SWTOR Strongholds: Do Your Research (or suffer like me…)

I have no one to blame but myself, but I figured I’d share a little warning for those who hit my blog by searching. Do…not…bother spending the 5 Dark Projects and 5 MK-3 Universal Prefab kits to buy a class ship unless you have fully unlocked Nar Shaddaa or Tatooine. You have been warned…

The only Starship hook types available are in those two strongholds. It costs a LOT of credits or Cartel Coins to get to the areas where you can place your ships. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the really nice landing pad on the Coruscant or Dromund Kaas balconies will work, because those are too small. Yep, and Centerpiece hook types are too small. Just spend the 500 fleet commendations to buy a decoration type that only takes up a Floor Large hook to place and be done with it.

This is not the ship I wanted to put here.

This is not the ship I wanted to put here.

As usual, Dulfy.net has great information on unlock costs for various strongholds. My smuggler started out with over 6 million credits before 2.9 came out. Now she can’t afford to unlock her “Solarium” so she can place the sexy X-70B Phantom Agent ship I bought, intending to put on Coruscant because it is an Imperial ship… The cascading credits costs to get to the room that leads to the Solarium, which costs an additional 2,250,000 million credits to unlock, or 2,200 cartel coins, has made me weep. I’m down to 632,726 credits and 723 coins, so that is not going to happen for a while.

I know we are supposed to have goals and this is supposed to motivate us to make money, and run quests/FPs/Ops that drop mats and these new decorations, but being poor really bites. Patience can be a PITA, especially when a little research would have prevented me from having this itch I can’t scratch yet.

Posted in Blaugust, MMO, Star Wars The Old Republic, SWTOR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Smuggler’s Happy Place

NarShadaaSHToday saw the release of early access for Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Galactic Strongholds expansion. I have been playing around with it all day. It is pretty intuitive to get started placing objects, although it doesn’t seem quite as intuitive to get your initial stronghold going.

A few things I learned:

  1. Carbonite people on my walls makes me happy! (buy them in the cartel bazaar for 1 completed bounty contract each with Hero standing with BBA, there are 3 types)
  2. Images of Ops bosses I’ve killed hanging on my walls makes me happy!
  3. Legacy storage and crafting from said storage makes me very happy!
  4. 3 Legacy cargo tabs may not be enough for all the mats I need for making the kits that are used to buy nice things like personal cargo hold.
  5. Go to the crafting and strongholds section of the fleet to pick up a starter quest. When you complete that quest you’ll get a bunch of decoration items, including the legacy storage unlock item.
  6. If you had a sub by the deadline, click on the Nar Shaddaa terminal on the fleet in the strongholds area to buy your free stronghold. Both factions can visit this stronghold for free (it is 1000 credits to be smuggled cross faction, no cinematic, not worth it). Put your nice unlocks in Nar Shaddaa (or Tattooine if you are really rich).
  7. It takes 3 universal MK2 prefab kits to buy a personal cargo hold item to place in a stronghold, or buy the pricey 1024 cartel coin bundle from the cartel market that has one, plus GTN Kiosks.
  8. Training the schematics for the new strongholds kits is very expensive. Buy some on the GTN while people are being stupid and undercutting each other. They are selling for way less than the training + mats costs on my server, at least during this initial frenzy.
  9. I didn’t stock nearly enough mats to make all of the prefab kits I want to make.
  10. Having a guild ship or stronghold will make it easier to access things like consolidated GTN kiosks, various types of cargo bays, vendors, etc., so save some kits or unlock items to place with your guild.
  11. Having new things to play around with makes me happy! Have fun decorating.
Posted in Blaugust, MMO, Star Wars The Old Republic, SWTOR | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Going to Play with ‘Dudes’ with Attitudes

Yay! for reading other people’s blog posts and letting them inspire me. I’ll admit, between an awesome weekend of camping and being very AFK, I fell off the Blaugust wagon. But I knew I would, so I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I’m actually really happy I managed 14 days in a row.

