December 2014 archive

SWTOR 2015 New Year’s Resolutions

Revan cutscene entrance

Last week I wrote about my SWTOR Predictions and Wishes for 2015, but how about my in-game goals and “resolutions?” Here are a few things I’m hoping to do in 2015 in-game!

Become more proficient at playing my Vengeance Juggernaut.

Before I ever even thought about playing an Assassin, my main toon was a Sith Juggernaut! I tanked a little, but it was a bit stressful for me. I’ve played with Vengeance for a while, and I like it! However, I am nowhere near as good as playing my Assassin, and I hardly ever play my alts. However, it’s good to have a backup in case of an emergency (ex: BioWare destroys Deception Assassins.).

Become more confident tanking with my Sith Assassin.

A few weeks ago one of my guildies asked if I could tank something, because she’s only ever played with me tanking. I was like, lolwut? I will tank, reluctantly (if I can’t get a flashpoint group to pop in the queues,) however, I would really rather not. This should change. I would like to be more flexible, and while I can definitely tank, I would like to be very good at it. I don’t like to do things unless I can do it well. Also, I really, really wish you could save your quick bars instead of swapping out abilities every time you change disciplines.

Clear The Ravagers & Temple of Sacrifice in story and hard modes.

Sword Squadron Temple of Sacrifice

Sword Squadron in Temple of Sacrifice

I’m about halfway there right now, but my ops team probably won’t be going into hard mode until we are all geared a bit better. We have plenty of time to do this of course!

Complete Jedi Knight and Smuggler class stories.

I know–what kind of SWTOR player am I to not have done these yet? Even if I don’t take these toons into end-game content, I would like to see these stories that have been around for three years already. Most likely I would level a Sentinel (since I don’t have a max-level Marauder) and finish my Scoundrel (level 39? 42? I don’t remember.)

Level a Sith Assassin on the Prophecy of the Five server to level 60.

I’ve got my Shadow on the Bastion that I can do end-game content with, but I actually had started to level an Assassin on Pot5 last spring when I met some players at the Boston community cantina. I feel a little bad that I haven’t played with any of them because I hadn’t had a max-level toon.

Participate in a Ranked PvP Season and complete at least 20 matches.

But I need better gear first. PvP stresses me out sometimes.

What are your goals in SWTOR in 2015? Leave me a comment on this post or tweet me @Heather_PLS!

 

(After) Christmas in Columbia, South Carolina

South Carolina State House in Columbia

South Carolina State House in Columbia

This past weekend I flew out to Columbia, SC! The weather was, pleasantly, a bit warmer than it was in Las Vegas, which was very cold and windy. It also rained a few of the days I was there, which made me happy. Living in a desert for 14 years makes me ridiculously excited about rain.

I visited a bar called Flying Saucer and ordered some kind of blueberry ale, which was pretty good! I can’t remember the name, but it had 4.9% ABV. At this particular bar, you can be immortalized in their Ring of Honor by ordering and drinking 200 different types of beers. However, you’re only able to drink three per day towards your total, so you can’t binge and drink ten in one night! Once you achieve the 200 beers, they display a plate with your name, date that you got the 200th beer, and some other things. There were hundreds of plates on display inside the bar! Unfortunately, I am the worst blogger ever and didn’t take a picture of anything.

Darth Vader - Imperial Stout + Framboise

Darth Vader – Imperial Stout + Framboise

I also visited the Columbia location of World of Beer, where I ordered a drink called the “Darth Vader,” which was an even split of Imperial Stout and Framboise. I really like Framboise, but the stout was a little too much for me, though I did think it tasted like chocolate raspberry! I ended up ordering just a framboise after that. I saw the 49ers win against the Cardinals, which I wasn’t expecting, since they’ve been having a disappointing season this year.

