peal's heals – a swtor blog


a new home
June 20, 2012, 10:21 pm
Filed under: pvp | Tags: ,

Wow, so apparently I disappeared for a month. Apologies for that. I’d blame RL stuff like getting married and adjusting to a new job but that’s just a bunch of excuses, innit?

Seriously, though, I haven’t been playing much. Right around the time that DIII came out, my guild practically disappeared. It was sad. I’m still sad. Those were some great times.

But I did get back on last night and played a bit on my new server. Choosing to transfer was not a decision, nor a choice. It was either go and have a shot at playing with people or stay and kick tumbleweeds. So we went.

The mega-servers are indeed interesting. There were almost three hundred people on the fleet and more than one instance (I’m not sure if that’s three hundred total or three hundred on one plus more on the other, but either way, it beats the pants off of logging in at prime time to see twenty-two people in the hub).

There’s a lot of people. I’ve already started to recognize some, but others had to change their names so it’s a learning process. And of course, there’s lots of new people I haven’t met before, and on a server this size I won’t ever get to know anyone. I hope that some of the folks from Tarro Blood will keep their community spirit (we had a great PVP community), but on the plus side I’m in a guild with a handful of the ones I enjoyed playing with most.

It’s been a little weird getting used to names all over again. Surprise, surprise, I was able to keep Temblor and Peal. Apparently my names are so uncommon no one would ever claim them. But hey, I’m okay with that. I once had a paladin named Enlynn. I mean, seriously. That’s kinda ridiculous.

And by kinda, I do mean very.

Last night I lost over and over and over again but it was still fun. There’s a newness to the game all over again that I’m sure will only last a few more days (if that) but hopefully the server transfer injects fresh energy that lingers. Am I too optimistic? Perhaps. A part of me feels that it’s too little, too late, but I would like to be wrong on that.

How about you? How are you enjoying your new home?



on customer service
May 15, 2012, 1:15 am
Filed under: gameplay, missions | Tags:

My ticket was answered today.

I submitted this ticket three weeks ago, on 4/21/2012. Today, 5/14/2012, I finally get an answer.

We think we fixed the issue, so try resetting… again.

So at some point I will do the last leg of my class quest for THE THIRD TIME. I’ve had my Dark-Side speeder sitting my bag for more than a month, 100 points shy to use it because I hadn’t been awarded the Dark Side points I earned from blowing shit up.

Granted, I could have gotten another mount in the meantime. But still. I’m a stubborn woman and I guess I thought it wouldn’t take them a month to resolve the problem (first ticket with this problem was initially submitted 4/14/2012).

…in recent patches? You wait till a Monday night to mentioned you fixed this at least 6 days ago?

I’m kind of speechless. I really love SW:TOR and I want it to succeed… but I can’t be the only one who’s had to wait this long for an automated response for a problem they fixed “some time ago”. It’s downright insulting.



i’m level 11 and muckin up your queue

In an attempt to fight the problem we have with 6-8 people wanting to queue and dealing with how we split up our parties, how we stagger the queues (which ends up being time consuming, less games for one team), or if we’ll fight against each other, well, we thought we’d all roll lowbies so we could get a group of 50’s playing and a group of lowbies and it’d all be good.

Except we’re all kind of in love with our lowbies so we’re stuck with the same problem: 6-8 wanting to run together.

I made a sorcerer to heal. Of course I did. I love them. I miss my sorcerer. And the lowbie queue is really fun. It’s average faster queue times, and for some reason crushing losses are funnier when you’re level 11 with only 1 heal than when you’re 50 and still 2k points from your next War Hero upgrade.

We do experience crushing losses. When four of us level 11-12s join and the highest level person is 33 on our team, well, we realize we’ve kinda gimped everyone. But I don’t care, it’s still fun. It’s not all losses, and sometimes even at level 11 you can lead the scoreboard (in places like Voidstar where everyone can get face time) and still feel like you did good things.

I’ve even scored in Huttball. And here I thought I wouldn’t get the chance to score till I had Force Speed. Can’t wait for that, btw, and bubble, and Innervate… The nice thing about leveling this way is there’s so much to look forward to. I think most of us will do class quests but mostly focus on leveling PvP. And this time? Dark side all the way.

