SWTOR Fan Blog Groups

There are loads of posts out about the Outfit Designer and Ziost right now, and though I have been able to do a little bit of play within Ziost, I really don’t want this blog post to revolve around it.  Instead, I would like to highlight the fact that I have started a couple of groups that I hope will bring those of us that are SWTOR bloggers and SWTOR blog readers together.

The first is housed on facebook:  SWTOR Fan Blogs

The other is on Google+:  SWTOR Fan Blogs

I hope that many of you come and join me on one or both of these groups.  I look forward to being able to chat with my readers as well as other bloggers.  There are so many different ideas out there about what people would like to read about and ideas from many of the other bloggers out there.  I hope these groups will do well to get people together and thinking about this game that we all love so much.

That’s really about all I have to be able report.  I have recently taken a more active role in my guild as we seek to bring in more recruits, so if you’re on the Ebon Hawk server, come give us a chance!  Order of Shadow Knights for those of Imperial persuasion and Knights of Shadow if you’re more likely to align with the Republic.  We look forward to having you on board!

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Caution:  Brain Matter Ahead

I first wanted to apologize for missing last week’s blog post. There has been so much going on with Star Wars over the last fourteen days that I thought my brain was going to explode!  So, where do I even begin?

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Double XP Week

I am so glad that I got a chance to really take advantage of the double XP in SWTOR over the past week. I chose to focus mainly on my new Powertech, Ja’rilo, and over the past week I was able to take him from a lowly level 17 to level 27, all without getting my D7 Mantis or finishing Drommund Kaas. How, you ask?  Lots and lots and lots and lots of Flashpoints. In one evening I tanked Mandolorian Raiders five times in a row (and managed to get a few decent gear drops). Unlike many, though, I really hate running Kuat Drive Yards over and over again. I really am not a huge fan of Tacticals because they don’t allow me to hone my skills as a tank. I, of course, ran one run of KDY everyday that I played for the 20 Basic Comms it grants through Group Finder, but I didn’t want KDY to me my leveling strategy. Especially since you really only get reputation and XP for it. I needed that sweet sweet gear.

So, what kind of drops did I end up with?  Well, I got the Athiss Enforcer’s Headgear (that weird Miner-looking Bounty Hunter helm from Athiss; thank goodness for the Hide Head Slot function!!),

Athiss Headgear

the Clan Varad Recon Body Armor (the one with the bandolier down the front in a mustardy-goldenrody color scheme),

clan varad recon body armor

Blademaster’s Clan Varad Greaves (those vertically striped pants for Juggernauts, but since we didn’t have a Juggernaut in the group I won them with a greed roll and replaced the mods with Commando mods and an Absorb enhancement).

Blademaster's Clan Varad Greaves

Between these drops and the Formal Boots from the Social Vendor in the Nexxus Room Cantina and the Butcher’s Gauntlets from the Dark Side vendor on fleet,

Butcher's Gauntlets

With the Great Hunt Blaster and the orange Hammer Station Shield Generator, I have most of my gear as orange grade-just missing the bracers and belt.  Since the Outfit Designer is coming out soon, I don’t think I’ll worry about finding pieces that I really really like quite yet (besides I think I want to go for a Cathar Cad Bane look instead of a Boba Fett Mandalorian look-way too many of those around!).

I didn’t do much with Zernebog except for a bunch of crafting in hopes of saving some Comms while gearing out Ja’rilo and Dodola.  I did, however, run on Dodola a little and got her in her full set of 140’s.  I’ll grab some screenshots of both Ja’rilo and Dodola soon so that I can post them here in all their finery.  Then again, there is always the Star Wars Day subscriber bonus coming up for the return of 12x XP!!!!

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The Force Awakens Trailer

You can’t really expect any SWTOR blogger to not mention the second trailer can you?  Of course every Star Wars fan has seen the trailer by now, if not multiple times (yeah yeah, I’ve probably watched it literally thirty or forty times).  What did you think of it?  Of course, barely any of it goes together, and it’s not like we can take the fact that a scene is shown in the trailer before another that it is the same in the movie, but it just makes me all the more excited for it to come out.  Those chrome Stormtroopers!  I think it was Far Far Away Radio where I heard the quote, but it is so relevant.  Allow me to paraphrase: You know that the Chrometrooper is going to be a badass because he has a cape.  All Star Wars badasses have capes.  Also, like many others have said, this Chrometrooper is going to make up for all the missed shots delivered by Stormtroopers in the original trilogy.

