I’m Back!!!!!

Hello, loyal readers, I want to take a moment to apologize for the extended absence that I have had here recently.  For those of you that follow my on Twitter, you know that I have had some medical issues occurring in my family recently.  I am glad to say that as far as that is concerned, everything is on the up and up.  Now back to what you come back to Zerneblog for, SW:TOR!!!!

Where to begin?

Well, with all the news that has been dropping recently, where do we begin when it comes to this “stupid game that takes up every waking moment of our lives,” (to quote Chuck (@BeardedApe) from the Bad Feeling Podcast), it is difficult to decide where to begin.  Of course Knights of the Fallen Empire (hereafter referred to as KotFE) has been the buzz all around the SWTOR community (especially among us subscribers), so talking about the story that has already been released seems like beating a dead horse, so what else can I talk about when it comes to KotFE?

Flashpoint Changes

One of the biggest changes (not including the entire timeline of the story thus far) that is coming with the 4.0 KotFE expansion is a massive change to the way Flashpoints are being handled.  With the popularity of the Solo Mode flashpoints that came about with the Forged Alliances arc leading up to 3.0 (Shadow of Revan), much more of the Flashpoints that were used to level throughout the game are being changed as well.  Not only are many of the level Flashpoints getting a Solo Mode, but there are still many many others that are being converted into Tactical Flashpoints (any four players are able to complete the flashpoint rather than requiring the traditional 1 Tank, 1 Healer, 2 DPS composition).  Let’s look at these changes separately because it is going to be really confusing to look at it all at the same time.

Solo Mode Flashpoints

Once 4.0 drops, many of the Flashpoints that many current players have known and loved are being changed to allow for a Solo Mode so that players that would prefer to play without being required to be in a group can see the stories.  While I understand the necessity of these players being able to see the Flashpoint story unfettered (there has often been a battle between the people that are running a flashpoint for the first time and veterans who just want to skip all the cinematics and conversations and just get going on the mission so that they can complete the Flashpoint and gain their daily reward of 20 Basic Comms).  While I am happy that Bioware is taking these players into consideration, I fear that they are ignoring the rules that bring SWTOR into the realm of a MMO.  The following Flashpoints are going from Group Content to Solo Mode:

Black Talon (Imperial starting Flashpoint)

The Esseles (Republic starting Flashpoint)

Boarding Party (Part 1/2 of Imperial story arc around Revan)

Taral V (Part 1/2 of Republic story arc around Revan)

The Foundry (Part 2/2 of Imperial story arc around Revan)

Maelstrom Prison (Part 2/2 of Republic story arc around Revan)

The Battle of Ilum (Part 1/2 of False Emperor story arc)

The False Emperor (Part 2/2 of False Emperor story arc)

Assault on Tython (Part 1 of Forged Alliances)

Korriban Incursion (Part 2 of Forged Alliances)

Depths of Manaan (Part 3 of Forged Alliances)

Legacy of the Rakata (Part 4 of Forged Alliances)

Blood Hunt (Part 1 of Shadow of Revan)

Battle of Rishi (Part 2 of Shadow of Revan)

Tactical Flashpoints

Personally, as a tank, I HATE tactical Flashpoints.  One of the reasons that I like Flashpoints (especially as a tank) is because it forces the rest of the group to do their roles correctly.  How am I supposed to know that I have a handle on tanking when I am thrown into a group that pulls mobs before me or jumps in and begins to beat on the boss before I am even there?  The same goes for healers because anyone can run over and hit a Kolto station instead of having to learn how to heal from the lower classes.  Tactical Flashpoints (at least in my opinion) reinforce bad habits.  In fact, what would the point be in even rolling a toon that is not a DPS character when almost all group content (before the level cap) is either Solo Mode or Tactical?  This particular change to Flashpoints fills me with dread because everyone is just going to want to faceroll all the content.  How can I, as a tank, reinforce positive habits when taking on these new instances?  The following Flashpoints have been transformed into Tactical Flashpoints:

Hammer Station

Athiss

Mandalorian Raiders

Cademimu

The Red Reaper

Kuat Drive Yards

Czerka Labs

Czerka Core Meltdown

Assault on TythonD

Korriban Incursion

Depths of Manaan

Legacy of the Rakata

Blood Hunt

Battle of Rishi

Hard Mode Flashpoints

Looking at the bright side, there are going to be more choices than the Forged Alliances and Shadow of Revan Flashpoints that will be raised to the new level cap for the Hard Mode versions of the flashpoints.  I cannot express how happy I am about this!  I remember the Hard Mode versions of Blood Hunt being super annoying prior to the nerf they received later in the 3.X series (to be completely honest, I haven’t run any level 60 Hard Modes because I firstly do not know the mechanics, and secondly do not trust myself to try to tank these flashpoints in a Group Finder setting-now if I was able to get another guildie to come along with me, I may have been willing to give a try to tank them.  I know my guild and I had a horrible time on the first boss of Blood Hunt due to being undergeared-I was in 172/178/186 gear and am now in 186/190/192 fully augmented).  The following Flashpoints have been adjusted to level 65 for their Hard Mode versions:

Black Talon

The Esseles

Boarding Party

Taral V

The Foundry

Maelstrom Prison

Kaon Under Siege

Lost Island

Battle of Ilum

The False Emperor

Hammer Station

Athiss

Mandalorian Raiders

Red Reaper

Cademimu

Kuat Drive Yards

Czerka Labs

Czerka Core Meltdown

Korriban Incursion

Assault on Tython

Depths of Manaan

Legacy of the Rakata

Blood Hunt

Battle of Rishi

In-Game Stuff

As far as being in-game, I have been doing quite a bit recently!  I actually moved my Powertech from my home server (Ebon Hawk) to Harbringer and joined the Unholy Alliance guild.  I love the members of this guild as well, and the wonderful Guild Master (@UnholyAlliances) there has encouraged members of Unholy Alliance to cross servers over to Ebon Hawk and have joined my own home guild.  How amazing is that!  And now that Server Transfers have been discounted down to 90 Cartel Coins (90 CARTEL COINS!!!!!!!!) please feel free to come over to Ebon Hawk and join our wonderful guild, the Order of Shadow Knights (Imperial) or Knights of Shadow (Republic).  Now is the time to move and play with your friends!  Be a SWTOR whore and sow your wild oats (er, Legacy) all over the SWTOR server-verse.

Ja'rilo 40

As if that wasn’t amazing enough, I have had the pleasure of playing with a slew of community friends that I met on Twitter than have been considerate enough and loving enough to me to come over to Ebon Hawk and help my guild and I get involved in many of the level 55 Operations.  Due to the fact that I have not asked these wonderful people for their permission to post their Twitter handles online, I am going to go ahead and keep their identities secret.  Suffice it so say, it is amazing how wonderful and welcoming the rest of the community has been to my plight.  With these wonderful friends I have been able to finish Scum and Villainy, Terror from Beyond, and Dread Fortress.  To someone that hasn’t done any of this content when they were fresh and around (I didn’t get my main to 55 until after 3.0 went live-was a preferred status player up to the launch of 3.0-and I began playing during the Titans of Industry update when CZ-198 went live).

Finally, as of yesterday evening, I have gotten my Shadow Tank up to level 50.  I know this is no longer the “big deal” it once was, but this is only my third toon to get out of the 40’s (and my first Republic toon).  I have a Sorcerer already, so I wanted to try something different when it comes to the class story, so I went with the Consular instead of another Inquisitor (and yes, I leveled my Consular as Dark Side).

Awwim 50

Wrapping It Up

What do you all think about the Flashpoint changes?  What are you waiting for the most from KotFE?  Are you waiting for the Togruta release as much as I am?  What about the new price for Server Transfers (did I mention 90 Cartel Coin transfers?)?  What servers have you thought about moving to in order to play with more of your friends?  I know I’d love to play with any of you amazing fans!

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12 thoughts on “I’m Back!!!!!

  1. yeah, i don’t like tacticals either, so i’ll be staying clear from those. i do like the idea of the solo modes for the FPs that have heavy story around them, though. other than that, i’m pretty much just waiting around to try the new ops changes, and hope that it works as intended: to make it easier to incorporate new operations in the (hopefully) near future.

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  2. TankingFTW says:

    I am kind of ambivalent about the whole FP/Ops KotFE thing, to be honest.

    On the one hand, having a lot of level 65 HM flashpoints will give me something to do when there is no one else around, and a decent place to practice my healing. I find solo and tactical flashpoints boring, so I’ll skip those. I’m trying to get my flashpoint achievements done (or as much as I can) before 3.0 hits.

    For the Operations, I am not thrilled about repeating the ones I already know very well again. I will try and get the achievements I am missing / bosses I have not killed – (I am 7/10 Rav/TOS HM, 4/5 DF NiM and 2/5 DP NiM so those I will try and finish). I joined the game after RotHC, so I know the 55 ops very well. I guess doing the 50 ops at 65, esp. HM and NiM may be somewhat interesting.

    I don’t know how they are going to do gearing on the 65 ops, but if all HM/NiM drop the same gear, then for one, we’ll all be geared very quickly and secondly, we will do the relatively easier ones more to get gear. I do think that this will have a negative impact on pugging, esp. since folks who enjoy doing SM ops being over-levelled and over-geared will now struggle. I guess I’m going to be doing ops with guildies and friends only now.

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  3. Eternal Shad says:

    Tiz good to have you back. I’m playing off and on when I can again myself. Taticals will not be in my books either. To much BS around that, as for FPs, well since I’ve recently seen a lot are LFG or LF1M Tank. I’ve been doing them Solo, grabbing some deco items too. I jump over to my Inquis who is lvl 60, and Master Crafter for Cybertech. So been bouncing on him getting him to max out rest …I just recently unlocked some speeders he can craft, so will probably start on that next.

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    • Nice! I can shoot you over a Vectron Archaeologist schematic if you don’t have one yet. The one Cybertech crafter I have isn’t on Ebon Hawk anymore (need to change this with a new toon). And seriously, if you want to learn how to tank on your Juggernaut, I would be more than happy to work with you.

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      • Eternal Shad says:

        I have all 4 of them Schemematics, just unlocked them, and No-no-no..A DPS with a Tank spec..This is the most interesting character I have to date..Flips them out when running around and they find out , I do DPS instead of tanking, course they dont know the tree I run with though :p

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