Monday, December 24, 2012

A Wild Targeter Appears!

LOCK AND LOAD, AGENTS!

So, I figured I'd drop a note for the Christmas Holiday!  Things are going well here; I'm spending less time in front of my computer and more time out and about.  I've lost 10 lbs so far just from dieting and generally not being a moron, but illness (stomach flu + pneumonia) has sidelined my fitness efforts.  All in all though, things are looking very good for me and will only improve in 2013!

So, as a treat to myself, I logged into TOR this weekend.

Boy howdy.

I'd forgotten all the things TOR does so very, very well.  Instant engagement in storyline.  Active combat.  AOE looting.  Quest items you can use.  Legacy perks.  Even the Cartel Market (I bought the Pureblood unlock).  I rolled a new Jedi Knight (going sentinel with him) and just had a blast (in small, healthy doses)!  What great fun!

Anyways, I'll update my progress both in-game and out as the new year dawns.  Best of luck to all of you and happy holidays!

- Targeter

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Update - Hiatus

Hey guys.

As you can tell from the title, ol' Targeter is taking a hiatus from posting.  This is largely because of my 'Lord Lard' initiative.  You see, I got some results back from some company-mandated health testing and it wasn't very good.  So, I'll be kicking the fitness plan into overdrive.

This means a couple of things!

My TOR/WoW posting will drop significantly.  Like, almost to zero.

My Lord Lard posting will probably drop to once a week updates.  This will be the primary focus of the blog for the near future.

BATHROOM, MOM!  BATHROOM!
A fairly accurate depiction of Targeter right now.

In a nutshell, my health has spiraled out of control and I need to get back on track if I plan to see the end of this decade.  It's partially because of my sedentary job, partially because of my hobbies (*cough cough MMOs cough cough*), and partially because of my inability to balance a healthy lifestyle with my desire to kill pixel bad guys!  It's no one's fault but my own, really.  Tons and tons of people are able to balance work, life, family, and gaming successfully.  Currently, I'm not.  But I plan on changing that very, very soon so that I can be there for my family later on.  And like, not die of a heart attack at 40.

I'll cover the major events and post silly stuff here and there, but for the time being I'm taking a hiatus to get started on rectifying my problems.  To those of you who read my blog, I thank you very, very much.  If I had known that my little blog, which I really only planned for my guildmates to read, would last over two years, have 130+ posts, and attract 11,000 hits, I would have passed out!

I'd like to thank some folks indivdually, too.  Shintar over at Going Commando, N'jessi at Hawtpants of the Old Republic, Hugh at the MMO Melting Pot, Cleeyah at In Character, Fulguralis at Killing 'Em Slowly, the inestimable Lono from Screaming Monkeys, Spinks at Welcome to Spinksville, and countless other authors who have given me inspiration (ie, I stole their post ideas), guidance, and support.

To those of you who have me on your blogroll, I do appreciate the traffic you've sent my direction and would greatly appreciate if you kept me on.  I do eventually plan a return to blogging, but at this moment, I can't see it happening for 6-9 months at the least.  If you decide to remove me, I thank you for your patronage and wish you the best!  For those that keep me on, well, I always liked you better anyways!

Thanks again guys and gals.  When I talk to you next, I hope to be in far better health.  Cheers!

Fly safe, shoot straight.  For the glory of the Empire!

Monday, November 12, 2012

TOR-Cation and Lord Lard!

Change is coming, agent.

I know, Kaliyo.  Are you frightened?

Really?  Really.  We took down the Cabal and you ask me THAT?

Well, can't blame me for trying.  Want a hug?

Get spaced.

Lock and load, agents!

Wow, how long has it been since I said that?  Seems like forever, really.  I've got a pretty good reason for the absence in posts though ... me and Mrs. Targeter went on our very first for-real vacation!  We've taken time off before for stuff (weekend trips and other things) but this was our first foray into 'real vacationing.'  Me and the missus took a five day cruise to Mexico and it .. was ... wonderful.  A seven-year delayed honeymoon (we even sailed out on our anniversary date!) was just what the doctor ordered.  I'm refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to rock.

So of course, what news do I come back to when I return to real life (as opposed to food-laden cruise life, which in my humble opinion is a hundred bajillion times more awesome)?  The TOR F2P announcement!  Granted, it was announced a couple of days after I came back, but I was still easing myself into work and whatnot, so it counts.  Whatever.

Anyways, seriously, F2P is here on Thursday!  Wahoo!  I'd always told myself that I'd dive back into TOR big-time once the F2P conversion hit, and Bioware's making it easy with the launch of HK-51, your own personal meatbag eliminator.  I can't wait to get my own assassination droid and check out what's changed since I've been on TOR-cation.  I've not heard of too many changes to agents or smugglers, so I don't think I'll need to modify too much.  Any update on the Cathar?

WoW is going well too; I've abandoned my Enhancement Shaman and moved on to an Arms Warrior; Enhancement is getting the business end of the nerfbat and the skill priority system is just so ... ugh.  I remember back in TBC and LK when Enhancement was fun to play and very proactive; now it's so reactive that it grates on me.  I'm managing stacks of Searing Flames, Maelstrom, watching my cooldowns I mean totems, totally totems, watching my regular cooldowns, managing this, managing that ... blargh.  No thanks.  Simplify the priorities, simplify my totems (you know, gimme my regular totems back, plus my totem UI) and maybe I'll be back.  But I've been Shamanin' for four straight years now (2 as Elemental, 2 as Enhance), and maybe it's time to switch it up a bit.

I've got some other stuff on my plate too, and that's what I really want to talk about.  So, I'm an MMO gamer.  The stereotype for us is fat, gross greaseballs sitting at a computer playing games and nerd-raging.  For many of us, the stereotype isn't true.  But for me, it is!

I can't really blame it too much in TOR/WoW; five years ago I transitioned into a sedentary desk job that helped expand my wallet but also increase my waistline.  Here's a shocker ... in the five years at my desk job, my weight has ballooned by 50lbs.  That's 10lbs a year.  My gaming hobby doesn't help; sitting in front of a computer all day and then going home and sitting in front of a computer or on the couch all night ... yeah, small wonder I'm the size of a small African country.  I was never a small guy to begin with either, but I was reasonably in shape and what some would call 'country strong.'  Never defined at all, but working with my hands and in warehouses helped keep my weight in check and give me massive amounts of strength (at least I thought so).

So today I'm starting a new initiative ... LORD LARD.  That's right, the Sith Lord of Fatties is going to get in shape!  Now, I'm going to be very reasonable about it at first.  I've tried this before and gone all gung-ho only to throw my back out or pull a hamstring and completely derail my fitness attempt.  Here's my plan.  Using the Livestrong MyPlate (sponsored by that dirty cheater, Lance Armstrong!) I'm going to monitor my caloric intake and start an excercise program.  We'll start with some light jogging and whatnot first, plus my ridiculous P90X stuff in the mornings (jog at night, workout in the morning after my son gets on the school bus).  I know, I know, you're saying, "But Targeter!  You said you'd take it easy!  Isn't P90X for extremely manly men with bulging biceps and large eyebrows!"  Yes, it sort of is.  But at the same time, it's not.  I've done it before and enjoyed it, but I also know my limitations (now!).  I can pull back the intensity of the workouts so I don't obliterate my vertebrae or shear my hamstring right off the bone.  In other words, I will be taking it slowly.

