[GEN] Seasons Beatings!

On a holiday break so I’ve been slacking with the blog. Not a lot going on.

Christmas was good, Little Ogres are happy, TheWife is happy (especially since I went over the limit she set for presents) and the rest of he family is doing well.

It has been pretty cold lately so not much outdoor activity going on. That means the LittleOgres have been inside playing on the computer which means I haven’t been playing nearly as much SWTOR as I want to.

Its been painful trying to juggle Republic and Empire characters, which means I am mostly playing the Empire side though not nearly as much as I want. My Bounty Hunter is close to 30 while my Republic side characters (and my Sith Warrior) are just over 11. I recently started a Sith Inquisitor Assassin which has been fun and I’ll get back to it when I kick the kids off the computers.

The kids have barely played SWTOR (bite me Tim) so I suspect I will be canceling their subscription. They’ve not played with their Lego, DS or PS3 games either – I am so happy we bought them all that.

By the way, I typed this whole thing out on my iPad which hasn’t contributed to my mood at all. Fucken type fix or hint bullshit keeps fucking everything up. Here’s a design tip for those idiots at Apple… Make it so you tap the hint to apply it, not tap it to dismiss it. I write ” to” and it turns into “Tom” .  And trying to tap to position the cursor? Ugh. Pop up some arrow buttons to navigate through the word. I had to correct the auto-shit 10 times in this paragraph.

Fuck Apple.

I’m off to Google how to turn that fucken thing off.

Have a Happy New Year.

[TOR] Loading Screen

I fear I might sound a little too fanboi-like for uttering this, but I can’t help it…

I love the loading screen when you pick a character and log on to a server.

Why?

Because I’m a fanboi?

No. Because it’s a reminder of where I was with my character.

I took a quick moment to actually read what was on the loading screen and I was surprised to see that it was telling me where I left off.

You see, as a Bounty Hunter you have to get to the Great Hunt and it’s a long and painful path from being recommended to actually earning the final spot. My last session ended with me completing the first two of my three bounties to qualify for the melee which determines which Bounty Hunter gets the last spot on the roster in the Great Hunt. My last bounty involves working for the Imperial Intelligence.

The loading screen laid this all out for me, knowing where I was, what I was doing and why I was doing it.

Sweet.

Next generation of loading screens!

[TOR] Yes!

I’m having a blast so far.

I gave a Sith Warrior a go on Shadow Hand (which is almost always full) and leveled him up to 11, went Juggernaut for advanced class and up the tank tree a little (2 points is a little). It was fun, there were definitely similarities with the Sith Inquisitor line, common quests, but class quests were quite different.

Unlike the Bounty Hunter, you get a companion that is another DPS class. I guess that helps if you want to focus on tanking – though I didn’t feel I wasn’t doing good damage. (Double negative there – I felt I was doing decent enough damage.) I made  him out to be a bloodthirsty bastard, though he wasn’t keen on torturing his companion and I ditched the collar as soon as I could which made Vette happy.

I flipped over to do a Jedi Consular, and that was fun despite having done it in beta, I wasn’t painful to go through again. I played him much the same I did previously, very peace focused and tied strongly to the Jedi ways. I got him up to 12th after getting him off Tython.

I also played through the Esseles mission with my brother-in-law who was playing a Jedi Sentinel (DPS version of the Jedi Knight). We used our companions to fill out the group, mine was a tank and his was just extra DPS or a back up tank. It worked well enough until the first boss where we engaged him and part way through adds come which were missed so I took heal aggro and could only do so much before dying. We managed to get the boss dead then the BIL cleaned up the trash and revived me.

On from there it was easy aside from an optional boss after the big robot. It was another big robot (nerd rage – droid!) that was really tough. It took us four attempts to get it down. I tried to keep the companions up as long as possible, and healed the BIL when he didn’t get out of the bad (which he got better  at) and once the companions died, I simply heal tanked the boss while the BIL did his damage. On the third attempt I tried kiting the boss but that just forced the BIL to lose out on some of his better DPS abilities – in effect, I was kiting the boss and the boss was kiting the BIL because of it.

We beat it and got some pretty cool Jedi swag out of it but stopped after beating the mission since I had to go pick up the kids.

More recently a friend (Carleys a.k.a. Jason) has picked it up to try it out and he’s loving it. I’m loving listening to him go on about how hot his Sith Master is over Skype. He’s killing me. I gave him a hand with some of the heroic areas on my Sith Warrior then flipped over to my Bounty Hunter (which is going to be my main, it’s just too much fun) to try to catch up to him.

I went a little different with the Bounty Hunter. First, I went Powertech to be able to tank and second I’m playing him as someone that is honorable when it comes to the contract. You hire him? He’ll do it and not flip sides for extra credit which has been interesting to see the differences in the quests when you do that. Previously I was taking the extra creds to flip sides and there are definitely differences, not big, but ones that make sense.

