Daily Archives: July 25, 2007

Short pants, romance, learn to dance

So at the end of the last episode, I’d just leaped in to the body of some chap in a cantina being confronted by a bounty hunter, with only minutes to save the station from dread space pirate attacks. Oh boy!

Course I saved the day in the end, taught Chubby Checker how to do the twist, and we all learned a valuable moral lesson. Anyway! Back to the Star Wars Galaxies trial…

I mentioned the ease of introductory missions for a Commando, enemies taking only a couple of laser blasts to dispatch even before I started chucking grenades around, so I thought I’d have a quick look at a couple of other professions. First up, the Entertainer: na na na na na na na na naaaa na na na na na na na na na naaaa (that’s the textual version of Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer”, in case you were wondering, not “I’m In The Mood For Dancing” by the Nolan Sisters). A natural choice for such a character would be a Twi’lek female, so obviously I rolled up a bright blue male Mon Calamari called Norrmann Lamont (Rule 17: characters named after cabinet ministers are Inherently Funny), and spent the first five minutes of the tutorial informing Han, Chewie and the others in no uncertain terms that it was a trap, until C3P0 snapped and screamed that every Mon Calamari character that had ever been created in the entire history of the game said that, and it wasn’t that funny the first time in beta.

On to the starting space station, and I was given my first life-or-death task: to dance in the cantina. Doo do do do doo do do dooo do doo (that’s the textual version of “I’m In The Mood For Dancing” by the Nolan Sisters, in case you were wondering, not Napalm Death’s “From Enslavement To Obliteration”.) This was achieved by hitting “Start Dancing” on the hotbar, and a minute later hitting “Stop Dancing”. Not too tricky… To make life a bit more interesting, there were also “flourishes” available on other hotkeys, and boy, I had some smooth moves. They were swooning in that cantina, I tell you. Well, maybe not exactly swooning so much as remaining totally immobile, but they were swooning inside, I could tell. Especially Boba Fett. My second mission was to play some music in the sick bay to cheer everybody up, so off I wandered. The music system seemed pretty much the same; Start Music, wait around for a bit hitting one of the flourishes from time to time, Stop Music. I think the patients really appreciated my rendition of Python’s “Medical Love Song”. Least, none of them actually died, so I’ll take that as a bonus.

That seemed to wrap up my entertainer-specific training, so I wandered off and asked Han if I could help out with anything. Turned out he needed some components to get the Millennium Falcon flying again, and I could get them from malfunctioning droids in the repair bay. “Right”, I said, “so you think I can bewitch these droids with my mesmeric musical skills, and get the components that way?”
“Don’t talk daft” replied Han, “a quick burst of From Enslavement To Obliteration won’t have any effect on a malfunctioning droid”.
“That was I’m In The Mood For Dancing, you cloth-eared buffoon! All right then, so a particularly impressive dance move might overload their Terpsichorean Appreciation Circuits, rendering them helpless and ripe for component nabbing?”
“All right! All right! So how, precisely, do you think I should employ my entertaining skills to obtain these circuits?”
“I was thinking you could shoot the droids”
“Shoot them? With my space-clarinet?”
“With that pistol you had to obtain to make it through the tutorial”
“Right. That’s not *very* entertaining is it? Can I at least hold, in my off-hand, this fun sparkler-thingy I’ve been waving around while I shoot them?”
“Nah, you can’t dual-wield at level one”

So off I toddled, and shot a few droids with a laser pistol. I tried doing a bit of a dance at the same time, punctuating particularly impressive pirouettes with a burst of laser fire, but it just made me dizzy and spoiled my aim so I gave up on that. I can’t help but feel they missed a trick by only having Music and Dancing as entertainer skills, Stand Up Comedy could easily be combined with combat. “What’s got six holes in it, and a quest component I need?” *zap zap zap zap zap zap* “That malfunctioning droid right there! Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here until I have the 5 items I need.”

Further missions on offer all seemed to be the same stuff I’d done with the Commando: kill these pirates, get these items (by killing pirates), clear rogue wildlife from part of the station (I asked if this might be achieved by playing some particularly aggressively atonal Schoenberg at them, which is usually enough to clear any area, but apparently no, shooting them with the laser pistol was the way to go again). I’ll confess I didn’t spend a great deal of time or effort investigating a career in entertaining, it doesn’t seem a very solo-friendly profession. There’s a very interesting looking “Build-a-Buff” ability that Entertainers can use from level one, in the best traditions of inspiring competence, but of course that really needs someone to buff. The skills list also includes “Hair Styling” and “Face Forming”, which I gather lets characters change their appearance, always handy. If you’re sent off on a quest to bring down the Empire, though, to paraphrase Mr Solo: “A nice line in the Charleston and a space bassoon are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” All in all, it looks like it can definitely be beneficial to know a good entertainer, but I don’t think it’s really for me.

Next profession to try: a Trader.