As part of our continuing series of Creating the Artificial Impression That You Are a Unique Snowflake in an MMO, I’ve been continuing with my playthrough of the Imperial Agent in SWTOR while steadfastly ignoring that there are other Agents in the world. I know that the Agents certainly aren’t as populated as the Force-users, but I’ve certainly seen enough to know that they’re not being ignored, either. And it’s a slight immersion-jarring experience to see one with your armor set, or with your companion, or — in a Flashpoint — using your voice. VOICE-STEALERS! I WILL RIP YOUR THROAT OUT WITH LOVE!
Naw, it’s not that big of a thing to see or play with others of my class in any MMO, but for some reason it’s an irritation to have to get into an in-game discussion about a mutually played class. This happened last night in SWTOR, when a quorum of Agents came online in our guild and started bantering back and forth about the class. Which is fine? I guess? But those conversations are usually less about sharing mutually beneficial information and more about subtly saying “I’m playing it better than you are” even if everyone’s completely nice about it (I have a nice guild, I want to stress). Plus, at that point I was ignorant as to how popular Operatives (my advance class) were verses Snipers (the other Agent AC) in our guild, but a quick peek showed that Snipers were by far the minority. Oh no! My unique snowflake is melting!
Actually, it was interesting to hear about why everyone picked the AC we did, because the Snipers could only say “We just wanted to do a LOT of damage” whereas the Operative crowd had about sixteen different responses. “I wanted to stealth and backstab.” “I wanted to play with knives.” “I wanted to heal.” To sum up, “I wanted flexibility.”
I think a lot more people are looking for flexibility in their MMO classes these days, no matter what they pick. Man did RIFT spoil us in that regard! Flexibility was why I knew that the Operative would appeal to me, because I really can switch playstyles on the fly and not sweat being mix-maxed or anything. I know I’m not going to crush DPS numbers, but I can go from AOE attacks to single-target, I can hang back and heal while my companion goes to town, I can stealth through sections, and I can /clubdance like there’s no tomorrow.
I don’t feel that the SWTOR talent trees give us a lot of flexibility as to roles, since most everyone I know tends to just pour themselves into one tree exclusively, and most of the tree’s points are going to be filled up without a lot of choices going on. Does anyone else feel like this? That the SWTOR talent trees are skimpy? I was laughing and rolling my eyes at WoW’s latest proclamation of how they’re getting rid of talent trees in favor for the occasional talent choice, but now I can kind of see the logic and appeal behind that.
In conclusion, there were a couple useful SWTOR info posts I wanted to pass on. Tales of the Aggronaut helped me out immensely by explaining the bonus series quests and mapping those out on a chart (I was stumbling onto these in game and had no idea what they really were). Spinks does a great job going over the different type of consumables, and I know that’ll change my future approach to buffing up.