Once Upon a DvL Event

Can you believe that it's been three years since Bioware announced SWTOR's big Dark vs. Light event? Two days ago Dr. SWTOR polled people on Twitter about what they ended up doing with all the characters they had to create for this event, and the poll results seem to indicate that most players either abandoned or outright deleted them. However, I wasn't the only one who chimed up about missing an option to state that I simply treat them as normal alts now.

This made me think that it would be fun to look back in more detail on what happened to my DvL alts. As a reminder, I took two of the eight through their class story at the time, with the other six levelling purely through flashpoints, PvP and GSF, only doing their class story up to the end of Coruscant/Dromund Kaas in order to get their ship and acquire mobility. As a general rule, the ones on Republic side have received more attention since, simply because I spend much more time playing there, but even there not all alts are equally loved.

My DvL "main" back in the day, Shilu the Scoundrel, on whom I did all the story content achievements such as completing Shadow of Revan and KotFE, as well as all the major group content objectives such as hardmode flashpoints and world bosses, has actually ended up becoming one of only five alts that are all caught up on current content and ready to jump into Onslaught when the time comes.

It's funny because I already had two smugglers that I was quite attached to when I created her, but the fact that I knuckled down and got her through KotFE for the DvL achievement (something I consider a bit of a chore at this point) gave her an edge over the other smugglers from then on in terms of being used for story progression, because I didn't have it in me at the time to go through the whole thing on a second smuggler.

That said, even though she's been my "smuggler story main" for several years now, it's interesting that I still struggle to think of her as my primary smuggler. Checking my /played time, both my old Gunslinger and my first Scoundrel (neither of whom have started KotFE) still have considerably more play time. I do think that the slower levelling process pre-4.0 allowed me to get more attached to characters than the current way of flying through the levels.

Also on Republic side, we have Starberry the Guardian, who was the second to last character I created for the event, but who quickly became a bit of a favourite of mine. I just think that she looks really cute, and playing Guardian tank is super fun. Unfortunately I don't get to tank very often, and even when I do, my Vanguard is still better geared and I'm more comfortable playing her, which forever leads to poor Starberry being sidelined. Though hey, at least I progressed her class story up to Tatooine/Alderaan by now. (Only took me three years...)

The other two Republic characters, Zeresa the Commando and Shin-dow the Shadow, aren't quite as well off. Zeresa still hasn't progressed past Coruscant, while Shin-dow is halfway through both Taris and Nar Shaddaa. Mostly they come out on the rare occasion when a guild run is short on dps for some easy piece of group content, or when I fancy a bit of PvP as a damage dealer.

For the latter I actually prefer playing Commando, as it's quite fun! It's weird to look back at my post about Zeresa's creation and see me complaining about Commando survivability, but that was before the big buff they received in 5.0. As it stands, she's the only dps character I have that makes me feel like I can actually make a dent in an enemy's health in PvP. Shadow is fun for the stealth aspect but I don't like Balance Serenity spec much while not really wanting to respec her either.

A good way to highlight the differences in engagement between Republic and Empire side is (Command) level. All four of the above are level 70 and have been Command rank 300 for a while (if with the help of CXP packs earned by other characters, but it's still telling that I prioritised them as recipients), but on Imperial side none of my four old DvL characters have maxed out their GC ranks, and Cheriza the Juggernaut isn't even level 70 yet.

My favourite over there is undoubtedly my Sniper Corfette, because even though I don't like Sniper gameplay, I loved secretly siding with the Republic at the end of her class story, and ever since this whole loyalist/saboteur thing came into focus on Ossus I've been meaning to make some progress with her as she'd be the perfect candidate to become an Imperial saboteur. I haven't actually got her any further than Rishi yet though.

I'm also quite fond of Shinister the Assassin. Deception is the more fun dps spec for Shadow/Assassin in my opinion, so doing some PvP on her is better for that particular fun fix than using Shin-dow. Only the other day I decided to finally play through her class story on Balmorra and I'd forgotten just how fun some of the inquisitor's lines are... "How do you know I'm not a Colicoid?" Now that I think about it, it's been a long time since I last played through the inquisitor story, so maybe I should give her some more love on that front.

Shi-rah the Merc and Cheriza the Jugg are honestly the least loved of the lot. Shi-rah only hit level 70 last week when I took her to Dantooine on a whim, and Cheriza hasn't had anything to do since 2016 other than a handful of PvP matches and that one time I took her along to a casual guild operation on Imp side. Still, I don't see that as a sign of not caring - after all there are only so many hours in the day, even fewer of them are free time, and I have so many alts to play!

