Armagon Live

Eighth time’s the charm

Posted in SW:TOR by Nogamara on September 8, 2018

This has been a while in the making, but last night I finished one of my “big” goals:

Level 70 Sith Inquisitor Achievement

Level 70 Sith Inquisitor

Not that impressive, but this one is, at least to me:

Galactic Commander Achievement

Galactic Commander – Reached Level 70 with a character from each class

I’m still not at Command Level 300 though, but I hit 269. So I’ll do another 2h xp-boosted session with weeklies soon – next Tuesday hopefully. I still need to finish this week’s Gree Conquest, so maybe it’s only 30 missing until then.

I also finally spent a good chunk of those Command Tokens. Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Scoundrel, Commando, and Jedi Knight are all at Item Rating 230 now and if they gain Command Levels at least until 90 I can grab Unassembled Parts without a guilty conscience of not gearing them enough. Of course I didn’t have enough tokens for all of those, but there were only 1-3 items missing on some, only Knight and Inquisitor got a full set. Now only the unloved Operative still sits at 203.

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WildStar is shutting down

Posted in WildStar by Nogamara on September 7, 2018

You probably read the news, WildStar is shutting down in the near future and the developer, Carbine Studios is in the process of being shut down.

I haven’t played for a while (my last meaningful session was probably 18 months ago) and before that I had been covering it for 3 years with 18 blog posts – which is kind of a lot for me. It was one of the few games where I was absolutely excited before launch – I even played on the stress test weekends, i.e. download client, try to get in, all for 2-3h of getting to play the new game, usually I can’t be bothered. I also preordered and took part in the head start weekend. I never raided and only did a few 5mans. I was part of a guild, but I don’t even remember the name, which is also *very* rare for me. I joined up not directly after hitting max level IIRC and didn’t stay very long either.

WildStar did a lot of things very good – the music, the setting, the quest pacing, the classes. Every time i played I was having fun.

The problem is that they kinda marketed themselves as a home for the people who found WoW’s raids not hardcore enough. This means some of the dungeon runs were already brutal and even the attunement quest chain to be able to start raiding was kinda nuts. Sure, you can say I should’ve just lived up to “git gud” – but I was doing Heroic raids in WoW just earlier and having fun. So yeah, if being in the top 20% (wild guess) of the WoW skill cap in regard to raiding skills is not enough that I can be bothered to do that in a new game, maybe – just maybe – it’s not my fault. I know a lot of people who liked WildStar and even if they had raided in WoW (even before LFR) that seemed a lot more accessible. Maybe also easier, but definitely more “hey, we’ll take our social non-raiders for a spin once in a while” – definitely didn’t happen in WildStar.

To put this in the correct time, Siege of Orgrimmar, the last WoW raid in the Mists of Pandaria expansion went live on September 10th, 2013. WildStar launched at the start of June 2014 and the next WoW raid to be released would be Highmaul in the Warlords of Draenor expansion on December 2nd, 2014 – so it hit in the last months of a WoW expansion when many people had already stopped being excited.

But I’m not really complaining – the game was hard and my personal problem was more that I don’t like small group content. I like soloing, duoing, and raids. I never liked 5mans in WoW, SWTOR, and also not in WildStar. So even when I tried a few dungeons with people of my new (back then) guild there were some (few) shouting at you if you did something wrong (didn’t matter that you were in the dungeon for the first time) and the non-guilded players were even worse. I’m pretty sure I never made that Silver (or even Bronze) Malgrave Trail. I don’t remember if I even tried a second time, so bad was that experience.

Anyway. I surely didn’t do so much to help WildStar survive, although I was subscribed for quite a few months – I had a lot of fun when I played, but it just didn’t keep me as WoW did for so many years. Maybe also because hardly anyone I knew played. I’m sad that it will shut down but I also didn’t plan to come back, and since it had gone F2P I think I didn’t invest any money – but I also only played a few hours or days since then, the majority of my time was spent in 2014-15. Good luck to the people at Carbine getting a new job soon.

