Wednesday, December 9, 2015

For Shintar: What is the deaaaal with Valkorion?

Valkorion isn't sponge-worthy.

Seriously though, what *is* the deal with Valkorion.  That homeslice ain't no Vitiate, ya dig?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My Own Hyper-Personal View on Companion Nerfs/Buffs

Recently, Bioware made some changes to the overpowered companions that launched with 4.0.  I believe the actual technical term for the companions' power level was "WTFBBQSAWSE."  Let's all face it ... when your companions are outperforming some players (per reports, I never personally experienced it), there may be a very slight problem.

And I do mean slight.  Honestly.

I was not one of the doomsayers, naysayers, or any other type of -sayer (save for soothe) that lobbied hard for companions to be nerfed.  Frankly, I couldn't care less if my companion was nigh-unkillable (they weren't) or they made me basically indestructable (I wasn't).  I got close in a few fights, notably the showdown near the Gravestone ... and well, that was it really.  Everything else was roflstomp.

I'm ok with that.

In fact, I'm more than ok with that.  Look, I'm of the opinion that sometimes in MMOs we become so enamored with the illusion of difficulty that it blinds us to fun.  When people say that MMOs were 'harder back in my day,' what they're really saying is that the MMOs they used to play had an extremely long, punishing grind.  The rose-colored glasses are strong in the MMO genre; they make people believe that back in days of yore, everything was harder, better, and funner.  Funnier.  MORE FUN, OK.

But were they?  I guess only you can answer that, really.  For me personally, they were hit and miss.

My main MMO for almost a decade now has been WoW.  Back in TBC, which everyone seems to remember as awesome, things sorta sucked for me.  Some specs simply weren't viable as end-game raiders.  Hell, most *players* weren't viable as end-game raiders.  It was normal for a raid team to be doing content that was 2-3 tiers old.  In fact, you sort of had to just to get attuned.  Most folks remember this expansion fondly ... I don't.  I remember long attunement grinds, whole tiers of content I'd never, ever see, a leveling curve that at the time was borderline sadistic.  There were puddles of water that dismounted you, the hellaciously long Hellfire Peninsula zone, the utterly forgettable Bore's Spire, I mean Bladespire ... shadow DISC priests were a joke (thanks, Shintar!), enhancement shaman were nonviable due to their effective health.  It was a personal nightmare.

The one expansion I remember more fondly than any other is Wrath of the Lich King.  My shorts get tighter when I talk about this expansion.  I loved the raiding.  The world.  The stories.  The classes.  You know what else I loved?  Quitting WoW.  I quit WoW a remarkable 4 times in WotLK.  So, what was there that made me constantly walk away?  Was it the expansion length?  The lack of things to do (lol no really) at max level?  The difficulty (well, at the difficult) of the raiding?  The people I was playing with?  Maybe a mix of all those and more.  For an expansion that I get such a raging nerd-boner off of, I sure didn't mind walking away from it.

But it never fails to bring a smile to me.  Grinding weapon skills.  That damn jousting.  Ulduar.  The feeling of flying over Icecrown Citadel.  Wintergrasp.  The dailies.  Reputations.  Such a glut of stuff to do!  I do conveniently forget all the reputation grinding.  The times Wintergrasp crashed whole servers.  The faction imbalance that basically meant me and my fellow Horde owned Wintergrasp for more than a year on Blackwater Raiders.  The pretty long grind to 80.  The raids that had uninspired, re-used mechanics (hello Naxx) or were just fights in one room (hello Trials) or the places we spent over a year in (hello ICC).  I don't remember the badge grinds for last tier's gear (OK, that was actually pretty effin' amazing).

I don't remember any of that stuff.  I just remember the good.  And that's why when folks say they like their MMOs harder and they like companion nerfs, I understand.  I really do.  I may not agree, because at the end of the day, I'd rather have fun then grind, but I understand.

So when folks asked for nerfs to companions, I didn't care one way or another.  Were companions OP?  If we're honest with ourselves, we'd have to say "hell yes."  Was it fun when the companions were OP?  Well, I certainly like to think so.  It just made things easier (oh no, filthy casual alert!) and for me, who has limited time, that was attractive as hell.  I could blow through the story and not worry too much about it.  That's probably not a good thing if I'm honest about it, but it is what it is.

Fast forward to yesterday and apparently they're coming out with new companion buffs.  They took a scalpel too deep to the companion abilities, it would seem.  Now they are reversing course, mainly with the healing.  I think a lot of players voiced concern that the Heroic 2+ missions would no longer be available to most players; I tend to agree.  I know I'll out myself as a filthy casual, but I actually had a few problems on Belsavis Heroic 2+s.  Died a couple of times.  Had to use Heroic Moment.  And that was *before* the changes.  Now with the nerf/buff they've received, I don't know how it'll play.  I should probably check it out.  Either way, I'll be playing SWTOR and is that really a bad way to spend the night?  Nah.

I guess this long-ass, rambling post could really be boiled down to this: watch the rose-colored glasses about difficulty and have fun.  I coulda probably said that at the top.  Oh well.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Legion Poster Leak

WoW Player: Whoa, Legion pre-order page leak!

WoW Player: Huh, what's this down here?
WoW Player: FUUUUUUUUUUU *flips table* /unsubscribe
SWTOR Player: Hey,  I think we'll get all our chapters before Legion comes out.  Sweet!

Faster expansion releases, right?  This oughta be fun.

(FYI, I know it's tied to a financial quarter statement, but watching the playerbase freakout is delicious.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Blizzard Q3 Results - A Token Call

Every now and again, I like to listen to the financial calls for the publishers that I enjoy; EA has SWTOR, Activision/Blizzard has WoW.  Today (11/3/15) is Blizzard's call.

Blizzard is having their financial call today to go over Q3 (Jul-Sep 2015) results.  In rather untypical Blizzard fashion, they've released their sub numbers early ... it's an odd move for a company that's usually pretty tight-lipped about the data.


  • World of Warcraft® subscriptions remained relatively stable, ending the quarter at 5.5 million subscribersC. Players are excited about the upcoming expansion, Legion™, which will feature a new class, customizable Artifact weapons, class order halls, and much more. World of Warcraft remains the No. 1 subscription‐based MMORPG in the world.
LOLWUT.

Wait, does it actually say that?  Really?  Fuckin' ... no, there's no way.  Like, what?

So, Blizzard is *CLAIMING* to have lost only 100K subs.  LOL OK PAL.  Let's just go with that for a moment.  Only losing 100K would be an absolute COUP for our friends in Irvine.  Recent trends show that the game should have (and probably did) shed tons of subscribers in the recent content drought.  Q3 fails to take in any impact from the latest news about patch 6.2.3; that hasn't even hit the live servers yet (and won't for at least a while).  Are they saying that the Tanaan patch held people over?

Since June?

Really?

Like, did ... did they play the Tanaan stuff?

