PvP Series: Go Go Gree!

After our normally scheduled ops last night, I swapped out my 180/186-rating gear for my PvP gear and took my ship to Ilum to participate in the newly returned Gree event!

This is actually one of my favorite events because of the PvP aspect. I currently play on the Harbinger server, so my urge to run around ganking people with my double lightsaber is dampened by the fact that no one is flagged for PvP in the open world. With the Gree event, you can attack people on both factions including your own, which is very cool and fun!

I took three of my guildies with me to do the dailies that were there. I don’t remember the missions or the map that well, so I’m glad two of them did. Unfortunately they did not share my thirst for blood and were more interested in getting the missions completed quickly, especially the ones in the PvP area, because they wanted to be flagged and vulnerable for as little time as possible. This wasn’t that bad, since I had a headache anyway and wanted to hurry up and get off the computer.

However, we did run into a few PvP-flagged groups. The first 4-man group targeted me and then continued to melt down my group, which prompted them to change to a different planetary instance. We ran into another 4-man group that was seemingly non-aggressive. I said, “Since they’re not aggressive, we should attack them because they’re probably afraid of us.” Alas, they decided to attack us first while we hesitated, but thankfully we were much better than them. This was followed by me stealthing, spiking, and mauling lone wolves attempting to complete their missions despite my team’s reluctance in attacking helpless individuals.

I’m actually a very gentle and kind person with no violent tendencies in real life, so it’s difficult for me to believe any research done on video games saying that they encourage violence. I see absolutely no problem with killing other players in a game, because in a way, they are just another digital target with higher intelligence (hopefully) and better gear than the mobs you come across in PvE.  

At the end of the day, I can beat an operation boss and get great parse numbers and excellent gear. However, there’s no other rush like destroying a player controlled character out in the open! I guess this is what I miss out on for being on a carebear server.

Corellian Run Radio Episode 122: Cake, Manaan & SWTOR

Corellian Run Radio

Episode 122 of Corellian Run Radio has been released! Listen to me and Jason talk about the latest Galactic Living video, Manaan, and more!

Click here to listen to Episode 122: Cake, Manaan & SWTOR.

Achievement Hunting

Back in the day when I played my Super Nintendo, I had games like Donkey Kong and Yoshi’s Island that kept track of your completion percentage for the different levels. I spent a lot of time making sure I got every coin, flower, or whatever was needed to fully complete the level. However, with SWTOR, surprisingly I did not have the same philosophy.

This may have been because the game was launched without an achievement tracking system, so I didn’t see the value in making sure I did everything. I simply played the game and did what I felt like doing.

With the upcoming advent of Game Update 2.9 Galactic Strongholds, it is more important than ever to make sure I’m getting my in-game achievements as close to 100% as possible! I want to have cool decorations obtained from completing different parts of the game. However, I honestly don’t care if anyone sees how good my Stronghold looks. I suppose I’ll probably take some screenshots for you readers here on the blog, but I don’t think I would like to publicly list my Stronghold.

These past few weeks I did try to fulfill a few achievements I didn’t have, like 16-man Eternity Vault Story Mode (surprisingly) and 100% companion kills on my Inquisitor. Apparently I don’t like to use Andronikos Revel ever! I also attempted to complete Korriban and Hutta to 100%, but somewhere along the way I got a bit lazy and/or couldn’t find what I was supposed to be killing.

Currently I have 10,000 achievement points. I have no idea how good that is since I’m comparing this number to friends with over 20,000 points, which is likely more than the average player. I’m looking forward to going back to old content to increase my number!

How To Be Patient

I think I’m a very patient person. I can calmly drive behind a slow car. I can wait in lines without making a fuss. I can relax and not complain about a game delaying the release of a new expansion. I don’t like to be demanding.

However, there are definitely times when my patience is tested, like pugging flashpoints (which I mostly avoid anyway), having to listen to boss mechanic explanations for the umpteenth time, or interacting with a very novice or unskilled player. I try to be as patient as possible, because people were and are still patient with me.

One way to have patience is to consider possible outcomes of what happens if you are or are not patient, and choose the best result. If I help someone in-game, one day they may be a better player and someday help me, my guild and/or the community, and the game. I would never want to say anything mean or discourage someone from playing because I don’t want to help them. I suppose most of the time I don’t put myself in a position to help “noobs” in game; I turn off General Chat, and I only ever play with my guildies who are all very seasoned players. On the other hand, if I let myself become impatient and end up being rude to someone, who does that benefit? Certainly not myself and definitely not the person on the receiving end.

