Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Imperial Throne Hall

Imperial Throne Hall on Dromund Kaas.I haven’t posted anything about games in a long time and seeing how our February is really short on posts I decided to put a couple of words in about one of the two games that I play on somewhat of a regular basis — SWTOR — Star Wars: The Old Republic. It’s an MMORPG.

Imperial Throne Hall on Dromund Kaas.I think most people play a Star Wars game that happens to be an MMO. I on the other hand actually play an MMO that happens to be set in Star Wars universe.

Imperial Throne Hall on Dromund Kaas.One of the features of the game is that you have a number of Strongholds which is essentially player housing. You get an empty set of walls and you can design and decorate the place as you wish.

Imperial Throne Hall on Dromund Kaas.All the decoration pieces are limited and some are very hard to find or are extremely expensive via credits and GTN — in game currency and player market, auction house. So I was only able to have one Stronghold decorated as I liked. I never gotten into doing another one since I had only single copies of certain nice and rare items that I would want to have in any Stronghold.

Imperial Throne Hall on Dromund Kaas.But back in November BioWare decided to go through a server merger which had an unexpected pleasant side-effect. All the decorations got merged together from all the servers that you had characters on. And it used to be so that when you would transfer one of your characters to that server all your decorations would copy over as well. I happened to have done that with 5 different servers.

Imperial Throne Hall on Dromund Kaas.So ALL my collected items have gone up in quantity by a factor of five. It’s probably not very fair to the people who actually used to buy multiple decorations, but knowing BioWare it’s not going to be fixed ever and hopefully is impossible to do to begin with.

Imperial Throne Hall on Dromund Kaas.Long story short — I was able to setup a second Stronghold for my characters. My original one was on Nar Shaddaa and this new on is on the Imperial capital world of Dromund Kaas.

Imperial Throne Hall on Dromund Kaas.I’m just posting screenshots of one themed room that I wanted to do for a long time — an Imperial Throne Hall. A judgment of a captive Jedi by an Empress.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Sniper Glаz Zorka.On January 2nd of this year I have reactivated my SWTOR subscription since I was longing to play some MMORPG again. Sadly, by this time all of Eldar’s guildies including Eldar himself have abandoned the game and I was left to play all alone, but I ended up playing for quite a long time and having a lot of fun while doing so.

I kept meaning to write down some thoughts on the game for a while now, but couldn’t get around to doing it. Now that I’ve lost interest again — 8 months later — I decided to take the time a jot some of this down anyhow.

When I left the game the previous time the game was at 1.1 with patch 1.2 looming. At the time I rejoined the game it was at 1.6 with 1.7 on the horizon. Needless to say “Star Wars: The Old Republic” has gone through a lot of changes and I was a complete noob again. I’ve read all the missed patch notes to catch myself up.

Imperial Agent Glаz.I learned that my level 50 Mercenary (named Hahz) mechanics were ruined soon after I left the game and have never been fixed. Also I learned that if you do level any class to level 50 you will get the buff from that class on all your other characters no matter the class. I had a Marauder (named Zhah) in lower 40s that I never finished leveling and I figured I’ll start with him to finish the class story and get the buff for whoever I was going to play next which I did.

Assassin Sith Inquisitor Trаh.In the process I realized that I’m not enjoying playing a melee class at all and that I had much more fun playing my Mercenary back in the day. I also read that sorcerers where quite underpowered and that left me with the only choice of Imperial Agent. I wasn’t quite sure which advanced class to pick — Sniper or Operative. I did a lot of reading and even though I really liked the idea of stealth on Operatives for a new type of gameplay the consensus was that Operatives excel at healing and not DPS, which I wanted to play. Also if they were to do DPS it would be in close quarters — melee in other words.

Sniper DPS chart.I did level an Imperial Agent to level 6 a long time ago, so I picked him up and started playing. By the time I hit level 10 I made up my mind on going with a Sniper and was I right or what. I completely fell in love with the class mechanics. All the things that I disliked about the class before — like cover mechanics and the actor’s voice — turned into the thing that I ended up enjoying the most. On top of that, Sniper gets an advantage of 5m on every other class in the game — 35m attack range, which makes it truly the best and the deadliest ranged DPS class in the game.

As I was leveling I decided to jump into a PvP game to gain some commendations for some nice looking moddable gear and really surprised myself. The thing is that I’ve always hated PvP. However with my Sniper I started posting top DPS numbers in pretty much every game I played. I was deadly and hard to kill. In most cases I could go 1 on 1 with an enemy and come out on top. PvP became insanely fun.

