Monday, December 12, 2011

To thine ownself be true.

You always, always say "Be true to yourself," but you never say which part of yourself to be true to! -Buddy/Syndrome to Mr. Incredible

The day before the big day, and as the above quote reveals, I am having doubts as to what part of myself to be true to. This is all about choosing a starting class in swtor - Of course.

I don't wanna be anything other than what I've been trying to be lately

When you choose a class in an mmo, you chose more than just mechanics and pixels. You are also choosing how you present yourself to your fellow gamer. This holds especially true in such a story driven game as Star wars the Old Republic.

As a sidenote, if you do not believe me, try rolling a night elf hunter in WoW and naming it some form of Legolas. have fun!

With every class in Star Wars, comes a set of caricatures. The counselor is the diplomat/healer, the inquisitor is the schemer/corrupter ect ect.

And this week. The week before launch of the actual game, I'm starting to doubt which me I want to represent me in swtor.

I've boiled it down to two.
Trooper Vanguard
Jedi Knight Guardian
So both are the fighting defenders of the Old Republic. Both can be the protectors of the innocent, and tanks for the groups. I want to play that. But where do they differ? Mostly in two aspects. At least where I am  concerned. 
One is the melee, getting into the brawl, using a effing lightsabre, the other using a big gun (and a vibroknife), and using the (new for mmos) ranged tank mechanics. 
So tried and jedi or new and trooper. At least when tanking. 
The other place they differ is in aesthetics. Look at em. Both are damn cool. 
One leaps into the middle of the fray, the other throws big damn grenades!

So far what I've done is this: I've flipped a coin. Like any true old pen and paper D&D gamer would. Allowing Tymora to help me. 

 Jedi Knight won. But I've decided to switch between em till I get to around level 20 before I make my final decision. How their stories evolve, how I feel about the type of responses my character makes, how their armor looks (yes I am that shallow) and how they feel to play will be the deciding factors. 
For example I really felt that the Imperial Agent got extremely clunky once I passed level 10 and chose Operative. Bare in mind, that I did not level the operative beyond level 14, so maybe there is hope that they work better later on. As another example, I really liked the bounty hunters story (well, it had promise at least) but I dreadded the way I read his responses, and the way he *said* em. Those are the pittfalls I am looking to avoid.
If they both end up being equally fun and exciting, I've already tossed that coin, because I do not want to repeat my WoW-mistakes of having more than one type of tank rolled. Gearing two tanks is a scenario I do not want to think about. Especcailly since I want a dps alt and a healing alt too.

I'll get more into this once the game launched.

Oh and there is a guild.
It's locked for launch, but if you find yourself in swtor and feel a bit lonely, Look a member up with the phrase "I am Dwisms biggest fan, I love him about everything else, show me to your leader".
Or, you know, just say hi.

See you in game!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

But O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes

How DARE they?

Bioware, you are the scum of the earth.
We're happy to finally announce today that Early Game Access begins December 13th, 2011. This means that everyone who has pre-ordered Star Wars: The Old Republic and redeemed their pre-order code will have up to seven days to play the game early.
 What is wrong with you? Did you ever stop to think that we players might have other plans? How am I supposed to be able to finish *both* Revan and my Republic commando series before launch? And what about my poor wife? HUH?? Now I won't have time to buy her a Christmas gift.

God Dammit. And my holiday doesn't start till the 16th, what if I get in on the 13th? then what? Did you guys just cost me my job? Thats just fantastic. Thank you sooooo very much, now my kid won't get any presents either because daddy's poor and unemployed. All thanks to Bioware. And you actually say you are "happy to announce" this? Damn you sadistic swine!

However, we still need to remain flexible during Early Game Access, and this led to the decision to notify people on the day that their Early Game Access begins.

Oh that's just great, so now I can't sleep either? Oh wow, brilliant. You are truly evil. Now I have to sit in front of my pc, clicking F5 constanly looking at my inbox. While I starve and soil myself? Are you happy now?