Another way to have patience is to be prepared for what you are getting yourself into. If you aren’t playing with people whose knowledge and abilities you trust and you choose to solo pug, be ready with an explanation for each boss ahead of time. Take the initiative and ask right at the beginning if anyone is unfamiliar with the fights. Also, expect that every time you do a flashpoint that somebody will not spacebar, so don’t freak out so much when it happens. (as a side note, if it’s your first time, let everybody know right away that you would like to watch the cut scenes and ask if they can help with the boss fights, most people become very friendly and helpful when you lead with this information.)

In PvP, if winning is not an option, don’t quit the match. Change your goal to getting as many medals as you can instead so that your loss isn’t completely fruitless. Additionally, if you try your best despite the loss, if your teammates see you topping the charts, you may get extra MVP votes as well, which is more valor and commendations for you.

Honestly, at the end of the day if you are not patient enough to pug alone and be a polite person, accept that about yourself! Always go in with a friend that can either explain mechanics or strategy to the noobs and/or can carry them through the operation/flashpoint/match/etc. You will be much happier and perhaps more successful in-game if you are not constantly getting mad at others for not being as good as you think you are.

Hitting The Climax

I mentioned the other day that I had a new raid schedule, and this also came along with being in a new raid team in my guild. Last night we beat the Dread Council in Dread Palace Hard Mode after working on it for a couple nights. I thought we did fantastically, because most of us did not know the fight and we downed it within about two hours of trying over a couple raid nights.

For those that do not do progression raiding or work on defeating operation bosses, let me tell you—it feels really good when you eventually beat the boss. However, when you’re working on something for so long, getting so close but succeeding, it gets really frustrating! On one of our pulls, the last one of the night on Sunday, we were SO close. I was seriously physically getting hot and breaking a sweat and feeling really nervous, and then we died on the last phase of the fight. It was very anticlimactic and disappointing.

Thankfully last night we finally beat the boss, and it was such a relief to finally have cleared hard mode content. We can legitimately work exclusively on Nightmare operations from now on, so I feel like a top-tier carebear!  However, I think we may still need to go into hard mode operations for gear optimization purposes, but that’s easy to do.

Distractions

This past week my attention has temporarily drawn me away from SWTOR! I still love the game, but recently my raid schedule has changed from Tuesday-Thursday to Sunday-Tuesday, and I’ve felt like I’ve had a lot more free time on weeknights. What have I been doing to stay occupied? Here are some of the delightful distractions that have been going on in my life:

Television

Season Five of Pretty Little Liars started up again last month, so I’ve been making sure I’ve been watching all of those episodes once they are released. I’ve also been catching up on season two of Orange Is The New Black! When I’m done with that, I’m going to try to catch up on my Game of Thrones again, and also start watching another Netflix original series, Hemlock Grove.

Games

I haven’t been playing any other games on my computer, but you guys need to try this mobile game called 2048. I go into complete Zen mode playing it to the point of sitting in a towel on my bathroom floor swiping numbers on my screen, and also temporarily ignoring my sister calling me from downstairs.

Gym

I’m doing physical activity! Since my raid schedule changed, it no longer conflicts with the Pilates class I like going to at the gym, so I’ve been doing that for the past week and a half. I can definitely feel it working the next day when I’m sore in odd places. I slimmed up some prior to going back to the gym, so I’d like to work on getting more toned.

Even with other things going on in my life, I did have a little fun on Friday night with my guildies in-game. I looked through my achievements to see what I haven’t accomplished, and for some reason I had never completed Eternity Vault 16-man Story Mode. We cleared that with 8 people including two players that actually needed the gear in the operation, so that was fun going back to an operation that hadn’t done in a while.

Distractions aren’t always bad, and they keep you from being overly focused on the game! It’s nice to step away once in a while from playing or thinking about the game, which I do a lot. This week will be back to business, and I’ll hopefully work through getting some achievements to prepare for Galactic Strongholds.

Going to PAX South!

san-antonio

Today I nailed some passes to PAX South in San Antonio for January 23-25th 2015. I’m very excited to have made it through the queue to get passes! This is also the first PAX South that will be held, so it should be very cool. I’ve been to San Antonio before, but probably not for 15 years or so, so it should be fun to go and do some tourist things when I’m not inside the convention center.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know that I also attended PAX East in April! There were a few experiences related to being a girl that I didn’t write about previously.

I attended PAX East alone on one of the days I was there, which wasn’t so bad. It was my first time going to a convention, and seeing all the people was really intimidating! I’m not sure how intentionally I did this, but I was dressed very conservatively. It was cold in Boston! However, I think, for a small female going anywhere alone it is a bit scary. To be in a place where I was obviously a “girl gamer” and dressing to attract too much attention seemed foolish. You can bring up all kinds of feminist points that I should have been able to dress exactly how I wanted to without having to worry about any unwanted attention, but I feel that it is too idealistic to expect that what has been going on in society for so long will change just for me.

