Posts Tagged ‘despair’

How to be a Better Guild Member

Woke up at 4am to be in this pic of us winning a conquest.

Woke up at 4am to be in this pic of us winning a conquest.

I’ve been in the same guild in Star Wars: The Old Republic for over 2 years now, and I’m very happy to be with them! I’ve mentioned my guild, Despair on the Harbinger, a few times on the blog before, but today I was inspired by a tweet by @ArtMusicTech, who said:

I have a few tips on what I consciously do in my guild to encourage fun and success in the guild!


Rolling on SWTOR Decorations

Yavin 4 Stronghold

Last night, my ops team and I did a fun run-through of Temple of Sacrifice 8-man story mode! We were missing one of our regular tanks and a healer, so we had some substitutes. Otherwise we would’ve been working on hard mode Colossal Monolith or Torque.

When we beat Revan, a decoration dropped! We all rolled on it, and I tied for the highest number with one of my tanks. Our ops/co-guild leader told us to roll again, and this is what happened:

*I roll a lower number than the tank.*

Tank: Yes! I got it!

[I’m sure he said something much more clever than that, because he normally does.]

Me: I don’t care; it’s not like I would’ve used it anyway.

I still haven’t decorated any of my strongholds. I own three, one on Dromund Kaas, Coruscant, and Nar Shadaa. Pretty sure I didn’t spend credits on the Tatooine one. Maybe I’ll decorate when the Yavin 4 one comes out. Maybe. Maybe my guild leader will just do it so we get more conquest points LOL!

I’m not sure why I dislike decorating my stronghold or have little desire to do it. I love decorating in The Sims and my home in real life, and I think I’m actually pretty good at it. Oh well.

Upcoming Tait Watson Interview + Life Update!

Hello everyone! I am alive! I have so much going on in my life right now; it’s unbelievable. I’ve been preparing to move to my new house, which has almost completed construction. I’ve been searching for the perfect dog to adopt (no adorable cats unfortunately, because my boyfriend is allergic, and apparently cats don’t love you the same way?!). I’ve also been working really hard at work and at the gym. And my grandma is visiting from Hawaii, and I’m so excited to see her, along with my boyfriend who is visiting in a couple weeks! Plus Easter with my family last Sunday, my nephew’s huge birthday party this weekend, Brian from Bad Feeling Podcast coming into town…. On top of that, I am not playing SWTOR any less!

Conquesting With <Despair>

This week my guild <Despair> is going after Belsavis AGAIN because for some reason we have not gotten #1 on this planet yet! I’m glad there are many opportunities to get points with operations and flashpoints (my favorite things to do because I am a carebear). On Tuesday I did quite a lot of both with my Assassin and even played with Vengeance Juggernaut a bit!

Upcoming Tait Watson Interview

Also, I wanted to let you guys know that on Sunday, April 12th at 2:00pm PST, Community Production Coordinator Tait Watson is going to be live on my podcast, Corellian Run Radio! We will be streaming live on Corellian Run Radio’s Twitch channel.  I would like to emphasize that this is an interview to meet and get to know him—not a SWTOR Q&A. That blog post about asking serious game questions will come sometime after the Star Wars Celebration Community Cantina in Anaheim, which I will be going to next weekend! (On that note, if you have any questions you would like me to bring to Anaheim, please let me know!)

Eric Musco Interview Video

In the meantime, I realize I never posted about the interview I did with SWTOR Community Manager Eric Musco, so here’s the video! You can also listen to it directly on or download it on iTunes or your favorite podcast app!


I love my readers, listeners, watchers, and followers very much, and I love contributing to the SWTOR community. I have a few very special SWTOR things coming up in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Dinner w/ my Guildie Sleeth at Mon Ami Gabi

Sea Bass

Sea Bass

A few weeks ago, one of my guildies, expert crafter, GSF player and <Despair> guild officer, Sleeth and his wife were visiting Las Vegas, so we went out to dinner again! I’ve written about a few of our previous outings, which you can read here and here.

There are so many great places to eat here in Las Vegas, and I wanted to make sure that what I chose wasn’t too unreasonably priced and was also a cuisine we could all agree on. They were going to have steak the next day, and the last few times we’ve gone out to eat, we went to BurGR (Gordon Ramsey burger restaurant at Planet Hollywood), Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria and Cucina (The Shops at Crystals Las Vegas), and Texas de Brazil in San Antonio. This time I wanted to go back to a restaurant my boyfriend and I went to the last time he was here in town, so I chose Mon Ami Gabi, a French restaurant, at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.