I'll probably be providing an update every week on my progress (daily reports on weight loss tend to be self-defeating) but I'm not honestly expecting to lose like OMG10LBS a week.  I'll be happy with a steady 2-3lbs, maybe 4 on a good week.  Maybe 1 on a holiday week.  Just as long as I keep losing.

Oh, and drinking water.  Lots of water.

Fly safe, shoot straight!  For the glory of the Empire ... a much thinner Empire!

(Update!  My coworker has suggested a name of Darth Bitchtits too.  I know that's offensive as all get-out, but damn does it make me laugh.  So, Lord Lard or Darth Bitchtits?  Leave a comment to decide my new moniker!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cash Shop!

The Cartel Market is live on the PTS!  Darth Hater has a wonderful write-up about it, as well as a bevy of screenshots.  It looks ... well, to be honest, it looks quite interesting!

It's been no secret that this Free to Play stuff has worried me greatly.  We all know EA; we saw what they did to Warhammer Online.  I feared the same for SWTOR, and justifiably so.  But after perusing the Market ...

Guys, this thing is going to be a homerun.  Seriously.  The prices aren't ridiculous.  The items are neat.  They are all fluff, save for the armors (which we can talk about in a bit), and they're all fun, useful, or just downright cool.  Most gamers seem to be coming down hard on the 'Cartel Packs,' basically randomized loot bags, but I think they are BRILLIANT.  Bioware has basically copied the same system from the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer mode; you buy random packs of stuff and you're guaranteed a couple of drops that are rare or even super rare.
An exclusive sample of the finest goods from the Cartel. Each Pack contains very rare bonus items found nowhere else! Two rare bonus items with a chance of a Super Rare! Chances of a Super Rare bonus item are greater than from a Black Market Cartel Pack. One boost item, for either Experience or Social Points. One crafting material of at least Prototype quality. One companion gift of at least Prototype quality.
That's an example of a Cartel Pack.  That's available for 360 Cartel Coins.  Other packs are priced similarly as well.  Guys, those look like fun.  You can even earn titles from packs, like Blockade Runner, Crime Lord, Space Pirate, Cartel Collector, and Skip Tracer!  Speeders aren't $20!  If the 1:1 conversion rate for pennies to coins is used (as we think it'll be), the speeders are about $7.  Armor is $12.  Boosts and bonuses are $1-$2.  This isn't the insane pricing structure I was expecting.  The armors are a minor gripe in this; they are statted but the mods can be removed.  They are recolors of existing armor, but we were expecting that anyways.  Most of them are adaptive, so that's good.  All in all, the statted armor sales irk me a tad but not nearly as much as I thought it would.  Overall, the Cartel is ... well, it looks like fun.

Guys.

GUYS.

They've made the Cartel Shop into something fun

This is a GOOD thing. It's not mandatory.  It's not required.  It's for sheer fun.  Some of the items in the packs have bound decay timers.  That means after 3-5 days, they are no longer bound to you.  That means you can put them on the GTN.  My god.  It'll go crazy.

I'd be hard-pressed to argue a Free-to-Play user isn't getting sort of shafted.  They have to spend money to unlock certain sections, to unlock warzones for a week, to unlock species, flashpoints, etc etc.  I guess that's the downside of playing for free; expect to be nickel and dimed ad nauseam.  To get around most restrictions, they'd need to subscribe.

And to be frank, it'd be a good deal.

I think that was Bioware's plan all along.

Bravo, Bioware.  You could have gouged us.  Instead you chose to make it fun.  You chose to take our side.  For the first time in a LONG time, I can look at SWTOR and say, "Yes.  You are on the right track."

Feels good, man.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

TOR & WoW: The Balancing Act

Agent, where in the hell have you been?

Busy, Kaliyo.  You know how it is.

I most assuredly do not, agent.  Where's your gun?  And is that a ... rice ball?

I can explain, Kaliyo!

This'll be riveting.

So there's these bears that know martial arts ...

*SLAP*

Lock and load, agents!

I'm sure you can tell by now that my TOR posting has been a little ... uh ...sparse.  I'll freely admit it.  I'm not playing much TOR right now.  Oh, I checked out 1.4; the moods, the LFG tool travel fix (super nice), the new raid (the first 3 bosses; currently working on the 4th), etc etc.

And then I promptly logged off and went back to WoW.

It's a weird thing, you know.  I don't hate TOR.  I don't dislike TOR.  I'll be honest, there are a TON of things I love in TOR.  A TON.  I love to play it.

But shit, I've been playing it exclusively since July of last year (starting in beta).  Kinda burned out.  Sorta taking it easy.  There's not an incredible amount of new content out there for me to do.  That's not to say there isn't a lot of content out there ... just pretty much the same stuff we've had since launch.  Datacrons, flashpoints, companion affection grinding, and others.  Sure I could roll a new class if I wanted ... I've only got 2 50s and a 47, with others hanging in the 30s and 20s.  Sure I could go all-on on PVP, but ...

I've been playing TOR a long time.  Time for something a bit different.

Enter ursine martial arts.

It's not that WoW is better than TOR (it most definitely is not - I see them as pretty equal in fun factor).  It's that WoW right now, is different.  It's a different flavor of that delicious MMO ice cream that I love so much.  So I'll indulge myself for now on Pandaland and have some good ol' fashioned fun.  I'll eventually return to TOR simply because it has almost everything I want in a serious MMO ... just not right now.

Does that make sense?

Friday, October 5, 2012

To Quote Portal ...

Here's my review of Mists of Pandaria.

This was a triumph.
I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.
It's hard to overstate my satisfaction.

No, seriously, I'm having so much fun with the expansion that it's ludicrous.  It's why I haven't posted in a while ... I'm actually, like, playing the game and stuff.  I've got some screens to share and some stories to tell and some laughs to generate, but that'll be next week.

I also stepped foot into Terroooor Froooom Beyoooooond and ... holy shit, is that a good-lookin' operation.  Like, no seriously, it may be the most aesthetically pleasing raid instance I have ever stepped a virtual foot in.  Really.  Stunning.

I've also been busy in Torchlight 2 because that game is WTF GOOD.  It's every Diablo 3 should have been and nothing that Diablo 3 is.  It's fan-fucking-tastic.

Pile all that gaming on top of an increased RL workload, and there's been a posting drought here.  That should be remedied next week!  I've got some 1.4 patch thoughts (including moods and whatnot), a TL2 review for ya'll, and some MoP stories as well.

Till then ...

FLY SAFE, SHOOT STRAIGHT!  FOR THE GLORY OF THE EMPIRE!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blizzard's Masterpiece?

Spinks, one of my favorite bloggers, wrote a comment on her own story that I found quite interesting:

I think this could well be Blizzard’s masterpiece. So blown away by what I have seen so far. There are slower parts (like wandering through Valley of the Four Winds) but the payoff, when it comes, is amazing.

Could she be right?  Could Mists of Pandaria be Blizzard's apex?  Could these furry, funny, meditating pandas be the absolute zenith of WoW?

I think she's spot-on.

So far, Mists of Pandaria is scratching all the right places.  It's the perfect balm for my recent MMO hurts.  It's funny yet poignant.  It's action-packed yet contemplative.  The player crashes onto the shores of Pandaria amid violence and hate, but while traversing the land the beautiful tapestry Pandaren cultural unfurls before you.  Yes, there are kill-fetch quests.  Yes, you have to collect oranges and guts.  This is World of Warcraft after all.

But then there are other moments.  Moments like meeting the Jade Dragon.  Moments like listening to the lore lesson on the Wandering Isle.  Simple moments where NPCs meet and greet you.  It's the simple things, really, that affect you the most.

