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Slouching Across the Galaxy;
a casual (beta) playerís adventures in slacking.

This game blog was originally posted on the SWG beta website typically a day or two after the dates listed in each entry. With the lifting of NDA it appeared on the public SWG site as well. Many of the problems I ran into were fixed soon afterward, basically if I found them, then a bajillion others already had.

At the time I thought I was playing fairly casually, and wanted to see what it was like playing with a very limited amout of time rather than catassing the game.

June 7th Happy Birthday
June 8th Down and out in Coronet City
June 8th Devito, Feeb Devito, Bail Bondsman
June 8th Iím the Shiznik
June 9th Useless Strikes Back
June 10th Useless and Feeb; some quality bonding time
June 10th Iím a damned liar
June 11th Please please please please please
June 11th Short takes
June 11th Meet local girls in your area (or not)
June 11th Useless rules
June 12th How much for the little girl?
June 13th Will you do it for a Scooby snack?
June 13th Lost luggage and lost souls, thatís why I loath bus stations.
June 14th This unitís got a bad motivator
June 15th Hot patootie, bless my soul! I really love that rock n' roll!
June 15th They donít pay bills in Russia, itís all free.
June 16th My birthday is April 10, 2017. How long do I live?
June 18th My prediction? Pain!
June 19th Daylight. When was the last time you remember seeing it?
June 21st Iím invisible! Can you see me?
June 24th I won't cry for the dead! I won't! Well, maybe a little...
but I will staunch the tears with righteous fury!

Happy Birthday
Saturday night (Sunday morning) June 7th - 1:15am to 2:10am

School and work have been kicking my keister, eating up all my gaming time. At most I have an hour a day usually to play games. Since Iíve been hearing so much about SWGís ability to play in short sessions, and since I havenít been able to play in several months with any consistency, I thought Iíd put it to the test for casual game play.

In order to play as a casual gamer might, I purposefully decide not to read the manual or bone up on any of the online guides. Also since Iím hoping my wife might want to join me in this game Iím going to try playing, as she might, with no combat whatsoever. Armed with ignorance and sloth I decide to put the game to the casual carebear test.

Having just finished taping an event for a school project I get home and even though itís late decide to try SWG out for a half hour or so before bed.

A little time is spent getting my persona just so. Feeb Devito is a balding, short, overweight human slacker artesian that has designs on being a chef and never firing a single shot during his lifetime. Looking through the list of start locations I settle on Correllia, Coronet City. Since Tattoine and Naboo are the only planets I have ever seen, Corellia should be a refreshing change of pace.

A short pause I arrive in Coronet City. First thing noticed are the tall buildings, I never saw anything like these in Bestine. Also paved streets and ornate fences. Just seconds on this new planet and it already has a look and feel that is much different than Tattoine. The city is big, freaking big, bigger than anything Iíve been to yet. For whatever reason I decide to train in scout losing 2/5th of my starting cash. Down to 150 credits itís time Feeb started looking for some scratch.

After checking the schematics in the crafting tool I choose making some Bofa Treats as my first goal. I spend a monotonous 15 minutes wandering around with the surveying tool sampling a unit of wheat at a time until I have enough cereals to make 3 treats. Pounding these out is pretty easy. They even have buffs, maybe someone will actually want to buy them. I wander around looking for a Bazaar and log in.

The first thing I notice about the Bazaar is that everything is expensive. People want thousands of credits for dresses and armor. Food and resources are expensive too, almost everything is way more than I can afford. I offer up my Bofa Treats for 5 credits apiece, instant action, hoping the low price will ensure they get purchased. Then since Iíll never be using this junk I offer up my blaster and survival knife as well. Then I notice. Iím out of cash. Little did I realize, since there were no warnings, at least that I noticed, each auction costs 25 credits to post. Iím now dead broke.

A bit disappointed that the game is ending like this I log off for the night.

Overall a negative experience for the evening. Ending the night with no cash plain sucked. Granted I should have been watching my finances, but it was just so easy to start auction after auction. A simple warning the first time would have been nice. This one event outweighed all the cool things that happened, like noticing Wookiees speak gibberish, seeing tall buildings and paved streets, and my first food crafting successes.

55 minutes - Bad experience

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Down and out in Coronet City
Sunday morning June 8th - 10:10am to 10:40am

After clawing my way out of bed I find myself trudging around the house trying to wake up. I stagger in and out of the shower leaving a trail of water as wander in a robot like stupor around my home. No sense in jumping straight into home work like this, Iíll kill a half hour while scarfing down soggy cereal playing SWG.

Logging in I find I have some cash. Woohoo! My instant auctions all went through and while I only have 40 credits, at least its something. I check the Bazaar and wonder if maybe there is no charge to do a regular auction. I lose a melon and another 25 credits. Doh!

While poking around in the Bazaar I notice that there are fishing poles. Throwing caution to the wind I buy one in an instant sale for 10 credits and am left with 5 credits. Happy I have a pole I rush off to find some body of water to fish in. Not entirely sure what to do I equip the pole then double click on a small pond I find in a park inside Coronet City. "You must bait your fishing pole first." Is the message I receive. Drat! I run back to the bazaar and look for bait. Going price for insect bait? 1000 credits. Grinding my teeth to nubs I decide this fishing pole is now my badge of honor, I shall sport this pole wherever I go henceforth! As my name is Feeb, so too shall this pole see the hind end of the universe with me!

Then I get a clever idea. Well not really, but it feels clever for all of one second. I remember seeing a Forage skill somewhere. Searching through all the pages I can click on I find it as a skill for scouts. Sweet! Good thing I picked up scout as a skill. But alas I cannot figure out how to fire off the forage skill. After some asking around and proving beyond any doubt that I can live up to my namesake it is explained that I can use a slash command. Fair enough, I try /forage. Failure. I need to get the next level of scout for this skill to come to play. Some curses, gnashing of teeth, and wailing later I accept the fact. No bait, no forage, no fishing.

I stumble across a Junk Buyer and another clever idea occurs to me. Donít worry this one meets with the same fate as the previous one. Iíll sell all the gear I am not using to the junk vendor. Even if I only get a credit or 2 per item itís still a little more cash than I have right now. I gotta make 25 at least to put my future Bofa Treats up for sale after all. So I strike up a conversation with the junk dealer, and try as I might, I canít get her to pay one rusty credit for my bruised fruits and stale bread. I try everything. Sell Junk. Drag items from inventory onto her. Beg. Plead. Curse. None of it seems to be getting anywhere. Sobbing I leave. Sucking down my bottle of nectar and praying its alcoholic Iíve got to find a way to cough of some moolah. With little save 5 measly credits crash to desktop ending my session.

This was a neutral experience. While I didnít accomplish anything nothing went horribly wrong, except the crash, which turned out to be a good thing since I did need to start on homework today. Lack of an explanation on Junk Vendors didnít help (I went straight to the Help/Holocron for any info I could find which was none) my situation. I still have no idea what a Junk Vendor buys or how they might be useful at all. Iíll figure fishing out eventually, I hope, the lack of cash to buy bait, and not being able to scare some bait of my own up is frustrating, but not a bad experience per se. A chapter in the Holocron would be nice. The good experiences were that everything seemed to be working smoothly.

30 minutes - Neutral experience making me receptive to playing some more.

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Devito, Feeb Devito, Bail Bondsman
Sunday evening June 8th - 5:05pm to 6:20pm

After finishing a huge school project I decide to sneak a half hour of gameplay in before dinner. This will be my second session of the day, donít know if that still qualifies as casual play, but Iíll stick by my self proclaimed title for now.

I know. I only meant to play for a half hour, but I got sucked in. My goal was to play around with crafting, and see how difficult being a chef was. One achievement later I was a ravenous fiend desperate to make another Bofa Treat the same way a junkie just out of rehab needs his next fix.

It starts with me standing there, 5 credits in one hand, my fishing pole in the other. From now on Iím going to keep this pole equipped, running around the planet armed only with a fishing pole. As my standard I decide it needs a name, Bilbo had Sting, Arthur had Excaliber, Sigfried had Roy, you get the idea. The obvious ones are the tackiest, I could go with Rod or Shaft but decide against it. Since I canít really do anything with the thing I settle on Useless. Armed with 5 credits and my fishing pole Useless I prepare to but heads with the galaxy.

I spend the first twenty minutes surveying and gathering wild wheat up. A little boring but not terrible. The survey tool is easy to figure out. The initial range question is odd since I can only choose one. Why not just be a default? So I collect tons of wheat and then set to making Bofa Treats. These are easy since they need Cereal and Organics. Wheat of course counts as both, so I only need it to start pounding out tasty little treats. Spiced Tea and the other food require several different components which sounds more complicated than I really want to deal with. After gathering up bunches of wheat Iím rewarded with some theme music and the message that I qualify for a new skill. Sweet! Even slacking Iím rocking this gameís world. Its my bizatch.

