(Il)Logical Progression

Random Musings by the Truly Random

Yes, Raiding is Fun! (I’ve Missed It)

For once, raiding is back to providing what it’s supposed to.  Fun.

Friday and Saturday were set up for our motley group of MOX newbies (We’re actually going to become MOX Emerald, as Sapphire is their 16-man superior group – yes, I should have guessed that Moxboss (the guild leader) also knows that Sapphires are the best Mox) to run Hardmode Explosive Conflict (EC/Denova), and those nights were pretty rough.  Due to changes in who showed up for raid again, we didn’t make the goals I had hoped to reach – One night, three bosses in a reasonable time.  We did manage two bosses on Friday, and cleaned up the rest on Saturday, defeating Hardmode EC for the first time.  I’d say that it was something to be excited about, but the fights just aren’t all that interesting in EC, and are brutal for coordination between tanks and healers.  For DPS, a lot of it is pew-pew, but there are a few “stand in the circle and you die” moments, but for the most part, it’s just stand and shoot.  I did a decent job in there, and I know I have to go back to gear up for now, but if the loot drops were the same between them, I’d take Eternity Vault over EC any day.  We did have a decent raid leader, and our tanks and heals did a fine job in there.  It just took a few times on the final boss to get everyone to execute and follow through to defeat Kephess – and they did.  Grats to MOX Emerald.

But it wasn’t a fun run, overall.  The trash in EC is plentiful and can be pretty time-consuming.  Crowd Control on the trash is necessary, which adds to the amount of time it takes, and while it means that we don’t just blow through from boss to boss, after the third or fourth time doing it all, it does get a bit stale.

Sunday, however, was a different story.

Sunday was a group of MOX raiders, mostly random people who I’ve raided with only once or twice, deciding it was worth it to run a Story Mode Terror From Beyond (TFB) raid.  It was later in the evening, and people were already feeling a bit loose and chatty, and in the end it turned out to be a great run, even though we didn’t finish the entire raid.

Pulls, pulls, pulls!  We couldn’t get our heads straight on trash pulls.  Where EC was run very rigidly in dealing with trash mobs, we really screwed the pooch on a few pulls in TFB, especially the first ones.   It wasn’t just one pull – it was a chain of pulls where we’d struggle to down a set of mobs and OOPS!  the next set added to the first ones.  Utter chaos, using every skill we could to try to stay alive and kill as many as we could, and then the next set and then the next… I think we ended up with four or five pulls happening, where there should have only been one…

And we survived!  One tank and both healers survived, and even the healers were DPS-ing the mobs down at the end.  People were cheering and laughing at the sheer insanity of it, and having a great time, tossing light-hearted blame around, shaking their heads in utter amazement as another group of mobs added to the pile, and it was absolutely fantastic.  Nobody was upset.  Everyone was laughing.  It was what raiding should be.

I haven’t had that in a very long time from raiding.  The very last time I can think of where everyone was that excited at a raid and win was back in Wrath of the Lich King on World of Warcraft, when our group after months of beating our heads against the encounter finally defeated Arthas to finish the endboss of the expansion.  Hooting and hollering, everyone just enjoying the cutscene, not worried at all about the loot, wanting to show off their Kingslayer titles.  It was a terrific feeling.

And it’s a feeling I hope to have again.  For now, Sunday night, MOX Random, TFB trash…  That’ll do.

We also managed to get some gear for some people, mats for the guild, and downed two bosses, both of which are very fun fights.  That we didn’t end up finishing the entire raid – who cares?  It was more fun than I’ve had on raids where we did finish TFB.

Thanks to everyone who was there to make it a fun run – we need to seriously “OOPS!” it up again like that sometime.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

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October 29, 2012 Posted by | Memories of Xendor, Raiding, Star Wars - The Old Republic | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Trouble with Raiding…

Sometimes I just curse my luck.

