Going to San Diego Comic-Con & PAX Prime!


I will be attending San Diego Comic-Con this week and PAX Prime at the end of August! I wasn’t planning on going to either, but I was able to obtain a full weekend pass for SDCC and a Saturday pass for PAX Prime.This will be the first time I’m attending either event! I’ve been to Seattle during PAX Prime for the SWTOR Community Cantina Tour, but I didn’t have a pass to the convention. However, I have been to other PAX conventions in Boston and San Antonio.

I’m extremely excited to go to Comic-Con though! I’ve been looking up the schedule and the offsite events, and there is so much stuff going on and so many people and things I want to see! I know several people that will be going, so hopefully I can meet up and hang out with a few of them.

Also, I will be attending the SWTOR Community Cantina this Saturday as well in San Diego! BioWare is doing something they haven’t done before in their cantina tour, which is a story panel and meet and greet with SWTOR developers and staff prior to the actual cantina. I wonder if this is exclusively a SDCC thing or if they will do the same on all future cantinas as well, like the upcoming one in Seattle during PAX Prime in August.

With the community cantina in August, I will have attended four SWTOR community cantinas this year. I remember writing here on the blog that I expected to only attend one! I expect this will be it for me this year as far as cantinas go, unless someone flies me out to Germany for Gamescom or New York Comic-Con!

If you have any questions you’d like me to bring to the cantinas, let me know! I can’t promise that I’ll get them all answered, but I managed one at the last cantina. I do prefer to go to these events to meet players and have fun, and I’ve realized that asking questions at these types of events is a bit futile. However, it is not futile to continue putting ideas and suggestions for the game into their heads, so I will try my best to do that at least!

Upcoming Corellian Run Radio In-Game Event w/ Radio Free

 
Tomorrow night, my podcast Corellian Run Radio will be participating in an in-game event with Radio Free on the Ebon Hawk server! I wrote about the party I attended with them a few weeks ago, if you’d like to read a little bit about what they are all about. We will be recording interviews with the different DJs, which will also be broadcasted live over their station on radio-free.org.

The party starts tomorrow, Saturday, June 27th at around 5:00pm Pacific on the Lower Promenade of Nar Shadaa in front of the Gold Hutt statue! My character name on Ebon Hawk is Heather’pls, so hopefully I will see you there!

Disagreements Amongst SWTOR Players

SWTOR: Knights of the Fallen Empire will be out on October 27th, 2015.

SWTOR: Knights of the Fallen Empire will be out on October 27th, 2015.

The past few days of SWTOR news have brought out a lot of varying opinions and arguments amongst players. What’s more important? Who is right? PvP, story, RP, etc. People want to be right in their opinions, and sometimes this unfortunately leads to trash talking other players and undermining others for what they like.

I think the new changes look interesting and fun. When the new expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, comes out in October, it doesn’t really matter how I’m playing if I’m having fun with it. In the meantime, it’s only June, and there’s a lot of time in between to be patient, get more information, and possibly provide constructive criticism to the game developers, if it’s not too late.

Zakuul Skyscraper City View Concept

Zakuul Skyscraper City View Concept

When I go to community cantinas, it is very exciting to meet different people, regardless of how they play the game. I may ask what server they play on and what class, but I’ve never encountered or seen people that argue amongst themselves about their opinions of what should happen or be put into the game in person. It’s just fun.

Obviously, I know I’ve poked fun at people at cantinas asking inconsequential questions (Ex: “Will I get so-and-so color lightsaber?”) but it’s nothing like what you see on the internet. On the internet people are ruthless, calling each other bad names, saying nasty things, all because someone disagrees with something about a game they both like.

I have not really encountered any confrontational remarks (this week) about the new content, but I hope people will take into consideration what other people think, and not simply jump down their throats because they don’t like what they say. You can have friends with varying opinions, and that’s okay. I respect players that like different things in the game, even if it is not what I like or care about.

For example, my boyfriend also plays SWTOR, but we definitely have different opinions. He thinks the game is moving towards a single player RPG and less of an MMO and that it may not be good for the future of the game. Like I’ve stated before, I think it’s still going to be a fun game no matter what. I’m not going to argue to death with him about it! I’m not going to break up or say horrible, mean things to him because he cares about different parts of the game than me.

