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.