Not just NO…But F*$K NO!


Star Wars The Old Republic-10-13-2015 4-46-52Warning: Foul language abounds in this post. I speak from the Soldier’s point of view. Anyone who knows soldiers know we can be creative with cursing…you have been warned.

Uh oh… I lost it. OK, so I’ve been leveling my Trooper Vanguard Logan’Varo and just finished CH3. I get called to the Senate and praises of Glory and Awesomeness are slung my way. Of course I made sure my Team was mentioned before me. Hell I could have never made it through without them…even that asshole Vik (Hey he does blow shit up real good ok?).

But then I lost it...WARNING: SPOILER ALERT  FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T FINISHED THE TROOPER STORY LINE!)

Star Wars The Old Republic-10-13-2015 17-49-45In typical politician form the Chancellor decides she wants to trade the one Imperial Officer that has made life a living hell for the Republican Army and butchered countless lives. In return, we repatriate a few thousand prisoners. Well shit lady…what about the countless thousands of Soldiers that had to die in the process of taking this guy out?!?!? Can’t do anything for the dead? Were there lives meaningless in order to obtain a politically expedient end? Not just no but FUCK NO! Take your damned ribbons and shove them where the sun don’t shine!

The worst part though, in defense of the fallen, I got 100 Darkside points! Holy shit! I’ll be damned if soldiers died in vain for these bastards. I always hated politicians. Now I had a reason. For the record, my wife thought my computer blew up because I was a frothing maniac for a few minutes. I guess after seeing first hand in the real world how Soldiers tend to be used as pawns for political gain, this one touched a nerve. Still, even with 100 dark points that were unjustly given I won’t ever regret the decision I made in this case.

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Now, I have to admit, I’ve been overly critical of the Trooper story line. It felt too card board like and not very realistic. After a grand total of 5 deployments across the world in real life I kinda know a few things. However, the story does become a little more engaging by the time you hit Belsavus. Corellia actually I felt like they did a decent job on in depiction and execution. Well, accept your character really sucks at giving speeches. One speech for morale boost had the character saying “we will succeed” 3 times in less than 20 seconds. Ya, they need to send the scripters to speech school. Still, I felt engaged on Corellia and the fights felt more tactical in nature as well as the story elements. I still think the first 2 chapters were kinda weak sauce, but by CH 3 things come into full pace.

Anyways, I have a lot more to write about in the coming days as we get ready for KOtFE’s release, but I’ll get to that after a bit. Hat’s off to you BioWare for getting me so engaged I actually got pissed off…in a good way. Alright folks, till next time, may your hyperdrives stay fired up and your credits roll fast!

I am No Man’s Puppet…..Caiden’Rho; a darker path


They said I was a servant. They knew nothing! They thought me a dutiful acolyte, they were foolish. More than once I have felt the lash of lightening to punish me for my decisions and I regret nothing. With each step, rage builds. With each enemy that falls before my hand, my lust for conquest and glory grows. But no one, will ever, make me bow again…I am the Empire’s Wrath!

Caiden’Rho was my first foray into leveling a Sith Juggernaut all the way to cap. I was in fact determined with this one. Normally I don’t go into the whole Sith/Jedi thing but I wanted a solid tank for our Guild raids. My Raid Leader suggested that if I wanted to go melee, do the Juggernaut. He had a lot of fun on them. His only warning was that when we did 16 man’s to be prepared and practice my rotation to the T. Failure to do so could cause a loss of aggro which was a pain in the ass to regain. So we discussed rotation and gearing post 60 etc. Then I went to town. I really got into the role for this one as I hacked my way through the levels. I especially enjoyed turning Jaesa to the dark side. She was such an astute little monster, I fell in love with her as a companion lol, figuratively speaking of course. Never the less, it told a good story across the line and I had no trouble with getting to the top. Below were some highlights of raising Caiden to his final position:

The young Acolyte confronts his darker self to embrace his inner darkness:

Star Wars The Old Republic-09-06-2015 15-00-46In a tiny oasis, deep in the deserts of Tatooine, Caiden faces his darker self, the one that shows his true calling as a Sith Warrior. But even then, Caiden seethes with anger at being manipulated. Only two things enrage Caiden the most; Disloyalty and manipulation. The machinations of others led him from his former self and mapped out the path before him. Deep in his shadowed soul he knew the only way to break free of the chains which others bound him was to embrace the rage and damned be any, no matter how powerful, who were foolish enough to block his way to glory.

