Category: Gaming Journal

27 Mar

Pax East 2013: The Giveaways – Krieg the Psycho

Borderlands 2 - Krieg the Psycho Header

Update: A winner has been picked. Thank you all for participating. There was a lot of interest in Krieg. I’d like to think it was the dynamite downed state.

While I was at Pax, I was able to gather a few goodies to give away to my readers and those of you I interact with through social media. I’ll keep it simple, if you are interested in any of these goodies, just shoot me an e-mail me Tramella1 -at- gmail dot com letting me know which giveaway you want to be a part of and the best way to reach you in case you are one of the lucky winners. This can be a twitter handle, dummy e-mail, anything you feel comfortable with. If you are coming here from Google+ or Facebook, you can leave a comment on the post and that will also act as an entry to the two giveaways.

On Saturday, March 30, 2013 around noon time, I will draw names from a hat for each prize.

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25 Mar

Pax East 2013: Photo Dump

Pax East 2013 Header

For starters, I thought I would show some of the photographs I took during my trip. Forgive the quality, working with a seven-year old point & shoot. I will be doing more in-depth posts as the week goes on. I have to say, I think I went to more panels this time then I previously did, which isn’t a bad thing. I learned a lot this year and since I wasn’t with the media this time around I had time to explore some of the stuff I ordinarily wouldn’t have such as tabletop and the arcade areas.

Look forward to posts on the various panels I attended and some of the games I had a chance to check out, especially WildStar and The Elder Scrolls Online. Still recovering from my trip and settling back in. Enjoy!

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23 Feb

Return of the Gree and Galactic Reputation Impressions [SWTOR]

Games, Gaming Journal, MMOs, SWTOR by Tramell

SWTOR - Return of the Gree Header

Over the past week we received some fresh content for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Version update 1.7, Return of the Gree brought about a reputation system as well as, a fancy new world event that will recur over the year. The reputation system which BioWare calls Galactic Reputation adds organizations that you can earn a reputation with and receive special rewards and titles the farther you progress with them. The Return of the Gree event helps tell the story of the ancient race. The Gree are known for their technological prowess and they have arrived on Ilum to collect data on the two factions. The event consists of a number of daily and event specific missions that help players ease into the reputation system.

The system has 6 tiers of progression and by completing missions, you earn trophies that allot you a certain amount of reputation points. They vary in quality, the higher it is the more points you earn. There is a weekly cap to how much you can advance, so those of us with multiple characters don’t gain a significant advantage outside of earning trophies at a faster rate for the weeks that follow.

One thing to note however, reputation is legacy bound and transfers across faction. As an example, if you are playing your republic character and level up with the Voss, the same rank will apply to your character allied with the Empire. Also some organizations are mirrors of each other, such as the Republic Hyperspace Armada and Imperial First Mobile Fleet and the same example applies to them. I don’t have a strong opinion about the reputation system but, I like there is something else to be accomplished when I’m tired of my usual routine of completing flashpoints and operations or leveling my other lowbie characters – my children.

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19 Jan

Gaming Journal: Winter Thoughts [SWTOR]

Gaming Journal, SWTOR by Tramell

SWTOR - Winter Thoughts Header

Over the course of this late winter where I live, I’ve been jotting down notes to myself whenever an idea pops into my head or when I catch myself forming a strong opinion about something. I felt I should share them on my blog, since most of the time I was just using them to write longer pieces and I thought there might be another use for them. For now I’ll try talking one to three of these topics at hand and discuss them when I don’t have anything specific to talk about. Today’s blog post focuses on Star Wars: The Old Republic, I take a look at the Cartel Market, benefits of raiding, and upcoming content.

A lot of the more interesting gear and fluff come from cartel packs, which when broken down are pretty much packs you can buy that yield random goods. You open them up for a chance at rare loot(rare equipment, crystal colors, pets, etc…) and depending on your luck or how much money you invest you may or may not get the items you were looking for or items that are worth any value to recoup any of your initial investment. Essentially the packs plays on the gambling habit of the player.

