Onderon Jungle Fight

There is so much great stuff in Onslaught that I want to talk about, but today I have to get one not-so-great thing off my chest.

First off, they changed the way reputations work after seven years: Previously, gaining reputation meant that you were rewarded reputation tokens which you could then consume at your leisure, up to a weekly cap. This meant that if you binged hard on new content during the first week, you could technically save up enough tokens to later max out your reputation over the course of several weeks simply by using them up over time as they came off cooldown. Once you had achieved maximum reputation, you could then vendor any remaining and future tokens for a few extra credits.

In Onslaught, Bioware has effectively done away with this system, and tokens only exist as a technicality. You can see the token icon when you get a quest reward, but it's consumed/the reputation is awarded instantly, and if you're already at the weekly cap you simply don't get anything. I can't help but find this disappointing, as I struggle to see how players are supposed to benefit from this change. It just feels like a cynical move to get people to grind daily areas for longer.

I can't say I'm particularly thrilled to do this on Onderon in particular, because it's a rather odd daily area. It's no Iokath in terms of confusion and inconvenience factor, but for some reason the person who came up with most of the daily missions decided that making lots of quests with minimal instructions that require you to find small clicky things on the ground in a wild, overgrown jungle was a good idea. Needless to say, I don't agree.

This green circle on green grass is actually one of the more visible markers.

It does get a lot better once you know what you're looking for and roughly in what area, but the first time around the full round of dailies took me around two hours on each faction simply because I couldn't find things, and the instructions were lacking. "Plant listening devices in the jungle" - where exactly? On the trees, on the ground? Even with a general area marked on the map it took me a while to find the small circles among the bushes where I was supposed to place the things.

As another example, on Imperial side there was a quest that had me collecting armour and weapons from Republic forces in a specified area. I think I did around three laps of their camp, killing everything in sight, until the lack of drops drove me to look up what I was doing wrong and I found that I wasn't supposed to take these things from actual Republic troopers but had to find specific small clicky items lying on the ground (because I needed that one specific datapad, piece of armour etc., not just any old one apparently) - if they weren't bugged that is. The last one I could only pick up after switching instances twice.

Republic players are not so lucky of course, as the "final ship's log" they are supposed to pick up as part of another daily mission has been unclickable since launch and no amount of instance switching has seemed to help. Yesterday's patch was supposed to fix it according to the patch notes, but we've not seen any evidence of the actual fix so far, still having no luck with it even after completely dropping the quest and trying to start over.

The only reason I remain keen on doing the rounds on Onderon right now is that it gives me a good excuse and opportunity to gather some of the new biochem materials, which are required in absolutely stupendous amounts to craft anything at all (but that's a subject to tackle another day). I doubt that I'll be coming back to these dailies for sheer fun of it once I'm done with the reputation though.


Reaping the Spoils of War

I'm a bit hesitant to pass judgement on a new gearing system after less than a week of dealing with it, mostly because I actually remember my first week of Galactic Command being decent fun too, even if my enjoyment dropped off rapidly after that. That "new feature glow" combined with the generally happy buzz surrounding the release of a new expansion probably does a good job of covering up many flaws in the beginning.

That said... I do feel confident in saying that Spoils of War already feels a lot less scary and confusing than I thought it was on the PTS.

Basically, the first step you have to take is to work on very straightforward vertical progression up to item rating 306, which is the current maximum. It feels safe to say that there's no reason to care about amplifiers at all before you get there, and if you happen to pick up any set bonus gear, just stow it away for later.

Almost everything seems to be personal loot now, and yours is based on your character's average item rating, so your number one priority is to ensure that this is always as high as possible, regardless of whether the stats on said gear are actually good for you. (I shamefully wore a pair of bracers with defense on them for a few hours because they were higher level than what I was wearing at the time and it helped to boost my average.)

Work in progress.

So if your current item rating is 272 for example, your personal loot drops will all be in a narrow range around that, say 268 to 274. By equipping every 274 piece that drops you slowly raise your average item rating, meaning that the range for potential loot also slowly climbs upwards, and so on and so forth, until you reach the cap.

Then you can start mixing and matching the max-level gear you actually want to keep and start including items with set bonuses. (As set bonuses are now bound to armour shells again, you can save the ones you got with lower item ratings and then just replace the modifications in them with higher level ones.)

At that point you can start building sets for different purposes, and also have a think about what sort of amplifiers you would like to have on them. (While it's a bit like playing slot machine, you can always re-roll the amplifiers on a given piece of gear, if you do want to bother.) Theoretically. I'm not actually up to that stage myself yet.

