Princess Ileana

Posted by on Feb 28, 2012 in Blog, Star Wars: The Old Republic | 0 comments

Ever since I got my first beta invite for SWTOR last November, I’ve been gently nudging my wife to try it out as well. I didn’t get much response during beta itself, only something like “If I try it, you won’t be able to test it.” Which was nice of her, but didn’t help in making a pre-order decision for her copy. And I know better by now than to just go and buy 2 licenses, let Rift be an example of this.

Opening day came and went and it was still just me playing SWTOR, while my wife kept collecting pets, and did her dailies on WOW. Plus some raiding. And numerous alts. And holiday events. At some point, when I asked I got this answer: “I don’t like Star Wars!”. What do you mean, you don’t like Star Wars? The game or the movies? “The movies!”. I had no problems with her being major league annoyed at the acting in episode 2+3 a couple of years back, but it never appeared to me that this included the original  episodes as well!

Life’s back to normal now and I haven’t divorced her over it, especially since her WOW guild mates convinced her that SWTOR is actually a cool game. Half of them were playing already and talking about it on Ventrilo, plus my persistence convinced her on Sunday to try out a Jedi Consular, with the goal of becoming a Sage. Initially she had made “Ileana” on my account, but on Sunday night it became clear she’d get her own.

I spent two hours on Monday recreating her looks on the new account, and less than an hour to bring her to level 6, where my wife had left off. You wouldn’t believe how different colors can look on two monitors. Head type, hair style and even complexion were easy to duplicate. But I am being told I missed the hair color by a notch. I restarted the game a number of times with different accounts on both of our computers to get the skin color right. But it was quite an ordeal to figure out that skin color #17 on my monitor looked like skin color #22 on hers.

Those are differences I really don’t notice during normal use of our computers or just by glancing over to my wife’s monitor. But you might have gotten the idea, that it is a science, if you’ve ever set up a new monitor and went through the installation process suggested by the manufacturer. But regardless of looks and color temperatures, I made a Trooper as a play mate, ready to explore “The Old Republic” together. You’ll be hearing about those travels more in this place


© Disclaimer: Star Wars: The Old Republic
This site is not endorsed by or affiliated with LucasArts, BioWare, or Electronic Arts.
Trademarks are the property of their respective owners. LucasArts, the LucasArts logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks in the United States and/or in other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © 2008-2011 Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. or Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. BioWare and the BioWare logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd. You may not copy any images, videos or sound clips found on this site or "deep link" to any image, video or sound clip directly.
Game content and materials copyright LICENSOR. All Rights Reserved.


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Guildwars 2 Beta Signup Twitter Storm

Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in Guildwars 2, News | 1 comment

Only 3 hours left to signup for Guildwars 2 beta. A small twitter storm has broken out with people and @Guildwars2 tweeting and retweeting beta notices in all languages from Latvian to Klingon. It leaves me wondering if this is going to be the biggest beta flood in MMO history. SWTOR and Rift seemed more stretched out over time. And I don’t recall to much about the WOW beta signup phase.

In any case, this game is highly anticipated, lots has been written about it already and hopefully we get to see more of it soon.


© Disclaimer: Guildwars 2
© 2011 ArenaNet, Inc. All rights reserved. NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo, ArenaNet, Arena.net, Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions, Factions, Guild Wars Nightfall, Nightfall, Guild Wars: Eye of the North, Eye of the North, Guild Wars 2, and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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New Community Manager for Vanguard

Posted by on Feb 23, 2012 in News, Vanguard | 0 comments

Zatozia, the new community manager for Vanguard Saga of Heroes introduced herself today to the community. She’s been with SOE while it was still Verant and is a self proclaimed dinosaur within SOE. While it’s not unusual that game personnel and community managers change, it’s somewhat special with Vanguard, since it is on my F2P-or-die watch list. The recent announcement for Everquest to go F2P did make me check on Vanguard more often.


