First Impressions of TERA Trial

So after seeing their marketing video I never wanted to play TERA. It seemed aimed squarely at attracting elitist bullies and trash talking pvp nerds, with no focus on building community.

Entering TERA via Pegasus

Enter TERA with me

My guildies say the game itself is quite different, with people helping each other in general chat and an actual sense of teamwork. So I decided to give it a shot.

Unfortunately, being unable to talk on a trial account did not allow me to find out if my biggest reason to NOT get the game was valid or not. TERA needs to implement a “friend code” version of the trial which doesn’t have so many limitations.

After the cut, will go into more depth about my responses, pros, cons, and conclusion – decision to buy or not! May be a bit NSFW depending on your workplace. You’ve been warned!
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My Questions for Community Q&A (SWTOR)

My post for this week’s community Q&A: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=3794597#post3794597

1. When are server mergers/transfers going to be available and how will Legacy affect that? Would you consider making Legacy unlocks on an account-wide basis but the name must be gained on each server by at least one character?

I know a lot of people who want to reroll to join us but who are stuck with 40+ Legacy on another server they can’t just give up. They shouldn’t have to give it up.

2. Now that you’ve had a look at mirror class parity is there any consideration going to be given to healing class parity?

As it stands, Trooper/BH healing is by far subpar to the other two healer types due to lack of hots, the ammo problem for Trooper specifically, and lack of survivability/utility in PVP compared to the other healer types. It’s slightly subpar in PVE due to the ammo problems, as well.

3. What happened to dual spec?

I need to be a healer for my guild in FP/Ops but as healing now stands need to be DPS to gain character advancement in pvp. 90% of my time is in pvp is solely making Sages and Scoundrels look even better through 5% kolto bomb boost and not getting votes or medals because Trooper healing is so easily shut down.

4. Will we have Purple and Violet Twi’lek on unlocking Twi’lek race? 😉

That’s Not What I Said, Mako (SWTOR)

Played my Bounty Hunter yesterday, while trying to catch up in story to a level where I could help my guildie with his leveling.

Came across a situation in the game that I’ve come across a few other times: I choose a dialogue option and my character acts completely OUT of character.

It just bumps me completely out of immersion and out of attachment to my character, because THAT’S NOT WHAT I SAID.

The options were, freeze, kill, or tell Mako to do it. I chose freeze.

Why? Because I chose to freeze the whiny, arrogant daughter of a Sith Lord and deliver her back to her father despite how I personally felt about the woman, empathetically deducing that they really needed to have a talk. Because although I supported Mako’s desire to see the scum dead, I believe due to my own past that everyone, no matter what they’ve done, deserves a chance at redemption. I did all this in character.

I, the player, chose that option for intelligent, empathetic, emotional reasons. I expected my character to say something to justify her thinking, or at least have a choice in what to say next to justify asking Mako what Mako would do then deciding to go ahead and do something else.

Instead, my character insulted Mako’s intelligence and professionalism, and seemed to be completely without empathy or even intelligence herself!

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Han shot first – Commentary on how SWTOR departs from Star Wars canon

Watched the original trilogy last night on DVD.

Han shot first.

So much more meaningful that way. He’s cornered, and it’s not a fair fight since Greedo already has a blaster at his head. Greedo talked instead of shooting. Han turned the tables – not the act of a cocky, confident man as so many have stated but simply desperate survival. A law beyond all other laws. Tipping the bartender for having to clean up the mess – THAT was cocky and confident. Shooting first was merely desperate and human.

Later we see Han not wanting to sneak around, preferring a clean fight when he has the choice. Yet the Smuggler has stealth in SWTOR and does sneak around quite a bit. Han is more of a Bounty Hunter personality archetype even though his job description is smuggling goods. he’s cocky, showy, gets the job done, and is not very diplomatic. Leia is more the Smuggler than he is, a smooth liar under pressure to save the rebels, sneaky, resourceful. She smuggles the data the rebellion needs out from under the noses of the Empire.

It would have been so much cooler to be able to make neutral classes be of any faction: smuggler, trooper, bounty hunter, agent. I’d rather play a redeemed Sith Inquisitor who uses lightning but works for the Republic than be locked to one side.

But now, the most important scene in the entire movie series, and how it relates to SWTOR and life itself.

Luke: “Is the dark side stronger?”

Yoda: “No. Easier, more seductive, quicker.”

Ah but that calm at the center of the storm, where every action taken feels slower, there, is when your actions are fast.

