17/06/2021

Shintar's Galactic Seasons Diary, Week 7

I apologise for Seasons being all I'm talking about at the moment, but similarly to the Dark vs. Light event back in the day, I'm honestly kind of fascinated by my own interest in it despite of my initial reaction that the concept wasn't all that great. I'm currently planning to keep writing these diaries until I reach level 100 (which, at my current progress, should be in three to four weeks) and then maybe post a summary of lessons learned.

Anyway, without further ado: The seventh week of the Season was Total Galactic War, which meant that I was more focused on Conquest than Seasons for the first few days at least, though there is overlap between the two of course. This shift in focus meant that I kind of completed some Seasons objectives almost accidentally and without paying too much attention to them.

Day 1:

Seeing how I'd got the flashpoint weekly again and considering what I said last week, I re-rolled it so that I ended up with both warzones and GSF as my weekly objectives. My dailies were also to play a warzone and to do some outer rim heroics.

For the latter I enlisted my DvL Shadow and for once I was actually pretty good at getting in and out of various heroics on Belsavis stealthily, meaning that I finished in good time. In the evening I did a fair amount of PvP for Conquest, which completed both my daily and my weekly. I remember that the first match was a Voidstar on my healing Sage, in which we managed to defend the first set of doors for the full duration, and during the second round I was the one who succeeded at planting the bomb, which is the sort of thing that always makes me happy. The matches after that I don't recall that well, I just know that they didn't all go that swimmingly for me.

Day 2:

My dailies were once again to play a warzone and to kill 75 enemies on outer rim planets. My first PvP match of the day was a Huttball on my Vanguard tank where I rocked pretty hard, pulling enemy ball carriers into the fire repeatedly, and we ended up winning 6-0. After that I descended into a major losing streak though, until I got annoyed enough to stop for the day.

For the outer rim rampage I decided to return to my DvL Assassin and continued questing with her on Belsavis. I felt slightly naughty playing on Imperial side since we needed more points on Republic side to win first place on Onderon, but we already had a healthy lead after only one day, so I wasn't too worried about taking a little bit of time away from that.

Day 3:

On the Thursday, my dailies were a convenient GSF/warzone combo. (I think one of them may originally have been something else, which I decided to re-roll, but I don't remember the details.) The GSF match was one in which my team was abysmal. The warzone, played on my Vanguard tank, was a Voidstar where we once again mounted a flawless defense during round one and then broke through the doors almost immediately in round two.

Day 4:

More GSF for my daily objective, which also brought my weekly count up to three. This one was one of those games in which both sides were bad and struggling to kill each other, which is usually something I find amusing, but less so on that day since I was lagging pretty badly for some reason, constantly getting "on cooldown" messages when trying to fire my railgun, and it annoyed me. Alas, even though it was quite close, it was still a loss.

My other daily was originally 75 mob kills, but I re-rolled it into heroics. I considered repeating the Belsavis combo that I'd found so efficient on day 1, but decided to try Hoth instead for a change of pace. I did aim for a stealthy run again, taking my Shadow tank this time, and actually succeeded again! I even picked up two heroics that were in the exact same area without realising. I found myself thinking that it would be handy to have a guide for which heroics are quick and stealthy to do, but of course these already exist; I just hadn't been looking. This spreadsheet is a good example, if not entirely comprehensive (though I'm not sure about all the random profanity).

Day 5:

My dailies were GSF and heroics again, but I felt daring, so I re-rolled the heroics and got mob killing instead... but the objective counter was already sitting at 74/75, so I literally only had to kill a single mob to get completion. Best bug ever.

For GSF I queued on my Assassin tank again while some of my guildies were queueing on Republic side, and we got into the same match on opposing sides. I was a bit uneasy since at least two of them are pretty good at GSF while I'm not, but the match actually ended up being quite balanced and extremely close. My team won though, which also completed my second weekly objective for the Season.

