SS: False Empire

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“I may have stolen a march from my peers on the Dark Council by choosing not to ensconce myself on Dromund Kaas like my predecessor, but instead use my ship as my office.  I have no intention on making life easy on would-be assassins looking for my position-and I would be foolish to believe that none of the Council wishes me dead.  In fact, I’d wager that each of them would love to arrange it, as long as their own hands don’t get dirty doing it.

As an additional benefit, this mobility-this freedom!-allows me to intervene personally when other members of the Council are stuck on the homeworld.  Such was the case with the planet Ilum.  The planet’s supply of Adegan crystals were apparently crucial to the construction of a stealth armada.  To assist in this, Darth Malgus himself came to Ilum; that should have been my first indication that something was amiss.  I’ve never met the man in person before-not even when I delivered the Foundry to him.

Of course, he betrayed us.  I don’t know why I even assume faithfulness from a fellow Sith anymore.

He claimed the Emperor was dead; he commandeered a hidden space station, supplemented by technologies taken from the Foundry, and declared a new Empire.  While I certainly had no issues with some of his directives-incorporating other species into the halls of power, I approve completely-I wasn’t about to have him wreck my own plans before they even got started.  I had just ascended to the Dark Council-I wasn’t about to give up that power when I could finally start doing some good in the Empire.

So, Malgus is dead.  But is the Emperor truly gone?  He has been silent for all the time I’ve been Sith.  If it is true, then the Dark Council, by default, rules the Sith Empire.  And will another attempt the throne, if it is truly vacant?  Or was this a lie from Malgus, an attempt to draw the Emperor out of hiding?  Nobody on the Council will admit to anything.

So the path forward remains unclear.  But at least, unchained to any world, I will be in the best position to take advantage of whatever may befall next.”

-from Sorshan’s Story

So, as mentioned previously, I’ve started running other planets before I start Shadow of Revan in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and the first of these is embodied by Ilum.  Ilum was pretty much the last world in the original game, and its Flashpoints represented the end of the line for the original storyline.  For a while, it was the best method of accumulating credits for me, by running its dailies regularly.  Shows how far things have changed, thanks to the KotFE changes to Heroic missions.  Of course, the devs have demonstrated that they really want to nerf those payouts, so perhaps the dailies one day will become the way to go again.

Nevertheless, Ilum’s a nice bit of story; not too long, not too difficult, and a nice breather before the next major planet on the list:  Makeb, coming at us from the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion.  I’ve broken the 3 million credit mark on this character, which I promptly shot below it by buying some character perks-specifically, the field repair droid so I can do instant-vendoring regularly.  I keep telling myself to purchase the account-wide Rocket Boots unlock, but I still can’t bring myself to do it.  (At least I haven’t broken down and purchased the Treek mercenary contract yet; I just can’t bring myself to hire an Ewok.)

Makeb will hold some significant developments for the Imperials; how Sorshan, the Light-Sided Inquisitor, deals with them should be interesting to watch.

AoY: It’s a Cool…Cool Summer…!

It occurs to me that a part of this map was a lot bigger on that asteroid.

It occurs to me that a part of this map was a lot bigger on that asteroid.

Personal Log, Stardate 94328.53

I’ve informed my first officer that the next time I say that a mission should go nice and smooth with no shooting, she should immediately just shoot me in the head.

That said, I’ve no regrets on how the extended mission in Deferi space went.  The Breen weren’t as tough a problem as I’d learned about in my speed-history course from Daniels; of course, that toughness had been due to surprise during the Dominion War, when Starfleet hadn’t built any way to counter their weaponry.  They were unique weapons, I’ll grant that much, but Orca was able to handle that.

The whole point of the Breen meddling was the existence of Preserver artifacts-and the potential of a major find in that area of space.  Thot Trel was apparently banking hard on there being weapons available.  You would have thought that the name “Preserver” might have been a clue that perhaps weapons weren’t the first thing on these aliens minds.  Thot didn’t strike me as all that smart, though.

I’m not giving him enough credit.  His people still managed to scan the map before we could stop them that pointed everyone to the Preserver Library, which turns out to have actually held the real Preservers in hibernation.  We kept him from destroying the library out of spite-he was a sore loser-and the Deferi are now studying the archives, with a little help from Starfleet-and according to rumor, the Klingon Empire; the Defreri are big on balance.

