SWTOR: Scoundrel – Dirty Fighting back into SWTOR’s PvP scene

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When I came back to SWTOR, I was kinda lost as everything was unfamiliar.  I even rolled a brand new alt just to get used to basic skills.  I quickly abandoned that and just alternated between my lvl 54 Sentinel and my two lvl 50-53 Scoundrels (specc’d heals and dps) for a few days.  

Solely focusing on PvP, I noticed that Beausoleil (lvl 53 Scoundrel) was around lvl 67 Valor and my other two guys were about lvl 58 Valor.  Well, I decided to keep playing Beausoleil until I hit valor lvl 70, which was the old War Hero title level iirc.  Incidentally, it seems gear isn’t gated by Valor level anymore so it’s more of a epeen status.  

As a Scoundrel from launch day to about the 1.4 update, I alternated between scrapper and sawbones trait lines.  Sawbones, our healing trait line, is definitely the strongest trait line in the Scoundrel tree and fun to play with.  Non-Scoundrels and groups seem to prefer this trait line for its obvious benefits.  While it’s a powerful trait line, fun and always welcome in WZs, I needed to try something different to avoid the dreaded burnout.  So, I made the switch over to Dirty Fighting tree and haven’t looked back.  For those not familiar, Dirty Fighting is a DOT build that operates in and out of melee range.

Why this DPS trait line over the Scrapper line?  The Scrapper has been nerfed to the ground over the course of the game and is much less effective than at launch.  MMOs seem to have the biggest issues balancing Rogue style classes.  It can still be a very effective single target damage spec in the right hands but I never felt very comfortable as a scrapper or really very good at it, especially once you’ve run through an initial skill rotation. I  much rather weave in and out of traffic, applying my DOTs and stressing healers than picking out 1 weak target to take down

So how was the warzone experience? I started at lvl 53 which put me in the 30-54 bracket with my obsolete War Hero (lvl 61 mods) gear.  I was totally lost in Arena’s but that’s another topic.  Once I got used to the skill tree and my control scheme, I had a lot of fun.  Even lopsided loses were not bad enough to make me stop completely…maybe stop for 15 min or so, but not rage quit.  My focus was on enjoying myself, learning my control scheme, and saving up my commendations.  SWTOR does have a bloster mechanic and for the most part I didn’t change my gear, even when it probably would have helped.

One word on enjoying yourself, General Chat and Ops chat in PvP can be such a cesspool of hate and ignorance that it can really take the joy from you.  Don’t give it any due, look at it as noise and ignore it.  I know, getting killed then spit on by some character named “Tampon” can make you question why am I doing this, my advice is to laugh it off however you can and be the better gamer.  Of course you can turn it around and decide to single out certain targets and ignore the WZ objectives. I’ve never done that, never.

Time flew and in no time I hit lvl 55.  Once there I tried a few WZs still in my War Hero gear and was promptly smashed in a couple global cooldowns, it was not too funny.  I tried to hide the best I could and squeeze in a few more comms so that I had almost maxed out both my Ranked Wz comms and regular Wz comms.  I bartered for some immediate upgrades to my main weapon and armor and have been getting at least 1 piece upgraded to Conqueror level every day. I’ve definitely noticed I can take and dish out a lot more damage than before, which of course makes for a better experience.

week in review

I can’t recall a gaming week filled with greater MMO diversity.  Short, goal driven gaming sessions were the order of the day.

SWTOR: Mainly focused on 3 characters there, all reaching for the mythical lvl 55 cap.

  • 1. Beausoleil: Smuggler/Scoundrel, lvl 53ish, ~lvl 68 valor.
  • 2. Bois’sec: Smuggler/Scoundrel, lvl 51ish, lvl 59 valor.
  • 3. Jolieblon: Jedi Knight/Sentinel, lvl 54ish, lvl 59 valor.

Don’t mistake the pvp focus on valor ranking as an indication of my competitiveness. My SWTOR pvp is very casual, I cue up for warzones solo and switch characters when my daily is complete.  I’m not very concerned about wins/losses, I’m more concerned on how i’m playing and whether or not i’m hitting all the right buttons.

WOW: yep, i’m still slugging away in Northrend on my Warrior.  I did ride the wave of momentum following Blizzcon by shooting my way from lvl 75 to 80.  I have 1-2 more zones in Northrend to explore then it’s off to Cataclysm land.

Rift: mostly logging in to collect my daily patron gift and remind myself what my quickslot bar looks like.  I’m aware there a new expansion that’s hot off the presses and I went thru the initial quest but gave up until I was better antiquated with my cleric.

AOC: yet another surprise, I finally hit lvl 30 and I seem to understand the Conqueror class better now.  I am enjoying the combat.  However, AOC is a beginning to take on the look of the game that I’d like to continue but the game itself is getting in the way. I finally finished up the solo content of in the Cimmerian village and Conagal Valley(sic) and I just made lvl 30.  What I found frustrating was that quest givers kept sending me back through areas I had cleared before.  Hunting for quests was not something I have enjoyed in this zone.    

