Friday, August 30, 2013

My New Resolution

I know, it's a bit early to make a resolution.  But hey, it's Friday and I need a post.  I've decided to make a change in how I play games.  For the longest time, I have been a solo player.  I play single player games, and generally play alone in online games too.

So for my resolution, I will try and become a more social gamer.  This means joining a guild in SWTOR ( I'm looking at you TORWars), playing MOBA's with some friends instead of just solo, and play other online games with people.  It's going to be tough as I am pretty set in my ways.  I do feel like it is time for a change though, and this could be just what I need.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What I won't buy from BioWare

I'm cheap, there I said it.  It's hard to pry open my coin purse and get me to buy things from online game stores.  There are some cases where I'm willing to make a purchase though.  Then there are things I just will not buy from a store.

Cartel Packs.  I will use my monthly allotment to purchase one pack from every new set.  That is as far as I'll go though.  You won't find my buying Cartel Coins just so I can get more Cartel Packs.  I hate the unknown nature of them.  I'm just not a gambler.

Stat Gear.  I don't mind buying vanity gear, like the Gold Scalene set.  However, I won't buy gear with stats on them.  It just doesn't feel right to get those kind of items outside of the game.

Pets.  I've just never been a fan of vanity pets.

Companions.  This is a tough one.  Even though I'm not her biggest fan, Treek is still tempting.  I just feel that companion characters should be obtainable view in game quests.  HK-51 was a perfect example,  he had a wonderful quest line.  I think BioWare missed out on a great opportunity to do it again with Treek.

How about you?  What won't you spend money on?

Monday, August 26, 2013

PvP: Rift vs SWTOR

Lately, my two games of choice have been SWTOR and Rift.  I'm subscribed to the first game and a free player for the second.  However, Rift's F2P model has little in the way of restrictions, so I can PvP as much as I please.

Ever since I left WAR, there has been a void in my gaming life.  That void has been PvP.  I really miss it, so I've been looking for something to help fill that void.  My first choice was SWTOR since I was already playing.  To be clear, I consider SWTOR a PvE game, so my PvP expectations are not very high.

PvP in SWTOR is pretty limited.  You have a handful of Warzones (scenarios) and that's about it.  There are world PvP opportunities in the Gree Event, but I have not experienced much on that front.  In patch 2.4, SWTOR will be introducing arenas which feature a solo queue.  That certainly kicks things up a notch, but so far my time spent on the PTS has not left me with a great feeling.  We'll see how it goes once it is live.

Overall, I don't have nearly as much fun in Warzones as I did in WAR's scenarios.  It's hard to put my finger on why exactly.  Part of it is due to all the CC and interrupts, but that could just be because I'm a Commando healer.

Next up is Rift.  Rift also offers their version of scenarios called Warfronts.  There are a limited amount of them, but some feature alternate rulesets which help liven things up.  Rift also has a mega-warfront called Conquest, which is a 3 way pvp zone.  I have yet to experience it, so I can't offer my thoughts about it.  There are also PvP Rifts, of which I know nothing about.

For me, warfronts are more enjoyable than SWTOR's offering.  I don't feel as locked down by CC and Interrupts like I do in SWTOR.  There is also the frequency at which they pop.  Rift uses cross server technology and they are always popping, which is a big plus.

Then there is the clincher.  When you kill an enemy in Rift, you get Experience, Favor and coin.  I never realized how much I missed that small detail.  In SWTOR, you only get rewarded at the end of the match.  There is just something very satisfying about receiving those small incremental rewards.

So for PvP, I would have to give the edge to Rift.  SWTOR may make a comback with arenas, but only time will tell.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sweet Rift Mount

I have been playing Rift a bit lately, as it is now free to play.  Most of my time has been spent in warfronts doing PvP.  I eventually hit 25 and was able to purchase a new mount.  I opted for the an Eldritch Steed.  These guys are like clockwork horses, very cool I thought.  It also marks the first time I used Rift Credits, as it cost 40.  I figured I'd save my platinum... for something.  Here is my Dwarf styling on his new mount.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rift 2.4 Giveaway on The Noobist

I have been playing a good bit of Rift lately, as it has been giving me my PvP fix.  I do miss WAR, but Rift has some of the same features and is being actively updated.  That's a post for another time though.  This one is about a Giveaway!

