14/12/2016

Control Alt Escape

I feel a bit bad that all my recent posts have been about Galactic Command this, CXP that, especially since the overall tone of said posts has been rather unhappy. While I'm not afraid to offer criticism when I feel that things aren't done well, I do prefer to try to maintain a positive tone overall. I wouldn't be playing the game if I didn't still enjoy it!

The problem with Galactic Command is that it's hard to escape from if you're not happy with it. The very thing Bioware seems to have taken so much pride in - that it's tied into almost every aspect of the game, save maybe for roleplaying and on-rails space combat - makes it very hard to ignore the system if you spend time playing a max-level character at all, even if it frustrates you.

I was thinking about writing up a diary of my second week of Galactic Command, similar to the format of my post about week one, but this turned out to be unnecessary for the simple reason that the entirety of my second week of Galactic Command could easily be summed up in a single sentence: I earned 28 more Command ranks/crates, claimed a couple of schematics because I enjoy collecting them for my alts' crew skills, and destroyed everything else. Apparently I really was incredibly lucky to get six useful pieces out of my first week's 38 crates, and this luck has now run out. People have been talking about the difficulty of getting "that last piece you're missing", but here I spent a whole week grinding, still wearing level 65 gear in eight of my fourteen gear slots, and couldn't get a single upgrade for any of them. I think at one point I disintegrated four copies of the same green assault cannon in a row. I almost feel sad for whoever at Bioware thought this up. Did they really think people would be happy to be rewarded with a box that contains a green worse than their gear from the previous expansion, a reputation trophy for a faction they maxed out three years ago, a pair of orange bracers and a companion gift? I don't even know.

I've talked about how being in a guild that raids results in a certain amount of social pressure to do as much as you can to upgrade your gear at a solid pace, but the past week has actually worked against that somewhat because it showed me that while time spent on an alt might feel "wasted" in terms of progression, time spent on your main can end up feeling wasted just as well under this new system. So I finally gave in and decided to devote some time to an alt to get away from that darned CXP bar.


I decided to focus on my Marauder first to see a different side of Knights of the Eternal Throne, but as I've previously done on similar occasions, I felt the urge to "clear out" her quest log a bit first, which in this case meant doing the last couple of Alliance alerts she hadn't done yet. One of these was the one for Qyzen Fess, which actually had me grinding "Worthy Jagannath Targets" for the first time, as I'd only recruited him via the world boss kills previously. It wasn't actually as bad as I had feared, especially when I found this useful guide on Reddit. The locations listed there weren't nearly as overfarmed as the ones recommended by Dulfy, probably because it's harder to actually read written words than to look at a picture of a map and go to where the dot is.

While traversing the plains of Hoth, I also queued for a story mode operation through the group finder and ended up in a Ravagers pug. I was a bit hesitant since a previous unsuccessful run that had failed on Master and Blaster was still vividly on my mind. I needn't have worried about that though, because this time we couldn't even kill the first boss - she enraged with twenty percent of her health left. I suspect that pugging story modes will remain painful for a while yet. After that wipe I as well as some other people bowed out politely - no point in "working on it" when already the first boss is clearly so far out of the group's reach.

Finally, I also replayed the HK bonus chapter for the first time - even though I had enjoyed it the first time, I had somehow never quite gotten around to replaying it. Like his dark mistress, this version of HK took all the "evil" choices, and by the end I felt like a true monster, having actually killed off a certain incredibly cheerful character...

None of these things were amazingly rewarding - heck, the attempt at the operation only earned me a repair bill and I suppose some knowledge about the current pugging scene on TRE. But it was still such a relief to feel in full control of what I was going to get for my efforts again.

One can only hope that Bioware will come around about Galactic Command sooner rather than later. Loving to play alts is one thing, but when I feel that I need them to "escape" from my main, that's a very bad sign.

9 comments :

  1. After going 0-28 on crates I think you've earned the right to channel your inner bad feeling podcast and start dropping F-bombs!

    Fixing this system would be easy. Just say you won't go more than 2 crates without a set piece, and you won't see the same piece twice. Problem solved!

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    1. Thanks for reminding me that I need to catch up with the latest BFP episodes. :P

      If it worked like that, I would already be fully geared in tier 1 by now...

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  2. Hey, that pic looks like my Sith Inquisitor from the back!

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    1. Is she also a Sith Pureblood?

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    2. Yes, which made it a touch awkward in the class story when she'd discuss things with her ancestor. You had no clue who was behind the mask, but the dialogue implied you weren't a Pureblood.

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    3. Hm, I don't really remember that. But I do remember a generic quest in the Sith Academy that treats you as a filthy non-Pureblood regardless of your actual species. I seem to recall that the reason for this is that playable Purebloods were a relatively late addition to the game, which is why some of those bits of dialogue are a bit odd. (Just like you can now have a soldier on Ord Mantell explain to you what Cathar are, even if you play one.)

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    4. Weren't Cathars added post-launch? For that matter, the TOR lore implies rather strongly that there are no Purebloods left, having interbred with Humans or died out, or turned into the Massassi of Yavin IV; and that anyone who calls themselves Pureblood have delusions of grandeur.

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    5. Yes, the Cathar were added in 2.1, I was just using them as another example of how something added to the game after the original dialogue was written can result in incongruous situations.

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    6. Ah - I missed that. Hence the "now" part of that.

      (Having just run a Cathar SI, much of the planetary side quests on Imp Taris are @#$% hilarious, from a certain point of view)

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