Mon Ami Gabi has a great outdoor seating area with a view of the Bellagio fountains! However, the weather was looking a bit overcast that day. I made a reservation for three at 7:00pm using OpenTable! In Las Vegas, even on a Wednesday night, I would always recommend making a reservation at a restaurant if you can, because it can get very busy at dinnertime! Additionally, I hate waiting to get seated for a table! A few minutes before 7:00pm we got into the reservations line (there were only a few people in it), and we were thankful that we had reservations! We were seated just a few moments after checking in, and I thought it was amusing when a random dinner guest followed our hostess to our table on accident. He said, “I think I was following the wrong girl…” Heh.



When we sat down, I ordered an iced tea and a fresh baguette was brought to us with butter and some other spread with shredded apples and some other stuff in it. I didn’t really like it, but I also didn’t want to get full off of the bread! We ordered the escargot for our appetizer, which was my first time trying it. Escargot is snail! I thought it tasted like a mushroom, which makes sense since snails hang out with mushrooms! There was also some garlic and I think pesto on the escargot as well. I probably wouldn’t order it again if given the option, but I would still eat it if it was served to me.

Glazed Lamb

Glazed Lamb

The server listed off a few of the daily specials, which actually sounded so much more scrumptious than what I was reading on the menu! Sleeth and I ordered the crisp sea bass, and his wife ordered the glazed lamb! I was debating on which dish to get, and I think I actually should’ve gotten the lamb after sampling her dish. The fish was still good, though!

During dinner we talked about quite a few things, including Harper Lee’s upcoming novel, the new canon Star Wars novels, SWTOR, dogs, and my new house! It’s always fun being able to meet and talk to your guildies in person about in-game things!

Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs

For dessert, I ordered the warm chocolate cake, Sleeth got the bread pudding, and his wife got these chocolate cream puff things. They were all delicious!

Despair’s Conquest Winning Secrets


I know, I totally click baited you. There aren’t really any secrets. I can tell you that my guildies play the content that they enjoy, with just a little prodding from our guildmaster to earn points!

Last night we had a very close run against Ghost Infantry on the Harbinger server for Conqueror of The Black Hole! We had to make an extra effort since this particular “planet” has many PvP-centric conquest rewards, and Despair is not as focused on ground PvP as it is on PvE and GSF content. On the other hand, Ghost Infantry is one of the best PvP guilds on the server, in my opinion!

I participated by doing some of the flashpoints and operations that offered conquest points and crafting, which I don’t really like to do. I know a lot of our members did do more ground PvP than normal, but we had many of our troops running Galactic Starfighter matches all day and night!

I’m happy to see that we still won #1! Today is our day of rest, and we will prepare for taking over one of the new planets, either Rishi or Yavin 4 next!


Hanging Out with Guildies IRL: Sleeth Part 2

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Tahitian Vanilla Gelato and cocoa nib cookie crust

Back in March, I wrote a post on “How to Meet Your Guildmates in Person,” which was a very cute post, I thought! I wrote about the first time meeting my Despair guildies Ben and Sleeth (SWTOR Harbinger players may be familiar with this name), and I was able to hang out with Sleeth again recently! If you remember from November, I also hung out with my guildie Drios in San Francisco, which I wrote about here.

A few days ago I went out to dinner with Sleeth and his wife Andria, who were visiting Las Vegas to celebrate the New Year! The first time we hung out in person we ate dinner at Gordon Ramsey’s BurGR at Planet Hollywood, as I wrote about in the blog post I linked above! However, this time around, I picked a restaurant at CityCenter.

It’s a little difficult choosing restaurants to go to with visitors, because I don’t want to take them anywhere they can go to at home, nor do I want to take them to an extremely fancy (expensive) restaurant either. Las Vegas has quite a lot of “fancy” restaurants, and I’m a little picky about where I go that is semi-casual. I ended up choosing Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina inside The Shops at Crystals. I had been there before, but it had been a long time. I don’t go out to dinner as much as I used to, so I was excited.

We started with the Calamari “Fritto,” which had basil aioli, tomato sauce, crisp parsley, and lemon. I preferred the tomato sauce over the basil aioli, but both were very good. I also really liked the crisp parsley, which I actually thought was kale at the time. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of this!

