I swapped servers around the beginning of the year when a bunch of people I know joined up in Star Wars The Old Republic on a different server than what I’d been playing on. Most of my other friends had moved on or didn’t play the same time as I did on Jedi Covenant, so onto Shadowlands it was, ditching my level 50 Smuggler and 35 Jedi and a slew of ten other alts to start anew. I decided to make up a Trooper and make her a healer. I’d gone the DPS and tank route already with my other characters and I decided to try something new. I’d gotten her up to at least Commando before real life and other games grabbed too much of my interest to keep up with everyone else who was moving pretty quickly through the game and kind of abandoned it, only popping on for a few hours a week at most, at least until they announced double experience weekends. Here was my chance to get my Trooper up to level cap and ready for the new expansion I’d pre-ordered within the first few weeks it was announced.
After consulting a quick leveling guide, I started out trying to follow their advice, sticking to the quests and side bonuses as they popped up, but what I found was that it was becoming detrimental to my leveling to keep grinding away on the planets. With double experience and using the guide, which still requires you to put the work in, it just maximizes how much you’re getting to level up faster, I was out-leveling planets faster than I could turn quests in. My gear was becoming increasingly hard to keep up with between mine and my companions and it felt too much like work trying to keep track of all the quests I was about to out-level versus what was still within that coveted six levels of my character. So I did what anyone with access to dailies and the group finder would do. I ditched planets and my class quest altogether.
My Trooper’s weekend leveling regime the last few weeks consisted of popping onto fleet, picking up the daily quests, queuing up for PVP, then sending what few companions I had out to work on making me money slicing while I worked through a few PVP matches. Then I’d queue up for flashpoints at my level with that daily and jump out and do my space missions in between queuing and playing through flashpoints. When the daily quests ran out I’d just keep queuing for flashpoints and PVP as I ended up leveling much faster doing those than I did trudging around on planets. This had a very interesting side effect as I hit level cap, which I’ll get to in a minute.
So Makeb hits early, I pre-ordered, and I’d love to say I’ve spent the week doing nothing but that, but it isn’t the case. I’m still working on flashpoints, my daily PVP, and so on as well as going back for my class quests as Makeb makes the assumption that you’ve actually completed the class story to get to that area and, well, I didn’t so they’re referring to events that actually haven’t happened to me yet. What I have played of Makeb I’ve really enjoyed. While the situation is fairly intense, there is a great banter between NPCs you interact with that really evokes that Star Wars Original Trilogy feel that I love. From the start you can see some differences as you get the intro to the Makeb mission and are greeted to a cutscene set up more akin to something from Mass Effect than the usual ones we see in Star Wars The Old Republic and that’s a good thing. It’s good because that’s a bit more like the actual films than it is to standing around chit-chatting like most of the rest of the game. Not that I mind how the game normally handles it but a little change is good every now and then.
While I like some of the skill changes and the way buffing is handled in PVP now, the condensation of commendations, one thing I did have a problem with. I was all set, and got to Makeb ready to kick ass for the Republic and picked up my quests after picking up the Makeb mods for my moddable gear, and stepped out to take on the Hutts and watched as Forex, my tank, began to get slaughtered. I’m a healer so I’m able to keep him going, but battle after battle he’s getting wasted and my brain can’t register why. Then I remember how I spent my time leveling. I had all new mods and gear for the area, but Forex was still using the gear I’d abandoned him with around level 30 or so. A quick trip back to the fleet and a visit to the Galactic Trade Market for some spare parts using the hard earned credits from all the slicing I’d done and we were back in business. Check back next week for something more substantial on Makeb and my poor Trooper’s adventures.