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Archive for April, 2012

Starting default face:

Side view

After modification

Scenery (high-res):

A norn and her bear.

 

Hot springs

So I figured out how to take screenshots without you in them. Just sit. Very zen.

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1) They’ve toned down the spell effects a lot. A lot. It was amazing to throw axes through a fire wall whilst fighting alongside 10-20 other people and still be able to tell exactly which flaming axes were mine.

2) My day job and commute spared me the worst of the server/login drah-HAH-ma, and it wasn’t long before ANet brought down the servers for 30 minutes, then came back up incredibly improved performance. My Asus GJ73JH is pulling ~40fps no matter who’s on screen at the time, but obviously it’s a bit of a crapshoot whether you have the lucky good PC build or the unlucky scorned PC build. Reminds me of the early Rift semi-open beta weekends.

3) Older lady face.

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*With regards to Katy Perry (though I prefer Karen Gillian‘s version myself).

When one of my Guild Wars alliance mates offered up a SW:TOR buddy key a few weeks ago, I took her up on it since I have been curious about how things would play out given more time to explore other storylines in the world. Since I discovered during the SW:TOR beta weekends that I liked the Bounty Hunter playstyle best (but didn’t care for the story), I rolled a Trooper this time, and had a better time of it. Something about the fact that I was a soldier made it easier to accept the game’s conceits (and most quests) and “just go along” with whatever was going on – I have orders, after all – rather than playing a civilian where I always wonder why they don’t just decide to up and leave. This is true of most MMOs I play, by the way – I like my grunt status, thanks.

Look at Aric checking me out, there.

I liked playing a Trooper enough to get past many of the other niggling things that I already noted rub me the wrong way about Bioware and traditional MMO style games, and the sad fact is that since Mr. Randomessa refused to join me on this experiment, leveling was easier because I never had to wait on or catch up with him either. So it was with regret that I reached level 15 on my Trooper and the game informed me that I would no longer be able to progress, nor would I be able to continue my storyline to the point of getting to ride in the ship I’d just acquired, or travel to another planet. I’d have known that if I’d read all the fine print, of course. Well played, Bioware.

I then rolled a Jedi Consular and an Imperial Agent and hated the gameplay, and further ran into the complication of my Consular being sent to the same planet as my Trooper and therefore running into the exact same quests I’d just completed a day earlier. I also had the frustrating experience of my Consular outright stating in her quest dialogue that she would try to find a peaceable solution to the quests my Trooper had previously solved by “lighting it up,” only to be faced with the same sea of red names that my Trooper had. I think I got the option to use Force Persuade at one point, which I guess is the game’s way of letting you have a peaceable solution, but I was kind of hoping I could do things with actual diplomacy rather than Jedi Mind Tricks. I know, I know, I was asking for too much.

At any rate, I liked playing the Trooper the most, but I didn’t like it “price of the box at launch cost for 30 days of play” much. If and when there’s a nifty discount on the box price of SW:TOR I’d like to free up her leveling path and see where I can get her, but in the meantime, she’ll remain in the hangar, ineffectually trying to board and re-board her brand new ship. For what it’s worth – which is not much – I would have bought the game at full launch cost in a heartbeat if I could play my Trooper at my leisure, instead of trying to get her as far as possible in a month’s time. But it was not meant to be. This is much more an indictment of the subscription model than Bioware’s game at this point, so I feel I’ve come a long way since that beta weekend so many months ago.

In a week’s time I expect to be very very busy, but it would have been nice to at least see if I could put the moves on Aric in the meantime.

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