One thing that Spoils of War has in common with Galactic Command is that you're meant to be able to gear up from "playing your way", by taking part in pretty much any activity in the game. Just like with Galactic Command, this is technically true, but doesn't feel very well-balanced yet at this point.

The first couple of days, when all I was doing were dailies and the new operation on story mode, progress felt pretty slow, but ever since I was tipped off that master mode flashpoints were the place to be right now, things have sped up a lot.

Flashpoint bosses are such loot piƱatas at the moment that we've already got used to having a mini break after each one to sort out what loot to equip and which of the many gear drops to disintegrate - after all, raising your item rating now might already result in the next boss dropping something better. I'm not at 306 yet, but getting there, and some of my guildies have already achieved that particular milestone.

It does feel a bit grindy even so, and if I had to go through this whole shebang on every single one of my alts I wouldn't find it very appealing... but the nice thing is that since all loot is legacy-bound now, you only have to go through the grind in its entirety once - after that you can send your full set of 306 to your alt and let them run around in it for a while so they'll instantly be able to collect their own set of 306 gear without having to grind their way through 40 levels of item rating first.

I can't say I mind master mode flashpoints being the current flavour of the month to do this, seeing how I've always enjoyed them, but I very much expect Bioware to still do some rebalancing to make some of the other activities a bit more rewarding, just like they had to do in the early days of Galactic Command.


Early Onslaught Impressions (No Spoilers)

Whew, the first couple of days of the new expansion have been a bit of a whirlwind! So far I've played through the story once on Republic side (on my Commando) and once on Imperial side (on my Marauder), did the new Republic dailies once, killed the first few bosses of the new operation on story mode, and spent a couple of hours sifting through several hundred screenshots that I took during my story playthroughs.

To quickly sum up my first impressions of the story in a spoiler-free manner: It didn't grab me quite as much as Jedi Under Siege did, but I freaking loved Ossus, so that was an incredibly high bar to clear. That said, if you asked me to rate Onslaught in comparison to all the previous story expansions so far, I'd say it's the best one we've had to date.

I honestly felt a little lukewarm about the start on Onderon - the planet is smaller than I had hoped (definitely no Yavin or Ossus) and the story beats didn't quite resonate with me - but by Mek-Sha I was warming up to it. The hollowed-out asteroid was kind of the opposite of Onderon in terms of my expectations, as I thought it was going to be small and I've traditionally not been super fond of what you could call underworld environments. But then it ended up feeling much bigger than I anticipated (I can't tell you how it compares in terms of actual square mileage, but all the traversing between platforms and in three dimensions certainly made it feel bigger) and the story developments made me go: "Yeah! That's what I'm here for!"

The thing with having played a game like this for several years is that you can't quite appreciate some things the way a new player can, as you just can't feel the same sense of awe and wonder at the sight of new things (as everything new is usually at least similar to something you've seen before). However, being a veteran of many years does give you an eye for certain details and nuances that the uninitiated won't notice and that you can only recognise with years of experience.

With that said, I could tell that a lot of love has gone into the Onslaught story. (If anyone from Bioware is reading this: thanks, guys and gals!) There are so many little moments that make you smile, chuckle, or just go "o-ho!" as they reference past events, and the cast of characters - both new and returning - is huge.

I've always felt that SWTOR's two biggest strengths in terms of story are the personalised class story that makes the player feel invested in the game, and the huge cast of supporting characters - all with their own backgrounds, interests and influences - that can push the story into fascinating new directions at any moment. That is also what made KotFE and KotET fall flat for so many people: that our characters seemingly forgot about everything that had come before, including loved ones and spouses, and that we were supposed to care about nothing but Valkorion's family and the Eternal Empire now, just us vs. them. (Now that I think about it, the Alliance vs. Zakuul story was actually a more simplistic black and white version of the galaxy than Republic vs. Empire has ever been in SWTOR.)

Onslaught is chock-full of callbacks to our characters' pasts (where appropriate) and the amount of old non-player characters that have been pulled back into service (again, absolutely appropriately) is staggering. As a long-time player, that just feels so good. As a non-spoilery example, at one point my Marauder was asked to see the Dark Council and quipped in response (I'm paraphrasing from memory): "Are you sure they really want to see me? Last time I did that, I ended up killing one of them." That's no line for an Outlander or generic Commander, that's pure Sith warrior right there.