My guess is that the WoW token's pricing had a lot to do with the current subscriber rates.  The token's launch at 20K for NA servers was probably a very, very shrewd move on Blizzard's part.  For many players (not me, but apparently many), 20K gold for a month of game-time isn't much of an ask.  Combine that with garrison dailies and the ability for alts to churn out (reportedly) obscene amounts of gold, even with the 6.2 gold nerf, the WoW token suddenly became a very attractive option for a portion of the playerbase.  I've seen first-hand at least three people in my immediate circle who are subscribed through the end of the year (and into the next year for two of them) through tokens alone.  And let's not forget the financial impact of that; the token sold for 20K gold (or thereabouts at release ... fluctuated from 20-25K), providing wealthy in-game players an avenue to buy monthly time.  In turn, Blizzard charged $20 per token, an increase of 33% on their regular sub price.  This extra money, both from the token sale itself (+$20 to Blizzard) and the gold price (+20-25K gold to seller) pumps up both the real life finacials and the in-game economy.  That seller now has more gold to play with, meaning he/she could possibly go fund a month of WoW if they really wanted to (but who would do that) or spend that money in-game, thereby increasing engagement.  That means another month or two of subscription, just by having a gold reserve built up.  It also means that Blizzard stealthily charges an extra $5 for a product that has retailed for $15 since 2006.

It's genius really.

So, I'm thinking that maybe the sub numbers really didn't drop all that much.  Maybe that 100K loss is pretty factual?  But do all the token buyers stay engaged in the game once tokens are redeemed?  How many of them buy six months of time and then don't log in for the final four?  Since the token can't be postponed or resold once bought, you're creating a system where you get to have your cake and eat it too; sell the sub at +33%, create an 'active subscription' through token redemption, and maintain the illusion of an actual player.  The real questions to ask are these:

  • How many tokens are sold since inception
  • How many token buyers are actively engaged in the game right now
  • What is the engagement rate for token buyers vs sellers
  • What is the overall engagement rate

I know we'll never actually get those numbers.  It's cool.  It's just stuff I like to think about sometimes.

Oh, and with Blizzard's new policy of never reporting sub numbers anymore, we won't have a true barometer of the health of WoW.  Well, not until they announce the shutdown in 2025.

Monday, November 2, 2015

HEY REVAN STOP BEING A DOUCHE

I never really got the chance to do the Shadow of Revan stuff, so I'm taking the opportunity to knock it out with my Sith Warrior before moving on to some freshly brewed KotFE.  I've already done the KotFE line with my boosted 60 (Assassin, PLAYSTYLE SO BAD OMG) and sort of just stopped; I have zero intentions of going any farther on my Ass (yes, that's his name name, Lord Ass) and have been having SERIOUS MAJOR regret on not rolling a Mercenary.

UGH SO MUCH REGRET.

While the boosts are cheap(ish), I may splurge for another one and get me a lady Mercenary ... but eeeeeeh.  The boosted experience was sort of flat for me.  It was nice to have this new character and all, but I really felt like I was seriously missing out on everything that made SWTOR great.

Crap, I just talked myself out of a LadyMerc.  Oh well.

Anyways, getting back to SoR, I'm kinda diggin' it.  The stuff on Rishii was really well done, if a tad annoying (do a missions here!  now go back!  and then back again!  to the same area!), but all in all pretty well put together.  The storyline is pretty nice too; I've not gotten to the end of it, but I have seen the part where you find out that you're really a god and you're playing Populous, oh wait.  Wrong game.  I mean, you find out that Bad Revan and Good Revan are like, two totally different dudes or something.


Anyways.  It's fun and stuff.  I'm really excited about getting into the KotFE stuff though.  Super stoked to see it from a non-asshole viewpoint.


LOL JK IM ALWAYS AN ASSHOLE



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

KotFE Tips and Tricks - Want a 192 Weapon?

Today marks the general release of Knights of the Fallen Empire.  It's easy to say that this expansion release has been a complete and utter homerun for most of the playerbase (salty bastards on the forums notwithstanding).  There's a plethora of group content at max level, Alliance content, an enthralling storyline that features some of the best writing since the Agent class experience, and enough goodies to choke a gundark.  Through my time in Early Access (HAHA SUCK IT, PLEBES!), I've taken note of a few features that may help you out.  Check 'em out!

  • Keybind Import/Export 
One of the nicest quality-of-life changes that SWTOR implemented when they brewed up KotFE was the keybind export.  No more will you need to individually keybind all your ability rows!  But, there's an important step first ... you must set up a keybind set to export.  Don't forget to go into your favorite keybind setting and save it!  Without a save to import, the feature is useless!
  • Exploration Mission Toggle 
KotFE does a great job of identifying required/recommended missions by putting a gigantic purple/green triangle over them.  But if you want to see the exploration missions (ie, useless crap missions that we will never, ever miss), you'll need to toggle them on.  They're located on the map screen itself though, not in the Preferences.
  • Devoted Allies Weapons
Want a 192 weapon at level 55?  Shit yeah, you do.  The Devoted Ally weapons awarded for the completion of the Prelude to Revan events for SoR give out 192 weapons for companions.  Or, they DID.  Now, those weapons are no longer locked to companions and they are BIND ON LEGACY!  I moved a BoL Devoted Ally Sniper Rifle last night to my original Sniper from my 65 Warrior.  Worked like a charm!  And now he's got an absolute beast of a rifle to go all the way through KotFE.
  • 208 Gear at 65
Worried about what you want to buy with all those green data crystals?  At level 65, the game has 208 gear vendors on Odessen.  A full set will run you a tad over 1500 crystals (with a limit of 1000 on your character), so try not to max out before you get to level cap.  The 208 gear is pretty decent too and realistically, you can get through all 9 chapters with 180-190 level gear. 

I hope this helps you guys and gals out! And as always, stay locked and loaded agents!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

No Spoilers - KotFE Kicks Ass

So I'm on the way back from work yesterday, and all I'm thinking is this:


And I get home and I've got stuff to do and kids to play with and a heating guy coming to fix our blower motor, but the whole time I'm like:


And then I finally get to log in and I'm like:


And then I'm on forums this morning lookin' at all these salty bastards and I'm like:


See you guys in KotFE tonight!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Classic Conversation Mode

One of the more intriguing things I saw in the 4.0 patch notes yesterday was something called "Classic Conversation" mode.  I thought maybe that it would be a more cinematic experience?  Maybe a bit better camera positioning?

Nope.  Courtesy of the Alliance blog today, classic convo mode is straight up KOTOR dialogue boxes.  BEHOLD.
HOW THE CONSTANT SLOSHING DOESN'T DRIVE YOU MAD, I'LL NEVER KNOW.
Goddammit, SWTOR.  God.  Damn.  It.