Or not. After a trip back to the starting location where all the entry-level trainers are I find out I need 1000 credits to train up to Survey 2. 1000 credits? Iíve never seen scratch like that before. Since I desperately want to improve my survey skills (hey itís nearly the only thing that Iíve done successfully so far) I decide to make the ultimate sacrifice. Iíll get a job.

A stagger later and I find a mission terminal. Checking the missions I see some stuff about killing wild critter, butterflies or rats or something. Sounds too dangerous for a guy with no blaster, I hit the delivery tab. Sweet Molly! Thereís jobs in there that net thousands of credits! I grab one and set off. I find the guy I need to talk to and he gives me some yada yada about taking some schematics yada to some guy yada. Yeah, yeah, eager for credits I set off again. I take a peak at the planetary map and discover the end point is over at Verini Island. Cripes! Itís half way across the freaking planet. Iím pretty sure 5 credits wonít get me a shuttle ride over there, but I check anyway. I try bumming the 120 credits needed for a shuttle flight but nobodyís buy the sick granny routine. Shrewd lot these players. Uhhg! Iíll have to see about maybe a crummier job.

The mission terminal spits out another deliver job this one paying 100 credits. I accept it and am glad I can take some moonlighting work. This one is a summons to court. Worried that there might be some violence involved I clutch Useless tightly as I deliver the notice. Expecting to get pasted in the chops Iím actually surprised when I get my 100 credits. Heck that was easy enough, even though I loathe the thought of having to work I grab a few more delivery missions. Taking the lowest paying jobs ensures I donít have to leave the city. Soon enough I got the dough needed for that shuttle ride.

Thereís a 7 minute wait for departure, so I indulge my true SWG love just around the corner, the Bazaar. I pawn off a bunch of Bofa Treats at varying instant prices to test the market waters out. Now Iím clever enough to charge the service fee and a little extra so Iím not just giving this stuff away.

Verini Island proves to be some little tourist joint. I deliver my final summons now and get my 1000 credits. Payoff! WooHoo! I look around the poodunk tourist trap and catch another shuttle home, Coronet City. Logging out on arrival I end the night with a whopping 810 credits. My first taste of success.

Although the shuttle wait was painfully long, the bazaar terminal next to the pad helped kill some of the time. My big payoff made me feel I had actually accomplished something. I could feel that next skill right around the corner. I wanted to play more but by this time my wife was radiating waves of pure ice, hungry and eager to eat she wasnít bemused watching a grown man giggle like a little girl at getting a handful of imaginary money. I want to get that skill increase, canít explain why, just wanna.

75 minutes - Good experience, eager to play a little more for that skill increase.

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Iím the Shiznik
Sunday night June 8th - 11:20pm to 11:55pm

Talk about loser, all I been thinking about for hours is getting that dang skill increase. "And so yesterday Gina tells me this bla bla bla credit card payment bla bla bla movie on TV bla bla." I can sort of hear my wife talking through dinner, but not really. I keep drifting off to a world where my survey skill are l33t and I uncover piles of gold bullion, Boba Fett armor and my own Death Star while foraging for wheat. Survey 2 here I come. Except for that pile of freaking homework that jumps me when I finally break free from the missus. Finally I finish just about everything I can for the day (hey its freaking 11:20 way too late to start in on another project) and decide to grab a quick session of SWG. I have to be up at 5am for work but a little loss of sleep never killed me. And if done properly they can add up with near magical hallucinogenic powers, trying getting 5 total hours of sleep over the course of a week and tell me you didnít see the Leprechauns.

And yes I know three sessions in one day probably isnít very casual.

Boy oh boy! Time to rule the universe. My very first skill increase.

Which of course gets shrugged off by the trainer. Iíve only got 810 credits. Thatís 190 short of training. After announcing to everyone what a poor feeble ghetto loser I am, I shrink away from the trainer and have to once again shudder find some work.

A couple more summons to court deliveries later and I got my 1000 credits. Iím surprised the NPCs donít shudder in fear when they see me, and my trusty fishing pole, come running along. Arenít they aware I bring nothing but bad news? Court summons, possibly some jail time and torture as well? Not my problem to worry about, as I give some destitute widow her court papers.

I get my new survey skill and head for the hills. Corn is the magic word for the day, and with survey 2 Iím raking it in 6 units a sample. Sweet! I had been previously sampling whenever the percentage number got up in the forties. It was too tiring to keep chasing the dragon hoping the sample rate would get higher. Now though I see it climbs all the way into the seventies. I donít know if itís the new skill or if I just got lucky this time around but sampling higher numbers yields way more goods. I sample until I get almost a hundred units of corn. Perhaps its growing out of cracks in the pavement but who cares Iím getting arm loads of the stuff.

I open up the crafting tool and for whatever reason it wont load my schematic. I try several different times. Several different ways too, I think. When it finally dawns on me that Iím not just feebleminded and forgot how, but that there is a gameworld problem I decide to hop out for the night.

A neutral experience for the night. While I was enjoying the mad power my new skill gave, able to reap corn like no-oneís business, the system problem at the end was annoying. Although it is a good thing since I have to get up in 5 hours. Chalk one up for beta. Its owned me a few times as to be expected, and I put the whoop on its sorry hind end at least twice by having fun. Weíll meet again beta, weíll meet again.

35 minutes - Nuetral experience, Good accomplishment, game cut short

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Useless Strikes Back
Monday night June 9th - 10:55pm to 12:05am

Even though I have to get up at 5am I decide to sneak some time on SWG. Itís starting to grow on me. Like full fledged cover in thick vines type of grow on me.

I only meant to hop on for a half hour or so, but I kept finding myself wanting to try one more thing before hoping off.

Like a housewife going through a midlife crisis I hit e-bay, or the bazaar, very first thing. Checking on my only auction I find my starter melon is up to 15 credits. WooHoo! I might even break even on a sale for once. I know the starter melon is nice, if you are a combat guy, the buff lasts much much longer than those crummy Bofa Treats I been pounding out. Then I realize, all my Bofa Treat instant auctions are gone. Sold. Thatís like 150 credits! The money rolls in like a sweet, sweet, river. I know, more like a clogged pipe but Iím excited that I actually moved some merchandise without getting rolled like usual. While playing around with the bazaar tonight I figure out how to inspect other sales. Very nice being able to spin stuff around, and tell exactly what a wrinkly pants is.

Finished I wander over to my boss and ask for some work. He spits out some more low end delivery missions. Thereís no way Iím ready to start gallivanting around the planet just yet. Iím just gonna kick back and keep it local. The first delivery mission is called Sensative Data. The name alone is so tempting I take a peak inside.

Like the sight of the Peko-Peko
Soaring free above the swamps
My love for you hovers, rises, delicate yet strong
And disappears only into the glory of sunsets.

The sensitive data turns out to be a poetry manuscript. Very funny devs. Very funny.

The next one is good too. Itís begins with, "I HATE, HATE, HATE you!" And gets better as you read it. Reminds me of my ex back on Tatooine. Ahhh, good times.

The missions yield 257 credits. Bait Money! I return and find a treasure trove of low instant auctions. Buying then up frantically I score 4 sets of bait for 100 credits. The first purchase takes around 2 minutes to complete; me nervously watching and getting antsy preying some other bastage didnít buy them out from under me. I take note of the sellers name and send him a tell asking where he got the bait from. He tells me you can find off opponents (not likely in my case) or by filleting fish you catch. Sounds cool, canít wait to go fishing. I retrieve the baits and notice my inventory space is running low. I take another look at the bazaar for backpacks but cant find a Hello Kitty one so I pass. Actually 2 guys have flooded the market with backpacks, but at 1025 credits each they are way too rich for my blood.

I then get some mail. Opening that up I find out that Iíve won all the bait auctions I bid on. Umm, yeah, they were instant sales. This might be a nice feature for real auctions but was a waste of my time right now. Iím just glad it wasnít mail about meeting local chicks or getting ahemm, an enlargement.

Now to do something truly stupid. For whatever reason, maybe it was the giddiness at having sold stuff, or found cheap bait, or the 2 torpedoes of malt liquors littering the floor by my computer, I do something dumb just to see what happens. Facing directly to the bazaar I open my inventory, bait Useless, and start fishing. I get a really nice message about how to fish, something along the lines of "Hey moron, you have to be facing a fishable body of water and with 2 meters of it." I giggle and dash off to the park. Finding a small pond I open inventory and try to fish. The only option is to Stop Fishing. I click that and get a message about reeling in my line. The only option is to Stop Fishing. I try stopping again and again. No dice. I run back to the bazaar thinking maybe Useless is snagged on the terminal and Iím running around town with a long trail of fishing line behind me. I select Stop Fishing and head back to the pond. No luck, Useless doesnít want to play tonight. Bummer. Oh well, Useless is living up to his namesake.