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about how MMOs are actually kind of similar to long-running book series: the audiences for both love to immerse themselves in a huge world that seems to go on forever, happily memorising countless numbers of different events, protagonists and their motivations. The Onslaught story fully caters to that invested long-term audience that will welcome every reference and in-joke enthusiastically. I don't think that necessarily makes it unenjoyable for more casual players, but let's just say that if you only play a single character for example you'll be missing a lot of Onslaught's more subtle context.

Anyway, my "quick" story summary turned into seven paragraphs - what else is there to say so far? Unfortunately in terms of questing as a group, Onslaught has been a bit of a step back from Ossus again, and I'm not sure why. On Ossus they had this weird system going that allowed you to go into the same phase, have the conversation parts be personal to you and then do any fighting as a team while progressing the story simultaneously. This time we're back to regular old personal phases everywhere, and for me and Mr Commando they even bugged out a couple of times, with one of us finding themselves forced into spectator mode in the other one's phase and being unable to create their own phase without first leaving the group. At this point I feel a bit like I'm the last person left on earth who cares about levelling and questing in SWTOR as a group, but I'll just keep banging that drum anyway.

In general there are a fair number of bugs again. No show-stoppers so far - as far as I'm aware - but what I'd call the usual array of minor annoyances, such as crafting nodes spawning in the ground, creatures and droids whose bodies should be salvageable not being flagged as such, the Mek-Sha world boss giving neither achievement credit nor any loot, and one of the daily quests on Republic side that requires you to pick up items from the ground being almost impossible to complete. There's a definitive pattern to these bugs, and from the way Bioware designs their weeklies and such it's almost as if they expect at least one quest to be broken at this point (since they never ask you to complete absolutely everything to get the main reward). I do wish it didn't have to be like that, but I also understand that bug fixes for anything that isn't a major feature get treated as low priority from a business point of view all too easily.

My dislike for the new item tooltips and item modification UI from the PTS has made it to live too. I also noticed that you don't need to hit "apply" when swapping mods around anymore as it commits them automatically! I'll have to be extra careful now, because I'm totally the kind of person who used to accidentally overwrite better mods with worse ones until I noticed just in time to avoid hitting apply...

I'm also hopelessly confused by the new colour codings for armour. Maybe one of my readers can enlighten me? Basically "orange" as a colour for moddable items seems to be gone, so now items of any colour can exist in moddable and unmoddable versions. I'm totally lost what decides the colour of the shell though, as my old oranges have sometimes turned blue and sometimes gold. Why? Who knows! Makes it much harder to not accidentally vendor stuff you want to keep in my opinion, as you now have to double-check even every bloody green...

The one thing I really like is the new legacy-wide materials tab, which freed up something like three of my legacy cargo bays (though I'm sure I'll find something else to fill them up with soon enough). Again, there are just some minor issues with it that I wish they'd fix, such as it not remembering whether you closed any of the sub-categories and simply defaulting to having all of them fully expanded whenever it refreshes.

I also really dislike not getting any feedback when I gather now: The way it used to be (and still is when you gather a slicing node for example) is that you'd get a small notification on screen and in your event log of what you just picked up. Stuff going straight into the materials tab doesn't make a peep though, so I had no idea what I was harvesting on Onderon all day until I sat down at the end of the evening and checked which of the biochem mats in my materials storage I only had in small numbers (and which were therefore bound to be the new ones).

Finally, let me finish with a couple of random, non-spoilery screenshots:

I suffered my first death of the expansion from sheer stupidity: coming to the edge of a waterfall on Onderon I went "whee" and leapt right off the edge... to my death of course. (The screenshot shows Mr Commando reviving me after the fact.) That's what I get for having got excited about diving underwater in WoW Classic in the past month - letting my subconscious forget that in SWTOR every body of water is but a knee-deep puddle.

One previously unannounced feature of Onslaught: exciting new ladder-climbing gameplay! Unfortunately the reception hasn't been too great so far: mostly I see confused Republic players complain about being unable to reach that one spot in their story mission where they're supposed to climb a ladder because they don't seem to realise that this is what they're supposed to be doing. On Imp side I found a ladder to climb a roof in the open world but I tried to use it three times and every time my character got to the top and the getting-off-the-ladder animation played, she fell straight down to the ground. Baby steps...

One of the more amusing bugs to me was that in my Marauder's version of the story, Theron Shan is dead, but this didn't prevent him from making an appearance as an invisible ghost to talk about... partying?


