Archive for the ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’ Category

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SWTOR: The “Real” Big Ding!

August 19, 2013
The big moment immortalized.

The big moment immortalized.

This weekend saw me hit level 55 on my Bounty Hunter in Star Wars: The Old Republic! YAY!

And I know thus far I have not talked much about the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion, but now that I’ve played through most of it, I have to say it’s pretty well done. The story was good, the questing zones are laid out in a nice, convenient way that actually doesn’t make me want to throw acid in own my face. The planet Makeb is also gorgeous. Honestly, I’m quite impressed with the whole package, considering the state of things when I first took a break from the game.

While I suppose gearing up should be my next step (already started on weeklies), I’m also thinking about taking my Republic character to 55 as well, for the legacy experience and, more importantly, the full expansion content. I’m told the two faction quest lines play off each other and together they form the full Makeb story. I might as well soak it all in.

And, ugh! Of course, I’m also contemplating the idea of starting an alt. I suppose is inevitable given that’s usually my regular pattern after hitting level cap, but the notion is rather appealing considering how we’ve currently revived our Empire guild, and I’ve been itching to play an Imperial Agent since, like, forever! Sexiest class in the game, easy!

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SWTOR: Who Are You Calling Meatbag?

August 14, 2013
HK

Uh oh, he’s got you in his sights.

TA-DA! Behold my new HK-51 companion, prepped and ready to do his master’s bidding.

Okay, HK, your first mission is to make yourself at home on my ship and meet your new crew. Please take “extra care” of Torian for me, will you? I’ve never quite lived down the indignity of male Bounty Hunters getting the option to romance a cool chick like Mako, while the female BHs get stuck with — as my guildies put it — the goofy Justin Bieber lookalike.

Target

Target

Last week, you may have heard the Imperial Mercenary Corps gathered for a group event to start the HK quest chain in Star Wars: The Old Republic, kicking off the great scavenger hunt for killer robot parts. But since the husband and I have a prior engagement this coming Thursday evening and won’t be able to make the scheduled weekly TORsday night, we decided to get a jump on the last two HK pieces found in the flashpoints last night, calling in the help of a couple friends.

To be honest, if it weren’t for the guild event, I probably wouldn’t have ever gotten the HK droid. As awesome as he is, doing the scanning process for his parts on the different planets all by my lonesome would most likely have done my schedule in, so I’m definitely grateful and more than a little psyched that I finally got this cool companion.

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SWTOR: The Imperial Meatbag Corps

August 9, 2013
hk51c

Look! There’s enough for all of us!

It’s just like the old days! About a dozen people showed up last night for Mercy Gaming’s weekly Star Wars: The Old Republic night, which was a really good turnout.

So naturally, on the agenda last night was something we figured everyone can do together — working towards getting our HK-51 companions. Not many of us have done that quest chain, and it’s definitely one that’s considered “the more the merrier”. The unfortunate catch, however, was that we found out you had to be level 50 just to pick up the starting quest. Ugh.

hk51b

“Friendly exasperation: Oh, Maric, have you gotten us lost again?”

By the end of the night, we managed to complete the opening quests and collect all but two pieces of the HK parts for the scavenger hunt, leaving the final two pieces in the instances to do next week. HK-51, you will soon be mine! I can’t wait for you to call me “meatbag”.

I also have to say, this was like the perfect guild activity and experiencing it was like pure nostalgia. Traditionally, our guild has always liked to organize events to do as large groups in SWTOR. Around launch time, the activities we did ranged from world boss tours and datacron hunts to PvP Friday Night Fights. There just always seems to be something big groups can do as a guild event, things that don’t necessarily involve endgame. I suppose SWTOR has always been kind of special to me in that sense.

hk51

The mad dash to converge on the shiny yellow beam.

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SWTOR: The Sort-Of-Big Ding

August 7, 2013

50BH

I used to take more pride in my collection of levelcapped characters across my many MMOs, but over the last couple of years the time constraints (and real life generally becoming more busy) has made me slack big time. Many games have also seen expansions in that time, raising their levelcap, and I haven’t been very good in keeping up with those either.

Anyway, Level 50 may be the old cap for Star Wars: The Old Republic before they released Rise of the Hutt Cartel, but it was still a big deal for me when my Bounty Hunter hit this milestone last night. It was a journey that only took, oh, I don’t know…almost two friggin’ years?!

I have a Jedi Guardian on the Republic side that has reached endgame, and because of this, I had let my Imperial character languish at 42 and gather dust. With the revival of my guild The Imperial Mercenary Corps and our Thursday “TORsday” nights, I picked her up again and made the push to 50, finally reaching my goal after about two weeks of casual play. Now I suppose my next move will be to pick up RotHC. Next stop, 55 (the new TRUE big ding)!