Day 6:

This time I got PvP and heroics, and re-rolled the heroics into mob killing again, though this time it was sadly at the (expected) progress of 0/75. For the warzone I queued with a group of three guildies this time since several of them had the same objective, and we got into a Novare Coast. Since I was on my Nautolan Shadow, I volunteered to guard our side base. It was pretty quiet for most of the match, except for one time when two people came to try and cap it and I pretty much deleted one of them before they even got close to killing me... I forget how ridiculously OP burst spec Shadows and Assassins are in PvP. The match as a whole was a decisive win too.

For the mob killing I decided to change scenery to Rishi, where my dps Sorc was just starting up the Shadow of Revan storyline. I simply quested until I had enough kills, though considering how many of the early missions are simply about running around and talking, that took me quite a while. Also, I learned that Rishi has a weekly mission now? I do vaguely recall hearing something about that being added at some point, but I'd kind of dismissed it because I didn't think Rishi had enough daily missions anyway. I was wrong!

Day 7:

Finally, I closed out the week with a combo of heroics and mob killing, neither of which I re-rolled this time because they were quite synergetic. One planet I hadn't visited yet this week was Tatooine, plus our Imperial guild still needed some Conquest points too, so I picked three Tatooine heroics off the fleet terminal on my dps Juggernaut and off I went. I was initally worried whether I'd judged their length badly when I wasn't even halfway towards completing the kill objective after two heroics, but "fortunately" (in this case) the third one included a lot of running around and mob killing, so that I actually ended up completing both objectives nearly simultaneously.

Week 7 thoughts:

I think I've developed a clear preference in terms of the daily Seasons objectives now: I'll always be happy to do a warzone or GSF match. Heroics and mob killing I'm generally OK with, but I might try to re-roll them anyway if I get the same type of objective too many times in a row or just don't fancy it that much on a particular day. Insectoids I still avoid like the plague.

That said, two months in, things are definitely getting a bit repetitive. I do try to to mix things up by doing things like heroics on different planets every day, but there's only so much you can do to spice things up on that front. I'm looking forward to being properly "done" with this Season and having a bit of a break from caring about these daily and weekly objectives before Bioware intends to start the second Season (in September I think?).

09/06/2021

Shintar's Galactic Seasons Diary, Week 6

Day 1:

We were back to week one objectives, and I got flashpoints and GSF for my weeklies. I decided to keep the flashpoints this time, since three of them are part of the Shadow of Revan prelude and I have a lot of alts that are somewhere on that step of the story (I don't like doing these on solo mode very much). So I figured this could be a good opportunity to progress their personal stories a bit.

My dailies were heroics and conveniently, more GSF. I returned to playing the latter on my Assassin tank, and I felt that I actually did incredibly well for once... I ended up being at the top of scoreboard in that match somehow, with most kills and the highest hit percentage. Sadly, we still lost by quite a margin, but at least I had fun. This also completed the character's first ever GSF weekly, which finished her Conquest three times over, so I knew that I'd want to do the remaining GSF matches for the week on another alt.

For the heroics I decided to return to Corellia, but this time on my Shadow tank to avoid having to kill too many mobs. However, this did not work as well as expected, as I'd forgotten that two of the three heroics I chose were full of mobs with super stealth detection, meaning that going into stealth didn't just not make me inconspicuous, but rather the opposite, sometimes causing mobs to come running from the other side of the room. This was quite amusing but fortunately didn't cause me to lose too much time (to some degree I could still get away with stealthing if I was fast enough running past the mobs with the detection skill).

Day 2:

This was kind of the ultimate test for my interest in Seasons as it was the day after the release of WoW's Burning Crusade Classic, which I was very excited about and therefore distracted by. I actually logged on extremely late at night to check out my objectives, re-rolled insectoid killing once again, but then decided that I couldn't be bothered anyway. However, in the end the FOMO won out and I logged back in the next morning to quickly get my objectives in before the reset after all.

