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This is a blog about MMOs.  It is also a writing exercise of sorts, in which I blog as characters I play in various MMOs.  As myself, I will discuss MMOs, both specifically and as a game genre.  Expect posts by me to be about the good, the bad, and the ugly in MMOs and MMO culture - from my point of view.  Which may, or may not be the same as yours.  The in character posts are intended to be purely fun, and the views in those are not necessarily the same as mine.

A quick and easy key to telling the posts apart is this: if the icon is a glowing book, that's a post by me, the player; if the icon is a character from a game, it's a post by that character.

And happy gaming. :)

Edit: I should warn that Star Wars: The Old Republic posts will contain quest spoilers.  (Never thought I'd be typing that for a game!)

Edit 2:  There will also be fan fic short stories about some of my SW:TOR characters.  These may include spoilers indirectly (mentioning things that happened in game), though the ficverse will diverge from the game's storyline.  (Exactly at what point it diverges will be noted here once I've figured that out.  Right now, the only story I've written would fit tidily into the game's stories no prob.) Those posts will, handily, be identified with an icon that reads "SW:TOR fan fic."  (And, if I someday write fan fic about my Champions characters, there will be an icon that reads "Champions fan fic.")  I will do my best to post appropriate ratings and warnings, though I am new to this whole fanfic thing.

Edit 3: In view of Edit 2 (the fact that there is now fan fiction on here) and in view of the internet generally being in favor of content warnings, I am following an internet friend's suggestion and adding, ah, content info:

The Star Wars universe contains - in no particular order - war, violence (usually not graphically depicted), maiming, torture, genocide, destruction of planets (sometimes inhabited), zombies, super weapons, terrorism, a tendency to conflate evil and insanity (or just a lot of villains who are probably also in need of some mental help), mass murder, fantastic racism speciesism, ableist language, sexist people, swearing, and probably a few potentially unpleasant/disturbing things I've temporarily forgotten.

It also contains spaceships, varied assortments of humans and aliens, mystical powers, heroism, adventure, spaceships, daring rescues, improbable powers of persuasion, hope, triumph over adversity, good people defying bad governments, friendship and/or love triumphing over any number of things, and did I mention spaceships?

A large number of these things will be mentioned and/or contained in my fics, character blogs, and general blogging about the game.

virtualvoyages: The words "SW:TOR Fan Fic" on a starburst background (Fan fic)
  (The universe of SW:TOR is, obviously, not my own. I am merely playing in George Lucas, Lucasarts, Bioware, etc's sandbox.)
Title: Conflicts of Interest (Part Five)
Genre: Gen (adventure)
Rating: PG (mild violence, swearing)
Summary: Missions for their respective governments have set Kyrian (an Imperial Agent) and Jezari (a Smuggler who does work for the Republic) on a collision course.  There is also the slight matter of a Bounty Hunter...

Read more... )
virtualvoyages: The words "SW:TOR Fan Fic" on a starburst background (Fan fic)
 (The universe of SW:TOR is, obviously, not my own. I am merely playing in George Lucas, Lucasarts, Bioware, etc's sandbox.)
Title: Conflicts of Interest (Part Four)
Genre: Gen (adventure)
Rating: PG (mild violence, swearing)
Summary: Missions for their respective governments have set Kyrian (an Imperial Agent) and Jezari (a Smuggler who does work for the Republic) on a collision course.  There is also the slight matter of a Bounty Hunter...

Read more... )
virtualvoyages: The words "SW:TOR Fan Fic" on a starburst background (Fan fic)
(The universe of SW:TOR is, obviously, not my own. I am merely playing in George Lucas, Lucasarts, Bioware, etc's sandbox.)
Title: Conflicts of Interest (Part Three)
Genre: Gen (adventure)
Rating: PG (mild violence, swearing)
Summary: Missions for their respective governments have set Kyrian (an Imperial Agent) and Jezari (a Smuggler who does work for the Republic) on a collision course.  There is also the slight matter of a Bounty Hunter...

Read more... )
virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)
 Tumblr is happily squeeing about the fact that the main character may not be white.  Which would be cool.

There's the possibility that it will be less ethically fucked up than The Clone Wars, which I periodically try to like, but which is so black and grey morality that I just can't.  (If the heroes acknowledged that everything's fucked up and just did their best, I'd probably be fine with it, but the show seems to want to have it both ways - dark! edgy! the Republic is evil! the Jedi are evil! root for our heroes who are obliviously supporting the evil! also, it's a less bad evil, so it's totes the good side!  See!  Heroism!)

