No Fees Attached – Preferably preffered

Dear mother,

Thank you for replying to my last message. It’s good to hear that Dad has a real farmhand now, though I heard that Jackos is a notorious thief. Better count your apples well after the harvest! It looks like I can’t make it you in time to help out, because the situation here on Coruscant is really critical. The last few days, I’ve been fighting criminal scum of all sorts, just to find these blasted Noetikons. I never heard of a Noetikon before, but it’s nothing but a really fancy holocron containing the memories of different Jedi masters. It’s quite impressive to talk to people that old, and not having them fall asleep halfway through the conversation like Grandpa does. Anyway, even these wise masters can’t help Yuon Par so far, so Qyzen and I will go out to get the last one of them out of the clutches of some criminal mastermind. It’s not the kind of work I hoped for when I started my training, but it’s something. Also, Coruscant is such a vibrant planet. I’ll take you there once all of this is over. In the meantime, say hello to Dad and take care of yourself. I’ll make sure I’ll do the same.

With love,

Sammor

Another week, another report about my misadventures in SWTOR! In last week’s poll, you decided that I should keep playing my Consular, and so I did. I also dropped eight Euros on this title, to get myself that fancy Preferred Status and some items from the Cartel Shop. So, how is SWTOR holding up now that I invested some cash and I’m into my third week playing it? Well, it starts to show some flaws, but it’s not all too bad. Let me start with the bad stuff of this week, so we can end on a positive note.

First of all, I’m really starting to feel the XP penalty Free and Preferred players suffer from now. With every level, those 25% less XP show more and more, and I’m running out of XP boosters gained from missions. Though I don’t mind to do some extra quests and their bonus objectives, the extra work starts to hurt, and I don’t want to feel like I have to invest Cartel Coins in additional XP boosters.

Talking about bonus objectives: they are so damn uninspired. Basically, every set of bonus objectives comes down to this: you kill X of enemy type Y, then you kill even more of said enemy, just so you find some terminal to hack or blow up, causing an elite mob to show up which you have to kill. I swear, every bonus objective follows this pattern, and it’s starting to annoy me. Why not shake things up by having you collect items, or find a certain NPC to escort? There’s a dozen other quest objectives, why all this killing? I’m already doing that for other quests!

ghost masterAnother design flaw which really starts to irritate me is the whole Light Side / Dark Side thing. I talked about that last week, but the choices I was presented with this week were just too boring. I know that the Star Wars universe has a really black-and-white approach to this whole matter, but I was hoping that BioWare would give it some more depth. Really, the only interesting Light Side / Dark Side choice I’ve seen so far was on Tython, where you get Dark Side points when you decide to keep the romance between two apprentices a secret. It’s interesting because it tells you something about the weird beliefs of the Jedi and it’s not obviously evil…or, that is what you think. The choice does not make you feel like some Saturday morning cartoon villain, but more like a character who walks the thin line between two morally different areas. I know that BioWare knows how to write these kind of choices, and I feel let down that SWTOR only has so few of them.

On the bright side, these things were the only things that bugged me. I just keep saying it, but contrary to all the hate SWTOR gets from the MMO community, I think it’s a fun and good game with an added layer of story. Sure, it plays like any other MMORPG on the market and tricks you into buying something with Cartel Coins sooner or later, but that’s what other games do as well. Talking about Cartel Coins, my investment of eight Euros got me 1050 Cartel Coins, and I invested them in some visual unlocks (finally I can look stylish by unifying the colors of my outfit!). Furthermore, the fact that I’m now a Preferred player grants me access to a few new things, making my playthrough more enjoyable. I don’t have the feeling that EA and BioWare are ripping me off here, so I’m so far a fan of the Cartel Market.

It’s great to see that a game that I expected nothing of is able to convince me of its quality. Sure, it has problems, but when it comes to leveling and experiencing a cool story, I think that you could play far worse titles than SWTOR. I’ll be sticking with it for one more week now, and I’ll give you a full report on my time in the game next week. You’ll also pick a new title for me then, so if you have any suggestions, hit me up in the comment section. I’ll return to Coruscant now. Those Noetikons won’t find themselves…

 

 

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