08/08/2022

Digging Deeper - Story Thoughts

Aside from dailies and a new operation, 7.1 also gave us a little story update called "Digging Deeper". For an intermission-style addition I considered it quite meaty, seeing how it clocks in at about half an hour (assuming you watch all the cut scenes) and actually takes you to several different locations. What I've seen of the reception so far has been pretty positive, but for me it's been more of a mixed bag to be honest. I by no means disliked it, but I also didn't really love it. Let me explain.

First though, let's have a quick summary of the story's events - including spoilers! We start with your character flying to Elom with Kira and Sana-Rae since Kira had a bad feeling related to the place. In the ruins where you captured Malgus you get an update from your recovery dig team, which essentially comes down to them being none the wiser about what any of the relics were about.

Suddenly Kira has a flash of recognition when getting close to a specific relic, leading her to have the epiphany that Darth Nul was a child of the Emperor (not literal, but like she was). The team also notes that of the original Republic expedition to Elom, only Sa'har's fate is unknown, meaning that she could still be alive and be able to offer a hint about what Malgus was up to. In the meantime you're advised to go back to the fleet and try talking to him again, since it's not like you've got many other leads to pursue.

We cut to a view of Sa'har standing over some dead bodies and freeing her brother Ri'kan from a cell, seemingly thinking that she saved him from slavers. However, he is not at all happy to see her, and the people cut down by Sa'har appear to have been Mandalorians. After she sobs and apologises, he doesn't really soften to her but suddenly seems to have an idea about "someone who can use you".

Next we find ourselves back on the fleet in Malgus' prison. You send away your advisors and try to talk to him alone, which is initially met with silence, until he suddenly cracks briefly to taunt you about how foolish you are for not even recognising that Darth Nul was none other than the creator of the children of the Emperor, and that his "vision" will come to pass no matter what you do.

You share this intel with your team on Odessen and they also have an update for you as they found an audio log from Jedi Master Denolm Orr (Sa'har's master from the cinematic) in which he admits to being a former child of the Emperor himself. He also brings up the holocron that Sa'har got away with. Finally, you receive an update from or about whoever you sent to that unknown planet that we all thought was Elom in the last update before 7.0. If you sent Arcann he'll tell you that it's a weird place and that he found some ruins he can't enter due to overwhelming Force energies. If you sent others, Sana-Rae will tell you with concern that the expedition has gone silent. You can agree to send her in for support or not.

When you return to where your ship's parked on Odessen, in order to meditate or clear your head, you suddenly receive a holo call from Shae, who tells you that she has finally found Heta Kol on a planet called Ruhnuk but that she'll need support as the opposition is stronger than she anticipated. We cut to a shot of Ri'kan introducing Sa'har to Heta Kol. Heta welcomes them with a smile while some of her Mandalorian underlings look on somewhat sceptically.


As you can tell, a lot actually happens in that half an hour. That's definitely one of the things I do like about this update: It manages to move the story forward in important ways, primarily by adding more context to the events of the LotS cinematic and by tying the Malgus arc to the Mandalorian storyline. I also like how many secondary and minor characters make reappearances, such as Kira, Sana-Rae, Talos Drellik (though I wonder who greets you if you never bothered to do his Alliance alert), Master Gnost-Dural, General Daeruun, Darth Rivix and Colonel Golah. Plus many of the cut scenes have cinematography that makes for some great screenshot opportunities.

Nonetheless I came away feeling rather unsatisfied after my first playthrough of this story, and while I repeated it on my alts I tried to pin down what was bothering me. My first instinct was that there weren't enough conversation choices, but I actually counted them and I think for the overall length of the update, 15 to 20 conversation wheels are fine.

However, the whole thing still just felt too passive to me anyway. While the plot advances somewhat, your character has zero agency in any of it. Everything's just other characters telling you what new information they have or haven't found, and you not being able to do anything about it. You get to look at the relics on Elom but don't really learn anything useful, and it's Kira who has the epiphany about Darth Nul.

The Malgus interrogation scene, which feels like it should be an important moment for your character, seems to go exactly the same way no matter which options you pick, in that he doesn't really respond to anything you're saying, meaning it doesn't feel like you really did anything clever to make him reveal himself; he was just getting bored I guess.

Other subjects that come up and feel like they could potentially be important, such as what to do about Sa'har and the holocron, or what's happening on that planet you may or may not have sent Arcann to, just get kicked further down the road. Ultimately there's a lot of talking going on, but your character isn't really doing any acting beyond listening to what everyone has to say, and that was a bit disappointing to me for half an hour worth of story. In that much time I was really hoping to feel like I was doing something, not just be on the receiving end of a big info dump.

Also, is it me or is there just too much vague stuff going on in the story at the moment? There are all these relics of Nul of which we don't know what they're for, Sa'har has a mysterious holocron, Arcann and Sana-Rae are potentially exploring another planet full of mysteries, Scourge also went off on some mystery mission of his own... I don't know about you, but I've kind of gone from being intrigued to feeling a bit lost and like I don't know what's important anymore because there are too many things going on that are all mysterious in kinda samey ways.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts. Check out Chash Larol's review for a different take. What did you think of this update?

2 comments :

  1. Re: Talos. I've seen someone on Reddit mention that he'll still be there even if you haven't done his alert, and he'll treat it like it's your first meeting. No exact details were given of the conversation, but it's good to see that they apparently thought about that.

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  2. I feel the same way about all the vague stuff they're adding. I suspect they will all tie into the main story, but it feels like they are adding these small details to keep everyone guessing and intrigued.

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