I am running it over on The Noobist.  To go along with the giveaway, we have a Q&A with Rift's Creative Director, Bill Fisher.  It's pretty decent, so go give it a read.  The 2.4 patch is shaping up to be pretty big (much like SWTOR's of the same version).

There are a bunch of new missions to do, so it is serving as a nice test bed for Sites with Benefits.  Youtube watching and subscribing are both new kinds of missions which seem to be working well.

On to the rewards!

3 x Infinity Edition Storm Legion Expansion Packs.  Basically the Collectors Edition for the Expansion pack.  You get a mount and other good stuff.

6 x 30-Day Patron Pass.  This is their subscriber tier.  You get bonus... everything pretty much.

Interested?  Head on over to and get started!  The widget is on the right side of the screen.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

SWTOR Arena Impressions

Star Wars: The Old Republic's 2.4 patch went live on the PTS over the weekend.  The highlight of the patch is the addition of an arena system.  I hopped onto the test server Friday to check it out for myself.  I was really surprised at the turnout.  There were usually 90 people in Fleet, just on the Republic side.  That doesn't count all of the players in the arenas either.

I came to the PTS to test out the solo queue ranked arenas.  So I immediately queued up for them.  Overall I played ten matches, below are my first impressions.

Quick.  The queues were popping at a decent rate.  It really helps you can fight your own side.  Lore wise it was strange to be paired up against the Republic, but gameplay wise it is nice to have quicker matchmaking.
The matches themselves were also quick, 5 minutes max per round of which there could be 3.  So unlike a MOBA game, these will end much quicker.  That's great for me who sometimes only has a half hour to play at a time.

Healer.  I am a healing spec'ed Trooper, and it was pretty brutal.  The 'kill the healer first' strategy was in full effect for most of my matches.  I was pounced on, cc'd, and interrupted constantly.  I can't say it was very fun.  Kiting is not much of an option on my Trooper as his heals have a cast time.  This may make me want to go DPS, we'll see.

Bugs.  I did encounter a few bugs.  The one that stood out was the AFK timer kicking us out of the warzone before the match even started.  BioWare has acknowledged this issue and said it will be fixed.  Funny, I remember the same issues affecting WAR way back when.

Stealth.  I was getting decimated by stealthed groups.  They can group stealth up to me then just alpha strike me down, since they were going after the healer.  My gear also did not help the situation even with the bolster in effect.  In any case, I need to invest in PvP gear soon.

Matchmaking.  Out of the ten matches I played, I'd say the matchmaking worked in five of them.  That means we had full teams with matching roles.  The rest of the time it started with lopsided teams.  I suspect it happens because people miss the popup telling them their match is ready.

As you can see, I had a stellar 1 - 9 record on the PTS!  Not all of the losses were my fault, but some of them were.  Behold my 934 raiting!  No idea what a high raiting is, as I don't think there is a leaderboard yet. I was just not feeling it as a healing Commando :-/

Monday, August 19, 2013

Arenas in SWTOR and I am excited?

Arenas in MMO's are something I have never really participated in.  It is likely due to the fact that I am not much of a social gamer.  In most arena implementations, they require a pre-made team to take part in.  Whereas warzones (scenarios, warfronts etc) are designed for solo players to take part in.  So, what about SWTOR's arenas has me excited.

Smart Queuing.  The most interesting feature of arenas is how it does queuing.  Instead of just putting random players together based on their rating, it takes a look at how a player is specced.  That means it match you up against a group of the same composition.  If your a healer, the opposing team will likely have a healer too.  This should result in more fair matches.

Solo Queue.  Instead of requiring a pre-made group, you can queue solo for arenas.  This is a great feature for me,  as I was not likely to take the time to find a group.  It uses the Smart Queuing to try and make a 'fair' match.

ELO Ranking.  Say what you want about MOBA's, their ranking system can be very addicting.  Adding this to SWTOR arenas which have a solo queue sounds pretty awesome to me.  It'll be interesting to see how well the matchmaking works with the new queuing technique.  The more conditions you add,m the slower arenas will pop.

Settings.  Baron Deathmark is back with soem great voice overs for the arenas.  BioWare will be launching this new feature with three maps:  Tatooine, Corellia, and a Space Station.  They also mention that another map will launch soon after 2.4

More Players.  After 2.4 launches, BioWare will be lifting the warzone restriction from free to play.  That means more meat for the grinder!  More players also means faster queue time.  Seems like a winning situation for everyone involved.

