Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Hustlin' Through the Old Republic - Knights of the Eternal Throne, small flashpoints, big robots, am I finally the Emperor yet?

Hello again, it’s me JD here with more updates from my world of Star Wars the Old Republic or maybe my galaxy of. Anyway as you have probably read the Knights of the Eternal Throne 5.0 patch is now live bringing with it the next chapter in the Infinite Empire series, you’re now up against Vaylin and blah blah blah I’ll get to on my Jedi Knight later. You can also now level up to 70 which to be perfectly honest I couldn’t give a rats, I remember the first expansion in WoW where you could level to 70 and everyone lost their shit but even now in SWTOR I’m like mreh, I’m not quite sure why I think it was just the whole Epic/Flying mount and raiding thing when you got up to max level or maybe just the achievement of going the distance to make it to max level. But now in SWTOR you level so goddamn fast that you don’t even notice and also because SWTOR is much more story focused the milestones seem to come with the story more than the levels.

Knight of the Eternal Throne graphic

There is also the new Galactic Command system, this is basically your go-to screen for Endgame as you can access anything from Flashpoints to Galactic Starfighter, almost everything you do in the game now gives you “Command XP” I think it’s something to do with you having gained the Eternal Throne and are now in command of the galaxy or something like that. So anyway you gain command points and every new level you get Command crates which contain items including modded and unmodded gear, crew skills schematics, reputation items etc, these are quite useful and I have added quite a bit of custom gear to my legacy storage which I really need to use as it’s getting a bit crowded in that storage space. There is also the Dark vs Light system where you can choose to fight for the Dark or Light side of the force, this has no bearing on your character’s personal Force alignment so basically I just fight for the light side all the time, I suspect it may usually be the weaker of the bunch, you gain points in either side by doing pretty much anything and if your side “wins” you get a boost to command experience, it’s just a sort of passive system like when you used to wear a tabard to champion a faction in WoW, there are now new Dark and Light Side vendors and also bosses that appear around the galaxy as well.

The Galactic Command menu
So without further ado we start off with my Trooper who is currently up to level 55 and was starting out on Hoth which went well without a hitch, only thing notable to report was the recruitment of Yuun a Gand Findsman who was actually already in the Republic. It was around this time actually that I re-enlisted for the security key, for my SWTOR account, I figured I’d give it another try since I really wanted those companion appearance customizations , I’ve been using it on my phone again and haven’t had a problem since. So I decided I’d give some characters new looks just to be different from others, I gave M1-4X a new heavier more painted looking model and gave Yuun a new greenish tone look with removed mouth pipes, Aric Jorgan and Elara Dorne I left the same, Tanno Vik’s change was so minimal that I didn’t even bother.

Yuun, a Gand Findsman
So after Hoth it was time for the culmination of part 2 of the Trooper Storyline where Havoc Squad was tasked with the destruction of the Imperial Superweapon the Gauntlet which was one of those space station or ship missions in between the planets and we actually used that briefing room on the  BT-7 Thunderclap though I don’t know why we needed that many seats. This went pretty much as planned though it seemed depending on the choices you made one of your squad members would be seriously injured. It turned out to be Aric though I guess it wouldn’t have happened to Elara or M1-4X as that would have been out of character for them.

Is that two M14X's i see there? oh c'mon I know he's usually in this room but damn that's lazy


Is he really ok? the looks of him writhing around like that he didn't seem so good.

At this time I was using M1-4X as my tank styled bodyguard who is basically a Republic fanatic, I even garnered some Dark side points executing republic traitors though it felt good to do so, I then completed Directive-7 a long but worthwhile flashpoint about a droid uprising and had some fun with my guild members duelling on our flagship, it’s kind of sad now to think back to those times when they were actually around. The it was on to Chapter 3 where the Republic is now at war again as the Imperial General Rakton has invaded several Republic planets and Havoc squad is required to go to Belsavis to recover a squad of pilots called Dagger Wing which I did before finding out that my old squeeze Sergeant Jaxo is in trouble and I had to go rescue her and that’s about where I got up to on my Trooper.