What Yoda was talking about wasn’t the speed of actions taken, but the path to get results in the outer world. Doing the right thing is often much harder than doing the wrong thing. I hear it’s way easier to lose weight by taking meth than by adjusting your diet and exercise habits but meth takes a pretty big toll on the body! It’s easier to steal an idea from someone else than to come up with something original. Easier still to simply use it for job recognition and material gain rather than offering attribution and compensation to the originator. Where would the world of gaming be at if the creepy peeping tom had collaborated with me as I offered at first, instead of stolen my ideas and given them to his friends? We’ll never know. But we know he took the easy route, not the powerful one.

Will my long road ever pay off, or will I die poor because the people around me took the easy road and left me for dead? Still some time left to do what I came for, I hope.

But, that brings me to the abilities of mirror classes in SWTOR. Right now as it stands, all Empire classes have speed or utility bonuses over all mirrored Republic classes. All.

Let that sink in for a moment.

BioWare has deliberately designed the Empire classes to not only be faster, but to actually be more powerful than their Republic counterparts, going against canon. In a pvp game, speed IS power, unless the slower abilities are given more power to balance against the greater output capable with speed. Rapier vs Axe – a thousand cuts vs a crushed head.

If the dark side is faster, but not more powerful, then the light side’s abilities need to be made stronger to truly mirror the classes across the divide. But, they’re not.

It’s easier to shoot lightning at someone than to pick up a thousand tiny little rocks from the substance of the Universe itself and throw them in a stream. It’s easier to threaten to kill someone if they don’t love you, than to earn that love and trust by quality of character. It’s far, far easier to steal and destroy, than to build and create.

But we have Yoda’s assurance that it’s not more powerful. Maybe listening to a teacher who’s over 900 years old might possibly be a good idea? I think he’s seen a few things in his time.

Unprofessional Faction Imbalance (SWTOR)

Since the patch that “rebalanced” surge I’m noticing the Empire does 1.5-2x as much damage as the Republic and have lost 99% of the games where before it was balanced and fun gameplay without knowing that one side would win and one side would simply lose over and over. I’m wondering if it’s yet another design factor that simply hands victory over to the more populated side – the side that your employees wanted to play. Considering the entire list of “design features” that favor the Empire over the Republic it looks like sabotage by sociopaths on your team who desired faceroll mechanics in order to boost their ego instead of fun and engaging gameplay. This is completely unprofessional behaviour and I hope the people responsible are fired. I loved this game but will be cancelling my sub (that I signed up for 3 whole months on that are now useless) because unbalanced pvp is simply unprofessional and not fun.

My Empire characters are more fun to play but I wanted to be a Jedi since I was 5 years old and the first movie came out. You’ve broken my heart with this unprofessional bullshit.

I would like a refund for the remaining game time on my account.

Huttball Disaster (SWTOR)

Just sent the following to customer service.

Ok huttball needs more of an explanation or tutorial or SOMETHING so that new players know how to find out what’s going on. Just had someone delete their character because I stated not to pass the ball to them. It took me several matches to figure out how to pass the ball, and even more matches to realize you can’t pass to someone in stealth, and I learn fast! I tried to help them and explain how to pass, but other people were trolling me in that match and before I could apologize properly they put me on ignore and then deleted their character.

This is not the experience someone should have in pvp. The other two maps are confusing but if you just go with the flow you can still contribute. That the huttball throw is a separate ability -and that it shows up under GENERAL skills- means that people can’t just mimic others and figure it out as they go along, without being a liability to their team.

Please add a small huttball tutorial trainer to the starting area prior to level 10 – perhaps level 9 and near the class trainers. This trainer can give the huttball ability, show them the range of the pass, and explain about stealth and hazards. That way even a raw noob can at least understand enough to help their team.

Starter Tricks and Tips for DDO Free to Play (F2P)

A couple of my friends wanted to check out DDO so I figured I’d take my teensy amount of experience and at least help start them off on the right path to having fun in Stormreach all the way up to level cap and beyond.

First step? DO NOT USE THE DEFAULT PATHS at character creation! This is very important. Turbine’s default paths aren’t exactly the best builds ever. Always research the class you think you might like to play first. DDO is not pen and paper D&D and the rules of what stats and feats make for a viable character are a little different. It’s a very minmax environment after you hit cap, and becomes more and more frustrating starting at level 12 or so if you didn’t build well. I know this because my first characters sucked so please listen to me and save yourself that pain!

Warning, this is loooooooooooong!

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