Jan 28, 2012

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Blue Milk & Cereal: Have You Changed Your Class?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

Many of us have been following the game since it was first announced on October 21, 2008. Some of us, even longer than that in our own speculative minds! During this extended gestation period, we’ve thought long and hard about what class we would like to play. Would we side with the Republic or the Empire? Do I want a ranged class or do I prefer melee combat? Does my species determine what classes are available to me?

Even though there were so many options, and so many “decisions” we could make without ever laying hands on the game, many of us were absolutely sure we know what class we wanted to play when we finally got the chance to log in and play. Whenever that was going to be!

For me, that notion was turned on it’s head. I have always played a melee character, but was sold on the Smuggler based on what we knew of him and his story. Plus, the only melee option was a Force-weilding class, which not only am I not crazy about, everyone and their brother would be playing Jedi and Sith. But once I rolled my Smuggler, got him to about level 15, I just wasn’t feeling it. It seems my heart was with melee after all, and even though everyone was doing it, I rolled a Jedi Knight. I haven’t looked back!

What about you guys? Is your main class now different than what you thought it would be? What made you decide to change it? Let us know!

Is your main class different than what you originally thought it would be?

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Jan 8, 2012

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New Player Progression Guides Help Keep You Rolling

Some of you may have noticed a special email show up in your inbox as you progressed past level 10 in Star Wars: The Old Republic. The new Progression Guides, as BioWare is calling them, have been sent out to players as they hit this first milestone.

Also, given the page title of “Level 10 – Jedi Knight” it leads me to believe we’ll see more of these along the way. Personally, I think it’s a pretty cool proactive thing to do. It gives you some guidance as to what to do next, where to go, and what to expect. And let’s face it, with games as big and complex as MMOs are, it’s not unreasonable for new players to feel overwhelmed.

However, it doesn’t seem as though all players are getting these. I did, for my Jedi Knight, but not for my Sith Warrior. Maybe it’s just for your first character to that particular milestone? Here are links to them all:

Let us know if you got one of these emails or not, or if you got one for any other level increments besides 10!

Jedi Knight Level 10 Progression Guide

Jedi Knight Level 10 Progression Guide

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Jan 5, 2012

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Blue Milk & Cereal: Should TOR Have Dual-Spec?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

Yes, I realize we’ve done this debate at least once before here in Blue Milk & Cereal, but now that the game is out and everyone is playing, the debate seems to be raging harder than ever. The current “hot thread” centered on this topic can be located here.

One side of the debate (which I happen to be on) thinks that class-based nature of an RPG should be held relatively sacred. The choices you make to form your character (in combat and otherwise) should carry with you to define who and what your character is.

Players on the other side of the kerfuffle argue that this is limiting, and they should be able to more freely change their spec to handle the situation they are in. The most common complaints seem to come from “tanks” or “healers” that feel their class isn’t as able or as competitive in those roles.

Now, it’s important to note that there already IS a way to re-spec your character. You simply need to visit a Skill Mentor NPC located in various locations around the galaxy who will reset your skill points for you. But that doesn’t seem to be good enough, as players who support the idea want more convenience and/or less cost involved in doing it. It’s also important to note that this debate is not about being able to switch your advanced class. That’s another thing entirely!

There are a million other points to both sides of these arguments, so we want to know where you stand. Now that you have had a chance to see for yourself exactly how classes, advanced classes, roles, the trinity and other group and combat mechanics truly work, did it change your opinion on the matter?

It’s a Yes or No poll, but would love to hear your discussion points below.

Should TOR have a dual-spec option?

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Jan 1, 2012

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Wild Space: Graphics, Flashpoints, And Companions

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!

Over on TORWars, they discussed a topic this week that is very near and dear to my heart: graphics! I’m a bit of a hardware junkie and manged to scrape enough cash together in order to rebuild my computer to prepare for the TOR release. As expected, my computer runs the game quite well with nary a drop in frame rates in sight. However, I have missed the ability to enable anti-aliasing, which smooths out the edges of the graphics in game.

Attempting to force the option on via the client_settings file can cause some instability in the game client, including causing it to crash. Obviously, since anti-aliasing is not supported by BioWare yet this behavior is to be expected. Also, to be fair, anti-aliasing is not really that high of a priority to get fixed, what with other problems that the development team is working on. But…it still bothers me and I would love for the option to be available. The TORWars article asks the question does the game need the anti-aliasing settings? I ask the same to you now, is this a necessary feature or is it a low-priority frivolity?

For those who have only played single-player BioWare games in the past, the concept of grouped flashpoints might seem a bit daunting. After all, you have to round up some other people, who you may not personally know, and then work together to overcome some challenging obstacle. Fortunately, SWTOR Face has some tips for how to make your flashpoint experience as enjoyable as possible. Some of the highlights are:

Try to be understanding of new players and be as helpful as possible.  These encounters are not the standard “dungeons” that most WoW players are used to and the roles required by each player can change during a Flashpoint. Sometimes a player will be needed to off-tank or interrupt special abilities; other times they might just need to do as much dps as possible.

Don’t be scared to ask questions on how to better play your character in an encounter. Some people will no doubt not expect this and may act rude or unaccommodating but the majority of people will see this as an opportunity to try and work together.

Remember flashpoints are supposed to be one of the more social aspects of the game, so treating your fellow players with respect and being willing to help will make everyone’s experience so much more enjoyable. Be sure to check out the full article over on SWTOR Face for all of their helpful tips.

As it has been mentioned before, the five companions that you get as your progress through the game all have different abilities and strengths. To help clarify what companions your character is going to get and what role that companion can fill (DPS, tank, or healer), Yufmelt has compiled a list of all the available companions for each class and their roles. For ease of use sake, they have compiled the list into a handy PDF that you can quickly refer to. Check it out!

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Dec 19, 2011

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Clandestine Maneuvers: Spy Game

(Thanks to special guest author Ehren for his contributions on the Imperial Agent impressions entry!)

By The Tailor of Coruscant


”Bond, James Bond.” – England’s greatest secret agent introduces himself in Dr. No

Over the past several weeks I have been fortunate enough to engage in a wide variety of Beta testing. One of the most enjoyable play experiences came as an Imperial Agent. There is a compelling story, engaging and challenging gameplay mechanics and an opportunity for a variety of play styles should make this class one of the most attractive options in the game.

Curiously, in much of the early polling, Imperial Agent is among the lowest ranked in terms of raw numbers. Spend a moderate amount of time lurking on the Imperial Agent however, and you will find though the numbers are small, the core player base is devoted. They should be. Those looking to play Imperial Agent in the live game can perhaps take solace in the famous words of Shakespeare’s Henry V, when he called out to, “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.” I have always had a fondness for the underrepresented classes in role playing games (RPGs), and perhaps that contributes to my affection for this class.

What follows is a (mostly) spoiler free account of early game play for one of the true gem classes in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I think this game in general, and this class in particular, are best experienced without spoiling the story too much. That said, there is still plenty of good information to pass along without revealing too much that would take some of the magic away from this excellent story.

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