It's Star Wars.

It should be exactly the kind of thing I like, given my fondness for scruffy teams running around being heroes.

I'm instead deeply meh about it.  Maybe it's just my reluctance to get too enthusiastic about something that might suck.  Maybe it's the fact that I really don't like Jedi.  Maybe it's that there's such a fine line between the tropes I love and tropes I really don't like, and I have this sinking feeling that the show is mostly the latter.

That main character?  He's an ex-Jedi with a mysterious past who has to pick up his lightsaber again and be a hero, and he's the leader of the group.  Gag me oh so much.  That is a character type that I viscerally hate.  Describe a character as "____ has to pick up their _____ again and be a hero" and my face is already squinching up in displeasure.

I'm not entirely sure why.  I'm fine with people turning hero.  I'm fine with people pulling themselves together again and being heroes.  I'm fine with (though it's not something I like that well) people turning in their badge/supersuit/whatever then after events returning to be heroes once again.  Which is kind of a full arc of the same thing I hate so much.  Kind of.

I think it's at least partially the conflation of hero with their _____.  Ex-Jedi dude can't be a hero unless he uses his lightsaber because Jedi and hero are synonyms and he can't possibly hero without a lightsaber.  Even though waving around a lightsaber would make heroing riskier not just for himself (his choice, there) but for the people he's trying to help.  The Empire's not going to be cool with anyone fucking up their plans, but that anyone is a Jedi?  They're going to come down like two tons of bricks on anyone that Jedi helps.  (In Rebellion Era tabletop games I've played, the universal response to someone whipping out a lightsaber was "HOLY FUCK PUT THAT THING AWAY!" because I am not the only one who thinks that the Empire's response to a Jedi running around - or a possible Jedi running around - would be to kill the whole area with fire.)

But it's not really the very distinctive weapon, it's that whole idea that he's more of a hero with a lightsaber than he is without one. Being a hero is about what you do, not what you do it with.   Confusing the two is a very bad idea.  For one thing, it suggest that heroes without a _____ are less than those with it.  That is not cool.

The fact that the ____ we're talking about is a lightsaber just makes it worse.  I have major Jedi issues to begin with.  My default stance on Jedi is "Yuck."  I have to remind myself that I love Zayne Carrick, and that Luke and Obi-Wan are all right (and there are other EU Jedi I thought were all right when I read about them).  At which point I amend it to Jedi being "Mostly yuck."

I have a lot of trouble with superpowered heroes.  The appeal of magic, or superpowers, or Force Sensitivity always runs smack up against my dislike of special heroes, of the idea that ordinary humans are useless and just exist as roadblocks or rescuees, of the idea that only some people can be heroes.  Some times fiction does a good job of handling a world where some people have powers and some don't and makes it clear that there are many ways to be heroic and do good and all that.  And some times I end up feeling like the series tag line should've been "Whoever wins, we lose."

That the ex-Jedi is the leader of the heroes and that he has to pick up his lightsaber again does not bode well for Star Wars: Rebels.  At least for whether I'll like it.  (Did there even need to be a leader?  Tell me, who was the leader in the original trilogy?  Yeah, Mon Mothma led the Rebel Alliance, but of our motley crew of heroes?  There wasn't one.  If there had to be a leader, did it have to be a guy?  Did it have to be a Jedi?  Did they have to go with the must pick up lightsaber to be hero thing?  It's like they picked the answer I would least like to every one of those questions.  If the heroes included an ambiguously brown Jedi-in-hiding, one who'd either never put down his lightsaber or who did fine without one, I'd have gone "Oh, cool." with only a bit of Jedi reservation.)
virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)
 I apologize for having sort of dropped of the face of the Earth.  First it was writer's block, then my state was on fire... you know how it is.  (Okay, my state is still on fire, just not where I am.  At the moment.)

In the meantime, enjoy(?) some of my artwork in a meme I found in a SW:TOR fan group over on deviantART.  (I have a long ways to go to be good at art, but I'm fairly certain I've gotten past the Vogon poetry equivalent stage of art.  At least I hope I have.  I take no responsibility if your eyeballs flee in horror.)

Also, fair warning, my sense of humor may at times only make sense to me.  (I r weird.)

Art-like thing with SW:TOR characters.