Nevertheless, attention is unavoidable. I wasn’t wearing a paper bag over my head or a potato sack. I can’t imagine if I was a cosplayer, wearing what they wear, stopping to take pictures with everyone, not having anyone to control if there was a crowd around me…

Let’s start with the fellow attendee that went out of his way to help me find the room I was looking for and was so very interested in me being an MMO blogger. He then went on to watch the seminar with me, even though he had been planning on going to an entirely different one. I don’t think I’m being arrogant thinking he was flirting with me, but I could be wrong.

The second experience was actually kind of funny. I asked some random “nerd” to take a picture of me with something in the background. His response? A frightened look on his face before walking away.

And apparently men like girls in glasses. I had bought some cute glasses, and two steps after walking away from the vendor wearing them, someone was on me right away, asking who I was with, if I had any plans after, if I wanted to go to some hotel party, if he could have my phone number. Of course I’m not a rude person; I’m very polite which could also be confused with being interested. I somehow escaped this situation but not before marketing the blog to him.

I know these aren’t really serious instances in which I had to be worried about being in any kind of danger, but it really is a different world for a woman sometimes. Luckily these conventions are well populated, but what about outside of it? I have to worry about little things like if someone is following me, making sure my car keys are out well before I get to my car in case I have to run, never leaving my drink unattended, etc.

With that said, I don’t really have a huge issue going to these events alone—I just have to be prepared. I really enjoyed going to PAX East, and I’m sad I won’t be going back to Seattle this year for PAX Prime. However, seeing a different city every once in a while is great, and I can’t wait to visit San Antonio!

Episode #121 of Corellian Run Radio is Out!

Corellian Run Radio

Hi everyone! It’s rainy day here in Las Vegas. Just letting you readers know that Episode #121 of Corellian Run Radio, of which I am a co-host, is out and ready for download. Also, we do a guild spotlight on <The Drunk Tanks> from the Shadowlands.

E-mail me at heather@prettylittlesith.com if you are interested in doing an audio advertisement for your guild on the show!

 

Happy listening!

Foray Into Nightmare Ops

Yesterday I forayed into Nightmare (NiM) Dread Fortress with my ops group. I know, we’re a few months behind—that operation has been out for a while. But! It was exciting to go in and do it finally, especially after getting all of my gear to 180-rating.

We started after completing our first operation, Dread Palace Hard-Mode (HM). We had tried NiM Nefra before but had not beat her. We didn’t spend hours slaving away at it though. Last night, however, we got it on our second pull, which was great. Our DPS consisted of two Mercenaries, a Juggernaut, and a Deception Assassin (me!). I’m not sure what skill trees the others were using, but I was happy to see that my DPS was good enough to beat the boss.

In my guild, we set a time limit for raid nights, which I really like. I don’t want to be exhausted wiping over and over for hours on something. Because of the time limit, we really only had time for two shots on NiM Draxus (we did not get him down), which most of us had never seen before. I thought it was interesting that clicking those crystals through the maze damaged your health! There were a few differences from NiM and HM, which will take a few more pulls to get used to, but otherwise, I think we have a very good group to beat it tonight.

Have you cleared Nightmare Dread Fortress? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @Heather_PLS!

I Hate Kuat Drive Yards

Kuat Drive Yards

During this Double XP Week, lots of players have been power leveling via Kuat Drive Yards (KDY), a Tactical Flashpoint for characters level 15 and up. The nice thing about it is the bolster, so you can be in a group with people in varying levels. Also, there is a lot of experience to be gained in the flashpoint.

I hate it.

I’ve probably done it less than 10 times ever, and that’s a generous number. I hate the different rooms, I hate that it’s boring, I hate all the adds and mindless clicking of blue objects. I could not do it over and over again. I don’t know how people do it. Does anyone actually enjoy it?

It may be effective in your leveling process, but at what cost? I don’t like to “grind” when I’m playing a game. I play for fun. I’m no masochist; I’m not going to inflict pain on myself just for the sake of leveling.

On Twitter this week I saw that someone got chewed out for going into KDY for the first time and not spacebarring through the conversations. This person was berated by a person that was overly concerned with their rate of leveling. Why so serious? Why is it such a big deal to level so quickly? I wish people would just calm down and realize that they’re playing a game, and playing should be fun.

Maybe Double XP Week is wasted on me. I’m going to level how I want. I could care less how fast I’m going, because I’m still going to play in the way that’s fun to me. Maybe I’m not getting the best returns on experience, and maybe I’m not spending enough time in-game. However, I’m not going to force myself to level quickly. I’ll make it to level 55, or I won’t. It’s not a big deal.