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15 January 2012 7 Comments

Meet the Team

You know, I’ve been so busy a) making Google Docs spreadsheets (it’s a compulsion, I tell you!) and b) actually playing the game, that I haven’t actually talked about what I’m playing! Let’s rectify that.

Major Siha Yliani, Trooper Siha here is my main; she’s a Commando, currently specced into Combat Medic. Which was inevitable, really; heavily-armored healers seem to be my thing. And beyond that, I love military sci-fi, and the female trooper is voiced by Jennifer Hale. How could any other class compete?

Siha’s currently sitting at level 46 – I’ve been stopping to smell every flower I can find, and I’ve been further slowed by a deluge of RL stuff – and I’m ambivalent about the light at the end of the tunnel. On the one hand, I’m looking forward to what level 50 has to offer; on the other hand, I don’t want Siha’s class story to finish! I’m really, really loving the Trooper class storyline. I haven’t experienced much of the other classes yet, though they do seem fun from what I’ve played so far, but Trooper is just great. It grabs you and gives you a reason to get really invested right from the start, and just doesn’t let up.

 

And here’s the rest of the team:

Zushan, Jedi Shadow Zushan is my Jedi Shadow. She’s young and passionate and generally a good person, even if she finds the Jedi Code a bit of a challenge at times.

 

Tineru, Jedi Guardian Tineru is my Jedi Knight, and I’m currently torn between Sentinel or DPS-specced Guardian for her advanced class, though I’m leaning towards the latter. She’s peaceful and calm where Zushan is headstrong, but I don’t have a clear sense of her personality yet, so she’ll be sitting on the backburner for a bit yet.

 

Captain Anaxa, Gunslinger And Anaxa is my Gunslinger; she’s very much a reluctant hero – she’d prefer to avoid getting involved in the Republic’s fight, but she just can’t help getting invested…

 

Of course, all the other Advanced Classes look like oodles of fun as well, and in some cases (notably Sage and Scoundrel) they seem radically different from the other AC available to the class, so I’ll definitely be trying out everything in the long run. I was a bit put off by the duplication, though — not the class-quest duplication, as let’s face it, I’ve been playing other MMOs for a decade and I’m used to doing the same thing over and over again. No, what I found offputting was the idea of trying to differentiate my second AC from the first one on a character basis, short of having one Light and one Dark side in every class pairing (which felt a bit artificial). I’ve found the combination of voiceovers, animated quest dialogues, and quest choices to be immersive enough that my characters are distinct, to me, and a second one of any class risks feeling very much like a retread.

Then I hit on the solution: my second character for each class will be male! This means the voice acting will be totally different, and they’ll have different romance options and thus different relationships with their companions. Because Jennifer Hale’s voice acting might be awesome, but listening to it for another fifty levels would just make my second trooper feel like a pale copy of the first, instead of a cool character in their own right. This way I can have my cake and eat it too.

7 Responses to “Meet the Team”

  1. Rohan 15 January 2012 at 10:12 #

    What about going to the Empire for the other half?

    The stories will be very different, and the Empire is an extremely interesting society.

    Light-side Imperial Agent, where you are Light Side for the greater good of the Empire, is an amazing storyline.

    • Siha 16 January 2012 at 14:07 #

      Yeah, I’ll be doing all the Imperial classes as well, on another server. Pretty much everything looks really fun and appealing!

      And yeah, I did a LS IA in beta – it was really interesting, because she was slowly slipping to the dark side because of the decisions she was obligated to make, but it was a slow and gradual slide. The road to hell really is paved with good intentions.

  2. Aufero 16 January 2012 at 02:36 #

    I knew as soon as I heard that both Jennifer Hale and Brian Bloom were doing voice work for the class that I was going to end up playing two Troopers. Fortunately, Commando and Vanguard have different enough playstyles that I’m enjoying both of them.

    • Siha 16 January 2012 at 14:08 #

      I’m actually not familiar with Brian Bloom’s work – I should rectify that!

  3. Shintar 20 January 2012 at 11:25 #

    I’m considering rolling some male characters for the voice variety as well… and the male trooper has the same voice as Varric from Dragon Age 2 if you’ve played that. :)

  4. Agathorn 19 February 2012 at 00:54 #

    How the heck are your screenshots here so high quality? What did you do to make the game look like this?!

    • Siha 19 February 2012 at 02:52 #

      Well, for starters there are three occasions (that I know of) where the game renders your character in high quality: during character generation, on the character selection screen, and in game in cutscenes. So I try to take all my character screenshots in one of those three scenarios.

      Then I tweak them a bit in Photoshop. To start with, I edit out any annoying stuff in the background – text from the dialogue wheel, distracting textures, whatever – using layer masks, content-aware fill and the clone tool. If it’s an image taken before anti-aliasing, I’ll duplicate the base layer and gaussian blur it, then drop the opacity, to smooth out the jaggies. Then I’ll fiddle with the overall image.

      Most of the time, I duplicate the character image layer a couple of times, and set the duplicates to Overlay and Screen at various opacities, to add more vibrancy and contrast. I’ll also add a black-to-white Gradient Map layer on Overlay at around 20% which darkens the shadows a bit and brightens the highlights.

      If necessary, I’ll also add a Photo Filter layer or Selective Color layer to tweak the color balance a bit, although I didn’t have to do that with any of these.

      TL:DR version: I take the screenshots in cutscenes or on the character select screen, and then spiffy them up in Photoshop.


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