I then discover the community tab. I read all the little messages and fill in my info and the info Iíd like to match make on others about. The search feature is nice; I find a bunch of other artisans in town that I might like to chat with. Clicking on their names doesnít do anything though. Being able to either send mail or a message by just clicking on the search results would be sweet. Since Iím too lazy to try typing out monikers like Illhabracca, or Syonisis Basilchaser, I just tuck this away as a neat thing to have discovered.

Thereís a million things I want to go do. I could run around in circles all night but itís now after midnight and work and school are waiting to pummel the crud out of me tomorrow. I log.

Cool stuff. So much to do I canít think straight. The fiction behind the instant missions is great stuff, I read it now every time I get one. Email about sales would be really nice. I only had 3 items up for instant sale but can imagine having a hard go of figuring what I sold at what price in a few weeks when Iím cranking out Bofa Treats like a Nabisco factory. The community search feature is very cool, being able to click on names to message would be sweet. The fishing pole bug was slightly annoying and was the primary thing that made me quit for the evening, otherwise Iíd have probably played to 2am.

70 minutes - Good experience, even with the let down ending of the fishing bug.

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Useless and Feeb; some quality bonding time
Tuesday night June 10th - 6:10pm to 7:55pm

Tuesday night, this is a Friday for me in that I donít have work tomorrow. Iím taking Wednesdays off to finish up my portfolio. But since the portfolio is near ready and my project for tomorrow is completing resumes, business cards and letterheads at Kinkoís I donít really have a lot of work I can do right now. Which is as close to an excuse to hop into SWG as I need. Of course I donít tell me wife that, "Iím gonna be umm working on the computer." I holler. Meanwhile thinking, "Muwahaha, yeah working on my domestic arts 2 skill. And maybe Iíll even get the journal dates right one of these days."

How the heck did that happen?

I log in and wait. Then wait some more. And more. It takes nearly 5 minutes for the world to build. I come close to just backing out a few times, but thereís so many things I want to try tonight. I hear the hubbub of Coronet then the world appears, its kind of like waking with a bad hangover.

Checking my inventory I find that I now got 350 credits in my pocket. I remember leaving last time with over a hundred so I must have sold some junk. Eager to find out what, I go see my electronic mistress, the bazaar. Scanning My Sales its hard to tell whatís been bought. After a lot of racking my brain to remember my last selling orgy I sort of recall placing some cheap Bofa Treats for instant sales. No emails, no confirmations, the thought of actually having to write stuff down to keep track seems like a lot of work (guilty awkward glance to the camera). Yeah a lot of work. The Bazaar is also really slow tonight. "Come on baby you arenít seeing others behind my back, next to and in front of me are you?" Itís so slow I give up and wander off.

Tonight I decide to get social. As I wander the mean streets I begin conversing with every NPC I see. "You know who Iím not talking too? You." Wow this is just like trying to approach women in bars back home. Somehow all the inhabitants of NY City have moved to Coronet. Itís amusing, but a little too repetitious. It also makes me reluctant to look for NPCs with missions (which I turn down cause thatís work and Iím just looking to conversate this evening). I tell a few more my life story but they mostly brush me off.

Winding up back in the park I remember that Useless has bait now. Opening inventory I use the radial to start fishing, and it works. I watch somewhat amazed at the level of care the devs have put into things like the casting of a silly fishing line. Then a menu pops up. I can tug up, left, right, small real in, or stop fishing. As I read this wondering how fishing works in the real world something nibbles on my line. I click Tug Up and wait. I get a bite. I start clicking Real In frantically and lose the bite. I keep fishing and eventual the bait goes soggy and some fish nibbles it off. Baiting and fishing, Useless and me hang out there for 40 minutes. Iíve got tons of bait, 4 jars exactly, and now I wanna see if something can actually be caught. Useless ainít much for talking so I just mutter to myself a bit. In the end I catch nothing. I scratch my head and wonder if itís just a dev conspiracy to keep simple minded dolts like myself giggling and so busy clapping at the pretty water that we never really notice thereís nothing else behind it. Like I said 40 minutes go by with me randomly clicking on a fishing menu. If there are fish in these ponds, lakes and rivers I vow to catch one. If not Useless will make some mighty purty firewood.

Clothing is my next object of interest. I see that I have schematics for a couple of different pieces. After looking at the recipes for a bit I decide to make a chemical survey kit and then try gathering all the ingredients to make something. Just by looking at the recipe I had some difficulty determining what device I needed to find Fiberplast. I may have even had to go look in the bazaar to figure out which category it fell into. The survey tool comes together and I go gather up the needed metal and fiberplast for simple pants and shirts. This is by far the most complex thing Iíve made yet but it all comes together to my amazement. On my second item I realize I can name stuff. This opens up a whole new realm of gameplay, for me at least. Simple Shirt isnít so catchy, whoíd ever buy that? Instead I call it Blakk Simple Shirt by Feeb, much catchier; I can see it now at a high priced boutique on Coruscant. I stick with the black theme, as I donít really want to spend all night thinking up new names for all the colors. I finish with 3 garments and bebop off to the bazaar.

So much more to do. Well one last thing before I log. Someone explained I could use the community search feature to find others with specific skills and then spam the heck out of them for training. Donning my telemarketerís headset I go to work. I click through the SWG version of yellow pages and find an aspiring Chef, then send the poor unsuspecting sap a /tell. Before I can even launch into my hard sell he agrees to train me. And for nothing! Man what a sucker I was paying a G-cred to NPCs when thereís a whole world of real people to annoy, and get training from. I get my Domestic Arts 2, thank the player and log out.

Holy crud! Almost 2 hours? Ay yi yi. This session was a lot of fun. Even the 40 minutes of unproductive fishing. Sure I sat cursing and swearing at the monitor, shaking my fists and threatening to beat the computer to a mangled mess, but isnít that the whole point of playing video games in the first place? Other successes made the night fun and another skill increase snuck up on me while I wasnít looking.

105 minutes - Great experience, bazaar annoyances aside, so much fun I lost track of time.

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Iím a damned liar
Tuesday night June 10th - 10:30pm to 12:30am

After hanging out with missus a bit I decide to log back in the second time. She gives me a suspicious look as I head to the computer room. "Umm yeah I just wanna wrap some stuff up before I have to do all those errands tomorrow." She puts away the nurses outfit (hey, I can have dreams about more than just SWG, oíkay) and I log in.

Yeeeeeaaah, casual player, right.

Starting ritual, check inventory, show me the money. 535 credits!! Wowza. There was some insane selling going on since Iíve logged. I wonder if real players are the only ones using the bazaar.

With my l22t Dom2 skills I see that I can now make Blob Candy. Whipping out the right survey tool for the right job I begin looking for fruits. The tool leads me closer and closer to the city exits. Actually moving around with the tool open is really hard. Iím sure I must look like an idiot since I spend half my time running into walls and building since I can see what in front of me or Iím running towards the camera with the arrow keys. Nervously I leave the city and head out into the country side.

There are bunches of players out here beating up butterflies, so I mistakenly feel pretty safe. Sure enough a thug jumps me. At least I think he jumps me since I canít see with the survey window open. I keep getting flashes and messages about being hit for 35 points of damage. I do what would be expected of a stalwart adventure such as myself and run. Or at least I try to. I fly smack into a tree then wonder why Iím not moving. I hear blaster shots and by the time I close my survey window I get to see myself land the killing blow on the villain with Useless. I thank whoever shot this guy while I was wrasling with the tree. Now that I can see I notice itís the only tree for miles (meters and meters at the least), some luck huh?

Making my way a lot more carefully now down to the ocean I gather berries on the beach. SWG Berryhunter. Then craft blob candies while watching the radar with a nervous eye. I spend as much time naming them as I do making Ďem. Pockets now stuffed with blob candies I head back home.

I stop to watch a Dumi hopping around. Funny name. You could pronounce it the way my girlfriend might to show her displeasure when I blew all our creds on something stupid. Or her mating call when the Imperial navy was in town. I watch it frolic a bit and head on in to town.

And get jumped again. This time there are no players around to help out. I try fighting. We flail at each other like little girls for a few moments neither really doing much to the other. I land a nasty slap once or twice but the thug is pummeling me silly. I run screaming for help. Real Dignified stuff like, "It hurts, it hurts, make it stop!" and "Someone pleeeeeeease help! This meany is hitting me!" I remember the burst run icon and hightail it back into Coronet to recompose any shreds of dignity that might be left. Having no combat skills really hurts in combat. But I want to make pies so I never bother to learn even basic brawler.

At some point I remember all the extra money I started with tonight and head for the Bazaar to see if I can figure out why. All of my clothes have been bought. Sweetness. While perusing the auctions I get a beep. It only takes a second to notice I got a private message. The beep is nice, dang nice. Itís almost like a phone call, which will be important once I get those uber business skills and have to wheel and deal my way across the galaxy.