Man Belsavis is a cool looking planet
So then it was back to my Bounty Hunter and I did Directive 7 yet again except this time in solo mode the only problem with this is you don’t get as good loot as if you were doing it with a group. It was then on to Alderaan and boy I had a lot of fun dealing with all the house and family drama on there. It was around this time that I started experimenting with different armor sets as I was a bit sick of what I was wearing currently and decided to try out some new gear. I always had this idea of making my character into a droid as it would be fun to play a droid character so when looking around I found out about the Cybernetic gear sets which were almost perfect though I had to choose the Series 212 Cybernetic as the better looking ones because others such as the Series 512 were hella expensive on the GTN. 

Well are you two gonna help or what?
So I tried out the set but found I didn’t really like it on my Bounty Hunter and would instead use it on my future Imperial Agent Sniper where I think it will look much better especially with that Sniper Rifle, very HK-51-esque. So went looking on the GTN and found some interesting looking pieces that looked sort of like some kind of ‘insect’ theme to it and it looked pretty cool when I painted it purple and orange, took me a damn while to decide which colour was primary but it looked good anyway. Though before long I did all of the heroic quests for the planet, which below level 60 give you new armor pieces which is pretty damn cool, so I ended up getting rid of that armor that I’d modded up and using the new stuff although that helmet makes both Mako and I look like we have KFC buckets on our heads. Speaking of heroics, I have found recently that when you hit level 60 the rewards for Heroics turn into supply crates which are used in the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion which to be honest are actually pretty damn useless to my character at the moment but on the flipside wew I can conquer more Star Fortresses XD.
The helmet actually has a moving 'jaw' under those tubes which is creepy
So anyway on Alderaan I was looking for someone called the “Durasteel Duke” but he ended up being dead already, after that I was ready for the final part of Chapter 1. So I was tasked with killing this Jedi and went to a ship and found my Arch Nemesis Tarro Blood in the ship’s brig, which I then had an interesting choice of fighting him or leaving him in the cell to die which I did much to Mako’s pleasure. After killing the Jedi I went back to good old Dromund Ass as was crowned the Grand Champion of the Great Hunt by that Wookie and soon I was off to meet Mandalore the Vindicated himself aboard his ship. On the ship there was a meeting between all of the tournament champions which was held by Mandalore, where he then instructed me to go BACK to Dromund Kass to kill this big monster and I happened to meet Torian Cadera so then I went back to good old ‘Mandy’lore  and then it was announced I now had access to the “Blacklist” a list of the most notorious high profile target which sends me to Taris which in the Empire side is in perpetual darkness for some reason where I’m looking for a man called Jincoln Cadera (yes he’s related to Torian) and do a bit of Enemy at the Gates style cat-and-mouse snipering wars. The Planet storyline involved a Sith Lord and his brat apprentice who is always trying to show you up which I remembered from doing it on my Sith Inquisitor and that’s basically where I finished up.

W00t I am now Mandalore the something! that ale doesn't look very black to me

It was now time for Guardians of the Galaxy 2! No actually it was time for Knights of the Fallen Empire (KOTFE), Empire style! yes it was time for my Sith Inquisitor to start the storyline for the Empire point of view. I’ll mention that I decided to give my Sith Assassin a slimming down as I originally had him as a large bodied character as he was supposed to be a tank but since I’m DPS on every single character now and don’t even need to bother tanking with groups I decided that a stealthy assassin would look much better with the average build instead of looking like He-man. Doing the KOTFE storyline from the Empire side wasn’t too much different apart from the start, there were only minor conversation changes etc, I actually went Dark side using Valkorion a few times.
Hi Maul, lookin good.
I also enjoyed finally getting out of my armor with that droid-like Citidel Duelist’s helm which I’m actually going to end up using with my droid outfit on my Assassin. It was fun to just take off random parts of the armor as they got upgraded just to see what it looked like. I ended up with some very non-Sith style military armor with an almost bucket-like helm but it was all a laugh and I could get new armor whenever I wanted though I wouldn’t bother as it’ll get upgraded again with the next part of the expansion. There was some special event on for killing Dread Master Bestia though my group wasn’t able to but I did find out I could disappear by using the vanish ability and save many a repair bill. I also did probably the most Star Fortresses I’ve done, more then on my Jedi and after that and defeating Arcann, that was it, speaking of Arcann, it was much easier after reading up on what to do.