One interesting thing I did note — SWTOR may very well become the first MMO in which I’ll have a levelcapped character in each of the playable factions. That’s not something I’ve done in any game, not even World of Warcraft where I’m sitting on a stable of level 90 toons (which are all Alliance). I’m just not in the regular habit of alting, and as such if I do, I tend also to stay loyal to one faction.

If my guild hadn’t chosen to reboot IMC, I can’t say with great certainty that I would have dusted off my BH on my own. I’m sort of glad it turned out this way, because apparently I’d been missing out on a lot of great Imperial content.

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SWTOR: The IMC Strikes Back

July 29, 2013
BHship

Home sweet…ship.

In light of the success that Mercy Gaming has had with the implementation of The Secret World Mondays (it’s been our guild’s longest-running endeavor so far), a few of our members have started up similar weekly sessions for Star Wars: The Old Republic. As such, the Darths at the top have declared Thursdays to be TORsdays, and we’ll be breathing life back into our old Empire guild the Imperial Mercenary Corps.

In a way, this return to SWTOR feels a long time coming. Mercy Gaming in its earliest form was assembled around that game, after all. Over time, our gaming circle has drifted from the game and we’ve lost and gained members since.

But now that SWTOR is free-to-play and has a new expansion to boot, I like the idea of going back and revisiting it once more. Actually, this wasn’t even a game I’d wanted to stop playing in the first place, but my daughter was born about a couple months after it first launched and pretty much all gaming stopped for me until that summer. By then, our guild’s presence in SWTOR had pretty much dissolved, and people had moved on to TSW and Guild Wars 2. Anyway, that’s really just my roundabout way of saying that I’m going to take full advantage of TORsdays.

My first goal: to get my Bounty Hunter to level 50. Apparently, she was 42 when I last left her — so close and yet so far to the old cap. After that, we’ll see about getting the expansion and taking her to 55. For the time being, I’ve already committed myself to at least the next two months because I sprang for the 60-day time card. SWTOR may be F2P, but it will make your life a living hell unless you sub. It appears I’ve been dreadfully spoiled by the more forgiving F2P approach employed by Perfect World/Cryptic games.

As of now, I’m sitting at level 45 and in the middle of questing through Belsavis. It’s always a bit frustrating coming back to an MMO you haven’t played for almost a year, especially when everything has changed and you have to redo all your skill points, user interface, etc. Not to mention the biggie, which is I’ve pretty much forgotten how to play my class. Let’s just say I spent the first couple of days back in game getting my ass kicked all over the planet, and leave it at that.

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Read Lately: SWTOR: Annihilation

January 4, 2013

SWTOR AnnihilationI have to say Annihilation is probably one of the better Star Wars books by Drew Karpyshyn, which is quite a relief after the train wreck that I thought was Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan. It’s amazing what a good writer he can be when he’s not being rushed. Now that he is no longer at BioWare, I’m glad he left us with this before moving on to his future endeavors.

For a while we’ve known that Satele Shan, the Grand Master of the Jedi Order during this time in the Old Republic, has a “secret son.” We met Theron Shan when he first appeared in The Lost Suns comic. Now he stars in his own novel, which further explores his activities as an undercover agent and operative for the Republic, but the book also reveals a lot more about his parents’ history and his own mysterious past.

I could tell Karpyshyn had a lot of fun writing Theron’s story. It is my experience that characters in books based on movies/TV shows/video games, etc. very often read like caricatures and hardly ever feel like real people. However, I thought Theron had a clear personality right away, and even found myself taken in by his confidence and dry wit. I also enjoyed acquainting myself the supporting characters like Teff’ith the Twi’lek, whose weak grasp of Galactic Basic was a nice humorous touch, as well as finding out more about Master Gnost-Dural, whom fans of SWTOR will no doubt recognize as the keeper of the Jedi archives.

The story is pretty much your run-of-the-mill fare, but very entertaining nonetheless. There were of course the obligatory space combat and lightsaber battle scenes, but I was surprised at how well done they were. Drew Karpyshyn is extremely adept at writing good action, but I was even more surprised to see how skillfully he tackled some of the emotional issues in this book without making them sound overly contrived or sappy. Like I said, he can be very good when given enough time to develop his characters.

