Patch 1.1.1 is coming soon.....maybe.

>> Saturday, January 28, 2012

So at this point, the test servers are still up and playing with patch 1.1.1.  Looks like we will get a lot of changes and additions in this patch, although most are small in each area. Seems like the usual attempting to balance classes still and fix little bugs here and there.  If you've played any other mmo, you know we can expect a class balancing to keep happening for probably the next few months...and then we'll get an expansion and we'll go through it again, lol. There will be a large amount of flashpoint and operations fixes, such as:

Flashpoints:

Directive 7

  • Bulwark's Area of Effect cone abilities now properly fire in the direction Bulwark is facing.
  • Some of Bulwark's abilities were incorrectly susceptible to interruption. Bulwark is now immune to interrupts.


The False Emperor

  • Fixed a conversation that could cause the cinematic with Arkis Wode to function incorrectly.


The Foundry

  • Fixed an issue that could prevent the final fight in this Flashpoint from beginning after the cinematic.
  • The final boss can no longer become stuck in an invulnerable state; there was still a small window where this could occur.


The Red Reaper

  • Lord Kherus now grants less experience.
  • Some of Lord Kherus's abilities have had their damage values adjusted to be more in line with the level of the Flashpoint.
  • Players now enter into melee range with Lord Kherus in order to stop him from throwing crates.



Operations
Eternity Vault

  • Players no longer randomly die in this Operation after being in Gharj's lava.


Karagga's Palace

  • Foreman Crusher's enrage now includes a movement speed increase, allowing him to catch players who attempt to run.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the Materials Disposal Unit's main control station from becoming usable again after the Operation Group is defeated by the G4-B3 Heavy Fabricator on 16-man Hard Mode.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the G4-B3 Heavy Fabricator from deploying the correct number of Proximity Pulse Mines and Security Stun Drones during combat.
  • Karagga no longer snaps up above portions of the walls during combat.
  • The damage from G4-B3 Heavy Fabricator's sticky pulse grenade will scale appropriately for the selected Operation difficulty level.
  • Karagga no longer fires his Unstable Energy twice in a row.
  • Taking the shuttle after defeating Karagga no longer transports players to the incorrect hangar.
  • Walls that were missing in Karagga's Palace are now in place.



We seem to also be getting some mission fixes:


Imperial

  • Number One with a Bullet: Corrected an issue that prevented Bounty Hunters from leaving The Founder.
  • The Eagle's Nest: The Assassin's Fortress mission is now correctly a prerequisite for this mission.
  • The Mandalorian Killer: Thendys Noori no longer continues to heal Kellian Jarro after she has surrendered.
  • Declaration of War: The mission will now progress as intended when players interact with their ship's holoterminal. Updated 1/25
  • Reallocation: The final mission conversation will now begin as intended when players interact with their ship's holoterminal. Updated 1/25


Republic

  • Death Spiral: Fixed an issue that prevented Jedi Knights who completed the Commander Rayfel encounter from using the shuttle back to Belsavis Orbital Station.


There is a good deal more in the patch notes, located here.  I have to give Bioware credit, they are trying to keep on things as fast as possible as far as trying to keep things running as smooth as possible and trying to really balance the classes. Do we know when it is coming? As of right now, no, there is no definite date for when patch 1.1.1 will go live. But I'm sure that Bioware will keep with how it has been doing things and the patch will hit as soon as it is truly ready.

As a person that has been playing MMOs for a very VERY long time, I understand that nothing is ever perfect and you will always have a big that slides through the cracks and a class that is always better then others, even though it will change as to which one is better. Just keep in mind people, you can plan for a lot of thing, just not for how everyone is going to play with the abilities they are given.  Classes are usually well balanced on paper, but once you give them to the people, WE are the ones that make one class OP over another. And they are the ones that have to try to adjust and keep up as we keep finding new ways to play and take advantage of abilities. But with all the people playing swtor, Bioware is clearly doing something right.


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Warzones and what to expect from them.

