25/02/2016

Heroics Are The New Dailies

I'm not much of a daily runner, so feel free to laugh at me for stating the obvious four months late, but it's actually quite weird what Bioware has done to heroics in KotFE.

It sounded good in theory: make them interesting to all levels with level sync and by providing endgame rewards, make them easier to get to by handing out instant travel gadgets like candy etc. but the pratice has just been... weird.

The combination of all [Heroic 4]s getting downgraded to [Heroic 2]s and combat in general becoming easier - while our characters and their companions got more powerful - means that heroics are a complete joke to solo now. It's not a matter of being high level, having good gear or having a high-influence healing companion. I went to Savrip Island on a newbie smuggler with Corso set to tanking mode, accidentally pulled three groups at once and survived without too much trouble. Alone, in a heroic area. What the hell?

Because these "new" heroics are so easy and a major way of progressing your Alliance at endgame, lots of people do them. All the time. Whenever I've tried to do any of them that weren't inside an instanced area, there was always crazy competition for all the spawns. Why is the Dark Temple on Dromund Kaas so busy at one o'clock in the morning, you guys?


It makes you want to stick lightsabers in your eyes! (Love that graphical glitch.)

The old "regular" daily areas on the other hand are virtually abandoned. The other week I fancied doing the Black Hole on an alt that had never done it before and my jaw dropped when the little indicator in the top left corner showed me that I was literally the only person in the zone. This has never happened to me on The Red Eclipse before, anywhere. Even if I'm in some obscure story instance at the edge of the galaxy, there's usually at least another couple of people doing it at the same time. But the Black Hole? Nope.

I tried Section X next. That one had four or five other people at least. I tried looking for a group for the [Heroic 4] (which was still labelled as such) but nobody responded to my repeat requests while I made my way around the zone completing the other missions. Eventually I decided to go in alone after I had seen a Jedi do the same. The mobs in there have actually not been downgraded and are still scaled for four players (which made the combat at least somewhat fun, especially the boss at the end), but all those mechanics that used to require other players to unlock doors and such have been removed. Not a pretty solution, but sensible considering the population of the zone.

What bugs me about all this is that it just feels wasteful. Based on the theory, it sounded like the changes to heroics were going to make casual, non-instanced group content a bit more accessible. However in practice, they are so faceroll easy that there is little point in grouping up for any of them (unless you're short on cash and want to benefit from the insane multiplier for bonus missions). If you are playing in a group anyway and are looking for some open world content to challenge you and your friends... there just isn't any now. (While levelling my Vanguard I even soloed a duo of two champion mobs at the same time, with no healer... what does it take to kill a character these days!?)


If you're the type of person who liked to run dailies before, you can now run the heroics instead and get more bang for your buck. Regular dailies feel pretty pointless though unless you're trying to work on a particular reputation.

So basically, they removed one "tier" of open world content (the stuff that could challenge an individual and was fun in a group) and obsoleted another one (regular dailies). It makes me sad to say that I don't see the win here.

14 comments :

  1. I suspect that at level the 2+ Heroics are harder than we give them credit for. But I'll point out that companions are much more competent at what they do now as well; Corso used to struggle to hold aggro when my Gunslinger would go to town, but the few times I've tried since KotFE dropped Corso has had no issues at all.

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    1. Well, that's part of what I said though, even as a newborn smuggler, at level and with no advanced class, everything just fell over. And yes, companions are more powerful than they used to be, which just adds to the problem. :/

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    2. Well, the intro planets were designed for 2+ with no companions, and I was able to solo the ones in Ord Mantell without much issue prior to KotFE.

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  2. I'm a retired raider who doesn't have a pet healer. I solo everything. True group content like classic Heroic 4's were annoying because the UI didn't mark them in any way.

    I'd hear an NPC' sob story about how slavers took their family and get all lathered up to dispense some Jedi Justice(TM), and then notice that it's a heroic 4 and have to ignore it.

    Now while I'm leveling I can dispense Jedi Justice(TM) on anything I run across. I'm enjoying it!

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    1. Well, that annoyance could've easily been solved by giving the heroics a different quest marker, just like they've been handing out different quest markers for main storyline quests and repeatable missions in 4.0...

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    2. That content would still not be content for me. Heroic 4's existed in this weird space before. There weren't any real rewards attached to them, and they weren't "required" in any way for progression.

      As a result, people stopped waiting around for groups early on. Once you had so many people who didn't bother with the 4's, then you were NEVER going to get a group.

      Prior to 4.0, I had 5 or 6 level capped characters who had never, ever been in a heroic 4. Prior to 4.0, they were never GOING to be in a heroic 4. That means that any dev attention to creating new heroic 4's would have been a complete waste.

      Certainly with guilds and PvP'ers waiting on new content, we wouldn't have wanted any new Heroic 4's, and the community would have reacted badly to new Heroic 4's being announced.

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    3. There's a difference between not adding anything new and removing all the existing options.

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  3. Wow, gotta totally disagree with ya here Shinny. The new heroic format is absolutely fabulous. There's such a breadth of content that's now available and fairly easy to do. And I'll also point out; you may think they're a joke, but some of the heroics 2s on later planets can absolutely wreck ya if you're not careful (I'm looking at you, Belsavis). It's a fantastic way to gear up with 208 gear (I think that's the level of the common crystal gear). It's also the main way I fund my altoholic tendencies; those crystals give me new mods for my army of dudes and dudettes. Also, if you're decked out in operations gear, even though you're leveled down to the planet, that high level gear will most definitely give you an advantage.

