Posts Tagged ‘Larry Everett’

Attending PAX Prime 2015: Saturday

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Last weekend I was able to attend PAX Prime 2015 in Seattle! I’ve attended other PAX events before in other cities, but this was my first time at PAX Prime. The last time I was in Seattle, I flew there for a SWTOR Community Cantina event. At that point of time, I didn’t even know what PAX was, but I quickly learned it was one of the biggest gaming conventions.

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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.

PrettyLittleSith.com Is Back Up & Running

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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.

 

 

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.

Adventures at PAX South 2015

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Last weekend, I flew out to San Antonio, TX to attend the first annual PAX South! I went to PAX East last year, so it wasn’t an entirely brand new experience for me. However, there were some differences I wanted to point out!

Since PAX South was in its first year, it was a lot smaller than what I had seen before at PAX East. However, it was much easier to see everything and walk around. I don’t attend a lot of conventions, so I couldn’t really compare the size to anything else. Even though it was “small,” there were still a ton of things to do!

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On Friday, I attended the panel, Where Did Multiplayer in MMOs Go? My co-host on The Republic, Larry Everett, was a guest on the panel, and he, along with the other panelists, talked about how some MMOs seem to be moving away from the social aspect by enabling players to be self-sufficient on their own without needing to communicate with other players. They mentioned Star Wars Galaxies quite a bit, and how it was an excellent MMO for social interaction, and they used garrisons from WoW as an example of how players sequester themselves from others.

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Panel of Where Did Multiplayer in MMOs Go?

 

While I saw many different games at the convention, for some reason I enjoy going to booths that aren’t games, but gaming products. I liked seeing the different gaming keyboards, mice, and PC components, like those from Logitech, Klevv, Astro Gaming, and Intel, because I like to see different products that could make my gaming experience better. I entered to win an i7 processor from Intel all three days of the convention, but I didn’t win! I’m sure they went to people that needed the processor far more than I, so I’m not bummed at all.

I’m not interested in playing a new game, and am not one that buys new games all the time. I keep my gameplay to a handful of games that I know I already like, so I wasn’t really that interested in seeing anything that was there.

Despite this, I did play a few games! I tried out Elite Dangerous, which was a space flying game that you played with joysticks and the Oculus Rift (if you’re lucky). The odds of getting to play with the OR were 4/7 which sounded good, but ended up working out for neither me nor my boyfriend. They should’ve never told us the odds.

I also played Super Mario on the Super Nintendo! I don’t remember what the room was called, but there was a couch and television set up in a corner with the SNES, and we played through a few levels!

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There was an arcade room that I enjoyed as well. I played this side-scrolling game that had crude language and feces flying through the air to damage your health. It was still fun, but eventually I somehow broke the computer because an AVG error message came up! Oops.

My boyfriend and I played some Dance Dance Revolution type game, and he shockingly beat me. I’m supposed to be good at this type of thing! One of the steps on my dance pad seemed like it wasn’t working, so perhaps I would’ve completely owned him if it did!

I would definitely attend PAX South again, but maybe not next year! Since I went to PAX East last year and PAX South this year, it’s time to travel back to Seattle for PAX Prime next year!

SWTOR Community Cantina: PAX South – San Antonio 2015

Community Manager Eric Musco

Community Manager Eric Musco and Redna

On Friday night, I attended the SWTOR Community Cantina at the first annual PAX South in San Antonio! I can imagine what you’re thinking—the community cantina was three days ago, and I am behind on reporting! Actually, I have quite a lot to write about for the blog this week, but I wanted to put this post out first, since I know it’s what many people are waiting for.

Flash Drive Files

First, if you are interested in the contents of the flash drive provided at the cantina, I have them at the very end of this post! However, nothing new or groundbreaking was included in the flash drive but I did like the images that you can use for Facebook covers or Twitter banners. The other images were items that have already been released in existing Cartel Packs, so nothing new. (My guildie Sleeth said he had everything that was pictured already!)

