May 2014 archive

What Does a Geek in the Bed Mean?

c144bb11c7d62e49f8d0b6761ec9a531

I received my first response to my request for questions to answer for my FAQ page! @R3DN4 from Twitter asks: “What does a geek in the bed mean?”

geekinthebedtweet

He is referencing the tagline below my blog title, “lady in the street and a geek in the bed.” Not too long ago I was a bit worried that the humor in the Ludacris reference is lost on some people. I’m not sure if this is the case here, but let me elaborate on that.

When I first decided to start the blog, I wanted the blog name to describe me and what the blog would be about. I strive for perfection, and this was no different. I went through a few different names—some were too long, some were too stupid, some were already taken. One of the names I considered was “lady in the street and a geek in the bed,” because I thought the play on the Ludacris lyrics from Usher’s song “Yeah!” was funny.

[spotify id=”spotify:user:heather_pls:playlist:6jrYLE4Na3Q2BBmBGkQt1e” width=”300″ height=”100″ /]

Here’s an excerpt of the lyrics I’m referencing from “Yeah!” by Usher ft. Ludacris & Lil Jon:

“Let’s drank you the one to please, Ludacris fill cups like double D’s.
Me and Ursh once more and we leave ’em dead, we want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed to say yeah!”

Interestingly, this is not my favorite music genre! But you will have to ask about that in another FAQ. Unfortunately, this was way too long for a URL and blog name.

Somehow I thought of “Pretty Little Sith,” but I still wanted to use the “geek in the bed” line. One of my friends suggested using it as a tagline for the blog instead, and that is what I did.

Get your question answered! E-mail me at heather@prettylittlesith.com, tweet me @Heather_PLS and/or use #prettylittlesithFAQ, and I will try my best to give you an answer!

How I Set Up My Quickbar, Keybinds, & UI

I actually parse on the ship to use the armor reduction and HP modifier tools.

Last night when I added some new gear, I ran a couple parses on the training dummy. I didn’t do as many as I wanted to, but today, the fingernails on my left hand hurt a bit!

I was also inspired by listening to OotiniCast’s latest episode and their conversation about how they play, regarding UIs and key binds. I thought that it would be interesting to let you guys know how I play and also give you an insight on why a certain nail on left hand hurts today.

Seriously though, if you’re wondering how I play my Deception Assassin in PvE, this is it!

quickbaredited

Detailed Explanation of My Quickbar Abilities

If you examine how I have my quickbar set up, I place frequently used abilities closer to the left side of the keyboard, and lesser used abilities towards the middle and right. Recklessness (Q) is always hit on cool down which is right below Discharge (2) & Voltaic Slash (3), which are used a lot. I placed Discharge there because it is part of my opening move and the proximity to Recklessness, and it’s also hit every time I have 3x Static Charge.

Maul (4) is usually only hit during the Duplicity proc, and Shock (5) is only hit with the 2x Induction proc. These are important abilities that are very easily accessible with the left hand. Saber Strike (1) is a bit farther to the left because it’s seldom used, but still needed sometimes.

While Assassinate (6) is a high priority ability, I can only use it when the enemy is below 30%; thus it’s further away from the left of the keyboard. In PvE, I don’t have a big use for Low Slash (7) except to forcefully proc Duplicity, and personally I think it’s a waste of time to include in your rotation. Still, it’s a good ability in PvP so it stays in the middle.

Deception Assassins have terrible AOE abilities, but I still leave them on the bar for some situations. Overload (9) is only used if I have to knock back anything. Lacerate (8) is only used if there are at least five enemies grouped up. Lacerate only hits up to 5 enemies anyway, which is very limiting.

Electrocute, while a very cool stun ability, has a bit of a long cool down for my taste, which is why it’s all the way to the right at 0. My CC is “- and Stealth is =. Not important to have extremely close to the left side of the keyboard.

On the bottom row is what I consider a lot of my “support” abilities that are mostly not damaging. I mentioned before why I placed Recklessness at Q. I consider W to be very important; it’s my interrupt ability. If I miss an interrupt, it’s either on cool down or I’m not paying good enough attention to raid. (My raid group will now use that against me if I miss one.)

