27/05/2015

Being a Noob on the Progenitor

I've been wondering whether to do anything with this whole 12x Epic Story XP boost that's going on right now. I've said a hundred times that I'm not a fan of things like double XP weekends, but I think I've made my peace with the fact that they exist and that there is a clear demand for them. At least they are preferable to changing XP requirements across the board and thereby forcing fast levelling on people. This time Bioware also remembered to give people an option to turn the whole thing off, so all is well from my point of view.

Personally I have little incentive to level another alt as quickly as possible. I enjoy levelling in general so I don't really want to rush it, and I've seen all the class stories. There's a certain draw to repeating some of them to see a slightly different outcome, but then I ask myself: "Do I really want add another max-level alt to my stable on The Red Eclipse?" For some reason having too many unplayed alts makes me feel vaguely guilty. No, I don't think that makes sense either - it is what it is.

But then I saw someone make a suggestion for an alternative use of this XP boost (sorry, I forgot who exactly it was): use it to level a character on another server. This has been one of those goals that has been at the back of my mind for ages, wanting to have the ability to visit friends on other servers and play with them, but somehow I've never been very good at this. I've tried in the past, but usually I just faff around on the starter planet for a little while and soon end up logging off and never coming back. I figured that giving myself a bit of a push, so I would quickly get to the point where I could actually found a new legacy, would help me to maintain momentum, and it has.

I started my experiment by creating Agent Shintar the Cathar on the Progenitor, where some old friends reside on Imperial side apparently. (If you're my friend and playing on another server, don't think that I've forgotten you! But this is where I felt like making a start.)

Oddly, I was immediately struck by just how long it's been since I started a character on a new server with zero support. I was kind of surprised when an achievement popped up for killing people in the starting area on Hutta, because on the Red Eclipse I have so many achievements that I rarely see one these days outside of new boss kills in ops. I also realised that I'm terribly ignorant about which features are actually account-wide and which ones only legacy-wide. For example I immediately had three bank tabs unlocked, but barely any inventory space. While my mailbox was full of crap the usual "gifts", I had no stronghold to admire my furniture in, or legacy perks that would have allowed me to fly a speeder early. Bhagpuss wrote about the joy of starting fresh on a new server the other day (in the context of Everquest), and I can definitely recognise myself in that a little. I've become too spoiled by my big, fat legacy. There is fun in being a scrappy noob.

Of course even a scrappy noob feels a bit overpowered in SWTOR these days. I had forgotten that training new skills is now free for subscribers forever, and it feels like cheating. Don't I have to spend money on anything while levelling up? And the XP gains from my class quests on Hutta were utterly ridiculous of course. Sometimes I even gained two levels at once from a single quest hand-in. I feel like levels really start to lose their meaning at that point. I did all the quests anyway and was level fifteen (going on sixteen) by the time I left Hutta. I was too high level to queue for the Black Talon before I even got to it! I decided to solo it for fun, even if it granted me little XP. I was hoping to be able to scavenge some metal, but I forgot that unlike during its Republic equivalent, the Esseles, you hardly fight any droids in this flashpoint. I think I counted a total of five. It was also noticeable that my companion wasn't beefed up by tons of presence bonuses, as things actually took a bit of time to kill.

I also did a lowbie warzone, which seemed pretty flooded with lowbie agents of some flavour or another, and got eleven achievements in a single match. Operative healing feels extremely powerful in lowbie PvP now that they get Kolto Probe so early. Oh yeah, did I mention that I chose Operative over Sniper (again)? Being able to just choose my advanced class from the UI certainly made things more convenient at the end of Hutta, but I did the little "choose your advanced class" quest on the fleet anyway once I got there. I wonder if new players find that confusing.


I remember when ships in flashpoints going into Hyperspace used to crash my game. Good times.

We'll see whether I'll actually be able to progress, get distracted by side activities while ignoring the XP boost, or lose interest if my character levels too quickly (seemingly without me actually doing much of anything).

9 comments :

  1. I salute your bold challenge!

    I don't really enjoy the levelling all that much anymore. Maybe the class stories still (I enjoy picking other options for alts with a different character), but for the rest I'm mostly playing warzones on my "lowbies" or the occasional low level flashpoint with guildies. I don't like having lots of alts at level 60 either, simply because many of them won't be played all that much anymore. It makes me feel guilty, too!

    I haven't felt the urge to level on another server myself yet. I think it's because I don't really have any friends on other servers that would like to play with me. That's okay, though, I have enough people to play with on the Red Eclipse. :)

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    1. but for the rest I'm mostly playing warzones on my "lowbies" or the occasional low level flashpoint with guildies

      But that's levelling too! :D When I say I like levelling slowly, I don't necessarily mean that I'm doing every quest on every alt - levelling by doing lowbie warzones and flashpoints is viable too, and I find it fun... more XP just means leaving those brackets more quickly, which makes me sad.

      And I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels guilty about neglecting her alts. :P

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  2. If nothing else, the 12x boost helps compensate for the lack of oomph in my Sith Marauder.

    I've reached Chapter 3 now, and knowing what I know about SoR, this is a VERY interesting turn of events....

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  3. For me it allows the opportunity to enjoy all the storyline and have one of each class open for end game activities. I will say that once my baselines from each side are done to max , that I'll have other alts doing the slow leveling. Starting on other servers never bothered me even when there was no xp bonus. I've done it a couple times now. The knowledge gained on gaining comma and dealing with server economies have made restarting not very painful. All in all wish you the best on your endeavor. Oh..remember you will be spending significant credits on crafting skills so there is still a credit sink.

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    1. That's actually a really big credit-sink, exacerbated by the fact that, as you tear through each zone doing class-only, then you will not have very many gathering nodes to salvage compared to the usual, even with creatures and droids (which are higher base-level than nodes to boot. IE, they might be "red" to you.).

      Partial solution:

      When you're done questing, go explore the whole planet's map (hey, almost-free XP) and fight any Strong (or higher) droid/creature mob, salvage it, and salvage as many nodes that pop up as you can.

      Keep gathering mats, and then sell the extras after a while, use crew-skill missions to make up any gaps in gathering-level on your next planet (Ideally, you'd want most of the previous zone's nodes to be "green" by the time you leave that zone for good.)

      So, a time-sink along with the cred-sink, which is good, in a way.

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    2. There is no risk of me "tearing through the zones doing class-only", I just can't play that way. During the 12x XP event leading up to Shadow of Revan I levelled up two alts, but even then I did things like hunt down datacrons etc. - I like to spend some time taking in the environment, even if I don't do all the quests on each planet.

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  4. I'm also trying a new server and leveling on The Ebon Hawk (RP), which is an entirely new experience in terms of community size/atmosphere. It sort of reminds me of Jedi Covenant when I first started playing. It won't be my new home but it's been a nice quiet place to hang out between raiding.

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  5. Oh man! Time does fly when taking a mini vacation ... Welcome to “The Progenitor”, my home server. And to think that I have just created a character on “The Red Eclipse”. ;)

    Maybe we can do the occasional Flashpoint together, but I fear that your 12x XP will put you way ahead of me. I’m only “Preferred” now after all.

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    1. Feel free to add me to your friends list (Shintar the agent, no funny letters needed on this server). I wouldn't be so sure about me rushing ahead... I'm juggling so many MMOs right now, I hardly have time to play any of them for any length of time, haha. Then again, that might also make it hard to catch me online...

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