Last Friday, my new guild, Memories of Xendor (or MOX), put together a 8-man Hardmode Denova run for those of us who were on and not part of their regular teams.  They’re a World-class guild, having gotten the World 3rd completion of Hardmode Terror from Beyond, and their progression teams are sharp and dedicated.  I believe our team is going to be a regular raiding team at some point, and while we’re probably not going to be a progression team – I don’t think that most of us who are regular on this new team (which I’m hoping will be MOX Sapphire – since any Magic player who’s been studying the game seriously knows that the Sapphire is the best Mox) will be able to dedicate serious progression time to the game the way it would need to be done – we are shooting for having a reliable, regular raid team.

Given that MOX Sapphire is in its infancy, we’re a pretty motley crew of participants, most of whom still need to finish getting our top-tier gear.  Still, while we have some great players in there, we’re struggling – Hardmode Denova has not yet been completed, and we’ve only run very limited Story Mode (normal) Terror from Beyond.  And there are some things about resuming regular raiding, especially since I’m not raid leading at this time, that are frustrating.

I believe some of this stuff will work itself out soon, but it’s been a while since I was just a raider and not a leader and what has been given up by not taking up the torch for this new group is becoming evident.  Further, just raiding regularly has shown me some frustrations that I hadn’t thought about in some time.

Back to Friday – we ran Denova with a pretty ragtag group, including one person who had nearly no experience with group content.  We get in and things seem to look like we’re going to have a smooth start, but one tank-swap mishap late in the fight and we wipe, with Toth and Zorn nearly dead.  And that was the best attempt we had, up until we had to swap out one of the healers when one of our starting healers had to leave, and then we managed to complete the fight.  I think it took us about two hours to finish that first boss.

And the fun didn’t stop there, we proceeded to have a comedy of errors on the next boss encounter – Firebrand and Stormcaller – and we did not get them down.  Tanking errors, mechanical errors, equipment errors (lag/disconnects), and such filled our attempts.  Not once did we actually meet the enrage timers, so whether DPS was an issue or not wasn’t even apparent.  Our healers were the sharpest aspect of this fight, and other than trouble getting under the shields during the Defensive phase, I don’t think they made any serious errors.  Wipe after wipe, we continued at this for two more hours, until we called the raid due to time, with nothing to show but repair bills for the fight.

Saturday ended up being Story Mode Terror from Beyond, since we had a completely different set of people on, and I actually was asked to heal it, given the lack of guild healers on at the time we started.  I think I healed it ok, though I had a couple of sticky spots, which my partner, Cronoan, was able to cover.  The majority of our wipes were not healing related and I think that gave me some relief, though I seriously need to work on my healing.  In any case, no Hardmode Denova on Saturday.

Sunday came around, and the group decided to resume Denova, except they decide on a time when I can’t be there.  Not a huge issue – I felt a bit miffed that I couldn’t be there, but that’s just how it was.  I don’t think I would have thought much about it, if it weren’t for the results.

They downed the damn second boss despite some serious errors, in two attempts.

It turns out they had to swap out a couple players for that run.  One of those new players apparently had made some pretty bad mistakes, but our healer, Cronoan, managed to pull him out of the fire through excellent healing and timely reactions (Extrication), and they defeated Firebrand and Stormcaller in two attempts.

Two attempts, with a DPS botching up somewhat badly.

It’s just bad luck, I know – I did my part on Friday for two hours, but the encounter went undefeated until the next attempts that I wasn’t part of.  But it’s the fact that despite the botches, that the aforementioned DPS player was rewarded for two attempts’ worth of effort that I didn’t get for two hours of effort that is frustrating.  I felt I did my role well on Friday for that fight, and the person who didn’t on Sunday walked away with the rewards.

It’s one of those frustrating things about being a raider, rather than a leader, that you can be left out of attempts because you’re not automatically at every raid.  Further, it’s about collective success – the group did better as a whole on Sunday than they did on Friday – and that can be frustrating, if you’re only there for the night when the group is a bit more off.  On Friday, our group brought their “B” game, even if there were some “A” games mixed in, but on Sunday they brought their “A” game, despite a “C” player in the group.

It sucks, and yeah, I’m a little frustrated about it.  It’s part and parcel, though, of being three time zones away from the majority of players.

