Tag Archives: SWTOR

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!


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


An Early X-Chromosome Scope On E3 News

If you read my blog at all, you know I’m always looking for the female POV in games. I can’t play a male for very long unless he’s a handsome Mafia man. This post is an overview of E3 news from a female point of view, looking mainly at Sony, Microsoft, and Bethesda.

Sony’s opening presentation seemed the most fem-RPG friendly (I didn’t get through all of Nintendo or Microsoft). Sony announced Assassin’s Creed: Liberation for the Vita, which features a non-Caucasian heroine (video). She looks awesome. The mainline Assassin’s Creed 3 for PS3 continues to be a staunch bastion of balls. His name is Connor, if I recall. Are we kitties interested in buying Vitas? Not at all.

Sony also announced the next super-immersive, storytelling-type game by Quantic Dream (makers of Heavy Rain). The title is called Beyond. I was entranced by Heavy Rain and highly impressed by its quality of writing and graphics, which summed to a memorable and unequaled level of immersion on the PS3, so I’m excited by this title. Even better, Ellen Page will be voicing the role of the female protagonist.

I have only two concerns about Beyond. One is the paranormal theme. I wonder if non-realistic cups flying and ghosty things happening will actually pull the player out of the the “Quantic Dream” and make them feel like they are in just another horror game, or will everything combine well to make a whole that is even more amazing? Also, will a female protagonist kill any chance of romance, or will male players be expected to hit up a boyfriend? If this game seriously looks at death and completely neglects the importance of love, then it may fail for me. Still it will be a must-see.

The Microsoft games involved a laundry list of studs and uber-dudes. The dudettes mostly boiled down to iconic girl-games like Tomb Raider (a game on all platforms by the way, so PC and PS3 should be covered) and Fable, The Journey, both of which are supposedly due to release this fall. The new Fable will be more Kinect-centric. I’ve been stalled halfway through Tomb Raider: Underworld for about a year, but I really like the direction Crystal Dynamics is taking this game.

Namely, the devs are (maybe influenced by other games like Uncharted) focusing more on conveying emotion in a survivalist situation, which is great! If the player cares about the protagonist and connects at a human level, then the player actually wants to win/get revenge/etc. Tomb Raider: Underworld doesn’t seem to have that. It has decent adventures and puzzles with beautiful graphics on the PC. The devs assumed that I knew and cared more than I did about the overarching storyline, or maybe they thought climbing rocks and walking tightropes would be enough.

The slow-motion heartbeat effect where you have a split second to take an action also looks kind of thrilling in the new Tomb Raider. E3 video. I’m not so thrilled though about the early announcement of DLC XBOX-exclusive blah blah however–*head explode*. Since my head has now exploded, I have no cerebral matter with which to throw a jab at the bonus-bloated tiers of Riders Of Rohan pre-order packages heretofore announced. Refer to the anti-DLC rap video I posted.

Of the games being previewed at E3, I’m most excited about Elder Scrolls Online. This excitement is not rational. I’ve seen nothing yet that merits giddy vibes. In fact, the Elder Scrolls devs themselves seem suspiciously cautious. Or maybe they seem cautiously suspicious. It’s hard to say. They are describing a simplified skillbar and high level of accessibility, which means that the game is being made mainly to rake fat stacks (of course) and not to cater to serious MMO fans. Massively posted a few new videos and an interview today with Paul Sage.

Skip that first short video. Dear Bethesda video guy, why do you make videos where the start and end credits are 25% of the video?

CAT GIRLS. Do I have your attention? SWTOR is bringing an always-on free trial in July as well as a new Cathar species according to their E3 preview video on Massively. Yes, this is another SWTOR species with the same human body but a different-looking head. Cathar women are known as good slaves, so that could make for interesting (and furry) roleplay. Speaking of roleplay, the HK (“handsome kissable”) assassin droid is already rumored to do gay romance.

I made up that rumor thing–I think. That’s how rumors start, right? Love is better than war, people. Dizzy up that Wookie at the cantina. Too much violence in society.

Peace.

Further Reading:

A closer look at Microsoft’s E3 press conference lineup.
Beyond: Two Souls gameplay video on NUR.
More on the super-simple Elder Scrolls skill bar.


A DLC Rap, Yo

I just wanted to share the video below on my blog, because I agree that DLC and paid unlocks for premium content are becoming outrageous. So are the prices for CE’s at $150+, but apparently people are actually paying for all of this, so the game companies are going to keep shoveling more, because that’s how it works.

Will I pay for DLC? I bought the horse armor in Oblivion because it was new and different, but since then the only thing I’ve wanted is same-gender romances in SWTOR. I believe they were pulled or locked right before launch for political reasons. Bioware’s explanation–that there was some vague, last-minute, unforeseen glitch in this feature after years of development–was simply not believable.

If Bioware does fulfill its promise of SGR, maybe EA will have halved the price of the SWTOR box by then, so I’ll effectively be compensated for my pain and suffering with a lower total price. A rather hollow victory with the wallet. My prediction is companion DLC, so effectively this contentious content will not be in a player’s SWTOR game unless they actively purchase it, and Bioware will be able to deflect hate that way.

For the record, I dislike all DLC and generally will not pay for any of it, so apparently I’m more of an extremist and old-timer than Dan Bull. I hold video games as works of art–especially RPG’s. I equate an RPG to a novel, if you will, with memorable characters and a beginning and an end–like a good book.

I survived LotRO’s transformation from a place of beauty and integrity–my favorite game ever–into…something else (full criticism and nasty labels withheld for legal reasons–Turbine honestly scares me), but I’m sick of all of this marketing, advertising, and greed intruding into my game experience. A game is a happy place by definition–it should not be filled with this &%$# that ruins my immersion.

Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World are launching with cash shops. Guess what–I’m launching my cash at some new clothes instead of video games. In fact, this might be a good last post for my blog for a while.

So anyway, I’ll let Francis, everyone’s favorite fat angry gamer, take over on the intro (you might have to sit through a commercial first to see the video–lovely). As far as what “PLC” means in the refrain, I’m going to assume it means a British-style PLC, which is more or less a company, so an American translation might be “DLC Co.” Please correct me if I’m wrong. Enjoy.