• Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity

Monday, April 30, 2012

Level 50! But What Now?

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It's taken me four months but I've finally reached level 50 with Merec. I still have a little of his class story to finish off, but for all intents and purposes I'm done with levelling him. Which begs the question, "what next?"

There are plenty of things I want to do, one of which is to start gearing myself up for raiding. My guild has been most helpful in giving me guidance on what I need to do (thanks guys!), so here by way of a guide and a way of keeping track is my "shopping list" of things I'm going to be working on now I've hit the level cap.

Ding!
Special props to Jen of Convergence who wrote an excellent guide on our website and has given me some great pointers. The information on gear is all hers and I can take no credit for it.
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Saturday, April 28, 2012

A new bit of kit

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My latest piece of kit arrived yesterday. I had decided to upgrade my monitor last week, but the choice on offer and lack of really good buying advice available meant that it took me a while to make my decision. My old monitor was a good one (a Dell 20" widescreen at 1680x1050 resolution), but I had owned it for a few years and wanted to upgrade to a bigger screen.
Shiny!
My criteria were pretty simple. I wanted a 24" screen for gaming, that had a minimum resolution of 1920x1080 (i.e. full HD). It had to have a good response time and if possible have built-in speakers to make the most of my limited desk space. Additionally, I only had a budget of £150.
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Friday, April 27, 2012

The Goss from Voss

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Voss is a strange planet, slightly schizophrenic in it's nature. Beautiful too look at but repetitive too, with an interesting story and milieu that somehow fails to engage, and some interesting characters along with some horribly cliched ones. The ingredients for a classic adventure are all in place, but for some reason my experience with the planet was slightly disappointing (part of this may be the fact it followed on from, and failed to live up to my experiences on the awesome Belsavis).

Welcome to Orange World

The scenery is certainly stunning, with a beautiful autumnal palette, but zone after zone looks very much the same. My short time spent in the Nightmare Lands was in fact my favourite part of the adventure, as the environment changed to a menacing and twisted ancient forest. Despite the oppressive nature of the zone it was a welcome change from the orange colour that assailed me everywhere else I went. By the end of the planet i felt like I had been Tango'd! Too much orange!
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Sinclair ZX Spectrum

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10 PRINT "Happy Birthday Spectrum"
20 GOTO 10

30 years ago my first ever computer was launched. It was the first time I played computer games at home (Manic Miner, The Hobbit and Atic Atac were my favourites), and it even encouraged me to start programming. It had 48kb of memory and 8 colours (that caused colour clash if they shared 8-pixel spaces). I still look back on it with very fond memories.

There's a great retrospective on the BBC here.

The Nightfire Legacy Family Tree

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Back in February, after completing Chapter 1 of Merec's story, I posted about the Nightfire legacy and some of the characters of whom it comprised. Following the recent updating of the Legacy system in The Old Republic Patch 1.2 I have now almost completed Merec's family tree. There have been a few minor changes from when I first posted, but here is how it looks now.

The Nightfire Legacy - click to enlarge
Here are the characters that make up the Nightfire Legacy.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Prison Break

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The prison world Belsavis is my favourite planet in The Old Republic so far by some margin. It is very different to all that has gone before in terms of atmosphere, looks and story and perfectly encapsulates the rapidly escalating open conflict between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire.

Doesn't look much like a prison does it?
The world story arc is fantastic, and as Merec progressed through the Belsavis prison complex the story kept peeling away new layers until it ended up as something quite different to how it started. The idea of a secret prison world where the most dangerous captives of the Republic are kept is a good one, and the breakout (achieved with assistance from the Sith Empire) immediately instilled a sense of emergency to proceedings.
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Tonight I exploded...

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This evening my TOR character Merec started screaming, grew spikes, and exploded in a shower of green slime (and consequently died)...

