Pizza and SWTOR: Level 80 Maintenance

By Paige Francis Posted Monday Apr 22, 2024

Filed under: Epilogue, Paige Writes 5 comments

Like all other American fast-food pizza restaurants, Pizza Hut has struggled with the “non-pizza” parts of its menu. Beyond establishing a standard “bread stick” offering, the major players in the market shuffle a handful of options. The most common of these: pasta choices, breadstick variations, and sub sandwiches, populate the standard menu of some restaurants, but not all. Flavored chicken wings seems to have made a long-term commitment to pizza restaurants at this point, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just a long-cycle trend. Recurring options usually appear in the form of some kind of “giant-sized” pizza advertised as a “family” or “party” option, some more specialized bread options, and the perennial try-hard: the “not-a-calzone.”

Pizza Hut has tried a wide variety of calzone-styled menu options. The P’zolo was the closest to an ACTUAL calzone, from what I remember. But the food item most people likely associate with this style of food is the P’zone. Pizza Hut tried the P’zone twice nationally; the second release was cancelled just a few years ago. I think you could still get them in some restaurants through 2023. I tried the P’zone a few times. The fatal flaw, in my opinion, was the massive amount of dough relative to the “stuffing.” It wasn’t a pastry dough; more like some variation or application on the pizza dough. Having some familiarity with the “behind-the-scenes” workings of the fast-food pizza industry, I know the various dough-products (this includes the pizza dough as the base of the pizza) come in some form of prepared status that isolates each dough source into its final product. What I mean is, the dough for a small pizza may come as a dough ball or a prepared crust, but either way it can only make a small pizza. Same for medium and large. However, any of those options may serve double-duty by being the same base for a different bread product, or even a different crust-style of pizza. Of course, any product that can use existing ingredients…especially any of the holy trinity (dough, sauce, cheese) SAVES MONEY, and possibly prep-time.

As I said, I have no idea if the P’zone used, say, a medium thin crust as its dough or had its own bespoke product base. Considering Pizza Hut tried the product TWICE, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the first version used its own dough product and the second version used an existing crust. But I can DEFINITELY tell you how the product that replaced the P’zone is made. Pizza Hut recently introduced Melts. I’m not sure that’s the best name, but maybe it doesn’t matter as the product is literally nothing that many pizza eaters don’t ALREADY do with their pizza. A Melt is one quarter of a medium thin crust pizza…folded in half length-wise. As in, it’s two medium slices of thin crust pizza stacked, crusts out; ingredients in. With a fold though, because they aren’t cut. An order of Melts is TWO of these, or essentially four medium slices of pizza. With a dipping sauce, which is important for at least one of the Melts offerings. This is a good meal size; and for $6.99 (in my area) is a great deal compared to most burger meals…or at least comparable if you have to buy a drink to add to it. I have tried two versions, now: the Chicken Bacon Parmesan and the Buffalo Chicken. The first option comes with ranch, which is largely irrelevant to me; I’m not a pizza-and-ranch person. The Buffalo Chicken Melt has a very mild but tasty buffalo sauce. I enjoyed both much more than a P’zone. In fact I can see myself ordered a Melt RATHER than pizza in the future. Pizza Hut may have finally found a winner to keep on the menu.

I maxed reputation on Makeb, CZ-198, and Voss; a planet you visit pretty late in the base game class stories. I found I was almost done with Voss by accident and only had to go run a few Heroic2+ missions. This has given me the Deep Blue/Black and Black/Deep Blue armor dye options. I had been using Dark Blue/Gray and Gray/Dark Blue dyes for Lord Zeele and his “entourage,” and these new options helped with some of the more boring dye-job results. Zeele’s armor has some oddly-tinted base colors which resulted in the defaulting crafting dyes not making much visual impact. As far as reputation rewards, I am also using both droid pets that can be gained on CZ-198 with Rix’larril’an, now; as well as a couple of the reputation armor options on some companions. I’ll show that off at some point.

As much as I show off Khundast Zeele, I actually dinged 80 with my Bounty Hunter second. The past week I started working on Mikan Sixteen’s level 80 gear. Following my OWN Level 80 guide, I realized I didn’t follow my own advice when I geared up Rix. I only geared her at Rating 336 and NOT at Rating 340. I know WHY I did this: one prominent gearing guide said there was no point in gearing up to 340 if you only played PvE. I can’t tell you how true or applicable this is, but I DID realize ONLY NOW there is NO POINT IN NOT GEARING UP TO 340. It costs the same; you do it at the same time, and you get better stats out of it whether they are strictly NECESSARY or not. Sure, it takes more time and effort to get your ACCESSORIES up to 340 to match your Rating 340 armor…you have to go to AND PAST 336 on the way to 340, of course. I screwed up in another way, as well. I had come across mentions on a few websites of targets to aim for in certain stats…only a couple actually affect the game much in any consistent way. While I had heard of this, I didn’t know if it was really relevant to me. Having a bit more experience now; I would say once again there’s no reason NOT to. You’ll probably be pretty close to these goals if you build your gear to your character’s strengths anyway, but as far as Rix goes, I was hampered by the commitment I had already made to increasing my critical ratings. Specifically, because I have already invested a lot of TIME into leveling up Rix’s accessories, I REALLY DO NOT want to start over with every single one of them. So I ended up with my stats still just a bit unbalanced.