© Disclaimer: Vanguard

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TERA Online Beta Anticipation

Posted by on Feb 22, 2012 in News, TERA | 0 comments

TERA Online has been popping up on my radar for a while now. Last night I gave in and pre-ordered, which gives me participation right in all coming betas. I am currently downloading the client, which might take a while. Last time I checked I had 10% completion and the system told me, it would take 14 hours more. The download speed was suspiciously low when compared to my max bandwidth, which tells me that not to many people are participating in the torrent, yet. That might change overnight or toward the weekend.

The second beta test weekend is scheduled from Friday, Feb, 24th, 3pm EST to Monday, Feb, 27th, 3am EST. There will be a level cap at level 27 and a limited number of character slots. The later is usually a problem for me in betas, the level cap never. I tend to go and check out multiple races and classes until I find one I can stick with for a while. Not that my pick is ever finalized.

What am I going to look out for? Of course the combat style. Getting close to the opponent and then pushing attack won’t be good enough anymore. The interface will expect you to position yourself and to aim for your target. I’ve gotten a taste of that play style in Fallen Earth already and would love to see how it plays out here.

Race and Class selection seems typical for games originating in Korea and Japan. I will probably start out with a Slayer, since most of the time I end up playing melee DPS. Second choice will be an Archer or a dual wielding Warrior. I dislike dual wield classes, since I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that so many fighters now or in medieval times should be able to use two weapons as well coordinated as it seems possible in MMOs. Mystics may be my third or fourth choice, because they seem to be a pet class. Don’t ask what race I’ll choose. I have no idea, except you won’t see me playing the child like Elin.

The interface is going to be a tough one. The game allows the use of game controllers and may force me to use WASD movement. Lets find out. You’ll hear some yelling and screaming if things go bad in that direction.


© Disclaimer: TERA

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SWTOR with My Brand New Logitech G13

Posted by on Feb 17, 2012 in Blog, Star Wars: The Old Republic | 1 comment

Shortly after New Years I noticed my G15 keys got stuck at times. It started with the backspace key but others followed shortly after that. I’ve had been cleaning it with canned air a couple of months ago already. But the keyboard is at least 3 years old and looks pretty yucky. Guess it’s time for a new solution.

My “G15″  is actually a G11, which replaced an even older worn out G15. I never had much use for the LCD display, which was hidden underneath the monitor stand most of the time anyway. The problem is, Logitech doesn’t produce G11 or G15 anymore. They have been replaced by G19, G110 and G510. The G510 has a LCD display and 18 G-keys, but the other two have only 12 G-keys. I want at least 18 extra keys and just don’t want to pay $120 for the 510.

Thus, I decided in favor of a G13 gameboard with 22 G-keys, a joystick and 2 thumb keys. It was on sale at CompUSA (formerly TigerDirect) for $60. As a regular keyboard I was using one of the many I have already in my house. While researching for this post I found out that Logitech has cut prices by $17- $22 for gaming keyboards by now. I am not sure about the current pricing through retailers. Ask your favorite search engine.

Just to clarify things upfront, I am right handed and my setup of course reflects that. I am aware of the many problems lefties face, but I can’t offer any advice in that direction.

Setup

Setup was easy. I just replaced the old G11 with a regular keyboard and plugged in the additional G13. The old Logitech software did recognize the game board, but I had to upgrade the software later in order to use the joystick properly. As I’ve said before, I use the Logitech keyboard only to map hotkeys, almost never to record and replay macros. Thus, I quickly assigned Shift-F1 to Shift-F12 and Alt-F1 to Alt-F11 (skipping Alt-F4) to my 22 G-keys. I assigned WASD to the direction indicators of the joystick, TAB to the left fire button and the Q-key to the bottom fire button. You do have the option to use the joystick as a generic joystick, but SWTOR doesn’t recognize this setup. What I am missing after a couple of days of usage is quick access to the space bar or any other key mapped to jump.

