Hyperspace Beacon: Post-launch

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Hyperspace Beacon: Post-launch
Hyperspace Beacon: Post-launch
Readers of this column have a lot of questions for me, and I do my best to answer all of them. However, the most frequent question I get is "what class are you playing?" followed by "which guild are you going to join?" Thankfully, I work from an office at home, and my time can be very dedicated to playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. Many of the websites and podcasts fall off after a game is launched because, hey, the producers of these bits of entertainment have a game to play now. Fortunately for you, I really want to give my readers something to look forward to once TOR actually launches. Unlike others who lack either the time or dedication to their fans, I am going to be stepping up my game after launch -- literally.

I have teased my post-launch plans a few times before, but I figured I should put it all down in writing. This way I have something to reference when the time comes, and I'm sure the readers here will hold me to my word. Most of all, Star Wars: The Old Republic will be an extraordinary experience for anyone who follows me. Hop past the break for the full details.

HEADER: Smuggler
As most of you already know, I enjoy roleplay. However, unlike a lot of roleplayers, I don't necessarily enjoy using the game as a glorified chat room. I like to take the existing in-game events and apply them as best I can to my character. Granted, I know some experiences in-game cannot be applied directly to my personal story because it gets silly when a few hundred thousand other players have the exact same experience. However, my first roleplay journey will be with the Smuggler.

Although I did get a chance to play a Smuggler about a year ago at PAX East, I didn't get very far into the story. On top of that, many things have changed with the Smuggler since I last played. I am told the introduction has changed since then -- and much more. I have purposefully stayed away from acquiring too much information about the story of this class because I really want to experience it firsthand.

As you may know, I enjoy playing supporting roles in MMOs. One of my favorite experiences in Star War Galaxies was running the Exar Kun 8-man instance as the sole healer. However, the look and feel of the Gunslinger really has me captivated. Maybe I was inspired by the Smuggler in the Return trailer, but I really like the hat and the duster. I have not seen that kind of look for the Scoundrel as of yet. The dual pistols are nice, too. As of right now, my Smuggler will be a Gunslinger Smuggler.

As an added bonus, I have decided to broadcast my Smuggling adventures once a week via livestream. I realize that Smuggler is not going to be one of those classes that a lot of people will play, so this broadcast will let you experience a story that you may not get to witness during your regular gameplay. This will also be your chance to get involved in smuggling adventures. There are world arcs and flashpoints that I will definitely need help with. I would love to have some of you join in on the fun.

HEADER: Powerleveling
Justin "Sado" Lowe was caught off-guard when I said that I was going to power through the story on one of my characters. The reason is very simple: I want to give the audience the most complete, firsthand experience possible. It annoys me when it's obvious that a writer has not experienced himself what he is writing about. On top of that, nothing compares to the excitement given off by someone who has actually tried something out in person.

If you happened to see The Raid documentary this weekend, you saw the reaction of Josh "Lore" Allen's 10-man raid group as its members beat the Lich King for the first time. It was real. It was raw. When you capture something like that, no amount of polished prose can match it. When I beat the Eternity Vault for the first time, I want to write about it; I want it to be fresh for you, the readers. At the same time, I don't want to be so late beating the operation that everyone else has already completed it and the news is stale. That's where powerleveling comes in.

The question remains as to which class I am going to powerlevel. All the stories appear to be incredible. I don't want to skip any of them, but at the same time, I know it's important. At this point, I have to pick a story that is the least interesting to me; that's not an easy task. I will say that the Smuggler and Imperial Agent stories interest me the most. I really want to know what the Trooper story is like, especially with Jennifer Hale voicing the female Trooper. I would like to heal or tank during the endgame raids, and I would also like to run with some experienced raiders. The top raiders I know are going to play Imperial characters. I'm not sure how I feel about ranged tanking, so the Bounty Hunter is out. I really want to see what the Inquisitor story is all about; he's out. Looks like I will be playing a Sith Warrior. However, if I find a good raid group that's Republic, I may have to bust out my healing skillz and play a Consular.

HEADER: Suggestions
This article is very meta, and I apologize for that. I want to tell you my plans so you can make suggestions. What would you like to see once the game launches? Are you interested in spoilers from the story? Do you want to know more about the mechanics of the game? (There are other sites that are going to do all the math and theorycrafting, but I'm willing to do some of that if you are interested.) What interests you post-launch? Let me know in the comments.

The Hyperspace Beacon by Larry Everett is your weekly guide to the vast galaxy of Star Wars: The Old Republic, currently in production by BioWare. If you have comments or suggestions for the column, send a transmission to larry@massively.com. Now strap yourself in, kid -- we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!
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