Now, we’ve just received orders to rendezvous with Battle Group Omega.  It seems that we’re about to have our first encounter with what the speed-history course considered the greatest threat in the galaxy.

End Log.

I don't know that I'd have my hibernation pods hanging from the ceiling; I'd worry about gravity finally having its way.

I don’t know that I’d have my hibernation pods hanging from the ceiling; I’d worry about gravity finally having its way.

The Breen episodes have the distinction of being the first Feature Episode series created for Star Trek Online, and despite its age, it still holds up pretty well.  It’s an arc that’s self-contained, not really requiring information from previous episodes, and doesn’t build on them either.  It does become a plot point to a future mission, but it didn’t turn out to be as big a deal at that time as I thought it might have been.  More on that in the future.

That’s one of the reasons why I always enjoyed the Breen missions.  It’s the sort of thing you can actually see as a short arc in a Star Trek show.  Other arcs in the game mostly build upon the previous arcs and are in an effectively long, game-wide storyline, from the Klingons, the Romulans, the Undine, the Vaadwaur, and the Iconians.  In the midst of all this, it’s the short arcs that have nothing to do with the wider story that tend to shine for me.  It’s probably why I also enjoyed the other Feature Series back in the day:  the 2800 and Spectres (as they were originally called; of course, the Breen Invasion was originally “Cold Wars”).  The Cloaked Intentions Feature Series (now folded into the Romulan Mystery arc) couldn’t be called standalone, though, given how much has been built around those missions-one could argue that the seeds of the whole Romulan Republic story began there.

The Breen missions have it all; some puzzle solving (nothing too complex-this isn’t Myst), some space combat, some ground combat, and crazily enough, even some diplomacy!  Seriously, there’s a mission that can actually fail if you screw up the diplomatic angle-at least, it could back in the day.  I haven’t actually tried to screw it up with more current characters-because it meant starting the mission over.  And I’m lazy that way.

We’re coming up on what used to be considered the last of the story arcs that could be considered non-Iconian.  Well, they were non-Iconian until they got revamped; Cryptic likes to do revamps regularly, and the next arc was no exception.  I’ll have more to say about that next time, if I remember when I write up the post.  It’s also the last set that have the Temporal Probes in them; once those are completed, my plan is to do the Episode Replay for the pair of mission that didn’t properly award them to me the first time, and go from there.

On a character note, Rick Masters has now gotten to tier 4 on his Temporal Defense reputation; I was further along than I thought.  I’ve started opening more of my reward boxes for the Temporal Probes, since I’m running low on the Temporal Marks.  At some point, I’ll do the math to figure out exactly how many I should open up to finish that reputation chain.  It’ll be close and I’m not 100 percent sure I’ll have enough.  Fortunately, I have other avenues; I haven’t touched anything from my account-bound Delta Recruit rewards, which might have more of the marks if I need them.  If this reputation chain is like the others, I should get a fairly large surplus of marks upon completing it, and among other things, I plan to spend some of them to sponsor my KDF and Fed main characters so they can run the chain faster (and, by definition, with less marks).

Free to Make Ships Explode

Preparing for the most implacable enemy New Eden has ever seen: free players.

Preparing for the most implacable enemy New Eden has ever seen: free players.

While I’ve been spending my time heavily in Star Trek Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic, I’ve not been ignoring the news that tends to float around on the Internet concerning other games, particularly if it’s a game that I’ve played in the past.  For the most part, I don’t make remarks on them, mainly because…well, they’re games I’ve played in the past.  The key word being “past”.  Thus, even though World of Warcraft’s got this expansion out again, I’m not compelled to remark hard on it-aside from the odd offers of free game time, I don’t really expect to spend a lot of time on Azeroth anymore.

The same also held true for EVE Online; I’d had a number of stints there, including a lengthy one before STO was released with some of my old SWG guildies.  But aside from the occasional “play five days free again”, I’d not really spent a lot of time with it.  But recently, the developers as CCP dropped a bomb on the market:  even though they’ve tiptoed around it, EVE Online is slated to go to a freemium model in November.

Now, in the interests of fairness:  there’s really two types of freemium games.  Ones that are literally free to play and sell a bunch of stuff to make playing easier (like STO), and those that are technically free but have so many restrictions that if you really wanted to enjoy the experience, you’ll want to subscribe on a monthly basis (like SWTOR).  From the sounds of it, this is going to be closer to the SWTOR model than it is to the STO model.  It’s still not quite the same, though.

