Revisting SWTOR Part 2


Getting back to talking about SWTOR has been really difficult for me. My feelings about everything is extremely jumbled and teasing these things out is not straight foreword.

Let’s Start With The Good Things

Nothing has really changed with the level 1-50 storylines, and they are definitely still worth seeing. The best way to see all of the storylines is to level with three other friends, each playing a different class. This way you won’t have to go back through leveling again (which can get pretty tiresome) and you’ll still see all of the storylines which interweave with each other in interesting ways.

When it comes to the Rise of the Hutt Cartel there is only one story per faction, and both are worth going through once. My recommendation would be to do the Republic story first, but it doesn’t matter very much. Making the content from this expansion available to F2P people is one of the better changes BioWare has made as it encourages less stratification of the player base.

The best change which has been made recently is the addition of Galactic Starfighter. For anyone unfamiliar with this addition, it’s free-form space battlegrounds. I had more fun in these battlegrounds than I have had in a long time playing and characters can take part in battles at any level because it’s the quality of your ship and your skill which matters not the lvl of your character. Here’s a short video I made soon after this feature launch where I was playing with one of my friends.

 And Onto The Bad Things

My biggest issue with SWTOR for a long time has been how they chose to run their F2P system. This aspect has gotten a bit better over time but I still often feel like I am being strong armed into giving them money. Most things can be bought with credits, but it takes a lot to get enough, especially as a first time player. I had a bit of a leg up because I had Preferred status.

The biggest annoyance I have with the F2P model they went with is it stratifies their players. Remember how I said the best way to experience the class stories is playing with friends? Well you’ll want to make sure everyone is either subbed or is F2P together. When I first started playing again I accidentally aggro’ed  too many mobs and sadly I died. I was quite happy to see I had the option to rez right at my body. Naturally I thought to myself “oh cool, I guess they let you have a certain number of rezs at your body now.”

The next day I was working on clearing a four person Heroic with a friend. We unfortunately pulled a pack we were trying to avoid and died. Much to my chagrin I had no option to rez at my body. There was only the one time. Just once. Now for my friend and I, this wasn’t a huge deal because he was willing to run back with me. If I had been running with a group of strangers  it would have been a bigger deal. Especially since the area to rez was outside the instance and there were a few mobs which needed to be killed before zoning in which makes running back take even more time.

Another issue with playing with friends who are subbed when you aren’t is they will level twice as fast. To even this gap out the F2P player will have to spend a fair amount of time playing on their own to just stay even with their friends. Some of this discrepancy can be mitigated by buying the experience boosts in the Character Perks Menu. There are six lines and each line only affects one area. To fill out all the lines all the way would cost 150,000 to 275,000 credits depending on which lines you buy. Alternatively there is the “Ultimate Leveling Bundle” which contains all the XP unlocks for 5,125 cartel coins (4,100 sale right now) which would run $$39.99 with a few coins left over.

Another thing which really rubbed me wrong is some of the restrictions on what rewards can be selected after completing quests. I don’t in general have a big issue with not having some of the rewards available. Quests have two level of rewards, automatic and optional. Restricting optional rewards seems fine, not awesome but definitely livable. However there were a few quests where both of the automatic rewards weren’t available to me, which just really rubbed me the wrong way. I mean an automatic reward should be automatic.

So is playing F2P really worth it?

SWTOR is still a lot of fun and like I said even if nothing else interests you seeing the class stories is fun and interesting. Though my recommendation would be to sub for a month or two and see all the class stories you want and then unsub. Playing F2P isn’t really worthwhile and more than likely will just be a frustrating experience for most people. Which is just all around sad because overall I really enjoy playing SWTOR. Their current business model just makes me resent giving them money.



There’s been a lot of information released about Wildstar in the last couple of weeks and in their panel during Pax East they released even more details about player housing, paths, warplots, and more. First you should check out their video with all the highlights!

Player Housing

Player housing is literally what it sounds like. You can buy a plot in-game, clear it of unwanted wildlife and build your house. You can add paint and wallpaper as you like (or leave your walls bare!). You can also fill your house with any furniture you want. The example they gave at the panel was if you want a table floating in the air upside down with a chair on it – you can do that!

In addition you can do things like build a crafting table or a shop at your house. Logging out at your house will give you more rested XP, and the more things you have in your house the greater the XP return will be. Wouldn’t it be amazing to teleport from your home directly to raids? Well you can also build a portal at home that will take you directly to the raid and give you a buff for using it.

What good would a house be if you could only go to it once every hour? Well it would be rather inconvenient which is why you will be able to teleport to your home anytime you want!

Every house has neighbors and good neighbors help each other right? Every time you help a neighbor whether it’s fighting off bandits, helping with crops, or anything else that can happen you get XP and a share of the rewards for being a good neighbor.


First look at warplots seems to be something guilds will create and build together. Basically a guild will build one and set it down in the middle of a battleground. Warplots will have defensive and offensive capabilities and they look like they might offer a ton of customization as well.

As of right now if your warplot gets damaged in a battle the guild will need to repair it to get it back up to full strength. However, if it turns out during beta that repairing is just too difficult or sucks the fun out of PvP they did mention that there are other options to be looked at.


In an effort to keep leveling from being too linear the Wildstar team has introduced the concept of paths. At character creation you choose which path you want to follow. Once you pick a path you can still take part in things other paths focus on (“Crossing Paths”) but you well get a bit less XP for those activities. Some of the options given were Explorer, Scientist, Solider, and Settler.

With the explorer path it is all about exploring the world and finding things. When I played at PAX East one aspect I really liked was as you ran around different exploration quests would pop-up and send you off in different directions. I can definitely see being an explorer leading you to all sorts of random places you wouldn’t think of to start (which is the point).

Solider path is all about killing things. People who enjoy leveling through grinding or quests where you need to kill x many mobs that will be the path to choose.

Scientist will be the patch for people who are more interested in the lore side of things. Your quests will involve learning the stories behind the game and the Nexus.

The last option is the Settler which is the social path. The example given at the Wildstar panel was you have a campfire and every time someone uses your campfire you get bonus XP and the more people who use your campfire the more XP you’ll earn in a given amount of time. You wouldn’t be able to look up where the best place to put a fire is because if everyone is putting them in the same place fewer people will likely use your particular fire. There is a bit of a puzzle built-in here for figuring out the best places to put your fires.

Those are the three main areas that they went into more details about. Other interesting tidbits are this game will be PC only at launch, there will be mounts, there is a world storyline that is soloable at max level, Elder Story is a storyline told through group quests at max level, and the factions will operate completely separate from each other.

The last bit (and probably the biggest deal for long-term success) is they have not settled on a business model yet. The estimation at Pax East was they will have something for us regarding that in about 2 months.