/logs on

UPDATE:  Looks like this is only active in the Alliance section of the game.  Which I'm totes cool with it, despite some folks being ultra-salty about it (*cough cough LARRY EVERETT cough cough*).

SERVERS ARE UP

Just a friendly note!  SWTOR North American servers are up (unsure of European servers).  I'm not currently at home to test it out, but it looks like KotFE has been brewed.

GET IT.

KOTFE.

GOT BREWED.

GENIUS AMIRITE.

Friday, October 9, 2015

KotFE - The Best Value in SWTOR's History

Knights of the Fallen Empire is poised to  become the best value that SWTOR has ever seen.  It's an insanely huge amount of content.  Let's take a look at what you're going to get if you subscribe for one measly month ($15 + tax total cost).

  • SWTOR Base Game  - Original Price $60
    • 50 levels with no XP restrictions, 8 unique class stories, spread across multiple planets.  4.0 experience changes smooth out the leveling curve, ensuring that you only need to complete the class storylines and the core planetary missions to easily hit level 50.
  • Rise of the Hutt Cartel - Original Price $20 F2P, $10 Subscriber
    • 5 levels on gorgeous Makeb, SWTOR's first expansion planet.  A streamlined questing experience makes this a fairly engaging story chunk.  Don't forget to do both Imperial and Republic to get the full story!
  • Shadow of Revan - Original Price $20
    • Multiple flashpoints,  both solo and group, 5 levels of story content (that I haven't even finished yet!), and sumptuous visuals highlight the next chapter in SWTOR.
  • Knights of the Fallen Empire - Original Price $15 subscriber (one month)
    • The latest chapter(s) in the SWTOR mythos.  Chapters 1-9 will be delivered in late October with the only up-front price being the cost of a single month of subscription.
    • 5 extra levels of content, plus elongated lifecycle of older content.
  • Updated Operations and Flashpoints
    • Nearly all the old OPs and FPs are getting upgraded in level to become relevant again.
    • One month of sub provides unlimited access to FPs, OPs, and PVP
It's an incredible value.  That's a metric shit-ton of content for $15.  15 bucks.  Smackaroos.  Bones.  Simolians.  1500 pennies.  Like, damn.  Base game + 2 expansions + first 9 chapters of the new KotFE hotness.  Jesus.  11 days till release.  Hot damn.

New cantina code!  NYC hosted one this week and here it is!  If you missed the PAX Prime code, I have that as well.

Friday, October 2, 2015

KotFE Livestream Reactions

Howdy, fellow Fallen Empire inquirers!

Well, SWTOR's September 30th livestream was eventful, eh? We got info on level syncing, chapter 1 spoilers, crafting and gathering, a different style of companion, and so much more!  Ok, well, not a lot more but some more.

I think the main stars of the stream were clearly the gathering/crafting info and level syncing, but overall Musco did a fantastic job with the whole stream.

Actually, let me take some time out right now and thank Eric Musco for his spectacular work on the streams of late.  He's always been a fan favorite, since he used to be one of us (former host of TOROcast) and his stream work has been both engaging and informational (well, as informational as Bioware allows it to be).  I really enjoyed the pace and presentation of this 2-hour stream and Eric's style is exactly what I like.  Now to business.

REACTIONS OMG - I'll be cribbing off of Dulfy's list, located here:

  • UI Changes - Snap to grid, keybind importing.  I cannot stress how happy I am about snap to grid.  My UI is a motley collection of horribly aligned bars.  BIOWARE FIX PLZ.   
    • HYPE METER 10/10
  • Legendary Nameplate - Completing all 8 class stories gets you a little yellow thingy on your character name that can be toggled on/off.  A nice bonus for folks who leveled all the classes the old-fashioned way back in the before-times, or for slackers like me who waited for x12 to basically cheat our way to 60.   
    • HYPE METER 3/10
  • Collections Changes - Collections can now be sorted, searched, and can be listed an Earned or Incomplete.  Ever want to find a specific speeder?  Yeah, me too.  But scrolling through 14 pages of speeders is annoying as shit.  This will be fixed.   
    • HYPE METER 11/10
  •  New Level 60 Characters - The UI to create a new level 60 is quite nice; there are plenty of nice touches for a new player as well.  The tutorial experience to teach new players the ins and outs of the game is well-crafted.  Advanced options for us old pros are also available, which is ultra nice, and the gear for the new 60s is also legacy-bound blues (no mods, just stats) and adaptive!  The ability to switch the default spec to a spec you want to play is also nice; kinda required or else there'd be pitchforks, but nice that they thought of it ahead of time.   
    • HYPE METER 10/10
  • New Companion Type - Ever want an akk dog as a companion instead of Quinn?  Yeah, me too.  We'll be able to add DPS-only companions with no influence rating or sidequests, like akk dogs and probably cats, tauntauns, wampas ... owait, maybe not wampas.  We'll see.   
    • HYPE METER 6/10
  •  Temporary Ability Bars - When you toggle Heroic Moment, do you frantically have to open your skill window to use your Legacy stuff?  Or are you like me, and position all the Legacy actions on one bar, surrounding the Heroic Moment ability?  Well, has Bioware got the thing for youuu!  Now when Heroic Moment is activated, a temporary bar shoots out and has all your unlocked Legacy abilities!  OMG.  I never knew how much I needed this.  Temp bars will also display for Huttball and other activities!   
    • HYPE METER 15/10
  • Commendation Changes - Pretty simple re-name here.  Basic Comms become green Crystals.  Elite become blue, Ultimate turn purple.  All comms carry over at current rate (ie, you have 255 basic comms, you now have 255 green crystals).  Also, weekly cap on comms is now gone.  Grind to your heart's delight.   
    • HYPE METER 5/10 (mainly for the cap removal, that's dope)
  • Crafting/Gathering Changes - Ok, this may have been the co-star of the show.  Gathering is finally getting un-stupid.  Your skills now have a max level of 500 out of the gate.  You no longer have to train to 400, then 450, then 500.  Also, your skill directly determines the output of nodes.  No longer will you have "INSUFFICIENT SKILL TO ACCESS THIS NODE, NOOBCAKES."  Finally.  If you have low skill on a high-level node, then you won't get much.  If you have high skill on a low-level node, then you'll get lots.  All crafted gear will now be a minimum blue quality to make it more useful to us.  Also, crafting mats have been simplified.  Also, any mats you have right now that are getting phased out (will be listed in a blog coming next week), those will be converted at a 1:1 rate for newer mats.  So nice.
    • HYPE METER 20/10
  • Level Sync - Ok, this is the one that's been on my mind the most.  Ever since Reddit datamined the sync feature, I've been very, very afraid of what this would do to the game.  Thankfully, those fears were mostly unfounded.  Firstly, level sync is NOT a toggle.  It's forced, whether you like or not.  You'll  be synced down to the highest possible level of the planet.  Don't worry, you'll still be OP as hell ... just not '1-shotting World Bosses' OP.  The reason for this syncing is actually pretty good ... heroic missions now grant the green crystals and XP equivalent to your level.  Remember how there's no weekly cap on green crystals .... yeah, this is why.  Hey, you want to grind out 1000 green crystals in a couple of days, 20 at a time?  Yup, planetary heroics.  Go grind 'em out.  Oh, they're all over the place, right?  Well, there's a handy mission terminal on the fleet.  And it not only gives out all the heroic missions (soloable if they are lower level than you), but it also provides you a priority transport button that takes you straight to the planet.  Yeah.  Fuckin' a-mazin'.   I was worried before.  Now I am not.
    • HYPE METER 100/10
  •  Legacy Changes - Retroactive, legacy datacrons unlocked for all your characters.  Random mount/pet buttons.  Speeder training via legacy at level 1.  *ejaculates*
    • HYPE METER 100/10 
  • Cape Clipping - Capes no longer clip through speeders.
    • HYPE METER ∞/10


