This weekend was yet another almost entirely devoted to playing Star Wars the Old Republic. I tend to exist in one of two modes, either I am playing a bunch of different games casually or in “maintenance mode” or I imprint super hard on a single game and I clamp down on it until I run out of stuff that I want to be doing. SWTOR seems to be in one of those clamp down modes, because I am playing it with an almost single minded focus. I set out with a goal of finishing off the eight original storylines, and this weekend I managed to push the agent across the finish line. As you can see I now have all eight icons lit up on the left side of the character select screen. What is interesting is just how much overlap there are between the different classes. You might hear a name mentioned in one class briefly that ends up being a central focus character in another. With the Agent especially it felt like we were getting the secret story of the world being played out through our actions, and it was all the more real when I slid from that story into Shadows of Revan. This is a minor spoiler but functionally the events foretold in the Agent sequence are coming to fruition by the Revanites… which makes me feel like the Star Cabal was just one of so many other puppets in the setting.
Makeb was largely interesting content, but it also felt like content added in a minor story patch in other games. It was this side mission that didn’t really move the overall story forward by much. Sure it was another chance to dust off your team mates and go on one more adventure… but it largely felt like one completely disconnected to everything else in the game. While enjoyable I stalled out in part because I had the other goal to worry about and lots of class storylines to play before that twelve times bonus went away. I wish however two years ago I had stuck around long enough to play through the Shadow of Revan campaign because I think the game as a whole would have had a good deal more traction for me. Shadow of Revan and now Ziost feels more like what I had been wanting. While it is taking part in a corner of the Galaxy and involves a brand new cast of characters… there is continuity happening and all of my actions seem to actually matter once again. Again you can absolutely see that it was design in a way so that it is stand alone DLC, but it feels like it integrates into the theme considerably better.
I am wondering if I might be attached to Star Wars the Old Republic until the release of Stormblood at this point. I have all of Ziost, which I am assuming is a fairly small addendum to the Revanite story. Then I have the entire Fallen Empire campaign and finally the Eternal Throne campaign to keep me tied up for awhile. I am figuring one of two things is going to happen when I start Fallen Empire, and in part that is why I have been avoiding actually starting it. Either I am going to love it and tear through it hungrily until I catch up completely. The other option is that I am going to bounce hard in Galaxy 2.0. Either case I can only delay the inevitably so long, but I will be doing like I did in Mass Effect Andromeda… and trying to finish everything up completely before flipping the switch. Side note… while staring at the above image I never noticed that my starship looks like it has a bubble level on the front. Mostly I want to experience the world as it exists… before changing it completely.
Some other side notes from the weekend. The experience boost is absolutely insane because I was roughly 1/3rd of the way through Shadows of Revan when I hit the modern level cap of 70. That means I have been getting functionally end game gear as I level through the content. With Knights of the Eternal Throne they added in a new Galactic Command system… that in truth I don’t fully understand. However it appears to be an alternate leveling system, and each time you kill something or complete a quest… you earn command points. Every so often you go up a level, and this process includes earning a command chest. These so far have been an excellent source of orange mod gear, and also occasionally a blue or purple item that blows away anything I have been capable of getting thusfar. Another thing that I am digging heavily is that it seems like I can enter every flashpoint in “story mode” which allows me to complete the flashpoint solo with the help of an extremely overpowered robot buddy. These flashpoints however also seem to drop current gear instead of the level of the encounter which surprised me just a little bit. Whatever the case it feels like I am getting to chase down all these story bits, and at the same time be rewarded with lots and lots of gear. Thusfar I am pretty happy with the way the systems all seem to be working.