Posts Tagged ‘Factions’

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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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My Panda Day

September 26, 2012

Happy pandas

Weeks even before World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria was released, I was already thinking about what I should be focusing on when the expansion went live. Should I jump right into pet battles? Should I start on leveling my main to level 90? Or should I roll a Pandaren and play around with a monk? As it turned out, I was able to fit in a bit of everything on the first day.

First things first — Pet. Battle. Trainer. Oh no, it’s all over, folks! All over! Pet battling is even more fun and addicting than I’d imagined! Within an hour I’d managed to add 25+ new pets to my collection, raised four or five different pets to level 6, and beat up several NPC pet battlemasters in the human area. And how do I feel about completely destroying a little girl and her pet rabbits, you ask? Pretty damn good, actually!

Next, I hopped onto my druid main for a couple hours of questing with my husband, heading into the Jade Forest to start on our journey to level 90. It is freakin’ gorgeous. I am also enjoying the MoP quests; so far, they feel a lot more robust than Cataclysm’s, in all sorts of different ways, e.g. story, content, impact, visuals, humor etc. (Socks!!! NOOOOO, SOCKS!)

At the end of the day, the Mercy Gaming guild got together and started Team Panda. I made my female red panda (tail and all) and named her Meilee, which is a bastardized spelling of Chinese pinyin characters for “Pretty” in Mandarin. How any and all variations of that name weren’t taken yet, I can’t imagine.

Together, we quested through the Pandaren starting area, and I finally had to put symbol markers on myself and my guildies to tell them apart from all the other big, fat, black and white pandas running all over the place. It also didn’t help that we were all monks wearing the same quest reward gear. Mint green dots everywhere on the mini-map!

I had myself a great time. While I can’t speak for my friends, I suspect they did too. The zone was visually stunning, the quests were fun and relatively unique. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who might be rolling their own Pandaren one day, but suffice to say I was quite impressed. In the end we chose to join the Horde, and our modest little guild Red Solstice on the server Silvermoon is now up and running.

The nice thing is, after yesterday’s experiences I’ve decided I’m not going to concern myself too much with “focusing” on any one thing in-game anymore. I’m not in any rush, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with sampling a little bit of everything — in fact, I quite liked it.

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Rift: Fraternizing With The Enemy

May 26, 2011

I don’t recall if I’ve ever written about the fact you can communicate with the other faction in Rift, but regardless, it’s a feature that’s been around since day one and which I find myself appreciating more and more each day.

Originally, I was a little skeptical towards the idea, but after thinking about it, it really does make more sense from a PvE perspective. Lorewise, all things point to Guardians and Defiants speaking the same language, so there really is no logical explanation why they shouldn’t they be able to understand and communicate with each other. Fundamentally, our two sides might be at odds, but we also share a common enemy. We don’t play nice together, but when a rift invasion is threatening to tear apart our land, perhaps dropping our ideological differences and banding together temporarily would be good for both sides in the long run? At least, that’s the way I see it.

A personal anecdote: the other day, I found myself and another Defiant meeting up with a Guardian at a major rift in Shimmersand — all farming earth and fire for the eggshell dailies, what else? Admittedly, old habits die hard. Every once in a while I still want to slap myself when I remember that instead of hopelessly emoting gestures to a Guardian, I can simply /say to them what I think. Kek!

In short, however, the three of us ended up working out roles between ourselves on the fly — without having to mime it all out, thank god. Obviously, neither my group member nor I could do anything for the Guardian tank, so he went DPS instead while I healed and my Defiant partner took up the tanking duties. It was a quiet night, as it was only the three of us for a long time. Regardless, we steamrolled through about a half a dozen major rifts, banished our foes, collected our loot, finished our dailies, and everyone went to bed happy.

As someone who is predominantly a PvE’er, I can see the value behind such interactions. Our factions may hate each other, but we’re not all unreasonable. Communication allows for planning during times when cooperation will benefit everyone, which is what makes Rift such a unique game in my eyes because rifts are dynamic events that can happen out of the blue at any time regardless of who’s around. You can’t always choose your allies, and having the ability to communicate with whoever’s there is a nice option to have. I’m not saying we should all sit around a campfire and sing Kumbaya, but I also like the idea of being able to say a proper “Thank you” when a Guardian goes out of their way to save my skin out of the goodness of their own heart.

Sure, PvP on the other hand is now filled with 100% more trash talk, but despite initial concerns that it would lead to wide-spread dickery, it really hasn’t. I seem to recall Scott Hartsman saying something about wanting to give people a chance, and I think ultimately that was a good call.

