Home Sweet Ship

Time for the grand tour of my ship.  First, let’s look at my closet. Yes, I have 2 bank tabs devoted to fashion.  Don’t judge.

Unlike the hideous mess that dominates every aspect of my life, in and out of game1, I organize clothes by slot.  It’s unnaturally anal-retentive.

However, I am quite sad that I can’t decorate my ship.  I have decorated as best I can.

He’s reddish and therefore counts as a holiday ornament.

If I drink too much eggnog, I may end up in the medbay. Oh noes! Anything but thaaaat.

  1. My desk looks like the Tasmanian Devil threw up

Customer Service “currently only offer[s] support for class story missions”

This weekend I was on the last component part for the HK quest.  The husband had taken the critter to Home Depot for Xmas lights, and I had uninterrupted game time.  The perfect time to do Maelstrom Prison.  Two kindly guildies who didn’t need it nonetheless offered to go with me.

We got to the end without incident.  I clicked on the box, I squeaaaaled with excitement, and then we bounced off to do the final phase of the HK quest.  My guildies were going to help me, so I high tailed it to Section X…

… only to realize that my quest tracker still claimed I needed the loyalty chip.  Wait, what?  I searched my inventory.  I searched my quest tab.  I searched both multiple times.  Maybe it’s in a BOX that you have to open?  Nope.  It’s not there.

Well, fuck.  This was one of those moments where I feel like crap because not only did I waste my limited uninterrupted gaming time, but I wasted the time of two other guildies!  I decided to put in a ticket.  After all, I wasn’t trying to get something I hadn’t earned.  I had legitimately finished Maelstrom Prison and clicked on the box!  Who the hell knows why the thingy didn’t end up in inventory?


I didn’t know if they would grant my ticket or not.  I figured there was a reasonable chance that they would say something snotty like “one should make sure that one actually has the item before leaving the instance.”  But I did not expect this:


I am Protocol Droid [redacted], Human-Cyborg Relations.

Thank you for contacting us regarding the issue you encountered with your mission.

We are sorry that you have encountered an issue with your mission, however please be advised that we currently only offer support for class story missions.

We would kindly ask you to try the steps outlined below to resolve your issue, if the mission is still in your mission log. Unfortunately if you have abandoned the mission, we cannot provide assistance.

If your mission is located within a story area or flashpoint, please try leaving the phase by either:

• Walking out of the Phased Zone via the Portal Entrance (Green Gate)
• Reset the Phase by right clicking on your portrait and selecting reset phase /reset local phase.
• Using your Quick Travel ability to a Bind Point.
• Using your Emergency Fleet Pass.

You can determine if your character is within a story area or flashpoint as there will be a small gold bar on your screen with a character name on it. If you are on your own, this will display your character’s name. By default this is located near the top center of your screen, if you have modified your UI you may have moved it. If the bar shows a character name which is not your own, please leave the instance and then reset it following the instructions above. Once you have reset the instance, re-enter, ensuring that you are the first person to enter (this will ensure that you are the “owner” of the instance, and your name will appear on the small gold bar).

Please be aware that you will not be able to successfully reset your mission when inside your personal ship or your hangar at a Spaceport, as these are considered story areas.

Once you have left the story area, please open up your Mission Log (you can do this by pressing the mission icon on your main menu bar or by pressing the Mission Log key, [L] by default) and then highlight the mission you need to reset and click on the reset button.

If this does not help fix your mission problem, or the mission is not located within a story phase or flashpoint, please try resetting the mission and then attempting it again.

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused.

Galactic Support is our specialty…


Protocol Droid [redacted]

Wait, what?  Ignoring the fact that none of the rote suggestions given had anything to do with, nor would they solve, my current problem, this stands out to me: please be advised that we currently only offer support for class story missions.

Uncool, Bioware, uncool.  This HK mission is the heavily advertised new content, and support will not be provided for it?  Really?

I immediately composed a very simple reply to the email, as I think that nobody wanted or cared to read a long dissertation on my thoughts about WHY a company should provide support for advertised content.

This response is disappointing and I would like you to reconsider.  It is unacceptable to fail to provide support for this quest line. The HK quest is new content which has been heavily advertised.  The majority of players at 50 either have done or will do this quest.

Please escalate this ticket to a supervisor.

Nothing so far on the ticket. This morning I got an email from swtor.com that was advertising – you guessed it – the HK-51 quest.  I’ll keep you guys posted.  Or I’ll get over being stubborn and just re-do Maelstrom.