It has to do with what they’re calling “Clone States”.  The Omegas are exactly what you see in the game now:  no restrictions except for that which is imposed by lack of training in the appropriate skill books (and, you know, ISK, the in-game currency).  In other words, your subscribers-or the folks who have so much ISK that they can purchase PLEX, which is an item you can buy with real money and put on their market for ISK-usually a lot of it-or simply use to give yourself a month of paid subscription.  (Honestly, if you’re buying PLEX with real money, there’s almost no reason to use it other than by selling it in-game; a straight sub does just fine.)

The Alphas are the new guys-or the guys who have let their subs lapse (ahem).  The Alphas can only use certain skills, at a certain maximum level; use only certain ships-Tech One frigates, cruisers, and destroyers-and have a ceiling on their maximum skill points (which is still a pretty healthy number but hardly earth-shaking).  While it hasn’t been said, I would not be surprised if, in addition to those ships mentioned above, one might also get access to the industrial ships for hauling, as those are mostly harmless (please, nobody send me builds of heavily armed Iterons); I do not expect the Tech One mining ships to be on the list, though, given the troubles the game has had with mining bots as it is.  Why would CCP make life even easier on those?  I can see them justify hauling, but not mining.  That said, a legion of mining frigates can probably do a bot’s job just as well over time.

Presumably, a returning player-one who is returning free, that is-will find all his clones in an Alpha state, and I can easily see a situation where a player might reserve one of his three character slots for an “Alpha only” character to use in free periods, and leave another as their “paid Omega guy”.  Certainly, that’s my plan; keep my original pair in Omega-land and leave them semi-retired, and spend time with a new character.  This should not imply that I’m expecting to upgrade to full-time status with EVE again; but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I expect to log into it come November and see what’s what.

Of course, this also begs the question of just what I’d actually do when the time comes.  After all, I’ve done my best to eschew PvP wherever it lies, and PvP lies at the dark heart of EVE Online.  Mining is out, hauling is out (until proven otherwise, I’m going to assume it won’t be there at launch, no matter what I figure may happen in the future), and mass market manipulation is out.  Crafting is a possibility, as is exploration to a limited extent seems possible, since those skills are available but have a limited ceiling on training.  The classic PvE missions are still there (well, presumably-it’s been a while), but with the limit on the ship types, one can easily presume that you’ll hit a ceiling on the types of missions you can run with a reasonable chance of success.

Still, one has to admit:  even with the limits, there’s a pretty fair amount of stuff to do.  EVE is still one of the most pure sandbox MMO’s out there, and with its huge galaxy of star systems (and even bigger if you dare low-sec or null-sec space), it’s difficult to not find something worth doing.  Even if it just involves day trading at Jita.

Odds are high that I’ll be making a new character for the freemium EVE ahead, and unlike my previous ones, it won’t be Gallente; I sort of want to see other sides of the EVE universe, and I may very well just look at the galaxy map, see who’s farthest away, and go with that faction.  I’m like that sometimes.

SS: Through Victory, My Chains Are Broken

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“At long last, it is over.  And I have succeeded beyond my wildest imaginings.

Corellia has fallen to the Empire.  With luck, they will come to see that the Empire is a better choice than the Republic.  I tell myself this often; I’ve met too many Sith to truly believe it.  But now, the possibilities that things can change seem brighter.

For Thanaton is defeated, first in the Kaggath, and then later in the chambers of the Dark Council itself.  At the end, with Xalek at my side-for I felt that bringing Ashara here would be a foolish move, needlessly antagonistic, and after all, this was why I’d taken Xalek as an apprentice in the first place-I made Thanaton bow before me.  The broken wretch that was left was disposed of by the Dark Council.

And then-wonder of wonders-they granted me a seat at the table.  They gave me dominion over the Pyramid of Ancient Knowledge, to replace Thanaton on the Council.  I have been named “Darth Imperius”, and now I am literally one of the rulers of the Sith Empire, answerable only to the Council and-of course-the Emperor.  I asked to meet him; I was told that would come in time.

