Chomping at the Bit for 4.0


frazettaexecutioner1Leveling toons used to be a fun pass time. I find I’m killing them off more quickly than I get around to leveling. So, instead of bringing out my digital Executioner’s Axe of Deletion (+1000 in all stats, immediate one shot kill, perma death causing, if anyone is interested), I’ve been grinding out my last 5 levels on Damios strictly in the PvP arena. It’s been fun spending a couple of hours a night after a day of being utterly pissed off at work, killing everyone I am able to. Sometimes of course I loose, and usually it’s a very lopsided loss. But over all I have a lot of fun going from one warzone to the next, stocking up on commendations like a mad man. It’s a couple of hours before bedtime during the week I can have fun while keeping the time investment low. Since the Guild has been fairly quiet PvE wise, I figure this is a way to spend time. The Pub side for the most part has had some pretty solid PvPers of late during peak hours so a lot of fun can be had. Shout out to Wingless Doves, even their lowbie teams are reasonably tactically proficient on the Battle Field. Got to work with them on 4 different games when they were running teams and had fun with them.

nerdsOccasionally I watch certain regulars on Fleet in General chat banter away and troll to their little twisted heart’s content. Then I might take a walk down to Fleet Cantina and watch the costumed RPer’s chat away (why always a Goddamn Cantina?!? Seriously! It would be cool if they did it in the palace on Coruscant, or maybe at Sith HQ on Dromund Kaas…where the fuck is their imagination?!?!?!?)  Now some of what I witness is pretty interesting. When it is, I drop my /Emote Chair 4 and chill out waiting for the next fight to begin. At other times I simply walk..not run to see what I can find. I don’t have time to really interject or participate as I’m more involved in the process of killing but still, it passes the time away. But I digress. Ok, so that’s really what I’ve been doing over the past week so to speak in SWTOR, now on to my thoughts about the Live Stream that Musco put out a couple of days ago.

I got to check out the Livestream on Wed and well, for the most part I was pretty happy. But I do have some well personal attitudes about how they are running the development here. First and foremost, I really hate it when they allow for premade 60’s. This kills the point of learning your class whether in PvE or PvP. I’ve never agreed with the concept and frankly never will. I know, from the business standpoint, Bio Ware is trying to drum up more business for the Expansion itself, I just don’t like how they are doing it. It’s not enough that they give you a recommended set for class/skills. That’s like handing a loaded gun to a kid and tell them to point and shoot….not to bright. I am by no means a master of any of my classes, but I do my very best to research them and to practice them as much as possible. Having pre made lv 60 toons available just doesn’t make sense to me. For the record, it isn’t about the hours and hours I had to spend leveling toons, you know my ability to hire and fire and not think about it twice. I think it will make things difficult or Raid teams/FP teams and PvP when people pop in at 60 with a new class they no absolutely nothing about. I think it’s also lazy to give a set of recommended crew skills that are maxed out already. Cmon…that’s just cheap thrills with no work.

Next, what’s with the wasted time in changing Commendations to Data Crystals? Seriously, it does nothing for the game at all and wastes resources the dev’s need for more important tasks. Ok, side track rant there but I don’t care, it just seemed silly to me that they did that.

Character Sheet Enhancement – I like it. It’s about time we see things work a little more smoothly here. I have no problems with combining the Primary Stat into one universal stat. Works for me. Moving Surge into Crit seems legit to me as well. Sometimes those secondary stats were annoying to figure out for my old cobwebbed filled brain.

Gathering – Now this I thought was pretty cool of them to do. You can attempt to gather any type of node regardless of your skill level vs the node’s rating. The higher your skill, the better chance you have at gaining more from it. I like this, it helps when you are a little behind on your skills as you adventure.