Seriously, though. BioWare, we need 8-man queues. Right away. We can’t be the only guild that’s suffering with this awkward size thing. Oh, and I’ve had a ticket open since 4/21 that no one has touched. Some customer service would GREAT.



the nerf bat swingeth

So… how do you like the changes?

1. The new warzone is a lot of fun. I like the push/pull way of holding bunkers and turrets. The all-or-nothingness of Voidstar and Civil War (you either plant the bomb or get interrupted) works… but it’s nice that even a few seconds of channeling control does something for the team–and the fact that more people clicking is a much faster channel! It’s smooth and fun.

The map is also a good size. Sometimes when I’m stealthed I feel like it takes forever to get from one to the other but it’s not. You can see your teammates (and the enemy) all across the map. And any complaints I have about traveling are from my seething jealousy of Force Speed, that’s all.

2. I missed the memo and thought we’d get some things we haven’t gotten yet, like auto-group-keeping between warzones and 8-man queues. But that’s alright. As much as it’s annoying to reform your group between each, there are much worse things.

3. The new UI is neat. I’m still holding out for some healer-friendly changes but we got a few neat toys you may want to play around with. You can enable target of target by going into UI editor–there’s a couple of red boxes near the mini-map. Clicking and then clicking enable (kinda sounds like I should have taken a screenshot of this, eh?) will show your target’s target. This is less important to me now than it was while I was still learning the game; it seems I’ve gotten used to not having it. But it’s still nice. The narrow red bar near the target’s target is the target’s target’s cast bar (say that three times fast!). Also handy.

4. Still really wish offensive/healing spells had a reflexive targeting quality like you could set them up in WoW. Like, if you healed the boss it healed the boss’s target. Or even if you could heal a target you didn’t have targeted. Because it’s really annoying to interrupt people while healing. Possible, but annoying.

5. Had a blast last night PvPing. That was all we did now that our points max out at 2k. It’s crazy that when we ding 50 we’ll have access to Battle Master gear. It’s pretty expensive, but it should be. There’s still a bit of grinding to get a full set, just much less of a grind than there used to be. But I’m glad that Bioware seems to be interesting in doing a tiered leveling system–once new shiny gear is introduced, the old new-shiny is made highly accessible. Because seriously, new level 50s have enough going against them without having to do a separate grind for each tier of gear.

6. The change to allow medics up to 3 stacks of Tactical Advantage ended up being a much bigger, better change than I’d initially thought. It’s a lot more on-the-move healing flexibility, for one, and Energy is a lot easier to manage. When I only had 2 stacks, I ended up wasting so many TA points. With up to 3, less get wasted and there’s more to spend more often it seems.

7. I miss our giggling already – but – there is a silver lining to the storm cloud that is the giggle-nerf. When we get TA procs via Kolto Probe, there is a sound. If I had to describe it, I’d call it a clank noise, something like a wrench tightening a bolt with sudden finality. But better yet, why not hop on your Operative and spam some Probes until you get used to what it sounds like yourself? To me, it’s louder and more obvious than a free Consumption proc on my Sorcerer (I had a hard time training myself to listen for that one, it’s too quiet IMHO). We do have an audio cue to help manage our TA it’s just not a fun cue anymore.

8. May or may not get 50 tonight. We’re level 49 and enjoying it. For the Empire!



three months in

Following in the brave tradition of Kristalys at All For the Wookiee and Shintar from Going Commando, I’d like to reminisce on the last three months of the game.

In the past three months I’ve leveled a whole lot of toons. A 50 Sorcerer, first and foremost, but the moment I hit max level with her I realized I needed an Operative. And on the way, I’ve made a Mercenary (got lazy around level 14), another sorcerer (got lazy around level 12), a Trooper (7) and a Sage (13). That’s on one server.

On another server (because for some reason I thought the people I went to high school with would be nicer than the random guys I met in WoW, oh god who was I kidding?! Now my librarian is my guild officer!)… Well, I made an Operative. Healing, of course, though this time I didn’t wait till mid-twenties to use the spec. Lux and I are leveling duo-operatives and spending quite a bit more time PvPing.