>> Tuesday, January 24, 2012

For those of you who have been curios but reluctant to jump in to a warzone, here is some information that might give you that little push to go in and have some fun.  First off, warzones are much like Battlegrounds in World of Warcraft (I use that as an example since most people in swtor have played wow.). When it comes to gear, you will notice a lack of resilience on the gear. This is simple because the PvP experience has been set up differently. Now currently Alderaan, Voidstar and Huttball are the 3 warzones available. When you queue up for a warzone, you will be randomly tossed in to one of the 3, however, Hutball does seem to be the one that comes up the most at this point in time. To queue in to a warzone, simply click on the faction logo at the bottom right of your minimap.



So when your queue comes up and you get the surprise of what warzone you are in, here is what to expect from each of the warzones...





ALDERAAN:



When you enter the warzone you will rush to control as many of the 3 large gun turrets that are on the map.  The reason you want to do this? Each size has a large ship flying above. These turrets fire at the enemy ship above.  The more turrets you control, the faster you destroy them. The first one to destroy their enemy ship, wins.  It's is just that simple, however, to actually get these turrets is a touch more difficult. You will be dropped in to the zone in the middle of the map and as you try to work your way to the turrets, you will find walls and other obstacles, including other players wanting to kill you, that will be in your way. Just stay focused and you will have a good chance to win.






VOIDSTAR:



The Voidstar is a derelict starship has been found by the Republic and they are after information located in the ship's data core. Unfortunately for the Republic, the Empire found the ship as well.  So the race begins to see who can get past all the security and get the much needed information.

When it comes down to it, this is a full on go out and kill them, take areas and defend them situation. If you look to the map, you can see six green barriers and the data core in the upper right of the map. The attackers have to make their way through the zone, planting bombs at the barriers to get through them. At the same time, the defenders will be attempting to stop you from destroying the barriers. Now since there are 2 doors/barriers to defend in each section, this makes it a bit tougher then you would think. You have 5 minutes to get tot he core before the sides switch and you find yourself on the opposite side (from attacking to defending or visa versa).

Now, to make things even more challenging, there are secondary objectives. The purple lines indicate an area on the map that the attackers can't get past until they have activated a switch at one of the yellow control panels. So you not only fight to get past the barriers, but to get to control panels to get to open walkways to get to the next barrier.





HUTTBALL:





To put it simply, Huttball is a buffed up version of capture the flag. The goal is to grab the detonator in the middle and run it across the opposing teams goal line.  However, what makes it far more fun is that you can pass the "ball" to other members of your team to get the job done. This puts a whole new spin on the game as it makes focusing on the 1 guy with the "ball" more difficult since he can simply toss it to someone else.

Now, to make this even more fun, there are obstacles in the zone to force you to really watch your step. There are acid pits, airjets that will blow you up and can either put in a nice safe spot or right inline with a swinging lightsaber. There are also fire jets that are on a timer so you have to really watch before you step on them.  All this is placed in a zone that is built up of different levels with pits and scaffolding. This one is, in my opinion, the best warzone in the game by far.

So now that you have an idea of what to expect from a warzone, why not take some time and jump in one.  Who knows, you might actually have some fun!   Feel free to leave a comment below.  If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to follow us here as well as on facebook and on twitter (@blogBMotE).

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Sith Warrior, Marauder AC and Me. Part 1

>> Friday, January 20, 2012

So thinking back on my early leveling of my Sith Warrior, I started thinking about how much easier it would have been if I had some sort of clue as to what I was doing, lol.  I decided to start like I did in WoW, no looking up rotations, talent point specs...nothing. How did it go you ask? Well, it could have gone better, but to be honest, it wasn't too bad and as I continue to level, I find that it still isn't that bad.

However, for those that like as much information to go through as possible, I offer you what I have learned at the point in the game.  First off, remember that at this point, I only have experience up to level 22 so I can really only offer my personal experience to those that are still leveling up characters.  I will cover character information for different levels and classes in a different post, but in this series I will only be covering what I have learned first hand in playing.

So what I have found at this point is the rotation that seems to work the best, pretty much since level 10, is:

1. Force Charge
2. Smash
3. Vicious Slash (also great with Berserk active)
4. Battering Assault
5. Force Scream
6. Berserk (once you get 30 stacks of Fury)
7. Vicious Slash
8. Assault

Now you can toss in a. Ravage if there is only 1 enemy or you just happen to like watching your guy whoop serious butt, lol.