Blackout (E) and Force Cloak (R), work hand in hand. For a Deception Assassin specced into the right abilities, you can use Blackout, which immediately completes the cool down on Force Cloak, therefore allowing you use it again if you want to gain 40 Force. Additionally, while you are coming out of stealth you initiate Dark Embrace, which boosts your Force recovery rate. This is a nice time to do bursty damage again.

Overcharge Saber (T) provides a little buff to damage and also heals me a bit. Right below T is G on the keyboard, which is my click to proc relic, Underworld Relic of Boundless Ages. They are placed next to each other so they can be hit almost simultaneously. I will be changing my relic next, as I have almost enough mats for the Dread Forged Relic of Focused Retribution. (Still need some Isotope-5s and EEEs, which I can probably farm this weekend.)

Force Lightning (Y) is a DPS ability; however for a Deception Assassin it’s only useful in certain situations and not in my regular rotation. A situation where I would use Force Lightning would be in Dread Fortress Nefra, if the droid’s red circle of death is blocking me from getting into melee range to the boss, I’m not going to stop DPSing. Depending on how far I am and whether or not Recklessness is available, I’ll hit Force Lightning so I’m doing some damage from afar. I would use Crushing Darkness (I) similarly, but this is more of a PvP ability in my opinion. I sometimes change out Crushing Darkness with the single-target taunt.

Unbreakable Will (U), which is my CC break, and Deflection (O), my defensive cool down, are important to have.However, they not used as much as Voltaic Slash for example, which is why they so far to the right. Force Speed (P) and Rocket Boost is also all the way to the right, but not difficult to access when I need to move quickly.

This seems like I somehow master planned my quick bar, which maybe I have! However, over time I really just placed abilities into spots I thought they would work best.

What About the Mouse?

I use a regular, non-gaming mouse with my right hand. I only use my mouse to move, turn the camera, and zoom in/out. With a Deception Assassin, there are really no casted abilities other than Force Lightning/Crushing Darkness, which I only use in special situations and not during my regular rotation. Because it’s only for movement, it’s a bit easier for me to avoid stuff on the ground. I still make mistakes, but the class and skill tree allow for so much mobility.

My UI Setup

UI screenshot

As far as my UI goes, it’s pretty basic. Everything is pretty much in the default spot that Bioware placed them, except scaled much smaller. I like to see what’s on the screen, not the quick bar. I use two quick bars at the bottom for my combat abilities, and things like the fleet pass, Quick Travel, Seethe, Phase Walk, buffs, stances, etc. are on vertical bars on the right.

Conclusion

Everyone plays differently, but this is what I do. Now you can picture it in your head, muahaha. I had never played a game where I had to use abilities on a keyboard before SWTOR and had to teach myself about keybinding, so if my way seems a bit odd, that’s why. It is a ton of fun playing my Assassin like this, so whatever way works for you is great!

Here’s a quick tip for those that like to wear nail polish and use their keyboards a lot: When you get your nails done, get the gel polish that is cured with the UV light. It never chips or dents unlike normal polish and will withstand long hours of button mashing your rotation on the keyboard! My nail polish lasts forever, and the only reason why I change is because the nail bed looks funny if it grows out too much.

Back Home! – New CRR Episode, Gadgets & Khajiits, FAQs

One of the pictures I took on vacation.

One of the pictures I took on vacation.

After almost a week of no gaming, I am back home in the States! I posted a few pictures from my trip to Mexico on Instagram if you’re interested!

Corellian Run Radio

In the meantime, an episode of Corellian Run Radio I recorded on May 18th was released earlier this week, so check that out if you’d like to hear me talk about the upcoming Summer of SWTOR!

Also, gaming blog Gadgets & Khajiits has reached out to me for an interview, so I will let you know when they post my answers on their site! I think you’ll appreciate the questions that were asked. Once their article is out, I might post them on my empty FAQ page. No one really asks me any questions (alas, no one cares about me, haha!), so I don’t have a lot to put there. I know, I’m totally defeating the purpose of a FAQ page because nothing is asked of me “frequently.” I would also rather not make up questions myself to put on the page.

