Flashpoint Craziness: Personal Top 5 Favourites

It’s time for another Top 5 post series!

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these; the last series touched on Operations, and now it’s time to turn to their lesser PvE partners the Flashpoints.

As per usual, this will be in parts. This post will focus on the my personal favourites and the follow-up will focus on those which I absolutely despise. There will also be a third post covering the Flashpoint story-arcs consisting of two back-to-back Flashpoints; the Forged Alliances arc is its own beast when it comes to this as they’re a part of the overall Shadow of Revan story rather than its own independent little section and thus it wouldn’t be ‘fair’ to compare it to anything else.

So, without further ado:

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Character Connections

Character Collage

I’ve seen many, many characters come and go during my years in The Old Republic. The above pictures represent a selection of past and present characters in the order of their creation and a group-shot of the 7 characters who I currently keep in active service, 2 of whom are newer whilst the other 5 have been around for a lot longer.

See which of the 7 you can recognise the levelling pics of. 😛

When I say “many” characters, the 16 I chose for the collage were just those that I happened to have screenshots of from the character-select screen which showed their faces. For example, a notable absentee from the collage is my very first character; a Commando. The only screenshot I have of him is with his orange helmet on, so he’s receiving no more love from me – as if he ever could.

There were other images which I had – including one for the Twi’lek Sorcerer – but added to the current 16 this total came to 19, and that’s not a fun number to work with.

If I had proper shots of all of my characters, you’d be looking at an image of 40 characters (appropriately enough, only 40% of whom – not including the 3 instant 60s – have ever made it up to or beyond Level 50), so in this respect it’s perhaps a very good thing that I could only find and use 16. I know for a fact that there are more, but I honestly can’t remember enough details about them to add them to the list, so I’ll stick with the nice round number.

We won’t be speaking of the “accidental Kira Carsen Gunslinger”, though…

I first thought of this subject as a minor ‘fact’ for the Creative Blogger facts list; I would touch on the shifting ratio of male:female characters and how I often used elements of my own personality in constructing those of the characters, yet I realised that I could do so much more with this as an actual blog post, so here we are.

In this post, I’ll attempt to demonstrate what goes through my mind when I create multiple characters and what causes various ones to stick whilst others have been abandoned and deleted.

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Blogger Initiative Butchering Twofer: Creative Blogger and Liebster Awards

I have never been good at being all “personal” when it comes to this blog, and that mainly comes down to who I am; I’m not at all that sociable, as I’m fairly sure people who have followed me on Twitter have probably come to realise.

This in itself has led to one of my biggest regrets when running this blog; my inability to follow-up on my Liebster Award nomination – coming up with an unspecified amount of random facts and then answering 11 questions before then setting your own – by Zernebog of the appropriately titled Zerneblog. This fell apart mainly because I got in a minor panic about not “being proper” when it came to nominating individuals in the follow-on (for reasons explained below), let alone the fact that I just could not come up with an adequate amount of my own questions to ask or random facts at the time. However, with my recent tagging by Shintar of Going Commando in the Creative Blogger Award – similar, but only requiring 5 facts and no questions – I decided that I cannot ‘hide’ from this any longer.

In reality, though, I’m still ‘hiding’ from my biggest perceived problem in this context: nominating people. Although I will be ostensibly tackling elements of both Awards’ objectives in this post – coming up with the 5 CBA (not the slang version!) facts and then answering Zerne’s Liebster questions – I will also be carefully steering around the issue of tagging people. This is for two reasons; the first is that the people I would have tagged have been tagged previously, and the second is that I am only on friendly terms with only two other bloggers whilst I have made no real effort to ingratiate myself with anyone else.

This is purely due to who I am as a person, so I do hope that my ‘standoffishness’ hasn’t been taken personally by anyone.

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Thoughts on 4.5 [Spoiler-free]

Month another, update another.

4.5 is yet another small patch; besides Chapter XIV and its associated Alliance Alert, all that has come with it are some Legacy Perks, customization options, and an attempt to reduce the effectiveness of certain classes in a PvP Environment.

How does this all hold up? Well, let’s find out!

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Galactic Antics is Live

Spawn of the Dread Master is no more; Galactic Antics has risen to take its place!

So the poll I posted last week ended up being a lot closer than I envisaged; Smuggling with a Cool Head and Galactic Antics both ended up being tied in first place. I’m a little disappointed that From the Valleys of Alderaan was left behind, but c’est a vie.

I had hoped that it wouldn’t be a tie, as I’m not very good at making final decisions, but Rav raised a very good point in the previous post; Galactic Antics is the far more generic name, whereas Smuggling would get me stuck in virtually the same place as I had been stuck with Spawn: the name was based around one character while others have become more frequently used.

I can only apologise for the messiness of this transfer period; I’m not willing to pay for redirection of traffic (such a thing would be free if I had any say…), so anyone who has this blog’s name in their blogroll, you’ll have to update all this information manually.

Sorry..!