    All in all, it's a win for the casual or intermittent gamer. Plus it gives some decent gear to leveling characters and some goodies to the capped player as well.

    Plus, the transport to the planet! I mean, c'mon that's killer! I can just zip around, playing a 'greatest hits' on all my favorite planets if I wanted. No cap on the missions you run means that if you want to do all of them in a single day, well hell balls go for it!

    I feel a post coming on defending the honor of heroics ...

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    1. Well, I'm glad that someone is enjoying them! And I'm not saying that there's nothing fun about them; I agree that the numerous quick travel options for example are pretty neat.

      Still, I don't see how that counters anything I've said in this post. A kind of group content has gone away. The old dailies have become kinda pointless. That's less breadth of content and only cool if running dailies is all you want to do all day...

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    2. Less content for you, but not all players. Lots of us didn't have 3-4 guildies on to come do heroic stuff :(
      Overall, it's a good change for the playerbase

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    3. Eh, it's not even about having a guild. Many of my great early-game experiences came from pugging heroics. I even did stuff like only doing the heroics on various planets (apart from my class quest). This is the kind of stuff that made me connect with the community early on. I'm sad that new players won't get that chance.

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  4. I’m way late to this, but I wanted to comment here – I’m 100% with you Shintar. Making the heroics the new dailies was a terrible idea and has sucked a huge amount of the fun out of the game for me. It was a good way for me to learn to tank initially – just grab a dps companion and pull as much as I could and see how much it took to kill me. There is really no levelling group content now, and nothing challenging. Tactical FPs have ruined the GF queue for me as well.

    I don’t recall a lot from my first character’s playthrough, but I do remember running a lot of heroics. Like you, if I was overlevelled, I would just run my class quest and then the heroics then leave a planet. Some of my favorite memories were from planetary heroics while levelling. Despite the difficulties in finding groups, I managed to get groups consistently through Balmorra and into Hoth and Voss back in 2014 and 2015. I even found multiple groups for heroics as part of bonus series on Alderaan and Balmorra without too much trouble. Even for the Balmorra bonus series with the staged bonus quest where stage 3, 4, and 5 were Heroic 4 – and very hard. It wasn't always 4 people, but there were some people running it. Now I imagine that it was removed completely - I haven't been back there yet.

    And several heroics were flat out removed. I already bemoan the loss of H4s (I know I'm a minority), but for instance Republic Alderaan lost two H4s flat out - they're not in the game anymore. Red Handed (at Panteer refuge) is now just a normal one-off quest (and I imagione very short), and Looted Secrets (King's Pass) doesn't have a quest-giver (Surik Varr) anymore and it's not in the codex. In fact the building where you fought the champion is now replaced by a KOTFE building (I think, maybe it's Dr. Lokin's recruitment, I have't done it) and that stupid and useless Rakghoul King in the pen ("Bow before him").

    And BioWare needs to rename them from [Heroic] to [Weekly] or something else. There is absolutely NOTHING heroic about these quests anymore thanks to the levelling difficulty changes and overpowered companions. I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment when soloing a Heroic 2 on level or undermanning a Heroic 4 – now they’re just a faceroll like 95% of the game. So frustrating.

    It’s really hurt the community too. The friends lists on my newer characters are so short – there’s little to no interaction with the community now outside guilds. And it’s harder to get your foot in the door with a guild since you don’t often meet people out in the world anymore (though there are always guilds recruiting via General chat on fleet). The first guilds I joined were from people I met in game playing heroics and it made the game seem more alive. Maybe the community was always insular, but post 4.0, it’s nearly impossible to find a PUG for a heroic. I’ll advertise in general chat and get no response after 5 to 10 minutes. And then when I go and just run them solo, I find 5 or 6 people also running heroics solo! And when I ask if they want to group, 9 times out of 10 I get ignored, or rejected. Or even worse, more and more I’m getting told off by people for “stealing mobs” (as if they belong to anyone who sees them first) or bypassing ones in their way that I don’t want to fight, leaving other people to deal with them.

    I like the quick transport, but to me, it makes worlds completely pointless. Why not just have the fleet and then make the entire game just instanced quests that’s essentially what we have now – nothing needs to be connected. And worlds just appear to be dead (world populations are down as compared to 2014 and 2015, but not by the amount that the lack of visible people would indicate). And the auto-turn in is incredibly annoying. All that good story content removed. So much for “focus on story” from BioWare, what a joke.

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    1. Sorry this seemed so "rant-like" - nobody really likes change and this change was part of an update that killed a lot of the game for me. Like you Shintar, I don't understand the removal of content with a patch. You don't need to take something out of it's not used as much as something else - let the people who are using it continue to do so and then make something else truly new for everyone to chew on (maybe that's the issue - BioWare's resources). Maybe if BioWare was better about communicating their vision (though I question if they have one) it would make more sense. But the heroic conversion was just a waste of time and resources meant to distract us from the fact that KOTFE is very little actual content.

      And the conspiracy nut in me also points to the removal of all orange gear from heroics (and other quests) as a blatant cash grab pushing people to the cartel market to get good looking modifiable gear.

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    2. You can rant all you like; I'm glad someone else feels the same way. As you can see, I didn't get much sympathy from the commenters above. ;)

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