With the help of many, Vroflus finds a way to create something from nothing.
Sunday, July 06, 2003, 5:50:43 AM (ScreenShot0145)
I always liked this picture. After that Kimo hunt, I got a ring from Junon asking to help him grind out a box of XP. We went after some Kusaks for a lil while near my house. He ended up building his place at the bottom of the cliff that my house sits on, so we met up in the area and let my pets and his rifle do most of the work. I didn’t get involved in the shooting, so he was able to get almost all of the combat XP, but I took the CH XP. That was what was cool about the way the XP worked back then. From what I remember, you got a proportionate amount of XP that was related to the amount of damage you did.
As for Junon, he was always a snappy dresser. He got lucky and looted that duster from a Meatlump outside of Coronet early after launch, and he built an outfit around it.
Tuesday, July 08, 2003, 12:44:00 AM (ScreenShot0149)
A couple days later, and I found myself in Jabbas Palace with Ciale and Rampage. Ciale was far behind us in XP because he had a trip to Florida right after launch, so we had to help catch him up to us. By this time Rampage and I both were in the Pistoleer tree, I was a Novice CH, Ramp was almost at that point too (you can see him talking about needing some more Scout XP), and poor Ciale was a total noob. We decided to take a break from the grind and just run through Jabbas missions. At launch, they were incredibly easy (one shot kills usually), and no real loot was involved… but a badge was, and explorers love badges ya know. You can see by the picture that Homer was getting bigger. SOE’s servers were all jerked, so we’d get rolled back all the time. Your pet was as big as you one day, and back to being a baby after a rollback. Being a CH was a royal pain in the ass sometimes.
Tuesday, July 08, 2003, 2:01:06 AM (ScreenShot0150)
When it comes to foreshadowing, nothing will tell the full story of my SWG experience much better then this picture. Years and years later, our closest friends long gone, Homer and I would be in this very spot, logging out for the very last time. You could almost sense it at the time. Standing outside the house, watching the moon set on the other side of the cliff… it was a calm moment. Scouts get that kind of duplicitous existence. You are frequently in the middle of the madness, but you will also find yourself alone in the wilderness by trade. There’s a lot of time to reflect as a Scout. I’m sure that day I was thinking about how to price the sale of a certain baby I may have tamed, or cooking up some decent Kimo waypoints. Or maybe I was just enjoying a calm moment with Homer, one of many the future would bring.
Tuesday, July 08, 2003, 3:31:14 AM (ScreenShot0154)
A little while later, and I was back at that Tusken Camp near Wayfar. This screen holds a lot of information . You can see by the titles that many people started pushing into their elite profession boxes. You can also see some houses built up on the hill. Who wouldn’t want to live near Jabba? I’m sure this was the start of one of Tatooines many Eclipsian PRC’s. But the most important thing I discovered that day, was a guy with two Rancors. I would see a different guy with three at the Starport on my way off the planet that day as well. Back then, you could have three of these monsters out at the same time. Being a CH indeed had its privileges. I realized something instantly. I may have had things to be proud of, but they were all Lok-centric. Other adventurers pushed in other ways. Obviously not only had people gone to Dathomir, but they had done the seemingly unthinkable and tamed multiple Rancors. I realized I had somewhat pigeonholed myself as an explorer. Sure I was the man when it came to Lok, but that was all I knew. I needed to branch out and see what else the galaxy had in store for me.
Wednesday, July 09, 2003, 9:42:22 PM (ScreenShot0163)
One place I hit the next day was the Lake Retreat on Naboo. I didn’t even know anything really existed outside of Theed on Naboo, but some guy wanted to buy some kind of low level pet, I took a contract, and met him in this small city by his house. As I was waiting for the guy, you could see me wheeling and dealing in the chat. Junon and I were discussing pricing methods for harvested bone. 500 bone selling at 4k credits was awesome for the time. As a scout you’d get around 5-30 pieces per harvest, unless you were hitting things like Kimos which would give you around 600 if memory serves. Quality still didn’t matter. Tailors and budding Architects were just happy to have the correct materials to start making things like Chiten Armor that day.
My conversation with Zannex will bring back memories to anyone who went the route of Droid Engineer after launch. Him cursing the player economy was echo’d by legons of DE’s who got no love from the devs for years after launch. I always found it shamefully ironic that arguable the very most loyal people (DE’s) to the Star Wars brand, were given the most nerfed, borked, unplayable profession to deal with. Almost none of their stuff worked, and what they could make was incredibly hard to pull off. Plus, it was a matter of limited credits to even get the materials to grind on. DE’s had it rough and I respect them all for it to this day. So you can see he was telling me what it would take to fill an order I needed. Not for myself, I had my own pets.