Hopefully, this week’s raiding will be better.  Our raid leader is going to seriously gearcheck people before we run, which should help.  The majority of our group was there for Sunday, so they know they can get through at least the first three fights.  And people in our group did get some gear from Sunday’s successes, which should help this week’s run.

I hope everyone brings their “A” game this week.  I know I try to every week, and I know others do too, and I would like to see us getting the results that reward the “A” game.  We definitely should be making progress every week, not getting stuck on the boss we downed the week before.

So, the goal for this week?  Three bosses for Friday’s raid.  Toth and Zorn (in an hour tops), Firebrand and Stormcaller (in two attempts?) and the Minesweeper boss (which I have yet to do on Hardmode).  We should be able to get those down in one session with as much experience as we have on the first two encounters.

I won’t be satisfied with less.

Should I be?

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

October 22, 2012 Posted by | General Musings, Memories of Xendor, Star Wars - The Old Republic | , , , , | Leave a comment

What to do, what to do… Looking for inspiration

There isn’t enough time in a day.

Really, there just isn’t.

Too many things I want to do – Star Wars, World of Warcraft (and yes, I think what I’ve seen of Mists of Pandaria is pretty nice), Magic: The Gathering and other Trading Card Games, miniature stuff (painting, gaming, etc.), music (violin and cello), other games (CoD, Dishonored, Borderlands 2, etc.), movie watching, writing, learning new things, and more.

Geez – and that doesn’t even get into the stuff that I need to do like eat, sleep, chores and work.

But hey, life’s about choices and sacrifice, isn’t it?  And with choices comes analysis…

I’m part of a world-class Star Wars guild now.  This means that I should be logging in every day and doing at least some of the activities that help me gear out for end-game raiding.  Maybe I should work on getting a utility set for my Mercenary (Taoren), and get a tank up.  It’s part of what being in a top-tier guild is about, even if I’m a casual player in the top-tier guild.  I need to learn the fights (I don’t know why Denova seems so complex to me – the stuff I was doing at the beginning of Cataclysm seemed like it was more complex and I have more problems now).  I need to keep it fun to keep me playing, while doing what I need to show that I deserve to be in Memories of Xendor.  So that should be my ‘MMO priority’.

World of Warcraft has unleashed its siren call yet again, in the form of Mists of Pandaria.  Ah, good ol’ WoW.  I didn’t think I’d go back to it – it feels weird now after being gone from it for over a year, with half of Cataclysm being completely foreign to me, and while I desire to talk to some of my old friends there, I’m wanting to avoid resuming any guild connections as of yet – my stint as a Guild Officer/Raid Leader still has me feeling burnt.  And I’m also trying to bring in some of my Star Wars friends to the game, so I’m trying not to look too hard at the endgame.  I want to play this game again, even though the Burning Crusade content really makes me go “ugh” for needing to go through it yet again…  But the new Specialization system, while not as thought provoking or choice filled as the previous systems were, actually makes me smile.  If I want to look at a tree, I can play Star Wars or Rift.  The interactions between abilities have always been something I’ve enjoyed (go Shammy healing), and it looks like there’s more of this in this release, so I’m pretty excited.  That, and having the ability to use external add-ons to manage things is such a breath of fresh air compared to Star Wars.  I know my new guildies are part of the reason Star Wars has a Combat parser at all, but I do wish MOXParser was more like Recount.

I have a feeling that these are going to be two priorities going forward.  Still, the desire to do some of those other things hasn’t passed, and is probably going to get worse shortly – Assassin’s Creed III and CoD: Black Ops II, and Rift:  Storm Legion all come out soon.  Guild Wars 2 is tempting, especially with its good reviews and that it’s lack of subscription fee, but really, Star Wars and WoW look like fantastic games too, right now.  It’s refreshing to have too many choices, in some ways.

I do miss WoW raiding, though.   I enjoy Star Wars raiding, but it feels different.  Could be because I’m DPS… but I dunno.  It’s just different.

/sigh

I’m looking forward to it all, though.  In one way, shape, or form it’ll be fun.  I just want another Arthas, though.  I don’t see anything out there that even comes close to the anticipation of downing Arthas.

