Teras Kasi Artist

Teräs Käsi Artist was the last profession my character would train before I quit Star Wars Galaxies in 2004. I didn’t spend several years in the game like a lot of people but I went through many professions pretty quickly. My character, Spawnarak’, was a Trandoshan. While considered more difficult to play among some players, I found this race’s natural health regeneration bonus to be useful. Its stats spread wasn’t the best and it couldn’t wear certain pieces of armor, like gloves and boots, but it was geared toward melee and taking punishment.

A Guide to Teräs Käsi Artist and Brawling


Meditating on the highest peak on Dantooine in the northwestern valleys of the planet, near the Force Crystal Hunters Cave.

Meditating on the highest peak on Dantooine in the northwestern valleys of the planet, near the Force Crystal Hunters Cave. I am also discussing placing down turrets for Operation Barricade with my friend, Likkdou.

My first profession was Bounty Hunter, and I mastered both Scout and Marksman to do it. While I mastered the pistoleer and heavy weapon lines in Bounty Hunter, I completed the majority of Creature Handler. I got far enough to own some pretty rare pets. I later went deep into Pistoleer (when it was OP as hell) and complemented it well with the Bounty Hunter abilities, like Eye Shot. There was once a time when you could kill a player with Eye Shot in 2-3 volleys. Considering how fast the exceptional pistols were crafted by the top Weaponsmiths, these three shots could be blindingly fast. The Mind bar is what it hits and it cannot be replenished with traditional medpacks.

Eye Shot was instrumental in leading up to the PvP damage nerf, which cut all player vs player damage to only 25% of normal. Creature damage remained unchanged (hilariously) for a long time. In his article, 15 Things You Forgot About SWG Pre-NGE, Greg Daren from 3 God Kings gives a pretty accurate retrospective on what life was like for those of us who played in the pre-CU days. It was, to put simply, a perpetual arms race between all the professions that makes shit today look like child’s play.

Teras Kasi Pike Sisters

The Teras Kasi Pike Sisters.

In my final days of Star Wars Galaxies, I went down the path of the Teräs Käsi Artist. It was a profession rarely used in the early days until massive changes have made it competitive with the other popular elite professions. Being a martial arts practitioner in real life and a huge fan of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords (which featured the Echani martial arts), I wanted to be a profession which didn’t rely too much on expensive gear and buffs. My favorite Star Wars novel, Shatterpoint, portrayed Mace Windu’s signature form of Vaapad in all its glory. Each of the various lightsaber forms had a deadly component of hand-to-hand combat.

Teräs Käsi Artist was brought back in line with the other powerful professions and it was now possible to take a head-on fight against three Enraged Bull Rancors without any armor or friends, and win. With Ubese armor (which had high kinetic resistance), one could take on three Ancient Bull Rancors and survive. This was at Master level without any buffs. I gave up all my ranged weapon skills and maximized my melee tanking and unarmed skills. I purchased the best vibroknucklers from Stettin’s shop on Corellia and was killing shit with more efficiency than I ever was in my career.

Steel Hands

The Echani martial arts, which was introduced in KotOR: The Sith Lords, was another power martial arts in Star Wars lore.

The Echani martial arts, which was introduced in KotOR: The Sith Lords, was another power martial arts in Star Wars lore.

There were many professions in this game but I found Teräs Käsi Artist to represent the unique nature of this MMORPG and its dedication to focus on the sandbox aspect of the game. It’s risky to create an unorthodox skill-set like a martial arts style in the Star Wars universe, and the concept of melee weapons like vibroblades and vibroswords were a very recent addition to the lore. People were used to shooting things and cutting things with lightsabers, but hand-to-hand combat was a strange new venture. However, this transition was made easier by games like the Knights of the Old Republic series.

Spawnarak’ trained hard in the four disciplines of Teräs Käsi Artist, far enough to attain the title of Teräs Käsi Monk and Warrior. He was set on completing the final tree and working on the Master title, which was a milestone and a half. The difference in abilities between a Teras Kasi Master and an expert was vast, and it was more pronounced in this profession than others. Bounty Hunter was also similar and it tied more into its perpetual war with the Jedi players they were contracted to track down and kill.

The End of Days

Life had a different plan for me. Crystal Valley was in its prime as a rank 5 Metropolis  and business was good. Traffic to the Force Crystal Hunters Cave from all around the galaxy was at an all time high and I was about to master my first elite profession since I started the game. As a young freshman in high school, my real life obligations began to increase so the rare times I could play, I tried to spend it with my friends in Paragon Federation. When I actually started playing the game proper, I had  just turned thirteen years old. In a way, this game drastically influenced me on the types of games I now play today.

The art of Teräs Käsi is about control and mastery of one’s self.Joclad Danva

Unfortunately, real life obligations would take priority and I had to take a break from the game. Jarel Elus, the mayor of Crystal Valley and leader of Crimson Republic <CR>, went inactive, presumably due to college, and things quickly went downhill for the city. Paragon Federation <TPF> also went inactive and closed down at the end of March 2004. Me and Borg Iskaw, my guild’s last council leader, were good friends and were with the group since the beginning. We would all part ways in good spirits and would actually meet again some years later by coincidence, and it was a good time sharing war stories and recalling all the crazy shit we’ve seen as we grew up.


Teras Kasi Defensive Stance

Combat meditation.

Victory

I didn’t know it at the time but these were some of the last screenshots I would ever take. It was only two years since I helped found Grandor, which would later lead to Paragon Federation, and eventually to the building of Crystal Valley. Two years was still a long ass time for someone my age and I would never forget those moments, including the tough times. By the time I was able to return in 2005, my guild and everyone I ever knew in Chilastra had gone inactive and set on their own ways. I got back into contact with Yil Geivan, who moved to the Starsider server, and he recruited me to Trinity, which is another story for another day.

The Teräs Kasi Artist was my favorite profession in Star Wars Galaxies and I vowed to return one day and master it.


Staring off into the distance toward Crystal Valley.

Staring off into the distance toward Crystal Valley.

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