05/11/2016

Condensed Commentary

As a regular reader who keeps coming back to this blog to see me declare my opinions on everything (that is why you are here, right?), you might be wondering why I haven't had anything to say about what's been discussed on the latest couple of livestreams. To be honest, I've been wondering about that myself!

I think the truth is that I just don't feel like I have a lot to say about what's coming in KotET at this point. With less than a month to go until the expansion's actual release, it feels a bit pointless to spend too much time speculating about what might or might not happen, considering that we'll get to experience it all live very soon.

The whole kerfuffle about Galactic Command also made me realise that the changes they are making to existing systems are so sweeping that it's really hard to judge a single part on its own. Sure, I still think that the RNG gear boxes are a bad idea, but just how bad remains to be seen in context of the other changes they are making.

Still, here's the super short version of what I thought of the last four updates they gave us.

Dark vs. Light: Like when they first announced the DvL event, I'm in favour of taking the alignment mechanic and just... doing something new with it. Anything! On the other hand, the notion of simply selecting your alignment with a tick box and then gaining dark or light side points for merely killing random mobs sounds very unimmersive and like it's going against the very concept of light or dark being tied to the decisions we make while taking our characters through the story. I honestly also thought that their plans for server-wide dark vs. light battles sounded kind of confusing - it's probably not as bad in practice but I couldn't fully wrap my head around the theory. Which makes their removal of the existing gear system for being too "complicated" all the more ironic.

Uprisings: Thanks to the dataminers we've known that these would be coming for a while, and there isn't really much to add. They are going to be the new flashpoints, and they are supposed to offer a challenge for small groups, which is nice in theory but really has to be experienced to be judged. They are probably going to be fun. I just hate that Bioware seems to have this urge to rename everything this expansion, what with hardmode becoming master veteran difficulty and nightmare becoming veteran master (if I even got that right nope, got it wrong on my first attempt).

Crafting: It seems kind of funny to see them scrambling to give raiders and PvPers something interesting to work towards again after taking away all their traditional incentives. But you can get exclusive crafting schematics and materials now! Woo! In all seriousness though, the idea of crafting actually becoming relevant again (since it will be the only way to reliably fill slots that the randomness of Galactic Command fails to provide for and to gear alts that you don't play that often) does have me interested, even though I'm not actually all that into crafting. Once again though, we'll have to see how it works out in practice with how common or rare the schematics and the materials are and how many are needed to make anything.

Repeatable Story Chapters: With this one, I'm just not sure who it is for. I replayed KotFE a couple of times already, and it honestly started to get quite tedious after the third time or so. But even if you love replaying the story, why wouldn't you rather do so an alt, where you can actually see how different choices play out long term? I suppose I could see some value in being able to replay specific chapters for video recording purposes (there were some moments in chapter thirteen which were hilarious and made me regret not saving them for posterity) but that's about it.

I guess the adjustable difficulty is supposed to pacify those who've been complaining that KotFE has been too easy, but I've posited before that the difficulty level hasn't been the real problem. The mere thought of redoing chapter twelve - the one where you don't get to use a companion - on a higher difficulty on one of my healing characters and taking even longer to kill those bloody sacks of hitpoints makes me shiver. Sorry, guys. I'm not annoyed that they are doing it; I just don't see the appeal.

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