Posts Tagged ‘Builds’

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TSW Monday: 3 Scenarios, 2 Teams, 1 Great Night

November 12, 2013

beam

Activities for our Monday night sessions of The Secret World have varied for the past several weeks, but last night everyone had the same plan: to tackle the new scenarios added with the release of Issue 8: The Venetian Agenda.

We had enough people show up for two groups, made up of folks who ranged from being very familiar with the scenarios to those who were just doing them for the first time. I’ve been puttering around the game the last few days myself, though I’m still in the process of tweaking my deck to find the most ideal build.

For once, being a tank appears to be working to my advantage (because we meat shields never seem to get a break otherwise)! But so far, a modified version of my current build seems to be doing the trick, with a couple impairs thrown in and replacing a few abilities with better AoE. The self-heals I’ve always relied upon have been a godsend, and being able to keep my aggro building abilities to pull mobs to me quickly has been very useful in keeping my enemies from pounding my survivors to a pulp.

So last night, the ten of us split up into two groups with a good balance of experienced mixed with first-timers, and each group ran all three scenarios on “normal duo” mode to get the hang of things. I’m not new to the scenarios, but I’m definitely not experienced either, with much tweaking of my build in between runs. I also can’t imagine what a bigger pain in the ass these scenarios would be if I were doing these without communication; being able to received constant reports and call-outs from my group members over Teamspeak made all the difference.

Anyway, that was pretty much my third night doing Scenarios, and only my first or second time for completing some of them. It’s amazing how much variation I’m seeing already, even now. I for one did not know that some of the survivors could turn traitor and kill their own! That was pretty damn evil when it happened — but at least the simulation compensated for replacing the lost. Still learning interesting things along the way every day!

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Creatures Of Darkness, Prepare Thyselves For a Merciless Thrashing

July 31, 2012

Me in my long-coveted outfit from the Witch Hunter deck, which I finally completed last night in The Secret World. The hubby is in his Exorcist outfit which he says makes him look a little like Father Guido Sarducci. Wait, who? Oh, old SNL references.

Of course, the irony is that while I’ll be sporting the Witch Hunter get-up, I don’t actually know how much I’ll use the deck itself. The abilities seem tailored to a high-DPS play style which shines when dealing with single targets, but doesn’t have much in the way of survival. It also appears built around quite a lot of impair effects. This has implications for its usefulness.

As you know, there are a ton of options in the ability system in TSW. The idea is that given time, any player can gain access to all of them. What I find interesting is how the game is also always encouraging you to tinker with your deck, throwing tough fights and other obstacles your way to make you think about your current build and how you can tweak it to increase your potential. Effectively, you have to constantly adapt to the environment in order to survive.

As to why I probably won’t be using my Witch Hunter deck (much), I’m finding a lot of mobs in Egypt to be impervious to impair effects. Most bosses also are. Thus I’m still currently running around in a Blades/Chaos burst damage self-build that relies heavily on penetration, but this weapons combo also has a lot of synergy in the defense and survival department which means I also have a set-up for tanking on the fly.

I really should be branching out into firearms for some ranged damage (as I discovered being melee only has landed me in a few precarious situations) but the next deck I’ll chase is probably the one with Hammers and Chaos (Templar Warlock). Heck, with where my current points are right now, I’m already halfway there.

Speaking of which, when it comes to point allocation I’ll admit I’m sometimes driven more by the clothing items they reward. However, I’m sure the Witch Hunter deck will get some use as it’ll most likely be my go-to PvP build when I do Fusang.

In other news, “Unleashed” patch 1.1 was released today, adding more missions (seven in all, five of which are investigation quests) and new fashions – not to mention that completing all the new missions unlocks “a new achievement and unique clothing rewards.” Looking forward to the brain work out and the hats and glasses and handwraps, oh my.

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SWTOR: A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Far Away….

December 13, 2011

You know what I love best about playing a new MMO? The first step — making your characters and naming them, and being able to put together intro posts like this one, which has been a long-standing tradition on this blog.

As you’ve probably heard, Star Wars: The Old Republic early access started today. For those wondering, the Republic Mercy Corps and our sister Empire guild the Imperial Mercenary Corps are on the server Sanctum of the Exalted. Look, I’ll happily play on server Jar Jar Binks if it meant being able to play with friends, but I was still tickled and a little relieved to see we lucked out with a pretty cool server name. I’m also happy to report recruitment is still semi-open for both guilds, so feel free to visit the links if you’re interested in joining the Corps.

