With the Gree World Event coming to a close tomorrow, it's time for me to look at how it compared to previous world events. While I'm not entirely sure how fair a comparison this is to make, considering that this is the first event that is supposed to be recurring, I don't have anything else to compare it to so... eh! I intend to split this post into two parts, one about the PvE parts of the event, and one about PvP. Today, let's talk about PvE.
My biggest complaint about the Grand Acquisitions Race in August, aside from the bloody smuggler's crates driving me to insanity, was that there wasn't that much to do and that it was all comparatively unfriendly towards grouping. Keeping that in mind, I was really happy to see the Return of the Gree also being a return to a bigger variety of things to do during event time, as well as a heavier focus on group content.
On the PvE side, there were basically four different things to do: dailies, a one-off quest that rewarded you with a pet, the two world bosses, and Xenoanalyst II, the operations boss.
I'm generally not a big fan of dailies and only do them quite rarely, mostly when one of my alts is in need of some cash and I don't have anything better to do. However, as something to do during a world event I don't really mind them, mostly because of the limited duration. Knowing that they won't be there anymore once the event ends makes them feel special, and since the end of the event provides a natural stopping point, I find it a lot harder to get burnt out even if I do them a lot.
That said, the Gree event dailies were... okay I guess. Nothing much to write home about to be honest, just the usual mix of killing things, collecting things and clicking on things. They were varied enough I suppose and didn't take too long to do, which is always nice. The only one that was a bit of a bummer was the Catalyst one to gather data chips from the local wildlife, mostly because the mobs were very spread out, there weren't nearly enough of them, and the data chip drop rate wasn't that great. I found that no matter which order I did things in, that one was pretty much always the last PvE daily to complete, and never before you'd spent at least fifteen minutes doing laps around the area in search of more sleens and lobels.
On the plus side though, at least Bioware finally gave up on the idea of time-gated daily progression for world events, and the only obstacle to entering the Gray Secant was that you had to get your Gree reputation up to Newcomer status, which you could achieve on the very first day if you had some level 50 alts and were willing to grind for it.
The one-off quest to visit the Gree droids on various planets mostly felt like an excuse to remind us that hey, those other planets are still there as well, which was once again something I didn't really mind, even if it felt a bit like padding people's play time by making us go through lots of loading screens. I thought the commentary from the droids about how their assignments were going was vaguely amusing. Also, even though it's not marked as a heroic quest, I have to say that those guard droids on Voss seriously messed me up, man! Gree droid stuns are OP.
In summary, the solo content wasn't anything massively exciting, but more than adequate for providing a bit of a change of pace. The real meat of the event however, at least for me, was the group content: the most rewarding daily was a heroic, and of course there were the three big bosses to take down. While I mostly grouped up with guildies, I did a bit of pugging as well, and general chat was always buzzing with LFG requests. As far as I could tell it pretty much seemed to be a matter of saying "[role] LFG [content]" and you'd have an invite flying your way within the minute. People were generally being very social and grouping up for the soloable portions of the event as well, simply because it made things easier, faster and more pleasant. When I tried doing the solo dailies on my badly geared gunslinger without any help, the fast respawns were a constant pain in the butt, and I spent quite a bit of time barely escaping from fights with my life.
I was also really happy to see the return of big event bosses, even if I only killed them a couple of times myself. I have very fond memories of the world boss shenanigans that I got up to during the Rakghoul event, and bringing the concept back for Ilum certainly didn't disappoint, whether we were instance-hopping like crazy in an attempt to find one where the bosses hadn't been killed yet, or I found myself ninja-invited to a boss operation the moment I logged in. I can't help but feel that Bioware was also experimenting a bit this time by making two open world bosses and one operations boss with a lockout for the event. I wonder which ones people were more likely to kill and how often - I suspect that those numbers will influence which type we'll see more of in the future.
The bottom line is that I had a lot of fun with the PvE part of this event, as it nicely shook up everyone's routines and drew people together on Ilum. There weren't many guildies with whom I didn't group up to tackle some part of the event together at some point or another, and Twin Suns Squadron is not a tiny guild! It didn't quite match the levels of craziness I experienced during the Rakghoul plague, but if future events continue to live up to this standard I'll be happy.