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 "Voyages of the Inept"

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PostSubject: "Voyages of the Inept"   Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:50 am

Hello all Smile

I found these on the official SWGEmu forums and found the stories such wonderfully written and a pleasure to read that I decided to share them on our forums (with the author's permission, of course!) rabbit

The author posts on the SWGEmu forums as Zatt.

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did, and I hope more will come soon!


PART ONE:


Quote :
Exterminating a Bocatt

With lag I managed to run over a bocatt on my swoop on my way to my house... happens can't always avoid the red blips. Normally once I go in my house the little critters become decorative deadly lawn gnomes that occasionally EAT my neighbors.

This crafty animal, however, decided to bury himself somewhere under/in my home - so every time I entered - or worse the occasional vendor visitor entered, and got a toothy surprise. Couldn't target him - couldn't see him on the mini or overhead map. A stealthy little surprise he was. So, I decided to ferret out the little beast... who decided NOT to aggro my buffed TK - but only aggro the unwary or unbuffed. (Told you he was crafty...)

After many trips to the clone terminal finally my crafter managed to drag his mangled body far enough from the house to entice the hungry evil vermin out of his hidey hole - to be pounced upon by a suitably outfitted TK.

What started out as an annoying morning turned into a QUEST FOR JUSTICE!!!

His hide is now decorating the floor in front of my craft station - and I will wipe my feet on he dead carcass each and every time I craft.

Bocatt: 6 ... Zatt: 0 Fighter Alt: ONE!

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PostSubject: Re: "Voyages of the Inept"   Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:54 am

Quote :
Voyages of the Inept #2 – How to lose a swoop


In our first installment we learn that Bocatt’s find Zatt tasty – and they can be quite stubborn.

In this second short glimpse into the moments where I am reminded I DON’T know what I am doing I relearn important lessons that I have forgotten in the seven years since I quit the SOE version of SWG.

At some point in the profession grind (in this case a TK), there comes a time where killing little creatures for paltry XP becomes tedious. And then you decide to move from that nice safe grinding location you have been using and venture forth into the great wilds – usually to meet a grisly death at the hands of some large toothy beast. Hopefully after you have finished enough missions to pay for your buffs and ticket costs – but alas not always.

And so Risso in the good shuttle ‘Fail’ set sail to the far away planet of Dathomir – where Rancors dwell. Indeed if you are in a group with 14 people you can pull rancor missions straight off the terms. They provide between 40 and 50 thousand experience per lair… So, assuming you can kill them reasonably quickly and survive the occasional times where two pop from the lair at once – this can be a nice way to finish off a profession grind.

But I had forgotten the cardinal rule of adventure planets – bring an EXTRA bike.

[sigh]

So I am zooming along the murky twilight – grumbling at the designers of Dath once again for making each and every damnable tree GRAB and HOLD my bike rather than let me bounce merrily along – slowed but not annoyingly halted from moving to whatever waypoint I wish to head towards. The lag seems minimal (notice the word ‘seems’ – it will be important in a moment), and I manage to avoid running over any critters that decide to follow me to the ends of the earth… or so I think.

I get to my destination - the ugly pile of Bantha poo-doo that is a rancor nest and hop off my swoop. I stroll a few steps away from the bike – which rolls and swings as they always do when you hop off them while they are still moving. Not too close to the nest but not so far that I can’t flee to my bike if things become that giant fluff-bunny of fail that often visits me when I put down a craft tool for a weapon of any kind. Think of him as an Easter Bunny with a malicious sense of humor – I know him well.

And then the Bull Rancor that had been stealth chasing me from only the force knows where materializes behind me…. Well, I am in 80% kinetic armor and buffed – a double shot of vasarian brandy had bolstered my confidence and my fingers had firmly gripped my shiny new (and damnably expensive) Vibro Knuckler – so his appearance did not spell imminent death, at least not for me.
Then I was reminded that Bull rancors find the power coupling of a vehicle irresistibly tempting – and as he spread those gigantic limbs wide and chomped I got to witness the beautiful pyrotechnical display that is a swoop going from 2400 hit points to 0.

Somehow destroying the lair was much less fun knowing that I would have to slog on foot the long way back to the safety of the outpost.

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PostSubject: Re: "Voyages of the Inept"   Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:57 am

Quote :
Voyages of the Inept #3 - Surveyors need friends... with guns


Relearning the reason we bring a friend

… as in a fighting profession friend.