Q&A Session

Second, here’s the important information about what was mentioned at the cantina. Honestly though, I didn’t pay as much attention as I usually do, because I was much more interested in having fun and meeting and talking to friends I hadn’t seen for a while. Anyway, here are some of the new things we can expect from BioWare Austin this year for Star Wars: The Old Republic:

  • New planet: Ziost
  • Outfit Designer
  • New playable race: Togruta (this was known about for quite a while, but they are finally “officially” announcing it)
  • New stronghold
  • Story Arc continuing cliffhanger that ended Shadow of Revan expansion

I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to the Q&A (I was probably one or two beers in at this point already, and loudly said “Oh my God,” when someone asked if Pazaak would ever be in the game), but there was one question in particular that I wanted to mention here on the blog. Someone asked about the Contraband Slot Machines and why they were nerfed so hard. Basically, the answer from Community Manager Eric Musco was that players were correct that the cost to reward ratio from using the slot machines was way out of balance and that it would have serious long-term effects on the game economy. They saw that players were simply not running crew skills anymore because using the slot machines was better, and they could not have a huge segment of the game ignored because of this item.

Meeting and Greeting the Attendees

Honestly, I should’ve said something about this on the blog prior to the cantina, but I simply wanted to attend and have fun without “working” so hard on keeping track of the Q&A and asking hard-hitting questions to the BioWare staff. I think I accomplished my goal of doing that, but if you watched my Twitter, you can see I slightly tried to pay attention to what was going on!

Me and Larry Everett eating sandwiches

Me and Larry Everett eating sandwiches

I arrived about an hour before the cantina started with my friends from The Republic on Gamebreaker.tv, Larry Everett (Hyperspace Beacon, Massively) and Redna (OotiniCast, Twitch). For some reason as we were walking, I turned around, saw Lead Community Coordinator Courtney Woods with some other BioWare folks, and started a conversation! We spoke with them for a few minutes before heading toward the line, which had lengthened quite a bit while we were chatting.

I met up with my Despair guildie Sleeth, who I had gone out to dinner with along with his wife the day before at Texas de Brazil (and who I’ve written prior blog posts about which you can read about here and here). He had just come from work, but he had enough time to check out the PAX South exhibition floor prior to the cantina.

Also in the line, I immediately spotted Michael (Death & Taxes), who is not only very tall, but was wearing cowboy boots and a cowboy hat! I’ve also mentioned him before on the blog when I attended the EA Press Event in Redwood City.

Additionally, I met quite a few readers of the blog and Corellian Run Radio listeners and watchers of The Republic! I was so excited to meet people that enjoyed my work, and I’m very thankful and flattered that people recognized me.

At this cantina, Eric Musco and Lead Community Coordinator Courtney Woods were there as usual, like I mentioned earlier, but this time I was able to meet Community Production Coordinator Tait Watson as well! Before the cantina started, Courtney said to keep an eye on him since he tends to sneak away from people. This is absolutely true! After I tracked Tait down and spoke to him for a bit, he snuck away from me as expected. I did feel slightly like a creepy stalker “tracking Tait.” Here’s a picture of us together:

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Me and Community Production Coordinator Tait Watson

Other BioWare employees that were “officially” there were Ben Irving, Matt Pucevich, and Jesse Sky. Later in the evening (and probably three or four beers down), Ben Irving, who I’d met at the Las Vegas Community Cantina, asked for some feedback about the cantina events and which ones I liked the best. I said I liked the Las Vegas cantina the best because there were a lot more tables and chairs to sit at. Also, servers came around to serve hors d’oeuvres in Las Vegas too. There was a noticeable lack of chairs and tables at the San Antonio cantina, which is why you see many people sprawling on the ground in front of the stage.

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There were quite a lot of other BioWare employees there, past and present, though I can’t remember everyone’s names! My friends and I ended up at a table in the corner with BioWare Austin General Manager Jeff Hickman, who I saw at EA Redwood City, but I was too nervous to say anything to him!

