Do you ever fall down a rabbit hole while playing? Log on with a specific goal in mind, but then something goes wrong or you get distracted, and suddenly you end up doing something completely different and eventually can barely even remember how you got there? That is how I ended up doing Oricon on my Vanguard yesterday. And it reminded me of how much I love that moon.
This is actually a post that I already thought about writing the last time I took an alt through the quest chain there (which was already quite some time ago) so it's really about time that I actually do it. It simply continues to fascinate me just how well this particular daily area has stood the test of time. I did like it well enough back when it was released, mind you, but at the time I was actually a little worried that it might be a tad too depressing to have long-term appeal - heh! After thinking about it for a little while, here are my reasons why I think Oricon continues to be more fun to re-play than most daily areas or even many pieces of one-time content:
This is another thing I already mentioned when it was first released, but Oricon is amazingly atmospheric. I could see why not everyone might like everything having an orange tint or the way the Dread Masters strongly lean towards the fantastical instead of the sci-fi part of Star Wars, but they are great villains and it rubs off on their environment. You might think that "evil and insane" is an overdone cliché when it comes to villains, but these guys were already evil before they went insane - the madness just added a whole new flavour of terror to their repertoire. In turn, you can definitely feel good about offing their crazed and corrupted minions - you're clearly doing the galaxy a favour here.
Oricon is actually the only daily area that I can think of that has a fully voiced and cut-scened storyline associated with all the dailies that you do, and it's slightly different for both factions as well. Sure, other daily areas have stories too, but they are mostly of the generic "there are bad guys here, kill them"-type. The one that comes closest to Oricon in terms of story integration is probably Yavin IV, but then that story was only loosely connected to the actual dailies - after all you can complete it without ever touching most of them if you go down the operation route for the final bit.
I've actually been somewhat critical of attempts to connect dailies and storylines in the past, as they can lead to some really dumb dailies if done badly. (WoW's Firelands dailies and their pretense of progress that reset every day come to mind.) However, Oricon manages to pull it off reasonably well - without going beyond the standard pointlessness of having to redo the same tasks every day anyway.
I also thought it was really clever that the weekly unlocks the moment you also unlock the final heroic quest and lets it count towards completion, even though that particular quest is a one-time event. Some might consider it too old-school that the story cumulates in a heroic mission followed by a prompt to do an operation, but I think it simply fits - plus the heroic mission offers at least some closure, so you don't have to feel like a complete dolt if you never end up doing the operation.
All the missions are tightly packed together and can be completed very quickly if you know what to do, making Oricon one of the more efficient places in which to run dailies and preventing it from ever feeling like a drag. Other daily areas have done a pretty good job of this as well, but they are usually lacking in other aspects, such as the ones mentioned above. Personally I also like that Oricon includes a heroic area, one of the few places in the game where at least some challenge is still preserved for the solo player.
I'm not usually a big hunter of lore objects, but on every alt I take to Oricon I also make a point of hunting down the little holocrons that give lore about the Dread Masters. It just feels right to have lore work that way, instead of having a random glowy rock in the back - the way it is so often with lore objects. Before I got all the achievements, I also loved hunting down all the different named champion mobs in the heroic area. The bonus missions attached to some of the dailies that unlock if you have macrobinoculars or a seeker droid are a neat little touch as well.
When was the last time you did Oricon? Or do you have another favourite daily area?