03/06/2020

Peaceful Progress on Nar Shaddaa

Once again it's been a while since I last wrote about my pacifist Jedi Pacis. I made a new tag called "pacifist levelling" now to make it easier to find the previous posts in the series. Anyway, last time she had done everything she could on Taris and it was time to continue to Nar Shaddaa.

Taris had been quite satisfying in terms of how many of its quests were doable without fighting anything, though there was some disappointment near the end when I had to acknowledge that none of the heroics were feasible to do in such a manner. Nar Shaddaa was kind of the opposite in that I initially found it somewhat annoying but then discovered some real gems towards the end.

I wasn't actually off to a bad start with one of my favourite side quests to cleanse the spice trade. Handily, someone else had just been through the area and killed all the actual spice traders, meaning that I didn't even have to hide from anyone while clicking the shinies for quest completion.

Another exploration mission I found and that worked for me involved blowing up some swoop bikes. This one was a bit trickier as I was on my own and the Nikto gang members did not take kindly to my meddling, meaning I had to use Force Cloak after each attack (on the bikes, not the bikers) and then wait for it to come off cooldown before I could go again.


After that I hit a bit of a lull as I couldn't actually remember the details of a lot of the quests I started, meaning that I repeatedly went through the trouble of sitting through the mission dialogue just to realise too late that they had objectives that clashed with my pacifist creed, meaning that I just had to abandon them again. I also used the dialogue option to decline quests a lot (where it was available). This was actually interesting because it's not an option I ever used very much (nor did anyone, I suspect, which is why Bioware didn't bother with including it anymore after launch). While it was interesting, I can't really recommend it either... rejecting just always made my character sound like either a coward or a jerk, and the quest givers were either annoyed or depressingly resigned to their impending doom.

One mission that I had been looking forward to, the one to find the wayward droid, was not available, presumably due to being tied to progressing one of the main story quests somehow. I did find two more though: first the one where a worker asks you to find a missing Jedi padawan who had told her that she was Force sensitive before disappearing. I thought I remembered that one requiring the killing of some Nikto, but apparently that was only a bonus as simply finding the dead Jedi's body completed the mission just fine.

The other one was the one where a mercenary / escaped prisoner asks you to destroy some Imperial torture devices... again, I suspected that there would be some killing required in this one as well, but this turned out to not be the case. The only annoying thing was once again a lot of waiting for Force Cloak to come off cooldown, as pretty much every objective was next to some angry mobs that I had to immediately escape from after destroying it.

Anyway, the most interesting thing about this quest was actually the introductory cut scene, which has the NPC pointing a blaster at you and as a Jedi you counter by drawing your lightsaber... except that Pacis doesn't wield a weapon! I was rather stunned that the cut scene equipped her with one anyway. (The colour crystal in the non-existent saber was bright white by the way.)


Not sure where that came from.

The area in the vicinity of that quest was actually quite frustrating as there were a lot of probe droids with stealth detection abilities about, often putting me into combat unexpectedly or even foiling my attempts to vanish sometimes, and with no safe places to escape to I even died a couple of times. It did force me to pay more attention though and to actually watch out for the stealth scan casts.

On the plus side, it was in this area that I discovered another heroic that I could complete as a pacifist: Shadow Extraction, which requires you to break someone out of prison. This one was also absolutely crammed with stealth-scanning droids, which was quite a pain and required some trial and error, but eventually I figured out how to sneak past some of them safely, and where I couldn't do so I learned to quickly run past out of stealth and then Cloak once I was safely out of range of their detection range.

I did think it was funny that a prison break-out of all things didn't include a single objective about taking down guards or anything... I basically just hacked sliced into their computer and then opened the guy's cell. How he actually made it out without any of the guards stopping him remains a mystery...


Sorry, Phalanx, you're on your own from here.

Anyway, the real jackpot was that I then found a second heroic that I could stealth: Breaking Down Shadow Town. Again, just lots of clicking on different terminals and such required but no actual fighting, so I just had to spend a lot of time waiting for Force Cloak to come back off cooldown every time I was spotted (which in many instances seemed pretty unavoidable).

With Trouble in Deed I'm now up to three repeatable heroics that I can do without fighting anyone, which I think is pretty rad, though I think I'll have less incentive to repeat the two on Nar Shaddaa simply because they required a lot more effort / were a lot more time-consuming compared to the quick in-and-out job you can do on Coruscant.

With all the new Conquest objectives for doing quests (plus nonsense like taking a taxi and gaining a level), this was also the first time that Pacis was able to complete her personal Conquest. She's really moving up in the world! I've also already started on Tatooine, so hopefully the next part in this series won't take another four months to get published, but at this point I'm not making any promises.

9 comments :

  1. The wayward droid, being the final quest in the Bonus Series, is indeed only available once the class mission is complete. With the change to the various series, these and their compulsory missions now only unlock once all of your class missions are done on a planet.

    Annoyingly, this does also include the final cutscene on your ship so it's very much a case of "there and back again". Oh well.