I discover my first scam on gbay. Players would try to trick each other? My world collapses. Near tears I see a sneaky shifty pattern develop. Players put up resources on the bazaar for thousands of credits. But if you look close at the description you see that they are only selling one unit. It actually took me a few minutes of looking very closely at several auctions to figure out the quantity, even though it says "quantity" in the description. Its listed like third or so in the description and is kind of small. A number on the picture would be a lot better, or maybe even just making the quantity number stand out a little more. Iím glad I took a few moments to look this time, still smarting from that beating the bazaar gave me my first visit when it took all my money and left me for broke.

I do find one sale of meat that actually has some substance to it and is pretty cheap. Not sure that I need meat I buy it anyway just for the heck of it. I also see an auction for a Mouse Droid. Whoa. I place a huge bid on it, well a few hundred creds as that all Iíve got. A mouse droid? Now that would be cool. I get some cheap bait and head for the river outside of town.

So I start fishing again. Clicking the menu, trying to figure our if thereís a pattern or its just a cruel joke the devs made to see how much time players would waste. I spend maybe 10 mintues this time baiting Useless and casting my line then playing click randomly on the menu. Suddenly my bite turns into "You have caugt something" No Way! I sit up in my chair. A message says "You reel the line in closer." I watch as Feeb reels in the line. Another message about the fish fighting back. This goes back and forth for a bit. I get it closer, the fish fights back. Finally I get a message that says "You line snaps and your catch gets away." Arrrrrg!!!! I wanna scream, curse, and knock my computer over at once. All that and no fish? Wahhhh! So close. So very close. I caught no fish. There is no God.

I make some soup halfheartedly then log.

Uggg. 2 hours? I had lots of fun even when just sort of wandering around. Fishes, freaking fishes and fishes and fishes. My Useless must have fishes. Yes we must. Mustnít we my Useless.

120 minutes - Good experience, my god Iím playing way more than I should.

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Please please please please please
Wednesday morning June 11th - 8:55am to 9:35am

My day off to get some homework done. Todaís homework is all about resumes so Iíll be spending a big chunk of time at Kinkoís. Time enough for one quick session before I go.

8:55, restate my assumptions. Log on. Ritualistic inventory check. Iím up a few hundred credits. After a peek on the bazaar I have no idea what got sold.

For some off reason Iím at a bazaar next to a cantina or something instead of at the bank plaza. From the other side of the wall I can hear (via the chat box not with balloons) entertainers doing their thing. Their thing happens to be offering lap dances and stripping for credits. Arenít 13 year old boys cute? It fills the cockles, and sub-cockles, of my heart to imagine Han Solo wrangling a lap dance out of some seedy stripper in a backwater bar. Maybe thatís where he was when Obi Wan first talked to Chewy...

Ignoring this and back in the bazaar I look in the available items and notice I won the Mouse Droid auction. I have visions of the two of us laughing and shooting hoops and maybe even fishing together as the tune "Best Friends" from the Courtship of Eddieís Father plays in my mind. This is as exciting as anything Star Wars to me. I click retrieve franticly dying to get my grubby lil paws on the new toy. The bazaar doesnít want to cooperate however. I blink to the desktop.

No problem, this is way too exciting to just walk away from. I log in and then log in to the bazaar. I see my droid and click retrieve. The bazaar shows the retrieving window. Then it just says retrieving over and over and over and over. I cancel and try retrieving some bait I bid on. No problem, that pops to inventory instantly. I try the droid again. Retrieving, over and over and over and over. Maybe it has something to do with the amount of data attached to an object, droids are probably a little complicated. Yeah, thatís the ticket. I wait. And wait. And then just to be safe wait some more. At 9:13 (around 18 minutes after logging in the first time) I decide that watched pots yada yada and wander away from the computer to let it simmer. I take the fastest shower ever, and Iíve been in boot camp. I wash with a frenzy giving myself friction burns and hopping out with a head full of diluted suds. Thereís a slippery mad dash back to my computer only to seeÖ Retrieving, retrieving, retrieving.

Nooooooooooo! Why oh why have you forsaken me?

Too frustrated to try anything else I quit.

I spent the whole session at the bazaar trying to get that lil droid. I imagine this is a known issue but it was still frustrating. Not slice my wrists open frustrating, but a let down all the same. Oh and the stripping thing, Tacky!

40 minutes - Bad experience

"8:55, restate my assumptions"

1. SWG was made so casual players could enjoy it.
2. My schedule forces me to be a casual player.
3. I suck at achievement games and am a complete feeb.

Therefore: Even a complete feeb can have fun in SWG.

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Short takes
Wednesday afternoon June 11th - 2:45pm to 6:55pm

Back from Kinkoís gotta get that mouse droid.

12:45pm to 12:55pm - 10 minutes.

Log in try to download droid. No luck.

2:45pm to 2:50pm - 5 minutes.

Finished compressing videos for portfolio page. Log in. Grab droid. No luck.

6:00pm to 6:55pm - 5 minutes.

Finished compressing more videos for portfolio page. Log in. No droid. Start crying like lil girl. Log off. Cry more.

Super disappointed. Lost my droid. Nuff said. More tears.

20 minutes - Bad experience

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Meet local girls in your area (or not)
Wednesday night June 11th - 9:25pm to 9:45pm

I wasnít planning on writing anything over the weekend. My ISP is having some difficulty setting up a .TV web address (instead of a .COM one) and so I am sitting here on hold waiting to talk to a tech support person. I may end up having to purchase a second domain just so I can put my portfolio online, which isnít a requirement for school, but Iíd like to be able to show my work with out having to send DVDs every time.

Even though Iíve played with setting up the My Preferences for matching making in the community tab, it never actually keeps the info. Whenever I log back in itís blank again. It also doesnít look like itís ever done a matchmaker search even though I have the timer set to 2 minutes. My desire to chat with folks about SWG Roleplaying and Video Games in general will go unrealized. Again probably a known bug posted somewhere that I was just flipping lazy to read about. Still annoying, that my online dream wife, the one who actually likes Star Wars and can discuss the subtle plot nuances and deep intriguing characterization of Grand Theft Auto simply will never come to be.

Realizing that I qualify for yet another skill increase I use search to harass others until some poor soul agrees to teach me Business 1. Actually he agrees the moment I ask, which is kind of nice. I donít notice that he teaches me to comprehend Wookiee at first. The dialog for learning skills from others is pretty convoluted still being a string of code. Bummer, I rather had liked not being able to understand Wookies. Already Iíve had several encounters where they speak, I call them names like, furball, smelly walking carpet, sasquatch, etc and tell them to speak basic like the rest of us honest citizens. Luckily they canít yank my arms out of my sockets or I might have to play nicer. Those days are now over I can actually understand them. (Although for fun I could lie about it)

I do a few more jobs just to get auction money. Iím eager to see what the reduced auction price is now that I have Business 1. I hit the bazaar and blink out to desktop. Oh well good as time as any to stop.

The matchmaking service not quite working is a disappointment. So was learning Wookiee but thatís my own dang fault. I was hoping to give fishing another shot. Didnít really accomplish a lot but it was a nice short relaxing game.

20 minutes - Enjoyable (marginally) experience.

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Useless rules
Wedesday night June 11th - 11:50pm to 12:30am

At work this weekend so I thought Iíd slip another small one in. I just meant to log in try fishing out for a second, but some stuff happened. Well not really, but I ended up playing longer than I would have liked.

Back in for some super fast late-nite action before crashing for the night. Just wanna check my sales, maybe grab some bait and try fishing for a second. Checking sales through a web browser without having to log all the way in would be great. I have some more money now and cannot tell whatís been sold to get me the measly 200 credits extra I have. I try to dump some more hot soup on the bazaar and get a message about having too many sales. Whaaa? Arrrg, again, I wish there had been some earlier explanation about limitations. Disgruntled I grab a single jar of bait for cheap and head out to try fishing.

I play the fishing mini-game once I get to the beach. Cast, tug up when they nibble, try not to click to frantically when they bite, desperately try to discern some sort of pattern in the nibbling, biting and losing bait. I get another bites that goes into the auto-play-by-play. I reel it in, it fights back, I reel in some more, it charges. Pretty much the same stuff as last time. Bracing myself I await the "The line snaps and your catch gets away" message. Instead the game finally, after a lot of back and forth, tells me "You reel in your catch." And, "You caught a Faa." A Faa? What the heck is a Faa. Knowing the devs its probably a boot or rusty speeder plate. I peek in my inventory and see a Faa, a little fish. Laughing now that I finally caught something I click the radial to see what can be done with it. The examination reads that a Faa is a tiny fish. It figures that Feebís first catch would be a minnow. I can fillet it, but I wanna keep this one. Maybe mount it on a wall if I ever get an apartment or house of my own.

My pole still has some bait on it so I cast again and nearly instantly catch my second fish. A Laa this time. Description says itís a little bigger than a Faa. Faa la la la la, la la la. Out of bait now I go ahead and fillet the second one. Who ever remembers second place anyway. If you wanted immortality Laa youíd have grabbed that hook sooner. Filleting creates some fish meat and MORE BAIT. Sweet. More fishing, how many fishes can I get?