Sniper DPS chart.What also made the Sniper fun was the fact that the best companion type for any DPS class — a healer — wears exactly the same type of gear that a Sniper does — gear with a main stat of cunning. This gives you an ability to upgrade your most important companion’s gear with hand-me-down stuff every time you update your character. For solo-play that was huge. At this point my Sniper (named Glаz by the way) has mostly top-end Conqueror gear and my healer (Dr. Lokin) has the next best thing — Partisan gear. No such progression is possible with any other class.

Sniper Marksmanship Spec.So to sum up — Sniper is still my very favorite class to play at PvP and solo-PvE — as in dailies to get tons of money. My Sniper has the top end PvP gear with top-end purple augments on each peace of gear. He is a level 55 and I like playing the Marksmanship spec the most.

Jedi Sage Krеm.At this point I decided that I need to run up either a Sith Inquisitor or a Jedi Consular to the top lever to get my Sniper the last class buff. After a bit of consideration and figuring out that I can actually mail myself stuff even if I’m playing a Republic side I made a Jedi Consular to experience the game from the other side. I also decided to play him as a Sage and become a healer — something I’ve never done before.

Sage healing chart.I ended up having a quite bit of fun with him as well as it’s a completely different type of gameplay. I also was able to post top healing number in PvP games on consistent basis. Of course not being able to kill anyone in PvP is a bit annoying. I got my Sage named Krеm to level 55 as well after the expansion hit. I got him in mostly Partisan gear, but I didn’t play him nearly as much as I played my Sniper.

Sage healing chart.Somewhere in the process of all this I got invited to a PvP guild aptly named “PvP” on Republic side and had a blast playing PvP games with a bunch of cool guys who know what they are doing. It’s much more fun to play with a team, especially in PvP when you can coordinate your attacks over voice-chat. They had a mirror guild on the Imperial side and I played many games with a guild master of the guild — lots of fun.

Sith Assassin Trаh.Somewhere along the way I also created a Sith Inquisitor character who I ended up liking a lot — story-wise and his personality-wise. Since I already had a Sage (or a Sorcerer) I turned this guy into an Assassin with stealth capabilities. I played him as a Deception tree DPSer. Even thought I didn’t enjoy the melee aspect of it I sure loved his ability to capture game objectives by surprising his enemies. I got him to level 55 as well, but didn’t get too far as far as the gear goes. He is aptly named Trаh — a fitting name for an Assassin.

Jedi Guardian Trasta Tatrasta.At last I have another character named Trasta who is a light side Jedi Guardian. I was playing him as a tank, but never found any guides for this spec and this class and therefore didn’t grow to love him. For me half the fun, if not most of the fun comes from the theorycrafting part of the game — understanding the mechanics, the specs, the stats and learning to build and play the character optimally. With the lack of the guides the fun is just not there — that’s a big problem for a game that is losing popularity, unlike WoW that keeps going strong.

Jedi Sage Krеm.As far as stories go I liked them in the following order (SPOILER ALERT): Mercenary — quite boring — find and kill this guy, find and kill that guy; Sage — also boring — heal this guy, heal that guy, I’m so good I’m just going to heal everyone; Sniper — a lot of people find his story to be the best in the game, but I didn’t find it to be anything special — a couple of unexpected plot twists, but nothing exceptional; Marauder — a nice dark political power play with his master; Assassin — also a very strong and fun dark story about his spectacular ascent to the Dark Council itself.

That’s pretty much all I wanted to say. The game is fun and I wish it to keep doing well as I can definitely see myself reactivating my account sometime in the future again.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Of Diablo III

Progression.Now it’s been some time since I’ve started playing Diablo III and I have to say that it did not disappoint. I was somewhat unsure of whether I will like it or not after playing WoW and SWTOR which are very different from Diablo type of games.

For one thing I really liked the aspect of MMOs in that you gain new skills as you level and you keep using most of them till the end. I remember that being much of break for me coming from Diablo II, the break which I liked. Diablo III is very much like Diablo II in that sense, but it actually is a very nice change of pace after all MMOs.

My level 60 Barbarian.You only get 6 skills at any given time and each skills has a sub-skill which modifies a given skill in one way or another. You can change the active skills as many times as you wish. For example you can use one build for clearing the dungeons and a completely different one to bring down a boss.

The pace is completely different from the MMOs that I’ve played and is a very welcome thing. When you have to mostly pull 1 by 1 in an MMO here you just jump into the huge herd of monsters and smash away — the more the merrier. You basically never have to stop for a break — you just plow away.

Achievements.Obviously the biggest difference is the fact that Diablo, while can be played with friends, is built as a single player game. It means I can complete it on my own time fully without having to worry about finding a group. But it also does support cooperative play, which we tried with Eldar, although we didn’t have much time.

Besides leveling, gearing your character and progressing through the story the game comes with tons of achievements for players to … ehm … achieve. Getting as many of them down as possible is another very fun aspect of the game for me.

