Five Things To Do Before Onslaught

When I implied in my last post that I haven't really got a plan for how to prepare for the expansion yet, I was kind of lying. I do have a plan, I just haven't really been implementing it just yet. After all, the expansion is still five months away... and that's a long time, right? Or maybe not - better get started! Let me share with you my top five ways of getting ready for Onslaught. Advice and top list in one, what more could you ask for?

1. Finish up those hard achievements

If you weren't around / doing endgame content around the release of the last two expansions, you might not be aware that ever since the introduction of level sync, endgame content levels up with us. So nope, you won't get to give Izax an extra hard smackdown once you're level 75 - because he'll be level 75 too.

In fact, what tends to happen is the opposite of players being able to overpower old content: everything suddenly gets harder again. This happens because of gear inflation in the previous expansion; and due to the length of the 5.x cycle, it's currently more pronounced than ever before. When 5.0 launched, getting a full set of 230 gear already took some work, and 242 was as high as it went.

Since then, Bioware has effectively released three(!) more tiers of gear as well as new and improved augments, without re-tuning any of the existing content around this increase in character power. This means that there has never been a better time to let wildly overpowered gear give you a bit of an edge when it comes to beating particularly tough content, so consider working on those achievements before Onslaught launches. Examples of things you might want to work on are:

- Veteran and master mode ops bosses (though that requires you to find like-minded people who are willing to do them with you)
- Veteran and master mode story chapters
- Eternal Championship achievements

It had previously never occurred to me to even attempt the Sprint Champion achievement for example (complete the entire Eternal Championship in less than 15 minutes), but after thinking about it I realised that if I'm ever going to get it, the time is now and I better start working on it. The first time I ran a stopwatch in the background - while doing the Eternal Championship for the first time in ages, on a class I'd never done it on - that run took me 40 minutes! But I wasn't discouraged; there was a lot of room for me to improve. My most recent time was already down to 20 minutes, plus I got an Iknayid pet and the Cybernetic Rancor as drops from the bosses.

2. Take your character(s) up to and through Ossus

Obviously you should have done this already since Ossus is great, but I'll concede that there are always more alts to work on. This way you'll be ready to jump right into the new story content once it comes out, and if Ossus is any indication, it will actually be fun to play through it on multiple characters!

If you really want to, you can skip a lot of the stuff that comes before to jump straight ahead to Ossus and beyond, but even if you're not that big a fan of KotFE/KoTET, I personally think that it's nice to be able to make your own decisions instead of being saddled with default choices that may or may not reflect what you think your character would have done. That said, actually taking characters through all that content also means that it will take more time, so better get cracking!

Image courtesy of the Clone Wars Wiki

3. Prepare for Nautolans

With the announcement of Nautolans joining the fray as next playable species having been the undisputed fan favourite at Star Wars Celebration, chances are high that you, dear reader, are also thinking about making one. There are actually a fair few aspects to this that you can consider well in advance: what colour you think they should be, what class etc. Maybe you even already have an outfit idea and could go shopping for it? Just keep in mind that the species' big heads will mean no helmets or hoods, and chest pieces with any large protrusions such as spikes or backpacks are likely to result in clipping issues.

If that seems a bit too "RP" for your taste, there is still the name to consider. Trust me, you're not the only one considering some sort of Kit Fisto pun! You might want to make sure that nobody else has already thought of it before you, and depending on how attached you are to the idea, you could even go as far as creating a placeholder character to reserve the name.

Speaking of placeholders, do you have enough spare character slots? In fact, the matter of character slots may be a pertinent question for you even if you're not personally interested in creating a Nautolan, as it's likely to result in some business opportunities if you keep an eye out for cheap unlocks on the Cartel Market and the GTN in the months to come. There's bound to be a spike in demand for them once expansion day comes around.

