Weird sequence of events led me to have my main SWTOR character on a PvE server called Dune Bantha. I initially started playing Republic with my wife on a server some of my SWTOR Life buddies played on, but my wife soon quit due to annoyances in the game she couldn’t pass over and I needed an Empire character to discover some things for our SWTOR Spy Database. That is how Zarmelesh, a demented Twi’lek Sith Assassin came to life – a female character with a randomly assigned name and no ambition whatsoever.
Dune Bantha was chosen because it had low population at the time and I didn’t want to wait for queues nor did I want to have my game investigations hampered by random PvP (so PvE server was chosen). I was power leveling my assassin, with exception of class quests which had such great cutscenes and story that I just couldn’t speed past those. Two unexpected things happened. I started loving my demented assassin and some of its companions (Khem FTW). I also started playing loads of PvP warzones. So much that I mostly level through PvP from level 30 to level 49. I was rank 49 in PvP and I had to level to 50 to be able to get to PvP rank 50 – meaning – my PvP rank leveling curve was ahead of my actual experience leveling curve.
The consequence of so much PvP was that I’ve started seeing the same faces in PvP and getting familiar with their play styles. We soon started sending each other /wave-s and /hug-s as on Imperial Fleet hallways. The thing about pre-50 PvP is that there are a lot of people that play it just a few times and those that play it all the time. Soon we had a team of regulars that you knew the tactics and were tough to play against. By that time though there was already a big decline in active players and we started seeing less and less PvP matches pop. Nevertheless, I remember this one Sith Warrior called Narfle – he was my PvP God at the time. He was unbeatable and I always wondered how did he manage to survive everything, score regularly and be first on the score board. Cheers Narfle – it was always a pleasure losing to you ;).
Reaching level 50 changed the game for me because PvP suddenly became a different game. There were people with PvP gear and knowledge of tactics. Very few noobs existed or were so humiliated that they either practiced to become better or left never to return to PvP. Server population became even smaller and we had perhaps 40-50 players both republic and imperial side that regularly played PvP. I started seeing always the same faces. It was a lot of fun because we all played PvP for hours with the same people and we really bonded – may it be through rivalry or camaraderie – but we kind of bonded. I always knew that if I played with fat and bald bounty hunter Egg or sorcerer Zyntharia or Sith Warrior Morgoth in the group I would win because they were so good at what they did. There were republic players that we knew we would lose against because they were so good (Syth , Kitven, Gilgamesh, Valery, thejedi, Emi (which is Zyntharia’s rep character)). I started learning from these greats and started getting some better PvP gear and sooner rather than later I was getting to be one of the veterans as well. I specced into tanking PvP build and started showing up in the top of the score board more often than not. Tanking build also made it possible to do PvE.
PvE was not so good for a very long time. The first three months I barely ever found a group for a HM flashpoint. The server was low pop as it is and people started leaving very soon, which made things even more difficult. I was in a zerg guild that had 15 members online out of 500 all the time (and none of them were level 50). In a surprising turn of events I got an invite one night form a Danish guild. They needed an off-tank to help them in their EV raid. I was ecstatic. I think some of their members knew me from PvP or I was the only tank online. Whatever the case I was soon experiencing my first raid content in SWTOR and not just watched it on livestreams. Things went really well and I even got some gear. Thanks to the Danish Invasion I had my first SOA kill and raiding PvE experience in SWTOR 3+ months after the game launched. We raided several more times in the next month and it is the most fun I had in SWTOR beside some great PvP matches. I would like to take this opportunity to thank P’nes, Aeonkazza, Rion, Rambo, Glikus, Greken, Taball and the rest of the gang for taking me in and putting up with my complete lack of knowledge of Danish language and lack of any tanking skills. You guys made SWTOR a memorable experience.
For a few weeks now it has been very hard to get a raid going. Some people got fed up with Bioware’s inability to react to problems. Others left as soon as Diablo 3 launched. Some still persist and try and get a raid going every now and then with the help of two other crippled guilds. It is still fun hanging out with these guys and playing together, but the occasions have become seldom. Zyntharia is still kicking ass in PvP. I enjoy it whenever it happens. Unfortunately it can be hours now before a match pops. Besides, there are so few of us playing now that as soon as one side loses they never reapply for PvP and we go into a waiting mode for an hour.
I wanted to tell you my story of the server Dune Bantha and the people I enjoyed playing this game with. I wasn’t planning on it. I always thought I would be a raiding and healing smuggler on the Juyo server. Instead, I became a demented PvP Assassin in a Danish guild. Now that many have left I feel that I need to put this story in writing. I want all of you that stumbled upon this blog entry to know that from January to April 2012 there was this game Star Wars: The Old Republic that we all thought is awesome and that there was this server Dune Bantha on which I found people that gave me hours and days of gaming heaven.
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