Saturday, March 25, 2017

Titan Quest Anniversary Edition

If you don't remember Titan Quest, it was a Diablo II clone that was gorgeous to see, especially with its wealth of extremely detailed gear. Shortly after it was released, the company folded, citing computer piracy as the chief cause of its shortage of revenue.

Now it's been not just resurrected, but improved -- the Titan Quest Anniversary Edition includes:
  • Restored and improved multiplayer functionality, including new features like a built-in voice chat and NAT resolving for best multiplayer connectivity 
  • Support for more resolutions, larger camera distance and scaleable UI size 
  • Improved performance and general stability 
  • Complete balance rework with improvements to all Masteries, damage types, unique items and sets 
  • Countless bug fixes and other improvements, including ten years’ worth of community fixes 
  • Increased challenges and rewards for larger parties and on higher difficulty levels 
  • Dozens of new heroes and bosses to encounter 
  • Improved enemy and pet AI 
  • Quality of life features like higher stack limits, quick item pickup, a larger stash and a speed setting 
  • Reduced cheating with curbed exploits, removal of test items and mod comparison in multiplayer
And all this at a FRACTION of the original cost, thanks to GOG (Good Old Games).

Friday, March 3, 2017

SWTOR Story Missions You Should Not Skip

Leading up to SWTOR 5.0 (Star Wars: The Old Republic), two profound changes to "story mode" -- playing the game for story rather than grinding repeated content for gear -- have been implemented:
  • Some quest givers have been REMOVED. This is especially true of various Heroic missions. Older guides directing you to various quest givers won't necessarily be valid anymore.
    • This guide is valid for version 5.1.2,
  • Fast-forward-to-Fallen-Empire character tokens have been given out / put out for sale.
If you are new to SWTOR and want to see the story, here is my recommendation for content definitely not to miss, AND the order to do them so things don't appear out of order or present spoilers. If you maintain the quest chain, later quests typically reference your involvement in earlier ones, through token dialogue options you can pick.

For non-class-story missions, you don't really have to do it for every character, just once to see the content and what backstory it provides. Therefore, to reduce the late-game / later-chapter grind of repeating content, consider choosing two characters -- one Republic, one Imperial -- to do all side quests and content. For the other characters, do only the class stories, and a bit more here and there to unlock Daily Missions if you like. To see the relatively minor differences between classes, look to Youtube, such as Roksik's Knights of the Fallen Empire class comparison videos.
  1. Class Stories -- Do all classes.
    • Some class stories actually reference characters and events in others.
    • Do not proceed to Jedi Knight Chapter 2 before finishing Maelstrom Prison (see below).
  2. Esseles and Black Talon Flashpoints
  3. Story Arc: Dromund Kaas.
  4. Story Arc: Belsavis, Imperial side.
  5. Story Arc: Voss, Imperial side.
    • If you also want to do the Republic side, do it first as the Imperial side ending can give you more information than the Republic side
  6. Section X, HK-51 acquisition mission, BUT do not do the flashpoints yet.
  7. Republic Flashpoints - Taral V and Maelstrom Prison. Quest-giver is on Fleet.
  8. Imperial Flashpoints - Boarding Party and The Foundry. Quest-giver is on Fleet.
    • If your character was involved with Story Arc: Dromund Kaas, there is token acknowledgement of this in dialog.
  9. Story Arc: Ilum (Chapter 3 Interlude)
  10. Chapter 4: Rise of the Hutt Cartel -- Republic side first.
    • After Rise of the Hutt Cartel you are automatically given the Shadow of Revan quest. You can safely Abandon it and pick it up later from your Personal Ship mission terminal.
  11. Seeker Droid Missions
    • Might as well also do the Macrobinoculars Missions as they take you to the same planets, although the Shroud story arc appears to start and end with no further follow-up or connection.
    • The Macrobinoculars Missions will also give you some background into The Shroud if you qualify for the HK-55 bonus mission.
  12. Chapter 4 Interlude: Oricon
    • For the ops, finish the Imperial side first.
  13. Chapter 5: Shadow of Revan
    • Prologue: Forged Alliances
    • Shadow of Revan (Rishi and Yavin 4)
      • If you have not finished your Class Story, you will miss a class-specific mission given at the same time as the Blood Hunt flashpoint on Rishi.
      • If you don't want to do stories for all classes, you can see the class-specific missions on Youtube.
    • Epilogue: Rise of the Emperor (Ziost)
  14. Knights of the Fallen Empire
    • Your companions are removed except HK-51 and Treek, if you have them, so it may be worthwhile during the previous chapters to develop them to maximum Companion Influence.
    • The next original companion to return is your ship's droid, either C2-N2 or 2V-R8 -- you can get them back by speaking with them in the Odessan Cantina.
  15. Knights of the Eternal Throne
(to be continued)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

SWTOR Grade 10 Mission Discovery

Ever since SWTOR 5.0 (Star Wars: The Old Republic), Crew Skills were expanded to Grade 10. In case you haven't seen one of the elusive Grade 10 Mission Discoveries... Here are some. We'll update this post as we find more. So far, we have:

  • Slicing
  • Treasure Hunting
  • Underworld Trading

Mission Discovery: Slicing (Grade 10)
Doesn't look impressive and probably not worth a few hundred thousand credits that you might find it for on the Galactic Trade Network.

Slicing 10 Mission Discovery - Flying Factory

The mission resulted in a non-critical result of Code Recombinator x11, Signal Disruptor x4, Grade 10 Credit Case (item roll level 102), and Mission Discovery: Underworld Trading (Grade 10). The Credit Case returned only 5386 credits, which was less than the cost to run the mission.


Mission Discovery: Treasure Hunting (blue grade)
We found what appeared to be a low-level Treasure Hunting mission. It was blue (prototype grade), compared to the usual purple (artifact grade) that Mission Discoveries generally are. We didn't think much of it until we read it, and were surprised by the result, the mission "Secret Games".

Mission Discovery - Treasure Hunting (blue grade 10)

Our Influence Level 50 Jaesa returned a critical success result:

Mission Discovery - Treasure Hunting Grade 10 - critical success result

As is typical of treasure hunting lockboxes, these returned Green items that had a combined sale-to-Vendor value that was less than the cost of running the mission.

Mission Discovery - Treasure Hunting Grade 10 - lockbox content 1

Mission Discovery - Treasure Hunting Grade 10 - lockbox content 2

Mission Discovery: Underworld Trading (Grade 10)
Here's the Underworld Trading Grade 10 Mission we got from the Slicing Grade 10 Mission above.

Mission Discovery - Underworld Trading (Grade 10)

The main thing is you are guaranteed to get pink Artifact-grade materials, which you normally get only on a critical success result on a crew skill mission to yields blue Prototype-grade materials.

Mission Discovery - Underworld Trading (Grade 10) - result