That’s good.  For I have instructed my Pyramid to seek ways to defend the Empire from external threats; my inner circle knows my true goals:  I will remake the Empire in my own image.  I will overthrow the Emperor.  I will redeem the Empire and the Sith, or die trying.  I understand now that unless I can do this, I am doomed.  Ashara has assured me she will ensure my teachings live beyond me, but I’d rather be alive to see the change happen.

The ghosts are gone, released.  I did something I had often considered but never attempted in my time as a Sith:  I let calm and serenity guide me to grant the ghosts more than just freedom from my binding.  I freed them from their chains, too, granting them final release.  It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before-and even in their dark hearts, I could see that at the end, they felt relief.  Their chains, in the end, were not broken by following the Sith Code, but by something else.  Nevertheless, the Force has freed them.

I wonder.  One day, I may be in their position.  Will I become a Force Ghost as they did?  Or will I find the freedom that they have ultimately found?

It doesn’t matter, not yet.  I have much to do.  The Sith will change.  The Empire will change.  That is my new goal, that is my new task.  I will free them, too.”

-from Sorshan’s Story

And at last, we’ve hit the end of the Inquisitor’s story in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and the choices Sorshan has made up to now have led her to this point.  I knew in advance, of course, that you could receive one of three different “Darth” titles, based upon your Force alignment.  My other ones were “Darth Nox”, since they were both Dark Side, but since I was going hard on the Light for the event, I knew I would be getting “Darth Imperius” as her title on the Dark Council.  That said, the title she’s using in game is still “The Risen”, gained from something or other back in the day.  I’ve been tempted to slap the “Revanite” tag on her instead, but that’s going to be a big sticking point later down the line.

At this point, when I was running Anthrandos, I went directly to the Shadow of Revan prelude missions.  But that was when I was rushing ahead, wanting to make sure I got the full storyline requirements done by deadline and still have time to get Sorshan to 65.  But now that time constraints are no longer an issue for me…I’ll be going for the full experience.  That means unlike Anthrandos, she’ll be doing the Ilum storyline, followed by the Rise of the Hutt Cartel story on Makeb, followed by Oricon.  No operations on the latter, though-after that, THEN I’ll hit the prelude.  This means that Sorshan will be with us for some time yet.

I did finally get to opening that last set of Dark vs Light packs, and I managed to complete the Freedon Nadd set, got the upper armor for Revan (I’m sure I can make use of that), and assorted lightsaber crystals that weren’t the same ones I’d been getting-including a very nice white/black crystal that buffs Power, which was perfect for Sorshan in a symbolic sort of way-so I let go of the one she’d been using, for life in the Dark Council.  This set of stuff also included a mount I didn’t already have, and a few extra decorations I could make use of in the strongholds; all in all, while it wasn’t perfect, it was probably the best group of packs I’ve opened since the event began.

So, next stop:  Ilum!  (And that will also include the Flashpoints that close out Ilum as well.)

AoY: Dominion Over All

Hey...I thought big ships had trouble in the Badlands...?

Hey…I thought big ships had trouble in the Badlands…?

Personal Log, Stardate 94315.97

One of the more disappointing things that came out of my crash course in the intervening time between the 23rd and today was that the Federation was still having trouble with neighbors.  One of the big ones that came to mind was this big war against a Gamma Quadrant government called the Dominion.  Yeah, a name like that?  Should’ve been a clue.  And they were apparently tough enough to take on the Federation, the Klingons, and the Romulans combined.  Even then, it took a few lucky breaks to push them back to the Gamma Quadrant and leave us alone.  It helped that the only bridge-so to speak-was a stable wormhole in the Bajor system.  Starfleet has a presence there in the form of a Cardassian space station:  Deep Space Nine.

If there’s a region of space that has had more craziness happen to it, I don’t know of it.  Just in my tour of duty there, the Orca‘s crew has had to deal with a big lousy loose end from the aforementioned Dominion War, Cardassians who want to revert from being good neighbors to “control everything we can”, a mini-Dominion that had set up shop in the Alpha Quadrant, and-oh yeah, a mirror universe.  We’d heard hints of the existence of such a thing back in the 23rd, but it got confirmed big-time in this century.

Still, even as crazy as it was, it was nice to get away from temporal messes.  We still kept finding Na’kuhl probes, but we were at least dealing with problems that took place in the here-and-now.  Well, until we wrapped up the short-term occupation of DS9, when Agent Daniels got in touch and bounced us up and down the timeline to deal with Vorgons and their obsession with this “Tox Uthat” thing created by…let’s just not go there, okay?  Time travel is bad enough being a temporal refugee.