If you have a deviantART, feel free to comment there (or here).  If not, I'm afraid deviantART doesn't allow visiting comments, so comment away here. :)

The aurebesh in #10 reads "Casino Royale" (as in the 2006 movie).

(The events of which would be a reason to say "no," yes?  ...  No? ... I did warn you my sense of humor may only make sense to me.)
virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)
I ran across a gaming blog post (somewhere) that postulated that games should sometimes punish people for taking the good (or "good") option, instead of always rewarding them. While they were discussing standalone computer games (and I see some potential problems with punishing people for doing good things in game), I think they're on to something.

Then again, I could just have a sadistic streak.

Seriously, though, I do think game designers sacrifice story (and sometimes all logic) in their desire to not punish players for their choices. Especially if those choices are the good ones. Now, maybe they're right and players would feel punished if good choices had logical fall out. But I suspect that most players would prefer an awesome story, even if their character has a shitty time of it, and even if their good choices mean that sometimes bad things happen to their character or they miss out on a reward or whatever.

I support my theory with the fact that nearly everyone deems the Agent story the best in SW:TOR even though it has (regardless of moral choices) your character go through hell to do their job, not to mention get screwed over by their own government. One actually has the sense that their could be fall out from making Light Side decisions in that story, and there may be a time or two, minorly. (I can't always remember what choices were LS/DS and what were regular conversation.) I suspect that if they had included actual fall out from LS decisions, the story would've only been deemed more memorable and awesome.

In contrast, the Sith Warrior story has, so far, lacked any sense of threat surrounding LS choices because your master just invents reasons for them. It takes a way part of the fun of playing a Light Side Imperial to feel that you could plant the Jedi flag in your master's chamber and dance around it singing "Go Republic!" and he'd just pat you on the head and complement your brilliant plan.


I just realized that, in a sense, making sure not to punish the character for non-faction-consistent actions kind of does end up punishing the player. It damages the immersiveness of the game and damages the story of the game. To put it in tabletop roleplaying terms, it leaves you with a gamemaster who's afraid to let anything bad happen to the characters no matter what the players choose. This isn't a good thing.

The fall out should be in-genre, of course, but there should be fall out. It can be minor and mission specific (my favorite early moment of the game actually does this - the Agent story mission Dark Meeting proves that being Honor Before Reason with Sith is...not wise) or it could be alternate missions prompted by previous choices (a little like how the romance stories with companions work - you flirt, you get the romance stories, you don't, you don't) - and if you get sufficiently dark as a Jedi, say, you get a little intervention meeting with important Jedi who are worried about you or if you get sufficiently light as a Sith, you get a threatening meeting with important Sith who are suspicious of you.

Likewise, too many good deeds as an agent should get some sort of either "I know what you're doing, you may get yourself horribly killed" or "I suspect you of treason" meeting with Keeper (Depending on exactly what Keeper's moral leanings are supposed to be. I'm still not entirely sure... So perhaps a threatening ambiguous meeting would be best... is he hinting that what you're doing is dangerous or is he hinting that he'll be happy to put you in front of a firing squad, give you to the Sith, whatever they do to traitors).

Being too Dark Side as a Smuggler could trigger problems with Republic customs. (Though - and this is another story fail due to being afraid players would feel punished - the story only ONCE notices that you are a frickin' criminal. The story would be vastly improved by people, you know, noticing.  More lines of dialogue indicating that people are suspicious of you, or surprised by your heroics, or... ANYTHING.)

I have no ideas for Trooper or Bounty Hunter because the Trooper reports to someone who wouldn't likely object to them being Dark Side and Light Side and Dark Side have no meaning for Bounty Hunters.  If Troopers reported to someone who wasn't evil, then I'd say they should be brought in for discussion of how their risking a court martial if they're Dark Side.  If the alignments had meaning on a Bounty Hunter, I'd say that they should be threatened for breaking the Creed or giving Bounty Hunters a bad name by being unreliable and sometimes not doing what you were hired to do. Or something.

I mean, I loooove the letter of face palm*, but I would love it ten times more if a bounty hunter hired by her aggrieved husband showed up later.  Or, hell, even if you just got a second letter from the husband promising to hire a bounty hunter as soon as he could afford it.  Sith should be a lot more peeved if you don't do as they tell you (logically this would go away as a Sith character got higher level and more powerful, but on Agents and Bounty Hunters?  You should just get used to pain.)  The Republic should be upset if someone acting in their name is committing evil acts (then again, they don't notice all the Republic NPCs doing so...).

