22/12/2015

Happy 4th Blogday to me!

As I always say at this point, it's no surprise that I have my blogoversary shortly after the game has its birthday, because I started writing about it only a few days after launch. I've considered adding something like "SWTOR's longest-running personal fan blog" to my header but I'm paranoid about someone with an older, just as consistently updated blog suddenly coming out of the woodwork and telling me off.

I've written slightly fewer posts this year than in any of the previous years so far, which I think is due to me working full time for the entire year and struggling to maintain the right balance between work, gaming, blogging and other hobbies at times, though I think I've found a pretty sweet spot at the moment. It's also been a noteworthy year from my point of view as this blog actually overtook my old WoW blog in terms of raw post numbers, which feels significant to me. Give it another one and a half years or so and I will also have spent more time playing SWTOR than I have playing WoW... that milestone is still a fair bit away though.

For now, let's look at my blogging year in review, as I always do:

In January, Shadow of Revan's launch was still fresh on everyone's minds, and I mused on features related to that expansion such as whether solo flashpoints were a good idea or how Bioware could possibly continue the class stories after the events on Rishi. Towards the end of the month we were hit by the shocking news that AOL was going to shut down the Massively website, which isn't really directly related to SWTOR but was definitely of interest to people who care about MMOs in general. Fortunately the tireless crew behind the project landed on their feet and successfully moved on to found a new site of their own, Massively Overpowered.

In February rumours started to fly around that SWTOR was going to have two expansions this year, which I tried to debunk. And I was right! Though it's funny to realise in hindsight what Bioware really meant by "two major updates"... I also decided to give my "10 Days of SWTOR Screenshots" series from 2012 another run this year, as I knew I would have trouble maintaining my posting schedule while moving house.

Other than posting more screenshots, I mostly started to express mixed feelings about Shadow of Revan in March: I found the grind for companion gear tedious (if only I had known then what I know now!) and experienced the hardmodes of Blood Hunt and Battle of Rishi as interesting but overtuned (funny how little some thing things change).

This continued in April, when I groused a bit about the state of operations and wasn't thrilled by all the hullabaloo about the new outfit designer. (My main still only has that one outfit and rarely uses it, and my alts still rely on wearing orange gear.) I mused on SWTOR fan resources after the shutdown of Torhead and shared my opinion of the Ziost update which launched at the end of the month.

May saw the conclusion of the Ziost storyline, and I thought about some general SWTOR subjects such as forgotten features or how a lot of random NPCs looked the same. I also rolled an Imperial agent on the Progenitor to re-experience what it's like to be a noob without a level fifty legacy and dozens of max-level alts to support you.

These adventures continued throughout June, and of course then information about Knights of the Fallen Empire was leaked shortly before it was officially announced.

In July we heard about Bioware's plans for group content in KotFE (namely that none of it would be new but that all the old stuff would be repurposed). I decided to get back into max-level PvP for a while after they made it super easy to get good PvP gear. And of course we saw the release of the game's second post-launch species, the Togruta. I created one that day just to say that I had one and haven't played her since then.

August was mostly about analysing KotFE changes as more information about them trickled in.  However, I also still found more than enough things to talk about in regards to the live game, such as stealthily implemented changes to dailies, PvP adventures and why I wasn't too keen on some of the more recent operations.

In September I spent some time doing Makeb's staged weekly and writing about it, as they were going to remove it in its existing form come KotFE and there was going to be a reward for having completed all the achievements beforehand. I also started my Flashpoint Friday series, in which I talk about/review individual flashpoints, and I'm proud to say that I've kept up its intended posting schedule of once every two weeks without fail so far. We said goodbye to SWTOR's old customer service forums. And last but not least, I noticed that the Star Wars hype in general was really building up as people were getting excited for The Force Awakens.

In October I got super excited when we found out that KotFE was going to introduce level syncing to the world, and I ended my latest stint of PvPing after the numbers showed just how often I was losing. Finally, Knights of the Fallen Empire had its (early access) launch and I disappeared off the face of the world for a couple of days while I was completely immersed in the new content. My first impressions were that the new story was awesome and that levelling had been heavily streamlined (which annoyingly included the removal of some bits and pieces that I liked).

November was all about talking about more Fallen Empire changes, such as overpowered companions, recycled operations and the new Alliance system. I also decided to start levelling a character purely through flashpoints, since there were plenty of instances to run at every level now and pops as well as experience points were plentiful.

In December parts of the community got upset about subscriber rewards, an issue that I felt was blown way out of proportion and was simply used as an excuse to air all kinds of general grievances.  My flashpoint levelling experiment continued, and I talked about the one part of the KotFE story that has bugged me so far as well as sharing my thoughts on Star Fortresses. Finally, let's not forget that a certain film finally hit the theatres...

I'm looking forward to another year of having (hopefully) interesting things to say!

9 comments :

  1. Yeeeey, happy bloggaversary Shintar! :)
    I do of course remember Priest with a Cause fondly - you are one of only very few bloggers who remain from my earliest blogging days. All the more awesome how you managed the switch to your SWTOR blog and have been blogging consistently over so many years, Respekt!
    Here's to another year of blogging! ^^

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    1. Thanks! It's indeed remarkable how many people you see come and go in blogging circles over time, so you treasure the ones who hang around all the longer, even if your interests diverge a bit after a while. ^^

      I still use the old WoW blog occasionally by the way, when I feel like engaging in WoW nostalgia or something. Recently I made a bunch of posts about experiencing the game on a private Vanilla WoW server.

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  2. Happy 4th Shintar! Your blog was the first SWTOR related one I read regularly since I started playing in February. Keep it going!

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  3. Happy anniversary!

    "someone with an older, just as consistently updated blog suddenly coming out of the woodwork and telling me off" - I would very much like to see that (one cannot have enough Going Commando-like blogs around), but I think it's higly unlikely. I'm sure there are fan sites just as old, but surely they are no longer active, and they certainly haven't been as prolific. I'm always super impressed with the regular pace of interesting SWTOR reflections you're able to keep up. You go girl! ;)

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    1. Haha, that's a good point; you can never know about too many long-time fan blogs! Now I feel I need to add that line somewhere purely to see if somebody bites.

      And thanks for the kind words! :)

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  4. Happy anniversary, Shintar! :D

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