Archive for January, 2012

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Datacron Tours Of The Galaxy

January 23, 2012

One month later, still have my sub to Star Wars: The Old Republic. Still working on leveling to 50. Still having a ball.

I’ve been meaning to save some of the specific content for levelcap. Mostly stuff not related to leveling like crafting, companion-management, and of course, the big one — datacron hunting. That and filling out my codex was something I’d anticipated doing at level 50, as it seems like it’ll be the most time-consuming goal on my SWTOR to-do list.

Of course, it didn’t work out that way. For the last two weekends, Republic Mercy Corps has been organizing datacron hunting tours. Curse my guild for being so fun and social. My fellow guildies can be so inconsiderate sometimes with their involvement and helpfulness.

The exercise is definitely an opportunity to foster communication and cooperation for any guild. It’s just like a corporate workplace team-building outing, except it’s fun and you don’t get the urge to kill yourself during and afterward. Admittedly, hunting for datacrons with close to twenty other people is infinitely more enjoyable than doing it by yourself (especially when clumsy-footed old me is always requiring rescue from Jedi Sages whenever I fail a jump or fall off some ledge).

The addition of datacrons is probably one of the better decisions BioWare has made in this regard. Whether you choose to hunt for the elusive shiny little cubes alone or with a group, it’s something I applaud because it’s an activity you can do anytime, even at endgame, that doesn’t involve grinding instances and repeating dailies to a disgusting and ridiculous degree.

The reason leveling has always been my favorite part of playing any MMO is simply because in most themepark-type games the first time through from 1 to levelcap is a process you can experience only once (for the sake of the argument, I’m ignoring my time beta). For example, I always remember the awe and wonder of stepping into a new zone for the first time, as subsequent visits will never be the same again. The other reason I like to take it nice and slow is because I never expect a new game’s endgame to be robust and I don’t usually see a pressing reason to get there until at least after the first big update. And speaking of updates, as much as I like doing flashpoints and am looking forward to doing ops, I wouldn’t mind if the future encompasses more than just instances and raids — say, stuff like datacrons and more content of that nature. With a good mix, I think I could be very happy.

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2 Years Of Blogging

January 9, 2012

On Saturday January 7, 2012, MMOGC turned 2!

I’m a little stunned to think I started this blog two years ago and that I’m still blogging today. I’m sure I’ve already mentioned this, but when my life gets busy, writing is usually the first of my hobbies to go out the window. This was certainly put to the test several times in 2011, especially during the crazy summer. I definitely did not post this past year as much as I would have liked.

I admit, sometimes I still feel like I’m in way over my head. I am also astounded — but grateful and touched! — whenever I look at my WordPress stats to see that there are actually living, breathing human beings who read this thing. I am deeply humbled and honored. To me, being able to connect with other gamers and to be a part of the gaming community is the best thing about blogging. It’s the people, as well as the discussions that take place here that make it all worth while.

To my readers, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. 2012 promises to be even busier, but I’m looking forward to year 3!

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My Top 5 Gaming Highlights Of 2011

January 6, 2012

I’m always so behind on these kinds of things. I realize we’re already six days into 2012 and almost figured I would skip the rundown this year, but oh what the hey…for tradition’s sake.

The five things that gave me much joy in the past year:

5. Rift

If I didn’t give Trion a tip of the hat it would be a great disservice — considering they kept me playing their game for much of last year, quite a feat when you take into account the influx of F2P MMOs in 2011 to distract me. Looking back, there were quite a few games that excited me but ended coming up short, but Rift wasn’t one of them. In fact, it was one of those pleasant surprises that caught me off guard; the rifts and flexible class system were what drew me in, but it was also the impressive number and frequency of updates from Trion that made me go back for more.

Oh, and the advent of area loot. Best thing since sliced bread.

4. NaNoWriMo

Last year I included Goodreads on my highlights of 2010 list, which wasn’t exactly related directly to gaming but regardless made an impact on my gaming life because of the social aspect behind it. I include National Novel Writing Month this year in my list for pretty much the same reasons. In November 2011 myself and a handful of my fellow gamer bloggers/tweeters took the leap and participated in this challenge, and I have to say any activity is more invigorating and inspiring when you’re doing it with a group of friends.

3. Launch of Star Wars: the Old Republic

Duh. This game has been on my radar since I was still in college, so yeah, I would say the launch of SWTOR was kind of a big deal to me. At one point on the eve of December 20, 2011 I had to pinch myself just to make sure it was really happening.

SWTOR’s impact remains to be seen, but already I get the feeling that story and voiceovers in MMOs are going to be a big deal. Even last year I noticed more games adding their own VOs and cutscenes — from Star Trek Online to World of Warcraft. I mean, after five years of not caring and saying shit all to me, Thrall finally wants to get chatty? How timely.

2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Every once in a while I like to indulge in the single-player experience, and I’m so glad in 2011 I had Skyrim. The last time I was so absorbed by an RPG was probably Dragon Age: Origins, and my game time in Skyrim was probably close to double the amount of time I spent in that. I bought the guide, I bought the soundtrack, I read the Books of Skyrim compilation, and quite honestly, if I could I would go back in time and buy the collector’s edition. The game isn’t without its bugs, but it’s the whole experience that counts — and for me it was such that I would happily throw money at Bethesda if it means they will continue making immersive games like this.

Now if only BioWare and Bethesda would have a hot night of sex; their lovechild will probably be the RPG to end all RPGs.

1. Republic Mercy Corps and Imperial Mercenary Corps

I won’t lie, getting into the SWTOR beta and being able to play it for six months was pretty damn exciting. But actually being in general testing wasn’t what made the experience a highlight for me. As much as I enjoyed reporting bugs and writing up my feedback every week, in point of fact, it was the friends I made and the relationships I forged over that period of time which made it memorable. As we all know, finding a good guild can be a challenge. Early last year, I was content on waiting until closer to launch to start guild-hunting, but lo and behold, during testing I was fortunate enough to meet an amazing group of players. The result: the RMC and the IMC, a pair of great guilds I am happy to be a part of.

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The Saga Continues…

January 4, 2012

I know I’ve been neglecting my blog lately. I wish I could say it was because I was too busy all this time playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, but the truth is more mundane. Between Christmas and New Year’s and family staying in town for a week, I just haven’t had much time for blogging…or gaming, for that matter. My mother-in-law is an awesome lady, but I wanted to show her that her son married someone who can do more than just sit in front of a computer all night and slash her lightsaber at pixels. You know what I mean! We’re all familiar with the drill!

But I guess it’s good sometimes to have a break. I don’t want to ramble away my first post of 2012, so I hope everyone had blast over the holidays, got great presents, some nice time off, good gaming in, etc. I am now going to dutifully play catch-up on everything I’ve put on hold over the last two weeks — including playing more SWTOR.

Most of my guildies are already in the mid to high 40s in their leveling, with a couple hitting 50 last week, and here I am still dawdling at 35. On the bright side, I stayed up until almost 3am last night finishing Chapter 1 on my Jedi Knight and received my Legacy. And yes, I got it at level 35 because I’ve been constantly 3-4 levels ahead of content, ever fighting the risk of out-leveling even more by skipping the planet bonus series and some heroics. There’s just so much to do. And since I’m also doing space combat dailies and always leveling in a group, I’m doomed.

Though I do wonder if I’ve been subconsciously putting off getting my Legacy name all this time, because I have no clue what it’s going to be. Granted, I’m glad I reached this milestone, but honestly, how does one go about the process of creating a name for all characters across one’s account, present and future? Not something to be taken lightly. Seriously, I’m already a very indecisive person, this is just cruel.

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