However, I would like to fill that page and flesh out the site a bit more. If you have any questions for me that you would like me to answer, you can respond in the comments on this blog topic, e-mail me at heather@prettylittlesith.com, or tweet me @Heather_PLS! To differentiate your question from regular tweets, could you use #prettylittlesithFAQ? Please submit your questions by next Thursday, June 5th!

I also may have another special surprise for you guys next week, but you’ll have to wait to find out if my schedule permits!

Going to the Gold Beaches of Corellia

rocky point puerto penasco

Just kidding. I wish I was going to the Gold Beaches of Corellia. That would be nice.

In reality, I’m traveling to Puerto Peñasco AKA Rocky Point, which is in Mexico along the Gulf of California/Sea of Cortez. If you follow me on Twitter, this is why I’ve been fretting about bikinis for the past week. I did buy three, despite my previous blog entry only mentioning one, and the one pictured isn’t even one I bought!

I most likely will not post any new blog entries until Thursday (unless I get bored during travel time and whip up another article), but I might post pictures on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook if I find some kind of WiFi hotspot. I apologize in advance for the lack of posts for the next few days, because I try to motivate myself to post something every day.

Stealthing out!

Sith Assassin Gear Update: Almost Full 180s, Optimization Issues

dianah new stats 5-21

I picked up another 180 armoring from Dread Master Raptus in Dread Fortress Hard-Mode (HM), so now I only need one more 180 armoring to replace the only 168 modification I have left on my gear.

I still need to switch out 3 enhancements that are 180-rating to the Advanced Adept Enhancement 34, because I’m forever working on optimization. I’m not sure why I wasn’t paying attention before, but some of the enhancements I have are heavy on Endurance and lighter on the Power/Surge. I need to fix that, because I would rather have that boost in damage than hit points.

If you’re wondering, all of my augments are Willpower.

I’m not really an expert on stats and numerical data for the game, but I try to make the best choice I can with what I know. While I think I’m pretty smart, sometimes it gets confusing reading or listening to my fellow SWTOR community go over this stuff! When I choose pieces for my DPS Assassin, I try to stick to these basic guidelines:

  • 100% Accuracy for Melee Damage, 110% Force
  • Willpower > Power > Surge Rating > Critical Rating
  • Pick the armoring/modification/enhancement with less Endurance in comparison to the other stats.

If anyone has some gearing advice that could help me, feel free to leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter!

Skill vs. Gear: Objectives, Mechanics & Bolster

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.

You can give the worst player the best gear in the game, and they will still suck. You can’t stop them from standing in fire or in front of the boss cleave, tanking badly, feeding themselves to the enemy team, not throwing the Huttball, etc.

You can give the best player the most mediocre gear, and they’ll still do pretty good, but with limitations. They won’t be able to down a Nightmare boss, but they will still be able to help their team by following boss mechanics and warzone objectives. Because they are a good player, they will eventually get that top-tier gear and be amazing.

Player-vs-Player (PvP)

There are still a lot of issues with Bolster in SWTOR, especially with lower-level gear being Bolstered to better stats than the top-tier PvP gear. Eventually this will be fixed (we hope), but how important is it to have the best gear in PvP? If someone is a “shitter,” they are still going to be a shitter, no matter how good their gear is. Or you can take someone that knows exactly what they are doing with maybe so-so gear, and if they know exactly how to win that warzone, they will be more successful.

For example, in Huttball, someone could be completely geared out, but if they don’t know how to pass, how to run the ball in the right direction, how to avoid running in fire/acid, how to stop DPSing the other team mindlessly while the ball is passed away from their goal… it doesn’t matter how good their gear is.

It also comes down to your team. With 8v8 warzones and 4v4 arenas, whom you end up with on your team could be totally random. I don’t remember where I heard this from (Podcast? Musco? The voice in my head?), but Bolster gives everyone a fighting chance because you have no control over who you are grouping with.

If perhaps everyone was on the same skill level in PvP, then I think Bolster would make a bigger difference. Obviously,everyone is not on the same skill level, and an Assassin with so-so gear that knows what they are doing will still stun-lock and destroy a bad player with better gear on. I agree that Bolster has no place in a Ranked PvP environment where everyone should be geared, but in Unranked or what is essentially PvP “Story-Mode,” I think it does.

