Friday, October 24, 2014

Sneak Peek: Social Questing

For the last few weeks I have been working on a new projects:  Social Questing.  This is actually the next generation of Sites with Benefits.  The big difference is the new version is much more user friendly.  Social Questing is a system which lets you create quests (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Twitch etc) for your users to do.  They get points which they can spend in your reward store.  I put together a quick video that shows it off.

If you would like to help me beta test Social Questing, let me know!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cartel Pack Pricing

For the latest Cartel pack, Seneschal, BioWare decided to raise the price a bit.  Lately, they have cost 210 Cartel Coins per pack and ~4400 per hypercrate (24 packs).  The new price is 300 per pack and roughly 6500 per hypercrate.  If my math is correct, that's a 42% increase.

Eric responded to players concerns stating that the pricing is still cheaper than some previous packs which were priced around 320 cartel coins.  They were just raising the price closer to normal levels.

It is, of course, BioWare's prerogative to raise the price.  I do think it was a mistake though.  The hypercrate price especially.  With the old price, you could purchase a 5,500 Cartel Coin card for $40 and buy a hypercrate.  Now with the price above 6k, you may need to make a second purchase.  I think this will lead to less sales for them.  You want to make it as easy as possible for people to spend money.

I know I have been tempted to buy a hypercrate lately, but the new cost has done a good job in keeping me from doing that.  As for the individual pack price increase, I am less concerned.  I'll still buy a few of each.  Although, this does drop the amount a subscriber can buy with their stipend from 2 down to 1.

Has the new price affected your purchases?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's wrong with me?

By all accounts, I should be all over Elite Dangerous.  I love space trading games, well I used to anyway.  ED looks like the pinnacle of that type of game.  The graphics look amazing and the scope is just crazy ( 400 billion stars!).  It also supports a solo mode, which is right up my alley.  So why aren't I playing it right now?

Honestly, I start to get excited about it, then I think of the actual gameplay.  The act of trading just looks so tedious.  Docking and flying place to place looks like it will get old real fast.  Sure, you can buy a docking computer, but you still have to fly from point A to point B.  I'm just not sure I want to spend my precious free time doing that.

They are adding mining in Beta 3, but that looks pretty tedious too.  I like making decisions and planning, not doing menial labor.  So that is the main reason I haven't jumped on the Elite Dangerous bandwagon.  It is still tempting though, and I am always just one good story away from jumping in.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Turn Up the Radio

I love that song.  Yesterday, I posted about being stuck decorating my stronghold.  Well, that pretty much cleared itself up.  When I logged in, I found my item had sold for 750,000 credits on the GTN.  Not only that,  there was a Jukebox: Stellar Hits priced at 700,000 credits.  Needless to say, I scooped that sucker up right away!

I am really happy with my purchase. Turns out it has multiple songs.  I count 3 so far, plus two of them have vocals.  I was not expecting that, as I don't remember any cantina's with singing going on.  Now that the jukebox is installed, I am going to purchase the cantina bundle off of the Cartel Market.

A while ago I spent some time raising my CZ-198 reputations so I could purchase a pair of Info Screens for my stronghold.  Last night, I finally got around to purchasing them.  I had to first make a couple of Universal Prefab MK-3's.  The end result looks pretty good I think.

While on CZ-198 I did the dailies again for extra cash.  I figured I may as well since I was there.  This was the first time I did them while spec'd as a DPS.  It was quite a bit quicker when not playing as a healer.

Finally, I tested a theory.  I purchased another Seneschal pack figuring I was sure to get a Jukebox now that I had one.  Much to my surprise, I didn't get one.  I thought for sure the RNG would have a sense of humor.

Monday, October 20, 2014

SWTOR Problems

I have to admit, I have not done too much decorating of my Stronghold lately.  The Officer's Club, which is what I have planned to do next has stalled.  This is mainly due to me missing one item: a Jukebox.  What kind of cantina does not have some music?  A pretty poor one.  It would really tie the room together. The dude abides.

