15/02/2020

The Task At Hand

This week's patch brought with it another small story update that was previously advertised as similar in scope to Hearts and Minds, and in my opinion it more than lived up to expectations. I'm really starting to like these smaller non-combat updates between the larger, more action-packed ones. It makes for excellent pacing and reminds me of how in the base game each planetary mission tends to be proceeded and wrapped up by some kind of briefing, plus you often end up spending time on your ship to chat with various companions.

6.1's story focuses first and foremost on the Alliance sorting out its new relationship with the Republic or Empire. (Consider this your spoiler warning... more details to follow!) Republic players get visited by Master Gnost-Dural and General Daeruun again, while Imperials get to meet a new character by the name of Darth Rivix. I appreciated that both visits include a little bonus mission that you can skip if you want to snub your guest(s) a bit and/or just don't feel like doing it again while replaying the thing on your umpteenth alt.

For Republic players the focus is on your visitors having arrived with a refugee ship in tow that they rescued from pirates and the Alliance offering to render some aid. I liked how on my trooper one of the people I helped said that she remembered me from Tatooine. Now that's a throwback right there!


Imperials meanwhile get to show Darth Rivix around Odessen base if they are so inclined, and Rivix sure is an interesting character. At a glance he reinforces something I've stated before, namely that all the newer Sith characters seem almost too nice compared to the many insane types we had to put up with in the base game, but Rivix's behaviour is so over the top that it's pretty much in a league of its own. From the get-go he assures you that his success is based on your success, he's not like other Sith, and if you do take the option to give him a personal tour he'll keep piping up with comments that are hard to describe as anything but sucking up to your character big time.

I enjoyed taking him at face value on my Marauder (she's a bit vain and only finds it natural that she should be admired, plus she's so convinced of her own superiority that she's not too worried about anyone trying to betray her), but I considered it equally fun to rebuff him at every turn on my agent (who has every reason to be suspicious of Sith at all times).

I saw Intisar propose on Twitter that Rivix might be a Zeltron, which would align with his looks and would provide an interesting explanation for his behaviour beyond "he's really just nice" or "he's hamming it up in order to manipulate you".

Anyway, on either faction (once again speaking purely from a loyalist point of view as I still don't have a saboteur), I found it interesting how there were differences in dialogue based on whether you had decided to fully rejoin your old faction at the end of Onslaught or opted to remain separate. If you're back in the fold there'll be comments about bringing in more troops and establishing supply lines, while independence results in much more careful inquiries along those lines.

On both factions your talks conclude with your character wondering whatever happened to Darth Malgus, followed by a brief scene in the style of "meanwhile elsewhere" that gives us as players (if not our characters) a hint on the subject matter.


On Imperial side you see Malgus waking from a proper nightmare about Empress Acina torturing him as he tries to resist her conditioning, and the medical droid he travels with telling him that this is something it can't help with. Malgus suddenly seems to have an idea though and sets course for Dantooine.

On Republic side we get a view of a peaceful farm on Dantooine where a man is repairing some droids when a woman who is revealed to be a Force user runs up to him and tells him that she can feel Malgus coming.

I have to admit that as someone who doesn't have subtitles on, the latter scene confused me initially - who was this woman and what was her connection to Malgus? But on my second run it suddenly occurred to me to check the dialogue log to see how the characters were listed there, and as it turned out they were Aryn Leneer and Zeerid Korr, two of the main characters from the Deceived novel! (I assume the third woman present must be Zeerid's daughter then.)

I read and reviewed that one back in 2012, but to be honest I've retained little of what it was about. (Skip to the next paragraph if you want to avoid spoilers for the book.) Mainly I just remember Malgus stopping a shuttle from getting away with the Force (yes, eight years before Rise of Skywalker) and rescuing his Twi'lek love interest just to kill her. And Aryn falling from a great height... for some reason... and using the Force to slow herself? Really need to add that one to my list of books to re-read.


Anyway, in game we wrap things up with a bit of conversation that is sadly exactly the same for both factions, as Kira and Scourge give an update on their mission: the transport with Satele and her students hasn't responded to the signal and its location is unknown, so they want to send out T7 and some probe droids to look for it. Your character is okay with this.

You also learn that Scourge is really having a hard time with being among the living again as he gets super angry and struggles to control his feelings. I think there is also a romantic interaction with him for Jedi knights at the end, which I haven't seen though and don't actually want to spoil for myself.

All of this doesn't take very long to play through at all, but there are enough differences between different characters that it's actually fun to go through all of your alts to see the different variations. It's great to see SWTOR going back to its roots in that regard, even if we don't have completely different class stories any more.

3 comments :

  1. Yeah, my guild has me on record as being critical of this update, but honestly I appreciate the smaller bit of story we got. It's updates like this that help filthy casuals like me stay abreast of all the changes in the broader game.

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  2. "as I still don't have a saboteur"...aargh...

    you're killing me, shintar.

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    Replies
    1. She's through most of KotFE now! The "Knights of" expansions are just slow going for me.

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