Is MoP Blizzard's masterstroke?  The greatest of all their expansions?

My inclination, right now, is to 'yes.'  And I can't wait to find out what lays in store for me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sex with Stegosaurs: TOR's 1.4 and MoP Impressions

Taking a page right out of the Blizzard playbook, Bioware has timed the release of their huge new patch, Terrrrroorrrr Frooooom Beeyyyyoooond!, against the release of the Mists of Pandaria.  Of course if you ask them if this was intentional, they will likely deny it (with a wink and a nudge), but I, for one, appreciate this type of aggressive stance.  I think we could all accuse Bioware of being too passive in the past, casually taking it on the chin as Blizzard and other MMO developers released patches and updates alongside TOR's new offerings.  Good on ya, Bioware.

So, what's in 1.4?  In just a couple of hours (edit: it's live now!), you'll be able to experience a new operation on the far-flung planet of Asation.  The Gree need help against the Dread Masters; those jerks apparently opened an ancient hypergate and are intent on letting some low-rent Cthulu wanna-be devour the whole galaxy.  Those Dread Masters are assholes.  Dulfy's got a guide for the new bosses.  I expect me and my guild will be checking out Terrroorrr Frooooom Beyyooooonnnnd pretty soon!  In operations, you'll also be able to trade loot back and forth, so hooray for that!  And sell back items for their commendation price in case you bought the wrong thing, too!  Double hooray!  All the way across the game, man!

Also in this new patch is the oft-promised ability to match-to-chest and hide the headgear on your companions.  Finally, I won't have to stare at my love interest as she professes her undying devotion through a respirator, nor will my Corso look like he stole all his clothing from the Clown Trooper store.  Hooray!

Shadows are getting a buff in 1.4 as well.  No, not Consular Shadows, you silly.  Actual shadows.  From light sources.  Call me picky, but the shadows always bothered the shit out of me.  They were blocky and jagged and horrible looking.  Bioware introduced new tech into the game to smooth out the shadow edges; I'll call this new tech "ShadowBlaster 9000."  So, ShadowBlaster 9000 makes it all smooth and pretty, but I'm concerned about the load it'll put on my video card.  I'll have a more complete look at ShadowBlaster 9000 technology once I see it in action on my home PC.

And last, but not least ... we get to make stupid faces.  That's right!  SWTOR is launching a completely weird and random thing!  We can now put our characters faces in different moods like Stunned, Eager, Hurt, or Surprise Butt Sex.  Gotta be honest ... I sorta love this.  It's out of left field and totally weird.  Like, they never even talked about this before the 1.4 hullabaloo.  Nary a mention of making funny faces like you're pooping or having sex with a stegosaur.  It's unknown if these facial expressions carry over to the cutscenes, but please baby Yoda on a pogo stick MAKE IT HAPPEN.

And speaking of stegosaurs, and dinosaurs in general, let's take a gander at Mists of Pandaria!  Gonna be honest with ya'll ... MoP feels and plays a shit-ton better than Cataclysm.  Adventuring to a new land, seeing new people, and facing a race that neither hates nor loves us is pretty damn awesome.  We are the interlopers in their land, and while they are tolerating us (for now) and healing our wounds, they will not abide our conflict and abhor our war-like nature.  The zones look astoundingly good.  The NPCs feel right, and I've already been introduced to my new favorite NPC of all time, the love-struck hozen  named Riko.

You can feel a 'but' coming, cant' you?

BUT ...

Don't shit yourself.  It's still just World of Warcraft.  It looks great ... for a game nearly eight years old.  It's fun in the 'Oh, I remember how to do this' way, not the new and innovative way.  This expansion feels like a love letter to Wrath of the Lich King, with a very open, welcoming starting zone that really sucks you into the story.  Story you have to read.  In quest panes.  /sigh

Look, MoP is definitely a MASSIVE improvement of Crapaclysm.  No shit, this is the most fun I've had playing Warcraft since I first stepped foot on Northrend.  It definitely rekindles the love and excitement of playing World of Warcraft (for me)!  Problem is ... how long will this love last?  How soon will it devolve into a morose been-there, done-that epiphany?  I don't honestly know.  For now though, I'm having a blast.  I hope it stays that way.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pandamonium!

Hey, it's the least interesting blog post title ever!  Lookie thar, I made a pun on the panda expansion!  Hardy har!  No, but seriously, panda-land dropped today.  It's another WoW expansion.  I expect it'll be a lot like other expansions; fun for a while, but dragging to a slow halt later on.  It'll also feature some raids that are lackluster and twitchy, some really poor character models, horrid draw distance, and laughably bad storylines.

So why do I play it?

I really, honestly don't know.  It's just fun.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Your Fifty-Second Assignment: Targeter, Targeteer, and ... Targetess?

By the Emperor's balls, your brother is annoying.

I know, Kaliyo.  He's so smug.

... and sorta handsome.  He's got good cheekbones, Agent.

Do you want to be pushed out of an airlock?

I'm just saying, Agent.  A girl gets lonely.


Lock and load, agents!  Targeter's back in action.  The last few weeks have been eventful in TOR; server consolidations, legacy changes, adaptive gear, and patch 1.4 hit the PTS!  So there's a lot to talk about, but ... forget that.  That stuff is boring to me and you know all about it already.  Let's talk about what REALLY has me excited.

12 CHARACTER SLOTS.

Yes, that's right.  Targeter the agent already had his nemesis in the galaxy hoppin' rogue Targeteer, scourge of the stars and ladies' hearts.  Now, he's going to be joined by an all-new cast member ... Targetess, cyborg femme fatale.

With this latest mini-patch, Bioware went ahead and updated our character slots due to the recent server consolidation.  By increasing the number to twelve (or more, if you had more than twelve characters consolidating on one server), the boys and girls in Austin have essentially given me the ability to make another agent.  A laaaaady agent.  A laaaaady operative agent no less!  In all honesty, this is great news for me.  I'd like to think that I took my time on my very first playthrough to 50 with Targeter, but I'd be a lying sack of shit.  I was so enamored with the game that I went on a banzai leveling blitz, blasting through level after level just to experience more of the story.  And therein lies the rub; the faster I leveled to get more story, the less time I actually spent appreciating said story.


Targetess changes all that.

For right now, she's a cyborg.  That may change.  The lure of the sons and daughters of Csilla is almost too much to resist and I can already feel myself caving.  I know that she will definitely be an operative though ... I've wanted to try out this stealth mechanic thing for a while.  And it's going to be pure bliss to experience the best story in TOR all over again from a more sinister angle.  Now, I say that I'm going 'dark' ... but we all know that I'll wind up as Light V and as pure as the driven snow.  But if that happens, well, I can always make another agent!  He'll be Targeted, evil agent extraordinaire, villain of the spaceways, enemy of all that is good and pure and stupid.

If you can't tell, my love for TOR has been rekindled in a big way.  I loved my agent.  I loved my smuggler.  And the idea that I don't have to delete one of my characters to make space for another agent makes my shorts tight.

Also, this will be a big couple of weeks for gaming/movie-watching/general laziness around the house.  The Avengers Blu Ray releases Tuesday, as does Mists of Paaaaaaaandaaariaaaa.  Not gonna lie, I'm gonna go get me some Panda action.  Also, Torchlight 2 just released yesterday and it is seriously WTF GOOD.  Like, DAYUM WTF GOOD.  I'll post a more in-depth review next week once I spend a little more time in the game ogling its lush landscapes and whimsical characters.

I'll probably post some more about the 1.4 PTS stuff, the consolidations, etc etc, but I just wanted ya'll to know ...


