Galactic Season 4 - Ambivalence about Amity

The moment we first heard that Galactic Season 4 was already meant to start with patch 7.2.1, I was worried about that being too soon. At the time I still had a bit of hope that the break between the two seasons might end up being a decent length, but in practice we only ended up getting three weeks. Now Season 4 is here and all I can keep thinking is: Yeah, it's definitely too soon.

With prior seasons I was always excited to check them out and re-up my investment in the game, but this one landed and all I could think was "well, here we go again" as I re-started my habit of logging into every server every day to claim some seasons points. It's not that I dislike it, but I put so much effort into Season 3, I'm just not ready to do the same thing again. I suspect I will downscale my efforts a bit this time and not bother with the one hundred weekly objectives on all servers. It's just too much.

My feelings of ambiguity extend to other parts of GS4 as well, such as the new companion. I didn't expect my wish for new friend with properly done voice acting to come true, but that doesn't change that I can't really get excited for another companion who speaks nothing but alien gibberish. I appreciate that Bioware is trying to mix things up by giving them more interesting backstories and cycling through different kinds of alien gibberish at least, but I'm not sure whether making Amity speak Selonian was the best choice either, considering that Selonians have very few spoken lines in the game and I've literally noticed him repeat the exact same line of chatter back-to-back during conversations. That he's relatively peace-loving makes for an interesting theme, but then again, giving him an achievement that requires you to kill 2,500 mobs with a wannabe-pacifist by your side is weird.

His unique little trick that is a weekly objective sometimes, like catching cheaters was with PH4-LNX, is to meditate at a shrine. This has already turned out to be quite contentious because it involves sitting still for two minutes or more, and then requires you to take a ten-minute break afterwards (in-game minutes that is, the timer on the debuff won't count down while you're logged out) before you can meditate some more. Not only are those mechanics quite at odds with the very notion of how mediation is supposed to work (it's support to relax, not exhaust you), they also inspire some unflattering comparisons to the forced wait timers in some mobile games.

On the other hand... I haven't found the whole thing to be a big deal myself, as I just meditate until I get the debuff (and get a drink while doing so), play the game for a bit, and then meditate some more later. It's really easy seasons points! I also saw someone comment on the forums that they used the meditation time as an opportunity to strike up random conversations with other players at the shrine. So I guess it works for some people?

UI-wise, Bioware decided to move the seasonal objectives to their own tab next to the reward track, away from the Conquest window, and while this makes perfect logical sense, I'm really struggling to get used to it after three seasons of looking for my objectives next to the Conquest ones. I'm slightly worried that this has the potential to become a permanent misclicking situation for me like the guild invasion tab - I forget whether that one's under Conquests or guilds, but whichever one it is, I always open the wrong one first.

Bottom line is: I'm feeling conflicted. I did think it was a hoot this past week watching pugs make a mess of Nightmare Pilgrim over and over for example (killing him was a weekly objective) but at the same time doing as many objectives as I did across all servers already felt pretty exhausting, and this is only week one. I'm glad that I'll be getting away from the internet for a few days over Easter, as that might help a bit with gaining perspective and clarity about just how much I want to invest in this season, considering it has come this soon.

1 comment :

  1. My gut feeling is that we'll rarely, if ever, have a person doing voice lines for a Galactic Seasons companion. From a production perspective it is easier for them since they can just rewrite the lines instead of having to record them in all the languages. Which sucks as alien voices get tiresome so fast as you pointed out.

    The UI change was a bit jarring for me, too. I'm having to relearn habits to find my weekly objectives. Ah well, I'll eventually get it down pat. Probably about the time they change it again. ^_^

    I'm with you in that this season was too soon. I'll do it, but then I'm only doing it on Star Forge, so it isn't as exhausting as trying to hit the goals on all the servers. I just don't have the enthusiasm for this Amity because of this, though some of the bits are kind of fun. I do like the meditation quest, especially when a large group is there since you accrue points faster.


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