Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The SWU Podcast Episode 21 | 1/31/2012


In this episode of the SWU Podcast, hosts Chris, Jordan, Kyle, and Savanna welcome special guest Consetta Parker, publicist for James Arnold Taylor and Catherine Taber. Consetta talks about her career, experience with the 501st Legion, and job at Rancho Obi-Wan and gives her opinion on the Bounty Hunters Clone Wars Arc. The hosts discuss the latest episode, Friends And Enemies, and read your fan comments and this week's Star Wars headlines.

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» Parker Publicity

» "Talking To Myself" Trailer

» Rise Of The Consultants

» Rancho Obi-Wan

» Fangirls On Felucia

» The Star Wars Talk Show

» Secrets of the Force

» EmpireFails on Youtube

» Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Patches, Upcoming Content, and the SWU Guilds


It's been approximately a week and a half since Game Update 1.1 'Rise of the Rakghouls' went live. In my last article I explained my "hidden" future plans for the community, and explained what Game Update 1.1 had released which included the expansion of the "Karagga's Palace" Operation and brought the players a new Flashpoint entitled 'Kaon Under Siege'. In this article I will inform you all on some of my "hidden" plans I have for The Star Wars Underworld, the patches and bug fixes that have been released during and after Game Update 1.1, and some upcoming content for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

For The Star Wars Underworld community, I plan to make a PvP-based Republic and Imperial Guild. The Republic Guild will be on the Vulkar Highway server, and the Imperial Guild will be on the Iron Citadel server. Both are East-based servers since I will be the owner of both guilds and I live on the East Coast. Both guilds will be on different servers because recruitment would be easier not only for the guilds, but perhaps for the community as well. Both guilds will be Underworld-sponsored (hopefully I have permission to deem these guilds as such) for a more effective community. I have also talked with Chris Seekell about having these two guilds for the community.

The guilds will have their own website with its own forums, and will have scheduled raids and events, a ranking structure, meetings, and more! I plan to name the Republic guild the Republic Underworld with the Imperial guild's name being it's opposite called the Imperial Underworld. Feel free to give other name suggestions, ideas, and discuss the guilds on The Old Republic Cantina Facebook page. I hope to create a great, loving, and active community everyone wants within a guild!

Ever since Game Update 1.1 was released, there have been a numerous amount of bug fixes included in each of these patches and updates: Game Update 1.1.0, Patch 1.1.0a, Patch 1.1.0b, and Patch 1.1.0c.

Game Update 1.1.0 - Rise of the Rakghouls: One major setting implemented into the game is the use of anti-aliasing, which can be enabled in the preferences menu. Enemies now drop credits more frequently in Flashpoints. The new level 50 Flashpoint Kaon Under Siege was released, able to be played in Normal and Hard Modes, and four new bosses can now be battled by players in Karagga's Palace! There were a ton of patch notes, and you can read the full patch notes here!

Patch 1.1.0a: Fixed an issue that caused assigned loot bags in Karagga's Palace to distribute items with class inappropriate stats. The Open World PvP area on Ilum was a huge issue after the release of Game Update 1.1, so this patch has fixed many of the issues which were present on Ilum. You can read the full patch notes here!

Patch 1.1.0b: This patch implemented optimizations to improve performance on Republic and Imperial Fleets. The ability delay was a huge issue that BioWare was able to identify from the community's feedback, so this patch had significantly improved the delay when activating player abilities. You can read the full patch notes here!

Patch 1.1.0c: This patch improved service to reduce the number of player disconnections to the character selection screen. This was a very small patch but a very urgent one as it was released during the very early morning of Saturday, January 28 at 3am EST/2am CST. You can read the full patch notes here!

The next patch will be released on Tuesday, January 31 at 11am EST/10am CST. The maintenance that is scheduled on the 31st will last no more than eight hours, but could be extended. It will start at 3am EST/2am CST, and all game servers and swtor.com will be offline during this maintenance period. This weekly maintenance is done in order to make general improvements and to check performance of the game so that we can continue to provide a consistent, quality experience.

Also, be sure to check out this awesome video! See what you have to look forward to in Star Wars: The Old Republic! This new video highlights some of the new content and game systems coming out over the coming months. Just watch the video and see what Game Director James Ohlen has to say!