Fortunately, our next assignment should be simpler.  Open up diplomatic relations with a species called the Deferi.  It’ll be nice to not have to shoot anyone for a change.

End Log.

I wonder if this sort of thing gave Captain Sisko headaches?

I wonder if this sort of thing gave Captain Sisko headaches?

As promised, I’ve been able to put more time in Star Trek Online, and the time is going to my Agents of Yesterday character.  Finished the Cardassian Struggle arc, which includes encounters with the Mirror Universe and the Feature Series “The 2800”, which was the number of ships “eaten” by the Bajoran Wormhole which arguably kept Starfleet in the fight at the outset of the Dominion War.  Once again, I kind of think the writers in the game need to do a pass on the dialog in the game; there are too many references to things the character can’t possibly know about before they’re introduced to those things.  It tends to be especially bad with the temporal probes, but instances crop up here and there.

I managed to achieved tier 3 in the Temporal Defense reputation, which among other things, has allowed me to unlock the beam weapons in the crates you get every time you fill in the daily rep mission.  So my ship is now using specialized chroniton torpedoes, and using special antiproton phasers.  One of those is a dual bank instead of an array, due to the fact that I haven’t opened up four arrays.  Figure that I’ll get that last array sooner or later, but it’s not a big concern.  Level-wise, I’ve gotten a couple, so I’ve gotten four specialization points towards my Temporal Operative spec.  So character development is proceeding nicely.

I did run into the same sort of bug I’d run into on a previous mission (back on Nimbus) during this arc where I didn’t get credit for opening the temporal probe.  So there’s going to be at least a second episode I have to replay to finish them out.  I’m in no hurry, but at some point, I’ll want to get back to getting the mark rewards out of those.  I’ve actually held off on claiming the marks for now, because I don’t want to have too many Temporal Defense marks in hand for later.  It may be worth my while to start applying them to another reputation if things shake out all right.  I haven’t done the math, so it’s possible I’ll end up opening them all anyway for the Temporal ones.

As the log entry indicates, I also took care of the next “Yesterday’s War” mission, which I’ll one day get around to doing a content review on…after I complete that arc.  Which won’t be for a while yet, since the next mission in that chain takes place after another arc, just prior to the Delta Rising missions.  For now, the Deferi await.  (Heh-missions with no shooting.  Keep dreaming, Masters….)

SS: Journey To The Center Of The Mind

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“If there can be worse news than Darth Thanaton being raised to the Dark Council, it’s that he’s declared Kaggath against me.  I suppose I should be flattered; first thing he does as a member of the Dark Council is to declare war against me with all the resources he has at his disposal, against all the resources I have at mine.

Is he truly that insecure?  Has my survival truly enraged him beyond reason?  I think so.  I think so.  It’s a slight against him, personally, that I chose not to die at Zash’s hands, that I chose not to die at his hands.  The temerity of me.

My resources are greater than he may believe, now.  As I stand against him, there are those who see my continued existence as a banner to flock to.  The military is siding with me, as I have thrown support behind them; Thanaton doesn’t think of that, too lost in Sith traditions.  He lets his anger cloud his judgment.  I have two apprentices, one official, one not.  I’m…uncertain about Xalek, as he appears to be the exact kind of Sith I do not want at my back, but this is what Harkun had left.  I imagine he was laughing as we left Korriban….

The voices are silent now.  The mind-healing at Voss has rendered them so.  The ritual was forbidden-it required a Gormak to work-and that alone seemed a good reason why the Voss forbade it.  It wasn’t until later when I realized the true reason it must have been so-and justified the reason why the Voss didn’t want me anywhere near their planet.  Too late now.  Darth Serevin was angry, but I’ll live.  He’s not the Darth I am concerned with now.

Our final battle approaches.  Corellia will be the field of battle, and everything I’ve done since I was declared a Lord of the Sith has led to this moment.  This perfect moment where only two outcomes are possible.

I will live.

Or I will die.

I choose life.”

-from Sorshan’s Story

Voss heralds a time of transitions for me in Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Why?  Because Sorshan has reached level 65, and thus hit the last tier that I’m going for in the Light vs. Dark event, which will allow me to claim the winning companion at the end of the event.  (Last report:  Light Side’s still winning.)