I just can't.  Like, this whole thing.  I can't.  Story looks amazeballs.  Changes are bonkers.  I just can't.

You done good, Bioware.  You done good.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bounty Hunter - Hitting 60

Finally hit 60 on my Bounty Hunter ... first time I've had a max level character since Makeb released.  Powering through Makeb and getting to Rishi was a pretty good rush; I'd forgotten how Makeb's quest design really stepped up from the 1-50 experience.  Rishi though was a total shock.

WTB vacation home in Rishi.  PST srs offers only.
I wasn't really sure what to expect, but what shocked me most was how beautiful it was.  The spaceport/market was laid out and sprawling; it seemed to have its own vibe and existed because that's what the inhabitants there would have built, not just that the game needed a hub to put players in.  Having it stretch into three sections, complete with an 'underbelly full of pirates' really made the whole area come alive.  And the vistas and foliage of the outer zones?  Yowza.  My screenshots don't do it justice.  It's a marvel.

I can tell a difference in the questing too; less plodding, less grindy.  They're fairly quick-hitters and clustered well so that questing doesn't seem like a chore.  Maybe I'm just looking at it with fresh eyes; on my 4th or 5th playthrough my tune will probably be different.  But for right now, Shadow of Revan is impressing.

I'd also like to mention how much I enjoyed the Prelude to Revan solo flashpoints.  My goodness, were those well-constructed and entertaining playthroughs.  Like Rishi, I'm sure they dull with repetition, but from my experience they were some of the best dungeon content I've seen in a long, long time.

Bad droids, bad droids, whatcha gonna do.
That GSI combat droid could have probably run all the instances by itself; I'm pretty sure me and Treek (or HK-51) were just window dressing.  Good god, that robot kicked ass.

Also, a shout-out to Larry Everett's guild on Ebon Hawk!  It's a MassivelyOP guild, so there's tons of folks on all the time.  They do operations, both new and old, and were nice enough to take this bounty hunter unit on a run (which dinged me 60).  Good times are had by all.  If you'd like to check it out, head over to their website!

Scum and Villainy 'old timey' raid featuring me, your friendly neighborhood droid bounty hunter.
Quick note!  SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer a couple of weeks ago to show off the KotFE expansion!  I'm obviously super excited about it.  FYI!  Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE!  Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can.  And if you'd like to get back into SWTOR, use my referral link!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hot Take: KotFE Companion Changes

Miss my old, angry, profanity-laden posts?  Where you're gonna get one now.

I've seen a significant amount of hand-wringing and caterwauling over the upcoming companion changes in Knights of the Fallen Empire.  Just to be clear; I think this is all bitching and moaning for the sake of bitching and moaning; neckbearded losers are getting their anime underwear in a twist because THEY'RE DUMBING DOWN DA GAME, OH NOES.  The forums are a cesspool of whiners, constantly grinding their teeth at every little change (no real surprise there).  Coming from a game community (WoW) that considered this type of verbal diarrhea to be 'valuable feedback,' I am more than disheartened to find some of the SWTOR fanbase shitting all over the companion changes without taking a moment to assess what they really mean.

Just to be even more abundantly clear; I am ecstatic about the changes.  Musco did a great job outlining all changes they were willing to talk about and Dulfy masterfully wrapped up all the pertinent questions and answers.  Those links will direct you to the source of the info; I think the changes will be welcome and will streamline a fairly tedious portion of the game.

I'm also glad Musco got some good questions; he certainly had to wade through his fair share of shitheads and asshats to glean those few queries worth answering.  Here are some of the things the community had questions/bitchfests/incessant forum diarrhea about.

*** SUPER HOT TAKE INCOMING ***


DEY TURK ER CUMPANYUNZ: No, Bioware is not taking your companions away, you ignorant fuck.  Musco cleared this up during the Q&A Wrap-Up post.  This is the way it will work; if for some reason your companion leaves your storyline for KotFE, then they won't be available for future chapters.  However, that companion will still be available for other non-story related activities.  For example, you decide to kill Vette because you are a soulless bastard during the KotFE storyline (this is an example, we don't know if this will even be available in the story).  If you're doing non-chapter stuff (like running dailies or doing old flashpoints or whatnot), then Vette will still be available for your use, because hey, whining like a moron works.

I'd prefer it if they just stayed dead, but I'm sure Bioware literally couldn't handle the influx of dumbass "U TUK MAH COMPANYUNZ Y U MAEK EM DEDZ" forum posts because people who don't care about the story do something in the story that has story ramifications but fail to recognize the story playing out and instead just open their stupid faces and spout off dumbfuckery until the devs capitulate because they literally can't take anymore shit from fucktards.

DEY TUK GEARZ FRUM CUMPANYUNZ LOLZ:  God, if you really think buying all new gear, mods, armoring and barrels/hilts for your companion every time you want to swap to a new companion (because hey, it'd be fun to take Gault instead of Mako) is fun, please do everyone a favor and jump off a high-rise.  Or go play Excel Online, I mean Eve.  Seriously.  That's some tedious-ass shit; I wanna play Star Wars, not fuck with mods and armoring and market pricing and spreadsheets and all this other horseshit when I want to make a change.  I mainly play DPS characters, so my default companion is nearly always a healer.  I'm sure there's some OMG PRO MLG XXx420NoScopexXX players out there who can dual DPS everything for 60 levels and never have any problems ever at all not even a single time (seem to be a ton on the forums saying "GIT GUD BRAH"), but I'm bad at life and suck at this game.  So I nearly always use my healer companions.  In fact, I buy Treek on every character just so I can have that early healer if I need 'em.  Once I get gear going on a companion, it's relatively hard for me to switch gears and swap to another character as well.  This 'gear going away' on companions is a god-send for me.

