Monday, January 30, 2012

#SWTOR - Life at 50

I was a bit apprehensive at hitting 50 last week. One of the dangers of getting in on the ground floor of any MMO is the potentially shoddy state of the end-game. Sometimes it takes a while for games to figure out the gaming identity of their core playerbase (if they ever do) and design an end-game that can keep them around. Already, some have decried TOR's lack of end-game, so it was with mixed feelings that I capped.

I've really, really enjoyed the leveling experience. I'm a sucker for story, it's my gamer type, and if there is one thing even the critics agree with, it's that TOR does story well, even if it flubs in other important MMO categories. With reservations about the end-game rampant, why would I really want to end the leveling experience? Yet, I really want to see the end of my class story. There's a certain satisfaction to finishing the leveling game.

A side benefit is that, upon reaching a plateau, it's a lot easier to work on your character. As you're leveling, the tendency is to not get too comfortable with any one piece of gear, any one way of playing, because next level it can all change. Also, generally you're credit-starved (training is expensive!), so I rarely get into the more expensive minutia.

I'm looking forward to deciding what I want my max-level toon to look like. I believe the way it works is that, because of mods, you can pretty much find orange items that you like the look of and mod them up to be max-level viable. This is almost as good as transmogging (and out-of-the-box, I might add, not years later). Tweaking the look of your character is a great max-level activity that I'm looking forward to.

When I capped, I was not finished with Corellia yet. Rumor has it there are still some quests on Ilum. Plus, there is a bunch I haven't done. We pretty much ignored flashpoints, and capping unlocks the hard modes of those, so once we get some more max level folks in our guild, we can all go back together and I can see these as well. I realize I'm experiencing some of the content out of order here, but I guess my point is that, fresh at 50, I still feel like there's a whole bunch of content to explore.

How long that'll last? We'll see. Even if it's only a month or so, I think I'd still like to level my lowbie trooper the rest of the way too. TOR gives a story-gamer like me the incentive to roll alts that was never there for me in WoW. It's even a bit of a challenge as I try to skip as many of the non-class quests as possible, so I'm routinely under leveled for each planet (a far cry from my typical over leveling on first pass).

I guess my point is that a casual gamer like me has plenty of content to stay busy. I've been playing for probably what averages out to a couple hours each night, every day of the week (a solid casual schedule, if you ask me); I needn't have been so nervous. There's plenty to keep me around, though I may scale back the time I've been spending (take a few nights off for other pursuits) now that I'm max level. Such is the life of a casual gamer. Plus, I'm still only about half-way through AC:Revelations. I'm sure that game would appreciate more of my attentions. So many Templar, so little time (and another great story I might add).

Here's a question for other 50 TOR'ers: what are/were the first things you focused on at max level? What have you found to be the most fun?


  1. When I hit 50, Ilum was still pretty much a mess so I avoided it like the plague. I know there's level 50 stuff on Belsavis too that I may go check out. Honestly, I started another character ... I'm addicted to the story. My guild is getting more 50s now so we may try the hard mode flashpoints and operations soon.

  2. I have pretty much all of my companions to cap out too, along with their quests. My skills are uncapped. And there are still plenty of unexplored zones on each planet. OH! And I've not gone datacron hunting yet!

    All that, and I still want to see the other stories. Plus, like you said, group content is in the future once others catch up.

    I guess I just think those that are complaining about a lack of content either 1: don't enjoy the content that is there or 2: rushed through and to expect to feel otherwise is unfair to the developers.

    Not saying they should still feel like they have to pay. My advice would be (if any asked) to feel free to turn the sub off for a couple months, then come back and rush through what happened in the mean time. I agree that switching a sub on and off is probably annoying, but if you're a binge gamer, I don't see that there's any help for it. Especially, if you're not fond of the current F2P MMO options.

    There's a lot of work to be done in TOR - it's far from a perfect game - but I find it hard to complain about getting my money's worth out of it each month.

  3. On my server, Ilum wasn't too bad; don't be hesitant to go run all the missions there. You don't get flagged for PvP just by landing or anything. The dailies present the chance that a flagged enemy player can stand on top of you preventing you from AOEing your way through them and otherwise making things difficult, but even the dailies don't force you into PvP.

    I leveled up my hope-soon-to-be-raiding Shadow Consular tank first. When he hit 50, I started doing the dailies on Belsavis (you'll want to do the bonus series to unlock them all) and Ilum. These award daily commendations which you can use to buy advanced armor 23, advanced hilt 23, advanced barrel 23, implants, and earpieces. There are also heroics that award daily commendations; the only one I do daily is A Lesson Is Learned as it also awards advanced mod 22 rewards. You can get 17 a day if you do all the heroics on both planets, or about 8 if you don't. The armor, hilts, and barrels are 8 commendations each, and the implants and earpieces are 120 each, so you'll be at it a while. Might as well go ahead and get started.

    So yeah ... I'm doing the daily grind for gear. And space missions, also for gear assuming I ever get any social points.

    Aaaaaand then I'm leveling some alts.

  4. Are the quests terribly kill-x-rats grindy?

    I was always actually okay with the end game dailies in WoW. They were sort of fun in a relaxed habit sort of way. I'm okay with PvP too, so the potential for conflict is a bonus where I'm concerned.

    I don't know how intense I'm going to get with min/maxing my gear yet, but it just seems like there's a lot of options even if you don't do the grind. And, like you said, that's even before you approach alts (which could also help your main when they flesh out the legacy system).