Preview Window Made Awesome (Undignified Squealing!)

A little while ago I asked Santa Bioware for a few totally reasonable things, including a problem that was plaguing me for some time: color matching in the preview window (or rather lack thereof).  Well Santa Bioware obviously thinks I haven’t been THAT naughty this year, because this gem was in today’s patch notes (Thanks @jasporDH for telling me):

The preview window no longer ignores Unify Color settings.

I won’t have to make a COPY of every item (or BUY it) and then bind it to me to see how it matches – I can just preview it!  Undignified squealing commencing… now!

Jumping Puzzles: Partying Like It’s 1989

Back In My Day We Jumped Uphill Both Ways

The year is 1987 or thereabouts.  I get my first NES and start Mario Brothers.  Now, this game was frustrating and annoying.  You miss a jump, and you die.  Miss too many and you have to go all the way back to the start.  There is nothing worse than playing for hours, finally thinking you nailed it, screwing up, and being sent back to square one.

Getting the fire flower was total sploits! (Image from Wikipedia.)

What did we do about this back in the day, you ask?  Well first, we got frustrated, right?  And then, because we wanted to actually get to the damn end, we bought guides (with cheat codes) or the Game Genie or Game Shark that allowed us to cheat our way to the end, just to FINISH.

Up up left right B button (Image from Wikipedia)

But when you start reading about how to do it and cheating and whatnot, it immediately ends the sense of fun and wonder.  You have to memorize strats and you’re no longer discovering things for yourself.  You’re taking dictation and following instructions.

My HK-51 Questline

Fast forward to last week and I’m prancing through the Theoretika just as happy as can be.  Sure, I could be using a guide, but I’m having a lot of fun poking at doors, and then backtracking as the order I did things in was the least efficient possible.  Whatever.  Oh look, there’s a thing to click on!  Hey, there are 7 of these total.  I wonder if I missed one in one of the rooms I already went in?  I must find out.

I’m scooting around the ship and clicking on things to see what happens and all of a sudden, well I’m trapped.  This is supposed to happen.  I didn’t fuck up, but I’m trapped and have to get to the other side.  How?  You guessed it.  JUMPING.

Well fuck.  I suck at jumping.  Nonetheless, I bravely searched the room until I found the most likely way to get above the ick so I could cross.  After a few tries, I realized I had no earthly clue where to go from the top of the pipe where I was.  I fell off things and onto things, and kept doggedly trying a jump that I didn’t even know if it was technically possible to do, even for someone skilled.

I gave up.  I pulled up a guide.  When I saw the instructions, I realized that it would have taken me a very long time to figure out the circuitous path.

Hey guys, this is TOTALLY EASY! (Escher wuz here, yo)

There was alt tabbing.  There was, of course, falling, and with falling comes copious swearing.  I was halfway through and fell and I remember letting out one of those half-sob sighs, like OH NO I have to START OVER.

Why This Is Not Fun

Something that is supposed to be fun should not require instructions.  Instructions are for assembling furniture.  Instructions are not fun.  The instant something becomes frustrating enough to turn to instructions, it has lost a bit of the sense of discovery that attracted people to the game.

Poor IKEA man, that jump puzzle looks hard!

Something that is supposed to be fun should not require endless repetition of the beginning to get to the end.  This is why we have speeders at the start of raids, so when you’re halfway through and you wipe, you don’t have to run past all the stuff you killed.  It’s why in WoW you can extend your lockouts and don’t have to re-kill every starter boss every week in order to keep working on the last boss.  Having to repeat the first few jumps multiple times is just a blatant time sink for no good reason.

Something that is supposed to be fun should not gate a certain gaming population.  This is the whole reason behind story mode, that you let everyone see the content you created, regardless of whether they are any good at raiding.  I want to access the HK content.  At that point, there was a part of me that thought I might not actually get to have an HK.  Or I’d have to take extraordinary measures like enlisting some really good jumpers to do it FOR me while I waited on the other side.

Eventually, I kicked the sorry ass of the jumping puzzle.  It wasn’t an awesome sense of accomplishment.  I was relieved and annoyed – more annoyed when people started telling me the cheater ways that you could get across using cooldowns.  Well, why did they even think about trying alternate methods?  Oh right, because the jumping was so difficult and lame that they were looking for ways to avoid it.

An Open Letter

Dear Bioware,

No more jumping!