At this point, I was taking orders from all over the server for just about anything. Need a Probot? “I think Vro can get you one.” Need a house? “I think Vroflus is an architect or something.” People thought I had twenty alts and played the game 25 hours a day. The truth was, I was taking orders, giving them to friends, and marking up the price on the exchange of goods. So not only was I taming creatures and selling them, but more often then not a transaction would look something like this:
1. Joe Marksman wants 5 mineral extractors
2. Darkghosty just hit that level or architect, but he doesn’t have the materials
3. Jonny Miner has the materials, but he’s overcharging. He does however like armor and pets
4. Vroflus offers two Kusaks, and a set DG’s brand new Chiten Armor, and zero credits to Jonny Miner
5. I cant be in 5 places at once, so Nosun does some of the legwork (like picking up the armor from DG and dropping it off in Vro’s house), and Vro has to pay him travel fees plus 20% on the total deal fee
6. Vro has Jonny Miner meet him in his house on Lok. They trade ore for armor and pets.
7. Vro then has Nosun goto DG’s with the ore, where DG builds the extractors.
8. Nosun then leaves the extractors in Vros house
9. Vro meets Joe Marksman and exchanges extractors for credits
10. Vro pays Nosun his travel fees and his 20% commission for running around
11. Vro pays DG for his trouble, but usually DG works for the opportunity to get XP
12. Vro does not make much cash… but he now knows Joe marksman and Jonny Miner. Now he’s got two more guys to plug into the next trade cycle. The server economy grows. Everyone wins.
And that’s how you do it when the economy is not established yet. When people were trying to price gouge, someone named Vroflus ended up with the order. That is how I did it. That’s the way to circumvent the Bazaar, the vendors, and the credit markup. You deal in objects, not in credits. You just have to know who wants what, and how bad they want or need it. You make a lot of longterm friends this way, you earn respect, and you get the satisfaction of looking like you consistently make something out of nothing.
Wednesday, July 09, 2003, 9:55:22 PM (ScreenShot0166)
“/tell hell.” Ever hear of it? From that point on, I was usually in the middle of at least 5 conversations at once. Lets see what we have here… Zox is *****ing about the Tusken camp lagging to all hell because everyone with 3 Rancors would use them to get XP. So the screen was shaking at all times with all these big pets, like 20 of them, plus 20 players. That place because the first ever “lag bowl” that I knew of. We were also discussing the difference between a Probot and a Probe Droid. Pretty much nobody knew wtf Droid Engineers could make, and what those droids could do. I was teaching Homer how to follow commands in spatial chat, and then I was also talking to Zannex about that droid stuff. Then Fuxu started to chime in, and I was also talking to a random passer-by concerning where I could find a Peko Peko spawn in the wild. The idea was that at the Tusken camp, everyone now was grinding pet xp… so I wanted a pet that could fly to the source and get more hits then anyone else. So that’s what was going on. If you walked past me, I was talking to one person, but on my end, my hands were moving at 100 miles an hour trying to keep all these conversations together. I will say this now, the dreaded “mistell” was to become my calling card. Anyone that knows me well in SWG knows that sooner or later you’re going to get a message from me intended for someone else. I took much abuse over this fact from my pals.
Thursday, July 10, 2003, 1:32:40 AM (ScreenShot0174)
By July 10th, word was out on the Tusken Camp next to Wayfar for real. It’s was complete and total chaos. I’d mash the tab key looking for the next spawn, send my pets in, and the rinse and repeat trying to grind CH XP. You don’t remember a camp between Jabbas and Wayfar do you? That’s cause the lag went from bad to worse, and then at this point we crashed the whole server over and over again until the dev’s removed the camp from the game. I heard a rumor that they moved it to the middle of nowhere, but I had enough of that place anyway. Still though, it’s kinda funny to look at this screen and see Kastore running into that nightmare. Glad I was just there for CH XP.
Thursday, July 10, 2003, 1:51:20 AM (ScreenShot0180)
As I mentioned before, that camp was an excellent place to get Medic or Entertainer XP. I’d set up and camp and people would be on top of me in seconds. Above you can see me and yet another real life buddy Reishin, playing some tunes to heal peoples minds. And of course, the chaos would get dragged directly into my camp by noobs trying to avoid getting pwnt. No matter how much you explain to a noob that the Doctors will heal them if they stay still, they will always always drag aggro on top of people who aren’t in the fight. I’m telling you, that Tusken Camp was a complete fiasco, I’m surprised it took the devs so many weeks to remove it.
Friday, July 11, 2003, 1:48:42 AM (ScreenShot0184)
The next day Zox layed down the gauntlet. He now qualified to tame baby Rancors, so next stop was Dathomir. I wasn’t at that level of CH yet, but you don’t have to ask me to go to uncharted territory twice. The fact that people were already there, and bringing back legendary pets, was already annoying enough. The simple truth was that I just couldn’t be in 10 places at once, so I never made it out there. I also hadn’t been to Yavin IV, Dantooine, Endor or Talus either. But it was time. We were ready for something bigger. The problem was… it was ready for us as well.