02/02/2019

SWTOR's Top Five Worst Planets to Navigate

Thanks to commenter sootnsweep for giving me the idea for this post. I don't think they actually meant to encourage me to make this particular post, but creativity works in weird ways. Thanks for the inspiration anyway.

#5 - Zakuul

Some of you might be raising your eyebrows at this one, thinking something along the lines: "Zakuul barely even qualifies as a planet, how confusing can it be?" Not that confusing, which is why it's only in fifth place, but considering how few open areas it consists of, it's still quite impressive how awkward Bioware managed to make those to navigate.


Look at this screenshot of the landing zone. Do you know where any of those arrows lead to? I've taken the wrong elevator while attempting to get to the last area I was still missing to uncover the full map on more than one occasion. There's also this area near the tram station where I swear I've gone up and down the stairs repeatedly just to watch the quest indicator change its mind about whether I should be going up or down. And despite of having done "To Find A Findsman" on multiple characters by now, there's still always that one part where I initially go the wrong way because the seemingly obvious route ends in a dead end and you actually have to go round the long way.

#4 - Iokath

I bet some of you were waiting for this one. It seems everyone loves to bash Iokath! And I agree that it's pretty underwhelming as a daily area and awkward to navigate.


Still, I couldn't justify placing it any higher on this list because as I expected when it came out, the confusion about where to go for your quests diminishes greatly once you've done the dailies a couple of times, and what with the various teleporters it doesn't take you too long to get to any of the parts of the map that you need to visit to complete your daily round. There's just this one area in the south-east part of the map where you have to follow a pretty annoyingly serpentine path to get to an objective, but at least the related mission is easy to avoid.

#3 - Balmorra

Good old Balmorra. I'm sure everyone will immediately know what I'm referring to with this one. Most of the map isn't too bad, but this planet's problem are the lifts, which are mostly located in and around the Gorinth Canyon. Their problem is that a) they are located in annoying places that never allow you to just go straight from one objective to the next, and b) for some reason some of them aren't in the same places on Imperial and Republic side, so if you switch between factions a lot this can be extra confusing.

The Republic also has this one quest hub for the bonus series in the lower part of the canyon called Moraine Outpost which for some reason still doesn't have a quick travel point to this day, so the fastest way to get there is to QT somewhere else and then take a speeder. Why, Bioware?


Also, there a bunch of broken bridges that tease you with the idea that you could be getting over there much faster if only the bridge wasn't missing a big chunk in the middle. I guess this teaches us that war is bad because broken infrastructure sucks.

#2 - Corellia

Corellia has two simple but persistent problems. The first and minor one is that all its areas look and feel extremely same-y. Except for the park, which I know has the zoo and Lucky in the middle, I couldn't tell you what's where. I still get confused about where to go every time we want to kill the Commander in the Imperial base or whenever I try to find one of the datacrons again. I know how they all work, but just finding the right general area they are in is more of a challenge to me these days than anything else and I usually quickly resign myself to consulting a guide rather than running in circles.


This is because of the second and larger problem, which is that Corellia's roads seem to have been designed with the intent to make the journey between any given points A and B as long as possible. It's pretty much a straight-up labyrinth. The worst thing is that the map can be very deceptive too, showing a path where actually the road leads to the dead end of a building wall or some collapsed bit of masonry prevents you from going any further.

I don't usually like to quote myself but I think I summed it up quite well in this post in which I was talking about levelling my Sniper: "[...] the maps are confusing and you constantly end up being lured into dead ends. There was one point where it took me something like fifteen minutes to find the right way to access one of my quest objectives... and I've been playing this game for nearly five years. FFS, Corellia."

#1 - Nar Shaddaa

I was somewhat torn whether Corellia or Nar Shaddaa should get first place, but I decided to give the award to Nar Shadaa for one simple reason: the Industrial Sector. I'll concede that most of Nar Shaddaa isn't too bad to find your way around, unless you're on a mission that tells you to go from one sector to the next and for some reason the quest indicator keeps telling you to go to the promenade first every time instead of simply pointing at your final destination. The smugglers' moon also suffers from a similar degree of "samey-ness" as Corellia, which always causes me to struggle to remember the datacron locations.

However, the Industrial Sector is the big one simply because it's three-dimensional, which is to say that there isn't a single overview map but that there are various ramps and lifts you have to take in order to navigate between different floors and which will spit you out in surprising locations.


If you know off the top of your head where each of these buttons takes you, I'll call you a liar. In fact, while trying to take this screenshot I initially quick travelled to the wrong place because of course I did, because who can remember what's where down there? And that's with me having gotten a lot better at navigating the area ever since the world boss that's located in a remote corner of the area became a Conquest objective, encouraging frequent visits.

Still, at the end of the day I think I can actually view it as a good thing that this list was relatively easy to come up with. While thinking about it I concluded that most of SWTOR's planets are actually fairly easy to get around on, which made the few exceptions to the rule easy to single out.

