Vroflus and Ballrog… Love at first sight?

Entry #12

Saturday, July 12, 2003, 11:28:14 AM (ScreenShot0222) 

I cant lie. Part of the lure of becoming a CH was having these giant companions follow you around. I mean this thing was a baby, I tamed him a few short hours ago… and he’s already as big as a house. Sure this type of thing would bring rise to a giant host of issues (mostly lag related), but damn it was cool as hell. Rain was my first potentially gigantic pet. It’s true, a Malkloc is really not a great pet statistically speaking. It’s more of a show piece really. And that’s just fine. “Rain” didn’t cost me much to pull out, so I had him out all the time, especially when I was solo. Rain and Homer had a lot of interaction as well. I used to have them on Patrol together in front of my house on Lok. People would run by from the starport and see this giant thing, totally not a Lokian species… and knock on my door asking where in the world I got him. That treatment was short lived however, as Malklocs are very easy to tame and you don’t need to be a Master CH to have one.

Saturday, July 12, 2003, 11:33:55 AM (ScreenShot0223) 

I had some time to myself later on that day, so I did a typical Scout thing… I went for a long walk. I remember when I arrived at this location, I stopped to admire the pastel blend in the sky. Sometimes at night, Dath almost felt like a portrait was being painted around you. The trees would blur off in the distance, melding into the night sky at times. I’ve put up a lot of arguments against the numerous SWG haters. They have their reasons and I respect them all. But one aspect of the game that I absolutely never (and will never) relent on, is the graphics. Sure they are no longer cutting edge… but at the time, they were just beautiful. Dathomir was a great example, it’d change from a green haze to an orange one at dusk sometimes. And the thing was, I couldn’t get it to repeat. It seemed like Dath was an organic soup, constantly swirling and changing around me. I spent a good deal just running around that day. I didn’t even have Homer out. I was quick and smooth, marking Rancor nests with waypoints. Long after the NGE hit and taming was striped from the game, I’d revisit those exact coordinates on Dathomir. I wondered “would those waypoints hold up? Would I find Rancors where I once did?” I did not. It was almost as if they migrated to a better place, and I was left alone in the woods accepting the fact that I would eventually have to find a way to join them.

Saturday, July 12, 2003, 4:54:24 PM (ScreenShot0224) 

When I got back to the outpost, Ballrog was churning out the Rancor sales. There were already a few Master CH’s on the Eclipse server, but I myself had not hit the title of Master yet. I was impressed by these guys. They had a vision and I felt that they deserved whatever money they made off their business. Sure, I could’ve waited a day or two, and tamed my own Rancor… but I didn’t. Instead, I bought one from Ballrog for a small genteric house, a set of Chitin armor (an overencumbered creation of DarkGhosty no doubt), and around 50k credits. Who knows what I had to do to get that cash together, God knows I never had so much at the time. I most likely sold a lot of bones and hide from my stash. At the time, you could still have a pet given to you, even if you did not have the ability to tame it yourself. The Rancor went into my datapad, and I said my goodbyes to Ballrog and “Kanze,” whoever that was.

Saturday, July 12, 2003, 5:00:00 PM (ScreenShot0225) 

I made my way to the outside of the outpost, and onto the hill out front. I turned around to see a Rancor in place of the one I just bought. It was as if these guys had an endless supply. I respected what I saw. I looked in my datapad and saw a Rancor that was part of that guys operation, so I named him “Ballrog,” after the man who tamed him for me. I cannot possibly count the amount of fights that Ballrog and I were in together. Those early days I used him for PvP especially, just to throw an element of chaos out there on my own behalf. He saved my ass way more times then I can count. We fought together on every planet, vs. possibly every mob, in every situation. I had him for years.

And one day, when “Beastmaster” was introduced to the game, I decided to let go, and sell him to a guy on Corillia for 100 million credits. The guy promised that he’d take good care of him, and I, knowing my time in the NGE was fading, felt that I’d rather have him “out there” then stuck in my datapad for all of eternity. I gave the cash to my second character “Vro Junior,” who was my Shipwright and Architect. We’ll get into that day, and Vro Jr., in about 50 or so entrees from now…

Saturday, July 12, 2003, 5:54:20 PM (ScreenShot0227) 

But that was years away. As far as I was concerned, that day, my first order or business was to go home and take a nice picture of my new pet baby Rancor. The thing was like a living wrecking ball already. You can see him half as tall as my house, towering over the full grown Gurnasets that were lazily lounging outside my door. Make no mistake, he was not going to give real mobs trouble, so I was delicate with him. That said, a small world tour was indeed in order.

