Jan 11, 2012

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United We Stand: Cops and Robbers

United We Stand is an Ask A Jedi series focusing on guilds, groups, and other communities in Star Wars: The Old Republic. By examining the communities that we form, we can create a stronger game for ourselves, build relationships that will last a lifetime, and perhaps even change the world itself.

I absolutely love hard mode Flashpoints. To anyone on the Dreshdae Cantina server, look me up and let’s run some. My freakin’ legs won’t drop in Directive 7.

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of sitting in a parenting Sunday school class with my parents. I’m still not sure how I got there, I certainly didn’t fit in, it was early in the morning and I’m not a morning person so I kind of just came to consciousness in the room. However, one thing that stuck out to me was I heard a mother ask was, “Should I be concerned if my child takes the ‘bad side’ in a violent game?”

I thought this was an incredibly interesting question and a new turn in the discussion about whether or not violent games are bad for younger children. While we gamers have our own opinions on the subject, for most of us might say that we are better off from our violent games, what about our alignment choices? What does it mean when we pick the ‘evil’ choice in a conversation, or choose to play our characters as violent, immoral people?

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Jan 8, 2012

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Wild Space: Immersion, “Digital Disappointment”, And Companion Gifts

It’s a big galaxy out there, and Wild Space can be a dangerous place. Worry not, explorer – each week we’ll navigate you safely through the lost hyperspace routes of the Deep Core and track down the great articles and entertainment from around the SW:TOR fan community, all in less than 12 parsecs, of course!

Over on Corellian Run Radio, they have posted an interesting column that deals with immersion in TOR with respect to pop-culture references. BioWare has mentioned in the past that they don’t want to include obvious pop-culture references in TOR because they feel it would break immersion. In contrast, World of Warcraft has made a living with all of the pop-culture references that can be found in their game. The author of the CRR article, Thom, describes a rather elaborate reference featuring the A-Team that can be found in World of Warcraft.

By now, you almost expect a new cultural reference in World of Warcraft whenever you play it, so much so that pop-culture references have become part of the experience of playing the game. It can almost be considered its own game feature. TOR, on the other hand, seems to be keeping references to a minimum. Thom has only seen pop-culture references appear as part of quests and they are often quite subtle. Personally, the only references I have found have been Star Wars related (check out Nem’ro’s cantina on Hutta, there are a few good ones in there) and those types of references only serve to enhance my immersion and pull on my nostalgic heartstrings.  What do you all think? Have you found any pop-culture references that are immersion breaking for you? Do you like or not like pop-culture or Star Wars references?

Be sure to make your opinion known on those questions below and check out the full article on Corellian Run Radio.

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Dec 22, 2011

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All The Galaxy’s A Stage: The Story So Far…

All The Galaxy’s A Stage is a regular column at Ask A Jedi with some lofty, creative goals.  On one hand, we will be discussing and exploring meaningful topics to support the role-play experience and community.  On the other hand, we also want to introduce the casual Role-Player to the writing-acting experience that can add so much more to an MMORPG like Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Share your perspectives and experience as we co-create magical story in that galaxy far, far away!

I’ve now had a chance to play my character on the Shien RP-PvE (NA) server for over a week.  With some time under my belt in the actual game some things are definitely jumping out at me.

Not bring able to sit on chairs is really a gap for me.  Well, that’s not completely true.  I can sit on chairs in my spaceship.  However, if I want to chill in the Cantina then I am out of luck.  I miss being able to have my avatar sit on chairs.  I am hoping that this is a feature that makes it in a patch…soon™.

There are no chat bubbles for launch.  I’m not too concerned about this personally.   But the RP community has many, many citizens who are dismayed at the lack of chat bubbles.  If it’s an option that can be toggled on and off, then I say bring it in.  Hopefully, chat bubbles also make it into the game…soon(tm).

Do you remember my article about the hidden grind of Social points?  Have you tried to get social points lately?  My main is at about 400 social points and I’ve been doing a notable amount of questing with guild-mates and others.  I am just over halfway through Social I.  I may be missing something, but social points are proving to be harder to get than a deal from a Toydarian.

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Dec 15, 2011

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Zlatto’s Bazaar: Doing Nothing Is 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 it comes to playing a merchant class style character, you face some grind like any average player. A player’s skill progression in most MMOs depends on the money, effort, time and skill. In most games, these dependencies have always created a feeling of toil and effort over being a hero. I was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time testing out crafting mechanics in Star Wars: The Old Republic during beta. The numbers can always be adjusted but the concepts behind them should still be in play now that the game has launched.

Doing Nothing Is Profitable?

Ok, so I cannot state with certainty that the economics in the game will make all crafting professions profitable. Heck, the only guarantees right now might be Slicing and maybe certain Treasure Hunting selections. The mechanism of a truly profitable MMORPG economy are high-brow topics covered by Momus and all his crazy spreadsheets over at Blasters, Beggers & Credits. But there is more to profit than just credits my impatient  scrag-enders. Remember the famous Toydarian saying, “Time is Money.” In this regard I can clearly state that crafting, in its current iteration in TOR, is profitable.

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Dec 4, 2011

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Wild Space: Choice, Item Mods, And Gameplay

It’s a big galaxy our there, and Wild Space can be a dangerous place. Worry not, explorer – each week we’ll navigate you safely through the lost hyperspace routes of the Deep Core and track down the great articles and entertainment from around the SW:TOR fan community, all in less than 12 parsecs, of course!


Our good buddies over on TORWars turned me on to the fansite SWTORFace.com, where the crew has been churning out several great video guides for how to do different things in TOR. The most recent video describes how the item modification system works.

BioWare has stated that you could use your first lightsaber from when you get it, all the way up to level 50 just by swapping out item modifications to improve it’s stats. Check out this helpful video that explains how this process works from SWTORFace, as well as their many other guide videos on their YouTube page.

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