It seems that Bioware have started the first world server event for The Old Republic. I should have known something was up when I hit a server queue for the first time in weeks. A few minutes later, whilst browsing the GTN on the Republic Fleet with my consular Rillian I heard some screaming and something exploded nearby, giving me a sickness debuff. Weird.
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Updated Gunslinger Build (post 1.2)

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There were quite a few changes to the smuggler talent trees with TOR Patch 1.2. I've taken a bit of time to play with a new build based on the changes, and have now settled on something I feel comfortable with and seems to be a good DPS PvE build. I'll test the build more fully once I've had time to run some combat logs.

The main changes are as follows.
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Friday, April 13, 2012

A TOR UI 4 U & I

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One of the most eagerly anticipated features of The Old Republic Patch 1.2 was the customisable user interface. Having played around with it for a while now I have to say I am really very impressed with the job Bioware have done.

On first starting up the UI editor I found myself faced with a very imposing and cluttered screen that made no sense whatsoever! After a few minutes playing around however things became much clearer. I discovered that clicking on one element of the UI brings up a whole host of options for it, such as scale, ability to flip it, disable it, set the transparency and so on.

Screenshots and details of my new UI layout are below, along with a link to download it.
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"Let's just say it involved a beautiful slave girl, a backward child and a Weequay with a trapdoor fetish" - Smuggler Chapter 2 Review

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Time for a little mayhem.

My time on Hoth brought an end to Chapter 2 of the smuggler's story, Battle In The Underworld. Like Chapter 1 there were plenty of slightly ridiculous situations that played into the whole seat-of-the-pants feeling, as well as a couple of new and interesting characters.

The main plot of Chapter 2 involved a power struggle between the various factions of the galaxy's underworld following the power vacuum left by Nok Drayen's death and the recovery of his lost fortune. It also saw Merec working formally for the Republic for the first time as a privateer.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Patch 1.2 tomorrow

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The Old Republic patch 1.2 is being loaded onto the game servers tomorrow. It's a massive patch, and includes the Legacy system, UI modification, a colour-matching system for armour, a new flashpoint, a new operation, new dailies, lots of bug fixes and balances, and absolutely loads more.

You can get a sneak peak at the massive patch notes from the test server here.

Update: The official patch notes are now available here.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

A Cold Mistress

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Hoth is a cold, harsh mistress. Beautiful but unforgiving, it's a place of dead ships, betrayal and stark beauty. I loved it. The planet is also huge, by far the biggest I have yet visited in the game, with large open areas and tight, winding canyons. Graphically it looks superb and very evocative of the Hoth seen in The Empire Strikes Back. Like Tatooine the world builders have managed to conjure up quite a bit of variety from what could have ended up as a plain white wasteland.


The storyline was a lot of fun and changed up the recent Republic versus Empire stories of recent planets. The main enemy on Hoth is actually a faction of pirates known as the White Maw, and they have their own internal power struggles that powers along the stories. At one point I even teamed up with some Imperial NPCs in order to capture a White Maw base, though of course it all ended with the expected double-cross.
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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

TOR Guild Summit Videos

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Bioware have now put all of the panel videos from the first guild summit up on their YouTube site. They are well worth watching, and I was impressed by the openness of the developers and willingness to admit and address mistakes. I found the Legacy panel particularly interesting and is worth a look for a preview of what is coming soon in patch 1.2 and further down the line.

I've embedded all the videos below but they are also available in full 1080p HD if you click through them to their YouTube pages.

Update: Bioware have also released a new video about the UI customisation options that are coming in patch 1.2. Looks good! I've embedded it at the bottom of the post.
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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Polar Foil

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The tradition of MMO and tech companies putting up April Fools continues this year with some great stories. It seems more and more work is put into these every year. Here's a few of my favourites from 2012.

Best of the MMO Aprils Fools is The Old Republic's new game mode: Ship Droid. In this new game mode you can pay as your starships droid, cleaning the windows, fluffing the cushions, calibrating food processors and so on. Gain enough Etiquette Points and you can even make the Ship Droid your main character, with their own story line (including romances), and put your previous characters to menial work on the ship.
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