I'm back, baby.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Titans of Industry Say Goodbye

Don’t be dismayed by goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

~ Richard Bach

Farewell, Drs. Zeschuk and Muzyka.  So ends an era in gaming.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Douchecanoes and You!

You all know him.  He's that guy.  The guy that incessantly bitches and moans.  He hates everything, and anything you like doesn't compare to a certain thing he likes and therefore is crap.  Yeah, that guy.  We all have known that guy at one point in our gaming lives; hell, some of ya'll may even think I'm that guy.  I'll be honest; I've not always been in love with the direction that Bioware has taken TOR and I've been very vocal about it.  I've rubbed more than a few of you the wrong way with my hate-filled diatribes and lengthy rants.  But you must realize, that this all originates from my once fanatical, now cautiously optimistic love of this game.  Guys, I love this game.  Like, in illegal ways.  I'm not talking about that type of guy (mainly because I'm that guy and let's not talk about my foibles, dammit!).  I'm talking about another type of guy.

He's the guy that only shows up because his friends play the game.  He's the guy that really doesn't like the game that much.  He'd much rather be playing something else.  And he lets you know about it all the time.  He insists on informing you that the only reason he is here is because his friends are.  He bitches and moans about every bit of information, good or bad.  He constantly compares his current game to a game he liked in the past.  A game that 'got it,'a game he identifies with, and a game he apparently refuses to play anymore because his friends aren't there.  And so this guy, angry, desperate, and bitter, turns to bashing the game he's currently playing.  Yeah, that guy.

That guy's an asshole.  I've known a few of those guys in my time, and I'm betting you know at least one of them right now.  The Old Republic seems to be to rife with these type of assclowns right now; the "told ya so lol f2p" queeftards that live to shit on your parade.  So how do you deal with those type of guys?  How do you keep them from bringing you down with their churlish, derpy statements about SWTOR?  Other than the obvious option of burying them in the backyard with a bullet embedded in the brainpan, there are a few things you can do to help irritate or eliminate these douchecanoes.  There are certain techniques you can employ to nullify their trollish attacks.  Let's explore a few!

"TORtanic is a failure!"

The most unsophisticated type of attack is to assault the game as a failure or use the term 'TORtanic.'  Yeah, like we've not heard that before, moron.  The best possible thing you can do is fight fire with fire by either insulting their masculinity (Hey, limpdick!  Go play Hello Kitty Online!), their mother (Your mom's a WHOREtanic!), or just put them on ignore.  I'd go for option three, but I'll be honest ... I sorta love the term whoretanic.  I just made that up and it's BRILLIANT.
"This game is dead!  LOLOLOL"

Clearly not, Einstein.  After all, you're online aren't you?  And so am I because I am the unwitting target of your nonsensical text diarrhea.  A few defenses for this are; listing in detail every reason you think the game is, in fact, not dead, posting a huge diatribe about how this particular idiot's opinion is invalid because of his gear, or putting him on ignore.  I'd advise option three, although an in-depth breakdown of his character's gearing mistakes could be fun.
"Guild Wars 2 is superior in every conceivable way!"

Oh Christ, not this asshole.  AMG GERD WERZ.  Look, I'm sure Guild Wars 2 is a great game!  Looks great!  Heard it plays great!  Great art direction!  Cool!  Go play it then, fucknut.  Why are you in SWTOR to begin with?!  Go play as a tree-person, or a midget, or some sort of Klingon war yak or whatever the fuck a Charr is then.  Seriously.  Possible methods of attack: remind him that Arenanet sucks balls and Guild Wars was an abortion, suggest that he likes to play a console or something, or put him on ignore.  Option three is probably the best, but making fun of him for being a console gamer is fun too.  Unless it's Xbox 360, cuz that system rocks.
"I had fun with TOR but it's really not my cup of tea.  I may come back for the free to play conversion though."

Oh yeah?  You can stick a  ... oh wait.  No, this is perfectly reasonable.  Don't ignore this person.

 

If you follow these easy steps (especially my suggested options), you too can enjoy your TOR experience to the max.   

TO THE MAX!



(Addendum: This post is in response to a coworker of mine who spent the better part of three days complaining to me that folks on TOR were getting him down and making him not want to play.  To which I responded, "Are you having fun?  Then why are paying attention to them?"  For three straight days.  Hey dude, this post is about you.  Get your own enjoyment out of the game instead of letting others dictate it for you.  Ignore the haters.)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sentinels and Shaman and Ghostcrawlers, oh my!

Over the weekend, I fired up my little Jedi Sentinel.  He's a Twi'lek with no respect for his fellow sentient beings.  This attitude problem is only heightened by his brand new armor, which makes him look like a TOTAL OHMAHGAWD FUCKING BADASS.  Thanks for fixing the helmet bug for Twi'lek, Bioware!  It also doesn't help that he's the first SWTOR character that I'm actively going dark side on.  This just in: dark side Jedi are jackwagons.  Seriously, he goes out of his way to make sure everyone knows he's a tremendous douche.  I'm thoroughly enjoying the Sentinel playstyle though, as it mostly consists of "FORCE LEAP WTF DAMAGE."  Really, they should just rename the talent trees to "Ripping Faces Off, OMG, and Jackhole Hero."

Also over the weekend, I actually logged into WoW.  I even stayed on for like 20 minutes!  It was impressive.  I'm really just biding my time till Pandas show up because, UGH DEATHWING.  Has there ever been a more listless expansion villain?  His end raid is horrible and bland.  He just flaps around like some ignoramus while we slaughter his minions.  And then he's all like, "I'm Deathwing, the destroyer of worlds!"  And you're all like, "Nice of you to show up to the party, dumbass."  Then you crawl on his back and make fun of his wardrobe and then he melts and Thrall steals your killing blow.  The end.  It also doesn't help that there are approximately 12 players on your server at any given moment.  How we don't have more 'OMG WOW IZ DIEING' posts is beyond me.  Goodness knows that those popped up when SWTOR's population dipped.

Continuing with WoW, Greg 'Ghostcrawler' Street continues his legacy of misunderstanding everything about his own playerbase.  In his latest twitter explosion, aka 'missive on how he's cooler than you', a fellow shaman player posed this:

Shamans feel very gutted to me by removal of traditional totems- numbers ok, but just feels like a lot of junky CDs now.

Which is, to be fair, a completely honest description of the class.  Ghostcrawler replies:
Junky CDs > junky buffs?

Oh, screw you Ghostcrawler.  You even PLAY a shaman and you don't get shaman!  The totems are what defined us.  Jesus, how did you ever get to be lead designer?

And speaking of lead designers, I have terrible news.  It looks like everyone's favorite game designer, Daniel Erickson, may be looking for a new job.  He was the heart and soul of SWTOR and championed story above everything else.  It appears as though he is either currently unemployed or will be let go shortly, if his LinkedIn page is any indication.  If he is cut loose from Bioware/EA, then it will be a very, very sad day.  Of all the designers, I think Daniel 'got it.'  He was truly invested in the story and the players.  I want to believe that this isn't real and he's still with the SWTOR staff.  If it becomes confirmed, I'll post about it.  Until then, I'm holding out hope.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

This Actually Happened.

The creators of Guild Wars 2 apparently have taken to Reddit concerning the issue of account bans.  There was a great hue and cry from the GW2 playerbase over 'unjust' bans, so the ANet Community Team opened a thread to address these.  It seemed pretty simple; if you got banned, you could ask why.  The caveat was that the ANet team would post EXACTLY why you got banned.

