Thoughts on 4.6 [Spoiler-Free]

Another month, ano -- wait a minute, we're still in June! I just got this bloody schedule system finalised and now even the game I'm writing about is encouraging messing with it!

So, yeah. 4.6 and Chapter XV have come in the same month as 4.5 and Chapter XIV. No exact reason has yet been given, but the commonly accepted reasoning is that it's because they were trying to get as much out as possible before Celebration in July (which, incidentally, will also be the first ever time I have met people from any of my guilds if all goes to plan) before any potential Season 2 reveal.

The same would apply if Chapter XV was to be released next week if Chapter XVI is still not to be released until after the Celebration Cantina, of course, so maybe this theory doesn't hold as much water as people like to postulate.


Never is the Winter of our Fun Content

Yes, this is a post about another game other than SWtOR.

No, this does not mean that I'm finding SWtOR a drag and am following the oft-shouted "play another game if you aren't finding this fun" clause. The title may suggest this, but if you don't know what it's a reference to, you clearly need to brush up on your Shakespeare.

So, NeverWinter Online. If you've never heard of it, it's a completely free-to-play MMO based on the Fourth Edition of the well-known physical RPG Dungeons and Dragons. It's not even buy-to-play - compared to other "F2P" MMOs such as GW2 and ESO which are - making it by far one of the easiest MMOs to get into in general.

I myself had never heard of it until earlier this year, as it is a running joke that everybody in my particular raid team "must" have a toon in the game. Indeed, only one regular attendee (out of the ~11 or so who are in some way a part of the team) hasn't installed and started the game.

Not being a particularly "gaming" gamer - I don't play games for the sake of playing games and I can only really get invested in games based on Universes I'm familiar with - and because I've never actually played D&D - although I have played PathFinder - I'm honestly surprised that I've taken to this game as well as I have. Similar to Skyrim, I believe this could have something to do with my fascination and appreciation with the Lord of the Rings universe.

Or at least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Whilst this post is overtly about NeverWinter, I will be comparing it to how SWtOR does things, and see what things either game does better than the other.


Dark vs. Light: Grindy, Grindy Grindy!

Two posts in one day! This is what happens when they announce details of a new Event on the same day as a pre-scheduled post. :P

Events in Star Wars: The Old Republic have been a mixed bag. The most well-known ones have been the Rakghoul, Gree, and Bounty Events, as they occur at various times throughout the year - whilst it used to be much rarer the Rakghoul Event now occurs once a month - whilst only two before this point have been utterly unique in of themselves; these were the original Rakghoul event and the long-gone Chevin Grand Acquisitions Race.

Since the Developer Stream on June 3rd, a new one-time event was mentioned: Dark Side vs. Light Side.

From what we understood at the time, it was a case of getting through various 'tiers' to unlock rewards whilst the overall number of Dark/Light points pooled decided on what a new Companion (pictured above) would look like.

Now that more details have been announced earlier today, it's far more complicated than anyone could have anticipated at the time.

A New Inmate in the Madhouse!


The Bounty Hunter Class and I have had a bit of a vast history.

Not as vast a history as Troopers (I've had eight of those!), but still; six Hunters have all come and gone during my time in-game, with each one being discarded simply because they did not resonate with me one bit. As pointed out previously, I can tend to be really rather fickle when it comes to deleting characters, with reasons for doing so ranging from not enjoying the class (more so for Powertechs) to simply not being able to come up with a good outfit/story/whatever for them (more so for Mercenaries).

So this brings me to Phirella, the fresh-faced 'baby' Hunter I started last Sunday afternoon.


4.0 Catch-Up: Star Fortresses

A long while ago (on a blog quite, quite close), I made a series of posts looking over aspects of 4.0; this covered the characters, a brief summary of the KotFE story, and just general universal changes.

Things I never got around to covering included the Star Fortresses and the Alliance system. Whilst the latter will only be written when the final Alliance Alert of this season is released, I see no reason to delay the summary of the Star Fortresses.


NBI 2016: Comfort Zones and Self-Confidence in MMOs

The New Blogger Initiative has come and gone once before during this blog's overall lifespan, and yet I just largely ignored it last time, mainly because I couldn't think of anything to say. This time, however, I'm determined to make an actual attempt and come up with something to say. This was supposed to be one of next week's posts, but I feel as if it's in a better place to send out now than what today's post was supposed to be.

This first piece is actually something which I am incapable of in one very particular area: creating comfort-zones in the games you play and using this as an aid to increasing self-confidence. Self-esteem is, after all, hard to gain but comparatively very easy to lose.

In MMOs, it's very easy to feel overwhelmed and that you don't have a 'set' place more than in any other game - NPCs in single-player RPGs cannot judge you to the same extent other players can, after all. This is not so much to do with blogging, but feeling confident in your gaming prowess is a very big plus for any gaming blogger.

This post will take the form of six tips, ranked in no order of particular importance, which will hopefully be of some use to people new and inexperienced with MMOs in general.