I hope there comes something that will.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

October 19, 2012 Posted by | General Musings, Life, Star Wars - The Old Republic, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments

Glass half full? Glass half empty? I dunno…

It’s been a while since I’ve been inspired enough to write something here – I’m surprised that there are still hits coming in.  For those who are still looking around here, thanks.

I’ve been trying to keep busy here – been working on some models for Warmachine, playing lots of Star Wars – The Old Republic, reading (finally finished Eldest), and catching up on television programs that I like (such as Game of Thrones).  Some days, though, it feels like I’m just getting through the day, other days it actually feels like I’m doing something (semi-?) productive.

One thing, though, that I’ve been told, recently, is that I can be a pretty negative person, especially when it comes to myself.  Me?  Negative?  I never used to think so – I always felt that I was a ‘look on the brighter side’ kind of person.  But I do think that my friend is right in a lot of ways – I’m pretty positive… when it comes to other people.  When it comes to myself, I tend to be a doomsayer, I think.

“I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell…” – Matchbox Twenty, “Unwell”

Yeah, I think I’m a little crazy.  Well, actually, I know I’m crazy in some ways, but that’s not what I’m talking about here – I mean insane by Einstein’s definition.

“Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

Every day, I feel like I do the same things.  Same motions at work.   Same hobbies.  Same interactions with others.  And I wonder why things don’t change.  I see myself doing the same things in similar situations and while it feels like maybe things will be different this time, eventually things feel like they’re heading back in the same, rather disappointing directions.  Although, I am pushing myself this year to do things differently, there’s a great deal of inertia to overcome – the inertia of my past habits – and it’s been an uphill climb.

And further, that positivism that I can offer up to others?  Very different from the attitudes I carry about myself.  I need to believe I can succeed, in order to succeed.

This all came up over a night of Star Wars talking about PvP, and the capabilities of classes.  I was running Arsenal on my Mercenary at the time, a great PvE build, but I was getting murdered in PvP, because its main weapon – Tracer Missile – is a stationary shot with a 1.4 second cast time.  I’d get hit while shooting, and not really have anything else I could do once set upon, since the bulk of my abilities have cast times – making them useless when trying to run – and those I could use while running just didn’t hit hard enough.  I have a couple of unreliable interrupts, and very little crowd control.  Blah, blah, blah…

This topic is not a new one for me, and my friend had pretty much become tired of hearing me complain about my class, my performance, and how I just wasn’t any good at PvP.  She told me so, in plain, clear language that she’d heard enough, didn’t want to hear anymore about it, and that if I didn’t like it that I needed to own up and do something about it.

It went a bit further downhill after that, and she pointed out to me, rightfully so, that I – a) am not nearly as poor a player as I portray and think I am, b) that my performance in that Arsenal spec was not as bad as I made it out to be as I had been playing it, c) that I could hold my own against the people we regularly play with, and d) that I wasn’t really playing it as well as I could be, because I wasn’t playing it as what it is – a ranged DPS spec – that I was running in and trying to play the front lines and getting killed for it.

And it’s all pretty much true – I definitely wasn’t adapting in PvP and was just complaining about the poor(-ish?) results I felt I was getting doing it the same way almost every time.

Talking to a couple other people, reading up on it a bit, and actually thinking about it, I realized I needed to change my playstyle in order to change the outcome.

It worked that night – I started trying to survive, and snipe, instead of running into the firefight every time, and lo and behold, my performance stats went up.  I earned badges faster.  I was able to get more PvP gear.  My performance went up as my gear got better…  See a trend?

So, with all that in mind, I started looking around online, and I found something that would boost my performance way up in PvP – a new build.  A mobile build.  One I could go toe-to-toe effectively with people at a distance and up close.  Pyrotech build  (3/7/31).

It’s an amazing build.  It ratcheted my damage up by nearly 200% and my survivability like crazy.

And for the first time in a long time, I felt like I was able to keep up in those WarZones.  I wasn’t just going out to die.  I was enjoying the fights and doing well.