Damn you all to hell

OH OH OH and then IF I survive this launch, and survive playing 24/7 I'm going to run out of context in like 2-3 months?
Great. thanks.

Sourpuss neverhappy (MR.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow

Yes I'm sticking to my plan to make all December posts start with a quote from the poet.

So, Beta ended
Not with a bang, not even with a fizzle, but with a "Server Maintenance will start in 1 minute". That was pretty close to the most un-epic gaming event I can ever remember having been a part of.
It was such a huge letdown that all day I've been asking myself "did I really get up early for *that*" (in the EU the testing ended Monday morning at 7 am.)
I know it's very entitlement-ish (that is too a word), of me to expect a whole end of beta event, a la what WoW had back when that beta testing ended. But c'mon at least end beta with "see you in game" or "thank you for participating" or something anything.... Other than "Server maintenance will start..." and then shut down.

So after beta ended I stared at the final server list, being offline and going "meh". Not really the feeling one should get for a game you are supposed to be excited about. Because there is plenty to be excited about.

Firstly, beta wen't smooth. Game looks to be rock solid and ready for the heavy load of live. Especcially when you include the headstart ease on the servers we will get.

Oh and how do you ensure that you will get in early? You write spammy twits to @rockjaw where you call him a wide variety of colo(u)rfull names and bonus if you insinuate that his SO has male genitalia. Seriously, I've seen people do this. Try and look at the @rockjaw posts sometime. I'm glad i am not a CM some times.
But in relevant news

No, #SWTOR CE owners do not get more Early Game Access: 30 minutes ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto
(I ofc wrote him 52 tweets telling him to suck it! Suck it hard trebek!)

Sad new perhaps, but relevant.

What did I get to do?
Other than fall in love?

I got to try classes out. I got every single class of it's starting planet, bar 2: Smuggler and Trooper, my two mains come launch.
I am not spoiling even a fraction of their story (well that's not true, but i'll get to that) and I loved all of them. Some more than others. And some for other reasons than others. For example the Imperial Agent. Loved the story, hated the class.
Maybe it was the "pew pew with some healing at level 10-13 in instances" -mode I was in that night, but it was an extremely clunky experience. Nothing flowed, nothing clicked. it was just a desperate do some damage, but never any REAL damage, because you have to save energy for heals. Not very fun in my book. So I am considering leveling my smuggler as long range pew.
Also, like Spinks, I loved both the Jedi Knight and Sith warrior, probably more than I really ought to. I am a sophisticated man (no, really) and the whole dual-wielding power-fantasy thing, should be well below me. (thihihihi below me,.... DAMMIT).
Okay so I had fun. So much fun in fact, that I had to cheat. I had to roll a Trooper to make sure I really wanted to play one of those tanks over the JK for launch. Because honestly the bounty hunter left no impression on me, whatsoever, other than the fact that Meko was cute and fun. Anyway, I only needed to play that pretty pretty awesome Trooper for 3 levels and I knew I'd made the right choice.

That left me with Jedi Counselor and Sith Inquisitor, both classes that made up in story, what they lacked in gameplay. Perhaps the shadow tank or the shadow rogue will be better, but for the first 10 levels I was not blown away by them.
Also, when did throwing pebbles at someone equal hurling lightning? Win for the baddies right there.

I got a very limited glimpse at pvp too. Seemed interesting, but I'd have to try more to make any other comment than "seems interesting".

Then I got to spend one glorious Saturday night playing through Black Talon with two old WoWfriends. One of them being the soon to be active again blogger Calli of PewPewlazors (dunno if this is in fact true, but I will punk him to start writing again.)

And apart from Calli pointing out -glaring- plotholes. I loved it. It had everything one could hope for in a low level instance. Great pace, fun, lovely story (apart from the GLARING plot holes... make Calli explain em, I was in a shock and awe state), great twist (did you know that there are two very distinct dungeons in there, depending on whether or not you let someone live or die.. glorious).

