Monthly Archives: October 2021

Small Cheer and Great Welcome

SWTOR’s Feast of Prosperity event has made its second annual return. The Feast was a pleasant surprise at the end of last year, and once again I’ve fully engaged with the event.

First off, since there are numerous and generous Conquest objectives associated with the Feast, for the next couple of weeks I can take a break from my heroics, dailies and flashpoint routine but still score buckets of points for my guild. That I can play a few mini games and join a world boss hunt at all hours of the night and day is a refreshing change of pace from the usual busy work SWTOR typically has me doing.

For the most part, the Feast’s content and presentation have not changed. Because of the circumstances of last year, no original dialogue was recorded for the event and all the story interactions are presented in the “KOTOR style” in which our characters are silent and everyone else speaks Huttese or other alien languages. Given the focus of event, this makes a certain amount of sense. However, I am on the record as not loving this format of storytelling in SWTOR and since I’m running through the event again on alts, I don’t feel any guilt about spacebarring through those scenes this time around. That said, if it’s your first time, I do think it is worth it to read through the subtitles of the event’s entertaining story.

Aside from the story, the Feast is mainly structured around collecting ingredients from world bosses and their environs, and completing a pair of mini-games based around cooking meals and serving meals to hungry feast goers. These games are by no means difficult, but two harder versions of each game do require some concentration to successfully complete, at least by me, anyway.

The Cantina Rush dailies have the player take control of a serving droid, and race around a feast hall delivering meals to ravenous patrons in an occasionally hectic race against time. Although SWTOR’s quest tracker does not monitor your progress, the game’s setting does. An Aurebesh display in the back of the kitchen keeps track of how many dishes you have left to deliver in the round and how many mistakes you’ve made.

It might take a second or two to adjust your camera to properly spy the display screens, but if you can spare the moment, it might be worth it to know that the end is in sight!

Translating the Aurebesh scoreboard could not be easier, because it actually doesn’t need translation. Numbers in Aurebesh can be written using two very different styles, and in this case the designers smartly chose the version that can easily be read by readers in both this galaxy and in one far, far away.

Before you think me a complete slacker, the name of the banquet hall has some actual Aurebesh for me to translate. It’s an amusing name for a restaurant, but I would hope that meals served here digest a bit quicker than ones served at its namesake.

Finally, I must commend Bioware for adding a few new rewards to an already well-stocked event vendor. Having a reason to save up more tokens for some decorations and a cool ninja mask gives me plenty of incentive to revisit the Feast of Prosperity. Indeed, it is long overdue that the rewards of SWTOR‘s other recurring events get some attention. Most if not all of those old events have not been updated in years and years, and they could all use some attention to encourage veteran players to participate again. How about a life-sized Xenoanalyst decoration, a miniature Eyeless pet, Swoop team dye modules, a Bounty Broker weapon tuning, Pirate themed weapons, and Life Day color crystals? I honestly don’t believe any of that is too much to ask.

In the meantime, I’ll make the bold claim that the Feast has become my overall favorite of SWTOR’s events, and I’ll gladly spend the next couple of weeks collecting weird ingredients, frying them up in sauce pans and serving them straight into the bellies of hungry celebrants from all over the galaxy!

 

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Filed under Aurebesh to English, General SWTOR

Does This Look Jedi to You?

This Week in Aurebesh turned five years old just a couple of days ago, and to celebrate my choice of translation subject was an easy one. One of the most recent of many Mandalorian themed additions to SWTOR recently was the “Hired Gun’s Decoration Bundle” which includes the very large “Outdoor Jedi Temple” decoration.

Although interactable decorations are nothing new, this one sports a unique and cool feature because only Force using characters can fully discover all this decoration has to offer. When a Jedi or Sith click the stone in the center of the temple, the ancient runes light up and a swirling pillar of Force energy erupts into the sky. This item is clearly meant to recall the Jedi ruins on Tython visited in the episode The Tragedy from the second season of Disney+’s popular series, The Mandalorian. While the runes inscribed on the stone in the TV show do not seem to be translatable, the ones in SWTOR‘s version can.

The writing inscribed on the pedestal shares the same alphabet with runes players will have encountered on Ossus, and those familiar with this runic alphabet may notice that I’ve reversed the position of the phrases on the inner ring. The question of where and how to read text on a circular baseline is surprisingly complex. My personal impulse in this case is to start at the bottom and work my way up to the right and around on the left, so that’s what I did here, even if it means my recreation doesn’t track exactly with the original. For the outer ring, in the interest of bringing balance to the Force, I did match each phrases’ position around the circle.

The content of the text is very similar to what we saw on Ossus, and both refer to the Jedi code. The code cited here is once again an earlier version, rather than of the one most commonly used both in SWTOR and Star Wars lore in general. Personally, this fan has always found the particular version of the code we see here to be more in keeping with the themes of my favorite Star Wars stories. The “regular” Jedi code’s negation of emotion, ignorance, passion, chaos and death strike me as somewhere between confusing and foolhardy. If the Sith literally exhorts followers of the Dark Side to break free of these notions, it seems to me that the Jedi are better served by seeking to strike a balance between them.

Metaphysics aside, this is truly a neat decoration, and one that quite honestly should not be limited to just player strongholds. I very much hope that the designers find away to incorporate this temple into the open game world. It would be entirely appropriate to place it atop some out of the way hill or mountain on Tython. It would be a very cool easter egg for players to discover by accident or to seek out for roleplaying or just fun.

The Best View in SWTOR

On a related note, I do want to mention The “Best View in SWTOR” Contest that is in its final day as I post this. While I have been active in the game recently, working to get Marcus his first Nightmare operations clear (and my first in several years), and helping the good folks in the Ootinicast guild complete the operation on Dxun for the first time, I have also been journeying from one end of the galaxy to the other taking screenshots of the many, many breathtaking views the game has to offer. I have always loved the exploration aspects of MMOs and find the simple act of traveling around on a favorite mount and seeing where I can get to be an extremely relaxing way to pass the time. In SWTOR, revealing hidden corners of the maps, finding lore objects and collecting Datacrons have all been activities in which I am eager to engage.

Moreover this contest is also an opportunity for a few lucky and keen eyed players to directly affect the game, even if only in a small way. I don’t imagine that this is something that happens a lot in many games, especially a Star Wars game. I don’t expect to win, but I am glad to have had an excuse to revisit some favorite locations and uncover a new vista or two I missed the first time around.

I thought I’d finish up with this view from Tython. Even though it was not iconic enough to be my submission, it is nevertheless my favorite snapshot from my travels this past month. I wasn’t even trying to get this specific view, instead I had climbed a ridge to get an overview of the valley below, when I turned around, the sun was shining through the leaves at a perfect angle. Ten years in and SWTOR can still surprise me with a quiet moment of beauty.

And that’s pretty much why I started this blog five years ago, to remind myself to stop and look around and take a closer look at things I might normally race past on the way to the next boss or quest objective. It’s something that I hope is good advice both in this game and this life. I am immensely grateful to everyone who has stopped by on this journey, and I hope we’ll continue to find some new wonders to discover in a galaxy far, far away.

 

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Filed under Ancient Jedi Runes, General SWTOR