Category Archives: Star Wars The Old Republic

Electronic Arts CEO: “Life Is Better With Video Games”

This afternoon, CNBC interviewed the CEO of Electronic Arts (Andrew Wilson) live from E3. The interview ranged from the new Star Wars: Battlefront game to virtual reality games, which Wilson thinks are years off. Wilson’s punch line for the interview was the following:

“When you play more games, your life gets better and better.”

That just sounds weird to me, not to mention wrong, unless you interpret “better” to mean less sex due more divorces and less dating, which means less babies, which means the world is saved, or at least ecological Armageddon is forestalled a little longer.

To me, it honestly sounded like a slogan for a happy pill. It sounded like someone was pushing addictive happy pills and knew it. That was my reaction to the interview.

Electronic Arts was pushing the new Star Wars: Battlefront game at E3. The clips during the interview looked really good, like an old-school Star Wars: Jedi Knight game brought into the year 2015.

For everyone who ever wished Star Wars: The Old Republic looked better graphically, which is pretty much everyone, we should be looking forward to this game. This is surely the best snow landscape I’ve ever seen.

My only criticism of the Star Wars preview videos is that the ancient, used-a-million-times Star Wars sound effects and music sound a little stale. I hope Disney’s movie productions will come up with something new.

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Namibia Opens A Game Cash Shop

rhinoIt was reported today that a high level Hunter is paying $350,000 for a rare black rhino, or technically an expensive Namibian permit to hunt one. This is not a joke.

Corey Knowlton is paying $350k for the high-priced item because he’s a collector and a well-known Hunter, and he wants to experience taking down this rare beast. Knowlton is a celebrity figure for the Hunter class and a co-host of a hunting show on the The Outdoor Channel.

In defense against widespread community criticism, including alleged death threats against him and his children, Knowlton is arguing that high priced cash shop items are actually good, because they will help save the game.

Pun intended.

This was otherwise an unremarkable week. Breaking it down.


Elder Scrolls Online


There was another ESO beta last weekend. ESO hasn’t dropped its NDA yet.

Meanwhile, oodles of Howdy Doodies are giving their mixed opinions about ESO in every forum available. Someone named Dmitry (a name very close to that) was actually live-streaming the ESO beta in the Twitch.tv Skyrim category last Friday night.

I didn’t hear about this secondhand. I just wandered in looking for something to watch. It really happened. Don’t hurt me. I’m not a skeevy leaker.

Dmitry eventually disconnected under pressure from his own viewers, who had reported him. In response to this disappointment, less-scrupulous viewers chat-boxed “stupid reporters!”

More reading: What to do in ESO besides PvP


LotRO


Biobreak is reporting a major Lore-Master pet nerf coming in patch 12.2. I suspected this was coming, which is partly why I blitzed Helm’s Deep with my Lore-Master. I’m a true die-hard “Keeper of Animals” liner, and this was a small win for the kitty.

Like Syp, I’m bringing my crafters up to speed with one session per week. Otherwise, I’m waiting for news about the surprise new feature related to classes.

This new feature could possibly change the class landscape for all players.


SWTOR


When was the last time you were at work, and all you could think about was “the game”? What new alt will you play? What crafting should you take? Should you really play the game all weekend and do nothing else? Tempting.

This is a wonderful feeling that I thought I had lost. The fact that the F2P experience mostly disappears with the subscription in SWTOR is a huge deal for me. If LotRO would only do this too, especially with the interface, I would take a much more benevolent view upon the MMO spawn of Saruman.

I can’t stop making alts in SWTOR! I have like five characters around level 10-15 now. This could be good, or very bad if I burn out and go nowhere. I don’t think that will happen, although I continue to be shocked at the glitches and problems with TOR. Last night all west coast servers died with no warning, as an example.

I’ll be doing SWTOR this weekend, with the goal of an official selection for a “main” character. So far, my Powertech and Snuggler are the main candidates. The new comic strip is also coming along.

Happy gaming, and HOT snuggles for all.


