Sunday, January 20, 2013

Do You Want Me to Subscribe or Not??

My 60-day pre-paid subscription ran out yesterday evening.  Because my husband and I are using SWTOR as our long-distance dates while he works away from home, we decided it was worth the money to go ahead and place the game on a recurring subscription for now.  (Money being tight enough we weren't sure we should ding our card for $30 right this minute for a 60-day prepaid . . .)

Accordingly, I went to the website and clicked my way through, receiving the appropriate response which said I'd successfully subscribed.

I knew from the message I had received that I may need to restart the game client to see the changes, which I did.

But when I logged on, this is what I saw.

Hmmm?  Did I log in to the game client too quickly?  I gave it a few minutes, then tried again, but the result was the same.

Thinking, somehow, that repeatedly doing the same thing would bring a different result (Hey, it sometimes happens in computers,) I exited and restarted the game client twice more.  No change.

I checked my subscription status on the SWTOR website.  This one produced mixed results.  On the one hand, the main account page said I wasn't a subscriber, but on the other hand, in the details, it said I had 29 subscriber days left.

With a sigh, since it was our scheduled long-distance date, I decided to just live with Preferred for the evening and submit an in-game ticket.

But guess what?  You can't submit an in-game ticket when you are Preferred.  (Even if you are really a subscriber, trying to tell someone the system isn't working.)

Every time we turned around, there was something which I couldn't do.  We die . . . "Um, Honey, I'm not sure it's going to let me rez here . . ."  (Luckily, he could just rez me.)  I think about picking an herb . . . "Um, it's not going to let me do this unless I unlearn one of my skills . . . Not likely!"  (Remember, I've submitted my money and am waiting for the computer to catch up with me.)  At the end of the night . . . "Well, we're done on Tatooine.  Let's just Fleet Pass."  "Um . . ."  "Let me guess:  you can't Fleet Pass."

Of course, my pants couldn't match my top, but I could survive that (After so many years in WoW, I can deal with that . . .) but not being able to hide my head slot (again, after I've PAID my money) was annoying.

My husband comforted me by saying that on Tatooine, this was probably pretty sensible headgear.  (Living in a desert climate as I do, I could see his point.  One windy spring, I priced bourkas, thinking I'd rather wear one of those as I did my outside chores, instead of having all the sand get in my eyes, nose, ears, and teeth . . .)  But even so, I'd rather be able to see my eyes.

After we'd finished playing, I exited the game and tried starting the game client again . . . no luck.

I finally put in a message via the "Contact Customer Service" link, somewhere around 11:00 pm, but as I received no feedback from the webpage, I had no idea if it actually went through.  Just in case, I did it again, with an apology if it turned out to be a duplicate.  I decided to give it until today before I started calling.

This morning, I checked my e-mail and found a message time-stamped 1:10 am saying my subscription had been changed.  I guess someone got the message.  Now to check tonight to see how many subscription days it says I have remaining.  If it ticks down, and I find they've not given me back my one lost evening, I'm going to have a word with them.

Postscript:  I guess nobody did get my message . . . it just took the computer that long to process it.  This morning, one day later, I received responses to my tickets, saying for this issue, I would have to call them.  And, yes, my account time was docked.  So in essence, I paid for an evening I did not get.  I guess I'll have to pick up my phone and spend some time on it this afternoon . . . /sigh . . .

Saturday, January 19, 2013


I've never considered myself an altoholic--that was/is my husband.  But lately, I'm finding myself with a few more characters than I'm used to juggling.

First, there is Anachan, my level 50 retired Jedi Consular.

Next, there is Hikarinoko, my level 49 rather-retired-except-when-I-want-to-run-a-warzone-for-the-giggles Imperial Agent.

Then there is Kaminoko, my 2nd Agent, who is played when my husband wants to run on his Bounty Hunter.

(Hard to tell in this picture, but she actually does look different than Hikarninoko.  Different face style, and enough make-up to almost make me uncomfortable.)

And Annachan, my 2nd Consular, who started out just for me to play, but might end up playing some with my husband's Shadow Consular, if he decides to play him . . . (The story doesn't seem to be grabbing him, so she may end up all mine, muahaha . . .)

My Bounty Hunter, Karinoko, is now being leveled to play with my husband's Sith, because he asked me to do it.

Surprise!  She's got blue skin and red eyes!
Well, with all those characters either maxed or earmarked, I found myself once again without a "run around casually by myself" character.  Oy . . .

Sooooo, desperate to have a character I could play whenever I wanted, without having to worry about my husband playing, and figuring I didn't really need a third Agent or Consular, I created a Smuggler, who I intend to spec out as a healer, since I know Gunslinger bored me to tears.  Her name is the incredibly unimaginative Ana-chan.  (Haha, I can use hyphens . . .)

You knew she would look something like this, didn't you?
Does this make me an altoholic?  Honestly, I don't think it does.  An altoholic jumps back and forth between characters as if they do not know what it is they want to play.  I jump back and forth between characters for social reasons, so to speak.

At least I know I always have something I can play!

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Temptation of Eve

History has been made:  I have acquired Dark Side points on my second agent.

