Posts Tagged ‘mmorpg’

Becoming a Preferred Player in SWTOR

Dianah in her Preferred player handcuffs

Dianah in her Preferred player handcuffs

A while ago I wrote on the blog about how I had become disenchanted with Star Wars: The Old Republic. I was no longer logging in and playing like I used to. I knew, eventually, that my account would go into the Preferred status, because I removed my payment information from my account before my subscription ran out to prevent it from auto-renewing. However, even though I knew it was coming, I was a bit shocked when I did finally log in, because my guild needed a fill-in for an operations group, and I was available.

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Black Desert Online Beta

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I recently had the opportunity to play Black Desert Online in their second closed beta session for their upcoming Western release. Thank you Joe of Gadgets & Khajiits for providing me with a code! I hadn’t been interested in the game prior to trying it. In fact, my first impression of the game was negative. From what I had seen and heard about the game before I even played, I thought that the “boob jiggle” animation, gender locked classes, and revealing female outfits perpetuated sexism and objectified women. However, I tried the game, and I liked it a lot! None of that other stuff mattered anymore. Do not judge a book by its cover! Here’s what I thought about Black Desert Online after trying it out.

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

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

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

My First RP Party!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick SWTOR 3.2 Rise of the Emperor Review

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Hello everyone! Thank you for your patience while I move into my new house! It’s been a couple weeks of unpacking, cleaning, decorating, more cleaning, and taking care of my new dog, but I am definitely playing SWTOR when I can! I haven’t even been to the gym in the past few weeks, which makes me a little sad, but I’ve been doing some Blogilates at-home workouts!

This past week I tried out SWTOR’s latest game update, 3.2 Rise of the Emperor! I don’t want to give away any spoilers for those that have not played it yet, so I’ll be a bit vague. The patch was released for players in two parts. I enjoyed the missions, because I thought they were more problem-solving and “puzzle-y,” but it would’ve been nice if the mobs were at least a little more challenging for me. I didn’t experience any bugs, but I know quite a few people had, especially with the speeder mission—which I thought was super cool and fun!

I thought the first part ended abruptly. The last “boss” was so easy, I remember exclaiming in much stronger words to my guildies over Mumble, “What the heck is this?!” Then I remembered there was a second part of the story!

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I was a little surprised at what happened in the cinematic on the second part! You’ll have to play for yourself to see, but I liked it. I also thought the missions in the second part were fun, and similar along the lines to first part in that you had to look for things, ride the speeder, and complete an easy Macrobinocular mission. However, when I completed all the missions, there was no indicator of anything else happening on Ziost besides defeating the world boss and the instanced boss (the Monolith). I haven’t had a chance to try these bosses yet, but I’m hoping the story will seem a bit more completed to me by then.

Have you played 3.2 Rise of the Emperor yet? What did you think? Where do you think the story is going? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @Heather_PLS!

My Hair Stylist is a WoW Raider

New hairstyle 1-10Last weekend I went to the salon and got a few inches of my long hair trimmed and also had the layers shaped. This time around I decided to go to a different salon that was much closer to my house than the one I usually go to, so I called the salon and was scheduled with a random stylist.

When I arrived at my appointment I met my stylist, a young lady around my age named Sam. She was nice enough, but usually at spa or salon appointments I prefer not to partake in small talk unless it’s regarding what they are doing. I feel like talking with them distracts from their task, and they do a better job if I don’t say anything, but I could be completely wrong about this! However, I’m still polite enough to answer questions, and she began to ask about my personal life: where I worked, if I lived in the area, if I had any kids or a boyfriend.

I told her I had a boyfriend, which was the truth. She then asked where I met him, and so I mumbled something about video games, which she was very excited about!

She said she used to spend hours raiding in World of Warcraft, but lately she hasn’t had as much time to play because she works full-time. I agreed that I also have less time to spend in-game in SWTOR because I work as well.

Before she told me that she played WoW, I was less comfortable and more guarded about answering questions about myself. However, after that, it was much easier to talk to her because we had something huge in common. Usually, I don’t meet women or people in real life that play MMOs, so I was very happy to have met her.

I guess the moral of the story is not to hide or be embarrassed about your hobbies or things that you like to do (unless they are illegal and/or absolutely socially unacceptable), because you never know who you will interact with that may share that interest with you. Sam did a great job on my hair, and from now on I will go back to see her so I can chat about gaming while she cuts and styles my hair.

Experimenting With WildStar

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The highly anticipated launch of WildStar has prompted me to at least give it a chance, so I would be able to provide a knowledgeable opinion about the game.  So far, I’ve played WildStar three times: once at PAX East, once during beta testing, and finally last night using a guest pass. My overarching opinion of the game is that it is very cute. I can’t stop saying it’s cute.

WildStar at PAX

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I had to wait in a line to play the game, surrounded by people much younger than myself. Jessica Nigri was dressed as a Draken Stalker posing with the people in front of the line, and right before I made it to the front, she left. You can imagine my disappointment, as that would’ve made a great Instagram picture.

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When I was able to play, they gave you an option of choosing between several pre-made characters. Of course, I chose the Spellslinger Chua, because it was cute as a button. I ran around the map, impressed by the cuteness of the Chua’s movement, aiming my attacks at the enemies. I quickly got bored because I didn’t really know what was going on. Simply clicking objectives and killing NPCs without knowing why or even caring to know didn’t hold my interest. I stopped playing well before my play-time ended.

