I provide free educational content and insights on game mechanics, game design, and PVP (player versus player) combat for MMORPGs. I create comprehensive written guides, narrated videos, interviews with developers, and analyses for various games.
Who is Taugrim
My real name is Ed. I have worked as a Software Developer, Software Architect, large-scale Program and Project Manager, Management Consultant, and Product Manager in the San Francisco Bay Area for over two decades.
My passion is online gaming, and my first MMO was Meridian 59 back in 1998.
I got started writing Guides for two simple reasons:
- There was a lack of rich, helpful, and accurate guide content for games that I played, and
- The player community often had (very) inaccurate perception on the capabilities of particular characters / classes / specs
I started publishing gaming guides in 2005. While I received very positive feedback from the community on my Guides, some skeptics responded with “what you wrote doesn’t actually work”. Therefore, in 2008 I started publishing narrated videos with illustrative footage on YouTube channel.
Eventually I realized that having my own blog would be a better delivery platform for my Guides and narrated videos than posting them on various community forums, so in 2009 I started this blog.
I greatly appreciate your spreading the word about my blog and videos, and I look forward to our interactions and knowledge exchange here.
I’ve granted permission to the following authors to publish posts here:
- Ryndar (@theotherguy09): fellow guildee in <Maven> and a guy with a strong understanding of game mechanics. We met during the Beta for SWTOR.
- Cas (shawshank22): a blogger from the UK whom I’ve known for a few years from YouTube. Cas became an Author here on 2011/03/12.
This blog is a participant in the following programs:
- Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
- WordPress.com WordAds program, which serves ads on the pages
This site doesn’t exist to shill products and services – I find such practices highly distasteful – so my recommendations are based on my objective opinions.
Really love your streaming work… I look forward to more additions.
Hey Tau, love your blog, guides, and videos. We (my hubby and I) started following you as a prot pally and wow and are excited to see you here in SWtoR.
I would love to know the details of your gaming setup. Have you considered including this information on your site for your fans?
Thanks for everything! Keep it up!
I posted my computer specs on my TwitchTV channel, since people ask all the time:
SAGER NP8130 GAMING LAPTOP SPECS
Nvidia GeForce GTX 560M GPU with 1.5GB GDDR5
Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM Processor (6MB L3 Cache, 2.20GHz)
8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz
500GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Hard Drive
15.6″ Full HD LED-Backlit Display (1920 x 1080)
MS Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Edition
Plantronics Multimedia Stereo Headset (Music, Gaming, Voice) (Audio 350)
Logitech 2-button optical mouse with mousewheel
Stock laptop keybooard
Side note: love the name “Laratea” – very distinctive, sounds great.
An Argument for Donations
I had the privilege of watching your SWTOR livestream chat on the 11th of this month; I find what you do and the risk you take to start what is effectively a small business in an over saturated market where everyone thinks they are a critic, is a very worthy goal indeed. That said, I would very much like you to participate in a donation system for several reasons that I believed were overlooked in an effort for you to “stay your own man.”
While I definitely understand your trepidations about accepting money for the fine work you do on the grounds that it makes you responsible for a particular expectation of content, I do not believe that this is what the donation system is for. I would go as far as to say that if people are participating in the act of donating, a word taken to mean giving money or goods for a good cause for example to a charity, and then expectation a reward, in this case content that they want to see, they are in fact not donating money to you, they are paying you a salary. If we looked at ads from this point of view, I would be able to give you grief that in one of your videos, where I was forced to watch an ad, I saw that you said a mean thing about my class in a particular game, and that therefore because you benefited form the add, YouTube owed me. I believe that we both know that this is not the case.
I realize that you are a mechanics man at heart so let me just give you some numbers. You are starting a small business right now, meaning you hold all of the risk as an entrepreneur. 80% of small businesses fail within the first year according to the SBA (small business administration) website. The failures are due to a litany of reasons one of which is a lack of funds. If you want to start a business you usually go to a bank with a business plan outlining what you are going to do and how, and they will run the numbers and decide if the investment is worthwhile. Now I’m sure that attaining money from a bank where most of the older employees don’t know what a blog is will not work. So I propose that you work on putting a business plan together that you can post on your blog to explain your business and your goals, from where people can decide whether or not they want to donate money. Explain that this money is to be allocated however you see fit and that you have no liability. In fact I believe in this so much I am willing to help you construct this plan, if you would like, see my email address below.
