Notes about Galactic Season 5, Week 2

Man, remember when I used to keep weekly diaries of all my daily progress back during Season 1? For about three months back in 2021, this blog was almost nothing but me waffling on about how I'd completed my seasons objectives every day. I mean, it was of course fun in a way, but in hindsight it also seems slightly insane and I'm glad that the devs changed things dramatically from Season 2 onwards.

This is not going to be like those diary posts, but a few things did happen last week related to seasons that I found noteworthy.

First off, I was surprised by how quickly the devs pushed through a change related to how the seasonal missions are unlocked, which didn't seem like it was desperately needed but had simply gotten negative feedback on the forums. Basically the original setup was that doing the seasonal missions on an alt would've required you to buy access from a vendor for the price of one Galactic Seasons token each. To me, this actually seemed pretty reasonable, as I wasn't planning to play through this story on all my alts, but for those I did want to do it on, I appreciated the idea of having something useful to spend my tokens on. Apparently a lot of players absolutely hated that though, so now the mission items are in collections and you can simply unlock them there. My desperate mission to find things to spend Galactic Seasons tokens on whenever I hit the cap continues.

Regardless though, I found it remarkable how quickly the devs responded to this and that the change was pushed to live within only a week. That is not how I'm used to them operating unless it's something literally game-breaking.

Now, my other thoughts relate to the weekly objectives that were available in week two. Firstly, I'm really liking these new objectives to do things with your companion in dps or tank role, which have been put in to replace the ones that used to ask you to kill mobs with the new seasonal companion.

It makes me feel kind of old now to consider that anyone who started playing after 2015 doesn't even remember the times when companions couldn't play all three trinity roles, and how you were stuck with whatever your first couple of companions specialised in. If you were, say, a smuggler or a Jedi knight, not getting a healer until your forties definitely taught you some harsh lessons while levelling up.

Now, while I think it's generally a good thing that you can change each companion's role, I also feel it kind of encourages a certain kind of mindless play to have every companion just be set to healing by default. So I like that this objective is something to perhaps encourage more casual players to at least try something different in a setting of their choice. Who knows, maybe you'll find that you actually don't need all those heals while doing your dailies, and that going in as a double-dps team makes things a lot faster. Or maybe you're someone who loves to use AoE and didn't even know that setting your companion to tank gives them a powerful AoE pull that puts mobs into a neat pile for you if they were previously spread out. Just... a really low-pressure way of nudging people towards trying a different play style, and an objective that also synergises well with other weeklies.

Now, an objective I was less pleased with was the first iteration of the weekly operations objective. I was happy when I first heard that they were going to add some weekly objectives for operations, and at a glance, I thought that doing one of four listed story mode ops seemed pretty reasonable, but then it turned out that to get your twelve points, you actually had to do all four.

Let me be clear here: I really enjoy ops. I'm in a guild focused on that, and we had a blast completing this objective together. We did it on a Saturday evening and in total it took us about two hours and fifteen minutes. Since we had twelve people show up, we undermanned the 16-man version, and to make things a bit more challenging/interesting, we decided to attempt an all-dps run - no tanks, no healers. It was quite fun and interesting to see that we did indeed get away with that setup on all but one boss - Master's damage output on Master and Blaster was pretty high, and we decided after one wipe that we'd rather have one person respec to healing for this one fight so that we could get past it and move on.

However, for all the fun we had, four operations in a single evening is still a pretty big ask even for an organised guild (we usually try not to go on for longer than two hours), simply because regardless of how easy they are, even at a brisk pace you can only go so fast, and if you include the organisational side of things, it's a pretty big time investment for a single weekly. (Only the GSF weekly for medals is worse in my opinion - I considered myself lucky to complete it last week after "only" having to do the GSF weekly mission on three different characters.)