Does this mean I’m done with Sorshan’s Story, then?  The answer to that is:  Nope!  It will slow down, though, as I start to shift more focus to Star Trek Online-I’d like to keep Rick Masters in the limelight, and he has quite a way to go in his own career.  Additionally, unlike Anthrandos, who I rushed through to get to the end of Knights of the Fallen Empire, I plan to hit spots he didn’t-such as the planets Makeb and Oricon.  I don’t expect to do the Operation content there, as I’ve never actually done any operations and am reluctant to get sunk into that; I quite World of Warcraft due to the “raid or die” philosophies, and I have no plans to get drawn into that here.  Then, onward through the Shadow of Revan, Ziost, and finally, KotFE.  With minor breaks, of course, based upon the release schedule for Knights of the Eternal Throne (when it happens), along with getting other characters through the HK mission; I particularly want to run my other Inquisitor through it, since he chose not to bother HK with silly things like target restrictions.

And of course, Sorshan need to get through Corellia to close out her class story.  I’d never leave her hanging at such a pivotal moment!

In a wider view:  I’ve been very happy with the decision to blog the characters again as I progress them through content.  I’ve had a lot more posts in the last couple of months than I’ve done in years, and that fills up the time nicely between moments when there are things of substance to comment on concerning the MMOs I play.  It’s a great contrast from, say, last year, when I was lucky to put up a post once a week.  I’m looking very much forward to continuing this through the end of Sorshan’s Story at the end of KotFE (well, at least for the present; she and Anthrandos will get their turn at a continuation eventually when KotET hits).

SS: Dread Business

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“If Taris exposed me to the horrors that the Empire is capable of, then Belsavis showed me what the Republic is capable of.

Belsavis is a prison world, first created by the Rakata, then by the Republic.  And here they condemn their prisoners to death here-and all their heirs.  Their prisoners are not necessarily those who are criminals, but also political dissidents, and inconvenient aliens.  They use the aliens in battles amongst themselves, in battles to the death to see their strengths, their weaknesses.  It’s sickening.  I’m grateful that I left Ashara on the ship; while I have no problem with tarnishing her view of the Republic-it helps keep her stable, and a stable Ashara is a useful Ashara-but this would break her.  I’m not prepared for that.  I’m not sure I ever will be.

In light of this fact, I had no more issues with a mission given to me by General Callum of the Emperor’s Guard:  to free the Dread Masters, Sith Lords of Terror.  This is a weapon I might have hesitated to use, but with the revelation that the Republic is in truth no better than the Empire, it’s time to use what weapons we can.  I’m still uncertain about their loyalty-they tried to break me with their fearsome power-but I am much stronger than I was, and I still have the ghosts bolstering me.  So I probably just made another enemy.  Additionally, I’m told that the eyes of the Emperor are on me, which is a disconcerting thing to hear when I’m in the middle of a life-and-death struggle with Darth Thanaton.

The entire reason I was on Belsavis in the first place was to make use of a device to heal my body from the damage done by the ghosts; in fact, it was less a healing than a remaking.  But it worked-I am whole again, and I can handle the power given by the ghosts.  But they like that; they want me whole so that they can use me.  They are shouting at me constantly now, trying to break me down, but it will not stop me from going to Voss to find a way to deal with them, once and for all.

First, though, a Moff has called for aid….”

-from Sorshan’s Story

Belsavis is a neat point in the journey of Sorshan’s development in Star Wars: The Old Republic.  As a Light Side Inquisitor, one has to wonder why she’d stick around the Sith Empire instead of defecting to the Republic.  Belsavis is the answer:  the prospect that it’s just as bad as the Empire.  Granted, the player knows better (well, hopefully); the Republic simply has its share of rotten apples, but on their worst day they’re still a better bet than the Sith Empire.  But Sorshan doesn’t know that-she’s lived her life with Imperial propaganda.  Belsavis helps confirm it.  (Plus that detail about the Jedi/Sith “kill on sight” sort of thing.)

The Dread Masters are the result of this.  It’s telling that Sorshan no longer hesitates about deploying them against the Republic.  Of course, that can’t possibly come back to bite her later on, can it?

We’re nearing the home stretch:  level 62 is achieved, and it’s not impossible that she could hit 65 on Voss.  The future’s looking bright with the Light vs. Dark event as I head towards my final achievement!

