Leveling, Experimenting and the all consuming wait for OCT early Access


Well, that was a fairly wordy title. But it speaks truth. I’ve been doing a lot of alt leveling over the last month. The sad thing is, I’ve probably murdered (deleted) at least 30 toons in the process before they ever reached Lv 30. One would think I’d just take a class and run with it. Me being me though, I really had to like the character I played, or I wouldn’t play it for long.

Star Wars The Old Republic-08-09-2015 19-44-20My last character I actually leveled is Vhulkar. Vhulkar is a hard hitting BH Power Tech that I have a blast at as far as being a DPS in the end game. It helps he just looks cool too. I brought him into Raid over the weekend and got a lot of compliments on how I designed him as far as look and feel. Beyond that, he did a solid performance with our crew in nothing but 190 blue gear. I was surprised at this, but his mobility to get in and get out during a fight made him a lot of fun. He was able to deal with some of the damage and dish it out on a regular basis. His DPS out put parsed out at about 2nd to 3rd in the raid which satisfied me as far as not being carried. Of course our lead DPSer was miles above the rest of us, but I kept a decent run during Boss fights. I gotta say, poor Mharius just isn’t as fun to run in raids anymore as a sniper. I like the mobility that a Power Tech gives at medium to close ranges. When we fought on the Ziost raid, I never had a problem maintaining decent DPS while on the move. It was exhilarating to see him in action. So, Vhulkar may become my new DPS Main for raids if he repeats the performance he displayed this last weekend. The problem with Mharius is simple, most fights require gun n’ run tactics. This is not at all the forte of a sniper. In fact, it’s the anathema of a sniper marksman. Most fights I have seen throughout the Revan expansion have heavy movement mechanics the degrade a sniper’s ability to drop that well placed shot. Sooo, Power Tech will be my new semi-ranged combat DPSer until further notice. I doubt I’ll fire (delete) Mharius simply because I like the toon over all. He just won’t be my raid focus. Perhaps I’ll give him a whirl in PvP, I dunno.

On another front, I’ve been doing some heavy effort to raise a Juggernaut Immortal (read tank). Caiden’Rho is my latest serious effort to the top bracket. I started him over the weekend and got him to LV 49 as of last night. By the end of the week he should be at 60 with all the basic necessities for getting into raids. I’ve had the full support of my Raid Leader on this one and he is guiding my progress there. I Level him with Jaesa as a companion to sort of practice my tanking spec rotations that have been suggested to me. To my surprise, he does pretty well with a few rotation tweaks that are geared for companion style battles (Heroic Moment, Unity, Force push with a follow up of Force Charge etc). They wouldn’t work well in a Boss fight, but for solo leveling they are pretty awesome additions when you have no healer. I spent a pretty fair amount of credits on Jaesa as a companion as I plan to have her as primary help once the expansion comes out. Ya, aesthetics do matter to me. I want my apprentice to look the part of a power hungry hottie! Anyways, he is my current heavy focus until 60.

This brings me to the experiments end. I re-rolled Damios (My original character on Ebon Hawk). Still a smuggler, but changed over to Scoundrel class (Ruffian) for a change. I wasn’t happy with the Gunslinger class. Again, it comes down to mobility. I don’t like staying in one place for long during a fight. So…as a republic toon he got rebooted. There are a few others I’m tinkering with, though no promise to any one of them as yet. I’ve kept those toons out of the guilds on both Imp and Pub side as I haven’t felt a concrete hell ya at this moment for them. Time will tell of course.

The Yavin Stronghold has been a side project ever since it came out. I think I have one unlock left before it’s entirely open and then I need to decide on how the decorating will go. I’ll be honest, as awesome as the stronghold looks, and it does look awesome! The way the dev’s set up the decorating hooks really was sub par in my opinion. It looked pretty mish mash with little thought or reason. Still, I want the whole thing opened up so I can make it into a special retreat for all of my characters.