Well, I’m off to play some more. I’m so hooked dammit.

[IRL] Interviews

Wow.

I forgot what it was like to be on the other side of the table when in an interview. I had two yesterday, one with a local place and another over phone with a place way over on the other end of town.

The interview at the first place went well until they brought in the second interviewer who was a Dev Manager. He asked some hard questions I wasn’t expecting but should have been. It must have gone better than I thought because they’re following up with references which will be good.

The phone interview was short, I had to email them and ask that they push the time out because I was running late with the previous interview. Sadly, I was able to make the time since the first location was literally ten minutes away from my home. They were looking for specific skills in a more immediate sense so they emailed me this morning to decline. I thanked them and asked what they were looking for. I figure if I know someone that could fill the role, I could point them to that job posting and I was curious to see what they were looking for so, given time, I could brush up on that area. (I suspect it is a lack of experience with Unix/Linux – unfortunately, working with desktop software those OSes weren’t something I had experience with and they weren’t even likely to be something I’d need to know in the near future.)

Lessons learned?

1. Space out your interviews by about three hours or longer.

2. Be prepared for some questions like:

  • What are your three worst qualities?
  • Why hire you over these other people that worked where you worked and are also applying?
  • You took a one year programming course then immediately started working at, X, do you feel that’s enough education?

Looking back at these questions now,  I realized they’re not the sort of thing that have been in the forefront of my mind and they sort of shocked me. To answer them now?

  • Three worst qualities:
    1. I tend to be too nice. I don’t feel comfortable with discussing negatives with others, I prefer discussing it directly with the people involved.
    2. I’m too loyal or perhaps optimistic. I should have left where I was working three years ago when it became clear the department I was in was not a growth area for the company, but hung on hoping I would be able to move into a different project.
    3. I tend to be a little too selfless. I’ll often take on the less desirable work especially when I know other members of the are looking for something more interesting. My happiness tends to be secondary.
  • I was a technical lead for the majority of my career. I’ve always had my hands in multiple projects at the same time. I was the go to guy for my manager, team members, developers and several other departments. Despite my Lead role, which involved a lot of meetings and reviews from day to day, I still jumped into problem areas within our automation and fixed them. (For the record, I did not and would not use my knowledge of co-worker negatives against them.)
  • Things have changed over the 14 years I’ve been working and most of the technologies I learned then no longer apply now. It’s an example of the fact that I am able to learn where as my 14 years of applied experience is an example that I’m capable of continuing to learn and adapt to the changing technologies.

Exciting times.

[TOR] Early Access!

So apparently my early access starts today!

And I’m not home until very late tonight. Oh well. I eagerly look forward to playing.

EDIT: Given a look at the list of servers, I’m likely going to go with “Shadow Hand”. It seems to have a decent population on there already, it is PVE, it’s East coast and I had played on that server during beta.

[TOR] Early Access

Email from regarding TOR early access:

Early Game Access* will begin on December 13th at 7:00AM EST, 2011 and ends on December 19th, 2011 at 10:01PM EST. During this time, we will be emailing invitations to join Early Game Access based on the order in which you redeemed your Pre-Order Code. Pre-load the game client now, so you’re ready to play when your Early Game Access invitation arrives. Note that download time can vary and may take awhile.

I had guessed the early access would have started around the 15th but it seems it opens up on the 13th, a Tuesday night.

Again, it’ll be a staggered entry based on when you pre-ordered.

[TOR] To RP or Not to RP

I’m giving some consideration to picking a RP server to host my main.

Yes, I’m thinking about the type of server for my main when I’m not entirely sure which class will be my main. It’s what I do. If I can’t settle on one thing, I look at things tied to them and consider how they could impact the undecided area to help guide me towards a choice.

Friends have made it clear they don’t like PVP (wimps) so that sort of seals the deal there. I wouldn’t like the LBO or LLO play on a PVP server because I’d spend most of my time dealing with them being upset when someone ganked them (LLO more so than the LBO who enjoys PVPing on Roblox) or having to beat up a bully for them. I also wouldn’t want to put the kids on a RP server since I expect they’ll be using names that would give the hardcore RP elitists aneurysms.

That leaves me with normal PVE.

Which is bland.

So I’m considering having my main (it’s going to be Empire side anyway) on a different server from the one the kids are on. I’m leaning towards RP-PVP because I think it’d be fun playing an evil Sith Juggernaut or amoral Bounty Hunter. I’m not sure some of my friends from WoW will last long, assuming they even get into it but if they do like it and seem like they’re in it for the long haul, maybe I will focus on PVE.

Which leaves me looking at two different servers with up to four different characters; one to partner with the LBO, one for the LLO, one for grouping with friends and my evil main. That is assuming I can’t play my evil main with friends – that seems likely since I’ll have several days head start on them.

Hmm… I guess the easy solution is to play on a PVE server with the boys and friends, maybe have another ‘just me’ character on a RP-PVP server or something?