For the Republic

Sha’lanni, Twi’lek Jedi Knight

Midway through the year, I think that’s when I came around to the idea of rolling a Republic force-user. Before that, I know I was pretty dead set on playing Empire exclusively at launch, but being a geek wife, I can also read Mr. MMOGC like a book — the guy’s an old school fan of the Jedi and keen on the idea of waving around a lightsaber (of course, helping found the RMC might have something to do with it too). In any case, Sha’lanni — I just picked the same name I used in beta — is the designated character chained to the Spousal Leveling Contract.

Again deferring to my dear husband, who tends to gravitate towards the caster archetypes, I let him choose the Jedi Consular while I’ll be taking up the tanking duties as a Jedi Guardian, which to be honest is my preference anyway. Guess I’m lucky I married a man who loves to heal.

So I was asking readers how they plan on tackling light side/dark side choices yesterday, while indicating that what I’ll do is probably roll my character, come up with a general idea of her personality, and see where to go from there. That said, I can kinda see it in her face already — a young up-and-coming Jedi, idealistic and perhaps a tad naive. Looks like I’ll be making light sided decisions with her at least for the next little while.

For the Empire

Xavindria, Human Bounty Hunter

I’ve dreamed of playing a Bounty Hunter in this game for so long, going so far as to completely avoid the class during beta to save myself the surprise, that the experience of creating this character and then getting to play her in-game felt a bit surreal.

When it comes to choosing an Advanced Class, I have no idea which direction to take her yet. Honestly, both Mercenary and Powertech sound equally appealing and I doubt I will mind whichever I end up with, so if anyone has experience with either ACs I would love to hear your thoughts and/or suggestions.

I have a feeling this class is going to be a hell lot of fun to play — for the brief time I had with my character, I was already bouncing everywhere with my light side/dark side choices. Fine, mostly in the name of fame and credits. My Bounty Hunter isn’t a bad person, but hey, fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory.

I wish all the best to everyone who preordered and hope you will be getting into early access and the game soon. And if you ever find yourself adventuring on Sanctum of the Exalted, feel free to say hello!

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SWTOR: Friday Grab Bag

June 3, 2011

Quite a lot of Star Wars: The Old Republic updates to cover today, not just from the game site but from all around the net, which is something of a surprise considering how close we are coming up on E3. Granted, nothing earth-shattering, but I had expected things to get a little quiet. Or is this a sign of things moving forward, since by all accounts SWTOR is still on track for a 2011 release?

Advanced Class Page Update

First from swtor.com, the webpage for Advanced Classes has been overhauled so you can see their information laid out nicely without digging through all the regular class pages. You can view how a particular class “branches”, as well as the various skill-sets that become available as you level. A bunch of passive class abilities can be gleaned from this update, but otherwise it’s purely an improvement to the official site. Still, it’s much more informational than what we had before, and just look at all the pretty colors now!

New Lost Suns Comic

Another comic that will tie into the story line of SWTOR, taking place at the same time as the start of the game. The first issue of “The Lost Suns” will be available from next Wednesday, this time not as an e-comic, so I’m going to have to make the trek to my neighborhood comic book store.

I think this is going to be a good one. Written by the same writer who did the “Blood of the Empire” (which I enjoyed a lot), “The Lost Suns” will star Theron Shan as a Republic spy sent on a mission to discover secrets of the Sith Empire. Yep, another Shan. Glad to see Bastila’s line has been so prolific. Theron, however, is apparently the estranged son of the Grand Master Jedi Satele Shan — but he himself is not a Jedi. From the moment “a secret son” was translated from the Aurebesh found on Satele’s biography page, the identity of this young man had been shrouded in mystery, making me wonder if the title of the comic is also meant to be a clever play on words.

Ah, the delicious mystery — this is why I love comic and book tie-ins. The Q&A also states that Theron’s story will have profound repercussions on the plots in the game, along with “about a hundred pages’ worth of aliens, outfits, spaceships, and landscapes based on game content”. Sounds good, though I would probably pick this one up even if it had zip to do with SWTOR. I can never turn down a good Star Wars comic after all.

SWTOR at E3

E3 is right around the corner. This new article pretty much lays out what to expect — sneak previews of an encounter with the Eternity Vault on the planet of Belsavis, the struggle to dethrone a usurper on Alderaan, and a battle with Sandpeople and more on Tattooine.