But, for those old-school Bioware RPG folks that like the min-maxxing on all the companions, dudes I totally get you.  And if gearing weren't so damn complex, I'd be with you.  But as-is, you need hat, chest, bracers, gloves, legs, boots, waist, earpiece, implants x2, weapon, and offhand, and all of those pieces (save earpiece and impants) require 3-4 modifications each if you're using custom gear (and why wouldn't you, really).  If there were less gear slots, I'd love the companion gearing to stay, but jesus!  Swapping from Mako to Gault is a pretty major undertaking and generally involves my CPA.  The idea of just swapping to Gault and adventuring with him without all the rigamarole?  Lovely.

DEM CUMPANYUNZ AINT A HEALAR N00B:  If you really have a problem with companions doing all three roles, I just ... fuck off.  Seriously, fuck off.  If you have an RP reason for not wanting Scourge to heal, just pretend he's tossing you a medpack.  I mean, for fuck's sakes ... really?

I can understand some of the RP folks having issues with certain companions performing roles that aren't totally compatible; Mako jumping out there and tanking or Scorpio healing is gonna feel weird as hell.  But the ability to roll with the companion I want for the reasons I want (not because I'm locked into a healer as a DPS player) is priceless.  I can roll with Scourge all the time if I like!  That's amazeballs!  And, as I've been told so many times before when I whined about being locked into a healer companion ... you don't have to use the healing role for that companion; the game's not forcing you to HURRR DURRRR.  Got a problem with Mako tanking?  Fucking switch her role, asshat.  Welcome to my world where the standard answer seems to be: "If you don't like it, you don't have to use it.  It's not required, u bad get rekt bro." *neckbeard fart noise*

So, there's an old-school Targeter angry rant-post-'roid rage.  I sincerely like the companion changes coming in KotFE.  The only real change that I'm iffy on is the removal of specific companion crafting bonuses; they'll be based off companion level and Influence rating (just Affection under a different name).  That takes away some of the flavor of each companion.  But it's not a huge change and I really never paid attention to them anyways, so I personally won't notice that they're gone.  But the rest?  I'm cool with.  Just don't ask the forum neckbeards.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Knights of the FROZEN Empire (Spoiler Post)

CWUTIDIDTHAR

Well, we got about 20 minutes into the stream and it died.  This is an appropriate image.  I'm putting in a jump cut just in case you don't want to see spoilers; I'll do systems stuff before the cut and leave the stuff after the jump for story spoilers.

Update: And the stream's back! 

Overall, I'm pretty happy with what I saw, even if the team was light on the details (again).  Some companion questions were answered, though most seem to have been left open.  Still don't know how many companions we can max out at, who's coming back or not (they won't spoil the story for us ... bravo to BioWare for that), specializations for companions weren't talked about either.  Musco said there'd be a thread up that you could post questions in; word of warning, they won't be talking about who's dead or who can be killed or anything like that, so don't bother asking.

Systems and Mechanics:
  • Developers will not 'punish' players for their work on companions
  • All or nearly all companions will return, though maybe not in the way we are used to?  I'm guessing not all of them will be summonable companions.  Maybe they'll hang around the ship?
  • BIG ONE: Companion gear no longer provides stats; it's basically dress-up
  • This means that you no longer have to farm gear for comps!  You can just pull 'em out and they're the appropriate power level for your character.  No more trolling the GTN looking for upgrades for a companion you haven't touched in 20 levels.
  • Companions can do all 3 roles now - CONFIRMED
  • This prevents players from being forced into 1 specific 'best companion' for their playstyle (think Bounty Hunter and how much you rely on Mako)
  • Treek and HK won't be taken away at all
  • Any gear on companions that are missing/killed will be returned to you
  • Some chapters may lock you into specific companions during the story
I do like the companion changes A LOT.  I always felt hemmed in as far as companions went; as a mainly DPS player, I relied heavily on healers like Mako and Treek.  There were companion moments I know I missed out on because of my chosen role.  This new direction will definitely help alleviate all that pressure to choose the 'correct companion.'  Musco stated that they'll be talking more about crafting, pvp, etc etc 'soon.'  It better be real soon, cuz we're closing in on 2 months till launch!


SPOILERS BEYOND THE JUMP!  YE BE WARNED!


Questions for the SWTOR Livestream (8/26 at 8PM ET)

Remember that SWTOR is doing a livestream event tonight at 8pm ET (5pm PT, 12am GMT)!  It purports to answer questions about the basic game system changes and companions.  We'll see how it goes.

Larry, my new guildmate and SWTOR writer over at MassivelyOP (pardon that name drop), wrote an excellent article about the questions we should ask during the stream.  Here they are in handy bulleted form, verbatim:

  • Will we still be able to run the same number of missions as we currently can?
  • Are companions still going to have specializations?
  • Will there be achievements and bonuses attached to certain companions?
  • Will future seasons present life-changing decisions regarding current companions?

Fine questions to ask.  I think I'd like to add some more, though.

  • What will our companion limit be?  How quickly can we expect to hit that companion cap?
  • Are there going to be some companions spread out in remote areas?  Will we be able to hunt some of them down and add them to the crew or will it be a straight-forward process?
  • Will certain companions be class-locked? (No spoilers, just want to know if the option will be there) Or are they all open to every class?
  • How will purchased companions work?  HK-51, Treek?
  • Can I romance Treek?
  • What do you mean, "Ewwww?"
  • YOU DON'T KNOW ME, MAN!

Apart from other companion questions, I also have general questions!
  • How will the stat revamp work?  How will 'Mastery' be applied to gear?
  • Will old operations flex up and down in level, or are they locked at 60?
  • Will we be able to score some new starships?  Stands to reason if we're doing the Big Chill, we've probably lost our rides, right?
  • Will there be new models for Galactic Starfighter?
  • OMG CAN I FLY/FIGHT FOR ZAKUUL IN STARFIGHTER? BOIWRE PLS

So, that's a lot of questions.  I'll update with answers when I can!

Quick note!  SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer this week  to show off the KotFE expansion!  I'll have some more thoughts on that next week as we learn more.  I'm obviously super excited about it.  FYI!  Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE!  Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can.  And if you'd like to get back into SWTOR, use my referral link!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Cash Money Gillionaire Ya'll

Do YOU want to make 10,000 gil a day with no money down, no effort, no time, and no life?  Call me now for my investment opportunity information packet of informational information!  Get the FFXIV life you DESERVE!
I finally hit over a million gil on my little ninja.  Excuse me while I celebrate in a rambunctious fashion.


Now, I'll preface this by saying: I know a million gil in FFXIV isn't a whole hell of a lot.  But it's a lot to me, dammit!  And for the amount of 'effort' I put into it, it was relatively easy to do.  My method consisted of selling vendor gear on the market.

That's it.

