Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Knights of the FROZEN Empire (Spoiler Post)


Well, we got about 20 minutes into the stream and it died.  This is an appropriate image.  I'm putting in a jump cut just in case you don't want to see spoilers; I'll do systems stuff before the cut and leave the stuff after the jump for story spoilers.

Update: And the stream's back! 

Overall, I'm pretty happy with what I saw, even if the team was light on the details (again).  Some companion questions were answered, though most seem to have been left open.  Still don't know how many companions we can max out at, who's coming back or not (they won't spoil the story for us ... bravo to BioWare for that), specializations for companions weren't talked about either.  Musco said there'd be a thread up that you could post questions in; word of warning, they won't be talking about who's dead or who can be killed or anything like that, so don't bother asking.

Systems and Mechanics:
  • Developers will not 'punish' players for their work on companions
  • All or nearly all companions will return, though maybe not in the way we are used to?  I'm guessing not all of them will be summonable companions.  Maybe they'll hang around the ship?
  • BIG ONE: Companion gear no longer provides stats; it's basically dress-up
  • This means that you no longer have to farm gear for comps!  You can just pull 'em out and they're the appropriate power level for your character.  No more trolling the GTN looking for upgrades for a companion you haven't touched in 20 levels.
  • Companions can do all 3 roles now - CONFIRMED
  • This prevents players from being forced into 1 specific 'best companion' for their playstyle (think Bounty Hunter and how much you rely on Mako)
  • Treek and HK won't be taken away at all
  • Any gear on companions that are missing/killed will be returned to you
  • Some chapters may lock you into specific companions during the story
I do like the companion changes A LOT.  I always felt hemmed in as far as companions went; as a mainly DPS player, I relied heavily on healers like Mako and Treek.  There were companion moments I know I missed out on because of my chosen role.  This new direction will definitely help alleviate all that pressure to choose the 'correct companion.'  Musco stated that they'll be talking more about crafting, pvp, etc etc 'soon.'  It better be real soon, cuz we're closing in on 2 months till launch!


Questions for the SWTOR Livestream (8/26 at 8PM ET)

Remember that SWTOR is doing a livestream event tonight at 8pm ET (5pm PT, 12am GMT)!  It purports to answer questions about the basic game system changes and companions.  We'll see how it goes.

Larry, my new guildmate and SWTOR writer over at MassivelyOP (pardon that name drop), wrote an excellent article about the questions we should ask during the stream.  Here they are in handy bulleted form, verbatim:

  • Will we still be able to run the same number of missions as we currently can?
  • Are companions still going to have specializations?
  • Will there be achievements and bonuses attached to certain companions?
  • Will future seasons present life-changing decisions regarding current companions?

Fine questions to ask.  I think I'd like to add some more, though.

  • What will our companion limit be?  How quickly can we expect to hit that companion cap?
  • Are there going to be some companions spread out in remote areas?  Will we be able to hunt some of them down and add them to the crew or will it be a straight-forward process?
  • Will certain companions be class-locked? (No spoilers, just want to know if the option will be there) Or are they all open to every class?
  • How will purchased companions work?  HK-51, Treek?
  • Can I romance Treek?
  • What do you mean, "Ewwww?"

Apart from other companion questions, I also have general questions!
  • How will the stat revamp work?  How will 'Mastery' be applied to gear?
  • Will old operations flex up and down in level, or are they locked at 60?
  • Will we be able to score some new starships?  Stands to reason if we're doing the Big Chill, we've probably lost our rides, right?
  • Will there be new models for Galactic Starfighter?

So, that's a lot of questions.  I'll update with answers when I can!

Quick note!  SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer this week  to show off the KotFE expansion!  I'll have some more thoughts on that next week as we learn more.  I'm obviously super excited about it.  FYI!  Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE!  Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can.  And if you'd like to get back into SWTOR, use my referral link!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cash Money Gillionaire Ya'll

Do YOU want to make 10,000 gil a day with no money down, no effort, no time, and no life?  Call me now for my investment opportunity information packet of informational information!  Get the FFXIV life you DESERVE!
I finally hit over a million gil on my little ninja.  Excuse me while I celebrate in a rambunctious fashion.

