Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Surprises Never End

Oh, my goodness . . . Now I remember why I loved the Agent story so much . . . I've just had my world turned upside down . . . Finding myself wanting to play longer than I should, to see if I can progress the story . . .

At least, as I run primarily with Vector, one of the twists didn't affect me as much as it might have done.

My most recent slight setback was the Eve of Destruction quest chain on Corellia, or a part thereof, at any rate.  This part involves going into a building, making my way through it, and accessing a target at the opposite end.  The trouble was that if I tried to pull a single group in a large room, I ended up with multiple groups, and Vector and I had a difficult time dealing with eight opponents at once.  One of the members of most of the groups was a watch robot, so I figured perhaps it was the one sending out the alarm, but even when I tried slicing it, the next group came over.  Unfortunately, I couldn't just stealth my way through the quest--which I tried to do--because the target I had to access is right by one of the groups.  I logged off late that night, deciding I needed more sleep to figure out how to overcome this situation.

Operating under the assumption that anything in a class quest can be soloed, even if it is a little difficult, I decided there must be something I was missing to make this work.  I considered gearing up my robot tank . . . But what I finally did was check Vector's abilities for anything at all dealing AOE effects, even if it didn't seem to deal any damage, just in case he was breaking the CC on the watch robot, thus causing it to call for help . . .

Accordingly, Vector and I found ourselves back at the Aegis base the next evening.  And this time, I sliced the robot repeatedly (ie., even when the previous slice hadn't worn off yet), while Vector and I took on every single group we could find, in order.

Amazingly enough, we didn't pull multiple groups, and we successfully completed the quest.  Looks like we found the problem!

Incidentally, some time ago, one of the clients where I worked was a company named Aegis which dealt in security . . . Anyone want to let them know Hikarinoko destroyed their base?  /giggle

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Subscriber For a While

I really do have the sweetest husband . . .

When he saw me glaring at my action bars, he sighed, sat down at the computer, and subscribed me for 60 days.

"See?" he said.  "It doesn't auto-renew, so you can feel better about it."  (I knew there was no use protesting the action after my first attempt; twenty years of marriage lets you know when it just isn't worth the argument.)

How refreshing it was to have my skills all properly placed on bars and to be able to keybind frequently used abilities!

I've managed to remember Hikarninoko's abilities well enough to continue her adventures on Voss, even remembering some of the "tricks" I used to have to do to help her be able to solo most things with Vector.

It's good to be back on board, if only for a little while.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Took Another Peek

This time, I made it all the way to Belsavis on my agent before becoming annoyed and logging off.

It took me a while to figure out what all my abilities meant again, slowed down by the sluggish mental state of illness, which is why I decided to head to Belsavis, a bit lower than where I would have headed if I was in top form.

I discovered exactly what I had on that right side bar which I was now missing . . . things like Recuperate, Heroic Moment (most of my other "oh bleep" abilities, as well), or my speeder.  I managed to juggle some things around (who really needs medpacs on their action bar, anyway, right, when they're a healer?) but soon enough, I realized if I juggled enough to get all three of these included in my two bars, I'd end up bumping off something else I really do need . . . like stuns or heals or damage dealing or energy recuperation.

Luckily enough, I already had "Take Cover" hotkeyed, so that didn't need to be on any bar . . . I searched for ways to hotkey some of these other things, but as far as I could tell, it couldn't happen unless they were on an action bar already.

What's the point of gaining level and gaining abilities if you can't access most of them?

I have heard other bloggers say they think it is unreasonable to require those who originally purchased the game and return under the umbrella of Preferred to lose some of their UI, and I have to say I agree.  I can live with the fact that I neglected to purchase the next level of speeder training at level 40 and now will have to do without it.  (I figured it wasn't worth purchasing until level 50.  Oh, well.  My bad.)  I can live with restrictions on warzones and such, but I don't think I can even enjoy the warzones I am able to play if I cannot access my abilities.