Quaker is my surveyor alt. My sons have surveyors and just like on live I tend to “run” the crafting while they fight (and if you have read the other voyages you know it should remain that way). So I have a sort of executive control over their crafters as well… but Quaker is mine – and since I can have two characters on-line Quaker is often called upon to do the dirty little mining jobs for me... long hours – low pay. Thankfully he works really cheap.

So I send Quaker to the places where – once he goes… he won’t be coming back for a while. The first time was to Yavin IV where there was some Perovskitic Aluminum a buddy of mine wanted (and no I CAN’T pronounce that… I can barely TYPE that… but I digress). Luckily there was a really decent spawn next to the outpost.

Since Basilisk had just launched I was dirt poor – not like now where I am … [opens wallet – then closes it real fast … but not before a moth flutters aimlessly away] Okay so things haven’t really changed. So I was ‘sponsored’ to Yavin – which is a fancy way of saying someone ELSE paid the ticket costs.

I open the mineral tool, select the aluminum, and hit the survey button. Queue pretty colored animation and sure enough there is a really nice spawn just outside the electrified fence. Well I can SEE the waypoint – I mean it is RIGHT THERE! – so I walk over to it.

Tight quarters in outpost cloning stations – always hated the number of turns and twists. And even though I have my frequent flyer card I still get lost pretty often in there. So I make it back to the clean Yavinian air and things haven’t changed much as I watch that pair of wings with teeth hack into what remains of my corpse – then calmly flap - hovering over the spot. Blood sinks into the dirt – with a few speckles on the concrete of the outpost pad.

Yeah – concentration is just fine in the out post … so I go over to the wall. I mean sure I will pull less but this CDEF pistol isn’t going to do much more than provide a pulsed laser guide to my location for that thing – so I leave it in my holster.

(Geek note – for a surveyor it is roughly 1k per percentage point so I was talking 10% or 10k a day.. more actually since sampling has been slowed since Basilisk launch)

Well I hit the sample button and kneel. The ground hisses and bubbles as the hand sampler does it’s job. Looks like it is time for a sandwi…

I don’t get lost this time as I make my way out of the clone station – and I stand there well away from that toothy flapping piece of computer generated such-and-such … okay genius what now? It isn’t like I can call for help … well, looks like its burst run time. So I run along the OTHER wall far away from my well fed new friend and manage to get to the bloody spot where all this started. I edge back towards it, imagine “Here kitty kitty kitty” floating through the crisp Yavinian stillness until the moment of adrenaline – I smack the burst run key and high tail it out the gate jogging to the left and running off into the thick bushes. I am reminded of the raptor sequence in Jurassic Park where all you see are the bushes rapidly moving amid the bone snapping crunching noises.

I don’t even bump into the walls as I leave the cloning station this time. And with no other critters around I can walk to where the OTHER samplers are operating – and start to work. I target them all and sure enough they all have those telltale black spaces. Welcome to the ‘adventure’ on Yavin IV. I get waves from miners with bandaged hands and partially healed facial scars... who says mining is safe work???

Surely I have learned my lesson no?

Well, the good ship fail has plenty of seats good friends – and repeat sailors get a discount – as honorary captain I sail for FREE. There’s even talk of an endorsement deal.

Fast forward to this week – Dantooine berry fruit which means I am going to?

You sir who said “THE BAZAAR!” get half credit for saying what I SHOULD have done… but no – Quaker gets to go to dant. This time he is well equipped with multiple swoops. I fly out into the wilds dodging the worst of the red triangles on the overhead map – and manage to make it to a quaint little town where I pick up the scent of a really nice spawn. Right outside town… nothing really between me and that juicy 70% … so I hit the accelerator and zoom off. I put the bike away since I dislike the clutter and the ambient noise of a bike – and hit the sample button. Is that a GRAUL MAULER …?

With player cities it is harder to select the proper clone station. It's like adding new items to McDonald's ... you think about it for a very long time - and then order the same thing you always get.

Without too many details of the repeats - Todays moral has to be: Surveyors need friends with combat skills.

I didn't bring one.

I should have.

But .... no - I didn't.

I left Dant when I didn't have enough action bar remaining to run my surveying tool...and I stat migrated to MAX Action! (you do the math on that one) Each and every decent spawn seems to have it's very own mauler guard squad... and I think I found most of them.

Zatt signing off.
Honorary Captain of the good ship Fail

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PostSubject: Re: "Voyages of the Inept"   Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:08 am

Quote :
Voyages of the Inept #4 - In or out of the game, the voyage continues!