Saturday, July 12, 2003, 7:36:55 PM (ScreenShot0236) 

I figured Naboo was relatively harmless at this point, and I had to talk business with DG, so to Theed we went. Darkghosty wasn’t ready to see me yet, so I took a stroll into the mountains and called Ballrog out to see the view. If you didn’t know any better, you’d expect him to pull me off the ground by my giant blue fish head, and casually swallow me whole while considering how he would indeed eat each and every warm blooded mammal in the nearby forest. Now, it’s not that Rancors don’t exactly enjoy the taste of fish sticks. What the Rancor knows, and the average pedestrian does not know, is that I was no ordinary fish out of water. I was Ballrogs Master, he was my loyal companion, and there in lies the dynamic of a CH and his many pets. But everyone didn’t need to know that he was completely under my control…

Sunday, July 13, 2003, 2:42:26 AM (ScreenShot0241) 

Now take our favorite crafter Darkghosty for example. He never did meet me on Saturday. He finally surfaced on Sunday, nonchalantly citing some excuse for blowing me off on the prior day. I could see that the good Mr. Ghosty was clearly unaware of how critical he was to my business ventures. I couldn’t just have my main supplier disappear without letting me know ahead of time. My trade routes depended on this guy! You’d be surprised how fast said crafter changed his tune with a seemingly unstable Rancor in the room. Come to think of it, DG was a total pleasure to deal with going forward all together. Go figure…

Sunday, July 13, 2003, 3:57:46 AM (ScreenShot0244) 

Okay this thing looks cool, but comn, we all know where I want to see him… face to face with a Kimogila in my own backyard. Putting together a hunt at this point was as easy as walking next door to Rampage’s house and figuring out if he was waiting for me, or already out in the field with Ciale and Zox. They had a hunt going, and I did my best to catch up. I was surprised to find a good 15 guys on this one, but that was even better, because I didn’t want my fledging Rancor to do all the work in his first Kimo fight. Surveying the assembled crew, we had all the heavy hitters. Kastore, now close to Master Rifleman, Zox, in the middle of the BH tree, Ciale, moving up the Teras Kasi profession, Ramp and Junon, using their own variations of my very own Pistoleer/CH build. Plus you had your random furballs and whatnot who were on Lok trying to get into one of our now well known hunts.

Sunday, July 13, 2003, 4:04:27 AM (ScreenShot0247) 

Less then ten minutes later, we’re in a firefight with a Kimo in the pitch black Lokian night. As laser bolts were flying towards the hulking mass of lizard, I kept my distance… waited until Ramp established his usual aggro, and then sent in Ballrog. He was still a baby, but he pulled his share of aggro on his first night out. This would be one of hundreds of Kimo fights for him, and not long after this we’d just “send the pets” and sit back and have conversations while they brought down the mighty beasts. On nights like this, we actually voluntarily got a little sloppy. So what if we aggro’d the surrounding Flit nest? Was it really that big a deal? Most of us were deep into the medic tree by now, we were able to heal ourselves and generally didn’t require a dedicated doctor by this point. At least we didn’t really need one on Lok.

That night we just mowed through the entire countryside. It was a good feeling, one of camaraderie and accomplishment. Guild Halls were on the cusp of creation, and as we fought along side of one another, we knew what we had within our group. We were going to make a run to be the first guild on Lok, and after that, the first PRC once they were put live into the game. Everything was escalating in our favor. So what if Lok almost seemed too easy at this point, we still had to tackle Dath, Dantooine, Endor, and Yavin right? There was a lot more to see, a lot more to do, and at that moment, we really had it all. We were on the path to create something huge together, and go on to be legends on the Eclipse server. Or so it seemed…

One thought on “%1$s”

  1. This type of gaming experience is alien to me, my favorite games always consisted of first person shooters and combat sports games. The story told here is not only enlightening to the complexity of SWG gaming but to the immersive character development element that is absent from the experiences I’ve had in gaming in the late 90’s early 2000’s. Rodd’s story is as fantastic as the style he uses to tell it, a blend of cyber-natural experiences and his reality outside the game.
    Right on. I’m hooked.

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