Milestone: 25 in SWTOR and Rise of the Emperor

Soofoo the Republic Commando reached Level 25 on Nar Shaddaa while doing secret service stuff and helping the population fight their drug addiction by cutting off the supply. Levelling in these levels is still pretty fast- about two hours for a level is a reasonable amount of time for a level-up. Of course, when this happens at level 24/25, one can only assume what the levelling curve will look like in the 40s. On Nar Shaddaa, i stick to the class story questline but take on every quest i find, as well- i’m just not following up on them. If they are in my path, i’ll clear them. On the other hand, fixing the drug problem involved quite a bit of travelling, but it was for a good cause, after all.

I think SWTOR does this story- and “why should i care” thing pretty good. The stories and the characters involved aren’t really ‘better’ than, say, the questlines in Lord of the Rings Online, but there’s voice over and communication. These two things do have an influence on me- suddenly, i want to cut off the drug supply (we’re not talking about substances with medical use here, after all)- or even when i’m not immersed, i want to follow through- i like to see how the dialogue/quest/debriefing develops. And maybe- i don’t think so, but maybe i’ll meet the same characters later on.

Cruising in/on Nar Shaddaa
Cruising in/on Nar Shaddaa

One thing that’s really interesting for me when playing SWTOR is that i know practically nothing about it. The game and i have a history, though. When i applied to a german guild for the game Global Agenda in march 2010, i noted that i wasn’t playing any “real MMO” at that time and that i didn’t expect that to change until SWTOR would release. So i was interested in early 2010. In 2011, Rift happened and kept me busy for about 6 months. When i didn’t like my experience in Rift that much anymore (Level cap options were quite limited then and when i asked my fellow guildies what to do and they answered: dailies, hardmode dungeons and raiding i was done with the game) and then the first news trickled in concerning Guild Wars 2. From the very moment i saw the design manifesto and read about ArcheAge, SWTOR became everything that is wrong in the genre to me. You know, ever shrinking group size, heavily instanced content, even companions so you have even less incentive to look for a group and socialize with your fellow players- and of course i predicted the f2p transition. And so on. Of course, at that time i thought either GW2 or ArcheAge would do everything right. Turns out they didn’t.

So following a small spike of interest when they announced the game, i focused pretty much on the features of the game that were lacking, in my opinion. I didn’t read up much on it, i didn’t follow the hype. When it released, i bought it (GW2 was a ways off, still), went in to see what i expected to see and, of course, wasn’t disappointed to see i was right- in my opinion, of course, that i had formed already in the months prior to release.

In my defense, i don’t think it would be fair to compare the SWTOR from early 2012 to what it is today, but it still goes to show how expectations can turn into self-fulfilling prophecies.

Nowadays, i’m quite happy that i don’t know jack about the game- it makes me experience it in game. So i’m hoping to at least some degree of character development from npcs and some regular cast of characters that i’ll meet throughout the game. And there are indicators- why would EA/Bioware advertize today’s patch by writing something along the lines of “reunite with NPCs Lana Beniko and Theron Shan” if they weren’t recurring characters?

Rise of the Emperor

Rise of the Emperor- i thought there was one?
Rise of the Emperor- i thought there was one?

All of this serves as an introduction as to why i’m both baffled by and interested in the coming content of SWTOR. OK, Revan i could understand…somewhat. But “Rise of the Emperor” and the possibly coming expansion “Fallen Empire”? Hm, i thought there was but one emperor? And how is an emperor able to rise when an empire falls? Is there more than one empire? Possibly, but i don’t know. That’s intriguing.

Rise of the credit sink

Today’s patch contains some storyline, a new planet (Ziost, for all who know what that means) and, of course, the new outfit designer, where even putting items into it costs about as much per item as Soofoo owns. Yes, living on Nar Shaddaa, but no money for furniture or clothes. Now i don’t know why the Bioware devs didn’t follow the lead of, say, Lotro or Rift or GW2, but if you’re guessing i don’t like them charging for that stuff you’d be wrong. I love it. As for prizing- you can take a look over at Massively Overpowered for that. Spoiler alert: it’s expensive. At least for me. But i’m still excited to see how it works out and we’ll get one slot for free, after all.

Fall of the planetary questlines

On may the 4th, 12XP will be activated and it’s going to last until fall. I don’t understand why that might be- if you’re going to keep it running until fall you might just keep it on forever. Well, except if you’re planning something. A major expansion? Something that’ll somehow try to rake in cash in combination with the coming movie? That might be it, but why take 12XP away then?

Subscribers will be able to toggle the 12XP with a free ingame-shop item, which is a good thing. My strategy will be to get one character up to level cap as quick as possible and have at least one character in each faction where i’ll take it slower. 2XP is fine and works very well in my favour- it accelerates the levelling process just for the right amount to experience the planets and leave them before i get sick of them. 12XP, well….it will allow for the same, but if i were to keep it active all the time, i’d miss so much. And right now, i really like exploring this game.

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8 thoughts on “Milestone: 25 in SWTOR and Rise of the Emperor

  1. I missed how long the x12 xp was going to last. Where was that posted? But it does sorrt of make sense. Most Major expansions happen around OCT-DEC timeframe. The toggle is good for when I want to learn a new class or spec correctly (tanking comes to mind) but if I know a class and want to burn to the top, Im glad I have the option. My Gunslinger just hit 47 last night and working on Correllia right now. I think you will find occasionally re occuring cast members even if briefly throught the major story lines. It’s good stuff. Great piece by the way and grats on your latest level!