In or out of the EMU the Voyages continue!

Yes, you have done it – you have played exactly too long. You know when that is because there are signs all around you. If you are a crafter there are scribbled notes (mostly illegible) of calculations, waypoints, player names (in and out of game). Fighters have different sorts of notes – but my fighter notes usually consist of what creature is EASY to kill rather than drops good loot… and in either case they are buried under a sea of papers, plates, glasses, and empty wrappers or bags where you tried to sustain yourself after your loved ones stopped bringing you food.

And they only stopped bringing you food because (a) they are attempting to draw you away from the game, (b) your lack of hygiene repelled them, or (c) people are calling the house worried that you are being held against your will.

Fortunately – the EMU is not entirely stable… and rarely gives this sort of … immersive opportunity.

So you stopped playing and now you try to get out of the chair, which your body has (unsuccessfully) tried to mimic the shape of – and the pain you suffer is proportional to your age. For you younger folks think of it like a 99% resource spawn. Your PAIN Base Extraction Rate is a rather complex formula (See the notes section below) – so If you are at a BER of 5 no big deal – but by the time you hit a BER of 85? Yeah it’s time to call it a day.

Other reasons to stop include going to the bathroom (unless you practice some truck driving techniques which I beg you NEVER tell me about), hunger, power outage, natural disaster, work (which may actually go under natural disaster now that I think about it), school, and pet care (Children fall under pet care for some – others simply figure ignoring them teaches them self-reliance).

My favorite moment in child care was during a weekly raid (in another MMO that must not be named). We used teamspeak, and one of our Mom players had unruly young ones. Every time she hit the PTT (push-to-talk) key there was always some sort of noise going on. In the 2 seconds we heard it always sounded like they were killing each other. We were just getting ready for a hard pull when she, as often happened, said, “Be right back – 2 minutes.”

In the silence as we waited one of our more comedic members offered, “Be right back my son just stabbed his sister in the back with a steak knife … 2 minutes.” We were almost ready to go on by the time she came back.

The server downtime has allowed me to keep my desk neater, and I hardly ever hear, “Are you on THAT DAMNED GAME? these days. Yes, I pull wife aggro if I play too much – which is to say I live in a state of wife aggro. As an aside I love the game Farmville (yes I know – THE HORROR!!!)

But before you flee let me explain!

My wife has complained over our obsession with gaming. Dinner on certain nights will include the phrase, “MOM! Hello? It’s RAID night!??”
So imagine the delight of the car as we are all headed out for a meal and my wife says, “We have to be home by 9:30”

Group question mark follows.

“Well... My crops...”

I had to pull over.

Now - because all of my voyages have a lesson...

The MORAL of the story is:

Take a break - My wife's physical therapist once said, "I tell all my grandparents to play with their grandchildren for 15 minutes every day. If they did that they probably wouldn't need me."

See the sky - live, love, and get a little happiness... Then get the heck back in here cause we need to play dammit!

Pain BER formula Notes: The exact relationships are still being worked – but the major factors are:
Age
Injury
Illness
Hours1 playing without a break
Hours2 since you last slept
Hours3 since you last ate
Hours4 sleep deprivation quotient (sleep you normally need/sleep you got last)


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PostSubject: Re: "Voyages of the Inept"   Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:11 am

Quote :
Voyages of the Inept #5 - The Bane of Surveyors is…

Voyages of the Inept #5

The Bane of Surveyors is…

As Yoda might have said, “Many enemies to the weakling surveyor there are.”

My surveyors are the source of sustenance for creatures galaxy wide – so in a way I am an environmentally friendly strip miner. If chicks dig scars then Quaker is positively irresistible by now.
And it is Quaker who runs into trouble once again – since he is directed by yours truly “honorary” fail Captain Zatt. My Guild leader wanted the new Ditanium Steel and a beautiful spawn of it exists right on the edge of town.

Some of you who have read my other voyages know I cannot resist nudging Quaker out past the wire for that extra few units – but I do feel bad when Quaker gets eaten because of my greed. Really. Mostly because in the time he clones and gets back to sampling I could have had a few more units – but nevertheless I feel bad for the guy.

Where was I? Oh yes, Quaker – edge of town – nice spawn of steel. Not a critter in sight. Got it.