Now, I'll preface this by saying: I know a million gil in FFXIV isn't a whole hell of a lot.  But it's a lot to me, dammit!  And for the amount of 'effort' I put into it, it was relatively easy to do.  My method consisted of selling vendor gear on the market.

That's it.

I know a lot of other folks do this as well.  I won't pretend like I'm the first guy to ever do this, either.  It's a trick that's as old as MMOs are.  But in FFIXV it seems to be a very lucrative way to get modestly wealthy in a relatively short amount of time.  The idea is to target the level brackets that are just now coming into some decent gil and procure gear that's ideal for them.  With the influx of new players (like me!), I found the 25-35 bracket is particularly good for cashing in.  Right about that time, the idea of spending 15-20K gil on a hat or a chest or boots or leggings isn't so bad compared to the quest items you're receiving at the time.  Keeping players just a step ahead of the leveling curve is pretty good business.

I've still got a ways to go in questing, and apparently Heavensward is where the *real* money is at, so I'm sure I'll continue to be a cash money gillionaire for the foreseeable future.  But I was pleasantly surprised to get into the market and instantly be competitive.  Part of this is owed to FFXIV's retainer system, and the ability to keep things on the market for a while.  Most of my sales came a week or so after I originally posted the items, which provides a nice, steady drip-feed of gil.

Next project for me is to make enough gil to buy a house (small plots on my server are going for 2.5-3 million gil), so I've got a long ways to go.  But that's ok, cuz this Miqo'te is gettin' PAID.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Zakuul Armor is Totes the Tightest Guys


She's a month old and UGH GET A JOB ALREADY.  Freebooters and ne'er-do-wells!  Lazy, the lot of 'em!  Can't expect handouts yer whole life!  It's been 30 days since you were born, GET OVER YERSELF GAWD.

I know this month's MMO plan was the be all Inquisitor, all the time, but uh ... that didn't work out so well.  Like, zero percent progress on that dude.  If I could actually have negative progress, that'd be more accurate.

So instead what I did was make a new Togrutan agent (Togrutagent?  Trademarkin' that bastich) and level her for a bit, then I decided that I don't like having any Cartel Coins at all, no sirree, so let's waste 'em on a 1440 CC armor set.

Solid plan.

I bought the Zakuul armor set and DAYYYUUUMMMM it's tight; so tight I rolled a new Sith Warrior just to wear it.  Then named him Zakuulian because LOL ALL FOR ZAKUUL.  For 1440 CC it better be tight.  But like, it's still tight in the overall sense as well, even factoring in the cost.  Until you realize that 1440 is the cost for one set.  And the account unlock is 720 CC.  That comes out to a price point of $17.83 for a full account unlock for the armor set (based on $19.99/2400 CC conversion rate).

Damn Biowurrr, yo prices scuuury.

It's a blastergunsaber.  Like that dude off Rebels.  Totally.  DON'T RUIN MY RP, DAMMIT.
Still, no buyer's remorse (yet).  I didn't take a screenshot of my new warrior cuz like WHY WOULD I DO THAT RIGHT.  Jesus, not sleeping and stuff is affecting my brainparts.  So here, just imagine this screenshot instead, 'cept a lightsaber instead of a gun and gray/black dye instead of the standard gold.  Use your imaginationilizers, dammit, that's what Geordi LaForge would want you to do.

Take a look, it's in a book, that you can't read in SWTOOOOOOOOR

On other fronts, my FFXIV time is dwindling down not cuz I don't like the game but I've got KotFE fever, but OMG NEW EPISODE OF TABLETOP BRB GUISE

Quick note!  SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer this week  to show off the KotFE expansion!  I'll have some more thoughts on that next week as we learn more.  I'm obviously super excited about it.  FYI!  Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE!  Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can.  And if you'd like to get back into SWTOR, use my referral link!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Slacking on SWTOR and MMOs in General



My little daughter has really put a crimp in my MMO gaming.  GUH.  I rarely get any stretch of time to myself that isn't sleeping, eating, or pooping.  Actually, that's very much like my daughter's schedule too now that I think about it ... 

Anyways, on the few times that I actually do get time to myself (usually while my wonderful wife is entertaining said baby so I can get a breather and my son is occupied/asleep/outside/somewhere else), I usually don't have enough time to warrant jumping on an MMO and getting a decent play session in.  It's a sad state of affairs, really.