One was to play a warzone, which I did on my lowbie Merc, and once again got into an arena. Now, this one definitely felt depressingly unbalanced in terms of levels - my team all in the thirties and the opposition between 65 and 74 except for one guy. I didn't expect us to stand a chance and we didn't, though I was surprised that I did manage to stay alive at least for a little while.

The re-rolled objective was to kill 75 mobs on a core world and I was unhappy to see from my spreadsheet that only a single one of my characters had any story quests there, and it was my little squid Sorc whom I'd specifically made to PvP and on whom I didn't care about doing the story anyway. Still, I logged into her anyway and flew to Balmorra. For a change of pace I also picked up all the other quests in Sobrik and then just went on a rampage in the nearby area. It was actually interesting to see those side quests again as it had been so long that I'd done some of them that they actually felt vaguely fresh again. I also "found" a datacron containing a green matrix shard and that required two people to unlock, again something I'd completely forgotten about... there was another person there clearly interested in getting it so I helped them out.

Day 3:

Once again I logged on extremely late at night and was therefore glad to see that neither of my daily objectives were group content, as PvP or GSF pops would likely have been non-existent at that time of night. Instead I was asked to do three core world heroics and kill insectoids on Balmorra... which I decided not to to re-roll for once, as the previous day's adventures had reminded me that this was actually quite a viable combo in more than one way, even if I was sick and tired of the Republic heroics featuring Colicoids.

So I logged my Sniper instead and picked up three heroics on Balmorra, two of which I was sure contained Colicoids, the third one I wasn't sure about (and it didn't). Still, after doing those three, I was most of the way towards being finished with the insectoid objective as well, so I just went to Bug Town and AoE-d down a couple of pulls of weak mobs there to finish off.

Day 4:

This time I logged in earlier in the evening and was presented with more generic core world killing and being asked to do a warzone. I played the latter on my Merc again and got into a Quesh Huttball. It was another loss, but I couldn't blame that one on levels; my team was sadly just a lot less co-ordinated than the enemy. Also, in a classic display, the one guy on my team who I could tell was really trying and of whom I thought positively early on in the match, then went on to be abusive in chat and AFK-ed out at the end. Because of course.

For the mob killing I returned to my little Sorc to do some more questing on Balmorra, even though she was long done with her Conquest, but I had no other characters that had anything useful to do on any of the highlighted planets. So I guess a lesson I learned about myself there was that while I generally like to spread out my activity to reach my Conquest target on as many characters as possible, when it comes to Seasons I'll prioritise making actual character progress over spreading out those Conquest points at all costs.

Day 5:

After three days of counting mob kills I was relieved to be presented with Black Hole dailies and a GSF match as my objectives for a change. The GSF match was one of those in which I played pretty abysmally, but everyone else somehow managed to be even worse, so it was no surprise that we lost.

For the Black Hole I decided to go on my Gunslinger, after having done the dailies on Imperial side every time they came up as an objective so far. I generally prefer to go Imp side for these things since our Imperial alt guild sometimes needs a bit of a push to reach the large Conquest yield, but for some reason I find the Imperial side of the Black Hole a bit irritating. I can't quite put my finger on it as I don't think it takes longer exactly, but it just doesn't seem to flow very well. Maybe it's just because I got so much more practice on Republic side back in the day when this zone first came out. On Imp side it always feels like I spend entirely too much time running back and forth to find a few more droids to kill.

Day 6:

My favourite combo of GSF and a warzone at last, woohoo! This GSF match went quite a bit better, and at the start it even looked like it might end up being an easy win, but somehow the enemy managed to turn things around and we ended up losing after all. It was pretty close though, and a good match overall.

The warzone I did on my healing Sage ended up being an Ancient Hypergates. That was another good match, despite of us losing - we were only four points behind, which is an absolutely minuscule difference in that game mode.