I hop over to Risso, my TKM, whom I buff and send on lovely missions for money (plus I am finishing a "few" skills in his template (like HALF) and don’t feel like shuttling back and forth from DATH to get training when I have trainers IN Halcyon). In fact my neighbors over in Gorath have a mission term about 1300 meters from our mission term – so when I take 1100 meter mission North I finish nearly at their mission term where I take 1100 meter missions South.

Glorious!

Mission responsibly near towns – don’t leave stragglers who will EAT citizens it annoys everyone!

There I am zooming back and forth and I amuse myself by actually buzzing OVER Quaker sampling his little Rodian fingers off (Bless you my little antennae’d friend) - and you know when you get missions that spawn right NEXT to one another? Like 50m apart next to one another? Yeah I got two sets of those in a row. It is the little things that make you happy isn’t it?

So life is grand… until…

Well the next set of missions are a bit further apart. I have capped my XP and I am just finishing off my buffs before I go get those skills trained. And, as you know once you have met the immediate goal – you start to do things a bit differently. Usually I spin attack the lair and take out 90% of the critters. Low level hide is great for Architect furniture and grinding lots of things … so I just skin as much as I can before everything despawns. Leveling swordsman I then jog over to the one or two stragglers and whack them about the face and neck with an axe – then switch to TK and kill them (cause I can get 200 xp in 4 seconds - or I can spend like 5 minutes with that slow axe to get all 2k… hmm yeah I am taking the 400xp and moving to the next mission).

I tell you this because I was doing a desert squills and I didn’t bother with the stragglers cause I didn’t need any more XP. And I mount my swoop – but then I think… those are desert squills that means their gonna aggro somebody and follow them all the way to Bestine. But I am also lazy, so I just float past them and pick up aggro.

And sure enough they start shadowing me – which means when I stop at mission number two they’ll catch me and I’ll mop them up when I spin the lair. Beautiful. I head to the initial estimated waypoint and get ready for that snap turn that you have to do on a swoop when the actual spawn point updates. I execute the rapid turn perfect and swing that swoop right at the lair. I am awesome! Then run right over Quaker.

Oh look ...good ol’ Quaker…

...

...

uh... something not...right about... that...

...

I manage to get off the bike and back to Quaker right about the time the two squills show up. Apparently Rodians taste better than Trandoshans because they went right for him. This little Rodian legs flip up in the air and he incaps into a pile of Tattooine dust. I avenge his maiming and as is my tradition SKIN them so I can warm Quaker’s feet in front of the clothing and armor station he uses. Although it is getting rather crowded in front of the station…

I switch to Quaker … dead. Of course. Go through the whole get back to the spawn routine – switch to Risso and go off to do that last mission… Banthas. LOTS of hide on banthas – so I spin down the lair and nearly incap myself because I didn’t notice my entertainer buffs had dropped. A quick shot of brandy and a quick clearing of the combat queue followed by some quick finishes on the critically injured and I manage to pull it out.

Here’s a question… Do I turn Risso in for griefing Quaker?

Yours in Failure

Zatt



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PostSubject: Re: "Voyages of the Inept"   Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:15 am

Quote :
Voyages of the Inept #6 – I even fail at failing.




Voyages of the Inept #6 – I even fail at failing.

Not a lot of fails happening that are worthy of sharing – so yes I, your ‘honorary’ captain of the good ship fail, can fail at failing.

So, I am off on my combat toon – wondering if some malicious gremlin somewhere has an alarm [he got buffed, he bought the ticket, he took the shuttle, yes yes yes… he is at the mission term…. And…and…. Wait for it …. CRASH the server]

Sitting at my desk there is not a scream of anguish – merely a resigned head drop and a muttered, “Of course you would.” And I can imagine the evil chuckles of gremlins way off in the distance – in a non-extradition country where I cannot get to them…ever.

And so I move along to other matters – checking back like an addict calling his dealer – to no avail. Finally, real life insists I leave my cave [yes you can picture a big fat crippled scarred and old – don’t forget OLD - bear… an ugly one … shambling from his den to blink at the sky] and of course I have the app for my phone…. And yes I check it while I am out of the house, don’t you?

I check the server status while I am doing all the necessary things I have to do to survive my next SWGEMU hibernation cycle. I do NOT mean food as such – I mean anything and everything that lessens the likelihood that my wife will murder me in my sleep… but I digress.

And, again the bas***d gremlin knows – he knows I am telling you! – without fail right as I am committed to a path that will take me as far away from access to the game as possible – THAT is when the app goes green and the server is back up.

