Sliced & Diced & Nerfed?

This is how I think slicing works...

This week a patch rolled out on The Old Republic that set the forums ablaze with rage and cheering and cherry soda.  Okay, there was no cherry soda.  Well, there was. But I am fairly certain that was just at my desk. Not a feature. Along with that cherry soda, I can confirm I was definitely not in the camp that was cheering.  However, readers beware!  Those of you seeking an outlet for your rage and confirmation that this change was a foolish action that proves that Bioware doesn’t know what they are doing will find themselves sorely disappointed.  For I was not in the raging camp either. I am actually fine with this change.  My bounty hunter with 400 slicing is fine with this change.  Just fine. Not happy, not mad.  It’s a middle ground. Like Ohio.

Wait! Come back! I know that’s not what you wanted to hear!  You wanted to be mad. You wanted vindication.  I understand that, but please come back here and I will tell you why I think that this is so not the change worth abandoning your slicing skill for.  For I am here to tell you that – yes, Virginia – slicing is still profitable.  Just maybe not in the way you were doing it before.

Hunter Gatherer Society

The first and most important thing to understand before we go any further with this is that slicing is a gathering skill and not a mission skill.  That means we need to think of it in terms of things like scavenging and archaeology.  What does that mean?  Well for one, you can send companions out to do scavenging missions.  They’ll come back with a handful of whatever material, and it will probably not be as much as a quick trot around Coruscant will get you for no cost.  It’s a bad investment.  Really, I think it’s only worthwhile if you’re stuck on the fleet, need just one or two more items to finish crafting something, and the GTN is ridiculously priced.  That’s about the only time I can think of it to use those missions. If you can think of another, that’s good. I still don’t think it’s really worth it.

So how then, when lockbox missions are only returning a portion of their initial cost and putting you in the red, is slicing suppose to return a profit? Simple. You do the exact same thing you do with any other gathering profession: Do it yourself.  Throughout your adventures you’ll find slicing nodes.  There’s locked safes, holographic computers, data terminals… all sitting around in completely random and nonsensical places.  ‘Cause the radioactive swamps of Taris are exactly where you wanna leave your laptop. These slicing nodes provide you with lockboxes.  The same lockboxes you can nab from missions, only these don’t cost you anything.  That’s pure credits with no cost.

In this way, slicing is still profitable but it actually requires you to go out and do stuff, not just sit in the cantina and rake in cash.  I’ve been able to find slicing nodes in large clumps around inhabited areas.  Why just running around a quick area on Taris the other day netted me a quick 5000 credits.  That’s in 5-10 minutes.  Sure, I’ll go without for a while and not see a single node, but overall it’s still a steady flow.

The Mission Gamble

So where does that leave missions?  Why have them?  Well, as I said, they hold about the same value as the scavenging missions or bioanalysis missions.  Not much value.  But wait! Don’t those missions at least give you something?  Well yes.  So do slicing missions.  But it’s a bit of a gamble.  Really, I like to think of slicing lockbox missions as a scratch off lotto ticket.  You spend money to send out a companion, then you’ll get a lockbox.  This lockbox will probably only contain maybe 75-80% of what you spent to send them off (those numbers are in no way legit. This is just an example.) Now that’s no profit, but sometimes you might get more and make a little profit.  You also might get a cybertech schematic or a mission item (that unlock a bonus mission for a profession, usually with excellent rewards.)  So you might actually get quite a bit, but it’s a chance. A gamble.

There are also augment missions.  These mission you don’t get ANY money back, but the trade-off is a guaranteed augment.  In fact a trade-off is probably the best way to describe how slicing works now or at least a better term than gambling.

So that’s all I really had to say.  It’s really just a matter of perspective in my opinion. If you treat slicing like any other gathering profession, I think it’s still a pretty good crew skill to have.  It’s just maybe not THE crew skill to have and that’s fine too. If you HAVE to take something, then that’s less fun and interesting that something you can choose to take.  Then again if something is pointless, there’s no reason to have it in the game in the first place.  I don’t think slicing is pointless.  My bounty hunter with 400 slicing is still making good money as he levels with it.  I’m just glad my Jedi knight can do something else now too.

The Great Raid Nerf of 4.2

ATTENTION: This post is a not-for-profit fan based parody. Please support the official QQ.

Ladies and gentlemen, our very way of life is under attack.  From ruthless and heartless developers who feel that just because content is no longer in its prime, fallen behind the blazing trail of progression, and simply isn’t as relevant as the newer shiny toy that just got delivered, that we should simply open the flood gates and let any and all riff raff of the general gaming populous view said content.

They want us to believe that not everyone can afford the $12 dollar ticket to see the movie in the real theater and that if they wait long enough that they can see the same movie in some cheapo dollar theater over in some strip mall, and enjoy the same film at a fraction of the cost and effort! Well I am here to say, that’s not how it works in the real world, Blizzard!

Just because one model of car is one, two or even 20 years older, it does not mean you pay less to own it than you would a brand new model.  No sir.  Maybe in fairy land where things just manifest out of pixie dust, but not in the real world. In this world, no one has a free pass.  And honestly Blizzard, I am shocked.  Shocked, I say.  This comes completely out of left field.

Why I was riding around on my level 40 epic mount thinking about how before this announcement, I thought you had integrity.  That you believed in your product enough that you could leave the exclusive club that I originally fell in love with.  Now you want to make sure that everybody, regardless of putting in the time and effort, to see the content that otherwise would probably go ignored in favor of random heroics.

I am flabbergasted, Blizz.  I really am.  So to finish this protest, I would like to turn this post over to the department chair of the raid boss psychology department at Zangarmarsh Community College – Professor Billy T. Ogre.  Billy?

No, I am never going to get tired of this Ogre.Thank you, Billy.