7.4 First Impressions

I was surprised how nice it felt to be able to upgrade my gear again. I had enough tech fragments saved up across alts that I could raise both of my implants to item level 340 right away, merely requiring a few relogs to claim more fragments on different characters. Getting back into full max-level Rakata gear is going to be my next goal, and any spare tech fragments can go towards upgrading the implants of alts. SWTOR demands so little of players in terms of grind that it's actually nice to have something like this to work on again every now and then.

I was excited when they announced the new shiny dyes, so I immediately bought some to try out. I also really liked the new Suppression Trooper armour, so I bought that too. It's funny to me how I'm earning more free Cartel Coins than ever from doing Galactic Seasons on multiple servers, but the devs are also getting better at luring me into buying things, so my huge stash of free CC is actually starting to diminish for the first time in ages. Of course, simply making all the new items expensive also helps.

I remember when Treek came out back in the day, a dev commented on Twitter that this made them huge amounts of money... Note that the Chrome White/Metallic Gold dye bundle costs as much as two and a half Treeks, and it's a one-time consumable. Well, I hope it makes them good money and that Broadsword will invest it back into the game.

Pictured below, from left to right: my trooper's Rakata gear dyed Chrome White and Metallic Gold, the Battlefield Commander set dyed the reverse way (Metallic Gold and Chrome White) and the new Suppression Trooper armour with a secondary light orange dye applied.

There were some bugs. It's kind of funny to me at this point that as a long-time player, I should really know that there are always going to be some bugs on patch day. The devs certainly do, which is why they're always on standby to implement hotfixes after pushing a major patch out. And yet... it's still always a little disappointing to run into an issue that stops you dead in your tracks. Then again, if they fix it quickly enough, hardly anyone even remembers a month later - though I do immortalise some bugs by posting about them I guess. It's a funny cycle.

It didn't help that one of the issues this time around has been game performance, which by its very nature affects a lot of people. It wasn't too bad for me, though I did suffer from abnormal lag and stuttering the first evening, which eventually resulted in a full game crash. The rest of the time I was fine though. Others have had it worse, struggling to even get the game running. The devs are still investigating.

A more harmless bug manifested itself in the new storyline on Republic side, where you're supposed to click on an object in the open world that's somewhat slow to respawn. I say "somewhat" because it must've been one, two minutes tops, which isn't that long in the grand scheme of things, but of course it's a nightmare when there are fifteen players stacked on top of each other, all wanting to click first. Musco was actually spurred on to make another one of his rare forum appearances to clarify that this happened because the tool they use to build these kinds of quests sets this long-ish default timer and they forgot to manually fix it in this instance. They'll look at adjusting the default as well to avoid the problem recurring in the future. Interesting to know!

At the time of writing this, I've played through the main storyline once on both factions; I haven't looked into the Lane Vizla story yet. Still, I've got lots of thoughts already, which I'll save for a long story review post as usual. The only thing I'll say for now is that I appreciated the faction flavour. 7.2 and 7.3 have been exactly the same regardless of what faction you play, so it's nice to be reminded that the Republic and Empire exist. While the overall storyline is the same in 7.4 too, it's similar to Secrets of the Enclave in the sense that you work with different people on both sides and that makes all the difference to the experience.


GS5 Review: Satele Shan

Patch 7.4 is coming out on Tuesday! Before I jump into playing and writing about all the new content and systems changes that are coming with it, let's wrap up this series about my experience of playing through Galactic Season 5 on different servers. There's only one left and that's Satele Shan.

Of all the servers that I consider my "other" servers (as opposed to my home on Darth Malgus), this was probably the least exciting to play on this season. I gave up on trying to get midbie PvP pops on my Guardian during the server's off-hours and just went back to doing the PvP objectives on my Shadow Zilek, for whom queue pops were almost instant. It wasn't as fun as on the Guardian but still better than I remembered it being immediately after he hit 80. He also dutifully ticked off all other high-level objectives such as killing world bosses or doing dailies, but made no progress on his class story. The character that probably made the most story progress was my Imperial agent Yin, who gained ten levels and got her personal starship.