David Gaider, a Bioware writer, posted a blog inspired by a fan comment thanking him for making games that didn’t fall into the trap of treating girl/women gamers as the (my term) “mythical fairy princess gamer girl” (or unicorn, as he called them). I found it very interesting since my gaming experience has been what I consider normal, but what many out there seem to think is really mythical. I have played games my entire life with a clear mix of both men and (gasp!) women players. I responded on Twitter with the comment “My guess is, the ‘unicorns’ won’t play with certain types of people. I wouldn’t put up with ‘dudes with ‘tudes’ in my games.”

I was sitting around a campfire this weekend talking about Dragon Age games with some of my female and male gaming friends. You know what, both genders had the exact same thing to say about past and the upcoming Dragon Age games. The exact…same…thing. They hoped that the upcoming game would allow them to play through the combats on the more casual mode so they could get back to the awesome story and exploration parts of the game. Both the men and the women wanted the story aspects of the game more than the combat aspects of it.

My theory as to why my gaming experience is so (apparently) out of the “norm” is that I find people to play with who aren’t dickheads. Men, or women for that matter, who are closed-minded, arrogant, condescending or dickheads don’t make it onto my list of people with whom I’m willing to spend my fun time. Maybe those people who think women don’t game just aren’t the type of people with whom most women gamers will waste their time. The rest of us will get back to enjoying our diversity, thank you very much.

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Yep, I Really Am Over It

If it hadn’t been for Twitter, I would still be unaware of when the next WoW expansion is coming out. For those of you who may be excited for it and don’t know yet, it will be November 13th. I’ve seen the trailer, because it was linked in a tweet, so I clicked it. I watched it, I went “meh,” and I walked away. My hubby may buy the expansion, but I don’t plan to play it with him.

I have a ton of great memories of my WoW days, so I find it odd that I am so completely meh about it now. At least he will have something to occupy his game time while I am playing Dragon Age Inquisition. I’m glad that other people are really excited about the announcement. I kind of miss not being one of them, but not for the sake of that game, more for the sake of being excited about a game.

Strangely enough, it isn’t the knowledge that another highly anticipated game is coming out within days of the WoW release that has me so indifferent. I am just well and truly over my love of the game. I don’t miss my characters at all anymore. I do still miss my old guild. If they and my hubby really wanted me to try it, I might eventually buy it. I’d certainly give a free trial week a go. For the first time though, I have no plans to buy one of their expansions. I guess that is a good thing since the last expansion I did buy, I didn’t even play all the way through to the new level cap. Guess what they say is true, you can never go back to the good old days.

Posted in Blaugust, gaming, guilds, MMO | Leave a comment

Do I Hear the Clock Ticking on the End of Days for My MMOing?

Games conventions often bring with them awesome reveals and game trailers. Today is no exception as Bioware revealed more details about projects they are working on. The Dragon Age Inquisition enemies trailer is so awesome. And hearing so many familiar voice actors in it; the very end sequence may have made me squeeee! or at least grin from ear to ear. There was also a trailer released for Shadow Realms, the game Bioware has been teasing via various email messages lately.

It must be exciting times for them as they start giving us glimpses into the projects they’ve been toiling over. After reading the introductory blog post for Shadow Realms, I feel like they’ve been reading my mind over what my D&D playing soul has been craving. The fact that they are coming out with a cooperative game I can play long distance with my tabletop loving friends, coupled with the approximately 140 hours of game play included with Dragon Age Inquisition later this year, makes me think my days of playing any kind of subscription MMO are rapidly ticking away. Shadow Realms must intrigue anyone who has enjoyed playing The Secret World. It has a very similar feel to it, at least to me.

If you’ve read a few posts on my blog, you won’t be at all surprised at how excited I am for a successor to the old Neverwinter Nights game, especially with modern graphics and gameplay. A few friends and I tried to run our old copies of NWN to play together about a year ago and just couldn’t get things to work right. The fact that this game is going for similar “player modded” content (4 versus 1), but in a real time fashion, is extremely intriguing.