By chance I had logged in just a few days ago and made some screenshots of my characters. I’m also pretty sure I made a video showing off my awesome housing plots, maybe last year – but I can’t find it right now. Maybe I will try to redo that video and then post it.

Once upon a time at launch, part 3

Posted in SW:TOR by Nogamara on September 6, 2018

Concluding what I started to days ago (Part 1, Part 2) these are the last entries in my SWTOR diary-like blog back when it launched.

Jan 15 2012 10:54 am – Endgame

So I reached Level 50 yesterday, basically just before the end of my class quest (and it was quite hard, so glad I had that tiny extra of whatever I got) just shy of 7d /played (that’s with a little bit of afk time for lunch and one or two hour-long crafting sessions – but I’m missing 20 points in Archaeology and 50 points in Underworld Trading, I think 7d is a good figure for max level plus professions).

I’m wrapping up Corellia as I write this (at least I think there’s only a handful of quest before the Bonus Series) and so the leveling game is basically done.

I didn’t play any alt (apart from 20 mins on a Smuggler) and I was very happy with my Jedi Consular, then Sage in the cookie cutter PvE Healing spec. At times a group of mobs died a bit slow, but I really didn’t feel at a disadvantage by not using a DPS spec.

I’ve used Qyzen Fess, my tank companion, exclusively apart from the few missions where one of the others was mandatory. Maybe I could’ve pimped Nadia’s gear to a point where this would have been faster, but with Qyzen it just worked.

The only real weaknesses were:

  • multiple Sith mobs with Force abilities, they chewes through his health too quickly
  • multiple Strong mobs standing close to each other so CC couldn’t be used
  • every time a “hard” fight (class quest, mission) started from a dialogue, I died very quickly because I couldn’t CC. Qyzen’s AoE just woke them up eventually. After dying and disabling those 2 abilities, I usually finished the fight without any problems and very quickly

So, I really have to get to my ship now as several companions want to talk again and then I’ll probably dive into Level 50 Flashpoints and hopefully hard modes. Quest-wise there’s still the Corellia Bonus Series if it exists and Hoth. I think I left out Nar Shaddaa and Alderaan as well and finished all the others. Oh, and many Datacrons to fetch and maybe there’s even some Raiding for me…

That first part sounds interesting, problems doing a solo quest? As a healer with the support of a Tank companion? Just googled a bit and apparently several people had some problems, but the Jedi Knight boss was even harder they wrote. Here’s also one thing I retroactively hate – before they changed the companions so that all of them can take any role… with my Healer spec I had some reasons to use a Tank, so there was Qyzen and Iresso. I preferred Qyzen and there was no reason to mix and match – so when we got the achievements I had like 10 days played and 1 companion with 1000 kills, and then 4 with < 100 kills, yay. Also they were all on influence level 10, whereas now you can easily have one or more at 15-20 when you hit Level 70 – but my old main has less than 5 companions with influence rank 10, and none with a higher one. Great. All others have at least one at 20, just from leveling.

Jan 22 2012 9:42 pm – Raiding

Woot, my guild took me on a healing trip to Eternity Vault today and after a few wipes we managed to clear it. So now I have Legs and a Main Hand Weapon and 1 Alloy to craft a 3rd epic. Very nice.

The handling feels a little clunky compared to WoW and especially the last boss is still quite bug-ridden, but all in all it was much fun.

That last boss in EV is Soa and as I hear the encounter still has some bugs. Probably the falling platforms, but I guess there was more. I think I haven’t set foot into a raid (ok ok, Operation) since either that 22nd of January or a week later. I just remember that shortly after that post so many people in that guild stopped playing that the guild basically imploded. I did level my Bounty Hunter already back then, but iirc I was only Level 27 or even a bit less. I remember logging out on Tatooine and then not touching the game for a few years. I’m pretty sure I came back when Makeb came out, leveled to 55 and again went on hiatus until autumn of 2017 when I started with a fresh character (my Juggernaut) and leveled all the way to 70, but only completed the original content – then hiatus again until a few months ago and since then I’ve been very active.

