During the past few months, I've frequently found myself thinking back to my flashpoint levelling series. It was just such a fun thing to work on, and I've really been longing to return to the subject somehow; I just didn't want to simply do the whole thing again in exactly the same way. How could I change things up though?
One of my pug runs from back then that has stuck with me to this day was the manic Mandalorian Raiders run where I found myself wishing that I had recorded the first boss fight on video. Just describing it in writing didn't quite seem to do it justice. But hm, recording my pug runs...
There would have to be some commentary to make it entertaining, but I never really got into the whole "let's play" thing. Then again, I have made great strides in the past couple of months in terms of being more comfortable with speaking in front of an audience and not hating listening to the sound of my own voice too much, thanks to things like my invitation to Corellian Run Radio and recording that Dread Master story video.
So after a bit of umming and ahhing I finally decided to go ahead with it: level another character purely through flashpoints, but this time record every run and add commentary to the video. After last weekend, I'm happy to present "Pugging with Shintar, Episode 1":
As I also explain at the start of the video, the aim of the series is both to entertain but also to maybe inform players who are curious yet anxious about making the jump into random groups of what they can reasonably expect. I think there is something to be said for seeing that in detail, and I couldn't find much material about pugging in SWTOR when I did a cursory search for it.
Some things I already learned:
- While it's sensible to record gameplay and commentary separately, one must not forget to then also hit the "start recording" button in two different applications! (I did at first.)
- At the same time, syncing up the video and the separately recorded audio commentary is trickier than I thought. I originally thought that I'd done a pretty good job at it, but at the very end there is this bit where I rapidly train some new skills while calling them out and that shows that I was ever so slightly off.
- While I made an effort to enunciate things clearly at the start, there were later parts where I slipped into "quietly mumbling to myself" mode, making some parts a bit hard to understand.
- Cut scenes are tricky. I fully expected to skip them all, but then of course my pug had to throw me for a loop by being happy to watch them, which made the video quite a bit longer than I had planned. I considered cutting part of them out, but then felt that this would leave the experience feeling a bit disjointed, more so than chopping a couple of trash fights where nothing interesting was said or done. At least it shouldn't be an issue in upcoming runs as none of the later flashpoints have as much as dialogue as the Esseles.
If videos are not your thing, don't worry, this project shouldn't affect my writing. Since I'm also somewhat reliant on both having free time as well as some peace and quiet in the living room, I don't expect to get more than one episode out every two weeks or so. But if you do have any feedback, I'd be happy to hear it!