The Jukeboxes are obtained through Cartel Packs, and I have not been lucky enough to get one.  They can also be bought off of the GTN, but generally run around 900k credits on my server.  I'm just not prepared to spend that much.  I did get a nice tunic, I forget the name, from a Seneschal pack which seems to sell for ~800k.  So if I manage to sell that,  I'll spend the credits on a Jukebox.

So these are the kinds of problems facing me in SWTOR right now.  It's funny what a housing system can add to the game.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Episode 13: Seneschal Packs and 12x XP

This week, a new Cartel Pack hit the market.  In the Seneschal Pack, there are a few items that look pretty attractive to me.  First is the Massive Anti-Air turret which looks amazing.  The next is the always just out of reach jukebox.  I ended up opening up 5 packs, did I get anything that I want?  During the second half of the video I talk a bit about the 12x XP bonus which came with the Shadow of Revan pre-order.

P.S.  Seneschal means:  the steward or major-domo of a medieval great house

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Discipline Calculator

SWTOR is changing from a skill tree system to a more streamlined version called Disiplines.  But why talk about it, when you can see for yourself?  Data miner swtor_miner from reddit put together a very neat calculator based on information from the recent live stream.  It looks pretty much like the in-game version.  That kind of UI work is beyond me, so I am pretty impressed.  Go give it a try!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Too much of a good thing?

I am a big fan of the 12x XP boost for class missions in SWTOR.  However, I do wonder if it is actually good for the game.  It clearly has upside, I have seen a lot of people jumping back into the game to do their class stories.  This is sure to fill the BioWare coffers at least in the short term.

But how many of these returning players will stick around beyond  December 1st?  This really isn't a downside, as some portion of them will stay who probably wouldn't have otherwise.  Then you have players who spend their time creating alts.  They'll be able to level them up much quicker.  Will they run out of things to do and quit the game?

I really hope the latter does not happen, as alts are a big part of SWTOR's draw.  Keeping those players around is important to the health of the game.  Other games have introduced level boosting, which completely bypasses the leveling process.  So maybe I am just worrying over nothing?

Do you think the 12x bonus will negatively impact the game?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How much would I pay?

Yesterday, I wrote about SWTOR's 12x XP bonus for class missions.  In that post, I mentioned that I'd like to see that boost in the Cartel Market.  So the question is, how much is it worth?  I'd like to see it at 1,200 Cartel Coins per character.  That comes out to be around $10.  Not coincidentally, it is around the same price as a book.

BioWare could also go the route of rewarding the boost in the game.  On Twitter, two different ways were mentioned.  One was the boost could be a legacy level 50 reward.  My only problem with this is that a lot of folks at that level may already have full grown alts.  So it may not be very useful.

The other idea was to split the bonus among leveled classes.  So when you reach 55 on a Trooper, you get a 3x boost.  Once you level four, you have the full 12x boost for the other four.  I think this is a better idea than the Legacy level, but it still wouldn't benefit me fully.

So I am going to be selfish and stick with the Cartel Market.  I estimate BioWare would get $60 worth of Cartel Coins from me if they added this to the store at $10 a pop.

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's Raining XP

One of the perks of being a subscriber and pre-ordering the Shadow of Revan expansion is that you get a 12x XP bonus from now until December 1st.  This bonus applies only to class missions, but is enough so that you can level solely by doing them.  This is a pretty amazing bonus.

I'm the kind of player who only likes doing content once.  The same goes for books and most movies.  Once I see or read them, I don't really go back to them again.  The same goes for the majority of quests in SWTOR.  I go through the content once and have a hard time doing them again on alts.  That's the beauty of class missions, it provides a new experience.

With this boost, I can just do new stuff.  That is pretty awesome.  It's not perfect though.  Since the boost has an expiration, I feel rushed.  I don't want to force all of the class stories into a tight window.  Instead I'd like to take my time. During this bonus XP period, my goal is to get my Imperial Agent to 55.  If there is time left, I'll start on another character.

I really hope BioWare puts this bonus in the Cartel Market.  That way I won't be rushed to take advantage of it, and BioWare will make some extra money.  Sounds like a win win to me.