So, that’s it. I don’t usually repurpose content, but in this case I think it was the correct choice to embed this and reflect on the past. I wish I had written a few more entries back then, but I even derailed the whole blog in the first place, as it was originally intended as the dev log for my up and coming fansite that never left closed alpha stage.

Once upon a time at launch, part 2

Posted in SW:TOR by Nogamara on September 5, 2018

Continuing from yesterday, the next few posts of my SWTOR impressions at launch in late 2011.

Dec 30 2011 9:35 pm – Next stop: Level 30

I just started the bonus missions on Tatooine and I’m nearing Level 30. I’ve put some more time into Crew Skills and got to 200 Synthweaving already and can finally craft my own gear again.

Yay:

  • Queues have vanished it seems
  • It’s really fun
  • TOR feels like WoW in regard to character handling and characters aren’t sliding through the world or moving in wooden postures. I felt at home immediately unlike LotRO and RoM, which both feel a little clunky to me

Nay:

  • My hardware really seems a bit on the low end, I get single-digit fps or stutters a bit too frequently for my liking
  • Every time I select my realm (only one I have characters on), I get asked if I really, really want to play on a PvP server…
  • As the chat is on the upper side of the screen, I usually click on the chat every few hours and can’t target mobs until I notice
  • You can’t preview ranged weapons

So yes, when the stuff people are bickering about only minor details (see above), it seems the game is well-done.

Yeah, the bonus missions. I’m not so sure those were a great idea. Finish a planet (most of them span a level range of 4-5 levels) and then go back once you’re actually done. Why weren’t those incorporated directly? Did they retrofit them? I don’t know, doesn’t really matter – quests are quests 🙂 Also more whining about hardware and first world problems…

Jan 8 2012 11:38 am – The long stretch

I’m Level 42 now (at 5d 12h /played) and hit Belsavis yesterday. Only missing one companion now. I’ve tried most of the new ones for a while, but still sticking to my original one – we’re quite the team.

Nay:

  • Loading screen times are really annoying
  • Some quest yesterday sent me on this journey: Hoth – Hoth Orbital Station – Ship – some space station – Ship – Tython Orbital Station – Tython – Tython Orbital Station – Ship – Hoth Orbital Station – Hoth – Hoth Orbital Station – Ship… that’s just not fun! (And I left out all the airlocks in between) – plus loading screens every time
  • I want to be 50!
  • Expertise starts to show on 50s in PvP and I get crushed a little quick. I understand that 10-50 in one Warzone might have problems, but for the first two weeks I had no problem.

Yay:

  • The planets are really different, the quests are moderately different,
  • Still having a good time leveling
  • I’m playing a pure healer spec with a tank companion and have no problems in world PvP
  • World PvP is actually fun. Only been camped once. My own take is more like crushing the enemy on sight and moving on. If he catches me and gets revenge, fine. I’ve not yet camped anyone or even killed them twice in a row.

Apparently I was leveling in a healing spec. Maybe changing them wasn’t so easy at launch? I guess so, as I was playing solo and not grouping much, why would I do that otherwise? This useless running around still annoys me. MMOs where you can hand in remotely or at least collect a few quests, then hand them in together are better.

Jan 13 2012 12:00 am – Stalling

Sadly I didn’t have as much time to play this week as I had planned, so it might be close to get to 50 over the weekend.

I’m about to start the Voss Bonus Series at 47.5 and I’m really looking forward to Corellia.

I especially found my latest companion quests nice. Those brought me from 46 halfway to 47, just talking to the guys on the ship and learning about some stories.

I still like talking to my companions, and surely they thought about the XP rewards for that, but in retrospect.. why would you give tons of XP just for being on your ship from time to time (you need to be there every few levels to get to a new planet anyway) and listening to some dialog with a few non-meaningful choices? I guess I was immersed a bit more back then and liked the reward of taking the time to talk to all of my companions and indeed listen to them instead of space-baring through the dialogs. What I found *really* interesting when I played a Jedi Shadow a month or so ago.. it’s the same base class (Jedi Consular) as the Sage I leveled in late 2011 and I still could remember the gist of most companion stories and a lot of details. That was over six and a half years ago! So I guess they did something right.

