Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rollercoaster! ...of Noob

You've got The Ohio Players playing right now in your head, don't you? Or perhaps the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Song's gon' be stuck in your head allllll day.

Your noob is like a rollercoaster baby, baby. I wanna ride.

Seriously though, being a noob again in SW:TOR reminds me how many ups and downs there are early in a game. Everything from the content, to the stats, to the general chat is completely variable. Lately, the track that I've been most concerned with is the playstyle coaster.

I've done my research. I think I understand my class. I think my spec is solid. I'm pretty sure I'm pushing the right buttons. But the results I get seem to vary widely on any given night.

Some nights, I feel like a complete badass. I'm spinning my saber around, decapitating players and npc's alike with impunity. I am... The Galaxy's Most Interesting Jedi.

Other nights, I'm tissue paper. I'm a red shirt in Star Trek pretending to be a Jedi (in Star Wars). I'm a hamster in a wheel. My health bar seems to have sprung a leak, and my lightsaber is shorting out. My inability to cause damage is only eclipsed by the massive damage others are inflicting on me.

The crappy nights inevitably send me to the interwebs. I scamper around trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong. And quickly I realize...

There is no Elitist Jerks forum. At least not yet. Torhead doesn't have years of comments to browse. Every piece of info I can find is contradicted immediately somewhere else. I look for a simulation for my class... is there even a simulator?

TOR is a new game. WoW is old. The information available on each is far different. After a lot of browsing, I'm pretty confident again. I'm stacking the right stats and pressing the right buttons. Just must have been an off night. I guess that explains the terrible clanking: the lift chain is bringing me up to the next peak.


  1. looks to be the EJ of The Old Republic.

    The simulators and theorycrafters are in full swing. Some of their tricks are amusing. The current DPS meter involves finding a specific world boss, attacking for two minutes, then dividing the boss change in health by 120 seconds.

  2. So here's the thing: I do a Google search for "Affliction Warlock Stats" and EJ is the second entry (I'm the third, go me!). I do the same for "Balance Shadow Stats" and I get non-TOR things for the first few. Then me... and well, I don't help myself. I tack on a "SWTOR" and it starts looking better, but none on the first page are the sithwarrior site you mention.

    The point is just that a site with the reputation of EJ has yet to establish itself (incidentally, thanks for passing the site on, as reputations have to be built somehow, right?). I'm sure the information is out there or someone is trying to get it out there... it's just not as easy to find and not as consistent from site to site. It reminds me of the early days of WoW blogging, before I jumped in. You had to be very careful about where you were getting your info, and even then you needed to play-test it.

    It's funny about how the lack of a meter effects me too. I'm not really lost without it or anything, but it did provide a useful objective gauge. I'm not sure if the upsides outweigh the cost to the "fun" of the game though. To me, this up and down relationship is part of the noob adventure... which is not all bad.

  3. (Note: Got this comment via email and wanted to share it. Also, if anyone else is experiencing the same comment problem, let me know. It seems fine to me and hopefully it was just a one-off error or something.)

    Hey ... trying to comment on the page, but the box wherein normally the comment-entering widgets would be instead has ... a copy of the whole webpage. Not sure if it's just me or what, but I couldn't reply in the appropriate way.

    I completely identify with the "I RAWK!!!! No, wait ... I suck" variance in the game, but in my case it swings rather faster as sometimes I can blaze through an elite with two regular adds without stress, and other times I'm blowing all my cooldowns and a medpack just to kill one strong. I really wish there was a combat log.

    I also wanted to second the vote for as it looks to have a pretty solid theorycrafting community building up. I am most familiar with the Jedi Consular and Bounty Hunter tanking sections, as those are the two classes I'm most actively working on at the moment. The reasoning appears to be solid, the math isn't obviously broken, and we have spreadsheets and graphs.

    Also from there I found a pointer to a fork of SimulationCraft:

    So far the only classes implemented are Jedi Consular Sage / Sith Inquisitor Sorcerer, but I suspect that won't be the case for long. I have put "contribute Jedi Consular Kinetic Combat and Bounty Hunter ShieldTech" on my to-do list, but I have no prediction as to how long before I can check that one off. I haven't even started yet, so it's unlikely to be this week.

  4. Some more info on the comment issue... it appears to affect Google Chrome with a certain addon:

    I did a little more experimentation, and it appears that DoNotTrackPlus is the culprit. If I turn it off (to allow all the various tracking mechanisms free rein), then it appears correctly. If I turn it back on (blocking tracking mechanisms), then I get the "webpage copy in a box" behavior. I don't really have enough interest to track down exactly what about it is causing it, but at least now I know what to try before going to email if it happens again.

  5. There is a theorycrafter forum actually. And it has been in place for a few months, with it's roots in early beta TOR. (and when I mean early, i mean first wave of invites early) it's actually Like it's name it does have a slant towards empire side, but the information there is still relevant, particularly when the classes are mirrored on both sides

  6. Right. I checked it out after one of the comments above. It's pretty solid, but not quite as good as EJ yet. A lot of that has to do with the lack of damage meter I think. I liked seeing graphs and stuff for a whole bunch of different playtypes...and then testing things. Builds confidence, you know?

  7. For the Do Not Track Plus, the element is Google Friend Connect. If you enable that in your Do Not Track Plus, you can comment once again.