19/10/2015

Coffee Tomorrow!

Am I excited?

Definitely, though my excitement is somewhat tempered by a sense of... uncertainty.

Back when I was playing Warcraft, Blizzard's attitude in regards to expansions largely seemed to be: "it's a whole new game now". You got a new continent full of stuff and then you largely stayed there, rarely even looking back at the old content unless you wanted to roll an alt and start from scratch.

Before Rise of the Hutt Cartel came out I was wondering whether Bioware would end up doing something similar, but that turned out to not be the case. Sure, we got a new planet with some new quests, but once that was done it was back to hanging out on the fleet, running new hardmode versions of existing flashpoints and doing dailies on Ilum, only they were easier now because we were five levels higher. It was still the same game as before, only with some new stuff in it.

So when Shadow of Revan came out, I was a bit less excited, but also less worried. There was new content to look forward to, but I was fairly confident that the overall feel of the game wouldn't change too much (even if I wasn't keen on the sound of disciplines).

This time... I don't know. They are making bigger changes than ever before, but this is still Bioware, and they are eager to keep their old content relevant (see all the changes to the flashpoint and operations systems). Basically, I'm simultaneously excited about the possibility of change and hopeful that there won't actually be too much of it because I love the game as it is. Feelings are complicated.

Am I ready?

Sort of. Ready enough in any case!

The one thing I can proudly say is that I got the Makeb staged weekly achievement for both factions done. The first time I did it, it felt extremely tedious, but as I got the hang of things the experience became a lot smoother and faster. According to my achievement panel I had already done almost all the missions at least once and was just missing the connecting achievements, but as I re-ran them I had literally no memory of having done some of them before. Digging for hidden smuggler treasure as an Imperial, really? Some of them were also a bit obtuse, with instructions that were too vague or quest markers that were in the wrong place, forcing me to seek the help of the internet to be able to complete them. It was also a bit weird/annoying how much they differed in length, with some just requiring you to click on a couple of items that were close together and others asking you to depopulate half a mesa.

What impressed me was just how good a recycling job the Makeb bonus series actually was and that I never really noticed it before, because pretty much every mission from the staged weekly sends you to a mesa where the other faction had part of its main storyline and then gives you a task that reuses the same assets. For example the Imperial heroic [Stage 1] [Heroic 2+] False History from the bonus series is completely identical to the regular Republic heroic [Heroic 2+] For the Record in terms of location and mechanics, it's just the story background that's different. I'm curious to see what things will look like after the revamp.

As far as the operation achievements on my proposed bucket list went, I didn't do too great (+13% completion on TFB, +4% on DF, +8% on DP). I've recently cut down on my raiding for work-related reasons, bringing it down to just one night a week, which meant that I didn't end up with a lot of opportunities to work on those missing achievements. I suppose I could have tried harder, but I didn't really care that much. The most notable ops achievement I did get down in time was the one to survive TFB NiM (complete it without dying), and that was a horrible cheese-fest if I'm honest: If you reset the phase, you lose credit for the timed run but the game treats it like a fresh instance in which you haven't died yet, so you can basically keep working on the survival achievement by simply resetting the phase after every death/wipe. You'll just have to clear the respawned trash every time, and nothing makes you want to not mess up on Kephess again like having to do that over and over again...

As far as getting my alts expansion-ready by completing their existing story quests goes, I got my Sage ready for KotFE by doing Ziost with her (my main had already done everything), and I did make some progress on other characters so that even if they are not ready to hop into the expansion content just yet, they'll at least have less left to do in the future. Most notably I finally completed Makeb on my Guardian, and I finished Corellia, the consular class story and Ilum on my Shadow. To be honest, I suspect that I won't be itching to redo the expansion content on multiple alts right away - not if the way I handled Ziost is any indication anyway. I fully expect to level several alts to 65 through old content or things like flashpoints and PvP, and then they'll get to the Coffee content whenever I actually feel like it. Which brings us to the question of:

What am I going to do?

I wasn't tempted to take Tuesday off because there'll be maintenance and patching, and knowing how these things go the game will be barely playable initially. As I'll have only a few hours of playtime over the course of the week, I expect that completing the new story chapters on my main will keep me busy for several days at least.

Other than that I'm looking forward to playing around with level sync. Maybe I can convince my guildies to raid the world boss on Coruscant or something like that. At some point (though not immediately), I'll ask my pet tank to get back to one of our lowbie levelling duos and see how level sync changes the game for us. Since we tend to play in a very completionist way, we've always spent a lot of time doing quests that had already gone grey for us. If this won't happen anymore, if things will continue giving us XP no matter how far ahead we are of the planet, I could even see us hitting level 65 on Hoth or something silly like that. I'm looking forward to finding out.

Finally, there will be crafting changes to sort out, companions to dress and flashpoints and operations to explore in their new, level-scaled format. I shouldn't get bored any time soon.

2 comments :

  1. if things will continue giving us XP no matter how far ahead we are of the planet, I could even see us hitting level 65 on Hoth or something silly like that

    Having just finished my Sith Warrior story, I can definitely say this kind of thing will happen if you do all quests. I was 42 and had just finished Hoth before Coffee launched. Instead of diving into the new content, I opted to finish out the story while doing all quests along the way (I was using the Red Acute Module to keep my level down prior). By the end of the Warrior story, I was 64, getting items I assume are for the alliance stuff when turning in heroic quests. It really is quite silly.

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    1. Then I'm looking forward to it! :D

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