It's Onslaught Time!

Tomorrow today SWTOR's long-awaited new expansion Onslaught launches at last! There hasn't been much hype about it compared to the previous two, but the other day it was actually advertised on the official Star Wars Twitter account - which is always enough to make us long-time players feel faint with shock - so maybe word about its release is finally getting around at last.

I left my final bits of expansion preparation until way too late... mostly because I forgot that spending certain currencies and then vendoring what you bought involved waiting out bind timers that don't progress unless you're actually logged in.

In other words, I realised that I had a crap ton of Command Tokens left over, and that allowing them to simply convert to credits at the default rate was going to leave a huge amount of money on the table.

The official conversion rate is going to be five credits per token, so if you have 50k of them saved up across your alts, you'll get 250k credits for them.

Alternatively, you could spend those same 50k tokens on buying 1,020 belts at a price of 49 tokens each and then vendor all those belts for 15,325 credits a piece instead... resulting in a total gain of more than 15 and a half million credits instead.

I'm not exactly short on money in game, but that just seemed way too wasteful, so I've been spending the last couple of days logging into and out of characters to claim tokens, buy belts, chuck them into a cargo hold and then wait two hours until the timer had run out so that I could vendor them.

Riveting gameplay, I tell you, but it's not like it's hard to just leave the game running in the background and move my character every so often while doing something else in the meantime... such as writing this blog post.

Live from my Dromund Kaas stronghold

Aside from crazy belt trading schemes, I haven't really made any further preparations - I remember when I would load up my quest log with completed dailies the night before expansion release to get a head start on levelling, but those days are fortunately long past... I don't think I've had trouble making it to the level cap since Shadow of Revan.

I also actually took two days off work again - thanks, Bioware, for always launching expansions during a time of year when I usually have a few days of leftover holiday to burn anyway. Expect my posting frequency to increase again over the next couple of weeks, as I'll be talking about everything from the new story to the new systems as usual!


Looking Back on Three Years of KotET

Seeing how we only have six days left until the release of Onslaught, it's about time I wrote the post looking back on the current expansion that I've been meaning to write for a while. It's not exactly a tradition, but nothing about Knights of the Eternal Throne has been traditional!

In fact, it probably featured the biggest period of upheaval for the game since its launch year and the free-to-play transition, at least from a player perspective. Business-wise, I'm sure the first year was a much bigger deal, what with the many unmet expectations and resulting lay-offs. But from a player point of view, it wasn't actually such a bad time, considering the sheer amount of content that was being released.

Knights of the Eternal Throne on the other hand was a bit of a mess from the beginning. The story was solid, but it was originally meant to go on for much longer and was quickly cut short (for whatever reasons).

After the heavy single-player focus of KotFE, there seemed to be some renewed interest in releasing group content, but initially only in the form of uprisings, which were a bit awkward. I really wanted to like them, but ultimately I was not at all inspired to repeat them unless I was going for an achievement or something. I couldn't quite put my finger on why they just didn't grab me for the longest time, until a commenter described them as flashpoints with the interesting bosses taken out and more of the sort of trash pulls put in that everyone always wants to skip.

And of course there was Galactic Command. Not going to re-hash that story yet again! Let's just say that it was quite a disaster at launch; it was probably the period of time in which I was the most unsatisfied with SWTOR gameplay-wise that I've ever been, and it made several good people I knew leave the game for good. Boo!

The first couple of months after launch mostly seemed to be dedicated to damage control. We will be getting back to Republic vs. Empire, honest! And you'll get a new operation too, even if it's only one boss at a time!

The release of Iokath in April 2017 was true to this change in direction, but felt somewhat clumsily done. Yes, we were getting back to Republic vs. Empire, but the plot felt like it had been written with a single destination in mind and little concern for whether it made sense how we got there. Iokath also featured our first new daily area in years, yet it was awkward to navigate and initially released with several dailies actually costing you money instead of awarding it (yes, really).

In May, Keith Kanneg becoming the game's new Producer gave many of us new hope for improvements. And ultimately, I think he has been good for the game, but it's been a very slow process. I'm a bit hesitant to speculate ever since I read John Staats' WoW Diary - in which he proclaims that player speculation about what's going on inside video game development is pretty much always wrong, no matter how well thought-out - but what it felt like from the outside above all else was like Keith had to completely clean house and revamp a lot of things, which took up a lot of dev time that could otherwise have been used to create new content.