Then you get gems like this, from a player named Bixx.

[–]ArenaNetSupportTeam[S] 791 points ago
The name's fine. The chat? No so much: Bixx: Get out of here you gag faggot
[–]YesButConsiderThis 295 points ago
Holy shit that was amazing.
[–]esoterikk 36 points ago
Haha agreed.

And NeurologicalDisorder ...

[–]NeurologicalDisorder 126 points ago
i would LOVE to re-read what 'Neurologic' was banned for. after that suspension's over i'mma drop some money into gems for more bankspace, because i had bank issued at bloody level 8 already :P
[–]ArenaNetSupportTeam[S] 618 points ago
Name: OK Chat: Not ok -- Neurologic: "the worm IS fucking hard if you're a fucking mentalpatient no we fucking dont you can take a keep with 5 people if you're not a fucking dickhead"
[–]Kinbensha 323 points ago
I loving this thread so hard right now.

I don't know if this is the best thing ever or the worst thing ever.  But it's definitely a thing.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Few and Far Between


Notice that I'm posting more irregularly?  Yeah, me too.  It's hard to write new posts about SWTOR because frankly, there's really nothing to write about.  Austin Peckinpaugh wrote a dev blog yesterday about PVP changes for 1.4.  I don't really PVP with any frequency to care.  Looks like some buffs and nerfs that could potentially affect some classes I don't play.  Hooray.

I could write about my recent foray into Explosive Conflict with my Republic friends in Vanguard of Norrath, but that's boring too.  It's a five boss operation that seemed rushed and sloppily put together.  It features a quasi-Twin Emperors boss set ripped straight from Ahn Quiraj, some tank bosses that were sorta interesting, a puzzle boss/minesweeper game that's more annoying than fun, and a final boss that played like a retarded version of Heigan and Mimiron's bastard love child.  I wasn't remotely impressed.  Eternity Vault grabbed me by the balls and let me know this was the new paradigm for raiding.  Karagga's Palace was dingy and remote; a true outpost of evil.  Denova is ... a planet full of Trandoshans who are annoying.  Um.  Ok.  Oh, and there are some Imperials there are who are general assholes.  K.  Got it.  Oh, and I guess it's a forest planet, so, like, that's cool.  And there's a video at the end that sorta teases the 'big bad' in the next operation.

Right.

So, what's left to post about SWTOR?  Uh, F2P is still coming.  No date yet.  Teeerrrrroooorrr Frooooom Beyyyyyoooooond is still coming, theoretically.  Maybe even this month, but hey Bioware only promised us this content so I don't expect them to actually deliver it.  Heh.  What else ... no word on HK-51, and the less we hear about him, the more likely he'll be cash shop fodder.  Makeb too.  And we who actually subscribe will probably have to pay extra for them, cuz hey it's not like we're goin' anywhere right!

The only really exciting thing going on right is the start of the football season (both types!).  I love watching football and soccer, so let's talk about that!

I've been a Minnesota Vikings fan since I was 7.  I was watching the NFL over at my friend Sammy's house in Arizona when I was a wee lad.  The state had just landed the Arizona Cardinals and the NFL was very, very big.  Actually, to be fair, in Arizona football was big, period.  High school games between Peoria High (my hometown) and Cactus High drew thousands of people.  So, being football crazy, landing a real NFL team made the entire state euphoric.  So there I was, watching the Vikings and the Packers play on TV, and I decided on the spot that the Vikings helmets were cool and they were my team.  Fast forward 26 years, and I've had a quarter of a century to wallow in Super Bowl-less misery.  Anyways, the Vikings will suck this year.  Coach is horrible.  QB is mediocre.  We have the best running back in football and don't know what the fuck to do with him.  Damn.

Super Bowl teams will be New England and Green Bay, with the Patriots lifting the hardware after a long championship drought (by their standards).

(Minnesota Vikings) Targeter's Prediction: 6-10

My college football team isn't much better.  I live in the area known as the 'Bluegrass State.'  Been here for 20 years, so I've become quite attached to the hometown University of Kentucky.  During basketball season, this place is totally ridiculous; we pack 25,000 people into Rupp Arena for the first PRACTICE of the year.  During football season, this might as well be a morgue ... and for good reason.  The UK football team hasn't exactly been what I would call 'relevant' lately.  We still talk with pride about that one win we had against Steve Spurrier after a quarter century of trying.  We've lost to Florida 25 times in a row.  That's a quarter of a century of being beaten by the same team.  People, we play them every year.  In 25 years we haven't beaten them once.  Not one time.  We JUST beat Tennessee last year for the first time in 26 years.  That's right, we had a 25-game losing streak AND a 24-game losing streak.  Against teams we played every.  Single.  Fucking.  Year.  Goddammit.

And so we started off the 2012 campaign by getting pasted by a mediocre Louisville team on national television.  Whoop-dee-doo.

BCS Championship teams will be Alabama vs USC, Saban leading the Crimson Tide to their second straight national championship and third in four years.

(UK Football) Targeter's Prediction: 4-8

The only one of my teams that has any hope of doing ANYTHING this year is my soccer team.  I'm a recent convert to the EPL; I really only started watching soccer in 2008 when I, like most of America, was enthralled with the Women's Olympic soccer team.  I ate that shit up.  Then I watched the World Cup on a lark in 2010.  After that, I was hooked.  I picked up the FOX Soccer channel in 2011 and started the EPL season.  I took about a year to pick a team; I was leaning towards Arsenal but the players were rather selfish, Fulham looked interesting but could be relegated, but ... Tottenham piqued my interest.  Tottenham played smart.  They had dynamic players.  Harry Redknapp was respected, Adebayor was a diva but talented, Scott Parker and Rafael Van de Vaart were real professionals.  I was hooked!

So the Hotspur became my team.  Adebayor came back this year, we picked up Clint Dempsey too!  Rafael left, and that sucked.  Redknapp got sacked ... inexplicably.  And then they picked up Andres Villas-Boas.  Yeah.  Last time we saw him manage a team, he ran Chelsea into the ground.

Whee.

The EPL is looking tough this year; Chelsea is back, City and United are looking potent as always.  Arsenal, if they can get their shit together, can probably finish in the top 4.  My Hotspur will probably finish fifth in the league table, but that's ok.  We're in the Europa league this year and stand a pretty good chance of winning that (which ain't shabby).  If, by luck, we can get into the top 4, then we'll be in the Champions League ... and have a year to gel.  I like our chances.

(Tottenham Hotspur) Targeter's Prediction: 5th in the table, Europa League Champs


We'll get back to a more normal SWTOR posting schedule once SWTOR decides that it wants to put out updates.  Until then, I'll post about some other stuff.  We got MoP coming out soon, and Torchlight 2 just got a release date!  That's good news.  I'll give minor updates on what I'm doing on the Rep side if anything exciting happens too.

Hey, how about we go to Taris for a little hanky panky, yeeeaaaah!
**UPDATE: I was checking my stats for this post (because I'm a ridiculous attention whore who just wants to be loved) and noticed that one of the search terms that brought a random reader here was "old republic jedi sith blowjob."  THE FUCK?  Just thought I'd share that and admonish all you dirty readers for your very dirty thoughts, yeeeaaah baaaaby!**


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Smugglin', Mists of Pandaria, and Targeter's Heart-Wrenching Story

An accurate representation.
First off, the most important news.  I have now achieved level 50 on my second character in TOR.  That's right, Targeter is now joined by the infamous Outlaw Targeteer!  I haven't finished the third chapter yet (got to 50 through Belsavis dailies and some rather outstanding guildmates), but so far I have to say that the Smuggler storyline is every bit as interesting and fun as the Agent's.  It's not as good obviously, but it is very well done and chock-full of humor.  Unfortunately, I don't have a screenshot of Targeteer with his ridiculous Columi hat on, so I'll just post this representation of him.  That's pretty much what he looks like, 'cept blue and has less straw on his hat.  I also participated in my first operation with him last night; my guild rewarded my blitz to 50 with a pity run through Eternity Vault.  How nice!

