Picking Two Mains

So no secret I’ve been playing swtor again since they I learned they made medical probes baseline back in the summer. I think I also mentioned at some point…? I had a ton of cartel coins stocked up as I’ve been playing on/off again since launch so I got a couple of the boost to 70 (which was max level until last weeks Onslaught) because not having to worry about being the right level means I can just focus on what I wanted – the story.

As I think I said at the time I was 7/8 on class stories so I boosted a scoundrel smuggler (my missing one) and a mercenary bounty hunter as bounty hunter (powertech though) had been my first character and so it had been years since I had experienced the story and my memory is faded. My intent was to get 8/8 and then see what characters I enjoyed playing the most to then go forward and do the expansion stories as even though it’s been 8 years I’ve never progressed further than the base game. Not because I don’t like the game (I do!) but there’s been a perfect storm of reasons really.

I have now done that! So what was the result?

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Swtor and future fear

I have thoughts about the impermanency of the world and how hard it is to let go. For instance I googled about the future of Swtor as I’m getting back into the game. I like to avoid the doom and gloom brigade but someone stating simply about the licence being up in 2023 and how Disney was unlikely to renew it – that gave me pause. It wasn’t some frothing rant about the state of the game, just a fact and given that Disney did that to Marvel Heroes and now that game is gone… well lets just say I have already experienced the bitterness that brings.

So with this in mind I had a leaden feeling in my gut because the games days might well be numbered and then I thought “2023 is four years from now” and then I thought about technology. Without emulators games days are always numbered even if you buy them and have them on disk because technology evolves. The Lego games I am liking so much through Steam might not work in ten years or so (which is the timeframe for upgrading my PC) because the games of my childhood no longer work on the machine I have now.

I have issues letting things go because if I like something then I want to keep it forever and I do find it an unsettling prospect that something which I like, and work on, can disappear. But it happened with Marvel Heroes, I had invested a good amount of time (and admittedly money) into that game and there is nothing but memories left. I still miss it and I’m looking for something to fill the same itch. The Lego games are good (I just got to the point in Superheroes when I’m at the X-Mansion) but the Lego games are designed by nature to be comedy so it’s not quite the same. I’m hoping the Ultimate Alliance will help should I ever manage to get my hands on a Switch.

But anyway nothing in life is permanent, not online games or offline games because technology evolves – that’s the takeaway. It’s sad but at the same time due to that evolution there is new stuff to play. Games improve over time as well and with nostalgia culture, emulators and then graphical improvements sometimes old games can get a new lease of life.

So I think I have to be ok with the fact that there is a clock on Swtor. There might not be if the rumours of a Knights of the Old Republic movie is true because the game might get a resurgence. I mean there’s a reason why they bring out video games with new movies. I certainly get that itch after seeing it on the big screen to dive inside the world and play with it myself. Anyway that brings me to my point about the future being uncertain. Swtor might be doomed or might have another fourteen years – nobody knows.

I guess we just make the most of what we have when we have it. There is nothing more we can do because like so much of life we individually have no control over the outcome. EA/Disney will only keep the game running if it makes enough money and that requires hundreds of thousands of players – one voice is nothing. I try not to think about that powerlessness as it applies to far more serious things than just a game and it’s not a nice feeling.

Live in the moment. Good advice and not just when it comes to Swtor.

While I was sleeping Swtor became a pretty great game… or maybe it was me that changed?

I’ve played Swtor on and off since it launched, a month here and a month there, I said this when I posted last week about medical probes becoming standard for all levels of players (not just for subs).

Back in the day I made a post at the height of my Swtor enthusiasm saying why it was worth subbing to both Swtor and Warcraft. A few months later I made a post explaining why I was unsubbing from Swtor, the primary reason being I was burning out of Warcraft and the mechanics of Swtor were too similar to be a change. That is true enough as they are both MMORPG’s but there was also another truth and I can’t remember if I acknowledged it or not – familiarity.