4. Clear out your bank and spend those currencies

At first this may sound like pretty generic advice and to be fair, it is something I tell Mr. Commando all the time just to have him ignore me (I'm pretty sure that man has a fortune carelessly buried in his cargo hold). However, in this case I'm not just referring to general tidiness. For example crafting materials that are relevant at max level right now are likely to experience a steep price drop once the level cap is raised (though we don't know how exactly the new gearing system is going to work out).

Eric Musco also officially confirmed that both Masterwork Data Crystals and Unassembled Components will go the way of the dodo with Onslaught, and any leftovers will simply be converted into credits. As the conversion rate is likely to be unfavourable, you might as well use them to buy something useful now! With goal number one in mind, there may still be value in trying to get the best gear you can get right now for example, to help you beat those tough fights while you can still acquire that extra edge.

5. Complete any long quest chains you're on

This is less about hard content and more about time-consuming items, such as the various Aratech missions, which require you to complete a whole bunch of flashpoints or several operations. The reason I'd advise people to do this is that I remember at least one expansion where the big patch caused quest progression on all existing missions to reset. This doesn't necessarily have to happen again, but let's just say there is a chance, and I'd rather be safe than sorry (or annoyed that I have to re-start the mission from scratch yet again).


  1. I might be the only one who's not the least bit interested in Nautolans. Give me Nikto or Devaronian or Weequay. I want something that looks tough, not cute.

    1. I think that's the first time I've heard anyone refer to Nautolans as cute!

    2. I'd say most people know Nautolans strictly from the cartoons, which at least to me have a nauseatingly "cute" art style.

  2. Thanks for this Shintar! I've shelved Anthem so it's time for SWTOR again! I have read the gear grind for the latest tier is painfully long, so I'll probably start on my main only for that content. Didn't realize unassembled components are going away!

    1. I had already guessed that they were going to go away, but it was still nice to actually have it confirmed so early. I figure that regardless of how Bioware wants to handle gearing in the new expansion, they'll basically have to wipe the slate clean and start over from scratch. It's just too much of a mess right now. I'm looking forward to finally vendoring all those gear shells that I've been hoarding "just in case" I ever felt like upgrading them!

      The current highest tier of gear, 258, is very grindy indeed, but the one below that isn't too bad in my opinion.

  3. Looking at the Nautolan made me think yet again about how all SW:TOR races are humans with funny heads. Quite a lot of the non-playable races are, too. If it wasn't for the Hutt (and, arguably, the Ugnaught) I'm not sure I'd have seen a non-humanoid sentient race so far.

    There doesn't seem to be any reason for having so few sentient balls of energy or talking rocks as NPCs, unless it's simply that they don't exist in the source material (which, if so, would be very strange) but I do have a couple of ideas why developers might be so unwilling to let non-humanoids be playable. I might work that up into something because it definitely applies to the genre as a whole, not just SW:TOR.

    1. Like you also said in your latest post, I think it's mainly a matter of resources and desirability. It also has to be said though that while the Star Wars universe does contain some wacky aliens, the majority of them is somewhat humanoid (how big that majority is depends on how far you're willing to stretch the definition of humanoid I guess).

      I think this actually makes sense for a somewhat "pulpy" sci-fi universe like this, because it makes it easy to tell straightforward stories. If you've got to take into consideration that rocks and sentient balls of energy are people too, you risk things getting too philosophical and complicated. :)

  4. I'm quite surprised to hear that you haven't completed sprint champion. Yes, it takes a bit of work to compete, but nothing compared to those KotET MM chaptersv you plowed through. Even I managed sprint champion after a few days practice. X-p

    1. To be honest the only time I even thought about it was when the Eternal Championship had just come out, and back then it was pretty hard. Only our very best dpsers were capable of beating the timer back then. I figured it was just going to be out of my reach forever because I suck at playing dps, and then I largely forgot about it.

      The master mode chapters are actually what taught me to be a bit better at dealing damage, as some fights just weren't feasible to do in heal spec. Still, they tended to be more about survivability than dps checks. Different skill set I think.


Share your opinion! Everyone is welcome, as long as things stay polite. I also read comments on older posts, so don't be shy. :)