So much for part 2 of 3 in this series, I still seemed to be quite excited and not plagued by horrible bugs, just a few annoyances.

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Once upon a time at launch

Posted in SW:TOR by Nogamara on September 4, 2018

I was reading and commenting on a post by Shintar about Operations in SWTOR and was looking up some things in my achievements and on my old SWTOR blog that I started at launch. To cut excitement short it ran for 34 days and had 10 posts. I won’t link to it, but I will start a series and quote and comment on those old posts, from a “now, nearly 7 years later” perspective. It also serves as a proper testament of time, because who knows when that tumblr blog will vanish.

Dec 19 2011 – 11:42 pm – Hello, world!

What is NAMEOFSITE you ask? We don’t know yet, but if Bioware ever releases an API (like Blizzard’s WoW Armory) we’ll surely create cool things with it.

Yeah well, never happened. Too bad. My enthusiasm for creating a proper fan site died there.

 

Dec 20 2011 6:29 am – First release impressions

The game is scheduled to be opened at 06:00 in my time zone so the alarm at 05:50 ended my sleep.

Tried to login, got to confirm some EULA again and an Origin account seemed to be created for me now.

Can’t login. “You have no active subscription” in the Launcher, but can login to Origin.com.

The account page says “You’ve subscribed. Thank you.” on the main page and “Your subscription information cannot be accessed at this time. Please try again later.” on the detail page.

Seems I’m not the only one with this problem.

Ah well, MMO launches without problems are overrated. Let’s get to work and try to head home sooner than usual 🙂

Update 06:30 CET: Problem acknowledged

Update 07:00 CET: Problem fixed, it seems – too bad I’m at work now 😦

Never play on patch release day! Always true. Pretty amazed some of these forum links still work.

 

Dec 21 2011 12:41 pm – Day 1 wrapup

My male Mirialan Jedi Sage hit level 10, I’ve played around 8h (minus some breaks) and so far I really like it.

Yay:

  • The CGI scenes are really cool
  • The dialog system is really cool
  • Combat is quite ok after an hour
  • The storyline was awesome
  • Questing with map and hints and codex is fun
  • Everything was stable on launch day

Nay:

  • My system runs WoW just fine with high details, TOR is stuttering on medium
  • Windowed fullscreen doesn’t seem optimal yet
  • Mouse sensitivity feels hard to adjust
  • A login queue of 300 (means 20-30min) at 4 in the afternoon

No idea yet:

  • My crew skills are Synthweaving, Archaelogy and Underworld Trading, not used them
  • Haven’t tried a Flashpoint or a PvP
  • I’m on a German server, I always tried to avoid those before

I’m still (again?) on a German server, IIRC first we were merged together with another one, and then last year all onto one again. I’m not interacting with many people, so I have no opinion right now. As I’m playing in English, maybe the EU server would’ve been the better choice. Many positive points here. I still like the dialog system, I still like the class stories. Not sure I meant with hints – I surely didn’t really look into the codex ever since. I ended up upgrading my gaming machine mid-2012, so I was probably running on a few years’ old hardware at this point in time, so not SWTOR’s fault really.

 

Dec 27 2011 7:16 pm – One week later

No entry for nearly one week, this means either not much progress or not much to say.

Actually, there was bit of ingame time, I’m at Level 20 with most of Taris done, only need to wrap up a few quests and Datacrons.

The game is still tremendously fun, but still missing the “need to level, level, level” urge. Didn’t help that were was quite some offline time over the holidays. Most people are high in their 40s, I’m just lagging behind, but with the sort of limited play time there’s not much use searching for a level partner anyway.

Updated impressions:

Yay:

  • Warzones are fun. I’m dying quickly but I can heal a lot if I’m not focusfired. Absolutely love playing with people of all levels.
  • Questing is still nice and doesn’t feel slow.
  • Healing Flashpoints is fun, but the Sage really feels like a Disc Priest.

