Doc: Uh… It looks like you got something in your eye.
Doc: I’m going to take that as “No, I don’t need help Doc. Go wait on the ship.”
One of the most common complaints I see every single time a new video or pics come out for Star Wars the Old Republic it’s that nothing in the game “looks” or “feels” like Star Wars. People demanding that everything adhere to lore, despite the fact that Star Wars lore is such a complete cluster-@#$% that pretty much anything flies there. Don’t believe me? Look up Marvel’s old Star Wars comic with the giant green bunny. Generally, when people say they want something to “look” like Star Wars they mean the movies – more specifically the Original Trilogy only. However, it seems like a bad idea to me. Why? Because you’ll end up with this:
Yea. Operation after operation to get what amounts to roughly the same outfit over and over with varying shades of brown or black. That sounds like raid gear I can get behind. But what about on the Sith side? Surely the Dark Lords with a fashion sense would have a wider array of ‘traditional’ Star Wars looks:
Well… uh… At least black goes with everything? Okay, that’s a bit cruel of me. Surely there are plenty of outfits in Star Wars lore to draw inspiration from. Like Darth Maul which has a black tunic under the giant black cloak. That’s a bit different. Oh and for the ladies, there’s always Darth Talon’s “ensemble”:
Yea. That’s gonna be a big crowd pleaser. No one’s gonna complain about that lore-inspired get up at all. Just make sure it’s classified as “heavy armor” to maintain the MMO Armor B.S. quota.
Honestly, you might not like the armor that Bioware adds to the game. But it’s a hell of lot better in my opinion than the same outfits over and over for the sake of staying true to a movie series that – once you include the B, C, D and E canon of the Expanded Universe – makes up a very small portion of the overall design aesthetic of the franchise. Just remember, if you want SW:TOR to be more like the movies, you’re are just BEGGING for Gungans to show up. Do you want that, Internet? Gunguns in TOR? Yea. Thought not.
1977: “Omigod! Did you know that to construct a model of the death star, they used parts from model ships? THAT IS SO AWESOME AND RESOURCEFUL!”
1999: “WTF? The scanner thing Qui-gon is using is just a gillette razor with a bunch of random hi tech crap slapped on it. WAY TO BE F-ING LAZY GEORGE LUCAS!”
Doc: Uh… It looks like you got something in your eye.
Doc: I’m going to take that as “No, I don’t need help Doc. Go wait on the ship.”
What’s that? It’s Monday, you say? Well, how about another Blizz Meme Monday… WITH PONIES?!
In Star Wars: The Old Republic, enemies come in different ‘levels’. They are as follows:
WEAK -> NORMAL -> STRONG -> ELITE -> CHAMPION
In Digimon, all digital creatures can change form back and forth through different ‘levels’ of Digivolution. They are as follows:
IN-TRAINING -> ROOKIE -> CHAMPION -> ULTIMATE -> MEGA
Please note that both of these lines of progression contain the word ‘Champion’.
Ergo, SW:TOR is a Digimon MMO.
LOGIC! *guitar riff*
There comes a time in every MMO that you hit a plateau. A time of stasis, when there are no more levels to gain. This mythic place is known to many as ‘Endgame’. A fitting title many of the times, because it can often represent the end of the game, and the beginning of the work. Gearing up, perfecting your rotations, grinding your reps… it’s a completely different world than the ‘level up game’, and definitely takes getting used to. No matter how long I’ve played World of Warcraft, reaching an expansions level cap is always met with a stunned moment of “Okay… now I gotta figure out what to do next.”
However, WoW has been around that block a few times. It’s endgame is currently a paved and well-worn path known to many. Dailies/Rep Grind, Heroics, then Raids. Or if you’re a PvP fan, battlegrounds then arenas or rated battlegrounds. The formula almost feels beaten to death for some, and probably one of the reasons it seems that Mists of Pandaria wants to shake things up. I know I am watching MoP news pretty closely to see how well that works out, because if there’s one thing that playing The Old Republic has shown me, it’s that having things to do at endgame is important!
SWTOR, at the moment, has a fairly limited list of things to do at level 50. Even more limited if you don’t want to look around for some other options. There’s a small handful of normal level 50 flashpoints, a slightly larger selection of Hardmode flashpoints, two operations, and war zones. Though it seems from TORHead’s sneak peek (leaked?) look at the future of the game, there is definitely a lot more solo content, flashpoints, and operations coming. But I thought I’d take this chance to make a few other suggestions for things to do:
Unlock Your Dailies: As soon as you finish your class missions and close out Chapter Three, you’ll be getting a breadcrumb mission to Ilum. Ilum is the notorious PvP world that has had more than its share of controversy since the game launched. However, beyond the PvP component, there is an actual storyline here. Along the way, you’ll start gathering Daily Commendations that can be traded in for high level artifact gear (purpz, y’all) and mods. This is actual a fairly cool storyline that sets up the two level 50 flashpoints – Battle for Ilum and The False Emperor.
