Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, meandering, muddled mind.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Blaugust the 29th: Morrenia Hits 50!

Even with the current level cap of 60 (soon to be 65), reaching 50 in SWTOR is still a pretty big deal. At least, it is for me. And so just after 11 p.m. local time this evening, I reached 50 on my third character: the Sith Marauder Morrenia the Merciless.

Scooter is on my heels with her Sorceror, Lord Glember, but didn't quite reach it before we quit for the night. We're just about done with Corellia, the original final storyline planet, and there will only be a few climactic scenes after that to finish the original stories. I also brought Pierce's affection to max, but not really any romance (other than a single tryst. I now know why people had such an issue with Quinn, maybe more so than Corso. But it looks like he truly is the only option for the female warrior to romance.


One of these days, we're going to have to take a pair of our characters through the 51-60 content, hopefully before KotFE launches in late October. Not to mention who will be boosted to 60 (if necessary), so we can start in on the juicy storyline on Zakuul.
~~~~~~~~
If you're interested in joining the madness (Vloggers are welcome, too!), Belghast has a set of rules for qualifying for any prizes at the end. Your second stop should be the Blaugust Nook, where Bel is keeping track of everything and community members are sharing encouragement and ideas.
~~~~~~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Blaugust the 28th: Captain Albarossa

Albarossa

Sith Pureblood, Gunslinger
"Sorry about the mess."

His name comes from an Italian wine grape cultivar, and means "Red Dawn." It kind of sounds like a good name for a pirate. And Albarossa is decidedly Dark.

Captain Naqis Albarossa is a free trader who family is from the planet Ziost. Unlike many of his species, Albarossa is not force sensitive, and his parents were also free traders, piloting the XS Freighter Apex Fynock. There were more credits in semi-licit arms deals, and Albarossa was among the best until a deal went south on Ord Mantell. Double-crossed by a thief name Skavak, who stole the Fynock along with its cargo of small arms and explosives, Albarossa was stranded on the civil war-torn world with a price on his head from the crime boss Rogun the Butcher, the owner of the stolen merchandise. Scrounging tickets to Coruscant with the help of the Mantellian mercenary Corso Riggs, Albarossa managed to reacquire the Fynock, even though Skavak continued to elude him.

I had issues with my first smuggler that I have documented elsewhere. With Albarossa, I decided to make him Darker, more brutal, and that has helped. He is definitely type to shoot first. To avoid lost affection with the overgrown boy scout Corso, I have run through Nar Shaddaa before Taris, and picked up my wookiee companion, Bowdaar, a.s.a.p. Unfortunately, this means the story missions on Taris are grey and give almost n points, 12x or otherwise.
~~~~~~~~
If you're interested in joining the madness (Vloggers are welcome, too!), Belghast has a set of rules for qualifying for any prizes at the end. Your second stop should be the Blaugust Nook, where Bel is keeping track of everything and community members are sharing encouragement and ideas.
~~~~~~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blaugust the 27th: SWTOR KotFE Livestream (with Cantina Code!)

The Latest Cantina Speeder Model, Prinawe Aggregate
So the folks at BioWare did a livestream on Twitch last night, and it was pretty cool overall. I guess they had planned to go to Pax this year and have a Cantina Event, but that plan fell through ("We've chained the devs to their desks to work on KotFE"). And so they gave away an infinitely redeemable code for the Prinawe Aggregate (pictured above). To redeem your own speeder, simply log onto the SWTOR website and then click the following link (or copy-paste into your browser address window).


You'll also receive a version of your own code to share; but again, this one is supposedly infinite. After getting the confirmation, you'll receive the Cantina reward through in-game mail on every character.

They were only about five or ten minutes into the show when the video froze, even though the audio was still working. Over 10,000 people tuned in at one point (which may or may not caused the stream to crash). The chat was going so fast that I could hardly read any of the things people were posting. Trolls, ignoramuses (e.g., people asking for the Cantina Code even though it was part of the stream title), and the folks trying to silence them made up the bulk of the chat anyway, but the occasional item from "SWTOROfficial" was lost as well.