Nay:

  • The UI fails at some minor details, especially when buying Mods and comparing to your equipped ones is quite hard.
  • Some people are incapable of not breaking sheeps. Even if the sheep is actually an elite hanging helplessly in the air thanks to Force Lift.
  • Even more people are incapable of focus-firing a single mob.

See you soon on Nar Shaddaa

I can’t remember when I last did a warzone on my Sage, but it isn’t fun on my BH at 70. Back then no one had gear though. And we were all noobs. I should really heal a flashpoint again at some time though.

 

Dec 28 2011 8:11 pm – Halfway?

So I hit 25 earlier, my /played was 1d 19h at 23, should be around 2d now, I logged out before checking, meh.

I saved up enough to get my Speeder (and one bag upgrade for 5k earlier) and now have around 10k left.

My Archaeology is doing quite good at nearly 150, Synthweaving and Underworld Trading have to be pushed beyond 70 now.

That lack of speed! No perks to boost class mission XP, no usable XP boosts. 48 hours for 25 Levels – but on a PvP server, in a completely new game. I think I enjoyed it properly. Seems it was even a little quicker to level than WoW at launch 😛 The amount of credits is also kinda ridiculous, I think you make a few thousand on your starter planet nowadays, but I might be wrong here.

 

I think I sound pretty amazed overall, and I really loved that game at launch, so not surprised. So that was part one of the journey, stay tuned for part 2.

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Blaugust 2018 Analyzed

Posted in About this blog, Blaugust by Nogamara on September 3, 2018

Belghast posted the final tally. Wilhelm chimed in. Rakuno as well.

I’m gonna steal the summary (sorry Bel):

  • 90 blogs signed up in Blaugust Reborn 2018
  • 83 bloggers made at least one post during the month
  • We added 1404 new blog posts to the community as a result of Blaugust Reborn
  • This equated to an average of 45 new blog posts per day
  • 26 Bloggers had 31 posts during the month or in a few cases considerably more

 

Blaugust 2018 Rainbow Award Logo

Officially Certified: Rainbow

So it’s official now, and I’m pretty happy. I’m usually not one to value awards or official recognition, but this was a goal I set for myself. I’m usually bad at achieving any goals that include doing something daily (except brushing my teeth, sadly the time for recognizing this as an achievement is gone for a few decades already), but I managed to do this one!

SWTOR PvP and me = meh

Posted in PvP, SW:TOR by Nogamara on September 2, 2018

I’m not saying I’m good at PvP in any game right now, but I’m especially bad at SWTOR PvP. This week’s Conquest was an annoying one where I couldn’t just rampage and daily my way through it, so PvP it was. In contrast to WoW where I seem to at least grasp the mechanics enough to see why I suck… in SWTOR I just get stunlocked and then killed with blows of 5k to upwards of 20k, whereas my attacks usually do less than 5k. Sure, many people in PvP have 248 gear, and I’m at 234ish, but I don’t think that’s it.

Let’s hope the Gree Conquest next week is easier to solo…

Autumn Gaming Goals

Posted in About this blog, Games by Nogamara on September 1, 2018

I saw quite a few people just continuing to post like nothing had happened (it’s ok, you can take a break now), and there quite a few gaming goals posts.

I don’t usually do these, but right now I have some stuff planned. But these are not really hard goals, more like “this is what I originally wanted to do when I fell into an SWTOR-shaped hole” – there will absolutely no “I managed to do X out of Y”, my conscience is clear 🙂

  • SWTOR
    • Already posted here – mostly achievements and a few Levels
    • Do I want to join a guild? Maybe. Would be cool to not play solo, but… Republic or Empire? What is my main? Do I want to raid?
  • WoW
    • My plan is to buy BfA and subscribe in the first or second week of October, because I won’t have time to play before that
    • If I do it, will I try to rejoin my Alliance guild as I did in Legion, only to go back to my Horde main characters soon?
    • If I start with Horde, do I stay with my kinda dead guild of maybe 5-6 active ones or do I search for a new one? Will I be disappointed like last time?
  • Dead Cells
    • I really should pick it up again, it’s fun – but it’s hard. Maybe I should really try to get a 360 controller going and Just. Do. It.
  • Game Boy Advance
    • Maybe I should pick this up again, maybe finish Pokémon?
  • GW2
    • I should really play again, shouldn’t I? Maybe if SWTOR loses its pull and I don’t end up subscribing to WoW.
  • TESO
    • Same thing, but it just didn’t really convince me, which is a shame
  • Quake Champions
    • Yeah, I feel really guilty here – it’s fun, I should play more!
  • Cities: Skylines
    • Bought this in August 2017 but I haven’t felt like playing this kind of sim/building game