As it was Sunday and I had yet to even start on my flashpoint weekly objective, I also decided to run two flashpoints. First I did Depths of Manaan on my Powertech tank. The queue pop showed another tank and I hesitated for a moment as I tend to avoid double tank or double healer team-ups in veteran mode, but I decided to risk it. In the end it went fine, though the other tank was a bit odd. They were unusually chatty by flashpoint standards and seemed friendly enough, but they also bragged about their dps, seemed to pay little attention to any of our damage dealers lagging behind, and felt the need to quiz one of them about why their gear was so bad (not that this person responded).

On my second run I queued for Assault on Tython on my Shadow tank, again because she was on that step in the Shadow of Revan prelude (that had been my reason for choosing the Powertech as well). Funnily enough I ended up in a group with a guildie who was also trying to get his weekly done. I stealthily positioned myself to pull the first group but was instantly reminded that Tython is another one of those flashpoints where people will run all around the houses to skip as much trash as possible. I rolled my eyes a little but decided to let the "lead skipper" take point from then on and it all went very quickly and smoothly.

Day 7:

My last daily objectives for the week were to kill 75 mobs again and to play a warzone. I tried to re-roll the mob killing in hopes of getting a GSF match to synergise with my weekly but got bug killing on Alderaan instead.

I decided to finish my weeklies first and played one last GSF match, which we actually won decisively! First victory I had all week. Then I did Depths of Manaan with my Juggernaut tank and it was quite smooth. I liked that we had this one dps who pulled a couple of times but then actually apologised for it.

With just the dailies left, I joined a warzone on my Shadow, but it was a Hypergate that was less than a minute from ending, and my team was behind. Unsurprisingly, I didn't manage to pull off some miracle move to make us win after all, but at least it was quick completion credit. For the bugs, I couldn't be bothered to try and figure out some interesting activity that would maybe coincide with bug killing anymore, so I just grabbed my dps Sorc and did a round randomly AoE-ing down Killiks just outside the Imperial spaceport.

Week 6 thoughts:

Well, I kind of surprised myself with my persistence in this one, since this would have been the perfect time to end my perfect streak of doing all the objectives, but even in the throes of Burning Crusade hype I found the time to log on at least briefly every day and knock out my dailies. I'm just too much of a sucker for a routine I guess.

Having done the flashpoint weekly two weeks in a row now, I think I'll likely avoid it going forward as it just takes too long compared to anything else and has no synergy with any of the dailies. Like I said last week, it would be nice if there was a daily objective for flashpoints of some sort, but since there isn't it sadly doesn't line up with anything else.

Otherwise this week was kind of dominated by mob killing dailies, giving me a chance to grow tired of those. I'm generally somewhat ambivalent about this sort of objective, because on the one hand it gives you options and you can tie it into some other activity, such as doing story missions or heroics on that planet, but on the other hand it can be seen as a cue to just mindlessly AoE everything in sight for quick completion, which is not the sort of thing I'm fond of.

01/06/2021

Shintar's Galactic Seasons Diary, Week 5

Day 1:

For the first time since the start of the Season, neither of my weeklies involved PvP, as they were for flashpoints and operations. Ops were good again as I was planning to run Gods from the Machine with the guild on Friday, and as for the flashpoints... well, looking at the flashpoint list for the week I decided that I was going to do it this time, also because it was the fifth time in a row that I got the flashpoint weekly and I'd never actually done it. Yes, re-rolling it to GSF or warzones would have been more convenient for sure as I was bound to do those things for dailiy POs anyway, but I was craving some variety.

However, dailies first. One of them was to kill 75 enemies in unknown or wild space, meaning Ilum, CZ-198 or Iokath. I decided to go for kills on Ilum via a character that was on the Ilum storyline anyway, and was surprised to find that I only had one, my dps Sage. I seem to remember that there was a time when loads of my alts had yet to do Ilum... I guess I burned through them all back when Conquest actually required some work and questing on Ilum was a frequently reoccurring objective.

The other daily was a warzone again, which I played on my lowbie Merc. I was glad to see some map variety once again, as I got put into Yavin Ruins for the first time in ages. My team won - somewhat to my surprise, considering that they were not very responsive to my calls for help and multiple people were off to skirmish at the third turret when we already owned two, but I guess we just overpowered the enemy so much that it didn't matter.