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Why Swtor is so much fun

I finished up Ilum on my Imperial Agent the other day and I dinged level 56. Now, when Ilum was released the level cap was 50, it was raised to 55 for Rise of the Hutt Cartel. I’d accidentally leveled past a whole expansion worth of content.

This really made me think. Sure I watch the XP bar sometimes because I like the whoosh of the ding, I also like to make sure I’ve not screwed up somewhere and I am the right level for the planet. However, aside from that I quest for the story and the levelling is very much a byproduct. That explains how I managed to accidentally level a lot higher than intended.

Now I am a subscriber. I know that the xp is throttled somehow for preferred/f2p and so their experience would be different. However, from my perspective since the launch of Fallen Empire I get experience from everything and it’s awesome. The bar just jumps and it’s effortless, I’m just playing the game and the level is secondary, it’s unimportant, it really ceases to matter.

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The Fallen Empire

I haven’t blogged about swtor since April, when I said that the 12x boost was coming into effect for subscribers. I thought that I would be playing a lot of swtor this past summer. I only wish that could have been true. Instead I was rather ill and not in a good way, the sort of illness where you feel too bad to even play games.

In my post about the 12x boost I said I was “wary but excited” as I worried what the boost would mean for the games longevity. I thought that if I played through all the class storylines, then I would be ‘done’ with what I loved most about the game.

I need not have worried. I only took one class through their storyline – Imperial Agent. I started another – Jedi Consular – but I’m only level 21. That is all I managed. I have yet to touch the classes of Sith Inquisitor, Smuggler or Trooper and my Sith Warrior is still on level 17 and due for a restart as it’s been so long. I didn’t even max my Jedi Knight, which is now on level 47 so very close to the end.

The release of the next expansion reminded me it’s been a while since I played. I actually forgot to cancel my sub so I have another six months as it renewed by accident. So what are my current thoughts on the game?

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Wary but Excited

In my last post on Swtor, where I talked about why I resubbed and what I liked about the game, I mentioned the 12x experience boost that had been available for a limited time to purchasers of Shadow of Revan. I said part of me was sorry that I had missed it, as the class quests were the best part of the game. The other part of me was fine with it as the planetary quests were good too.

Well, on May 4th aka Star Wars Day, the 12x boost is back for subscribers. No definitive word on when it’ll be over but the date given is ‘in the fall’ so it’s going to be around for a couple of months.

When I read that announcement my immediate thought was “I’m going to be playing a lot of swtor this summer” and that’s likely still true. However, thinking about it beyond the initial excitement I’m wary for what it means for the longevity of the game.

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Why I resubbed to Swtor

My history with Swtor has been very up and down. I started this blog not long after I started playing the game, so the whole process has been chronicled.

I played for a while at launch, unsubbed after six months as I’d stopped playing, always choosing to play Warcraft when I had time to play games. A year later I tried to play some more but the f2p model annoyed me, and my computer was having issues. Six months later I tried playing f2p again, got annoyed and this time resubbed for a couple of months. Again I wasn’t playing enough to continue the sub. Just over a year later, and we’re back in present day, and I’ve resubbed once more.

The f2p model for Swtor is in some respects generous, as it does allow you to play most of the game for free, but in other respects it’s extremely annoying. I always resub if I’m going to be playing a fair bit as it’s worth it for the medical probes alone. They allow revival where you die, rather than having to revive at the nearest med center and then re-fight everything to get back to where you were when you died.

Everytime I play Swtor I enjoy it, so why my interest wanes and I stop playing is something of a mystery. I think it’s because of the way I play, purely questing for the class storylines. I don’t miss out on anything if I take a day, a week or months away. I’m not behind, I’ve just stayed standing still.

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Minipost – Shadow of Revan Brings A New Hope

What I love most about Swtor is the class quests. Levelling the different classes, questing, all that class story, that is the game to me. I also love the companions, the dark side and light side choices. I just love the whole questing experience in Swtor, it’s absolutely brilliant.

