Republic Prodigy

As we all know, with 3.0 came 5 more levels, and whilst I'm not that keen on many of my alts on either Faction, I do now have one of each base Republic class at level 60, the latest being my Sage, Eirahnos. Still got three Imperials to get up until I become a Galactic Legend, and so it may be some time until that happens.

What's really been interesting is seeing where each of the classes which I have not had the best of experience with are at now, just in case I suddenly found myself enjoying a class in 3.0 that I relegated to the sidelines in favour of the Gunslinger/Sniper duo.


Happy Life Day!

With all that's happened that have quite proved the bane of the SWTOR community over the last few weeks, it's nice to be able to appreciate once more the jolly 'break' that is Life Day.

Thankfully, no Lumpawarrumps to be seen just yet.

This year, obviously keeping the Strongholds continually updated, we get Decorations from not one but three sources; the Life Day Reveler sells two for 20 Parcels each, the Cartel Market has a series of Decorations that can all be bought separately or in a bundle, and you have a chance to get a series of Trees by hitting Overheated Droids on Coruscant and Dromund Kaas with snowballs. Definitely better - and more fun - options this year than there were last year, although last year's speeders are still available for the same amounts if you missed out then.

This Life Day Event also brings in perhaps the most impressive Anniversary yet; whereas the first granted only Fireworks and the second GSF paintjobs, the third brings in free Decorations, which are all more than decent. Okay, the paintings are a bit tacky but we get Fireworks and a Galaxy Map for your Nar Shaddaa Sky Palace and Tactical Planning rooms respectively, which are both very awesome in theory and in practice. The fact that the former can be placed on Small Hooks makes them very versatile.

All in all, a good show thus far, and easily the most fleshed-out Anniversary and Life Day combo yet.


"Of Bugs and Men" or "Why Level 60 Hard Mode Flashpoints were virtually Worthless"

If you've been partaking in Shadow of Revan for the past week-and-a-half, you should by now be accustomed to the sheer amount of bugs which were present in the vanilla patch. Some were minor, of course, but others were - and still are - game-breaking.


Shadow of Revan feelings

So Shadow of Revan launched three days ago for those who pre-ordered before November 2nd, and I must say so far it's been a blast. The new planet stories are really well done, the flashpoints are phenomenal, and it's just so good to have something new and exciting to do after a year of Oricon and Dread.



So as everyone who has been keeping an eye on 3.0 will know, the Skill Trees will be completely redone. So redone, in fact, that they will be removed - is that really 'redoing'? - and replaced with the "Disciplines". This is the more linear system that seemingly automatically updates whenever you reach a certain level. The only thing we will need to actively commit with these are "Utility Points", and most of these add minor Quality of Life changes to some specs and classes whilst others are vital for another.

Over the last month, BioWare has been providing us very kindly with Livestreams of each of the changes. I'd thoroughly suggest watching those to see the animations, but if you wanted a more "hands-on" approach in order to have time to analyse exactly what is happening to your beloved Sentinel, Sniper, or Sage - to name a few - there happens to be a Discipline Calculator on Dulfy's website which you can peruse to your heart's content.

Whilst the rest of this entry will delve into changes coming with Disciplines, I will only be scratching the surface and talking about the new abilities, so if you want to see where exactly the changes fit in as a whole, the Calculator will provide a much more detailed result than I could ever achieve.


Of Commendations and Conversion Rates

So yesterday I mentioned very briefly conversion rates for commendations. As BioWare mentioned some weeks back, all Planetary, Classic, Elite and Ultimate Commendations would be converted to Basic; Planetary and Classic would both thusly disappear from the game completely whilst we'd then have to re-earn all the Elites and Ultimates. Today, BioWare revealed exactly what these rates would be.

So onto the rates.

  • Classic: 2:1 Basic - accidentally transcribed this incorrectly as '3:1'

  • Basic: 1:1 Basic

  • Elite: 1:2 Basic

  • Planetary 1:3 Basic

  • Ultimate 1:3 Basic

So, say, you have all commendations capped to the max, you should be expecting to see 3,500 Basic Commendations, right?


BioWare have additionally stated that when the Conversion was applied, we would only have an "overflow" of 1,000 additional Basic Comms. This would mean that you could only have a maximum of 2,000 Basic Comms, regardless of how many Commendations you had that could be duly converted.

I must admit, I really do like this system. They're showing restraint with the maximum limits, thus stopping people from going particularly overboard, whilst at the same time accounting for the various levels and limits of each of the other types. For example, if we could have a limit of 200 Planetary Comms, we might see them at the same rate of Elites as opposed to Ultimates.

So now we have an additional question to answer: just what these Basic Commendations will allow us to buy. Personally, I'm very happy to wait and find out.


One week to go until 3.0!

So 3.0 launches in just over one week. Soon most of us will be able to see just what BioWare are so proud of, make use of the Discipline System, and get into a new sense of vigour with actually "fresh" PvE content that isn't just Dread Fortress and Dread Palace.

Indeed, it's been the preparations for 3.0 that have, ashamedly, kept me from finding worthwhile things to actually report about here; I've done absolutely nothing in-game save for farming the Oricon and Ilum missions, day-after-day for the past 6 weeks (!), for their Commendations across the two characters that I feel I'll be using most come 3.0. This is in order to get the most from the as-of-yet-unannounced conversion rates for Basic Commendations. Even if all I'll be using them for is replacing Dread Forged mods, barrels, and enhancements with the Dread Master equivalents*, at least it will still be something to write home about.

I do promise to be more active following the launch of 3.0. I've yet to do a blog post showing off my Tatooine Stronghold.

Now that's a thought...