XOXO, me

Njessi’s New Outfit (Includes Space Pants)

I finally decided on an outfit that I love and will probably wear for a good while. It also doesn’t seem to be something I see on the fleet (at all) so I’m unique-ish.

For those who are keeping track at home:

Remember, folks, most of these pieces are republic-side stuff/appearance. You imps are on your own.

Dear Santa Bioware

To: Santa Bioware, North Pole Austin

From: Me

Dear Santa Bioware,

I’ve been really good this year and have not given anyone negative fifty dkp minus, even when they probably deserved it.  Here is a list of my totally reasonable demands … I mean requests.  I’m not saying that the Taun Faun gets the chop if my demands aren’t met, nooooo.

Server Transfers.  This needed to happen yesterday.1  What would be well-received by the community is if you gave free transfers based on the months subscribed, kind of like the planned free name changes for subscribers.  Let’s say 1 character server transfer for every 3 months of subscription? (Past and going forward.)  Then additional transfers via cartel coins.  People would love this so much.  People would say nice things about it.  Even the haters.

After-the-fact Character Recustomization.  I don’t care if I have to pay cartel coins for every stinkin hairdo change, or if I have to change it via an out-of game interface, like the char select screen.  I want it.  People will pay for it.  The more options that can be changed (not JUST hair) the better.  For example, people may want to species change their toons so that all members of the legacy “family” are the same species.  I know that I’d change my cyborg smuggler into a Zabrak to “match” my main now that I’ve settled on a theme.

Preview Match To Chest.  Things color match differently.  I crafted almost every medium armor pair of boots and gloves for both synthweaving and armormech to match with a certain shirt.  It was impossible to know which color would be picked up in the boots, or part of the boots, or whether they would not change at all.  Please, let us preview the color matching so we don’t have to try things on and bind them to us, only to discover they look horrid when matched.

Better UI Customization (Hots, Dots, and Debuffs).  I am sick to death of croaking because I could barely see the debuff on me. When we have 2 sages in the raid, they can’t tell whose dot is still on the boss and whose has dropped off.  Let me individually adjust buffs and debuffs so I’m not squinting at the screen going “what the flip is that picture?”2

Macros. Mouseover macros, and the kind where you can pop items/abilities that aren’t on the GCD before an ability.  Do you know what a pain in the butt flechette round is?  A big pain.

Better Companion Customization.  There are a few things wrong with companion customizations.

  • In a word: fugly.  Yes, fugly.  We need more options or more mix-and-match options (like at character creation.)  If I’m trying to get rid of Doc’s facial hair, I don’t need the majority of the companion options to also have even uglier facial hair.
  • It is a pain in the butt to find and buy customizations.  There’s a vendor here, a vendor there, and most importantly, the vendors are two planets after you get the companion.  This means you get more and more attached to their default look the longer they have it, and the less likely you are to be receptive to a change.  Or you stop what you’re doing, fly to a way high level planet, just to find a stupid vendor, and then get the hell out of there.  We all want individuality and credit sinks, right?  Just put all the customizations on one vendor, and put that vendor on the fleet already.

Inquisitor Scars Unlock.  You can unlock every option of every race now, via cartel market or legacy.  You can’t unlock the decorative sith inquisitor scar options.  Pretty please?

Just put all the things in the stocking, thanks.  No Taun Fauns were harmed in the making of this list… yet.

XOXO, me.

  1. Mostly because I don’t want to listen to the QQ anymore.  I don’t personally have a damn thing to transfer.
  2. See, I said flip.  Santa is proud I swore less.

I Am Thankful I Did Not Wear This

Over the long weekend, guys, I could not stop screenie-ing.  It was just one thing after another.  The fleet is a hive of scum and villainy indeed.

First, I want to point out that if you do a good job matching an outfit, you get congrats – But I hereby take away those congrats when you top off the look with a stupid hat.

Second, bikinis.  So many bikinis.  SARCASTIC THANKS, CARTEL MARKET.

I’d wear a mask to obscure my identity too if I were wearing that.

But see, look from the side.  There is too much boob.  Side boob.  Bottom boob.  Flat out excess of boob!

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[Screenshots] My Companions May Sue Me For Sexual Harassment

Because this is their new uniform.

Invisible chestpiece ftw.  Suck it, idiots who dress their companions in bikinis!

This brings me one step closer to my pre-launch goal of having pool boy and cabana boy in speedos working on fashion in my ship-sweatshop.  I expect speedos in the next Cartel market release.