After he took charge, we basically got a slow trickle of new content alternating with systems updates: the second Gods from the Machine encounter was released a full three months after the first, then a month later we got a new flashpoint with some story, then another three months passed until a big round of server merges, and so on.

It took almost a full year for all five bosses in Gods from the Machine to be put live, and the traitor story arc, consisting of three bits of story tied to an equal number of new flashpoints, took a full nine months from start to finish. It wasn't bad content, it was just coming out so, so... slowly.

The traitor story arc did also mark an interesting turning point from my point of view though. While the first chapter, Crisis on Umbara, continued in a similarly awkward vein to Iokath, part two was a marked improvement, and part three was all-around enjoyable again. It was also an interesting time to be playing and engaging with the community, as there was a lot of discussion about what to make of the traitor's actions, which was the kind of thing you only get to experience right at the release of such new story content.

After that we had to deal with another relative drought of content for several months, until Bioware revealed that a new, bigger piece of content was coming in December, which would eventually be followed by a whole expansion. It's kind of weird to think that this was a year ago now and said expansion is only launching now.

Three years is a long time for any MMO to go without an expansion, but it has been even more so in SWTOR's case, which was pumping them out mere months apart before that (even if they were smaller in scope than what many other MMOs call expansions). It kind of felt like Bioware just completely lost the plot for a little while after KotET's launch, with everything a bit of a mess and no clear plan in terms of how to proceed.

I don't have a citation at hand, but I even remember Keith saying at one point that he wasn't that keen on expansions and preferred smaller content updates himself, which may have contributed to no moves being made towards working on another big content drop for a long time. I'm glad that the cries for a new expansion eventually won out though, even if it took a while. I'm looking forward to playing it in a few days!

As for what comes after... who knows? I remain eternally optimistic that things are maybe back on track now and the next big update won't take three years, but I honestly don't know. It's a persistent rumour that the team working on SWTOR is much smaller than those working on comparable MMOs, which would obviously limit their resources if true. But I take heart from how passionate they seem to be and that - raw quantity of output aside - I've felt that they've been taking steps in the right direction for the past two years, both in terms of story and in terms of how they interact with the community. For me, Jedi Under Siege has easily been the most enjoyable addition to the game in years. Ultimately, those are things that matter more to me than the sheer frequency of new patches.


PTS Success (Sorta)

Yesterday the official SWTOR Twitter account helpfully reminded me that the Onslaught PTS is scheduled to shut down tomorrow on Friday, so I decided to finally sit down and get those PTS achievements done that I started working on over a month ago.
I returned to my level 73 Guardian tank on the PTS, queued up for all the group content (which is when I noticed that they added the one-boss operations like Toborro's Courtyard and the Colossal Monolith to the group finder, which is nice) and for unranked PvP and went off to do some heroics while I waited for the queue to pop.

I had only completed two by the time I got bored of waiting and figured that there clearly weren't enough people queuing for PvE group content to make anything happen on Republic side. That I wasn't getting any pops in the sub-75 PvP bracket was hardly a surprise either, so I returned to Odessen to use the terminal there to level up to 75.

When I re-queued after dinging, I got a warzone pop almost instantly, so that's how I then ended up spending most of my evening. I would have preferred to have a look at some of the newly re-tuned flashpoints to be honest but when you need to get your achievement credit now you take what you can get.

The gear rewards from PvP were really lackluster. While PvE content apparently showers you in loot right now, I only got a little loot box every other PvP match, which usually contained some crafting mats, some warzone adrenals and a green piece of gear. Half a dozen greens wasn't exactly a fantastic payout for a whole evening of PvPing.

I also couldn't quite figure out what was needed to qualify for a reward box, whether you simply needed to win a match or what. I'll admit that this was at least partially my own fault though as my inventory was a huge mess, meaning that I didn't always notice the appearance of a new box right away.

Some more changes had been made to the UI since my last PTS play session, such as an updated character window, which I didn't mind nearly as much as the new item tooltips. The only annoying thing about it was that it was not yet implemented/broken for other characters, so if I tried to inspect another player the result was only a blank window with an alignment bar in it.

Also, the little person icon on the very left of the top navigation bar kept flashing (like the icon for proficiencies does if you have unspent points) but I couldn't figure out what it was that it wanted me to do so it kept flashing away all evening.

The biggest point of interest was the amplifier system/UI though, which we were supposed to actively give feedback about. Initially I mostly found it very unintuitive - for example it required a double click to open the re-roll window. What the hell? Nothing else in the entire game requires double-clicking! I only really figured it out by accidental rage-clicking. (Why isn't this working...)