Star Wars The Old Republic-07-22-2015 19-56-04These are the things I’m currently working on while waiting for the October Early release of KotFE. I am very much interested in how it will play out and it constantly leaves much to ponder on a daily basis. At the very least, I am looking forward to new adventures and stories to be had. One of the things I know is controversial but I happen to like is how the companions will be streamlined to level in ability with you, so gearing is no longer an issue. The other is being able to stick them into any roll you desire. Both of these options appeal to me in a big way. I know not every one likes it. That’s ok. For at least the class switch, all I can say is, you still have the choice to make them the original roll if you don’t want to spec them into things you don’t like or can’t see as viable. Either Way, it’s ok to me. But, I can stomach the Trooper class a helluva lot longer if that first companion would either be pure tank or pure healer.  I know, some classes just don’t seem right as a different style (Mako Tanking, or Lord Scourge Healing BWAHAHAAHAHAH) but hey play it your way at that point. The great thing is, if you don’t personally like the option, you don’t HAVE to alternate companion class focuses.

The streamlining of stats is interesting. It’s also going to really alter the way we look at crafting in general. All main stats Star Wars The Old Republic-07-22-2015 19-56-27converted to one stat. Cool, because they all do the same thing, just different names. But what about crit bonus stats or aim or accuracy or power. Are those secondary stats still going to be around? I made a lot of money off of various augment secendary stat pieces. So I have to wonder how much has been said about that. It’s a lot to ponder. At any rate, it’s still just a wee bit over a month out before I get to see these epic changes to the game structure. I’m both excited and terrified. One back lash of it all though has been that I have really been slacking on trying to level or make any sorted of crafted item. Kinda sucks, but what’s the point if these huge changes are implemented.

Well, that’s a wrap for now. Till next time, may your hyper drives never fail and may your credits overflow!

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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!

Altiholism and a Stand Down


Star Wars The Old Republic-05-16-2015 10-25-31Over the weekend, I did a ton of experimenting with different types of classes. Some made it, some got fired repeatedly. Not out of boredom but more out of getting a feel for things. But let’s fast forward to yesterday for a sec. I promise it won’t take too long.

I Stood Down from gaming yesterday. Kept a couple of beers on the side. For the States, Memorial Day Weekend was observed and a holiday given yesterday. It was my time to remember my brothers and sisters who were no longer there. Look, I don’t claim a status of being a hero. A hero is more often a common person who get’s stuck in some extraordinary circumstances and just deals with them. At any rate, my remembrance wasn’t to go observe some great ceremony. I’ve never been big on them. It was to remember a few friends/comrades that lost their lives over the years I’ve deployed. I’m not gonna get too much into that. Suffice to say, my moments were quiet and had to do more with the good memories, not the Memorial Daybad. Faces sometimes fade. But occasionally a smile, a joke, or conversation comes to mind. I won’t go into the politics behind the losses. In the end, those things have nothing to do with why we fight in the ugliest moments. It has to do more with the people around you, the left, right, front and behind. All the patriotism, the missions the great hyperbole mean nothing when you are sweating your ass off in a foreign land where everyone hates you. It boils down to building relationships with those whom you serve with. They are really the people you do what you do day in and day out. So, with all of that, I spent my day just remembering, not their deaths, but their lives. It’s more important to me that way.

Now, we can rewind on my weekend of altiholism..

I worked a bit on the Sith Warrior under the Juggernaut DPS builds. I can’t say I like them that much. The heavy armor is nice of course…but I just was not feeling the class mechanics up through lv 30. It could have been that I need to find someone who knows the class rotations to get more effective. Of course I know Juggs tend to be tank specced, but I wanted to see what they could do in Heavy armor as a DPS spec. The companions are more interesting than the storyline to be honest. The whole Darth Baras didn’t really appeal to me. For starters…why would I follow this arrogant fat ass? Seriously…from the get go I wasn’t impressed with his rhetoric. I dunno, I will try the storyline again. I like the aesthetics of the warrior I created, made him look pretty hardcore. I may re roll this one into a Marauder, at least it may be a bit more fun while trying to get a hold of the storyline. The one good thing about x12 xp is that it allows me to like or dislike something and reset with minimal time investment.