Once they got the technical difficulties worked out (I was playing the game in the meantime, so I did not get upset), they showed a bit of the game (more of the Jedi Knight seen in the gameplay trailer) and explained how the player's decisions would make even more of an impact on the plot than in the current content. The cutscenes are much more cinematic—as has been commented upon elsewhere—with sweeping camera moves and other flourishes. As I was going through a few cutscenes on my Smuggler at almost the same time as I was watching the stream, and the differences were really noticeable.
Ahhh, Kira, I'm so glad I won't lose you.
I took notes for Scooter (who was otherwise occupied) but forgot to put them somewhere they would be of advantage as I write this. A few highlights that I can remember:
  • The expansion will be included "free" for anyone subscribed at launch (27 October 2015). So basically, $15 gives you full access to Knights of the Fallen Empire. Ironically, that's the day my 60-day time card will run out. (Of course I will be getting another one, Silly!)
  • The expansion will have nine (9!) chapters available from launch for subscribers. I think they're assuming everyone will subscribe to the game who is interested in the expansion.
  • While, based on your class, there will subtle differences in the choices you can make (e.g., Force Persuade for the Knight), I got the strong impression every class will get mostly the same story, at least at the beginning. I think this will be a good thing: if our choices really do impact the plot, the story should change significantly as we move through it. They may have devoted the resources to enable those dramatic changes instead of having the most significant plot choice be made at character creation. And personally, I'd rather have a story where I am actually making a difference than eight stories where I am mostly just along for the ride.
  • From a story perspective, your companions are scattered, and part of the plot will be finding out what happened to them.
  • However, from a game mechanic perspective, none of them are lost. No one will lose any investment in time and resources in the game, like effort spent to gain max affection, reputation, etc. Opportunities may be lost, however. For example, they specifically mentioned a current Makeb achievement that will be rewarded in KotFE, but that may not be available after KotFE launches.
  • All companions will be able to fulfill any role. I noticed that Lana, clearly a Marauder (DPS) with twin red lightsabers, was healing the PC Knight during the demo playthrough. This will free up the players to choose the companion they want rather than the companion they need to complement their own playstyle.
  • They referred to the KotFE launch period as "Season 1," which will be followed by a "break" coinciding with the launch of Star Wars Battlefront and the release of Episode VII in theaters. Then, Season 2 will come out next year.

They closed out the stream with another video showing Kira piloting the Defender in an attempt to rescue the Knight from a burning battle cruiser. More exciting cinematic style. I don't feel this was too much hype train, though I may be overestimating the degree of player impact on the plot. Now all I have to do is decide which of my stable of characters will be my first "Outlander."
~~~~~~~~
Wow, has only four posts of madness left! Belghast has a set of rules for qualifying for any prizes at the end of Blaugust. Your second stop should be the Blaugust Nook, where Bel is keeping track of everything and community members are sharing encouragement and ideas.
~~~~~~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Blaugust the 26th: Every Day

In columns from left: Moina, Zane,
Bella, Chico, Lucy, Dexter,
and Quintus.
To think, five years ago, I wasn't much of an animal person, much less specifically a dog person. I mean, I didn't hate animals, we had a cat when I was growing up, and fish (which are more like a decoration), and even a bunny that really belonged to my children, but that I helped take care of. I felt that animals should be treated kindly, but never felt any particular attachment to one.

Things changed in 2011, when my older daughter and I adopted (feels warning) Zane the Magnificent from the local pound. I was already known at my future lovely bride's house as "The Treat Man," but that was more to ingratiate myself with her pups—treats are so exciting!—than any particular love for them. Zane was special, though. And I am so glad he picked us (because that's what he did by being the dog he was).

As you may know, Dear Reader, if you've been following this blog for any length of time, a series of adoptions and rescues followed, culminating in the birth of my favorite little devil, Lucy and her angel brother, Ivory. The pack is down to six now, but we love them all. Every day is National Dog Day at our house.
~~~~~~~~
If you're interested in joining the madness (Vloggers are welcome, too!), Belghast has a set of rules for qualifying for any prizes at the end. Your second stop should be the Blaugust Nook, where Bel is keeping track of everything and community members are sharing encouragement and ideas.
~~~~~~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Blaugust the 25th: Game Time

Scooter and I are nearing the the end of our four month term in SWTOR, and debating the best way to continue our sojourn. We are of course very excited about the upcoming Knight of the Fallen Empire expansion, and current subscribers are receiving in-game swag related to Nico Okarr, the Smuggler first seen in the cinematic trailer "Return." Since my original idea for a smuggler revolved around a Nico expy, I am thrilled that he is being featured here.
We ended up getting 60-day game time cards at Walmart, since they sell for about a dollar cheaper there than online. Strangely, even though most cards of this sort—including SWTOR's own cartel coin cards—come in barely any packing at all, these SWTOR time cards came in DVD-sized cases. While I guess such cases are not particularly expensive, they do seem like a big waste for something that we are going to throw into the recycling.

In any event, we are set till about the end of October, when we'll probably get more time cards. While not quite as convenient as a recurring subscription, I like the prepaid time with an expiration. We can decide every couple months whether the game is worth a continuation; and if not, we just let it expire.
~~~~~~~~
If you're interested in joining the madness (Vloggers are welcome, too!), Belghast has a set of rules for qualifying for any prizes at the end. Your second stop should be the Blaugust Nook, where Bel is keeping track of everything and community members are sharing encouragement and ideas.
~~~~~~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.