Smuggling the goods

Face it: Plans change.  As a gamer, it’s good to be flexible even if you’re an obsessive planner (like I am), and last week I came to the realization that I utterly disliked my Jedi Consular in SWTOR.  I had a great grand plan about playing all eight classes, but midway into Coruscant, I just wasn’t feeling it AT ALL with this dull-voiced, dull-personality twit who is part of an order that I openly mock on street corners to anyone willing to listen.  Jedi, schmedi — take your dandelion fluff balls of force and get a real job.

So I trusted my gut and got out of that abusive relationship.  I asked myself if I was just going to do one Republic character, ever, which one would I want to do to make sure I did it?  And does that sentence even make sense?  I’ve been horribly sick this past weekend, so I could just be typing on a banana right now, I don’t know.  But the answer was “Smuggler,” even though that is the counterpart of the Imperial Agent.  Gut said “Go!” and reroll I did.

Agent counterpart as it is, I was still like “oh yeahhhhh” when I started to play it.  It just fit me so much better than the Consular.  I love the attitude, the semi-selfish/semi-heart of gold personality, the fact that I’m outside of any military/pseudo-military organization, and blasters are just way more fun than lightsabers.  Plus, I got a blaster named “Flashy,” and that tickles me to no end.

I know the Smugglers are pretty darn popular, way more so than the Agents, but that’s fine.  They’re the blatant appeal to the Han Solo/Malcolm Reynolds/antihero escapist fantasies we admire in film and on TV, but that’s fine as well.  I’m going Gunslinger to try more of a DPS spec after my Operative’s healing spec, even though that goes counter to my hybrid-loving nature.  I kind of really like her: Captain Thursday has freckles, can be sassy all day long if the job requires it, and I get to run around with twin blasters going PEWPEWPEW like I’m seven years old playing G.I. Joe with friends in the backyard.

I’ve heard from others that Corso Riggs — your first companion — is a much-maligned character, but I’m kind of digging his Good ‘Ol Boy demeanor.  Plus, I chose a different head for him so that he didn’t look like he had held up a dreadlocks bank earlier that day.

I feel a lot more laid back leveling this time around, even though I really do want to get through the character story (in fact, I wouldn’t even mind a version of the game where that’s all you could do, especially for subsequent alts).  I know there’s some curiosity about the patch in March, with a lot of hopes that it will add some much-needed content and fixes across the board.  After experiencing Trion’s model last year, BioWare’s approach feels downright sluggish, with only one raid-centric patch released since launch.  You’d think with so many people working on this project that there would’ve been a lot more movement by now, but I guess there are other, more pressing concerns.

20 thoughts on “Smuggling the goods

  1. I would pay $10-15 to buy a single class story, assuming they had some kind of mechanic to cover the level spread. Even assuming they had some of the restrictions found in F2P games, like a cap on inventory/bank slots and cash on hand so that subscribing still had some benefit. I just want to play the BioWare story; I don’t need all of the other MMO trappings.

  2. Skip all the silly side-quests (yeh, yeh voiced, blah blah blah – you go through them once and then spacebar after that), run daily space missions and do the warzones. You’ll level just fine doing something completely different and can just pop back in to run your class-quests.

    Also, you may want to level your comp affection. Buy gifts from vendor and level it, then run their unique missions which will then give you even more xp.

    Using a combination of these alternate paths was the only way I could get through the same places with my alts.

    Two other comments –

    1.) I find the bathrobe-wearing Jedi annoying as well and find it much more enjoyable to play them as dark-siders.

    2.) Gunslingers ftw….just sayin’. 🙂

  3. I am in full on altoholic mode at this point, playing each toon only ’til the rested XP runs out. Except my “main,” the Assassin, which I am trying to get up to Social III for the Imperial pilot gear. I haven’t gotten far enough on either Jedi, and hopefully in smaller bites, I won’t run into the same issues you and some others have.