At the end of the day, you are reduce to either waiting for the item to be put on the GTN at a fairly high price, good luck to you F2P players out there or, you can keep feeding money to buy cartel coins to purchase more packs. I have nothing against this particular method but it’s a real turn off for me when there is no alternative way to acquiring these items, and no, I personally don’t think paying an absurd price on the GTN as an acceptable alternative method.

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04 Jan

A New Year with Renewed Vigor

SWTOR - New Year Header

A new year begins and it ushers in a fresh start, a beginning of another of those many journeys you take in life. Before the New Year hit I’ve spent time reflecting and what exactly it was I wanted to achieve this year and use whatever goals I strived for as a foundation as I move forward. For a while now I feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut. I’m not in a bad place but I feel I owe to myself to achieve something higher no matter how long it takes or how hard it may become. Been prepping for this since the later months of 2012, hence the lack of posts which will pick back up significantly this year and I look forward to seeing what I can do in a year. I’ll try to post my progress along with the usual content you’ll find on my blog.

Gaming activity wise, I’ve been knee deep in my MMO of choice, Star Wars: The Old Republic. I’ve found myself doing a lot of things that I thought I would never do. I’ve leveled up multiple maxed-leveled characters and even went through the process of gearing them up and making sure they are raid ready. I’ve made it a side project to gear my companions as well so I would be able to complete and participate in content that would require four people with just a friend and myself.

I’ve even explored multiple crafting and gathering trades, though most of my characters focus on Biochem since it saves me money when I want to raid with them as well as, make me a tidy sum of money from time to time by selling the higher quality stims and medical packs. That being said I shouldn’t discount the other crafting professions as my Smuggler who is invested in the Cybertech skill allows me to break down mods and armorings for the high quality materials I need to craft most high level modifications such as weapon barrels and hilts as well as armorings she cannot craft yet.

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22 Nov

Eternal Gratitude [Thanksgiving]

Gaming Journal by Tramell

I has been a long two months and as you can see I haven’t had the time to write. Thankfully, the unusual busy season for me is slowly dying down and I will soon have the time to sit down and commit pen to paper.

As you know, today is a special day at least in the United States and that is Thanksgiving. A time of reflection and a time of giving thanks for everything that has carried you thus far.

Somehow I’ve come down with a cold but, that won’t deter me today! I’m thankful for a lot in my short life. I’m grateful to my family for always being there for me. We may not always talk on a routine basis but it’s comforting to know that you are only a stone throw away should I need to reach out.
I’m thankful for my special friendship with Rhuan. She has been an inspiration to me and an invaluable friend. She has done so much for me, I don’t think I can ever express how fortunate I am to have known her. Thank you for the lovely painting by the way, still squeeing.

A shout-out to all the people who have read my blog, I’m glad you took the time to read my thoughts on various topics, mostly MMOs. All the people on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook, you’re quips and deep insight allow me to learn and evolve every day.

Even though not everything I’ve done has gone according to plan, I’m blessed to be where I am. There is still a long way to go but I have the support of family, friends, and work to keep me going. There is plenty more to be thankful for but, it’s time to spend time with the family. I hope all of you enjoy your time today, be safe.

04 Sep

The Beginning of a Long Journey [GW2]

This past week has been all about Guild Wars 2, well mostly anyways. Since I pre-purchased the game, I was able to hop on for headstart and I never looked back. Starting off, I was unable to get the names I wanted but I was able to tact on a last name to remedy that situation.   Although, I named my human necromancer Cáde, which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea since if I’m talking to some in PMs, I need to talk to them first or they need to dig in a menu for my name since most people are not familiar with alt key shortcuts for special characters.

Naming conundrums aside, I’ve been having a ball with the game. After reserving a name for a cherished friend I moved on to create a necromancer and norn thief. The human necromancer was a no brainer for me with the story I had setup for myself – street rat, lost sister, attuned to Grenth – but I made a bit of a gamble choosing a Norn to go with the Thief profession. I love the class a lot but, my early adventures with the Norn race during beta let me very disappointed.

