Should I stay or should I go now?

If this was a different year you might have seen me participating in Blaugust, but we had Blapril (and it was super fun) but there’s another event going on, Promptapalooza. Go check out Belghast’s intro blog post if you haven’t already.

Yesterday it was Bhagpuss’ turn (so I’m keeping the theme of how headlines are formed) and tomorrow you should go visit Solarayo, but today I have something for you.

Do you “finish” games/hobbies/projects and move on or do you come back to the same things again and again?

This blog will be 11 years old in a few months and maybe I’ll break the 400 post mark, but there are several things you won’t find here. Reviews of new (or old) games for example. Or a whole lot of “I finished a game!” posts (The Completed category has a whopping 11 entries. One per year, and that basically says enough already, doesn’t it?), but as I’ve been a MMO player first and foremost ever since I discovered them around 2003, that isn’t too surprising I guess. So maybe let’s get back to the topic, although I think I already answered a good part of it. I’m not the kind of person to see completion of a game as a primary goal, otherwise I guess I would have a bigger pile of finished games. On the other hand I do seem to come back to the MMOs I liked quite a lot. 8 years of WoW, 4 year break, 2 more years of WoW. Played SWTOR at launch and came back for the second time now. Came back to EVE several times. I’ve yet to come back to FFXIV, but I’d love to, there’s just not enough time. I just think the ship for LotRO has sailed (to Aman?). For the record, I’m not going back to replay single player titles though, with a few exceptions, where I really like one installment, like Heroes of Might and Magic III.

Games aside, I’m actually someone who loves to try new things in general. And who is very bad at staying with them. As a kid/teen I tried out every sport under the sun (on of the things I liked at school, despite being not the sporty type and disliking sports in general, we often rotated disciplines every semester: Football, Handball, Basketball, Badminton, Rowing, and a few more). I also stopped mountain-biking at some point and only took it up a few years ago. Had to skip 2019 for a few personal reasons and 2020 also didn’t help in getting to the mountains with friends, but I’m really, really hoping for spring 2021…

I also used to paint miniatures for years and had a lot of fun. I’d love to do that again, but it would mean buying tons of equipment again, making room, and where do I put those minis then? I’m not even playing BattleTech anymore, and I never actually played Warhammer (40k preferably).

When I look at Pen & Paper roleplaying games, I think I’m the one in our group who’d be most open to trying new things, but right now we’re starting a new Shadowrun group (and that’s fine because it’s my favourite setting, but we’re using the 25 year old 2.0 rules because… I don’t know, at least we have the source books and it’s what everyone knows, although I also have 3 and 5…) yet again. I don’t think we’ll ever manage to do Earthdawn or real D&D.

So to sum it up, I guess there are things where I actually come back and there are things where I’m one of those “I really should take this up again” people who never actually get anything done. Maybe I do lose interest quite soon, but in the end I think I live on a sort of priority queue. If A is fun but B is more fun and there’s no reason not to do B, I don’t need a lot of mixing up things and am totally happy to do B.

Also maybe this topic is also good for a bit of introspection. I like to learn new things but I hate to try to master them. Get good enough to take part and do the thing with people – yes. Try to get good enough to actually win against or do better than people who didn’t start as late as I did – nope.

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Grinding gear

Back from a mini vacation, now nearly a week of nothing planned, it’s too hot here anyway.

Been playing a lot of SWTOR again, noticed that I didn’t train any char since 70, but apparently there was only one new skill at 72. Done some Conquests, Guardian is 71 and has finished Yavin 4, Sniper is 31 and has finished Alderaan. Not having much fun playing Operative or Scoundrel, but renewed interest in Shadow and Assassin.

No real goals, but gear grinding is going relatively well, at 297ish now.

My main problem right now is running out of bank space, as usual.

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That Gambling Event

After like 3 weeks of players raging Bioware finally managed to fix the Casino Event and that was the time for me to join it. Ain’t nobody got time to faff about with buggy events that are not so fun anyway.

Apparently I had taken part already in 2018 and had a few of the easy achievements already. By doing my dailies and weeklies for the last weeks I had amassed something like 12 Emperor chips (those for the bugged machines) and so I spent them, winning I don’t know how many Kingpin tokens and could get to play. I don’t actually like this slot machine stuff, I am like 0% susceptible to this type of gambling, so my goal (besides getting all the achievements) was to be able to spend all those damn chips and get rid of them in my currency tab, winning wasn’t so important as a short-term goal. By the way it works you have like a 50% chance to get your token back as a consolidation prize… But in the end I made it. Spent a few hours this weekend, usually parked between 2 Kingpin machines, reading something on the left monitor and clicking the 2 slot machines on the right screen. Not my kinda fun, really. But I made it and in the end I had like 112 Golden Certificates (you need 98 to buy all the achievement stuff, 1 Rancor, 1 Mercenary Contract, 2 Mounts, and 3 Decoration items) and I had a few spare for some more decoration. Nice. I still have like 200 Kingpin chips on some characters but I only need 1 or 2 Golden Certificates more for the one decoration I couldn’t afford and that would be nice to have. Apparently I’m just missing the Republic story line (might do later) and the secret achievement, bah.