Further worked Jhexi, the rotation is pretty easy, just getting through the storyline is sort of a yawn to me. I did get little Blizz as my latest companion though. While I doubt I’ll use him much in combat, he is one of those fun companions to have around. Crazy little Jawa makes life so entertaining.

Started an Inquisitor Assassin. I’m still trying to decide if I should keep the DPS spec or if I should go tank mode with her. Both are very appealing and fun to work. I very rarely play tanks in game, but the AOE and threat system for the Inq is pretty entertaining, same as with the Jedi Shadow Tank. If she does remain as a tank, she’ll be relegated to PvE rather than have a pvp role.  More importantly, the storyline has my attention grasped. Now, I read briefly before on how the whole Lord Zash line works out and that’s fine. The interaction is really very entertaining. Even from the get go, I felt there was purpose to the Inquisitor storyline. It was easy to react to situations and I quickly saw my Inquisitor had a very dark and sadistic side to her. Not due to being forced into  situations…but it just felt natural by choice and the story responded in a way that kept me drawn in. I haven’t fired this character yet…we will see where it goes.

Made another agent, this time as an operator for the sole purpose of pvp. I’m on a PvE server, but War Zones pop frequently so it isn’t that big of a deal. The down side though, unless I’m with my guild…pvp is really painful. Pick Up Games are very annoying in the lack of teamwork or even sense of strategy. I don’t mind challenging. Honestly if my opponents are solid players and a good fight is put up, loosing doesn’t sting as much. But sometimes the PUG really is enough to piss off a saint. Still, I did have a lot of fun doing sneak and stabs. Built up enough tokens to even afford a couple of Imperial Soldiers to add into my Stronghold. I like a couple of body guards to add flavor to the place. This one will be a slow leveling process because primarily he will be spending the majority of his time in Warzones and not out doing quests. This allows for time to perfect rotations and individual tactics as well as working with my guild.

Mharius continues to be my raiding sniper character. Sunday night’s raid proved pretty difficult for him. I was just off my game for some reason. Normally I know when to Gun and when to Run. My rotations were good but Boss AOE’s as well as a bit of bad luck with some adds I wasn’t watching for made it a pretty rough run for the evening. Good side is, the only person being critical of me was me. The rest of the group was being very patient. It didn’t help I had a pounding headache that felt like someone was driving a knitting needle into the base of my skull. But I did make a commitment and it takes a pretty hefty reason to not show up when I say I will. All in all, I still had fun hanging out with the Guild for these events, it was just a tad rougher than normal.

Well, that has been my journey over the last few days. Hope everyone who got a holiday enjoyed it. I know I did. Till next time, I’ll see you on the high ground!

Jhexi…Gun For Hire and other Ramblings of and Agent at Large


Mharius continues his personal agendas at level cap now that the Imperial Intelligence is dissolved and the new Sith intelligence Minister is rather…occupied. Don’t get me wrong, Lana is a sweetheart, especially for a Sith. I like her and she is a cutie! Well, you know Mharius will chase after skirts as much as he can, it’s in his nature. Anyways, Lana has a lot of potential, but she isn’t as calculating or cool under fire as Keeper was. Keeper was excellent at his job, and did wonders forStar Wars The Old Republic-05-14-2015 17-38-21 the IIS as it’s minister just prior to it’s fall. He knew the real deal and was very pragmatic. Lana, she thinks with her heart, and so more often than not is chasing 50 projects at once. For Mharius, this actually benefits his agenda. Why? It allows more freedom for him to create a personal network of spies, enforcers and assassins. Back on Rishi, Keeper briefly came out of retirement and gave Mharius a list of potential candidates for future intelligence operations. Ya they would make fine lock step cookie cutter candidates for the new Sith Intelligence. But you see, that would not help him. No dear friends, now that Mharius has seen it all to date, it was time to focus on building his own Empire within an Empire.

