Marking off another success in gaming

Hello fans, I know it’s been a long time since I have posted any material. Unfortunately it will continue to be that way for some time. I am working two full time jobs to help pay down debt, raising 5 kids, and only have a tiny speck of time to do much gaming these days. However, I am STILL gaming some, just not anything truly Retro.

What little video game time I have for the last several months, has been spent playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. I know, it’s an MMO and updated recently so it’s not technically retro either. Hence why I have not had much to say on it. I will say that one of the things I really admire about this game is that each individual class on each side (Republic and Sith) have VERY distinct story lines and the choices you make during those story lines can greatly impact what happens. The game is also fully voice acted… that means that EVERY interaction from the most insignificant person all the way up to endgame content is 100% voice acted and you only have to read the text if they are speaking in another language (which does happen). So far, I have a number of characters that I have created. My first is a Bounty Hunter (Sith) who I played as a truly neutral PC, he has just the same amount of dark side points and light side points (or very close). My second was a Republic Trooper (Republic) who is literally a goody two shoes and I have NEVER picked the dark side choice EVER. Then I have my Sith Warrior who’s…well… all dark side and it shows.

In case you don’t know, you reach a certain point (always in the ‘intro world’) where you have a choice to make in a conversation that can either grant you Dark Points or Light Points. Maybe the choice is to take an NPC hostage or to kill them; in that case, if you take them hostage you get light side points (LS) and if you chose to kill them, you get dark side points (DS). The more you pick one side or the other, the more your character leans towards a LS or DS alignment and, the more…well… unique some answers get. One of my main characters is a DS Sith Marauder (Advanced class of the Sith Warrior) meaning they are a warrior-type character with dual lightsabers. I decided to literally make this character evil as can be and I RARELY pick the LS option if ever. Early, one when asked to take a quest to annihilate a camp of enemies, I picked the “I will kill them all” option and my character says “There won’t be a heart left beating.” But after a number of times of picking this, she became..well.. to use the Doctor Who term… bananas. When I picked a similar answer later, she actually said “I can’t wait to gut them and dance in their entrails.” Yeah… she’s pretty cold-hearted. LOL.

My First In-Game Trophy

Anyway, I finally got my original character, Kayserento Karanthos, the bounty hunter (Officially Mercenary as an advanced class) to level 65 and through all of the original game content (there have been about 4 expansions since the game was released). He ended up being excessively wealth (over 2.5MIL credits since he always got lots of money and rarely spent it). He also was a true neutral but has leaned more toward LS than DS because of the influence of his…er… wife. That’s right, you can actually marry your companions in the game and the first companion your character ever gets is a cybernetically enhanced slicer named Mako. She is the ONLY girl companion your character gets in this class. I decided it would be interesting to try and win her over. Unfortunately, she is kind of tricky because she prefers you to do ‘Good’ and earn money (basically the conscience of an otherwise brutal career path). So that means that any time I picked a DS choice and she was with me, she would “disapprove” meaning I lose some influence with her and every time I picked an LS choice, she would “approve” and increase my influence. It wasn’t until I got to about level 35 that the game mechanics allowed me to pick the ‘Flirt’ option with her and the first time I did it, I failed miserably. However, I got to about level 60 and suddenly I had all these Flirt options. In the end, he asked her to marry him and she accepted. All of this RIGHT AFTER I completed the final story sequence of the original Bounty Hunter path.All of this is to say that I have officially completed an entire story for the game (the game does actually keep track of the stories you complete and gives you bonuses as you go) as a Bounty Hunter. Think of this like a trophy option on Playstation or something of that sort.

The Corrupted Bothrium Beast (aka $%*#*$*! die already!)