2014-12-27 17.25.25

The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden holds a special holiday tradition, the Lights Before Christmas, in which the zoo is lit up in lights! There were regular, Christmas-y lights, and also lights in the shape of the animals they had at the zoo. I went later in the afternoon, so I was able to see a few animals before it got dark, which was the perfect time to see all of the lights. My favorite animals that I saw at the zoo were the koalas, a huge vulture, the tiger, and all of the farm animals!

Koala  Riverbanks Zoo

Tiger Riverbanks Zoo

Lions Riverbanks Zoo

Gorilla Riverbanks Zoo

It looks like the zoo is in the process of renovating, and there will be new habitats to observe bears, otters, sea lions, and more! I love going to zoos and aquariums, so I’ll have to make another visit there when this is all done.

Additionally, I walked around downtown and around the university and saw the South Carolina State House! I enjoy looking at buildings and architecture and also learning a bit about history, so I really liked visiting this. On the side of the building there are bronze stars marking where it was hit by cannon balls, which I thought was very cool! Additionally, there is a statue of George Washington in front of the building, in which you can see that his walking cane was damaged by brick batting during the Civil War. The Confederate flag also still flies, not on top of the building with the American and South Carolina flags, but in the front of the building commemorating Confederate soldiers who died in the war.

I’m excited for my next trip, which is to San Antonio for PAX South in just over three weeks. I already have my flight and hotel reserved, and I can’t wait to go to the convention, attend another SWTOR community cantina, and meet new people!

Merry Christmas Pretty Little Sith-ers!

Darth Vader Santa
I wanted to wish all of my readers, listeners, watchers, and followers a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

It has been a great launch year for the Pretty Little Sith blog, and I have fun writing it all the time. I’m thankful for all the insightful comments and feedback, and even for the silent lurkers that read and keep to themselves!

Additionally, I enjoy writing about non-SWTOR subjects also, so I hope you’ve liked the few posts I’ve been sprinkling in here and there on the blog about my non-gaming life. I am very much open to suggestions for blog post topics, so if you’d like to give me a great idea, feel free to contact me via Twitter, e-mail, or simply leave a comment here on this post!

I will be going out of town late tonight, but I will be back on Tuesday hopefully with lots of pictures and a new blog post!

Here’s a fun video you can watch, called “The Sith who Stole Christmas.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yb-RaywZEFw&w=560&h=315%5D

My 3.0 Gearing Progress: Deception Assassin

Dianah new stats

If you’ve been following me for a little bit, you’ll know that I only ever play a Sith Assassin in the Deception discipline. (I sometimes play its mirror, an Infiltration Shadow, when I’m on the Bastion server!) So far, I’ve geared quite a bit, but not as much as my uber-elite nightmare progression friends! Currently I have a mix of commendation and operation drop gear. I normally run operations twice a week for a couple hours and flashpoints to earn commendations and gear.

As far as optimization goes, it’s really a lot of work to do when I’m still trying to upgrade all of my 186-rating gear. What I’ve been trying to do is make sure I’m over Melee DPS 100% accuracy (110% Force Accuracy), and then I can play around with the other stats once I’m fully in 192-rating gear, because it will take some time for me to start picking up 198-rating pieces. I’ve also been trying to select pieces that aren’t heavy on Endurance vs. main stat, but sometimes I don’t really get an option.

I’ve additionally purchased enough Augmentation Kit Mk-10s for a full set of gear, but I anticipate that I may be changing outfits very soon, so I don’t want to augment my current outfit until I know what my character will be wearing next! Besides, I don’t have any of the new augments to put in them yet. For now, it hasn’t been making a big difference for the story-mode operations I’ve been doing (The Ravagers and Temple of Sacrifice). When I get everything augmented, I will be using Power augments.

For my set-pieces bonuses, for now I’m sticking to the old 186-set 2-piece bonus with the new four-piece bonus. This is what it ends up being:

Underworld  Stalker’s Gear (2/5)

(2) Saber Strike hits restore 1 Force.

Revanite Stalker’s Gear (4/7)

(2) Ball Lightning and Leeching Strike or Psychokinetic Blast and Serenity Strike increase damage by 2% for 15 seconds.