 

But there’s also stuff I’d like to try, but for that I’d have to buy it first, so it’s out for now.

  • Nintendo Switch
    • I’d really like to try one with one or two games. Maybe Zelda, Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart, Dead Cells… but why bother, I have a 360 I’m ignoring.
  • FFXIV
    • This is the only MMO right now where I’m like “I want to try this, but I have no time!” – I really have enough MMOs available
  • Graveyard Keeper
    • As SynCaine put it, “Graveyard isn’t perfect […], but in terms of pacing and how it affects your enjoyment, its an improvement over Stardaw Valley IMO”

This was Blaugust Reborn 2018

Posted in About this blog, Blaugust by Nogamara on August 31, 2018

Hooray, we did it! We made it through 1 (or 31, or any number in between) posts in the month of August! Congrats Blaugustians new and old!

I don’ have much to say, so this is purely a statistics meta post:

  • 31 consecutive posts in August
  • exactly one post per “day”, as in sleep cycle. Two or three came 1-2h after midnight, but before I went to bed.
  • so I think I’ll get a “Rainbow Diamond Award”, yay!
  • as I started in July, this makes 42 consecutive days with one post per day each
  • including this post, I wrote 10463 words (subtract 50 for emoticons I guess, this wasn’t scientific counting)
  • the average post length was 349 words
  • the median post length was 262 words
  • the longest post was 1043 words
  • the shortest post was 106 words, so even for whatever threshold you use, I wouldn’t say I cheated
  • WordPress says I had 551 visitors, which is more than 10 times the normal amount. Thanks for reading 🙂
  • 43 comments, oh wow! (I guess nearly half of them were me responding though)
  • even though I was away on vacation for a few days… it wasn’t two weeks, so scheduling in advance worked fine
  • I’m not sick of posting, so I might continue for a bit, but latest mid-September I’ll have to take some time off anyway

PS: Blaugust has come to an end and this is my thirty-first post – thank you Belghast and all participants.

Gaming Podcasts in 2018

Posted in Blaugust, Podcast by Nogamara on August 30, 2018

I might have mentioned it, I’m listening to a few podcasts, originally the list was pretty small, but it kinda grew over time:

  • Battle Bards – I think this was the first podcast I listened to regularly
  • AggroChat – I’ve listened to every episode except for 2 that are on my todo list (145 and 151)
  • Massively Overpowered – Listened to it for a while in the past and again lately. I like it, but I’m not so much interested in “gaming news” as in the hosts telling stories about exploits.
  • All Things Geekery – Stumbled over this via Blaugust Reborn and listened to the whole Season 2.
  • I used to listen to a few EVE podcasts while I was playing, but I don’t really remember right now
  • And too bad that Cat Context hasn’t been running for a while 😦

As to how I’m listening? Only when I’m playing something moderately grindy, e.g. leveling in a zone for the umpteenth time where I already know all the quests. Doesn’t work for cutscene-heavy stuff, e.g. GW2’s personal story, or KotFE or KotET in SWTOR. Works fine for all the levels in between (and I can easily pause it for the important cutscenes). Sometimes it’s even “I want to listen to the latest episode of X, so I may as well level a bit in the meantime” 😛

I already bookmarked a handful of other gaming podcasts during this month and will have a look at them, but if you have any recommendations, please do post them! (Preferably no Twitch/etc streams, please, I’m really not a fan of live content and/or the usual content of streams.)

PS: Blaugust has started and this is my thirtieth post. Stay tuned for a summary tomorrow!