Monthly Archives: March 2017

Put Another Credit in the Jukebox, Baby


If you’ve ever dropped a token in a cantina jukebox or have one as a stronghold decoration, you may have noticed that the monitor on the machine will light up with text when activated.

The three different screens that flash through display Aurebesh that, when translated, is revealed to be, not surprisingly, lists of songs, the machine’s playlist as it were.

Looking at the names of the songs, there are several items of interest. First, it’s amusing how easy it is to turn a line from the Star Wars movies into a convincing song title. “You know it to be true.” Is that a threat from a Dark Lord of the Sith, or a refrain from a love song? Context matters!

In addition, one of the songs in the listings is not just a KOTOR reference but an actual use of the term “KOTOR.” Whether this leaves your fourth wall shattered is up to you, but I’d say it barely counts as a crack.

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that many of the songs displayed on the jukebox are actual songs from the game’s soundtrack. They can be selected using the cantina jukeboxes and can be heard on the stronghold decoration versions as well.

On a related note, it’s not well known, but SWTOR’s wonderful soundtrack is available for download for free from swtor.com. My favorites are the tracks for Tython and Balmorra. It’s worth a listen!

 

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Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Top Five Non-Cartel Market Mounts

This week’s post is another dumb top five list of some of my favorite mounts in the game. These can all be acquired by simply playing the game. You don’t need to spend a single cartel coin or hunt the GTN for a deal to hit the road in style. I’ve not included mounts from flashpoints and operations since you’re neither guaranteed to see those mounts drop nor win the role. In addition it’s hard to quantify mounts with epeen value; I’m not sure tentacle jet packs would be a big deal if they didn’t come from one of the toughest boss fights in the game. It’s perhaps another list for another time.

Questing: Tauntauns

SWTOR offers many snowscapes to explore from Hoth and Belsavis to Ilum and Ziost, and there is no better way to lope across these ice-capped worlds than on a Tauntaun. There are several Tauntaun mounts available from the Cartel Market and one as a reward from the Oricon questline, but the two available on Hoth are closest in appearance to those used by Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. The spotted Tundra Tauntaun and the tan Mountain Tauntaun can be acquired through simple questing which will have you criss-crossing Hoth, feeding baby Tauntauns and protecting them from Wampas; do this enough times and you’ll earn enough tokens to purchase either mount. It’s not the most engaging bit of gameplay, but Hoth is quite picturesque, and if you’re looking for a relaxing, stress-free way to spend a couple hours, you could do worse.

Reputation: Infected Varactyl

Most of the major PVE reputations offer an exclusive mount or two to folks who’ve earned the respect of the game’s various factions, and it was hard to pick just one, but the Infected Varactyl from the THORN reputation vendor is a standout. As with many of the mounts on this list, there are variants available from the Cartel Market, but the Infected Varactyl’s mottled gray skin and glowing yellow eyes set it apart from its healthier siblings. You will need to earn Legend standing with THORN and gather materials that drop from bosses that appear only during the event, but I think this is a great mount for any Sith Warrior or Inquisitor.

Vendor: Gurian Shadow

If you just want to drop some credits and drive away immediately, the Gurian Shadow might be the mount for you. This is a speeder bike stripped to its essentials: handle bars, wings and a rocket between your legs. Sometimes that’s all you need. This particular version of the Gurian is only available from one vendor in the galaxy: Bleargh, the Gamorrean Black Market Trader who resides in the far end of the Outlaw’s Den on Tatooine. It’s a bit of a trek, but the Shadow’s matte black paint job and glowing red engine mark it as the best of its class.

Achievement: Aratech Speeders

There is an often overlooked quest terminal in the GTN section of the Fleets that offers four distinct Aratech Speeders as rewards for completing much of SWTOR’s original endgame group content, from killing world bosses to completing flashpoints and operations. The Aratechs are some of my favorite speeders in the game; they’re long and sleek and feel fast as heck. Between the four options, there is bound to be one to suit any taste. I’m partial to the flaming red Fire, but the slick, black Nightscythe looks good on anyone. Again, there are other Aratechs available from the Cartel Market, but for my credits, these are the best looking ones in the game.