Now, I’m still not all the way there – I have to learn a bit more on tactics and awareness, but I’m better than I was before I made the switch.  And the best part is, after the first time I used it, I felt like I could do this.  And that’s the important thing.

And it’s important I remember that, so that I can transfer it to my work and other hobbies.  I’m actually painting again, a little bit here and there, and right now, the Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator I’m working on is looking decent.

Learning to persevere and to have some confidence in myself is going to be important for a lot of the goals I have my eye on this year – job, personal, and hobby-related.  And this all is a first step – I’m a slow learner sometimes, but it’s really far past time to get over the fact that while I’m probably not going to be the very best at anything I do, that it doesn’t mean I’m not good at what I do, and that I need to determine a realistic level of performance to aim for and to be happy when I reach it.

Old dog.  New trick?  I think so.

The glass is always full – 1/2 drink, 1/2 air.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

“Yeah you may think that I’m a zero
But hey, everyone you wanna be
Probably started off like me…

Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth
So everyone can hear
Hit me with the worst you got and knock me down
Baby I don’t care
Keep it up and soon enough you’ll figure out
You wanna be, you wanna be
A loser like me
A loser like me…”

-New Directions, Glee, “Loser Like Me”

March 27, 2012 Posted by | General Musings, Life, Star Wars - The Old Republic | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A longer time ago, in the same galaxy far, far away…

Recently, I joined the ranks of Force-users and bounty hunters on the new BioWare MMORPG Star Wars:  The Old Republic, a game set in the early eras of Lucas’ Star Wars Galaxy, centuries before the events of Episodes IV-VI.  (What Episodes I-III?)  It builds upon some of the lore of that universe, and manages to provide a good setting to wander around in as a Jedi, Sith, Bounty Hunter, or other denizen of the Republic or Sith Empire.  Like many MMOs, there are elements of PvE (Player v. Environment – i.e. beat up on AI monsters/characters), and PvP (Player v. Player – i.e. beat up on some other stranger out there playing the game), and each has their ups and downs.  You perform quests, gain experience, make and collect gear, and interact with AI and human entities within the game environment, just like every other MMO out there.

It plays a lot like Star Trek Online, from what I’ve seen – at least the STO that was before some of the recent changes to make it a little more like a FPS – for ground combat, with a combination of ranged combat – usually blaster or missile based – and melee combat – typically with vibroblades or lightsabers.  It’s fairly fast paced, with some combo elements to it, and is decently solid for an MMO.

Space combat is faster paced than STO‘s ship combat, with a simply designed mouse-based combat system.  It plays much like Starfox did on the old SNES, where you fly a predetermined path on a mission, trying to shoot things down with blasters and missiles, and avoiding obstacles in your path.  Capital ships are basically moving gun platforms, and you can blast the guns right off of them, in order to keep from getting shot up too badly.  The missions are pre-timed (you can even see in your quest log how much time is left in the mission), and involve the destruction of key targets, or protection of an escorted ship.  It’s pretty fun, and for those who know WoW, it’s a lot like a fancier, more exciting Outlands Bombing Run quest (such as the one in Hellfire Peninsula on the griffon/chimera).

Where it differs from previous MMOs is in the quest system, as most quests have a voiced dialogue portion, with dialogue choices which can influence the game in minor ways.  Based on those choices, your companions (I’ll talk a little more about those in just a moment), gain or lose affection for you, and subsequent quest parts can be gained or lost (i.e. a dead quest-giver that you just killed can’t really give you more to do, now, can he?).  Further, there’s a Dark/Light Side point system, based on those same choices, which can give you access to special gear as you progress through the game.  This adds a little bit of flavor to the quests as you level your character, and keeps up the flavor of the Star Wars Universe.

Another way that SWtOR differs from previous games is that every class is a ‘pet’ class, so to speak.  You’re given a number of ‘companions’ to adventure with – only one of which can be summoned at a time – that you use to fill weaknesses for your class – such as a Sith Inquisitor (mage/priest cloth class equivalent) getting a Tank companion early on to mitigate the class’ inability to soak damage well.  Using these companions effectively, in conjunction with your class abilities is essential for surviving solo adventuring in SWtOR.