I also made a new character on Satele Shan for the "complete missions as a smuggler or bounty hunter" objective, a handsome male smuggler who is still on Ord Mantell, but you've got to start somewhere! I'm looking forward to seeing all the other flirt options for smugglers.

My overall legacy level increased by four, from 27 to 31.

Looking at what I've said about the other servers, I think what I'm missing on Satele Shan right now is a guild. This server was actually the first one on which I originally joined a guild, back in Season 2, but it was a random invite and they removed me for inactivity when I took my between-seasons break. After that I didn't want to accept another random invite because it may be a bit silly, but it always makes me a little sad to "lose" a guild one way or another. I suppose I could try my luck with Republic/Imperial Court like I recently did on Leviathan. Alternatively, Intisar reminded me in a comment the other day that the Ootini guilds are also on Satele Shan, so that might be a better option - I assume they are still around even if their guild website appears to have gone AWOL. Either way that's something to worry about for next season.


GS5 Review: Tulak Hord

My Galactic Season 5 experience on Tulak Hord was interesting. When I first started playing there in Season 2 and my trooper reached the fleet, I immediately got roped into helping someone create a guild. I had no particular interest in being in that guild, but neither did I have anywhere else to be, so I stuck around just to see what would happen. What happened was that they tried to recruit for a little while, but then everyone but me and one other guy left.

The only real in-game interaction I recall having with the other remaining member was while levelling, when we once ended up on the same team in a lowbie arena match. Other than that we were rarely even online at the same time, though when we were, he asked me to invite a few more of his alts into the guild, which I did. It basically seemed to become his personal alt storage guild, and I was simply allowed to be in it as well. At the end of last season, I noticed that he'd even purchased a guild ship at some point.

When I first blew the dust off my Tulak Hord trooper at the start of Season 5, I noticed that my "guild buddy" hadn't logged in for a couple of weeks. Looking at my rank, I thought that I'd accidentally deposed him as GM (though I later realised that this hadn't been the case and I had simply got confused by the rank names). I wasn't sure when/if he was going to be back, but I didn't want it to look like I was trying to steal "his" guild... so I decided to change the guild message of the day to something like: "Just let me know if you want GM back!" (in German of course) and left it at that. I felt rather tickled when I logged in a few days later to find that it had been updated with a response from the other guy, telling me that he was still around, but on a break to play Diablo IV.

In practice I was on my own for the whole season though... the guild ship gave me an idea, however. A small yield invasion only requires earning five hundred thousand Conquest points in a week - which is easily doable for a single person if they put their mind to it, especially with some bonuses unlocked - so why not earn Conquest rewards with my seasons gameplay as well?

Last season I noted that I was struggling a bit on Tulak Hord because my gameplay experience was too similar to what I was doing on Leviathan, seeing how I'd started on both servers at the same time and levelled up in similar ways. However, this new, added Conquest adventure on Tulak Hord gave me new purpose. No longer was I just there to get my seasons objectives, I also needed to earn some Conquest points while I was at it to hit the weekly guild Conquest target.

I suppose you could say that I just added extra work for myself by doing that, but it really wasn't that much extra effort... I just had to make sure to pop a reputation token every day and to also do other simple daily objectives such as giving a companion gift or raising a crew skill, and this did wonders for my engagement. I felt like I was finally making some real progress with my legacy, and even finished chapter one of my trooper's class story at last (because doing story missions isn't bad for Conquest either).

It was an odd sort of experience... and certainly not as satisfying as actually having some company, but it did help mix things up a bit. It also pushed my legacy from level 25 to 31, though this was also aided a bit by me playing my inquisitor on Imp side a bit more and earning another fifteen levels on her. Finally, I also made a brand new little bounty hunter (for the "complete 15 missions as X origin story" objective, as mentioned in my previous post) so now I'm only missing a knight or warrior for a complete "seasons set".


GS5 Review: The Leviathan

Galactic Season 5 on my secondary servers has been a season of lateral expansion more than vertical progress, which is my way of saying that I made a lot of new alts. Mostly I did this to be able to cover more ground whenever the "complete 15 missions as x origin story" objective comes up. I actually think that I got all variations of the objective covered now except that I still need to create either a Jedi knight or a Sith warrior on Tulak Hord.

