I think MOP’s Bree hit it on the head when she said that I was “highly suggestible” in my gaming choices. I’ll admit it. I totally am. When I see other people being enthusiastic about games, especially MMOs, it arrests my attention and serves as an attraction to a particular title. Of course, I do weigh that attraction against my actual desire to play it, my past history, and my current whims, but when the stars line up right, I find myself reinstalling games that I hadn’t thought about for months or years.
So when I was chatting with some SWTOR podcasters about this game that I had written off a while back and they were all manner of enthusiastic about next year and the coming expansion, I was like, “Hm. Perhaps I need to…”
[FAST FORWARD TWO HOURS]
“Woohoo! I’m level 10 already!”
This definitely feels like a good time and a good fit to return to SWTOR. I actually toyed with it a little while back but was pulled between the choice of resuming my old character, starting a new character from level 1, or starting in the more recent expansions. That’s too much choice, and I skittered away.
This time, however, I went back to basics and began all the way at the start. It’s been a long time since I had a new character in this game, and it’s been even longer — SWTOR’s launch day, as a matter of fact — that I started on a new Imperial Agent.
I decided on a few other things for this run. One, I was going to check out the Sniper (Engineering discipline) instead of my old Operative, just for a change up of the combat style. Two, I turned off alignment indicators on choices so that I’d make choices without those light/dark symbols influencing me. Three, I turned off subtitles so that I’d listen more to the cutscenes. And four, I would just be doing the class storyline and perhaps planetary stories if XP required.
Good to see the community is still on the cutting edge of fashion!
All of this combined to create a rather pleasant return experience. There wasn’t any side questing distractions, just a continuous main quest (and IA is the best class quest, of course). I picked dialogue and choices based on what seemed the most interesting response. And I began my long climb back up to the top, through the core game and four or whatever expansions come after.
I did jump into a guild on day one, one of those “trawling newbie zones for fresh meat” guilds that you find everywhere. I mostly did this for the 10% XP boost, thus I was surprised when the people were actually pretty friendly and interactive. There was even a Star Wars trivia contest that first night, and I mopped the floor and netted myself 150,000 credits. That was kind of helpful.
Hey, it’s Watcher! And Darth Jerkus! I missed those guys, although not the shoulderpads. What is it with Sith and really bad shoulder attire?
As with any return to an old favorite MMO, there was that mixture of familiar good and familiar bad hitting you all over the place. I was quickly rolling my eyes at the repeated hand gestures and the not-quite-tight combat, but the general atmosphere and questing was fun enough to make up for it. And Sniper is a wonderful change from the Operative lifestyle; mowing down groups of mobs with a machine gun at 35 meters is what I was born to do.
I hope that when I become a turncoat Sith lord someone will construct a giant tacky statue of me. Least they can do, really.
Ignoring side missions has the benefit of cutting down on the amount of time spent on any particular planet. In the first week, I cranked out a planet per two nights, and that felt wildly fast for me.
I did wrestle with some of the restrictions of my preferred account (no, I’m not going to sub — at least, not yet). No speeder travel until level 20 was a burden, but I stuck that out over paying money to unlock it earlier. I would like to get a “hide head slot” option on this character at the very least, because there’s nothing sillier than have to watch your character with doofy glasses or a dorky helmet go through cutscene upon cutscene.
Gotta say, getting this ship back was a thrill all over again. Agents really do have the best personal starship in the game, and boarding this girl felt like going home.