Twas a Few Nights Before Christmas, When All Through The House…

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

Though I did not sleep, oh perish the thought,

I smiled, admiring fondly the lightsaber I just bought;

It hummed like an engine, purring with glee,

For soon the red, running blood of Jedi it would see;

I called to my companion, her lekku flowing care-free,

Vette, get back to the ship and make a piece of armor or three;

I cannot go with you, Vette, you must travel alone,

For there are hordes of ‘pubs on tonight that I must pwn;

Suddenly, what is this interruption I hear,

Why, it is the sound of my loved ones speaking in my ear;

“It’s time for bed, you’ve hogged the computer long enough, damn it!” they shouted with cheer,

“Fuck out my face – I still have to finish this quest chain on Ilum!” I responded to those I held dear;

So they acquiesced and left me to play,

Going back to bed, turning around just long enough to say – “Oh for fuck’s sake! Fine! Keep playing for all I care!”;

So I continued my blood bath, and smiled in delight,

Merry Christmas to all – I said as I stabbed a Jedi in the neck -, and to all a goodnight!

 

Mele Kalikimaka, bitches...

 

As if you couldn’t guess what this post is about, a funny thing happened to me on my way to the office today –  I found out something awesome about a game I’ve been following for several years *cough*SWTOR*cough*. I won’t tell you which game -*hack*SWTOR*cough*- it is, but I will-*cough*SWTOR*wheeze*-allow you to-SWTOR-watch this video to see which game I mean.

Pay very close attention to the last 9 seconds of the video (1:55-2:04).

 

 

Did you see what I saw? You know you did.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. After 5 long years, after weeks, months, years of anticipation, the day has finally arrived:

Star Wars: The Old Republic – FINALLY – has a release date.

The Force Will – officially – Be With Us on December 20, 2011 (December 22, for the EU).

As I sit here typing this, the news is no longer fresh. I am several hours removed from learning about this for the first time, and that has given me enough breathing room to really take all this in.

That said, the excitement hasn’t worn off; not one damn bit.

People, almost 4 years; I’ve been waiting for this game for almost 4 years… Some people have been waiting for longer than that – all the way back when all we knew was that BioWare was making A MMO; no details about what that MMO would be, just that they were making one.

For me, for those people, this is like V-J Day (but not nearly as significant – R.I.P. Grandpa, and all the other vets from the greatest generation). This is the day we always hoped would arrive, but probably, somewhere in the back of our minds where we chased the thought to, wondered if it ever would come.

There’s only one thing to do now.

No commentary, no nitpicking, no over-analyzing.

The only fitting thing to do at a time like this is: CELEBRATE – and get ready.

December 20, folks; that gives you three months.

Plan those vacations.

Get your holiday situation in order. Start cataloguing all the acceptable excuses you can feed your family to explain your sudden absences while you steal away to the computer to play a little more SWTOR;

If you haven’t pre-ordered, DO IT! DO NOT DELAY! SWTOR‘s launch is staggered, folks (that means there is a limit to how many they will let in before they close the gates).

Don’t be caught on the outside looking in while we are all inside enjoying the wonders of Hoth & Tatooine.

Be next to us while we duel by the Sarlacc and try to knock each other in.

Other than that, it’s time to celebrate all things Star Wars, baby. Get up, get busy, get moving, whatever your voodoo, do that voodoo that you do so well, or get left behind.

May the Force be with you all!

 

(Sorry folks, I cringe everytime I see Hayden Christensen in that celebration – so I posted one that cut off beforehand. I’ll post the full music below.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Props to a friend for sending the two kitten links.)

 

 

 

 

 

(Seriously, lightsabers make EVERYTHING better.)

 

Best. Parody. Ever.

 

 

No words are necessary, really.

 

 

What?... She's a FAN of Star Wars...

 

 

Aw, I love it, guys! Put it in the hallway!

 

 

Um... Force Kick?...

 

 

Looks like there are lots of athletes all around the world that still have their arms in their sockets.