The point is that I do not value these alts any less for having been created during the DvL event. That said, I think that the ease and speed of levelling since 4.0 has generally made it harder for me to get attached to any alts created since then. You just don't spend enough time getting a feel for what you'd like their characters to be or how to play them, and there are fewer opportunities for memorable moments to occur that would make you feel more invested in them.


  1. It's funny. I can't even remember which toon I did my little bit of DvL on. I'm going to have to figure out just who it was, now. :chuckle

    The whole event was more grindy than I wanted to commit to at the time. Of course, after the fact, I wished I had done more, but it is ok that I didn't. I was a bit irritated that Master Ranos had dialog about the force-using companions, but since we got the other one with the same dialog I can be satisfied with that.

  2. I know I did some DvL on your server, but I've kind of adopted them as my "mains" for the time being. Of course, I kind of prefer goofing around on the vanilla SWTOR planets these days, but I did get about 3 or 4 of the original storylines complete.

    As a matter of pride, I never gave them silly names. Well, except for Lardassan.

    1. Yes, I chose his name for the heavyset Trooper I'd created.

  3. I'm like you Shintar - somewhere in between. I've kept every character, but none have finished their class story, even to this day.

    I tried to mix up the classes that I leveled to make things interesting and also to make sure I could easily complete some objectives (like all HM FPs) to get to Legacy level.

    For Republic I had the following:
    A Sentinel. Though she was my second one (first was my first toon), she became my primary one since she was in my current guild at the time. Since I had seen the Knight story, she finished Coruscant and then levelled in FPs. I used this toon to learn Focus/Concentration spec, but then I switched her to combat because of the previous advantage of DPS at endgame. I felt that Focus was better on a Guardian (or at least I was better with focus on a guardian). At this point, she is my 3rd or 4th alt.

    A Sage. I rolled this one so I could heal through most HM FPs. I had a sage on another server that reached L50, but didn't have one where I ran DvL. She made it through Voss before starting shadow of Revan etc. I guess I now consider her my main alt. She completed all story before 4.0 and is at command rank 300 now.

    A Commando. I had started a commando healer on another server, but ran into some frustration while levelling as a dps, so I started again and made this guy a healer. He's my second healer behing my sage listed above. He made it to 70 and command rank 300.

    A Gunslinger. I hadn't rolled one before and my other smuggler is a Scoundrel (unfortunately also largely negelcted these days). I learned that I don't like gunslinger gameplay much, so this guy made it through Taris and Nar Shaddaa before hitting level 50. He made it to 70 and command rank 300, but mostly by abusing the life day event and throwing snowballs to get CXP.

    On Empire side I had the following:
    A Juggernaut. This was my second juggernaut and after finishing chapter 1 of her class story, I used her to finsh the HM FP section of DvL since I had a full set of 224 tank gear. Blood Hunt was awesome! Now, unfortunately, she's mostly neglected.

    An Assassin. Didn't have one of these already, so I tried something different. I was swapping her from tank to dps and eventually settled on DPS for all of 4.0. Now, unfortunately, she's mostly neglected.

    A Mercenary. This was my second bounty hunter and the toon I completed KOTFE with for DvL. Since then, I've levelled her to 70, but not done a lot more. I went back and worked through master mode chapter with her since Mercs are now a little OP when it comes to defensive cooldowns.

    A Sniper. This guy made it through Dromund Kaas and then levelled in FPs. I had debated using him for my 100% completion Imperial playthrough. But once 5.0 hit, he made it to command rank 300 for the achievement and has sat since (I really don't enjoy sniper/slinger gameplay).

    All still around. I guess in 6.0 I'll level several of them to 75, possibly through class stories.

    1. That's quite an exhaustive explanation and indeed remarkably similar to my own! Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. Wow, now I feel doubly nostalgic -- I miss DvL, and I miss life during DvL.

    Most of DvL was the Highest Point of my swtor-playing. I was in a very, very, very active guild in Imp-side (though my heart was in the Republic, I never had such a big or active guild there back then) and a small guild on Pub side that I loved each and every person in it to bits. I was working with 2 progression raid teams (one each side), and my pub-guild had a Gin'n'Giggles run on Friday nights that were just a blast.

    It's funny to think of it now, but I was already in one of the teams when DvL kicked in, and we were having trouble dps-ing what we needed, so I got asked, kindly, if I would consider respeccing? Serenity's ever so cool, but when you have all dps as DoT spec... I was uncomfortable with it, because I wouldn't have had the time to figure out the spec, so I decided that before commiting to the change, I would use my DvL main character to learn Infiltration.

