When Companions Get Bored: Kaliyo

January 25, 2012 - 9:42 pm No Comments


Is anything worse than a bored and armed woman? I’d better get her that booze – losing those “late-night surprise visits” is not a risk I’m willing to take.



Patch Day: 1.1 and the First Sub-up

January 23, 2012 - 3:38 pm No Comments

The first 30 days of Star Wars: The Old Republic comes to a close with a decent-sized content patch and a few more promises concerning future systems and features. It’s a big day for players comingĀ  to a new MMOG – the time to decide whether or not to sub-up and pay that first $15 monthly payment.

The first day live for SWTOR was December 21st, making January 20th the first day for early players to incur the monthly fee. The internets abound with polls on the subject; from one fan site to the next, they all want to know who is going to subscribe. After months and months of beta testing, a month of live play, and countless hours of developer footage, interviews, and “insider” news from fans, the time to ante up or fold the game has arrived. Read through the cut to find out what Patch 1.1 brought and some opinion on the state of the game.

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The Scrapbook: Broken Crew Skills

January 17, 2012 - 12:20 am No Comments

When crew skills go wrong

It makes for an interesting conversation with Vette when she returns with such an odd number of Dark side influence…

the Grind: The Final 10

January 16, 2012 - 12:07 am No Comments

The journey is over; my Sniper is finally level 50. It took a bit longer then most folks to get my first 50; but in the time spent I not only got to 50, but I finished my class quest, capped out my Light side alignment, maxed out my faction with Kaliyo and finished her quest line, and also topped off all three of my crew skills. There’s a ton to do gaining 50; sadly, there’s not much else after it.

There’s quite a few things I learned about Snipers, Agents, and SWTOR in general during this trek. It’s not a particularly easy class to solo with – at least not in a Marksman build. It can put out some severe burst damage – especially in a Marksman build. Finally, the game is downright mean to players who are underleveled to the content regardless of your class and build. To read more about the last 10 levels of a Sniper Marksman and a little insight into any class’s grind from 40 to 50, read through the cut!

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the Grind: The Next 10

January 4, 2012 - 7:44 pm 1 Comment

Here we are, an eight-hour maintenance ticking off our hard-earned dollars. I’m missing the RIFT downtimes even more now! Hopefully these downtimes start dwindling down because eight hours down a week during my prime playtime hours is not awesome. But let’s talk something more constructive.

I was going to nitpick the game into tiny little pieces this post. You know, complain about all the things SWTOR is both missing and failing to implement properly, but I decided I’ll save that for later. For this post I will discuss the next 10 levels of my budding Sniper, from 31 to 40. There’s a magic number in this range – 36. This is a magic level for the Sniper as a new ability brings awesome firepower and very nearly reinvents the class. These 10 levels really start to define the Sniper, his abilities, and his future as a damage dealer. Read through the cut for a complete walk through of the Sniper’s 10 best levels yet.

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Plugging Through the Grind: Sniper at 30

December 27, 2011 - 11:59 pm 1 Comment

As we sit through yet another long six-hour maintenance window (this really makes a person miss the 10-30 minute downtimes RIFT sees), I finally have no more excuses to push back this post. It’s time to review the first 30 levels of playing the Imperial Agent: Sniper.

In general, the Sniper plays as typically as the scouts, rangers, hunters, and marksmen you might be used to from other games. It is, in fact, very similar to the Hunter from World of Warcraft – whether this is good or bad is up to you to decide. In the simplest terms, the Sniper blows stuff up while his companion, Kaliyo, keeps the enemies targeted on her. A Sniper that specializes in Marksmanship, the focus at this site, delivers that damage from around the 30 meter mark. But there’s a lot more to it then standing up and blasting indiscriminately, so read through the cut for the details.

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Introduction to the Sniper

December 22, 2011 - 7:35 pm No Comments

Meet The Imperial Agent: Sniper

While the servers are down for pre-launch maintenance, I thought I’d introduce you to the Imperial Agent. There are lots of primers out there already. I’m sure anyone interested in the class has already done their homework on it. So I’ll just touch on the obvious and throw in a little commentary as to what I’ve experienced so far.

The Imperial Agent is the star agent of, as Kaliyo Djannis puts it, “the freaking secret police.” That is, the Agent is employed by Imperial Intelligence, essentially the CIA of the Empire. Through your first 15 levels or so, you are tethered to the whim and command of Keeper, the head honcho of Imperial Intelligence, at which point you are given a much longer leash with near autonomy to deal the Empire’s bidding.

An Agent can specialize as an Operative or a Sniper. The Operative can go damage or healer, while the sniper is all out offensive action. As a Sniper you can specialize three ways: amping up your droids and probes, mastering your poisons (which is the shared tree with Operative), or provide massive damage from range with Marksmanship. Marksmanship is, of course, going to be the focus at Die by the Blaster. Read through the cut for an overview of the Imperial Agent: Sniper.

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Welcome to Die by the Blaster

December 20, 2011 - 10:51 pm No Comments

Hello everyone! Thanks for visiting.

In the same fashion as Die by the Arrow, this blog will feature my exploits in STAR WARS: The Old Republic and will focus on the ranged damage expert class, Imperial Agent Sniper. I will be providing leveling, build, and play-style advice. As always, it will be aimed towards mastering the end-game without bringing that “elitist” mentality, keeping things easy enough for and relevant to the average player. Along the way I will touch on Sith Inquisitors and general SWTOR gameplay and features.

In the next couple days I will be commenting on the first 30 levels or so of the game, featuring hotspots on Hutta, Dromund Kaas, Balmora, and Nar Shaddaa. I’lldrop some tips on the best way to solo and my planned build for level 50.

Check back soon or subscribe to the Die By the Arrow Network Twitter and Facebook page.