Why? Well first and foremost the Sith are just absolute fools when it comes to making a long lasting Empire. It’s not that they don’t have the power and the means to defeat all of their rivals, it’s that they keep on letting personal squabbles and power struggles get in the way of true power. The Republic can be defeated and the Empire itself span across the entire Galaxy. But it has to first be unified in purpose and direction. It requires inclusiveness of all planets and races. No, Mharius is not a goodie two shoes, just loyal to the idea of Order and Nationalism. Not so much that he is blinded but enough that he sees the true potential of what the Empire COULD be.

Strategically the first step of course is completely and utterly defeating Vitiate. You know, the Emperor who turned Viost to ashes? Ya, he needs to go. the Sith Lords can have thier counsel. But they need to be removed from political power. Think it can’t be done? Mharius has killed more than a few Jedi Masters and Sith Lords that got in his way. Let them do thier little dark dances, but keep them out of the way of what the Empire can be.

Enough of the Long Term strategies. For the time being it was time Mharius needed to recruit new talent. So for weeks he poured through records and dossiers of potential candidates. Hundreds of possibilities but very few that might even closely Star Wars The Old Republic-05-18-2015 13-49-20qualify. Ah but one Bounty Hunter caught his attention. A Mercenary by trade and very effective in the field. More so, no particular loyalties set in place as of yet. Properly integrated and paid, this one could be the right fit for more forceful resolutions of conflict. A bit on the hot tempered side, but still quite useful. Served in various conflicts, well versed in the use of combined arms tactics. A knack for weapon modifications, and a genius at cracking computer systems. Yes, this Jhexi was the right one, now just to groom her for the position. A few test missions to gauge her abilities and loyalties and then she would be a part of the team. Failure in Mharius’ tests were never options. Failure could only mean sanitization after hopefully a quick death from a target. Still, this young cybernetic enhanced woman seemed to have what it will take to deal with the rising chaos down the road. Only time will tell.

Jhexi is a running alt project of mine that I’ve tinkered with for a few months on and off. I finally rerolled her as a mercenary and spent nearly 500k to outfit her to standard. I have fun with this young Bounty Hunter, not the typical heavily armored Mando style. I designed her with speed and agility in mind. Tradecrafts were set at Armstech, Slicing and scavenging. Fairly typical when you think about it, but quite useful. I’ve never really enjoyed the BH storyline, it’s really only a step up from theStar Wars The Old Republic-05-18-2015 13-49-27 Trooper storyline which is something I dread every time I look at the class. The whole Great Hunt seemed like a circus to me, and didn’t really involve Jhexi in a meaningful way as far as storylines go. But that’s ok, I love the BH Merc class, it’s so versatile in nature. And to tell the truth, Jhexi is just…wicked so I like her as one of my many alts to play with. For those who are asking, ya I’m a dude. Ya I play just as many female toons as I do males. Inner nerdiness? Maybe. But then, I am paying every month to enjoy the game my way. The only thing that annoys me is the occasional ERP offers I have to stomp a boot on. I’m pretty quick to give a loud burp and I’m a dude. Usually fixes things up pretty quick.

By the way, what is it seriously with a recent influx of ERP guilds on Ebon Hawk? I get it, everyone enjoy the game their way, it’s just the open advertisement and recruitment for ERP guilds is well…a little unnerving I guess. I mean, do what you will with a little privacy, but seriously, how can anyone RP having sex with pixels that don’t even fully undress or I guess actively engage in the activity? See, I sort of understood those who were into it on Second life because the software allowed for shall we say VERY intimate emotes/actions with full nudity and a plethora of fairly realistic skins to choose from. But in Star Wars: The Old Republic? I’m trying to figure out the allure. I mean there are entire guilds devoted to this on the Imperial Side and most likely on the Pub side as well. I just can’t get my head wrapped around something that you don’t even have partial actions that give the connotation of simulated pixel copulation. Now, I’m not a prude, but it seems strange that an entire RP storyline revolves primarily around ERP. Then again, I figure if an intimate scene cannot assist in story development, it’s not needed. Ah well, just a thought that occurred while writing.

Hey folks, you all have a great Memorial Day weekend for those Stateside and a wonderful weekend for those not. I’ll be pouring a couple beers out for those I remember and are gone and then promptly get back to killing pixels.