I know a lot of other folks do this as well.  I won't pretend like I'm the first guy to ever do this, either.  It's a trick that's as old as MMOs are.  But in FFIXV it seems to be a very lucrative way to get modestly wealthy in a relatively short amount of time.  The idea is to target the level brackets that are just now coming into some decent gil and procure gear that's ideal for them.  With the influx of new players (like me!), I found the 25-35 bracket is particularly good for cashing in.  Right about that time, the idea of spending 15-20K gil on a hat or a chest or boots or leggings isn't so bad compared to the quest items you're receiving at the time.  Keeping players just a step ahead of the leveling curve is pretty good business.

I've still got a ways to go in questing, and apparently Heavensward is where the *real* money is at, so I'm sure I'll continue to be a cash money gillionaire for the foreseeable future.  But I was pleasantly surprised to get into the market and instantly be competitive.  Part of this is owed to FFXIV's retainer system, and the ability to keep things on the market for a while.  Most of my sales came a week or so after I originally posted the items, which provides a nice, steady drip-feed of gil.

Next project for me is to make enough gil to buy a house (small plots on my server are going for 2.5-3 million gil), so I've got a long ways to go.  But that's ok, cuz this Miqo'te is gettin' PAID.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Zakuul Armor is Totes the Tightest Guys

STILL SO OVER BABIES.

She's a month old and UGH GET A JOB ALREADY.  Freebooters and ne'er-do-wells!  Lazy, the lot of 'em!  Can't expect handouts yer whole life!  It's been 30 days since you were born, GET OVER YERSELF GAWD.

I know this month's MMO plan was the be all Inquisitor, all the time, but uh ... that didn't work out so well.  Like, zero percent progress on that dude.  If I could actually have negative progress, that'd be more accurate.

So instead what I did was make a new Togrutan agent (Togrutagent?  Trademarkin' that bastich) and level her for a bit, then I decided that I don't like having any Cartel Coins at all, no sirree, so let's waste 'em on a 1440 CC armor set.

Solid plan.

I bought the Zakuul armor set and DAYYYUUUMMMM it's tight; so tight I rolled a new Sith Warrior just to wear it.  Then named him Zakuulian because LOL ALL FOR ZAKUUL.  For 1440 CC it better be tight.  But like, it's still tight in the overall sense as well, even factoring in the cost.  Until you realize that 1440 is the cost for one set.  And the account unlock is 720 CC.  That comes out to a price point of $17.83 for a full account unlock for the armor set (based on $19.99/2400 CC conversion rate).

Damn Biowurrr, yo prices scuuury.

It's a blastergunsaber.  Like that dude off Rebels.  Totally.  DON'T RUIN MY RP, DAMMIT.
Still, no buyer's remorse (yet).  I didn't take a screenshot of my new warrior cuz like WHY WOULD I DO THAT RIGHT.  Jesus, not sleeping and stuff is affecting my brainparts.  So here, just imagine this screenshot instead, 'cept a lightsaber instead of a gun and gray/black dye instead of the standard gold.  Use your imaginationilizers, dammit, that's what Geordi LaForge would want you to do.

Take a look, it's in a book, that you can't read in SWTOOOOOOOOR

On other fronts, my FFXIV time is dwindling down not cuz I don't like the game but I've got KotFE fever, but OMG NEW EPISODE OF TABLETOP BRB GUISE

Quick note!  SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer this week  to show off the KotFE expansion!  I'll have some more thoughts on that next week as we learn more.  I'm obviously super excited about it.  FYI!  Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE!  Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can.  And if you'd like to get back into SWTOR, use my referral link!






Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Slacking on SWTOR and MMOs in General

UGH.

SO OVER BABIES.

My little daughter has really put a crimp in my MMO gaming.  GUH.  I rarely get any stretch of time to myself that isn't sleeping, eating, or pooping.  Actually, that's very much like my daughter's schedule too now that I think about it ... 

Anyways, on the few times that I actually do get time to myself (usually while my wonderful wife is entertaining said baby so I can get a breather and my son is occupied/asleep/outside/somewhere else), I usually don't have enough time to warrant jumping on an MMO and getting a decent play session in.  It's a sad state of affairs, really.

I had a minor panic attack this morning though.

As of today, there are only 69 days left of x12 XP as we know it.  That means I have to get crackin' on both my Inquisitor AND my new Togruta agent.  Granted, Bioware has said they're going to streamline the leveling experience once KotFE drops anyways and make this boost permanent (in some fashion), so my hysteria is unwarranted ... but still.  There's a thing!  And I may miss out on the last days of the thing!  So, like, I need to do the thing before it's no longer a thing!


So, plan of attack: probably need to get in there and polish off my Inquisitor before the end of August.  September will be Agent time.  I need something to do while I watch soccer anyways and blasting through the excellent storylines is as good a diversion as any.

KotFE release notes!  The deadline for having Nico Okarr as a companion has come and gone, but there's still lots of stuff left to get!  Subscribe by August 31st to get Nico's blaster set, which either he can use or you can take.  September 30th is the trenchcoat, and on the last day of x12 XP, October 19th, you can get a swoop bike mount from KotR!  And if you're subscribed through the entire time, you'll get early access on October 20th, ahead of the general 27th release date.

SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer last week  to show off the KotFE expansion!  I'll have some more thoughts on that as we learn more.  I'm obviously super excited about it.  FYI!  Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE!  Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can.  And if you'd like to get back into SWTOR, use my referral link!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Do Thrall and Tirion Fordring Die in World of Warcraft: Legion?

Quick note!  SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer this week  to show off the KotFE expansion!  I'll have some more thoughts on that next week as we learn more.  I'm obviously super excited about it.  FYI!  Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE!  Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can.  And if you'd like to get back into SWTOR, use my referral link!

Logo courtesy of IZYLOCK from Reddit!

One of the main features of Legion is the 'artifact weapon' system is the ability to wield iconic weapons ... that are currently being used by other people.  Ashbringer, for instance, and the Doomhammer.  Normally, those weapons are used by Tirion and Thrall respectively.  But in Legion, Retribution Paladins will wield Ashbringer and Enhancement Shaman will have the Doomhammer.  So, that begs the question ... what happened to their former owners?  Check out these vid links from the Gamescom 2015 presentation ... they may sound a bit ominous:




Is Asfrasiabi hinting that we could be losing major characters in the Broken Isles pre-launch event?  It certainly seems so.  Tirion and Thrall are definitely a bit long in the tooth, with Thrall's influence waning with each expansion.  Tirion's last relevant moment came atop Icecrown when he put a hat on his barbecued former best friend.  Perhaps it's a good time to use their deaths to make a clean break with old, existing lore and push out into a new, brave direction.

Of course, WoW fans will lose their collective shit if Thrall dies.  They mock Blizzard for making Thrall all-powerful and incessantly call him Green Jesus, but if they were to kill him?  Lordy, the inferno on the forums would be intense.  I'd almost pay to see it!






Thursday, August 6, 2015

WORLD OF WARCRAFT: LEGION ANNOUNCED

Quick note!  SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer yesterday to show off the KotFE expansion!  I'll have some more thoughts on that next week as we learn more.  I'm obviously super excited about it.  FYI!  Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE!  Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can. 
Well then.
Logo courtesy of IZYLOCK from Reddit!