Finally, I’d just like to add that there are many viewers such as myself that would love the chance to help you get this blog, and for you, career off the ground. My view is that investing and donating money to small startups that you believe in, is akin to being a patron of an artist, and by funding said artist, you do your part to continuing their wonderful work.
Think about it and get back to me.
That was an excellent post, thanks for sharing your perspective.
I didn’t say I’d never try Donations, I just wanted to check out some other revenue streams / possibilities first.
The “patron” analogy fits better in this case than “charity” IMO.
Given that MMORPGs are a highly social, Internet-based experience, I have seen some rather unpleasant behavior from donors trying to exert pressure / influence in a non-constructive way, as I mentioned in the 1st episode of Taugrim Talks SWTOR.
I’m not saying that the majority of donors would behave this way. But I’ve seen that some would.
Re: starting up a business, yea I know as a long-time entrepreneur what the probability of success looks like. I wouldn’t try this if I didn’t truly believe that I offer a distinct set of capabilities to my audience that would be meaningful and relevant to them.
At any rate, there’s a decent chance I’ll try donations in January. We’ll see.
Wanted to follow-up on our dialogue about donations from last month.
I implemented a PayPal donation button earlier today.
Thanks again for your thoughtful post and encouragement!
I am bad you did this and will donate in the near future. Before the Great Recession I was blessed to make a living as a fantasy artist, not the easiest type of way to earn money (art) and also a very small niche (fantasy). But I am a grinder and salesperson and was able to learn how to license my work and how to aquire retail accounts.
In 2014 I funded a Kikcstarter campaign and before the launch had studied the new “micro-patron economy” that was springing up around the site. I even convinced my mentor, David Dellamare to launch a campaign and it ended up being very successful. At that time I discovered Patreon. My style of art (takes a year to finish one 12×16) is not conducive to Patreon, but your creative work is…..their crowdfunding model is perfect for you.
I hope you look into Patreon. You have helped me so much and I just wanted to reach out and try to help you in return.
That sounds fantastic. As a side not I only used charity because that was the precise definition I found from the dictionary and it happened to say “for example a charity.” In in no way meant to offend.
In response to what you said regarding Unpleasant behavior on behalf of subscribers (i only summarize because I do not know how to reply to multiple parts of a post in word press) and your January plans, I feel that even just posting some sort of plan for your business or even a set of expectations that one should have when they donate, would help weed out some of the “RiffRaff.” Also, if you need any help putting one together, I have some free time on my hands.
Of course I will be playing SWTOR as well. In fact my brother and I as well as several others are in a trooper only rppvp guild.
As a final note, I also believe that you bring a sophistication and maturity to a community that lacks both (at least in terms of broadcasting) and that is really what sets you apart. People such as myself who are casual gamer’s have grown weary grief giving trolls. After all the reason for me taking the time to write this posting in the first place was to display the fact i appreciated what you did, but most of all I don’t want you to fail at it.
Hey Taugrim, I enjoy your videos and they inspired me to try doing one in a similar format to yours. I know your busy juggling the casting and the organizational side of trying to be a full time caster, but if you get a moment to critique or give advice to me about my video I’d appreciate it.
It’s of my scoundrel in a PvP match on Jung Ma.
Excellent video! I Liked and commented on it.
If you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to post it on the Scoundrel forums, it will be very helpful to fellow players.
Thanks, I responded on you tube as best I could. I posted it on the forums and seems to be getting a good reception. I just made a new video of voidstar, where I break down the mistakes I made to try and correct them. But all in all was a decent match. I tried to get rid of the black boxes but with windows movie maker if I went 16:9 the top resolution option is 480p. So I stuck with the black boxes to get 1080p.
Man you should really try the shield spec tree on either your trooper or powertech. It might not look like much on paper but I found its actually better dps than the dps tree (yeah I know doesnÈt make sens). Also … If you run with a healer you just wont die.
I did try the tank tree with my BH running the tank stance. The sustained and burst DPS is noticeably lower when you don’t have points in the middle tree.
Anyone running with a healer will feel stronger.
I see when you hit the windows key it only shows the bar at the bottom and doesn’t minimise the game. If you just go into the settings .ini and turn D3D to true it fixes this problem.
Ignore that comment it resets itself :(
Hey, I remember you from your swordmaster in Warhammer Online. I would always try and keep you alive since you helped so much in the war effort. : )
Glad to see you’re playing Old Republic now. I’m sure you’re just as troublesome for the other side as you were back then.