To keep up with all the latest news and updates about Star Wars: The Old Republic, be sure to 'Like' us on Facebook. And for everything that the rest of the Star Wars universe has to offer, please 'Like' The Star Wars Underworld, also on Facebook. Comment, share, and 'like'!

"Friends and Enemies" Review

Although still kinda of weird with the whole "Obi-wan in disguise as a bounty hunter" ordeal, Friends and Enemies was a better episode than it's predecessor. Bane was a must see in this episode, and Moralo Eval has been an established villain that I'm becoming to like.

The episode started out with Obi-wan/Raako Hardeen crashing the ship he, Bane, and Eval had hyjacked last episode. Although the intent was to throw the authorities off their trial, after seeing the crash go on for about 30 seconds, I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps Obi-wan had a death wish... Once the trio get out of the wreckage, Bane suggests they get some different attire than prison uniforms.

For those who saw the preview, you know what happens next. Bane (after passing up the classic Indiana Jones fedora for the very hat a TOR smuggler wore in one of the game's previews) threatens the store's owner with nothing more than a toothpick because the poor Rodian doesn't have good weapons. Very epic Bane scene. Another thing that struck me was when Obi-wan tried to give the Rodian some credits for his troubles. I think this was one reason why this episode was a better one than "Deception". Last week, Obi-wan was trying to be intimidating, but in this one we really saw that it was Obi-wan underneath the Frankenstein transformation.

Well, with less conspicuous attire on, the trio split up to find weapons and a ship, with Bane and Eval finding the weapons and Kenobi finding the ship. Once Bane and Eval were alone, Bane mentions that Hardeen's time with their motley crew is up. He also mentioned that it was both business and personal. This begs the question as to what happened to the real Hardeen's past with Bane. Perhaps Hardeen stole one too many bounties?

Meanwhile, Kenobi managed to buy a new ship, and also plant a homing beacon on it should something go wrong...like it did in the very next minute in fact. Bane and Eval return without a weapon for Kenobi, and they leave him for the Hutts who are trying to collect a bounty on the trio. Kenobi quickly tells the Hutts about the beacon and Bane and Eval are shot down to crash on the planet...again. With his mission a little bit more secured for the time being, Kenboi escapes and asks the Jedi Council for the bounties to be removed on three of them for the sake of the mission.

This is where another layer of intrigue was added to the episode. Once Anakin hears about the bounties being removed, he takes the Chancellor's advice (as we now know is a bad idea) and heads off to Nal Hutta to settle it himself. Of course he takes Ahsoka along too, but I personally think she shouldn't have gotten involved with this episode. In my opinion, it ruins the fact that this is a personal matter for Anakin whose trying to bring justice for his "dead" friend.

But enough of that. Kenobi remeets with Bane and Eval, who are understanably pretty mad at him. But after some negotiation, they realize that Kenobi and his newly obtained ship are their only way off of Nal Hutta. Just as they take off coincidentally, Anakin lands and learns from the local saloon manager where the trio bought the ship. The funny thing is, the ship's owner mentioned that it only had enough fuel to get to the nearest fuel depot, which (purely coincidentally) happens to be run by the brother of the ship merchant.

Anakin (and unfortunately Ahsoka) rush off to that fuel depot and spot the trio just about to escape. A pretty neat chase ensues, a chase that included Anakin jumping off of his transport onto Hardeen's. Cad Bane insisted on engaging Skywalker out there and a rather fast-paced fight went down on top of the ship. Obi-wan realizes that he can't keep both Anakin, his friend, and Cad Bane, the person he needs most to complete his mission, alive at that rate. So he decides to crash the ship...again.

Obi-wan instantly rushes out to make sure Anakin is alright, forgetting the fact that Anakin would try to kill him like he did five seconds later. Surprisingly, Anakin is just about to kill his long-time mentor until Bane of all people stops him. Anakin tries to get to Bane, but Obi-wan puts him in a head-lock, and pust before Anakin passes out, Kenobi tells him not to follow him anymore. Bane was about to kill Anakin, but then Ahsoka rushed in to defend him. Eval came out just in time to tell Kenobi and Bane to leave now while they could because the ship was fixed. Without further adieu, both of them walk off, leaving a very confused Skywaolker to wake up realizing that Kenobi isn't actually dead.

