Highlighted Community Members
- TORVerse podcast
This week on Community Checkpoint we meet the hosts of the TORVerse podcast, Phil and Jake. Not only are these two avid Star Wars fans and SWTOR players, these two also happen to be father and son. I came across this podcast several weeks ago and love the dynamic between the two, not just as father and son, but as two gamers sharing their opinions about this game. We will get a chance to learn more about how they got started in Star Wars: The Old Republic and how it led to them developing the TORVerse podcast.
Get ready to meet Phil & Jake after we make the Jump…
- Community Q&A
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you got interested into SWTOR?
Jake: Before SWTOR was announced we both played both the KOTOR games. Once they did make the official announcement, we were both excited for SWTOR to come out.
Phil: Well Star Wars has been a part of my life since I was 6 years old when the first movie came out. Ironically Star Wars is also the thing that got me into PC gaming. KOTOR was such an amazing story and KOTOR II had left me wanting more, so when SWTOR was announced and eight new stories were doing to be a part of the game I was pot committed. I had introduced Jake to KOTOR as a learning tool when he was in grade school. His teacher wanted him to have more problem solving skills and I immediately knew that KOTOR would force him to think about choices and their effects. He loved it and his teacher commented on his improvement in that area. So SWTOR was my chance to not only get more KOTOR but for Jake and I to play together in a Co-op manner and share the experience in a franchise, we both loved.
How did you get involved in the podcast side of the community? Was the idea to host a podcast about this game always in your mind?
Phil: Doing TORVerse was more about doing a Podcast with Jake specifically. I love the game, but really it was more about doing this together. He is starting High School next year, and I realize that “hanging out with Dad” is going to be less of a priority but I also realize these recordings will be there for the rest of his life and something he can enjoy later.
Jake: I never wanted to do a podcast nor did I listen to any but I did want to make videos about the game.
**I would suggest you keep an eye out for future videos from these guys. On their episode 39, they discuss ideas on possible SWTOR videos.**
How has the gaming journey in SWTOR and the podcast been as a Father/Son team?
Phil: Sadly we don’t get to play together as much as we used to. My time is more limited so when I do play I tend to play SWTOR. Jake has a lot of friends that play other games so his play time is more balanced across multiple games. However, every Sunday we come together for about an hour and share our thoughts and experiences as equals on the subject of SWTOR. Right up to the point where the mics go live I’m still Dad, but once they are on we are a true team. It gives me a chance to pick his brain and get his real input on something we both enjoy. We’ll always have these recordings and the memories particularly of that first month of the game that we can share.
Jake: It’s often easier to game together because we can get more done. It’s also fun sometimes to get past some hard parts or large missions together.
How did each of you get involved in gaming? What was the first game you recall that had you hooked on gaming?
Phil: I had an Atari when I was a kid and then my brother and I played on the Sega after that but I got a lot more serious about gaming when I got my C-64 in Jr. High. However, the moment I got serious about gaming was one day during my freshman year of college. I was at a local high tech super store and I walked past a PC and there was a guy my age there playing a game on a demo machine. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a Star Destroyer and I literally stopped in my tracks, backed up and really looked. I asked: “Is that a Star Destroyer?” He responds with a quick yes and then I ask: “Can you fly out to it?” He turns toward it and starts flying out there, and it’s getting bigger and bigger and then suddenly it started shooting at us! That was it! I spent the next four months learning about PCs, picking up extra shifts at the restaurant and saving money like a crazy person to buy my first PC. After that I became the guy everyone went to in order to get DOS configured to run games and have been gaming and building PCs ever since.
Jake: I have always been playing a game of some sorts for as long as I remember, however the game I think I played to most as a kid was Jedi Knight II. I played through that game so many times.
How did you both get into Star Wars? In what order do you watch the Star Wars movies and what is your favorite film in the franchise?
Phil: I saw Star Wars when it was first released. I was almost seven when I saw it and I can remember that my Dad would drive us over to the theater every weekend to see if the lines had gone down any. They were wrapped around the building all night and every weekend it was the same thing. One night he finally resigned himself to just standing in the line, which looking back now was pretty brave with a 6 year old and a 4 year old in tow. That line was HOURS long. It only showed on one screen and it was back to back so you were waiting for the next showing and hoping you got in and didn’t have to wait for another run time. After that I wanted all the toys (and have most of them still) and would play Star Wars every weekend with my brother. So I saw them traditionally IV, V, VI, I, II,III (Empire remains my favorite.). By the time episode III came out Jake was the same age I was when IV came out so I arranged to meet some buddies in Vegas (we were in CO and they were in CA) and I took Jake out there and we watched in back to back twice at the theater.