  4. So Syp doesn’t like Jedi and doesn’t like Elves. I think we can safely extrapolate that Syp just doesn’t like awesome. 🙂

  5. I completely agree with you – the Jedi Consular story is nowhere near as good as the Sith Sorcerer one from my own experience. If you like the mechanics then go Dark Side and ride the lightning 🙂

  6. The last paragraph is why I went back to Rift. The setting is ‘meh’ but the content and mechanics are amazing. It’s weird how TOR seems to be the exact opposite. Would be fun to see you post a “franken-mmo”.

  7. Just wanted to say that what you wrote about the jedi consular is exactly what I thought about it as well – and I also ended up rolling a Gunslinger (and I just misstyped that as Funslinger :D) just so I’d be able to play a Republic character without actually doing much *for* the Republic.

  8. I’m firmly entrenched in the Corso hate camp, but fortunately the smuggler, unlike the agent, doesn’t have to wait for bloody Alderran to pick up their second companion. You get Bowdaar on Nar Shadda and it feels good to have a wookiee tagging along with you instead of the twit.

    Too bad he’s a bloody tank and as a dps only class with minimal defenses the gunslinger almost can’t complete some quests without the heal pet, which I might add smugglers have to wait until Hoth to acquire. As someone who leveled a sniper I can tell you it’s a painful road having to wait until the 30s to get a pet that doesn’t die to every other trash pull. And even after you do get your healer you get to suffer a lot of buggy nonsense where the game won’t respect your cover mechanic at all.

    On the other hand, it can be great fun in PvP if you just want to murder the hell out of people and don’t mind dying a lot.

    Oh, also make sure that you avoid the Dirty Fighting tree, it’s an almost totally broken spec in solo PvE. But once you get all the tools it’s a marvelous PvP spec.

  9. The Gunslinger was my first character, and I was loving it until Quesh. There is one mob there at the end of a solo questline that was impossible impossible for me to do at two levels above. Unfortunately that put me off my (Sharpshooter) ‘slinger for good.

    Subsequently I rolled a Sage and got her through that mob no problem at one level below. But yeah, I started bopping around with Iresso and was like — I really don’t want to romance this guy. So if they make the twi-lek dude romanceable I’ll come back to the Sage.

    In between those two, I’ve started many Empire characters but I just can’t stand the over-the-top evil crap. Yeah, my Sith were light-sided, but they were still forced by the system to do evil things.

    So I rolled a Mercenary, and I’m having fun telling the Empire weirdos where to go. 😀

  10. My Republic main is a smuggler scoundrel. It is a direct mirror of my operative, but I am still having a blast. I have to say, the personality of the smuggler is the best in game. So far the story is interesting, I’ll just have to see what happens after I finish chapter one this week.

  11. Even playing a healing smuggler it could be almost impossible to keep Corso alive, those fire DOTS the Gand bounty hunters use on Hoth will kill you & Corso in seconds. (you have to remove the debuff quickly)

    My friend played a consular & hated the story.

  12. Interestingly enough, I recently did the exact opposite. My first character was a Consular, and I loved it. As for his voice acting, it’s surprisingly bland for Nolan North (the very first flashpoint I ever did the person who went with me told me my character “sounds gay”), who does voices for everything (my recent favorite being the corrupted cores in Portal 2) but I didn’t mind much. Then my friend jumped in to the game and wanted to play a PvP server, so I joined him (unfortunately he picked one of the lowest population servers, so I’ve only ever seen two sith in any contested zone, but that’s beside the point). I rolled a commando because the LOTRO minstrel was my favorite class of any in the handfull of MMOs I’ve played, and that seemed the closest. I got almost to 40 before I realized that I absolutely hated playing trooper. Yes, AoEs are fun, but I realized I really missed fighting melee. I rolled a knight a few days ago and I’m torn between playing a character I enjoy so much more despite being my third time through the same content, and playing a character that’s so close to 50. Also the trooper storyline is probably more interesting than the two Jedi classes (if nothing else it’s less predictable) so I kind of want to at least finish that.