Signs also point to the possibility of a new cinematic trailer, just like the last couple of years. If you get the swtor.com newsletter, you might have noticed an image at the bottom of the email teasing something happening on the site June 6:

If the image looks familiar, that’s because we’ve already seen snippets of it from the novel trailer for “Deceived“. As Jaramukhti has already pointed out months ago, that seemed like a hell of a lot of work just for a book trailer, no? His hopes that the footage will turn out to be the making of a new cinematic may pan out after all. Me, I’m hoping it will be a release date trailer! Too optimistic, maybe?

MMORPG.com Interview

A pretty comprehensive interview with Georg Zoeller on the subject of Advanced Classes, going over the system and looking more closely at specific abilities and details of the classes. I think the reason why there’s so much information on these ACs is that they’re really trying to emphasize the point that it’s really more like 8 classes per faction rather than the 4 — each branch will have its own story, the AC choice will not be optional, and as far as I know, once you make the decision you can’t take it back.

EA Launches Origin

EA debuts Origin today, their new direct-to-consumer gaming platform for gamers to purchase and download EA games and other content. They’re clearly gunning for services like Steam with this, which is both bad and good I guess, since I do all my digital game purchases through Steam exclusively at the moment, but buying stuff like DLC and other content for Mass Effect, Dragon Age etc. and keeping it all together could be easier with Origin.

In addition, “digital downloads of Star Wars: The Old Republic will be available exclusively on Origin later this year”. What this means for me, I don’t know. I was always planning on getting a boxed Collector’s Edition, but the idea of no-hassle digital delivery is also very appealing. But what to do, what to do, when both avenues will no doubt offer “exclusives” to tempt me?

More…?

I’ve been keeping an eye on Twitter all morning, and the forecast was calling for scattered SWTOR updates throughout the day from everywhere. There may be more coming, I don’t know, but they’re definitely ramping up for E3 and when next week rolls around I’m sure things will get even more crazy.

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SWTOR Sith Inquisitor: “Treachery Can Break Even The Mightiest Foe”

May 13, 2011

Late last night Gamespot posted a new video along with an exclusive Q&A, the curtain-raiser to what was expected from today’s Star Wars: The Old Republic Friday reveal — the Sith Inquisitor class update.

First, the video. Love the deception, love the force lightning, love the calm and cool-headed attitude of this badass Zabrak chick who is the very model of an upstanding emissary to the Empire. When considering most of the class videos that came before, it’s also a breath of fresh air to see someone who isn’t brutishly running around bashing in people’s skulls. As Daniel Erickson pointed out in the Gamespot interview, the Inquisitor is the “thinking-person’s Sith”; their strengths are in treachery and manipulation.

But if I have to nitpick, I can’t say I’m a fan of the “warlockian” outfit used in the video. I hope having to endure those monstrous shoulderpads isn’t part of the “rigorous trials” process on the long journey to unlock the secrets of the dark side.

If I haven’t already made up my mind to play a Bounty Hunter, I think I would have seriously considered the Sith Inquisitor. In the words of lead combat designer George Zoeller:

“Through advanced class and skill selection, the player can mold this class to fill any of the traditional roles of characters in massively multiplayer games.”

Yeah, especially in light of the bombshell that dropped last month updating the Inquisitor and Jedi Consular to tanking classes. I predict the two classes will fill similar roles in the game, and while I’ve only seen the Consular in action, if the Sith Inquisitor displays even a fraction of the same versatility I witnessed…well, I stand by my declaration — that in terms of gameplay, I think these two classes will probably be the most versatile and interesting to play.

However, I’m still going to have to give the SI the edge here — nothing beats being able to zap people with force lightning coming out of your fingers!

That said, the Sith Inquisitor Advanced Classes are very different. Assassins wield double-bladed lightsabers and they have the potential to fulfill damage, support, or even tank roles. Sometimes they even get to wear cool ninja-type armor like this! Now that’s an outfit I can learn to love:

Sorcerers, on the other hand, rely more on force-based abilities to do battle — lightning strikes and force storms are the kind of powers you find in their arsenal. They can also use the force to control their enemies or heal their allies.

Sorcerer armor style, however, is a little more distracting. I don’t even really know what to say. It’s like sci-fi meets shamanism. I love it, but at the same time I don’t — it’s a great look, but it’s also going to take me some time to get used to seeing it in the Star Wars universe:

As with every class update, the information also includes a known associate/companion: Khem Val, a member of force resistant and not-so-pretty Dashade species who according to his description sleeps dormant in the tomb of Naga Sadow on Korriban, waiting for a worthy Sith Inquisitor just like you to come along to finally wake him from his stasis. I assume you don’t do it with a kiss.

