SWTOR: Zounds, it’s Zizzified Ziost!

You know a planet is rather skimpy on size and content when I — the most slow of slowpoky gaming ponies — is able to complete it in less than three nights.

The most recent content update to Star Wars: The Old Republic gave us both the planet of Ziost and the continuation of the Shadow of Revan storyline. Lots of players tired of Yavin dailies were eager to continue the tale and see a new locale, although after having gone through it I think we’re trading downward on the experience. Yavin IV is lush and beautiful; Ziost is brought to you by the color grey. It’s a world that was pretty dead and lifeless even before really horrible stuff (no explicit spoilers here) happens to it. I do not think I’m going to be spending a lot of time here to do the new round of dailies, is all I’m saying.

Anyway, I’m grateful that we did get more of the story — and it’s an interesting bit at that. The late, great Emperor is now alive and running rogue, having returned to Ziost to basically take over the entire planet and mind-dominate the population. As such, there’s very little feel to Ziost as a place with culture or personality, which is further backed up by the environment being somewhat industrial and sterile. It’s not lived-in, which is what I’m saying.

The story has us player characters reuniting with Lana and Theron to try to devise a way to counteract the Emperor (because he can mind-control a planet and I have a big knife I occasionally stick into things, so that’s a totally fair match-up). There’s also a new character, a spy who plays right into the whole Imperial Agent theme, although what little is interesting there quickly peters out.

z2Lana and I are totally on the outs, by the way. After romancing her in Shadow of Revan only to have her abruptly break it off with me AND take my deserved job as head of Imperial Intelligence, I have turned quite frosty to her. I’m so glad that the the devs gave me ways to be short and critical to her, even getting some measure of revenge. Hell hath no fury like a Syp scorned.

There wasn’t a lot of new in terms of mission variety, but occasionally I’d hit a moment that created interesting memories, such as hopping across a statue, using grappling hooks, and doing wild jumps on a speeder. At least I got a bit of a gear upgrade through all of the quest rewards.

z3Definitely the highlight of the patch’s storyline was the use of its cutscenes. There’s a major event that happens that gave me chills and had me feeling — just for a moment — like I was a very small character in a great big struggle, instead of the central hero.

Returning to a greyscale world of ash and death was quite interesting, although perhaps less impactful considering how dull Ziost’s population and cities were beforehand. I love the neat art touches, like the ash blowing off the trees (above).

So with Ziost done — sans dailies and whatever new operations or group stuff — I’m contemplating what to do next. I haven’t maxed out my rep on Yavin yet and I was enjoying the cash income from doing that, so I might well return there. I probably should start running flashpoints here and there to gear up better, but that’s a time thing.

And then there’s the whole temptation of subscribing and doing the 12X leveling track with some characters. I guess that would be cool? But I have a gut feeling that I’d ultimately feel that such advancement would be hollow, especially with the lack of companion affection choices. Plus, there really isn’t any class that appeals to me as strongly as the IA. I have a lowbie Sith Warrior with some unlocks on standby for a possible run, but lightsabers are actually duller than my trusty carbine. I have also pondered rolling a second IA and playing him or her as a sniper for a different combat experience.

Or I could just putter around until the next patch/expansion while giving my other games more time. Choices, choices.


3 thoughts on “SWTOR: Zounds, it’s Zizzified Ziost!

  1. Rowan May 20, 2015 / 9:36 am

    Having just re-upped and playing through the Inquisitor story on fast forward, I have to say that not being distracted by planet quests is nice. In contrast, on Taris with my Trooper, I’ve quite forgotten what it is I am actually doing there other than helping the locals (though I am still having fun with my minigun. If my sub doesn’t run out before I get the chance. I’d like to go each of the stories at least once.

  2. Syp May 20, 2015 / 10:13 am

    Yeah, story comprehension would definitely be a plus in that scenario. I don’t like breaking up storylines if I can help it.

  3. ironweakness May 20, 2015 / 10:59 am

    “Hollow” is a good way to describe it. I’m taking advantage of it because I do not have a max level character yet (I was 35 on my Scoundrel when it started) and it does help with story comprehension however I feel like I’m rushing things.

    Before, I had a very diverse gameplay experience with the quest options and instanced content all of which were equally viable for leveling. Now that class story quests far outway everything else in terms of efficiency it’s hard to rationalize the diversity I was experiencing because my goal is primarily to be able to experience current max level content on one character.

    However once I have that first 60, I may go back to leveling the old fashion way. I’m glad it’s an option this time with a means of turning it off. I wasn’t playing the first round but I understand now why players were asking for that.

    On that note, this is why I really appreciate how Trove and Marve Heroes have a “soft” level cap in that you start the end game content before you actually reach max level. At level 10 and 30 respectively you more or less start the same end game activites you will be doing at max while you continue to level. Leveling activites are more are less the same as end game regardless and this soft cap removes any sense of end game being something separate from leveling. I’d like to see more MMOs adopt this idea, although I’m not sure how it would look in the more traditional MMO.

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