Category Archives: Star Wars: The Old Republic
My subscription to SWTOR is ending on Friday and I’ve canceled it. I’ve enjoyed my time playing, but find that the game is so “balanced” for pvp that when you’re a pve player like I am that all the challenge has been sucked out of the game, regardless of what class you’re playing. The small groups of mobs all die in a few seconds and represent no threat to you at all, regardless of your class. The silver mobs all hit pretty hard, but still fold quickly. The gold mobs will take you down to about 50% health if melee and your companion to about 50% health if ranged. The only real challenge seems to be in trying to do Heroic missions while solo. It got old after a while, and while I liked the various stories being told, there really weren’t all THAT many class quests, so all the side quest repetition got old as well.
So.. overall, I enjoyed my time in the game, but the very “balance” that so many gamers claim to seek is what made it stultifying for me. And even though I have capped level toons, as is my wont, they hit cap and then didn’t get played again. I’m just not into daily quest grinds and gear grinds, so once a toon hits cap, it tends to fall by the wayside, but then since the “balance” was so perfect, the game didn’t really feel different from class to class, so only the “4th pillar” could keep it interesting, but that story was sprinkled far too lightly between all the planet/side quests.
Now, I’m moving on to TSW.
As you can see on the left there, I finally got my 1st 50 in SWTOR. It’s my “tankassin.” This in spite of getting my Vanguard to level 48 about 2 months ago. The Assassin clicks better with me, though. I actually went back this weekend to finish the Vanguard up to 50 also, and it just felt. . . off. . . . somehow. It didn’t take long to pick it back up, but it felt like it did a lot less damage and since I’m running with a healer companion, not a dps one, it felt that much slower on the kills. Totally safe, just. . .kinda boring.
It doesn’t help that my Vanguard is in a 3-person guild where the other 2 people have now unsubbed either, while the Assassin is in a rather active guild on the Imp side. How active? Active enough to run 16-man ops and almost nightly guild events. Though since most of those tend to be pvp and I just can’t for the life of me get excited about pvp, well. . . . . yeah.
That said, the +10 holocron run was kinda fun. We had enough sorcerers along that they could go pre-position with the MGGS devices, then yank everyone else to the door in a 2-step yank process. Went fairly quickly.
I’ve worked a bit on some lower-level toons as well, but what can be said other than that I’m enjoying their stories and looking forward to (eventually) finishing them all? I’m still enjoying the game immensely, and I’m not even finding the grinding out of the daily missions to be especially onerous either. That will probably change soon, but for now, I’m still having a ton of fun.
Still playing on the Juyo server. . . would say “with friends” but it’s mostly solo. My friends aren’t on as much as I am and tend to be on earlier than I am too, so there’s not all that much crossover. I’m half tempted to head back to Sanctum of the Exalted and the RMC/IMC guilds there.
Even so, my Vanguard’s level 48 now and working through Voss. At the rate I’m going, I think I may just make level 50 before leaving Voss. Considering I’ve done no flashpoints, no warzones, only a couple of space missions right after I got my ship, and have skipped 2 full planets, half of another, 3 bonus series, and was actually “at level” when I got to Hoth at 38, the fact that I’m now 2-3 levels “high” and might hit 50 before even getting to the last world should tell you that there’s a metric ton of XP out there in this game (as evidenced also by other characters who I haven’t skipped anything with being 4-5 levels “high” while in their 20’s and 30’s), and yet one of the more common threads in the New Player Help section goes like this: “I’m too low for this planet I’m on, but I’ve done every side quest on every planet. how can I get more XP?” When I bother to respond to threads like that I tell them to actually go back and do every side quest, since they’ve obviously missed quite a few. . . . .
I decided to work a bit more on my “Tankassin.” Sent her some cash from my vanguard to afford the obscenely priced Imperial Trooper armor off the CE vendor. You can see the results above. I am using a mod-able level 19 player-crafted helm, though, since I like being able to see the toons’ face during the cutscenes.
Still enjoying the game, though I’m a tad burnt out too, which is why I didn’t do the push to 50 on the Vanguard yet and went for the different playstyle and story of the Assassin for now.
My only comment about the 1.2 patch is: I like that I can send mail between all my alts regardless of faction now. Other than that, I’ve not noticed much difference in the toons I play.
I’ve re-subbed to Vanguard for a bit for a change of pace also. I’m only really playing it on Saturday mornings for a couple of hours, so don’t have much to report other than it’s kinda nice to have the slower leveling pace of that game to relax with. I’m trying out several classes I never did before — blood mage, necromancer, shaman, dread knight — to see if something appeals to me more than I thought it sounded like it might. I love my disciple and paladin, the druid’s interesting, but hasn’t truly grabbed me, etc. Overall it’s fun to try the new things out and see how they work together. After SWTOR it does feel a little odd not to have a companion. Kinda weird how expectations need to change from game to game, no?
