… you think Oh jeez, I’d better log into an MMO or my harvesters/garrison/housing will go up in smoke. It’s the summer doldrums, which means that despite the lovely Steam sale and all, I’d rather be anywhere but sitting at my desk staring at a screen. I have a million games to play and nothing’s really grabbing me.
I haven’t even logged into WoW since the 6.2 patch, so I really should check that out.
My harvesters are almost certainly burning to the ground in SWG. Almost everyone from the early return-rush seems to be gone, and I’m in a really big guild (with lots of names) that has absolutely no guild chat, which I admit is a little disheartening. I don’t always want to be on TeamSpeak, dammit. (Actually these days I don’t want to be on voice chat at all. I’m having a hermit month.)
It’s The Secret World’s third anniversary event and there are goodies. Or it was. For all I know I’ve missed that too…
The spousal unit is back in EVE and making beckoning gestures; apparently it’s somewhat improved since our last foray in… (checks old posts) 2010. Eh, maybe. Maybe not.
Everyone’s raving about the FFXIV expansion. Eh, maybe.
The Repopulation has sat unplayed on my desktop for a couple of weeks. Not that I didn’t like it, but apparently it didn’t grab me. Which may have more to do with the whole summer doldrums thing than with the game itself, which is okay (up that to “pretty good” considering the development stage it’s in).
I’ve been a contributor to Shroud of the Avatar since, err… last year sometime? And have logged into it exactly once. I should check that out too, since I did put money into it and I love the folks who are developing it.
And then there’s all the non-MMO games I haven’t touched either… Sims 4, various Steam games (including Torchlight 2 and I’ve already forgotten what else), Dragon Age Inquisition (remember that first session I blogged about? Well, that was also the last session)… The list goes on.
But all I feel is meh. Meh MEh MEH MEH MEEEEEEEH. In a couple of months it’ll cool down and I’ll want to play again.
It’s possible my finger slipped and I purchased The Repopulation; I don’t know much about it but I have an old friend very much involved with it and a few other friends have said nice things and hey, new MMO with SWG and UO flavour, TAKE MY MONEY I’M IN!
The spousal unit purchased the entire collection of Heroes of Might & Magic games, which I stopped caring about around number 5 (or 6, whichever one was the amazing disappointment) and got us hooked up on the family dealy so now he’s trying out games I bought on other amazing sales and have *cough* never even tried, like LA Noire.
Meanwhile the SWG honeymoon continues, perhaps fanned by the fact that there’s never enough time to play it. Absence, heart, fonder, etc. I’m logged in a lot, but mostly I’m AFK sampling which doesn’t really count as playing. When I do get to play I have fun — but not in the way I expected. Crafting is entertaining, yes, but there’s very little impetus to get up and running because the server is choking on a surplus of great crafters, largely because everyone can make 10 characters so everyone can have all the crafts. I know, waaahmbulance.
So I’ve been doing combat here and there – initially to pay the bills (which still strikes me as backasswards – I made a fortune as a crafter back in the day), and now because it’s rather fun even though the SWG combat system is probably one of the clunkiest ever. 2003 and all that.
Publish 7 went in the weekend before last and now you can no longer disrespect Imperial soldiers without having to pay for it:
Yay! I used to slap at least one stormie a day with my Sword/Doc/Rebel back on Shadowfire, just because.
Oh yeah, and there are working droids now too. And Bio-Engineer got an Image Design makeover by a Rodian hopped-up on Skooma or something because it’s just… weird, now. It’s being tweaked, thank goodness. In the meantime master BEs are producing CL10 non-CH creatures with 9k HAM – which means nothing to anyone not playing SWG and should make SWG-players’ eyes bug out.
That’s it. I’m off to try The Repopulation since SWGEMU-Basilisk just took a nosedive. Ah, post-patch weeks. Gotta love em!