This episode was probably a 7/10 or 7.5/10. Bane was wicked awesome, Eval is growing on me, and the Obi-wan/Hardeen deal wasn't as creepy as last time. My only fear about the arc now is that Bane might die considering "The Box" looks like it might leave only one bounty hunter left standing, and we know that that'll have to be Kenobi/Hardeen. But for now though, MTFBWY!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Clone Wars Bloopers: Ep. 4.14 "A Friend In Need"

By: Benjamin Hart

It's gonna be short and sweet this time guys. Out of The few bloopers I found in this episode, almost all them were in the same scene!

In the opening scene when Lux is being taken away by the Commando Droids, and all the following scenes, there is no gun in his holster.
But when Lux runs towards the "Phoenix" a Gun has appeared..
 And when he runs up the boarding ramp it is gone again.
But after they are on board the ship, Lux draws it on Ahsoka.

Next, Just after Ahsoka and Lux run onto the ship during the firefight, the boarding ramp raises very fast and almost closes.
 But when it changes to a wider shot the ramp is still on the ground and it begins to raise much slower

And finally, in the close shot of Ahsoka and Lux running up the ramp, there is nothing the background...
 But in the wider shot you can see the Tantive IV in the background.
And in another angle you can see that the background is completely filled with the ship.
Notice the cylinders.

 Random Note: "Now there are two of them."
Speaking of the Tantvie IV, when Ahsoka and Lux are escaping Mandalore aboard the Phoenix, off to the left and right of the Ship you can spot-not one-but TWO Tantive IV's!

If I made a blooper of my own please let me know in the comments. If you enjoyed this edition of CWB please use the share buttons below and tell your friends... And enemies.

This was a straight up good, well paced episode! Lux and Ahsoka had a lot of character development in this one, specifically Lux. Now that he's a "Rouge" character, disenfranchised with all sides of the war, it'll be interesting to see what happens to him as the series goes on. I also think he could play a significant part in Ahsoka's fate eventually, time will tell. Pre Viszla has been one of my favorite characters TCW has produced, so seeing him back along with his posse, the Death Watch, was refreshing. I'm excited to hear that they will be playing a larger role in season 5. Lastly, I loved Artoo's inclusion in this episode, his sound design and animation is dead on with the Original trilogy, and as always he saved the Heroes' skins in the end! Overall, I give it a 9.5/10.

Until next time, MTFBWY! -B-


The SWU Podcast Episode 20 | 1/26/2012


In this episode of the SWU Podcast, hosts Ben, Chris, Jordan, Kyle, and Savanna read your fan comments and discuss the latest Clone Wars episode Deception. Kyle goes over the Star Wars news from the past week and Chris gives his opinion on a recent Dave Filoni interview.

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» This Is The Blog You're Looking For

» Fangirls On Felucia

» The Star Wars Talk Show

» Secrets of the Force

» EmpireFails on Youtube

» Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Deception" Review

This was overall a good episode. Had several things that I didn't like, but when
we got to see Cad Bane break out of prison by causing a prison riot, you've
gotta love it at least partially.

As for the beginning of the episode, I'm just going to keep it simple because I didn't like it that much. Obi-wan got "killed" by Rako Hardeen, we learn that he's not actually dead, and he gets
transformed into Rako Hardeen because the guy now has a reputation as a Jedi Killer.

Big whoop. We all knew from the start that Obi-wan didn't die for real, and the only thing that kept this thing interesting was the fact we saw how Anakin was affected by Obi-wan's "death". He looked very sad and angry, and it was interesting to see "what if Obi-wan died before Anakin turned to the dark side". Beyond that though, it was very boring and pointless.

Also, Obi-wan's transformation was simply to weird for my tastes. I mean, I know it's
Star Wars and anything can happen, but having some sort of Frankenstein "He's alive!" moment was stupid, and the little voice-changing droid that Obi-wan had to swallow would've likely killed him half-way down Obi-wan's throat.

Anyway, Anakin arrests Obi-wan who thinks it is Hardeen, and we finally get to something interesting. The whole point of taking up Hardeen's identity was to get close to a criminal Moralo Eval, who had plans to assassinate the Chancellor or something like that. Well, Obi-wan gets a little info out of the guy, but Cad Bane stops too much of anything from getting through. It's fairly obivous that Bane both distrusts and dislikes Obi-wan/Hardeen, and thus gives me
a reason to further like his character-a good villain trusts no one.