Player-vs-Environment (PvE)

In the upcoming Game Update 2.8 Spoils of War, Bolster will be introduced into Story-Mode 16-man operations via GroupFinder. This is pretty much the same concept as Bolster in PvP. If you have people on your raid team that can’t/won’t follow the boss mechanics, it will be difficult to be successful, even if it is on “easy” mode and everyone is Bolstered to the appropriate gear level.

Could you imagine doing Dread Master Calphayus in Dread Palace, with everyone going the wrong way, not knowing what/where to plant, not knowing what crystals/adds to hit, not knowing what to do? Could you imagine doing Operator IX in Terror From Beyond, and having all your DPS stay in the middle hitting the hologram paying no attention to the outer cores? Could you imagine doing Kephess in Explosive Conflict, with your team having no clue what’s going on? These bosses are quite easy in Story-Mode once you know what to do, but if you don’t? And you don’t learn? And you don’t want to learn?

What about the person that consistently stands in the red stuff on the ground? It doesn’t matter if they are bolstered to the best gear, because they are still losing health unnecessarily.

I know these operations will be in Story-Mode, but there are just some bosses that you still have to follow the mechanics for. Not everything is a tank and spank. Of course, this is the worst possible scenario to have no one on your team know what to do. However, with just enough clueless people, it’s enough to wipe the whole raid group.

Conclusion

I still have to experience playing with random PvP baddies, but fortunately I do not ever have to PuG a group for an operation. Others may not be so lucky. I still think Bolster is great for leveling the playing field (if it is executed properly), but what players do once they are bolstered to a certain level determines how successful they will be.

SWTOR Is My Significant Other

Leia and Han Solo

When I was first introduced to SWTOR, I didn’t think too much of it. I didn’t really care. I didn’t bother trying it because I was happy playing Pokémon on my Nintendo 3DSXL and Nancy Drew mystery games on the PC.

One day, I gave it a chance. A first date! When that cinematic Star Wars music played, when I watched the character that I specifically designed actively taking part in the story, when I saw the glorious beauty of the Korriban desert fill my screen, I was hooked. No game that I ever played before could compare. From then on playing SWTOR was like an addicting love affair consuming my life, but not necessarily negatively.

Other games have come along, that have attempted to win my affection: Skyrim, The Sims 3 expansions (and perhaps the upcoming The Sims 4), Pokémon games, The Elder Scrolls Online, WildStar, Animal Crossing…. While they were nice distractions, I always came back to Star Wars: The Old Republic. Through ups and downs, good and bad in-game experiences, SWTOR is my #1.

I was thinking about how some people play so many different games, which is fine too, because everyone is different. However, if you’re going to play an MMO, you should have some kind of loyalty to it. You shouldn’t expect so much out of your game it if you’re not investing your time and/or subscription fee. However, I think a lot of gamers are very fickle, and will quickly move on to the next Big Shiny that comes along.

While I know for many people this Summer of SWTOR will be a bit dry, for me, it’s not an incentive to start playing something else. Like a real life relationship, I will persevere and find new ways to keep it going like trying something new and fun (PvPing, actively taking a bigger part in in-game events, actually doing my Dailies, playing the Republic side). Instead of whining and tossing the game aside and saying, “I’m done!” because the game doesn’t give me everything I want, I try to understand why something is happening instead of immediately complaining and giving up.

I understand that the game won’t last forever, but it sure looks like it will last for a while. I think you should be happy with what you have, here and now. When the time comes that the game is really done, I’ll be able to close out a chapter of my life and move on. I will play SWTOR unless something really awful happens to the game, or if maybe another game does come along that steals my attention for good.

PvP Series Episode 3: New Server, New Toon

Current headshot of my Assassin on the Pot5

Current headshot of my Assassin on the Pot5

I probably should’ve saved last Monday’s “Welcome to the Prophecy of the Five” post for today! If you haven’t read it, I created a brand new toon on the Prophecy of the Five server. I figured it would be easier to practice at the lower levels and work my way up, rather than taking my end-game PvE toon and trying to PvP with the big boys.

Why Pot5 and not a new character on the Harbinger? I maxed out characters on the Harbinger. Also, I wanted to be on the highest populated PvP server with the highest rating. I referenced this post from OotiniCast for the stats influencing my decision. (I wasn’t going to join Euro-server ToFN.)

