13/11/2012

Smuggled Out

I'm now the proud owner of a max level character of each of the four Republic base classes! My smuggler hit a bit of a snag after the levelling duo of which she was one half was dissolved and I didn't feel like playing her for a while, but recently the bug bit me again and I decided to get back into the action to work on those last couple of levels to fifty.


Here's me dinging conveniently just as I was finishing up my class quest. I don't consider "me shooting some droids" to be a spoiler.

I'm kind of proud of myself for managing to level as a gunslinger, as I'm generally addicted to playing support classes, so a character that can't do anything but dps would usually be anathema to my play style. I did learn to enjoy it over time though, even if cover remains a somewhat clunky mechanic to me. I remember instantly disliking it when I first encountered it on my Imperial agent, and while it gets a lot better once you spec into an advanced class whose abilities beef up its utility, part of the nuisance factor remains. Nothing quite like "taking cover" by accidentally rolling into an additional group of mobs, or landing in a spot that gives such good cover that you can't even see your enemy and thus can't shoot. Today I also ran False Emperor and on the last boss it was absolutely maddening how my character insisted on rolling off behind some box every time I just wanted to hunker down on the spot and use my knockback. I can't hit him from over there, you numpty! Do I have to nail your feet to the floor or something?

Anyway... smuggling! I really liked the smuggler story, even though I originally expected it to be my least favourite Republic class. There's a reason I left rolling a smuggler until last: the smuggler archetype just never really appealed to me that much. Actually levelling one certainly changed my perspective on that though. I really liked how it felt quite different compared to all the other class stories that I've played through so far: a lot more humorous and light-hearted, full of snark and flirting, but still appropriate for the setting. Act I in particular was absolutely brilliant, with a villain you just love to hate and a strong motivation for your character that always keeps you keen on finding out what'll happen next. If I had to criticise anything at all, it would be that I felt that the story lost some of its charm and momentum from Act II onwards - the more you got involved with the Republic instead of doing your (supposedly) freelance thing, the more your character felt like just another Republic mook instead of a truly free agent.

I also really liked all of my companions - except maybe Akaavi, because she creeps me out a little. Every time she says "my guns itch" I can't help thinking that it must be some kind of strange euphemism for something. Still, where on other characters I mostly stuck to one or two favourite companions while levelling, my smuggler took all of her friends out for a spin when she got the chance (though in everyday play, I found that gunslinging worked best with a tank by my side). A captain adding to her crew also felt like a really natural way of acquiring companions, second only to the trooper assembling her squad. The only slightly silly thing about the whole process was just how far they went with the "making every smuggler feel like Han Solo" idea. A wookie's one thing, but then Risha's story... that was so over the top it was pretty ridiculous.

I'm not sure how I would rank the smuggler story compared to the other classes that I've already played, as it just feels so different - but it's definitely up there near the top somewhere.

9 comments:

  1. The cover mechanics provide quite a lot of hilarity in Explosive Conflict, too. You know that stretch of trash in the trenches before Colonel Vorgath, where you get headshot and instakilled by a sniper if you get above the level of the trench?

    Yeeeeeah. Our gunslinger died quite a few times thanks to rolling right up a trench wall into "cover" that triggered the snipers. Needless to say, we were too busy laughing to be appropriately sympathetic. :)

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  2. If you go to keybinds then change the bind for cover to the one called "take cover in place".
    I had to swap after I caused a wipe on TFB HM.

    Also if you want to use cover less spec into df.
    If you ever want help on playing gunslinger feel free to ask

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    1. Arrrgh, if only I had known that earlier, haha. Though I should have remembered, because now that you mention it I vaguely recall reading about that somewhere a long time ago.

      Where did you roll in TfB? :D

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  3. Dunc beat me to it :P

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  4. Oh, your still using the default UI, are you so used to it that you didn't want to change, or did you try changing it and it wasn't for you?

    Also, your not showing health text, does it not annoy you not seeing the actual numbers of how much health someone has?

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    1. It's not totally default, I've got target of target turned on and stuff! :P But yeah, I'm not much of a UI fiddler, I'm quite happy with the default honestly.

      I do miss the health display sometimes (at the start of a warzone I hover over everyone's name to see who's buff and who's squishy for example) but... it might sound silly, but I feel that it increases my immersion not to know the exact numbers of everything all the time. It hasn't caused me any problems so far.

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  5. I recently rolled a Gunslinger, my first Republic toon. I have also found the cover mechanic clunky, what I have been doing is targeting myself by clicking on my portrait than taking cover. This causes me to take cover in place, its good to know that I can change it in my key binds though because it is kind of a pain. But overall I agree that the story, especially the first act, is pretty awesome.

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  6. Considering my first toon was a Gunslinger, I have to admit that I enjoyed the freedom to play as a free agent. Eventually I did slide to the Light Side, but there were points in the game where I definitely racked up some Dark Side points. A Gunslinger can do that, you know.

    Besides, it's not every day that a Jedi gives you carte blanche to do whatever is necessary to stop the big bad at the end of the class story. I listened to that and thought "Cool! They finally see it my way!"

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