I have to revisit the last time I was on Dath – doing mission pairs for XP, cash, and Rancor loot. I would try for nightsisters – but I can’t compete with the campers out that way – so rancor loot it will have to be (I do swing out and check, I mean you never know I could get lucky… even an expert of fail can get lucky). And on returning to the outpost and swinging the swoop next to the mission term I start the process to get the next pair. I think to myself – my kingdom for a filter! – not for the first or last time…

Over the concrete wall out of the rainy gloom lumbers a rancor…yes, a bull rancor… of course.
No I didn’t see him aggro me.
No he wasn’t following me on my radar or overhead map.
And no I didn’t put away my bike (but I do have spares).

I have just enough time to store my bike before he attacks.

However… the guy NEXT to me didn’t see it coming…

Well, he isn’t happy with me … and he tells me so in succinct but less than cordial terms.

And I was going to offer to replace his bike – which was the only ‘virtual’ harm done…. But calling me names ended my impulses of good will and I didn’t. Fortunately he is not at a “stalker” level of anger and he doesn’t follow me around or send half a dozen tells questioning my parentage and so forth. We went on with the game… Other than his rather understandable outburst – he did what any decent SWG player would do.

I feel bad about that – not so much the accidental rancor drag – that I couldn’t have prevented regardless of what my angry neighbor at the time would suggest. I feel bad about not giving the guy a replacement bike. I don’t enjoy situations that ‘require’ me to injure someone else… (PvP for example) and when I accidentally do it? The same. Well, as you know all my fails have lessons learned to them – this one has two for me.

First, when missioning I pause for a 10 count (out of combat range) – so when I get jumped I can deal with the beast without endangering others.
Second, I need to work on doing what is proper even when the other guy is acting poorly.
And – if you read this my angry friend… I owe you a bike.

That story only has maybe two chuckles in it – so I have to add a bit.
I tend to craft while I am off surveying. Quaker you see wants to move on from mining apparently he wants more out of life than running a survey tool and getting eaten by whatever hungry animal likes the taste of Rodian.

So, he wipes the mineral dust from his hands and halls out his craft tools – ones that he snuck out of the company office last time he was dropping of his quota of ore – and gets to work. Concentrating on the work helps him ignore the other surveyors. Some of them are okay, but there are a few that have issues. There is the wookie over there with eczema who keeps scratching himself – and a pair of fellow rodians who can’t stop blinking for some reason. Surveyors have their share of ill-mannered slobs who fart, randomly talk to themselves, and generally make you wish the Empire would look the other way when you shot them.

There is a lot of screen clutter when crafting in a group like that. So it is easy to see that I would tune out some of the messages that pop up endlessly as I craft. The last time Quaker was in town – before being assigned to Endor for a load of aluminum – he trained everything he could. He is capped again, but won’t be able to train until the aluminum vein he is working goes cold.

Like many crafters I like to clear my inventory of resources that appear in the craft window. I leave only the grinding quality crap in my main view. I usually set the XP progress bar to the skill I am working on – though at times the slow progress of that line of little yellow dots can drive you mad… having the bar turn green is always a little moment of happiness.

This fail is what taught me to split one resource to exactly what I need to grind – and put the extra in my pack. Back on live I had scratched my way to a nice stack of resource… this is back when I didn’t even know there WAS an XP cap. And I sat there doggedly crafting away – with the wrong skill in my XP meter window. Grinding several thousand units of resources after I had capped. I remember thinking to myself – “dang that bar doesn’t look like it has even moved…”

It hadn’t – since it was displaying how much pistol XP I had… sigh.

Ah yes crafter fail classics –

Forgetting to put maintenance or power in a factory – cranking it up for a thousand run only to come back and find it made SIX items rather than the thousand you were counting on…
Putting the last power/cash you had on the wrong harv…
Grinding all the way to master something and then finding out other crafters are paying 50 cpu for what you just had 300k of … this just hurts all the way to your soul.
Dropping a structure with the door facing the wrong way- so you pick it up… then place it again paying close attention to the door… then the structure materializes… with the door facing the wrong way…
Spending millions on experimentation CA/AAs for your profession – then putting two “tapes” in the same piece of clothing.
You go to your factory to get all your components – then go all the way back to your house to craft – and you forgot one.
Related is going all the way out to the hinterlands to put money/power on your harvs and realize you forgot the power/didn’t withdraw your money from the bank.

Ever Yours in Fail,
Zatt

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