During the early betas, all the dialogue felt like it was forced bravado. Everyone was gun-ho 110% of the time to the point where they all felt really one dimensional and it didn’t feel real. However, they a lot of changed that overall made the race feel a lot better while retaining that gun-ho super positive attitude that represents the Norn. So for the moment I’m enjoying my Norn Thief and sometime down the line I will pick up the Asura since I really enjoyed my time with the race during BWE 3.

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21 Jun

Packing up and Settling In [SWTOR]

As you might have heard, BioWare have started implementing server transfers for both the EU and NA servers. They are hand selecting a bunch of server to transfer to a particular server thus trying to carefully create high population servers. My guild and all my characters have moved from the Sanctum of the Exalted server to Ebon Hawke server. Ebon Hawke seems to be the default NA East RP-PvE server since all of the other NA East RP servers have Ebon Hawke as a destination server.

Though I am not sure how other servers are faring, the majority on SoTE made the switch as soon as it was available. Most concluded that since the server was designated as an origin server that can transfer to a destination server, that server would eventually bleed out and making a switch now would be for the best. Although the messaging from BioWare may have contradicted itself, the actual process of transfers seems to indicate they are trying to downsize with a plethora of servers being selected to transfer over to two particular servers of the same type.

Since my guild and I have made the switch, the game feels like it did a couple of months ago. People are shouting for groups, from hard mode flashpoints to daily quests. During the first few days of transfers Ebon Hawke’s Imperial Fleet actually had two instances, there was so many people hanging out on the fleet, one instance couldn’t contain them all. The server transfers have rekindled interest in the game, BioWare just needs to polish up 1.3 to give people the flexibility to form groups and finally have a system in place to give PvPers to take competition to the next level.

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08 Feb

Endgame Minutia [SWTOR]

Gaming Journal, MMOs, SWTOR by Tramell

Being level 50 in any MMO is quite an achievement. Now that I am at the tip of the iceberg in Star Wars: The Old Republic, I see that it is not all sugar and rainbows. While going through the motions of transitioning from level grinding to focused group content and player vs. players, I noticed a few flaws in the elder game. They have created an inconsistent approach to progression in terms of gear by relying too much on a random number generator instead of a steady progression. In addition, the crafting system has a few holes and cracks in it. The crafted items available at the higher levels shows favor to certain crafting skills.

I personally have always had a slight problem with endgame in MMOs. Sure, I like to do raids and doing challenging hard versions of various dungeons. What I never liked is the pace slow down. From the beginning until you hit max level it has usually been about going from place to place, hub-to-hub experiencing unique stories while your character got better and better. When you hit max level, you are done and the only thing that is left is to get better gear.

This is where I have my first major issue with SWTOR. The gear progression is just wacky. There are three tiers of PvP and PvE gear that becomes your new goal depending on your preference. The issue is that the tier one gear, your ‘starter’ gear is hard to obtain even with recent patches to rewards. In addition, the gear is also virtually already obsolete with the ability to customize orange gear and slotting high-level mods you acquire from completing the daily missions.

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20 Jan

Game Journal: One Sweet Journey [SWTOR]

Gaming Journal, MMOs, SWTOR by Tramell

It has been awhile since I hit max level in a MMO. I am usually the person who dabbles in a game long enough to figure out what it offers. If I like it, I tend to stick with it awhile, otherwise I drop when I feel I got to most out of the experience. With the recent holiday releases, there is still plenty of games out there I need to wet my whistle on but I have been focusing on a select few.

One of my games of choice recently has been Star Wars: The Old Republic. I have been playing the game since I got my invite into early access late in December, going full steam ahead ever since then. Sticking with my Mirialan Smuggler I reached 50 earlier this month and had time to reflect on the journey; a crucial piece of an MMO.

Not once did I ever get bored playing my character or found myself frustrated at any given point. For the first time in a long time sans Skyrim, I really enjoyed myself and got lost within a virtual world. Many things attributed to this with BioWare story being one of them. Aside from that, the smuggler gunslinger class was a joy to play and the design of the planets kept the experience new and fresh. Another component was the way they designed their quests. In retrospect, you are doing the same thing repeatedly, but the context and objectives to each quest alleviate the feeling of repetitiveness.

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