Last, the crafting/gathering skills are a bit different from other games.  All of the skills are considered ‘Crew Skills’ which your companions perform away from the action.  You get three skills to use (only one of which can be an actual crafting skill), which fall into three categories – Crafting (building stuff), Gathering (getting raw materials), and Mission (going out for special items which can enhance crafted items) skills.  Each time you wish to use a skill (other than gathering an item that’s on the ground in front of you), you must send away a companion for a time to perform the skill or mission which nets you items.  Fortunately, you can only have one companion out at a time, and by the higher levels of the game, you might have up to five companions, so four can be out on missions/crafting without affecting your adventuring.  Further, you can breakdown crafted and items related to your crafting, such as looted armor for an Armortech, in order to recoup materials and to have a chance to learn how to make a superior version of the item in question.

The basic gameplay for this game is good, and the PvP is decent (though laggy on my older PC), with different types of ‘battlegrounds’ similar to maps and game types from WoW.   I’ve seen a CTF (Warsong Gulch) variant called Huttball – which plays like a gladiatorial football match, a Domination-style map (similar to Arathi Basin), and a competition Assault map (similar to Strand of the Ancients).  It’s a decent spread of PvP types, though I’m not sure if there’s any way to specify which game you want to play, as opposed to getting a random game.  It’s a bit hardware intense, however, as this game requires a decent machine to run smoothly – my PvP, so far, feels like I’m watching a slide show, due to poor frame rate, at times.

Overall, I’m enjoying the game – the classes and role mixes are decent from what I’ve seen – not many single role classes (I’ve only seen the Sith Marauder, at this point, as a pure-DPS class, and I believe that the Operative Sniper is the only other for the Sith side.  The Republic appears to have similar classes, just with different names.)  The instances – called Flashpoints – are interesting, longer than the newer instances in WoW, with multiple stages and objectives to fulfill as you go through the instance.  And I have no clue about raiding yet, since I’m nowhere near 50, but it seems to be creating some excitement with those in my guild that are at that stage of the game.

Now, for a few of the shortcomings…  Fortunately, most of them are fluffy, rather than game-breaking…

1)  Legacy names – At first, it looks as though your ‘legacy name’, which you receive about halfway through the leveling process (somewhere around 25-30, I’ve been told) just seems like your character’s last name.  Simple, right?  What I’ve heard is less obvious the first time through, is that your legacy name is the last name of every character that you make on that server, whether it’s Republic or Sith.  It can be turned off, or used much like a guild title withbeneath your character’s name.  I’m not sure why they chose to do it this way, and it’s caught many players off guard in the beginning, and once entered it does not appear to be changeable.  I don’t think that this was a good way to handle the last name idea, though if it was separate from the last name of your character (i.e. you could have both a last name and a legacy name), it might be better received.  I haven’t chosen mine yet, and I’m not entirely sure how what I would choose, though part of me thinks that if I’d known this was how it worked, I’d have chosen “Gundam” and named all my characters after various Gundam models that existed in that universe.

2)  Choose your destiny now!  (Lv 10.) – I like trying stuff out, and I like being able to respec, based on the roles you want to play at that time.  My Death Knight, Arhys, for example, could Tank or DPS, and could before Dual Specs existed in WoW.  It just cost a bit of money to do so.  While you can respec in SWtOR, you cannot change your class specialization, which is problematic, in my opinion.  It’s especially problematic for the Sith Warrior and Imperial Agent classes, as one of the choices is pure-DPS, and utility tends to be a premium at the endgame (assuming the hybrids can be built to do sufficient DPS).  For example, the Sith Warrior can either become a Sith Juggernaut (Tank/DPS hybrid), or a Sith Marauder (pure-DPS).  Once the choice is made, at level 10, the choice cannot be undone – and at level 10, I don’t believe that most people have seen enough of the game to decide on what they really want to be – the first time around, I mean.  Personally, I don’t want to get to level 40, and find out that Sith Marauders are being overlooked for Juggernauts because of their flexibility (one respec away from a role change), and have to reroll a new toon.  It would be nice if there was a way to change your specialty and buy the new skills, and just go from there, rather than being locked into the specialty from a point in the game where one might not know what they want to do yet.

