Tracking Buff Procs

Yes, I am whining again about the UI.  But seriously!

OK, I have this… thing called “upper hand.”  Without getting too technical for you non-smugglers out there, certain abilities trigger “upper hand” and certain abilities consume it.  I can have 2 stacks of upper hand at a time and consume each stack separately.  With me so far?

Now, I’m not perfect.  I can’t always remember whether I have one stack or two.  And sometimes the only reason I know I have any stacks at all is that the icons for abilities that consume upper hand are not grayed out.  Pretty ghetto, right?  The only other option is to look at the teeny weeny icons on your character frame.  Blech.

So, Dear Bioware, this is what I want for Xmas: A reasonably visible Upper Hand tracker that shows me (1) HOW MANY STACKS I have; and (2) HOW LONG I have before the damn thing drops off.  Kthx.

Why Corso Reminds Me Of Pug Tanks

Corso, oh Corso, when will you ever learn?

1. He Breaks CC

What the hell, Corso?  Sure, he doesn’t single-target the mob that is crowd controlled… he throws a grenade at the one right next to it.  /facepalm

Naughty Corso!  I will confiscate your grenades! (or right click on the ability to turn it off…)

2. He Whines About His Health

This is every healer’s pet peeve.  Your tank (or dps or whatever) starts reminding you about his health bar.  Yes, I am a healer, I am already staring right at your health bar, I’m aware of the issue, SHUT UP.

Corso gets a scratch (ok, he’s probablyat 25% health) and starts melodramatically shouting that he’s going to diiiieeeee.  Shut up, Corso!  I see it.  I’m spamming heals.  They’re not particularly effective yet.

Meet the Girls

OK, since the servers were down and all that junk, time to go through the screenshots folder.

Njessi, Cyborg Smuggler

So far, this is my main. She’s level 13 and a Scoundrel (Sawbones).  Unfortunately, that means 2 pitiful heals.  The first 10 levels were really hard because I really really suck at cover.  Sincerely suck.  But now that I have Corso the Boytoy1 to block for me, and I have a few up-close-and-personal moves from the Scoundrel tree, I am not constantly occupied by looking around for a convenient rock behind which to roll.  And if I don’t find a convenient rock, whatever, I still have decent non-cover abilities.  I don’t need to crouch down when there’s no cover available just so I can access abilities.

In beta, I had a badasser scar (losing an eye is srs bzns), but for some reason in live, the scar looked… angrier?  It didn’t work out and I downsized the scar.

Njess'i, Human Trooper

I think this one is lvl 11.  Commando, of course, and probably speccing in combat medic.  To be honest, this feels VERY different than Bounty Hunter that I played in beta.  Maybe it’s just the storyline.  I kinda suck at following orders.  It is, however, nice to be able to just stand there and shooting the shit out of things without having to crouch or cower.  If you like blowing shit up, this is for you.

I gotta say, I must have rerolled this toon 3 or 4 times before she looked “right”.  By that point, I knew that I had picked probably the MOST popular tattoo and didn’t care.  Do you know how hard it is to get eyebrows that work with that tattoo?  Did you know that if you put her hair in a bun, several of the tattoo options extend behind the hairline and look dumb?  Don’t even get me started.

N'jessi, Twi'lek Consular

This one was intended to be the proxy for my old toon n’Jessi, from SWG.  The SWG one was a tailor, so my goal was to make a yellow twi’lek that was a tailor (synthweaver, whatever).  And they sort of look alike.  As close as I could get.

n'Jessi, Twi'lek Tailor/Image Designer

With a few differences:

  • you can’t capitalize all weird.  It accepted the name as “n’Jessi” but fixed it to N’jessi when I zoned in-game.
  • the colors are obviously not the same.
  • lekku can’t go forward, they only go back
  • and, the face just did not look RIGHT unless I used body type 4.  It just looked too angular and weird.  The original n’Jessi was supposed to be a dancer so was smaller and more muscular.  But whatever2

Of course, as luck would have it, this is my least favorite toon so far.  I’m having a hell of a time doing this weird hybrid rock throwing thing.  I’m going to stick it out until 10 to see what happens.

Njes'si, Zabrak Knight

I was shocked and maybe appalled by how much fun I had with this one.  I was really not considering a knight at all because, duh, they don’t heal.  But the melee is just so easy and smooth but I don’t have to hide or crouch, and being able to close gaps quickly was a major improvement on the consular.  I find myself much better able to deal with targeting and disposing of multiple enemies who are sniping at me from range than I do with a ranged class (weird but true).  The badassery of a teeny weeny Zabrak who, in the future, will be holding two glowy swords is downright intoxicating.

About the Names

I struggled with whether to uniquely name my toons or go with a naming convention, but ultimately went with the naming convention to be identifiable when I’m on my alts (less for the guild to remember). Although I had a distinctly different naming convention in the WoW-sphere, it seemed right to go back to my SWG name (rather than stick to my WoW name) for a new Star Wars Game.  I was giving some helpful instructions in general chat when I suddenly got a tell from someone… someone whom I knew in SWG.  He saw the name and thought to ask.  So in my mind, it was totally worthwhile to be “findable” for people I knew back in the day.

  1. regrettably not “Pool boy
  2. I do like body type 4, I think it’s great that they put it in the game and have totally used it for other toons.  If you tell me that body type 4 is “fat”, I will kick you.

Companions and the -1 of Shame

My companions are really cramping my style.  Each of them has their own little likes and dislikes and if I feel feisty and snark off in front of a non-snarky companion I get the -1 of Shame.