Battle with Arcann on Asylum

My inspiring speech and meeting with Theran

Then it was time to get back on my moderately evil Jedi Consular Sage Qxan. I finished off Alderaan, I managed to get to be a representative of House Teral and gained access to the peace summit of the Alderaanian leaders in order to stop Jedi Master Sidonie Garen from starting an all out war. I killed her as usual for good measure and I can’t quite remember but I’m pretty sure I killed Bouris Ulgo this time at least I hope I did after letting him live all these other times, I’m supposed to be evil aren’t I? anyway. Then it was on to Tatooine without much ado successfully formed a group with others for all the heroic quests and I killed yet another Jedi Master who was under the control of Lord Vivicar who had a strong kinship with the sand people. 

I do some heroic quests on Tatooine, look at that do-rag looool

Soon after doing that Master Yuon Par and I had the breakthrough we needed and I boarded Vivicar’s ship and battled through the brainwashed Republic and Empire forces to get to him. When he was defeated however I was faced with a difficult choice. Vivicar had infected dozens of other Jedi Masters and if I killed him they would all die with him, or I could try to shield him as before and make myself weaker, well phuc dat, I killed the tard and indeed I did get a message for Master Syo Bakarn listing all of the Jedi that had perished because of this but screw it I’m hard as fack. Funnily enough this could not be further from what you actually sound like in the game as the male Jedi Consular sounds as straight and honorable as possible and playing a bad guy in some parts makes it all the more weird exactly like playing a good guy Sith, my Light/Dark ratio is more tilted to the Light Side but that’s because I’m always fighting for the Light side. After that I kitted myself out in some new armor and that was it.

I end Lord Vivicar like a boss, Qyzen approves.

Now after this you would have thought that I would go directly to my Jedi Knight to do Knights of the Eternal Throne, but no I was too excited to start an Imperial Agent and use my droid armor set which I mentioned earlier. I noticed that the character creation screen has been updated as per the change that required you to pick your advanced class straight away. I had decided long before to go Sniper as the Operative has similar sort of playstyle to my Sith Assassin but I’ll do that when I play a Smuggler, also an Imperial Agent Sniper is the only one which can use Sniper Rifles, so It was a no brainer really hah. I went with the Marksmanship as I wanted to be a full on Sniper and didn’t want to bother with droids or poisons though technically the Engineering tree might have gone well with my droid suit but meh I wanna strike from the shadows and take em down fast, and that’s exactly what I did.

The Advanced Class info screen when creating a character
The Imperial Agent starts on Hutta just like the Bounty Hunter, I walked into the same shitty cantina as last time and spoke to the leader of Sith intelligence ‘Keeper’, I was then charged with bringing Nem’ro the Hutt to the side of the Empire. I started off with one hellova gun for a starting weapon, looked sort of like a science-fiction version of a winchester Rifle. So I ran around and I shot a lot of people etc and I got my first companion the infamous Kaliyo Djannis who is quite the disrespectful bitch though so must you be if you want to curry favor with her which made for a bit of an annoying but fun experience with conversations. I decided to go with Armstech and Scavenging as the gathering skill (saving slicing for last on my Smuggler probably) generally these days because you level so goddamn fast trade skills don’t make things of much worth unless you get really high in them. I did The Black Talon and ended up killing the captain this time just for the hell of it which was a bit scary but meh had to see that version of the story and man killing that Jedi brat is damn satisfying. 

Well it's this shithole again ooh at least I got a sweet gun
 I arrived in Dromund Ass and decided that I now would try out my droid armor set which consisted of the Series 212 Cybernetic set and a similar style helm from the Brutal Executioner set which I paid a hefty 300,000 credits for. So I modded it all up then  painted the whole set black and white which looked pretty cool except unfortunately although your whole head was covered my voice still came out normal not with the static crackle when you were usually wearing a helmet. I think this may have been because it is actually a Sith helm and also someone did suggest a different helm, so ah well back to the drawing board there goes fackin 300k though but it’s not like broke the bank, I don’t really spend credits on much anyway. The quests I did do using that helm and armor set were fun looking like a droid, there was this ridiculous moment where I had to seduce a ministers daughter and we shared a kiss with me in my robo Sith helm and presumably had robo sex afterward, ouch heh. I mostly played with Kaliyo as a tank to distract the attackers so I could shoot them which worked well.
I still think that helm looks awesome lol
So I looked around for some more helms, I found a very “General Grievous” style helm one that this guy used to make a droid outfit though unfortunately it wasn’t an adaptive gear version, when looking on TOR Fashion which is a great resource for SWTOR gear details btw I found a helm called the Enigmatic Hero’s Mask worn very well in an outfit similar to mine by this guy, in fact I’ll probably be making something very similar as that helm looks damn good, though as it’s probably from a cartel pack hopefully I can find it and it’s not too expensive. Though the problem with modding up adaptive gear for a special outfit is that you always come across gear that is better but don’t want to change it cause you want the set, it’s part of that age-old dilemma of better-but-ugly gear vs worse-but-good-looking gear and the other thing was you get gear sets from doing heroics so there was that too. So I decided to leave my droid outfit till later and wear what I had, I also bought one of the Meirm speeders as it was cheap and a purple colour which suited my agent though he looked of silly.

