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Thursday, December 29, 2011

SWTOR: The Hunt for Gold

So... Star Wars The Old Republic has arrived. I missed launch week because of Xmas holidays, which was actually a good thing, as I skipped the initial bug/lag/queue fest.

My machine is holding up better than expected. Alone, it's quite playable with everything maxed up except shadows. RIFT was like that too. The problem comes when I enter a populated area, with NPC's and/or players. Then, it starts to get worse, below 20fps, ie, ugly.

I'm on target for a Core i5 2500K upgrade, but I'm still selecting components, PSU and stuff. Low noise is the culprit of my delay.

Back to gameplay. I joined forces with old Lords of Midnight guildies from Chromaggus server in WoW. They are going towards dps and tanking, so I'll go towards dps and healing, which is good.

After a long debate, I decided I won't be a bald man called Netcownt anymore. It was 5 years of looking at a bald head and neck, and it sucked. It's much nicer to watch a girl, so I went for a cyborg chick, human faced, called Netgold.

She rocks ! Well, she's a Bounty Hunter, so she better rock, and rock hard. Advantage ? I'm not a Sith at heart, and we started on the Sith side, so I couldn't see myself playing the "bad guy", although SWTOR allows Dark side and Light side decision making during quests. Bounty Hunters allow me to be mercenary, ie, do the good (or evil) because I'm paid for, not because of a Jedi or Sith mentality.

It makes a difference, LOL.

So, Netgold starts on Nal Hutta, and, as a Bounty Hunter, she quickly joins "The Big Hunt". Nesingwary keeps coming to my mind, I wonder why. If I could select a surname for my toon, she'd be Netgold Nesingwary, for sure.

Levels 1-10 are spent in Nal Hutta, preparing for the Hunt, doing shores here and there. Questing is fun, although a bit too easy, specially when I get a healing companion by level 8 or so.

There is a sense of "lots of new abilities for me to press keys, all seem to do about the same thing, ie, kill stuff".
But at the same time, some common things to other MMO show up, ie resource bar management (in my case it's called Heat, opposite to rage or.. whatever rogue had, I forgot, or hunter focus), AoE, crowd control, range abilities vs melee abilities, etc.

If I could match SWTOR with WoW, Bounty Hunter looks like a hunter. What else...

Tonight I'm leaving Nal Hutta and start exploring the outside world.

RIFT is dead, long live SWTOR

During this December , I subscribed RIFT and leveled a Mage (Warlock/Necromancer) up to level 50.

Why ? To be honest, I wanted to see the sights. Everyone kept telling me how it looked like another WoW, how irrelevant the game was, yadayada.

Well, as a lvl 50 (fresh one, for sure), I can tell it's not exactly true, RIFT is not WoW. It might be like WoW, yes, but a different WoW.

In WoW, you reach level 60,70,80,85, and all you can do is one thing: GEAR UP !

In RIFT, they understood their mistake, and changed things. Once you get to 50, you get a Planar development. Yes, it's more XP, you continue to get XP, but instead of leveling, you invest it in enhanced skills. Yes, there's also GEAR. Yes, there are dungeons, of different tiers and expertize required, there is PVP.

But there's also a thing that is dead with WoW. There's WORLD PVP. No you don't fly, you ride. You quest, you get ambushed, you get killed, ganked, all the funny stuff that makes you /yell "FILHO DA PUTA" from your grave.

So, I spent 7 free days, plus 30 (costing 5€!) plus 3 days of free game time (like SONY, Trion Worlds got hacked so they gave us complimentary game time). And in those 40 days, I reached 50, about 1 level/day, having fun.

I discovered nearly all the zones (only left a bit of Stillmoor), I participated in instant adventures ( a new RIFT feature, a bit like LOTRO skirmishes but in open world ), PVP battlegrounds (there are many), dungeons (many, too), I marvelled at some open air scenarios, and I took a lot of snapshots that I'll be sharing here. Most of all, I had fun, something I had not in WoW since my guild Arcadia split up.

So there you have it, December 2011, while waiting for SWTOR, I had a blast.

Now... talking about blasting things, SWTOR was released. So stay tuned, as I learn how to play a Bounty Hunter (currently level 10). Pictures coming right up.