Vaylin under attack

Vaylin under attack

I think people should put into perspective the things they say and do on the internet. I know it’s much easier to be mean to others because of a sense of anonymity (or whatever the reason is people troll) but in real life if a friend, or even a stranger, had a differing opinion about a game, we’d likely be more excited they simply play the same game. We should all be friendlier to other players in the same game, because it’s a huge thing we have in common.

On that note, if you’d like to try out the game or subscribe again, please use my SWTOR referral link!

My First RP Party!

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A couple Saturdays ago, my podcast Corellian Run Radio, was invited to a party by Radio Free, an RP guild on the Ebon Hawk server that throws awesome parties daily!

Roleplay (RP) is not usually something I do in-game. Usually I just log in for raid night with my guild and/or do a flashpoint and some dailies. However, I was very interested in seeing what role players do in-game.

I didn’t have any characters on the Ebon Hawk server, so I leveled up another Sith Assassin! I enjoy doing side quests, but my boyfriend (who also plays SWTOR) laughed at me for doing everything while 12x XP was active! I was level 12 before even picking up my first companion, who you should get much earlier than that in the Inquisitor storyline! Eventually, I was able to make it to Nar Shadaa!

The party was held on the lower promenade in Nar Shadaa next to the “Cheese Hutt.” There were plenty of people there! I immediately realized that I needed to dismiss Khem Val (no one else had their companions out), and also switch my character to “RP walk” (no one was running around like my character, even with Sprint turned off).

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I found the people that invited Corellian Run Radio to the event and also logged into their Mumble channel. Radio Free has DJs that play music and emcees like a real life party, and they play this on their website. It was really cool seeing that the DJ was up on the stage in-game with dancers! There was a dance circle and lots of people emoting and talking to each other.

I found a drink droid and emoted my character to drink next to it! Additionally, a character was walking by with a Nekarr cat, so I RP-walked my way toward her and “hugged” the cat. I realize now that I might have been intrusive, and should’ve asked if my character could hug her cat before doing so.

Back on the dance floor, I didn’t have any dance emotes aside from the ones that are automatically given to you! I didn’t know there were so many, but my main character on the Harbinger at least has “Bop” also, which I like.

I met up with a friend, Jessie from the Unholy Alliance guild on my home server! She seemed to be a better RPer than me! She took some pictures and even filmed a video of us there, which I’ve embedded here on this post.

Surprisingly to me, I spent almost 2 hours hanging out at the RP party. I think I did have some awkward moments, like accidentally making my character dance with other characters (I think I’m supposed to ask permission before doing that) as I could be interrupting something they were currently doing.

It was definitely a different experience, but I’m so glad we were invited! I highly recommend attending one of their parties if you’d like to try RPing (they have an event calendar on their website), because they had a large turnout with plenty of people to help you if you need it.

Corellian Run Radio Ep 146 is Out!

Corellian Run Radio

I know, I am REALLY behind in posting this! However, I’m hoping you also follow my podcast, Corellian Run Radio! On Tuesday, my co-host Jason and I released a new episode featuring Larry Everett, who writes Hyperspace Beacon and does a lot for Massively Overpowered regarding Star Wars: The Old Republic. We also go over a bit of news, and I talk about my first RP party experience!

You can also download the episode on iTunes or your preferred podcast app, or simply listen to it directly on CorellianRun.com as well.

Idakoos Shirt Review

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The kind folks at Idakoos sent me a shirt to review on the blog! Idakoos is an online retailer selling t-shirts and other printable products with custom and pre-made designs. I chose one of their pre-made designs, a grey and black raglan t-shirt that says “Dog Vader” and “Boston Terrier” at the bottom with an image of a dog in a Darth Vader mask! The image is also captioned with “ggrrr…”

The shirt itself has an Idakoos tag, is 100% cotton, and was made in Peru. I chose the raglan style because I thought it was more stylish than a basic tee. I probably could’ve fit into the size XS, but I got a size S just in case the shirt shrunk a bit in the laundry. I’ve already washed it, and I think it might’ve shrunk slightly, but it still fits comfortably like in the picture!

idakoosshirt

I really like the shirt, especially because their site had such a cool design for me to choose! However, you can also order your own shirt or even make your own custom design! You can order a bunch of shirts with your own custom design, and there does not need to be a minimum amount of shirts with that design ordered so that you can get it. You can simply use your design for however many shirts you like. This is really good for things like group events, guild meetups, SWTOR community cantinas, and things like that! It’s very cool when gaming groups all have the same shirt at events, like the WOOK guild!

