Friday, September 4, 2015

Buyers Remorse?

Yesterday, I bought my first ever Hypercrate (24 Cartel Packs) in SWTOR.  It's pricey, so do I regret it?  Not really.  It was fun and I did get some cool stuff.  It isn't something I am going to do regularly though,  it's just too much to spend on gambling.  I'd really be in trouble if BioWare started to sell more cool stuff directly as that is hard to resist.

So, what did I get?  Sadly, no jackpot items.  Those would be the Malgus Statue and the Jetpack.  I would have sold them and retired to some island on Rishi.  I did get some Havoc armor pieces, which are nice looking and valuable.  I have not decided whether or not to keep or sell them.  They would not change my Troopers look all that much.  I also got some Ravager pieces which I wanted for my Sith Warrior who doesn't exist yet.

Decoration wise, I got some cool stuff.  Top on my list was the Imperial Command Center, which I received two of.  I may just keep both since it is so cool.  I also got a pair of Dark Honor Guards, you know the red armor guys.  Add in a pair of Imperial Ceiling Lights which make the room a nice shade of red, and it was a good haul.  I did not get an Imperial Security Console, so I'll have to pick that up off of the GTN.

Overall, it was fun.  Between this and the Zakuul items, I spent quite a bit on SWTOR the last month.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Search for More Money

I used to play the Auction House in WoW, and traded a bunch in Eve.  Economic PvP can be a lot of fun, plus getting virtually rich is nice.  That was many years ago though.  Recently,  SWTOREconomics (aka Andrew) posted an article about cornering a market which rekindled my interest in the GTN.  So I started to look around a bit.  I'm a bit too risk adverse for his methods.

I've fallen into bad habits.  I basically rely on the Cartel Market for credits.  I don't buy much except for Stronghold decorations, some of which can be pretty expensive.  So I'll buy a pack and toss it on on the GTN.  Can easily earn credits that way.  It does suck though and still feels like 'cheating.'  It's just so easy and takes very little time.  I'd much rather earn them through in-game means though.

I'd like to use crafting as a means for credits, but have not been having much luck.  The margins just seem to be so small.  That means it'll take a lot of time, which I'd rather spend playing.  I used to make good money crafting Barrels for use during leveling, but 12xp has made that a less viable strategy.  The end-game components require high-end group content (grrr).  

I refuse to do dailies.  So,  I'll keep poking around to see if I can find a good market to get into.  I'm not the brightest bulb when it comes to money making opportunities.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Expensive Week

Yesterday, SWTOR released the Wild Space Cartel Pack.  This is one of the better ones they have done in my opinion.  There are a few interesting armor sets, and a bunch of cool decorations.  It's actually good enough for me to buy my first Hypercrate (24 packs).  Only took a couple of years to get me to buy one.  I'm still preparing for my purchase, as inventory space is key to unpacking everything.

Not only do I want the Hypercrate, they also put Treek on sale (50% off).  Treek is considered one of the best companions, functionally.  However, I care not about that.  I do not like Ewoks, so I never bought her.  Little Teddy Bears defeating the Empire, come on!  However,  it does feel like my collection is lacking something so I'll pick her up too.  So we are talking ~6500 Cartel Coins going out this week.  Yikes.

At least they aren't really charging for Knights of the Fallen Empire, so I guess it evens out.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

SWTOR Isn't Changing That Much

Ever since information started coming out about the Fallen Empire expansion, I have seen comments that 'the game they love is changing too much.'  This feeling is partly BioWare's fault due to the way they have been releasing information.  I think a lot of it is misunderstandings though.  The game really isn't changing that radically.

Questing.  Doing quests in SWTOR is going to be the same as it was before.  Still voiced and with cinematics.  Leveling will be almost all about your class story, like it is now with 12x xp.  It is unclear what will happen with the one-off side quests.

Combat.  Still the same, with some minor stat changes.  New ability for each class.

Classes.  No major changes, just 5 more levels.

PvP.  No changes here (sadly).

Companions.  There are mechanical changes with companions, but overall they are staying the same.  You'll still get them while you'll level up and they'll still have their quests.  There will still be romance, if that's what your into.  You'll now just be able to use them in any role, and also be able to get more of them.  You don't have to lose any companion from your class either as BioWare made a way for you to obtain them again.

Flashpoints.  They aren't going anywhere.  In fact,  they will all now have solo modes, and be available to the level cap.  So if you missed them while leveling, they are still there for you to do.

Strongholds.  Still there.

Crafting.  All indications are that it remains basically the same, but more streamlined. You'll still be doing crew skills too.

Operations.  They will now all be available at the level cap.  So if you missed any due to playing later in the games life, they'll be useful to do again.

Fallen Empire.  We'll be getting a new story, with monthly updates.  There will be some 'break' with the pre-60 game, but you'll still be able to go everywhere you could before.

Oulander.  Just a name, there will still be class specific dialog/flavor.  Although no class specific quests :(

BioWare has been building towards this since Shadow of Revan.  So I would not expect something radically different than that and Ziost gameplay wise.  There are a lot of changes, but the way you play the game will still be pretty much the same.  You may have to think on choices more :)



Monday, August 31, 2015

Things to do before Fallen Empire

We've got about 50 days before early access starts for the SWTOR Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion.  Doesn't seem that far away actually.  Things are going to change quite a bit for level 60 characters once they accept the quest.  Rumor has it some content will become unavailable at that point.  So, what should we be doing before that happens?