On Leviathan, this initiative resulted in the creation of two new Imperials: Chatoh the Sith inquisitor/Assassin and Blegun the Imperial agent/Operative. Both are male characters as well, which continues my experimentation with exploring that side of the game for the first time. They are only level nine and eleven respectively, but that'll be something to work on next season. I am pleased with their outfits already, which actually influenced my class choice, as they were both gear sets that I got out of season reward boxes and figured I wanted to do something with.

My "main" on Leviathan, my knight/Sage Fangirl, didn't really make any story progress this season, though I did clean up a few more side quests on earlier planets that I hadn't done yet. Specifically, I finally managed to finish the Nar Shaddaa bonus series and most of Taris.

The bonus series have turned out to be strangely painful and buggy in general. Ages ago there used to be an issue where it was possible for people to pick up and complete certain exploration missions that were part of a a bonus series before they were actually on the correct step of the overarching chain, and if you did that, your bonus series was basically borked forever. To fix that, the devs turned the planetary bonus series into weekly repeatables and made the individual missions daily repeatable, so even if you did mess up and did things out of order, you could always come back the next day after the individual missions had reset and continue then. Sounds nice enough, right?

Except there now seems to be a new kind of bug where if you stop a bonus series at a certain point and then come back the next day, it won't work. As in, it will say something like "complete the mission for NPC X" but that NPC just won't talk to you, not today and not for the entire rest of the week. I encountered this both on Nar Shaddaa and on Tatooine and was very disheartened to find nobody else talking about this bug, as any related searches just led me to the old issue from years ago. I just took away from it that if I'm going to do any planetary bonus series going forward, I need to be willing to complete the entire thing that same day, or I'll risk having it bug out and having to start over from scratch.

My character that made the most story progress on Leviathan this season was my bounty hunter/Vanguard Chonkov. To be fair, he's still on Balmorra and level 34, but he also got started on the original Revan storyline. On that occasion I also learned that you can apparently pick up the story missions for those and queue for the flashpoints on veteran mode two levels earlier than you can pick up the solo mode missions, which struck me as quite odd.

Anyway, my overall progress on Leviathan saw my legacy advance from level 24 to 28. It also occurred to me that with how much being guilded increased my overall enjoyment of playing on other servers, that it would be nice to find a guild on Leviathan as well... but the language is an issue of course. I joked with my guildies that we should band together to create a guild called "Just for Seasons" or something... but interestingly, I found out while playing on Shae Vizla of all places that something like that actually already exists. Or rather, I don't know if the guild is meant to be "just" for seasons, but their ad acknowledged doing seasons on multiple servers as a thing and that they could offer you a home on all of them. It's called Republic/Imperial Court, so I looked it up on Leviathan, and while there was only one person online at the time, they were happy to invite me, so we'll see whether that'll do anything for me next season.


A Week of APAC Adventure

The Shae Vizla server has now been out for a week, and its first weekly reset has come and gone. At the time of writing this, I'm up to about 24 hours /played on there, which is quite a lot considering I've been working full-time as normal and also doing other things. Before the first reset I'd accumulated over a million personal Conquest points despite of only having a stronghold bonus of 15% (from claiming my free Nar Shaddaa stronghold and nothing else).

Levelling is always good for Conquest, but I think most of my points actually came from PvP, as I completed both the warzone and the arena weekly twice on the same character, something I don't think I'd ever done before. I've just been having so much fun with the lowbie PvP. It's always been my favourite bracket, but at the same time it's also the one that sees the least activity on the other servers nowadays, meaning that it pretty much only pops during prime time of whatever the server's time zone is.

On Shae Vizla on the other hand, the vast majority of the population is still low level right now and doesn't have a choice but to queue in that bracket, plus the server is in the unique position of currently attracting players from all over the globe for that "new server smell", meaning queues are popping quickly all around the clock (though I haven't tried playing during Australian night time yet). It's simply delightful.