I guess May wasn’t going to be the month during which I posted every day, and apparently June isn’t either. I have a half-assed determination to do that, mostly to prove to myself that I have more to write about than just posting screenshots of my latest game, but the problem is I’m not sure I do have more to write about. A couple or three years ago I looked up from blogging and realised I was boring myself, which is never a good sign, and that everything I could say or might say has already been said by others — much more cogently, cleverly and creatively, in fact. So, yeah. Maybe July will be my post-a-day month.
At any rate here’s your weekly-or-so post with screenshots of my latest game. I’m still playing SWG when time allows; I did log into WoW a week or so ago, sent my faithful mini-onions on missions, and logged out because I just wasn’t feeling it. I guess I’m one of those expansion/big patch WoW players now, though I do miss my friends from Icedown.
My characters in SWG have progressed a bit, at last. Ekkie is now Master Chef and Master Merchant, and will get to Master Tailor someday this year. A ONE MILLION CREDIT donation from a not-so-mysterious benefactor (named Googles in game, Gooroc outside) helped a great deal with that endeavour – not so much for the buying of resources, which I still don’t like to do, but for not having to worry about paying for my houses, factories and harvesters.
Not to mention training – paying NPC trainers for a single Elite profession costs 130,000cr; and while I’ve managed to get PC training for a lot of the combat stuff, getting crafters to train you is like pulling teeth from an Ithorian. I didn’t ask for the donation but it was so kindly offered — along with a handful of harvesters and grind mats — that it felt churlish to refuse.
Ysharra is a breath away from Master Architect, will passively get Master Merchant over the next few days, and will someday be a Droid Engineer too. Speaking of Ithorians, I’m not sure I should let my Ithorian Master Tailor buddy dress my Mon Calamari character ever again. I can’t decide whether she is incredibly fashion-forward (for a MonCal), or a cross between I Dream of Jeannie and a maternity ward Santa, or both. Either way, thanks ObzzarverIs for the snazzy new threads!
Heloise is Master Swordsman, almost Master Medic, and will then go on to master the Doctor profession… and hopefully make a butt-ton of cash buffing people. We’ll see. We went to Dathomir awhile back and did some rancor hunting, and ended up with this cool or disturbing (your choice) pile of corpses.
Ysharros is still Master Creature Handler and nothing else because the Bio-Engineer grind is painful, yo.
Finally, have a picture of the moonrise on Talus, because it was purple.
Got a little bit of time to play in between massive work-dumps, so here are some more screenshots. They mostly involve Heloise, who is going to be my swordsman/doctor and just got her AOE melee attack (also known as Spinning Attack of Massive Lair Doom). If you scroll down past all that, you might even get some useful chat commands relating to structures (houses, harvesters, factories).
Below, Ysharros hanging with her thune pet in a purely decorative role. She’s not buffed (and just got killed by gurks for being a n00b), so she’s just using her level and her pet’s level to ensure Heloise can get the snorbal missions she desires. For the uninitiated, SWG missions are level-related and although I have no idea how the details work, I do know that more levels = more money (and harder missions, but not that much harder).
Next, Heloise standing in a big pile of dead snorbals. Basically, once you acquire the Spinning Attack of Massive Lair Doom (aka SAMLAD), you target the lair and just spam that one attack while the three waves spawn and stampede in to attack you. Which is perfectly justified if you ask me, but it didn’t stop me from doing my best to cause a mass snorbal extinction event. For the more uninitiated, snorbals are non-aggro, perfectly harmless elephant-type creatures. They’re good milking too, incidentally, but that day I was all about the FILTHY LUCRE. Oh hey, that might be a good character name.
In another Hemmingway moment, here’s Heloise killing a Kimogila, yeah baby!!!
…OK, it’s actually only a baby kimogila. I feel guilty about it but I did take a selfie all the same.
Let’s see, what else is in the pix folder… Oh yeah, my Entertainer-to-be busting some really, really, REALLY bad moves in Mos Eisley. I’d forgotten quite how bad beginning dancers are. She hasn’t had much playtime so she hasn’t improved, and I haven’t quite made up my mind to go the AFK-levelling route yet. I did it at the keyboard the first two times, dammit, and it was FUN. And, as it happens, Mos Eisley cantina is a totally happenin’ place, so maybe I’ll give it I shot. Dunno yet. Having too much fun using the SALAD — no, wait, SAMLAD attack on snorbal lairs.