In other news, the Guardian has still not reached 75, but I’m done with my 11 Conquests this week and my gear level is ~290 already despite buying a few of the expensive 3000 tech fragment pieces and only going random with the spares. All in all a successful week and still enjoying most of it, despite the casino grind.

I haven’t exactly kept track, but I think I have 3-4 characters just before Renown rank 20 now, the rest is 3-10. So the next goal is put a little time into the Guardian and I also need to do swoop racing once more this week.

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We undocked… twice

As I wrote I’m not a big fan of the war, I much prefer laid back fun small 20-50 man fleets than 200 people with busy comms.

But yesterday the stars aligned and I was available that minute and in the mood, so I bought a Hawk (new doctrine, as if I already didn’t have enough doctrine ships), eager to see how it handled.

We undocked, took an Ansiblex, took 2 gates… and waited on a Fortizar. Then we got called back to staging and reshipped into Muninns. Had to insure mine as I think I hadn’t flown it before. So we undocked again, took the same Ansibles, took the same two gates, took some more, took a Titan bridge… and landed in Querious. On a POS. For several people (including me) this was the first POS we’ve seen deployed (or I forgot if I saw one between 2014 and 2017). There we sat, waiting. We apparently were some sort of backup. We only saw a single red Karmafleet pilot in system, and it was Anna niedostepny, of all people.
While I was in Brave Newbies in April 2015 I wasn’t actively playing and missed this thing, but I remember some names. Also no idea if the linked post is in any form correct in the details, but whatever.

Well, back to my part of the story. No one else showed up, but I heard that the Imperium dropped caps on some fleet. We bridged home and I didn’t like the outcome. Doesn’t really motivate me to join another fleet this week. Just bad luck and I guess that’s what you get for being part of a NullSec bloc and I know not every stratop can be meaningful, or fun, or see action. But right now I’m not having a lot of fun, and I’m pretty the side wouldn’t matter.

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A little bit less meh

Despite feeling a bit smashed (hope it’s not a cold…) the day off today lifted my spirits and while I didn’t manage to go out and meet some friends for a beer and barbecue at the riverside beach (because headache) I played some SWTOR and had fun again.

Got my 10th ex-70 toon to 75 just now (and the next two are 71 and 65) and as I was told repeatedly now I will probably actually focus on getting the iLevel higher by focusing on one toon (thanks Shintar and Pallais). Just not sure which one. I seem to be having more fun with Juggernaut and Commando than with the PowerTech currently. Also I noticed I missed Kai Zykken the last two weekends, but at least I got one piece today. I also re-examined all the guides I have (all from Vulkk, as Dulfy doesn’t post anymore), speced the last missing Combat Proficiency points (which I always forget), and finally cleaned out the bank a bit. I had to start a new toon (Togruta Sith Sorcerer) to make space, but I wanted to start a Sith Sorcerer and a Togruta anyway at some point… Having enough cartel market coins I also bought the Nautolan unlock (last one missing) and played around in the character creator. The 2 classes I’m still missing are Gunslinger and Vanguard, and both are supposed to be male. I guess I’ll go Nautolan for the Gunslinger and either Rattataki or Chiss for the Vanguard, but as I still have one boost I will hold this off. Maybe I’ll manage to play my Sniper to 50 and unlock Rattataki for the Vanguard so I can play around in the creator.

So many plans, always chasing the next thing, never finishing the important things… like getting gear. But as I don’t plan to raid or do master mode, maybe chasing gear isn’t actually important. After going pretty serious in EVE lately and still having my plan to raid in WoW’s Shadowlands, maybe not stressing out over SW:TOR and just enjoying the ride is the right thing to do anyway.

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Work has been crazy the last two weeks, I’m not sleeping well and that’s probably the main reason why I didn’t post.

Been logging in to WoW for only 5 mins most days, collecting and starting Legion Champion missions. So close to 500 on my Rogue, but I might just end up having to grab new resources at like 497.