The warrior grows, proving the mettle of his Iron Soul:

Star Wars The Old Republic-09-09-2015 14-46-09Test after test he proved all around him that his enemies were mere ashes in the wind. With Shadow Blade in hand, he followed the directives of Darth Baras and the Council. But hidded from thier fiery gaze, he hatched his own plans. Some aligned in goal with his Master, but all led to his own dark designs, ones without his foolish and blind Master at hand. Paying lip service was no easy task and many times his own rage exceeded his ability to hold a civil tongue with his supposed master. But all in good time.

The Darkest of Loves:

Star Wars The Old Republic-09-11-2015 20-58-27She saw my true self and did not run in terror. She saw the lies of living without passion and the Tyranny of holding back emotion. She allowed me to set her free. She called me Master, yet she is my immortal dark heart, the one and only that enslaves my desires. Soaked in blood and hate, we wreaked Havoc across the Galaxy. Even when offered my place, she stayed loyal to the end. No one in this life or the next could ever separate the dark and monstrous passion we share. Jaesa, the one and only Immortal Heart to me, may we wade together in blood, smoke and conquest for all eternity!

Ascension, and the Fall of a Fool:

Star Wars The Old Republic-09-09-2015 2-30-00He thought me to be his pawn. He thought my mind enslaved to his will. Darth Baras, the “Voice” of the Emperor thought he could use me as the puppet to his ascension within the Dark Council. He was wrong. I had waited for this moment for a very, very, long time. When it was right, and my power collected, the gauntlet was thrown and the battle ensued. With out a doubt, this would be my hour of glory, or or my final place of death. All bridges were burned and only one way home from here. For what was worth, the duel was worth the time. I would have been so disappointed had Baras fell without so much as a fight.

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But as with all the others, his time had come to fall by my hand alone. With each burst of the Force he crashed upon me, he only grew weaker as I grew stronger. I laughed with glee as his power wained. Had he forgotten how many times he had punished me with pain? did he not know that I accepted the pain and converted it’s essense into the rage which fueled my power? Those questions would never be answered. The pawn, the servant, the errand boy had now become the Master with one final stroke of a saber.

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Even with the Dark Council’s acceptance of my transformation into the Wrath, I knew the future could only be mine once I was free of any Master. Still, I shall always relish the moment and regail in it final victory over my first Master. The Dark Council knew even then that they would be wise to avoid stopping any plans I made. Once cowed before me, my new goals would be realized.

The Dark Lord Begins his True Calling:

Star Wars The Old Republic-09-09-2015 21-52-08I knew the Emperor was a madman. Revan only proved it. But unleashed I saw the Chaos of a Galaxy full of ashes. Worlds ground to balls of dust and ashes. Destroyed by his unholy thirst for immortality. What good is it to rule a galaxy of corpses?

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In visions I saw all which I held dear collapse in rotting flesh and bone. Civilizations ground to powder with bloody streets stained red. But even though I saw my own corpse, I knew that this was only a vision of what could be. Nothing is set in stone. Of that I did learn throughout my rise.

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No mighty Emperor. I am no longer your Wrath, no longer your puppet. You will not destroy the Empire which I have shed so much blood for. You will not destroy what is meant to be mine to rule. I will find a way to defeat you and you will perish!

So, the experience leveling Caiden was honestly pretty awesome, all the way to the end. There were a few points that annoyed me, but overall it was a lot of fun. I wish they hadn’t had Quinn betray me. Not because it hurt me, but because they gave me no way to kill him. I really wanted to destroy his soul after siding with Baras, but I had no means mechanically to do so. The interactions with Jaesa as a companion were priceless. Turning her to the dark side and allowing her evil side to thrive was pure enjoyment as far as stories go. Now, I loved the Agent Story as the best so far, but this story line has got to be the close second between the two. The Bounty Hunter was lack luster. I haven’t finished the Inquisitor story as I haven’t enjoyed actually playing one.At any rate, I hope you all enjoyed this bit of writing. I’d love to hear what you guys thought about the little bits of prose and the screenshots. Also I have a question to you readers, which story line in SWTOR really grabbed you and held on to you from beginning to end? Why did it hold you as a story? I’d love to hear from anyone out there!!! Till next time, may your stories be epic in nature and may your credits flow for ever!

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!

DANGER! Opinions will be expressed! Jedi Knight vs Trooper Story


It’s been a bit over a week since I last posted. I started a few different posts but I have saved them in draft for later exploitation. In the meantime, what have I been doing? Well, it all started with me REALLY hating the Sith Warrior storyline with Darth Barfass..err I mean Baras..sorry bout that M’Lordshipness…. while I really enjoyed the Inquisitor storyline with her super evil smexyness Zash.