You know what I mean.  The little companion portrait pops up and there’s a -1.  It’s like a virtual eyeroll.  Like “I am not annoyed at you enough to talk about it now, but we are definitely discussing your attitude once we get back to the car, young lady.”

Well, I want my companions to like me.  Not necessarily for humping purposes, but because supposedly if they like me, they give me access to stuff.  Quests? Faster crafting?  Oh hell, I’m vague on the details, but I know I want them to like me.

But sometimes I’m baffled by what to say to get them to like me.  I read the codex.  I research on the internet.  But I’m still flailing.  I can go through a whole conversation behaving as I think the companion likes… sure I don’t get a -1 of Shame but sometimes I don’t get a single +15 of Luv.  So I end up playing a whole scene in a way I totally wouldn’t in a way to get brownie points… and no brownie points.

Now I understand what it’s like to be a guy and want to say the right thing or a girl won’t drop her pants.

That was a quote by ME last night.  Ugh. Seriously.

I went out and bought my companion a present he loves.  I got 96 affection for it.  There, now I can get the -1 of Shame 96 times and not worry about it.  Much better.

Complexion? How the Eff Does That Work?

OK, so you get to the character creation screen and there are like… 40 settings for complexion.  2 have freckles, a few have veins, weird tans, wrinkles, or spots.  And then there are a good number that look like “clear skin normal”.  What the hell is the difference?

Eyebrows.  Folks, complexion determines eyebrow size and shape.  So if you’re having trouble telling the difference, focus on the eyebrows.

Also, if you plan to be bald, complexion controls the head stubble (which shows up as a shading, not real textured stubble).  Like a tiny mohawk shadow on some.

Speaking of eyebrows, why the eff do twi’lek even HAVE eyebrows?  Do they have hair?

I Am Underwhelmed By Support Of Community Building

Normally, I don’t do a “U SUCK (insert game development company here)” because it doesn’t do any good.  But things have been so thoroughly bungled in this launch that I have to say something or I’ll explode.

No, it’s not anything to do with the servers or gameplay.  It’s to do with community building.

1. Guild Allies and Adversaries.  For months, guilds were told to pick their allies and adversaries and that Bioware would “try” for them to be on the same server.  From the reports of several guilds I know, this was not even close to the case.  The assignments were no better than random. Because the assignment were given hours before pre-launch, this caused guilds to be scrambling at the last moment to make arrangements that they could have made months ago, had they known that the allies and adversaries system was not going to work at all. Which leads me to…

2. Forums were Down.  Ok, forums need to be down for maintenance, I get that.  But having the entire community site down, private messaging included, when you needed to coordinate with other guilds after the allies thing got borked was awful.  You couldn’t even SEE the guild members of any guild, let alone try to speak with them.1

3. There are no server forums.  That’s right.  The forums are back up with no forums for servers.  How are we supposed to reach out to our community from THAT?2

In SWG, each server had a community and a culture.  People who played for even a year still remember people on their server who were not in their guild.  In WoW, we barely had that from the beginning, and it was eroded by the dungeon finder and server transfers.  Each guild was essentially an island.

A week ago, I really thought that Bioware was trying to build server communities and was super-excited.  Now, I feel like we’re slipping into “each guild is an island.”  And I don’t like it.

  1. Honestly, the forums/site seem to be down pretty much every time there is a completely predictable spike in traffic.
  2. Well I didn’t see any.  Maybe I am a moron and can’t find things.  Or maybe they don’t exist.

[Spoiler] About The Female Trooper Romance Option

SPOILER WARNING: This post contains the identity of a romanceable male companion for the female republic trooper and the identities/characteristics of other romanceable companions in the game.  It does not reveal storyline of those romances, as I have no idea what they are.  Enter at your own risk.


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About The New SWTOR Mouse

I know you might be jumping about with glee, but remember… the SWTOR mouse is not the only one on the market with the 12-button grid on the side.  Both the Naga and the Naga Epic do too.  And I know from beta that the Naga works fine, and there’s no reason to think the Naga Epic would be any different.

So, as much as you like the imperial logo, I’d advise looking at pictures of all 3 of these, and deciding which looks most comfortable for you.  After all, you won’t see the logo with your hand over it.  At first glance, it appears that the SWTOR mouse has grid buttons that are more raised and defined, while the Nagas have a flatter grid area.  This is ultimately personal preference.  Also, do you like a corded mouse or a cordless?  Naga is corded while the Naga Epic and SWTOR Mouse are both cordless.

You can always use a sticker for your logo of choice.  Pick which mouse will work for you.

Healing Without Addons? /freakout

OK, I am totally freaked out about healing without addons.  But we can’t always have everything we ever wanted… so I’ve come up with the bare minimum to make myself comfortable.

As a side note… my Naga works beautifully.  It is making me considerably less stressed.

1. Move all the things

This is kind of self-explanatory.  If I can’t change the frames, I can live with that, but I need to move them to an appropriate location.

2. Additional Action Bars

OK, right now I’m seeing 4 bars that’s IT.  I need a place to put all my stuff.  These limited bars just do not cut it.  Especially in their, ahem, current positions.

3. Mouseover

Oh FFS, there are a bunch of asses on the forums saying “you guys are lazy, what’s the big deal, it’s two clicks instead of one.”  OK, tell ya what… you should have to click on the boss before every attack.  No?  Doesn’t sound awesome?  Guys, it’s only two clicks for every action, what’s the big deal?

And that’s my list.  Am I missing anything essential.  I mean seriously cannot-live-without?