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For our entrees, I ordered one of the wood fired oven pizzas: Spicy Pepperoni, Calabrian Chili, and Fresh Ricotta. Sleeth ordered one of the specials, which had pasta, clams, and chili. His wife ordered the Garganelli Carbonara, which contained English Peas, Crisp Pancetta, Egg Yolk, and Parmesan Reggiano. I regret ordering a pizza, because their pastas looked so delicious! Fortunately, I can go back since I live here, but I’ll have to find someone to go with me!

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Zeppole: warm doughnuts, orange custard, and caramel dipping sauce

I saved some of my pizza for later, and we ordered dessert! Sleeth ordered the Tiramisu (mascarpone filling, lady fingers, and biscotti), Andria ordered the Zeppole (warm doughnuts, orange custard, and caramel dipping sauce), and I got the Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse (Tahitian Vanilla Gelato and cocoa nib cookie crust)! I love chocolate. I didn’t try the Tiramisu, but the doughnut was delicious! I don’t normally like orange flavored desserts, but this tasted good enough to overcome that.


Tiramisu with mascarpone filling, lady fingers, and biscotti

During dinner, we talked about the game of course (Star Wars: The Old Republic) and the guild! It’s a lot of fun being able to talk to people in real life about things you do in-game, and while the community cantinas are great, it’s very nice meeting people I actually interact with in-game and in Mumble (voice communications).

We said our goodbyes, but I will be seeing them again in a few weeks in San Antonio, since they actually live in the area! Hopefully I will be able to take some great food pictures then as well!

Hanging Out in San Francisco: Drios & Swtorista

On my very short trip to the Bay Area this week, I didn’t have a lot of time to do things outside of the EA event, but I did still have a little fun!

When I arrived in town, I used Uber to go to downtown San Francisco, where I met up with my SWTOR operation leader, Drios, who is also one the officers in my guild Despair. I walked for quite a bit in the wrong direction (away from where we were meeting up), but I saw Union Square and went to a few different shops while I waited for him to arrive. I realized I had forgotten some essential toiletries (pouf and toothpaste), so I stopped into Walgreens to buy some travel sized items. I know I probably could’ve just gotten toothpaste from the hotel and used the hotel soap instead of the body wash I brought, but at least I have the items for my next trip. I also realized here that the sales tax rate was 8.75%. In comparison to Nevada’s 8.1% sales tax, I decided I didn’t need to buy anything else since I could get everything in Las Vegas. However, I still walked around for quite a bit and browsed!

Here's a picture of where we went, but not the crappy picture I took.

Here’s a picture of where we went, but not the crappy picture I took.

By the time we met up, I was pretty hungry from walking around! We went to the top floor of the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, which has a cocktail lounge and bar with fantastic views of the city. In the dark, I don’t think I took very good pictures, but I’ll include a picture on the blog of what it looks like in the daytime also.

We ordered a few finger foods, some sliders and shrimp (both of which I forgot to take a picture of), and I ordered a Sam Adams. We tried to talk to one of our operation group members in Mumble (which I have on my iPhone), and we chatted about the game and real life! It was his first time meeting someone from the internet, but for me, it was not as daunting since I’ve met many people from the internet a lot lately.

Drios and Dianah!

Drios and Dianah!

He had to work at 6:00am the next morning, so we parted ways! It was fun getting to meet someone I played with in-game several times a week, and now I’m able to put a (better) face to the name. (The only picture I’ve seen of him was of him taped to a tree.)

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The next day I attended the EA event and met Victoria of! After the event was over, we headed downtown. The night before she had also been downtown, but we had not known that the other was going to be in town, so we didn’t hang out. However, we had some time before our flights later that evening to play tourist!

2014-11-19 16.51.51

She had not seen Union Square yet, so on our way there we stopped in Ghiradelli for some drinks. The employee gave us free samples of the Peppermint Chocolate, which was excellent! Victoria purchased a hot chocolate with the melted Peppermint Chocolate in it, and I chose a Pumpkin Pie latte!

2014-11-19 17.01.19

We made our way to Union Square and took a few pictures! I really liked all of the Christmas decorations. We also did some light shopping, but we didn’t have enough time to do anything but impulse purchases. I found a Madewell inside the Westfield mall on Market St., which I was both excited and bummed about. Excited, because I really liked the store and don’t have one to go to in Las Vegas, and bummed, because I didn’t have enough time to take my time, try things on, and evaluate whether or not I wanted to buy anything. Since the sales tax was higher, I guess I can just buy it online now that I am home, but it was nice being able to see and touch the merchandise in person.