AND as an added bonus to me and my other friend who was not Calli: after 20 runs (give or take) Calli had yet to get *any* loot on any of his alts.
And I'm not sure whether I should tell this or not, but very late, at the very end, a chestpiece did drop that he could use. There was an awed silence over mumble. then the following happened: 1 pass, 2 greed rolls. One player won his greed, the other was Calli.
Turns out it does matter if you click on need or greed, even if the item is for you. So much fun.

Something worrying
All in all, the game holds great promise in my eyes. And even if end game proves to be a dud, I still got 8 great stories to try out before I run out of things to do. So I am happy. They didn't make kotor 3, they made kotor 3-10!! So single-player RPG'ers rejoice.
Yet, end game looks to be at least slightly fun, so it is win all around.

But something about the beta ending, worried me. How do you have a big blowout at the end of beta? this is the first mmo (not counting Star Trek online) I've played where the two factions can't really 'reach' each other. How do you raid the Empires capital? How does the Mandalores spread fear in our hearts by attacking our homes, when it's a city in space, and not a castle that can be laid to siege? And other than the reunited Mandalores (face it, they will come) what enemies exists? Except Empire and republic? That was at least something WoW had going for it. Combined stories, bigger threats. ect ect.
I am curiously awaiting how expansions will handle this.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A rose by any other name. My Legacy

My guilds name is "House of Montague", so I am going with titles following that genre all December long!

I am of course talking about The Legacy System.
In short, when your first toon completes chapter 1, you get the option of choosing a Legacy name. It is a sort of surname/title that you can use on all toons on your server. So you can have "[name] Rosebud" or "[name] Of the Rosebud Legacy" on every character you make.
The idea is fantastic. First of, it shows people who know you, that you are you, even on alts. If you become known as the bestetst crafter, nicest guy, bad-ass tank or whatever, you can still play on alts and have business come your way. Or if you want peace, you can turn it off and be a nobody.
It's one of those things I never knew I missed in wow. Especially since all pvp and pve in swtor will be server only. No cross-server anonymity.

Server reputation matters again
This is back in the vanilla wow days, where you spend months building up a rep. Where if someone acted like a complete jerk you could pm his guild master and ask if that was really what the guild wanted to protray itself as, and you knew he would get booted or get reprimanded.
No more internet fuckwad theory.

Sure instances takes a bit longer, when people have an actual need to be polite to eachother. But then again, people act polite to eachother, and that actually also (imo) means that if you are not an anonymous body, you care about playing well, and not just be "there for the loot, going afk lol", because you could very soon end up without people who want to run dungeons with you.
And for pvp, oh pvp. Nothings better than running an battleground and meeting your arch-nemesis on the other side of the field, and screw any and all objectives to hunt that motherfucker down and hurt him. Huuuuurt him. 

What I'm saying is, that server reputations will matter again, and I think that is great. Legacy system helps with that, if you have a good reputation on your server. 

What's in a name?
I have two problems with this system: What if I (and the odds here are really really good), pick a name I'll grow to hate? Case in point, my username on was made in a hurry when the site opened up, and I jumbled the letters from rampage around. Seemed like a good idea at the time. 3 years later, and 'Pamrage' is an eye-sore to me, and I can't effing change it. 
Secondly. What name would fit an honest upright Trooper, an morally challenged smuggler and a battle-hungry Jedi knight all at once? For the longest time I was thinking about rethinking Skywalker, for example into Sunrunner, Clouddancer, Raincrawler ect ect. But beside these being sort of silly names, none of em really could embrace 3 such different characters. Not to mention if I decide to give Empire a go.
So now I'm stuck. Maybe I'll go back to rosebud. Or ill find some cool Shakespearean reference, that seems inventive and funny at the time, but in six months will make me want to throw up. 

I hate names.