LOTRO:  actually been kinda quiet in lotro.  My freep characters are parked and ready for the HD launch.  I mostly played my creep Reaver and had some fun in the moors.  I also worked on my film project and I’m near the half way point in terms of filming. Lots more editing work ahead.

Heartstone (beta): I’m giving this a try as time permits.

Return to TORtanic

Yep, TOR hasn’t completely submerged and BW is keeping it afloat despite it’s horrible F2P model.  Be that as it may, it’s been quietly whispering in my ear to come back to it’s bountiful bosom.  This past weekend, that whisper literally was some LOTRO friends SWTOR’ing on The Bastion server that I happened to catch on their TeamSpeak channel.  I had figured they were there after our LOTRO Creep tribe all but disappeared the last month or so.  After a longer than usual download, I typed my username and password (thanks muscle memory) and found myself having to choose from 3 lvl 50+ characters that I had no idea how to play. After accepting guild invites from my LOTRO friends, I took stock of my characters and skill trees and that’s when the eye twitching started.  Crafting….not gonna go there yet.

1. Beausoleil, lvl 51 Smuggler/Scrapper (rogue dps)

2. Bois’Sec, lvl 50 Smuggler/Sawbones(irritating healer)

3. Jolieblon, lvl 53 Knight/Sentinel(melee dps)

Ok, so this is always a nice problem to have…returning to a game with max level characters that you no longer know how to play.  Not only that but the key binding system I used back then totally needed redoing.  So, I changed my keybindings and did some character specific programming for my Naga Razer.

Looking at my Smugglers, my first temptation was to roll a new character to learn how all the skill worked together….which I resisted for a couple of days. This does have some appeal to me but it doesn’t seem like it’s gonna help me at max level, so the jury is still out.  I’m not so comfortable with my dps spec but I need more work managing complex encounters.  I’ve been getting back up to speed doing some PVE questing in Makib and will dabble more into PVP.  I haven’t tried my healing spec yet but afaik, healing was easier than DPS.  So yeah, I’m returning to a game I left months ago by trying to master the most difficult spec I know….recipe for success.   Anyway, in both specs I need practice using my O Shit buttons and recognizing when to go to the well with them.  My Jedi Knight Sentinel is doing much better.  First, I find the knight easier to play and second, it’s attacks pack a punch so I feel much more comfortable going against the odds and who doesn’t enjoy dual welding lightsabers in all their majesty!  I feel no need to roll a new character to relearn this class.

How long will this infatuation last?  Doesn’t matter, I’m just enjoying the ride.

Comfortably numb in Rohan

LOTRO continues to be my main MMO these days while my game time has been slightly less the past few weeks.  I’ve spent some time in GW2 working on my Guardian, who seems to have petered out at 45, and my newly rolled Necromancer who is lvl 10.  I tried to get back in SWTOR but after hitting 52 I haven’t found myself logging back in.  I also sorta hit a wall with WOW, my warrior there is 60.  Sigh, way too many games that’s for sure.  Then Neverwinter launched and that captivated me for about 20 levels.  I think I’m turning into one of those level capped collectors…just collecting level capped characters in whatever mmo they are playing.  Certainly, the typical endgame scene of repeating raids until you get the gear you want is about as appealing as drinking reclaimed baptismal water from a leper colony

So, in LOTRO I’m somehow managing to level up my Wardens on Riddermark and Brandywine…. simultaneously.  At first it was just an attempt to learn the class again.  Warden is not an alt friendly class if there ever was one.  I don’t know, but right now, I’m just comfortable in Rohan and I’m not looking for anything more than that.    LOTRO did have some big news with the announcement of patch 11… a new area to explore is always welcome.  There’s more pvp woes as there’s a change to the way killing blows are earned that will take place with patch 11.  Apparently this was a bug since 2007.  I’m not too phased about the change itself but to take this long to fix a simple bug is mind numbing.  Again, Turbine’s communication takes a swing and miss with the community.  I will say that the upcoming Lala’s market place is one area that Turbine did right.  It’s an ingame store that’s not in your face and for Turbine, that’s progress.

How to juggle multiple MMO’s?

Everyone has a method that works for them.  In the past I’ve just played what interest me most at the moment, often playing multiple titles in one night.  Sometimes this was an enjoyable experience, other times I felt like I hadn’t really accomplished anything.

So, this week I’m gonna try something different.  I’m picking one title and playing it as much as I can that night then switching to a different title the next day.   Last night, I returned to SWTOR and got my Jedi Knight to Makeb.  It’s been months since I touched SWTOR so this was slow going.  I scratched my old quickslot set up and come up with something completely new.  I also scratched my Focus traitline and went back to Watchman.  Lucky for me the landscape mobs are very weak on Makeb and so my weak rotation wasn’t a hindrance for me.  I even advanced up a level.  So, tomorrow I think it will be a WOW night.

So what’s your method of juggling multiple games/mmo’s?