Generally speaking, games should care more about the story and less about the immediate rewards.  Have things play out the way they would in that genre, in that setting, with those people.  If that means that sometimes being good sucks, then, well, sometimes being good sucks.  You should get a reputation based on your actions and that should change how people react to you - for better or worse.  (And, hell, there would be times when having a bad reputation might be advantageous.  "Oh, god, it's the Slaughterer!  She never leaves anyone alive!" *NPCs flee the area, abandoning their stations and letting you walk in and get/do what you came for*  Conversely, a good deed might result in an NPC going "Wait, don't shoot him, he saved my brother!" and getting everyone to stand down and let you get/do what you came for.)  Committing crimes - for good or ill - should come back to haunt you.  Not behaving as your faction deems appropriate should bite you in the ass.  I think most players would be too damn entertained to care if sometimes being good meant that their character got a beating instead of a reward.  I also think that, the better the story you tell, the more the story itself becomes the reward.

I'm less comfortable with more serious versions of the idea, simply because I would rather fiction didn't say "doing good is pointless" or "being evil leads to success."  I realize some measure of that is true in reality, but I want my fiction to be better than reality.  (Which is not to say that people shouldn't make games with those messages - I just want them to market them clearly so that only people who do like grim fiction buy them.  I would, for example, expect a Song of Ice and Fire game to operate under those rules because that's how that fictional world works.  Good fails.  Evil succeeds. Or fails.  Because it is a world of suck.  And the people who like the books would want that.)

* As it's a minor spoiler for a mission on Imperial Balmorra, scroll to the bottom of this entry
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My friends have been begging me to try Guild Wars 2, so I finally did this weekend since they're doing a free trial weekend. I might as well give my impressions, even if they're undoubtedly a little biased by my having played with a guy who's playstyle is hyperactive squirrel on tripleshot espresso bender. (And who has a bad habit of asking questions like "what kind of bow did I send you" in the middle of a fight. Because, clearly, I can open my bag and look while in combat. That won't be a problem. At all.)

The Good:
It's very, very pretty. Reminds me a bit of Aion, both in what the world looks like and in the very anime-esque character looks. (Barring the male face that looks, I kid you not, like Clint Eastwood. Whut.) And, of course, there's a decent amount of character customization - a number of faces to choose from, and some ability to adjust the faces, as well as hair styles and what not. (There really aren't any black hairstyles for human women, though, which is odd.)
You have a bit of a story based on the background you "build" in character creation - there's a set of choices for each race and your personal story draws on them. (Though the stories can seem kind of odd, depending on the profession (class) you took. Be a street rat Thief and, after having participated in a battle, even the captain of the guard doesn't mention your former activities. Whut.)
You can move when you're casting. And gathering things can be gathered by everyone - the nodes don't disappear if someone else gathers them. Likewise, you don't have to group to get named thingies, just fight them with everyone else and you get credit.
The Bad:
It's very clearly designed for horny fifteen year olds who like women. The female character idle animations look more appropriate to a club setting (or possibly a porno) "Ooh, look at me, I'm so hot, teehee" And female magic users (Mesmers and Elementalists) start out in... er... Hi, I work in a brothel clothing (or is that "clothing"), including skirts so short you can see their undies when they run. The fuck?
It's not a very responsive game, especially as far as character movement goes. After playing it for a day, I went back to SW:TOR and was drunkenly staggering around because, hey, the game actually responds to my mouse movements.
Watching cutscenes is really boring when you have no input.
The I Don't Really Know:
You unlock skills for each weapon you can use by using the weapons. You only have a handful of skills at any one time (depending on what you've got equipped, etc - what element you're in on an elementalist, for example), which is okay - MMOs can rather bury people in skills and action bars.
You can also dodge, theoretically. The lack of responsiveness doesn't help there.
I didn't really find the event based questing very immersive. Then again, I was playing with hyperactive squirrel guy - playing with him in SW:TOR also left me with no fucking clue what was going on or why.

Final verdict:
Watching a story play out does not, in fact, make it your story. Sorry Guild Wars 2, you've essentially got the same amount of story as WoW. Also, the idle animations and clothing make it pretty damn clear you don't want my money. Yeah, I like making characters I think are attractive. That doesn't mean I want to watch them gyrating like they're hoping I'll jump through the screen and do them.