For the Truly Dedicated: the GSI PMP-06 Pleasure Speeder

I won’t lie, unless you buy the parts from the GTN, acquiring the GSI Pleasure Speeder will not be trivial. This speeder is assembled from parts found by excavating sites using the Macrobinoculars and Seeker droid acquired from the long side quests that first appeared during Rise of the Hutt Cartel. The parts for the pleasure speeder are rare treasures from the dig sites scattered around the galaxy and it will take many, many hours to find them all. Along the way, you’ll certainly find three other speeders and a couple sets of unique Legacy armor, but at the end you’ll have one of the rarest mounts in the game. The speeder’s flame-shooting tail-pipes are over the top in just the right way and it’s glowing orange pin-striping looks fantastic on any shadowy planet. This mount is ridiculous, but I love it.

If you’re looking for a unique mount to call your own, don’t feel like you have to drop cartel coins or pay through the nose on the GTN. Look at what’s available in the game. Reputation and most event currencies are shared amongst your legacy, so check out some of those vendors you might normally pass by. You might find an over-looked gem, with low mileage and great terms waiting just for you.

 

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Filed under General SWTOR

The Sith Empire Asks That You Stay Alert

This week, let’s look at two Alert posters that can be found on Dromund Kaas, a world that really knows how to make visitors feel welcome.

This notice is posted on many walls throughout the capital. At first glance it seems to be a pretty standard “If you see something, say something” poster not unlike one that might be seen in a major city or airport in this day and age, but the addition of the macrobinoculars makes it clear that not only do the Sith want you to keep an eye out for trouble, they actively want you to be spying on your neighbors, even at a great distance.

I’ve only seen this poster in one dark corner of Dromund Kaas and have tweaked the contrast to make it more readable. Again, this poster looks to be a typical “No trespassing” sign until you get to the last line. You’ve got to admire the efficiency of the Sith Empire. They won’t waste time threatening scofflaws with arrest, prosecution or imprisonment; instead they’ll just let you know that if you cross that line, they’ll kill you. No muss, no fuss. Somewhat ironically, this fenced off area can only be accessed by the Jedi Knight character during the climatic chapter of their class story.

 

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Give In To The Dark Side Of The Force, You Knob

Good day. Our topic today continues last week’s theme of Aurebesh signage inspired by movies. This one found on Corellia recalls the great tragedy of haunted Elsinore, with its murderous uncle, lost daughter, a mouse trapped in a bottle and a flying dog named “Hosehead.” I refer, of course, to the cinematic classic of the Great White North, Strange Brew.

The saga of Bob and Doug McKenzie has inspired a host of stories through the ages including Star Wars. George Lucas has often remarked that in his original vision, Obi-wan and Anakin’s final duel would take place on ice skates and involve hockey stick-shaped lightsabers and Force empowered cross-checking. Sadly, ILM had not yet mastered the technology of rendering digital ice so the entire sequence had to be scrapped and restaged with lava and higher ground. In a final twist of fate, a Betamax copy of Strange Brew fell through a rupture in the time-space continuum and emerged in Elizabethan England where it was discovered by a little known playwright and plagiarist, William Shakespeare. A mere hired player, Shakespeare only owned a VHS machine, so he was forced to crack open the cassette and studied the film frame by frame in order to reconstruct the story for a play he called Hamlet, a Danish word meaning “hoser.” Without access to the original dialogue, several historical inaccuracies made their way into Shakespeare’s “adaptation.” Had Rosencrantz and Guildenstern thought to save a jelly donut, for example, the young prince surely would’ve survived his ordeal. For this reason, Hamlet is typically dismissed by scholars as something between “Legends” and fan-fiction.

 

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