Friday, August 29, 2014

Episode 6: Manaan

In this weeks episode of Werit at War, we take a look at the Depths of Manaan Flashpoint.  It is the latest, at the time of this writing, entry into the Forged Alliances story arc.  I also talk about Forged Alliances, so there will be some minor spoilers.  It's starting to get pretty interesting, can't wait for Part 3 coming September 9th!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dead and Dismantled

BioWare is nothing if not good storytellers.  I think I said that right.  Anyway, they once again proved it with their latest blog content.  The story involves, indirectly, Jakarro and C2-D4.  These are characters which appear in the Forged Alliances story arc (Part 2).  They are quite entertaining so far.  No real spoilers to follow, just a good story.


“Your ambush failed.”

The droid’s voice almost sent Kern out of his seat. He’d been lost in thought, hadn’t heard it come in. One more lapse he could blame on getting old. Make that two more, if the thing was telling the truth. It got impatient for an answer and continued: “Four dead, seventeen injured. Jakarro and C2-D4 escaped.”

Kern didn’t look at the droid, didn’t need to. The face never changed, “eyes” never moved. Just flickered. Adjusted, focused, analyzed. Infuriating. He reached for a bottle on the desk instead, topped off his drink, took a long swallow. “You didn’t even try to help my people out, did you?”

“You said my price was too high.”

He’d laughed when he’d heard the bid. What kind of droid expects to get paid at all, let alone a small fortune? Pour, swallow, grimace. “Your price was too high.”

“You’ve just lost twenty-one staff. Plenty of wages to reallocate.”

Blasted thing was a financial planner, now? Kern shook his head. “How much do you think I paid those people? I’d have to drop forty of ‘em to hit your fee.”

“If today’s unpleasantness should prove anything, it’s that you get what you pay for.”

Kern growled, thought about reaching for the blaster he kept holstered beneath the desk drawer. Something else crossed his mind; his hand went back to the bottle instead. “How about that crate of spice I paid for?” The bait to lure Jakarro and D4 hadn’t been cheap.

Droid eyes flickered, adjusted slightly. Thinking. Processing. “The illicit cargo you ordered was delivered on time.”

“What? How?”

“The Wookiee bludgeoned your ‘buyer’ to death with it.”

Kern tried not to picture it. Depu had been a good man, they’d been on this hunt together for years. “And Jakarro just left it there?”

“As the contract specified. A consummate professional, clearly.”

Did this thing actually admire the Wookiee, or was it just programmed to be irritating? “He’s a blasted animal. What about the droid? He do any of the dirty work?”

“Not this time. He’s down to just the head, now.”

Kern laughed and set his glass down, a bit harder than intended. He’d probably had too much, but his other hand was already pouring more, so it seemed rude to refuse. “You know how long I’ve been after that pair? When I started, the only thing—“ swallow, grunt, “—the only thing that droid was missing was his conscience.”

Glowing eyes flickered again. Always thinking. Always annoying. “Droids don’t have consciences. We do what we’re made to do.”

Kern’s hand found a way to point his glass accusingly. “You’d know better than me.” He celebrated his wit with another swallow.

More flickering. More thinking. “Why pursue these individuals for so long?”

“You have their rap sheet.” Kern had witnessed eight of the documented twenty-seven—scratch that, thirty-one—killings, probably more than fifty of the two hundred and sixteen assaults. More vandalism, theft, and contraband smuggling than he could remember. And no telling what else they’d done that never made the record. “You have any idea how long a Wookiee can live?”

“Wookiee lifespans have been documented to reach—“

“Shut up.” The droid actually did; a victory worthy of another swallow. “Hundreds of years. Hundreds. If I don’t take him down, he’ll still be thieving and smuggling and killing when my grandkids die of old age.”

“Moral obligation? Quite a hindrance, for a bounty hunter.”

Kern laughed. He reached for the bottle again, but only managed to knock it off the opposite end of the desk. It struck the droid’s shin, bounced away, and spun into the corner. The glowing eyes didn’t move. “The great BH-7X!” Kern’s arms found a suitably dramatic pose. “I’m supposed to pay you a fortune to partner up, and you can’t even dodge a bottle?”

“Apparently, neither can you.”

