Blog Archives

Keeping The Minions Busy

Before patch 1.3 went live, my minions didn’t really receive much love. Tharan was allowed to follow me around and heal me through dailies, but aside from occasional slicing missions and making a few stims to put in the gbank for raiders, the rest of these guys rarely saw any action. Well, actually Lt. Iresso saw some major action for a while there (of the BSOCK variety, if you know what I mean – wink, wink) and I managed to hit 10,000 with him, but the rest of my companions remained way below that number. Tharan came in second simply because as my only healer he spent plenty of time observing cut scenes during dailies and even though he gave me the -1 of shame most of the time, after all of our time together he was around the 7,000 mark. Qyzen was around 4,500, Nadia was around 4,000, Zenith was only at 2,000 and CN2 was at 0. Yep, I pretty much did that all wrong.

Obviously Lt. Iresso got to max affection because I was very interested in the romance storyline and wanted to see it through to it’s conclusion. But the rest of them were just basically ignored because… well, because I’m an idiot I guess. I knew in the back of my mind higher affection somehow affected crew skills, but since I wasn’t a serious crafter I didn’t really spend much time worrying about it. I suppose I’m technically a lazy gamer. I love to be logged in and playing and I follow a lot of SWTOR blogs, but I don’t REALLY pay attention to learning the things I should probably learn about the game. I skim blog posts, read headlines about patch notes, etc. Aside from not loving a weekend raiding schedule, this laziness for learning is a big part of why I don’t have a history of raiding in other games. I have never felt like spending an hour or two a week studying for a game I’m playing for the purpose of fun and relaxation. For the record, since I am now committed to raiding, I always make sure to read any boss fight strategies the raid leader directs us to in preparation for our next adventure. Luckily, that doesn’t happen a lot or I’m afraid I would get lazy with it too. I wish I knew what caused this behavior, because it’s not the way I am with other things in life.

Anyway, back to why my companions all look so intensely hard at work in the screenshot above, I have finally FINALLY realized the error of my ways. Since the patch dropped (sadly if I had paid more attention to blog posts and patch notes I would have started working on this weeks ago) I have been trying my damnedest to help the guild out with getting everyone all augmented up. I started making and RE’ing level 49 green implants with my biochem for the purpose of stocking the bank with Augmentation Slot Component MK-6 for the serious crafters in our guild to use in making Augmentation kits. That’s been pretty easy since the bioanalysis mats needed can be farmed on Ilum and gotten with rank 5 biochem missions. But I’ve also been sending out 2 companions on level 6 tech part slicing missions non stop in an effort to get the purple Advanced Neural Augmentor items needed to make augments. After having such a crappy return rate on actually getting the purple items I googled it enough to learn they are only returned when the mission crits. And is there any way to increase the chances a mission will crit? Why yes there is, Kristalys, you idiot. If you have your companion’s affection level maxed out it totally increases your chances of mission crits.

So guess who spent an outrageous amount of credits yesterday buying companion gifts and running back and forth to my ship to have companion conversations. Ugh. I hate spending money in big chunks like that. How nice would it have been to have slowly built up their affection over the past 6 months like smart players had already done. You live and you learn, I suppose. I certainly will pay more attention to this with my alts. Of course, I just couldn’t make myself spend all my money in 1 day so I don’t have them all maxed out yet. I did get Tharan up to 10k and Nadia and Zenith are both over 8k each now. Qyzen has been ignored for now since he’s my main bioanalysis monkey and the level 5 mats I need don’t require crit. But I’ll start working on him and CN2 as soon as I top off Nadia and Zenith and build some money back up.

So yeah, lesson learned; a happy minion is a more effective minion. And I’m an idiot.

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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.

Friday Link Love – Where To Go For All The Info

Patch 1.2 was a big deal. Like, a REALLY big deal. It included so many things and made so many changes, I’m still discovering stuff. I would like to announce that I have sat down and taken the time to completely analyze every little detail of the patch and can easily explain it all to you.

I would like to announce that, but it would be a lie.