Anyway, Bane stopped Obi-wan's involvement because he is actually involved with Eval's plan and is the one hired to break Eval out. Bane's plan was one of the best villain-based plans of the series-start a prison riot and escape in the chaos. We got a brief scene showing Boba and Bossk causing said breakout, and then Bane and Eval began to escape. Obi-wan followed them, and
Eval let him join with Bane reluctantly agreeing.

The trio escaped through the morgue while shooting a few unlucky clone troopers (I imagine this must've been hard for Obi-wan considering he doesn't really want to see them die) and they hyjack a police speeder as their ride out of the facility. They then steal a large transport from some Quarren (poor guy).

Now that Ive gone over the episode, I want to discuss a couple of things before I conclude my review. For starters, I felt that Obi-wan trying to portray Harkeen was a bad idea. During his imprisonment, he stabbed a Karkadon in the hand, and tried to intimidate as many people as possible. I just simply couldn't see a beloved character mlike Obi-wan doing all this. Yes, I know it was a desperate time, but still, I'm sure the team could've thought of something else. Maybe they could've hired the actual Harkeen to get the needed information, thus giving us the
extra suspense of multiple uneasy alliances.

Another thing I disliked was a missed opportunity. The team had it all. They had the prison facility, the prison riot, and most importantly, the prisoners. WHY DIDN'T THEY FREE THE CIS
LEADERS WHO'VE BEEN IMPRISONED FOR TWO OR MORE SEASONS!? Seriously, we all know that Wat Tambor and Poggle the Lesser have to get out sometime. Why not now when there was a mass break-out? Very disappointing they didn't act on that opportunity.

I'll rate this episode a 7/10. Good, but having a lot of things I didn't like in it. I hope the rest of this bounty hunter arc improves because they can't just rely on Bane to make this storyline cool. Not much more to say in all honesty, so I simply wish that the Force will be with you all and that you find this review helpful. Thank you!

Clone Wars Bloopers: Ep. 4.13 "Escape From Kadavo"

By: Benjamin Hart

Escape from Kadavo; A great episode and a goldmine for bloopers!

First off, here we go again. Anakin's lightsaber looks as though it's glued to his waist, with no clip.

In the first shot of Dooku walking into palace, he gets within a few feet of the throne...
 When it changes to his face he is now back close to the door...
 When the shot changes once more, yet again he's very close to the door.
Is he moonwalking??

Next, the Queen throws her glass at the floor, it can be heard shattering...
But not long after it is lying on the floor, still on one piece.

When the Queen asks Atai Molec, "What does he mean?" she looks towards the left side of the throne...
 But Atai is standing on the right.

When the Queen threatens Dooku, she ignites her shock whip and soon after Dooku begins force choking her.
 An instant later, without any sound, the shock whip is disengaged and on the floor.

Moving on, Dooku knocks the shock whip out of Anakin's hand and he falls to the ground...
The Queen is laying directly behind him...
But when Dooku begins to electrocute him with Force Lightning there's nothing there.

Throughout the the throne room scene on Zygerria, Dooku's Lightsaber is hanging upside down on his belt.
 When he appears on Kadavo via Hologram, the emitter is pointing up...
 It changes back a shortly after.

Next, When Anakin and Ahsoka's ship blows up, the piece of debris that flies over their heads...
Lands to the left of the door...
But when they run up to the door the flaming wreckage is on the right.

When Plo Koon and Wolfpack first arrive, there are two Z-79 Headhunters that accompany Plo and the gunships as they leave the hanger.
But when it cuts to Plo, and then back again there are three Headhunters.

Next up, when Anakin takes control of one of the cannons and destroys the others with it, he stops short of blasting the last cannon and tells Plo that it's "All clear."

Our little trash can shaped friend had some problems in this episode;
After Anakin and Ahsoka enter the slave facility on Kadavo...
Artoo disappears!
And when Anakin, Obi-Wan and Rex escape on a gunship, Artoo is nowhere to be seen.
It's not until the very end, in the hanger that he finally shows back up. So could he have used his jets to get back to the Star Destroyer? Or did he teleport as we've seen before in TCW.

