Thursday, 8 August 2013

SWTOR: Through the looking glass

One day we tried to proceed an operation at the point we left the day before through our raid locks. But then stuff got warped. Some people got their vitals set to zero while still running around on the fleet, only to get kicked from the servers a few minutes afterwards. They got the everlasting loading screen on the character if they tried to get back in, while other characters were fine. At first we thought the servers were crashing once again, but we soon found out it was only us, so something must've gone wrong with the raid locks.

Me, I ended up here when I tried to enter. I could turn to look around, but I could not move. It was clear to me that I was not supposed to be here, wherever 'here' was. This endless chessboard, is this the grid the fleet is built upon? And are those 3D models of other ships in the fleet? I could not recognize them, but then again, the whole happening was pretty mysterious.

We were unable to proceed the raid that night, but I did get to experience one of the most surreal surroundings in SWTOR.


  1. Spooky! I wonder if there were any holocrons on that mysterious endless chessboard. Clearly there must be a secret trick to it since you couldn't move. ;) A shame about the raid, though - that's what the locks are there for in the first place, so it's silly that they break so badly and send all of you into the Matrix! Did you ever escape the grey place?

    Unrelated: Someone commented to me today that Dutch is such a hard language to learn. I can't say one way or the other because "ik spreek geen Nederlands," but I remember how straightforward the rules are for plural, thanks to you. :)

    1. Well, it was definitely not something you were supposed to move around as a player. After 5 minutes, I returned to the normal gaming environment with 1HP and a few minutes later I got kicked out of SWTOR and wasn't able to log back into my character for a while. Something really went wrong there.

      And about Dutch, I guess it's okay to learn if you're good at applying rules, because it is pretty consistent. Pronunciation is much harder, though. Some people never manage to pronounce IJ, UI, AU and R.

  2. That is when your character found the truth, that she is no more than a chess piece to uncaring gods who have nothing better to do than to play around with mortals. The war, all the sacrifices, all that is at stake is nothing but a pass-time for those deities!

    Shortly after she forgot everything since the truth was too horrific for her to even imagine. Although part of her still remembers it, still give her the feeling that something is not quite right with the world. She just can't place her finger on it.

    Sorry about the Cthulhu-esque, creepy, comment but I couldn't resist!

    Off-topic: That is interesting about Dutch. Kind of remind me of english and my troubles with it. The grammar is pretty consistent in english (in my opinion at least) but the pronunciation on the other hand is pretty inconsistent making it harder to get it right. Dutch pronunciation is consistent like the rules and just hard or it has lots of inconsistencies in the pronunciation, like english?

    ~ Rakuno

    1. Haha, it felt a bit like that, really! Imagining waaay too far going what it's like to be in that world behind the screen is part of what I like so much about gaming.

      Cthulhu-esque? Please elaborate!

      PS Dutch is consistent in it, but the pronunciation itself is just hard for many people to master. Not impossible, though, and Tiger managed it. I'm now trying to learn Swedish and there pronunciation is actually much worse.

  3. Well, Cthulhu is the creation of writer H. P. Lovecraft. He wrote some horror stories around the decade of 1920 or so for a magazine called Weird Tales.

    The most popular stories and the ones that immortalized his name involved Cthulhu and his brethen. I never read the stories myself (need to fix that someday!) so all my information is second-hand and most likely there will be some incorrections there. Anyway...

    Cthulhu is an ancient alien god-like being that has been in slumber under the waters since the ancient times. There are others like him also and to all of them humanity is more insignificant then cosmic dust. If any of them get free in the world humanity is pretty much screwed to put it mildly.

    To make things worse, in H.P. Lovecraft's stories, the human mind is unable to deal with reality as is. Instead it constructs for itself, that it can manage. The problem happens when a person is faced with the true reality, either by dealing with the minions of Cthulhu and his brethren or by dealing with magical books like the Necronomicon (I believe it is another creation of H. P. Lovecraft). When something like that the person is unable to deal with it and starts to go insane.

    If you want more information about Cthulhu, there is this article on Wikipedia, including a physical description and a drawing of him:

    Another interesting thing about Cthulhu, is there is a tabletop RPG called Call of Cthulhu. In that game, players usually play as investigators in the decade of the 1920s. The plots usually revolve about some mysterious incident that the players have to investigate.

    The characters in the game have a stat, called Sanity. And dealing with supernatural things make them lose Sanity. They can lose it until a point where they become completely insane and then the character becomes unplayable. It is one of the rare examples of games where the characters are doomed from the start.

    So that is what I meant, by Cthulhu-esque. It is like your character took a glimpse at the true reality instead of whatever her mind, as a mortal being, could handle.

    ~ Rakuno

    P.S.: Interesting. I wonder if there is correlation between grammar rules/writing and complexity of pronunciation. I have the impression that languages with simpler grammar/writing have more complex pronunciation while languages with more complex grammar/writing have easier/more constant pronunciation. I am probably wrong about it though, it is just my impression based on what little knowledge I have about languages.

    1. Thanks for telling me about Cthulhu (seriously). Perhaps I should read that someday, might prove interesting. I really love how these comments derail and I end up learning about new things all the time!

      Also, you could've made an article of itself out of that comment. Which you should totally do next time. More Shards of Imagination!

      The game you describe reminds me a bit of a Lord of the Rings boardgame I've played. You were forming a team with the other players to play against the game itself (aka Sauron). There was a mechanism that you could get closer to Sauron, which you of course had to avoid. I think I've played it like 6 times, but only once did we succeed to win. I guess it's pretty realistic in that regard (the chance to actually reach Mordor might be considerably smaller), but it was also fairly hardcore and at times frustrating.

      PS I don't know, but you might just be right.

    2. Is this the board game you're talking about, Rav? I got this as a gift once and never played it. It seemed awfully contrived and complicated, and few in my family are really as into LotR (had to force myself not to write "Lotro"...habits die hard!) or board games as I am...

    3. Yup, that's the one! I did enjoy it the times I played it, but yeah it was pretty complicated/hardcore.


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