Except this coming weekend I’m going out of town to booze it up and spend lots of money at the casino so don’t expect much out of me until I recover. Unless I win big, in which case I could quit my job and become a full-time blogger. I’ll keep you posted.

Nice Try, But You Can’t Fool Me

At first, they fooled me. The first time I ever encountered a slicing node it was on Coruscant and even though it appeared on my mini-map, I could not figure out how to actually gather it. The cursor didn’t change when I hovered over it and it wasn’t clickable at all. I assumed I was doing it wrong or maybe it was too high level for me. After this happened a few more times, I googled it and realized some of the nodes in-game were buggy. By the time I was finished on Coruscant, I was a slicing machine and I learned to watch for the nodes to appear tucked away in corners on the city streets.

Next I went to Taris and quickly realized that footlockers and hyperterminals didn’t always show up tucked away next to buildings and doorways. In fact, they could be sitting behind trees and rocks. As I kept advancing through planets I soon discovered all sort of computers seem to have been randomly abandoned right next to the roadside. All very tricky, but I didn’t fall for the trickery. I kept right on slicing and acquiring money.

But now I see the nodes are trying even harder. THE JOKE’S ON YOU, ICE-COVERED FLOATING COMPUTER. I JUST STOLE ALL YOUR MONEY.

p.s. why do computers contain money?

Adventures In Datacrons: Balloon Dance Party

Datacrons are always an adventure but as I’m sure most of you know, there are two in Tatooine that require a lot of time and a lot of timing. I’m talking, of course, about the 2 datacrons on the sandcrawler in the desert that you can only get to by taking a 30 minute (approximately) balloon ride and then jumping just right. I had been in Tatooine several days before I decided to try my luck at them. I spotted the balloon slowly making it’s way to the spot where you have to board it, so I followed it at a leisurely pace and managed to be at the sandcrawler when the people who were currently onboard the balloon tried to make the jump. There were 2 of them and sadly neither one made it.

Seeing how easy it was to fail after spending all that time just chilling out on a balloon ride made me a little nervous. But I went ahead and made my way over to the beginning spot and boarded when I had the chance. There were 3 others waiting with me, one of whom was one of the poor fools I had just watched fall. But he seemed to be in good spirits and during our 30 minute ride we held a 28 minute dance party and chatted each other up.

Finally we arrived at the sandcrawler and 3 out of the 4 of us made the jump successfully. I am sad to report the one guy who had missed the first time, also missed the second time. If I were him I would have ragequit for the night and thrown my monitor through a window, but I’m not sure what he did.

It was epic, it was fun, it was nerve-wracking, it was totally worth it. I know a lot of people have no desire to ride a balloon through the desert for 30 minutes, but I had a blast. I recommend you all go get these two. But be very careful when jumping.

Ding! My First Level 50 Character

Yep, it finally happened. After all the anticipation and getting delayed over the weekend to wait on rested xp, I finally got some steady playing time in yesterday evening and hit level 50 with Kristalys. I’ve barely scratched the surface of questing in Corellia and I haven’t yet finished my class story, so dinging was a bit more anti-climatic than I expected. I’m just carrying on doing the same thing I’ve been doing this whole time. I think when I’ve finally opened up the dailies and finished my class story it will feel more like I’m at end game. Hopefully I can get that accomplished fairly quickly.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m very excited. I whooped and hollered out loud when I saw the notification pop-up and luckily I reacted quickly enough to grab a screenshot. I’m looking forward to raiding and I’m anxious to start grinding for gear and all that other good stuff. Mostly I’m relieved that I can now relax and work on enjoying the game a bit more. I was really focused so much on just getting to 50 that I started skipping bonus quests and heroics and not even exploring all areas of some planets. Once I get a good grasp of what I need to keep myself raid-ready, I will start working more on my alts and taking Kristalys back through the places I rushed and work on completing more things.

Big News! I Did NOT Hit Level 50

Today is Tuesday,  just in case you didn’t know, which means yesterday was Monday. Logic. I haz it.  Normally 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.

Creepy Graphics Glitch Is Creepy

This past weekend I kept experiencing a weird graphics glitch where everyone in a cutscene was missing their eyeballs. After seeing this a dozen or so times, it actually gets more creepy instead of less creepy. If this ever happens while I’m romancing Lt. Iresso, I’m afraid I’m going to have to decline the BSOCK. It would just be too disturbing.