21/01/2018

On Hoth

After about four months of sitting around in Aurek Base, my Commando on Star Forge finally made it through Hoth. Sometimes it seems that this planet is where my alts (figurately) go to die - though it might just be a general problem I have with chapter two of the original class stories. Whenever I roll a new alt for story purposes, I tend to breeze through the prologue and first chapter really quickly, but once chapter one is done I (somewhat bizarrely) tend to feel "too accomplished" to continue right away, despite of the game beckoning me with even more story. Sometimes the momentum manages to carry me through to the end of Balmorra/Taris, but by Quesh I definitely start to lose steam. But hey, at least Quesh is short, right? And then I get sent to Hoth, look at the huge map, groan and log out.

I'm actually not entirely sure why that is. With the improved travel options we have access to nowadays, it doesn't really take that long to get things done. Even while doing all the quests as well as getting all the datacrons, I didn't feel that I actually ended up spending that much time on the planet. There's just something about those endless white plains...

The funny thing is that Tatooine is basically the same, only hot and brown instead of cold and white, and I love Tatooine. In fact, during my very first playthrough I commented on the similarity between the two and gave Hoth a good mark as well. It just hasn't held up as well in terms of replayability for some reason.

Maybe it has something to do with the story and NPCs. Replaying all the quests on Hoth for the first time in ages, it struck me how none of the side missions were very memorable at all (I didn't save a single one for my favourites list), and the main planetary story arc didn't really form a single coherent story either but was just several small missions strung together: first you defend the Republic base, then you go into that power station, then you fight pirates, then you're tasked with securing Republic superweapon #347.

It also struck me how incredibly unhappy all the NPCs are to be on Hoth! NPCs pretty much always have some grievance or another, that's why they send you out on quests to solve their problems after all, but these tasks can still be presented with a positive attitude. However, everyone on Hoth seems to hate the place so much - maybe this has actually rubbed off on me as a player. There was a funny moment in the first area that I'd completely forgotten about, where if you choose to leave a traitor alive after confronting him, he retorts with a resigned: "You're leaving me on Hoth? Couldn't you just shoot me?"


It's telling that the stories I do remember with some fondness are those that revolve around the rare few people who are actually having a reasonably good time on Hoth: the Ortolan settlers and the pirate survivalist cult. Though I'd forgotten all about the tension between the Republic and Empire that the player is subjected to in the latter quest on Republic side... I actually went with betraying the Imps this time (M1-4X approved) but felt kind of bad about it afterwards.

Overall, engaging plot lines and memorable moments are not one of Hoth's strengths however.

6 comments :

  1. I don't have fond memories of Hoth as well. On my very first character, a trooper, i kept on running against a wall. I died on trash, had to use medpacks every fight. Horrible. At that time, i had no idea how gearing in an mmo worked. An i was underleveled, by at least two or three levels. Good old times, back then in 2013...not.

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  2. I amused myself the first time on Hoth by force pushing tauntauns over cliff edges (I was playing a dark side Imperial). ^_^

    Hoth feels like it was a marketing addition to the worlds ("we need that ice place from the good movie to draw folks in!") and was never one of the favorites of the writers. I'm with you in that most of Hoth is unremarkable -- I, too, have a Trooper idling on Hoth.

    That said, the datacron run to the top of the starship was fun. I love the view from there. The one class story bit I remember is, unsurprisingly, from the Agent story line. If you are a Chiss agent you actually got a bit of different dialog. I always wished they had done more small bits like that here and there.

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    1. Agreed that the Hoth datacrons are a good bunch. Unlike on other planets, I never struggle to remember where they are all located - they offer a nice variety of challenges, with nothing too frustrating. The one inside the starship usually causes me the most problems but this time I managed to get even that on my first try.

      And yes, class stories are a different matter. Inquisitor, warrior and smuggler are also classes that come to mind as having good moments on Hoth.

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  3. Hey, the Hailstorm Brotherhood likes it there.

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    1. That's why they have one of the few memorable quests!

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    2. I actually found the Republic side of the Hailstorm Brotherhood questline more interesting than the Imp side, although I believe that the (original) boss fight was harder on the Imp side with the debuff you had to strive against. Still, I found the plot of that part of Hoth to hold up pretty well.

      Additionally, I did think that the Smuggler gets the best class quest of the bunch in Hoth. Besides, being able to punch Guss is a bonus.

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