I catch another fish and run out of bait. I was sort of hoping to write Feebís Definitive Guide to Fly Fishing, a useful pamphlet of light reading for those on the go. Sad fact is Iím still unsure what the heck Iím doing when it comes to fishing. I decide to pack in for the night, maybe someday fishing will come to me like a dream in the night and be made clear. Until then I plan to flounder around at it whenever I can.

Ughh 12:30? 4 hours of sleep tonight. I got hooked after I caught that first fish. I was so delighted that there actually was a game behind all the clicking, swearing and gnashing of teeth that I lost track of time.

30 minutes - Good experience, even with bazaar woes catching in my craw.

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How much for the little girl?
Thursday night June 12th - 10:05pm to 11:00pm

Another late night session after homework. Seems as good as time as any to deprive myself of some needed sleep and try my hand at fishing some more.

634 credits. Thatís how much money I start with. This game is like Christmas when you rely on the bazaar for your income. I forego my usual ritual and instead decide to get straight into the fishing. After wasting a jar of bait I catch a Bluefish. Description: A blue fish. Beautiful devs, when do the boots and rusty plates show up? But hey, thatís more bait and more time spent swearing, cursing, muttering names and shaking my fist at the sky. On my way back into town I see the corpses of something called a "Meatlump Bafoon." It gets a laugh.

Hitting the bazaar I see I am down to 20 auctions. Do I really need to say I havenít got a clue what got sold? I make a resolution to write this stuff down in the future, and exercise and eat right more often. I also find out it still costs me 25 credits to sell stuff. I read the Business I description to make sure I wasnít delusional the first time I read it. Nope sure enough it says something about reducing the cost of sales. Oh well maybe a beta issue to be worked out.

Then I see them. Not 1, but 10! Ten freaking mouse droids on auction! I look at the descriptions of each trying to figure out which has the best qualities. "So mouse droid number one, if you were a blaster, what type would you be?" "Well feeb, Iíd be a delicious cool and frosty pan galactic gargleblaster." "Mouse droid number one, I love you." There is nothing in the descriptions however. They all may as well be the exact same. I pick the one that has been on sale the least amount of time and plunk down my 100 credits. Going to retrieve him, nothing. Same problem as before, he will not download. Iím sad about this, really sad. Then I see that one guy has put all 10 of these little buggers up for sale.

Recalling how easily it was to harass others using the search tool the day before, I drop the droid maker a line. "Dude (I know very Star Warsy) those mouse droids are so freaking cool. I gotta have one. Can you sell me one?"

"Umm I put 10 up for auction on the bazaar."

"I know I know, but it wont let me download it. Could you make one for me that you could just give directly to me? Iíll pay double what you want on the bazaar and name my first child after you."

"That sounds pretty good." (Iím not making this part up; he actually said that, which I found dang funny) "But I donít have any on me."

Desperate for my droid fix Iím panicking here. I gotta make this sale, gotta get a droid out of this guy, even if I have to beat it out of him. "Say, you could just cancel a sale, get your droid back and then sell it to me." I donít know how I thought of that, funny how your mind comes up with this crud under pressure.

"No worry I just bought the metal I need to make you one." I dance around the computer room, sitting down to look thoughtful as my wife goes by, again with the suspicious looks.

We meet and I cough up my lazily earned credits. He gives me a mouse droid. Yes, there was a moment where I was gnawing my finger nails worried sick it may not show up this time either. I howl out in delight when it shows up in my inventory. A casual observer might have thought I scored a vintage auto for like 5 bucks. Iím all giddy and happy. Thatís when he launches into his sales pitch for a backpack. I quickly find out, that no; he does not know how to make the Hello Kitty variety. He tells me that his only go for 1000 credits. I laugh, yeah If I had that kind of money I wouldnít still be wearing my starter outfit, complete with toolbelt. I explain how I have exactly 300 credits and Useless to my name.

"Ok, for you, Iíll sell it for 300."

Sweet, I donít know what I need a backpack for, but what the heck Iím a sucker for sales. Once the goods change hands I thank him with this, "Dude I think Iíll name my fist 6 kids after you."

He quits talking me.

Believe it or not I had a great time. I caught another fish mysteriously. Even though there were bazaar problems I showed this game who was boss and figured a way around it. Plus I got a backpack. Feeling like the king of the world I log out for the night.

55 minutes - Great experience, even with the bazaar problems, hey I got my droid.

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Will you do it for a Scooby snack?
Friday night June 13th - 6:55pm to 7:30pm

Not much time tonight. I have a volunteer project I have to go film in a little while. Right now Iíve got a half hour to kill so I log in.

Check my inventory. 1200 credits? What happened here? I left last night with less than a hundred and now Iím rich. Punch drunk with this found loot I hit the bazaar in an attempt to squander it. Before I can blow the whole wad someone starts yelling about fabric panels they are trying to get rid of. Since Iím trying to get rid of my money and sheís trying to make some I send a tell to find out what these reinforced fiber panels do. We chat for a bit about tailoring and get on the subject of training fees. She tells me she had to spend 8k on one skill increase from a trainer.

"Eight thousand? I could almost buy a new ship with that!" She quits talking to me.

I find that jewelry is on sale in the bazaar and begin looking for a swanky gold medallion. With one of those and an open shirt Iíll be an online babe magnet (or not). Silver pendant is as close as I can come to gold medallion and not have to take out a loan or do a lot of begging. For some reason the pictures on examine arenít showing anything. I blindly buy a necklace in my price range then download it. Oh great itís a girly thang. Beggars canít be choosers so I don the pendant and see it appear on my avatar. Freaking cool! Jewelry shows in the character for others to see. Girlish jewelry aside I think its neat and decide to sport my less that macho necklace. I have to keep my eyes pealed for something the size of my fist, golden and engraved to read "Love Machine." It might exist. It might.

I sell some junk and get annoyed for the bajillionth time that my number pad doesnít work when trying to enter prices. This and the mission terminal window not closing unless you click on the Exit button are two minor petty little things that seem to grating on my nerves these days. Good thing the other players canít hear what Iím really saying back home when I stub my toe on them.

The last few minutes I spend trying to get my Mouse Droid to work. The radial menu shows Examine and Attack. Attack? What the droid? I just bought him. Attack others? Ummm Iím pretty sure even the butterflies on the edge of town could hand my own rear end back to me. Mouse droid may be capable of helping a real warrior but I donít see him finding off mobs of Rancors while I try to figure out which way to run off screaming like a scared girl. I click attack anyway and go into combat stance for a second. Someone tells me to double click on the droid when its in my inventory, again combat stance for a second. Same thing happens when I drag the little fellow to my tool bar and try to launch him there. Crying I log off.

Do I need to mention the droid? Soooo disappointed. The number pad is annoying. So is having to click Exit on the missions terminal instead of the lil X in the upper corner like every other interface window. The jewelry showing to others on the avatar is way cool. So was having bunches of auctions go through.

35 minutes - Bad experience, too many small annoyances tonight.

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Lost luggage and lost souls, thatís why I loath bus stations.
Friday night (Saturday morning) June 13th - 12:40am to 1:05am

Terrible terrible night. I tape a performance at a bar. Drunk guys constantly are either bumping into my equipment or trying to start fights with me. I leave without even speaking to the producer after the show. Ticked off aplenty I need to unwind before bed. I fire SWG up for a quick visit.

Running around just outside of town I survey then gather samples. After sampling a bit I discover I can craft while continuing t gather samples. Less bored now I start whipping up some fiber panels. A little later I make a few of the slightly more complex items, headwraps and wrinkly pants. When I run out of action I hop and run back to town to my beloved bazaar only to find all the crafted clothes gone.

Note to self, no more playing on Friday the 13th.

Uhgg too much pain in one day. Finding out I could craft and sample at same time is nice. Sampling is dull, dull, dull. At least crafting during it gives you something to do.

25 minutes - Bad experience.

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This unitís got a bad motivator
Saturday night (Sunday morning) June 14th - 12:10am to 1:20am

Gonna grab a half hour of feeb time before bed.

What to do when the bazaar aint working? Find some other pastime to amuse my self. If only there were puppet shows in here. Scouting hasnít done a thing for me. It certainly hasnít helped me fight for justice, or puppies, or Life Day. What a waste of a skill. After looking at all my skills (Artisan and Scouting) I figure its time to get rid of scout. Clicky on button and the deed is done. Digging up resources doesnít sound like a lot of fun tonight so I head back to Newby Lane and try to figure out some more skills to play with.

Marksman and Brawler sound a little dangerous, and like work so I poopoo those quickly. I grab the medic skill because it sounds respectable, then I see her. Sheís gorgeous. Her hair is in this wacky weeping willow sort of a array on her head and sheís just standing there all demure by something called a Nargatharal (or something or other, hey this is about her not the thing). I slick back my comb-over and saunter up all casual like.