Star Wars The Old Republic-09-26-2015 14-02-03Quests – Now this is cool. On release, x12 xp will be gone. But fear not, you can still level at a fairly quick pace by doing just your story line quests and the main planetary quests. Wait, how the hell do I fiure out those planetary quests? Oh ya, they color coded them for you! Good work Bio ware. The other sideline quests (Exploratory I believe is what they call them) can still be done if you want.

Heroic Missions/Level Scaling – I love what they did here man. No matter what your level is, you can still go back and do daily Heroics as much as you want and have fun with them. Why? Because your character level will scale back down to the high point of that Heroic level. None to worry, you won’t loose any of your skills, just the level so there is still some challenge to go and knock those quests out and gain your stuffs from them. Now this also means you will be scaled that way on the planet as well. I think of it as kind of a reverse War zone thing. You know how in War Zones you are scaled up with Bolster? Well here, you are scaled down. You don’t loose any of your skills, just your levels. This might even have a good impact on open world pvp for those who still do it. Hell I might even be interested in doing open world pvp if this is the case. This also helps if you have a lowbie buddy out there that needs a hand but doesn’t want a walk and loot run. It keeps things fun and interesting and makes it worth going back to do that old content. I think they were pretty sharp on this point and I love what they did. Essentially, they picked up on what EQ2 did with Krono mage back wards to do the old content. Furthermore, you are STILL GETTING FULL XP FOR THE MISSION regardless of your level!

Random mount and pet buttons – Interesting thing here. Say you got like I dunno 12 or 13 Mounts. You don’t always want to be in the same vehicle/animal all the time and you like showing off a little. Admit it, we all do from time to time. Cool little feature here, Random Mount button. Put it on your hot bar and it will randomly pick on of your vehicles/animals and get ya mounted up. Same with pets. got the flutter bird , akk dog pup, and maybe 50 other pets? Instead of hunting through them, random button will pick them for you. It’s a small thing but kinda cool to me.

Vehicle/Cloak Clipping – I always hated this. I get on a speeder, and find my cloak/duster hanging down below the damned vehicle. It was an annoyance of mine and I’m glad they finally fixed it! No more hanging cloaks for you!

Star Wars The Old Republic-09-25-2015 19-47-54Companions – Ok so even with the level scaling of skills, your OLD companions can still be customized to your heart’s content. The new ones I don’t believe so as yet. To my knowledge they aren’t going to let you. It’s ok I guess, I don’t think Darth Marr could ever be right unmasked running around in hot pink skinny jeans if ya know what I mean. Though…Lana in the Reveler’s outfit…hmm. Ok ok I admit typical dude thought process, no I’m not sorry either lol! Now as I hear it, you can either pick up your old companions at some sort of terminal, or you can just link up with them in the new story chapters. Personally, I will probably wait to link up with them…well maybe, it depends. Hmm I guess on second though that will probably be a case by case basis.

No Cap for Data Crystals (commendations) – This is cool. Remember the weekly cap for your elite (glowing data crystals) and ultimate (radiant data crystals) comms? Gone! They just made a hard cap of 500 for each. When you hit it, trade em in and go at it again just like the basics were. Good stuff, it allows you to handle your gearing issues a lot easier.

Ok these were quick and dirty thoughts on the Live Stream. I’m pretty sure I missed a few things, but it will give you more of an idea of what to expect in this next expansion. As with all major patches, don’t be surprised if there are a lot of initial bugs. It’s what happens. Be patient, enjoy the show and hopefully you don’t burn through the content so fast you end up being bored within a week. My advice, enjoy the ride!

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PvP in the Mid Level Brackets and why Bolster is BS


Star Wars The Old Republic-09-09-2015 21-52-24The last couple of nights I’ve been struggling in the PvP War zones on my server (Ebon Hawk). I did alot of research on Dulfy.net in order to maximize my rotations.My gear is equivalent to my level (46 now) and I use stims during combat. Still, I wasn’t making any serious gains in the warzones on the individual damage basis. Most of my opponents were 55+ in level and gear. But I heard the scream of “BUT YOU HAVE BOLSTER”!!!

