12/03/2015

Yavin 4 Dailies and Companion Gear

(Small personal update: I'm nearly done with moving! Not fully settled in yet, but mostly.)

I'm not a huge fan of dailies. I don't hate them either, I just don't see the point in them most of the time - yet at the same time I dislike it if a game tries too hard to make me do them. The last time I recall dailies being truly meaningful to me was back during WoW's Burning Crusade expansion, when they were this whole new innovation that made it easy for people to earn money, and the lure of an (at the time) ridiculously expensive epic flying mount provided a solid incentive to do them. By Wrath of the Lich King I generally had more gold than I actually needed, just from levelling up and playing "normally", so dailies became something that I only did for fun (occasionally) or for faction reputation. (Unlike most of the population, I actually thought that the Sons of Hodir were hilarious.) In Cataclysm, Blizzard then created the Molten Front, a daily hub that required a ridiculous amount of grinding to unlock the associated story and rewards, and I hated it.

In SWTOR I experienced a somewhat similar development on fast forward. When I levelled up Shíntar as my first character, I remember money being a big deal initially. I vaguely recall levelling up on Tatooine and actually being unable to afford all my skill upgrades simply because I didn't have enough credits. I was actually a little excited about hitting the level cap and being able to earn money from dailies, but then my very first round of Belsavis dailies netted me something along the line of 100k credits, which was already more than I needed at the time. I continued to do dailies occasionally for item rewards, reputation, achievements, or simply to go through the associated story on an alt, but I never felt like I actually "needed" to do them, once I had got over that initial bump of my first character not having enough money.

I actually think that this is one of the things SWTOR does really well in general - no content feels truly mandatory. While this has led to some people lambasting the game for offering "bad" rewards for a lot of content, I quite like it that way. I'm OK with there not being a one true path that you have to follow in order to not fall behind. Often when I read about WoW these days, all content seems to get described as either mandatory or completely worthless, with no room left in-between. I don't like such extremes.


Of course lately, I've been doing dailies on Yavin 4 more than I really enjoy, because... free companion gear. In patch 3.0.2, Bioware added a gear lockbox to the weekly reward for doing the Yavin dailies which rewards subscribers with a full set of item level 192 companion gear (minus a weapon and off-hand, though those can be earned through other dailies). This is just insanely good.

I hesitate to call it a "must have" because nobody has to gear their companions, but it certainly helps to have them well-geared when you're out in the world. Picking up good gear for your companions used to be tough, especially for classes that can't give their "hand-me-downs" to their favourite companion due to stat differences. And even if you can, it generally means that your companions will always, at best, have slightly worse gear than your actual character.

Now compare this to getting a full set of raid-level gear from a single round of dailies. In terms of the effort-reward ratio, it's absolute madness. SWTOR has never asked its players to grind very much, but it seems pretty insane that one weekly quest is enough to kit out your companion in equal or better gear than your actual character is likely to acquire in weeks of running operations. I actually feel vaguely guilty whenever I don't do the weekly at all in a given week, especially if I then end up playing an alt whose companions still wear absolutely terrible gear. It's just too good to pass up!

As an extra complication, I also can't help but feel a little sad that this new method of gearing your companions is so much more effective than any other way. I've previously mentioned that I used to pride myself in reverse-engineering blue and purple schematics, which I could then craft to kit out my many alts and companions across my legacy... it feels like there isn't much point to that now.

The one "comfort" to me is that all the companion sets from the weekly are non-moddable, which they pretty much had to be or else people would have pulled out the mods to gear themselves or to RE them. And sometimes the look of that gear just doesn't go with what you had in mind for your companion, so your only alternative is to get a moddable gear set and fill it out the old-fashioned way: with commendation rewards, drops and crafted pieces.

Are you doing the Yavin 4 dailies? How do you feel about the companion gear rewards from the weekly?

10 comments :

  1. I love it. I've got my main's companions all kitted out. The biggest thing for me was droids and weapons. Droids were really hard and expensive to gear up before. Weapons were bad if you had a companion who used a different weapon than the classes on your faction.

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    1. I agree on the unusual companion weapons and droid parts, as it was quite annoying that you could only get those from crafting in the past. But I don't know about the full gear sets in general. It just feels a bit too easy compared to alternative ways of gearing.

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    2. Also, I find it's made operations a lot easier in terms of gear. I only worry about my character, and not whether I should roll greed on something my companion uses.

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  2. Heh. Doing Yavin 4 dailies?

    Well....

    I've not been playing much the past few weeks due to time constraints --any game playing I have done has been limited to the occasional Civ 4 game which I can stop and start at will-- but I've only got one player that's really completed Makeb (and two about halfway done) and gotten up to the point of being able to do the Alliances FPs.

    I'll get to it when I get to it, because I just enjoy the stories.

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    Replies
    1. Well, I know by now that you don't really do "endgame" of any kind. :D

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    2. True, dat.

      Maybe if I had the time --okay, whenever THAT will be-- I might be able to consider endgame raiding. Of course, by then I'll be Greybeard instead of Redbeard and my physical skills will have deteriorated to the point of not even qualifying for any guild's raid team. ;-)

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  3. I don't do the dailies every day, and I don't even do them on every toon. This is mostly because I've geared up the companions that I like to run around with.

    That said, I love what they've done with the companion gear this time around. I feel like I actually get to enjoy them now which wasn't the case for me before.

    I find myself running around with different ones just for the variety.

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  4. I have a question I just got HK-51 is there a compnion lockbox for him on that yavin weekly

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    Replies
    1. Yes, all classes get the option to pick a lockbox with gear for HK (since all classes could potentially have him). :)

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