November was all about SWTOR. This, of course, means I got my old main up to the new level cap in preparation for today’s expansion and made a ton of progress on my new character, right? Not so much. The old alt-making itch is back, and, while my Guardian has almost made her way through the last expansion’s content, I’ve spent a great deal of time and anxiety playing virtually every class in the game.
My operative seems to be leading the pack. I was always a staunch Republic supporter when I first played, so this is my first time through most of the mid- to high level Empire content. Thus far I’ve been running with the DOT based DPS tree, Lethality, for leveling. It does a good job against stronger mobs, but, being DOT focused, it’s a little tedious against trash. But hey, that’s what stealth is for. I’m hoping to switch to the healing spec and run some flashpoints (dungeons) soon, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Also making an appearance is my first character, a Jedi Shadow. I really want to like this class in theory–stealth and a double bladed lightsaber, what more could you want?–but in practice it just feels all around mediocre. They’re kind of a DPS class, but they can be outmatched by any of the pure DPS classes. They’re kind of a tank class, but their light armor means they take more damage, limiting them to off-tank status at best. To play optimally, there’s a LOT of cooldown management that has to happen, and, while I’m sure I could learn it if I tried, I’m not sure if it’s worth it for a “meh” class. I guess that relegates him to a “for fun” character that doesn’t have much purpose other than the story, which is the same as my sage.
Convenient segue to my sage. I rolled this character to play with my wife, who is playing a Jedi Guardian. This setup works out pretty well; she tanks, I DPS and heal as needed, and our companions clean up what’s left. Plus it’s a great way to teach her more about the finer points of MMOs without the pressure of an actual group. Our schedules tend to be opposite, so this character isn’t likely to be one of my main ones, but it’s fun for our purposes.
I had just decided that I wouldn’t start any more characters when I realized that the one class I never got around to playing was the bounty hunter powertech/trooper vanguard. I played the trooper commando early on and my impression of its story was… well, I don’t really remember what happened at all. I played one to level 40ish, but all I can remember is that you start out being the rookie in Havoc Squad, and you have a bunch of people working with you that you generally never see, and at some point everyone betrays you to the Empire, and you suddenly get promoted to Havoc Squad’s leader (a la James Kirk in Star Trek XI). Oh, and there was some superweapon/mini-Deathstar or something? And the droid companion is cool and entertainingly overzealous about the Republic. That’s about it. For a game whose primary selling point is its story, that’s kind of sad. All that to say, I ended up with a shiny new bounty hunter. I’ll say this for the bounty hunter/trooper, they can certainly crank out the burst DPS, and the tank spec means I don’t take a scratch in most fights. This has made the early levels really fun. Not enough to pull me away from my operative, but I plan on coming back to her at a later date.
Shadow of Revan’s early access starts today, so I’m looking forward to the new story and digging into the skill tree revamp. I know some people aren’t a fan of the way Revan is portrayed in SWTOR, but I must admit with some shame that I still haven’t beaten the original Knights of the Old Republic yet, let alone its sequel, so, while I think Revan is one of the most interesting Jedi/Sith in the Expanded Universe, I’m not overly attached to one particular idea of him the way some people are.
Toward the end of the month I had a “Crap, I haven’t played Guild Wars 2 in a month” moment. This means that I missed one episode of the Living Story and cut it close with the second. Now I have to decide if I want to pay $2 worth of gems to play through the hole in the story or just YouTube it. I’m leaning toward the latter. While I have the gems, I’m not too keen on the idea of paying for maybe a half hour of content. I’d rather save it for the talking golem backpack. It was also at this moment that I realized just how much SWTOR has sucked me in. And I’m ok with that. I’ll be back to GW2 eventually, but for now I’m loving my return to a galaxy far, far away.
I’m pretty sure it’s required by law at this point to add my thoughts on the Force Awakens trailer to any discussion of anything Star Wars related. In case you’ve been living in the Jundland Wastes the past few weeks:
While there’s not a ton of meat to this trailer to talk about, it does give me A New Hope that this is going to be the movie to redeem the series. After all, J.J. Abrams took Star Trek and turned it into a great Star Wars movie, so how bad could he do with this? The lightsaber with a crossguard is getting a lot of flak, but I’m just glad to see them doing something new with lightsaber designs in the movies. Other than Maul’s double bladed lightsaber, we’ve pretty much only seen normal, straight lightsabers in the three primary colors (except for Windu, because Samuel L. Jackson had to be different). Sure, the lightsaber is the coolest weapon ever imagined by man, but where are the lightsaber pikes and lightwhips? Why not have some dark force user find one of the pre-lightsaber “forcesabers” from the Infinite Empire era? And that Darksaber in Clone Wars was pretty cool. Also worth noting is the square radar dish on the top of the Falcon. It’s a small detail that’s easy to miss, but it tells me that the creators of this movie are paying attention; they remember when Lando lost the original circular dish in the Death Star II trench run, and now Han has replaced it with a smaller, more updated unit. It’s a great touch that makes me feel like the creators are just as much fans as we are, and often fans are better at protecting the feel of a series like Star Wars or Star Trek than the original creators. I guess we won’t really know for sure until a year from now.