Aside from the story-drive class missions and general planetary exploration of Star Wars: The Old Republic I’ve been putting in a bit of time with some of the repeatable content, daily missions, mostly those for warzone PvP and space combat.
Space combat is… fine. A bit disappointing if compared to the space elements Star Wars: Galaxies introduced in Jump to Lightspeed, which were great; free-form PvE and PvP combat with whole fleets of iconic and not-so-iconic starships including multi-crew ships (Melmoth once manned the rear turret of my Y-Wing) (no, that’s not slang). Of the few trial weeks I had in SWG, they were mostly spent flying, but it wasn’t enough to persuade me to subscribe to the game. I hanker for the days of X-Wing as much as the next man (probably considerably more than the next man, unless the next man is someone who’s legally changed his name to ‘Hank Wing’, middle name ‘er After X-‘), but I think I’ve established it’s mostly nostalgia, even with Black Prophecy available and free to play I’ve not been back to it. I haven’t entirely abandoned hope that SWTOR might unveil an expansion, Something Very Similar To Jump To Lightspeed But With A Different Name To Avoid Trademark Issues, but commercially it probably wouldn’t make sense, rather like the beloved sandboxiness of the rest of SWG.
So taking the space combat in SWTOR for what it is, it’s a decent enough rail shooter evoking the 1983 Star Wars arcade game, though shinier graphics and the odd ship upgrade aren’t massive steps forward in 30-odd years. There are daily space ‘operations’ available from your ship-board computer which, combined with the rewards from the individual missions themselves, give a decent return in XP, credits and space commendations. The missions are fun enough the first couple of times but with no random elements (that I could discern, at least) they pale fairly quickly. Still, it serves a purpose as quick-hit self-contained blast as a break, or while waiting for friends, or during crafting.
In terms of random elements PvP warzones are right at the other of the spectrum from space missions, somewhere betweeen “long term weather forecasts” and “things The Daily Mail say cause cancer”. For 30-odd levels I’d been hopping in to warzones now and again for a bit of a break from PvE and generally rather enjoying them (and wasting commendations, as it turned out you’re limited to 1000, and I’d been saving them up for level 50), it was only recently that I noticed there’s also a daily mission to win a warzone battle, available near the class trainers in the Imperial Fleet. As with the daily space operations it gives a nice chunk of XP and credits on top of those gained in the warzone, plus a box that contains a couple of stacks of warzone-only consumables and a random green item, so it’s worth grabbing, though it’s a bit of a pain to have to schlep up to the Fleet to pick it up when you can join a warzone from anywhere; I’ve taken to using the emergency fleet pass to wrap up a session at the end of an evening, then starting the next session with a bit of a bag clear-out at the market and a crack at a warzone or two.
There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about SWTOR warzones, but where the unchanging nature of space combat meant my interest has dropped away over time, the endless variety of human interaction of PvP means warzones have generally supplanted World of Tanks for my daily drop in dose of screaming frustration (and/or triumphant victory).
“(Melmoth once manned the rear turret of my Y-Wing) (no, that’s not slang)”
Unlike “Here comes the proton torpedo to penetrate the Death Star’s exhaust port.”
I believe that its been reported in a podcast, (sorry I can’t find the link) by Darthhater + A SWTOR dev, that Bioware ARE currently working on more ‘freeform’ space combat, as well as PVP space combat, and guild ‘capital ships’ whether this will be implemented or not remains to be seen. But we can cross our fingers at least! =D
You can buy Fleet passes for 1000 credits from the authenticator vendor in Fleet. This makes it much more palatable to jump back to fleet often for Flashpoints, etc, without worrying about the cooldown on the emergency fleet pass.
I’m headed to the courthouse now to legally change my name to Hank Wing. You know the rest.
Seriously, though, I wholeheartedly agree about the rail shooters. I like them, they’re fun, but they’re bound to get old, too. I simply wish for off-rails shooters so that we could keep working on finding that perfect flight path, that perfect strategy, the perfect approach.
I’d love massive space PvP, too, especially with a greater variety of ships. Maybe someday, maybe.
Great post! Love the nostalgia of it all!
I also really enjoyed occasionaly hopping into warzones during my leveling. The fact that everyone’s stats get bumped up to lvl 49 equivalent, leveling the playing field, makes it a very enjoyable experience.
Sure, higher level players will have more abilities and talent points available, but overall it provides a very fair experience.
And then I hit 50.
Now it’s back to being steamrolled by people in full Champion/Battlemaster gear, which has soured me to the point of having nearly no interest in the game at all anymore.
The game’s been out a month and already I feel like I’m miles and miles behind.
I was hoping Bioware would avoid the “gear > skill” pitfall in this game, but it seems they went right along with that idea.
And don’t even get me started on Ilum :(
You know what the best thing about TOR pvp is? Your tier 6 tank is not repeatedly stuck in fights against tier 9/10 tanks.
Also, yes to a new X-Wing/TIE Fighter!
@David Sounds interesting, fingers crossed indeed!
@Jaggins Ah, haven’t got around to setting up an authenticator yet, but that sounds like a good incentive to.
@Stubborn Even a few random elements in the current missions might help; just unlocked a couple of new ones at level 40, flown them twice each, have no massive desire to do so again (though I might if I need a quick hit of credits and XP).
@Moridir Hmm, doesn’t bode too well. I know what you mean about feeling behind (I’m still not 50, after all); I suspect there’s a large body of more casual players, but of course there’s less chance of bumping into one of them in a warzone compared to someone who’s constantly PvPing. Tricky balance, trying to retain players with an advancement incentive without them dominating, I’m saving up a stack of commendations to hopefully at least pick up a couple of bits of Champion of gear immediately at level 50.
@Juzaba From what Moridir is saying people in full PvP gear are the IS-7s and E-100s to a new level 50s KV-3… I’ve generally found individual balance to be decent enough, but like in WoT you do still get rounds where the combination of balance, teamwork etc. lead to one side being completely obliterated.