10/05/2021

Conflicting Priorities

No, this post isn't about some sort of personal struggle - the title is the name of the little "in-between mission" set after Spirit of Vengeance but before 6.3's Secrets of the Enclave. While it came out a while ago now, I still wanted to say some things about it before talking about the 6.3 story content.

Like other recent-ish "in-between missions" it's basically just a little bit of chatter taking place in your base on Odessen about what's been happening with the Alliance. To be honest, while I used to think that these were a really neat idea initially - clearly meant to serve as a sort of "hey, we haven't forgotten about the story and neither should you" reminder for the players during long breaks between major patches... as they've started to accumulate, I've found that I kind of like them less and less.

While each one serves as a nice reminder of what's been happening if you play through it on the patch's original release date, if you're catching up on an alt's story progression later on, I'm finding that all these little "fillers" actually pointlessly slow down the action, and now that we've had a number of them already, they are also starting to sound increasingly same-y. There are only so many ways you can have Lana and your other advisors say: "By the way, the Alliance is still doing stuff!" I thought "Conflicting Priorities" was particularly egregious in that regard, which is why I really started thinking about it for the first time.

However, that wasn't all there was to this story update - there is a reference to a mission on Balmorra and you are asked whether you want to involve a particular "asset" called Zenith. Gasp! Could my thoughts about 2021 turn out to be wrong and Zenith make his return after all?


Sadly the mission doesn't really tell us very much. The dialogue refers to Zenith as a resistance fighter (note the lack of the adjective "former"!), but isn't Balmorra officially with the Republic again now? Who is he fighting when the Imps aren't about to try and steal something? And what happened to his ambitions to lead a more normal life as a politician? If you're a Jedi consular, your options to comment on this are sadly limited - the best I got to do was express happiness that he's alive and approve of getting in touch with him. I wasn't sure whether I should read this whole section as a hint that we'll all get a proper story mission that takes place on Balmorra later or whether it's just meant to be a tie-in for an Alliance alert along the lines of: "Zenith accomplished his mission, now he's come to Odessen to find out more about this Alliance commander" (for Republic characters only).

I'm actually hoping for the latter because as much as I've been pining for Zenith's return for nearly six years now (god, has it really been that long?), I don't think he'd be that interesting a character for other classes to interact with in great depth. I do hope that whichever way it plays out, we'll get some more context for what he's been up to and why.

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