Saturday, December 12, 2015

SWTOR: Master Jedi

The Jedi Consular Ineffablebob has made his way through the Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) Galaxy and defeated the Children of the Emperor, thus ending his primary class story-line. In terms of story, I felt like I was playing a whole new game compared to my experience as an Imperial Bounty Hunter. SWTOR really does a good job of providing individualized story lines for each class.
A Trandoshan.
I like the different companions, too. The Jedi Consular's first companion is Qyzen Fess, a Trandoshan, which means he's basically a humanoid toothy lizard. Having a non-human companion, complete with very alien morality structure based on scoring "points" for hunting dangerous game, was pretty cool and made for some interesting conversations. There are several other companions as well, including eventually a Padawan trainee to go with your status as a Master Jedi. The story aspects of the companion arcs don't go into a whole lot of depth, but they're still fun to go through.

This time through, I did almost none of the individual planet story arcs. My personal story still took me to all the major stopping points, but I skipped large parts of the content and only focused on my own story-line. However, I did take a side trip into a Flashpoint when the opportunity presented itself. Doing them in solo mode is basically just another story-line, albeit one with a bit more combat than usual. It was nice to get some backstory on events in the main story, such as the freeing of Revan from his prison.

Despite my original intent to spend a little more time with the multiplayer aspects of SWTOR while playing the Jedi Consular, I found myself doing almost everything solo. As I mentioned last time, I did try a Flashpoint group, but it was a poor experience. I was progressing nicely through the story and gaining levels on my own, so why bother with a group? It only makes the conversation pauses awkward, and slows down progress when someone inevitably has to log out or go AFK. If I was going to play this game for years, I'd probably find places that I wanted to explore as part of a group. But for now, I've pretty much given up on the team aspects.

I finished off my progression in the crafting system along the way. Sending your companions on all the gathering missions required certainly used up my credit reserve. I made some of it back by selling a few of my crafted lightsaber parts, but for the most part it was a pretty significant credit sink. The fact that I ignored the crafting system on Eltaix goes a long way toward explaining why she was running up against the credit cap for a while. In the lower levels, it was moderately annoying to keep sending companions away on missions every few minutes. By the time you get up into the 400-500 skill range, though, companions are gone for 10+ minutes at a time for crafting missions. So it's much less of a chore to keep the missions going.

Once the main story ended, I also went back to Ilum. I had a poor experience there before, when Eltaix was unable to complete the Flashpoint at the end of the story-line. This time, though, solo mode was an option, so I had no problem getting through. (And I expect if I went back on Eltaix I could find the solo mode there now, too, now that I know what to look for.) Took me a bit over an hour to progress through two Flashpoints and defeat Darth Malgus. Extra bit of satisfaction there, cleaning up a loose end.

The Ilum arc felt much more similar to the Imperial side of the story than the primary class story-line. I suspect that will be the case through the Rise of the Hutt Cartel, Shadow of Revan, and Knights of the Fallen Empire content as well. Outside of a few conversation items, class differences mostly disappear in the expansions.

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