(4) Reduces cooldown of Recklessness or Force Potency by 15 seconds.

Eventually I think the bonus from the 6-piece set will be more useful than 1 Force per Saber Strike.

I will certainly not throw away the old set pieces, so I can experiment later to see if the Force regeneration (old 2-piece bonus) is more important than the guaranteed critical hit bonus (new 6-piece bonus), but that is a long way off from now! One of the struggles in my opinion that the Deception discipline has is Force sustainability, but I don’t believe I use Saber Strike enough to make a huge difference.

However, it will take me quite a while to earn a 6-piece set bonus, so I will take advantage of the bonus that I have now by keeping the 2-piece until I have better gear. When I do have the 6-piece set bonus, it will look like this:

Revanite Stalker’s Gear (6/7)

(2) Ball Lightning and Leeching Strike or Psychokinetic Blast and Serenity Strike increase damage by 2% for 15 seconds.

(4) Reduces cooldown of Recklessness or Force Potency by 15 seconds.

(6) After activating Voltaic Slash and Thrash or Clairvoyant Strike and Double Strike your next Assassinate and Maul or Spinning Strike and Shadow Strike will critically hit. This effect can only occur once every minute.

An important note for other Deception Assassins is that the Alacrity stat is detrimental to your proc timing, so that is not something I will be factoring into my gear. For more information about that, I highly recommend listening to the OotiniCast interview with Redna and theory crafters Oofalong and Keyboard Ninja, which you can find here.

Other very helpful sources for Assassin DPS information are Tenebras of the Death & Taxes guild and Adam of the Mad Sith Assassin blog. I suppose Adam is now the “Hateful” Sith Assassin since BioWare changed the name of the Assassin’s Madness discipline!

How is your gearing progress so far? Have you been able to try out the new operations yet? Also, if you have any additional gearing tips, leave a comment on the post!

Pre-Christmas Activities + Spotify Christmas Playlist

IMG_6685.JPG
With Christmas in just a few days, I’m very excited! I have many things to do before then, which will hopefully make the time pass more quickly. The bad part is, when I’m at work I can’t do any of those things, so my time outside of work goes by in a blink!

This weekend we had a Christmas party at my house, and we had a White Elephant gift exchange! I was #1, so I was first to pick a gift, which was a kitchen glassware set (first picture in the post)—not really something I’m interested in as I think I have a lot of kitchenware in storage still. Thankfully, I was able to “steal” another gift at the end, and I ended up with a neck & shoulder massager and a deluxe foot spa. I thought about stealing the Bluetooth speakers, but since I’ve been having headaches, I figured that right now a massager would be better than loud music.

IMG_6657

I still have to wrap more gifts, and I’m very satisfied with what I purchased for people, which were basically things that I would like for myself if they were more personalized for me (ex: pajamas in my size and style that I would like). I only ever wrap gifts once a year, and my least favorite part is making sure you cut off the right size for wrapping paper! It’s a pain if you don’t cut enough, or if your piece is too large.

I have not made a gingerbread house yet! I know I said I was going to do this a few weeks ago, but I’ve been so busy! Before the Christmas party on Saturday I was out for most of the morning and early afternoon house hunting. Yesterday I was able to get a lot done, but I inhibited my productiveness for a few hours when I was out with my sister and her family.

IMG_6687.JPG

Obviously not made by unskilled me, but awesome work!

Tonight I have an operation in SWTOR, and I need to work on my laundry before I go out of town this Friday. Tomorrow I have a spa appointment right after work, and I’m not sure how long it will last. Maybe I will make the gingerbread house on Wednesday, which is Christmas Eve, and I can also bake some cookies!

IMG_6686

Cookies I got from a coworker’s kid’s fundraiser.

Lastly, I made a Christmas playlist on Spotify! I was tired of hearing the same traditional songs on the radio, and the Pandora station I was listening to wasn’t making me happy, so I decided to make my own playlist of songs that I liked. If you like pop music, you might like it, and I’ve embedded it here at the bottom of the post!