It's also been fun to watch the guild I'm in (Heroes of the Republic/Empire, founded by Kal from Today in TOR) thrive and grow. The guild bank is effectively not functional yet due to the withdrawal wait timer the devs added when they introduced the trade tax a few months ago, but getting a guild ship felt like a matter of urgency to start earning Conquest rewards.

I remember when guild ships were first added, I wrote a post called "Want a guild ship? Hope you got 50 million lying around". Back in 2014 that seemed like a pretty steep price, but with how much inflation there's been since then, I could single-handedly afford a hundred guild ships without breaking a sweat.

On a brand new server though, where every credit has to actually be generated through gameplay from scratch and people have a lot of expenses to begin with, things are not as simple. Even with the cost of guild ships having been dramatically reduced to only eight million credits recently, that still wasn't a number a single person starting fresh could just pull out of their pocket in week one, so Kal solicited donations/loans (he said he'd pay people back with interest) from the guild membership to speed things up. Thankfully everyone was feeling very excited and generous, so both the Imperial and the Republic guild were able to fund their guild ship and invade a planet in time for the first week of "proper" Conquest. At the time of writing this, it looks like the Imperial guild is set to win first place on the large yield target, and the Republic guild might win first place on the small yield planet.

Other guilds haven't been slacking either, with the large yield scoreboard being completely filled up already (showing ten active guilds) and three guilds competing for medium and small yield currently. It makes sense that larger guilds would get there first, but I'd expect a number of smaller guilds to also be able to afford guild ships after the first few weeks.

It's definitely going to be interesting to monitor activity on this server over time. Right now everyone's excited because it's the new place to be, but it does feel like even beyond its purpose of serving as a new home for APAC players, there's also a real chance of establishing it as a unique space where players from all regions come together. However, over time many will probably feel the pull of returning to focusing on their legacy on their main server. I suspect the first real litmus test is going to be the release of 7.4, when people will want to see the new story on their mains.

Of course there's also the option of opening up transfers, but I also think the devs will want to be careful with not doing that too quickly so as not to kill the mood. It's going to be a challenging balance to strike between preserving the fresh start excitement as long as possible and not losing too many players to inertia pulling them back to their old homes.


GS5 Review: Star Forge

The surprise launch of the Shae Vizla server has (understandably) been hogging a lot of my attention, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been up to anything else. As it happens, the devs hardly could have timed things any better for me personally, as last week was also the week I hit season level 100 on Star Forge, Leviathan, Tulak Hord and Satele Shan (in that order) - meaning I'm now freed up to focus on wrapping up the last couple of achievements on Darth Malgus and... sure, why not start from scratch on a brand-new server as well?!

But first, let's review what I achieved on the other servers during Season 5, starting with Star Forge. At the end of last season, I got all my characters invited to fellow blogger Intisar's little guild. I had no great expectations surrounding this; I just wanted them to be housed somewhere where I could trust I wouldn't be kicked for inactivity when I stopped playing between seasons. And I knew that due to time zone differences, my actual interactions with other guildies were always going to be limited.

That said, things turned out better than I expected in that regard. First off, I'd completely forgotten what a difference it makes to actually earn guild Conquest rewards every week, so that was pleasant from a practical point of view, but I also got to see more of my new guildies than I'd initially anticipated. I joined their Discord and said hi, followed the daily conversations there, and one time when I stayed up until silly o'clock in my time zone on a weekend, I even got to join them for one and a half operations (finishing off Dread Master Styrak on vet mode, followed by a full Eternity Vault on the same difficulty setting). When Intisar asked me whether I was sufficiently geared to raid I immediately replied in the affirmative, but I've got to admit the difference in output at gear level 330 compared to my main's 339 was very noticeable. I actually had to work for it!

There was also another time when I was invited along to a casual run hosted by Swtorista, where I got to kill Xenoanalyst on 16-man, the two Gree open world bosses, and the Coruscant world boss. It's not much in the grand scheme of things, but compared to never really having any meaningful interactions on the secondary servers, it felt like a massive improvement that made me feel more grounded and happy to be playing there.