Bolster is supposed to upgrade all of your stats, hit points and equivalent existing skills to Lv 60. Makes sense to level the playing field. Yet, there are at least a few critical skills that my level is missing that would enhance my rotation and damage ability that I have not learned yet. Also, if you look at the difference between say LV 47-49 gear vs Lv 55 gear, there is a huge discrepancy in stats that enhance your existing baseline. With all of this, I have to argue that mid lv bracket pvp is a tiresome grind unless you. So it was suggested, go back and level to the high end and then compete. Ya ok, but I’m trying to grind out as many commendations as possible prior to the next expansion to be ready for end game pvp.

In the end, I really wish that there was a bracket break at lv 49 through 59 to even things out. So why isn’t there? Well, honestly the pvp population in SWTOR is somewhat lack luster in numbers. Due to perceived imbalances in pvp classes a lot of PvPers left the game. Ebon Hawk has a fairly active amount of War Zone fighters, but most are at lv 60, so the mid lv brackets are less populated. I checked things out on Jung Ma and the other PvP server and they are almost completey devoid of players. The hard core pvpers I knew from last year moved to Ebon Hawk. Why? Well open world pvp is just not happening. So that leaves War Zones. My opinion is that the PvPers went to Ebon Hawk first and foremost to have more WZ’s pop and fight more often. Of course it helps that they are steam rolling casual players but hey that’s the name of the game when you set foot into the battle grounds.

I will admit I need to get some augments to enhance my expertise rating, but it’s hard to keep up with those while leveling up my toon and certainly not cost effective credit wise in my opinion. It also doesn’t help that casual players don’t know how to target and focus fire on high priority targets (you know, healer, then dps, then tanks with slight tweaks pending upon class). Also they often fail to understand that once a CC is executed, avoid dps that would break said CC. This of course would be a huge help in being able to quickly dispatch other priority targets. So, the grind continues.

At any rate these are solely my opinions and experiences. Any thoughts?

Milestones, Adventures, and some words on PvP


Now why don’t he write? Ya I know I’ve been gone for a bit. Sorry about that. Real Life and game life sometimes compete with one another so what limited time I’ve had lately has been spent either working, with family or actual playing. This unfortunately has curtailed some of my writing activities. Life in the fast lane is pretty crazy at times. So currently, I’m about two years out from retiring from the military. Since it’s so close I’ve been feverishly working on my exit strategy so I have something to look forward to. My father and I got the crazy idea to build a business that encompasses horses, dogs, and some computer savvy stuff. To do it involves a lot of planning, obtaining funds etc. This of course takes up a lot of spare moments that normally I relax and write. Price to pay when I’m dreaming big on my final day to freedom lol. Enough of the real world.

Mharius as you recall is my Imperial Sniper. He has attended a fair amount of raids, upgraded his gear and tweaked it to suit his needs (that my friends is kind of a pain in the ass Star Wars The Old Republic-05-17-2015 21-46-42balancing between accuracy, crit, power etc). He maxed out his crafting and can make every end game epic implant available. Pretty solid income. Even the blue implants at end game are profitable. Not nearly as much as the purples but still enough to have reached over 1 million credits in profit. This even after throwing a good 200k over to my latest pvp alt (which I’ll get to in a bit).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jhexi, my dear, sweet, tough talking, smokin’ hot cyborg bounty hunter hit 60 and maxed out her armstech. Not nearly as profitable as I thought. Still very useful when you are looking for augments. Mostly the profit is from saving credits on buying someone else’  crafted augments. But really, Ebon Hawk seems to lack a profitable market on such items. The Barrel Mods aren’t very profitable either compared to materials required to create them.  But these skills are excellent to have when my other alts hit end game, far less expensive in the long run when I can make my own stuff. I haven’t entered her into guild raids yet as our guild took a break from raiding over the past 2 weeks. Hopefully by this weekend I’ll see some action on that end again. So she spends her time crafting and farming on days I’m not involved with other activities. All of her gear now corresponds with Ziost baselines so I’m not worried there. Some of my lesser alts are busy sending bother her and Mharius companion gifts in order to max out affection on all ends. That of course is a pretty long and involved task.