However, there is another set of dailies you can do on the prison world of Belsavis. This doesn’t give an obvious bread crumb trail as far as I know. I actually didn’t get the mission until I arrived at Belsavis at level 50. This ‘bonus series’ will also unlock several dailies for you to help bridge that gap between leveling gear and operations.
Complete Missed Heroic Missions: If you’re like me, you may have had a hard time finding people to do heroic missions on planets with and just decided to skip them. Well, here’s your chance to go back and do all of those. Many I’ve bumped into award moddable oranges that will be useful to have to further customize your appearance when Bioware updates the moddable gear to include all the endgame gear, so that you can truly look the way you want.
Finish Those Bonus Series: There are a LOT of bonus series in the game. Especially towards the end of the leveling experience. Most of these can reward you with anything from item boxes that you can sell the contents on the GTN, or more orange moddable gear (I collect the stuff like crazy. I love being able to change my appearances.) Not to mention for the story enthusiasts, many of these bonus series will expand, extend or conclude some of the events that occurred in the main storyline of that world. Can’t go wrong with a bit more story!
Datacron Hunting: Datacrons. I can’t even begin to go into my love/hate relationship with these wannabe companion cubes. They provide an excellent puzzle for those who want to searching for them. I usually use a guide to find their locations, but then I try to solve how to get to them myself. It’s a fun activity that can actually take quite a while. However, there are a good number – more than I would like at least – that often require 2-4 players to actually obtain. So now you not only have to solve a puzzle, you have to get another person to help solve it. Grouping up for things a lot of people like to do is a pain at the moment in the game! Now I have to find someone who actually cares about Datacrons?! Possibly an entire RAID GROUP!?! Give me a break! Curse me and my rabid completionism… /1 LFM Datacrons…
Complete that Pokedex… I mean Codex: If you open your codex (it’s a tab at the bottom of your mission log. Go ahead. I’ll wait… Neat, huh?) you can find entries for each world you visit. In these entries, there will be a breakdown of how many codex entries you have from that world, and how many you are missing at the moment. Now is your time to shine Lore Nerds! Go forth and fill those bars! But be warned, a lot of the codex entries are bugged. I do mean A LOT. On top of the fact that many of the titles mentioned are not obtainable in game (They were in the beta. They removed them for some reason. I am VERY cross about this.), many others are not obtainable at the moment either or can only be obtained by certain classes (Such as the Deshade entry for Korriban is only obtainable through an Inquisitor class mission. You must play as an Inquisitor, or group up with one, to get this entry). Fixing the codex appears to be a low priority for BioWare at the moment, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t get 100% currently.
Kill the Avatar of Sel-Makor: The final gold elite on the Voss story missions SUUUUUUUUCKS. The amount of ridiculous line of sight tactics you have to pull off on this thing is a ridiculous ramp up in difficulty. I just skipped him until I hit 50. Then came back and finished the story line. I hate this monster. With a deep loathing of a thousand burning suns. It is probably the closest I’ve ever come to smashing my keyboard. Skip it. Come back at 50. Be at peace.
Level an Alt: I know. This is a tired and beaten down one. My years of WoW have made me very cynical to this response to the “what should I do now” question, and I don’t blame you if you gave me an eye roll as soon as you saw this on the list. But hey, SWTOR has a lot of great reasons to roll an alt. There are 8 class stories, and 8 advanced classes (if you include the fact that the mechanics are roughly mirrored on both sides. Yes, I know about the animation lag on some abilities. Don’t bother dragging that up here.) This gives you a reason to enjoy a new story line, make different choices on shared story lines, and experience a new class mechanically! And yes, the different choices thing is sometimes just an ‘illusion of choice’ resulting in the same. But not always. I’ve been surprised but how the opposite choice will sometimes give new objectives, skip battles or reduce the number of enemies I have to deal with. It’s definitely worth doing if you enjoy the story of the game. But here’s a tip to help with your sanity: Alternate doing republic and imperial alts. It will make seem WAY less repetitive.
Wait for More Things to Be Added: This is just a snarky response. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t holding out some hope for less ‘standard MMO fare’ at level 50. Some more interactive and dynamic content, like playing Pazzak in cantinas or Nar Shadaa’s casinos. It’s an easy game to learn, fun to master, and can be done against an NPC or other players! I’ve heard other suggestions like bringing swoop races into the game, which would be another fun one. I realize I might have to wait a while on these, but a guy can hope can’t he?