In terms of progression, my Sorc/Shadow Shintoo was once again the character that got the most done, as I played through the Onslaught base story on her to get access to the Onderon dailies and tick Objective Meridian off my weekly objectives list one time. I also completed the Eternal Championship on her, something that hadn't even really registered with me as something that I had access to on a boosted character. It wasn't until Intisar asked in guild chat whether I and another guild member needed help with the Championship for seasons that it hit me that I could indeed just go and recruit Yuun and Bowdaar to unlock access to that feature. So I did that, and promptly got the Cybernetic Rancor mount out of it.

My Commando main on this server didn't get to do much this season other than come along to ops, though she finally finished Voss (except for the bonus series), which means she's at least approaching the end of her class story by now. Maybe I'll get there by the end of Season 7...

I don't think I did a significant amount of PvP this season, which is also why my trooper's gear rating didn't really increase, as she's mostly in Thyrsian gear and I didn't earn enough commendations to upgrade it any further (plus I couldn't be bothered to try and swap it out for Noble Decurion either).

Overall I gained five legacy levels, which brings me up to legacy level 45 on Star Forge. Not long now until I hit that cap as well! Would be funny if I got there before finishing even a single class story...


Liabilities of Taris

Last week I wrote a post about my experiences with the Hotblooded on Hoth seasons objective. There was actually another weekly objective that week that I wanted to talk about, namely the "Liabilities of Taris" one.

I'm generally fond of the "Liabilities" objectives that ask you to kill named champion mobs across the galaxy. I remember back when I was new to the game, I always got excited when I encountered a named champion mob out in the world. There were no achievements yet back then, but even so I was always intrigued. Was it going to have any special abilities? Would it drop anything unusual? Sadly, the answer was almost always no to both of these questions. And while I don't think that everything in the game world has to serve some deep purpose, I did kind of wonder sometimes just what the point of giving these unique mobs names was if that was all they had.

The devs did add achievements for some of them later, but still... you can only get those once, so it's been nice to have a reason to seek these named mobs out again every now and then. One champion I particularly enjoyed revisiting last week was Maltok, a named rakghoul on Imperial Taris that had been memorable to me for actually having a couple of unique abilities, such as repeatedly summoning swarms of small adds. I found him so challenging and interesting when I first encountered him back in 2014 that I recorded myself soloing him on my bounty hunter Powertech and uploaded the video to YouTube.

At least one of the multiple times I killed him last week was interesting in a similar way, namely when I fought him on my Vanguard bounty hunter on Leviathan. Imperial Taris is recommended for levels 32-36 but said character had only just hit 31 that week (and I didn't have an Imp any higher on that server). With how quickly you level nowadays, it had been ages since I found myself going up against any mobs actually higher level than me, so I wasn't even sure how viable that was nowadays. I tried my hand at a pack of level 33 flappers and they died easily enough, just a bit more slowly than usual. Nothing like Classic WoW where taking on an opponent several levels above you would result in an endless series of missed attacks.

I was still a bit nervous when I charged Maltok, as he was level 36 and nobody else was around at the time, but I did it! I blew all my cooldowns including multiple adrenals and my heroic moment, and after seven minutes or so he was down. I hadn't felt that excited to be soloing a champion in a while.

Coming up against one of the featured champions on my own turned out to be a rare occurrence however, as pretty much everywhere else they were being hunted to extinction. It wasn't unusual for me to arrive at a spawn location and find no mob, but three or four other players already waiting for it to respawn. These little parties could actually be quite amusing, as people would start emoting or cracking jokes about why the mob wasn't there after a while.

"He's scared because he can see us waiting!"
"Must have been patched out by accident."
"I think he overslept!"

It was just a silly little thing that reminded me that "down time" in an MMO doesn't always have to be a bad thing, even when some of the respawns took a bit too long for my liking.

Finally, it also highlighted to me that I'm glad that SWTOR Spy is still around (even though the site appears to not have been updated in almost a decade), simply because it's still the only fan site that has a full list of all the named champions with detailed directions. The site's age is really starting to show by now though, as the thumbnails display at about the size of a stamp on a modern monitor.

