09/06/2019

Dailies on Dantooine

So, we have a new daily area on Dantooine! How is it?

The daily lovers in my guild seem to adore it, based on the fact that some of them have literally done it several dozen times over the last couple of days. Me, as someone who's not quite so fond of dailies but doesn't mind doing them on special occasions or with a specific goal in mind... I think it's pretty solid, though I don't like it as much as Ossus.

SWTOR's version of Dantooine is certainly very pretty and also quite open, making it easy to get around. I was surprised to note that the mobs feel a bit tougher than usual, to the point where it actually feels worthwhile to use things like crowd control, interrupts and cooldowns on some pulls, which I like as it makes the combat more engaging. I already mentioned that it's very rewarding in terms of Conquest, and the reputation vendor has some pretty good stuff for sale, including a lot of decos. Finally, you can tell that Bioware really tried to make the quests a bit more interesting - there isn't a single one that asks you to just kill x mobs.


Despite of all this and having done the full set of missions on both Republic and Imperial side several times now, I struggle a bit to achieve good flow. While I actually love the vehicle quests for example (the turret defense mission on Republic side is similar to the one on Iokath, which I also love, and its mouse droid counterpart on Imperial side is short and cute), others are a bit... annoying.

For example quest credit in groups is once again somewhat hit and miss. Laying mines on Empire side is shared (but apparently only if you stand right on top of each other), but revealing them on Republic side is not. Tagging Nova Blade ships and speeders as Imperials gives shared credit, while destroying them as Republic does not (though at least you can both target the same camp without having to wait for it to reset or anything like that).

On Republic side the mine quest has a bonus mission to kill Imps, and for some reason half the Imperial mobs in the area don't count towards it. In general the mine quest seems to have way too few spawn points for both factions, which can turn it into a real drag.

I'm also not super fond of the way they decided to split the meta quests this time around. I really liked the way Ossus makes it a valid option to do everything in one day or to split it over two days. On Dantooine you must do two days of dailies to complete the weekly quest, and while you could technically leave out one or two quests by doing five and five or six and four, you'd then miss out on the meta daily once, as it requires you to do all six missions.

Finally, I'm not sure how I feel about the heroics. I generally love heroics, and right now they have some funny stuff going on which I'm not sure is intended, such as that you can rush to the end of the Hugo one and click the door in combat to instantly teleport your whole group inside, or that a stealther can get past all the mobs in the power station, use the elevator and cause all the mobs to despawn. But I appreciate that not everyone is a fan of the format, so requiring the completion of five for the weekly feels a bit excessive, as it means two days of normal dailies and two days of heroics.

There are a few more positives though: First off, I like the way they incorporated a little story quest for characters who've done Ossus. If you haven't, the terminal will only play a short snippet of a news report about Dantooine (which could have been a bit longer I'll admit) but otherwise you get General Daeruun or Darth Malgus cutting in and telling you why they think Dantooine is important right now. I don't think we've ever had a recurring event incorporated into the main storyline like that, and I think it's neat. (Though why it causes one daily mission to then have two extra steps remains confusing to me.)


Also, and I'm surprised that I haven't seen more people talking about this, but Dantooine is actually SWTOR's first open world area that scales you upwards. The technology to do so (Bolster) has been in game since launch, but it was initially only used in PvP and then in instanced PvE content. Until now, planets only ever scaled you down, not up.

I decided to take a level 20 alt on Satele Shan straight to Dantooine and it was really a surprisingly smooth experience. The lack of defensive cooldowns and escape moves made me feel a bit squishy, but dps was fine, thanks to Bolster taking into account the number of abilities you have available, and additionally buffing your damage if you have fewer moves.

In fact, even though the event was officially advertised for characters of level 20 or higher, the solo content tab in the activities window apparently makes it available from level one. A guildie of mine used this option at level two (when you have what, two abilities? Three?) and was bolstered so hard that when he jumped into the turret daily first thing after arriving, his turret managed to one-shot all the gold mobs. Again, not sure if that was intended, but I guess I don't see the harm. I wouldn't expect new players to accidentally run into that option at level one and get confused.

Mind you, just because Bolster works that doesn't necessarily mean the players will accept it. I was actually kind of amused when I joined a group for the heroics on my level 20 and was instantly removed again after joining. I did ask why that was and was told that I was missing too many abilities in my rotation at level 20. I didn't waste any time arguing and the next group I asked took me along happily enough, but it was still interesting.

Also, it is worth noting that while dps isn't an issue, the lack of survival cooldowns at low level is definitely painful in the heroics. Even while trying to take care to always run out of red circles and the like, I still died enough times (mostly from things like random aggro moves and dots) that after we had finished the third heroic (which coincided with my last death) I had a two minute cooldown on being revived and just returned to base. So I guess I should add that while I think it's fine to do/join the heroics at low level, you should be realistic about what you're in for. When I helped my guildie's level four through the heroics later, he didn't die once as I knew that if he got aggro he would need quick heals and made sure to provide them.


We'll see whether another week of this event and then seeing the different missions during peace time will change my first impression.

2 comments :

  1. Regarding the mobs feeling harder than normal, I certainly got that feeling too when playing through it. I am not in 258s, and am slowly working on 252s. Not sure if that has anything to do with it.

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    1. To be honest I even felt the difference on my main in full 258. Not in the sense that things felt difficult even in that gear, but that the mobs weren't complete pushovers as usual.

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