Now as for my talent points, I have placed my talent points like this so far:



- Defensive Forms (2 points) since it seemed like a no brainer to me. easy build fury and a buff for your differemtn forms seems to work really well.
- Dual Weld Mastery (3 points) is the next best to go with since increasing the damage done by your offhand will only aid in your survival since they will die faster, lol.
- Cloak of Carnage (1 point), although a good talent, 1 point here should do for the time being since there are better places to put points this early on.

- Narrowed Hatred (3 points) is a must since increasing accuracy will allow you to do far more damage.
- Defensive Roll (2 points) is one I went with since I like to just charge in and start dealing out death. I've found that a fair amount of mobs in flashpoints to some sort of aoe damage and reducing that damage by 30% simply lets me reek more havok.
- Erupting Fury (2 points) made sense more to me then goign with Enraged Charge since the extra fury gained from Erupting Fury would allow you to use other abilities sooner.



Ok, so we have hit the rotation and talent points that I have found that work well for me, lets talk about crew skills. When I walked in and looked at all the crew skills, there were so many to choose from I felt a bit overwhelmed. Now I have to admit, this is one area I did do a bit of reading on just to simply understand what they were. Beyond reading what the crew skills were, I simply experimented. I found that Artifice was a perfect skill to start with since I would be able to make mods and other items that would come in very handy. Secondly, I picked Archaeology as this would supply me with the materials needed for Artifice.  Lastly, I picked Slicing, and I'm glad I did. Sure, it might go with anything really that I'm doing.  However, it can be an easy money maker as you play.  To level it up, simply send your crew on missions for lockboxes.  Lockboxes, at least for me, have always contained a good deal more credits in them then what the mission costs to send your crew on.  It might be a slow build up of credits, but it will be a steady and easy one.


So there is where I stand at the moment.  I hope this is of some help to people leveling up a Sith Warrior.  Feel free to leave a comment below and remember, I have not stated this is fact as far as being the only way to go, this is just what I have found works for me. If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to follow us here as well as on facebook and on twitter (@blogBMotE).
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Does swtor need a dungeon finder?

>> Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In this bloggers opinion, to be blunt, hell no!  I hear all kinds of arguments as to why we need one and why it's a mistake to not have one.  I'm gonna take this blog and talk about why I think that it would be a mistake to put in a dungeon finder.


One of the arguments that comes to mind is:
"In games without Finders, putting together a pug goes like this:
- Spend 10-40 minutes spamming channels looking for people during which time you can't do anything else really.
- Spend 5 minutes sorting out roles and loot rules.
- Spend 10-20 minutes getting everyone to the instance entrance.
- Spend 30 minutes doing the instance.


In games with Finders, it's basically.
- Spend 5 minutes in queue. You can do dailies etc. while in queue.
- Spend 30 minutes doing the instance."


Ok, so in my experience in both swtor and other mmos such as wow, this is usually not the case. I used to put together and get in to groups pre-dungeon finder in wow very quickly. By making it so that you have to put a group together by either looking in the LFG and asking if people want to join you or asking in general chat, it is my experience that you tend to find groups rather fast and people not only actually know where to go (since you can't be summoned anywhere and everyone knows it) and how to get there. Also, to say that you will sit in queue for 5 mins is a bit of an understatement.  I know that as a tank, dps or healer, I have sat in a dungeon finder for in excess of 30 min.  Also thinking that keeping the dungeon finder out will not help stop ninja looting is not a very good argument for a dungeon finder either as you will always have ninja looters, no matter what system you use.  1 ninja looter could have 10 characters that he/she practices that on, you simply can not stop them all.  But in a server based community, names do get around as do play/character patterns that help to limit ninjas.



"The dungeon finder is the only thing that will allow players to get through content with little on no hassle and to play through flashpoints quickly. To not have one will slowly kill swtor.".