Addendum: While double-checking the above to make sure I wasn't missing anything, I realised that Illeva actually does also have a more "modern" guide to all these champions' locations, it's just that the pages are all named after their associated achievements, so they never come up as the top result when googling for a specific mob by name.


Enjoying the New Server Smell on Shae Vizla

There are about a dozen different MMO-related things I'd like to be doing right now, but I just had to make some time for checking out the launch of the new APAC server. I started by securing my name on a trooper, but then began levelling a Sith warrior instead, simply because one of the weekly seasons objectives was to complete fifteen missions as that origin story. I named her Apacella, which I thought was quite a clever pun for the occasion. In no rush to level up quickly but still keen to play, I made it to level 13 in my first play session.

I got myself invited to Kal's guild on Empire side but also kept general chat open - something I usually don't do - because I wanted to see what people were talking about on the server's first day. There was some silliness going on, but no real toxicity that I could see. Mostly people seemed to be talking about what a strange experience it was to start from scratch again and to have no legacy perks, whether this experience made them miss their legacies or filled them with nostalgia.

I was somewhat ahead of the pack in that sense as I already got to wrestle with that particular sensation early last year, when I started from scratch on Tulak Hord and Leviathan. Still, at this point my legacies on those servers are at least moderately progressed too, so being back to square one on Shae Vizla was certainly a noticeable shift again. Killing that gold k'lor'slug in the blood pool at level nine was a proper life-or-death battle that I only won very barely - same with soloing the Korriban heroics later.

I also had to resist the urge to open my mail initially, since I did not have a stronghold yet that I could travel to and use to dump all my freebies in my legacy cargo hold. I figured that the ancient promotion that granted the Nar Shaddaa stronghold for free to everyone who was a subscriber at the launch of Galactic Strongholds (or something like that) doesn't apply on Shae Vizla, but I did see later on that it showed up as available for free on the stronghold directory; I just had to actually go there and activate it. Either way I opted to sort out my mail and bags once I got to the fleet.

I queued for my first PvP match at level ten, something I'd usually never do because of just how low-level and weak you are that early on... but I figured hey, the server is brand new and we're all low-level and weak, so why not. I certainly didn't feel like I was doing particularly worse than anyone else and it was good fun. I even did some arenas and the matches felt pretty balanced, with no twinks AoE-stunning everyone with grenades and nobody getting salty about losing.

Another thing that was really interesting to me was Conquest. Since there haven't been any fresh servers since launch, I hadn't considered how that system would function on a brand-new server. Since there are no established guilds yet, the Conquest leaderboard is currently completely empty as nobody has the funds to buy a guild ship yet - though even if they did, nobody's Conquest points contribute towards the guild score in their first week of joining, so it's literally impossible for any guild to score points this week. It'll be interesting to see who'll be the first ones to actually launch a guild ship invasion after the next reset.

For now I'm up to level 24, though I'm still not even done with Korriban as a lot of my XP came from doing random things like PvP or joining a world boss group. We killed the world bosses on Dromund Kaas and Balmorra for example and I levelled up twice from the insane XP payouts. The Balmorran world boss also nearly wiped us, because it turns out that a full raid group of piddly dpsers takes a lot of damage and we barely had enough healing going around. Truly, everything's an adventure again.


New APAC Region Server Launching TODAY!

We've known for a while that the SWTOR team had been toying with the idea of opening a new Asia Pacific server, ever since they tested the concept while getting ready for the move to Amazon Web Services earlier in the year. What I didn't expect was to wake up to a news post this morning announcing that the new APAC server - called Shae Vizla like its earlier test incarnation - was in fact going to launch today. When I came home from work in the evening, it was already open. Talk about keeping mum until the last second!

Technically it's "early access" for subscribers today, but tomorrow it will already be fully open to everyone. It's exciting times for our friends from down under who've had to suffer from bad ping ever since the last set of APAC servers were shut down back in 2013. I'm sure content creators Kal and XamXam (both Aussies) are over the moon.

