Thus far in my MMO career I’ve primarily bounced back and forth between two games: World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Oh sure, I’ve dabbled here or there in other games. Occassionally I still jump in and have a swim in the waters of Dungeons & Dragons Online (Less so now that they’ve decided to abandon Eberron for Forgotten Realms, but I could write a whole other post – and might – about that beef), and my copy of Guild Wars 2 still sits firmly installed for when I just want to wander and have fun.
So now the pendulum has swung back and I’ve decided to wander back into TOR for a bit. Why? Well, I won’t speak ill of patch 5.4 for World of Warcraft because by no means do I feel it was bad, but for the moment there’s not a lot of time investing fun to be had beyond leveling alts. The Raid Finder (aka the only raiding Vry does anymore because every raiding guild I’ve ever run with boils down to petty drama bulls*&%) is more frustrating than anything when the wings are just opening. People rushing in like cattle to the slaughter. Best to wait until everything opens up and people start getting used to the mechanics and fights before wading into the thick of it.
The Timeless Isle however IS content I can sink my teeth into. It’s fun and open. I like just wandering in circles and seeing what I can find. I LOVE the trivia daily as you can imagine. But the problem with the Timeless Isle right now is that it’s pretty much the ONLY thing to do outside of Proving Grounds (Solo) and raiding (slaughter house), so the Island is PACKED. And the problem with the island being packed full of players running around and killing everyone and everything in sight is that the place becomes so ridiculously overfarmed the only chance to do anything is just to chest hunt. Hey! A rare is up! Oh, it’s dead before I can reach it because 100 people were camping it. Oh another one! Hurrry scurry murray hurr- Oh, dead again.
Then if you’re lucky to find the Island at a time when it’s NOT busy as hell, good luck having the killing power to take down the big game. I mean, I enjoy the fact that I can at least kill my 20 elites in peace, and maybe actually tag an albatross, but at the same time it seems like some of the bigger mobs require a group effort to bring down. So when the island is bare, you’ve got yet another problem.
Really, the only solution I’ve come to with the island is that it’s great fun, and will continue to be great fun when I’m killing things on it next expansion when I’m 95 in bad ass gear cutting my way through it solo because no one needs to gear up alts anymore. AKA the “How Vry plans to do the Isle of Thunder achievements” plan.
However I don’t plan to just abandon World of Warcraft for months on end. Oh heck no. I’ve been having a ball just going back and leveling my alts. My monk just made it to Northrend, and for the first time in a good long time I get to explore the Alliance side stories in Northrend. Which despite all the talk of Horde bias in recent years, the Alliance stuff in Northrend is REALLY good story-wise. The Cult of the Damned infiltrating their ranks in the Borean Tundra, recovering the Ashbringer for Tirion in the Howling Fjord, reuniting with the Westfall crew in the Grizzly Hills… there’s a lot of good stuff there.
Meanwhile it SW:TOR there’s a lot to catch up on. I came back to just miss the bounty hunter week so I’m curious to try that out. I just finished up my Makeb reputation and am currently setting all my 55’s to complete the Section X one before moving on the new Czerka area. And I’ve started a bunch of alts fresh to try out some new experiences in the game (Light side inquisitor, good guy agent, bad guy jedi, greedy bounty hunter) as well as have a refresher for the class storyline reviews. Which for those who haven’t seen yet, you can find spoiler-free paragraph long class storyline summaries here now. I’ll be doing more reviews soon hopefully.
I know TOR has gotten a ton of crap over it’s short life, but I still find it quite enjoyable to play. Okay, not every aspect of the game is amazing. The cartel market constantly swings between “That’s AWESOME” and “You’ve got to be kidding me” for one. But they’ve also done some pretty cool things. Like the new flashpoints, while devoid of fun conversations, are designed to be done with any combination of classes and roles. 3 tanks and one healer? Cool. 4 DPS? Fine. (On the Hard mode, it’s still the typical 2 DPS/1 Tank/1 Healer arrangement, but that’s fine) This is pretty much like WoW scenarios. Which I love. Like a lot.
But when it comes down to it, the stories in TOR is what keeps me coming back to it over something like Guild Wars 2 or DDO. I had 10 – TEN – different playthroughs of Mass Effect 1 & 2, 6 characters in Dragon Age 2, and yes, I loved ME3 ending and all. Is it any shock that playing through the class stories and seeing how different choices play out is really fun for me? Even if there’s a ton that’s the same every time? Plus they’ve done a great job of fixing up a lot of the annoyances in the game that were there at the launch. The group finder works great, the later worlds seem to be retuned a bit, and the legacy unlocks and new travel consoles make getting around much less of a head ache. The only thing that still drives me nuts is that with F2P or preferred, you only get 5 on-site rezes per character. Then you have to go back to the med center always unless you buy more. Really? Can’t you just put a ridiculous cooldown on that one instead? Like you can only on-site rez once per 4 hours for F2P, or 2 hours for preferred if you don’t have a medi-droid contract (first 5 is free, then you have to purchase further medi-droid contracts in the market. Or else you go on a wait list – aka long cooldown).
So if you happen to be on Begeren Colony, keep an eye out for the Vrykerion legacy running around.