Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Your Thirty-third Assignment: Hawaii 5-0

How does it feel, Cipher?

Don't call me that anymore, Kaliyo.  But it feels good.  Freedom.  Where to now?

Anywhere you want, agent.  Anywhere you want.

Lock and load, agents!  6days, 12 hours, and 5 minutes into my agent's career and he's now level 50.  It was a weird thing; I thoroughly despised the last planet (Corellia) and couldn't wait to be done with it, yet oddly was hesitant about the moment when I would hit 50.  And when it came, it totally shocked me!  I wasn't paying attention to my bar and suddenly the red lights flash, the Imperial insignias show above my head, and my leveling career as an Imperial Agent is done.  It's a strange feeling; I feel as if I'm done, but I've got so much to do.  I finished up all of Corellia and moved my attention to my rather pathetic crew skills.  I've let them languish far too long.  And I'm also starting to think that Artifice was a bad choice - making money off Sith is fun and all, but I'd rather something I can use, eh?  I'm thinking of switching to Biochem and Bioanalysis and leveling it the hard way (going back to each planet and doing them all over).  Fun stuff, eh?

So, what's up next?  I've got a choice to make - my Inquisitor is going on the backburner for the moment because, well he's an Inquisitor.  They are a blight (much like paladins) on the game.  I've brought a bounty hunter (Butch) up to 23 as a Powertech.  He's rather fun, I won't lie.  I've also been bringing up a light-side Juggernaut and he's a lot of fun too.  Choices!  And I may just completely 'flip the script' (OOOOOH I'M SO STREET) and go level my little Commando!  Who knows!  It's a mystery!

What I can share is that my journey to 50 was rather enjoyable, but somewhat limited due to my choice of advanced classes.  SWTOR, more than any MMO before it, definitely rewards players who level as a tank spec.  Pure DPS specs like Sniper, Gunslinger, Marauder, and Sentinel definitely feel a tad weaker (Sniper is, from experience) as compared to the hybrid classes.  The lack of tanking/healing abilities is a huge detriment in the later game (40+) and almost requires you to bring along a healing companion.  The good Doctor accompanied me from Hoth on; I couldn't survive encounters without him and Kaliyo spent more time dead than alive when I quested with her.  And no, I kept her gear up to date with mods and upgrades.  I was very keen on keeping her among the land of the living.  The healer companion just became a necessity if I didn't want to recuperate after every ... stinkin' ... fight.

The later planets were something of a disappointment.  Voss was very reminiscent of KOTOR-era Dantooine and was fairly enjoyable, if a little long-winded.  Corellia ... no.  Just no.  Go burn.  Belsavis wasn't so bad, but i was questing with a Sorcerer for most of that so it became rather easy-mode.  I've not gone to Ilum yet, but I heard it's nice.  Thinking of buying a vacation home there.

Also, credit check; Slicing is still very, very lucrative.  When I hit 50, I had 1.2 million credits.  I purchased all my training (150K), speeder training (330K), and my Praxon Strato (99K).  That left me with just north of 600K credits left.  I burned about 150K getting my tradeskills up and buying an upgrade here and there to be competitive in the level 50 flashpoints (Directive 7 is great fun, just watch out for Bulwark).  This has left me around 500K credits.  Now, there's this sweet-ass, ugly-as-sin speeder on Voss called the Tirsa Prime.  It looks like a refrigerator and a box cart had a baby.  And that's being generous.  It's so damn ugly that I MUST HAVE IT.  It's 1.5 million credits, so that'll take some time to put together.  But time I got, right?

So, overall impressions of the game?  Pretty darn special.  I know the second time through won't be as good because I'll know where stuff is.  I won't have the opportunity to get lost.  I won't be wowed (except by story stuff) again.  That's ok ... I can deal with that.  I'm just so very impressed with Bioware's game so far and I can't wait to see what the endgame content provides.  That's not to say that everything is rainbows and handjobs though ... there are some serious glitches in the later planets.  Quests that don't work, enemies that evade, clipping issues, companions that won't sell trash, etc etc.  There will be plenty of bug-squashing going on for a few months, but none of these errors are game-breaking to me.  Yet.  Ask me in six months; if the bugs are still there my answer may change.

That's enough brain diarrhea for now.  I'll return to form soon enough; for now I need time to savor my achievement.  In the coming weeks (if my guild cooperates) I'll be posting heroics guides, some PVP info, and perhaps even venture into the raiding scene?  WHO KNOWS!  But for now ... fly safe, shoot straight!  For the glory of the Empire!

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