Shadow of Revan

[caption id="attachment_95" align="aligncenter" width="300" class=" "]Revan Returned "War is coming. Conflict on a scale we've never seen."[/caption]

So BioWare have officially announced some details on the upcoming 3.0, officially confirming its title as "Shadow of Revan". One can also pre-order the entire expansion for $19.99, or £11.99 if like me you happen to be British. This is of course more than the Rise of the Hutt Cartel by $10 or £6, but for what you get I honestly believe that this price differential is worth it.

Oh, please make sure to watch the trailer. Even if you don't 'agree' with one of the scenes - you'll know which when you see it - it is so beautiful and showcases just how brilliant SWTOR's cutscene animations are compared to when the game first came out.



It may not escape the attention of anyone who even reads this blog that I've been steadily getting worse at updating. This is due to one thing: Conquests.


Forged Alliances concludes in epic fashion

Forged Alliances always seemed such a promising arc; whilst its humble beginnings had two nigh-identical Flashpoints on both factions, the story presented within was far and above the highlight. Then part 2 came along and the actual Flashpoint proved to be better and more enjoyable than the story presented within - although I still wouldn't trust any group-found groups, myself.

Now, part 3 is out, and we now have the only Flashpoint - in my opinion - of the set which has both an enjoyable story and a fantastic Flashpoint experience.


Update on previous post

Two days ago, 2.9 went live, and within my report on the matter I expressed some concern over the NPC limit that one had within the Stronghold during the latter stages of the PTS and how I hoped that it hadn't transitioned over.

However, it has done exactly that, and BioWare have responded that they implemented this restriction to negate performance issues that would arise from having a lot of NPCs of various sizes in so many different versions of the same place at once.


2.9: Galactic Strongholds

Pip Manaan

Pip's beloved computer station was confiscated upon entry to Manaan by the paranoid Selkath

So today 2.9 went live and has brought with it a whole host of brilliant things. As you can gather from the picture above, a new planet - Manaan - can now be visited although it is nothing more than a hub for codex entries, a flashpoint entrance, and a vendor. Part 2 of "Forged Alliances" has also been released to go with this.

Finally, the Galactic Strongholds and Guild Ships have finally made their way to us. A lot of people will be thrilled to finally deck out their own house while others are more interested in the Conquest that tides us over until 3.0 brings in its inevitable raid.


2.10 Patch Notes and Class Changes, and then some

Recently, BioWare released patch notes for 2.10 to be released on the PTS. For the time being, they contain only class changes and nothing more specific - Forged Alliances Part 3 is not being released at this moment on the PTS, but that's the only other thing that should otherwise be there to our knowledge.

Since then, BioWare have gone through a whole host of changes to the changes. They've reworked the Gunslinger changes, and are still having fun making amendments to Sorc/Sage healing.

Whilst they're still making their mind up, let's congratulate the Marauders and Shadows on only getting one version of changes!


Another Faction at Legend

Nearly two whole years ago now, the Gree sauntered onto Ilum with the Gray Secant and with them came a fervent scurrying for the brand-new "Reputation system" that also covered areas such as Section X.

Today, I finally managed to hit Legend Rank with the Gree. Whilst I was playing the game a good deal back when they first came - this pales to my play-time nowadays, though, due to difference in available time - I just didn't get into the Gree at all. I think it was the fact that there were two PvP-flag-compulsory missions and back then, I had a Vanguard Tank and Tanks in general always had a sharp stick in their Shield Generators in PvP before 2.0 hit.

I can't remember which visitation of the Gree's it was that caused me to finally pull my finger out and start gaining Reputation - I think it was their third; whichever it was, I was "Friend" by the time that the most recent one hit and saved up enough across three characters to get to Legend.

So that means that I can finally undergo on that Junior Research Project and gain an honorary deGree in species analysis.


Making the most of Raid Hiatus

Whilst I am one of my guild's progression raiders, I'm in the unfortunate position of occasionally not being able to attend raids every few months for several weeks at a time due to being-at-University and being-elsewhere schedules - in this case, my hiatus started at the end of June and will culminate in the last week of September. My guild doesn't mind this, as we're active enough that my replacement was ready-to-go the immediate week after my departure. Three months without raiding, though, does leave an incredibly big gap to fill, particularly as it is one of my biggest prides and joys to accomplish.


Rakghouls, Rakghouls, Rakghouls

Pip Blog Rakghoul

Blogging from the Rakghoul Tunnels

So the Rakghouls are back yet again, this time on Tatooine, after nearly seven entire months of waiting since Alderaan.

For one, I'm thrilled to see them return. It's been, as I say, quite some time since the event was previously live, and it's nice to have this as a filler before Strongholds go live in ten days' time. I had a lot of things to still catch up upon from last time, such as needing to complete four more Rakling achievements - that Symbiote still evades me to this day - and some more Reputation.

Actually getting around to doing this.

So this thing has been kicking around for about two or so months, but I haven't actually done anything yet here. Time to fix that.


So, yeah, SWTOR, yadda yadda, Sith, yadda yadda, Republic. You know the rest if you've played the game and read other blogs of this nature.

Just to explain the "Spawn of the Dread Master" joke: I absolutely adore the Dread Masters, and my Gunslinger suffered from this adoration by earning herself a re-name after my favourite of the bunch: Calphayus. My guild (and one of my friends) being as they are, one thing led to another, and now I have this joke.


The characters who you will see/red about most often are my Sniper and my Gunslinger, being as they are may two main characters. In fact, you're more likely to see the Sniper, as she owns "Data Entry" and so will head a great deal many of the blogposts.


To actually begin with, I'll start with some retroactive blog posts about certain events in-game over the last few weeks and months, as they're still worth talking about in my mind.


And so, I officially declare this blog "Open!"