If I ever decide to design (or have someone else design, LOL) a Pretty Little Sith t-shirt, Idakoos seems like a great option, especially since I’m already familiar with their sizes and styling!

Thank you Idakoos for the awesome shirt to review!

PrettyLittleSith.com Is Back Up & Running

ihavenoideawhatimdoingdog

Okay, I know it’s been a few days already, technically, since the site has been working, but I thought I’d write a post about the process!

I had a lot of help from friends, like Larry Everett suggesting DreamHost and helping me with the process of getting signed up with them and Pixelkaffe helping so much with the CSS!

I also used a very helpful guide called, “How to Properly Move Your Blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.”  It goes through everything step by step with images and even a video on what to do!

Unfortunately, for me, I was rushing the conversion process and was confusing WordPress! I picked an identical username and password, plus I had freshly updated the nameservers, so my site, on my computer, kept flipping back and forth from the old and new site. Additionally, I had a weird error in which I couldn’t import the XML file from the old site to the new one. DreamHost customer service was extremely helpful with everything and got everything to work!

However, the theme I’ve been using, Adelle, is a bit finicky. I’m glad Pixelkaffe was able to figure most of it out to in order to make the site look as close as possible to what it was on WordPress.com, but there were some slight differences when I transitioned over. The header text and image would not display simultaneously as it did on the old site. It was frustrating, and I couldn’t figure it out. Eventually I created a quick and dirty solution, and simply edited the header text into the header image.

Another issue is that I don’t like how the site looks on mobile, whereas on the old site it simply worked perfectly. I’ll have to do some fiddling with that, but for now it looks fine!

I did add a few images to the the cycling header image (refresh your page to see a new picture!), and I also updated my links and blogroll on the side as well.

There are still a lot of things I need to learn and get better at (Google Analytics? Google Ads? I have no idea what I’m doing.), but I’m pretty happy with the progress on the blog so far.

 

 

Self-hosting w/ DreamHost & Website Downtime

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Hello! I’ve recently needed to have more website capabilities with the blog, so I will be self-hosting PrettyLittleSith.com, moving away from free hosting on WordPress.com to self-hosting with DreamHost. During the transition, I may have between 24-48 hours of downtime! I will be starting the process tonight, June 4th, around 6:30pm PDT.

Don’t worry! Besides this brief downtime, you shouldn’t notice any differences on the blog afterwards (unless I mess it up haha.). This is something I’ve been needing to do. I just wanted to give you guys a little heads up before the site suddenly goes offline! During the downtime, you could probably also check my Twitter to see what I’m up to!

I chose DreamHost after a few recommendations, and so far, all of my customer service interactions with them have been great! I somehow messed up a few times and had to speak with their live chat, but they were very friendly and helpful. One of their customer service representatives even got excited about a black lightsaber he saw on the blog! I’m hoping I will be very happy with their service once I get everything transferred over.

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If you’d also like to sign up for web hosting with DreamHost, you can use the promo code PRETTYLITTLESITH, which gives you a $60 discount, which is currently about 50% off for one year of shared hosting.

Massively Opinionated vidcast: How Long Will SWTOR Remain Relevant?

massivelyOP

Hey guys! I recorded for Massively Opinionated, a video-cast show on Massively OP, last week about Star Wars: The Old Republic. I was given some questions prior to the show to prepare my answers, so I included my unedited notes at the bottom in case you wanted to see what I thought in writing (because I think I’m a better writer than speaker).

I also embedded the video here, which I hope you’ll enjoy! I’m on the show debating against YouTube content creator and Twitch streamer Vulkk, and podcaster/streamer Redna. The show is facilitated by Larry Everett, who runs Hyperspace Beacon as well.

Here are the questions I was given before the show to prepare, and my rough notes!

Question One: We will start with a general and positive question. What is the most compelling reason to play Star Wars: The Old Republic?

