Friday, December 14, 2012

Surprises in the Mail

Recently, I expressed sadness that because Hikarinoko has reached the end of her story, she will never again hear from the Minister of Intelligence or from her husband, Vector.

I reckoned without considering the mail.

Today, for a lark, I decided to log on to Hikarinoko, to run a warzone and keep my fingers in practice for the time I raise my next agent.  I was surprised to see I had four new items in my mailbox.

One was from the Minister of Intelligence, a form letter to all former members of Imperial Intelligence, encouraging patience and perseverance.

And three were from Vector.  It was filled with the poetic way he would speak during the conversations with Hikarinoko and made me a little wistful.

See what I mean?  It reminds me of the things I used to write in my own journals (or in my young single days, in the letters to the guys with whom I would correspond, because I tended to write very long and very detailed letters, full of speculations or observations . . . or sometimes, even attempts at poetry).

Or this one . . .

/sigh . . . . I miss Hikarinoko greatly, but I also miss Vector.

You know, I am very fortunate in my RL husband.  He may not have as poetic a bent as Vector, but, knowing how much I love words, he does try to speak my language and sends me messages.  (Letters, e-mails, PowerPoint presentations . . .) 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Guild Names, or the Length Thereof

As an unguilded player, I routinely get offers for guild invitations.  Usually people whisper me about it, but every so often a guild invite window will just pop out of nowhere, which immediately gets declined.

The other day, I almost accepted an invitation.  Someone very politely whispered me and asked if I would like to join their guild, Women of the Republic.  When I declined, she (?) offered to invite me on a trial basis, just so I could see if I enjoyed their company.

I felt a slight twinge inside and almost said yes.  What held me back was the length of the name.  Yep, you read that right.

Some years back, I was in a WoW guild called Disciples of Redemption.  Sounds like a noble name, right?  Worthy message?  Trips swimmingly upon the tongue?  Yes, to all of those.  But when a few of us got together for just about anything, there was a real mess on the screen.  (In a raid, the clutter was overwhelming.)

I realized in short order I did not want to cause that kind of clutter on anyone's screen, so when the time came for me to leave that guild, I put as part of my mental criteria in my guild search that the name had to be short.

The guild I found was called Tempest.  That's about as short as you can get, and I stuck with them for 3.5 years.

When I started looking for a SWTOR guild, before the game even came out, along with the various criteria of server type, time zone, and so forth, I instantly rejected any guild with a long name, even before reading their webpage.  The one I managed to talk my husband into supporting was Redeemed.  Again, only a letter longer than Tempest, and definitely short enough to not be terribly cumbersome.  (Redeemed, however, has died, due to all the machinations of server mergers.)

So when this very polite person asked if I wanted to join Women of the Republic, although I actually felt a little tempted, what finally tipped the balance against the decision was the 21-character name.

But how do you tell someone, "I'm sorry; I don't want to join your guild because your guild name is too long"?  You really can't, so I didn't.

I politely declined and went back to my Taris questing.  (Wow, so glad for my speeder!)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Legacy Perks

I've never really thought about Legacy perks.  I never cared to make a family tree, never worried about using Empire-only races to make Republic characters or vice versa, and so forth.

Until, that is, I spent an idle moment going over possible perks and discovered I could get my level 12 Annachan speeder piloting.

Be able to move around the interminably huge and boring Coruscant at higher speed?  Not only yes, but . . . well, you get the idea.  I sent her a bunch of credits from Anachan and immediately signed on the dotted line.

Coruscant is so much more pleasant when you can skip all the running . . .

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Anachan, Part II

This is my new baby Jedi Consular.  Does she look familiar or what?

When I first made my second Consular (with the unimaginative name of Annachan), I made her a Miraluka, with a purple veil.  It took me about five levels to figure out it simply wasn't going to work.

If the eyes are the windows of the soul, the eyes are also what help me feel a connection to my character.  It might have been somewhat mitigated if I could have used the same hairstyle, but it was unavailable to that particular race.  Long story short, I just couldn't connect with her.