“I don’t think it’s a crime to have a drink or two in my office!” Kern’s slurred words mixed with a chuckle. He tried to finish his drink, realized that his theatricality had flung the contents of his glass across the wall, and laughed even harder.

“No, that isn’t a crime.” Kern didn’t see the droid’s arm move. He only saw the flash of light, and found himself suddenly staring at the ceiling.

Strange. His ears were ringing, and he smelled something cooking. “Funding the purchase and transport of glitterstim spice is certainly frowned on, though. The reward for your capture and recorded statement of guilt should at least recoup my travel costs for this wasted venture.”

Glowing eyes came into view, loomed over him. The ringing noise faded, replaced by the sound of a carbonite pump rumbling into action somewhere in the droid’s innards. Limbs refused to move.

“I’m glad we could do business together after all, Kern.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?  As you may or may not know, Sites with Benefits uses an optional Twitch IRC bot to reward points as people watch the stream.  One of Sites with benefits users asked for the ability to have viewers request and play songs in exchange for points.

Nightbot, the most popular (I think) Twitch bot already has this functionality.  So I did some reading and learned enough to guess how they did it.  Basically, they use a website to play the youtube videos in the background.  Since Sites with Benefits is web-based, I did the same.

Viewers can now queue up songs through the Twitch bot.  They are sent to a special server page which the streamer has open.  The page automatically plays the youtube videos in the background and voila, song requests are in.   It was a fun project, even if it only took me a few hours to implement.

As always, if you want to use Sites with Benefits drop me a line and I'll get you all setup.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Manaan and the Future

SWTOR is currently in the middle of a new story arc, Forged Alliances.  It is mostly being played out in Tactical Flashpoints with some conversations around them.  So far, three new Flashpoints have been introduced:  Assault on Tython, Korriban Incursion, and Depths of Manaan.  They also added a small new area for Manaan which is really nice to walk around.

I've worked my way through all of them, which is a feat for me since I mostly play solo.  The group finder has worked like a champ and involved very little waiting.  Depths of Manaan triggered immediately after I pressed the button.  Despite how cool it has been working, I'd still like some solo content.  I'll deal though.

I won't go into the story, as you should experience it for yourself.  The Manaan Flashpoint itself was really well done.  The setting was great, it wasn't too long, the fights were cool, and the story was interesting.  You also get to meet an awesome Wookie.  It'll be the subject of this weeks video too.

The third part of the story is due out in early September, with another new Flashpoint.  I think that will then lead into the expansion which is due out this year!  There is plenty going on with SWTOR.  I'll be posting about my unreasonable hopes and dreams about the expansion soon.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Episode 5: 2.9 Arrives

It's Friday, that means it is time for another video!  That makes 5 weeks in a row, so far so good.  SWTOR's Galactic Strongholds expansion has arrived.  In this video, we quickly decorate my house, open a few Cartel Packs, and talk about the new Conquest system.  Give it a watch, I try to keep these things short.  This one was tough though, lots to talk about!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


On my third Gatekeeper Cartel Pack, I got a Canyon Bantha!

Bantha > Rancor.  I'm a bit too happy about this.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Operation Good Fortune


TO: Havoc Squad Cmdr
SUBJECT: Operation Good Fortune

Major,  I am ordering Havoc Squad to immediately depart for Nar Shaddaa in Hutt Space.  Upon arrival, report to Ambassador Averdon, I believe you have dealt with him before.  He will fill you in on the specifics of your mission.  What I can tell you is that Nar Shaddaa will be your squads home for the foreseeable future.  The Republic has made a deal with the Hutts which will allow us to set up a base of operations on the moon.

From this stronghold, we will be in position to strike the Imperials and other enemies of the Republic.  I am also assigning you a detachment of Republic Guardsmen to assist with security of the base, they will be awaiting your arrival on Nar Shaddaa.

One last thing Major,  this base is not exactly a secret.  I wouldn't be surprised if Imperial Intelligence knew about it before I did.  So be on your guard.


Monday, August 18, 2014

New Look

I've been wearing the same armor in SWTOR for a while now.  Thanks to their modular system, you can keep the look you like pretty much forever.  I was wearing Tionese and Columi gear, which I thought looked pretty good.  I figured it was time for a bit of a change.  So I switched out a couple of pieces, changed my base color from green to red, and got myself a new assault cannon.