However, when the first expansion was released – Rise of the Hutt Cartel – it didn’t include any new class quests or any updates to the companion storylines either. I just checked and I don’t believe it added a new companion either, though it might have done. Anyway, from my point of view it was disappointing and a little concerning. They have also released a couple of mini-expansions with Galactic Starfighter and then Galactic Strongholds.

There are a lot of posts in various different places where people stated their opinion. They said that class quests would not bring in enough profit, compared to what they would cost, and that they would never be revisited. I didn’t like this but resolved not to worry about it as I’ve only completed the Bounty Hunter story, and forgotten most of it already. I still had a lot of class quests to complete.

This did mean that Swtor had an expiration date. I don’t play it nearly as often as I should, whenever I play Swtor I enjoy it a great deal and wonder why I don’t play more often. The answer is that I need to set aside a few hours per session, as it isn’t something easily played with a small time limit. As the game has been out nearly three years, and I’ve only completed one class, that means it’s going to take me a long time.

However, I liked the Bounty Hunter class. I didn’t like the spec I chose, I went Powertech and I should have gone Mercenary. However, as the specs are mirrored on the Republic side, when I roll a trooper I will pick the opposite spec which I think is Commando rather than Vanguard, that way I get the complete experience. Anyway, that’s off topic. I loved the Bounty Hunter story, the companions, the lore, the approach, everything and it would be so awesome to play that character again. Right now, it’s level 50 and it’s mothballed as the class quest is done.

There weren’t really any unanswered questions with the Bounty Hunter storyline. There were however unanswered questions with the Mako companion storyline, which given that the companions are different for each class make it like a class storyline. This should be followed up, the story had more to go. As a class it did too, it was open ended and as the top Bounty Hunter in the galaxy, someones going to try and tear me down. Plus I think I killed a sith, though there was a choice there, I didn’t have to, I could have aided him instead but I’m a light side Bounty Hunter. There could or should be repercussions from that.

What I’m trying to say is that this quote that there will be some kind of class storyline continuance in Shadow of Revan is amazing news. It’s proof that they aren’t just going to abandon that aspect of the game and that they will be adding to it. They might not add to it very frequently, or add as much, as we would like but that feature of the game lives. As, in my opinion, it’s the best feature of Swtor I think that’s great news. Obviously the proof is in the result, this expansion isn’t released until December, so no-one knows until then what these new class storylines will be like.

Though even if they aren’t a good continuance, it’s still proof that, the class storylines are still on their radar for development. That can only be a good thing. I really want to play Swtor now. I just don’t have the time.

Free to play games are a misnomer

I play Warcraft which is subscription based, I buy the game and then pay a monthly fee for access to the servers. My friend plays Guild Wars 2 which is a buy to play game, you buy it and then it’s free to play on their servers after that. I also play Marvel Heroes which is completely free and whether you pay anything is your choice. These are are all PC games, there’s known Facebook games like Candy Crush, also games like Marvel Puzzle Quest which can be played on the iphone or through steam. These mobile games are completely free, like Marvel Heroes, and instead rely on microtransactions.

There’s the saying that there’s nothing free in life. On the surface there are some games that claim to be free, is that really the case? After all if no-one ever paid any money then the games companies would go bankrupt, so is there such a thing as a completely free to play game? Let’s look at the free to play games, that I play.

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Back to The Old Republic

I got swtor pretty much when it was released. I played it for a few months and I really enjoyed it. However, when given the option I usually opted for playing Warcraft back then so I couldn’t justify two subscriptions. I wasn’t logging into swtor often enough for it to be good value for money.

Once it went free to play just over a year ago I tried it again briefly but I was busy in Warcraft at the time, trying and failing to set up a new raid team. I tried to play it again this past summer but whenever I booted the game my computer would crash. I think it was because it overheated. The game required more resources, resources my computer had but it made it run hotter, as it was already hot from the ambient room temperature it just couldn’t cope. Which brings me to the present day, playing again now it’s winter time.

Back to The Old Republic. So what’s new?

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