Liabilities of Taris

Last week I wrote a post about my experiences with the Hotblooded on Hoth seasons objective. There was actually another weekly objective that week that I wanted to talk about, namely the "Liabilities of Taris" one.

I'm generally fond of the "Liabilities" objectives that ask you to kill named champion mobs across the galaxy. I remember back when I was new to the game, I always got excited when I encountered a named champion mob out in the world. There were no achievements yet back then, but even so I was always intrigued. Was it going to have any special abilities? Would it drop anything unusual? Sadly, the answer was almost always no to both of these questions. And while I don't think that everything in the game world has to serve some deep purpose, I did kind of wonder sometimes just what the point of giving these unique mobs names was if that was all they had.

The devs did add achievements for some of them later, but still... you can only get those once, so it's been nice to have a reason to seek these named mobs out again every now and then. One champion I particularly enjoyed revisiting last week was Maltok, a named rakghoul on Imperial Taris that had been memorable to me for actually having a couple of unique abilities, such as repeatedly summoning swarms of small adds. I found him so challenging and interesting when I first encountered him back in 2014 that I recorded myself soloing him on my bounty hunter Powertech and uploaded the video to YouTube.

At least one of the multiple times I killed him last week was interesting in a similar way, namely when I fought him on my Vanguard bounty hunter on Leviathan. Imperial Taris is recommended for levels 32-36 but said character had only just hit 31 that week (and I didn't have an Imp any higher on that server). With how quickly you level nowadays, it had been ages since I found myself going up against any mobs actually higher level than me, so I wasn't even sure how viable that was nowadays. I tried my hand at a pack of level 33 flappers and they died easily enough, just a bit more slowly than usual. Nothing like Classic WoW where taking on an opponent several levels above you would result in an endless series of missed attacks.

I was still a bit nervous when I charged Maltok, as he was level 36 and nobody else was around at the time, but I did it! I blew all my cooldowns including multiple adrenals and my heroic moment, and after seven minutes or so he was down. I hadn't felt that excited to be soloing a champion in a while.

Coming up against one of the featured champions on my own turned out to be a rare occurrence however, as pretty much everywhere else they were being hunted to extinction. It wasn't unusual for me to arrive at a spawn location and find no mob, but three or four other players already waiting for it to respawn. These little parties could actually be quite amusing, as people would start emoting or cracking jokes about why the mob wasn't there after a while.

"He's scared because he can see us waiting!"
"Must have been patched out by accident."
"I think he overslept!"

It was just a silly little thing that reminded me that "down time" in an MMO doesn't always have to be a bad thing, even when some of the respawns took a bit too long for my liking.

Finally, it also highlighted to me that I'm glad that SWTOR Spy is still around (even though the site appears to not have been updated in almost a decade), simply because it's still the only fan site that has a full list of all the named champions with detailed directions. The site's age is really starting to show by now though, as the thumbnails display at about the size of a stamp on a modern monitor.

Addendum: While double-checking the above to make sure I wasn't missing anything, I realised that Illeva actually does also have a more "modern" guide to all these champions' locations, it's just that the pages are all named after their associated achievements, so they never come up as the top result when googling for a specific mob by name.

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