Keeper, the threat has been neutralized.
Time for a mission overview, Cipher Nine. Report to my office immediately.
Lock and load! Fulguralis over at Killing 'em Slowly has been making his way through the game and posting his thoughts on the Shadow. I recommend going to check out his progression. He also pointed me towards a great blog by The Stoppable Force that includes a stat primer for all the classes. For some of you it may be old hat, but more information is always good.
Today, we're going to talk about milestone achievements: when they happen, what you need to be prepared for, and how much it's going to cost you. This is the first part of a multi-part series.
Your first milestone achievement is level 10. At level 10 you are eligible to select an advanced class. Notice how I say eligible. You must complete the starting world class quests before you are able to head up to Vaiken Dock or Carrick Station for your advanced class selection. Ensure that you're level 10 by the time you leave your starting planet (shouldn't be hard if you've done the heroic quests). After you get to the station, you'll see a quest-giver standing outside the elevator from the docking bay ... that initiates a breadcrumb quest to pick up your AC. Your AC choice is PERMANENT so make sure you're picking what you want. You'll have the option to inspect each of the advanced class talent trees before choosing.
And while you're there, get your crew skills. Talking to each trainer will net you ~450xp.
Your next milestone achievement is at level 14 when you obtain Sprint. Sprint is an ability that increases your movement speed by 35% when not in combat. That may seem a paltry movement increase, but it certainly has a noticeable effect on how quickly you can quest on your homeworld. The ability isn't much to train (~150 - 300 credits) so I'd recommend fast traveling back to your trainer and picking it up as soon as you hit 14.
Next up: your ship. There is no certain level that you receive your ship at. It all depends on when you complete your class quests on your homeworld. I've seen characters with ships as low as 13; I generally receive my ship between level 17 and 18. At the conclusion of your homeworld class quests (denoted as CLASS in your quest tracker) you will win/be assigned/steal/find your starship. It varies for each class. Now, a few notes about your ship: it comes with a fully functioning companion! 2V-R8 (at least that's his name on the Sith side) can heal you in combat, but he's not an overly sturdy companion. You can however upgrade him with droid parts you receive during your adventures. Your ship also has a bank! And not only a bank, but a bank your companions can craft out of. That means if you put crafting materials in your bank, your companions will be able to use those, as well as materials in your bag, to make items. I mean, how cool is that?
After getting your ship, the next big event on your progression path is speeder piloting. This is sort of a doozy, so be prepared. The training cost required to get level 1 speeder piloting is 40,000 credits. Breathe. By the time you hit level 25 (the level you can get the training at) you should have close to, if not over 40,000 credits. A few strategies for saving some money: take slicing as a crew skill, stay away from the Galactic Market (except to sell), and don't buy frivolous things. The speeders themselves cost 8,000 per machine, so make sure you've got enough to cover them both. Nothing worse than having the training and no speeder to use. 'Course, you get a free speeder with the Digital Deluxe and Collector's Edition pre-orders, so there's that.
The final milestone for this post is the end of Chapter 1. For me, it happened at level 32; your mileage may vary. Just like the ship, the end of Chapter 1 all depends on how quickly you get your class quests done. It usually includes the conclusion of a major arc of your storyline and a fight against a rather potent villain (my villain was at the same time expected and unexpected - I figured out who it was but was still completely gobsmacked by it). At the end of the events of Chapter 1, you'll receive some, rather frankly, stupidly fucking powerful rewards and you'll move on into the next phase: Chapter 2.
I'll be covering more of your milestones as I reach them. Fly safe, shoot straight! For the glory of the Empire!