3)  Just how many lightsabers were there in the Old Republic? – It’s amazing how many of the deadly glo-sticks exist in this game.  Yes, they’re iconic, and part of the reason why fans want to play this game, but it’s rather silly that half the character classes are lightsaber wielders – and this is not even talking about the number of NPCs that use lightsabers.  There are Sith Lords, Jedi Masters, Apprentices, Padawans, and all sorts of Force users everywhere in this game, both on the player and non-player side, so much so, that it comes off rather mundane.  Given that lightsabers were supposedly not mass-produced – each being constructed by hand as a part of the Jedi/Sith training, the fact that you buy and sell them on the marketplace in this game is comical.  Swap out a mod, change the color of the beam.  You’re evil?  Ok, then, you can’t use blue or green – enjoy your red one.  It’s made something that seemed cool at the beginning rather ordinary, and I’m a little disappointed about that.  But then again, Star Wars Galaxies tried that, and everyone complained that they couldn’t be a Jedi.  Go figure.

4)  You only get one ship – Why?  Sure you can reequip your ship like you reequip the rest of your characters, but not having the option to purchase or even choose your ship (it’s based on what class you are), is disappointing. Further, at least from what I’ve seen (the Bounty Hunter ship, and the Imperial Agent ship), you don’t get anything that looks iconic like the ships in the movies.  They use more varying models for the background ships, but the ones that you get to pilot aren’t anything like those in the movies.  No Slave I style ship.  No X-Wing (or even Z-95 Headhunter) style ships – one of the things I liked best about the original Star Wars movies.  No TIE style stuff.  It’s a bit of a bummer.

5)  Your companion choices don’t make sense, sometimes, and the affection mechanic is odd – I’ve played two or three characters on the Sith Empire side (the Dark Side, mind you), and I have to say, my companion choices for at least two of the cases (Mako and Vette, for those who know the game) just don’t seem to make sense.  One tends to expect the Sith characters to be more evil, more Dark Side oriented, but these companions seem to have problems with anything you do that’s remotely evil (unless it’s revenge based on their behalf, I guess.)  I’ve decided, for example, that my Sith Marauder is going to be an evil son-of-a-bitch, but my first companion Vette, seems to have trouble with most Dark Side choices, which leads to losses of affection points.  Now, interestingly enough, your character can flirt with other NPCs, even to the point of a fade-out style tryst (or so it’s hinted at), and your companion has very little trouble with that (no affection loss), but try to sound like a badass and oops, you have lost some affection.  Not that it matters much, gifts will often produce more affection than you can get in the interactions – so, whoops, I pissed you off, Vette? No problem, here’s an Underworld Hit List to make you smile.

Given that you can actually end up married to one of your companions of the opposite sex (no equal rights here?) it’s really funny that being promiscuous has little affect on them.  Ah, well, must be morality in the Old Republic – no wonder it fell.

6)  Finally, the Friends command needs to be mentioned – Why, oh, why is this the first game I’ve ever played that only allows you to add someone to your friends list if they’re online?  Why does it say “[So-an-So] does not exist,” when you’re adding someone to your Friends list when they’re not on?  It’s really frustrating because to add all of one friend’s characters to your character list, they have to swap them around online so you can capture them all.  Ridiculous.

Still, the game itself is pretty fun, and I’ve not seen what these classes look and feel like at the endgame (or with a higher end system, for that matter – my system limitations make playing this game rough at times).  It looks good, and carries the Star Wars mystique to it admirably.  I’m still playing and enjoying it, and don’t have any real desire to touch WoW again at this point, though who knows how I’ll feel when the new expansion for WoW is released.   Who can say no to Pandarens?

May the Force be with you.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

January 30, 2012 Posted by | Star Wars - The Old Republic | , , , | 4 Comments