My Wizard.My favorite class to play at the moment is Barbarian — a melee DPS class. Although all classes in the game are pretty much DPS classes, since it is meant to be a single player game after all. At this point I’ve finished the story on Normal, Nightmare and Hell. However when I step my foot into the final stage — Inferno — I almost get taken apart by regular mobs and I ain’t got nothing on elites.

The problem with melee classes is that you actually have to be able to get into the thick of it and be able to sustain all the damage that is being dished out to you. Ranged classes on the other hand can avoid damage altogether if the player is proficient at kiting the mobs.

Secret level — the land of killer unicorns.Anyhow, as far as I’m concerned, I might not play much longer, but it was money well spent. It provided me with hours of great entertainment. Although I might try leveling a ranged class as well to 60 — should it be a Wizard or a Demon Hunter?
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Diablo III

Diablo III. Collector's Edition box.Two days ago I’ve finally decided that I want to get Diablo III. Even though it will be very different game from WoW and SWTOR I think it is something that I might enjoying playing even more since it is meant to be a single player game. I have a lot of history with Diablo.

The first Diablo was actually the very first RPG game that I have ever played. RPG is the only type of game that I would play these days — and that’s been the case for a long time now. I’ve just never been interested as much in any other genre of games. Diablo II1 was actually the first game that I have bought — first one was given to me by an old friend. I played it all through to the end, later on bought an expansion and finished that too.

Diablo II and Diablo II Expansion.So I figured that I’d like to get a Collector’s Edition of the game. But as often is the case — procrastination (putting off the decision to the last moment) resulted in CE version being sold out everywhere — Amazon, Best Buy, etc. I decided to just stop by a Best Buy store in the morning on my way to work, ask if they have CE available and just get a normal version if not.

My Best Buy of choice for today’s morning was a store located near the Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn. I pulled into the parking lot, got out of my car and the door to Best Buy got unlocked right in front of me. I walked in and proceeded to the gaming section. Asked about the CE version and was told to wait while a lady would check for me. She came back with 2 boxes and said that it’s all that they have.

Contents of Collector's Edition box and in-game items.Right at that moment another sales guy run up and said that she can’t sell any to me since these were pre-ordered. She said that she checked and no pre-orders showed up. The guy told her to not ring it up since he wanted to go and check himself. She decided not to listen to him. I swiped my credit card and the transaction went through.

At that moment this guy returned — yelling: “Stop! You can’t sell these! They ARE pre-ordered!” Her only reply at that point was — “Oops!” I wasn’t letting this game out of my hands. Yet another sales guys showed up with a receipt showing that he had pre-ordered both of the copies. I took that as my queue to get lost and left.

Artworks book.I actually didn’t expect it to be rare, but right after I bought mine I phoned our local store at Caesar’s Bay and another one near my office in Connecticut and neither one had any in stock. So I’m pretty happy with how that turned out. However the moral of the story is this — never pre-order anything at Best Buy.

I haven’t played the game itself yet, but just wanted to share this little moment of joy with you all.

P.S. I have a couple of guest invite codes — allows a friend to play through Act I of the game that I can share with you if you want it. I gave one of them out to Andrey already.

Zhah the Barbarian. My first character.

  1. Released on June 29, 2000. []

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Bounty Hunter Hаhz and his wife Mako.I just want to make a short post and offer a small explanation for the lack of posting lately. Blame BioWare, the studio that made Star Wars: The Old Republic — a massively multiplayer online role playing game. RPG is the only type of game that I enjoy playing and I haven’t touched anything way back since the time when we left World of Warcraft several years ago.

Sith Marauder Zhаh and his companion Jaesa.We tried playing different RPGs, but nothing really stuck as they tried to invent their own formula and always fell short of WoW, no pun intended. This one however takes exactly what WoW was and improves several annoying parts of it. Everyone has a companion, normal groups are limited to 4 people and companions count. They are not as good as real players, but we’ve been able to do pretty much all content together with Eldar to this point.

Hаhz and Mako.Anyhow, it’s been eating up all of my free time and a lot of my sleep time. I have two characters that I enjoy very much. One is a Sith Warrior Marauder named Zhаh — a character that specializes in dual-wielding lightsabers. He is a melee DPS guy who I’ve been leveling together with one of Eldar’s characters. Another one is a Bounty Hunter Mercenary that is a ranged DPS dealer.

Game UI. Running.Both play very differently and have a different story that spans through all 50 levels. Role playing gets to the point of characters being able to romance and marry their companions — that’s what Hаhz (my bounty hunter) did. It’s been a lot of fun to this point, but I think it won’t be as much fun once we reach level 50. Same thing as with WoW, only I’m not raiding this time around.

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