The End of the Alliance Alert?

The Alliance Alert has so far been the most useful means of recruiting former Companions to our side and get them to serve the Alliance.

I have a post planned for the KotFE Retrospective series which will look back over the various Alerts and state which ones were my favourite or least favourite, but this will need to wait of course until the final one for the season. Whichever one this may be, because with Zenith's mission having been lost in the pipeline momentarily this may or may not reappear before Eternal Throne.

Something which I brought up in my most recent post made me think seriously about the future of this system. With the sole exceptions of Khem Val, Lord Scourge, and Tharan Cedrax, all of the returning Companions are Romance options, which means that there is a greater precedent - if not an outright guarantee - for their appearance in the overall 'main' story.

Certainly, given that the Alerts are disliked by several people due to us becoming the Revan-esque silent protagonist after hearing their voices for so long, the reaction to encountering a potential sweetheart and hearing nothing coming from our characters' mouths will not be pleasant, so it's 'safer' for the powers-that-be to eliminate this as a possibility.

Which then leaves us with the quandary; with only three non-Romanceable Companions left, is there much future for the Alliance Alert?


KotFE Retrospective: More to be Desired for Romance

Romance with a close friend and ally has always been a selling point of the most well-known of BioWare’s RPGs. Whether you were traversing the stars with Bastila Shan or Garrus Vakarian or riding through the rugged hills with Blackwall, there have been several prospective partners for our characters to end up with at the end of the games’ stories.

The Old Republic is of course no stranger to this, boasting no fewer than twenty-two full-blown Companion romances, four semi-serious one-time flings (with two Companions and the two ‘poster’ NPCs for Rise of the Hutt Cartel), and two gender-dependent diplomatic marriage opportunities for the Agent on Voss.

As diverse as the options are, they have noticeably begun drying up since the game has begun expanding beyond its initial form, with Knights of the Fallen Empire attempting to reinvigorate matters, even if the success here is limited.


Wednesday Warzones #1: The Drunk Guardian

As mentioned two weeks ago, I've had a little something in the works: Wednesday Warzones! This initiative will be a regular occurrence every two weeks, and I hope it's well-received.

This first one is a rather interesting one to start off this series. All three matches took place on the same evening, and this won't be something that will happen often.

The reason for this is because I went on holiday on Friday, so that meant that the only days I had to ensure that I would have at least one video prepared for today were Thursday and Wednesday given that for the previous couple of days I was focusing mainly on the DvL Event.

As you can already tell from the title, one of the players was really quite drunk throughout, to the extent that he participated in the first match without a weapon. Thankfully, there is never any mocking of this fact as it is quite frankly a frequent occurrence.

It also resulted in quite a bit of swearing, which I have endeavoured to eliminate. I might have missed one of them, but it's not the most audible as it's swallowed by another person talking.

So, yeah. I hope that you guys enjoyed this first instalment of Wednesday Warzones, and I look forward to creating the next few!


  • Vhiallia ("Cal") - Balance Sage
  • Suss'dao'wuss - Seer Sage
  • Numendar ("Mark") - Telekinetics Sage
  • Kenkuria - Defense Guardian


Taking to the Stars

One thing which hasn't been featured much in this blog is PvP. Wednesday Warzones will rectify this to a great extent for the ordinary PvP, of course, but this still leaves Galactic Starfighter hanging out to dry.

Maybe I should do Saturday Starfighter...



Dark vs. Light: Looking Back

It's been two months since the Dark vs. Light Event was officially announced and the groans about the sheer amount of grind began. Hard to believe, really.

Yesterday, I managed to complete the last requirement needed for total event completion, which was levelling my eighth Event Character, a Jedi Knight. I figured that it would be fitting to complete this entire thing on the class which I have created the least characters on.

Now that I have completed this Event, I figured it would be nice to look back over it as a whole and just give my views on the goings-on which either myself, guildies, or just random strangers have been getting up to as part of this Event.


KotFE Retrospective: Story Issues

Knights of the Fallen Empire is over. Done. Kaput. Now that all sixteen chapters have been released, it's time to start looking over this season and see what worked and what didn't work.