I am a terrible person.

(I could have cheated and just taken off their tops for screenie purposes, but no, I am the proud owner of 2 invisible chestpieces.  Rusk, you’re next.)

Prevailing Through Space In the Name of Pants

Guys, these Pilot Pants (70 fleet comms) are LITERALLY the best pants I possess.  On any toon.  Ever.  Here’s why:

  1. They color match beautifully.
  2. The material looks shiny and modern and goes with the new sithie slick cartel items.  Many of my other favorite pants regrettably have the “jeans” texture that matches more with smuggly things.
  3. They don’t have weird embellishments on the crotch or butt!!!
  4. They don’t include the “bottom of a shirt” from a chestpiece that they’re supposed to go with.  Because then when you don’t wear that specific shirt it looks bizarre that you have little scarf bits hanging down.  (For example, the apprentice set or the aspiring knight set.  It’s a long list and in fact most medium armor knight pants have this problem.)

Unfortunately, the fact that these gorgeous pants are so “right” for everything means:

  1. I will need said pants on other (serious) alts.  That means, of course, upgrading their ships (boo for my money).  If I do “math”, it also will involve about 4 days of space. Fuck.
  2. I bet the 200 comm pants are just as awesome, maybe even awesomer (because they lack the side panels of a different color, making them truly neutral – provided they color match nicely), and there’s only one way to find out.  That one way would require 10 more days of space missions.  Fucknuggets.

While I sniffle into my hanky, go look at how awesome these pants are.

With the Dark Initiate Robe (purchased on cartel market, 150 cc):

With the Saberist Body Armor (purchased on Cartel Market, 150 cc):

With the Spymaster Chestguard (random pack cartel item, purchased on GTN):

Compared with the spymaster pants (random pack cartel item, purchased on GTN) that have a weird codpiece, yech….

Incidentally the Spymaster chestguard also looked kickass with the sentinel elite leggings (crafted, synth)…

…and the corsec pants (Social 6):

I’m going to have a tough time deciding.  So many things that look good with the spymaster chest. Terrible problem to have!  (Help me – which one do you like best?)

In Space Nobody Can Hear You Swear

I’m just going to say this up front: I have no coordination and no ability to navigate.  I also get extremely motion sick whether something is actually moving or not (Imax, YUCK!).  It’s a fucking miracle that I drive my car to work every day and don’t crash or puke.

That said, I have never done space in this game.  Never!  But my gray shirt needs pants, and I think the space-pants might be the key.  Good thing I think the 70 comm pants will work.  I did not want to have to grind to the 200 comm pants.

So, I took the lowest level space mission and hopped in my unmodified ship and was ready to go.

The first time, I failed spectacularly.

Protip #1 Space is a lot easier when you have the space UI turned on.  I did not, as I had disabled and moved the space bits to the side while I was designing the rest of my awesome UI.  Derp on me.

The second time, UI turned back on, I also failed. Swearing ensued. I think even the cat was shocked at the level of profanity.

Now, as everyone knows, skill is more important than gear, but gear can compensate for a bit of lack of skill.  So I hopped back onto the fleet and grabbed some level 5 upgrades.  Hell, I’m throwing credits at everything else lately.

Back in the ship I was totally going to KICK ASS… oh… nope, failed 2 more times.  Seriously fucking pathetic.

The fifth time around I kicked the space mission’s ass.  Or escorted some idiot somewhere.  Whatever.  4 comms.  The pants I want: 70 comms.  Sigh.

Protip #2: you can upgrade your ship but you can’t upgrade the ship that you’re escorting.  Boo. This makes escort missions annoying no matter how good your ship is.

I decided to try a different mission the second time, one that didn’t involve escorting some idiot somewhere.  I successfully killed all the things with about a minute to spare.  I WAS PUMPED!  Then I saw the reward and it was 1 lousy comm.  Additional swearing ensued.

I’m also not very good at dodging asteroids since I’m not fully in control of the direction my ship goes.  I have no clue whether to go right or left side, since at any second I could be turned without my knowledge or consent and get squished into the edge of the screen with a giant rock.  I call shenanigans on having to avoid things when you’re not even driving!

I’m going to have to get a lot better at this for me to get the pants. The things we do for fashion.

(As of this morning, I’m at 54 out of 70 comms, which is reassuring.  If the pants turn out to colormatch poorly with the prospective shirt(s), I might Go Turbo.  Yes, I have seen Wreck It Ralph 3 times already.)