Category Archives: SW:TOR

Thoughts on Staying Power #MMORPG #EQ2 #SWTOR #WoW

 

This post may come off a little negative, but that’s not how it’s intended. I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to why SWTOR didn’t grab me, or rather, it did, but couldn’t keep me. One of the major issues I had wasn’t really an issue at all, but is just how gamers perceive things. There are a lot of ‘things’ that I’m used to having in games, thanks to those who have been around for 5+ years. I realize it’s incredibly unfair to judge a game that releases today against a game that has been around for many years because after all that game has had time to grow – but – as a gamer, we are not interested in how things were 5 years ago, or how they will be 5 years from now. What we are interested in (and I use the term ‘we’ loosely here before someone throws a fit) is what is available NOW. At this exact moment that we are playing. If I can play a game that offers me 5 things that I really want from my video game, as opposed to a game that offers me 9 things that I really want from my video game, which game do you think I’m going to play? It doesn’t matter how old or how new a game is – in order to KEEP me playing, it’s going to have to appeal to those things on my list, and lets face it, the older games have had more time to work out what those ‘things’ are and to add them.

I feel very strongly that in order to actually compete with games that are 5-10 years old, games that are being released today need to take that progress into account. Dusty made a very good point yesterday regarding SWTOR – if you are leveling alts you can’t simply say “well, I leveled in Balmorra last time, so this time I’ll go to planet X instead.” There’s no alternate rout for you to bring your characters, where as (as an example) in EQ2 if you leveled in Thundering steppes last time, you’re more than welcome to head to Nektulos Forest. Or Butcherblock Mountains. Or do dungeons. In WoW you also have the choice of where to spend your time. In Rift? Not so much. SWTOR? Also not so much. Again this is an unfair comparison and I know it is, because the two later games are much newer, and thus haven’t had the time to add new content – but that’s simply how it is. In order to compete with games that are 5-10 years old, you must think of yourself as one of those games. I realize that there’s only so much manpower a company can dedicate to a game, and I also realize that this is pretty much an impossible task – but for us selfish gamers, that’s how we’re thinking. We’re going to constantly compare any new game to those we have played previously. Those older games have already gotten their hands on us, we’ve already got ties to them – new games need a way to get those hands on us in a MUCH faster way, so that we’ll stay.

When it comes down to it, that’s why SWTOR didn’t have the staying power required for me to keep playing. Were the stories amazing? Sure they were, I loved them. I loved having choices for my characters to make. I experienced very few bugs (personally, I know others have a long list of bugs), and datacrons and exploration were fun. The problem is (aside from the story lines and character choices) I can get those things in any other game on my list, plus more sandbox features which is key to me sticking around in any game. I play alts, they need choices that will be different from my mains. Sure, I can choose a different *story* for them, but they’re basically doing the exact same things (as long as we’re the same factions) as my main, minus the class quests. They’re visiting the same zones, collecting the same datacrons, and when I dislike a zone like Balmorra (those lifts.. that map.. OUCH) I have no alternate rout. Now, maybe game companies have given up on trying to retain players and instead are working to build up their first-time sales, which is completely fine if that’s the way they’re trying to operate. Obviously that’s not how I’d prefer things done but hey I’m not a gaming company trying to make money, I’m just a player.

Anyhow, those were just some of my thoughts on player retention. As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

 

A Sith Corruptor’s Cape, Balmorra, and Crafting #SWTOR

First of all, a VERY happy new years from me here at MmoQuests. I spent my evening sleeping which was probably the best present ever, teehee. I didn’t make it past 10pm but I did get 8 full hours of sleep and that’s something I treasure a whole lot these days.

I also got a lot of gaming done yesterday, my little operative is level 23, almost 24. I’m still on Balmorra, finishing off the bonus quests. I saw some players advertising in channels looking for a Sith Corruptor’s Cape and paying 20,000 credits for one so I decided to try and farm one. If you play on the Empire side you may have seen this object, it’s a long black cloak that players can mod (which means it’s basically appearance gear you can always keep and have useful stats on). I didn’t get one to drop, but maybe I’ll have some better luck today. One can always wish.

My crafting is going well but I’m learning the pitfalls very quickly. Due to orange gear there’s very little need for some crafting classes. There’s a high demand for cybertech created items because you only need to mod the gear you’re wearing, you never have to replace it. If a piece of looted gear looks like it will be better than your orange gear, chances are you can upgrade a mod and ta da the orange gear is better again. Biochem is another largely popular craft spec, as is the class that makes lightsaber hilts and crystals. The ‘core’ professions that we’re used to (weapons and armor) are not needed as much especially with the amount of gear players can find from questing and turning in tokens. They’re nice classes to make temporary upgrades, but not the huge money makers that I find the other crafting classes to be.