This post will look at my personal issues with aspects of the story. This will not include the mantra of "Choices Matter!" given that everyone knows by now just how much of an illusion this really was now; the only 'choices' hinged upon whether or not there was a get-out clause for both eventualities.

Notably, if you had banished Koth, Kaliyo, or Aric, the subsequent chapters only featured them in the barest of supporting roles for those who had kept them around and so their presence could easily be missed without consequence.

This will also not mention the lack of 'proper' new PvE group content, even though this definitely has harmed several guilds throughout 4.0. This is purely going to focus on story moments.

Let's get started!


Thoughts on 4.7 [Spoiler-Free]

Another another, update month.

Hard to believe that we've reached the end of this monthly recap series. It's been rather interesting delving into the overall patches with the story forming the bulk, but now that this is over for now, there's not much reason to focus on either 4.8 or 4.9 - if there's one beyond 4.8, that is - in much the same light.

Sure, there's the HK Chapter, but this will be a part of its own HK-reward themed post so not much reason to include it in a generic recap.

Anyway, on to 4.7!


Milestone: 2 Year Anniversary!

Two years ago today, I kickstarted the blog Spawn of the Dread Master. It was an initiative which I didn't know whether or not would succeed, given that most of my previous projects only lasted a year before falling to pieces, but I figured that it was worth a go.

To say that I'm still blogging two years later is a great achievement in my book. I don't always find it easy to find something to say or write about, as you can tell from the numerous breaks I took prior to the rebranding. Suffice to say, I currently believe that the blog is in its strongest form yet.

Unlike last year, I actually have some things planned to celebrate this particular anniversary, so let's get started!


Burden of Accompaniment: The Companions I'm not Eager to Reunite With

The first season of the Knights of the Fallen Empire story ends tomorrow for Early Access players, but we all of course know that this is not going to be the end of the overall story. There's more to be told, and there are still many more Companions to be reunited with in the process.

I've been fairly fortunate this time around, as of the twenty-one Companions who have returned, are confirmed to return, and are rumoured for return (Rusk, Skadge, and Zenith) from this season, only five of which are those which I have irrevocably disliked. Of the ones we've gotten back, these are Broonmark, Kaliyo, and SCORPIO, and of the rumoured ones these are Skadge and Zenith.

Otherwise, I have positive things to say about virtually every other remaining Companion we've seen so far, and if I don't actually like them, I can at least tolerate them. Notably, whilst I wouldn't say I liked Torian or Yuun, I can still name several more Companions whom I dislike more than them.

So of course, it's time to talk about those Companions who I'm not looking forward to reuniting with in the next season(s).


"Crate Opening is Serious Business" - BioWare

The Cartel Market has nearly always been a difficult beast to tackle in a blog post. The majority of items have been fairly harmless cosmetics - barring the temporary inclusion of the Heroic Grade 7 Ship Components - and none have ever been more publicised than the infamous Cartel Packs.

Whilst these have functioned largely the same over the last four years, BioWare recently announced that they will be augmenting this system on Tuesday in Patch 4.7.

Basically, Cartel Packs and items will now have their own separate inventory system, from which packs can be opened and items reclaimed.

Instead of simply having the Cartel Pack land at your character's feet whilst they wave their arms in rigid gun-held-to-the-head jubilation, now a big black screen will superimpose itself over your game whilst a fancy little animation plays over opening the crates and four holocronesque cubes which then yield a picture of the armour set (even if it's just the supplementary box you receive) or vehicle or a simple diagram representing Decorations, Jawa scrap, or Companion Gifts.

We don't yet know what form Chance Cubes will take in this system, as the animation in the blog was almost certainly rigged to make it so that they didn't appear.

This having been done, the items will then go into an "Item Stash", from which any Character from your Legacy can retrieve the items. Got a Defiant Vented Lightsaber on your Gunslinger and don't want to wait for two days or spend 400 Cartel Coins so that your cherished Sage/Guardian/Commando's Lana Beniko can use it? Now you can just have them retrieve the Lightsaber from the stash, and nobody will be ever the wiser!

For people participating in the Dark vs. Light Event, this will also affect the special Bound packs that are given, meaning that rare items such as Satele Shan's Supplementary Armour Box (and its sole occupant, the belt) won't get locked on one character whilst another has the Upper and Lower Boxes anymore.

