06/01/2016

Coruscant Nostalgia

I don't spend a lot of time on Coruscant - why would I? It always covered only a fairly brief part of the levelling game, and with the increased levelling speed brought on by 4.0, you might as well blink and you'll miss it. To be honest, I also never actually liked Coruscant very much. Most of the environments are way too corridor-like, and story-wise it's just a different gang causing problems in each sector, which is not very exciting.

And yet... there is something about that planet. Recently I came back to it more often than usual, due to working on both a knight and a trooper alt, and if I allow myself to actually take in my environment after exiting the spaceport instead of making a blind beeline for the next quest objective, it's still kind of enchanting. The way the music swells, the beauty of the wide open spaces around the Senate Plaza, with the skyline caught in eternal dusk... it takes me back to the first time I arrived on the planet and felt that this game was really taking me to a galaxy far, far away.


It's interesting that my actual first starter planet, Ord Mantell, doesn't evoke nearly as many feelings. Do you also have a place that still reminds you of that special "new MMO" magic?

7 comments :

  1. Nar Shaddaa always reminds of when I first played in the beta. I have a smile on my face when I heard the Kotor 2 music upon landing at the space port. It was an appropriate nod to the single player games without being over the top. That's when I started to think I would be spending a lot of time with this MMO.

    Next, as I moved from running Swtor on a Bootcamp on my old Mac Pro to a homebuilt Windows gaming PC with a more recent video card, much of Nar Shaddaa's 'neon lights' look started to show up. I would come back to the planet after some time and things would just seem to have more of the night life / seedy side feel to it, visually. There's just something about the vibrancy about the world that captures my imagination.

    Lastly, Nar Shaddaa always felt like it rewarded exploration. When I started doing the heroics there in the early days, I felt like I had stumbled into an area as big as the rest of the zones. Then I started noticing how the Empire and Republic zones connected in those areas. That was useful as I worked my way around for the datacrons there and to the world boss. All in all, it felt special in that it was a fully realized area that many probably never noticed or took the time to fully explore.

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    1. Nar Shaddaa is actually another planet that I didn't like very much at the start - too many corridors again - but it has grown on me over time.

      I completely understand what you mean about those remote areas though. It took me a looong time and a lot of re-running of various heroics and both factions' bonus series to stop getting lost there.

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  2. Coruscant's music really does it for me. It has a feel of "THIS is a capital world", with the splendor and neverending buildings.

    Plus, it also has that Smuggler story that I really like.

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  3. For me it would have to be Dromund Kaas. I actually didn't have any strong feelings about it until I got a new PC and cranked the graphics up. But then, I realized just how well they did the atmosphere there.

    You can actually see the rain better, and looking at the skybox, it's actually animated to constantly have bolts of lighting flashing through the clouds. It actually feels like you're in a planet of perpetual thunderstorms, and the capital of the Empire. The only thing that could make it better would be actual thunder on occasion. But maybe that's there and I don't have background sounds up high enough.

    It does help that I'm a big fan of storms, so there's that too. I will admit they could've done a better job making Kaas feel like an actual city, though.

    So yeah, Dromund Kaas is easily my favorite planet to just hang around on if I'm not doing anything in particular.

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  4. I think they dropped the ball with Coruscant. Around the spaceport/senate tower you get a wonderful sense of the place. Everything else is an underground corridor planet that feels exactly like Nar Shaddaa.

    You should get the wonderful sweeping vistas of skyscrapers much more, not just when you are arriving and leaving. And the ruined Jedi temple should be something you approach and see from the outside, so you get a sense of its fallen splendor, rather than crawling in from underneath.

    Tatooine is the place I never get tired of going back to, and I occasionally get a rush of nostalgia for my first days in the game among the jungles of Drumond Kaas. Thankfully with 4.0, the game gives you plenty of reasons to go back to these places now.

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    1. Yeah, I agree about the corridors and that it's pretty much the same on Nar Shaddaa. My favourites are generally the more open planets like Tat or Hoth.

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  5. I agree about Coruscant, really just too many different claustrophobic zones. The Senate plaza is awesome though.

    There are a few places in the game that have music queues that really do it for me - like on Tython walking from the Gnarls to the Temple grounds, you come down the hill and the scene opens so you see the temple for the first time. Or when visiting the Jedi Council the first time in your class quest. I really appreciate these small musical queues that help evoke a sense of wonder, which can be very hard to recapture when you have been playing the game and focusing on certain aspects for a significant amount of time (like flashpoints or ops for me). Or the music during the second to last Jedi Knight quest on Tatooine just after you enter the instance (I won't give spoilers here though they are 4 years old now), it is perfect and sets the mood incredibly well. One I recently loved was the background music on Taris during my Sorcerer's class quest - just perfect.

    I remember turning up the graphics on my PC after going to the fleet and realizing I had missed so much with the default settings. I can't imagine going back now. And again, the music that plays right when you come out of the starter world departures elevator. Sorry, I do just love the music from this game.

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