Six Years of SWTOR Blogging

With six years of SWTOR come six years of me blogging about it. As usual I'd like to take this as an opportunity to look back on the past year and what I've been up to and writing about.

My post count has been down considerably compared to last year, largely due to me changing position at my place of employ, which resulted in a lot less free time for me. Still, I'm hoping that this isn't a situation that will go on forever. Also, at least I still achieved numbers comparable to past years - I had been more prolific than usual in 2016, which made it a hard year to live up to.

Anyway, January didn't start off too great, with me still feeling the effects of early Galactic Command and then feeling seriously let down by both Bioware and the community when it came to the subject of exploits. On the plus side however, I appeared on a podcast for the first time and tried my hand at KotET's veteran mode. That second chapter was not a pretty affair. KotET also inspired me to once again write a chapter-by-chapter review of the expansion, and I got excited to hear the announcement that a new operation was coming. (Ouch, I had forgotten that we first heard about this back in January. Makes it all the more disappointing that it still hasn't been released in full.)

At the start of February I was still feeling the blues a bit and wrote an opinion piece/guide on which classes suit the KotFE/KotET story best, which blew up unexpectedly after getting linked on reddit. The news of a new operation being worked on got me musing about the point of raiding in SWTOR and in general. I was also pleased that Bioware finally listened to a certain minority of players of which I am a part and returned the option to turn off double XP events in the game.

March started with me hitting the initially elusive-seeming Command rank 300 and not being all that excited about it in the end. The Cartel Market caused controversy with an expensive lightsaber and I held another giveaway, this time of in-game items instead of Cartel Coins. I also finished KotET's veteran mode (fortunately nothing else was as bad as chapter two had been) and said farewell to the Sith Emperor.

In April I participated in Developer Appreciation Week by sharing how my not-at-all gaming-related job has nonetheless changed my perception of MMO development. (It's also changed my view on finance and marketing since then... but maybe that's something to talk about during next year's DAW.) I mused on the importance of NPCs in MMOs and completed KotFE on veteran mode (not nearly as bad as KotET). I shared first impressions of Iokath when it launched and moaned about the grindiness of companion influence.

May saw a big change in the form of Keith Kanneg, who had been appointed the game's producer the month before, treating us to a road map, something we hadn't seen in years. I also looked backwards and mused whether people would actually like to go back to a previous version of SWTOR. I started my Pugging with Shintar video series, and I got caught up in trying to save the grophets from disintegration.

In June, SWTOR was part of a charitable event that EA was holding but which wasn't promoted very much. The Nightlife event made a return after two years and I noticed the subject of server merges getting discussed a lot. (I was not in favour.) I also noted that I got my second character to Command rank 300. (By now I'm up to six.)

In July I randomly hated on Voss and people who go AFK in PvP, finished the Imperial agent story for a third time as a really evil agent, and mused about whether Command XP can possibly continue to work as a system in the long term. I also decided to update my LFG guide from 2014 for 2017 - of course Bioware revamped the group finder only a few months later, immediately making parts of it redundant again.

In August I could proudly announce a second podcast appearance and wondered about why we want certain features to be character-specific and others legacy-wide. I was surprised to find some challenge in levelling my Jedi Sentinel and wrote about both the story and the mechanics of the new Umbara flashpoint.

September started with me finally finishing the Jedi knight story for a second time and pondering the importance of character hair styles. I ran into some interesting surprises while levelling an alt, and went into a bit of a rant about why I think Shadow of Revan is overrated as an expansion, after parts of the community had just declared it their favourite expansion ever when this subject made the rounds as a discussion topic. That post ended up receiving a surprising amount of support.

In October server merges were announced, I decided that Imps are the better players but also kind of mean, and I pondered what kind of personality it takes to be a good tank.

In November I took part in International Picture Posting month again and the announced server merges actually happened. I also attended a community event organised by Swtorista and made a list of all the MMOs I've ever played. Oh yeah, and I also had the gall to say that Galactic Command is much better now than it was at the start of the year, which some people on reddit found hilariously offensive.

Finally, I ended the year with some in-depth analysis of the story and mechanics of the newly released flashpoint A Traitor Among the Chiss, saying farewell to the Galactic Command Window and hello to a new warzone, and finishing my pug levelling series after seven months of regular video creation.

I hope you all had fun with those posts. Onwards to new adventures!

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