I met Luther, who worked on the game pre-launch and pointed out to me the man that worked on Ilum (“The PvE part!” he assured me.). I also met Lead Narrative Designer Paul Marino (“I follow you on Twitter!” he said when I introduced myself.), who works on the cinematics of the game! I told him my favorite cinematics in-game were the end of the Imperial Corellia planetary storyline and another one which I cannot remember.

Larry Everett and Lead Writer Charles Boyd

Larry Everett and Lead Writer Charles Boyd

Former Community Coordinator Hillary Nicole AKA Pokket was also there and spoke for quite a while to Michael and me at our table about streaming, gaming, and post-cantina plans! I was able to get a picture with both of them as well:

Hillary (Pokket), Michael, and me

Hillary (Pokket), Michael, and me

Throughout all this meeting and greeting, I obtained a lot of free drink tickets and had enough to get enough beer for myself and a few glasses of wine for Redna! I tipped the friendly bartender after a while because I kept going back! I also really liked the Amber I was drinking, which had a Texas logo on it. I don’t remember the name.

Finally, I wanted to mention that Redna got nachos, and I thought the “green stuff” was relish so I didn’t want to eat it. It turns out it was actually salsa verde, or “green salsa” in English, which I am actually extremely familiar with. I’m really not sure why the first thing I thought of was relish. It must’ve been the booze.

I would highly recommend attending a SWTOR Community Cantina if you are a fan of the game, because they are a lot of fun! You have a chance to personally make your voice heard to BioWare staff and meet those who are working on the game you play. I also think that the BioWare staff made a conscious effort to provide more information about upcoming plans for the game at the beginning of the Q&A, and I think in the future they will continue getting better at connecting with players at these in-person events.

Continue reading to see the files from the cantina flash drive!

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New Episodes of Corellian Run Radio & The Republic

Corellian Run Radio

Hello SWTOR community! This week I recorded episodes for Corellian Run Radio (podcast) and The Republic (Gamebreaker), which are both out and available to watch and/or listen! Here are links and videos and little descriptions about each episode:

Corellian Run Radio Episode 135: Predictions for SWTOR 2015

In this episode Jason and I talk about our predictions for SWTOR this year and the upcoming San Antonio Community Cantina! You’ll also hear me mention megaserver theories and “ewok genocide!”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJFB2G4i8mM&w=560&h=315%5D

 

The Republic Episode 196: SWTOR Sploits

Larry gathers Redna and I to talk about the exploit that has been “going around” as well as new features in the latest SWTOR Player Test Server!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxoJ2Nszka0&w=560&h=315%5D

 

Hopefully next time Corellian Run Radio (next live recording Sunday 1/18 at about 2:00pm Pacific) and The Republic (TBA)  record live, I’ll see you in the chatroom!

New Corellian Run Radio Episode & Returning to The Republic!

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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.

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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.)

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In other news, I will be back on The Republic on GAMEBREAKER.tv 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.)

Guest Hosting The Republic on Gamebreaker.tv!

I’m back from vacation with a working PC! It turns out that the issue with the overheating CPU was that the pumps for the water cooler were no longer working and had to be replaced. Conveniently, I was able to pick up my computer today right after coming home, which is perfect because of an upcoming, important event!

I’m excited to announce that tomorrow night, Thursday, September 4th at 6:00pm PST I will be guest hosting The Republic, a Star Wars The Old Republic show, for Gamebreaker.tv . The best part is that I get to work with Larry Everett, who you may know as the Hyperspace Beacon columnist for Massively, and Redna from OotiniCast, who is also new and guest hosting this week as well!

If you want to watch or participate in the live chat, here is a link you can go to. However, you will also be able to view the final version of the video on Gamebreaker.tv and YouTube following the live show.

EDIT: Here is the YouTube video of the show! Enjoy!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WrNTUZ7Xj0&w=560&h=315%5D