Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Pet Project

Becoming even a Novice Squad Leader was not an overnight task, despite what Nikki must have thought with her daily "Didja Make Squad Leader?" queries.

And then, in one character-altering moment, I received the message: "You have qualified for Novice... Creature Handler???"

That was unexpected, but would prove to be exactly what I didn't know I wanted. With a few dedicated marathons to go on combat experience to get to Squad Leader, I figured "Why not?"

And so began my very temporary diversion to distract me from time-to-time while I worked on all of the aspects of the game that I wanted to focus on. I mean, I'd only be a Creature Handler for - what? - maybe a few weeks? Maybe even less.

Uh huh.

And this bridge here is only $4.99.

Creature Handler worked different then the Beast Mastery sub-profession of the later incarnations of the game. And to be perfectly blunt: it was much better. One had to find babies to tame right out of the wild, making you one with nature, using your skills as a scout to locate what you wanted while avoiding what wanted to eat you.

My first experiment was to tame an always dangerous, terribly mysterious, durni baby in the senses-shattering tall grass of Corellia. (Hey, it's my memory, not yours!)

The tiny, furry, - and for whatever reason eyeless baby - agreed to join me. I named the little guy Scruffy for no other reason then it fit his personality. He quite literally impressed us and commanded our respect. (More on that some other time.)

Scruffy became my stalwart companion, but one whom I didn't want to risk in the trials of combat. Thus I needed to find another to join me. And so I was off and running as a Creature Handler, and enjoying every moment of it. My second pet was a humbaba that I dubbed Humbaby. I shouldn't have to explain that one.

Sending Humbaby into combat was a lot like letting a roller-skating dromedary out of the back of a slow-moving tractor trailer. Though he was only with me a short time before I released him back into the wilds, I have fond memories of him as my first true combat pet.

Humbaby turned out to be a fun and necessary stop-gap. My next companion was the one that would never leave Vincer's side for eight-plus years, through thick and thin; through the removal of the entire profession and it's rebirth as Beast Master, through to the end of the game itself.

No matter what the galaxy would throw at Vincer, he would face it alongside his second favorite girl.


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