So far it has definitely been working in my favor, because I win a majority of the warzone matches I get into on my baby Assassin (currently level 17). Even though I’m at a low level, I think I’m getting pretty good at stopping/slowing the opponents (even with only Electrocute, Whirlwind, and Overload LOL), and giving my teammates a chance to get to where I am before I get ROFLsmashed. As a good little stealther I volunteer to go guard whatever if I don’t see anyone else doing it, heh. Actually, I have hardly gotten ROFLsmashed unless I had multiple players on me. For level 17, I’m pretty competent at killing the other players. I can’t wait to see how easy it will be to DPS the enemy team in PvP gear. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to play her too much, since I still have my normal raid times on the Harbinger during the week.

I did join a guild on the Pot5 server! I wanted to be somewhere with a good experience bonus, so it worked. Unfortunately I haven’t really gotten the chance to play with anyone because I don’t have a level 55 toon yet, and I’m at least 3 hours behind for many of them. I guess that’s what I get for joining and east coast server on Pacific Standard Time.

Nar Shadaa Casino Event PTS Preview

Dianah gambling

As a local to Las Vegas, I really wanted to check out the Nar Shadaa Casino event, which is currently available on the Player Test Server (PTS), and see how it compares to IRL casinos! Here are my thoughts on what SWTOR has on the PTS so far.

casino cashier

When I picked up the mission on the fleet, a short commercial plays for the Star Cluster Casino. I think the most interesting part for me was the half-naked male Twi’lek dancing in the background. Unfortunately I didn’t get a screenshot of that, but there are more half-naked dancers in the casino! You complete the “Festival of Splendor” mission after talking to one of the vendors in the casino, and you also receive 5 Smuggler Casino Chips.

half-naked dancer

Of course, I wasn’t here for the scenery! I wanted to try the slots. There are two different types of chips: the Smuggler Casino Chips (SCC) that I mentioned before and the Kingpin’s Casino Chip (KCC), which are like the high-roller chips. The SCCs were 1,000 credits each, and the KCCs were 50,000 credits each. Since this is the PTS and I basically have magic credits anyway, I spent all 1.5m credits that I had on my PTS character. I bought 99,000 in SCCs (99 chips) and spent the rest on KCCs (approximately 1.4m). That was definitely my first mistake.

When I tried the slot machines, I couldn’t believe how boring they were. You just stand there and click the machine over and over, win or loss. I thought there would be at least an interesting animation, like you get three Jawas in a row for a jackpot or something like IRL slot machines, but it’s simply an arrow that spins around, and if it lands on a certain part of the outer circle, you win. It’s not skill-based, so you can’t try to control the spin, so I was just standing there, clicking over and over again. I don’t really like gambling in real life, so that may be one reason I didn’t care for the machines.

Dianah dancing on one of the tables. I should've put her in one of those dancer outfits.

Dianah dancing on one of the tables. I should’ve put her in one of those dancer outfits.

There are two types of machines to correspond with the two chips. On the Smuggler machines you use the Smuggler chips (obviously), but you can only win more SCCs or KCCs. I actually can’t remember if you can win a Golden Certificate on the Smuggler machine. On the Kingpin machines, you have a chance to win the mounts (Rancor or Vectron), a Golden Certificate, or more tokens.

The SWTOR Miner tweeted to me some useful data on the chances of a win on the Kingpin machines:

Slot Outcomes

The win animation when you get a “jackpot” is pretty cool, but for me it was quite rare. 45 minutes later, I spent all my chips, and all I won were 6 Golden Certificates. This could buy me one legacy saber and the chest piece, both of which I don’t really care for. I previewed the outfit from the vendor, and it really doesn’t look good on Dianah. Will not buy. However when the event goes live, I may try to get one of the legacy sabers. So far, I haven’t really had a need for them. I also don’t care too much for mounts and speeders.

outfit preview

Speaking of mounts, last night when I was in the casino, there were quite a few people running around on the rancors they won. Someone with the PvP rancor taunted in chat, “I didn’t buy my rancor.” Of course I thought he was absolutely right; he earned his special rancor, whereas the other ones were pay [credits?] to win. He didn’t get a good reaction from the other rancor owners (clearly non-PvPers), which was actually a bit annoying and unfortunate.