I had a minor panic attack this morning though.

As of today, there are only 69 days left of x12 XP as we know it.  That means I have to get crackin' on both my Inquisitor AND my new Togruta agent.  Granted, Bioware has said they're going to streamline the leveling experience once KotFE drops anyways and make this boost permanent (in some fashion), so my hysteria is unwarranted ... but still.  There's a thing!  And I may miss out on the last days of the thing!  So, like, I need to do the thing before it's no longer a thing!

So, plan of attack: probably need to get in there and polish off my Inquisitor before the end of August.  September will be Agent time.  I need something to do while I watch soccer anyways and blasting through the excellent storylines is as good a diversion as any.

KotFE release notes!  The deadline for having Nico Okarr as a companion has come and gone, but there's still lots of stuff left to get!  Subscribe by August 31st to get Nico's blaster set, which either he can use or you can take.  September 30th is the trenchcoat, and on the last day of x12 XP, October 19th, you can get a swoop bike mount from KotR!  And if you're subscribed through the entire time, you'll get early access on October 20th, ahead of the general 27th release date.

SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer last week  to show off the KotFE expansion!  I'll have some more thoughts on that as we learn more.  I'm obviously super excited about it.  FYI!  Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE!  Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can.  And if you'd like to get back into SWTOR, use my referral link!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Do Thrall and Tirion Fordring Die in World of Warcraft: Legion?

Quick note!  SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer this week  to show off the KotFE expansion!  I'll have some more thoughts on that next week as we learn more.  I'm obviously super excited about it.  FYI!  Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE!  Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can.  And if you'd like to get back into SWTOR, use my referral link!

Logo courtesy of IZYLOCK from Reddit!

One of the main features of Legion is the 'artifact weapon' system is the ability to wield iconic weapons ... that are currently being used by other people.  Ashbringer, for instance, and the Doomhammer.  Normally, those weapons are used by Tirion and Thrall respectively.  But in Legion, Retribution Paladins will wield Ashbringer and Enhancement Shaman will have the Doomhammer.  So, that begs the question ... what happened to their former owners?  Check out these vid links from the Gamescom 2015 presentation ... they may sound a bit ominous:

Is Asfrasiabi hinting that we could be losing major characters in the Broken Isles pre-launch event?  It certainly seems so.  Tirion and Thrall are definitely a bit long in the tooth, with Thrall's influence waning with each expansion.  Tirion's last relevant moment came atop Icecrown when he put a hat on his barbecued former best friend.  Perhaps it's a good time to use their deaths to make a clean break with old, existing lore and push out into a new, brave direction.

Of course, WoW fans will lose their collective shit if Thrall dies.  They mock Blizzard for making Thrall all-powerful and incessantly call him Green Jesus, but if they were to kill him?  Lordy, the inferno on the forums would be intense.  I'd almost pay to see it!

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Quick note!  SWTOR launched a new gameplay trailer yesterday to show off the KotFE expansion!  I'll have some more thoughts on that next week as we learn more.  I'm obviously super excited about it.  FYI!  Here's a GAMESCOM 2015 CANTINA CODE!  Usable up to 50 times, so feel free to snag it while you can. 
Well then.
Logo courtesy of IZYLOCK from Reddit!

WoW came out of Gamescom with an expansion that I fully didn't expect.  I mean, I *thought* it would be about the Burning Legion.  Maybe.  Some sort of invasion.

But the Tomb of Sargeras?

But the Demon Hunter hero class?

But the PVP honor system revamp?

But the Class Order Halls?

But the Artifact weapons and customization?

Lots of thoughts, many of them good, a few of them bad.  Let's break it down.

First up: the Broken Shore and the Tomb of Sargeras.