15 comments :

  1. Thank you for giving me some peace of mind that it's not me :)
    I mostly agree on your choices, but I'd rate Iokath higher just because it's a lot more relevant at endgame - I think people don't do Nar Shaddaa or Balmorra dailies as much as Iokath by a large margin.

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    1. Well, if we went by that logic then Balmorra and Nar Shaddaa would be no problem at all as the only repeatables on them are heroics and the quick travel items deposit you right in front of the mission entrance for those anyway, without you having to know where places are actually located.

      And it's definitely not just you. :P

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  2. For me it's Belsavis. The prison area is like a maze in places. I have to keep doubling back to get round walls. -_-
    While the mountain areas and the teleporting is just tedious at times. I can't wait to get that planet done with and behind me.

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    1. Hm, I don't find Belsavis too bad these days. It's quite a trip around the houses to get to certain areas, but it's not too confusing. It was really bad back in the day though when the teleporters weren't all on the same network and you basically had to memorise which one could take you where.

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  3. Challenge accepted. :P

    1. Imperial Intelligence Gadget Warehouse: Spits you out in the southern-most part of the first section of the Republic Bonus Area in the Upper Industrial Sector which also contains a Heroic for Imperials. Nearby to the elevator is a named Champion.

    2. Upper Office Atrium: Spits you out just south of where Rusk spawns for his Alert and the mercenary camp which contains two one-time missions and a Heroic for Republic players. Used to be the only elevator which an Imperial could use to access the Warehouse prior to the implementation for the Heroic transports.

    3. High Security Lockdown: Spits you out in the southern-most part of the Imperial prison area which is the final quest-hub for Republic players in all of Nar Shaddaa.

    When it comes to Nar Shaddaa, I still get caught out to this day by two particular Quick-Travel points; the ones relating to the final story area of Nar Shaddaa and the bonus area quest-hub near to R4-GL. I can never remember their names and I always go to the incorrect one whenever I intend to go to the other.

    The name of the Lockdown area is seared into my memory because I really detested it the first couple of times I was there and its acronym, HSL, reminds me of a bloody advert that would crop up every half-hour when my parents watched murder mysteries since the company sponsored several: "HSL: The Chair Specialists".

    I don't know which one I'd cite as my least-favourite planet to navigate overall. Nar Shaddaa certainly has the least useful map, since the only locations which can be accurately discerned from the overal picture without seeing the Quick-Travel or speeder points are the Promenade and the Casinos. Maybe the spaceports as well.

    I'd certainly say that a few planets have at least one area I get lost in a lot but I honestly can't say which one I overall find the most annoying to traverse through.

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    1. I should state that I meant to say "Imperial" when relating to the Quick-Travel points.

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    2. Well, considering this comment was written a day later, you can't really prove that it was "off the top of your head". ;P I also noticed that you didn't answer the Zakuul question.

      Also, I feel that those descriptions only support my point because even if technically correct they are very convoluted and pretty useless to anyone who doesn't already know what you're talking about. On a world of samey-looking tunnels there just aren't enough helpful landmarks.

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    3. I get so lost on Zakuul and haven't got things figured out as much as I have on other worlds, hence why I didn't touch on it since I had nothing to speak against, if that makes sense.

      Oh, I agree it supports your point more than it does disprove it. It was just too good an opportunity to resist. :P

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  4. Once I figured out to look for the roads that went through the buildings Corellia wasn't so bad. Tedious, but it feels like an actual urban area with all the meandering roads.

    I agree about Nar Shaddaa. That area is always confusing if I've been away from it for any length of time. That said, the mess of the areas somehow fits the tangle weave of Nar Shaddaa's politics and story lines. :)

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  5. I am very glad to see Gorinth canyon mentioned in this post, man is that area's design super-annoying.

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  6. Iokath is the worst for me. I have only ever done it in its entirety once. I also have never been back. Maybe I am missing out by not doing it but I just dont see me going back. Tbh Nar Shadaa Balmorra and Corellia I dont mind too much and Zakuul is somewhere else I didn't mind when I was running the relevant content. Now I think about if I am going to go run Iokath again and see what happens .

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  7. I'm surprised Belsavis didn't make it on the list, given there's sections where there's only one opening to get from the top half (Republic side) to the bottom half (Imp side), and if you miss that opening when you're out and about you have to spend a lot of time doubling back. Additionally, the quest direction markers have a bad habit (unlike, say, Hoth) where they'll send Republic players to the zone passage for the Imp players. My first toon --way back before F2P-- learned this the hard way by being basically one shot by the Imp NPCs as I approached the checkpoint into the next zone.

    But Nar Shaddaa, that's the highlight of the Chapter One areas for me. I love that place.

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    1. Seems several people would have put Belsavis on their personal list. But again, I really don't remember having that many issues with it after the initial discovery phase.

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  8. You nailed it, though I cannot really say anything about Iokath. As most here I thought of Belsavis too.

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  9. Put me up for Belsavis too. Just hate the layout of that planet.


    However I actually love Nar Shaddaa and Balmora. The first for the seedy underworld aspect, and not taking long to get from A to B. While the later has the whole frontline on the battlefield experience, especially when you get to the factory area.

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