Monthly Archives: February 2017

A New Life Awaits You In The Off-World Colonies!

This week, let’s look at a couple posters, which can be seen throughout the galaxy. They advertise exciting getaways for vacations and new starts for the restless citizens of the Republic and Empire.

To me, this poster recalls the movie Bladerunner and its ambient and inescapable advertisements to escape to the off-world colonies. However, like the company towns of the old American west, the requirement of little to no credit, is almost certainly a double-edged sword.

The floating metropolis and the orange and red tones of the second poster are meant to evoke another movie, which is, of course, The Empire Strikes Back. Wookieepedia tells me that Bespin’s most famous port of call had not yet been constructed in the time of SWTOR, so I guess we should say this is a cloud city, not the Cloud City.

These two particular posters can be found in a ruined cantina on post-apocalyptic Ziost. I can only hope that a few lucky people were convinced to take leave of Ziost before that world met its tragic, final fate.

 

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Top Five Dumb Wishes for SWTOR

This week, I’d like to focus on something a little different and share a short list of changes I’d like to see made to SWTOR. This is NOT a list of important things. Sure, who wouldn’t demand more story, more group content, perfect class balance, and the return of Kira? Of course I expect all that, but here some other, frivolous things I’d like to see once that other stuff is also sorted out.

Hats and Hoods and Hair

It’s one of the sad facts of life in the SWTOR universe that hats and hoods cannot share the same space as hair on our characters’ heads. The recent additions of Nico Okarr, who wears a hat without ear flaps, Vaylin, whose hair spills out of her hood, and even Koth Freakin’ Vortena, who gets to prop his goggles on his forehead, stand in stark contrast to the player characters who can do none of those things. There are tons of awesome helmets and masks that cover the whole head, but there are far fewer good examples of open-faced headgear and hats because almost without exception they must also awkwardly cover the sides and back of the characters’ heads. Likewise, it’s a shame that so many potentially cool Jedi and Sith robes are marred and rendered unusable by hoods that make the characters appear bald. It’s a nut I really hope they crack one day.

Updated Conquest

I enjoy participating in Conquest both as a solo player and as part of a guild working to place in the top ten. That said, Conquest is in desperate need of an update. Let’s invade Darvannis, Zakuul and Iokath and chase new objectives related to those worlds. In addition, don’t forget to add new Utility decorations. There are now two expansions’ worth of gathering nodes that should be included as conquest rewards. The right color crystal deco can really liven up a room, and a slicing node can perform double duty as both a stylish end table and a source of extra walking around money.

Crafting

I’d like to see crafters have more vanity items to make. That the classic color crystals from the films can be crafted remains great. Whenever I’m looking for a dye for a new outfit, there is now almost always a good choice available from my Artificer. But let’s see some more Cybertech mounts. Or how about a genetically engineered pet or companion made by Biochem? I know Tunings are the fancy new thing, but I definitely hope to see a craftable Tuning. It could be a rare recipe or call for expensive or difficult to acquire materials. I’m cool with that. Even in a video game, there is satisfaction in making something yourself. I realize and understand that items like this usually goes to the cartel market, but there should also be room for crafters to make fun stuff too.

Companion Weapons

One of the weird things about Knights of the Fallen Empire has been getting companions back who suddenly refuse to use weapons they’d gleefully carried into battle for the last few years. All those techstaves and assault cannons are gathering dust as Torian, SCORPIO, Rusk and Jorgan grab sniper rifles. Storywise, it makes sense that Jorgan prefers rifles, but I always thought it was cool when he and my Commando would unsling their big ass guns and go bug hunting like Vasquez and Drake. Certainly Lightsabers should be restricted to Force using companions, as should saber fighting styles; I don’t think Kira should be dual wielding like a Sentinel or Ashara fighting like an Assassin. And, yeah, Doc and Mako probably wouldn’t use assault cannons, but, in general, I think companions should be more versatile in the weapons they can wield. At the very least, the HKs should be able to fire any darn blaster in the galaxy. Heck, if you told me HK destroyed a factory full of skytroopers using nothing but a vibro-mop, I wouldn’t even blink. And for pity’s sake, give Blizz back his rocket launcher!

Star Wars Rebels

There is no shortage of cool material that can and should be imported, borrowed and swiped from the Star Wars Rebels cartoon (Kanan’s partial armor, Sabine’s two-toned hair, Zeb’s bo-rifle, the Inquistor’s lightsaber, etc.), but the continued absence of Loth Cats from SWTOR is the most glaring omission and a crying shame.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back to the Aurebesh next week, but I may slip in some more dumb top five lists in the future as inspiration strikes me.

 

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Are You Experienced

As part of patch 4.7 last year, SWTOR introduced a new pack opening experience that included a number of quality of life changes to how items from Cartel Packs are acquired and stored. It also came with a brief animated sequence complete with Aurebesh readouts as each box disgorges its treasures.

I don’t open a ton of packs, but I recently remembered to snap a screen shot of the new animation. The information displayed includes the exact dimensions of a Cartel Pack and the steps needed to slice into each box of goodies. Sadly the security scan cannot reveal its contents prior to opening. If you want to know if you scored an awesome new lightsaber or just another pair of bronze pants, you’ll have to peak inside yourself.

 

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Corus Can’t

This week, let’s take a look at a sign that contains an infamous spelling error in which the proud capital of the Galactic Republic is misspelled “Coruscnat.” A second error even snuck into the small text at the base of the poster. For historical purposes I recreated the sign with the errors intact.

I point this out not to make fun of the mistakes. In my own work as a designer, I can admit that this sort of thing happens all the time, and I don’t even have the excuse of working with an alien language.

So how should we chalk this up? Human error? A catastrophic shattering of the players’ suspension of disbelief? Just another use of fake space letters to which the rules don’t apply? Or can we imagine that a minister at the Republic Bureau of Tourism and Trade fobbed off responsibility for the final review of a new advertising campaign on an intern who both did not speak Basic as a first language and also had hit the spice a little too hard the night before? Well, probably the first, but I can go with the last too.

Errors aside, this is a fun poster with a lot going on from the starbursts and speed lines to the bold swathes of color and distressed text.

The M logo which I’d previously thought simply applied to a random cosmetics company seems in fact to be the branding used by the Coruscant Market, and is seen on many posters around the Republic’s capital.

A second, similar poster uses many of the same elements as the first, but in a vertical layout. It does not contain the same spelling mistake, which perhaps proves that the good ol’ intern wasn’t completely asleep at the wheel.

 

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