Jan 26, 2012

Posted by | 27 Comments

Security Key Fob Fumble?

My name is Zlatto, its been 22 hours and 15 minutes since my last account login and the hand tremors and sweats have started.

Now my fob is not lost, it just seems that the Digipass GO6 “made in China” model I received in the Collector’s Edition box has a bad button. It was working fine for the first six weeks, but started acting up a few days ago. I would have to push the button multiple times at multiple angles to sometimes get a number to appear. I sent out a Customer Service request and received this:

I am Protocol Droid W6-C9 Human-Cyborg Relations…
I am sorry to hear that you cannot access to your account because you have lost your security key.
We regret to inform you that we cannot deal with your request through email. In order to protect your account, all Security Key issues are dealt with via our Customer Service telephone support.

I happened to be traveling at the time (on vacation with Mrs. Zlatto and I really did not have the time to call in and wait on hold for a live person) I did not loose my key, it was just acting up. So I suffered through the button mashing and was hopeful that when I got back home I could address my inconsistent access issues.

By the time I arrived home, the fob was giving me a number approximately every twenty presses rather than the previous three to five. I am in a guild called  Lorem Ipsum and we are a close knit group. We are friends in real life and are on instant messenger with each other through out our work days. When one of us is at work and another is not, the slacker will give them a play by play as they game. It feels like a friendly IM kick to the nards to remind you that they are leveling past you while you sort through mindless emails about some car that left the lights on out in the parking lot. So when I shared my frustration over IM about my malfunctioning key fob one of my guild mates (Deacon) reminded me of the app. Well, reminded makes it sound like I am from a warm and fuzzy guild,which is far from the truth.  It was more like he mocked me for being a technical Luddite with a fob, as the app requires no watch battery or rubber button to give me access. Makes you want to join our guild right?!

So I logged onto TOR and after 20-30 button mashes I was able to access my account info. I found the section on the left hand side that mentioned Security Key, and you can see what I get below.

Nothing about removing my key? I scoured the site for some way to remove the key from my account. Nothing.  So I sent out another request to Client Services, asking about removal of the fob.

I am Protocol Droid W6-C9 Human-Cyborg Relations…
Thank you for contacting us. I have received your transmission regarding the removal of security key in your account. However, we regret to inform you that we cannot deal with your request through email. In order to protect your account, security key issues are dealt with via our Customer Service telephone support.

Oh my. There is no route for self-service in relation to a process that is set up via self-service?

When I called in to start my removal, I got a nice welcome from the Doctors and then was informed that BioWare was experiencing a high volume of calls. I am not a specialist in Customer Service, but I would think that allowing players to self service a process that is added via self service would help shorten the long call waiting lines.  I only had a short time before I had to do some errands so… I still have a malformed button, my crew is not working and my guild mates are leveling ahead of me. Looks like my lunch hour will be on hold for me being on hold. My fob has given up, what flarking koochoo designed this process?

My name is Zlatto, its been 22 hours and 52 minutes since my last login. My guild has left Hoth without me, I am alone.

Let us know your experiences with they security key system and process!

Read More
Jan 14, 2012

Posted by | 2 Comments

Off-TORpic: Star Wars: Underworld Live Action Series

Off-TORpic is our occasional peek outside the world of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Sometimes it’ll be Star Wars. Sometimes it’ll be games. Sometimes, something else all together. But all the time it will be Off-TORpic.

If you are as much of a Star Wars junkie as the average member of the AAJ Army, then you might have heard rumblings of a possible Star Wars live action series that George Lucas & friends hope to put together. IGN recently did a video interview with famed producer Rick McCallum where he talks about how many scripts are written (over 50), the timeless quality of them, and searching for the right economic model to make them.

But most interestingly, he may have let slip what the title of the series might be. Star Wars: Underworld. Hmm, I think I like the sound of that.

Of course, I had to ask McCallum about the status of that show today. The would-be series already has 50 scripts written, just sitting on the shelf waiting for an economically sound way to actually be produced. We talked about the challenges of making that happen, and along the way McCallum mentioned the “working title” for the show as well…

The show takes place between Episode III: Revenge of The Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope, the time period during which Luke Skywalker is growing up. Though McCallum was quick to point out the series is not about the famed Jedi-to-be. We’ve embedded the video interview below for your convenience, but head over to IGN for more content about the Star Wars live action show.

Read More
Jan 13, 2012

Posted by | 7 Comments

Zlatto’s Bazaar: Gathering Etiquette – Answering Two Common Questions

Zlatto’s Bazaar is the one-third Wall Street, one-third criminal empire and one-half gossip rag. You need to keep up on the Bazaar if for no other reason than to keep an eye on your competitors. Don’t be a Ho-tah and visit often – I’ve got stuff I gotta sell.  Your comments are encouraged, especially if they make me credits…

I wanted to clearly state that fairness is an important character trait in Toydarians. Can you believe there is an image stating that we are thieves on wikipedia? You just can’t trust anything you read on the Internet). Who decides what is fair? Well that is the question that separates a guerful and his credits.

While playing Star Wars: The Old Republic this last week, I had a few incidents I wanted to talk about here with the readers of AAJ. I was clearing a strong mob on Alderaan that was standing right on top of a lovely barrel of Phobium. Out of the corner of my eye, a Sith Warrior swoops in and grabs it and then laughs via emote and flies off. I know I am on the Empire side, where Dark Side mentality abounds, but I mean really? I had hoped a good percentage of the umrons had stayed put in PandaWorld!