Chrometrooper

And then there is Kylo Ren.  For those not in the know (though I am sure there are precious few of us, Kylo Ren is the name of the “Sith” coming about in The Force Awakens).  Now, Kylo Ren looks badass to me.  Maybe I’m partial to the dark side (yeah, I know I am), but really how amazing is that mask?  Not much has really been said about Kylo, but I am really interested in hearing his backstory.  I honestly don’t even know if Kylo Ren has been part of the Expanded Universe before J J Abrams chose to bring him into The Force Awakens.

Kylo Ren

Now for the part that has seemed to confuse a lot of people.  Mark Hamill’s voice talking about the force.  “My father has it, I have it, my sister has it, now you have it.”  The question that many people keep asking is, “Is Darth Vader coming back!?”  As amazing as that would be, I sincerely doubt it.  Anakin died at the end of Return of the Jedi.  We all know that.  Could he reappear as a force ghost?  Well, now that is possible.  We have seen Freedon Nadd (I think?) train Exar Kun as a force ghost, and if memory serves me correctly we also had Exar Kun appear to Luke on Yavin 4 to train him in the Dark Side.  So Vader as a force ghost is certainly possible, even though Anakin was “redeemed” by Luke when he throws Palpatine down the ventilation shaft.

Freedon Nadd ghostExar Kun

Finally, there is the scene that everyone has fallen in love with.  Come on, you know which one I’m talking about.  Could it possibly be?  Yes, it’s Han and Chewie.  This throw-back to the original screenshot from A New Hope made the hair on my arms and the back of my neck stand on end.  Though I am absolutely partial to the Empire (or the First Order for the new trilogy), Han and Chewie will always hold a special place in my heart.  Probably one of the reasons that I love Jakarro so much from the Forged Alliances story arc.  But why are Han and Chewie home?  I have no idea!  I guess we’re going to have to wait until December to find out for sure!

han and chewieWe're home

(Woah, now Chewie has found some amazing conditioner.  I wonder if it’s that Wen stuff!)

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Star Wars Rebels

Season 2 was previewed at celebration, and I have since watched it myself since I didn’t catch the stream.  I was skeptical of the new television series when I first heard about it, but I have watched all of season 1 and am actually really looking forward to season 2-probably because my favorite Togruta has come back!  Shaak Ti?  No!  Ahsoka!

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But, as if Ahsoka coming back wasn’t enough, we are seeing the return of several of our favorites from The Clone Wars.  Rex and Wolfe are also coming back.  Someone noticed that Dave Filoni and company were even careful enough to provide an explanation as to why Rex and Wolfe can return-their chips, like 5s’ (you know what I mean if you caught Season 6 of The Clone Wars on Netflix), have been removed.

Rex and Wolfee

And finally, the only character that can possibly be better than the return of Ahsoka (and only because he is my absolute favorite canon character), Darth Vader.  Thinking about Vader vs. Ahsoka is one of the main things causing my brain to pulse and threaten to demolish the bone prison in which it is housed.

Rebels Vader

Now that my brain matter is all over the wall…

Yes, I know that Battlefront has been announced, but I’m not super excited about it.  I know a lot of people are, but I was never into the Battlefront series.  I have actually recently gotten a copy of The Force Unleashed 2 for PC that I have been playing when not able to play SWTOR (though SWTOR always takes priority).  What are your thoughts as we approach the release of 3.2, the rev-up to the release of The Force Awakens, and the imminent release of Season 2 of Rebels?  What are you looking forward to the most in this upcoming amazing time for Star Wars fans?  What are you going to be doing with the upcoming 12 times xp and release of Ziost?

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A Little Bit of Everything

So, this week has been all over the place for me. I haven’t really been in SWTOR much lately either. One thing I have managed to do, however, is to spend about half of my credits buying Redoubt augments (a Guildie of mine made me some of the MK-10 kits and is also making me the rest of my 186 Redoubt Augments). I have also gotten myself down to only needing a main hand to complete my 186 set (though I am getting close to having enough Elite Comms to buy a 192 offhand to rip the mods for my mainhand).

One of the best parts of this week (at least as far as SWTOR goes) is the fact that I FINALLY have a decent pair of boots.