I could say what might be the “easy” answer, which is simply that it is a Star Wars game, an extremely successful IP that has a culture in itself greater than just gaming. However, for me personally, I didn’t start playing the game as a Star Wars fan. One compelling reason to play for me has been the stories, especially the extensive class stories while leveling and the companion romance aspects. Another compelling reason for me to play has been the operations and flashpoints, which I don’t play for the story, however. I don’t think this is the most compelling thing, but I enjoy mastering a character’s discipline and all the abilities that come with it. I like boss interactions and creating a strategy and method with my teammates to defeat a boss. That compels me to play now, after completing class stories. I think for people that don’t enjoy any of these things probably don’t like the game as much.

Question Two: (Fun question) Using just NPCs in SWTOR (not pulling from the rest of the Star Wars Universe), which two NPCs fighting each other would be the most interesting? (Example: Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker.)

Satele Shan vs. Theron Shan. They are both Republic, light side, and family, so it would be interesting to see in what situation they would be fighting each other. Satele gets her mind taken over by the emperor? Theron Shan decides to defect to the Empire? They simply just get mad at each other? I think there are a lot of story possibilities for this that would be very interesting, especially with the two of them being big “stars” and characters in TOR lore and in-game.

Question Three: Many SWTOR haters will give a death date for the game. But I would like to know how long you think the developers can keep SWTOR a relevant as an MMO at large? As an example, EQ is a great game and set the standard for many MMOs, but for the MMO community at large, it’s no longer actively making an impact.

SWTOR is a PvE, story-focused game. It blows other MMOs away with their stories and voice acting. This is going to keep it relevant for a very long time, unless another MMO can do better. Even then, unless that MMO is Star Wars, SWTOR will still be relevant.

With the new Star Wars movies comes out, I think there is definitely motivation to keep SWTOR relevant, by putting a lot time, money, and resources into the game. I really think they should tie the game more closely to the film’s marketing and take advantage of all these potential players. At least another five years. I think it could only be made irrelevant by a new Star Wars MMO. In five years time by then maybe another industry influencing MMO will come out, but it would really have to be special and doing something that existing MMOs are not doing to make SWTOR relevant. I’m not sure what “something special” would have to be.

Question Four: Normally, here I would ask you to build an MMO, but we already have one. So what I’m going to ask you is to add three new key features that would greatly improve the game over all. The only stipulation that I have is that it’s within reason. No rebuild-the-game-engine answers.

Within reason? I am not a game developer, so I’m not sure how “within reason” my ideas will be. Additionally, this is my first MMO. I have no prior experience playing anything else to the extent of SWTOR, so I’m unaware of what other games have. From just playing SWTOR with no diluted opinions or experience playing anything else, this is what I think:

  1. Cross-server queuing or mega server, or at least some server mergers. Possibly losing your character name is really a miniscule problem compared to the benefits you would get. Greater population for queues is always a good thing. PvP queues will pop more often because there are more people, you will have a chance to fight against different people and not the same all the time, and there is more competition.

HOWEVER if this is not technically possible, something that BioWare can do that is already in-game is create a PTS-like server where players can transfer their characters for free and PvP with each other. Combined with having account-wide legacy and achievements which is my next point, players can PvP on this PvP-hub server with everyone else that wants to, while still being able to play on whatever server they like for other content. You can still have regular PvP servers for open-world and things like that, but players can go to this PvP hub to queue. Since there already have been competitions on the PTS, this is something that they should look into. Not sure exact logistics, but this is something they could do in the existing game engine.

  1. Account-wide legacy and achievements and datacrons. It was hard work for me to get all the datacrons! I’m not a good platformer, but I’m glad I got them. Also, people like to play on different servers, and they might get different achievements on each, for example, a player that PvPs on the Harbinger but runs operations on Jedi Covenant. Would be nice if the game tracked everything and didn’t separate by server.
  2. More powerful guild tools:

Calendars – gives small or starting guilds without websites or any type of guild page to organize and show when an operation is, or when they are grouping together

Whispering from the guild list no matter where you are, guild-wide messages/e-mails (not simply a Message of the day) – increased communication aside from trying to “catch” someone when they’re online.