But honestly, it's an exciting day for the whole community. The last time SWTOR added a new server was back in 2012 - since then it's been nothing but consolidations. So this is basically the first time the community as a whole has been able to experience something akin to a "fresh start" server (aside from the original launch), and I think many players will be treating it that way. Even if the ping for those of us not in the APAC region won't be great, if you're not aiming to play high-end content it shouldn't really be an issue, and there isn't really any reason not to join the fun of launch week at least. For Galactic Seasons altoholics like me it also means one more server to complete the seasonal track on, even if there's only a limited amount of time left in Season 5.

To have everyone start on (mostly) even footing, character transfers are disabled for now, though store boosts are still available. It'll be interesting to see what the GTN on Shae Vizla will be like to begin with, without anyone sitting on billions of credits hoarded over the course of the last decade. Later down the line, transfers are supposed to get enabled though, which makes sense as I'm sure many APAC players will be keen to move their existing legacies over.

Anyway, I don't have much more to say other than that this is surprising and great. There's a whole event schedule with people streaming, holding giveaways etc. which you can check out here. Let's all enjoy basking in those good vibes for the moment!


Hotblooded on Hoth

 ... is the name of a weekly seasons objective that asks you to kill the two world bosses on Hoth, Gargath and Snowblind. It's an easy 12-pointer if you're in a guild, plus killing these particular bosses also counts towards other goals you might potentially have, such as completing the weekly world boss quest, recruiting Qyzen Fess into your Alliance, or progress towards the Aratech Coral speeder, which (among other things) requires you to kill both of these bosses three times each.

If you're not in a guild, or just can't make your guild's usual time for these sorts of events, things are a bit trickier, though not as bad as they used to be. Thanks to shared tagging, it's viable to just kind of loiter in the area, and then simply join the fight once a proper group comes along, even if they're of the opposite faction.

Sometimes that works well, but other times it just takes forever for an actual group to show up. It seemed like a solid plan to me last week to just hang out next to each world boss with the game minimised, tabbing back in every so often to make sure I didn't get logged out for being AFK, but otherwise simply doing something else on the side while keeping an ear out for sounds of battle or other players approaching.

However, doing this on four servers, I spent literal hours just staring at Snowblind and Gargath's butts (even if it was intermittent), and it honestly got a bit demotivating after a while, especially since getting in on one kill was no guarantee that you'd get in on the same group killing the other world boss as well, in which case the camping process would have to start all over again.

I spent so much time stalking Gargath that I learned that he only moves if you get too close to him, specifically a distance of less than 67 meters. As soon as he's further away from players than that, he stops and just stands still. The more you know!

Another useful lesson I learned was that most pugs seem to be doing the bosses in reverse order compared to how I'm used to doing them. My usual M.O. when I'm leading a guild group is to simply go left to right from the Republic base, which means Gargath first and Snowblind second. However, every time I caught a group killing Gargath while lurking, I would rush to Snowblind's hunting grounds right afterwards (which are a looong trip from the nearest Republic base) just to find nothing but his corpse there.

Initially I thought that I was simply too slow getting there, but at one point a group at Snowblind threw me an invite, and they immediately told me that they were going to go do Gargath right after. That was on Leviathan, where I also learned that they apparently call Gargath "Titi" there - or at least the leader of that group did. Silly French people!

Anyway, once I changed my strategy to camping Snowblind first and then rushing to Gargath (who has a quick travel point much closer to his spawn) I started to have better luck with getting both kills in one go.

The other thing I found myself thinking about was that it's a bit of a shame to have cross-faction tagging but no ability to actually work together. Once I was waiting at Snowblind on a Commando healer, and a small group of Imps decided to pull the boss. I joined in to help out with dps, but of course my damage as a healer was nothing to write home about. I noticed that they had no healer though! However, me throwing down kolto bombs did nothing for them due to the faction barrier separating us. Eventually they wiped and I was in fact the last person standing, until the boss took me out too. As much as I think SWTOR's faction conflict is crucial to the narrative, in that moment it just seemed a bit dumb that my kolto wasn't working on them. (Though at least one of the Imps respecced to healer after that and they were able to successfully kill it on the next try.)