WoW came out of Gamescom with an expansion that I fully didn't expect.  I mean, I *thought* it would be about the Burning Legion.  Maybe.  Some sort of invasion.

But the Tomb of Sargeras?

But the Demon Hunter hero class?

But the PVP honor system revamp?

But the Class Order Halls?

But the Artifact weapons and customization?

Lots of thoughts, many of them good, a few of them bad.  Let's break it down.


First up: the Broken Shore and the Tomb of Sargeras.



The Shore looks to factor heavily into the pre-launch 7.0 event for Legion.  I'm assuming we'll return there at the end of the expansion to close off the Tomb (which is acting as a huge portal for the Burning Legion), so the preamble will probably just let us discover that there actually *is* a huge Legion presence out there already.  We'll meander out there, do an hour or so of questing, and that'll wrap up the pre-launch event.  At least, that's been the experience for the past couple of expansions.  Maybe they'll have something more detailed up their sleeves?  Overall, I was 'OK' with the Tomb and the sparse bit of info we got about the Tomb/launch event.  Seems fine.  I'll definitely want to resub at that time to take advantage of it.  But with only 6 new zones, and the Shore being one of them, I am a bit concerned about the available content.  Those zones don't look incredibly big, so it may be a tiny bit smaller than we had hoped.  I'm thinking that they'll revamp the map a bit before Blizzcon to give us a better idea of the actual size of the new continent.



Ok, Demon Hunter.  So, this reminds me a LOT of the Death Knight when it first arrived on the scene. Hero class, new types of abilities, seems ridiculously OP.  The double jump, the dash that operates like a Warrior's Charge without a target, the Rage mechanic, er I totally mean 'Fury.'  They look like the amalgamation of the Rogue and the Warlock.  I'm betting Demo 'Locks will loose their Metamorphosis ability thanks to the DH.  I see lots of areas ripe for exploits with the double jump/glide mechanics of the DH as well.  Plus, Rogues might as well hang it up; you'll have a hero class vying for your armor and weapons (maybe?) this expansion, and it'll probably do a lot of what you do ... just better.  Overall, DH looks alright; neat concept, ties to lore very well, but it's just gonna be so damn OP at the start that you won't be able to DPS or tank as anything else.  I'm reminded of the DK plague in WotLK ... *shudder*



PVP revamp.  This is an odd duck.  Basically, looks like PVP and PVE will now operate separately with different talent trees.  This is good.  The Call of Duty prestige system ... that's a bit odd.  I mean, it's different, and different is good ... but it's odd to go that route.  But I'll tell ya what, if it means they reduce the importance of PVP gear in PVP, then I'm all for it.  Getting LOL420NOSCOPED by some asshat in full conquest gear is zero fun.  We'll see how power creep affects the new PVP gear (if there even is any), but I do support the idea of more cosmetic rewards for prestiging early and often.



Class Order Halls.  The fuck.  I guess it's like Garrisons, but not.  I'm still struggling with this one ... so, it's an order of the same class.  Say, Warrior.  So, Warriors from both the Horde and the Alliance can meet and work together (sorta) in a place where only other Warriors can go.  And we'll have Champions (not Followers) like our very own Knights of the Round Table.  And, like, we're the leader of it.  Well, you are the leader of it.  And so am I.  And every other Warrior.  Cuz like, we can't be normal adventurers anymore.  We're all commanders and generals and legendary heroes and goddamn class leaders now.  Whatever.  Looks like Garrisons, smells like Garrisons, and in order to NOT be Garrisons, they'll probably be so damn neutered that you won't have to bother with them.  K.



OK, now the BIG rub ... artifact weapons.  On the surface, VERY COOL.  So cool it hurts.  Upgrading your weapon!  Talent trees (basically) for your weapon!  Artifact points earned for just playing the game!  DAT CUSTOMIZATION DOE!



In reality?  You will never need a weapon drop in the expansion.  Taking out one big-ass piece of gear from our loot tables sounds awesome at first ... until you're on the 16th straight month of staring at the same.  Fucking.  Weapon.  Sure, you can change the color or the style, assuming you've grinded enough artifact points (oh and be SURE that it'll be a griiiiind), but  for fuck's sakes ... eventually you're gonna get tired as hell of staring at goddamn Ashbringer.  Or Thunderfury.  Or whatever weapon.  That one's gonna bite them in the ass as players clamor for new weapon models eventually.  Oh, and did you catch that whole "This spear will be used by Survival Hunters" bit?  Is Survival going melee?  HMMMM. (CONFIRMED SURVIVAL IS GOING MELEE)



Overall, pretty impressed with the announcement.  I'm still incredibly leery of anything Blizzard says at this point.  We got so many broken promises in Borelords of Draesnore that I really can't take anything at face value yet.  Once we see beta or even alpha reports, then I can feel a bit more at ease about the features we'll actually be playing.  But, so far, so good.  They didn't immediately make me say, "The hell with this fuckin' noise" so +1 in their column.  As we get closer to Blizzcon and we get more info, I'll make a decision about whether or not I'm returning.

WoW Expansion Announcement and Other Items


Quick note!  SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer yesterday to show off the KotFE expansion!  I'll have some more thoughts on that next week as we learn more.  I'm obviously super excited about it.  FYI!  Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE!  Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can.



Today at Gamescom, Blizzard is announcing their next expansion.  There's been rumors swirling that it's a South Seas expansion or maybe tied to the Tirisfal Council, but nothing concrete.  Warlords of Draenor doesn't seem to be that long in the tooth and it feels a bit early to be announcing an expansion, but is it really?

Liz Harper wrote a great article at Blizzardwatch that got my gears turning.  How soon is this announcement versus every other expansion reveal?  What's the real turnaround time on launching/announcing/launching again?  I've made a nifty chart with an assumed launch date (April 2016); 6.2 dropped in June and there's just not enough content there to hold folks over for a year.  I truly believe we'll see the new expansion in early Q2 or even Q1 of next year.  Let's take a look at the timing of each expansion and what we can expect from this one.

 

I've compiled the launch/announcement dates from each expansion and plugged in my own estimate for the next WoW launch.  The numbers tell a pretty consistent story, at least as far as announcements go.  Announcements, on average, happen at the 10 month mark of the current expansion.  This time, it's 9 months.  The announcement of WoD came late in MoP's cycle, at the 14 month mark, which may make this reveal seem awfully quick.  But when compared to previous announcements (TBC, LK, CATA), this Gamescom reveal is right on schedule.  If my predicted release date is even remotely correct, WoD will have the honor of being the shortest expansion yet (though Cataclysm was pretty short too, comparitively).  The perception that this announcement is quick probably relies on a few major factors; the delayed announcement of WoD during MoP's cycle, the announcement at Gamescom and not Blizzcon (which is highly irregular), Blizzard's stated goal of producing contently more quickly, the relative paucity of content currently, and the playerbase's general dissatisfaction with said content (re: subscriber losses).