Jake: I have known about Star Wars for my whole life. Usually we just watch whichever movie we feel like. My favorite Star Wars movies are episode 4 and episode 5.
Since the game has just celebrated its one year anniversary, what are your opinions on how SWTOR has grown as a game over the past year? How, or in what way(s), would you like to see the game move forward into its second year and beyond?
Phil: I’ve always enjoyed the game as it is. It was almost like this game was tailor made for me as someone who enjoys the single player story but wants to share the adventure with friends. I think of it more as a Co-op RPG than an MMO. That being said I certainly agree with most of the changes that were made this year from server consolidation to offering a F2P option. I realize that how I enjoy the game is probably not the same for the average MMO player. People who have been avid MMO players don’t need the story the same way I do. So when people tore through the content and got to the end game to find there wasn’t much there, I can see their frustration. I just simply started another class character and a year later I’m working on my rolling up a sixth and seventh 50 leaving me one more for the full 8 story experience. It’s clear to me Bioware has been “reacting” as quickly as they can to the changes in the market and the player base. I think they have a good plan in the 6 week content updates but I think the balance between the Cartel Market, F2P and Subscriber players still needs some adjusting. I’m confident they will find the right mix eventually, but right now it’s still a bit rough. The one thing I think they need to focus on is bug fixes. They need to prioritize them and get a team focused on fixing them with each week’s patch; particularly things that were once fixed but broke again with a new update. Also to keep story driven players like me, they are going to need to expand on the individual class storied in future expansions.
Jake: I feel that every change that has been made from the launch has been in the long run, a good change that has helped the game to improve.
Jake: My favorite class is the bounty hunter mainly because of the rich story but I also enjoy playing a DPS class so mercenary is really good for me.
Phil: The Inquisitor hooked me so hard in the beta that I immediately re-rolled it at launch. I went Assassin at the time and it was actually really hard to level that character as it progressed but the story just kept driving me. After leveling an Inquisitor, Knight, Consular, Smuggler, and Warrior to 50 and currently working on an Agent and a Bounty Hunter, the Inquisitor is still my favorite character story in the game.
Gameplay wise I love the Juggernaut and the Sniper for completely opposite reasons. I’m a Tank at heart so my Jug is my most uber character gear and time wise, but the sniper (whom I’m still leveling) is just an animal damage dealer that it’s fun to play. I think I would have enjoyed the Smuggler more if I had played the Dirty Fighting tree instead of the Scrapper. I really wanted that Han Solo experience and just didn’t feel it with the Scrapper build. Unfortunately I figured that out in the late 40s so maybe I’ll roll another one someday. Now that I’m playing the Bounty Hunter Mercenary I can see why Jake fell in love with that story as well. It’s been a really good story so far and will probably end up being my 2nd favorite if it keeps going as it has been.
Which of you is the better SWTOR player and why?
Jake: I don’t feel like TOR is a competitive game so I don’t see how either of us can be “better” unless you’re talking about PVP but neither of us are that into PVP.
Phil: I think I still hold this title in the house. I play a lot more SWTOR in general. I have more 50s and that’s given me a lot better understanding of the game over all. It also allows me to leverage more credits as I can run the daily 5 times in one day and send the credits to whatever character I’m leveling. I can also craft purple gear, barrels, etc for every level and send those over to my new characters as well. Actually that was a real challenge for me when I decided to roll my Bounty Hunter on a new server where I didn’t have those resources. Bioware made a few bucks off me in Cartel Coins that day.
How can people find out more about your podcast and catch your latest episode?
Torverse.com will take you right to the podcast home over at podbean, but the best place to get our latest stuff is to follow us on twitter @torverse or our Facebook page. I have them linked so either will get you the latest stuff.
I want to thank both Phil and Jake for their time and being a part of Community Checkpoint to help with the article. If you haven’t heard their podcast, I urge you to head on over to their site and check it out. Having been in the SWTOR community for awhile, it is always a treat for me to come across people sharing the same passion for this game, as I do. To me this passion is what makes this community awesome.
That’s it for this week’s Community Checkpoint. Would you like to have your guild, in-game event, or community activities highlighted on Corellian Run Radio website? All you need to do is submit your website or forum link, along with some basic information in an email to me at, email@example.com. You and your group could be who we highlight next here on Corellian Run Radio’s Community Checkpoint. Thanks and see you next week!