For the flashpoints I decided to pick characters that had story missions tied to one of the flashpoints from the selection, so I started by queueing my original Sorc for Legacy of the Rakata. I got into a group with two stealthers, which allowed us to skip a few extra pulls, but nobody was obnoxious if we did end up pulling something after all. The other non-stealther, a bounty hunter, got stuck in the terrain at one point and I had to rescue him, but other than that it was a pretty nice and smooth run. I ended up involuntarily tanking the last boss and rotating through the kolto stations to keep myself alive, as we were a full dps team.

I then decided to go on another run, this time to Directive 7 on my DvL Commando. I did have slight regrets when I was reminded of all the annoying skips that many pugs insist on in this flashpoint as I got myself stuck inside a wall while running along one of the pipes. After I'd untangled myself with /stuck, I went and just killed the lone weak mob that we had so painstakingly avoided.

On Bulwark I ended up tanking once again, and actually died - much to my embarrassment - as I was surprised by how much damage I took and didn't click on a kolto station quickly enough. I felt a little sheepish for about a minute, but then the rest of the group actually wiped (!). After that, the rest of the run went okay, and the only other noteworthy thing that happened was that we tried to skip the boss with the two turrets near the end but someone aggroed him anyway, which made our main skipper quite annoyed, based on their "wtf" and "omg" comments in party chat.

After that I decided to leave the third flashpoint for another day. It felt strange to realise that I hadn't actually done a veteran mode flashpoint in many months and how everything felt slightly unfamiliar.

Day 2:

I logged on quite late in the evening, hoping for something quick, so when I saw the insectoid killing objective, I immediately re-rolled it and got CZ-198 dailies instead. The other PO was a warzone, which was fine.

I played another PvP match on my lowbie Merc and got into a Huttball, which my team won 6-0. Our opponents were dead set on killing, with me being a favoured target due to my low-ish level, but I can't say I'm upset about being killed if it leaves my team unimpeded to win more easily!

For the dailies I picked up my DvL Assassin, wanting to minimise mob killing since that wasn't part of the objective. Despite the late hour, there was a veritable crowd in the CZ-198 landing zone when I arrived, so I immediately switched to the PvP instance. I was surprised to see two people by the shuttle there as well, but once I went into the actual quest area I didn't see another soul during my entire round, which was pretty much what I had hoped for.

Day 3:

Another late night, I logged on to find more CZ-198 dailies and insectoid killing. I re-rolled the insects again and got generic mob killing instead... perfect combo, yes!

This time I took my Sniper to do the dailies and stayed in the PvE instance, since I suck at PvPing as Sniper. It was busy despite the late hour, but there were still enough mobs to go around. Only the champion droid for the heroic took some time to secure a tag on. Finishing the quests and my kills ended up lining up quite nicely.

Day 4:

This time I logged on earlier in the evening to get my daily objectives done before ops time. I had to do a GSF match, which popped almost instantly, and the match ended up being pretty close but ultimately a loss, sadly. The most interesting thing about it was the guy on my team who kept trying to give pretty detailed instructions, like "They have three slicer ships, get the slicers!" and I was just kind of baffled that he apparently expected the rest of us to actually know and understand what he was asking of us.

I also got CZ-198 dailies for the third day in row and briefly considered re-rolling them but then was like "nah". They are after all really fast and easy. This time I went on my Operative on Imp side and again switched to the PvP instance the moment I arrived and saw how busy it was. Unfortunately there were other Imps in the PvP instance as well... but I had the sense to not try to fight them over the droid crates (where I encountered them) but instead move on to the next area and complete the quests there first, including the heroic. That worked out well as the other floor was pretty quiet and by the time the others arrived, I was ready to go back and quickly finish off the crate quest.

Story mode Gods from the Machine with the guild was smooth and fairly unremarkable. In conversation I came up with the idea of maybe creating a YouTube video called "The Gods from the Machine story explained", which would then just be me saying: "Don't worry, it's not just you; it simply doesn't make any sense."