The second line item for today is a more in-depth view of the Mists of Pandaria expansion, releasing September 25th for World of Warcraft.  As you may (or may not) know, I've re-upped to World of Warcraft since Bioware's updates for SWTOR have been few and far between.  Very far.  Oh my god it's a content drought.  This however has left me with ample time to check out other games.  Now, here's some full disclosure:

I played World of Warcraft from 2007 till 2011.  I came in at the end of The Burning Crusade and never really got to experience any end-game content of any note in that expansion.  Hell, I barely knew what I was doing!  My Dwarven Priest (Fear Ward HELL YES) stacked ludicrous amounts of stamina, whacked people with his staff as his primary attack, and put 5 points in Wand Specialization (remember that?!).  So I was what most people would call a 'bad.'  When Wrath launched the next year, I was in a much better place and able to compete at the highest levels; this included getting lost in Naxx, shamefully asking in Ventrilo what hit rating was, and not knowing what white or yellow damage was.  This got much better later on when I stopped Death Knighting (I had abandoned my Priest and the Alliance early in Wrath) and went Shamaning instead.  During my reign on Blackwater Raiders as Neverender, and later Ancestor and Brewtotem, I became almost competent as a raider and definitely a top 100 player ... on my server.  If you just count shaman.  Horde shaman.  Horde shaman who's names start with A, N, or B.  Look, I knew my way around a shaman and I was pretty decent at it.  Was I the best evarz?  No, of course not.  But I was pretty good and proud of it.  So, in Trial of the Champion (patch 3.2) I really hit my stride; I joined a 'hardcore' 10man guild, became an elitist asshole, and started thinking my shit didn't stink.  We did all the hardmode stuff in Ulduar and TOC, and then moved on to ICC where my hardcore guild of elitist assholes exploded, to nobody's surprise.  I later fell in with some friends I should have never left in the first place and we had more fun.  Then Cataclysm came.  Oh, how aptly named.  I was promoted to raid leader and had a grand time for the first three months.  To be honest, I was having so much fun that I didn't even mind that we weren't killing any bosses.  That's right, it took us almost three months to get Halfus down.  But I didn't care; the team was fun and we were having a blast.  Then it happened.

Loot drama.

My raid team and our guild exploded one night over a hat.  Long story short; main healer got herself locked out of the raid we were trying.  She brought another character (her third healer) to the raid.  Halfus dies.  Hat drops for a shaman.  I award the hat to our faithful shaman healer who has been showing up week in and week out, doing all the right stuff.  Third healer girl (also a shaman) blows up.  She wants the hat too.  Drama ensues.  GM and disgruntled party get drunk and blow the whole raid team up over Vent and toss me out of the guild.  Welp, that pretty much did it for me in Cataclysm.  I left the game and never really looked back, instead focusing all my efforts on the upcoming game THAT WILL CHANGE DA WORLDZ FOREVAH!  That's right!  Hello Kitty Online Adventures!  No, wait, I mean SWTOR!  Totally SWTOR!  Not Hello Kitty Online at all!

Considering that particularly messy end to my WoW career, I honestly never figured I'd ever be back.  Cue the siren call of kung fu pandas.

Ok, that's not totally accurate.  It's not really Kung Fu Panda.  But it's pretty close.  I was always one of those ardent defenders of Pandaria; "It's not really Kung Fu Panda, guys.  Pandaren were in the original Warcraft games!  Get educated!"
The years were tough on Donatello.


Then I played the Pandaren starting zone.  There is a particular part of the starting zone that is suspiciously familiar ... there's a Master Oogway moment.  Remember him?


Wongding comes for you!
Maybe it's disingenuous to call it a 'Kung Fu Panda' moment, because in reality, this a moment that happens in nearly every kung fu film.  The master passes knowledge on to the student, and then he passes on to the next life.  I liked how they handled the whole zone, to be honest.  It had a very distinct eastern feel; the architecture looked right and had the correct coloring, the enemies were interesting (ape-men whom I hated, bunny-men who I hated to kill, even dragons randomly appearing!), the tone of the quests was spot-on.  Heck, the zone was even difficult!  Once you reach level 7 or 8, you get into the area where the Horde and Alliance are, and the enemies are so tightly packed that you can't really help pulling two or three at the same time.  I enjoyed the difficulty and strategy required to complete the area, but I'm fairly confident that the zone will be nerfed to hell before release ... and I'm ok with that.  It's a starter zone, dammit.  You probably shouldn't have to utilize all your cooldowns and get lucky to survive it, well at least Blizzard probably thinks that.

I did, in fact, roll a monk.  I sorta hated the class.  The mechanics felt off and the abilities didn't seem to make sense.  I never felt comfortable playing it, but then again, it is the beta.  I was also playing the Brewmaster specialization (the tanking spec) and it just didn't feel ... right.  Once the game hits live, I'll go in and try the monk once more.  Probably a windwalker, cuz Targeter don't tank, baby.  Targeter don't tank.

Welcome to the Wandering Isle.



 So far, Pandaria has been pretty impressive.  I'm not going to lie; the graphics in MoP took me by surprise.  For a nearly 8 year old game, the vistas are nothing short of impressive.  The draw distance seems to have been lengthened considerably as well.  Close up visuals reveal the truth (leaves still render poorly, old race models remain laughably bad) but overall, the graphics of MoP are stunning.  I'm pretty pleased.

For me, Pandaria seems to be hitting all the right buttons.  I'm making sure that I don't experience too much of the new content in the beta ... I want to avoid the problems I had with TOR (9 months of intense beta testing burned me out before the game even launched).  But I can safely report that MoP is injecting things into the game that I like to see; more lore, more factions, more stuff to do.  They have Pokemon (which I refuse to use), and also a faction called the Tillers that allows you to have your farm (it's very similar to Harvest Moon).  There are others too, but I haven't seen them yet.

All in all, I can't wait.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wars And/Or Guilds: The Second

So, like, apparently some game is headstarting today?  There are people excited about it.  I'm not.  Don't get me wrong, it looks like a great game with a beautiful visual style.  In fact, it looks exactly like the type of game I would love to play.

But I'm not going to.  Not yet.

Call it the 'TOR Effect.'  I simply cannot let myself get excited about another game.  Not for at least six months.  I guess I'm just so gun-shy of diving into yet another MMO after giving TOR as much love and attention as I could spare.  I've been following TOR developments since 2007 and the past few months have been pretty rough on me.

So yes, Guild Wars 2, you look interesting.  You look like fun.  Hell, maybe even one day I could play you.  But not right now.  I'm still too wounded, too raw.  Jesus, I sound like a Twilight character.

Anyhoo, I do plan on checking out Guild Wars 2 at some point, but I'll wait for the inevitable 6 month sale at Amazon.  They get to work the kinks out, I get a lower price, and I don't get emotionally crushed by my lofty expectations again.

Next week, I'll be posting my impressions of the Mists of Panderia beta.  And of course, I'll be reporting any and all Old Republic news that I can get a hold of!

