“If you find yourself talking to an NPC vendor, then you sir…”

Entry #17

Saturday, July 19, 2003, 10:43:03 PM (ScreenShot0359) 

On the morning after our Dark Jedi Master encounters on Dathomir, you’d have to drop Ciale into Jabbas rancor pit to keep him off the scent of anything Jedi related. So on his word, it was back to Dantooine. The destination was well received by me, as I was trying to get my hands on a Frenzied Graul. Not only did I want one for myself, but the orders were coming in like crazy. There was a lot of cash to be made via the CH trade at the time, and although cash was not my major motivator considering the unusual version of a business model that I subscribed to, cash never exactly hurt either. At any rate, it didn’t take too long for me to hit the jackpot, or for Ciale to try and make out with a pack of Force Mystics. Turns out kissing chicks on Dantooine was not going to help Ciale become force sensitive, no matter how much “sensitive force” he applied to the ladies.

Saturday, July 19, 2003, 10:44:01 PM (ScreenShot0360) 

Their stats weren’t close to the DJM’s we circled up with on Dath, or even too close to the Witches either to be honest. I didn’t really think these mobs had anything to do with unlocking the second slot, but I hung out with Ciale, and coordinated with Zox, giving Ciale enough time to accept that these were just random mobs and nothing that would help him on his personal quest for Jedi glory. I wasn’t going to pull my friend away from them though. Personally, I wanted to kill them all and see what they dropped, but Ciale wouldn’t hear of it because they were yellow con’s and didn’t attack him on sight. He was the type of guy that looked really deep into stuff like this, and I couldn’t help but be as supportive a friend as possible. It wasn’t that the rest of us weren’t curious about unlocking, we certainly were. But certain people made this their sole obsession. Ciale was one of those people. And if it meant that we’d sit here for an hour while he tried various approaches to get a reaction from these mobs, then we’d do it together.

Saturday, July 19, 2003, 11:19:28PM (ScreenShot0365) 

After Ciale got his fill of ladies night, we again made our way deeper into the Dantoonian topography. Frenzied Grauls were on the menu, but a regular Graul would still fetch some attention on the open market for sure. Such was life for a CH back in those days. Running from pack to pack, searching for babies to tame. Before vehicles, even before mounts as mentioned multiple times, you’d be running up and down hills, through streams, past the very occasional player house, etc. You’d end up getting to know your friends even better, because you’d be running from place to place for hours on end. “Autorun” was a poor option, because unlike a speeder on autopilot, you could get attacked and killed at any moment. So you’d never be AFK, you’d always be at the ready, and it forced you to converse with the people in your group, or at least the people who were online at the time. Many a deal was worked out on my end while I was running from one place to another.

Saturday, July 19, 2003, 11:19:28PM (ScreenShot0365) 

Having seen what it took for Zox to tame his rancor, I thought that this would be a long, drawn out process… and these babies did not disappoint my expectations. The good news was, we seemed to find the right location on the planet because this wasn’t the first pack we encountered. It was however the first with a baby. I moved in and tamed it on the second or third try. There’s nothing like the feeling of a successful tame. You make it “look easy” to the rest of the world. There’s a sense of accomplishment when someone gives you an order, and you know that you’re going to fulfill it. Unlike an order of ore, or hide, a creature order has some extra variables thrown in. There’s really no reliable “survey device” per se, although I think the Ranger had the ability to track particular creatures. But the CH/Scout does not (to the best of my recollection), so just finding the correct creature was a stroke of luck, especially the high level babies. Landing a successful tame was also not a given, no matter what level CH you were… so when you nailed down a baby Graul order, back in the days where most people had not yet even seen a Graul, you really were genuinely excited for yourself, your pockets, and most of all, the person who placed the order.

Saturday, July 19, 2003, 11:54:48PM (ScreenShot0366) 

Too bad those easy tames were few and far between. Lets not forget, I wasn’t a Master CH, these high level mobs were on the cusp of my taming level, and I didn’t yet own modded clothes with +taming stats on them yet. What does this all mean? Well it means that if you fail at taming, you may aggro a nest of Grauls on top of you, and your friends like Ciale have to help bail you out. What’s worse is when you’re taming, you can only have two pets called at a time (because the baby you’re trying to tame becomes you’re 3rd called pet if you succeed), so our offense was gimped. We’d end up in these epic PVE firefights vs. a few mature Grauls, the baby would usually die in the process, and we’d have to start all over. On top of that, as a CH, you can only have so many pets in your datapad (this number increases as you move up the CH tree)… so sometimes you have to make some tough choices, or high tail it back to civilization and attempt to broker a deal to free up some space. You could also have other CH’s “hold” you pets for you, if you trust them well enough.