Do you have any plans on covering the Guild Wars 2 beta? I’m really interested in what you think about the game and its PvP. From what I’ve seen it will be awesome!
Keep up the good work!
I thought you might be interested in this SWTOR fanvid, created by the Pandamonium guild on Darth Bandon server.
Found out about this blog from Gamebreaker and have found it pretty good. Changed my keybindings for SWTOR (though not the same as your guide) and it has been much easier to play.
I’m pretty new to MMOs (SWTOR is first one I’ve seriously played) and some of the jargon is a bit lost on me. Would you consider making a glossary page for newbies like myself?
Thanks, keep up the good work :)
I’m also new to MMO’s and SWTOR pulled me in because I love all things SW. Thanks so much for all your output. It has all helped me massively in getting up to speed in the MMO universe. Still getting my head around crits and procs and key bindings, but progress nonetheless. My first 2 toons have been a sage healer and BH tank, both at 50 and gearing up for end game and PVP. I wanted to know what your recommendation would be for an awesome DPS build post patch 1.2? Sniper, gunslinger, commando, sentinel? What do you think? Who packs the most punch?
Keep up the good work mate, you’re a champ!
For DPS, Sentinel or Gunslinger are currently quite good. For more utility, roll a Shadow and spec him 31/1/9 at 50.
I have an MMORPG game I’ve been working on for the past six months or so. I recently started a Kickstarter project to complete the game, and was hoping you could write a short blog article about the Kickstartarter project.
The game is called the Planes of Merinia, and will be a free-to-play MMORPG. Players will not need to purchase anything in order to level or compete in PvP, although there will be an online store where they may purchase additional goods if they want.
Below is a brief description and the link to the Kickstarter project.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration,
Can you protect the Planes of Merinia from Master Mage Draekor? The protection spell has been broken, and the Planes are now invading Merinia’s cities and villages. Build your Guild City, steal your opponents skills and spells, and protect Merinia from the Dark Planes.
In Merinia, you do not choose a class. Instead, you can learn skills, spells, and crafts from multiple classes. You can learn healing, fire magic, and sword master, for example. As you gain levels for your character, you can increase your set of skills. Your skills only level if you use them (they do not automatically increase when your character level increases). This is an incentive for you to actually use the fire magic skill set, for example.
Build your own items. In Merinia, you can construct your own weapons, armor, artifiacts, items, etc. Included in the game is an item editor. Create a vorpal sword, or a golden bag. Whatever you can imagine. Items can have scripts attached to them, allow for animation, actions, and special events. Some created items can be sold in the market
Support the Planes of Merinia on Kickstarter – http://kck.st/merinia
I really wish that bioware would listen to you and your blogs. Everything you describe is why i left. It sucks to know that a “star wars” game is turning into a carebear cash shop. Your right on the money man keep up the good work!
Love your videos and your mature approach to many things gaming. I finally got my Taugrim shirt yesterday !!!! Wohooo!!! Loving the shirt and enjoying your input on Buildcast as well.
Big hello from Australia!!
If you are willing, tweet me a pic of you with the shirt on, and I’ll post it on my Facebook page.
can’t you start covering archeage? the combat is not great but the rest of the game is.. and they are improving the combat
Taugrim, come bacrift man! The game is growing again despite the lack of good PvP in GW2 and other things and swtor being the biggest exodus from the game. Its getting good again. Would love to see your videos and play with ya again.
Come back to seastone server. Beat PvP open world ATM.
Hey Taugrim ever thought about streaming on Twitch?
I used to stream with heavy interaction with viewers, back in SWTOR.
Haven’t streamed in over 2 years, as I find it detracts from enjoying and relaxing as I play
We have a new article on our Killer Guides blog entitled, the WoW Paladin Preparation Guide to Warlords of Draenor.
As a long time author on everything WoW, I’d like to know what you guys think? I would appreciate it if you guys can hit me back with your own opinion on the matter.
Also, you are welcome to share it with your followers and readers if you like.
I know you have long since moved on, but I wanted to at least put in a word to say I think you should revisit GW2. The community has grown in sPvP and they are about to roll out a new WvW map system. You have a keen mind for spotting good play, ideas, and strategies. The Shoutcasts on the platform are growing in popularity and I (personally) would value your input.
Hope all is well. I just wanted to drop by and suggest you keep a peripheral eye on Crowfall. It just started on Kickstarter today–it has some serious industry veterans, Wildstar-esque action combat, and (from what I know of your preferences) seems to mesh overall with what you’re looking for.