"Hi there. So, would you hate me if I said you were beautiful?"

She replies, "You may learn the following from me. Novice Entertainer."

I rack my pathetic brain trying to think of a good comeback from that one when I see her, my new true love. I pay up the 100 credits for entertainer skill and dash off.

And there she really is. Dazed, stunned, speechless (yeah right I actually spent the next minutes trying to see how many time I could type OMG in the chat box). An R5 unit straight from the movies. I sit there drooling. Mouse Droid? What the heck is a mouse droid? This, this thing, is a work of art. And it aint all tacky like those Rainbow Bright droids cruising around the city either. This one is white, pure as the driven snow, with an elegant and yet somehow royal hint of blue trim. I examine her closely. Be still my beating heart. Not only does this droid look, move and sound like one right from the film, it also helps craft clothing and food. An R5 that makes sandwiches, Iím in love. Unfortunately Iím so smitten I forget to think this all to myself and am spamming the whole newbie training area with messages like, "OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!1! !" And, "An R5 that makes sandwiches!!! That is so freaking cooooooooooooL111" The droids owner, a sweet little Rodian named Lillian with designs on being a big time DE (droid engineer - I had to ask) comes over and starts chatting with me. Which is rather amazing since Iíve completely geeked out in the dorkiest way possible over her droid. She tells me sheíd sell me one but the game is bugged with droids right now, which explains my troubles with ummm, ummm, whatís its name, that other lesser, soon to be forgotten shoebox cluttering up my inventory. At some point I manage to stop acting like an uber dork (I can dream) and wish Lillian a good evening.

With my new skills I dash to the cantina to give entertaining a spin. Except for one very big freaking problem. I have no instrument. Luckily thereís a bazaar terminal right next to the cantina. But of course it wonít open up to night. On another night I might be mad, my electronic mistress ignoring me like that. But Iíve tasted the true geek love of having spotted movie like R5 droid for the first time. Iím still walking on clouds. Which almost explains what happens next, but not quite.

I enter the cantina and ask around to see if anyone has a spare instrument (pronounced begging). When nobody fesses up I start threatening. "Alright, but I was really hoping to spare yíall the sight of me dancing." Still nobody coughs an instrument up. They must think Iím bluffing. So I move right up to the entrance, in front of the band, and start shaking my groove thing. I have to admit; with Useless in hand it looks pretty funny. Iím even getting compliments on my new skill, "OMG! Dude, you look ridiculous." Another person cries. I spend the next half hour or so trying all the flourishes, like Ďthe duck waddleí and Ďthe soulless white guy.í At some point I remember that Iím a guy dancing, and begin begging god to either drop an instrument or a giant flaming asteroid on my head. Since no trip to the cantina would be complete without it, I even offer lapdances sans clothing to those unlucky enough to enter and see the horrors before them. Good times, hey, it was college and I was young back then.

I donít think anything can compare to those moments when you trip on a situation that makes you feel like you are in something of near mythic proportions. The droid not the dancing did that for me. Seeing a movie like R5 was a huge thing. Then finding out a player had crafted the thing was way too cool. The cantina was fun in that it was such a bizarre and completely new experience.

70 minutes - Great experience, an unforgettable night (although some might wish).

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Hot patootie, bless my soul! I really love that rock n' roll!
Sunday night June 15th - 7:40pm to 9:20pm

Time for a little Sunday night relaxation before bed.

The bazaar is working. Sweet bliss. Looks like a bunch of my sales failed. Maybe 6 or so of the dozens and dozens Iíve done this past week. Not too bad a track record. Retrieving stuff takes a while and I find that my second mouse droid has vanished from the bazaar. I still have the one I purchased directly in my inventory still. Maybe one day heíll work properly. Posting some more junk to auctions I find the bid placement cost is still 25 credits. After all my selling and browsing I still have 774 credits. Too much moolah for a guy like me Iíll have to find something to blow it on.

I take to asking people in the street if they might have an instrument to sell. A Wookiee offers to trade me his spare instrument, "For that stick thing in your hand." Useless? This walking fleabag wants Useless? Over my dea... I click through the sales in the bazaar hoping to find another fishing pole and give this talking carpet the switheroo. Drats! No pole sales locally. I begin /tellíing him thereís no way I can part with Useless but since I only got 200 credits Iíd be willing to buy the unused instrument. This challenged Wookiee thinks Iím trying to rip him off no matter how much I explain fishing poles are only selling for 10 to 100 credits most of the time. I give him a sob story about how Iíd have to go all the way to Tatooine to get him a 25 credit pole for an Ďevení trade. He agrees to that but says he doesnít know if he can wait that long for me to get back. Ok fickle pandabears aside this deal aint gonna happen. He challenges me to a duel.

After a few moments silence I publicly announce that Wookies look funny in clothing. Just like giant Ewoks. A couple of nearby Wooks get all crazy and start in with the jibbajabba, "If you donít like the way I look I can put my #%@* foot up your &#$!!!" At least one duel challenge comes back at me. Missions accomplished. I then announce, "Whoa look at all that gibberish! Those oversized teddybears canít understand Basic can they?" A lot more chirping from fuzzy brigade. Another guy browsing the market whispers, "Yes, newb they can understand you." I retract publicly, "And by giant Ewok I meant of the ferocious man-eating kind, you know the type that all fangy and arrrg!" This gets a few laughs and I head to off the cantina.

Still no instrument. I threaten to dance again minus pants this time. This time one of the players from the night before finds a spare instrument for me. She even offers to just give it to me. Wow, I left quite an impression the night before. I slip her 500 credits and thank her. "You saved my life."

"And my eyesight." She tosses back.

"And the lives of every one who might have had seen that." I finish.

Joining her band I start wailing on the slithhorn she gave me. If a wet cat were a musician it might sound like the scratchy rendition of the SW cantina theme Iím playing. The other members of the band sound way better. Itís very very cool that like dancing skill increases have physical manifestations in game. Someone tips me 150 credits, probably hoping IĎll go get lessons. Mostly I sit and rack up XP a point at a time. The better players, who also happen to be chicks are racking up all the tips. Itís all about cute in this biz, Iím already starting to get jaded with the industry, the lifestyle, the shallowness of it all. Whatever happened to music that meant something?

Inspiration hits me like a sack of wet cats to the face. Since I already play horribly, why not heighten the experience a little? I guess correctly that /sing gives a little dialog bubble with musical notes in it. And so I start doing my lounge act routine.

"Thank you, thank you, what a won-won-wonderful audience."

"This next song is a little ditty is one everyone should remember."

"And a 1, and a 2, 3 and a 4..."

/sing "Moving on the floor now babe, youíre a bird of paradise."
/sing "Cherry ice cream smile, I suppose you think itís nice."
/sing "With a step to your left and a flick to the right."
/sing "You catch that mirror way out west."
/sing "You know you're something special and you look like you're the besssssssst!"

"Come on you know the words..."

/sing "Her name is Rio and she dances on the saaaaaaaaand."
/sing "Just like that river twisting through a dusty laaaaaaaaaaaand."

"oh yeah hit it babaaaay!"

Nobody really says much to me after that. I even croon "Love on the Rocks" but still nothing. With no requests from the audience and no love in my tip jar I realize Iíve been playing way too long and hit the road. Entertainers, bah its all about the cute these days. Whereíd the soul go?

Spent waaaaay too much time in the cantina playing music. Trying to type in lyrics was an absolute pain in between flourishes. Maybe this will motivate me to figure out how to use the macros. *shudder*

100 minutes - Good experience, even if no one else was feeling the lovin.

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They donít pay bills in Russia, itís all free.
Sunday night June 15th - 10:25pm to 11:15pm

Last post pre-wipe.

Logging in Iím back at my watering hole on Coronet. I pester the band leader until they let me in and start wailing on my sithhorn (if you heard how I play youíd call it that too).

The I pay the light bill. Then the mortgage. Home owners, credit cards, cable and flourish by balancing my banking account. All this while Feeb does his think in game racking up 1 point of musician experience at a time. In all Iíve left him alone for 45 minutes in game and gotten a very small chunk of whatís needed to advance in musician.

11:10 rolls up on me and in game now I decide to go do something. Something retarded. Leaving the bar I spot this woman with braided hair accented with lil seashells in it. She has this magnificent emerald dress on thatís completely bare on the back. Sheís stunning. I spend the next 5 minutes following her around professing my undying love (and to see what she does). "Sporvoe Oni I love you, please say just one word to me that I might embrace the sweet sound of your voice (or at least see a chat bubble telling me off).

She walks in circles around the cantina. Doing nothing. Just back and forth. Some others of her kind do the same. After 5 minutes Iím beginning to get a feel for their names and mannerisms. Then I blink to desktop. When I return there is no sign of Sporvoe at all. All the NPCs now look and are named differently. They still give me the exact same cold shoulder Sporvoe did. I ponder this a moment. Are the NPCs randomly generated with each client log in? Since they canít reply (or are just too good to speak with the like of me) does it even matter? The window dressing sure is pretty.