**UPDATE: Of course, as I write this, there's some SWTOR news!  Looks like extra character slots are on the way.  I fully expect them to be part of either the F2P conversion or the huge HK-51/Cathar patch.**

Monday, August 20, 2012

Free to Play Fuckcrap: SHUT HICKMAN UP Edition

Oh sweet baby Yoda on a biscuit, please someone SHUT JEFF HICKMAN THE FUCK UP!

You answered a lot of question about the F2P model that you are going to be providing, but there are still some small things that we would like to find about. Will subscribers have to play for any kind of content? So, while it was just a subscriber game you would pay for a major expansion, but right now; I am guessing you are currently focusing more on smaller content…

Yes

What (if anything) will subscribers have to pay for after F2P launches?


I wish I had a solid answer for you on that. We’re still in discussion about some of the larger content updates that we’re planning. Great example is the planet Makeb. We’ve talked about Makeb, we have a lot of plans around Makeb. I wish I could give you more details, but I can tell you that I think the playerbase is going to be really, really pleased. More story content. New and interesting things for the players to do. More systems and interesting functions in the game … I can’t go into a lot of detail, but around things like that … This is a pretty big piece (of content). It is probably all that I can say. It is definitely still for discussion whether we sell that to the subscriber or the subscriber gets that for free because it is a big beefy chunk of content.

Yeah.  He just said that for realsies.  Subscribers look like they'll be paying for content right alongside the free to play folks.  Yeah, you just heard that.  He, like actually said this to a website that covers TOR.  Where people, most likely TOR players, will read it.

Subscribers will probably have to pay for Makeb and other story content.  Gonna be honest ... don't love this idea.  And by 'don't love', I mean 'I fucking hate this idea and I think this is the worst idea since the Maginot Line.'  Oh, but it gets better!
The major question about F2P; when any F2P project is announced or talked about is what’s gonna be in the cash shop? Lets just put this question out there in as plain and as simple form as possible. What’s your stance on Pay to Win?

Pay to win is not something that we like. I don’t want to unbalance the game by putting things out on the store that somebody can walk in on day one, buy and be the winner. Having said that, there will be some things that we put out in the store that do enhance power value in some way, but not at the top end. Trying to think of a good example. We may put a medium level blue piece of armor on the cash shop for example. We might do that. We haven’t decided and we’re still talking about this, but it’s one of those things it is like … most players will have something better than this anyway, but if you don’t here’s the way that you can get a leg up to at least make you equal with the normal players. That is kind of where our thinking is at, but we are still discussing it. But we do not believe in Pay to Win.

Paying for story content AND getting stat gear from the shop?  I'm going to be in the corner.  Crying.

Friday, August 17, 2012

RAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!

In honor of my rage-boner over Sunny's podcast.  I am a frothing fanboy.
**UPDATE!  MR. SUNNY RAVENCOURT RESPONDED AND MADE IT VERY HARD FOR ME TO BE PISSED OFF.  DAMN HIS REASONABLENESS.  CONSIDER ME COOLED OFF, I GUESS.  BALDERDASH.**

Well, this sucks.  My favorite podcast on the planet, Sunny's Diner, is shutting down.  Citing the need to 'move away from TOR,' Sunny is moving on to a multi-gaming podcast.  This is sad.  Very sad.  I enjoyed Sunny's Diner to an IMMENSE degree.  Sunny and Radicool were podcasters 'for the rest of us.'  They explored the game from the casual point of view, with an eye towards the cerebral part of the game.  Sunny, the host, was just fantastic in both charisma and demeanor.  Radicool was the offbeat counterpart that perfectly complemented the show.

Now they're gone.  It leaves me to wonder ... how many more SWTOR podcasts will fall to the wayside?  Sunny's Diner joins the long list of TOROCast (although no one really misses them), GPR, TOR-Talk, Mos Eisley Radio (still hanging on, I guess), TORMonger, among others.  And more importantly, are podcasters dropping off because they are no longer interested in the game or because the game wasn't "IT" for them?

Sunny cites unrealistic expectations for his departure and a feeling of 'being done'  and 'bored.'  He also stated that he doesn't really roll alts, which is sorta like, what TOR is all about.  I can't say I blame him, but it still makes me sad.  I know I've had my frustrations with the game, and at times have gone frothing rage-boy all over the place, but I've not really ever entertained thoughts of leaving the game.  Even if I stopped paying my sub (which I haven't!), I'd still hang around and check in on TOR.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to truly 'quit' TOR ... this game has supplanted WoW as my must-have adventure.  It just simply scratches my itch.

Sunny lists a couple of things that would have kept him around:

Playing Alts - Sunny doesn't do alts.
End-Game Raiding - Sunny isn't a raider
Compelling Market - Sunny likes to play the GTN/auction house

Sunny and Radicool promise not to bash TOR and then spend the first 20 minutes or so ... bashing TOR.  Oh, it's not overt bashing.  They mainly just take issue with a lot of faults with the game, faults that they themselves have created with choices they make in the game.  If you choose not to roll alts in this game, you absolutely gimp yourself.  If you want world PVP and don't roll on a PVP server, then that's a 'you' problem.  The GTN problems ... well, that's pretty true.  The GTN was pretty awful at first, but its picked up quite a bit since 1.2.  I don't mind listing your problems with the game (hell, I do it all the time), but the feeling of 'over' these two guys have with the game is just saddening.  Especially since they portrayed themselves as such champions of the game for so long.  It annoys me.  It also annoyed me that Radicool laughed so hard and so long at the "TORtanic" comment.  Well, we know where he stands.

Sounds like Sunny and Radicool are moving on to the 'next great MMO', Guild Wars 2.  They never state it boldly, but it's what it sounds like to my ears.  I think Guild Wars 2 will be a good game, but I honestly doubt its status of "MMO JESUS" that so many have lumped on the game.  It looks like fun, I suppose.  It seems like more of the same.

In the end, it seems to me that Sunny and Radicool are bailing while they can.  Sunny seems to have greater designs for his podcast, something more 'general' and 'multi-game.'  Hey, that's great for them.  Good luck with that.  But, I won't be joining you.

Frankly, I find his reasons for leaving (and his entire 'Farewell' podcast) to be insulting and ridiculous.  They portray the game as no fun and tedious.  Glad they feel that way.  Glad they made 32 podcasts about the game they apparently dislike playing.  Glad they so arduously defended the game and then turned about-face so quickly.

Frankly, I'm glad I found out about how they really feel before I traipsed off to support them on their new podcast.  Oh, by the by Sunny.  I won't be following you on your new podcast.  Not because you left TOR ... because you showed us a false face for far too long.

I can guarantee you, readers, that the very moment I feel like I want to leave TOR, I will let you know.  I let you know how I feel about the game all the time anyways, really.  Just a recap of my current state of TOR:

F2P scares the shit out of me.
TOR is fun, but not as fun as I would like.
TOR operations are good, leveling is great, PVP is balanced, and post-launch content is piss-poor (quantity-wise).
TOR's planets are dead.
TOR's story is amazing.

There you go.  If any of that changes, you'll be the first to know.  You can take Sunny's Diner off of your favorites list now (or leave it on because Sunny's so damn nice.  Damn him.).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

EA @ Gamescom - TOR News!

