starwarsbattlefront 2016-07-28 21-41-19-16_1

Battlefront moments

One of the reasons I keep coming back to Battlefront – apart from it being new, shiny and, most of all, fun – is the attention to detail and the little moments which make me stop and go wow. At the beginning of one match, waiting for the timer to count down, I happened to look up and found myself watching an ongoing space battle (see image above). It’s only a little thing (and as previously mentioned, suggests one of the other game modes) but really sets the atmosphere (no pun intended.) So here are a couple of other little moments I’ve noticed in my first couple of weeks of playing that made me stop and go “Oh hey, wow, look!” (before promptly getting shot!)
Read more »

El Hombre Secreto

Hombre Secreto

One upside of SWTORs controversial Dark Vs Light event (see Ravanel and Shintar‘s views) is that I realised I had a character I had not yet fully played and who could easily be deleted and restarted. Step forward my Imperial Agent.

I had meant to play the Agent story last of the original eight (yes, despite starting playing five years ago, I still have not got Legendary status. Yet.) but hey, free stuff. So Quyn said good bye and Quynlanthas, Chiss agent, was reborn. Quynlanthas, incidentally, was the name of my Blood Elf Paladin in WoW and the name itself was a pseudo Thalassian adaptation of the Kiffar Jedi, Quinlan Vos so, in a way, the name has come full circle. Anyway…

With both an XP Boost and a few levels of Story Class bonus xp legacy thingies, I managed to get to level 25 in about half an hour – or at least, it seemed like that. I was 25 before leaving Dromund Kaas, that’s for sure. I think I got 4 levels for completing Black Talon once and also three levels for turning in the Warzone introductory mission and the daily mission. I didn’t have to do any side missions (beyond Heroics for gearing purposes) and rapidly pushed through the story.

And what a story!
Read more »

Fighter Squadron

All Wings Report In

The old Lucasarts game X-Wing was my first PC purchase and, ultimately was not only the reason that I first became a PC gamer but also the reason I work as a software developer and have done for the last 20 years. (I’d like to say that it was because I was inspired by the beauty of the game but the real reason is that I spent several days struggling with the ubiquities of IBM DOS and ended up learning more than I care to share about memory management on a 486 DX2). Then, like all good PC gamers, I have an affinity for the classic TIE Fighter game which was tremendous. And before the release of X-Wing Alliance, there was the multiplayer only X-Wing vs TIE-Fighter which I’ve owned since the mid 90s and have, as of yet, never played (because no other bugger ever wanted to play it!)

Forgoing a brief history of other Star Wars space combat video games (do not ask me how much time I spent in Star Wars Galaxies: Jump To Lightspeed but suffice to say I became a master pilot in all three factions multiple times!) I was delighted to see that one of the game modes in Star Wars: Battlefront is “Fighter Squadron” which does exactly what it says on the label. You get to fly either an X-Wing or A-Wing against a TIE/LN or TIE/IN. Then I tried the Beggars Canyon training mission and, well, frankly, I sucked. Partly this is because the default controls out of the box are KB/Mouse or Joypad – there doesn’t appear to be any native joystick control.

Read more »

Sabines Speeder

#Blaugust 2016

Hey, remember how I thought I’d manage to post a picture a day for the whole of November and then, well, didn’t? I’m going to do it again but with a slightly less picture intense intent. Basically, Belghast of Aggronaut has suggested that the annual Blaugust contest be less contest and more of a chilled attempt to publish blog posts regularly/on a schedule that, importantly, does not have to be every day. So I’m going to give it a go because, despite the pressures of work, training, family life and trying to play games in and around all that, I really want to capture more of my thoughts with more regularity. That sounds somewhat scatological but it wasn’t meant to be.

As a side note, I am in the middle of making some minor adjustments to the blog and the layout (which might explain some of the not quite proper sized images) and, as such, will be removing the title of the blog before long and reverting it back to “Dragon’s Mind”. So if you happen to like the blog and if you happen to want to link to it, please call it that and not “Get The Girls” which I have decided is vaguely problematic after all this time.