So I deleted her and made . . . Anachan, part II, also named Annachan.  I think I got about as close as I could to my original Anachan, without knowing if I actually chose the right face shape or complexion, which are more difficult to identify.

Below is my Anachan from the Beta, whose feature numbers I recorded and used to make the Anachan I played to level 50.  If they aren't identical, they're pretty close!  I guess I spent enough time staring at my original consular's face, I could recognize her, more or less, while I tweaked the settings the second time around.

But before you shake your head and wonder why I'd play the same character twice, remember--I'm the kind of person who reads stories over and over and over . . . I just recently started Lord of the Rings again . . .

I miss my agent Hikarinoko greatly, but I want to save my other agent until I can play with my husband.  I've gone the entire path solo once, with the exception of one boss, so I know I can do it.  Now it's time to let him experience the story, as we level characters together.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Slightly Off-Topic Repost

Two years ago, I entered (and won) a WoW holiday song parody contest, about which I posted on my now retired WoW blog.  While some of the references are definitely Restoration Druid- or generally WoW-related, a lot of the sentiment is fairly universal to any healer who has found themselves following a tank who thinks he is one step shy of deity.

Just for the giggles, and because it is the right time of year for this tune, here it is!

Sorry for the poor quality; I was recording it on a webcam while at work.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Bittersweet Moment

There always comes a moment when a well-loved story ends.  Whether it's a matter of decades, as Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series, or only the matter of a trilogy, as "Lord of the Rings", sooner or later, the story has to end.

Reminds me of this parody:


Hikarinoko finally finished her class quests.  The story was satisfying all around, with surprises to the very end, an emotional roller-coaster of events.

But although she is not level 50, I feel no incentive to finish that last level.

The strength and the weakness of SWTOR is, I believe, the system of class story lines.  The strength of those story lines is what propels a player to continue leveling, despite times of plateau where the player may find themselves running warzones or grinding less interesting quests, just to reach the point where he can once again progress his class story line.  But after the story line is complete, what incentive is there for the player to continue playing?  (Hmmm, I think I've said this before . . . or was it the complaint that if one didn't have friends, there was little incentive to remain in MMOs . . . well, that's the complaint at max level, anyway, after the story line is completed.)

Never again will Keeper or the Minister of Intelligence speak with her.  For that matter, never again will her husband, Vector, speak with her with any sort of personal touch.

It's kind of lonely at the top . . . of the leveling chain, that is.

So now what?  Well, the only real cure for the loss of a good fantasy is another good fantasy, or reliving the one lost.

If I can get my husband to log on, I may level Kaminoko, my other agent.  (Which I'd actually really like to do . . . and see how that one big choice I made in chapter 2 which was different than Targeter's would really change the ending, because I suspect it may have been significant.  I've already changed one choice I made early on in Hikarinoko's chain, and I'm wondering how that will change the story line in Chapter Two, if at all, given that it was cited as the reason for certain events . . .)

If not, I may find myself leveling Karinoko, the bounty hunter, or the baby Annachan (yes, another consular) I created on the Republic side on the off-chance I actually find myself logged on the same time as my old guildies from WoW.  (Side note:  They have so much more time to play than I do that they charge past me in level while I'm waiting for time to log on . . . One minute they're my level, and in a virtual blink, they're 10 levels ahead.  So I really have to be playing for the personal joy of it all, because if I'm playing for other people, it will end up in frustration.)

I am subscribed until a bit beyond the end of Christmas break, at least.  We'll see what has happened by then.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ooooo, Shiney . . .

I guess "Oooo, Shiney," is not exactly what most people would say when they are riding on the trams on Corellia.  But I find myself just as mesmerized as the tram follows its path.

While other modes of in-game automated transportation merit an alt-tab out while I wait to arrive at my destination, I can't help staring at my screen in brainless delight as the tram progresses, feeling ever so slightly like a child on a roller coaster.

The little things are what make the difference, right?