Not sure why Dianah looks so freaked out. She could one-shot Maul the alien.

Not sure why Dianah looks so freaked out. She could one-shot Maul the alien.

As for the setting, there were some gambling tables in the middle that didn’t do anything, and there was some kind of alien that I didn’t recognize. There was a cocktail droid! I’m actually a bit disappointed it wasn’t a Twi’lek in a dancer’s outfit walking around with cocktails instead, but oh well.

"Bring me a Corellian Twister, droid."

“Bring me a Corellian Twister, droid.”

Today I learned that I purchased my chips in the least effective way, and that it would have been better just to buy the SCCs since I could win KCCs without spending 50,000 credits on just one. When the event goes live, I really hope they kick it up a notch, but I’m guessing this is pretty much how it’s going to be. I will still participate in the event, but I won’t drain my entire SWTOR bank trying to win. I may actually have to go do Dailies or some other money-making activity, which I normally never do.

Buying Battle #1: Girl vs Geek

A wild Solid State Drive appeared!

Today I tweeted that I was very careful with my money in a conversation regarding the Nar Shadaa casino event coming up in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Well, I’m careful in the fact that I save for retirement, I have no debt, and I don’t spend more than what I make. However, I really like to shop after I put some money away in savings first, and I thought it would be fun to show you guys my recent purchase considerations! Let’s see if you can guess which one I bought/didn’t buy! The answer is in white text, so you will have to highlight the text after “Result” to see what I chose.

Round 1: Bikini vs. Video Game

Victoria’s Secret Bikini ($61.50)

Swimsuit

I will be going on vacation for Memorial Day to Puerto Penasco possibly, and this is a great excuse for buying a brand new bikini! The last time I bought a new bikini was probably 6 years ago.

OR

WildStar ($74.99)

WildStar Pre-order

I tried this game at PAX East 2014 and holy moly was that Chua cute! Seeing as I spent a bunch on the Elder Scrolls Online when it came out, this would not be out of the question.

Result (highlight text!): The first option was much more logical! I will be buying a new bikini this weekend! No Chuas for me.

Round 2: Shoes vs. SSD

Cole Haan Rosalin Wedge ($198.00)

Cole Haan Rosalin Wedge

I know what you’re thinking. $200 sandals. But Cole Haan is my favorite shoe brand, and these are the perfect tan color. Plus, the wedge is not too high that it looks trashy. Very classic looking sandals that will last for a long time.

Samsung Solid State Drive ($217.99)

Samsung Solid State Drive

Because I am somehow always the last to load into an operation/flashpoint. This was suggested to me to decrease my load times in-game. Here are the details of the model pictured: SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD256BW 2.5″ 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD).

Result (highlight text!): …I bought the sandals. I’ll get the SSD eventually! But right now it’s not killing me to not have it. Also, I will probably select a cheaper model to purchase.. maybe. EDIT: Returned the shoes. So basically, didn’t get either of these.

Round 3: Blue Dress vs. Blue Glasses

J. Crew Factory Petite Printed Sun Shift in Cerulean Blue ($98.00, sale price $55.65)

J Crew Factory Petite Printed Sun Shift Cerulean Sea

This is really cute. I have a ton of blue dresses though.

GUNNAR INTERCEPT in Cobalt ($69.00)

Gunnar Intercept Cobalt

I seriously need these. I stare at a computer all day at work, and then I come home and stare at the computer more when I play games and blog. Today the eye strain is not so bad, but sometimes I get headaches and sore eyes.

Result (highlight text!): The glasses would’ve won hands down, but…. They are sold out! I am really sad about this. I guess I could purchase a different model/color, but I really like these blue ones. I bought the dress, but I would’ve purchased both if I could.

Conclusion

I guess we can say that given the choice, I will probably buy something silly and girly. However, I will not buy anything “geeky” such as a new game or computer hardware unless absolutely necessary. The glasses are something that I’m really needing.

This blog post was a bit fun for me, and I will always have new things to buy in the future. One day I will do a Buying Battle #2! I actually had a more substantial “girl gamer” post that I had written and decided against. And you will never know what it was! /evillaughter

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