Daily Tour: Iokath

I've been meaning to write about Iokath. Intisar wrote an excellent blog post called "Iokath is Good, Actually" back in November, which I meant to comment on at the time but didn't for some reason, and then it was too late because the comment section for that particular post had closed.

So I'll let you in on a secret here: Somehow, Iokath has become one of my favourite daily areas. No, really! I think a large chunk of it is the ridiculously high amount of conquest points it awards compared to the relatively low time and effort required to complete the weekly quest, but also, I just kind of like how different it is. So it's about time I continued my kinda-sorta series of posts about my daily routines and wrote about Iokath. Especially since I'm not sure whether it will continue to be viable once Legacy of the Sith hits, what with the planned changes to daily and weekly resets. If you're someone who investigated this on the PTS, please let me know in the comments.

Anyway, one of Iokath's biggest drawbacks as a daily zone is that you can't just go there, pick up all the available quests and get your weekly done in a single day. However, there's a simple big brain workaround around this: Go to the mission board - just the board, don't do any quests - two to three days in a row and keep adding to your log. Once you've got at least ten dailies that you're happy with, you can get your weekly done in one go. This still has the disadvantage that your quest log is pretty clogged up for a couple of days, but since I'm not much of a daily runner in general, this isn't usually a problem for me.

You may have taken note of my choice of words in the previous paragraph: "ten dailies that you're happy with", because god knows I don't like all of them myself. The colossal droid requires a group for example, which is not ideal in most circumstances. Both the scouting mission and the one to disable enemy defenses require too much running around for my liking. And unlike Intisar, I don't like the one to kill forty droids as a walker either.

I remember at the start you couldn't loot while in "vehicle form" and I'm someone who's very obsessive about making all the loot beams disappear, so being unable to deal with that quickly made this one a no-go. I do think they might have fixed this issue later on, but by that point it was too late for me. Plus being a walker prevents you from doing certain activities required for other missions, and you'll already have to kill dozens of droids just to get all those other things done, so adding another forty unrelated kills on top of that just doesn't appeal to me.

I do like the vehicle quests with the mouse droid and Iokath monitor, the one to defend the base, as well as everything in the docking ring and weapons factory plus the more generic kill quests. So this is how it goes then:

Starting in my faction's base, I first do everything that can be done right there, which covers the base defense and the aforementioned vehicle quests. For the kills with the monitor, I go just outside the base and up the ramp, where weak mobs come in singles and pairs, which are easy to kill even for the fragile monitor, and while I'm there I can also enable some laser defenses (because that's something you can apparently do in vehicle form).

Next I go back to the landing zone and enter the docking ring, which can contain up to four daily missions, though I'll also go if I've only got two or three. I disable the two lasers in the first room and do the little event there, and then proceed to the easternmost room, which contains one of the AA batteries (assuming I have that quest). Then I make my way north for the second one. If I don't have that particular mission, my circle will be condensed to just get a few more lasers and droid control stations.

Once done in here, I use my quick travel to quickly get back out, and then run out onto Iokath proper, just to make a quick beeline towards the tram that takes you to the weapons factory (pictured here is the Republic version of that). In there I first go to the southern room to play the weird ball game there (my inner SEO optimiser is screaming at me for not calling anything by its proper name, but I can't be bothered to look up the names of each mission - plus I wouldn't want people to find this while searching for a guide and then leave me angry comments about what a useless guide this is). I click on the panels along the walls if I have that particular quest, and then go north if I need to vent heat. At some point during this, I should usually be finishing my weekly, and once done, I can once again quick travel out.

I think the fact that the description of the actual daily "round" only took me three paragraphs should tell you how quick and easy the Iokath weekly actually is if you stack enough quests, as there are several places where you can get three to four of them done almost all at once - which is more than you can say for most daily zones to be honest!


That Star Wars Insider Article

Back in October, I retweeted someone noting that Darth Malgus and Star Wars: The Old Republic were going to feature on the cover of Star Wars Insider #207:

Aside from being happy to see the game get some good publicity, I immediately knew that I wanted to see the actual article behind that cover as well. Physical magazines like Star Wars Insider may seem a bit quaint and old-fashioned nowadays, but personally I've retained some fondness for the format. During my teens I went through a phase where pretty much all my pocket money was spent on various magazines every month, which I then ended up reading in their entirety from front to back every time. Before I had internet, this was simply the best way to keep up with news when it came to certain niche interests such as Star Wars. Star Wars - The Official Magazine was the German equivalent of Star Wars Insider at the time and also on my reading list.

I will say though, as it turns out, even just buying a specific magazine can be quite a challenge nowadays. In Austria there were newsagents at every corner of my neighbourhood when I grew up, and even so it could be tricky to find one that carried everything I wanted to read. Here in England I've found them to be somewhat rarer, and I wouldn't even have known were to start looking for one with a sufficiently large selection. You'd think the answer would be to simply order online, but as it turns out nobody wants to sell single issues of physical magazines online either, only if you pony up for an annual subscription. I eventually found/settled on purchasing a digital copy from a site called Pocketmags, even if it felt very pricey for what it is.

I wish that as a result I had some super secret and exciting insider scoop to share with all of you, but alas. Unsurprisingly, the seven page article about SWTOR is mostly a fluff piece aimed at people who either haven't played the game at all or have only a passing familiarity with it (perhaps they played it at some point in the past and then stopped) - which makes sense for an audience of general Star Wars fans I guess.

The only quote hinting at future content beyond what we already know about Legacy of the Sith is Charles Boyd saying: "We're going to be doing some cool stuff with Malgus, and it's going to set off a new direction in the storyline that I think will be really intriguing. We never seem to run out of cool things we can do in this storyline. But always expect more, and there is more coming down the road." Which sounds cool, but is also very vague.

Still, I did enjoy the rest of the article too. It's basically a combo interview with Charles Boyd and someone called Orion Kellogg, whom I hadn't heard of before but who's apparently an executive producer at Lucasfilm Games and a sort of brand liaison for SWTOR. I liked that the general vibe seemed to be one of them being quite happy with what SWTOR represents, with it being the longest running Star Wars game to date, and Orion calling out the ever evolving and growing online community as something he's enjoyed watching. You'd hope that, financial incentives aside, knowing that the game has many loyal and deeply involved fans would also serve as a reason to keep it running for many years to come. Then again, they still can't even be bothered to give it a listing on the starwars.com games and apps page, which includes highly rated classics such as Angry Birds Star Wars and multiple version of Star Wars Pinball...