Ruhnuk - Six Months Later

When Ruhnuk was added as a new planet almost six months ago now, I quickly went from excited to confused. It had looked beautiful in the previews, and the story update set there featured some amazing cinematic cut scenes, but my feelings about the story as a whole were... complicated, and my first experience with Ruhnuk as a daily area was a bit of a nightmare. However, I did wonder even at the time whether it would grow on me over time, the way Iokath did after not making a particularly stellar impression at first.

My feelings on Ruhnuk have indeed become more nuanced since then... though I'll say right away that I'm still not a fan of doing the dailies.

The Planetary Story

I realised that in my original posts about Ruhnuk, I never said much about the optional planetary storyline that unlocks after the main story, which seems like quite a big thing to leave out, especially considering that it's actually quite good. After the endless alien gibberish on Manaan, I definitely appreciated all the characters speaking Basic this time around, and it was just an enjoyable storyline in general (with one "bug"/flaw I ran into early on, where Lane chastises you for supposedly making a certain choice at a point where you're not actually given any choices). I especially liked how when you find the little Basilisk droid at the end, it's implied that it could join you as a companion or pet later on... we'll see whether Bioware ever follows up on that.

Relic Hunts

There's also this other "side quest" to unlock three minor buffs to help you with your questing. I have mixed feelings about this one. As an optional side mission, by itself, it works okay, even if the last part goes on a bit and features several bait-and-switch scenarios where it seems like you should be done after the next step but then yet another obstacle appears. However, in terms of how helpful these buffs actually are for everyday play, I'm not entirely convinced.

I liked the way this was done on Manaan, where you organically earned three temporary abilities as part of the optional storyline, and they were really useful ones as well, such as stealth for non-stealth characters or a reflective shield. With the Ruhnuk Relic Hunts, the abilities are both less powerful and require waaay more running around to acquire, to the point where if you don't strictly focus on completing the long mission chain as a priority, you might well max out your planetary reputation before you've actually earned the tools that were supposed to help you with making questing easier. That felt a bit misjudged to me in terms of effort vs. reward.

Datacron & World Boss(es)

First off, I generally really appreciate that Bioware took the time to add these things to Ruhnuk to make the planet feel more "worldly" and to ensure that there are some things to do beyond just doing dailies. I didn't actually bother with getting the datacron until today, but I liked that it felt interesting to get without being too challenging. I've kind of had enough of the fiendishly hard jumping puzzles to be honest...

The summonable wraid boss is a nice idea but somewhat hampered by not having any purpose beyond a one-time achievement and the fact that one of the drops required to summon him seems to have a stupidly low drop rate. The "regular" world boss, Kithrawl, was kind of disappointing to me in that his mechanics are extremely basic yet he has a ridiculous number of hitpoints, meaning that he's both quite boring to fight but also takes a long time to die unless you bring an absolutely massive group - not the best combination in my opinion.

Navigation & Obstacles

All that said, the main reason that I still don't like Ruhnuk all that much remains that it's just a chore to get anywhere. After six months and visiting the place on several alts, I kinda know my way around by now, but it remains easy to get lost by taking a wrong turn inside a tunnel. Still, there are other planets that are hard to navigate, and that alone hasn't been a reason for me to dislike them, so what's the problem?

I realised that what makes Ruhnuk such a pain to traverse is that a lot of the map consists of narrow ravines and tunnels stuffed with mobs, which means that assuming you don't have stealth, getting anywhere requires fighting every single step of the way (which makes it feel all the more punishing if you accidentally end up taking a wrong turn and then have to backtrack). I didn't like the endless tunnels of skytroopers in the KotFE chapters, and there's definitely a bit of that vibe here.

Even worse though, for some reason there are way too many silver and gold mobs sprinkled throughout the area, which makes everything take even longer. More specifically, the areas for the heroic missions are not clearly delineated but instead kind of "bleed into" the regular questing areas, which means that you might just be following an arrow towards a story quest objective when you turn a corner and suddenly find yourself in combat with a large group of golds and silvers.

I had one particularly memorable encounter of this kind which was exacerbated even more by the fact that two groups of mobs appeared to be linked in some way that didn't make sense, so I'd not just get one group, but another heroic-level group of mobs would instantly come sprinting around the corner the moment I pulled, which caused me to get overwhelmed and defeated in the same spot about three times before I could proceed to my quest objective. I like heroics as optional, more challenging content, but the way Ruhnuk has these unavoidable heroic-level mob groups blocking your path everywhere is just tedious.

I hope that Bioware will continue adding new areas like this; I'd just prefer them to be more open, to not have so many unavoidable mobs, and for side content to either be more rewarding or less tedious. Ruhnuk's planetary storyline and the datacron both hit a pretty sweet spot in my opinion; there's just too much other stuff that detracts from the experience for me to want to spend much time hanging around.


  1. I finally got around to doing the the planetary arc this week and I liked it. It felt like there was enough decisions to be made that I do look forward to running it again to see what happens if I go down a different path. So definitely a plus there.

    The actual datacron hunt / path was fun. Not too long, with the jumping bits not so annoying as, say, Makeb. (Apparently if you die at after reaching the medical droid you respawn there, not at the start. I hope one day they retro-fit this idea for Makeb to save folks from that horrible run back.) Once I knew where the start of the datacron path was at, I was able to work through the process without needing any hints.

    That said, having to do the relics quest chains was an obnoxious situation. That felt like a bunch of time-wasting steps intended to slow you down. I know they wanted to try to us it to help you learn the map, but that just didn't work for me. I still get lost in all of those damn tunnels. :sigh: This set of maps just irritates me, from the fact you can't quick travel once you land on the planet, to me missing many of the paths upward because I didn't notice them coming from certain directions. I know people dislike Corellia's streets, but I'll take that over Ruhnuk's canyons.

    I probably won't be back to Ruhnuk unless the story continues (I want to see a Basilisk pet/companion/mount) or the dailies are part of a Galactic Season achievement. Now to return to Manaan for that stuff...

    1. I got to find out about the respawn by the medical droid myself and was quite relieved. 😛

      The thing with being unable to quick travel from the landing zone is so weird and annoying! I actually thought about mentioning it in the post but it didn't quite fit in.

      I actually thought that as a prerequisite for the datacron, the relic hunt quests are fine, as it gives a bit more "meat" to the process and only needs to be done once per account. Just for the buffs that help you with the dailies, which you may well want to do on multiple characters, they are a lot of effort though...

    2. Thinking about it, if the relic quests had unlocked the buffs account-wide as a bonus to getting the datacron I'd be happier with them. That would add enough reward the length of them would feel a lot better. Time to reward ratio and all that. (I am such a casual these days. ^_^)

  2. The one place the buffs really matter is the Waterworks quest, which is clearly designed for you to start at the rocket pad so you only have to fight through the whole zone twice instead of three times. (Or once, if you quick travel back to the pad and jump up just to transmit.)

    On Star Forge, people are still dropping group and summoning companions for Kithrawl out of habit, so that helps him die a little faster.

    1. The Waterworks are evil! And a prime example of what I mean when I say I think the relic quests take too long... by the time I unlocked the repulsor unit, I'd slogged my way through that place so many times, it wasn't much fun to go back even with that shortcut enabled.


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