Guilds foster community and friendship, and being able to manage a guild more easily makes players happy because a more organized guild is running content and doing things together and simply playing the game more as I think a massively multiplayer game should be played. More people will want to join guilds because they’re doing stuff in the game, or even simply because there are friendly, familiar people to talk to in guild chat or voice communications while they complete missions with just their companions. More people will want to continue playing because they’re happy with their guild and who they play with.

I know I didn’t like the game as much when I had an inactive guild, and my world changed and my passion and happiness for the game ignited when I joined an amazing guild. I think improving guild capabilities is very beneficial and reasonable within the current game engine.

Grocery Shopping Tools/Websites: Supercook vs. Yummly

Since living on my own, I’ve been grocery shopping and cooking a lot more! One thing that is very important to me is making sure I use all of the fresh food I purchase for the week before it goes bad. I’ve gotten into the habit of simply shopping for groceries and picking things I like, instead of master planning a week’s worth of meals and keeping a list of ingredients I need to cook them. I find it easier to simply shop and pick things I want and then find a way to use them in cooking.

There are a couple websites that have been helpful to me in looking up recipes based on the ingredients I have. I will happily continue using both of them, but they have their pros and cons and individual benefits. Here’s what I think of them!

Supercook

supercook

Pros

Supercook.com has been really helpful in that I can list all of the ingredients that I have on hand, and it will provide me with a list and thumbnails of recipes I can prepare containing what I have! It also shows some recipes that I can make with a few additional ingredients that I have not listed, but those are at the bottom. What’s really nice is that you can register on their website, and it saves what ingredients you have. That way, you can keep pantry staples such as flour and soy sauce on your list without having to update it all the time with everything.

You can also choose to exclude certain ingredients or entire ingredient categories, such as meat, dairy, fish, nuts, etc. Additionally, you can sort by types of recipes, like breakfast, drinks, dips, desserts, and more.

Another thing I like about Supercook is you can click any one of the ingredients you have listed, and it focuses on providing you with recipes that contain that ingredient. For example, if I say that I have bacon and click to focus on it, it will bring up all the recipes featuring bacon to the top!

Cons

It doesn’t differentiate green onions from onions! This was very frustrating for me on a week that I only had a yellow onion and no green onions, but it was suggesting recipes that required green onions. That particular week I just subbed out the green onions for the yellow, and my fried rice still tasted great, but it would be better if they had separate options. It lets you add scallions, but it doesn’t include recipes that call for green onions if you say you have scallions.

This is only one particular instance I have run into where it doesn’t work perfectly. I’m sure there could be more instances, but this is the one annoying thing I have found with Supercook.

Yummly

yummly

Pros

I’m not sure how I found this website, but it sure is handy! It’s a beautiful website that can link to your Facebook or Google account (you can also simply register on their site) with many customization options! It asks your age, gender, cooking skill, favorite cuisines, allergies, if you’re on any special diets, how many people you’re cooking for, and then it factors all this information into the recipes it suggests to you.

There are also many search options to filter recipes, such as the “time of day” the recipe is for, tastes (savory, sour, spicy, sweet, etc.), cooking techniques, and more.

Cons

I wish it had similar functionality to Supercook. You can list ingredients you have, but it doesn’t suggest “You can make this!” like Supercook. It simply provides you with recipes that contain the ingredients in your list and ONLY the ingredients from your list. Supercook allows you to list many ingredients and gives you recipes that contain ANY of the ingredients you have. If you list all of them on Yummly, it will give you only recipes that contain ALL of what you list.

There is a place on Yummly to list ingredients you DON’T want in a recipe, but this is really only useful if you know you have a food allergy to something, or you know you don’t have milk and don’t feel like going to the store to pick up more, or don’t wish to see recipes requiring milk.

Additionally, if you keep your list to a minimum to contain just a few things, you will run into the issue of Yummly suggesting a bunch of recipes containing many ingredients you don’t have. I would rather not have to run back to the store because I need something else. This is the functionality in which Supercook is superior.

Conclusion

As I said in the beginning, I will still use both websites, because they are both useful in their own ways! I will lean more towards Supercook, but Yummly is also a great website with cool options, and in my opinion more exciting recipes! I just have to go back to the grocery store for ingredients if I don’t have them if I really want to make a certain recipe.

Disclaimer:

This is my personal opinion, and I have not been compensated in any way to review these websites.

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