Well, again, I'd have to disagree with this as well. Not only does the dungeon finder not guarantee a quick queue time, but you have to remember that you have just as good a chance as getting in with someone that is a healer with strength stats from the Dungeon finder as without.  The advantage of not having a dungeon finder here is that in the future you can check a characters stats, even standing next to them and see if you grouped up with someone that has no clue before you enter the flashpoint.

I have found that this very idea that you can check out a persons gear and see if they now what they are doing also gives a community better players as you tend to have more players that are happy ( in a nice way) to pass on information about areas they might seem to need help in (such as a healer with strength gear). In a dungeon finder, you are far more likely to have people simply kicked out of a group without being told why so they can better themselves since not everyone knows where to find the right info, like those that have never played an mmo before.

Feel differently, please feel free to comment below and I'd be happy to respond to it.  I look forward to different opinions. If you enjoy this blog, please follow us here as well as on facebook and on twitter (blogBMotE).
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Legacy...what is it all about?

>> Monday, January 16, 2012

Ok, so for that that don't know or understand what Legacy is in swtor, here you go...

As put by James Ohlen, head of the design team for swtor, "The legacy system is kind of inspired by the fact that the family dynamic is so important in the Star Wars movies.".  Simply put, without this aspect, we would not have such lines as...


"No, I...am your father.".


The legacy system allows you to create a sort of family tree for your alts, giving them some connection to each other. Whether it's father and son, brothers, sisters or any other combination you can think of, it gives you a bit more depth to your characters.

Another plus to all this is with the legacy system, you will unlock a new set of experience points and levels just for your legacy characters.  Why do I care about this you ask? Well, just like leveling normally, leveling up your legacy points will unlock new abilities and advantages you would not normally have that your legacy tree will be able to use. At the moment, it is set up to make the game more enjoyable and allow you to customize your experience, but however has been mentioned that it will also benefit endgame as well. How, I can't find that answer to that, but I can't wait to find out.  If anyone out there knows, please feel free to comment below.

As a large Star Wars fan for many many years, I find the legacy idea to be very intriguing and I really can't wait to see how it plays out.  To have the ability to create alts that are not just simple another toon, but actually have an in game connection to your other characters is a very compelling concept to say the least. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post a comment, I look forward to different opinions. Please feel free to follow us on facebook (button mashers of the empire) and twitter (@blogBMotE) as well.
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Rather interesting statistics posted about SW:TOR...

>> Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Old Republic has given us something that, in my mind, really resets the bar for future mmos.  With a large focus on storyline and less focus on blindly running around smashing this/people because some guy said to, to me makes the game far more enjoyable. The days of me running around on a quest not really caring why I'm there are over. Now I head out and knock out missions with a certain level of enjoyment because I can't wait to see what happens when I get back and make even more choices as to what my charater will say to the mission giver.

These new improvements to mmos, combined with polished gameplay , seem to have given Bioware some interesing numbers as far as how much we love this game.
*these numbers were posted on the swtor.com website*

Over 60 million in-game hours – roughly equivalent to watching all six Star Wars movies over 4 million times
Over 850,000 Sith Warriors and over 810,000 Jedi Knights created
Over 260 million quests completed
Over 44 million PvP battles
Over 9 million space combat missions completed
Over 3 billion NPCs killed

This just seems to be insane, but proves a point.  I'm clearly not the only one that feels this way at this point in the games life. Just looking at the numbers here, if you take the 3 billion npcs and divide them among the warriors and knights, that gives them each over 1,800 npcs killed each already.




Lets look at it like this, lets say over 3,200,000 characters have been created at this point total (figuring that some people are less likely to roll certain classes or even delete a character created.). That's warriors, knights, bounty hunters, troopers, everything. Divide that 3,000,000,000 npcs killed and that gives everyone about 1,000 kills EACH!




With those numbers, that also gives each character about 82 complete quests under their belt already. Seems like Bioware/EA/Lucasarts has already hit a home run! I can't wait to see what the numbers look like in 6 months and 1 year.
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SW:TOR gets a content patch....already?

