Thursday, 11 July 2013

Hustlin' through the Old Republic: Back in the US of A

Well it’s official, it’s been official for awhile actually, the news regarding the fate of the Oceanic servers has been announced with further explanation here. I’ve got to admit, I was kind of disappointed with Bioware’s decision as were a lot of other people. Their choice to close down the Asia-Pacific servers and transferring us into 3 US servers was not well received though their reasons for not merging the APAC servers were:
  1. Certain players would lose their preferred gameplay type i.e. PvP, RP/PvE
  2. The current population issues would still exist.
I do understand the first reason but I would hardly think that PvPers and RPers would care that much, as the players on the PvP server would only lose open-world PvP and the players on the RP server would have to mingle with people from PvP and Normal and possibly cop some harassment or abuse but I think that’s completely tolerable.

The second reason, I along with the reason of the Australian SWTOR community it seems really don’t understand, the representative from Bioware, Eric Musco claimed the below:

“To clarify a bit more about this decision. We did previously ask what folks on the forums would like to do as an APAC solution and some, but not all, offered up the solution of merging all APAC into one. The other option on the table was to merge APAC into the NA servers. When we discussed the options internally we looked to address everyone’s primary issues with APAC, low populations were creating a less than optimal game experience.

We went and looked at what current server populations looked like across all of APAC and to put it simply, even merging all of APAC together into one server would not solve the population problems. Even with that solution you would still see long queue times for things like Warzones and Group Finder. It was because of this that we decided that moving APAC into the NA servers was the best option.”

A lot of us were baffled by this, almost all of us were for the server merge, and as player keltzy replied:

“So having 100+ on coruscant, 150+ on fleet, 3 instances of Ilum for gree event is not considered Population? Each planet while questing had at least 30+ on it and that's just PUB side on Dalborra”

Which was true in a way that Dalborra never really had that much of a population problem, it was the other servers which had the issue and merging the three into one would most definitely fix the issue. But as people have said it seems this is more a financial move by Bioware rather than a considered response to the community as I could see how shutting down the APAC servers would be a more profitable solution then keeping them up.

I decided to stay with Academy Exemplar and move to Bergeren Colony as I had been with them for a while now and didn’t really mind that much playing on an RP server, I am not and have never been a Roleplayer but I didn’t mind it and it’s pretty fun to see in action. We’re all on there now and are setting up the Guild, getting people invited and organising operation/etc the ping isn’t that bad (usually around 170ms) and I don’t really have that much of a problem with it as I used to play WoW and I also don’t PvP at all really though it is still a shame as the low ping was one of the main things SWTOR had going for down this end of the earth.

But anyway we can’t dwell on the past and life goes on. I’ve actually missed a month where I was playing and trying to remember what happened So if I remember correctly I finished off Voss with my Jedi Guardian Jxan, reached level 50, got my Tionese gear and was currently up to Corellia which might be the final planet of the Jedi Knight storyline but was thinking Ilum might be. I also finally got to grips with the last (non-heroic) space missions and with the help of my Guildie and friend Nefash’s Pilot Training school which has great tips (like using the movement keys to doge enemy fire while aiming with your mouse) and also I shelled out the Cartel Coins for the three Grade 7 ship upgrades pack which made things much, much easier especially with the specific functional ones. Unfortunately though when I tried some heroic space missions, it required you to have grade 7 ship armor so you can guess I failed hard and pretty much gave up doing Space missions until I just want to either farm the old ones or try harder with the heroics but goddamn there SO MUCH STUFF SHOOTING YOU aaaaaaargh! but anyway practice makes perfect.

Regnant Station Assault - Republic Heroic Space Mission by Nefash, damn he does it well

I had finished off Alderaan and helped House Thul to conquer this time instead of House Organa and started Taris on my Sith Assassin Kxan. Taris is interesting on the Empire side as one of the two planets  with dramatically different questing levels for the Republic and Empire (Balmorra is the other) it seems that Taris though is in a completely different instance of the world as it contains the same locations but the npc’s and setup are different and it always seems to be at night time. The end of the Sith Assassin questline on this planet was quite important as I finally was able to get Ashara Zavros as my companion and could start gaining light side points to my hearts content without fear of affection loss though recently it put me in deeper thought about it yet again, it’s becoming the most contentious thing about my SWTOR playing.

Republic Taris, happy days in the ruins
Empire Taris, moonshadow
I had a good think about the issue of Dark/Light side favouring when I was faced with the situation again after getting to 10000 affection with T7 on Jxan as I though the logical step would be for me to use Lord Scourge as he’s a tank but he does quite a bit of damage too possibly more than T7 and plus I could make gear for him having the Synthweaving skill, I then realised though that I was almost full light sided (9650) and It would be a shame not to get the achievement and see the purchasable items once I was full light though to be honest I did look at what was available from the Light Side Vendor but apart from a vanity pet and speeder that I didn’t want anyway she doesn’t really have much apart from some pretty good relics.