Flashpoint Craziness: 5 Least Favourite Flashpoints

It's time to draw this series to a close.

This post will return to the more general overview of the Flashpoints, including a summary of the included story and a brief look over of the boss fights.

Without further ado:


Flashpoint Craziness: The Flashpoint Story-Arcs

Continuing the series looking over Flashpoints, today it's the turn of the dual-Flashpoint arcs to receive the spotlight.

This will work a little differently to the previous one; whilst that was a more general overview including a brief summary of the bosses, this post will purely be looking at the story of the arcs. Because there are a few Flashpoints from the favourites list present in this one, I thought it would make sense to interpose it between the positive and negative summary lists.

As mentioned previously, this will not be looking at the four Flashpoints which form the structure of Forged Alliances. Because that has four Flashpoints and actually leads into an entire Expansion, it's very much a different beast and in a league of its own compared to these ones.

So, without further ado:


Flashpoint Craziness: Personal Top 5 Favourites

It's time for another Top 5 post series!

It's been a while since I've done one of these; the last series touched on Operations, and now it's time to turn to their lesser PvE partners the Flashpoints.

As per usual, this will be in parts. This post will focus on the my personal favourites and the follow-up will focus on those which I absolutely despise. There will also be a third post covering the Flashpoint story-arcs consisting of two back-to-back Flashpoints; the Forged Alliances arc is its own beast when it comes to this as they're a part of the overall Shadow of Revan story rather than its own independent little section and thus it wouldn't be 'fair' to compare it to anything else.

So, without further ado:


Character Connections

Character Collage

I've seen many, many characters come and go during my years in The Old Republic. The above pictures represent a selection of past and present characters in the order of their creation and a group-shot of the 7 characters who I currently keep in active service, 2 of whom are newer whilst the other 5 have been around for a lot longer.

See which of the 7 you can recognise the levelling pics of. :P

When I say "many" characters, the 16 I chose for the collage were just those that I happened to have screenshots of from the character-select screen which showed their faces. For example, a notable absentee from the collage is my very first character; a Commando. The only screenshot I have of him is with his orange helmet on, so he's receiving no more love from me - as if he ever could.

There were other images which I had - including one for the Twi'lek Sorcerer - but added to the current 16 this total came to 19, and that's not a fun number to work with.

If I had proper shots of all of my characters, you'd be looking at an image of 40 characters (appropriately enough, only 40% of whom - not including the 3 instant 60s - have ever made it up to or beyond Level 50), so in this respect it's perhaps a very good thing that I could only find and use 16. I know for a fact that there are more, but I honestly can't remember enough details about them to add them to the list, so I'll stick with the nice round number.

We won't be speaking of the "accidental Kira Carsen Gunslinger", though...

I first thought of this subject as a minor 'fact' for the Creative Blogger facts list; I would touch on the shifting ratio of male:female characters and how I often used elements of my own personality in constructing those of the characters, yet I realised that I could do so much more with this as an actual blog post, so here we are.

In this post, I'll attempt to demonstrate what goes through my mind when I create multiple characters and what causes various ones to stick whilst others have been abandoned and deleted.


Blogger Initiative Butchering Twofer: Creative Blogger and Liebster Awards

I have never been good at being all "personal" when it comes to this blog, and that mainly comes down to who I am; I'm not at all that sociable, as I'm fairly sure people who have followed me on Twitter have probably come to realise.

This in itself has led to one of my biggest regrets when running this blog; my inability to follow-up on my Liebster Award nomination - coming up with an unspecified amount of random facts and then answering 11 questions before then setting your own - by Zernebog of the appropriately titled Zerneblog. This fell apart mainly because I got in a minor panic about not "being proper" when it came to nominating individuals in the follow-on (for reasons explained below), let alone the fact that I just could not come up with an adequate amount of my own questions to ask or random facts at the time. However, with my recent tagging by Shintar of Going Commando in the Creative Blogger Award - similar, but only requiring 5 facts and no questions - I decided that I cannot 'hide' from this any longer.

In reality, though, I'm still 'hiding' from my biggest perceived problem in this context: nominating people. Although I will be ostensibly tackling elements of both Awards' objectives in this post - coming up with the 5 CBA (not the slang version!) facts and then answering Zerne's Liebster questions - I will also be carefully steering around the issue of tagging people. This is for two reasons; the first is that the people I would have tagged have been tagged previously, and the second is that I am only on friendly terms with only two other bloggers whilst I have made no real effort to ingratiate myself with anyone else.

This is purely due to who I am as a person, so I do hope that my 'standoffishness' hasn't been taken personally by anyone.


Thoughts on 4.5 [Spoiler-free]

Month another, update another.

4.5 is yet another small patch; besides Chapter XIV and its associated Alliance Alert, all that has come with it are some Legacy Perks, customization options, and an attempt to reduce the effectiveness of certain classes in a PvP Environment.

How does this all hold up? Well, let's find out!