As you can see here, I upgraded all of the “barrels,” mods and enhancements on the weapons (knives originally had “hilts,” but those were removed for streamlining) and the armorings, mods, and enhancements on the armor pieces from Rating 336 to 340. The armor and weapons derive their stats from these pieces. While all mods affect the same stats; barrels, armorings, and enhancements all have two or more options to allow you to tailor your stats. You can also see I have a Rating 228 augment applied. This rating does not affect your overall gear rating. The 228 augments require a Mk. 10 augment kit. There is a higher-rating augment set I can apply, a Mk. 11 augment kit and Rating 276 augments. These are available, and probably an advanced version, without getting into multiplayer or PvP supplies. I haven’t messed with them yet. The color crystal, as depicted, can also provide a minor stats boost, but again doesn’t contribute to your gear rating.

The target stats I am trying to affect are Accuracy, Alacrity, and Crit Rating. Accuracy is simple: Boss mobs have, in general, a 10% chance to block any given attack. If your Accuracy is over 110%, you can overcome that and never miss a shot. Alacrity is how fast your skill cooldowns process, that is; how fast you can activate your skills. Generally speaking the most advantage you can get is a 10% reduction, but at least as far as I understand you usually can’t get the full 10% for…reasons, I guess. There is apparently some bonus that applies to the “Global Cool Down” separately which renders your personal bonus at around 7.5%. If I understand everything anyway. So you need an Alacrity bonus of at least 7.5%. Hit those goals, and any slot you have left you can use to modify stats goes into Criticals. Because I had over-committed to Crit originally with Rix, I had to kind of “patch-in” the corrections without changing out my Accessories, which have “inherent” stats of the same nature as the modifications and enhancements. Here is the final result:

Because most of my attacks are knife, darts, and grenades; I’m really only concerned with the “Technical” or “Tech” damage stats. You can see my Accuracy and Alacrity stats meet my goals with a healthy Crit left over. The thing is, if I had planned better from the beginning, it could actually be improved. I can use my Bounty Hunter, Mikan Sixteen, as an example.

Mikan has Rating 340 Weapons and Armor, but is still using Rating 324 Accessories. Additionally, the Accessories aren’t augmented. Her Alacrity and Accuracy are both higher than Rix’larril’an’s. While the Crit is 5% lower, that should come out about the same or higher by the time I have the Accessories leveled up similarly. Certainly the difference is only going to be a matter of 1% differences, but if you are the type of person who notices when something isn’t perfect when you KNOW HOW to make it perfect, it will grate on you. And the grind persists. The currency for the Accessory upgrades is FP-1 Stabilizers. I can earn 30 FP-1 Stabilizers every 15 minutes if I play the game like a job, which I don’t want to do. Five accessories require 8 levels of upgrade each to reach Rating 340. That’s 40 total upgrades. Each upgrade costs about 170 FP-1 Stabilizers. Upgrading each accessory to 340 therefore costs 1,360 FP-1 Stabilizers; a full set of five costs 6,800 FP-1 Stabilizers. And that is a big part of why I was previously happy to stop at Rating 336.

In other areas of the game, I did the first few parts of the quest to earn the HK-51 Assassin Droid companion. The HK-51 Series is based on the HK-50 series designed by the Crime Boss Droid G0-T0 around the events of Knights of the Old Republic 2. Czerka recovered the original HK-50 plans, most likely by discovering G0-T0’s original HK-50 manufacturing facility. I’ve already earned HK-51 and so can just unlock him from my Legacy for any character, but this is a really fun questline. You get to explore a crashed transport on Belsavis to find a massive shipment of deep-frozen and irreparable HK-50 droids, which leads to a derelict Czerka research ship floating in a forgotten corner of space. After that is just a series of fetch-quests in remote locations (including inside of time-consuming flashpoints, which is a drag), but those first two bits are fun. Here’s Mikan on the nearly-destroyed and forgotten Czerka research vessel, Theoretika:

I also spent entirely too much time the past week learning how to using custom loading screens. While it was fun trying to aggregate every major and minor expansion’s splash art, you can’t just install the one you want to use and leave it. The game launcher actually checks the Loading Screen every time you start the game and replaces any content that doesn’t meet the filecheck with the appropriate current image. But for the moment I’m having fun swapping out the loading screen AFTER this check, then if I’m just doing crafting which involves logging in an out of multiple characters, I get to enjoy the custom screen. I am still pretty sure I’ve missed a few of the minor update screens, but I can’t find an exhaustive, guaranteed accurate list. Pretty sure my own is more correct than any I found.

And for the moment, last and certainly least, I’ll leave you with this random person I came across on Vaiken Spacedock. Not to shame, but merely to wonder. Name choices in MMORPGs don’t really MEAN anything. They exist solely for your own entertainment primarily, and maybe as an attempt to entertain others. So I *do* ponder what the thinking behind this name was:


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5 thoughts on “Pizza and SWTOR: Level 80 Maintenance

  1. Dev Null says:

    Is… this two posts, merged? Or am I missing some essential Pizza / Star Wars conjunction that makes them related?

    1. CSilvestri says:

      The first thing that comes to mind for me there is Pizza the Hutt from Spaceballs.

  2. LizTheWhiz says:

    I like to imagine this is the same person who made Thotiya Thotcakes in FFXIV.

  3. Daimbert says:

    And for the moment, last and certainly least, I’ll leave you with this random person I came across on Vaiken Spacedock. Not to shame, but merely to wonder. Name choices in MMORPGs don’t really MEAN anything. They exist solely for your own entertainment primarily, and maybe as an attempt to entertain others. So I *do* ponder what the thinking behind this name was

    The somewhat juvenile pun and seeing what they could get away with, obviously. Although I have to admit that adding the title to the mix is more creative than normal.

  4. PPX14 says:

    Those melts look great. Where I am, buying pizza by the slice is not an option in Pizza Hut (or most places, it was a surprise to me when visiting New York) , so in my opinion Pizza Hut has not really had a decent casual lunch option, only big meal options. Those melts at $7 would be a good option.

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