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Some general things which have been updated:

The Character Page is back, looking much more polished than before.

The Accomplishments Page now lists direct links to my various Story Critiques (serious spoilers if you haven’t come across these before).

The Blogroll has been expanded; I have never been good at keeping a ‘proper’ version of this, and I’ll make more of an effort to maintain this in future.

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Here’s to continuing on with the insanity!

Blog Revamp: Identity Choices

The name Spawn of the Dread Master was entirely based on a running joke surrounding one of my characters, and because this character was completely disconnected from the Dread Masters otherwise (they aren’t even Force-Sensitive!), the identity has never really sat in a comfortable position. Additionally, as highlighted in the Comments when I posted my possible intentions for a revamp last week, the Sithy theme does not entirely suit my writing style.

The purpose of this revamp is two-fold. The first, as you can probably gather, is to come up with an identity and a theme which does suit me and my writing style. The second is purely to revitalise my own interests in blogging. I won’t lie when I say that in the past year I’ve had an on-again/off-again relationship with this blog, and it’s time to start fixing that.

Before I get to the nitty-gritty details of the four theme ideas I’ve come up with, I’ll go over what else I intend to do as part of this revamp.

This is a feature I’ve been wanting to do for some time now; a YouTube channel for uploading recordings of game sessions, be this KotFE Chapters, PvP, Operations, or even just messing around with friends and/or guildies. I’ve got a video showcasing an Eternal Championship run (behind-the-times? Never!) lined up as the first video as a sort of “trial” before things get more heavily underway. This won’t actually come into existence until a new theme and identity for the blog has been chosen, of course.

So without further ado…

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Potential Blog Revamp

This blog has maintained its present format for a good 15 or so months, and a fair bit has happened in that time which means that a revamp is probably in order.

Most of the reasons for this occurring basically revolve around the transfer to The Red Eclipse, which I would say revitalised my interest in the game as a whole. Compared to how I spent my time on The Harbinger, which I heavily dedicated to one character only towards the end (Pippera the Sniper) whilst the rest were all just ‘there’, I now have at least three/four characters I spend time on regularly on a daily basis, which for me is actually really good going!

More than that, though, the character whose identity in turn formed the identity of this blog has now lost that identity. It doesn’t seem right to keep a joke going with no true manner of justifying it. Not only could this be a revamp, but a re-branding of sorts.

I’m drumming out some ideas for what to do which I’ll dish out at a later date in another blog-post once I’ve got something to show for it. The ‘Characters’ page is the first and easiest casualty at this time, because half of the characters on that list are no longer relevant, and I have always worked best with ‘catalysts’ setting things in motion.

As much as I’m making a big thing out of this to myself, I really don’t think all that much will be changing visually in the long-term, as I’m quite fond of the layout and colour-scheme of the blog, so really it will just be “same-old, same-old” even if it is under a different header.

Regardless, I thought I’d just make my plans known. It will be interesting to see what becomes of this plan, no matter the outcome.

Bedding Down on The Red Eclipse

Ever since the server transfers were first opened four years ago, it was often claimed that regional transfers were “impossible”, and I understood the main reason to be something involving privacy laws between server regions negating the possibility. Whether or not that was the actual reason, I still don’t know.

However, earlier today, when the price of server transfers was increased from the amazingly cheap price of 90 Cartel Coins per character to 1,000 Cartel Coins per character, something else happened; the borders have finally been opened, allowing people to transfer from an American to a European server, and vice-versa, for 1,500 Cartel Coins per character.

Not cheap.

For the average player, being on the wrong continent shouldn’t even be a problem in the slightest, as the nature of MMOs (and particularly the endgame) dictate that you should be on a server which suits you and your timezone.

In my difficult way I again prove an exception.

Because The Old Republic was my first ‘proper’ MMO and I didn’t know what “endgame” involved (I literally initially interpreted the term as “saying farewell to our characters” in the actual story), I concentrated first and foremost on finding a community first which shared a specific interest of mine outside of Star Wars, and the community I found first was going to be on an American server; namely, Vornskr. Vornskr soon closed and we were all transferred into the Harbinger which has been my in-game home for just under four years.

That is, until today. With the news of regional server transfers, I have begun the slow process of transferring my characters across to The Red Eclipse, which I hope to fit in. I haven’t begun looking at Guilds yet (since I haven’t had the best history with guild-experimentation), but I have started redecorating the Tatooine Stronghold.

Priorities!

So, four-and-a-half years on, and I’m finally where I likely should have been from the start. It’s been a fun few years, Harbinger, but I’m afraid this is farewell.

Thoughts on 4.3 [Spoiler-Free]

Another month, another update.

4.3 brings with it many changes and new features, including quality-of-life changes to Guilds and Strongholds, and the first new 8-player Warzone since Patch 1.6 in 2012 brought us Ancient Hypergates. Oh, and it also provided perhaps the most interesting Fallen Empire chapter yet.

There’s a lot to dive into, so let’s get started!

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