 

 

Can I getta "Amen"?

 

 

Han & Lando - Kings among men.

 

 

Before there was Cartman, there was Jabba (and before there were thousands of girls every con wearing this costume, there was Carrie Fisher, melting our movie screens).

 

 

No offense to Bib, but I'm kind of relieved that he is just the hideous exception, and not the rule, of the Twi'lek male gender.

 

And one more for the road.

Arguably, the most iconic sound in film history.

 

 

See you all in a galaxy far, far away this December.

 

Advertisements

Take it away, Tatsu.

Sorry for the ass level quality of the video, but it does its job.

For those who are out of the loop, the devs at BioWare pulled off a rather impressive ninja update earlier this morning. The result: SWTOR‘s Pre-Launch Guild Program officially hit Phase 2, which the devs are calling “Phase 2: Alignment.”

Those who have followed the game for awhile will remember the day, way back, when BioWare initiated their Pre-Launch Guild Program.

Phase 1 began with thousands of people registering their guilds on the official site, after which GM registrants were given an area on the official site to register other guild members, as well as built-in forums to use on the official site. Further, all players, whether in a guild or not, were given access to a fairly comprehensive search engine, which they could use to find a guild that suited their interests (PvP, PvE, RPPvE, RPPvP, etc.). The program was met with a very large amount of fanfare and positive reception, as I recall – though that positive reception quickly gave way to impatience for the next step of the program.

Fast forward, and we have finally arrived at that next step.

Phase 2 was described in better detail by BioWare dev Courtney Woods:

Back in March we initiated our Pre-Launch Guild Program, where members of the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ community could search for already established guilds or register one of their very own through the Guild Headquarters page. We are thrilled to announce that we have begun the second phase of our Pre-Launch Guild Program! 

With Phase 2: Alignment, we are introducing new features which allow guilds to set their allegiance with other guilds in The Old Republic. Now a guild leader, along with members who have the proper permissions, can select up to three guilds as either Allies or Adversaries, depending on their faction affiliation. Qualifying guilds that are marked as Allies and Adversaries of other guilds will have the highest chance of being placed in the game together, allowing these guilds to coexist on the same server.

Another feature being implemented with Phase 2 is the ability for guild leaders and members with the proper permissions to invite friends to join their guild via email. You can start recruiting new members today!

To learn more about guilds in The Old Republic, check out the Guilds Game System page for details, and to search for or join a guild, visit the Guild HQ now! Also be sure to visit the Guilds FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions.

To me, an announcement like this goes a long way toward easing my concerns that SWTOR could possibly be pushed back into the new year.

In many ways, I am a business-minded person I understand caution, and not revealing your cards too soon.

That said, I am also a gamer who has waited 3+ years for this game to release.

So comments like those made by Eric Brown at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, where he covered EA’s bases, once again, by suggesting that a push into 2012 was “a slight possibility”, wore on my already sagging heart.

Don’t take that as me indicting EA for their handling of the matter. EA are playing this very smart. As a business-minded person, I have to admire their fortitude in sticking with their guns in the face of such rabid demand. They definitely have some brass balls.

Still, updates like the start of Phase 2 of the Pre-Launch Guild Program, gives me real hope that this game won’t fall back into 2012. Add in Damion Schubert’s comments in his interview with TORWars (where he revealed that BioWare are now at the point where they are implementing features directly from their famous “Wall of Crazy”, which, to me, sounds like they are nearing the end of the development cycle), and it sounds even less likely that SWTOR will fail to meet their window.

This is probably the best news I’ve heard about SWTOR in recent months.

By my reasoning, if the devs are already preparing for server placement, they must be fairly confident that they are well on their way to hitting their Holiday 2011 window dead center.

Granted, testing is still very much underway – which is why EA/BioWare cannot give an exact launch date -, but everything in my bones tells me that, barring any major unforeseen issues in testing, SWTOR will be in our hands in a few months time.