SS: Betrayed Again

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“How many times must I be betrayed before I finally stop trusting anyone?

-SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP-

Things were going perfectly.  I bound a second ghost, bringing my total to four.  By my blood, they were bound until I defeated Darth Thanaton.  I had recruited Lieutenant Drellik, of the Imperial Reclamation Service to my own service; someone who loves knowledge more than almost anyone I’ve ever met.  I felt that with he and Ashara, I could finally have a true base to build upon.  Overseer Harkun-for all his faults-was putting apprentices through the Trials on Korriban for me.  And thanks to my-Zash’s-my late apprentices, I had the keys to the private meditation chamber of Darth Thanaton.

I killed his apprentice.  But…the power….

-SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP-

The power was too much for me.  I wounded Thanaton, but the ghosts revealed that they had no intention of serving; they planned to use me as Zash planned to use me.  But they may not get their chance-the power is destroying my body, even as the ghosts are trying to destroy my mind.  I can hear them all the time now, I can barely think.  All I know is that if I stop fighting, if I give in even the slightest, I am lost.  I’ve learned that two worlds may hold the means to save myself-save my body, save my mind.  I just have to determine which to deal with first.

In the meantime, I look at my companions, and wonder when they will betray me.  Ashara was a Jedi-still is, in her heart.  When will she turn on me?  Khem has long vowed to see me dead rather than serve.  Andronikos the pirate-what happens when someone offers him a better price?  In spite of my good feelings towards Talos, how long until he decides that advancement is best served over my dead body?  Can I even trust the ship droid!?

I can’t have come this far to lose now.

-SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!!!!!”

-from Sorshan’s Story

The Inquisitor in Star Wars: The Old Republic, often feels like a complete dupe.  The character gets suckered by Zash (and face it, even if you went to confront her, you still had it out and only won due to dumb luck), gets owned by ghosts and Thanaton.  It’s annoying if you’re a Dark Sider, where you figure “Of COURSE they’re going to backstab me!  That’s the Sith way!”  For a Light Sider, though, who’s trying to build a powerbase unlike any other in the Empire…well, it’s not hard to see why Sorshan’s going into paranoia mode.

The good news is, at level 59, she’s nearing the apex of her power-and nearing the conclusion of the Dark vs. Light event’s grand prize.  (Yes, I consider the fifth tier to be the good one; it’s the one that headlines the whole event.  I’m not killing myself with another six characters in the very short time left.)  I wonder if I’ll hit 65 at Corellia.  It’s not impossible.  Anthrandos certainly got to it, but of course, he had all those Flashpoints helping out.  But this is balanced by my ruthless use of xp boosters.  Three worlds left in the class storyline-it could happen!

With Hoth, I get Talos Drellik on the crew, the other “sane” member of the Inquisitor’s team.  Always liked his enthusiasm on his adventures in archaeology; he’s no Indiana Jones, but I could see it happening.  (Hm, maybe if I find the right armor pieces, I could get him looking reasonably close.)  And while I was on Hoth, took care of Khem Val’s companion mission, which opened up as I arrived; it’s not often when I see that sort of quest open up on the same planet I’m at; it’s usually at some other world.  The way they redid companion conversations to be tied to storyline and not to affection/influence levels really worked out in Khem’s favor here.

The journey to 65 continues!

Declaration: I Am Now In Control Of This Blog

Statement: My Master's command parameters often cause this strange glitch in my programming. It happens quite often.

Statement: My Master’s command parameters often cause this strange glitch in my programming. It happens quite often.

Salutation:  Greetings!  I am HK-55, and I have taken over this blog to tell you about the latest chapter in Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Remark:  This chapter was only made available to subscribers who were consistently subscribed from January to August of this year as a loyalty reward.

Reassurance:  Do not be concerned about the meatbag who operates this blog under usual circumstances.  He is quite safe!  This is merely a demonstration of what happens when you possess a weak wi-fi password.  Do not be like that meatbag!  Use strong passwords!

Statement:  Despite the fact that it is not required of me, I will maintain the meatbag’s habit of saving story spoilers after a break, so that those who do not wish to ruin the surprises ahead will not have to endure such a trauma.  Trauma is best delivered by precision blaster fire, after all.  Addenda:  You may expect much blaster fire in this chapter.

