I wrote a guest post over at the husband’s guild’s blog on Basic Healing Theory. This is intended for people who have never healed in an MMO before and are feeling a little intimidated by it.
If you want to bumble around and figure things out for yourself, best you stop reading now. Otherwise, carry on.
Companion gifts have 3 major aspects:
- Type of gift (i.e. Military, Republic Memorabilia, etc)
- Rank of gift (Ranks 1-5 I think)
- Quality of gift (green, blue, purple)
We’re going to go through these in order…
Type of Gift
Your companion likes certain types of gifts, and it’s definitely a hierarchy.1 If you want to be efficient, you will look it up on one of those fan sites. The hierarchy goes:
- Favorite 2
Usually each companion has 1-2 “love” gifts.3 These are the ones you want to focus on. This is because the drops from tier to tier are, generally speaking, by half.
Example: Presuming Rank 1 Gifts on a low-affection companion (more on this later) I found out that it would be +96 affection for a “love” gift, +48 affection for a “favorite” gift, and +24 affection for a “like” gift. Give or take. An “indifferent” gift will get you 0. Waste of money.
Conclusion: For the most bang for your buck on gift type,
- give the “love” gifts
- give the “favorite” gifts if you happen to come across them (do not buy them). Or sell them if you prefer.
- sell the rest (or give them to your alts)
Rank of Gift
Gift rank is appropriate based on the current affection of that companion, not your level. In general, you should give Rank 1 gifts until they start dropping in affection rating (i.e. something that used to give you +96 now gives you +54) at which point you move on to the next rank.
As with the above, the effectiveness of a gift rank drops by about half. If your companion “needs” a rank 3 gift, the rank 3 gift might give +96, a rank 2 gift of the same type would be +48, and a rank 1 gift +24.
If you give too high a rank of gift, it’s overkill and you will waste points. For example: If I give a “love” gift, Rank 1, to a companion with 1000 affection, I get +96 affection. If I give that same companion a Rank 2 “love” gift, I will get +106. Since the prices of the gifts go up non-linearly, this is a huge waste.
Again, pay attention to affection gains and once you start experiencing diminishing returns, bump up the rank of gift. If I had to guess, I’d say you have to move up a rank every 2000 or 2500 affection points.4
Quality of Gift
If you give a blue or purple gift, you will get way more brownie points than a green gift. However, the above rules still apply. If your companion feels lukewarm (“like”) toward a certain gift type, a better quality gift won’t change that. It is definitely not worth the expense. Also, as much as you might like to surprise your companion with a huge Rank 3 gift, wait until your affection is around 5000 to present it (give or take).
How many more brownie points are we talking about here? I would say that, compared to a green gift of the same type and rank, you get double for a blue and quadruple for a purple.5 Again, this is based on trial and error so I could be way off.
- To make things even more infuriating, some gifts are appreciated if they come from a female, and not so much if they come from a male – or vice versa. This is mostly for courting and luxury gifts. ↩
- Some sites have “Love” and “Favorite” swapped. I’m not sure which is correct and this is quite confusing. ↩
- Where to find companion gift lists: Swtor Things, Swtor Spy ↩
- According to SWTOR Things, the thresholds are at 2000. I haven’t been paying as close attention, so I defer to them. ↩
- I got around 390 affection from giving Corso one purple weapon of the appropriate rank. ↩
OK, I saw an inappropriate name in general chat the other day and I took it upon myself to report it. I got back this response via email:
I am Protocol Droid [REDACTED] of Human-Cyborg Relations…
I have received your transmission regarding the player name “Cuhnt”. I just want to know what particularly is your issue with the name for us to verify if this is really something we should investigate.
Looking forward for your immediate response.
Please do not hesitate to contact us again if there is anything further we can help you with.
Galactic Support is our specialty…
Protocol Droid [REDACTED] Star Wars: The Old Republic Customer Service
Really? I have to explain this one? Can’t Captain Obvious fly down from the sky and bean someone on the head?
So I wrote back to explain exactly how this one is trying to get around the name filter.
This is what I SHOULD have written though.
Greeting Protocol Droid,
Nothing is wrong. Carry on.
Pehnis and my alts Twaht, Cohck, and Anahlprobe.