  2. I’m looking forward to the 12x XP, one of the complaints I have with pacing in MMOs is that leveling requires hours of additonal questing on top of the main story and is broken up in such a way that I have often forgotten the main storyline once I have returned to it. I would like to get one solid play through of each class focused on the main story and then come back later on another character to see the side missions.

    This also fits well with my schedule. I don’t like feeing as though I have accomplished nothing after an hour or two in game. My scoundrel is level 34 now and gaining a level each night I play is getting more difficult, the 12x ought to remedy that. As much as I ought to sit back and enjoy the journey and not worry about gaining arbitrary levels, I like the tangible mark of progress. I’m also eager to get to end game because like you, I don’t know much about the story and I’m curious what’s happening in current content.

    That said, if you play a Sith Warrior up to level 15 or so on the Imp side and make sure to pick up the side quest on the acolytes of Revan or whatever they are called (it takes place on their capital world, the second planet you’ll visit), it will give you some more lore/ legend on Revan that may explain what has happened this expansion and why there has been the rise of the emperor. With 12x you could probably do that in a night or two.

    1. The only thing I ever worry about is not getting the practice in for a lot of people to understand their classes at the end game where it is imperative you understand your rotations/aggro management and healing management. All of these things are extremely important whether in PvE content or PvP. I’ve seen even mid level FP fall apart because tanks wont keep aggro for more than one target at a time, or healers don’t understand the difference between a flash heal and a HoT. Or DPSers thinking they are tanks…..

      That being said, if you know the class well, the opition to raise other classes fast is very very nice. It also is a huge help in getting alts past CH 2 so you get ALL of your Legacy Buffs. And for crafters that need ALL of the companions operational on a cross section of alts its a help as well. Finally, for those wanting to explore other servers but hate the very long grind of starting over, this could remedy their issues with server transfers. All in all, a good deal. And again the option to turn on or off the 12xp is a huge boon for us subscribers. I’m glad Bio Ware is doing things for it’s player base and have been over all happy with thier product here. For a first MMO for them, I’m pretty impressed. Some companies that have been doing MMOs for years STILL suck at it (FUNCOM..cough sputter) lol.

      1. I can see player skill becoming a problem if he or she is only playing the storyline up to levelcap and then hit the group content right away. I guess dps is the smallest problem; tanks and healers that don’t know their way should be more problematic. That’s where community comes into play, though. A good guild and friendly players can help out here. Of course the requirement would be that the player him- or herself is friendly and accepting of suggestions/advice. Even then it would be a problem, to a degree.

        I haven’t thought about how i’d approach that- maybe i’ll try group content with the slower character first and see how it works so boss mechanics and general group mechanics shouldn’t be unknown to me anymore. Then, go ahead slowly by doing heroic quests when i see groups form up. But that’s all far away. Getting one character to level cap serves these purposes for me:
        – i’m where the content ends. When something new is released, i can take a look at it.
        – i’m where the money is and can try to take care about strongholds, the market, all those credit sinks and such

        Flashpoints and especially Operations aren’t that important to me.

        Bioware has developed the game in a very good way in my opinion. They made it into an MMO and i hope they’ll continue to add stuff that is needed in an MMO- housing and the outfit designer are great first steps.

        Funcom? I think they’re doing great- i even wrote about it, here: https://partybusiness.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/funcom-the-new-good-guys/ . I agree, some of their systems aren’t good- crafting being one of them- but i think on story and characters, The Secret World is as good as it gets. They aren’t afraid to take some risks, either, so there’s that.

    2. I’m with you there. I also like to see something after an hour or two. Surprisingly, gear doesn’t cut it, although sometimes getting geared up gives more advancement to one’s character than a level-up. But it’s not about advancement for me, arbitrary advancement is good enough- on the other hand, i also like to get something out of a level up. It’s here where i think the newer, more streamlined skill trees fail to an extent: no choice, sometimes not even a new skill. Gaining a skill point granted by a quest in Elder Scrolls Online is more satisfying than gaining a level in WoW and get…absolutely nothing. So i can also see how it might feel in the 30s or 40s in SWTOR. 12XP will fix that part, for sure.

      On the other hand, “progress” for me can also be something like decorating the stronghold, getting the crafting profession up another tier or even just expand my bag- so there are options.

      I’m not so sure about my imperial characters. The agent will be one, i’m sure, although i don’t really like the “rogue” gameplay of hiding in the shadows- but maybe there’s a way around that. On republic side, the second character will be a Jedi Consular- but i haven’t decided on a second one for the imperial side. Maybe i’ll go with the warrior after all, since that would be the last (mirrored) archetype i’m missing.

  3. I didn’t think about that, but yes, I agree that the real fun in gaining a level is learning a new ability or gaining ability points or something similar. That said, I still prefer the discipline paths (or similar) over skill trees. Placing a point each level when those points don’t contribute as much individually is less motivating to me than having to wait a little longer to gain something more substantial.

    And I think if you go the Sniper route with the imperial agent it’s less “Rogue” and more ranged turret. I’m playing the Scoundrel healing discipline (which is the Pub version of the operative) and I really enjoy being a stealth healer, but then I do like the Rogue archetype and really appreciate it when games allow that class to heal or tank.

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