Wooo silly looking speeder lol
 So continuing the story I met Darth Jadus, infiltrated Lord Grathan’s estate and then inevitably went into the Dark Temple to stop a terror plot then found that Darth Jadus ship had been blown up and this bloke called "The Eagle" a former Imperial fighter pilot was behind it. I was promoted to a Cipher Agent and got the X-70B Phantom ship which is freakin cool I might add possibly the sleekest coolest looking player ship in the game. Then it was on to Balmorra and I guessed that I’d just be hunting down associates of this Eagle fellow from now and I did indeed do that. I infiltrated a Terrorist cell on the planet, killed one of the Eagle Lieutenants and helped the Empire win Balmorra along the way. I did more heroics and went through more gear changes though I changed my rifle with one from the GTN as I was sick of using the same one.

Now that's a cool ship
I ran into an issue that there was currently an event on where you get triple xp or something ridiculous so I ended up breaking level 63 on finishing Balmorra. This was utterly ridiculous Balmorra is supposed to be levels 16-20 for facks sake, I kind of wished I hadn’t started my agent during this time especially when I was next going to be playing my Jedi Knight who was already at max level. Thank fack this isn’t world of Warcraft who don’t have the area-balancing feature so I’d be in an area for like a few quests before moving on either that or constantly be doing grey quests for shite all rewards. It’s taken away the joy of getting new abilities as at this rate I’ll be max level well before the end of chapter 1 and not be able to look forward to anything new. In any case that’s where I left off on my Agent and finally it was time for….

I did Cademimu on my Agent, one thing I had to get used to was one of the abilities bars changing every time you went into "cover" mode so when changing abilities you have to make sure you did both normal and "cover" mode.

Knight of the Eternal Throne! Yes it was a long time coming, but first I had to update my crew skills and give my armor a re-dye hahaha. ****BEWARE SPOILERS AHEAD*** As I mentioned before Vaylin is now on the Throne with SCORPIO by her side the her first plan of attack was Voss so all the bros and hos from the Alliance rolled up to that planet and started kicking ass, it turns out that Vaylin chose Voss because she somehow knew that this is where Senya and had run to, to try and heal Arcann. I enjoyed the new ‘vehicle’ mechanic where you pilot an assault walker and kick ass along the way. We end up successfully defending Voss and receive a mysterious call from Darth Acina the new ruler of the Sith Empire and you travel or Dromund Ass for talks of a possible alliance, though while talking to her privately your shuttle is ambushed with suspected treachery from those who dislike the idea. So you skip and jump through the storm on Dromund Ass near to Ass City then kill those responsible. You then go to the planet of Iokath which was the original planet for the GEMINI droids, SCORPIO, the Eternal Fleet and the Gravestone and wow this place is so amazing and you find robots and monoliths and a whole bunch of other stuff and it’s very 2001 a Space Odyssey-esque almost. The planet is now run by this guy called ARIES but you defeat him then SCORPIO takes over and that’s the last we see of her for awhile. 

Piloting the big robot on Iokath, I enjoyed these new "vehicle" based sections as the broke up the usual routine of play.

While doing this I made a new armor set for myself and decided to use up some of my dyes so used an orange and light blue one which made myself look absolutely ridiculous but it was funny. There was an interesting mission next involving infiltrating Vaylin’s coronation party on Zakuul where you and Theron are disguised as Zakuul Knights and you had to sneak you way into the party and destroy it from within Mission-impossible style where you came face to face with Arcann and have another fight with Vaylin’s forces. Then you head to Nathema the Birthplace of the Emperor, where Valkorion sent Vaylin to be trained in the force to look for a way to stop Vaylin though you run into her again. 

