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!

Boneheaded Move


Ever have one of those gaming sessions where ABSOLUTELY nothing was working out for you? You fat finger hot keys, the Star Wars The Old Republic-05-28-2015 6-26-14mouse optic gets a cat hair in it…you zig when you should have zagged. Ya last night was one of those nights. I was so proud to show off my latest upgrade augments to my Raid Leader so he could see yup I been taking his advice seriously and was indeed paying attention to end game stats and rotation. I had been looking forward to raiding because we hadn’t done it in a couple of weeks due to vacations etc. It’s summer time so totally understandable.

I made sure I was early, had my stims at the ready, cleared my cargo space, and was ahead of schedule on getting into the raid site. Yup folks I was damned proud to show my team ethic and hard work. And then it happened. first to die on 2 wipes by being either too far away from our main healer’s AoE heals. Ran right into a massive burst attack. Played to DoT Paint dance too far out to stay alive. For the love of god! It’s bad enough that the Ziost Raid Boss is just not a Sniper’s forte. But geez I could do no right! I felt like a fumbling child N00B all over again. My Raid Lead and fellow raiders were plenty supportive. They were cool with it and we did finally get that boss down.

The one of our members DC’d due to weather. We were told to wait till she got back to open loot. Sounds fair and no big deal. I was trying to blow cat hair out of the mouse and BAM! My old man arthritic fingers fat fingered the auto loot key that I was sworn not to touch. Needless to say I felt like a complete ASS. Out of my remorse, I passed on all the loot pieces. Again, the Leadership wasn’t too mad, and they knew there was a potential for  it to go down that way. I just for the life of me couldn’t get anything right.

So dear readers, you ever have a day when nothing went right for you? Or did I give you the biggest chuckle for the day? Either way, thanks for dropping by and here is to me hoping Wed and next Sunday aren’t quite so traumatic. Take care all, and if you ever do have one of those REALLY bad video game sessions, remember your not alone! Till next time, see ya on the Hyperlanes, fast and easy!

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!

Milestones and Thoughts


Star Wars The Old Republic-05-14-2015 22-29-13First and foremost, my Sniper Mharius hit 60 last Friday. I was pretty happy that I finally got one character to level cap. I also got to attend a Guild OP against the Ziost world Boss and Raid Boss. In itself, the fights were very fun to do. But it left me craving more and more and more like a lethal injection of heroin. For the Raid boss, we wiped the first time, but nailed him the second round. I really enjoyed the team work and our Raid lead did an excellent job at explaining what we had to do when. Once we shook the rust off, everything worked like clockwork. So, it was a huge milestone for me to knock out and I enjoyed every minute of it.

The Revan Quest line: Very fun to do. I enjoyed the interactions and the storyline. I especially enjoyed the little side quest where I get to link up with Keeper again to help out Shara. That was the coolest side quest to date. They need more of them.  Interesting side note, and I’m not sure if it was BioWare doing it on purpose or were just taking lazy shortcuts. Star Wars The Old Republic-05-16-2015 8-41-07Previously, up through Makeb, the only flirt options were through opposite genders. Yet from Revan forward, same gender flirt option exist. Now, if it was purposely done, then why not for the previous content? Did the SWTOR galaxy all of a sudden evolve to accept same gender attractions? I dunno. personally, I’m all for options for different immersion play, so it didn’t bother me in the least. It was simply a curiosity point.

Yavin Dailies: I HATE dailies. It’s repetitive and very not fun after a while.

The Ziost Quest Line: It really started well. I got to see old comrades link up again against an even more insidious evil than before. The quest mechanics for movement and getting to different points were entertaining as were the fights. Then…it died…TOO QUICKLY! It’s like they rushed through a quick story and left you feeling rode hard and put up wet. It took me less than 2 days to complete this series and I’m one for exploring and poking about and doing every quest. Then the world turns to dust and your left doing dailies that really don’t have purpose or meaning except to collect currency and turn it in. Why do I say this? The world is dead. I have no reason to go there anymore in the immersive side of the house. See, I could go back to Rishi and continue operations there. But they did this for Yavin too. Dailies should have a purpose and DEFINITELY need to be more than a damned computer relay message. That does annoy me. If I am going to have to do rep grinds, make them entertaining. Give me a reason to be there to re-grind the same damned things. Even though I don’t like the Yavin dailies, at least I know I’m there to keep Imperial/Republic cooperation going on to thwart the Emperor’s dark designs. Ziost…the Emperor won. And I get it. Sometimes the darkest days bring about the most awesome stories. But I just have no stomach to dig through the ashes of a dead planet. Hope at least it is a segue into a futher storyline for the next expansion.

Yavin Stronghold…WHERE IS IT?!?!?!?! I really wanted to see this and explore and buy.

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Ok, those are quick ramblings. Since Mharius is at 60 and in general OPs mode with our guild, I am working my army of alts. Jhexi, my Mercenary Bounty Hunter is my current leveling piece. She is a fun, wicked looking Cyborg that I plan on incorporating into a future fan fic storyline along with Mharius. Food for thought, these short expansions may bring a quick buck here or there, but they need a lot more meat and potatoes to keep long-standing players interested. I think BioWare got me addicted to their excellent storytelling, and Ziost just felt rushed, not nearly as interesting as the other pre 55 stories. It is my hope that this situation improves for their next expansion. I’d rather wait a few extra months and get quality immersion out of it than short content releases that are hap hazard and just a quick tyvm for your time. Yup, I love the game, I really enjoy raiding with my fellow guild mates. I enjoy decorating my stronghold. I love the quests I can choose from. There is so much in this game I am still exploring. Ziost though, probably not my favorite run.