The Shore looks to factor heavily into the pre-launch 7.0 event for Legion.  I'm assuming we'll return there at the end of the expansion to close off the Tomb (which is acting as a huge portal for the Burning Legion), so the preamble will probably just let us discover that there actually *is* a huge Legion presence out there already.  We'll meander out there, do an hour or so of questing, and that'll wrap up the pre-launch event.  At least, that's been the experience for the past couple of expansions.  Maybe they'll have something more detailed up their sleeves?  Overall, I was 'OK' with the Tomb and the sparse bit of info we got about the Tomb/launch event.  Seems fine.  I'll definitely want to resub at that time to take advantage of it.  But with only 6 new zones, and the Shore being one of them, I am a bit concerned about the available content.  Those zones don't look incredibly big, so it may be a tiny bit smaller than we had hoped.  I'm thinking that they'll revamp the map a bit before Blizzcon to give us a better idea of the actual size of the new continent.

Ok, Demon Hunter.  So, this reminds me a LOT of the Death Knight when it first arrived on the scene. Hero class, new types of abilities, seems ridiculously OP.  The double jump, the dash that operates like a Warrior's Charge without a target, the Rage mechanic, er I totally mean 'Fury.'  They look like the amalgamation of the Rogue and the Warlock.  I'm betting Demo 'Locks will loose their Metamorphosis ability thanks to the DH.  I see lots of areas ripe for exploits with the double jump/glide mechanics of the DH as well.  Plus, Rogues might as well hang it up; you'll have a hero class vying for your armor and weapons (maybe?) this expansion, and it'll probably do a lot of what you do ... just better.  Overall, DH looks alright; neat concept, ties to lore very well, but it's just gonna be so damn OP at the start that you won't be able to DPS or tank as anything else.  I'm reminded of the DK plague in WotLK ... *shudder*

PVP revamp.  This is an odd duck.  Basically, looks like PVP and PVE will now operate separately with different talent trees.  This is good.  The Call of Duty prestige system ... that's a bit odd.  I mean, it's different, and different is good ... but it's odd to go that route.  But I'll tell ya what, if it means they reduce the importance of PVP gear in PVP, then I'm all for it.  Getting LOL420NOSCOPED by some asshat in full conquest gear is zero fun.  We'll see how power creep affects the new PVP gear (if there even is any), but I do support the idea of more cosmetic rewards for prestiging early and often.

Class Order Halls.  The fuck.  I guess it's like Garrisons, but not.  I'm still struggling with this one ... so, it's an order of the same class.  Say, Warrior.  So, Warriors from both the Horde and the Alliance can meet and work together (sorta) in a place where only other Warriors can go.  And we'll have Champions (not Followers) like our very own Knights of the Round Table.  And, like, we're the leader of it.  Well, you are the leader of it.  And so am I.  And every other Warrior.  Cuz like, we can't be normal adventurers anymore.  We're all commanders and generals and legendary heroes and goddamn class leaders now.  Whatever.  Looks like Garrisons, smells like Garrisons, and in order to NOT be Garrisons, they'll probably be so damn neutered that you won't have to bother with them.  K.

OK, now the BIG rub ... artifact weapons.  On the surface, VERY COOL.  So cool it hurts.  Upgrading your weapon!  Talent trees (basically) for your weapon!  Artifact points earned for just playing the game!  DAT CUSTOMIZATION DOE!

In reality?  You will never need a weapon drop in the expansion.  Taking out one big-ass piece of gear from our loot tables sounds awesome at first ... until you're on the 16th straight month of staring at the same.  Fucking.  Weapon.  Sure, you can change the color or the style, assuming you've grinded enough artifact points (oh and be SURE that it'll be a griiiiind), but  for fuck's sakes ... eventually you're gonna get tired as hell of staring at goddamn Ashbringer.  Or Thunderfury.  Or whatever weapon.  That one's gonna bite them in the ass as players clamor for new weapon models eventually.  Oh, and did you catch that whole "This spear will be used by Survival Hunters" bit?  Is Survival going melee?  HMMMM. (CONFIRMED SURVIVAL IS GOING MELEE)

Overall, pretty impressed with the announcement.  I'm still incredibly leery of anything Blizzard says at this point.  We got so many broken promises in Borelords of Draesnore that I really can't take anything at face value yet.  Once we see beta or even alpha reports, then I can feel a bit more at ease about the features we'll actually be playing.  But, so far, so good.  They didn't immediately make me say, "The hell with this fuckin' noise" so +1 in their column.  As we get closer to Blizzcon and we get more info, I'll make a decision about whether or not I'm returning.