Aside:  The new chapter, entitled “Shroud of Memory”, is not the only content released with the latest patch.  A new Alliance Alert is made available where players may contact the former Sergeant Rusk, formerly a companion of the Jedi Knight.  In the process, you will have the opportunity to recruit not merely one companion, but potentially two!  Observation:  Given the statements made by a number of forum users, it is quite possible that you may decide that one companion is enough.  The second companion has developed quite a following who would like to see him dead.  Proposition:  If you do wish to exterminate that meatbag, please give me the opportunity to do so.  I would enjoy nothing more!

Notation:  “Shroud of Memory” does not have an official chapter number; it is simply referred to as an interlude.  Nonetheless, it is easily the equal of other chapters in the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion.  Unlike most chapters, it must be started upon your personal starship, and you must have recruited me in an Alliance Alert, and completed Chapter IX.

Exhortation:  Now it is time to look beyond the break and hear about an adventure that features the most important character in this saga!

Continue reading

SS: Struck Back

ss-20160906

“It couldn’t be kept secret forever.  Sooner or later, Darth Thanaton was going to learn that I was alive, and at the very least, he knew while I was on Taris.  I had expected him to bend his will to striking at me.  I didn’t think that he would strike at Zash’s…my…apprentices.

In some ways, I still don’t understand their loyalty to me.  They were told to honor me, but of course, the endgame of Zash’s plan would have made it moot in all but appearance.  Still, their loyalty was pure.  In the end, they died on my behalf, risking everything to give me a key to setting up an ambush that may yet be Thanaton’s undoing.

This is not Sith behavior.  Self-sacrifice isn’t the Sith way.  I was supposed to be teaching them, but with their deaths, they have taught me something.  They have died for a cause that they believed was greater than their lives.  Could I do the same?  With Ashara, I’ve had discussions as to whether the Empire was worth saving-I responded in the affirmative.  But could I die for that ideal?  I don’t know.  Ashara asked me if I would consider coming to the Republic, become a Jedi, due to the anti-alien stance of the Empire.  I had to try not to laugh; even if the Empire had not been my home, even if I had the temperment to detach myself from everything that makes me who I am, I’d never be able to join the Jedi.  Every Jedi I have met with the exception of Ashara has tried to kill me on sight.  No, that path is closed to me; my path must be my own to walk.

While I was on Quesh-the world where my apprentices died-I got caught up in a scheme to wreck Republic interests.  It was an actual light diversion from the true reason I’d come.  I am not sorry to leave, however.  The place is a poison world, regardless of what kind of adrenals can be found there, and I am glad to put it behind me.  Because my apprentices are dead, I am attempting to acquire a new one from Korriban.  If nothing else, it will allow me to taunt Overseer Harkun with my continued survival.  Even with Thanaton working against me, I am still a Lord of the Sith-a slave no longer-and that’s worth a bit of joy at Harkun’s expense any day.”

-from Sorshan’s Story

Quesh is always a quick world to do, and it’s just as true on the Imperial side as it is on the Republic side for Star Wars: The Old Republic.  So it shouldn’t be shocking that I got through it in a single night-and that was with picking up all the missions I could find.  Level is now in the mid-fifties, thanks to an xp booster I was using.  There are some changes ahead for xp boosters awarded during missions, which will make using them a bit more effective-if I understand correctly, the 1 hour boosts will become 3 hour boosts, which will be helpful in continuing my advancement.

The Quesh storyline-the planet’s story, I mean-is always amusing in its conceit.  It’s not amusing in a laugh-out-loud sort of way, though.  The Empire is basically trolling the Republic into retaliating in force-to basically break the Treaty that keeps the two governments from war.  Of course, that’s not slated until Chapter 3 of the class stories, so no real joy for the Empire there.  I continue to defy expectations as a Sith, with letting not just one, but two Hutts live, plus freeing some miners who could have just as easily died if I did nothing.  “I was wrong about the Sith” says one.  Nah, he’s not, but he got lucky with this character.

Not a whole lot else to report on this one.  As mentioned:  Quesh is a fast run, and the stories here-both Inquisitor and planetary-aren’t exactly complicated.  The only real struggle for me was to determine what image to use for the post header today; I almost went with the “unflinching walk” still when Imperials blow up a massive crane, but the image of a Jedi mortally wounded and falling into the toxic wastes of Quesh to be too good to pass up.  Next up:  Hoth, and the next companion!