Been progressing slowly and steadily in SWTOR (9 75s, one at 73). I’m in a bit of a rut now though, I am not happy with the way gear works. Maybe I’m not playing enough (getting the conquest on 2 toons per night usually) but my Renown ranks are not progressing very fast and I’m just barely at 276 iLevel on my best set of gear. As the gear you get is based on what you’re wearing (as I understood it) I’ve been shifting a single set of gear from toon to toon, which gets old really fast. Just an hour ago I deconstructed a ton of 270 gear, keeping only 8 sets of 272-276 gear and one set of 268 that can be worn at Level 71 already. Actually not sure if I’ll continue after this month, but maybe my overall mood will improve next week.

Also not been playing a ton of EVE, the war is boring me already after a week. I wasn’t happy to put my death clone to our war staging as I usually hate traveling just for the sake of it anyway, but at least I’ve been roaming a bit on my alt, doing a bit of PI. Haven’t joined any fleets in a few days though. Maybe all the people who had been playing for months or years were indeed bored and eager for the war, but I’ve only returned 3-4 months ago and was just on a fun ride and experiencing NullSec properly. Then the war came and everything is hectic and different and it held me up by making the things that I was just (re-)learning different.

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SWTOR progress

With the war in EVE having started and me being terrible at retelling such grand stories I’m gonna link to Wilhelm here, despite us being on the opposite sides of the war.

But back to SWTOR, I think I finished the Conquest on all 12 toons (who can keep track of that without a spreadsheet? Madness.) and right now it looks as if my guild will win first place on the planet we’re invading this week. I certainly did my part, although only on 6 chars.

I have 5 Level 75 characters now (Sage, Commando, Powertech, Mercenary, and as of today Juggernaut). Scoundrel is 73, Shadow is 71, Assassin is 71, Operative is 73, Sentinel is 73, Marauder is 66, and Guardian is 64. The latter 2 are doing the Rishi quest line currently, Sage and Powertech have finished Onderon (and the Swoop bike quests), and the 3 others were mostly leveled to 75 and not touched since. I’m alternating between the other toons and putting them through Ziost, CZ-198, Black Hole, sometimes Yavin 4, and to go do 2 missions on a random planet from time to time.

I also did the Star Fortresses for the 2nd time, on the Sage this time, spread over 4 days iirc. Boy do those get boring quickly. Also still missing a lot of the Paladins for the achievement, but I might be talked into a 3rd round soonish.

I’m not really seeing a lot of gear progression currently, got 2 sets of 268 for finishing the Onslaught story, then a few 270s drops and if I mix and match it’s a set of 274s with a few 272, despite wearing all the highest-level items every time I’ve been doing anything on a 75 char. Maybe easier to level the rest first and then think about gear. It’s not that I need it for anything.

Overall it’s been 2 weeks and I’m… content I guess. I’m having fun, I’m trying not to burn out and only play as long as I’m having fun (2 weeks of stay at home vacation, so no problem playing 2-3h each day). I’m not completely sold on “I WANT MORE” but right now I think I’ll at least stay for a 2nd month, let’s see how it looks in 2 weeks.

My actual main problem now is that I want a good transmog for my Republic main. This robe is the best thing I’ve found and I’ve been sporting it since October 2017 when I returned to the game after ~6 years and I didn’t wear my old Level 50 raiding gear anymore. I’m actually not beyond buying any set I like for up to 1500 cartel coins at this point, but I haven’t found the perfect one yet 🙁

Will my Sage ever look different?

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The flea markets of EVE

There are some things I really like about EVE, for example how some little things can become an adventure on its own.
If you’re playing WoW and want to get a good deal you go to the Auction House and then you look for things and buy low and resell higher. Of course you can do that in your local market as well (although we have a rule against buying and relisting which I wholeheartedly support), but there are also contracts.

Contracts can be for single or multiple items and when you accept them the items are just there where they where. And then you need either pay someone to haul them to you or fly there and grab them for yourself. Also sometimes there are some real bargains to be had, often so-called firesales by people leaving the game or that station, or leaving their corp/alliance and not wanting to haul all the stuff. Browsing through the contracts is like visiting a flea market, or maybe eBay these days. 50% people selling stuff at normal value, 45% bad deals or uninteresting stuff and 5% where you get a really good deal.

Today I saw one of our Doctrine ships on a contract for like 2/3 of the price, the problem was that it was located in Stain (NPC NullSec), not in Catch, and we have some people that we aren’t on stellar terms with who live exactly there. But I saw that as content and not as a nuisance and so I set out with my alt in an Interceptor, burning through gates and making bookmarks and safes. Then I followed with my main, boarded my new ship and scouted the way home. Arrived safely, saved 100m, got a blog post out of it.