Plus I can only imagine how much worse it must be if you're trying to pug all four ops over the course of the week, both in terms of time required and potential for annoying complexity: e.g. you join a group for KP and things go well, so they then want to continue to EC but you did that one the day before and only need Ravagers now... it just seems like it could be a massive headache. Jackie said they were open to feedback and I think this simply needs to be reduced to require at max two out of four operations.

Finally, the last thing I wanted to comment on is the update to the flashpoint objectives. This change is something that was communicated beforehand, but I didn't really have much of an emotional response to it at the time.

The way it used to work was that you needed to get eight "points" and you'd get one for every flashpoint you did, but you could also get bonus points for doing specific flashpoints, and even more points for doing the bonus bosses in those flashpoints. Basically, the best case scenario was that you'd complete the objective in a single run, and the worst case that it would take eight runs, with anything in-between also being possible. I guess that was kind of complex (possibly also for the devs, seeing how there were sometimes bugs with certain bonuses not applying correctly), and I get the logic behind wanting to simplify it to just require you to run two featured flashpoints, period, but still... this week I did kind of feel like something was missing now.

It's not such a big change on my main on Darth Malgus, because whether I run just one master mode flashpoint with guildies or two doesn't feel like a huge difference. However, last week I also did this objective on the other servers, and there I thought it was very noticeable that only having the listed flashpoints count made the experience kind of same-y.

I actually decided to try my luck by queueing for random veteran flashpoints at first to complete the weekly mission to do three of those, hoping that someone else would've specifically selected to queue only for the flashpoints eligible for seasons and I would then be grouped with them. This worked out on one character, who fully completed her flashpoint seasons objective at the same time as completing the weekly mission. Two characters only got lucky once, and then had to manually queue for or solo one more of the eligible flashpoints in specific. And one was so unlucky that her whole flashpoint weekly went by without a single eligible flashpoint popping, so she gained no seasons progress whatsoever from the experience. Yes, I know it's kind of my own fault for trying my luck, but under the old system I still would've come away with some progress at least, so this felt a bit bad.

That said, again to be fair, I still had a blast pugging all those veteran mode flashpoints. I haven't done a lot of pugging since 7.0, so it felt quite fresh, and I was pleased to encounter so many people of different knowledge levels. In fact, I definitely viewed it as positive how many players seemed hesitant and clearly new, if not to the game then at least to this content - it's good to see that at eleven years of age, SWTOR still attracts plenty of newbies.

I'd like to think that they'd also mostly rate their experiences in those flashpoints as positive... except for that poor lowbie in Athiss. The other two people in the group were Operatives who were running ahead in stealth and CCing things for us to follow. The lowbie fell behind and died (though I'm not sure to what, as I was close by and didn't even see anything aggro), and before I could even finish typing my question about what had happened into chat, they'd already dropped group, clearly overwhelmed by this push to rush when they had no idea what was going on. The stealthers then also asked me to do the annoying jump skip and I got stuck on the wall. I used /stuck to free myself and then got stuck again. While I waited for /stuck to come off cooldown, they just killed the trash in the end...

That was about the "worst" thing I saw though. Everything else was just kind of fascinating and marvellous. A group with a stealther that didn't skip anything in Nathema Conspiracy. Mavrix Varad deciding to go counter-clockwise around the room instead of clockwise. Someone pulling the boarding party in Mandalorian Raiders while one group member was lagging way behind, causing the Juggernaut boss (who has random targeting) to run off towards them and only come back around the time when all his companions were dead. A group that was completely undeterred by Crisis on Umbara. Just good times all around. We'll see how I feel about these as the season progresses.


  1. I've been a big fan of Seasons since the start because it pulled me out of my comfort zone and made me try group content, so I find the operations objective especially disappointing. It's not approachable for someone who's never done ops before, and it should be.

    1. Agree 100%! Like I said about the companion objective, seasons can definitely serve as a way to gently encourage people to try different things. An easy story mode ops objective could surely do the same for operations, but not something that requires this much time investment even for a guild of seasoned raiders...


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