Finally I decided to finish off the evening by doing my last flashpoint for the other weekly. I decided to go for Czerka Corporate Labs on my DvL Juggernaut. I was actually kind of slow to notice that the Czerka flashpoints were on the list too; to be honest if I'd seen that earlier I probably would have done Core Meltdown instead of D7, but oh well. You live and learn. This run was super fast and smooth, with people who clearly all knew what they were doing. On our way to the second boss someone even said "remember not to pull the second boss until everyone's in the room" - that right there is a sign of someone who's pugged that place a lot. At the end someone commented that we had been so fast, it had probably been even more efficient than a Hammer Station run. Damning praise, but I'll take it!

Day 5:

Got generic mob killing and insecticide as my objectives again. Re-rolled the insects and ended up with CZ-198 dailies for the fourth day in a row. Could be worse I guess... (I said that last bit out loud, to which Mr Commando replied from across the table: "Yes, you could be doing this instead!" He was doing an archaeology quest in WoW.)

I hopped onto CZ and into the PvP instance on my dps Powertech, and actually encountered an enemy player for the first time! They were fighting the champion droid when I saw them and I briefly thought about attacking but then decided not to and disappeared around a corner instead. A couple minutes later I went for the droid myself, and as soon as I was done, what I suspect was the same person suddenly attacked me instead and killed me (I was in combat, not expecting it, and am not that great at death match PvP anyway). I suppose it was a small mercy that they at least waited until I was done with the droid too or just didn't see me any earlier. As it was, that death was barely a bump in the road and I quickly resumed my questing, to finish both the weekly mission and my two objectives a few minutes later.

Day 6:

Generic mob killing and insectoids AGAIN. I re-rolled the latter and got CZ-198 AGAIN. My guildies were complaining about GSF and Iokath dailies - how I wished I could have gotten some of those instead! Still, not the worst thing on the world, so I went to that little moon yet again, this time on the Sorc on which I had done Legacy of the Rakata on day one, since she still needed some Conquest points.

Once again I opted for the PvP instance, though it was surprisingly busy, at least with other Imps. I didn't see another Republic character until I spotted a guildie on one of their Republic alts, so I jumped him and killed him (admittedly with another random Imp joining in). We were both on voice chat so I also teased him about it there. However, he managed to revive quickly and then killed me in return, so fair play. We had a good laugh about it.

Day 7:

Generic mob killing again, but at least this time it was paired with doing a warzone. I decided to return to Ilum with my dps Sage and continued the storyline some more. As much fun as it is to give Lord Loyat a dressing-down, it did occur to me that I might have done that particular storyline a bit too many times (especially compared to other planetary arcs).

The warzone was once again done by my lowbie Merc - can I still say lowbie now that she's level 40? - and I got into an arena. I got a little excited to see that I wasn't the lowest level in the match when I noticed that there was also a level 18 Vanguard on my team. However, when I tried to seize up the opposition, I noticed that the only person whose level I could see was a level 60+ Sage... the other three were all stealth dps. I'm sure I don't need to elaborate on how that went, but at least it got the objective done quickly.

Week 5 thoughts:

We've now completed the last of the five weeks that were posted on Bioware's blog about Seasons - which means that after the reset we'll be back to week one and its focus on core worlds. Hopefully the worst bugs will be fixed by now, and if you ever found yourself annoyed in previous weeks by having made bad re-roll decisions based on that week's objectives, you'll get another chance at those.

I've definitely fallen into a routine of doing the warzone and PvP objectives every day, ops for the weekly if I get it, and always re-rolling insectoid killing. Dailies, heroics and generic mob killing are usually fine for me too but get tiresome if they repeat too many days in a row - then again, I've had to learn from experience that re-rolling them risks making things even worse.

I really wish there was a daily objective for flashpoints of some kind - it could be any difficulty to satisfy both soloers and socialisers - just to mix things up a bit I guess.