Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Star Wars: A Return To The Old Republic - Day 2

Day 2, Entry 1:
It turns out that Quesh was not a new planet, and was just the next place my storyline took me. After completing my objective there, I found out I now had to go to a planet called Belsavis. This one I had certainly never been to before, given the level range put it as the next planet immediately after clearing Hoth. So now I'm continuing the Sith Warrior story line, and I've reached level 41. The EXP booster is more effective than I had first thought yesterday.

The new planet, Belsavis, is fairly easy on the eye compared to Quesh and Hoth. Belsavis is a mix of snowy environments and lush meadows and small hills with trees scattered here and there. It actually reminds me of some parts of Northrend in World of Warcraft. I've only seen a few parts of this planet so far, and I look forward to seeing what awaits me as I explore it further. 

Despite the turmoil on the planet, Belsavis is quite pretty.
 As far as gameplay mechanics go, I have noticed a few changes. There are now achievements in the game, and they are fairly subtle compared to the ones in World of Warcraft which basically shoot off visual effects all over you when you earn one. There appear to be a boat load of achievements in Star Wars: The Old Republic, with some of them awarding Cartel Coins if the in-game text is to be believed. Also, I don't know if this is a change from the 1.0 days of this game, but apparently planetary commendations can now drop off of mobs.

I also decided to check out Strongholds, as it seemed like they were a big feature in the game now. I purchased the apartment for five thousand credits, which is nothing compared to the prices for having a stronghold on Tatooine (costs 2.5 million credits). As I arrived at my apartment I could see the clear Empire influence in its design. It was dark and dreary, but I like the visual effect of the rain on the windows.

Inside your “Stronghold”, you can completely customize how it looks and what kind of furniture and decorations there are. Many basic furnishings were handed to me upon arriving at my apartment, but you can also acquire more unique items through a variety of methods. Apparently Flashpoints award some trophies and other decorations for your Stronghold, so I'm thinking of running a few of those in the near future. That and I have a quest for completing a Flashpoint when using the Group Finder, so I suppose I now have several reasons to jump into that content. 

This is what the editor looks like in a Stronghold.  It allows you to place objects and arrange their positioning.

And this is what it looks like while it is not in edit mode.
Another feature that caught my eye is Conquest. Conquest appears to be a week long event filled with objectives and all kinds of rewards for participants. I'm not sure how it works, but there appears to be a leaderboard of some sort for guilds on each server. The more the members participate, the more points that guild gets. At present, I don't know if there are any rewards for those who rank high on this leaderboard. Today a new conquest event has started for this week involving a planet known as Corelia. The objective is to stop the spread of the Rak'ghoul plague, a nuisance that I remember quite well from leveling on one of my characters. I have a quest that will allow me to partake but I don't know if I'm at a high enough level to do anything beyond the intro quest. At the very least it is worth quite a lot of EXP, so going there may not be a waste of time.

Day 2, Entry 2:
Not much to report for this entry. I attempted to use the group finder to do some Flashpoints. Unfortunately every time I got a group some guy always declined the invite. This happens all the time in other games like WoW, but those cases are usually people who went AFK while using the group finder tool. When you get an invite you have 30 seconds to accept it, but in SWTOR you have two minutes to accept. In all my cases, someone deliberately declined the invite. I cannot fathom why you would queue in the group finder if you weren't sure if you would have time to do a Flashpoint. I'll attempt to use the group finder another time.

After running a few low level Flashpoints solo just for kicks, I set a course for Belsavis to continue my class storyline and the march toward level 55.

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