Well, I’ve been very busy this past week with SWTOR, but surprisingly enough I haven’t really been within the game very much. What I have done in-game has been a blast though! I dusted off my Shadow Tank (Shout out to Ravanel for convincing me to try picking up the Shadow again after the horrible experience I had with an Assassin-but that was my own fault), and have been doing some class quests (12x XP woot!) and some Warzones. Playing this Shadow has actually really gotten me to enjoy playing on the Republic side as well considering all of my toons up to this point have been Sith (Zernebog is a Juggernaut Tank, Dodola is a Sorcerer Healer, and Ja’rilo is a Powertech Tank-even on Jung Ma all I have is Zerneblog as a Juggernaut Tank).
I have now completed Nar Shaddaa on Awwim and am heading on to Tatooine (halfway through level 28 and in level 21 gear). I’m waiting until I hit 29 on Tatooine until I upgrade my gear though since I think I can probably handle the first class quest with Qyzen as my companion in DPS stance. If I have trouble I can always pull out that creepy man slut, Theran Cedrex (though I would rather just force push him into a Sarlacc pit), to heal me while I go through the rest of the class mission waiting to ding 29. I must say that I have really enjoyed the ability to FINALLY be able to generate enough aggro on the mobs that I can keep aggro off of Qyzen (I have turned his Taunt ability off and placed him DPS stance instead of tank stance) without having to have guard on him at all times.
I must acknowledge the fact that I have enjoyed the planetary shake-up between Empire and Republic though. I have been so used to doing starter planet to Drommund Kaas, to Balmorra, to Nar Shaddaa. It was refreshing to see new planets like Tython (I saw the Jedi Temple before it was destroyed!!) and Coruscant, and even more interesting to see Taris this early in the game instead of after Chapter 2 (though that little interlude between Nar Shaddaa and Tatooine where you have to go to that cruiser and save someone was a little odd so early-I’m used to those kind of quests being between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2).
I have also really grown to love the play style of the Shadow (at least up to level 28). I have really enjoyed being able to vanish (stealth) and open combat with Project while rushing to further enemy to establish aggro. I have found that tanking at low levels is actually much easier with the Shadow than it was when I leveled my Juggernaut (though by the time 3.0 dropped Zerne was already a level 53, so I didn’t get many of my really tanky abilities until much higher levels). One thing I do wish you got earlier on the Shadow was the Force Pull ability like you have on the Powertech (I was using the Harpoon ability while running Athiss). That would be really beneficial. The rotation I have been working on at level 28 also feels a bit clunky, and trying to keep up Kinetic Ward takes some getting used to. With Ja’rilo I just have to keep building stacks of Heat something so I can use Heat Screen to increase my Shield/Absorb chance. On Zerne it’s all about using Saber Reflect on cooldown (both for the threat and for the defensive cooldown). I feel like I’m getting it, but if you have any advice on post 3.0 Shadow Tank rotations at low levels, please feel free to give me some feedback!
PvP Warzones have been sooooooo much fun with the Shadow Tank. Having the Force Cloak ability is AWESOME!!!!! I can stealth out of combat, force speed away from the fray, heal, force speed back (while stealthed), CC someone and then begin wailing on others in the fray without dying. Granted I do sometimes get jumped by about six people off of the opposing team, but at times like that I know there are only two members either defending their node or going to attack another. I know I am helping my team when that is happening. Of the several warzones I have played on Awwim, I have been on the winning side in the majority of them. Even when I haven’t won, I have been one of the top players on my team (though usually not the top player-I’m usually #2 or #3). The Shadow has really reawakened my love of PvP, but I wish there was some kind of a self-healing ability that I could pop to gain back a little HP.
I have had several great matches recently (I was queueing along with two other guildies, and we were just destroying the matches! I was never the top performer, but I was also never at the bottom. Special shoutout to Aces (Jedi Sentinel on Ebon Hawk) and Adriel (Jedi Shadow on Ebon Hawk) for all their help and amazing work in these PvP matches!
Outside of the Game
I have also been getting into a lot of podcasts. I tend to like these because I can listen to them on the bus while I head to campus for class or painting or something exterior. I have had the opportunity to really get into a couple of them. Of course I still love Ootinicast, but there are so many more of them out there that are amazing! Marshall and Will do a great job with The Usual Podcast (they focus on SWTOR, Star Wars in general, and finally geek and pop culture all in the same show! Check them out! These guys are badass, and I love the taste in Beer!). Redna has also recently come up with a new podcast that examines the role of cannon since the Disney takeover of Star Wars in his new podcast It’s A Trap with his great cohost Ordoo (@OrdooSkirata). If you’re new to the Star Wars Universe, I really encourage you to take a look at It’s A Trap. Lastly, as far as podcasts go, Marshall, Will, and Master Liu have gotten me interested in checking out Coffee With Kenobi. I’m a huge fan of these guys too. Give them a listen!
Finally, I have also been trying to figure out Enjin. We’ve been doing a little bit of work on our guild website, and I have been trying to learn as much as possible about the web design engine. I wish it was a little more newbie friendly! I look forward to continuing work with the guild site while also trying to get more going in game. I’m looking forward to the June 15 special announcement from Bioware concerning #FallenEmpire. I can’t wait! And I can’t wait to get back in game!
(Sorry, I don’t have any current screenshots of Awwim or Zerneblog, but stay tuned and I’ll have some up on my next post!)