I am arrested by the fashion police
When you get back the whole base on Odessen is being attacked by Vaylin’s forces and you fight your way through though you have to make a decision of which comrade to save with the other getting killed. I then had a final confrontation with Vaylin and defeated her with help from Arcann and Senya, woo. It wasn’t over then though you journeyed back to Zakuul with Arcann and Senya and go to the Eternal Throne where you then enter your own mind to ‘repair’ it and prevent Valkorion from taking over your mind. This battle was long and kind of complicated with all the different things you had to do but eventually you persevered and Valkorion was gone for good.

Myself as Valkorion inside my own mind
You then get the option of ‘Healing the Galaxy as a Peacekeeper” or “Ruling as an Emperor” and of course I went for the Light Side option for first go though it made little difference in the end. There is a kind of epilogue afterwards as patch 5.2 brought in a new storyline where the Empire and the Republic return to Iokath to obtain a “superweapon of unimaginable power” and you as the leading of the Alliance have to choose whether to aid the Republic or Empire, so I guess with the Eternal Empire gone it’s back to that is it? Oh well good to be back to normal, there was a very brief couple of story missions then it basically changed to dailies. It appears that Bioware are bringing back raiding as there is a new operation ‘Gods from the Machine  based on Iokath but the only boss so far is only the God of Rage ‘Tyth’. I’m glad to see these features back as hopefully maybe my old guildmates will return, I haven’t really done any operations at all lately the last one being probably failing at Bestia. There are still places that I have to complete or even just see for the first time notably The Dread Palace, The Ravagers, Temple of Sacrifice and the new one on Iokath of course. Doing operations isn’t my forte, but I like seeing all the content at least once

The Eternal Alliance! Looks like they forgot to pose Senya, also I got some better looking armor for my position thankfully
 So now we come full circle back to my Trooper, I usually just go through all the characters only once in a post but since this is where I left off in the Subscription I may as well detail what I have done. So I finished off the Belsavis bonus series then hopped off the planet where I found I had to rescue some prisoners of war including my old fling Sergeant Jaxo which was apparently a trap set by that bstard General Rakton . Then I had this agonizing choice of saving her or all the rest of the prisoners, though it wasn’t that hard I was with Elara now so felt that I could now let go of Jaxo, and it was the right thing to do as well. 

Kapow! (I like this shot)
I then decided then I really needed a new armor set as I was sick of the silly looking outfit with the ‘radioman’ scout backpack and the hat with goggles and earmuffs, I annoyingly had to start Voss before doing this and level up to 65 so I could get the best mods. So after doing this I purchased the Stalwart Protector set from the Cartel Market and bought a helm from the cartel market. The helm was a bit shabby and battle-damaged looking for the set but it looked alright, I also got the Czerka CZX-4 Blaster Rifle as I had been wanting to use one of the Czerka weapons for ages but was just put off by the green colour. In response to this I actually coloured the highlights on my armor a Dark green to match it and it ended up looking pretty good. I actually found that there was an “adaptive gear vendor” on the fleet, which sold adaptive gear sets for all classes, so I could use them as well as the Cartel Market and GTN if I needed a new armor set. 

My new armor and Czerka blaster rifle
So then I swaggered back to Voss and was dealt with another political situation where this uppity-ass Senator who was keeping Troops near the planet in firm belief that the Empire was going to invade. So I did the usual Voss storyline as well as winning the favour of the Voss from the Empire who was up to no good. Unfortunately when I finished I had not yet done the heroics as I could not get anyone to do them with me though I guess it doesn’t matter that much as you only receive supply crates after level 65. So that was that really my subscription ran out in good timing, next up is Coreillia and the conclusion of my class storyline for the Trooper, this will be my third one now and looking forward to it.

A mission in a cave on Voss

Well hoooweee that’s one hell of a post right on 4500 words! Well I guess it’s been a while between posts, well I guess it has been almost exactly one year since the last one so it’s basically summing up a year’s playing. Well get ready people cause Knights of the Fallen Empire is finally over and we’re back to the good old Republic vs Empire and operations woo, hopefully we see a lot more people coming back to the game but only time will tell…


Gotta love that music

Squeaky droid makeouts

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