WildStar in Beta

I decided that maybe I had social anxiety at PAX (or maybe I didn’t want to continue touching the keyboard), so that’s why I stopped playing so quickly. I downloaded WS Beta Client during the open beta period last month to try the game again. I enjoyed the character creation. Of course I made a Chua, and I loved the different options with eye color, fur color, ear and face style. I even made it just a bit chubby, because chubby animals are SO cute. I don’t remember what class and path I chose this time. Unfortunately, I didn’t get very far again. It was easy to figure out where to go with quests because of the light up quest arrow. However, I think the art style really detracts from essential game functions, and makes everything look very busy and complicated. I quit pretty early—at the Cathedral of Light—because I just didn’t care about what was going on, and I was mindlessly running around and clicking things.

WildStar with a Guest Pass and a Friend

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My guildie Kitkat saved one of her 7-day guest passes for me, which was awesome! Since a few of my guildies were excited about the game, I decided that I should give it another chance, so I redeemed a 7-day guest pass last night. I coordinated with Redna from OotiniCast, who also started his 7-day guest pass yesterday, to play the game on the Caretaker realm on the Dominion side. He remarked that I chose a PvE server (I’m such a carebear), but I chose that one because my guildies had their Dominion characters on that realm. Interestingly, we both ended up choosing Chua Spellslingers in the Soldier path without consulting each other.  This ended up making questing—when we got to it–a bit easier, since we both had the same quests.

"Um, excuse me sir, have you seen Redna?" "You got the wrong Chua, kid."

“Um, excuse me sir, have you seen Redna?” “You’ve got the wrong Chua, kid.”

Apparently, pro gamers we are not. For one whole hour, we couldn’t figure out how to see/find one another in-game. We tried adding each other to friends lists, which didn’t work as guests. We figured there were different instances in the zone, but we didn’t know how to switch. I tried Googling, but I didn’t Google very hard. Redna Googled and finally figured it out. You have to invite someone to a group, which I thought was counter-intuitive. I feel like you would try to be someone’s friend first before they were in your group, which is why I didn’t think of it. I clicked the “Sync Group” button to move my character to the same instance, and questing was much easier after that.

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After our initial frustration (“How are little kids playing this? Are they all just better at video games than me?” I said), we made it to Levian Bay, killed some snails, wolves and bears, collected something for who knows what reason, and found a cave. It felt pretty grindy because I felt like you had to kill so many enemies without knowing or caring why. I think that was my biggest issue, coming from SWTOR, not seeing a point or caring about why I was doing a quest other than to simply level up. I’m sure the other parts of the game are really cool, such as housing, 40-man raids, and the PvP aspects, so I will persevere. After all, I have six more days to play. However, the game is not engaging me enough to want to play more or subscribe after that unless I reach some kind of WildStar epiphany in the next week.

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.

Revenge of the 5th – Double XP Weekend Overview

This Double XP weekend was very productive! I rolled a Jedi Knight—my very first—because I heard the story was amazing! I’m also reading one of The Old Republic novels, Revan, which I will write about in more detail for you guys a bit later. Someone recommended that I complete the Jedi Knight story after I read it, so that’s what I’m doing!

I chose to be a Jedi Guardian, just because it looks more like the movie characters with one lightsaber. So far I’m at level 28, and while I have max-level Sith Juggernaut, I’ve forgotten how fun the class was. I love jumping around with Force Leap and hitting everything like crazy with my lightsaber. Although I’m only in Chapter One, the story has gotten very interesting! No spoilers here though.

I also started streaming on Twitch this weekend! It was pretty easy to set up with OBS. On Saturday evening I streamed the Tython flashpoint I completed on my Assassin with three of my guildmates who were all female. That was a pretty fun stream for the viewers, I think! I did notice that streaming while leveling is a bit more distracting, because I’m trying to concentrate on the story and talking to the viewers at the same time. Click here to go to my channel on Twitch!

Finally, I did not forget about my PvP project this weekend! I did some PvP on my Jedi Guardian for practice. I only did a few matches, but I did win one at the top of the leaderboard! Tonight will be back to business doing PvP on my Assassin since we don’t have a raid scheduled for tonight.

I have a ton of new topics to elaborate on for you readers in future blog posts, but I wanted to get this Double XP Weekend overview out on the blog as soon as possible!

When I Grow Up, I Want to PvP

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may know that I’m all about the PvE. Raid progression, story missions, killing NPCs. What business do I have writing about PvP? I’ve never stepped into a Ranked match, I really have no PvP gear except for some old relics and a color crystal, and I have never been in an arena or even the new Huttball map. And I play a Deception Assassin. What Madness is this?! (Intended pun? Did you get it??)

It’s not that I hate PvP. I just feel like I would enjoy it more if it was just a little different. I love occasional duels with friends, and I love “organic” PvP. There’s nothing like seeing a flagged member of the opposite faction out in the world and knowing you can destroy them before they even notice you! I also have enjoyed the few times that I’ve been in large operation-sized groups fighting another large group out in the open world, naturally fighting over world bosses. To elaborate on that last one: On both Alderaan and Section X, there have been world bosses that I’ve fought over. It was so much fun seeing another huge team across the way and attacking en masse!

Actually, shockingly, I used to PvP a lot more before I joined Despair, but never Ranked. I was in a small guild, and most of the guys in it liked PvP, so I tagged along. I can at least say that my favorite warzone is The Civil War (perfect for sneaking up on healers hiding in corners. I preferred to hold middle.), and my least favorite is The Voidstar (because I stealth-fail?!). I think I should get back into it, because I think I could be really, really good.

What happened? Why don’t I PvP anymore? I don’t know. I’ve become an excellent raider. I’ve become dependent on my guildies to not let me die/protect me. I’m afraid to get gang-banged in the warzone. I’m afraid to be bad at it. I hate Huttball?

Despite all this, like I’ve said before, I have so much respect for PvPers. I feel like they are more dedicated players because it’s a much harder skill to become good at. So go ahead and call me an ickle, weak PvEer! Just know that somewhere deep in my gaming heart, I kind of really want to be a badass PvPer.

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