So the bottom line is I’ll probably just be striving for full light just to get the achievement which is enough I guess, I would have gotten it not so long ago had it not been for the time I was trying to use this Lightsabre that I got which need Dark I (1000 points in Dark side) and ended up getting 600 points in Dark side which I now regret as before I even got up to using the sabre I replaced it with something better. I think that I might just go light or Dark depending on the situation though I’ll still try and get to full Light or Dark with a character before going back down (or up) again just for the affection of a companion as it seems the best way to do things though I get the idea that doing Dark side choices all the time might get a bit disheartening, and doing all Light side choices would seem a bid bland and boring but I haven’t really experienced that tbh.

Is it worth the toll on your conscience and good reputation to gain the affection of some slightly evil or ill-intentioned companions? I'll find out when Lord Scourge is my companion, he even wins the "evil-off" between him and Khem Val
So my Sith Assassin now has Ashara as his companion and I am free to choose Light side and the “good guy” number 1 options to my hearts content though I’ll still have to watch what I’m doing not just blindly pick good options like I do with T7 on my Guardian. I have some regret that I didn’t just go Dark as soon as I got Khem Val as now I have kinda decided to just go dark when he is with me and I lost so many points picking light side options with him around but anyway live and learn and I’m not going to start my Assassin over again I’ve done that twice already lol. When I stopped at level 40 I had just completed chapter 1 of the Inquisitor storyline (or 2 I can’t remember?) and have finished Alderaan and Taris and am currently heading to Quesh to save my new apprentices.

Ashara Zavros, don't make her go against her teachings as she repeatedly says, fortunately I have no intention of doing that.
I’ve noticed though that lately the Sith Inquisitor campaign that the character you play is kind of stupid, especially if you pick the Light Side of the force though it seems you’re forced to do foolish things regardless, I don’t want to spoil the story but repeatedly walking into Sith Lord’s Tombs and confronting powerful Sith Lords when you’ve been warned not to (only to be beat down on) is not a good idea I’ll admit that my preference for Light Side makes me a bit naive especially when you willingly follow her orders and never question but I’m not really enjoying the Sith Inquisitor storyline that much anymore. It was great fun when you started on Korriban as a slave and I kept humble picking non-threatening conversation options and Light Side decisions and it was funny to see the reactions to my unusual kindness, but now it’s all “I’m out there for myself and am going to destroy all opposition: (and fail a bit too) but nevertheless I’ll see how we go with the rest of the storyline.

This is an old shot of Kxan, but it's SO COOL


I finished off Corellia with Jxan and managed to get T7 to max affection, I also managed to finish off T7’s questline which involved doing nothing at all really just a whole series of conversations of some kind of conspiracy in the Galactic Republic Senate and then T7 “worked it out” then that was it. It turns out that Kira is one of the “main” companions or perhaps “the” main companion in the Jedi Knight storyline, whether or not all romanceable companions have multiple side quests remains to be seen. After Coreilla there was pretty much just the finale with the Battle against the Emperor and there was some interesting conversations with all of my crew members and I had to be careful not to lose any affection with any of them. The finale of the Jedi Knight storyline was a pretty easy affair we ended up making a 6 man assault on an instanced version of Kass City and the Sith Temple which was pretty lame as the security was very minimal, it’d be funny if they asked you to storm the place in real-time on the server as you’d have to pick a time where almost no-one would be online heh.

During this final mission you were forced to use T7 as your companion as anyone else would fall to the Emperor’s powerful will much to the annoyance of many players who hasn’t used T7 since level 15 unlike me who had recently gotten him to max affection and upgraded his gear. The actual fight with the Emperor was pretty straightforward and kind of un-epic as 1. I had Epic Tionese Gear 2. I was level 54 and 3. My T7 had up-to-date gear. The Emperor splits into many clones who attack and I died the first time but the second time you could actually start with your focus on the real Emperor so you just attack him and let T7 tank them all and that’s pretty much that though Lord Scourge gets kind of angsty depending on what you do after you have defeated him. And so after all that you escape and fly back to a hero’s welcome about one of the republic starships with Master Satele Shan and a crowd of other people you’ve met doing the storyline missions in various planets which pretty much looks like every other ending in the Star Wars movies with you and your crew being exalted with your efforts, even Lord Scourge your reluctant Jedi-buddy.

Unfortunately this isn't me, I kind of forgot to take screenshots during the one-time-only ceremony. go me anyway this is a shot from it.
 The thing I want to know is, if in the Jedi Knight storyline you’re the one who defeats the Emperor, how the hell do the other Republic class storylines finish? I suppose they are all separate from each other. Also I now have 10000 Light side points from finishing the storyline but apparently you still don’t get the achievement for being full Light side until you “alignment” is 100% so what that means is I’m going to have to “reduce” my remaining 550 dark side points which seems to be what happens when you are full light but not zero dark.


So basically what this thing is saying it, I'm not Light V yet cause I still got some Dark in me but apparently I can fix my "alignment" by doing more "good" things. Who says you can't fix your past?

So all’s well that ends well, next stop: Ilum and maybe some actual High End stuff like Operations etc, if I’m going to get all the extra non-daily stuff done on other planets I’m gonna have a heap to do really, what I’d give for a larger quest log. Finally in some somewhat related news a US Academic has rewritten Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in Shakespearian, which is sure to be a lot of fun to read plus the illustrations are pretty cool too.


And ever shall the Force remain with thee

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