Posts Tagged ‘Roleplaying’

h1

The Secret World Of Laeyn The Vain

July 12, 2012

Inspired by my post from yesterday, I have to say that one of my favorite things about playing Barbie Dress-Up–I mean, The Secret World is the many looks I can come up with for my character. It’s not enough that the game’s missions and the theorycrafting potential of the ability wheel can keep me busy for hours; I probably head to London’s Pangaea every other day just to buy new outfits from the in-game clothing vendors there to fill up my dressing room. I am embarrassed to even think about how much Pax Romana (TSW’s in-game currency) I have spent on clothes alone.

And let’s not forget the other sources of clothing items. For the fashionistas like me, here’s a list of clothing rewards you can obtain from quests, achievements, etc. so far. I have not even had to spend any real world money in the store, and don’t think I even need to.

I’m going to echo my cabal leader’s sentiments here and say that probably one of wisest choices Funcom made for this game is allowing you to progress your gear through the use of talismans without affecting the outward appearance of your character and clothing you choose. Even then, for the weapons and focuses whose models you enjoy, I hear tell of an item you can buy from a vendor that will allow you to copy its mold to use with another item’s stats so you can maintain the look as you upgrade. That makes me happy, as I am completely enamored with a badass sword I picked up over the weekend and would love to keep being able to look at it for a good long while.

I change my clothes every day. Sometimes even twice a day. Anyway, enjoy the glamor shots, because I can’t be “Laeyn the Vain” without being content with just showing off my outfits in-game. And if you’d like to share links to your own fabulous outfits in the comments, please do! (Psst…I think cowboy hats are sexy!)

Aforementioned badass sword Laeyn.

Templar Laeyn.

Casual Laeyn.

“Couldn’t care less” Laeyn.

Hot pants Laeyn.

“Just woke up and put on her boyfriend’s shoes co-ed” Laeyn.

By the way, what I would give for a real life version of that Innsmouth Academy baby blue hoodie…

h1

SWTOR: How Will You Tackle Light Side/Dark Side?

December 12, 2011

If you will not turn to the Dark Side...then perhaps she will.

Probably one of the most unique features about Star Wars: The Old Republic is the alignment system — your ability to earn Light Side points or Dark Side points. You can choose to be a paragon of virtue or a master of evil, or neither if you choose to remain “grey”.

During the game test, I played around with my characters’ alignments in every which way, from straight out grinding LS/DS points to trying to remain perfectly neutral.

In retrospect, I don’t really know if that sat well with me. Any time I tried to force myself into a mold, I found myself removed from the game’s story as well as my character. And not only did it take the immersion out of it, we all know BioWare’s idea of what constitutes as LS/DS can be a little whacky as well. Not all the time…but definitely sometimes (as a general rule, if you want Light Side points, side with the orphans! Even if the alternative is the cataclysmic destruction of the entire planet, think of the children!)

I also tried playing “as myself”, i.e. using my own personal moral compass to guide my decisions, but in the end I think my most enjoyable experience resulted from simply roleplaying my character and just letting the LS/DS points fall where they may.

This way certainly made playing my characters more interesting. The Trooper especially was a challenge, since I was constantly thrown into situations where I’m torn between following my heart or following orders. I didn’t think I was going to have so much fun playing the class, but I found myself asking the question “What kind of soldier do I want to be?” all the time, factoring in things like my duties to the Republic, my obligations to my commanding officer, and the well-being of my fellow Troopers. If nothing else, it added a new dynamic to my gameplay, and I don’t think I’ve ever analyzed any of my other MMO characters to this degree or felt a stronger connection to the toon I’m playing.

Ultimately, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to tackle LS/DS, though admittedly there’s very little motivational as of now to go neutral, whereas mastering the Light Side or Dark Side can be beneficial if you want unique alignment items. But since I don’t care about the gear, I think I’m just going to let my character and who she is guide me at launch, regardless.

