Out of the Shadows

Happy New Year everyone! Let me just say if you visited this site at all during 2014, congratulations, because that’s probably one visit more than I made last year. I’m not big into New Year’s resolutions, but I have resolved to start blogging again about SWTOR. I still love and play this game, and I think I’m now poised to strike a good balance between it and World of Warcraft.

As a reminder, if you play World of Warcraft and love Hunters you can check out what I’m writing at The Brew Hall, and hear what I’m saying on the Hunting Party Podcast. Of course if you’re here then you obviously play The Old Republic, so let’s dive into that, shall we?

The last post I made was back in May right after BioWare released it’s latest insider video highlighting the then upcoming Galactic Strongholds. A lot has happened since then including the release the of the Shadow of Revan expansion, which is where I’d like to begin.

If nothing else, BioWare knows how to tell a good story, and Shadow of Revan is no exception. They’ve done an outstanding job cultivating new characters and segueing from one major story line to the next. I won’t go into any spoilers here, but I enjoyed the new story even if it felt a bit short.

I hit level 60 on my first toon within a day of starting the expansion. I wasn’t expecting it to be long a journey, but I felt it was a much shorter journey than Rise of the Hutt Cartel (RotHC). Unlike Rise of the Hutt Cartel though, there were enough story quests to get you to level 60. In RotHC I finished the main quests on Makeb and needed to do daily quests to reach the level 55 cap. Not the case in Shadow of Revan. In fact, if you never did the pre-revan tactical flashpoints, you can now do them solo, and you can easily find yourself at level 58 before starting the expansion.

Of course if you haven’t finished Makeb, and are level 55, you can always use that as a starting point. Fear not, there is plenty of content to get you 60.

I mentioned the ability to do the pre-Revan tactical flashpoints solo. This tech. carries over to the two new tactical flashpoints as well. I like that BioWare allows you to experience the entire story without having to stop, find a group, or skip parts of the story in the name of hitting the level cap.

It’s a quick journey to the end and to the end-game which is ultimately where you want to be. I had a lot of basic comms going in, so when I hit 60 I was able to get a full set of 186 gear (the level 60 starter gear) for myself and a companion. My only complaint is that because I was over the basic comm cap, I couldn’t earn any more until I spent them down below the cap. The only items I needed to get were the basic level 60 gear, which you can’t purchase unless you’re level 60. In other words, there were a ton of basic comms that I missed out on while leveling because I was capped. Would it kill BioWare to let us purchase the gear, but not equip it until we’re 60?

Mob density and aggro is better than it was on Makeb, but there are still some quest bottlenecks due to slow respawns and lack of specific mobs needed to complete quests. For example there is a quest to kill Stonerays. There is a cave near the quest giver full of Stonerays that respawn very fast. Unfortunately, they are not the right Stonerays needed for the quest, and you are forced to ride around finding the right Stonerays which appear in limited quantities.

BioWare also hasn’t discovered mob sharing yet. This is something that WoW has implemented for certain quest mobs, and I believe Wildstar has a similar system. The idea is simple, as long as you hit the npc you get credit for the kill, regardless of who hit it first. This wouldn’t need to be done for all mobs, but there are definitely some where this would be of great benefit.

Case in point, on Yavin 4 there is a quest to kill some specific leaders. They aren’t hard to kill, but they suffer from very long respawn timers. We’re talking 5-10 minutes here. This creates an unnecessary bottle neck, and leads to players camping spawns and behaving badly.

The solution to this isn’t complicated. Have them respawn in 30 second or less, and allow mob sharing. There problem solved. Thankfully this isn’t a daily quest.

One other thing to note is that BioWare took the time to add a small questline specific to each class. I’ve done the Bounty Hunter and Sith Warrior thus far and enjoyed both. I look forward to seeing what’s in store for the other classes. It’s nice that they took the time to give each class a call back to their original story.

Once you hit level 60, it’s pretty much the same as it was in RotHC. Try to get comms, and run Operations to continue gearing up. I haven’t stepped into either of those yet, and thanks to the 12x XP pre-order event I’ve got an army of alts to level up.

Overall I’m pleased with the Shadow of Revan expansion, and look forward to writing more about it the coming days.

May the Force Be With You!

2 comments

  1. That’s great, welcome back! I haven’t been able to blog about SWTOR myself the past year and I’m about to make a comeback as well. I notice so many new blogs about SWTOR all of a sudden. It makes me really happy.

    To blogging in 2015! 🙂

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