Hardly even played tonight. Got to listen to the first musician song for a looooong time. Watched the town NPCs to see if they had behavior patterns like the animals out in the wild. Didnít do much, boy wasnít that worth the wait?

50 minutes (sort of) - Nuetral experience (not games fault).

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My birthday is April 10, 2017. How long do I live?
Monday night June 16th - 11:45pm to 12:45am

Server was wiped today. I First hopped in at 8pm just to make sure I got my name and whipped Feeb up pretty fast. Now hours later I was eager to find out what improvements were made to the game.

Post-wipe, I pop into the new game and yell, "Happy Birthday!"

Smarter (suuuure) and more experienced this time I drive my brand spanking new character around the newbie area. Scout turned out to be a combat supplemental role so I avoid it and pick up Entertaining in addition to my Artisan skill. There are now bars in the skill trees to show you how much xp you have for each skill, very very cool. A new help system is popping up messages whenever I do something brand new. It also includes something called a city tour, asking if Iíd like to go to the bank. I accept, anything be better than having to walk there myself, but it doesnít exactly take me there. Not sure if it was supposed to but that was the impression I got. Phooey, Iíll just walk my own useless self there.

Space ships flit to and fro up in the sky above the buildings of Coronet. This is one of those small touches that make you feel like youíre in a small part of Star Wars. I gawk for a bit running around with my head tilted back to look up in the sky. Iíve got tourist written all over me as I wander around bumping into building and staring upward.

Dark clouds roll in. Freaking cool. This is the first time Iíve seen anything resembling weather patterns. Thereís a flash of lightning and it starts raining, hard. Wow, very cool. I look in my inventory for some reason and when I close it I have a Matrixesque moment. All the rain has frozen in place on my monitor. I run through it yelling, "I know Kung Fu!" The glitch works itself out and the rain resumes.

The bazaar is taking forever to load. I give up in frustration, "I know yaí missed me baby but Iíll be back real soon." I rifle through my inventory and look at the schematics in the crafting tool. Iíve learned how to make a few more toys since the last game, including an instrument, some more weapon types and grenade parts. Woot! A slithhorn, gotta go make me one.

I then run into Lillian, the Rodian droid-maker I followed around annoying the tar out of pre-wipe. I congratulate her on getting back into town and she gives me a gift. A fishing pole! Best part is sheís named it Useless. Wiping away a tear I take my new Anduril and promise her a cut of the movie royalties.

Being experienced now I am easily able to mine the metals needed for the slithhorn. Except (there always seems to be an except when it comes to me accomplishing something) I discover that a special tool is needed to craft musical instruments. I run back to the newbie area hoping I just need to be next to one of the public crafting stations. Itís at this point I notice my resource markers havenít been deleting properly. Thereís a trail of glowing breadcrumbs the size of skyscrapers leading right back to the starting area. Iím also getting sick of these yahoo tie pilot buzzing the city non-stop. Reeeeeeaaarrrrrrrrr, Reeeeeaaaaaarrrrrrrr, they just keep coming over and over. Getting back to the public station I still canít find the tool needed to make instruments. I ask around and no one seems to know how to make them. Frustrated I decide to wander off and look into this later.

I prepare to log for the night when my first groupie comes running up. Me and this rodian (for some reason the Rodian players seem to be the friendliest)chit chat for a little while and then he sets me up for the bomb. "You know the bazaar costs 500 credits now?"

A small heart attack later I somewhat recover, "Heheh, you mean 50 right? Please tell me you meant 50 credits. For the love of all that is good and just in the universe please say that was a typo."

He says it wasnít. I sink into a pit of dispair. Iíve had tons of fun buying and selling on gBay. I speculate on cheap stuff buying it up then turning arund and trying to auction it myself. Of all the time in game probably 1/4th of it has been with my beloved bazaar. I wonder how Iím gonna move Bofa Treats at 500cr plus a little kickback for myself. I anguish a bit. Cry some. Gnash teeth, wail, mutter and shake my fist at the sky. I still canít believe it. With no time to check it out I leave the game hoping its just a cruel joke.

Some cool stuff like the ships overhead, the skill bars on the tree and the new crafting schemes. Some lame stuff like the bazaar taking too long to load, those vile rumors, and that tie pilot that makes me want to join the rebellion just I can blast his noisy hind end out of the sky. Hadnít planned on being in much past 12 but kind of lost track of time while doing stuff.

60 minutes - Nuetral experience, but I was drawn in longer than I wanted.

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My prediction? Pain!
Tuesday night (Wednesday morning) June 17th - 12:20am to 2:30am

Got tomorrow off so I decide to hop in and explore the new game a little.

The bazaar isnít working for me at all. I sit there waiting for the loading screen to go away praying that the tie fighter that keeps going by will run into a bird or something and be destroyed, they are paper thin after all. Frustrated I leave the banking plaza and wander back to the newbie starting area.

As luck would have it thereís a slithhorn just lying on the ground. Since I have the entertainer skill and no instrument (I started as artisan) this turns out to be a stroke of good luck. And as luck would have it the instrument canít be picked up. Iím not sure if someone dropped the horn accidentally or if they just tossed the precious item aside thinking it was useless, but it sits there mocking me. Reminding me that if I want to entertain tonight it will be by shaking my groove thang. Then again, maybe I can annoy someone into giving me an instrument. Itís happened before.

On the way to the cantina I spot another slithhorn just lying in the street. I canít grab this one either. I get a bad feeling about this. Its as if it foreshadowing of things to come. That Iíll either spend the whole night dancing or begging without success for an instrument.

Inside the cantina I spot another horn. Aaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! The game is mocking me. "Feeb sweety, you said some mean things so Iím gonna show you whoís boss tonight. Shake that tush for me beee-otch."

Luckily (although I still have my sreservations) after only a moment of whining someone offer a slithhorn to me. He says they are going for 2000 credits, but I can pay off the reminder whenever I get some cash. Heheh, with the way I play Iíd be lucky to pay him back in a year let alone the week or so of beta we got left. I take the offered horn then say, "I was just going to see your boss, tell Jabba Iíll get the money..."

"Um thatís ok whenever can is cool."

"Yeah but this time I can get the money, no need to break my legs or send bounty hunters."

"? ? ?"

"Look I donít have it with me, but tell Jabba Iíll get the money..."

Soandso writes your name down in his mysterious book. He sends as an emote, which appears as a thought bubble. Proud of my childish display of immaturity I let the scene die in a fit of giggles.

Then I notice that some of the patrons of the bar are singing. Sweet! I listen to Turning Japanese and Saftey Dance happily, then start crying when someone begins singing out American Pie and the Anikin Small Fry version by Weird Al.

After some more whining the regulars let me into the band. And quickly tiring of mashing keys to do flourishes, so I can musician experience, I set about to figuring out how macros work. The next hour is spent typing in the lyrics to Rio with flourishes. Itís a miserable failure. Every line spits out instantly all atop the others. After some laughter and name calling all aimed in my direction I go back in and add pauses. And everything spits out one atop the other. I scream, cry and berate myself with the others. They tell me to put spaces in between stuff. The next time it comes out better. A fifth through tenth time editing this macro gets it close enough to what Iíd call perfect (pronounced functional). By this time everyone in the bar has heard Rio maybe a dozen times. Some not so idle threats are bantered around and I decide for my safety and the sanity of others Iíll lay off the macro from the rest of the night.

About that time a Wookiee and a few of his buddies wander in and begin harassing me. They want to see Useless. "Heís so cool, who the heck are you." The conversation revolves around the words, pole, rod, and "Let me just whip it out." Some of the others in the cantina fidget uncomfortably. I canít understand the Wook at all with all the growling and fangs and Roooaaaar Awwooooo roow wooo. The others tell me heís saying to pose for pictures or heíll eat me. Fair enough, I pose and these blood sucking paparazzi begin with the snapping of photos. Useless doesnít get a moment to himself, everyone I meet wants to see him. Gonna hafta ditch that loser soon so I can get some peace.

Bazaar worries regarding cost and availability. Wish there was more of a game to the entertaining profession. It is great for socializing or paying bills. The macro thing was a nightmare, slash commands drive me insane, but gosh darn it I wanted to be able to fire off Rio without having to type all those retarded lines everytime. RPíers be darned, I had a good time in the cantina talking about Matrix Reloaded and other stuff, most of which was about how annoying I was.

130 minutes - Good experience, even if most of that was caused by others and not necessarily game mechanics.

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Daylight. When was the last time you remember seeing it?
Thursday night (Friday morning) June 19th - 11:55pm to 1:30am

Spent a final brutal day in school doing a portfolio review. The summation of several years of school all wrapped up in one day. Exhausted I log in for an hours worth of play before collapsing for the night.

Thursday night (Friday morning) 6/19 - 11:55pm to 1:30am - 95 minutes.

