19/02/2014

On Explosive Conflict Trash

Last night we went back into Explosive Conflict once again, for a social 8-person hardmode run and to show some new members the ropes a bit. It had been a while since our last visit: the last time I wrote about it here on the blog was at the end of August of last year when I finally got to clear nightmare mode, and while it's possible that I went back again after that, it can't have been more than once or twice.

I think most of us have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Denova. In many ways it's still a great operation, though I appreciate that Bioware has learned since then how to make fights interesting without necessarily including as many mechanics that punish the whole group if one person makes a mistake (wiping due to someone destroying a shield generator on Firebrand and Stormcaller comes to mind). However, it was current content for pretty much a whole year, what with nightmare mode keeping it relevant until the release of Rise of the Hutt Cartel, and I think by that point most of us had simply had enough of it. As a result going back in there always evokes a contradictory mix of feelings, both nostalgia and "oh no, not this again" at the same time.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing about this is that we were very surprised to find that Bioware had made changes to the trash again since the last time we visited. We knew that the last pull before Zorn and Toth disappeared ages ago - though I'm still not sure why, presumably the fact that it evaded so easily if anyone didn't jump down from the ledge quickly enough caused some issues? However, a lot more had changed this time around. I accidentally pulled the first group of mobs when I tried to climb up the cliffside our "usual" way and was taken by surprise by the fact that the trandoshans had been moved to make this impossible.

On the road to Firebrand and Stormcaller we found that the "sneaky" way along the side had been blocked off by a drouk having been repositioned to sit right next to the wall. On the other hand the trash pull in the water that people always used to circumvent had simply disappeared completely.


Once upon a time... we were new to EC and didn't skip the trash pull in the water. RIP now, water trash group.

The first trash pull after the two tanks was also gone, as was one of the groups in the trenches, and another one had been spread out more so that it became impossible to skip. One of the big groups before Kephess also appeared to have been moved out of the way.

On the one hand I was kind of impressed that Bioware still makes changes to older content, on the other hand I didn't really understand why. There was a theme of making changes to skippable trash there, either by removing it as redundant or making it unskippable, though there were a few pulls among the changed ones where I wasn't aware of them having been skippable before. Maybe they were and I've just never been in a group that knew how to do it. Either way I'm not sure why this mattered enough to anyone at Bioware at this point to mess with it. I don't really mind, I just find it strange. This isn't even endgame anymore, just levelling content, and fairly unrewarding in terms of money to boot. You only really go in there if you want to see the content. Why does it matter is you bypass a trash pull or two? I'd really love to know the reasoning behind this.

2 comments:

  1. Isn't EC still in the Group Finder for 55?

    Maybe the changes were made for that audience, so avoid half the group skipping trash, the other half not. Also, to avoid accidental pulls leading to wipes and all that recrimination.

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    Replies
    1. Nope, only TfB and Scum are available through the group finder at 55.

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