There was a lot of concern within the SWTOR community over the “loss” of talent from that game to the new Bioware project Shadow Realms, but I suspect that we are just becoming aware of changes in primary focus, that must have happened quite some time ago. There is an ebb and flow to game design, development, and deployment, so I personally am not worried or even surprised to hear that writers and project leads have been busy doing other things. It keeps them employed at Bioware and that is for everyone’s benefit. I’d been slightly worried when I hadn’t heard much on Twitter from Hall Hood, one of my favorite Bioware writers. Now I know why. He’s been very busy working on content he couldn’t talk about.

I’ve seen a few glimpses of my future gaming obsessions, and that future looks awesome. Tick tock, tick tock, the next few months can’t come soon enough.

Posted in Blaugust, gaming | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Book Titles…Halp!

books on shelvesI have an entire room full of books. As I browse the shelves I realize that not only does my own book need to eradicate misspellings, keep point of view correct, fix any tense issues and entertain, but it also needs a spiffy name and decent cover art. I have no intention of making money with my book, but now that it is written and the idea for the sequel is already percolating in my brain, I find I want to do something with it.

First, it needs a good title. I came up with a title, but it is very long and not especially catchy. Most of the books I own have two word titles. Jim Butcher even manages to come up with book titles that have two words (well, other than Changes, but duh, changes…) AND matching number of letters AND they are relevant.

How do these authors do it?! How do they manage to come up with really good names that are also relevant to their stories? Do they ask for help, do they come up with the names on their own, do they put a bunch of names in a hat and pull them out? Do their publishers or editors weigh in? It is one of those great mysteries of writing that we newbies can only hope to unravel.

Or…we could blog about it and ask our readers, who may also happen to be authors, how they do it. So good readers, what is your secret?

Posted in Blaugust, books, science fiction, writing | 1 Comment

I Kinda Miss Nostalgia

I read an interesting post on Massively today about Wildstar’s random factor and how it has chosen to structure its endgame. It struck a few chords with me. There may have even been a light bulb popping into existence over my head.

I realized a while ago that while I still spend most of my free time playing games, at least when I’m not reading, I am not as addicted to playing them as I used to be. I don’t watch much T.V. and set up DVR recordings for those things I do want to see. I still go through a lot of books. But after those free time pursuits are done, the rest of my free time is spent playing games. Considering how much time that represents, you’d think I would still consider myself addicted to them. But I’m not, and I don’t.

quitanytimeI’ve known a lot of people who let their obsession with past MMOs ruin their lives. I’ve known several who recognized that they were giving in to obsessive behaviors and made themselves walk away before their lives were completely ruined. The fact that marriages can be broken up and families can’t maintain the balance between someone who games a lot and healthy family ties is disturbing. I know how lucky I am that my hubby and I are so similar and thus tolerate and mirror each other’s obsessions.

Our nostalgia for “the old days” is tied up in the haze of obsessive and addictive behaviors. Games that require you to remain obsessed, where true mastery of their “elite” content requires a massive commitment, are either going to have to adapt to a population that has largely admitted to the realities of real life and walked away from their obsessions, or they are going to try and lure enough people into that lifestyle that the “hard core” mechanics work. I honestly don’t know enough about the player demographics to tell if Wildstar will succeed in “bringing back the old days” or not, but I suspect they won’t succeed with the “old” players like me. And there are plenty of other really popular games out there, that are not MMOs, that fill the obsessive niche for the truly competitive types.

I have no interest in Wildstar’s end game content. Without that goal to sustain me, none of the other systems in the game that ultimately culminate in preparing for end game content will attract me either. While I kind of miss the days when I allowed my MMO obsession freer reign, I also know that I started playing MMOs after the “gold old hard core” days that many people remember. I was never on “Evercrack.”

While I may have fond memories of WoW, I am past the time when my nostalgia will push me to change my play style. I’m grateful for MMOs that acknowledge and contribute to my change to a “casual” style. I am also not attracted to games that require a level of “hard core” commitment that I’m no longer willing to give. It has been quite a wake up call for me.

Posted in Blaugust, gaming, guilds, MMO | 3 Comments