Logging back into the Coronet Cantina I pester the band until they let me in. Then I reset my VCR clock since I took it to school with my earlier in the day. The thing is impossible to figure out, I spend as much time going through its menus as I do cursing at it in the game. The regulars ignore me for the most part. Fifteen minutes later the clock has been pwned by me and is no longer blinking.

Since things are slow I decide to try my hand at another macro. The song My Way by ole blue eyes sounds like just the trick. This time itís a little smoother. It would be nice if there were a way to copy macros then edit them, but nooooo, God hates me so itís all by hand. Again. By the time Iíve finished at least one person has put me on ignore and the rest are threatening to hunt me down in RL and do grotesque and excessive bodily harm.

While I was doing all this monkey work seems another skill snuck up on me. I ask if anyone can teach Musician I and get no responses. Maybe the whole bar has got me on ignore now. Oh well, wouldnít be any different from real life. One person admits finally that they can teach me the new skill, but they are hesitant unsure if it might be some sort of crime against humanity. Eventual my charm and wit (I can dream canít I) wear her down and she coughs up the new skill.

How sad is that? I spend an hour and a half in game and can barely remember it. Sure some time was spent playing with a VCR and those freaking macros. To be honest this is probably a good thing, my day at school being so trying. A relaxing dip in the pool without adding the stress of combat, or leveling, or trying to catch fish was just what was needed to end the day.

95 minutes - Relaxing experience, ymmv.

Ok that one really sucked, moreso than usual.

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Iím invisible! Can you see me?
Friday night (Saturday morning) June 20th - 12:00am to 1:00am

My first day in 2 years without work, school, or homework. Somehow I spend all day away from the computer. I know once I get near it Iíll be sucked into SWG. Instead I watch Kikiís Delivery Service and Spirited Away. Freaking incredible movies. My first relaxed day in ages.

Logging in I notice that the game now does a full file scan every single time. I want my crack and I want it now. Having to wait 30 seconds is unbearable.

After what seems an eternity I pop into the Coronet cantina and fire off a Rio macro, I get the usual curses and complaints so I then shoot my new My Way one at them. We chat about Sinatra and Elvis for a bit. Nothing exciting just socializing a little before I wander off.

A few circuits of the city later I find myself back at Beginners Row. Laughing at Wookies making their funny noises draws one over to me. He tries to teach me his language several dozen times. I keep hitting no to his teaching efforts then mocking their language which is all Arroooaaís and Roooaaaroooís. I begin asking if anyone can translate the Yeti for me. I get some tells explaining that Iím a newb and all I need is for someone to teach the language to me. A Rodian offers to help translate. When he comes over I start saying things like, "Speak! Speak boy!" "Do you want a Wookiee treat?" "Come on boy, speak!" The Rodian however isnít translating anything. As a matter of fact heís only interested in trying to teach me that mongrel gutter speak Crylilwook or whatever itís called. Eventually they wander off.

During this time there has been guy over at the crafting station yelling over and over that he has weapon power-ups to give away for free. I ask if he has anything for fishing poles, which gets a sarcastic, "Yeah, how about some +5 bait." I of course begin pestering him for price without ever getting an answer back. Since his tactic worked so well I decide to mimic it and begin flooding the area with requests for fishing pole power-ups. After a few minutes he replies back, "Are there even any power-ups for that?" I reply back back, "Yeah some guy offered to sell me +5 bait but the jerk never got back to me on price." He quits talking to me.

With nothing better to do I decide to start playing music for the masses busily working away at crafting. I even fire off Rio and My Way. No responses, must be a lot iggy action going on.

Just before logging off I run into Domo and Doma OrigaíMrRoboto. These twins have quite the little street show. The toons have the exact same faces and clothing, and a slight pause in answers from one to the other. My first hydra. I chuckle a bit at their juvenile actions (yeah Iím so much more mature than them) then call it a night.

Full scan is annoying, I know itís only a minute but jeeze, hope itís just a beta thing. Languages right now have zero impact. People can just instantly become linguists knowing every single thing anyone says. Theres also no skill cost for learning. Maybe Iím strange but I would have enjoyed there being more depth to it, maybe a linguist skill tree that actually costs skill points to learn, even if itís only benefit was to unlock some theme parks or missions.

60 minutes - Good experience, just relaxing, goofing on people.

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I won't cry for the dead! I won't! Well, maybe a little... but I will staunch the tears with righteous fury!
Tuesday night June 24th - 8:15pm to 10:00pm

Last weekend to get my SWG fix in before retail. Knowing my luck I wonít score a copy for the next two or three weeks. I end up playing a lot less than I would have liked. Of course I left my notes at home so all the names will be butchered, misspelled and in some cases forgotten.

Last night for Beta. In the Beta forums I post that Iíll be throwing a Feeb Strikes it Rich party at my usual haunt. The theme of the party is for folks to stop by on the way to their real parties and give me all sorts of money. A perfect ending, rich beyond belief in the moment before the universe collapses.

Hopping in early so I can do a little filming for my next project I run into the gang of misfits that first harassed me on the 18th. Silph and his pals, Sarin and two others, agree to bash bunnies for me while I film. At one point Iím killed by a butterfly, I know, sad in a wounded puppy dog kind of way.

Silph then challenges me to a fishing pole duel. The concept is so idiotic, moronic and absurd that I have to take him up on it. I film the fight in all its pathetic glory, video coming soon.

Nearly late now for my own dang party (how fitting) I race off for the bar. I was expecting maybe two or three people to stop by for a round of insults and to pester Useless into showing up in Retail minus the bum holding him. Instead the place is packed. All the regulars are there, and a whole bunches of people that wanted to stop in and see Useless Ďin the flesh.í Thereís probably 30 people or so all chatting and dancing, way more than Iíve seen in one spot in a long time. And someone has brought along a Mouse Droid. Like an idiot I follow it around ignoring everyone wishing I had been able to get mine days earlier. I donít know what it can do, if anything, but Iím green with envy that someoneís got a working one.

Oldman Wuthers is there but for a painfully short period of time. Although in the moments he is there others get into the spirit of things and begin harassing and haranguing him for drinks on a tab.

An overweight dancer in pink buttfloss begins shaking it out on the dance floor. Iíll spare yíall the horrors of describing what exactly we had to witness. His name however gets a chuckle out of me. Useless.

I ask some people if they want to do something really retarded and get several eager volunteers. We sit at one of the tables near the dance floor and I begin with thisÖ

"Before you is a long corridor, the evil jedi have fled to a room at the far end, what do you do?"

"?" Is one of the responses. Perfect.

I then start yelling at the band playing blissfully right next to us, "Hey can you keep it down? Weíre trying to play a game of DnkD over here." Thatís droids and krayt dragons for those of you who donít know. The K is silent. Did I mention I asked them to do something incredibly stupid?

So we play our DnkD game for about ten minutes. Its one of my favorite ones too, The Temple of Elemental Jediís. The players cast some spells, look for cheetos, and finally use each as shields when the villains are confronted. Then we run into a problem, no dice. We canít have a dramatic combat without dice. Begging the patrons still yields no dice so I wing combat by suddenly shifting the adventure to the end sequence, the final Krayt Dragon confrontation. One of the players comes up with a brilliant plan. They will tell the dragon a riddle while the others make off with its horde. She asks it this, "Arrroarrra roooo roraaw?" Not speaking sasquatch I have to assume itís a good one and let them make off with the treasure. Game over. Nobodyís character died and I decide I was too nice a droid master, next time theyíll pay.

More people gave me money. Each time this would elicit a cry of, "Sweet! More Lewt!" In the first hour I had gone from 0 to just over 5000 credits. Way more scratch than I have ever seen. Probably more than Iíve earned in my entire life here in game.

As the start of the second hour approaches I blink to desktop. I was never able to get back in as the servers were taken offline. I was hoping to say a goodbye speech before logging off, something to bore and annoying all the folks that went out of their way to see Useless off (nobody wanted pics of me, its always about Useless) but fate had the last laugh. In the end though, who cares? Itís not like you losers will be rid of me anytime soon. Iíll just have even more people to annoy in a few days. And when the game crashes then I can whine legitimately as a paying customer. Man, I am gonna love finally having some power over those slacker devs. "You want your subscription? "Speak boy, speak!"

After the Ahazi server went down I hopped over to Bria to grab some video of the spot where it had all begun. It was vastly different from those first days. There were a lot of people, structures, pets, and a bajillion different outfits and weapons. That first night there were very few people and almost no icing, just an empty desert. The game has come a long long dang way. Iím actually glad this phase is over and look forward to meeting all the new players that will have moments exactly like mine, those, "OMG OMG OMG OMFingG!!!1" Ones where you stare at an icon youíve always wanted to be a part of and now can. See yíall in game, and say hi, if in the middle of your dream you still remember the slacker king.

105 minutes - Great experience, gonna kill people if I donít get a retail copy by Friday.

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