>> Friday, January 13, 2012

So here we are, a mere 25 days after the official launch of SW:TOR and we are already staring down the throat of a content patch.  Is this too soon? Are we really blowing through content that fast? Well, lets put it in a bit of perspective.  When WoW launched in November of 2004, it had the normal amount of fixer patches like tor has had.  But in December, 1 month 11 days after it's launch, they patched in Maraudon. Not until July 12th of 2005 did they patch in a new raid, Blackwing Lair.  So here on the 17th we will be getting a new content patch, Rise of the Rakghouls, where the operationKaragga’s Palace, will be expanded on. Plus we will be getting a new flashpoint, Kaon Under Siege, where we will be traveling to Kaon which has been ravaged by the Rakghoul virus (I smell a resident evil flashback coming on, lol). And of course, they will also be fixing yet more bugs to improve on how the game runs and plays.


So, is this too soon for a content patch? I don't think so.  Sure we are getting a new flashpoint, but we are really a few weeks ahead of WoWs old timeline as far as it's first patches go. And as successful as WoW has been, I can't think of a better timeline to base yourself off of to see if you are moving too fast on paper.


However, on the other hand...


Is this too fast for players? Are you going to have players feeling that since they didn't get much time to play since launch, that they are too far behind and now that new content is coming out that they are feeling overwhelmed? Answer, sure you are. But lets look at the big picture here. You feel left behind because you haven't had much time to play since launch. Now think about those people that finally pick up the game in 2 years and think of all the content they have to catch up on.  Still feeling left behind now? Didn't think so. It's a game, it's meant to be fun.  If your fun comes at a slower pace, then so be it.  I for one am excited to see a content patch this soon.  It means that they are thinking in to the future already and this makes the future of SW:TOR look very bright to me.


Have a different opinion on the subject, feel free to leave a comment as I always welcome different points of view.  I will respond as quickly as possible to all comment. Please spread the word about BMotE.
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Darkside Points vs Lightside Point......vs staying neutral.

>> Thursday, January 12, 2012

In one of my previous blogs, I touched on the fact that there are some bonuses for maxing out your Lightside/Darkside points.  Now, Bioware has given us a true third option....total neutrality.  In an upcoming patch, they plan to put in bonuses for those that decide to try to stay neutral in their decisions in the game.  This is my opinion is a great idea as it opens up an entirely new storyline choice that will still give you nice benefits in the end.  I'm sure that there are people out there that would love to have gone neutral in their choices simply because it might be fun, or that it seems more like how they want their character to be but didn't do it knowing that in the end, they will end up losing out on extras later in the game.

In a recent interview over at http://www.pcgamer.com, TOR’s game director, James Ohlen said,

“We knew with the light side/dark side system that there would be an urge, especially for min maxers, to go completely light side or dark side. It happened in Knights of the Old Republic back in 2003. We knew it was going to happen,”
“We have a system for people who want to stay more in the middle. But that’s something coming up in a later release,” he continued.

“It’ll let you play a “Gray Jedi”. Basically you don’t need to go to the extreme to get rewarded. You can have a different playstyle. We like to call it the “Gray Jedi” playstyle. That’s coming in a future piece of content.”

The idea of being able to play a character and make it a true "Gray Jedi" and still be able to reap the rewards int he end as far as the bonuses go is, I must say, an exciting idea to try.  What do you all think?  Feel free to comment below about what you think, as I always welcome different opinions.  I'll respond to all comments as quickly as possible.
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Orange gear, is it better?

>> Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Like most MMOs, there is different quality gear available at almost every level. In swtor, it starts out white, green, blue, purple, orange and tan (legacy). Now I have gotten an orange/legendary item out of a flashpoint  at level 10, so do I have the best item I can get? This poses a good question, is orange the best you can get? So far, I have seen the exact opposite.  I had a very night orange lightsaber and after killing a random monster, I picked up a green quality lightsaber....that was way better!  I was rather shocked by this, a green better then my orange.

Lets take a moment and think about it though.  Ok, so the green was better. But in the long run of things, I had only used that lightsaber for about 2 levels before I got a better one. So now 2 of my greens have been better.  But once I leveled up enough, the next level of mods for my orange lightsaber became available and suddenly my crappy orange was better and back in my hand.