Besides, on Faeblight I get the pleasure of witnessing some truly phenomenal, grade-A RP trash talking. Some time during my first week, a group of us were mowed down by a roleplaying guild of level 50 Guardians cutting a swath through Freemarch, but instead of being pissed, I thought it was actually quite awesome to have been slain for my impiety. One has not truly lived until he or she has had the experience of some Guardian yelling down at their dead body, calling you and all your friends a bunch of “vile, godless dog-hearted mountain troll whore-sons.”

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Riftroductions

February 27, 2011

Shut up. I’m officially fresh out of clever Rift puns for post titles now, so you’ll have to live with the dregs I scrape from the bottom of the barrel, you poor, poor things.

Some of you may recall a post I did last year titled “My Lovely Ladies” in which I identify the three trends I tend to follow when I make my game characters: 1) They’re all female, 2) They’re all attractive, and 3) They all have different names.

My Rift characters are no exception, and I am particularly a big fussbudget when it comes to names. Five days before headstart and I was already trying to come up with a list of possible names in my head. A list of them, because sometimes, I won’t know which one to use until I see my character standing before me on the screen. A name can sound great, follow all the appropriate conventions and be perfect in every way, but for me it also has to fit a “look” or else it just doesn’t work. See, I told you I was fussy.

Meet Shandenay, my “main” Rift character, Defiant Eth on Faeblight.

I knew for a long time I was going to roll a Cleric. I’ve always had in mind an image of a heroic shining knight in chain mail, a fresh-faced and wholesome young woman with kind of a humble, girl-next-door type of beauty. So no surprise, she came out looking a bit like a Roman goddess. Though the Defiants are branded as heretics, seen as dangerous and shameless, and are therefore labeled the “evil” side by many, I often let the class of my character influence my decisions on overall appearance, not the faction.

My first role for Shandenay consists of a Druid/Justicar/Shaman soul combination. For a first-time Cleric, I went with what the game suggested, and was pleased with the resulting synergy between these three melee souls. I’m able to solo effectively, and offer good support in a duo or in a raid while fighting a rift. I also just recently purchased a second role for the purpose of doing instances, and started putting together a healing build on the fly. The Sentinel and Purifier souls have not let me down so far.

Meet Saimiri, my Guardian High Elf character, also on Faeblight.

Self-righteous. Holier-than-thou. Goody-two-shoes. That’s the feeling I got from the Guardians, which prevented me from connecting with the faction when I did my brief stint as a Mathosian during beta. Still, I have an agreement with my husband that I won’t level my main character without him and he won’t level his without me, so I needed to come up with a Rift alt to play for the times when he’s not around or when he decides to play World of Warcraft instead. Despite my disdain for the “Chosen of Telara’s gods”, I want to see as much of this game as I can, including the content from the other faction, so I saw this as the perfect opportunity.

Wow, I just realized compared to my Cleric, Saimiri looks like a real bitch. My subconscious feelings about the Guardians coming through, perhaps. I do like her name, though. Sometimes, I like coming up with random names that sound good, other times the names I choose for my characters are meant as nerdy little inside jokes to myself. I specialized in an Anthropological Sciences degree when I was in college, and one of my favorite courses I had to take was Primatology. Saimiri is the genus name for the Squirrel Monkey.

I enjoyed my Elementalist/Chloromancer/Stormcaller Mage so much during beta, I was inclined to make another one for launch. Except I substituted Elementalist for NECROMANCER! I needed a pet, and the cool factor of an undead skeleton is just slightly higher than that of a pet rock.

Server queues aside, I’m having a lot of fun in Rift so far, and I hope you are too. Come say hello!

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Postcards From Telara: Bring On Rift

February 23, 2011

Hard to believe the seventh Rift beta event is behind us now, and headstart is imminent. I should think the next time I blog about the game, the live servers will be up and running, which is a pretty exciting thought. I was pleased when I saw that the 8.3 gig “patch” downloaded last night without a hitch, even though thousands of players were likely trying to do it at the same time. It gives me hope for a smooth launch.

I’ve decided to join up with the friendly folks at Multiplaying.net and their Circle of Trust guild, who are rolling Defiant side on the RP-PvE server of Faeblight. Ahh, “Defiant” and “PvE”. What a sweet, sweet sound those two words make. Also, thanks to MP, looks like a lot of people I know will be playing together, if not on the same faction at least on the same server. Since I’ll most likely be making a Guardian alt too, at some point I’m sure I’ll be able to meet up with everyone in Telara.

Like most people, I reined in my activity during the last beta. I played many hours during that week, but instead of pushing to see as much as the game as I can, I mostly rifted and explored at my leisure. I’m looking forward to starting the game tomorrow, with a Cleric soul combination in mind — hmm, Druid/Justicar and something else…maybe Shaman. The last time I saw the starting areas was about two months ago, so that and the fact I’ll be playing a new class should still make the experience feel lemony fresh and new.