Weekly Wyrm ~ Jan. 10, 2013

SWTOR characterTonight, I’m waiting for hours while a beta patches. I watched Angry Joe’s latest video and worked on a new comic strip episode of “Forsaken Inn”. I might as well write something.

Achievement Complete: SWTOR Subscribed!

I’m now a SWTOR subscriber. I’m having lots of fun, to the point where I feel a bit silly for skipping The Old Republic for so long due to outrage over the LGBT issue. The game looks much better on my new computer, not so cartoony.

Thanks to the “heroic” quests in TOR, I’ve spent most of my play time in groups in the start zones, which is a first, and fun! A random player also mailed me 50k credits as a newbie gift, which was nice.

He was paying forward a similar gift given to him as a newbie.

I love the stories, quests, and immersion in TOR, which hit the perfect spot of what I’ve been missing in Rift. Even better, the subscriber experience so far makes the Free-To-Play game almost completely transparent.

There are no pesky store buttons everywhere, and the only thing I want from the store so far is the Cathar race (cat-person), which my first allotment of 500 subscriber points almost covers.

Players are friendly, although I’m a bit surprised by the number of farts and poops that ooze into the chat box, along with the good old “that’s gay” phrase. The community seems less mature than in Rift or LotRO, even on the west coast RP server, Begeren Colony.

SWTOR has a lot of great ideas, and the West Coast/East Coast servers are one of those. But why is Bioware trying to sell PvP patches on a game they designed for story and roleplay? Does TOR need a bomb-dropping mini-game?

For every great idea, it seems like I see a boggling mini-failure in TOR.

I’m not going to start smacking TOR with specific rant-examples of bugs and issues I’ve had, but just look at the image for this post. Why is my companion’s name in front of my Bounty Hunter’s name when my companion is standing behind me? There are so many of these little things.

Maybe the flaws stand out more because the rest of the game shines so brightly though, fulfilling every writing principle I harp on here on Kitty Kitty, especially the “Smiling Jack”.

You come into the game and immediately you meet friends, mentors, and NPCs that care about you, and pretty soon you’ve got a dedicated companion who likes the things you say. This is a win, and every game should have a friend to get you going, unlike most.

It also helps that the stories are more personal, with emotional motivation. Your mission in the game isn’t just to show up and start helping everyone because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do in a game. No, that would be categorized as the same-old that is boring a lot of veteran gamers.

Roleplaying your character as light or dark is amazing for immersion. I’m playing the Empire side as a good bounty hunter and a dark-side Operative, so I can play the same side content and see what happens taking opposite story choices.

Weekly Quest Complete: Watch Angry Joe!

Angry Joe put up a “top ten game controversies of 2013” video this last week, in which he gives a long speech about Anita Sarkeesian and women in games. It was positively jaw-dropping.

Joe doesn’t seem condescending or elitist or apologetic, or anything in this video. He’s just heartfelt and honest, speaking to his “angry army”. It’s one of the most impressive speeches I’ve seen. If this is a topic that interests you, then I would suggest checking out the linked video, although the speech doesn’t start until around two-thirds in.

Have a good weekend, and happy gaming!


Midweek Hysteria

Hysteria. The symptoms are:

“Faintness, nervousness, sexual desire, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in the abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

Yes, those are the symptoms of trying to romance Morrigan in Dragon Age before she warms up her swamp galoshes a little bit for you.

Until then, you need to be ready to endure tongue lashings of the non-pleasurable variety, generally cause trouble in order to please her, and you’d better have your save game handy. (For the benefit of any Dragon Age romance savants, I am using a Morrigan gender-unlock mod.)

So. I’ve been at least two months in Rift, and I need a break. I’ve never been into festival grinds. I’ve squashed enough summer bugs and fished enough summer fish already. My main character’s roleplay daughter (on the second account) is up to level 40.

Last night I played Dragon Age: Origins and picked up Shale, the DLC companion character. I’m thrilled with DA on the PC compared to the PS3 (except the map is too small), but Shale is a disappointment that ruins the party I had planned.