I did go ahead and complete the first expansion planet missions and ended up fighting A TOUGH boss. Now, MMO’s have been known to make the game easier as it has grown in population and it’s not much different in SWTOR. I NEVER went into a quest on the game fearing for my life… ever. Yes, I died a few times because of my haughtiness, but it was rare. However, the final boss of the first Advanced planet (the evil moon of Oricon) is a monster called the “Corrupted Bothrium Beast” and he basically is like a giant squid that has been shooting random tentacles up through the ground in Oricon (yes, you fight disembodied tentacles in this planet). The beast’s owners (creators?), the Dread Lords of the Sith, say he is unbeatable but I had heard this before (as an MMO hypes you up against certain bosses) and turned them into Swiss cheese (get it…bullets? swiss cheese?). But when I started fighting this beast (with my wife by my side), I noticed that no matter how much damage I was dealing him (think DPS on steroids), he kept healing! I could literally wipe out half of his life in a single barrage of attacks but then I would blink and it would be back at full. I must have fought this dude for 20 minutes and was about to throw my mouse in the floor (hey, it’s on my laptop and I don’t want to just chuck it in the floor) when I finally hopped on my phone and looked up the technique to beating him. This is the first boss I have faced that I actually had to follow a specific pattern to beat him. Turns out that he fires off an ability called “absorb” early in the fight and usually targets your companion (my wife in this case) so they keep getting their energy sucked out and given to him but since my companions are always set to ‘heal’ they never let themselves (or me) die. I had to use my mercenary’s ‘interrupt’ skill (one that I rarely had to use) to kill the Absorb. Then, I had to waylay the boss with damage and kill any tentacles it sprouts (which also heals it but at a faster rate). Yay! It actually worked! But it wasn’t easy. That dude can fire off his Absorb quicker than I can fire off my interrupt attack (5s cooldown on his versus 10s on mine) but I usually managed to get him before he got back to full health. After 45 minutes I finally beat him! The prize? Reputation with the planet’s denizens, a little bit of credits, and the Achievement of “The Beast Below” (twitch, twitch) and that’s when I killed them your honor! (J/K but MAN was that frustrating).

So now you have a taste of what I have been doing for the past several months. I plan on getting through a number of storylines in this game because they are all very good (or at least the ones I have done so far). I started a Smuggler (Republic) yesterday and already got him up to level 10 so he can become the advanced class of Gunslinger and keeping him mostly LS. I still have to get my Sith Marauder, level 41, through the rest of that content, but when I stopped playing her last is when my next quest took me to the planet of Quesh. Why? Because I hate this planet! It’s almost as bad as Nar Shadaa (usually the third planet your Sith visits after they go to the capital of Drumond Kaas and the third one your Republic visits after going to Coruscant respectively) which is ENDLESS and very difficult to get around in. I made it through Nar Shadaa with my Bounty Hunter (leveled him from about 20 to 35 before he left) and yet I kept having random story arcs that would call me back to that place repeatedly. Quesh is usually a place you only have to go to once but I hated the time I spent there because it’s all thick with toxic waste plants, has really powerful enemies just wandering around every. single. road. and the storyline there (at least for my Bounty Hunter) was boring. I will pick back up playing Quesh with my Sith Marauder soon but mostly because her companion Jasea Willsam is also bananas (she’s a LS Jedi companion that you can convince to join the DS and when she does, she loses her freaking mind and becomes a crazy murderous bitch) so watching the two interact with each other is highly entertaining as I will illustrate below:

Quest Giver: “If we cannot stop the Republic from powering the shield generators, the Empire will not be able to maintain control of this planet.

My DS Sith who is pretty evil: “I think we should kill them all.”

Jaesa: “Yes, Master, let’s make their blood rain from the skies”

DS Sith: “Perhaps we can just destroy the plant’s energy cores”

Jaesa: “Why? Then we can’t hear the enemies scream as we kill them mercilessly.”

DS Sith: “Would you enjoy that, Jaesa?”

Jaesa: “Only if I can drink some of their blood, my lord.”

Me (the guy controlling the game): “Holy crap! You need some help Jaesa.”

Yes… this is not EXACTLY what she says in the game but it’s pretty darn close. She is quite the opposite of my Sith Warrior’s other female companion, Vette who tends to be very similar to Mako and always wants her to do the ‘LS’ thing.

If you found this interesting, let me know in the comments and I might do a few more stories about this game. It’s still pretty shiny and new to me (only been playing it for about 6 months) but that interest may also fade in time. We’ll see.


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