Tuesday, 6 August 2013

SWTOR: Playing vanguard

Quite a while ago, I wrote how I started a trooper just so I could wear the White Scalene Armour set in Fashion victim. I thought it was time to show you how that turned out.

Since back then, I've transformed Xialin into a DPS vanguard and played her frantically until the class got hit by the nerfbat. I was lucky that the Gree set got altered so that I could equip it on level 10 instead of 45, although this did remove some of my urge to level her fast. After the DPS nerf, I focused on leveling up my sorcerer for a while instead.

Recently, I've picked my vanguard up again. I swapped from the Assault Specialist tree to the Tactics one and I'm absolutely loving it. It's a bit less mindless, but still mindless enough to just enjoy playing around in some lowbie warzones as a break in between endgame PvE and PvP. I even still end up at the top of the scoreboard damagewise now and then, although I'm sure this is more due to ending up with terrible DPS players in pug warzones than due to me being epic. It doesn't matter, at least vanguard still seems viable in lowbie warzones.

Even the trooper storyline was much better than I anticipated. [Mild spoiler alert.] The whole army thing has a realistic feeling to it, with enough grey areas (whereas soldiers are usually encouraged to think in black and white). I especially liked the ending on Ord Mantell (didn't see that one coming) and the rest of chapter 1. Chapter 2 is less exciting so far, but I'm still enjoying it. 

Xialin hasn't forgotten Jorgan's belittling attitude when they first met on Ord Mantell (she's a bit of the unforgiving type). Payback time involves 'epic sunglasses'.

I chose Elara as my first officer because she seems to have both brains and her heart at the right spot. I use her as my companion a lot because it's nice to have some heals around while you're DPSing. The Makeb reputation medic armour looks great on her! I also might have developed a weak spot for her because she gets discriminated for originating from the Empire all the time, which is pretty unfair. I think she should be admired for voluntarily making the hard decision to come over to the right side.

No idea where this weapon all of a sudden came from, but ah well.

Besides, Jorgan has no right to speak, he shouldn't have shouted so much at me on Ord Mantell. Even the old Havoc squad didn't want to take him with them, the poor sod.

I really didn't think it would happen, but Xialin is actually one of my favourite characters now.

This said, SWTOR has finished patching and it's time to try out those new flashpoints. I'm also very excited about the tauntaun mounts we're going to get. I've been fantasizing about them for such a long time now, I still can't believe they're actually there. See you soon!

Playing vanguard. Just another day of being a living target.`

What I am wearing


  1. Aww, no comments here? Well, I'll add some thoughts since I'm on a Ravalation rampage. :D

    Nice to see that you're enjoying the change of pace - I hope it diminishes your guilt over creating the character "just for the fashion" now that you're having so much fun shooting things! I really like the name Xialin, and looking at the pictures makes me similarly appreciate how...multicultural is perhaps the word I'm looking for?...the character customization options are, since Xialin looks like she could be East Asian. (I think I once joked about my shadow looking Korean or something.)

    Fun to see more ethnic variety in the game avatars. And give yourself some credit for your DPS! :)

    1. Ravalation rampage? I like! I was thinking about creating a "Recent comments" box to give my epic commenters such as you more credit. However, I fear it will be full of my own comments/replies most of the time. -_- But if it would make people more inclined to comment it would totally be worth it. Comments >>> pageviews. What do you think?

      It's funny, I didn't really think of the East Asian look when I created Xialin, but Tiger says the same. In my thoughts, she is half Echani, half human. The human part can of course has been Asian. Tiger also always says she is the sexiest of all my characters, something that used to annoy me when she was just level 10. >.<

    2. Neat! I had to Google Echani - Star Wars backstory is not my strong point - but I can definitely see the mix for Xialin that you mentioned. And Echani are definitely militaristic (but not clumsy and blunt), so it makes a very nice fit both for the soldier class and for your own playing. :)

      It annoyed you that Tiger said she was sexy only when she was low-leveled? I guess now she's stronger and can stand up for herself as a tougher, more experienced woman? That should make her even more sexy!

      And I think a "recent comments" thing would be useful! I imagine you get an email or an alert when people comment on things, but I have to try and remember how many comments there are on the latest articles and quickly scan down to see if any numbers have changed to know if you've replied or new comments have arrived. I don't know what sort of widgets are available for you to add, but maybe the best solution (to avoid the "recent comments" being flooded by yourself or ragers like me) could be something like "articles with most recent comments" if something like that existed...?

      And how did you come up with the name Xialin? How do you come up with names in general, for that matter? I know you've written about the history of Ravanel and introduced many of your different characters, but I don't remember if there was anything about naming...

    3. Now you already know more than I about the Echani! I encountered them from KOTOR 2 so that was all I knew, and it was really just that the hair color fitted the armour so well that I choose to make Xialin into what she is (don't tell anyone!) but it's pretty cool to learn that the race actually fits her role so well, thanks.

      And the sexy thing, well, when you've put a lot of time and effort in your level 55 and runner-up characters, and then your boyfriend goes all "ooooohhh" over your recently created level 1... it's a bit -_-.

      I've experimented a bit with the Recent Comments box (starring under the e-mail subscription thingy as we speak). The normal Blogger widget was super ugly, so I had to scour the internet a bit for a HTML code. It's not super sophisticated, but this one I can at least look at without cringing. Would be even more epic if it would show the article title as well next to the comment, but that would take some serious HTML coding (a talent that I sadly enough, do not possess). This box is in danger of getting flooded by comments from me, but I didn't really think about that that's actually handy for visitors so they can see if there's been replies.

      The box shows the latest 5 comments. Unfortunately, you'll have to guess on what article a comment is made (evil trolling mini game?), but clicking on one will at least direct you at the correct one right away.

      About Xialin's name, Tiger might have a story about that. And you're right, I haven't written an article about character naming. Yet. Thanks again for the inspiration.

    4. Re: Evil trolling mini-game... avid readers might be able to quickly guess which comment goes where based on the few words in the preview. Right now they're all about Echani, Hans Klok, and tauntaun. Let's all play "Who stalks Ravalation the most?!" :D

    5. Who-stalks-Ravalation-the-most games are totally permitted. Just sayin'. :D

    6. Yes, I do have a bit of a story about where Xialin comes from. I was watching Rav create her and my first thought was that she looked distinctively Asian, and should have a name to go with her appearance. I happened to have dealt with a number of Chinese women at work recently, and Xialin is a slightly modified version of one of their names (the woman in question had made quite the impression by asking me out on a date over the phone!).

      Her complexion and white hair also made me think of Brianna (The Handmaiden) from KotOR II, so I suggested that Rav would roleplay her as an Echani woman (I later went on to create my own Echani character, a Light Side Juggernaut).

      Funny that you should mention multiculturalism too, as that has been a central theme for my human characters. I wanted a diverse range of ethnicities, which is reflected in the appearance of my avatars. A few examples include Rheiya, Syeeda and Kayleen.

    7. *puts on the night goggles, the stealth suit and goes on to play Who-stalks-Ravalation-the-most*

    8. Oh dear, there's a professional in the house!

    9. Hah. Thanks for the story and the snapshots, Tiger - sounds like you made quite the impression on Ms. not-quite-Xialin yourself!

      Now, of course, should you ever choose to write a blog article yourself, you could perhaps shed some light on the notion of playing as female avatars, if indeed there is any light to be shed (as you guys might remember, I ended up with a Woman Minstrel as my highest character on Lotro and can't really think how it affected my play at all...).

      Whoah, now there's a Gabe Logan-looking guy competing against me. Yikes.

    10. Careful what you wish for, Dan...


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