Tonight I am updating SWTOR while listening to Diablo soundtracks. “Sisters” is my favorite so far.

Dear Bioware, if you’re going to make a companion DLC, the added companion needs to be of maximum amenability with all players instead of a narrow niche appeal. Put niche characters in with the main cast and let people pick and choose, like with handsome assassin boy, Zevran.

So after I originally boycotted SWTOR due to the outrageous anti-LGBT reversal, and then was turned away by F2P due to not being able to make a Twi’lek, I remembered my beta Imperial Agent, who was cool and inspiring while still being human (I think, so playable without paying up front). Primary drawback: no light saber.

We’ll see how long I survive. The last time I entered the spiked pit trap that is the limited F2P SWTOR character creation, I lasted two minutes before quitting, and I haven’t logged in since.

It’s been another weak week for news. Angry Joe is apparently playing games instead of making videos. I adopted The Old Reader as my Google reader substitute recently, and they just now announced they are kicking out their 400,000 new customers and making a private service for 10,000 instead.

I was not a happy camper when I heard this last night. Thankfully I have my blog, and it has a sidebar full of links, which is how I coped without readers in the first place.

Lastly, I’m happy to see the Rift Newbie Guide staying on top of the pop. That guide is like a plant that was dead, an embarrassment to my lack of attention, and I resurrected it for F2P, and it’s beating my WoW guide now daily for visits. This pleases the kitty.


Same Gender Romance Coming Soon To SWTOR?

Larry Everett made a very eye-opening prediction today about same-gender romances coming in SWTOR: Rise of the Hutt Cartel. This was on Massively in his article, Hyperspace Beacon: What does the future hold for SWTOR?

I was having the same exact thoughts today, but with the additional observation that the Hutt species is hermaphroditic, that is, they have sex organs from both genders hiding somewhere on their big slug-like bodies.

What better time to introduce the enjoyment of love in all possible forms, including droid love? I would think droids are also hermaphroditic, with various interchangeable modules–okay I don’t want to go too far with this, but if there are any droids out there with power supplies that last longer than normal batteries, look me up.

I can also say that a LotRO kinmate on the Landroval server said in our kin forum last July 2nd that her friend is a lead writer for SWTOR, and that she “Just talked to my friend and he confirms that there is definitely some same-sex content coming down the pipe for SWOTR. He can’t say when, but it’s confirmed.”

I think quality companionship is a really big deal in an RPG. It doesn’t even have to be romance. It can be a faction. It can be friends. The party banter in Baldur’s Gate and Dragon Age is much-beloved because it adds so much to immersion and characterization.

I’ve only played Skyrim for six hours (so glad I waited for my new PC–it’s the best-looking game I’ve seen), but I’m already impressed by the characters and how they try to recruit me into their factions. The world of Skyrim is so amazing so far.

Anyway. Here is the relevant text from the Massively article, and behold my newest artwork creation as well, in the form of a quirky comic strip.

“Since the announcement that SWTOR would continue the BioWare tradition of romantic story arcs in TOR, players have been curious (no pun intended) about whether same-gender options would be available and how they might play out within the existing character storylines. I certainly believe that Rise of the Hutt Cartel will bring us the SGRAs we’re looking for.

I’ll even speculate that the arcs will be similar to those in Mass Effect 3. I don’t believe that suddenly every romance arc will be available to you regardless of gender. I believe that certain characters, possibly existing companions (Kaliyo, I’m looking at you), will have a change of heart, as it were, and make themselves available for players to romance now.

However, I think the biggest area for SGRAs will be in brand-new characters introduced on Makeb. These characters will be orientated one specific way, and if your character is the same gender, then you will be able to romance them. Additionally, I believe we will receive a new companion — maybe two. This companion will be gained much as we acquired HK-51: There will be a shared story arc for every class to gain this companion, and I believe this companion will be completely romanceable. ~Larry Everett