"I got this!"

The next incident was in a PUG, running a quick 4 player heroic. When I asked about who got to scavenge the strong droids that we were killing, the group lead stated he needed all of the materials and his guild mate agreed. Adding to the lack of support was his companion, which did not seem to come to my aid in the discussion. I left the jackwagons to find another player.

So I decided to ask a few players out in the community two questions. I’d love continued input on these topics, so keep your responses coming, but here are the responses I’ve received so far.

Read More
Jan 5, 2012

Posted by | 9 Comments

Zlatto’s Bazaar: Juggling 3 Gathering Skills – The Good, The Bad And The Profitable

Zlatto’s Bazaar is the one-third Wall Street, one-third criminal empire and one-half gossip rag. You need to keep up on the Bazaar if for no other reason than to keep an eye on your competitors. Don’t be a Ho-tah and visit often.  Your comments are encouraged, especially if they make me credits…

When you run past a resource node that you are unable to harvest because your skill is not high enough, do your teeth clench just a bit? When you run past a resource node that you do not even have the correct crew skill to harvest in the first place, do you still get that itch? If you answered yes to either of these questions you might be a candidate for a full gathering crew skills selection.

The Good

Have you thought about what it would be like to be take only gathering skills in Star Wars: The Old Republic? I not only thought about it… I am enjoying it, and I figured I would share some thoughts about it. I selected Archaeology, Slicing and Scavenging for my three options.  My reason was all about the utilization by my possible customers and … well, Slicing to help fund my other characters.

There are 3 Crew Skills that use Scavenging materials and 2 Crew Skills that use Archaeology, so the number of prospective buyers is greatly increased. Now this is just a theory of mine, and to be honest I am as unsure as a ferglutzing shop keeper.  Volume of prospects does not always lead to direct profit. Another theory would be  Scavenging and Bioanalysis.  Why, you ask? Well they are both skinning supported gathering skills. In my leveling efforts there are countless Strong enemies of both Bio and Droid origin.  The only thing more profitable than finding a node on a map is creating your own and getting XP for doing it!

What 3 would you take? Have you thought about why you would choose what you would choose?


Read More
Dec 29, 2011

Posted by | 5 Comments

Zlatto’s Bazaar: Level Your Crew Skills Remotely

Zlatto’s Bazaar is the one-third Wall Street, one-third criminal empire and one-half gossip rag. You need to keep up on the Bazaar if for no other reason than to keep an eye on your competitors. Don’t be a Ho-tah and visit often. Your comments are encouraged, especially if they make me credits…

Hi there. My name is Zlatto, and I have a problem. My addiction is Crew Skills, and its been …. well, only 3 minutes since my last fix because lets be honest: I have SWTOR up in another window as I write this and I am sending my crew out on missions whenever they become available.

What I wanted to share with the community today is the ability to level up your Crew Skills via your smartphone or tablet. 

Oh yes, it is possible with a little bit of planning and effort. I can tell you that my last ‘all staff’ meeting was far more entertaining as I sent out my crew on slicing missions while listening to the monthly speaker tell me about the need for us to me more focused on ….. hmmm I missed what the topic of our focus was.  WHO CARES?! I can level my Crew Skills up remotely.

To accomplish this feat of nerdvana there are a few requirements:

  1. A smartphone or tablet that can access the internet
  2. A program from the store of your device that enables remote control desktop
  3. A lot of patience

To better dissect the effort I will share my process. I am an iPhone user, so I happen to already own an app called iTeleport that I use for work. I can not tell you how cool it is to walk around during a presentation with only your iPhone in your hand and control your presentation remotely. Now, iTeleport work with both the Mac and PC for remote desktop control.  Since TOR requires a PC (or lets say Windows) you must download the Windows version. The process leverages your Gmail credentials and an internal VNC server to enable the connection from handheld to PC.  Below is what the screen looks like on my phone, you can see the full desktop including the Windows taskbar at the bottom of the screen:

Now comes the tricky part. I use the security key, so I must have that with me if I am going to login to TOR while on the go.  The screen is small, but I can stretch it using the reverse pinch command.  The app has a keyboard command to allow me to login. It takes some getting used to, navigating only a portion of your screen at a time, but its just a matter of patience to move between the screens, selecting the right menu items for choosing your missions and clicking ‘Send Companion’.  The image below shows a crafting screen.  It is more difficult to Craft then to send your crew on Missions remotely (imho) due to the smaller click-able area that you have to select the item to craft.  You can zoom in pretty close but its still a challenge to mouse over the specific hot spot on the screen.  As you can see below I run a dual screen environment, this is great for my home game play but an issue for when you are working remotely on your phone. You need to give yourself as much space and screen room as possible to make the selection of the steps you want to accomplish as easily as possible.

Sure it feels a little like a Wile E. Coyote setup, but hey I was able to skill up 10 points in slicing and was able to ‘net’ a few thousand in credits. (Editor’s Note: Here’s a video of AKAMikeB giving a demo of how he does the same thing!)

So now you have the way… do you have the will? It’s all about the credits! Let us know how it goes!

Read More