I did the Tera Online beta this past weekend in place of my normal Vanguard play session. I made a sorcerer for my 1st character to figure out the controls and such. For all that it says “you gotta always move” any time you cast anything, even your instant-cast spells you still stop cold, yet the sorcerer is listed as tied with the Archer class for “easiest to play.” Go figure. I made that character a high elf female, and while I thought the breasts on it were grotesquely over-sized and the standing pose of the character was quite overdone, the sexuality of that race didn’t bug me. The world chat was full of people saying that the Elin race was for pedophiles only and that the Castanic races was actually “the best one” looks-wise, though.
In the afternoon, I decided to try out the Mystic class, as that sounded like it had a bit in common with the EQ2 coercer, which I love to death. I made this one a Castanic female, and on the character creation page it looked nice and the breasts were probably “only” a D-cup, which is actually fairly small in the MMO world. Then I got into the world and the way it ran. . . .geez, it was horrid. Bent double, flashing its ass in the air while flailing its arms in a caricature of the “runs like a girl” stereotype. And tbh, I actually didn’t much like the Mystic gameplay after all. Ah well.
At that point, I kinda wanted to check out some of the warrior-type classes, but I felt like I was “done.” Other than the movement style forced on you by the controls it was a very standard MMO, so it didn’t have anything to draw me away from any other game I’m already playing and enjoy. For all that it calls itself an “action game” the only thing that made it such was that I couldn’t lock a target and had to aim my reticle at it in mouselook mode. Other than that. . . been there and done that. I’ve uninstalled that game client from my pc and won’t be looking back.
On the other hand, while I know I don’t particularly care for the horror/goth genre of anything, I’ve pre-ordered The Secret World. It sounds like it’s got just enough elements of similarity to Shadowrun, which game world I love, that I think I’d still enjoy it, and the skill-point-based advancement with synergies between trees sounds enough like SWG (which I loved pre-CU and pre-NGE) that I’m willing to plunk down in advance for it. I’m not sure what direction I’d like to take the character in the beginning, but that sounds like the beauty of the skill wheel is that you can dabble easily and find out what you like, then specialize from there, and then over time add more and more specializations. Concepts sound cool to me, anyway. I hope they’re implemented well. Beta weekends start on May 11th, so I’ll know more after that, I suppose.
Speaking of Shadowrun, there’s a Kickstarter project out there for a small-time 2D turn-based Shadowrun game out there. I’ve kicked in a bit and hope it won’t turn out to be vaporware.
So the SWTOR 1.2 patch is on the Public Test Server, and the Patch Notes released. I don’t play on the PTS, and don’t plan to, so I’ll have to wait for it to go live before I see what really happens, but based on what I’ve read, here are my thought ons the things from the notes that jumped out at me:
Legacy Stuff: Cool, but seems self-contradictory. It’s designed to help you play alts, but the best way to level it up so that you can do things with those alts is to not play alts. Add in that to get the race unlocks which are probably the biggest “cool thing” right now you need to either have a lot of money lying about on you level 50 toon(s) or you need to level each race up to 50, which would fill all your character slots, and since the Legacy is server-specific, you’d then have to delete a level 50 to make a new one and do it all over again with the race/class combo you really want on that server since you couldn’t “take it with you.” Doesn’t really seem well thought out.
UI customization and Target-of-target: About damn time!
Class balancing stuff: The Smuggler stuff sounds good. The Commando and Sage nerfs to both healing and dps seem to be a bit heavy-handed. I didn’t see much that looked like it would affect my Vanguard, but my dps Sage is going to lose the ability to have the Telekinetic Wave get boosted by the Power of Mind proc, which kills the purpose of having the hybrid spec, since those procs are so useful and there’s really nothing else to use them on. Sadly, the level 31 top tier talents aren’t being improved, so there’s no real reason to go fully up a tree still, so it looks like 7/7/27 just might be the new way to go for a dps sage rather than the old 0/13/28 or 0/17/24 specs. Time will tell, though. Zoeller did say a lot of stuff “under the hood” is being redone and this may change how it all shakes out, so. . . we’ll see.
