Commander Soofoo progresses through SWTOR in a slow but steady pace. I’ve made it to level 23 by now and am finding SWTOR to be an experience similar to Lotro in some ways, but without Moria. Alas, it’s also lacking the Shire so far- i’m not impressed with the planet design. Coruscant i found to be a mess and while Taris is slightly better it still isn’t all that good. What strikes me most is the hub-to-hub quest design and the missing day/night cycle.
But there are upsides, as well. I like the pace of the game, and i like the on-rail-spaceship missions. I can relax playing SWTOR and the spaceship missions provide an activity when i can or want to only play for half an hour or something.
What did i do?
Whenever i had time for strolling through Taris, i did some quests- after a while i concentrated on the class storyline which was….ok, i guess. I don’t know, is it a spoiler if i talk briefly about it? I don’t think so, because, well, the game’s 3 years old by now and my guess is that many players have already experienced this part of the game.
So the Commando’s looking for former members of Havoc squad and finds traces of “Needles” on Taris. Soofoo went out to find him and in the end, she did. She also executed him. Needles wanted to develop a weapon out of something that could turn people into Rakghouls. Luckily, Soofoo was able to stop him…and take some probes to the general of the republic, earning her some Dark Side points. I don’t really “roleplay” her in the sense of giving her certain motivations for her actions – i always found “military roleplay” quite boring- i might do something with my Consular when her time comes, but Soofoo basically makes the choices i’d make if i were in her place.
Earning 350 Dark Side points wasn’t part of the plan, but killing a war criminal and securing a possible weapon of mass destruction at least for research seemed to be worth it.
In shorter sessions i just went about the starship missions. I know they’ve been criticized a lot for being an on-rails minigame, but in my opinion, they work just fine as a distraction and something to do when there’s less available time. I became used to logging out in Soofoo’s stronghold, since that is a resting place and provides multiple options to travel either to the fleet, the last planet we were on, the starship or the planet of the stronghold. So when i don’t have much time, starting up a space mission is a quick affair and with 2XP active, it gives quite a good amount of XP.
One night i also went ahead and queued up for a dungeon. I was surprise that it takes so long to get in, but even more surprised when i got a group for Athiss and found them to be at some other place on a map i didn’t know. I hurried to follow them, couldn’t find them, asked for help (without an answer), found a hole in the ground, jumped down in a hurry, died, tried again and when the first member of the group came into view, they vote-kicked me. For what, i don’t know. Maybe they thought i was just hanging around somewhere for the XP, maybe it was because i told them i was new. Anyway, i found that without so much as a whisper, it was an unfriendly thing to do. Once again i found myself thinking about FF14’s community (in general very nice) and how that game provides simple solutions to problems like this one: everyone stands in a circle until every player has arrived.
Right now is a good time to be in SWTOR. Granted, the 2XP event will be ending some time today, but the 12XP buff for subscribers will be activated on may 4th. I might make use of that primarily to get the Consular past Coruscant and maybe take a deeper look at the Imperial Agent’s story and others, but we’ll see about that. 12 XP is a great thing for those that have already seen all- or as much as they want- of the planets’ stories. I worry about it being too quick a progression for someone like me who wants to see the planets as well as the class stories. On the other hand it’s nice for me, as well, because it is quick progression, after all.
I like my experience in the game so far, although i’m a bit worried about the variety of gameplay as well as planet design. For instance, i don’t know if crafting is a thing to follow through on, but i try and gather materials on my way from quest to quest and plan on crafting a bit to see if it’s “worth it”. The strongholds are nice, as are the space missions. If the zones would be more open and a bit better designed (have you seen WoW’s zone design? That alone is a reason to play World of Warcraft), i’d be very positive right now.
I’ll have to look for a guild, though. So far it seems as if the Progenitor’s more social guilds tend to be on the imperial side and i can’t see myself as a disciple of the empire. The most interesting classes to me are the Commando and the Jedi Consular. There are other options, of course. I could look for a german guild on one of the german servers (the german PvE server seems to be the most active server in europe) or even migrate over to NA; i don’t think the latency would be much of an issue. Timezones might.
Anyway, my experience in the game is good enough to put SWTOR on my personal “main MMO” spot for the rest of the month, at least. In may, i plan a return to FF 14 and make a push for Heavensward, but since i’ll still have subscription time left in SWTOR and the 12XP will come, SWTOR will be in my rotation at least until the end of may.