When my husband gets his computer back and we can log on together to play our lowbie characters, maybe I'll be able to settle back in and have fun.  (Of course, as an altoholic, he's going to have a much more difficult time than me figuring out which two characters to play . . .)  Or maybe getting over this crazy illness will help change my state of mind; perhaps I'll figure out which abilities I can manage and which I can throw away.

Part of me figures I have no right to complain.  After all, I'm not paying for the privilege of playing right now.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Took a Peek

Before heading to work, I kicked off the patch for SWTOR, hoping that, in spite of my slow download speed, it would manage to succeed without mishap.

When I got home from everything I had to be at Thursday night, I checked to be sure it had succeeded.  Hopefully, I told myself, SWTOR will be all updated, and I will be able to take a peek at what is waiting . . .

I made it as far as the character screen.

It wasn't because of any game malfunction, in point of fact.  It was because, as I logged on, I encountered a scary message about the difference between Preferred status and Subscriber status, and I found myself unable to force myself to proceed without doing some research.

Would I have to select my characters on the first login?  Would I be limited to two characters total, or two characters per server?  What other things would I have to decide right this minute?

After some serious digging, I finally found that I would be able to access all my characters for now, but would have to select two later on.  With that, I felt comfortable enough to click past the scary message.

And, after some more looking, it seems it will actually be two characters per server.  (At least, on my screen, it gives the numbers of my characters as X/2 for each server, so this seems to be the case.)  As one of my servers has had 15 characters crammed onto it and the other has 9, this could be interesting . . . (Remember, most of those are my daughters' . . .)

(I'm going to have some very unhappy daughters . . . unless we can make them their own F2P accounts . . .)

By the time I'd searched out some answers to my questions (what? no side bars??) and taken a glance at the character screen, it was bedtime.

I'll deal with the more difficult decisions tomorrow.

. . . I wonder if I'll have a Legacy on the server where my daughter and I never could agree on a Legacy name and so put off the decision . . . No biggie.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

FTP Coming Soon?

It seems SWTOR is going free to play (ftp) on November 15th.

I realize for some people, it may seem the final nail in the coffin for the game . . . and perhaps, in their more enlightened evaluations, it is.  But for me, it's an opportunity.

Face it, between the time demands of my current job and the monetary demands of the current economy, I have had neither the time nor the money to subscribe to any game.  (Ok, ok, given that we are subscribed to Netflix and Audible, I'm sure we could have found the money.  But these two subscriptions provide entertainment to the entire family, while a SWTOR subscription for me would have provided entertainment for . . . well, mostly me.)  I confess there was a time and there is still a temptation to reopen my WoW account, just to talk with my old friends, even though there is no way I could raid and would probably end up spending all my time fishing or farming stuff to help out the guild, because mindless repetition does not annoy me as much as some other people, but I simply cannot justify the cost, given the small amount of time which would be available to me for play.

Most evenings, I stare through my computer screen at a formerly inviting virtual world which now seems rather blank and empty and go to bed early out of sheer boredom.

But come Saturday, two of the three teaching endorsement examinations I am taking will be finished (now you know what I'm doing the other evenings), so having the free to play model of SWTOR come out on the 15th is perfect timing for me.

Some evening when I have an hour or two, I'll be able to wave hello again to my agent, relearn what all her abilities are, and continue the adventure at least until her story line is complete.  My husband and I will be able to play together during the upcoming long weeks when he will be traveling and I will still be at home.

They tell me that warzone access will be limited, which is kind of disappointing, as I'd probably like to spend quite a bit of time in warzones.  However, given that I am unlikely to have nearly as much time as I'd like, perhaps the default access will prove sufficient.

They tell me that as a former subscriber, I will have certain  privileges unavailable to new free to play customers--more action bars or something.  While I'm glad of that, I have to wonder if what they are taking away will end up reducing my enjoyment to the point where I simply stop playing, because at this point, subscribing is not an option.

It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.  Will the satisfaction be sufficient to fulfill my hopes, or will I be forced to conclude that in ftp SWTOR, as in so many other aspects of life, you "get what you pay for"?