My plan: On the Republic side, I’ll be playing a Jedi Knight — if I roleplay your typical Jedi, the obvious thing to do will be probably to go Light Side (except when romances are involved, I’ll gladly eat the Dark Side points for that!) But on the Empire side, I’ll be playing a Bounty Hunter, who’s going to be her own woman making her own rules. So who knows with that one?

h1

SWTOR: Huttball And Lore?

August 22, 2011

Note: Star Wars nerd talk ahead. Content may not be suitable for all readers, proceed with caution.

Okay, so when BioWare released their Star Wars: The Old Republic video for the PvP Warzone Huttball, I got really excited. I’m not even a fan of PvP, but that trailer had me itching to get right in there and crack some skulls. It’s the first time in a long while that anything to with PvP has gotten me this intrigued, so I guess that was why I was a little…surprised at some of the backlash this particular Warzone has gotten from SWTOR fans.

Not that forumites ever needed a good reason to gripe about a weekly update, but what caught my interest this time was that much of the complaints stemmed from a lore aspect. The video again:

Is the idea and execution a little silly or ridiculous for the Star Wars universe? Well. If you ask me, probably no more than that two-headed announcer during the podrace scene or how about, I don’t know, maybe that entire freakin’ movie in general? But I guess the better question, and what most critics are asking, is: What conceivable reason would my <insert class here> have to want to participate in Huttball?

As a Star Wars geek and an occasional roleplayer, this discussion made me muse. I agree the argument’s a lot easier to make for the non-force using classes, especially Smugglers or Bounty Hunters who answer to no one and like to live on the edge. But on the other hand, would the Jedi or Sith be above killing for sport on a public stage purely for the entertainment of others?

The Sith, perhaps not. You have to admit, someone like, say, Darth Bane is kind of an ass. And don’t even get me started on Sith Inquisitors. Last I checked, Emperor Palpatine was cackling away while zapping Luke Skywalker to a pulp, and Darth Maul tormented Obi-Wan as he was hanging on for dear life by toying with him instead of just finishing him off like, you know, any normal sane person would (I have deep-seated issues with The Phantom Menace, can you tell?) Those that value power and strength would probably have no qualms about cutting down the Republic and enjoy killing those they deem weak in a booby-trapped arena of death and suffering.

But how to explain for the light-sided Jedi? I was mystified by the complaints at first, but now I’m starting to see why hardcore lore hounds and roleplayers would be up in arms, seeing as how Huttball pretty much goes against everything the Jedi Order stands for. It’s a shame when negativity surrounds a great feature like this, but I do admit lore is kinda important especially in a Star Wars game. Are there actually any conceivable reasons why a light-sided Jedi would participate in this bloodsport?

Personally, if I was playing a Jedi, I could come up with a few — to help a dear friend, perhaps. Or more likely, I just wouldn’t care; Huttball looks fun, just get me in so I can play the crap out of it. In all seriousness though, if a player does feel very strongly about it, I suppose there are other Warzones. Other roleplayers, Star Wars lore geeks and Jedi players, I welcome your thoughts.

h1

SWTOR Guild Formed: The Republic Mercy Corps Needs YOU!

August 15, 2011

Guilds. Whether they be called fleets, clans, supergroups or any other name, they’re obviously very important to me, as evidenced by the many times I’ve promoted or referenced my guilds on this blog. I’ve been lucky; in the past I’ve been in some great guilds where I’ve  been made to feel like family, where logging on is like coming home.

Which brings us to Star Wars: The Old Republic. Seeing how it’s a game I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, seeking out a group of like-minded people who were going to be in it for the long haul like me became my priority. I’m not a fan of guild-hopping, and my preference is to find a good group of people right off the bat — where relationships and guild unity can be built upon from day one, where members are goal-oriented and dedicated, where our characters can “grow up” together from level one to endgame.

My plan was to wait until closer to launch before I started looking, but of course, that was before a fellow blogger offered me an opportunity to be involved with The Republic Mercy Corps.