OK last one, just to show folks the effect of using the various SweetFX mods as well as the ClearSkies mod (direct DL link here). It lets you see almost too far into the distance, something 2003 computers probably would have struggled to do — I know mine did — but it does cut out the insanity-inducing whistling sandstorms and the incredibly thundery rainstorms. Which, since I now live on Lok as a proud member of SWG-U, does make playing a little quieter. Even if those distant mountains look a little polygon-y…
Now on to some actually useful stuff for other SWG-EMU players. And if you’re not playing, come join us. You know you want to.
SWG Slash commands
These are for people — like me — who don’t like using radial menus because they’re slow, clunky, slow, annoying, and slow. If you’re extra-super-smart you’ll find ways to combine these into macros, such as a harvester maintenance-adminchars-power-naming macro that lets you do a bunch of things with a single button press (in this case add money and power to the harvester, name whatever alts you need as admins, and give it a funky coloured name if you’re into that sort of thing – which I am). They won’t make coffee, select a resource to harvest, empty a hopper or decorate for you, but they are useful. Check out this page if you want even more of them, just note that not all these commands are available in SWGEMU.
/pay [amount] — e.g. /pay 1000
Adds the specified amount of maintenance to the structure you’re in, near, or have targeted. Easy enough for houses and factories, can be a bit more hit-or-miss when you have a harvester targeted but are closer to another (assuming it’s also yours). You can’t add maintenance to structures you’re not admin for, so no worries there.
/setpermission admin [charname] — e.g. /setpermission admin Ysharros
Toggle command which adds [or removes] the specified character from a structure’s admin list. This can be a house, harvester or factory.
Makes the specified structure private or public. Pretty sure this only affects houses, and it allows other people in. Or not, depending on which way you’re toggling.
/addpower [amount] — e.g. /addpower 20000
Or if you’re really lazy — like me — /addpo 20000. Adds the specified amount of power to the harvester you’re near or have targeted. Can be a bit hit-or-miss when you have a harvester targeted but are closer to another (assuming it’s also yours). You can’t add maintenance to harvs you’re not admin for, so no worries there. I think.
Brings up a structure’s status menu that tells you how much maintenance is in it and other details depending on the structure.
/transferstructure [charname]/target — e.g. /transferstructure Ysharros (or to whoever you have targeted)
Does exactly what it says on the tin. I can’t remember if it works for ALL structures or just houses and factories, but I suspect all. You get a lot back and your target loses a lot (or more depending on the structure).
Go on, guess what it does. Useful for creating vendors without going to the structure control terminal or whatever it’s called. Vendors are created in your inventory and require a house to be public, because what’s the point of having vendors if nobody can come in? (Storage. Company. Decoration. Moving on.)
/tip [amount] [charname]/target bank — e.g. /tip 1000000 Ysharros bank or /tip 1000000 bank (with target selected)
Tips someone from your bank with a 5% service charge if you’re lacking in ready cash as I always am. I could also be wrong on this one. I always forget the syntax. You’re welcome to try it out exactly as written above if you’re playing SWG. /halo
That’ll do for now. I may turn that list into a handier and dandier reference page if there seems to be enough interest. Or maybe just to remind myself how to bank tip someone. Speaking of mundungous tips, apparently I missed out on a ONE MILLION CREDIT handout two of my fellow Donkeys lucked into the other day. Dammit.
On the RL front, the rescuees are doing well, thanks to those who have asked. 🙂 Here’s a crappy phone pic of them enjoying some sun. It’s still extremely hard to get near the black one, but she’ll creep closer when her sister is getting tickles.
This CH stuff is all from a couple of weeks ago, in fact, because times they have been pretty busy in the meantime. More on that later (briefly, as it’s mostly RL stuff).