Up to this point, none of my characters have made Dark Side choices.  My Consular, of course, as a Jedi, felt it her duty to follow the Light, and my first agent had a quiet conscience in her which sometimes made her relationship with her Empire leaders somewhat tenuous.

But there was one scenario with my first agent in which I almost chose the Dark Side.  (Class story alert!)

It involved Watcher X.

Watcher X is somewhat mysterious and dangerous, even though he is working on our side.  He is obviously familiar with everything relating to agents, as indicated by the standard routines he cites when we first meet him.  (Hardly surprising, given his background.)  He freely admits he is only helping Intelligence because he'll be punished if he doesn't (his programming), which means, of course, his trustworthiness is in question.  (The adage "Never trust a snake" comes to mind.)

Toward the close of my interaction with Watcher X, he escaped from his Intelligence-imposed prison cell and presented Kaminoko with a choice:  naturally, she could come after him, as would befit a loyal Imperial Agent, or she could let him go, and he would give her information she would not be able to get from other sources.

"You sure know how to tempt a girl."

With Hikarinoko, I pondered, agonized, and then chose the Light Side, ending up having to kill Watcher X, which was actually rather heartbreaking, as I considered him something of a sympathetic character.  This time, since I was trying to see how the story might change if I made different choices, I followed the example of Mother Eve and chose transgression in pursuit of knowledge.1

Kaliyo chewed me out, and I felt dirty.

But as in life, once a choice is made, you've got to live with it.  With a slight hollowness in my stomach, I returned to my ship, told bald-faced lies to Watcher 2, which made me feel even more dirty, and headed out to Tatooine.

Watcher X did not lie.  When I checked my mail the next day, there were three which looked at first glance as if they were spam, given the garbled nature of their subject lines.  (The effect was aided by the fact that the message above them really was spam.)  They were sent via a nonstandard code from Watcher X, with juicy tidbits about Watcher 2, Kaliyo, and so forth, with promises of more later.

They were definitely things to make you go "hmmm".  I wonder if he'll follow through with his promise.  I wonder if it will be worth it.

1 The Biblical story states that the serpent tempted Eve to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  She didn't transgress the law simply in pursuit of tasty fruit; she did it in pursuit of knowledge.  "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat . . ." (KJV Genesis 3: 4-6)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Quick WoW Break

Not too terribly long ago, Blizzard sent me an invitation to come check out the Panderia expansion for 10 days for free.

Now, checking out the pandas, themselves, is not something I need to do because, well, I have already done it.  I made a free-to-play-to-level-20 account and created a Pandaran Priest, just to see the starting lands.  It didn't take 20 levels before the character was merged completely with the Alliance or the Horde (did both, so I could see what happened) and therefore ripe for deletion.

So if the only attraction was the pandas, there really wasn't any attraction.

But with all the people who come to my retired WoW blog for information on the Vuhdo addon (yes, I keep up with the statistics on it), I really felt tempted to accept the invitation, install the latest Vuhdo version, log in, see what major changes happened, and see if I needed to update anything on my little guide.

After a lot of thought, I decided to do it.  So this week, I woke up my Restoration Druid Anachan for the first time in over 14 months, ready to see what happened to Vuhdo in my absence.

Happily enough, it seems Vuhdo hasn't changed beyond all recognition.  I think my updates will be fairly minor and simple.  My keybinds, which amazingly enough, I mostly remembered, worked immediately, and the configuration interface, except for a few pages, has retained most of the same characteristics.

The most . . . interesting . . . part of stepping back into WoW is learning again to initiate auto-attack . . . Go figure.  It's like a foreign concept . . .

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Solo or Group?

During Christmas Break, my husband and I have managed to find some time to play SWTOR together, he on his bounty hunter and I on my 2nd agent, Kaminoko.  It's been a lot of fun, being able to run around places together, although with Mako coming along, the only times I get to heal are when we're facing gold-level opponents.  (Incidentally, right now, Kaminoko and Mako look like they are wearing uniforms or something . . . Somehow they managed to get chest pieces which are all but identical-looking.)

I really only have one complaint:  everything is falling over a bit too quickly.  Except when we tackle an Heroic 4 situation, there is little to no challenge.  Because we do take the time to run the Heroic 4's and because it's so easy to make normal groupings fall over that we never really avoid doing so, we've leveled so quickly that we're already level 23 after finishing only the first sector on Nar Shaddaa.

With my first agent, who believed a good agent inflicts as small a body count as possible, I remember being finished with Nar Shaddaa and moving on to Tatooine by this level, grumbling because I was on foot, having to traverse vast tracts of land in Mos Ila.  (Remember, back then, you had to be level 25 to use a speeder at all.)  And instead of steamrolling encounters, I had to carefully plan, sneak, control crowds, and so forth.  When I completed a challenging quest, I felt I had really accomplished something.

So here's the question:  is it more fun to level playing solo or playing in a group?  I wouldn't trade playing with my husband, but I do have to say I found it more personally satisfying soloing my way up, because it was much more of a challenge.

What do you think?  Solo leveling, or leveling with a partner?