From day one, I was embraced as an integral part of RMC, was able to work with the leadership, and was even invited to take part as an officer in the major decisions of the guild. The RMC philosophy is first and foremost to have FUN! Don’t believe me? The working guild title was originally “PARTY HARD!” — seriously, don’t ask.

The RMC is a semi-casual, family-friendly and no-pressure guild — but at the same time dedicated, goal-oriented and driven. Whether you’re into raiding, PvP, roleplaying, or what have you, there will be something for everyone. Current plans are for rolling on a PvE server, but many of our members enjoy PvP. Along with heroics and raiding, we will be striving for — and achieving — excellence in PvP activities, but never at the expense of our members’ or other players’ enjoyment. Feel free to read more about about RMC’s mission statement.

Lore hounds hopefully will also recognize the significance behind the Republic Mercy Corps, named for the organization that served as volunteers in the Galactic Republic’s military. We encourage but do not require RP, but if you’re a fan (or even if you’re not!) check out our guild lore, the RP backstory that will drive our mission and let us know what you think. The Star Wars universe is one steeped with lore and history; for many, SWTOR will be the perfect opportunity to start their RP career — though this just in from leadership: sorry, no RPing a Jawa-killing sociopath allowed! Dammit.

Strong relationships, dedication to the guild and inclusion are the foundation of the RMC. Guildies can depend on support no matter what their level, and find teams to complete quests, heroics, or flashpoints. Involvement and a good standing in the SWTOR community is also important to us, as evidenced by the above image created by none other than our Guild Leader DavidRHall, which won second prize in a community-organized guild poster contest. We are new but we are growing, and so far I’ve been impressed by the maturity and positive attitude of our members, and well as their passion for the game.

Our website and guild portal are now up and running. If you’re interested in joining us, we’re always seeking similarly dedicated individuals! We place no demands on time or schedule, but rather on character and merit. I value guild unity and am the type of gamer who prefers to “grow” with my guild, and I feel very fortunate to have found this great community of SWTOR players who love the game. Check us out. Apply through our site if you feel the RMC will be a good fit for you, we’d love to welcome you on board!

(Oh, and Sith, Bounty Hunters and Imperial Agents, do not fret! We are also currently in the process of setting up an Empire sister guild.)

“We are all in this together, and we will win this together. Be the hope. Join the Republic Mercy Corps.”

h1

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.”

h1

Rift: Looking Snazzy

May 12, 2011

What started out as a curious peek into Rift’s new appearance slots system yesterday turned instead into a 3-hour trek across the whole of Telara on a quest to put together my first wardrobe set. Oh, the lengths we go to in order to look good.

When I first rolled my Cleric, I had in my mind a picture of an avenging angel, a heroic woman in shining chain mail and white cloth. I think I alluded to the image of a Roman warrior goddess. So I kinda took that and ran with it. The higher level chain gear has also always been a little too bulky for my tastes. You ever run around in a full length chain mail dress? I have (long story), and I can tell you that it was uncomfortable as all hell.

I actually really liked the look of the chest piece that newbie Clerics start off with, but I’d long since gotten rid of it (in fact, I’d vendored a lot of nice-looking items from quest rewards after I’d out-leveled them, and I am kicking myself for that right now). The good news is, the new Clothier NPC by the dye vendor sells all the newbie gear which any class can use, so at least I got my shirt back. The bad news is, I had to drop a pile of platinum for it.

But it was still nothing compared to what it cost to get the player-made dyes on the Auction House. Let’s just say I’m sure I made someone very happy yesterday. Note to self: buy White Dye recipe the next time I get an Apothecary plaque.