But, I… ahem. Already have a placeholder for a sorcerer. Quake was already taken on the Tarro Blood server, but (surprise) Peal was not. So if you ever see Temblor in a warzone, throwing darts of healing and shoving probes in your face, well, wave at me. 🙂

So that’s what I’ve done. In retrospect that’s a lot, though I never got into what I thought I wanted most: hard mode raiding.

Now I’m not even sure I want that. I’ve heard here and there that people leave because quite frankly the group play sucks. But I still don’t see it. I mean. The tank shortage seems to be a really big deal but at the same time we’ve got healers in abundance. Now I’ve enjoyed healing in games even when healing was awkward and clunky and resource management was a fickle creature, and in games like this healers/support were really rare. Remember looking for a bard or red mage simply to gain a level or two in FFXI?

Speaking of FFXI, remember camping HNMs for hours against several other guilds, only to lose the pop to a Japanese guild (lower ping) who would play with the boss for hours just to move its respawn timer to a more convenient pull time for that guild the next day?

At least we can run into an instance and play when we’re ready. I haven’t touched hard modes, like I said, but the normal seems well-tuned for casual play. As it should be. I’ve run flashpoints ad nauseum without actually having nausea. So I feel the content has decent replay value, if only for the satisfaction of knocking Captain Yelto to the floor again.

So… lots of healers means that lots of people find healing fun. And why not? The pace of healing is perfect, IMHO. As is the time spent healing -in new content where I’m undergeared it’s a challenge, sure, and it should be, but once me and the tank get a few upgrades I can throw out a grenade once in a while. And I love that. My DPS doesn’t compare at all to real damage dealers, but I still find it worthwhile to use a burst ability when there’s nothing else to do. Why not? Why should I be defenseless because I’m a healer?

(Explosive probe is my favorite when I have just a split second to help burst someone down in a warzone, because it’s so dramatically… explosive).

My biggest complaints are the interface (I get very tired of the bug where a player or two won’t load into my Operations frames, so I’m stuck trying to heal a warzone without an easy way to target them) and the lack of click-to-cast. But honestly after three months I’ve managed to forget. I logged enough gametime in SWTOR healing that I’ve just plain gotten used to it, awkward and clunky as it is.

Granted, it helps that I have a mouse with extra buttons on the side. And I hope that we’ll still see some upgrades on the interface for healers. Just because we forget something is broken doesn’t mean we wouldn’t benefit from it being fixed.

I’ve noticed (in my entirely limited experience) that warzone healers on my new server are rarer than my old one. More often than not, I’m the only one on my team… but I’m not complaining. I get a ton more MVP votes that way!

In the next three months, I look forward to more leveling, more PvP and maybe even a dash of raiding. We’ll see. But I’m definitely still excited about the game. How about you? Can you believe it’s been three months of SWTOR already?



mandatory conversations: boarding party
March 1, 2012, 4:56 pm
Filed under: for fun, missions | Tags: , , ,

For some odd reason, Boarding Party tends to be our FP of choice. It was one of the first I learned how to do and I dare say that for the past two or three weeks I’ve ran it nearly every day.

This may or may not be a spoiler. One of the NPCs is really, really annoying. You don’t get to speak to her until the end. And when you do, this is an option:

But it’s not really an option, is it? Because all the other “options” to talk aren’t near as exciting as this one. It’s mandatory; in my groups this is the answer you pick.

Another thought on BP:

A handful of trash pulls can be skipped. And I just spent several minutes trying to explain what I meant but without screenshots it’s kind of a pain. So I’ll have to jump back into boarding party and take pictures for another post on skippable trash. In BP and in Foundry.

Are there FPs you find yourself going back to when you need to grind? Are there lines you just love so much you have to say them every time?



a christmas wishlist
December 22, 2011, 12:00 am
Filed under: for fun, gameplay | Tags: , ,

Here’s what I want for Christmas in TOR:

  1. A click-to-cast heal interface
  2. a speeder
  3. for Khem Val to stop -1(ing) my fairness and even temper
  4. faster-loading conversations

What are you wishing for this week?