I know that there will be many people who will see this list and see this as a pointless gesture to find something to do in the “horrible and dull” endgame of SWTOR. All I can say is – is this really any worse than unlocking the molten front or getting your reputations all to exalted? Those are the exact kind of activities I filled my time with in WoW. They were fun and entirely optional. This list is pretty much the same. If it doesn’t raise your ship from the swamps of Dagobah, fine. But hopefully someone will see this list and go “Oh! That’s something I hadn’t thought of before!”
Is it just me, or does Alderaan turning out to be a giant chessboard make a bit too much sense?
I would like to blame my lack of writing on SW:TOR. Just saying. That game has its hooks in me right now. So much so that I can happily say that without space bar skipping, I’ve already got my bounty hunter to level 50, and my Jedi knight and Sith inquisitor well into their chapter 1 story lines. The game has just been really enjoyable, and I like doing different things in different playthroughs. My professional bounty hunter didn’t do nearly as much sadistic crap as my inquisitor has, and sure as hell didn’t flirt as much.
I can’t say the experience has been downright fantastic though. It has made me miss some things like the Dungeon Finder, a tool that I honestly never really had many problems with. But the fact is that in my time playing several characters in TOR, I pretty much always run the Black Talon or the Esseles, and that’s pretty much it for flashpoints. For me, it’s just not worth sitting around in the fleet and looking for a group for some of these things. The only other time I’ve run a flashpoint was when I stumbled on a group for Hammer Station that just happened to be looking for a tank the same time I was meandering toward the space station on Balmorra. While the comparisons of a single player game with a chatbox tacked on are usually meant to be insulting, I honestly found that mentality much more enjoyable. Because honestly, looking for a group right now has SUUUUUCKED. Maybe it’s just my server. Who knows, when I wander over to the server my Inquisitor is on (Space Slug) there are a LOT of people looking for groups… for Level 50 hardmodes. And ONLY hard modes by the way. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone looking for a group for regular False Emperor or Battle for Ilum. Hopefully, this will change as people continue to push toward max level and I know Bioware is exploring options for a more robust LFG tool (or at least I hope so. They said they were working on one.)
Either way, my card has been charged and I’ve got my founder title. Now Bioware has six months before I decide what I’ll be doing next. In that time, you can bet I’ll be leveling a ton of alts and hopefully making friends in new guilds. I hope at least. I have almost as much of a hard time socializing on the internet as I do in real life. Which means I have a hard time /whispering people I’ve never met before. So finding a guild is hopefully my chance to meet some people to actually do stuff like flashpoints with. (Speaking of which, if anyone is on Begeren Colony or Space Slug and knows of a friendly casual guild that I can enlist with, let me know. I’m trying to keep with West coast servers.)
But overall, looking back from level 50, I really enjoyed my bounty hunter. The end of Chapter One was immensely satisfying. Like ‘Beat the Lich King’ satisfying. Chapter Two felt a bit meh, as most middles do. It mostly spent time setting up the Second Act Turning Point that launched me into Chapter Three. The bounty hunter story definitely took some settling into though. At first I honestly didn’t ‘get it’. I just rode around space. Caught some dude. Rinse and repeat. It wasn’t till someone on the SWTOR forums mentioned that the story isn’t about capturing bounties – it’s about THE HUNT. That made it all click. The class missions became much more enjoyable as I learned to appreciate the tactics of hunting prey. I had honestly expected something a bit more like Hutta on every world. Collecting lots of bounties for warlords, hutts, the Empire… whoever. But as I settled in, I really enjoyed the long drawn out hunts and luring them out. This especially becomes prevalent during Chapter Two when you reach Taris. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but prepare for some Predator stuff.
The other thing I really enjoyed was how my reputation as a bounty hunter grew throughout the galaxy as the story progressed. I land on Hutta as just some merc looking to make some creds. At the end of the prologue, you start to see people recognizing you. “Oh you’re that bounty hunter.” and what not. This becomes really noticeable on Nar Shadaa where you really feel your reputation grow as you get passed around from Imperial officer to Imperial officer around the massive city. By the time you get into Chapter Two, you are a freakin’ VIP. That’s not an exaggeration. You literally get called a VIP by one of the Imperial troops. You work your way up to becoming the Empire’s “go to” bounty hunter by the end of the story. Which, really, is up to you how to proceed with that. Personally, I blew off the Empire. I’m no one’s lackey. You want me, you can hire me.
Overall, the game is a blast thus far. Time will tell how fun it stays. But I don’t regret putting my money down for six months of game time. Can’t wait to see what the Legacy system brings in March!