Boots

As many of my Guildies can attest, I have had one hell of a time finding a pair of boots that are palatable to my taste. I have been running around in the 178 Rishi pirate boots since I got them because I changed costumes shortly after Ilum (I had been in the Reinforced Mulline Chestguard from the Heroic 4 Pound of Flesh or that one about Jedi on Nar Shaddaa and the Indignation Greaves that were more of a skirt than pants).

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My old skirt used to hide my boots, so I didn’t really give a shit what they looked like. Before taking up the Forged Alliances arc, I started running Dailies in Section X and Black Hole where I found the Heavy Ciridium Body Armor that I currently have equipped (only now containing a primary black and secondary light gray dye module). But, I digress, back to the boots. I bought a pair of Indignation Boots off the GTN since I was looking for 186 Redoubt Augments (106k each on Ebon Hawk!!!!). I like the new boots much better than those damned pirate boots.

I also now have four pieces augmented for 186 defense stats (+32 power and +54 defense). Though this only brings my defense chance up to 18%, it at least helps me move over the hurdle of Warrior basic gear being full of Shield/Absorb rated gear. I just need to swap some of my enhancements out once I get enough Midlithe Crystals to craft purple Immunity enhancements (defense heavy). Gearing at 60 is almost like having to relearn the entire game!  I will of course continue to grind out my dailies for Comms, credits, and nodes, but it all depends on whether or not I can get enough basics to buy Bounty Hunter gear (optimized with defense of course) or gain enough Midlithe crystals to craft the enhancements. Oy-vey.

SaberChestpieceHead Piece

(Though the Tooltip is not pictured here, my gloves are also augmented, just didn’t get the Screenshot)

And now for a horse of a different color. I have finally succumbed to the socials. I now have a Twitter feed (you can find me with @zerneblog) and a Google+ account (Zerneblog-are you catching on to the theme here?).  Otherwise, I still have my gmail account as well (you guessed it- Zerneblog at gmail dot com). Feel free to follow me if you’d like, or whatever it is Google+ does. I will probably start a Facebook group in the near future as well, but that will be included on a post when the time comes.

I have had a couple of people mention to me that I should roll a toon on Jedi Covenant as well. So far, all of my toons have been on the Ebon Hawk, so going to JC (can’t you see JC, you’re alright by me, sannah hosannah hey superstar!-sorry, I have mental problems) would be interesting to say the least. But what do you think?  I am especially interested in hearing from you that have toons that cross server boundaries. How do you stay in contact with your home guild?  Do some guilds have cross-server representation?  Should I roll a toon on Jedi Covenant (no, I don’t do open world PvP-sorry XamXam)?

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Developer Appreciation Week

Well, it seems that Developer Appreciation Week has come, and frankly, I’m happy about it.  I have seen so much hatred going against Bioware Austin recently, and while I realize that there are more and more aspects of the game that should be repaired and bugs that need to be fixed, I can always look around the world around me and be excited about all the work the developers have put into SWTOR.  So many of the planets are made up so beautifully (even the planets I absolutely hate are beautiful like Alderaan and Tatooine).  And aside from that, you can really tell that the developers really put some time into the making of SWTOR when you look at how wonderfully all the character models have been made.  There is such an amazing amount of species diversity in SWTOR, and even the NPC’s are well made.

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I could go on and on and on about the beauty of SWTOR, but this is not its only strong suit.  The story is just so amazing as well.  Calphaya (Spawn of the Dread Master) has gone into so many critiques about the various class stories, so if you would like to read more about them (the reviews are full of spoilers, but then again, how can you review something without giving spoilers!?).  She has done such a better job concerning the stories than I ever could, so really, if you’re interested, check them out!  Not only are the stories amazing, however, but the voice acting is top notch!  Granted I have only finished 3.0 on one character (Zernebog, my main), and have only one other character in the higher levels (Dodola is getting ready to walk onto Voss), but the stories have all been so great, and the voices are just amazing.  I love the way Zernebog sounds, especially with that respirator on.

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You can just tell that the development team at Bioware Austin really poured their heart and soul into SWTOR because of all the attention to detail that they put into it.  Nothing ever appears choppy or out of place, and even the things that seemed as if they were rushed have been done with amazing grace.  I wish more of the players would look back to the when they were first beginning to play and realize what a wonderful job the developers did when creating this game.  I have played so many console games, and SWTOR is my first MMO, but the enormity of the game just blows my mind every single time I play.

Every.  Single.  Time.

Keep up the good work, Bioware, you have a wonderful game here.

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