Association

The G13 has two rows with 7 keys each, one row with 5 keys and one row with 3 keys. For SWTOR, I have no choice but to map them to the 2 hotbars on the bottom of the screen. The top hotbar is being assigned to G1-7 and G15-G19. The lower row is assigned to G8-G14 and G20-G22, leaving the last two fields unassigned. I do need the visual association between the hotbars and the row of keys. I can’t blindly assume that for instance G12 is mapped to “Ravage” on my Sith Juggernaut. I will always have to locate the ability on the hotbar, put my hands on the game board and feel my way to the exact key. It’s just the way I am wired. YMMV.

Ability Mapping

Given the key layout on the board, I’ve put the most often used abilities on G4 and G5. In the case of my Sith Warrior, those are Assault and Thundering Assault, the rage builders. G1, 2 and 3 are next, occupied by Force Charge, Smash and Force Scream, the typical opening sequence when questing. G7 is occupied by Disruption, a rarely used ability, but easily accessible when it is needed in emergencies. Right now, the second row of the keyboard has only 3 keys used, G10,11 and 12 with high DPS moves. My fingers usually rest on G3, G4 and G12 which of course makes this the preferred place for frequently used abilities.

The third row has only one key, G19, used for now. It’s the Saber Ward ability. I plan to put other defensive abilities into this row, most likely filling them up from the right. Which follows once again the way my hand is resting on the keys. In the fourth row I am currently using only G20 with an AE snare, which in fact I haven’t used, ever. I am looking at it as a placeholder for crowd control function which could go here.

As I said above, I’ve mapped TAB and Q to the fire buttons of the joystick. In game I have “target nearest NPC” and “companion/pet attack” assigned to them. This way I can quickly change target and also send in my companion whenever it is needed.

Mouse or Keyboard to Move?

Why am I not using the standard assignment with WASD for G4 and G10, 11 and 12? Two hard facts: It’s faster to turn using the mouse and it is faster to push keys than to move the mouse and click to trigger actions. Which has me using the mouse in the right hand for movement and leaves the left hand exclusively for abilities. This of course is absolutely personal preference. You should do whatever you feel most comfortable with. Indeed, you should always keep an eye on what your hand is doing and adjust your keyboard assignment accordingly.

In the end, my game board is mapped in a way that keeps standard action sequences, frequently used keys and similar functions in close vicinity of each other. This way, I get my brain and my fingers much easier in sync. What I haven’t mentioned so far, are the two sidebars on the left and right. They are filled with rarely used, non-critical abilities, like stances, quick travel and buffs. I’ve also lined up all my med packs on the top right. Those are easily accessed with the mouse, and healing myself is more important then moving in that particular moment in time.

Conclusion

The G13 is usable and very useful to me. However, I find myself fingering my way to certain keys or  wrongly pushing the neighboring key. Which tells me that there are to many keys around without any physical distinction. In that sense, the old G11/15 layout was great, since you could feel you are pushing the left, right or middle key of a group of keys, including top or bottom row. Occasionally, my hand would rest in the wrong group out of the three, but I have learned to deal with it. Of course, this is all part of the natural resistance to change. Time will tell if my hand will be able to deal with my minor problems with the G13. It’s all ergonomics.

 


© Disclaimer: Star Wars: The Old Republic
This site is not endorsed by or affiliated with LucasArts, BioWare, or Electronic Arts.
Trademarks are the property of their respective owners. LucasArts, the LucasArts logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks in the United States and/or in other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © 2008-2011 Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. or Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. BioWare and the BioWare logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd. You may not copy any images, videos or sound clips found on this site or "deep link" to any image, video or sound clip directly.
Game content and materials copyright LICENSOR. All Rights Reserved.


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President’s Day Sale at Big Fish 50% off

Posted by on Feb 15, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Site wide sale at Big Fish. All standard games  50% off; $4.99 instead of the usual $9.99

Sale starts Thursday February, 16th and ends Monday night, February 20th.

Use coupon code: felix

 

Use coupon code felix



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