Recently, I’ve been indulging in my alt-itis and playing lots of alts up to level 10 to leave their starter planets in SW:TOR. It gives me a bit of fun in exploring each classes nuance, checking out new servers where potential new guilds reside, and generally exploring the different options in dialogues. It’s interesting how some choices are purely superficial and others can actually add or skip additional objectives. It’s neat to find out that ‘Hey, if I choose the Light side option here I won’t have to fight those guys’ or ‘If choose light side I have to go report this to a guy way back there or if I do dark side I get to run around and collect some doodads really quick’. Mostly, I’ve just been going with whatever my character does. I don’t think I’ve played a single character thus far that hasn’t racked up some mix of dark or light points. Most lean one way or the other, with a dash of the opposite tossed in for flavor.
Back to the point! I recently started leveling a trooper. She’s a bald, Asian cyborg with a huge gun. I love that I can say that with a straight face. It’s like an utter indulgence of my love of cyberpunk gushing out through ever slider on the character select screen. Early on in the trooper’s story – the second class quest I believe – you are quickly introduced to Aric Jorgan. He’s one of the guys ordering you around. He’s a big bald Cathar. Which are cat people. So if you hear “Tough-as-Nails Cat Person Named Jorgan” and immediately think of this:
I like the way you think! But sadly, he instead looks more this:
Anyway, he’s one bad ass kitty and channels a serious Panthro vibe. He doesn’t mess around when the safety of the Galactic Republic is at stake. But when I first met Mr. Jorgan, I got a slightly different version instead. Apparently, the game glitched during the cut scene and instead I got introduce to Mini-Aric instead:
The whole cut scene was like that. It was AWESOME. I couldn’t stop laughing. The best part is when my trooper is supposed to look at Aric in the cut scene, she actually looked down at the ground. So apparently the animation was designed to lock on to him or something. Even the cameras repositioned themselves to include Tiny Jorgan!
Sadly, after the cut scene ended he returned to his regular size and has stayed that way since. Still, for one glorious and hilarious moment I got to watch Chibi Jorgie try to be an imposing bad ass superior officer. I will never be able to respect him. EVER.
‘Ey dere folks. Welcome to today’s episode of Modular Customization & You! Today we’ll be looking at taking the whosie whatsits from the thingie mabobber that you like the thingies on and jamming them into that there other something-or-other to enjoy maximum visual customability at home or at work – whether you be just your average run of the mill winner of the Great Hunt or your working class Sith lord on the go.
Did you understand any of that? Good. Me neither. What I’m actually wanted to talk about today was a fun little thing that I stumbled upon in Star Wars the Old Republic, that logically I had no reason to think it wouldn’t have worked but it wasn’t clearly spelled out anywhere that I could find that it was doable. Okay, I’m making this sound way more complicated that it actually is. Let’s put it this way. You know that piece of orange modification gear that you absolutely LOVE the look of but it is clearly designed for another class? Like for instance that awesome breather mask that Darth Malgus wears and that Sith warriors can snag as a quest reward? How awesome would that be to wear that around on say… a cyborg powertech to complete the image of the ultimate machine/man interface? Well, I agree:
Meet my Level 25 bounty hunter powertech. Oh I know what you’re thinking. “What the heck, Vry? Bounty hunter’s don’t use strength!” and I don’t. That is the moddable version of the breather mask that you can buy with Nar Shadaa commendations on the Imperial side. What I did was gathered up enough commendations to buy that breather mask and the moddable bounty hunter helmet (the one that looks like a miner hat with a Geordi La Forge visor) and I swapped out all of the mods on them. Twenty-four commendations and a few thousand credits later, and wham! I have a breather mask on my bounty hunter, and no messed up stats.
Oh, I know some of you are out there saying that of course you could do this. It was so obvious. Well, I didn’t know. I thought that mask was a sith thing, the miner hat was a bounty hunter thing, and that was that. So I looked and looked and couldn’t find a thread about it or a post anywhere saying it was doable. So I am here, on the internet to declare, Yes! You can be this custom fit your look to any orange modification armor that you could normally equip! That means no heavy armor for the Assassins, no equipping Jedi knight only robes on your imperial agent. I would also recommend not decking your bounty hunter out in light armor. But otherwise you can just rip the mods out of one and stick’em in the other. There’s no “this can only use strength mods” restrictions at all, and I am absolutely loving it. Why? Because that means my bounty hunter can stroll around the Imperial fleet wearing some bad ass Sith juggernaut copycat oranges.
Bonus Objective: Go back to the first paragraph and re-read it to realize that yes, it DOES make sense in its own twisted way. Mwa ha ha!