SWTOR: Home Decorator Edition

With the addition of strongholds to Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare has found a brand new way to suck time out of my life I would never have thought would work. I’ve become a magpie, searching for shiny things dropping from mobs or popping up in vendor listings.

I troll the Galactic Trade Network for cheap decorations and in the vain hope that someone has mispriced a jukebox. The preview window now consumes much of my time and designing bedrooms for each of my characters has taken an embarrassing amount of resources.

This post begins a new series in which I’ll be including screenshots of decoration and views I like, support for things that work well, and a wish list for things I want to put in my various homes around the galaxy.

As a side note, the legacy storage is a beautiful thing but the cost of unlocking the various doors really points up the problem with having no legacy bank. If I have four alts with half a million credits each I have to e-mail all the cash to one character rather than piling up my take from various dailies, weeklies, and runs through the latest expansion to open it with whoever happens to cap off the required amount. A bank would save me a fair amount of irritation and reduce the amount of loading I have to do to get the last hundred thousand credits for the balcony view on Coruscant.

To begin my bragging, here’s a shot of the urban jungle my smuggler is building in that same penthouse. I’m going for variety, here, so there’s still room for more plants as I find them around the galaxy. I wish more of them were like the Rishi flora rather than being potted but I’ll take what I can get!
Next, a lovely fountain on Manaan I would adore having out on my giant landing pad.
This was just an taste of SWTOR strongholds. My next set will focus on signs and banners, both those I want and those I already have. It will include more than a measly couple of pictures, too! If only the screenshot button worked during cut scenes. [sigh]

The Mako's Back, Baby!

Despite whatever else might be going on with Mass Effect, regardless of any feelings left about ME:3, no matter what else may have happened in the past five years surrounding the ME franchise, I’m buying Mass Effect: Andromeda.

How do I know, after a single teaser trailer? BioWare is finally giving me back my Mako.

Now, as Johnny Cash fan and someone mildly obsessed with Mass Effect, the trailer alone might have been enough to guarantee a preorder the moment I can make one. Add to that the sneaky announcement that the N7 featured in the trailer isn’t the protagonist and top it off with the beloved Mako finally returning to the series and I was looking for the “shut up and take my money” button the second I hit the end of the trailer.

Realistically, I have no idea where BioWare is taking the franchise (beyond a new galaxy, obviously). I must admit that I don’t care. There will be new companions to adore and new worlds to explore with a customized new face over which I can spend two hours agonizing.

SWTOR swallowed me alive several months ago because I finally picked up the Shadow of Revan expansion. (It took some time to get my characters ready start it.) The first run blew me away and I’m chomping at the bit for more BioWare-style stories. Knights of the Fallen Empire comes out in two months so running my twenty characters through the whole mess should keep me occupied for another year.

Eventually I’m going to need something new, however. Just knowing that the Mako is rumbling patiently out there, somewhere, just waiting for my shiny new space cowboy to saddle up is enough to get me excited about Mass Effect all over again. Oh, and there’s that jetpack.

Stay tuned for more flailing and happy dances as BioWare begins the drip feed of ME: Andromeda information. Also, I’m finally going to post more, starting with a review of the SWTOR expansions and some screen shots of the gorgeous worlds Shadow of Revan brought us.

Why I Never Bring Zaeed on Missions

As part of a different discussion, I was reading a debate about whether Zaeed in Mass Effect 2 was or was not useless as a leader. One side paints him as an experienced warrior whose past exploits show that he places the mission ahead of individual team members. The other side points out that that’s exactly the problem.

If you’ve read pretty much anything I’ve written about him, you know I have no respect for the mercenary forced on us at the beginning of ME2. Had hubby and I known anything about the character we’d never have downloaded him in the first place. I don’t believe I’ve ever explained why, however. Rather than further derail the thread on which the latest debate is taking place, I thought I’d do so here.

The only knowledge you get of Zaeed is what comes from his stories and the way he behaves during his loyalty mission. His tales of past missions all end about the same: “…and I was the only one who survived.” Some might see that as dedication to the job he undertook but it tells me something quite different about him.

Music Posts and Page to be Revamped

Much to my utter disappointment, yesterday Grooveshark closed down and I've lost my BioWare playlists and every embed except YouTube videos. If anyone knows of a comparable service that doesn't make you have an account to listen and allows for embeds, please let me know. I'll be exploring the possibility of SoundCloud but I fear few of the songs will be on the service.

Because almost none of my song posts (and my entire music blog) have songs in them any longer I will be finding or making videos for each of them. I'll also be remaking the playlists on Spotify, short of a better option at the moment, and reposting them on my BioWare Music page. The links on the songs listed all point either to The Not-Pop Jukebox (which no longer is) or to posts here at Just a BioWare Fan so all of them will need to be replaced as well.

The replacement of all of the music will be a slow process but I'm going to leave up the page with the explanations as I work in case anyone's curious enough to listen to the songs even if they have to find them on their own. I...probably won't start for a few days. Right now I'm devastated at the closing and the loss of literally years worth of passionate support for the site. If you've got a spare curse or ten, go ahead and send them to record companies that insisted not only on royalties but the closure of the site and the creators' intellectual property related to it.

Again, if anyone knows of a service with a large catalog that is free and allows for embedded tracks I would adore hearing of it. Thanks for your patience in this transition.

Swingin' Saturday: The Swing of Things, Chapter 14

Stormy Weather

Thankfully, Captain Anderson proved to be as anxious to confront the ambassador as his trumpet player. Kaidan got a reply while he was still assembling his meal.

Having a deadline settled his stomach further. By the time he’d finished eating he had begun to look forward to clearing the air. It almost doesn’t matter what Udina says, he thought. I’ll just be glad to be done with it.

The next morning dragged with routine problems and fixes. The green recruits under his training could tell their Lieutenant still hadn’t fully returned to them, though they assumed he still suffered from his migraine rather than simple distraction. He’d long ago earned enough respect to keep them on diligently on-task without his scrutiny, a fact for which he was thankful as he found his thoughts turning every five minutes to the afternoon’s confrontation.