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  2. There's always 2 on Balmorra - and this week we even have the rakghoul event! She should make a lot of cq points just by doing the outside activity of giving ppl shots once a day! :)

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    1. The rakghouls are on Corellia this week? She isn't high enough to go there yet. As for Balmorra, she'll get there eventually, but I'm trying to do the planets (more or less) in order. :)

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    2. Rakghouls are on Corellia, but I'm pretty sure you don't have to be high enough level to go to Corellia to go to the event (You can use the solo tab on the activity finder button and select "Event:...", it'll port you inside the tunnels. You'd have to take the elevator up and use the quick travel to the only point that is automatically unlocked (the spaceport cantina). However, as the place you have to reach is really close, you shouldn't pass by any enemies that might aggro :)

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  3. Always enjoy the updates on your peaceful progress. Now that I'm thinking about it there are a lot of quests that involve fighting so trying to avoid fights make things challenging!

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  4. These updates are fun to read.

    There are actually 3 Rakghoul quests that might work for her, especially since she's a stealther. The innoculation quest, the quest where you round up 3 raklings after poking some spores, and the nav beacons. Especially at peak times, when other people are clearing the mobs

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    1. I hadn't really given any of the world events any real thought before this comment thread. Something to consider going forward I guess...

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  5. I’ve been really enjoying your entire series about playing through SWTOR with a pacifist character. I’m not sure whether I’m more surprised that it’s quite so challenging (I never thought before about just how many people you’re required to fight just to get as far as getting your own ship), or that it’s even doable at all.

    Since reading your posts, I’ve been thinking a lot about fighting/pacifism/stealth in SWTOR. Since I’m still working through the class missions, I may have missed things that will show up later, but here are my thoughts so far.

    First, there’s the gameplay aspect of it. It’s not that I object to Star Wars having a lot of combat - it’s something that’s been part of the universe since the beginning, not to mention part of the name itself - but at some point, once I’m spending so much time fighting through faceless mobs that I reach my objective and can barely remember what it is or why I came for it, that gets kind of annoying. I mean, having epic boss fights can be pretty fun, but the hordes of mooks start getting a bit repetitive and boring eventually. There’s a reason why two of my three favorite characters are stealthers who can just run through most of those hordes to actually reach the objective in a decent amount of time.

    But besides the meta/gameplay part, I think there are in-universe reasons why the game ought to encourage stealth a bit more. My Jedi Shadow uses stealth in large part for philosophical reasons. She’s a Jedi. She’s supposed to hold all life sacred, and not simply slaughter her way to her objectives. The game allows her to at least offer surrender to many of the named characters she fights, but what about the grunts who maybe aren’t even that evil, they just needed a paycheck and fell in with a bad crowd?

    My Agent also appreciates stealth, but for more pragmatic reasons than philosophical. He’s not supposed to be a one-man wrecking machine, he’s an assassin - he gets in and out quietly, ideally without anyone even realizing he’s been there at all until it’s far too late. I was thinking about this when he was assigned one of the missions on the Empire planetary questline on Alderaan. He was supposed to put a spike into the Organan communications array so that the Empire/House Thul could listen in. But slaughtering his way through the guards at the listening post would have immediately alerted them to the intrusion, likely leading them to discovering the data spike and making the whole exercise pointless. On the other hand, because he was able to slip in and out without being seen by anyone, they’ll never know he was there and never think to double-check the security of their communications.

    Of course, it would be challenging to actually require quests to be completed secretly, given that as far as I know there are no distinctions with quests or bonus missions based on a character’s subclass, which means access to stealth abilities can’t be guaranteed. Still, there are all these bonus missions and achievements based on combat. Can you kill this many of this type of faceless mook? Or that many of that type? Or this many with that companion? How about that many of an innocent animal who is harmless unless attacked?

    To contrast with all of those objectives, why not add in a few more bonus missions and achievements that are specifically linked to not killing enemies? Achievements for how many quest objectives you can complete non-lethally? Or even quests that might take different paths down the line depending on the methods you used along the way? I doubt the game will ever be re-worked to the point where it’s easy to play a pacifist character, but it would be cool if the was a bit more encouragement for roleplaying a character with philosophical or practical objections to simply slaughtering one’s way through the game.

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    1. Thanks for your long and thoughtful comment!

      I think KotFE and KotET were particularly bad in terms of forcing you to slaughter lots of faceless mooks. Makeb at launch too, though that's a lot better now ever since they greatly reduced the mob density in the place (except for the Cartel Mining Mesa, which I still hate). Most of the newer content has been pretty good about not forcing you to kill too many mobs though from what I can remember (though then you instantly get people complaining about how the story feels too short now, because Bioware can't win with that one).

      The contradiction between stealth and the endless killing required for many bonus missions is something I've often thought about. I like completing bonuses, but it does feel silly (and kind of gratuitous) to slaughter everything in sight when you could easily bypass all those mobs in stealth. There are very few bonuses that reward anything even remotely close to a stealthy approach, such as the one in the trooper class mission to not trip any traps, and a similar bonus on Imperial Mek-Sha. It's a shame, because I think at least in the class-specific missions for classes where one AC has access to stealth they could have easily added some bonuses to reward you for not aggroing and killing anything.

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