Crafting changes: These I’m pretty excited about. On the “new server” I mentioned in my last post I’ve got my Vanguard as a pure harvester providing materials to the lower level alts so that they can still keep their crafting up to the VG’s level. It means I’m keeping the Vanguard more “level-appropriate” to the content, so he’s level 38 now and about to head to Hoth (right on schedule) while my also level 38 Sage is just barely starting Balmorra (supposed to be level 32-33 when starting there). But anyway, the changes here sound like a big improvement, so I’m sure that I’ll enjoy exploring the changes once they go live.
Gameplay update: As mentioned a little bit above — I’ve got a Vanguard to level 38 and a Jedi Sage to 38 as well. I also have a Sawbones spec’d Scoundrel at 22, but it’s only used for crafting anymore. After 1.2 and the Sawbones updates, that may change. My friends are level 34 Gunslinger and level 30 Commando now, so we’re a little spread out, but we still get together to run some of the flashpoints and help with heroic quests and holocron hunting and such. We play to have fun, not to challenge ourselves or even to worry about loot or xp or anything. We’re very laid back about it all.
About a week ago in order to give them both some time to catch up to me in levels, I started up a Sith Inquisitor. Yes, that’s her to the left. Since I already have a Sage I went with an Assassin so as to still get the SI story, but the different play style. Through use of the HTN on Nar Shaddaa I’ve been able to get some credits to her so she could buy the orange social gear and then also transfer over all the mods for it crafted by my cybertech alt. Haven’t run out and done anything yet combat-wise since getting the upgrades slotted in, but I expect that combat’s suddenly going to feel quite a bit easier, and it wasn’t hard in quest greens, so. . . . should be fun anyway. Just equipping the new pieces added 25% to my HP totals and another 5% mitigation on the defensive side, plus higher Willpower for more damage done.
Something I’m not really happy about, though, is that when I looked up the companions for the SI, I found that I don’t get a healer companion until Hoth at about level 40, unlike the Jedi Consular that gets theirs on Nar Shaddaa at about level 24. Just means I’ll have “less safe” gameplay, I suppose. I really doubt it will matter much, especially after I get a dps companion instead of Khem Val’s tankiness. I’m spec’d as a tank, so I’ve got Khem in dps stance, such as it is, but I’m looking forward to an actual dps companion instead. As it is, though… I love the Empire’s armor looks in preview, and I’m finding the story line for the SI to be far more compelling than the Consular, so I think I’ll be playing a bit more on the Empire side now whenever my friends aren’t also online with me.
Since my last post, I got my Commando up to level 41. He’s still working through Quesh. But I re-rolled to a different server due to a friend starting to play and even though he knew I was on Sanctum of the Exalted, he has a couple of nephews playing on Juyo, so he rolled there in order to be able to play with them from time to time. Though I’ve never seen him say they were online with us ever, and he’s not mentioned ever playing with them at times when he and I aren’t on either. Ah well.
Another mutual friend rerolled over to Juyo also as a result, and he’s only played Empire up to this point, so it was actually quite fun to run through all the quests on Tython in a group with them. Got social points, got to chat. . . it was a lot more fun than soloing it. When we all started there friend J1 started a Jedi Knight to go Guardian with, and since I don’t like the JK play style I rolled yet another Consular. Friend J2 also rolled Consular and since he planned to go Shadow, I went Sage.
Out of all of that, J1 decided he doesn’t really like his Guardian, so he’s now got a Gunslinger. J2 decided he didn’t like the Shadow and now has a Commando. And I’ve got my Sage to 19, my Vanguard to 23, my Scoundrel to 21, and an SI Assassin to 11. J1 also has a variety of other alts on both Empire and Republic side as well. Can’t tell we both play more than J2, can you? 😉
But anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing in SWTOR the past few weeks — redoing what I’ve done before, but enjoying it more since I’m doing it with friends. BioWare’s been patching it up and making things improve slowly but surely, so overall I’m enjoying this game just as much as ever, even with still being such a lowbie all the time 😉
I do think the starter planets are a bit out of whack, though. Tython seems to take most people around 9 hours of playing time. I’ve done it in 7 since I’m so familiar with it anymore, but there’s just so much running around that it takes a while. Ord Mantell I am done with in about 5 hours whenever I run through it anymore, so it’s already a lot faster than Tython. 2 days ago when I ran the SI through Korriban. . . .I was level 11 and done with the planet in 3 hours and 14 minutes of /played time. I have no idea how long Hutta takes for BH’s and Agents, but if it’s as small as it looks on the map, I can’t imagine it’d be more than 4-5. I can’t help but wonder if this is supposed to be BioWare’s way of literally putting the whole philosophy of “Dark Side is faster than Light Side” that we heard Yoda tell us in TESB into the game?