Archive for March 22nd, 2010

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I Will Not Be Seduced By The Dark Side, Bioware

March 22, 2010

I was browsing Massively.com earlier today and saw that they had linked to an article on Ars Technica titled “Genocide and Jedi: Why the Sith May be Right in Old Republic.” In it, the lead writer of Star Wars: The Old Republic basically talks about how the Sith could actually be seen as the “good guys,” and that it’s all just a matter of perspective.

I call BS. I mean, I generally eat up anything Bioware’s writers come up with, but I’m naturally a bit iffy on this one. Isn’t this just the same old rehashed argument we go through every single time a new MMO comes out to justify playing ball for the bad guys? You can pitch the “matter of perspective” argument all you want, but it’s going to be a little tough to do with an IP like Star Wars. Even when you consider the ambiguous nature of the force and the meaning of being light-side-aligned versus being dark-side-aligned versus being gray, those are arguments made on the individual level, whereas I’m talking the overall nature and distinction between the two factions. After decades of being exposed to the movies, books, comics, cartoons and other related media, the world has accepted the status quo of “Jedi = good, Sith = bad”; it’s pretty much been firmly established.

Perhaps this is related to the string of “Sith-centric” updates we’ve been getting about SWTOR? Are the devs trying to make the Sith more appealing to players so the numbers on both sides will be more balanced come launch time? Granted, what Star Wars fan has never had Jedi fantasies about saving the galaxy as one of the good guys? On the other hand, I’m sure there are a ton of us out there who are enamored with the Boba Fett or Darth Maul types too! I for one am still planning on rolling a Bounty Hunter as my main…so, er, I guess you can just ignore the post title and think of it more as a matter of principle.

“From my point of view, it is the Jedi who are evil!”

“Well, then you really are lost!”

– Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Yeah, you tell him, Obi-Wan. One of the more cringe-worthy lines of the new movies and it’s a pretty lame excuse too, even for the likes of whiny-ass Anakin.

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Leveling Ain’t So Bad

March 22, 2010

Now that I’ve finally gotten Dragon Age out of my system, I’m back to my online games. My progress in Star Trek Online is coming along nicely, and the rank of Admiral is almost within reach. My progress in Age of Conan, on the other hand, is in need of a little boost.

Get your useless ass back to leveling now, you maggot!

Leveling has never been my strong suit, especially when the experience gain tends to slow waaaaay down once you reach the last twenty levels or so. The first character in any game is also always the hardest, since you have no flipping clue where anything is. But I’m still determined to keep going, especially when I see my maxed-level guildies talk about their experiences in endgame and the nice drops they’re getting from raids. I want to get there pretty badly, but I need a little more more motivation than that. So far, mental visualization techniques and chanting “Must…get…to…level…80!” over and over to myself in my head have done diddly-squat.

Some things I’ve found that do help me:

1. Grab a friend. This is why my husband and I always level together whenever we can. Companionship always livens up the experience, and it’s especially helpful when you’re leveling as a healing class, like I am in AoC. Handling multiple mobs is less of a nightmare when you have a partner, and most of the time your friend will be grateful for a personal healer helping them keep an eye on their health.

2. Chat on vent. Whenever I look for a guild, I always make sure they have voice chat. Being able to talk to others is a great diversion when you’re doing the level grind. It’s fun when you can share an experience about the particular quest you’re doing, or tell someone about an awesome drop/reward you just got, or just listen to people’s stories in general to keep your mind off  the ridiculous amount of XP you still need until you ding.

3. When there’s not a soul around, I pop in a movie or a TV show and the hours just fly by. The great thing about MMORPGs is that you don’t always need to be concentrating on what’s happening on the screen, not like you would have to in a shooter or something. Lately, I’ve been watching episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, but the other show I really like to watch while playing games is Bones. Then there are those nights where I’ll just put on my treasured copy of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and play it on a loop while I level.

4. I have a couple of other things I do to make leveling feel less like a chore, silly things I do in order to fool my brain. For example, seeing an empty experience bar as soon as you log in is a pretty crappy feeling, so whenever I can I’ll try to end a play session only when I’ve passed the halfway point in my level. This way, I’ll be able to see that another level is just right around the corner the next time I sit down to the game. Asinine as it sounds, it does help quite a bit to motivate me psychologically.

5. If it’s already a little late in the day and I happen to finish all the quests I have in an area, I’ll usually log out before I go on to the next zone, to save it for the next time I play again. The reason for this is also a bit silly, but nothing trumps the excitement of being able to explore a brand new place, no matter how depressingly far I am away from the next level. And when it comes to AoC, I know there will be more than a few pretty sights waiting for me.

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