I might play it with hyperactive squirrel guy and friends if it fell in my lap for free, but I'm not going to spend money on it.  Especially as it, like Aion is sexist enough in character/clothing design to piss me off.  I'm fine with games giving you the option to dress your character sexy.  I'm not okay with games making that choice for you.
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Obviously, all the plots in an MMORPG are going to be railroad plots (and much of the time in tabletop gaming as well, really), but there's still the matter of whether one feels railroaded or not. Or at least as if one bought the ticket to where the train is going, as opposed to finding out that somehow your ticket to Orlando was now a ticket to Juneau or London or Nairobi. (Halp! This train is teleporting!)

Most of the time, despite inherently having less choice than a tabletop game (where, say, one's Jedi could devote his or her life to correcting the wrongs the Republic is committing, or one's Bounty Hunter could decide that, actually, they'd rather become a rescuer of folks kidnapped by the assorted despicable governments, or whatever), SW:TOR does a great job of presenting stories that flow naturally and feel as if they contain real choices (even if those choices often lack the consequences they really should carry). But sometimes, they flub up badly.

And they - in my opinion anyway - flubbed in Chapter one of the Bounty Hunter and in Chapter Two of the Jedi Knight

Spoilers under )
virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)
So, let's just pretend I haven't not posted here in ages.  Still here.  Still playing SW:TOR.  Still writing...or trying to write...or something.

Brief non-spoilery sum-up: the romances in SW:TOR are kind of strange, some of the storylines have plans that really make no sense in them, both factions are evil as frak, and I still love the hell out of the game.  (Though I have a bit of a problem with the flat out black vs. black story.)

Spoiler babbling follows. You have been warned. )
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First, the nonspoilery review of the two classes I've finished (and they will come as a surprise to no one).

Agent: Totally awesome!  Epic fun spy fiction along the lines of James Bond (though less ruthless if you play Light Side).  Oddly enough, quite possibly the furthest to the Idealism side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs Cynicism, if played Light Side.  The vast majority of LS choices line up nicely with good (though I will note that many only work because this is an idealistic story as you are frequently endangering your mission by being LS) and it is tropetastic in the best possible sense.

Smuggler: I love the dialogue options, but the story did not hold up at all well. I felt like it's twists were more on the order of retcons and the story just felt a bit generic.  (Rather than centered on you/your chosen career the way the Agent story is.)  While it still has a number of LS choices that are on the idealistic side and the story itself could still be argued to be, it's set in a not-so-idealistic world.

Now for the more spoilery class reviews and some tweaks that I think would have made the game a ton better.

Spoilers under cut )

virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)
First, let me apologize for the long pause in writing! I am so sorry, life and a bit of writer's block has slowed me down. I will get the rest of "Conflicts of Interest" written, I promise!

I don't remember exactly when last December I started playing. I know it was slightly after launch, though by game time I was in it from the beginning. I had to replace my computer in order to play (except for the video card) and I know we didn't get the new one made until after the game launched. In any event, I've been playing for about a year, and loving it. Best. MMO. Ever. (That I have played, anyway.)

So... my one year commentary. The game is mostly awesome, but with a few things I wish were different.

I burbble about the game )
*The fact that I can't decide if the game is presenting a conflict that is Black and White (but with a lot of good people on the wrong side and a lot of evil people on the good side) or Black and Black (with a lot of hapless good people caught up in it) or meant to be Black and White and the writers failed hard makes my fan fic very hard to write sometimes. In fact, that's why I'm having writer's block at the moment, I think. My knowledge of the world is interfering with my characters making in character decisions. They don't have my knowledge, though. They don't know about Belsavis and a whole bunch of other stuff. Argl.

virtualvoyages: The words "SW:TOR Fan Fic" on a starburst background (Fan fic)
(The universe of SW:TOR is, obviously, not my own. I am merely playing in George Lucas, Lucasarts, Bioware, etc's sandbox.)

Title: Conflicts of Interest (Part Two)
Genre: Gen (adventure)
Rating: PG (mild violence, swearing)
Summary: Missions for their respective governments have set Kyrian (an Imperial Agent) and Jezari (a Smuggler who does work for the Republic) on a collision course.  There is also the slight matter of a Bounty Hunter...


Read more... )
virtualvoyages: The words "SW:TOR Fan Fic" on a starburst background (Fan fic)
(The universe of SW:TOR is, obviously, not my own. I am merely playing in George Lucas, Lucasarts, Bioware, etc's sandbox.)