Well, well, well.  New Bioware Austin GM Matthew Bromburg (creator of the MGL and successor to Bioware founder Dr. Greg Zeschuk) introduced a few minutes of TOR news at the EA presentation today.  Apparently, we're getting the new operation, TERROR FROM BEYOOOOOND! (yes, I will capitalize it every ... single ... time) next month!  And more space missions and a new warzone (Ancient Hypergates) in the coming months too.  He reemphasized the need to produce 'more frequent updates' but let's be honest; we've heard this song and dance before from the boy and gals in Austin.  I'll hold judgement until they can prove that they're capable of doing it.

Here's the video (fast forward to 51:00 to get to the TOR stuff):


Looks promising.  Let's hope BW can deliver!


Needs some TLC.

Those aerial fins aren't really all THAT useful.  Right?

Only one engine means it reduces the carbon footprint.  Al Gore would be so proud.
**UPDATE!  Thanks to Cykryst of <Syndicate> on Ebon Hawk, I was able to snap some screenies of the new event speeder, the Hyrotii Scrapper, a 90% Level 1 speeder (level 1, really?) that actually looks really awesome!  It's all banged up and smoking and coursing with electricity!**

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Grand Acquisitions Race!

Looks like SWTOR's second live event, the Grand Acquisitions Race, is going live very soon (if not already)!  The Chevin are hosting the intergalactic scavenger hunt on the Smuggler's Moon of Nar Shaddaa and promising huge rewards for those 'capable of interstellar travel.'  We've known for a while that the scavenger hunt was in the works, but this video from MMO-Mechanics.com is the first official acknowledgement.  Looks like they timed their live event with Gamescom (happening in Cologne, Germany this week) and are preparing an onslaught of content for us!

Best of luck to all those who participate in the race!  I'll see you on Nar Shaddaa!

**UPDATE!  As of 6:00AM EST (8/14), the GRAND ACQUISITIONS RACE is live!**

**UPDATE 2!  I've just completed the available quests & items and had a blast doing it!  There are still 3 items that are unobtainable at the moment; the mask, the jar, and the sphere.  Those will probably be unlocked in the coming days.  I had enough comms (which are tradeable, by the by) to purchase the rating 130 'sniper rifle' bowcaster.  Here it is in action.**

Rwaaarwwwarrraarrrr!

My armor hides my Wookiee fur well.

Ready to lay down some Wookiee justice.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bioware's Broken Promises

Now, if you've been following me for any amount of time, you'll know that I'm several things: up-beat (generally), an ardent defender of SWTOR, an unrepentant Bioware fanboy, and all-around smart-ass.  But I'm going to go ahead and be completely honest with ya'll.

I don't trust Bioware anymore.  Not one fucking iota.

If you read my post earlier concerning James Ohlen's Lie-apalooza in December, you'll see a bit of what I'm talking about.  You can also see what Joveth Gonzalez, Community Manager said yesterday as well.  I'm sure Joveth's a good guy and all and I certainly appreciate his effort, but this is exactly the same fucking thing he said in May.  Almost word for word.  More communication was promised.  A re-emphasis on the community.  'Hey, we're listening!'  So, Bioware, why should I be any more inclined to believe you now?  You've not listened to use for a long time, and I'm almost positive as this game transitions to a free-to-play cash shop that you'll listen to us even less.  We'll just be walking wallets to you by then.

Yeah, you read that right.  Targeter's officially fed up with this bullshit.

You could say that I got a little angry when I read Joveth's little missive on Wednesday.  That would be an understatement.  Understatement of the fucking year, actually.  So how many times are we, the loyal, paying customers going to be fed the same line of shit?  How many times are we going to take the bait while Bioware VPs laugh all the way to the bank (though less of a bank than what they expected to have)?  How many times must we pitiful few, the only ones we actually stood by Bioware as they faltered repeatedly, be shit on?  How much are we expected to take?  How much, Bioware?

You've got writers teasing us over Twitter with new content, only then to have it pulled back with the dreaded 'Soon!' caveat attached.  We've been wallowing without any content updates since April.  APRIL.  Think about that shit.  APRIL.  That's four goddamn months.  And even then, 1.2 introduced Explosive Conflict (which is currently bugged, ROFL, and doesn't feature a Nightmare mode) and a couple of flashpoints (which were actually pretty good).  That's about it.  Sure we got a group finder and ranked warzones, yippy fucking yay.  What's the point to a group finder if we have jack squat to do? 

Oh and then there was this gem.

Yeah, you saw that right.  The CE I paid $150.00 for in November is now $29.99 at Gamestop.

OH FUCK THIS GAME.

I've reactivated my World of Warcraft sub and picked up a Founder's Pack for MechWarrior Online.  I plan on getting Mists of Pandaria too, because as douchey as Blizzard can be, I've never felt that they've lied to me constantly.  SWTOR, it's now on you to make me want to play your game.  You've had 9 months and done a decent job but now you have competition.

Good luck, Bioware.  You're gonna need it.



EDIT: I'm not quitting TOR, obviously.  I'm just saying that Bioware is no longer infallible in my eyes (I told you I was a fanboy ... er, former fanboy) and they're going to have to earn my custom just like everyone else.  And I'm raging a bit.  It's my blog and I can rage if I want to.  So neener neener.

Feelin' Blue

Sometimes, TOR makes me sad.  Look at this post by James Ohlen from December 13th, 2011.


12.13.2011

What’s next for The Old Republic

Welcome to Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. It’s been many years in the making and the team is very proud of what we’ve achieved. Since we’re an online game we are going to continue building on the game for years to come. You can count on us to diligently expand the game and service to surprise and delight you. We’re going to not only respond to your feedback, but also hopefully exceed your expectations on how Star Wars: The Old Republic will evolve over time.
Many of you helped make the game what it is today by participating in our testing programs. You’ve watched the game grow over the past year and have been very vocal about things you’d like to see in the game in the future.
A team is never finished building a massively multiplayer game, so we’d like to take this opportunity to reveal a little information on what the team is working on for patches coming in the near future. Our priorities have been, and will continue to be, based off of the feedback we receive from our players.
  • New Content – We will be adding new content to the galaxy on an ongoing basis. These worlds will include Operations, Flashpoints and solo content.
  • Guild Functionality – Guilds are important to the long term health of any MMORPG. We have a huge list of guild centric features. This will be an ongoing effort that will probably never end. Guild banks are the first thing we’ll be delivering in our plans for increased guild functionality. Eventually we even want to deliver on the promise of the long hinted at “Guild Capital Ships”.
  • UI customization – You like choice. We hear you! SWTOR is all about choice. Being able to choose how you interact with an online game is something we feel is very important. We are going to be giving more control over the UI as an ongoing effort. This is a very big priority for us.
  • PvP – We have an entire team dedicated to adding content and features to player vs. player. We have some of the most experienced PvP developers in the world on this team. So far very few people have seen, or know much about the stunning Open World PVP on Ilum; when you get to the high levels prepare to be blown away! In addition to that high level PVP content, expect new Warzones and new PvP features on a regular basis.
  • Space Combat – We will continue to add missions to the space game. We also have a special project going on right now that will expand space gameplay in a significant way... for now the details will have to remain under wraps.
  • Legacy System – The ability to select a surname for your character is just the start of something much bigger. Soon, the Legacy experience and levels you earn will grant your characters access to powers, objects and other cool benefits.
  • And more – We have an entire team of developers working on future content. Right now we are focused on nothing else but Star Wars: The Old Republic, so expect new and cool things.
It is fair to say that we’re just as excited as you are about the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Not only are we launching one of the largest and most impressive games ever created, but we’re also excited about the prospect of continuing to work on the game so that you, the fans, will always have something heroic and amazing to enjoy. Thanks for playing.
James Ohlen
Game Director
How many broken promises can you count?