As a WoW player (currently on hiatus for RL stuff + dissatisfaction with game direction), I'm marginally excited about this announcement.  But I'm gonna be reaaaal honest here.  They're going to have to knock our collective socks off to get me to even look sideways at this new expansion.  And even if they promise the playerbase the world, most of us won't believe it.  We got burned time and again on WoD (Karabor and Shattrath as faction cities, Farahlon, Ogre Island, flying (should be back soon), Trial of the Gladiators, 1-2 extra raid tiers, Tanaan Jungle as a starting zone, etc etc), so reticence to believe Blizzard is at an all-time high.

Who knows though?  Maybe they come out, do a massive 'mea culpa' and proceed to blow our collective doors off with the most elaborate and engaging expansion ever?

... probably not though.

*I'll update this post as we find out more!

Remember, Knights of the Fallen Empire drops on October 25th!  If you'd like to play, use my referral code cuz I'm a greedy bastard!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

THE OUTLANDER TRAILER - EA GAMESCOM 2015

BREATHE BREATHE BREATHE!


OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OHHH MYYYY GAAAWD!

Ok, so now that my hyperventilating is over with ... does it seem to anyone else that we'll get the chance to work for the Fallen Empire?

PLEASE.

PLEASE DO THIS.


Remember that August 10th is the new cutoff date to be subscribed and still receive Nico Okarr as a companion in KotFE!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

LIEBSTERIZED!

Ravanel Liebsterized me a while back and I'm just now getting some time to take care of this.  Sorry for the delay!  I'd blame my Darkside II baby, but I've already used that excuse.  This time, I'll make it the fault of my diaper droid, C-P00.

Eleven random facts about me!

  1. I am a massive and long-suffering Minnesota Vikings fan.
  2. I also play D&D and may start putting some of my tabletop adventures in my posts!
  3. I used to part my hair to the side in high school, but it made me look like a chode.  I changed to a butt-cut in college (over 10 years ago) and I think it makes me still look like a chode, but I'm afraid to change it.
  4. We recently had a baby and I witnessed the actual birth.  It was gross but cool.  But more gross than cool.
  5. My 8-year-old son plays with my old toys; He-Man, GI Joe, Legos, Hot Wheels, Transformers.  I constantly have to stop myself from saying, "YOU'RE NOT PLAYING WITH THEM RIGHT."
  6. I am deeply disturbed by the recent trend of calling women 'females.'  I dunno, sounds so scientific and clinical.  I generally try to refer to women as women, girls, ladies, or wimminz.
  7. I really enjoy cutting my grass.
  8. When I buy Xbox games, I almost never finish them unless they're Bioware or Bethesda games.
  9. I don't have a favorite food.  It changes too much for me to ever peg down.  Right now, I think my favorite thing is a Classic Athenian Gyro from the Athenian Grill down the road.  But a month before it was salmon sushi from a sushi place that tragically closed down.  In another month, it'll change again.
  10. I used to have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Star Wars, but my skills have waned in the past decade.  I once took on 7 other friends in Star Wars Trivial Pursuit ... on the same team.  It was a massacre.
  11. My fear is snakes is all-encompassing.
  12. BONUS!  I am actually thinking of trying to start writing a novel but have no clue how to start, what to write, or how to even say it.
Now on to the questions I must answer!


1) Name one thing that would make your current favourite game better. Why?
  • Good question.  Current fave is FFXIV  but it's so new to me that I don't even know what to suggest.  For my long-time favorite MMO SWTOR though?  Easy ... relax the restrictions on the F2P accounts.  It's such an archaic, punishing system to subject new people too.  Cred limits and UI limits and blah blah blah.  Game is good enough to stand on its own without bogging down newbies with ridiculous restrictions.
2) How much time do you spend in MMOs standing around, not actively steering your character (for instance because you are chatting to friends) instead of doing actual gameplay?
  • Too much.  Back in WoW, I installed JumpCounter, an addon that simply counted jumps.  When I wasn't raiding or going someplace, I jumped around.  I got rid of the addon when I was approaching 1 million jumps.  And that was only during the Lich King expansion.
3) If you would get to pick a lightsaber, what colour crystal would be in it?  
  • NOT PURPLE.  Mace Windu is a turd.  I like a good, solid red.
4) In games, do you have a preference for creating a character of a specific gender?
  • I really don't like playing lady characters.  Even though my new agent is a lady Togruta.  Shut up.
5) In games, do you have a preference for creating a character of a specific race (dwarf, elf, asura, human etc.)? If you check your characters, which race is in the majority? 
  • The answer is always DWARF.  I always make a dwarf before I make anything else.  If no dwarf is available, I try to select the most dwarf-like.
6) In games, do you have a preference for creating characters of a certain body type or height?
  • Stocky, a bit shorter than normal.  I like big, powerful, low center of gravity melee dps with large weapons.
7) Outside the realm of games: does everyone know that you game? Or do you keep it a secret for certain people?
  • I don't generally let my nerd flag fly; only my closest friends really know that I D&D or play MMOs ... most of my closest friends don't even know I blog.
8) What is your favourite in-game consumable and why?
  • Hmmm, good question.  I was going to say the ogre cheese or whatever from WoW, but then I remember the Crunchy Chicks from Fable.  The ones you ate to gain evil points?  Eating all those poor chicks in front of that Demon Door ... how evil was that!
9) Do you prepare that consumable in the offline world as well?
  • Uh.  Next question.
10) What is your top 3 favourite dinosaurs? 
  • 1) Triceratops, 2) Ankilosaurus, 3) and not really a dinosaur, but was around at the time ... Megalodon!
11) And, last but not least: I'm an iguanodon. What dinosaur are you?
  • Straight up Triceratops.  It's always been my favorite since I was a little kid.  Probably feeds into my low, powerful, well-armored, dwarfy penchant for characters.
Now I've apparently got to name my own Liebsterization victims.  Shintar!  Njessi!  Treyann!  You're up.  Here's my questions (I'm currently hungry and it informed my list):
  1. Keeping with the dinosaur theme, what dinosaur would you like to be eaten by?
  2. Where do you like to hang out in your home the most?
  3. Favorite sandwich?
  4. If you were stuck on an island and could only have Pepsi or Coke, which?  What flavor?  Regular, Max, Zero, Diet?
  5. What's the best book you've read in the past two years?
  6. A maniac has a gun to your head and is forcing you to delete one of your mains off of any MMO you play ... which main gets axed?
  7. Sleep in the buff or pajamas?
  8. Are you a dog or cat person?
  9. Almond milk.  Gross or delicious?
  10. Do you even lift, bro?
  11. Kanye: Light him on fire or worship him as a god?
Thanks all!