Speaking of the hanger scene, in the first shot Artoo is beside Anakin. When they all stop he rolls out of the frame at left.
 But right after Governor Roshti says "Padawan Tano, may I have a word?", Artoo can be seen moving right to left behind Plo and Anakin.

And finally, Artoo used to be a mechanic, but then he took a blaster to the wheel! No, really! While Anakin is trying to cut through the door, Artoo's front wheel is shot...
 But in the hanger scene it shows no damage,

Random Note: Wait, what?
So how why did the Zygerrians let Obi-Wan keep his comlink? Seems like that would have been the first thing taken from him. Hmm...
 Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Big thanks to Dan, Caleb and Ruari for spotting many of the bloopers seen here!(And thanks to Zac for the Skyrim joke) If I made a faux pas of my own, let me know in the comments. If you enjoyed this edition of CWB please click the share buttons below!

In my opinion, this episode wasn't as much of an "Instant classic" as it's predecessor, but it had some very epic moments. For as much stuff as there was in this episode it didn't feel rushed at all. Lots of great action, but as always I could have taken more. Even though Plo Koon is a tad overused in this series I really enjoyed his appearance here. And Wolfpack? Well they're just plain epic! And what was the deal with the Slaves? In the last episode they said there was 50,000 of them, in this one there only seemed to be 20 or so! FAIL! Overall I give it an 8/10.

Until next time, MTFBWY! -B-


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jumping Out From Hyperspace to 'Rise of the Rakghouls'


I've jumped out of hyperspace everybody! I would just like to start off noting that I will be working out a very complex schedule for myself in order to become a full-time, regular writer for The Star Wars Underworld. I have come back from the depths of the Unknown Regions to inform you all on just a bit on my plans for the next couple of weeks, and to tell you all about the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic's Game Update 1.1 called 'Rise of the Rakghouls', the first of the many regularly-scheduled content updates to come for the story-driven MMO.

So far I have talked to Dominic Jones, Chris Seekell, and Savanna Kiefer about coming back from my hiatus and informing them on my plans for the community. With Dominic, I told him I will be submitting regular articles on The Star Wars Underworld website mostly for Star Wars: The Old Republic, but there are some other plans I do have which won't be announced at this time. As for my conversation with Chris and Savanna, I can't say much except that The Old Republic Cantina Facebook page owned by Chris and I will now be revived. The other upcoming plans that Chris, Savanna and I conversed about won't be disappointing, either! Chris, Savanna and I got a chance to get together and chat over Skype and talk about our plans, while I sent a message to Dominic over Facebook to keep in touch and let him know that I'll be fulfilling that pending spot I have as a reporter and writer for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Now, let's get to that content update BioWare released today. Originally, 'Rise of the Rakghouls' was supposed to be released Tuesday, January 17, 2012, but was delayed due to "issues requiring additional testing". Luckily, the issues weren't severe and 'Rise of the Rakghouls' was released today, Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

"Hey guys, another big droid! What do we do?"  "Kill it."

There are a numerous amount of add-ons to the game with Game Update 1.1. The already-existing "Karagga's Palace" Operation was given a major expansion that has more than tripled the size of the Operation! This Operation will truly test the skill of you and your allies as you fight Karagga's army of bounty hunters and battle droids before culminating for an enormous final battle. While making your way through Karagga's palace, you will be given many rewards and even better ones if you take on the Operations in hard mode!

You will also get a brand new Flashpoint entitled 'Kaon Under Siege'. This Flashpoint takes you and your teammates to the planet Kaon, which has been plagued with a horrible Rakghoul virus outbreak. While playing through the Flashpoint and fighting these savage beasts, you will encounter a small band of survivors and learn the truth behind the outbreak. 'Kaon Under Siege' offers players an experience of a brand new story, and at the same time you can unlock new gear!

Finally, Game Update 1.1 will also include a numerous amount of bug fixes which will help make the game experience increasingly smoother. The next major update for this MMO is planned to come out sometime in March 2012.

To keep up with all the latest news and updates about Star Wars: The Old Republic, be sure to 'Like' us on Facebook. And for everything that the rest of the Star Wars universe has to offer, please 'Like' The Star Wars Underworld, also on Facebook. Comment, share, and 'like'!
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