[spotify id=”spotify:user:heather_pls:playlist:7bLJ1q0thnUHRbBgjjjmTc” width=”300″ height=”380″ /]

SWTOR 2015 Predictions & Wishes

brace for the worst

Revan: “Brace for the worst….”

Today I asked for some blog post ideas on Twitter! One of my followers (@UnholyAlliances) suggested that I could “play prophet for a day and predict what is in store for us in #swtor in 2015.” I can do that!

Obviously I can’t promise that I’ll be right (and some of this stuff is just obvious. Of COURSE they’re going to release at least one new flashpoint.), but I spoke a bit about this on The Republic last night (no YouTube video yet, will upload here on the blog as soon as I can), and I think it would be fun to have something in writing, especially if I turn out to be correct (at least just a little!)!

Here’s what I think will be happening in SWTOR in 2015:

More stories and cinematics:

pyramid revan

When I visited EA, one of the things that was said was that the developers would be going back to what BioWare does best, which is storytelling. Additionally, they said that if we liked Shadow of Revan, we will love what’s happening in 2015! This leads me to think that there will be more stories to enjoy, which is great! Although I am not a huge Star Wars lore buff, I still like the stories that they come up with, and I will at least play through them the first time without space-barring.

What this means, in regards to gameplay, is most likely more PvE content, especially similar to the Forged Alliances story arc with the flashpoints. So far, we don’t have a lot of level 60 flashpoints, so it would be great if they added more variety to the Weekly flashpoint missions and group finder queues.

I’m hoping we will see more of Darth Marr and Satele Shan, and also learn more about Lana Beniko and Theron Shan. BioWare has introduced these characters, and I would like to see further development. I hope this is what is in store for next year.

Operations:

At the end of The Ravagers operation

At the end of The Ravagers operation.

Last night when we discussed this topic on The Republic, Redna predicted that we will probably get Nightmare modes of the new operations (The Ravagers and Temple of Sacrifice), and three months after that, another operation, maybe two. I agree with this, since BioWare has said that we will never go as long as we have without a new operation again. A new operation (or two) six months from now seems completely plausible.

As far as the story in these operations, I think they will relate to what we have experienced in Shadow of Revan, but we will not be fighting “the big bad” yet. I think it’s too early for that. While I think the two factions have been stressed and frustrated after the “forged alliance,” I do not think that they will design a faction vs. faction operation, because then they would have to come up with two different versions. They have marginally done this, in Korriban Incursion and Attack on Tython, but I think an operation is a much larger undertaking, and they will just design bosses for both factions–a common enemy, as they have always done.

Since I don’t believe the common enemy will be “the big bad” from the end of Shadow of Revan, I have no idea what it would be in the meantime!

PvP

Oh, PvP–the redheaded stepchild of SWTOR. I said earlier in the post that the game is going to have more story, which seems to push PvP aside. I think that the developers are working on new warzones, since they asked the community to submit ideas for them much earlier this year. Hopefully, we should see what they are working on sometime soon.

BioWare says the new discipline system also allows for easier class changes and balancing, so we should see more of that. It will be fun to see an actual “Flavor of the Month” and not “Flavor of the Year.”

I don’t think they will be making a change to Arenas in Ranked anytime soon. However, if I could “wish” for something it would be 4-man objective based warzones in Ranked. I don’t think they will ever bring 8-man Ranked back, but this, they could consider, since we are constantly doing objective-based warzones in Unranked.

I also think they will release whatever they are considering to improve Ranked, which leads to my next prediction.

Megaserver:

They are also working on the ominous “better-than-cross-server” idea. At this point we still don’t really know what’s going to happen. Some have suggested a megaserver with different play-type instances, like separate instances of PvE, PvP, RP-PvP, and RP-PvE. I agree that this could and may happen, and people would be able to retain the gameplay type they enjoy, but also would be able to have a much larger population for queues, since what you do in operations, flashpoints, warzones, and arenas is separate from open-world gameplay.