The result is nothing too fancy, but the look is somewhat closer to what I’d originally had in mind for my character when I first created her. The system’s still new; I foresee more available costume pieces in the future that I’ll be able to work with. Just a couple things of note:

Gear Proficiency: There was actually a very striking cloth robe I had my eye on, but since we can only equip armor in wardrobe slots of the appropriate type for our calling, I sadly had to tear myself away. I suppose I can understand the reasoning behind such a decision (preventing PvP distractions, Warriors rolling need on cloth for their wardrobe, etc.) but I’m still a little disappointed about the implications of this for roleplaying. It did, however, help me narrow down my choices as I scoured the auction house and hit up every armor and Rare Planar Goods vendor I could find.

Weapons: One day, I’d love to see weapons and offhand appearance slots as well, functioning the same way as the wardrobe system. The sword and shield in the above picture are just for aesthetic purposes, in actuality my character carries a dark purple death-looking hammer bedecked with skulls. A very nice weapon by itself, but also sort of kills the whole avenging angel look, obviously.

Overall, I’m liking the new appearance slots and the wardrobe feature, but then again in general I’m a fan of anything that lets my character go about her MMO duties without looking like a candidate for clown college. I have no doubt I’ll be making use of the other slots and making new outfits in good time.

I’ll just have to be able to afford them first…

h1

My Champions Online Superhero Character: A Creative Endeavor

February 2, 2011

It might be all the same for some, but because roleplaying is such an important aspect in my MMO gaming, creating a character in a superhero game can mean going through a much different and more convoluted process. After all, besides having to sport a skintight costume that defies all laws of gravity and wedgies, one can argue the most important trait that separates your friendly neighborhood superhero from your typical fantasy or sci-fi MMO character is having an alter ego.

Essentially, I’m creating two personalities — I have my superheroine, and then I have her secret identity that protects her friends and family from being murdered in their beds by her arch enemies, a second mild-mannered persona with which shes uses to disguise herself for the purposes of fighting crime. Along with that, I need a kick-ass origin story. The more traumatic, and the more freak accidents or tragic events involved the better.

At least, that’s how it should work in theory. However, I created my Champions Online character Red Gazelle waaaaaay before I had the chance to really ponder the nature of this duality, or read this post on Blue Kae’s blog that made me consider the many ways a character can take shape in a player’s mind. For him, it happens one of two ways: 1) either he has an idea for a name before building a costume and powers around it, or 2) he has a costume in mind that suggests a certain power build and a name.

Number 2) probably best describes the way I came up with Red Gazelle, but what is probably closer to reality is that I blundered around the character creator messing about with the myriad options before I settled on a look I liked. Anyway, I don’t have an alter ego and I don’t have a backstory, but I am slowly trying to remedy that. I want to gradually build up the RP elements and add depth to my character, and sometimes you just have to do it as you go along.

I ran into a challenge almost right away. When it came to choosing a fast travel power, I saw what was available to me at the time and immediately chose Flight. What can I say? I like being able to travel up vertically as I please and to fly down from great heights without hurting myself. And it doesn’t matter if it’s slower; being able to float over obstacles instead of having to go around is very psychologically gratifying for me. It was working out quite well, until the guilt started chafing me at the back of my mind.

You see, in wanting to develop a good RP background and story for the Red Gazelle, I also wanted to do a good job of it. I wanted the whole picture, and I knew I couldn’t achieve this by throwing a bunch of costume pieces and random powers together, even when it’s a convenient one like Flight. I’m a “I-want-a-travel-power-to-match-the-kind-of-hero-I-am” kind of player, and so you see the reason behind my bad conscience — gazelles don’t freaking fly.

In the end, I replaced Flight with Super Speed which suited my character better, even though it’s a little less efficient especially in the urban jungle that is Millennium City with its many looming buildings and twisting alleyways. It’s strange, though; while I did sacrifice some convenience for the sake of roleplay, at the same time there is just something so wonderful about having that choice to make in the first place. It was strangely encouraging, and somehow increased my appreciation for CO. There is great fun and pride in seeing your character and his or her story evolve over time, and I look forward to discovering more of this game.