Gear customization is on of the more underrated aspects of SWTOR.  I really like that you can move set bonuses in between gear as it really opens up the possibilities.  I'm mostly using Obroan PvP modules to gear up.  While it won't get me into any Hard Mode Operations, it should do just fine in Story Mode, and PvP.  

I also decided to change up my spec.  I mostly played a Medic Commando, but I was in the mood to do some damage.  So I changed my skill tree to Gunnery.  I'm still sporting my Medic gear though, as I just don't have it in me to try and get two sets of gear.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Strongholds Video

I told myself that I would not go on the PTS.  I would wait for the patch to go live, and then check out Strongholds.  Needless to say, those plans were short-lived.  I just could not resist the allure of new stuff to play around with.  So I spent a little time checking out the Nar Shaddaa Stronghold.  Of course, I made a video about it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What does Shadow Realms mean for SWTOR?

BioWare recently made a big announce regarding their next game, Shadow Realms.  It just so happens this game is being made at BioWare Austin.  That would be the same folks who are responsible for SWTOR.  So I have to admit I was a little surprised as I figured most of the studio was wrapped up in SWTOR.

In fact, my Twitter feed lit up with BioWare folks saying they were so happy they could finally talk about the project they have been working on, Shadow Realms.  I followed most, if not all of them, when they were on the SWTOR team.  As far as I knew, they were still on that same team.

So what does it mean that a number of SWTOR developers have actually been working on Shadow Realms?  I'm not really sure.  By all accounts, SWTOR is doing pretty well.  They have a packed schedule for the remainder of the year with Galactic Strongholds and 3.0 all coming out.  The latest fiscal report also mentions SWTOR in a positive light.

There are also a lot of unknowns, of course.  Did they hire new people to take the places of those who went to work on the new project?  Are some of them just splitting time?  I could see writers doing that, as there is only so much to do for an already released game.

On the other end of the spectrum, I do have some experiences with this not working out.  Warhammer Online and Wrath of Heroes comes to mind.  Resources were spent on the new game which probably could have been spent on WAR.  In the end, it did not take off and was closed down. Pity though, I enjoyed WoH.

Overall, I'm not too worried about SWTOR's future.  How about you?  As for Shadow Realms, I'm not really in the market for a co-op game.  We'll see how much of it is solo accessible.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cartel Coins vs Credits

I like to consider myself on the cheap end of the scale.  This is true in both real currency and virtual currency.  I have a hard to spending money, especially on larger purchases.  This extends toward in-game credits too.  I have ~4 million credits.  However, I have been hesitant to spend the 50k I would need to re-mod my custom gear.

Strongholds bring up an interesting dilemma for me.  Do I part with my credits or do I spend Cartel Coins?  I will likely choose the latter even though I have enough credits to buy a lot of what I want.  I have over 10k of CC to spend, which is enough to get me all of Nar Shaddaa, some legacy bank tabs, and the housing packs.

I feel like credits are harder to obtain than Cartel Coins.  I work all day anyway so I don't want to work when I get home to make credits doing dailies which I don't enjoy.  That's not to say I buy a lot of Cartel Coins, I don't.  They just feel less valuable to me than credits.

Monday, August 11, 2014

RP Conundrum

I don't Role Play much anymore, but it is hard to leave those tendencies behind.  I used to play MUSH's quite a bit, and have always had an active imagination when it comes to games.  I try to do what makes sense in the context of the game world.  For example, I'll never have an outlandish name.  It'll actually be a name.

So I am having some issues when it comes to SWTOR and Galactic Strongholds.  I get 5 rooms on Nar Shaddaa for free, so I was going to make that my primary stronghold.  Theme wise,  I was thinking it would be a Republic base of operations, as my main is a Trooper.  That's great, lots of fun to be had with that theme.

Strongholds are legacy wide.  So it makes no sense for my Imperial characters to ever visit my Republic base of operations.  I really wanted to concentrate on a single stronghold, so that kind of leaves my Imperial characters out in the breeze.

My main Imperial is an Agent.  I could get the 'cheap' Kaas City stronghold and use that for that side of my legacy.  However, an Imperial base of operations would make more sense on Tatooine rather than in an apartment.  I just can't see myself paying for that at the moment.  