Basically, I predict that people will be able to queue with all types of players, but in the open world, you only have to play with others in the type of instance you prefer (PvP, PvE, etc.). What would be interesting is if they also allowed you to switch the type of gameplay at any time you like. For example, if I’m feeling especially bloodthirsty and I want to pretend like my Sith Assassin is having a bad day, I could switch over to the RP-PvP instance of wherever I was and hunt some Pubs.

The larger population in queues, in my opinion, would lead to bigger and better competition in Ranked. I think it would also bring the community together by being able to play with anyone in game.

As far as the specifics with names, I’m not sure how they will work that out. I have a toon that is literally named just “Heather” on the Harbinger, so I would prefer to be able to retain that.

Galactic Starfighter

The last time I asked, which was a month ago, BioWare currently had nothing in development for GSF. If they come out with anything, it will be later on in the year. I hope they come out with at least a new game mode, and it would be great if they released a new ship type as well.

Galactic Strongholds

One of my guildie's strongholds!

Dianah crashing in a guildie’s stronghold.

BioWare is constantly adding more decorations to the game and the Cartel Market, and I don’t think they are going to stop anytime soon! I don’t think they have another stronghold currently in development, but that is something I would like to see next year. I wish that we could have an underwater stronghold on Manaan!

What are your predictions?

What do you think will happen in SWTOR in 2015? Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

Corellian Run Radio Episode #134 & Giveaway

IMG_6573-1.JPG
Good morning! We’ve had some technical difficulty posting the latest episode of Corellian Run Radio, but we do have it on YouTube that you can listen and watch! Here is episode #134 of the podcast, in which we talk about SWTOR news and more thoughts on the new expansion: Shadow of Revan.

[youtube https://youtube.com/watch?v=zCMVKRRKJ7Y%5D

We also talk about a contest we are having on the show, in which you can win a copy of the novel Revan by Drew Karpyshyn. In order to enter, you must submit a suggestion topic or discussion for the show! Here is the link to enter that. We will be choosing a winner on Sunday for our next show!

In other news, I will be on The Republic on GAMEBREAKER.tv tomorrow night, Thursday, December 18th at approximately 6:30pm PST! This will be our last show of the year, so I’ll try to be festive with a Santa hat or something. Come watch and join the chat room!

Long Beach, Aquarium of the Pacific, Geeky Mamas & More!

2014-12-13 16.21.52

This past weekend I went out of town to Long Beach, CA, which I mentioned in my post from a few days ago. While I was there, I visited the Aquarium of the Pacific, which was walking distance from my hotel. If I have the time, I try to visit an aquarium or zoo in the cities that I visit, and I was lucky to have a bit of time to go! I also visited a few other places that we don’t have in Las Vegas, like Porto’s Bakery, IKEA, and a cute “geek boutique” called Geeky Mamas.

Click “Continue reading” to see a whole bunch of pictures from my trip!

(more…)

Upcoming Non-Gaming Life Events

No, I’m not getting married (maybe when I start playing FFXIV!), but I am excited for some upcoming events happening in the near future!

This weekend I’ll be going out of town to Long Beach, CA to take care of my nephew while my sister and brother-in-law attend a wedding! I’m hoping I will get to do some stuff outside of the hotel with the baby on this short trip, like walk around the boardwalk or go to the aquarium! He’s 8 months old, he’s pretty sturdy and hopefully will be easy to take care of. If I do get some fun time, I’ll try to post some pictures here for the blog.

Christmas is also coming up! I’m done with almost all my gift shopping, aside from my parents (who are very hard to shop for since they don’t really need any material items), and a White Elephant gift for a family Christmas party we will be having. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve purchased so far, and I think I’ve gotten pretty good deals on everything as well! I still need to buy some gift boxes and wrap everything, which I’m not that good at. I’m not good at physical crafty things like sewing, scrapbooking, gift wrapping, etc.