I’m still hoping that I’ll have to be shooed off to Thanksgiving Dinner in the middle of slaughtering sand people on Tatooine. 🙂

In celebration of what I consider to be the first sign that SWTOR‘s release is coming sooner, rather than later, here are some screens that I have not seen posted anywhere else, and also some nostalgiac Star Wars-themed videos to brighten your day.

(Just a disclaimer: I don’t support the “gold key” movement, but I still found the video funny and entertaining.)

Get that #@!$ out of my face...

 

Hi, buddy!

 

"Satele, I have bad news: you won't look anything like you do now in ten years time."

 

"Where do you think YOU'RE going!"

 

"You cut my face?! I already had a skin condition, asshole!"

 

"I win."

 

"I object."

 

"NUBCAKE!"

 

Fatality - Malgus Wins

 

"I hate to say it, but you just got owned, son."

Faceless in a Land of Glamour

Cheeky title, eh?

This is going to be one of those posts that’s a little more off-the-cuff than I usually do – but I’ll let hindsight point out the things I regret saying (if there are any).

Despite the fact that I’ve had this blog for months now, there are still times when I struggle to decide what it is I want to say, if I want to say something, and how to present it. I guess that’s not terribly strange, considering the fact that I am probably the most secretive person I know – in real life, or online.

How the hell does someone who values privacy function online? I’ve often asked myself that question. In fact, I’ve often wondered if I should just delete this blog from the face of the internet, entirely. Its not as if I would be leaving hundreds of readers disappointed. Most of my page views come from a picture of a bottle of Louis XIII cognac. Granted, it is a sexy, sexy looking bottle, but what does that say about the rest of this blog?

Ok, now I should point out, I smiled all through that last paragraph.

Why? Probably because I take pains NOT to advertise this site.

Facebook? No (aside from some friends who have posted something I wrote – props to the coolest Aussie I know).

Twitter? I haven’t used my twitter account in close to a year.

Take your pick of every other form of social online gathering places – you won’t find any ads for TheLabyrinthineJar, nor any posts urging anyone to visit. I don’t think that is because I dislike talking to people – I’ve met some of my favorite people online. Sometimes, I think it is just my own personal need to keep things private that fuels my desire to stay hidden.

Trust me, I’m not like that in real life. I’ve often been called a “bastard” (though lovingly – props to you Daleous, my great Viking friend), and I think more than one person might even describe me as a bit arrogant (only a bit – assholes). But I am also a wise-cracking guy, and I try hard to be sincere, and I think that allows people to tolerate me. 😛

But I am far from that online.

So why do I have a blog?

I’ve asked myself that more times than I can count.

Sitting here now, listening to Tula from Cusco, I think maybe I keep this blog just to satisfy my need to write. Whether the topic is about SWTOR, films, music in video games, D&D, or what have you, I enjoy writing just to write.

No kidding.

When I think back on this blog’s fairly recent history, I believe my greatest accomplishment has been making “tl;dr” a viable title for this site (I’ve been thinking of changing this blog’s mission statement to something that highlights that fact).

I think in the future I may post excerpts of some writing projects I’ve been working on here. I may even expand on the little summary I wrote for one of my D&D articles I wrote a while ago, just for fun.

Just one warning: leave all preconceptions at the door.

I am not a horror fiction writer, a fantasy writer, or even a political writer — I am a writer… I don’t limit myself to one genre, nor could I for fear of insanity.

I will be careful to add an appropriate rating if the story contains extreme use of expletives (this is almost a certainty), if the themes are a bit much (this tends to happen sometimes – blame it on Lovecraft), or if the violence contained within is a bit graphic (this, not so much).

Just like anything else on here, don’t expect a theme. I may post horror, and next post a somewhat sappy romanticized piece of work. It all depends on how the cookie crumbles.

For now, since I brought up Cusco, I guess the only fitting thing to do is post it up.

Take a listen, and enjoy. Peace out.