Ysharros went out hunting with the Donkey Business crew and one of the graul mauler lairs on Dantooine spawned an elite at the end. And not just an elite, but an elite + elite baby. Said baby, a Graul Mangler, took no less than seventeen attempts to tame (and trying not to kill the damn thing every time it aggroed after a failed attempt), even with Ysh’s awesome +taming camo pants. She needs more +taming gear, I know, and some whatever-the-taming-bonus-food is. Anyway, she got him. Suggestions for names welcome.
Later that same day I hit Master Creature Handler and headed back to Theed, the home base of the Stylish Corpse alt-collective (but not for much longer). I decided to hang out in front of the spaceport a bit and show off my Master status and awesome pets (as is apparently all the rage in front of Coronet Spaceport); within a few seconds another Master CH joined me, pulled out some of her pets, and we got to talking. A couple of minutes later we had half a dozen creature handlers of various levels hanging out and talking shop, and that is exactly what I loved about SWG — the fact that hanging outand chatting with like-minded folks can trump whatever else you might have been about to do. I’m glad to see it’s alive and well in the Emulator.
Turns out the Graul Mangler baby is pretty rare. I wasn’t able to find any info on it and nobody else had seen one before. It is now level 39 (compared to the level 35 normal mauler), so not much help because you can’t pull him out with another graul since Master CH is limited to 70 levels of pets. Baby stats below. I’ll try to remember to take a shot of the grown-up stats.
If anyone knows or remembers anything interesting about these guys, do let me know in the comments.
Another couple of I’m-a-Master-CH-aren’t-I-awesome screenshots and we’ll move on. Note that those maulers are baby sized; they’re about three times that now.
In more recent news, the Donkey Business crew has finally decided to join an existing player association, SWG-University or <SWG-U>. In an amazingly Luddite turn of events, SWG-U doesn’t have its own website *gasp!*, but they are nonetheless an excellent, friendly, helpful and fun group of people, at least the ones I met. Their basic tenet appears to be identical to mine in most respects, i.e. “Don’t be a dick” — except I’m more exclusive (Just DON’T be a dick) whereas in the EMU, SWG-U is more “Don’t be a dick with characters in our guild” — which is about all they can control anyway, so it makes sense. A few Donkeys have already moved to the PA’s town on Lok (University Campus), and I plan on doing so as soon as time allows, which should be this week because work and that pesky Real Life game are finally letting up a bit. That’s my Swordsman/Doctor to be, Heloise, admiring the Lokian night sky.
Speaking of Real Life, here’s one of the reasons I haven’t been able to play much lately:
We rescued two Basenji girls who had to be rehomed together as they are litter-sisters and have only ever known each other. I gather they were supposed to be breeding stock for a puppy breeding operation, but the breeder had trouble finding a male and just gave these girls to a rescue. I guess it’s good that the breeder at least decided to rehome them (she says, trying to be charitable). For those who like dogs, might like Basenjis, and might like to rescue one, here’s the link to the rescue site: Basenji Rescue and Transport (BRAT). Do your research though: these dogs are not for everyone, hence the name of the rescue org.
Because the foster-mom was unable to meet us halfway, we decided to drive up to Missouri and get them, which was an almost 2000-mile round trip and, while fun, totally wore us out. But it’s going very well so far — the new girls get on really well with our dogs but are quite wary around people, especially the black one – who as the pic shows is not easy to catch on camera.
So that’s one of the things I’ve been busy with lately, why I haven’t played much, and why I haven’t blogged much. Hopefully the next few weeks will be a bit less frenetic. I wouldn’t mind having time to log into WoW again either…
The screenshot has the UI in it so SWG-oldies can see nothing has really changed. Which is both good and bad. Remember the auto-targeting?
Got some playing time in during the weekend, even if it was less than I would have liked because I’m still sick and yes Mum, I’m going to the doctor tomorrow. (At 7:30 in the morning. Who DOES that? Military doctors, that’s who. Ungh.)