So I think you really have to look at it like this, your orange gear is the stuff that you will hold on to and use off and on for pretty much the entire game.  It's the stuff that you can hold on to and upgrade as you go if you really like it.  Some of it has a really nice look to it and I know that I have a few pieces that I'll be holding on to and upgrading simply because it looks cool. So I guess to answer the question, is orange better, I'd have to say.....
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Darkside Points vs Lightside Point...

>> Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ok, so one of the more interesting things that SW:TOR has to offer in the way of extras is Lightsaber/Darkside points. Now when the choice comes up and you get to choose, If you're sith, do you choose only darkside? If your jedi, do you only choose lightside? Ok, sure, there are some benefits to gaining "level" in the lightside or darkside.  But how does this affect the story for you as the player? I can say that so far, after 20 levels, not too much really. Now I realize that I have 30 more levels to go at this point but the real question is, how do YOU play? I know personally, I've tried just darkside on sith characters and to be honest, it felt a bit wrong.  Not because I was slaughtering someone that should have had a chance to talk.  No, but because it didn't feel right to ME.

Side note: I tend to play a bit on the role playing side as far as a decision that will affect my character.  Now I'm not a person that plays on RP servers or goes out LARPing, but at the same time, I do get attached to my characters.  Now here is where I make you realize that for those of you that don't feel that way.....go delete you highest level character, we'll wait for you.  Can't do it?  See, you are attached to your toon as well. Being attached doesn't mean you have a "home" for him/her and have a backstory and everything else.  You just have invested a lot in to that character.

Ok, back to the topic. So as you play your way through the missions/quests in sw:tor, do you go with only what you feel if right to you/your character, or do you simple go for the points and storyline be damned.  So far, I don't think there is a really BIG bonus to maxing your points one way or the other. And even farther, what makes a choice dark or light anyways? As far, the only thing I can tell is that the symbol it has with the choice is dark or light.  The actual decision seems to change where the "dark choice" seems to me to be the "light choice".

At the moment at least, I have found that the best way to play the game, at least for me, is to simply make the choices that feel right to me as far as a storyline goes and not worry about if it is a dark or lightside choice.  Feel free to agree or disagree with me, I welcome different points of view. If you post a comment, I will respond to it as quickly as I can.  If you enjoy this blog, please feel free to follow me and spread the word.
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Welcome to Button Mashers of the Empire.

>> Monday, January 9, 2012

I've been a huge Star Wars fan since I was born in 1977. I've also been a huge fan of MMOs since back just before WoW:BC launched. So when it was announced that a Star Wars MMO was coming that would be along the same lines as WoW, I was psych'd.  I know what you're saying, "But what about Star Wars: Galaxies?".  Well, I never really liked it.  I know, blasphemy, but I was just never a fan.  But the coming Old Republic game coming gave me hope again for a Star Wars MMO.  Now that the game has launched, I am very happy to say that I am not disappointed at all.  SW:TOR has replaced WoW as my MMO of choice and I don't see that changing any time soon. I started a Jedi Consular and it was fun, but when my cousin started up a guild on the Empire side, I went over there to check it out, even though it was a PvP server.....WOW!  So now my main is a Sith Warrior on a PvP server, none of which I thought would happen, lol.

I've always been a raider in MMOs, I love it.  But for me, it's not just getting in and killing the newest bosses as fast as possible.  I like to get in and take them down, but I also like to see the environment as well as see the expanding storyline.  I'm a casual raider, but don't do what Blizzard did and confuse casual for lazy.  I might not get in there every day and go nuts, but when I do get in there, I take it very seriously.  If you don't, you are likely to not get anything done. I hated seeing people in a raid group with no enchants, gems or waaaaay too long items.  I always had my gear tuned, had anything I might need in my bags and was ready to raid 10 mins before raid time.  I intend to taking that in to SW:TOR as well. It's a game and you should have fun, but if you are gonna run stuff, remember that there are other people relying on you to be able to get stuff done, don't walk in with broken items and nothing to bring health back.

As this blog goes on, I will be talking about things that I have noticed that might make you life a bit easier.  I will also talk about patches that hit and..well, pretty much anything SW:TOR or Star Wars related.  So now you know a little bit about me and where my perspective comes from. I look forward to making this a long running, information packed blog!
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