All the different effects and the process of re-rolling are kind of intriguing right now, but also overwhelming. Remember when they got rid of Aim, Cunning, Strength and Willpower two expansions ago because it was considered too complicated for players to figure out which of these four stats mapped onto which base class? Why do they now give us something like twenty new stats, many of which have weird and ambiguous names? What do you think "Aural Rejuvenation" does? Something to do with hearing? Shouts? (Nope, it increases AoE healing apparently.)

Seeing all of that on the PTS and knowing that Onslaught's launch is less than two weeks away now, I honestly can't help but feel slightly nervous about this whole gearing revamp. Unlike others, I'm not getting any Galactic Command 2.0 vibes here - Galactic Command's initial implementation wasn't at all complicated, just an obviously bad idea.

Spoils of War, at least from what little I've seen, just feels slightly overwhelming and confusing instead, which I suppose could go either way. Either I'll figure it out and enjoy the newly added complexity, or I'll freeze like a deer in the headlights as my inventory gets filled up with green items with two dozen different amplifiers on them, because I can't decide what to keep and throw away as I can't tell what's good anymore.

Oh well, I guess I'll focus on the new story to start with and then take it from there. At least I got my titles and silly log mount for my public testing duties! I had no idea it was going to look this phallic by the way.


Peaceful on Coruscant

Another Pirate Incursion meant another round of peaceful adventures in places other than Dantooine for my pacifist Jedi Pacis.

She had pretty good luck with the side missions in Black Sun territory - deliver some information here, disarm some bombs there: all of it possible without killing anyone and therefore available for her to complete!

In the Justicar sector she hit the ultimate jackpot: a repeatable heroic that could be done without fighting. I vaguely recalled hearing before that "Trouble in Deed" was soloable by stealth, but I couldn't remember whether you had to fight the guy at the end or not. Fortunately it was not necessary! I could just stealth my way up to the vault, grab the deed and then hit Force Cloak when the mobs next to it inevitably aggroed. Job done!

The greatest thing about finding a heroic that I could repeat was that heroics reward two random gear pieces appropriate for your level. I haven't really mentioned it yet, but as it turns out it's kind of hard to come by new gear organically when you refuse to fight anyone and therefore get no loot drops and only the occasional quest reward here and there.

I suppose you could argue that a pacifist doesn't really need gear since she doesn't want to fight anyway, but a bit of extra endurance and such still come in handy whenever you aggro something by accident and have to run away. Repeating the heroic every day of the week soon saw Pacis kitted out in a set of level-appropriate blues.

I had somewhat less luck with the side missions in Coruscant's remaining areas. There were a couple more that I could do, but there were just as many if not more that I had to abandon because they asked me to fight things. Sorry, creepy girl child, your brother will just have to stay in jail if the only way to free him involves beating up thugs.

I even started the heroic in the Jedi temple, vaguely recalling that it "only" involved retrieving some astrogation charts, but of course a Sith jumps out of the shadows at the very end and demands that you fight him. I noped right out of that one in front of the Sith's eyes (he didn't seem to care) and abandoned that quest too.

By the time I'd finished my tour of Coruscant the event was pretty much over again, so I only visited Taris very briefly to have a peek at a couple of heroics that looked like they might be doable without fighting. Again, I don't do these often enough and am so used to just killing everything anyway that I often wasn't sure what exactly was required to progress each objective.

In most of them it became clear pretty quickly that there was no progressing without a fight, whether because trying to click on a shiny would be interrupted as soon as you got into combat or there were just too many mobs too close by. In one heroic I got tantalisingly close to completing the thing without a fight just to get a rude awakening when the final step demanded I kill an elite mob to finish. So that one went into the bin as well.

One interesting side effect of these failed heroic attempts was that there were several occasions when I got into combat with multiple mobs and had to run for my life. I'd excitedly filled my bar with various utility abilities that I'd got from levelling up such as slows and stuns, anticipating that I'd still get a good amount of use out of those, just to find that most of them couldn't be executed without a main hand weapon equipped. I'll admit that this made sense for some of them, such as Deflection, but why I couldn't Force Lift anyone without a saber in my hand for example mystified me. I guess I'll have to consider re-equipping HK's vibroblade purely to be able to use some abilities, but then I'd worry about accidentally hitting things with it. Decisions, decisions.

Either way I intend to explore more of Taris next time around.