Ysharros is now 4-4-2-4 in Creature Handler, while my crafty characters have done exactly nothing other than leech all Ysharros’ hard-earned credits. Making money as a crafter is going to be difficult on a server where everyone can have 10 characters and some of the older players probably do. You don’t see 2-4 vendors in most houses, you see 5-8, and the malls have over a dozen. The South Eisley mall has so many vendors in the guild hall main room that you can’t even tell what their names are. Doesn’t help that they’re all identical, which wasn’t a style call I would have made, but other than that it’s an impressive shopping venue — and for all I know, it’s all run by one player.
So for the time being, Ysharros is the money-maker, which means there isn’t much money floating around because I only have a very small capacity for fighting things just to be fighting things. Instead, I spent my buffs going to Endor and taming everything that moved, which included a cowardly gurreck, a couple of mereks (nasty male drow looking things, spiders with humanoid torsos and heads), and a mantigrue. No real gurreck and no bluurg – yet. But anyway, I’m not making money very fast because I get distracted and/or have to quit and go lie down.
But hey, who cares. It’s SWG. 🙂
Last but not least, for those who want to come back and take a look, check out Obzzarver’s site. It’s where we’re hanging out. We’re currently trying to decide on a guild to join because who knows how long the nostalgia kick will last for any of us, so making our own is not the best idea.
Weirdly, I actually played for hours this week — or rather, I had 2 clients running for hours this week, but most of what was happening was that my crafty characters were sampling resources while I was either working or sick in bed. None of which is worthy of pictorial comment.
I did get a little creature handler play in, though, and spent most of it taming any cat-shaped mobs I could find.
At master you can call three pets at once as long as their combined CL is under 70. Three Greater Sludge Panthers adds up to 66. They may not be uber, but they look it and that’s all that counts.
The wrix is the smaller cousin of the Endor-dwelling Gurreck, which I shall head out to tame as soon as I am capable… but if memory serves, the Gurrecks are around CL50 and Ysh may not be able to tame them yet; she certainly can’t control a CL50 pet until she gets a few more CH boxes. But it might be worth a shot anyway — it’s been a decade since I went to Endor. All I remember is that the ewoks are nasty little blighters. Hrm. I wonder if Endor is where I got my bluurg back in the day… (Yes, I could look it up but it’s fun to be vaguely noobish.)
The kima isn’t technically a cat, I don’t think, but it looks like the love-child of a cat and a gremlin and it’s huge fun sending three barely-visible critters after fambaas or other large animals. It’s like they keel over from a case of spontaneous dying if you aren’t sharp-eyed enough to spot the three Mogwais gnawing at their legs. What can I say – I’m easily amused.
And last, a few of Theed from the Spaceport entrance. That SweetFX makes the game look rather nice for its age.
I mentioned Raph Koster’s post a few days ago, but as it turns out there are a bunch of them about SWG and I’m still cursing the loss of Google Reader (yes I bloody well hold a grudge, at least in this case). So for my own convenience and that of a couple of other people who keep saying they need to read those posts — and they do, they’re fascinating — here are some links.
It’s weird how often Mr. Koster says they didn’t end up with what they wanted for various systems in SWG (especially crafting!), when I and many others still remember it as the best crafting system ever, bar none. Actually to me it was the only real crafting system ever, bar none. All the others were just… bleh. Even EQ2, and I love EQ2 crafting — but it never even remotely compared to SWG crafting. The difference is one of several orders of magnitude in terms of complexity and depth. EQ2 is fun, but it’s whack-a-mole: once you’ve figured it out, you’ll never get anything but pristine (and yes, that was true even in the days when Death By Forge was a possibility).
And this is why SWG worked for crafters and people who wanted to be part of a society and not just someone who ran a ‘toon’ (apologies to all of you who use it, but I hate that term). It’s also why I doubt anyone will ever design another SWG. More’s the pity, but at least we have the Emulator:
I get asked this question all the time. In fact, now that I do consultancy from time to time, it’s not unusual for a company to come to me and say “can you put in crafting like SWG? Our players say it was the best ever!” Usually, they have actually, you know, designed their game already, or even built it. And I have to tell them, “No. You build your game around it, not the other way around.”