And of course, the ship — the same one that Sith Warriors use which was first revealed in their update — the Fury-class starship . Or what I like to call the love child of the Millennium Falcon and an imperial TIE Interceptor.

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SWTOR: Sith Have No Fear

April 29, 2011

Last month, we got to see a Jedi Knight Character Progression video from Star Wars: The Old Republic. Not to be outdone, the Empire gets a slick Friday update today, featuring a similar sort of video for the Sith Warrior. I like to think of the two classes as light side/dark side counterparts with similar play styles and abilities, but everything from the cinematography to the forboding music shows that they’re clearly different animals. For one thing, the guy in this very “scripted” video evidently does not have the same moral sensibilities.

Did the newbie Sith just run up and cut down that unsuspecting NPC from behind? Wow, that’s just…cool and sort of uncool at the same time. But hey, that Marauder “disappearing act” was impressive!

After viewing this, I can see the Darth Vader inspiration behind the heavy armor sets of the Juggernaut. The Marauder gear, however, is a little more baffling. The hoods and cryptic masks I understand and are even kinda badass, but what’s with the conspicuous shoulder spikes? Gah!

The second part of the update, the dev blog titled “Working on the User Interface” is also of interest to me. Thing is, UI is often a very sticky subject. I admire BioWare’s stance on trying to make an interface that will appeal to veteran and new MMO players alike, but the truth is no single UI is perfect for everyone right out of the box. Even an individual person can have multiple UI setup preferences depending on what it is they’re doing, what role they’re playing, etc.

I like how SWTOR’s interface is sleek, clean, open and discreet yet thorough enough in terms of displaying information players need to know, and I said as much when I had my hands-on experience with the demo. Still, what’s most important to me is modularity, flexibility, and customization. I would trade all the pretty bells and whistles for some adaptability. Simply give me the options, BioWare, and I’ll be okay with pretty much any UI you guys come up with.

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SWTOR: Staying Classy

April 8, 2011

Today’s Friday Update for Star Wars: The Old Republic is a developer blog detailing Advanced Classes, along with some unexpected extras thrown in. Among my favorite kinds of updates are always the dev dispatch video and blog updates, because it’s fascinating to see what goes into creating a game like SWTOR. Still, the level of detail in today’s update surprised even me, with its brief but informative “behind-the-scenes” look at the testing process on top of covering a lot of the questions that have been asked about ACs lately.

I thought Mr. Zoeller provided a very straightforward and in depth explanation on the mechanics behind skill trees, but what really piqued my interest were the new tweaks in the class roles. Some of the changes I already knew about, such as a healing role added to the Mercenary Bounty Hunter AC, but others were a surprise. Like, Jedi Consulars and Sith Inquisitors can become tanks now? Wow.

Yet, that makes a lot of sense. Something had been plaguing the back of my mind ever since watching and playing the Taral V flashpoint encounter. It just didn’t add up for me before — instance groups of only four players, but at the same time here you’ve got an encounter that will require two tanks to prevent a sure wipe and perhaps back-up healing to boot? What the heck, can you say, a LFG nightmare? This update, however, made it all come together. If I’ve got the count right, that’s three ACs capable of healing and three ACs capable of tanking for each faction, which sounds more like it.

On top of that, I’ve noticed before how the classes in SWTOR seem well-equipped to take on many different situations, by being able to incorporate more than one role within the same build. There’s definitely a degree of flexibility afforded to the player. In BioWare’s own words, some flashpoints are paced in a way that healers can switch into damage roles while engaged in an encounter, and tanks can get away with being a little bit more “reckless”.

Having more choices is always better. These tweaks would seem to be in keeping with that, based on the commentary about the Jedi Guardian AC. Previously, the Guardian’s only available role was a tank, but now they are also capable of doing close-ranged damage dealing. Indeed, I seem to remember being rather adept at both (at the same time!) in the flashpoint demo I played. If this is the direction class and skill point mechanics will continue to go, I think I will be quite happy with the end product.

The inclusions of 3D and movement heat maps and other metrics data was also nice surprise. It may not be direct information about gameplay, but it’s details on the game’s progress and development status which I think is a subject many players (including myself) won’t mind knowing more about.

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