22/12/2019

Happy 8th Blogday to me!

As is traditional, my blog's anniversary comes two days after SWTOR's own birthday. In terms of blogging activity, this year has been similar to last in that overall, I wrote a bit less than the previous average, largely because I found myself struggling for a few months mid-year, though there was once again a burst of activity when we got a big new content release towards the end of the year.

I rang in 2019 by loading up Elder Scrolls Online of all things, a game that I had abandoned at a very low level several years prior. What I had expected to be only a brief spur of the moment adventure actually ended up with me subscribing for a while, and I was really into it for about three months... then I spent another three months just logging in for the daily log-in rewards and to train my mount and that was that. Still, it was a fun and educational experience and I might revisit some day.

In SWTOR I was still busy on Ossus, where after having spent most of December praising the new content, I got a bit critical by highlighting various bugs and analysing the new ways of getting gear. I also shared my seven golden rules for happy pugging, bemoaned that the new guild perk system was confusing, and - inspired by the new saboteur path introduced with Jedi Under Siege - considered the practical implications of the idea of changing factions, since faction involves a lot more complications in SWTOR than in most other MMOs.

Somewhat related to that, I used February to write about why I enjoy the faction conflict in SWTOR and consider it an important part of the setting. I also wrote a silly little top five list, and looked back at the strangely troubled developments of the two "Knights of" expansions. Oh, and I married my pet tank in real life. Minor thing, that.

In March I looked at just how much time I had spent playing SWTOR in February, since I had installed an app called ManicTime on my PC at the start of the month. By the way, while I haven't written about it again, I kept that app running all year, and so far I've racked up more than 36 days of SWTOR playtime for 2019. That's more than a whole month spent doing nothing but playing SWTOR! For comparison, the other MMOs I played this year came in at 16 days for WoW Classic (which is not bad considering it only came out at the end of August), 11 days for ESO, and 46 hours for Neverwinter. Sorry Neverwinter, we're clearly over.

Other things I wrote about in March included MMO superstitions (or the strange ideas people come up with when they can't tell what triggers certain bugs), musings on how level sync works in SWTOR vs. ESO, and Swtorista's "sweep event" celebrating the milestone of her YouTube channel reaching 50k subscribers. (She's up to 81k now - 100k subscriber celebration next March maybe?)

April was a month of big achievements for me as it saw my guild defeating Izax on veteran mode, and me finishing off the last of the KotFE chapters on master mode. Onslaught was announced to much excitement, and I spent some time playing a low-level character for the first time in ages but ultimately found it somewhat unsatisfying. Oh, and guilds got flags heraldry.

In May the thought of the upcoming expansion had me all excited, and I made a to-do list. My guildies and I killed Master and Blaster on veteran mode at last, and I had a slightly strange experience trying my hand at using my seeker droid for the first time in literal years.

June saw the release of Dantooine and its associated world event. When the latter ended, it got me thinking about how Dantooine in peace time offered the first real opportunity to level a pacifist character in SWTOR. I also realised that I still had achievements left to do and datacrons to hunt on Ossus, so I got on with that. People also got (sort of) nostalgic about the fact that it had been three years since the big Dark vs. Light event, and I joined others in musing about what had become of the alts I had created for the event back then.

In July my guild hit level 100 under the new guild levelling system (for whatever that's worth), and I was overcome by random nostalgia for Makeb. I asked the question whether PvP was more balanced one year after Bioware made all warzones cross-faction, and the answer seemed to be "mostly yes". I also ruminated on the option to skip KotFE and KotET and why I can't get myself to do it despite of the many arguments in favour.

In August I took part in (the more easygoing version of) Blaugust again, and had my first look at the Onslaught PTS. My earlier musings about levelling a pacifist character came to fruition as I started my pacifist Shadow Pacis on her journey. (For anyone who's wondering about her by the way, I'm still levelling her but it's been a while since I've done anything other than more Dantooine dailies or that one heroic on Coruscant, so there hasn't really been anything to write about.) Oh, and we got the launch date for Onslaught, which was later than originally indicated, but everyone who'd been on the PTS pretty much agreed that this delay was sorely needed to give them time to tidy things up.

September was the quietest month on the blog because I was in the throes of the freshly launched WoW Classic and not at all enthused by what I was seeing on the PTS.

Fortunately everything was sunshine and roses again once Onslaught actually launched. My first impressions were positive, the new loot system looked good (despite of how unimpressed I had been on the PTS), and I did the new Onderon dailies a lot, even though being asked to find green circles on green grass didn't strike me as the best design.

In November I took part in International Picture Posting Month again, wrote down my thoughts on the new story content, made a Nautolan and was intrigued by undocumented changes to the group finder.

In December I talked more about using your phone as a security key and to browse this blog, and my guild's progress through the new raid. And that's where are now! I'm looking forward to another fun year of playing and writing about SWTOR, which should incidentally also see me make my 1000th post on this blog. I hope you'll stay tuned!

11 comments :

  1. Congratulations! It is cool to see your enjoyment of and passion for the game has continued so strongly over the years. Here's to being around when the game hits twenty years. :D

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    1. I think it helps that Bioware has managed to mostly stay true to the game's roots over the years. Not that there haven't been changes, but the overall direction hasn't changed too dramatically (and it's telling that the times I was at my unhappiest with the game were when they were closest to veering off into strange waters). So as long as they are willing to keep going as they are, I'll be here until the servers shut down one day!

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  2. Congrats on anther year in the books!

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    1. Thank you! Writing these always makes me think of your month in review posts - I don't have enough to say myself to do one of these every month though.

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  3. Grats! I've been flagging a little on blog-reading lately due to time pressures but I always manage to find time to read yours.

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  4. Congrats! You are my news source for all things SWTOR :-)

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  5. Hey, if you're still working on your pacifist shadow (I had forgotten it was a stealther), I might be able to come up with a few more heroics and quests that you can do! Honestly love just stealthing through stuff.
    ... As long as she had a ship, of course. Leveling characters without it isn't hard per se, Just annoying sometimes.

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    1. Hehe, no ship for her - she can't progress through the class story because it requires fighting. Most heroics can be accessed via the terminal on the fleet and the automatically granted quick travel option though, which is how I've been getting around. Feel free to tell me if you've got any tips!

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