Now that the details about arenas has been revealed, I am much more interested than I was before.  I will definitely be participating in solo queue on the PTS and hopefully when the game goes live.

Friday, August 16, 2013

BioWare WILL get my money

Not too long ago I wrote about what kind of items would get me to purchase Cartel Coins.  Well, BioWare went a different route and will most definitely get me to pry open my coin purse.  So, how did they accomplish this feat?

Get ready to purchase Cartel Coins from inside the game! We’re working on a more convenient way for you to purchase Cartel Coins directly from the Cartel Market.
Plus, Subscribers will have a limited-time opportunity to save 50% on their first in-game purchase of Cartel Coins!

A 50% discount is how they will do it.  I will likely purchase the largest denomination they have since it'll be half off.   What will I use the coins for?  I'm not sure yet.  I have been thinking of moving my characters from The Ebon Hawk to The Shadowlands server and join up with the TORWars guild.  I have 4 characters I'd need to transfer, so it still won't be cheap.

Then again, maybe I'll just save them for a rainy day.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

SWTOR Data Dump: Rakghoul Plague gets PvP?

I was very surprised to learn, via Reddit, that SWTOR's 2.4 patch had been pushed to the live servers!  2.3 just came out, BioWare means business with this 8 week content cycle.  Of course, when I tried top patch it said it needed to be repaired.  A long while later, I was ready to get data-mining.

There is a load of data to go over, but one thing stood out at me: new entries for the Rakghoul Plague.  It certainly looks like BioWare will be bringing this event back, but in an altered form.  In fact, based on the data below, it looks like they are adding a PvP component to the event.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

State of WAR

Sadly, this will be a quick post.  While I don't play WAR anymore, I still keep checking in on it to see what's going on.  There have been no developer posts for months now.  The 1.4.9 patch which was in development and placed on the PTS has not made it live yet.  The patch was pushed to the PTS four months ago.

The last communication we received from Mythic was on June 17th.  It basically said that they would no longer be selling 6 month subscription game time codes.  The explanation was that they were not used very often.  The tin-foil hat explanation is that WAR does not have 6 months left.  I guess we will find out soon.

I wish Mythic would communicate with the players, they are still playing monthly subscriptions.  I'd even consider coming back if I knew Mythic was still working on the game.  For all its faults, Warhammer Online still has some of the best PvP out there.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Werit on the TORWars Podcast

I am a big fan of the TORWars Podcast.  I listen to it at work every week.  It helps the mornings go by a bit quicker.  So when I was asked if I wanted to be a guest on it, I happily agreed.  I think this marks the second Podcast I have been on, the first being for the Warhammer Alliance.

During this weeks podcast, we talk a bit about SWTOR's upcoming content, current happenings and some of the data mining work I have been doing.  Give it a listen, you can find it at the link below.

Thanks to the TORWars crew for having me!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Werit does Second Chance Heroes

Last week, myself and several other member of the set out on an adventure in Second Chance Heroes.  What is Second Chance Heroes you ask?  From their website it is a:  Co-Op Arcade Action Adventure game.  It is being created by Rocket City Studios whose Creative Director is Josh Drescher.  You might remember him from Warhammer Online.

The game is allows up to four players to group together, which we happened to have.  Prior to starting, you choose two Heroes which you want to take into the level with you.  You can switch freely between the two at any time.  The Heroes are pretty unique as far as games go.  They are historical figures from a lot of different time periods.  Reminds me of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure since you collect them.

When completing a level you get rewarded, one of the items you can receive is a new hero.  I got Nikola Tesla as a reward, who is very fun to play.  Another player got Julius Caesar. You can also get Relics which are reusable items.  For example, I got the Holy Grill which sets an enemy on fire.  Another one I received summoned a robot to fight along side you.

Second Chance Heroes is funny game which never takes itself too serious.  The levels we played took place in a mall overrun with all sorts of creatures.  Werewolves, Zombies, Vampires, Cheesburgers were all out to get us.  Yes, there are man eating Cheesburgers in the game.  There was also a boss who rained down ladies shoes.