One last thing I should note: I listened to the audiobook of this, courtesy of my library’s digital collection. Though I’m confident to claim Annihilation as a solid entry to the world of Star Wars novels, in the interest of full disclosure I must also mention the possibility that the quality of the audio version may have influenced my opinion. For one thing, it was my first experience with a Star Wars audiobook, so I’ve only just discovered the talent of Marc Thompson, who is probably one of the best audiobook narrators I’ve ever come across. His voices are simply phenomenal, and together with the sound effects and music I was just blown away.

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My Top 5 Gaming Highlights Of 2012

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! Here’s my first post of 2013, whose title I confess should really be “My Top 5 Gaming Highlights of 2012…And Then Some” because while 2012 was indeed a great year for games and gamers, admittedly I found myself struggling to come up with pure gaming-related entries for this list. It’s not that I haven’t been impressed with the industry’s offerings this year so much as I find myself with less gaming experiences to draw from, because the truth is I played less games these past twelve months than I have in recent years. Time has been so tight, there are so many games on my to-play list that I never even got a chance to go out and buy, let alone play. I can’t say that I’ve ever been so behind before.

Then again, so much has also changed in my life in 2012! Let’s take a look back at the memories:

5. Pet Battles and the Return of the Dynamic Duo

Pandaren

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria released on September 25th. I won’t go as far as to say it’s my favorite expansion so far, though I’m aware it is for many. Nevertheless, I’m still playing it more than three months later, which is already more than what I could say for its predecessor Cataclysm.

I will say that the new expansion has provided me more reasons to stick around, even after hitting the new level cap. For one, the companion pet battling and collecting system has me hooked — 431 pets to my name so far, and I’m still hunting, always hunting. Also, the mister and I have both taken a break from the endgame grind to work on a couple of Pandaren Monks. More than anything, I love playing MMOs with my husband. Leveling characters has always been our special way to bond, and nothing brings us closer than facerolling our enemies together with our Spinning Crane Kicks.

4. 122 Books

stats

I’ve always been one to go looking for challenges, which I have to say sometimes leads me to give myself some pretty random dumb goals.

As with most random dumb goals, I didn’t really have a reason for it, but a few years ago I just decided one day that I wanted to read 100 novels in a year.  I attempted several times, coming so close in 2011 at 83 books, and being pathetic I went and retroactively lowered my Goodreads challenge that year to 80 just so I could get the achievement badge. Well, no need to fudge the numbers for 2012; I kicked the challenge’s ass with a total of 122 novels and so you can even say I read enough to make up for last year.

Interestingly, the more I read the lower my average rating for books seem to get. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting more critical, or that more books under my belt just simply equals more mediocre ratings.

3. Mercy Gaming

Mercy Gaming

2012 was a rather turbulent year for Star Wars: The Old Republic to say the least, and neither has it really been smooth sailing for a lot of us who kept our subscriptions going until free-to-play. I think the most gut-wrenching part of it all the worrying I did about whether my Republic and Empire guilds will fall apart. After all, I got to meet and play with an amazing group of players, and I’ll always have SWTOR to thank for that.

I needn’t have stressed myself. The Republic Mercy Corps and Imperial Mercenary Corps may be shadows of what they once were in the game, but many of our members have kept in touch. Rebranded Mercy Gaming, the guild lives on, becoming a multi-gaming community that continues to adventure together in games like Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2, The Secret World, Minecraft, World of Warcraft, PlanetSide 2, and many many more. It’s always a party with these folks, who have all become my very good friends.

2. The Secret World

TSW

Never have I ever played an MMO like TSW. The only other game that even came close to capturing my heart and blowing my mind this year was of course Guild Wars 2, but even that gets edged out, albeit just barely. For one thing, while my playtime in GW2 has tapered off until I can find more time in my schedule, I am still playing TSW regularly each week because I just can’t seem to get enough of this game! I suppose it does have a certain je ne sais quoi that made it stand out to me above the rest, and it’s not just the unique genre or playstyle.

For one, I like that it came out of nowhere and surprised me (in a good way). In fact, months after its release it’s still regularly doing that. While it’s far from perfect and definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, it does sometimes feel like with every issue update and TSW Monday, I fall hopelessly in love with this game all over again.

1. “Baby Mogsy”

MMOGC Jr

Welcoming our first child in February 2012 definitely made me and my husband a lot busier. While taking care of a baby has left me not as free to do a lot of my hobbies anymore, I’m loving motherhood and I cherish every single moment I spend with my little girl, even though she’s probably the biggest reason why my time spent gaming has dropped so dramatically in 2012! But you know what? I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Even from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew I’d gladly give up anything for her.

Our daughter has changed our lives, bringing us such joy and making us feel blessed each and every day. At 10 months old now, every moment with her is like an adventure. She is just full of surprises, and I don’t want to miss a single one!