They’re essentially marketing it as an Open World PvP MMO / Strategy hybrid; persistent characters with destructible worlds that last the length of a campaign. It’s intriguing enough to read about; obviously, it’s nothing until it’s something, and they’ll need significantly more funding than their $800k goal. It’ll be interesting to look more seriously into IF it gets well funded.
Thanks for the recommendation. When the game gets further along in its development, let me know if it’s worth trying out.
In case you have not heard about this game: http://www.Crowfall.com
Taugrim, I’ve read many of your articles and every time, I leaving thinking “…this guy needs to be part of a game development team”.
I especially like your opinions on lateral vs vertical, PvP, class balance, etc…
I’m posting here for the first time, to ask you to please post comments on their website and provide you suggestions and input.
I think you could have a really strong positive impact.
The developers are from the original Shadowbane, Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and more… just a total dream team.
Taugrim, I would love for more people to hear your voice. Please consider posting on the Crowfall website. It could be a great opportunity to make a difference.
PS. the team is: J.Todd Coleman, Gordon Walton, Ralph Koster, etc….
I’ve thought about it before.
I have many years of software development experience and I love gaming. Even interviewed with a game developer in the past (BioWare in Austin), but I pulled the plug on the process because I took job as a product manager.
I used to really invest in the Beta of games (e.g. WAR, SWTOR, etc), but I don’t do it any more. Most of those games (really most MMORPGs over the past 7 years) cratered hard within 3 months of launch, and I stuck around longer than most. It was depressing.
Beyond that, even if I participate in the Beta of games, I’m just one person providing feedback among many, and by the time a game reaches Beta stage, most of the core class design, combat mechanics, etc have been fairly well defined.
Crowfall looks promising, and I will probably try it when it reaches Beta, so long as early access doesn’t cost too much.
I have no problem spending money on games, but most of them have not been worth it.
Love your website. Would you be interested in reviewing a new anime/chibi-style mmorpg called Dragomon Hunter? Closed beta is set to begin soon. Get in touch if you are interested!
Hi Taugrim, I followed your blogg a lot before, especially when you played Swtor and GW2. I made a re-visit now hopping you where still active and you seem to be at least a little.
I hoped you might have heard about a game called Battlerite? It’s the follow up to Bloodline Champions. Anyways, I wanted to see if you might have picked it up as I would love videos from you on that game.
Anyways, thanks for the good times and nice content!
HI Taugrim ,
could i ask you a HUGE newbie favor…what gun sight / reticle setting are you using ? there are so many to choose from..but i like your set up..with the center color changing piper. ANY help would be appreciated, and i KNOW you must be Very busy helping people with much bigger issues.
Thanks in advance
Central Marker: A-shaped I
Aiming: Circle I (with load indicator)
Gun Marker: Aimpoint I (with armor penetration indicator)
All numbers set at 90 except for the last one (Loading Timer) which is set to 100
Thanks you VERY much :)
I see you are a software developer too. I am young and probably need to learn more about software engineering. Just start working on this IT world last year, with little to no experience before. Might I ask you something? How you balance time between work and gaming?
I find that I am an extreme person. Every time I focus on my work, I don’t even think about gaming. But once I start the game, it’s hard for me to stop. So each time I do one, I always avoid doing the others, because I am afraid it will disturb my work/gaming experience.
How can you balance between these two worlds?
Unlike other jobs where you can simply turn off your laptop/PC, then sit on another table to do your job, we as a software developer have everything inside one place. It’s hard to resist the temptation to game, especially when you have nothing to do (or at least no upcoming deadline) and both IDE/game shortcut is easily accessible.
I do love my job and I think I need to learn more instead of playing video games. I have tons of tutorials videos regarding certain programming language/Kubernetes (going to focus on DevOps) practically untouched. I have multiple monthly targets that remain unchecked.
Mind you that I am still single and live alone away from my parents. So I can’t rely on anyone to stop me or telling me what to do.
Set a schedule, try to stick with it. Also don’t let gaming cut into things you should be doing, including eating, sleeping, and getting exercise.
IT is a great place to be for a career. So much demand and the work is interesting. Good luck professionally!
Just wanted to give you a heads up that Taugrim has been featured in the MMO blog Awards by The PC Journal.
Congratulations. And here’s a badge to show your readers that you’ve won:
<img src=”https://thepcjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/MMO-awards-badge-.png” alt=”Top MMO Blog Badge>