Indeed, this is clearly the catalyst for this system as it completely solves the issues that people were having if they completed it on different characters. Granted, this is something which could have been a non-issue if a lot of pre-planning had gone into things, but it's nice to see them tackling the issue nonetheless.

Unfortunately, this still leaves people who were treated 'unfairly' by this system high-and-dry with no way of 'fixing' the pieces of loot which they had received.


I rarely ever comment on Cartel stuff because it hasn't ever really been that interesting (for lack of a better word) to talk about, barring specific decorations which I have loved, but the changes to this system do have a smatter of potential. I love the idea of the Item Stash, particularly as it negates useless clutter and solves a fairly big problem with the Bound DvL Packs, something which I currently view as the biggest thing this new system has going for it even if this isn't a permanent affair.

On the other hand, it is surreal to see the Cartel Market receive such a massive overhaul at a time when people are complaining more and more about lack of content and other such concerns. To see the cash shop receive a fairly sizeable and actually potentially well-received quality-of-life change ahead of the aforementioned gripes and bug-fixes isn't exactly something that people want to see.

Of course, it doesn't help that this was announced on the same day that Conquest and the Priority Operation broke at the same time. This Conquest Week - which I believe was meant to be Emergency Operations - apparently also broke back in February, meaning that it hasn't worked once since 4.0. Not good timing for revealing this system, considering!

To summarise: It's a nice change, but perhaps wholly unnecessary outside of solving the issues with rare items from the DvL packs which could have been mostly negated by pre-planning anyway. I can't deny that resources could have been spent better elsewhere, but at this point it's clear that we can't predict what BioWare will come up with next at all.


The Valor Curse

I haven't touched on PvP much. Now that I'm actually becoming semi-decent at it, maybe things will change soon...

Valor is of course the special progression 'currency' you receive from completing Warzones, with a maximum of 100 tiers.

If you don't do PvP nearly enough to understand how it 'works', you start off by absolutely powering through the levels, to the extent that a few warzones would complete you one tier, up until you hit the tier which matched your current level in which case your Valor could not advance.

Once you get to 50, not only are you able to escape from being duly Valor-locked, but this is where the grind really begins to pick up. Indeed, it's often claimed - whether jokingly or otherwise, I do not know for sure - that it's quicker for a DPS player to complete I Am Death Incarnate (the 50,000 kills Achievement) than it is to get up to Valor 100.

Indeed, the Valor grind is now the only aspect of grinding which has remained at the same 'standard' throughout the entire game, given that PvP content could never be outlevelled and ground quickly as Social Points could have been in 'easier' Operations and Flashpoints.

You all know this already, so I'll get to the blasted point. Calm down, sir, I know you didn't come to feel patronised by this loser.

Valor and me have had a bit of a tumultuous relationship, in that I have since come to believe myself as being "cursed": every time I get a character to a decent Valor level, another one manages to replace them, preventing the other characters from progressing further.

This has happened no less than five separate occasions with the characters who are in my current roster.

Firstly, the Commando Ziodus got up to Valor Rank 61 before he was replaced by the Gunslinger, who by then was going by the name Calphaya, who actually 'ended' her first run at Valor 58. She in turn was replaced by the Sniper Pippera, who managed to attain the so far unassailable rank of Valor 76 before the Gunslinger stole it back again and managed to get to Valor 65.

Now, the Sage Vhiallia has entered the mix. She was an instant-60 character created due to my dislike of my other Sage from The Harbinger - even though it is of course cheaper to spend 1,500 CC to transfer a character instead of 2,000 to create a new one - sometime in May, and since becoming the PvP Main she has managed to overtake Calph's Valor by (presently) only a couple of hundred points just in this last week.

Hopefully, Vhiallia will actually manage to break this curse once and for all. I'm presently very much enjoying Sage due to its mobility and moderate survivability, so I can't see any reason why I'd go back to Gunslinger or Sniper who lack both of these things. It would be so nice to finally get up to Valor 100, but I still have one hell of a long journey to go.

On the plus-side, I can definitely say that it will be quicker to get I Am Death Incarnate at this rate, as I'm closing in on 40,000!