Luckily, you don’t need to wait for me to do so because a) it’s never going to happen and b) it’s already been done. There are some amazing posts out there that can help you, me, and everyone else understand some of the most important things the patch has given us and how they work. I highly recommend everyone check out the following links:

Legacy and Companions from Psynister.
“Today I wanted to talk just a little bit more about companions and how they relate to the Legacy system. I’ll start off by going over what perks exist in the Legacy system for companions and why you would want to unlock them, then we’ll get into how and when you unlock those perks.
I’m also going to talk about companion gifts and how they relate to each of the companions in the game as well as methods you can use to maximize your affection with your companions outside of companion gifts.”

Companion Gifts and Crafting Bonuses for 1.2 from Dulfy
“Hey everyone, with patch 1.2, you can finally gain affection with your annoying ship droid and make him get better at certain crafting skills. I thought this would be a good time to update all the previous companion gift information and add in all the crafting bonuses in one page.”

Reverse Engineering, Fashion, and Set Bonuses After 1.2 by Njessi
“…I’m editing as I find out new things..” – it’s true, she’s totally editing and updating this post continually.

SWTOR Patch 1.2 FAQ’s from Anexxia
“With a Patch as extensive as 1.2 it’s no wonder there are a lot of questions cropping up right out of the starting gate. I’ve started off with the ones I’m hearing most often. Have a question not answered here? Or keep having to answer the same question over and over for guildies? Leave it in the comments and I’ll add it to the FAQs!”

Legacy Unlock: Ship Repair Droid by Blackferne at Church of Alvis
“With the Legacy system unrolling with 1.2 there are plenty of perks that people can now get. These range from social emotes to unarmed combat attacks to items you can get for your ship. As I’ve been working hard on crafting as of late I decided to get the ship repair droid.”

Patch 1.2 Flashpoint and Mini-Pet Guides from Mikro at SWTOR Life
“As part of our coverage of the newly released Legacy Patch 1.2 we have compiled two high quality guides that are a must read for any Star Wars: The Old republic player.”

Pretty awesome stuff, right? And there are probably even more pretty awesome links related to patch 1.2 that I haven’t even discovered yet. So pay attention, cause I’m getting ready to pass out some orders. First, seriously go read these amazingly helpful things I have posted above and leave some love and appreciation in the comments section for these blogs. Second, if you know of any other awesome articles about this subject that I haven’t yet discovered, link them here in the comments of this post so I can bring attention to them too.

And remember, the force is with you … always.

Beyond Companion Gifts: What Did I Say Wrong?

**Possible Spoiler Warning: While I don’t give any spoilers away in this post directly, there may be a small potential for spoilers concerning companions if you follow the link to the companion guides I am discussing below.

In every video game I’ve ever played that had a monetary system of sorts, I’ve always been greedy. In Grand Theft Auto I spent the majority of my time running through the streets on foot and punching strippers and drug dealers until they dropped all their cash instead of racing motorcycles through the streets of the city and outrunning the po-po. In World of Warcraft, I spent the majority of my time farming herbs and playing the auction house instead of running randoms and grinding rep. It’s all about the benjamins.

You can imagine my dismay when I was spending credits in SWTOR on companion gifts and wasn’t gaining any affection with my companions from some of the gifts. That was like a double whammy. For one, I was wasting money by buying gifts they didn’t like and for another I need to gain affection with them because it directly affects their crafting skills which will in turn make me more money. Which means that while I may be taking a gamble with my morality choices, when it comes to my companion’s affection I wanna do it right. I broke down and googled a list of what gifts work best for what companions. And I’m happy I did, you shut your mouth.

I pinned my list of approved companion gifts on the little bulletin board / whiteboard combo that hangs on the wall next to my desk (yep, complete dork) and I stopped spending money on companion gifts that weren’t right for my guys. Problem solved. Well, sorta. I may have streamlined the companion gift process, but I still found myself earning the occasional negative affection points in my story line. I would save a bunch of people, free some prisoners, etc. and when I ran back to town and finished the cut scene to complete a quest, I’d get the -1 of shame. Or actually, with Qyzen it seems to be -15 more often than anything. And this would happen even when I chose very obvious lightside answers.

So are my companions evil? Do they have some sort of personal grudge against me? It just didn’t make any sense how choosing to save children and help victims made Qyzen so unhappy. So I did an even more extensive google search and looked through pages of companion gift guides until I found some information that went a little bit above and beyond. Companion likes and dislikes. As in, so and so doesn’t like unnecessary violence and so and so does like it when you’re funny.