1)  Companion Quests.  You know, the ones we get through affection.  Since companions will be lost, now is the time to do them.  I'm grinding out companion gift missions to get this done.  Of course, BioWare said there will be a non-story way for us to access some old companions, so these *might* still be available.  I'm not going to take that chance though.

2)  Solo Flashpoints.  They are making the Flashpoints all adaptive, so that likely means no more soloing the old underlevel instances.  HOWEVER, they are adding Solo modes.  So if you want to do it the old fashioned solo way, now is the time.  No solo Operations, so if you still want to try those, do it soon.  Might want to try and solo those older Hard Mode flashpoints now.

3)  Makeb Gazebo.  They are removing the achievement that nets you this decoration.  It's part of an effort to make the Staged quests more like the rest of the quests.  Read more here:  http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=8407161#edit8407161

There is probably a bunch of other stuff, but we still know so little about what's happening with the leveling experience.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Companions and their Gear

One of the big announcements to come out of the SWTOR livestream was that companions will no longer gain stats from the gear you give them.  They will still use the cosmetics though.  Instead, they grow in power as you level.  Right now, you gear them as you would yourself.  At first, I was a little worried about this change.  But, now I think it is a good one.

On the surface, gearing your companions is neat.  I like party management.  However, it quickly loses its luster.  If you have one character, you could have around 8 companions.  Ok, that's manageable.  Have an Alt?  That's 16, have 5 alts?  That's 40.  It quickly becomes unmanageable.  You end up only really using one maybe two of your companions because they have gear.  The rest just sit around.

One thing BioWare did not mention in the livestream is that individual characters are going to have more companions than ever.  We'll have 5 story companions, that's known.  We can also reclaim our classes old companions in a non-story way.  We can also get some other classes companions.  We will also be able to get companions from the Cartel Market.  It's becoming more of a collectible system than the static system we had.

I certainly don't want to spend the majority of my time collecting modules so I can use this myriad of companions.  Now, I'm sure some people do like that.  Someone always likes something you wouldn't expect.  Honestly,  these days I don't even care how my companions are geared, just that they are at level and look decent.  I'm sure I am not alone.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

SWTOR Livestream Impressions

No Spoilers here.  Last night SWTOR had their first real showing of the Fallen Empire expansion.  Overall, it was good.  There were some technical difficulties which caused an outage, and some volume issues.  The stream quality was not great either, but I don't think that's a big deal.  I can certainly wait to see it for myself.  Now, on to the actual reveal.

Demo.  They showed ~10 minutes from Chapter 3.  This looked really good.  The art and world team  did an amazing job.  BioWare seems to be continuing their focus on quality.  The cinematics were top notch.  The world we saw was detailed and expansive.  Gameplay was what you would expect, nothing new there.  So yeah, it was really cool.

Companions.  They answered a few of the most common companion system questions (no spoilers).  Now, if you already read the data mined information you probably didn't learn anything new.  If you didn't though, this was good information.  It was nice to hear BioWare come out and say it.  You can check out the official wrap-up at:  http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=832008

I'm sure some people will be disappointed with the presentation, not me though.  Saw some cool stuff, and am still excited for October 20th to get here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Zakuul Mount

Yeah, I bought it.  Who cares if it makes little sense lore wise?  Like the armor, it looks cool and is fun.  That's good enough for me.  Surprisingly it was only 1,500 Cartel Coins.  I was expecting something north of 2,000.  I gave it to my Zakuul loving Bounty Hunter, and he was putting around Hutta with it.





Tonight is a big night, the Fallen Empire live stream!  Normally, this would not be a big deal, but it's the first time we are really going to get non-marketing info about the expansion.  Less than two months until early access starts too.  It happens at 8pm EDT.  There is a chance I may miss it due to a family comflict, if so I'll watch it in the morning.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Prologues

I recently started up a Bounty Hunter in SWTOR.  I played one a little bit back in beta, so it is mostly new to me.  The main reason he was created was so I could wear the Zakuul Knight armor, and also drive the Zakuul Dropship mount being released today.

I think the Prologues are some of the best parts of the game.  Everything feels so new, so many possibilities.  The stories are mostly pretty good on the starting planet.  They are not too big either.  You only have a few abilities, you pick your advanced class, you get your first companion.  It's just a great time.

There are still two stories I have never seen any parts of:  Sith Warrior and the Smuggler.  I'll likely get to these in the coming year.  I'm definitely going to wait until Fallen Empire streamlines the leveling process.  This Bounty Hunter will join the chapter rotation eventually.  Right now, the Jedi Knight is the true character I am working on in Chapter 2.

If only we could have even more prologues.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Enter Camelot Unchained

Late last week, I finally got around to backing the Camelot Unchained project.  It's been around two years since it started.  Wow, has it been that long really?  It has gone quick.  Anyway,  the main reason I didn't back at the start was the sheer amount of time it takes to make a MMO.  Putting money up for something I may not get to play (in any form) for several years is a tough proposition for me.

However,  the game is going strong and beta is coming up soon.  There was a delay, and the new date has not been announced yet.    However, it is a timeframe that I am more comfortable with.

Long ago, when Warhammer Online was still alive and kicking, I had a plan.  I've always been a two subscription MMO kinda player.  I wanted them to be WAR for PvP and SWTOR for PvE.  I've been missing the front part of that equation though.  With Camelot Unchained on the horizon, I will hopefully be able to fix it.

The thing I really like about CU is their philosophy of not pleasing every MMO segment.  They want a RvR focused MMO and that's what players are going to get.  It's all about that.  No PvE areas like we had in WAR.  That's fine with me as I never really ventured out of the RvR lakes.

The development team is quite open, so that should keep me busy until Beta happens.