06 February 2012

A Week At 50 in SW:TOR

Last week I directed all my efforts towards playing my level 50 Bounty Hunter in Star Wars: The Old Republic.  My goal was to try and get an idea of what the endgame content was like and how much there is for a level capped character to do.  My results were... a mixed bag.  Some things went well, others didn't.  Some aspects of the game impressed me, others fell far short of expectations.  So today's post will attempt to summarize what I learned over the course of the week.  Obviously your experiences may vary.  I do not presume to speak for everyone.  This is just what happened to me and my opinion of the current endgame.  In last week's post I stated three areas that I thought I could concentrate on.  I'll start by relating my experiences in those three things.

Daily Quests

SW:TOR's take on daily quests is hardly innovative, but it is a reasonable way to spend your time at 50.  Most of them are not too difficult to complete, aside from the Heroics, which you can completely ignore.  One of the 4-man Heroics on Belsavis can be solo'd if you willing to die a few times.  Considering the rewards, you still come out ahead even after repairs, so it's worth doing.  If you're looking to make cash, this is the way to go.  I banked nearly a million credits over the course of the week, and that was while my companions were running Underworld Trading missions almost constantly to accumulate rare materials to support my Cybertech, more on that later. 

I did have a couple of complaints with the dailies though.  First off, they are too widely dispersed.  There are three "hubs" on Belsavis and two on Ilum.  Why could there not be just a single location to obtain them all on each planet?  Call it laziness if you want, but I found it frustrating to do two quests, then move, two more quests, then move.  It is difficult to complete the quests efficiently.  The other complaint I had is the presence of voice over.  Throughout the game there are occasions when you get a quest simply from a mission terminal... no voice acting, no cutscene, you just take the quest.  There is no reason at all why dailies could not have been handled this way.  It is frankly stupid that I have to listen to the same dialogue, sit through the same cutscene, make the same choices every single day just to do these quests.  This is definitely one instance where SW:TOR's emphasis on voice is annoying.  There is simply no need for it as it pertains to a quest you will be doing repeatedly.

Overall dailies in SW:TOR are fine.  I'm not entirely thrilled with their implementation, but the rewards are acceptable.  The cash is great, and the daily commendations can be traded for excellent item mods as well as earpieces and implants.  Completing the whole set every day is an investment of a couple hours in total, but it can be easily broken up into chunks, so there is no need to set aside a significant amount of time.

Flashpoints

I was unable to complete even a single Flashpoint over the course of the week.  The reason is simple... I am an unguilded DPS class.  Sitting around the Fleet hub, you see people making groups, but 90% of the time they need either a tank, a healer, or both.  Requests for DPS are about as rare as unicorn sightings at the zoo.  The sheer amount of time you would have to waste sitting around the Fleet hoping to find someone needing DPS totally precludes any attempt to run an instance for somebody in my situation.  I cannot afford to sit around for an hour or more and then still have another hour to actually run the instance.  Now I already know there are people lining up to say, "But I get groups all the time!"  Maybe you do, and congrats if that's the case.  But my experience this week was that if you are without a guild and are DPS... forget it. 

So this brings us back to the issue of SW:TOR's totally useless social tools and whether or not the game needs some kind of "Looking For Dungeon" tool.  To me, it says something about the mindset of the players and the state of the game that we are barely a month out from release and it is already impossible to access some of the group content.  What the heck are players who join the game a month from now going to do?  It is already the case that running the mid-level instances is becoming impossible.  And as I mentioned, DPS need not apply at 50 unless you have a guild.  I really fear for this game's long term future.  What is going to keep people here when they've seen all of the stories they want to see?

Crafting

This was probably the most fun activity I engaged in during the week.  Count me among those that actually enjoy SW:TOR's crafting system.  I had a lot of fun reverse engineering items to learn the upgraded patterns and being a Cybertech, I was able to put many of them to immediate use to upgrade my character.  In fact, I engaged in a bit of a fun little "project."  See... I don't really like the Bounty Hunter armor style.  The whole "Swiss Army Knife in a Tin Can" suit does nothing for me.  That and every other BH is always trying to look like Boba Fett.  Well I wanted to be different.  So... I hit the GTN to look for Sith Warrior style heavy armor that could be modified.   The result was this:

Darth Kalgrien?
I stripped out all the Strength based mods from the items and inserted Aim based ones.  I enjoy "breaking" from the norm, and so a BH strutting around like a Sith Lord amuses me.  The best part was when I was doing dailies on Ilum and someone asked to group with me.  I accepted and when he saw me open up on a mob with my blasters he laughed and said, "omg i thought you were a jugg."  That made my day that I was able to do something unexpected and "catch" somebody unaware.  I can't say how crafted items stack up against other stuff available at endgame, since I haven't done any instances or raids, but it is a rewarding path to pursue if you don't have access to anything else.

Overall Impressions

Overall there are plenty of things to do at 50.  I only touched on a few of them.  Obviously there is PvP and raiding which I did not even attempt to explore during this first week.  I don't want to spend a lot of time on this as I believe it deserves its own full post, but for a player such as myself, the long term of SW:TOR looks a little grim.  The stories are wonderful, but I am not going to pay $15 a month just to finish every class story.  I need a better reason to stay subscribed.  Will I find one between now and April?

*shakes Magic 8-Ball*

"Ask again later." 

Damn, I hate these things.


3 comments:

  1. I'm in the same boat with flashpoints. I solo'd a bunch of the lower level ones I hadn't done, and then managed to find a group doing Red Reaper than needed a DPS. I still have done any of the level 50 flashpoints.

    I've gone with levelling alts, for the most part.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree on your comment of the dailies, they are just ok, not bad not good...

    Where I don't agree is in the group content side... sure I would love a better group tool (DDO comes to mind) but if you are unguilded and unable to start your own group, then you might wanna be a little more proactive...

    ReplyDelete
  3. "And as I mentioned, DPS need not apply at 50 unless you have a guild."

    So why don't you join a guild? Er, sincere question, not snark! You are not the first person to make this statement, and I'm curious.

    ReplyDelete

Please keep comments on topic and considerate. I reserve the right to moderate stupidity.