Title: Conflicts of Interest (Part One)
Genre: Gen (adventure)
Rating: PG
Summary: Missions for their respective governments seem to have set Kyrian (an Imperial Agent) and Jezari (a Smuggler who does work for the Republic) on a collision course.  There is also the slight matter of a Bounty Hunter...



virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)
In which I ramble about bounty hunters in Star Wars, Boba Fett, and why I've decided to go with logic, rather than canon, in my fanficing. (Which, yes, I'm still doing. I've just been eaten by moving.)

I've been playing SW:TOR and loving it (obviously), as have a number of my friends. We're all Star Wars fans anyway, and the fun we've been having with the MMO prompted us to break out the old D20 Star Wars RPG and have ourselves a game over the internet (we're spread across two states - and even those of us in the same state live in two different cities). We're playing in an AU based off one of the Infinities comics - the New Hope one, I think.

Following my usual tendency to make the most useful of characters*, I'm playing a gambler with the attention span of a squirrel and an affinity for walking into obvious traps (especially when pretty girls are involved). The rest of the party consists of a deserter from the Empire, a mechanic, a drunken Force user, an escaped pleasure slave (who is almost certainly more than she seems), a rebel soldier (or a soldier from what's left of the rebellion, anyway), and a bounty hunter.

It's the last character on the list that prompted this post. You see, the player decided her awesome bounty hunter should have the exact same armor as Boba Fett. Which sounds like a great idea on the surface. You know, before one actually looks at Boba Fett's armor and all it contains and has attached to it. (And, no, I'm not talking about the Wookiee scalps.) I'm beginning to think we should've linked her Cracked's Boba Fett rant. Though, given that she replicated Boba Fett's armor after reading the description of it in one of the source books, it might be a lost cause.

What's wrong with Boba Fett's armor, you ask? EVERYTHING. Even if we skip the fact that he looks rather like a space hobo (seriously, have moths been at his cape?), the dude made some really bad choices.

- He's got pockets at shin level in his pants - which means he can only reach what's in them by bending over or dropping to one knee (not the best choice for a man in a dangerous line of work).

- He has a wrist mounted flame thrower that (at least according to the game source book) is fed from the fuel for his jet pack. Which couldn't possibly backfire horribly. Oh no.

- His jet pack also has missile/grappling hook launcher - because a jet pack is totally where I'd want to launch things from, what with the flammable fuel and all.

- And, speaking of flammable, the guy is wearing a cape with his jetpack. A CAPE!? There's a whole new "No capes!" waiting to happen. (And why has no one fan-arted this?) But that's not the worst!

- The worst, the winner of the "what was Boba thinking!?" award, is the fact that he has rocket darts on his knees.

That's right, guys. Boba Fett has the ability to fire darts with his knees. How, Mr. Fett, do you plan on aiming those? Your eyes are waaaaay up here on your head. Unless you're keeping a second set somewhere else, I'm thinking those darts don't hit their target very often. (Though I desperately want to go all Mythbusters and build kneepad dart launchers and test their aim. Desperately.)

So, yeah, my friend and fellow player read up all that at and just copied it for her character. Knee darts, high likelihood of self-immolation and all. I expect hilarity when she uses the knee darts.

But I can't blame her too much. Lucas and co. came up with that mess and, apparently, no one ever went "Cape and jetpack, whut?" or "Knee darts!? bwahahahahaha" at any point during the design process. This was clearly pure rule of cool with no thought at all for how any of it would actually work. After all, we were treated to another bit of rule of cool/lack of thought with the whole "No disintegration." line.

How the frak are you supposed to collect a bounty on someone you've disintegrated? You can't even prove that they're dead, much less that you killed them. (There is a part of me that wonders if Karrels Javis saying that people will probably think he was disintegrated if your Agent spares him on Hutta in SW:TOR was a writer's subtle poke at the whole disintegrating people thing.) And, besides, bounty hunters aren't, technically, assassins in the first place.

Or at least, they're not supposed to be. The lore suggests they're not (see the Bounty Hunter's Creed), the dialogue in SW:TOR suggests they're not. And yet, there's very little non-lethal weaponry for bounty hunting in either the d20 game or in SW:TOR. Hell, the only non-lethal weaponry my SW:TOR bounty hunter has (so far, anyway) are her electro darts. That's it. And those, by all logic, shouldn't work on people in heavy armor, being darts and all. (Though at least they're wrist fired, not knee fired.)