Saturday, July 19, 2003, 1:15:08PM (ScreenShot0372) 

I’ll tell you what… even the most patient Creature Handler gets frustrated at times. For me to even have my FWG5 in my hand, nevermind pointed at the head of a baby that I’m trying to tame, certainly indicates that we had been spending the afternoon fighting our way through botched tame after botched tame. Like I said, I expected it, but still, there comes a point where you’d wish your pistol would do the taming for you. Most CH’s of the time had certain methods. Personally, I never had a weapon equipped while taming, and I also usually didn’t really like to have my other pets called either. I’d mask scent, and slowly walk into the middle of the pack, then go for the tame. It was highly rumored that this approach was best because some people thought the devs built it into the code that the less menacing you seem, the better chance of the tame. I’m not sure if that rule was real or not, but I followed it none the less. Call it superstition if you want to. But as you can plainly see, there comes a time where even I was shoving my gun in the face of these overgrown beasts. I’m glad I did with this one though, as I ended up keeping this Frenzied Graul for myself. By now you’d assume that I were at least a marginally creative guy, but his name ended up being “Frenzy,” the same way my Kliknik Queen was dubbed “Klik.” I’m pretty sure I had to name them on the fly and just applied whatever came to mind.

Saturday, July 19, 2003, 1:58:40PM (ScreenShot0374) 

All in all it was a good trip to Dantooine. Ciale got himself a Frenzied Graul as well, and both our datapads were completely full, so we’d had to figure something out prior to yet another taming voyage. I did notice something about Ciale before we left the planet though… he was kind of hesitant. I was trying to get him to come explore southern Lok after we made some pet deals, but there was something about Dant that was hard for him to leave. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but this creeping attachment to this purple planet that Ciale was exhibiting would play a major part in our group dynamic in the coming weeks, but that story is best left for a future entry. At the time I had no idea that his fascination would have future implications on us all, I just assumed Dantooine had rubbed him the same way Lok rubbed me.

Saturday, July 19, 2003, 2:45:41PM (ScreenShot0375) 

It took some convincing, but Ciale finally agreed to keep our taming excursion moving, so we’d hit Lok later on that day. Easier said then done, first we had to unload some pets. Sure I had Graul orders, but our datapads were full of all sorts of stuff that we had grabbed over the past week. I had a specific order to full out of Bestine, but both of us thought it’d be a good call to hit Naboo. We had heard of a guy who had some decent pistols, so we headed his way. The guys name slips my mind, but the scenario surrounding his operation is still fresh in my head.

Saturday, July 19, 2003, 2:50:04PM (ScreenShot0376) 

Ciale and I arrived at the waypoint and stepped inside. Once inside, we stumbled upon two men silently occupying the main room. I had never seen a setup like this before. The couches were arraged in a semi-circle, with torches set up behind them. One of the men was standing in the middle of this presentation, just staring at us. Caile and I, half blown away by the setup (that’s right, something this meager was created with things we didn’t even know existed at the time), hesitantly asked the man to see his pistols. The man said nothing, still staring blankly right through us both. We asked again, and finally, the man wearing Padded Armor on the couch answered. He explained that he was crafting, and didn’t even realize that we walked in. A little put off, I responded “well what about this guy? Is he crafting too?” The man on the couch paused, confused himself, and then proceeded to make us look as stupid as possible. “Oh, that’s a vendor dude, he’s not a real person.”

I had been all over the galaxy save for Endor by this time. I downed Kimogilas, almost by myself, back on Lok. I brought down Dark Jedi Masters, defying all odds. I tamed soon to be extinct Kliknik Queens and Frenzied Grauls. I was a regular in many a cantina, I had a intricate interwoven network of contacts that could produce just about anything, for anyone.

Ciale and I realized something at that very moment. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how well traveled you think you are. If you find yourself talking to an NPC vendor, then you sir… are a ****ing idiot.

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