On the family front, my wife and I recently have been tag teaming back and forth between EQ Landmark and SWTOR. She prefers decorationg and building where I prefer up front action. Not to say I don’t like decorating..I do, it’s just a secondary focus. So, she joined me for a bit working a Sith Inquisitor. She got a kick out of dealing with Zash and enjoyed being aStar Wars The Old Republic-06-08-2015 21-26-35 rather evil, selfish little witch. For her, it allows her to make choices that are completely against social norms and she loves it. So, once every week or so, we go back to our toons and lay waste to digitized enemies in a bid for power and domination across the galaxy. Besides, it’s fun working together. I made a Sith Jugg tank for that. She did the Sorc spec. Kind of fun every once in awhile.

On the PvP side. I have to say the war zones on Ebon Hawke pop pretty nicely. I will also say that at least so far the Pub side during my play times has in general rocked the Imperial side to the ground. Now I know, everyone will have different opinions. But so far for me, my pvp toon has had a righteous time fighting. Not a night passes where at least 80% of the time, the team I’m on wins the day. Ya there are occasional losses (mostly in death matches) but I still have had a lot of fun doing war zones.  That being said I have a wish list that I’m sure will not be answered anytime soon. Still, I do wish it was available.

1: Mid Level brackets need to be split of or reconfigured.  The disparity between a level 30 to a lv 55 is pure insane. Especially when Lv 55 can get their hands on some serious min/max mods to dominate on the field of battle. Solution: Bracket LV’s 50-59 together.  LV 60 is the final Tier anyhow. But when I walk onto a battle field Im sorry even with boosted HP my abilities just can’t compare to those of a lv 55. Oh I’ll fight like a madman, but ultimately it ends badly. I tend to keep my toons leveling till they hit at least 40-45 after they punch through to lv 30. It mitigates undo anguish and frustration.

2: More battle fields. NO I DON’T WANT TO SEE ANTHER DEATH MATCH OR HUTT BALL! I mean make a couple of more interesting battle fields that have different victory mechanics. If even one more new War Zone with entirely new mechanics or objectives appeared, I think it would go some distance with the pvp crowd.

3: Low Lv pvp gear is really next to useless compared to standard modding. The brackets are WAY to far apart. LV 20 set and then nothing till LV 40? C’mon!!!! Maybe make a LV 30 set and a LV 50 set to go after. Even then, the gear should be stuff that’s worth owning. There sould be some pvp stats added into each gear piece for each bracket. Now this is very important. It gives meaning to the gear you are supposed to be earning. The ear Pieces and Implants are very nice to have, but the gearing needs to be a bit more robust.

4: PvP Fun Vendor. Ya it’s cool to get a chandelier or 2 and the occasional rotworm/frogdog thingy…but really the pvp rewards do suck. I like that you can get some guards from either faction but other than that…the vendor is pretty weak sauce. Get some other stuff like trophies…wall mounted weapons etc. Something that says your fortress seriously belongs to a PvPer.

Now, I understand that PvE is the long term investment money maker. I get it. But even simple things like what I’ve described can entice new blood into the game when it pertains to PvPers. Some people may say that PvPers are few and far between. Believe me, they aren’t. On a Monday night I probably hit about a war zone every 5-10 minutes. Now, that night I played from 6pm to 10 pm. That earned me almost 200 WZ commendations. All of this on a PvE server. Players may not be uber skilled as long time hard core PvPers bbut they have fun or they wouldn’t play.

Ok, that’s my update folks. I promise I will try to write more often, just remember if there are lulls it’s due to time management. Until next time, may your Hyper Drives Burn bright and may your credits over flow!