This has lead to my having to re-equip my SW:TOR bounty hunter for her appearance in my fanfics. She needs to be armed mainly with non-lethal weaponry: the electro darts, flash grenades, stun baton...some sort of ion weapon for shorting out droids or power armor, perhaps a sonic weapon, sticky foam... you know, things you'd actually use to capture someone. Ironically, re-outfitting her makes her more dangerous as a fanfic character, since Plot Armor doesn't work on non-lethal measures (something you'd think savvy villains would take advantage of).

And, no, she does not wear a cape with her jetpack. No flaming "No capes!" moment for her.

Damn, now I want to go fanfic.

And draw Boba Fett's flaming "No capes!" moment.

And build knee darts.

Knee darts. Bwahahahahahahaha!

*Someday, I really should try to come up with a complete badass in some game, somewhere. I always play the comic relief, the voice of reason, or both. Though I suspect that any attempt to make a complete badass would simply result my making a comic relief character with skilz. Look at my writing! My characters suffer from badass decay (or at least get handed the dude in distress ball) by the time I start writing about them! The real problem, of course, is that I prefer characters who are awesome and fallible. That second part tends to punt them out of badass territory.
virtualvoyages: A woman with brown hair and small tattoos under her eyes faces the viewer (Captain Jezari)
I don't care who tries to tell you what about Taris, stay away from it. It's a rakghoul infested cesspit and I don't want to have to come smuggle your ass off it because you fell for the brochures and now Governor Asshole won't let you leave.  I mean it.  There is nothing there except swamp, rakghouls, pirates and toxic waste.  And people who fell for the brochures.

The customs official's a jerk, the governor just cares what it looks like to the people back home, and the soldiers have been stuck there so long they're losing it.  The damn planet needs warning beacons, not resettlement.

Seriously, I don't care if your great-great-great-great grandwhatever had land there, it's not worth it. 

Not than anybody'll listen to me.

Damn being an upstanding citizen.

virtualvoyages: Young woman with brown hair, almond eyes, and a slightly rounded face (Novani)
Coruscant is nothing like I imagined it would be.  I mean, it's a city-world of shining towers and the beautiful senate building we've all seen on the news, and an amazing amount of traffic I'd be afraid to try to navigate without the Force, but...  I knew it was hit hard in the war, I knew the temple there was destroyed.  I didn't think there would still be people displaced and struggling.  I didn't think senators, senators would take advantage of them.  I thought if anywhere would have the power and the funds to rebuild properly, it would be Coruscant.

There are whole sectors law enforcement has given up on!  This isn't what the Galactic Republic is like.  How can we have abandoned our own on our capitol world!?  Something has gone horribly wrong somewhere.

But I don't have time to fix it.  I never realized being a Jedi would mean that I'd have so many problems to solve that I can't solve them all.  At least not at the same time.  How can I be powerful enough to be our best hope against one problem, but not powerful enough to find out what's wrong with the Republic?

Unless it is all the same problem.  Everything is connected by the Force.  Maybe in finding and curing the other Jedi afflicted by the Dark Plague I'll heal the Republic, too.

Master Yuon wasn't ill, not in the conventional sense.  Somehow, she was given this... this mind plague that hasn't been seen in a long time. The Sith who created it is dead, but some other Sith must be using his teachings to bring it back.  But I learned a technique for freeing people from the Dark Plague, and so I have to find the others who've been infected and free them.  I was able to save Master Yuon and I'm sure I'll be able to save the others.

I hope.

At least I have Qyzen by my side.  He knows so much more about the galaxy and he's very strong and wise.  I don't know what I'd do without him.

virtualvoyages: The words "SW:TOR Fan Fic" on a starburst background (Fan fic)
The universe of SW:TOR still belongs to George Lucas, Lucasarts, BioWare, etc...)

Title: The Enemy of My Enemy Is...? (Part Four of Four)
Genre: Gen (adventure)
Rating: PG
Summary: An Imperial Agent's and a Smuggler's missions intersect, for better or worse.



Read more... )


virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)
I've noted a time or two already that the factions of SW:TOR do not tidily break down to Good (the Republic) vs. Evil (the Empire).  Which is actually kind of nice and, at least in my opinion, better than the Protagonist-Centered Morality Good vs. Evil of the prequel movies.  (It's even better than the Good vs. Evil of the original movies, especially if people are going to be playing both factions.)  But I've noticed some odd things about it.