    ... Never looked back, really. I still like Serenity, but the DeVs don't, and it's often sidelined and made less efficient, specially for raiding.

    All because I had decided I was going to start DvL by making an Assassin -- It's worth saying that I hadn't finished my Legendary Status long by then, and I didn't have that many alts. Basically I had one for each class, all in alternating Sub-classes, such as Sentinel/Jugg (apart from having heals for both Agent and Smuggler). I had, however, figured that I didn't enjoy sorc that much, so, I wanted an assassin and DvL was the perfect opportunity.

    My main was a shadow named Adsartha; so my Assassin was a what-if-she-got-enslaved-instead-of-sent-to-the-Jedi, same face, same everything, except I used purple-eyeshadow-makeup instead of brown one and the hair was pink rather than natural ginger. I named her, smartly, Ad'sar'tha. Just, you know, because I needed to do something.

    Ad'sar'tha ended up being my main raider until I quit SWTOR around the following January. She was fun to play with, and she was the character that did her class story, SoR, Ziost, KOTFE and has been at it since because I didn't finish my star forges. She was also the character I was on when I finally finished my last DvL achievement and won all those crates. I remember my last item was HM Korriban Incursion, which I finished with guildies that weren't even doing DvL (just helping), at 3 AM, throughly exausted, around mid-September.

    Currently, she's sitting on Imp Fleet, and never got much of a CXP after I quit in 2017. I care for her... But I also associate her with a lot of toxic stuff that happened towards the end there before I quit, so I hardly ever log into her.

    Besides that, I rolled another Merc BH, Enmyria, who's a level 70 in Balmorra; Ei'ra The femme-fatale Agent, still at level 65, still shipless, and a Jugg I deleted and have no memory of. I did play considerably on impside, then, but I just kept my original characters, whom I had done class story in, and thefore cared about. My original Sorc being the exception, as she has been parked in the Fleet datacron since a little before DvL.

    On pub-side, however, things played quite differently. Instead of getting rid of my DvL toons, I deleted my original ones. My first Knight was a sentinel... Which I never adapted to. I finished class story, hating every second of playstyle, and deleted her (can't even rememeber her name...). Later, I rolled for DvL a Miralian Guardian named Mi'thyan, who's still my main knight, and a crafter to boot. I still don't feel it's as good as my jug, but she's great fun. I ran her until Nar Shadaa... And gave up (Knight story wasn't my cup of tea, and I couldn't rememebr what type of knight she was, so...). I just went ahead and rolled in KOTFE, currently on chapter 5.

    1. Same happened to my Trooper -- I had originally ran with a Vanguard tank, but the whole needing to SHOOT at a 10m range just breaks the suspension of disbelief for me, so off-to-the-nothingness went my Twi'lek vanguard, and from the flames of DvL came my Zabrak Commando, E'lena. I did the whole story on E'lena too, and she's currently somewhere in SoR. Both of them are on 75, sharing a set of 300 gear because I'm still working on gearing in my main, let alone on alts. The last ones were a TK sage, Lady Morgana, who was supposed to look a bit like Katie McGrath and is a Dark Side Consular -- lots of fun, but she hasn't finished chapter 3 yet. We're up to Voss, I believe. As a crafter, she saw her share of playing, and I ran her story while crafting for conquest. Once I got it, off I went to other toons. Iz'ölde was the last one I rolled and last one I levelled, a (nother) healing scoundrel, but a stunning Sith Pureblood. She hasn't even hit 60... And is the only character still on my original Pub guild. She was supposed to be my main for 5.0 (we were organising things so I'd switch to heals and the healer to dps), and I decided I wanted a whole new healer for that, which was Iz's fate. Alas, when the whole CXP and who it'd work was finally revealed, the whole group voted on quitting SWTOR, and she was left as she was, a mute reminder of what never was (poetic, lol). So as 5.0 rolled in, I was basically 100% off Pubside, and when I came back to playing in late 2017, I couldn't work on her. It's sentimental, but it's also... Yeah. Again, it's a character I care about for reasons beyond their own story and that has suffered accordingly.

      I think what I miss the most from DvL is just the people I used to run with, the fun we had, and how much time I had to play, but I also took some nice characters with me, and even better memories -- which, in the end, is what really does matter.

      PS: damn, i wrote too much, feel free to ignore, I just got all mushy thinking about it!

    2. Have you ever considered starting your own blog? ;)

    3. No need to apologise, it was meant to be an honest question! Quite a few bloggers started their careers as prolific commenters on other people's blogs, until they decided that they might as well start their own thing.

    4. Do not give me ideas hahaha


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