I’m hoping once I get some free time (next week is still filled with appointments, gym classes, and operation nights) I will be able to decorate a gingerbread house or bake some gingerbread cookies. I’ve never done either, but I think it would be fun to get into the holiday spirit. Christmas is so much more fun as a child because of all the festive things you do, so I’d like to recreate that. I’ve even been listening to non-stop Christmas music on the radio and on Pandora!

Speaking of appointments, I have to get three fillings at the dentist. I haven’t had to get fillings in years, so I must be getting worse at taking care of my teeth! I really like my dentist’s office though. Last time I went in, they gave me a heated neck wrap and a paraffin hand wax. It was great! I actually started going to this office because I won a free whitening kit from them. They are also much easier to schedule an appointment with (same-day availability sometimes) and see me quickly, instead of waiting a half hour in the lobby.

After Christmas I will be going out of town to visit a friend! I really enjoy traveling, and this year has been fantastic. I think I’ve been able to travel and/or go on vacation almost every month this year. I thought that last year I did a lot of traveling, but I’ve done just as much this year also. I’ve gone to San Francisco, Tucson, Charleston, Boston, Mexico, and have even had a stay-cation here in Las Vegas! Next year I will start out by going to San Antonio for PAX South in January, and my family also has some plans to go to Hawaii in June, I think.

Another exciting thing that is happening in my life is that I’m planning to buy a new home! I’ve previously owned a condo, but now I think I’m ready to have more space. Although I don’t bother decorating my SWTOR stronghold or even my work cubicle, I am really looking forward to decorating a house! My realtor has sent me a few properties so far, but I’m waiting for a new neighborhood that is getting built in an ideal area to list prices first. I’d like to see if I like and can afford one of those.

Finally, the last update that I would like to share is that I will be going back to school in January! I’m not seeking another degree, but I will be taking classes for web and graphic design. I used to be much better at actually coding and designing things myself on previous blogs I’ve had, but WordPress makes it very easy to not have to do or know anything. I would like to work on the website a little more and know what I’m doing. Obviously, I can teach myself these things at home, but I prefer the classes so I can earn a certificate and have that on my resume also.

In addition to the new SWTOR expansion, I’m happy that there are many things to do and look forward in my life!

Shadow of Revan : Flirting with the NPCs (Character Romance Spoilers)

dianah theron

One of the great things about BioWare games is that you can “romance” your companions and NPCs! This is slightly a spoiler, but I think I can say that Theron Shan is romance-able during the Shadow of Revan storyline, and at the end, since I play an Imperial character, he essentially breaks up with her, but it was still sort of a happy ending. I’ll have to see this ending with my Shadow also. It’ll probably be the same result because Jedi aren’t supposed to have relationships and my Shadow is a cold-hearted, dark-side Jedi. However, Theron is the direct descendant of “cold-hearted” Jedi, so maybe! We’ll see.

I know this is a bit “RP” (roleplaying) of me, but I only like to choose the [Flirt] options for characters that either didn’t marry or romance their companions, or got married to Malavai Quinn. And that’s only a few characters for me. When I originally leveled, my Sorcerer married Andronikos Revel, so in my mind, I don’t consider him my Assassin’s romance companion. And this is why it didn’t feel awkward for my Assassin to pursue the romance with Theron. On the other hand, I started to level my Juggernaut, and since I hate Malavai Quinn (treacherous bastard), I had her flirting with Theron Shan also.

dianah theron 2

I did not like the previous romance-able NPC from the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion (the male Sith Pureblood), so I didn’t have my characters flirt with him at all.

My first male playable character that I have, the Vanguard, will not be flirting with Lana Beniko since I have him happily married to Elara Dorne. Additionally, he’s a light side character working for the Republic military, so there is no way he would think about doing that. I’ll have to level through another male character to flirt with Lana.

If you’d like to read more about my thoughts on male romance-able companions, I wrote a post a while back about the Imperial side ones! One day I’ll write one for Pub-side, but not for a long while.

1 2