If I were to pick a game that Second Chance Heroes was like, it would be the old arcade game Gauntlet.  That game was also a 4 player co-op, and featured a ton of enemies to slaughter.  Of course, in Gauntlet you only had a few choices of who to play.  In Second Chance Heroes there are a lot more, and the developers keep adding additional heroes to the game.  Another difference is that you can upgrade

Want to know more about the game?  Check out this preview over at the  There is also a video of our play session you can watch.  Remember the game is in beta though which you can sign up for here.  I had a lot of fun playing the game, especially with some friends while on Skype.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Mind Blown

Paradox Interactive is one of my favorite developers.  It all started around 13 years ago when I found out about a game called Europa Universalis.  I immediately found a store, yes an actual store, that sold it and bought it that night.  Ever since then, I've pretty much bought every game they have put out.

That includes the latest game in the EU series, Europa Universalis 4.  I've had it pre-ordered for a while now, but Paradox recently announced that they were including a CK2 to EU4 converter!  That means you can take your saved Crusader Kings 2 game, and convert it into an EU4 start.  How amazing is that?

The next step, a EU4 to Victoria 2 converter!  Sadly, that is only in my dreams for now, but we are getting closer to one all encompassing strategy game from Paradox.  Now I just need to really get myself into a CK2 game, which has been a challenge for me.  I'm not sure what about CK2 puts me off, but it is time for me to get over it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Me and My Jalopy

There are a lot of mounts in SWTOR.  For a while I used the Longspur STAP which I got through the Collectors Edition. Or was it just for pre-ordering... I don't remember.  Then I switched to the Custom-Built Hoverbike which my CyberTech Jedi Knight built.

They were nice and all, but they were not the classic Star Wars mount.  That would be the Speeder.  I had not come across one of those yet, so when the Chevin Scavenger Hunt came along I was very happy to see a speeder bike, the Hyrotii Scrapper, was one of the rewards.

Sure, it's a bit beat up.  It's also rather slow, as it only provides a 90% speed bonus.  That speed has gotten me killed in world PvP.  Unlike newer mounts, this one does not scale to your piloting rank.  I just love the look of this mount.  The smoke trail, the electrical shorts, it just suits me.  It would be perfect if BioWare made it adaptive like the other speeders.  Another thing it has going for it is that no one else uses it.

There is a mount I would ditch the Scrapper for, the Avalanche Heavy Tank tank mount you can get from the Explosive Conflict Operation.  I have zero chance of getting it, but it looks very awesome, and it's a tank!  Come to think of it, I might buy something like that if they ever offer it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

EverQuest Next not for me?

The big news story this week is the first reveal of SOE's new game, EverQuest Next.  They discussed it at length at their Vegas conference.  It has been long anticipated and it seems like it has lived up to the hype.  However, I'm sad to say it may not be the game for me.

Don't get me wrong, it sounds fantastic.  Flexible class system, destructible environments, building, emphasis on crafting, Storybricks powered AI all sound great.  Normally I would be very excited about such a game.  It looks like a very engaging sandbox MMO.

Therein lies the problem for me.  At this point in my life a sandbox game, whether it be a MMO or not, is hard for me to get into.  To get the most out of that type of game you need be able to devote a sizable chunk of time.  Between work, family, and projects I just don't have the time anymore.  I barely scratched the surface of Skyrim too.

Part of what makes a sandbox game so interesting is the prospect of making your own story.  If you have the time, you can do some great things in a sandbox.  If you're short on time, then there is just not as much potential.  It's the same reason I don't play Eve Online.  I have ambitions in the game, all of which require much more time than I have to give.

That's one reason I prefer the theme park model in SWTOR right now.  I like being a part of a story and going at my own pace.  My sandbox is life outside of games and I just don't think I have time for two of them.  If only I was back in college, or the time before kids, then I'd be all in for a game like this.

Will I try EverQuest Next out? Of course, it looks awesome.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Twitch and Pinterest Missions

Lately, I have been working on one of my side projects:  Sites with Benefits.  SwB is a promotion and giveaway system.  I've used it for a number of contests.  Basically, your readers can do missions, earn points, and buy rewards.  You can see the widget on the right side of the screen.  I've recently added two new kinds of missions.

Twitch.  This mission allows you to reward your users for following a given twitch channel.  They go to the channel, follow it, and then enter their username in the widget.

Pinterest. I'm not a Pinterest user, but it seems like it is a popular service.  So over the weekend I spent some time and made a mission for it.  The reader pins a specified link/image, then enters their username in the widget.  SwB should find the pin and reward the reader.

I have several missions on the drawing board right now.  They include charity and newsletter based missions.  There are some technical hurdles I'll need to overcome first though.

In the mean time, I'll need to get another contest going soon.  Hmm, what game to do one for...