In other more fluffy news, I managed a little bit of playtime in between bouts of being sick and feeling sorry for myself. Here’s a pictorial account:
I’ve been sick as a slicehound all day today. Of course I have, it’s that MMO gaming rule again: I made time to play last night and the server crashed. Made time to play this morning and spent it wanting to pray to the porcelain god instead. All the fun of being drunk without the drinking part. Ho hum.
Nonetheless, Ysharros the Mundungo-Creature-Whisperer-to-be got lucky in the couple of hours I did manage. As soon as I got in I headed to Mos Espa on Tatooine — I have no idea why, it’s just where I felt I should go to look for critter-babies. And indeed as soon as I step out of town the first creature I see is a baby mynock. TAMED!
A little further on I spot a Rill baby… TAMED!! Actually, that one was harder. It was more wary of me, possibly because I killed its parents before I noticed it was in the group. Ahem. /mask_scent to the rescue!
It took me 2 seconds to remember the commands I used to use for attack, follow and store (shockingly they are attack, follow and sleep (which I preferred back then and don’t mind now)). Getting xp through combat was going to prove something of a challenge, however, given that these babies have a whole 33 hit points…
But then I spotted a bio-engineered non-CH pet store… And then I spent ALL MY HARD-EARNED MONEY on a bio-engineered bluurg. Because I used to have one and this guy looked just like him. TAMED!!! He lost most of his stats, of course, but I’d never have been able to tame a bluurg at this stage even if I could remember what planet they come from.
I’m thinking of going with philosopher names for my pets this time. One needs a theme, and given how I felt today it seemed appropriate — I intend of course to be guided by The Philosopher Song for my selections. I can’t actually name them in-game yet (need a fourth command and eleventy-zillion CH XP), but we’ll get there.
Last but not least a comparison of the client graphics with SweetFX and without. Looks better don’t it? The backpack and hair textures are pretty good.
And I say I want to be a creature handler. Clearly I have no shame.
My fighty-character Ysharros just made novice CH, in fact, thanks to the company of some great people. Any of my friends and readers who are back in SWG or thinking about going back to SWG should consider registering on Obzzarver’s site. There’s no commitment to anything other than not being a douchecanoe, which nobody here is, and it’ll give you access to the super-seekrit (not really) TeamSpeak server where people from Europe, the US and South America (and probably the other continents too) hang out while playing.
Depending on how well you know me, you’ll know my sociability can be an odd beast – sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not. Fortunately the motley Donkey Business crew is very non-demanding. Socialise on TS if you want, or don’t if you don’t want. And we’re finally mostly old enough and mature enough that nobody says “OMG YOU’RE A GIRL IRL!! WITH A BRITISH ACCENT! THIS CANNOT BE! SPEAK MOAR!!” — or anything of the kind. It’s a very comfortable and friendly place.
We’re very disorganised. We have no idea if we’re making a PA in SWG or whether we’d rather join an established one (preferably with a nice city). We have no plans. Everyone does what they like and helps out whoever and whenever if they feel like it.
It’s pretty much the perfect gaming setup, in my variably-social opinion.
So if you end up in SWGEmu, on Basilisk Server, and can’t remember how to walk, talk, chew gum or even turn your character, give me a holler. I currently have Ekkie, Ysharros, Ysharra, and Calliope’, two of whom haven’t even been played yet — but with the 1 per 24 hours server rule I’m making characters just to have them if I fancy doing something with them. I’m an altoholic — OF COURSE I’ll fancy doing something with them.
I’d post more screenshots but I’m having too much fun to remember to take any. In between bouts of furious work (RL work that is) to catch up and/or get ahead so I can play some more. And/or faceplanting ridiculously early because allergy season and because Benadryl.