So here we are, August the 1st and my first Chilled Blaugust post. (Although don’t tell anyone but it’s actually August the 2nd and I’m backdating this just because I can.)
Blaugust 2016

(Header picture of Sabine Wren on a ROTJ Speederbike by artist Ingo Römling, reprehensibly used without permission but will be removed on request)

A week ago on Friday, my son and I made a rare trip into London for Star Wars Celebration 2016 at the Excel Centre on the Docklands. I hadn’t kept an eye on what was happening with Celebration so only realised it was in London back in January when I had a run coaching course planned on the Saturday (which, rather annoyingly, ended up being cancelled) but as soon as I saw it, I booked tickets realising that I might be a few years before it takes place in London again.

I have been to conventions before but not for many, many years (the last was a Blakes 7 convention back in February 99, the biggest was Wolf 359, a Babylon 5 convention in 1997). Celebration, though, was not really a convention in so much as it was a, well, celebration. There was a fantastic menagerie of people in cosplay, a huge number of stalls and exhibits and panels aplenty.


Read more »

Star Wars: Battlefront


I may have just bought Star Wars: Battlefront. I didn’t mean to but after drunkenly playing it on the PS4 at a thing the other night and seeing lots of people playing it at Star Wars Celebration last Friday, it’s been on my mind. My PC is barely capable of running it and I may need to upgrade some key components and I swore that I wasn’t going to get into multiplayer shooters again… but in the end it’s a very, very pretty game and I have bought far worse games just because they were labelled Star Wars. (I’m looking at you Force Commander – and don’t think you’ve got away with it either Super Bombad Racing! You’re just lucky my kids are entertained by you.)

I’m sure it’ll make for some amusing tales of calamity and woe from an appalling FPS player.


Don’t Panic!

Just when you think you’re getting back into the swing of things, the light at the end of the tunnel turns out to be a freight train. Good intentions, unfulfilled promises, best laid plans – derailed by an avalanche of adulting demands and then, suddenly, over six months have passed and it’s like someone has patched in some new life features which seem to be all buggy and not quite as good as you hoped.

Life – don’t talk to me about life!

On the plus side, how good was The Force Awakens? And, oh em gee, did you see the finale of Star Wars: Rebels?


The Sky Full Of Stars

IntPiPoMo! No, I have neither lost control of my vocabulator nor imbibed too many tinctures in the last 60 minutes. Instead, inspired by Ravanel, I have put myself forward for a blogging initiative called International Picture Posting Month, hosted by Chestnut from Gamer Girl Confessions. The challenge: to share fifty gaming screenshots during the month of November. Well, it’s either that, grow a mustache or write a small fifty thousand word novel. Running challenges normally happen in January so, hey, screenshots. If you’re interested in taking part, here’s the link:

So let’s kick it off. As I’m obviously currently in the throes of playing SWTOR again, I guess it might be time to do a little catch up on some of the Dramatis Personae, especially as my mains have swapped so much that, well, I don’t really have one. So here’s the team:
Read more »



It irks me that it’s only two posts ago that I wrote about the game changes brought about in SWTOR 2.0 after the first expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel and here I am, about to give my thoughts about the sweeping – and somewhat controversial – changes implemented by Knights of the Fallen Empire. But that’s my problem, not yours – perhaps I should have played and blogged more consistently but there we go.

Aside from new story content, which I will come to in due course, I think the biggest changes are the introduction of level syncing, overhauling the companion system and enabling Solo mode on old Flashpoints. They’re by no means the only changes – see the Patch Notes here – Now that the update has been out for nearly two weeks and I’ve had a chance to play and check out the features. Here’s what I think.
Read more »

If a ever a post was deserving of being done in a dramatic Star Wars opening crawl, replete with new Episode number, this would be it. I’d like to think that the text would explain my absence over the last couple of years was because I had been captured by an infamous bounty hunter and been kept prisoner by a sinister criminal overlord but in reality, the explanation would be far less exciting and interesting – it would probably talk about being embroiled in trade negotiation disputes. So what has been going on?
Read more »