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We took the BART back to the airport together, where we had to fly out in separate terminals! It was a pleasure meeting her since I’ve listened to her interview on OotiniCast. We haven’t communicated much online since I prefer Twitter (she doesn’t have an account) and she prefers Reddit (which I haven’t really posted to). However, I’m glad we met and hung out, and I hope we can present some useful information to the SWTOR community about the EA event once the embargo is lifted!

New Corellian Run Radio Episode & Returning to The Republic!


Hey guys! I’ve been really busy taking over planets in SWTOR, but I also had a bit of time to install and play Hearthstone and Skyrim this weekend too.


In between all this, I did record a new episode of Corellian Run Radio! Click here to listen to me and Jason talk about guild conquests and how I thought my guild Despair was going to lose 1st place! (We ended up winning Tatooine big time with over 17 million conquest points.)


In other news, I will be back on The Republic on this week on Thursday with Redna and Larry Everett! Make sure you tune in to the live show, but I will definitely post the YouTube video here on the blog when it’s available as well.

Happy gaming! (FYI I did this all on my iPhone 5s and have no idea if images are centered. Probably not.)

How Voice Comms Can Enhance Your Guild Experience

I read something the other day about how no one knows who you are in large guilds, that it’s not a welcoming environment or a place where you can develop and nurture friendships in game. My experience so far in Despair has not been this way.

A little story of when I first joined (pre-blogging!):  We were running some kind of group content, most likely a 16-man operation, with everyone in Mumble. My guild leader Filmadeus or some other officer decided to play a game and made everyone in the group introduce themselves to me, and I had to guess, by the short bio they provided and the sound of their voice, what their profession was. I will never forget this, because I had mistaken a helicopter pilot for a “banker,” which I think at the time was absolutely hilarious to them. The guild quickly embraced me, and not even a month after joining I met one of my new guildies at the Seattle Community Cantina.

I’ve been in the guild now for more than a year, and I’ve written quite a few pieces on what it is like being in the guild, including: My Guild As A Communist Society and How I Joined Despair. However, I would also like to say how important voice communications are. I believe this is how we are successful, for a couple reasons, including efficiency and effectiveness in group content, getting to know each other, and building comradery. (I would also check out: How To Find a Guild: It’s Like Dating).

Obviously, not everyone likes to be in voice communications, but if you are doing group content with the guild, we will always request that you connect to Mumble. Members don’t always have to speak, but it is necessary if you are going to be in an operations group, to at least be able to listen to the ops lead. I can live without hearing my guildies while we do a flashpoint, but most likely we are already chatting with each other in Mumble. Voice communications simply make gameplay more enjoyable; you don’t notice that you’ve had to run Hammer Station twice in a row when someone is cracking jokes in your ears. Additionally, it is so helpful to be speaking rather than typing to someone in the middle of a warzone or arena. No one has time to type out a sentence while they’re getting attacked.

Also, if you can hear someone talk, it’s easier to get to know them, know what they like to do in-game, and more easily be able to form groups for things. Thus, it’s easier to gather and motivate everyone to work towards a common planetary conquest objective. Personally, I keep the Mumble overlay on my game so I can memorize a voice and personality with a name I can see visually.

There are few exceptions to people that I’m extremely familiar with that don’t speak in Mumble (hello Zissou and Jurckad), but otherwise, if you aren’t in the channel, it’s really difficult to get to know who you are. This is fine, but I wouldn’t complain about your guildies not knowing who you are if you never familiarize yourself with the majority using Mumble. No one has complained about this as far as I know, but we have had a huge influx of new members since the advent of planetary conquests.

I highly recommend for guilds to use voice communications. Even if you are not actively running an operation, warzone, flashpoint, etc., it helps so much to get to know your guildies and to plan, strategize, and talk about things in and outside the game. I think you will find that the guild is strengthened, people are less flaky, and you will enjoy playing with your guildies more.

Corellian Run Radio Episode 125: Conquesting We Will Go!

I’m actually a few days behind on announcing the new episode, but it’s a really good one! On the show Jason and I interview Filmadeus, guild leader of Despair on the Harbinger, a guild that has already conquered two planets so far since Galactic Strongholds has been out! Filmadeus gives some good tips and advice for other guilds and leaders regarding planetary conquests.

We also feature another guild in our Guild Ready Check Segment, Remnants of Hope, on the Jung Ma server!

Click here to listen to Episode 125 of Corellian Run Radio!