OK, this is awesome. So I’m on my storyline quest (don’t worry, no spoilers, I’ll be vague) and I had the choice to (1) try to reason with this lady (light side), (2) punch her in the face and take the thing I wanted (dark side), or (3) kill her (presumably even MORE dark side.) I wanted to kill her because she was pissing me off but, remembering Corso’s boy scoutishness, I punched her in the face instead (for which I got the -1 of SHAME).
Later on in that same quest line, I see her again playing a pretty central role. Wow. That’s pretty cool, because presumably if I had killed her, there would have been a completely different sort of encounter needed to progress on the storyline. I have no idea what it would have been, but I’m INTENSELY curious. Maybe I’ll ask the husband to kill her with his smuggler when he gets there so I can see what happens.
Have you gotten a toon into game and discovered that the voice coming out of your character’s mouth was just ALL WRONG? Well, I did!
See, I was unaware that the female trooper was so badass. Like amazingly badass. Like kill you in the FACE badass. And well, my trooper, despite her giant tattoo was just not badass enough. The voice coming out was all wrong.
So now she’s a zabrak who means SRS BZNS.
OK, rerolling a lvl 11 toon was a bit painful (I had to delete the first one to reclaim the name), but better now than later. Plus I am skipping some dialogue that I have done before and remember well. What can I say? It is easier the second time.
The new and improved trooper is casually at level 7, courtesy of the Master Jedi (Gramma) taking the Little Jedi to the park.
So, I’m not a roleplayer, and it’s really hard for me to develop “consistency” within a specific character because I often act the way the mood strikes me. My characters definitely do not have much of their own personalities. Having said that, here’s how I’ve been playing. In no particular order.
The Asshole Rule
“Thou Shalt Not Suffer An Asshole To Live.”
If you try to kill me, if you kill or try to kill my friends, or maybe just kidnap them, or betray me or mah friends, I will exterminate you IN THE FACE. I could get a gazillion dark points and the -100 of SHAME and I’d still do it.
If I go really far to the dark side, that just means there are way too many assholes in the galaxy. Well, fewer now that I’m done with them.
Jedi Code, Schmedi Code
Man, it is really easy to rack up the dark side points by doing normal things that normal people do but that violate the Jedi Code. Look, we’re all adults here. If two padawan want to make out in the bushes, that’s their business.
Leave Those Kids Alone
I just do NOT have the stomach to go full dark side if it means beating up orphans and stuff. Sure it’s just pixels, but no. The killing innocent people thing I just CANNOT do, which is why I will never have a really really dark character.
Torture is Gross
Ok, maybe it’s been in the news too much, but I can’t stomach torture. Well, unless the person is an asshole, in which case the Asshole Rule applies and we’re stuck in an infinite loop.
Being Smart Is Important
Now, why would I take on 5 dudes by myself if I can force persuade 4 of them to leave? I wouldn’t. Sure, they may deserve it (see asshole rule, above) but the thing I really hate is getting my ass handed to me following a conversation. It’s just embarrassing. In this case I have to weigh the smart path against the asshole rule and see which one wins.
OK, I have a soft spot for Corso. He’s staring at me with those puppy farm-boy eyes and if I make him unhappy, it’s so sad. It doesn’t matter that I can buy back his affection with presents, it’s just too hard to disappoint that boy. So sometimes I’ll do the right thing just to not get the -1 of Shame. This means that we occasionally let assholes live because Corso doesn’t like beating up girls. Sigh. At least he’s a fan of killing imperials.
I’m having far more luck being a jerk on my jedi knight because the robot is too damn cute but not as… disapproving? I’m ok with disappointing him every now and then. I’ll, uh, wipe his memory later.
Right now, I hate Risha and she’s not even my companion yet. I will do everything in my power to piss her off. In my dreams there is a dialogue option that says “Goodbye, Risha [Toss Out Airlock]”
This is one of the things that is character-specific. Obviously, smugglers are out for the money. I always ask about the money. This earns me the -1 of SHAME often enough. But then one of the things that Corso says when I click on him is something like “Do you have a plan to make us even richer?” Um, stupid Corso, where do you think money comes from?
As a smuggler, I will also take bribes. Well, never if it’s a bribe for something like torture, killing kids, etc. But if it is taking a bribe versus killing an asshole in the FACE, it’s a difficult decision.
The Greater Good
This is a tough one, and again it varies by character. Should corruption be exposed at all costs? Should I let an asshole live for the greater good? These are the ones I struggle with. Don’t we all?
How do you make morality choices in the game?
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.
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.
OK, since the servers were down and all that junk, time to go through the screenshots folder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.