Cut for mild spoilers and space saving )

virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)
Favorite location? But I haven't been everywhere yet.  Ah, well, we'll go with my default of babbling about the subject of the question my own way.

While SW:TOR isn't as pretty as some games, it's got pretty good graphics and a wide variety of planets, most of which I find quite nice.  And a few of which are appropriately eyesores.

I was surprised to find myself enjoying the deserty wide open spaces of Tatooine, which are somehow more appealing in game than they were in A New Hope.  Some of my friends hate Tatooine, but I rather like it.  (The Empire does seem to have shuffled all its least competent people there, though.  Which leads to some very funny overheard NPC dialogue.)

Alderaan is also very lovely, though I found myself wondering if I shouldn't have packed a winter coat.  (I expect to be bothered by that to a far greater degree when I arrive at Hoth. But there doesn't appear to be any cold weather gear in game.)

Dromund Kaas is horror movie pretty, though I wouldn't go so far as to picnic there.  (Kaliyo, you are so weird.)  It also feels like perpetual dusk, which makes me wonder how the heck the plants manage to survive so marvelously.  They must have epic photosynthesis abilities.  Or snack on the wildlife when we're not looking...

Korriban is another deserty planet, though you see so much less of it than Tatooine that it makes less of an impression.  Likewise, parts of Tython are pretty, but the WoWishness of questing there kind of ruins it.  (Why do the Manka Cats all have dentures!?  WHY!?)  And Balmorra somehow fails to leave an impression (even if the quests there do).

Hutta is appropriately disgusting, Taris is the sludgy swamp of wreckage everyone loves to hate (or just hates), Ord Mantell is just kind of there, and...

Then we get to the planets where my opinions make no sense even to me.  Coruscant and Nar Shaddaa are both city-planets and the questing all takes place in corridors and rooms, yet I don't care for Coruscant (except for the view when I'm outside) but enjoy Nar Shaddaa.  And I don't know why.

Actually, I have a suspicion why - maybe two suspicions - Coruscant is where you learn that the Republic is a frickin' mess and possibly hopelessly corrupt.  If my Republic characters manage to somehow get off their starting worlds without realizing that the good side is messed all to hell, they'll quickly learn it there.  You're fixing messes created by the Republic failing miserably to live up to anything resembling its ideals, discovering how speciesist it is just under the surface, and how corrupt it all is.

Nar Shaddaa, that neon-lit land of debauchery, slums, and rampaging gangs is exactly what you'd expect of Smuggler's Moon, the seedy jewel of Hutt space.  It's an awful mess, but you're not supposed to be on the side of the ruling establishment (in as much as there even is a ruling establishment).  Also, Empire side, you get to punch a Hutt.  And who hasn't always wanted to punch a Hutt?

There is also the fact that the quests on Nar Shaddaa have a bit more humor than the ones on Coruscant.  Now, I've had it claimed to me by people of a forum I visit that the Republic side is every bit as funny as the Imperial side, it's simply a different kind of humor.  A more blatant kind.  A kind that, apparently, sails right over my head.  (Excepting the humor of the Smuggler quests.  There is humor there!)

I don't suppose anyone could point out this blatant, possibly Benny Hill accompanied, humor that I'm missing on the Republic side?

20 Days of TOR (Redux)
Day 01
– Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Why did you decided to start a blog?
Day 03Your best SW:TOR playing experience Your first day playing SW:TOR
Day 04 – Your favorite SW:TOR quest or quest chain
Day 05 – Favorite item(s) in game
Day 06 – How many active characters do you have? Do you suffer from "altitis"?
Day 07 – The reason behind your blog’s name
Day 08 – Your favorite class so far, and why
Day 09 – Favorite attack or special move
Day 10 – Crafting: yay or nay? What professions, if any, do you seriously pursue?
Day 11 – Bad in-game habits and flaws
Day 12 – What's a typical TOR gaming session look like for you?
Day 13 – What do you hope Bioware will add to the game?
Day 14 – What aspect of the game upsets you the most?
Day 15 – Have you created a unique headcanon for your characters? If so, what is it?
Day 16 – Your favorite character companion
Day 17 – Your favorite in-game location
Day 18 – Your favorite outfit
Day 19 – What strange things do you keep in your bags or bank?
Day 20 – Conclude with a free day! Write about a SW:TOR topic that the previous 19 days failed to address


virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)

March 2016

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