But I really wanted to get the 4th buff for all of my toons just to say I had it. After burning no less than 5 Sith Warriors and Star Wars The Old Republic-05-03-2015 13-22-25condemning them to death for failing their Master (ME!) I decided to hop on over to the Light Side and see if I could stomach doing the Jedi Knight story. To my surprise, I really did enjoy it! In the beginning the duel wield spec was well not as powerful as I imagined, till I hit in the 30s and then I was just WOW’d! I got all the way through taking on the Emperor and failing and then escaping and moving onto Belsalvus. The twists and turns were really fun to deal with. Normally I’m not into the whole Jedi mystic thing. I prefer guns..or at least being a Sith evil bastard. So I had to ask myself, what really got me involved with the storyline. Then it hit me. Most of the missions were militaristic in style. Everything was about taking down the Empire’s military capabilities and countering their strategies. It was perfect for a Soldier like me. Except one thing…Most of the really cool strike team quests SHOULD have gone to the Trooper storyline. Ya I said it. The Jedi is supposed to go find Sith Bad actors and slice n’ dice them to pieces. Soldiers are supposed to take down strategic enemy capabilities. The reason I liked the Jedi knight story so much is that most of the quests brought out the Soldier in me. Add in the epic set backs of Orgus’ death and then the Emperor turning my Jedi and you had the epic story everyone craves.

And this broke my heart for the poor Trooper. See, I like the concept of the Trooper class wise. You got ranged DPS, Tanks, Medics, and close Assault troops. Everything you need short of sniper crews. But the story did not at all appeal to me. Really, most of the side quests made more sense than the main storyline. I know some people like it. It’s ok. I didn’t because after numerous years working in the military, Having a character with a motley crew go after a rogue squad that was betrayed by it’s own government didn’t make sense. You don’t use a hammer when you need a scalpel. The storyline really is more suited for secret agents or better yet Bounty Hunters to bring these criminals of the state to justice. Troopers should have been used to take down planet destroying weapon systems, sabotaging key critical infrastructures (Anyone remember Guns of Navarrone or A Bridge too Far?). Ambushing advancing columns or destroying factory capabilities would be suited for the Trooper class. Ultimately the adversary would be Imperial Grand Moffs and what not. Escorting refugees, breaking enemy supply lines or punching through enemy forward Offensive/Defensive lines. These are the life blood missions of a Trooper.

Finally, while there is a very very SMALL probability that a Spec Ops squad/team would go rogue after getting burned by their government, most would go free lance, not serve a long standing enemy that goes against every principle they ever stood for. Then a chain of Command ordering that the unit be taken out by all means necessary? Using a former member of the team to do so? NO! Units are created and stay running because of traditions and esprit de corp. You don’t throw that Star Wars The Old Republic-04-26-2015 16-03-21indoctrination away like it’s a used tissue. It takes one ruthless bastard to go hunt down his former team, even if they served for only a short time. Also, WTF is with demoting that poor LT just because he was a part of the unit?!? That doesn’t happen! He would be investigated and then if found innocent, transferred to a different unit. Not to mention, General Garza taking personal interest in a new Sergeant then promoted Lieutenant…won’t happen. If she was involved, she would recruit people extremely loyal to her agenda, people who were ruthless, without morals, and stone cold killers in order to erase the stain of the rogue squad. This poor Trooper is asked to stand in front of a Senatorial inquiry and more or less dance around all of their questions. Again, not realistic in a means shape or form. See this is why I didn’t enjoy the story. It’s like they used absolutely no common sense from a military point of view.

The only time I had fun on the Trooper was with that brief interlude with Jax. Other than that….nope. Who ever wrote the Jedi Knight Storyline should have been the primary architect of the Trooper Storyline in composition, just gear the story towards military operations. So back to the Jedi story. It really was cool from a tactical sense. I actually enjoyed all of my Companions so far (Scourge being the most recent). The Companions really came alive for me from their personalities and yes that means T7 as well thank you very much. The writing makes it easy enough so that either gender can walk in as a Knight and really come into their own.

This is all that should have happened for the Trooper. Instead we get yes sir no sir right away sir..we’ll hunt down the traitors and that’s that. Anyways, the writers for the Trooper storyline could have consulted with real world military folks to get the real flavor of how a very nationalistic military organization would look, act, and feel. Or something as simple as reading a bit. Need really cool ideas for Soldier Class stories? An awesome source would be Caesar’s Gallic campaigns. While it was written from the roman point of view, daily legionary life was included. Political situations were well documented and an over all strategic scheme was identified. That’s just from history and even then a very small sample.

Bottom Line Up Front: Jedi Knight Class Story beats out Sith Warrior and Trooper Class Storyline for me. Hey drop in your favorite storylines and compare them to your least favorite. Let me know why. In the meantime, this week I’ll be attempting to finish the Jedi knight to 60. Hope everyone has fun out there!

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!