I suppose I could just come up with a different theme for my initial Imperial stronghold.  Maybe a secret agent house.  However, why would my other characters be hanging out there?  Although they are in the same legacy doesn't mean they all hang out and have drinks.

There are worse problems to have :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Werit Gets Lucky?

That's right, it's time for episode number three!  So far, I am 3 for 3 with my one video a week plan of action.  This episode is a little different as I recorded the voice track as I played instead of afterwords.  I think I need to lower the game sounds a bit next time.

In this episode, I open up a few Cartel Packs.  I had a bunch of Cartel Coins saved up, so I figured it was time to spend some.  Don't like to gamble?  Well, now you can live vicariously through me as I attempt to get one of the prized mounts.  Did I succeed, only one way to find out :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sorry, Rakghouls

I ain't got time to bleed.  Errr, something like that.  Anyway, the Rakghoul Plague event has returned to SWTOR.  It's taking place on Tatooine.  One thing I like about the way BioWare does some of their events is the atmosphere.  There is a neat news broadcast to introduce the event.  Then when I got to the planet, you could hear Rakghoul warnings on the PA system.

Sadly,  I just don't have time to participate in the event at the moment.  I'm currently focused on doing CZ-198 dallies so I can get my reputation to Friend level.  That will open up some housing items which I want for my Nar Shadaa stronghold.  Since the event is made up of dallies, I'm all full up at the moment.  I can only handle so many dallies.  Maybe this weekend I'll get some more time and see what it is all about.  I'm not too concerned though as T.H.O.R.N. ( the reputation you earn ) doesn't really have any housing decorations I really want.

Won't this look cool in my Trooper's HQ?  Image courtesy of TOR-Decorating.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Looking Good

I've always been a fan of the graphics in SWTOR.  The art direction just feels right to me.  Contrast that with ArcheAge, which totally turns me off of the game.  Below are a couple of screenshots of the game.  The first is on my HK-51 companion.  He is using the Republic Assault appearance, which I obtained through the Forged Alliances storyline, part 1.

This one is of my Imperial Agent, who is only level 19.  I like that a low level character can look good.  He is wearing the Gold Scalene Armor, which I bought off of the Cartel Market.  Also, he is using the TAC-hud Heavy Sniper Rifle.  I think I bought that off of the GTN.  I really like how it all looks together.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Who Needs Numbers?

When it comes to stats for my blog, I used to keep a pretty close eye on them.  My tool of choice was Clicky, which provides some great real-time stats.  I even paid for it so I could monitor across a bunch of my different sites.  It was fun to watch people visit and read content.  The same went for my Youtube content.  Stats are pretty fun :)

Ever since I started my new job, over a year ago, I have not really paid any attention to stats.  And I don't really miss them at all.  While it is fun to see content become popular, it can be a downer to see something not get read much.  Honestly, it has been the latter for me ever since WAR shutdown with the occasional exception.

My blogging continues though.  Now I pretty much write for myself and the smallish community I have gained over the years.  The same goes for videos,  doing one a week is a goal I set for myself.  If people watch them, great.  If they don't get a lot of views that is ok too.  In any case, it'll improve my ability to speak in front of people, so that is a win.

Now in my sixth year of blogging, I've stopped looking at pretty much any metrics.  The data I really value now is interaction.  I love getting comments much more than a lot of views.   I try to reply to every comment, so leave one and we'll talk :)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Werit's Steam Summer Giveaway

I happen to have a $20 Steam Gift Card sitting next to me.  The poor guy is looking for a good home.  That means it is time for a giveaway!  We'll be using my Sites with Benefits tool to do it.  It's easy to enter the drawing.  On the right side of the screen is the Sites with Benefits tab.  Use that and Sign In.  Then do as many of the missions as you want.  Use the points to buy raffle tickets.  The drawing will be Sunday, August 10th.

If you are interested in using Sites with Benefits, drop me an email (in the sidebar) and I can get you all setup.   Good luck!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Korriban and Cash

It's Friday!  That means it is time for another video.  This time I take on SWTOR's Korriban Incursion Flashpoint.  It's one of the role neutral Tactical Flashpoints.  It is also the first step of the Forged Alliances story arc.  I still have to do Assault on Tython to be truly ready for 2.9, hopefully that'll happen this weekend.  I also talk a bit about credits and the upcoming Galactic Strongholds expansion.