  13. For me — JK/SW suck for me. I hate the “build rage” mechanic. I’ve got a guardian at 21 or 22 and a marauder at 11. The marauder isn’t as bad, but I still don’t really care for the playstyle.

    Smugg I went scoundrel. Didn’t care for the dps specs with it, so re-spec’d to Sawbones and find I’m preferring that. I can’t seem to stick with an Agent past level 4, but do plan to be a Sniper. . . eventually.

    Commando is my main. Combat Medic spec’d, and I love it. I’ve got a 31 tank-spec’d vanguard too, which I don’t like as much, but it’s still serviceable. Never got a BH past 6 yet.

    Got 2 sages in their upper 20’s on different servers. 1’s heal spec’d, 1’s dps spec’d. Like the healer, love the dps. Got a 29 shadow tank also. Overall it’s fun, but I find I don’t like melee all that much, as you may have picked up from my not liking the melee-ish scoundrel and vanguard, nor the melee JK/SW classes.

    So far as story goes, I don’t care either way for any of them. They simply “are” as far as I’m concerned. Haven’t paid too much attention to the voices, have no idea who Jennifer Hale is or why everyone’s creaming in their pants to play a female trooper becuz of her. I read faster than people speak, so I’ve got the subtitles on and I spacebar after I read the words, so I couldn’t care less about the voicing anyway.

    Back as SWTOR came out, I made a post at nomadicgamer comparing the mechanics to Rift and stated I liked SWTOR’s lore better, but prefer Rift’s gameplay and mechanics. Even with that preference, though, that post also mentions the last time I played Rift, in spite of having a sub that doesn’t run out until April. I’m enjoying SWTOR enough even with the odd mechanics, lack of some Quality-of-Life feature that I consider nearly unforgivable, and “4th pillar” and VO that I don’t care about at all that Rift hasn’t been on my radar since then.

  14. I was super excited about the Smuggler but ended up getting really disappointed by the story. It has nothing to do with being a Smuggler, really.

    It starts off well with trying to get your ship back, but then you get involved in this treasure hunt with a bunch of vague and contrived stops at each leveling planet in order to drag out the story, and then it doesn’t even pay off in the end.

    Act 2 it gets even worse, where all pretense of being a free-spirited Smuggler is abandoned and you’re hired as a Republic Special Agent. NPCs just start calling you “mercenary” instead of Captain like they did in the beginning.

    Anyone who was expecting the a Malcolm Reynolds experience will be disappointed. And yeah, Corso is terrible. By the time I’d heard “Yeah, I got you!” the hundredth time I was ready to pull my hair out. I didn’t even want him to come along in the first place… but sadly we’re not really given a choice.

  15. I loved my Gunslinger, she was a ton of fun to play. Two pistols, a snarky attitude and a class story that was full of humor and epic moments. Yeah, you can’t go wrong there.

    I was (and still am) definitely in Team Corso. Turn off his harpoon shot and he’ll be fine. Sometimes he’ll still die, but he can hold the bad guys at bay long enough for you to get things done and get out of the area. Just make sure you choose the anti-Corso options during conversations if you don’t want him to give you flowers and love sonnets. 😉

  16. Welcome to the gunslinger! My favorite class so far, and I love the story. I have been tinkering a lot with my build, and it is powerful whichever way you cut it. In fact, most of my recent posts on my blog have just been builds for the gunslinger.

    I think you and I are almost alone in the loving Corso thing, but I am from Texas, and my best friend is actually alot like Corso. I think if you ARE a Good ‘Ol Boy, then you like him.

  17. Hah, I played a Jedi Consular in the beta and almost decided SWTOR was not for me. Booooring. It was only when I switched to Trooper that the game clicked for me.

    I just recently rolled a Sith Inquisitor, and at level 8, she’s already way more fun than the Consular ever was. I don’t know why. I guess zapping stuff with lightning is just tons cooler than throwing rocks.

  18. It’s fascintating to see all the different opinions on what are good/bad classes/stories to play. The various views reflect people’s preferences rather than any inherent quality of the game.

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