And now, once again, for the “postcards” part of this post in which I plunder my screenshot folder (which thankfully I had the foresight to save before uninstalling the beta client) for my favorite images. Because seriously, why take a kajillion bajillion pictures if I can’t share them from time to time?

See you all in game! And long live the Defiants!

Fire rifts and lightning are no excuse to ignore your exercises.

A wind rift that was part of a quest.

About to be stomped to death by an asparagus on steroids.

A variation of the one I posted to twitter. That face is going to give me nightmares...

Er, this on the other hand...MROW?

Caidia in all her glory. Good bye, beta character!

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New Friends In New Vegas

October 27, 2010

In my last post about Fallout: New Vegas, I think I made a comment that implied I felt the quest lines were shallow and weren’t as compelling as I’d liked. Well, I take that back. I think it’s safe to say everything I experienced in the first 10 hours or so was just a small taste of what the game has to offer. Just a tiny little morsel to whet your appetite, so to speak, because the real fun happens when you hit The Strip.

Here’s what I think really makes the game: Factions, factions, factions. There are a ton of them in New Vegas, each having their own rich culture and stories. Some are big, some are small. A couple of them are so scummy it makes your skin crawl. Others are really bizarre like that gang of Elvis impersonators. Many of them have cool names like the Followers of the Apocalypse and the White Glove Society. Would that I could please them all.

I love the Black Widow perk.

Once Mogsy the Courier reached the bright lights of New Vegas proper, however, it became clear that all the factions have these complex relationships between themselves. They’re all eager enough to get you to do things for them, of course, but please one and you risk pissing off another. I had a very difficult time choosing which factions I should get in bed with (just a turn of phrase…or is it? With Mogsy, you never know!) but in the end, I remembered how I wanted to play — no more goody-two-shoes and running around being somebody else’s errand girl. I was going to try to be mean and mercenary for once, and I figured if I’m going to have any chance of taking over New Vegas, I’d do well to ally myself with like-minded people…at least for now.

What I didn’t foresee was how things could get so complicated. Yes, you can lie, con, manipulate and exploit your way into and out of favor with your factions of choice, but every decision you make can affect your relationship with other factions in ways you can’t even imagine. I went as far as to vaporize one of my pretty little companions to prove my loyalty to a psychopath in an organized crime syndicate, thinking I’d made a true friend, only to have him turn around later and forge an alliance with a “good guy” faction I’d made every effort to ignore. Then I find out even the good guys can ask you to do some pretty sick and unsavory things too, wow.

I like how the lines are so blurry. To me, these dynamic relationships give the game depth and really take the experience to a whole new level, not to mention they also greatly increase the fun factor. Meanwhile, I’ve also been amusing myself with shooting old ladies for their sarsaparilla star caps and special unique weapons, plus testing out sexbots on the side, but that’s a whole other story.

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My Gears For Gnomeregan

September 14, 2010

Recently, my time on World of Warcraft has been focused exclusively on my Tauren warrior, still working my way to the big 80, but I thought I should mention that this weekend I found some time to log in to my Alliance character to check out the retaking of Gnomeregan event. After years of WoW and having to sit there watching the poor gnomes bitch and moan about the loss of their home city, when Operation: Gnomeregan went live I knew at some point I just had to see this for myself.

It’s been a long time coming. You see, “Gnomeregan” itself is a word that used to bring shivers down my spine before I flee the room like a screaming banshee to huddle in a fetal position in a closet crying myself to sleep. I think I’ve done that instance all but a single time and never returned to its hellish depths again.

And the High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque? Well, besides the fact I think he has an awesome name, I never really gave him much thought. Certainly I never pictured him as a real leader. King of the gnomes he may be, but compared to the other big hitters of WoW like Varian Wrynn or Thrall, Mekkatorque to me is like Diet Coke — not really the real thing. Until now, I never gave his character or his city the respect they deserve.

Now there’s a reason to care about Gnomeregan and Mekkatorque again. And except for the part where it bugged out on our group, I enjoyed the entire event immensely. From the moment I was tasked to brainwa–er, I mean, motivate the gnome citizens, I knew I was in for a good time (you can always count on the gnomes and their sense of humor to bring the fun).

The best part was, of course, being able to ride in the final assault with the High Tinker himself. Following him into battle was an experience to remember. Is it weird that I got more insight into his character in this short span of 20 minutes than I’d ever gotten in the last four years? Great music too, and for some strange reason sounded reminiscent of the Magnficent Seven theme, at least to me. Maybe I was just feeling like a bronco raring to go.

Afterward, I logged in to my Tauren to check out the Echo Isles event. Being only a recent convert of the Horde, I was much less invested in its lore, so I wasn’t all that surprised when the initial quest lines didn’t interest me as much, even though you get to do some pretty fun things. In the end, I wasn’t able to take part in the liberation of the Echo Isles either, still being a few levels short of the prerequisite 75 — not for long, I hope.