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EVE and skill queues

EVE seems to have an even bigger influence on min/maxing on me than other games have (regarding real life things like payment). I mean, I have absolutely let an MMO subscription lapse a week before a 2 week vacation to resume it after that in order to not pay those 2 weeks if the dates align correctly, but…

Long story short, CCP has a sale, 49 EUR for 3 months Omega + 3 months of Multi Character Training (so exactly 10 EUR for that MCT), and I absolutely went for that. We have a war incoming and I took the chance to start training a cap alt. And on the other account… there are always a million things to train, even on alts or “just PI”. Anyway, the more skill queues the better, right? I had planned to pay the 2 accounts until the end of the year anyway, so it’s just a few EUR, and if I think I made a mistake there’s always the possibility to extract a few skills and PLEX an account to save on a month of sub later. We all know that this will not happen…

Also I’ve did some respeccing and redoing PI, trying to make money without having to resort to ratting. Actually I haven’t “played” daily for a few days now, but after exactly 3 months of giving 100% a week of lower activity won’t hurt. Still need to login daily and shuttle around some PI mats every 2-3 days, I’m busy enough.

The only toon without a real solid plan for the next months is still my main. I can already fly a lot of our Doctrine ships, so for now I’m simply patching holes where I can’t. Need to find something more meaningful though…

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Finding my way back into SWTOR

When I left SWTOR a bit over a year ago I had 12 chars I was at least semi-actively playing. 6 on the Empire side and 6 on the Republic side. 10 of them were Level 60, 5 per side. Also all of the 4 base classes and one extra per faction, no duplicate extended classes.

The empire guild that I had joined in October 2018 had only kicked my alts but kept my main (which is perfectly fine if you ask me) and on day 2 I politely asked to invite some alts back and that was quickly fixed.

The main focus back then were Conquests and apparently the changes to Conquests did change a lot. We were usually grabbing the Large Yield planet without bigger problems, with group activities accounting for a sizable chunk of the Conquest XP per week, but also people reaching their personal goal on all alts. I do remember it was a bit of work to manage that if you weren’t actively playing that particular toon a lot that week.

So apparently this has changed and while I was really surprised how quick you manage to get your personal goal (30mins? per toon if you don’t know what you’re doing and coming back after a year, and if you spread the planets with quick weekly quests over a few days you can easily do 10 toons = 500-700k XP in 5h in a week I guess) and so another guild that’s bigger seems to be the top dog on our server now. We’re still number 2 – we’ll see how this evolves over the weekend and the coming weeks. But people can apparently solo a lot more and that’s when numbers count more than group content like operations. I don’t exactly remember how the rewards work and if we’ll get something next week if we’re number 2 on this planet and if this is still better than winning a Medium one. Whatever.

I think I finished Onslaught on my Sage today but I’m not sure if the follow-up quest is part of the expansion story line proper. I’m told to do Mek-Sha dailies now and wait, I guess. Also I met one of my missing companions but I’m not sure I have the Alliance Alert to recruit them again, as I read somewhere. I hope I didn’t miss that chance, I mean I didn’t kill them so it might work out in the end. Oh, and he’s 75 already.

I also finished Onderon on my Bounty Hunter and dinged 74 in the progress, so on to Mek-Sha on the weekend. 2 more toons dinged 71 while doing the Conquest, and 5 of the 6 others are close. As I’m not really sure if I should buckle up and do KotFE+KotET on all or even any of them (or do KotET on the Agent) and just jump to Onderon thereby getting the “default story” locked in. Do I really care on some alts? Do I care anyway? Missing companions would be the only thing I guess. I wasn’t such a fan of the linear movie-like experience that I’m keen on doing it a 4th time…

I suppose just getting to max level and then acquiring gear via Renown would still be possible, there is no good reason to do the story just for this set of green 268 gear you get.

Also looking at my old “goals” posts and see which of those are still current, I guess the clear current goals are:

  • find out if I finished Onslaught on Sage
  • finish Onslaught on Bounty Hunter
  • finally find a good outfit for my Sage, seriously…
  • get 9 chars to 75
  • do the remaining 2-3 Conquests this week
  • buy the new Alderaan Stronghold (also Umbara?)
  • finish the 1000 kills achievements passively (i.e. have the correct companion out)
  • ~7 warzone matches for M1-4X
  • level Guardian
  • level Juggernaut

Worst change this expansion so far: the small shield icon for Bound-to-Legacy gear is gone and I have no idea how I should keep track of my stuff in my bank tabs now.

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