I made one last ‘splurge’ for 2011 last night and upgraded my account to the digital collector’s edition. With it came one of the most useful items I’ve seen so far, it’s a clicky item that will take a screen shot of the area directly in front of your character. It even removes the UI hub, so basically it’s a one click screen shot button where I don’t have to alt+z to remove the hub. Great for when I’m in combat, although I do wish it included my character (which wouldn’t really make sense for the item, it basically acts as a camera). I also got a mount, so that will save me a little money when I am able to use it at 25 – although at this point in time I doubt very much that I’ll be able to afford the 40,000 credits required. Leveling cybertech is expensive. Especially when you’re unable to farm the components required by hand due to your low level and have to rely on your companions failed missions.

How is everyone else getting along in game? What’s your favorite zones so far? Least favorite? I must admit, I really dislike Balmorra. The lifts complicate everything and more often than not I have no idea how to get to a particular section without running in long awkward circles around giant mountains. The next zone I’m headed to is apparently the ‘Vegas of SWTOR’ so we’ll see how that goes.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Post-Christmas.. Post. #SWTOR #Christmas

My Operative managed to obtain her first space ship last night as I sailed into level 17. This means I also earned a second companion, one I can send out on crafting missions without having to sacrifice my safety. I actually enjoy crafting in SWTOR, even though it’s not very hands on and can take a lot of time if you haven’t earned standing with your crew members.

Santa was very good to me this year. I got a new video card, a Radeon HD 6950, which replaces the two crossfired 4850’s that I was using. There was nothing technically wrong with the cards, I’ve been able to game just fine – but they were INCREDIBLY loud. It felt like a jet was flying overhead any time I started up a game. This new card is a dream, silent, and powerful. I used to use Nvidia cards, but one year I burned through three of them so I switched over and haven’t looked back. I moved all of the settings up to high quality and it runs very well.

I’m still playing WoW despite the lack of posts lately. I’m doing the Twilight dungeons, and this week I won three pieces of gear from the LFRaid tool on my shaman. She had not won a single thing before now, so I’m quite pleased. I have been taking a small break from leveling up the druid, I was a bit burnt out after getting her to level 70. I’m sure I’ll get back to leveling her once the holidays have calmed down.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas, filled with lots of loved ones. As always, happy gaming. No matter where you find yourself.

 

Exploring Cybertech Crafting #SWTOR

There has been a lack of blog posts lately, I know. It’s that time of year when everyone is busy with their holiday cheer – and me? I’ve been playing SWTOR. In fact I’ve surprised myself with how much I enjoy the game. I didn’t follow it through development at all, I had no idea what any of the classes were, how crafting worked, or any other details. My Imperial Agent is now level 11, and I’m done with Hutta (but I’m still there at the moment, farming crafting supplies). I ended up choosing Cybertech and the two ‘harvesting’ skills that are suggested to go with it, scavenging and underworld trading. Guild mates have chosen a few of the other craft categories, and we are trying to round things out as much as possible. Crafting is.. weird. Your character doesn’t technically craft, your companion does. In fact even though you can train your crew skills at level 1, you can’t open the crafting window until you have a companion. Your companion goes away on these crafting missions (leaving you with a moment of peace, alone for once) and returns with supplies – or without. Crafting  missions cost a bit of coin, consider it a fuel cost. The more your companion likes you, the higher chance they’ll come back with something useful. So far my companion is not that fond of me. Our personalities don’t mesh at all and she frowns at a lot of the choices I make in conversations with NPC. I know you can gift them items to increase your standing with them, but that costs money and I don’t really see the need at this moment.

Cybertech creates items like droid armor, earpieces, grenades, armoring, and mods. So far I’ve made a few mods, and one of the final items I received before leaving Hutta was a new weapon with four mod slots. I quickly headed over to the machine used to mod pieces, and made use of the crafted items I had been making.

While I have technically been playing SWTOR as a ‘single player’ game, I do belong to a guild with a handful of friends and I fully believe that it is up to the players to decide whether they play the game single player or otherwise. I’ve grouped up for some of my more difficult quests, and I expect as I level up I’ll continue to do so. When I don’t want to play with others I have the option to remain solo, which I’ll admit, is quite refreshing.

I’m looking forward to starting my class quests, and moving on from Hutta. While the zone was good at introducing me to the world, it’s also very dismal and brown. I could use a change of scenery.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Two ‘Free’ Levels, for Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent #SWTOR

 

I’m not all about the race to end game (my highest character is currently level 8), but being a little higher than the quest area you’re in comes in handy for easier kills. I’ve been completing every quest I can find, and spending loads of time roaming around pointing my grenades at anything that moves. That being said, for the bounty hunter and imperial agents that start on Hutta, there is an easy way to gain two ‘free’ levels.

** Spoilers**

First you have to wander your way to the Jiguuna Spaceport. This is just to the right hand side of Nem’ro’s Palace. Take the first right, and follow the hallway down to the end. You’ll find yourself in an open space with some ships you can use for transport. Fly to the Imperial Fleet. Once you’re there you’ll see a quest just ahead of you that offers to teach you about crafting and about social points (which I still haven’t gotten into yet). The crafting quest requires you to speak to crafting trainers and you earn experience for every one you talk to. There are approximately 12 NPC to speak to in total. You don’t have to actually train with any of them, you just need to speak to them and rack up the experience points. Once you’re done and you have your levels you can fly back to Hutta and continue on your quests.