Now I will say that finding this information won’t necessarily change the way I answer in cut scenes, because for me the bigger picture is my morality alignment. If I disappoint a companion with my conversation, I’ll just have to buy him an extra gift or two to make up for it. But it is at least nice to know WHY he didn’t approve instead of it being a total mystery. So where did I find this information? Well, I found it here at TrueGalaxies.com. There is a guide for each class and as far as I can tell, the companions are listed in order of when you get them (i think), so if you wanna avoid spoilers about future companions, just don’t scroll down past your current one.

Where did the author of these companion guides find this information? I have no idea. Which means there’s no guarantee how accurate it is. All I know is the information for what my companion likes and dislikes appears to match what I’ve noticed in-game. If you are dealing with the same type of negative affection points during conversations and would like to know what you said wrong, I would recommend you check out the appropriate companion guide from the above link for your class to help you figure it out.

Things I Have Learned So You Don’t Have To

With the official launch date happening tomorrow, there’s going to be another whole batch of total noobs in the game, just like there has been during the Early Access period. I thought I would try and be helpful by sharing some of the things I have learned during the past several days. I have had moments of total derpiness and I’ve had moments of wonder as something new was discovered. Hopefully, I can save you guys some heartache by listing stuff here.

Let’s start off with a huge derp moment and get it out of the way – your mini map can be zoomed out so that you can see your gathering nodes easier. The gathering nodes appear on your mini map as asterisk/star-type shapes. It’s also easier to navigate if you can see more of the area. Don’t be silly like me and spend several days being zoomed all the way in.

Speaking of gathering nodes, some of them are currently bugged and are not clickable. When you mouse over an item that is normally available for archaeology or slicing or whatever, the cursor should change and you should be able to right-click the item. If the cursor doesn’t change and the item isn’t clickable, it’s a bugged node. You didn’t do anything wrong, just move on to the next one.

If you are in a guild, there is a problem with the guild roster not showing you everyone who is online. To fix it, hit ctrl+u twice in a row.

You do have the ability to move the chat panel. Just left-click on the “General” tab at the top and drag it to where you want it to go. You can also right-click the chat panel and choose a different font size, among other things.

You can jump/fall/walk off the edge of everything in Coruscant (and I would assume other similar type terrains). There is not an invisible wall that keeps you safe. You will fall and you will die.

If you right-click on an enemy target, whatever ability you have in the first slot of your action bar will be automatically performed. If you left-click on a target, this does not happen.

Before logging out you should park yourself in a Cantina, as those are the official rest areas.

You should bind with every QuickTravel point you come across. These function similar to hearthstones and have a 30 minute cool down. The difference is you can choose to go to any of them you have already clicked on instead of just picking one as your home turf.

After you’ve visited the Republic or Imperial Fleet for the first time (around level 10), you will then have an Emergency Fleet Pass available to you as a way of getting back to the fleet. You can find your Emergency Fleet Pass listed in your abilities under the “General” tab. I have no idea what the cool down on the fleet pass is. I’ve heard some say it’s an 18 hour cool down, but I have not yet used mine to confirm.

If you find yourself unable to move you can try to get unstuck with the /stuck command. I have used it successfully, but it won’t always work. If it doesn’t work for you, you may need to use your QuickTravel.

You can repair at any vendor by clicking the “repair all” button at the bottom left of the vendor’s open screen.
Once you pick your advanced class, every time you visit your trainer there will be a separate tab at the bottom you have to click on to show the current advanced class skill available for learning.

If you’re looking for the Guild Recruitment guy, the first one I found is at the Republic (or Imperial) Fleet and he’s located in the area where your skills trainer is located.

In the guild screen, there is a button towards the top right that says “details” and if you click on it you will see an extra note area where you can put whatever info you want displayed about you. Each individual persons note bar has a drop down menu so you can switch between public note, officer note, etc.

While you’re at the fleet, near the Cantina area, there will be cargo hold boxes that will change the cursor into a key icon when you hover over it. These are what you use as your bank.

Okay, I think I’ve covered all of the stuff that I had questions about during my first few days of game play. As the game and the community grows, there will soon be information specific to where to find missions and how to complete missions, etc. Until that time, we’re just gonna have to rely on each other and share the wealth.