Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Level 50 Sith Warrior DPS Gearing Part 2

Next up in gearing a level 50 Sith Warrior DPS, is the relic slot. One of these can be filled using a purchased relic from the dark side vendor in the Imperial Fleet. However, there is a nice relic available with 58 Strength, 50 Endurance and 24 Critical if you want to travel the galaxy in search of matrix shards. Which I did.

First up you need 3 Green Matrix shards. Luckily NotCasuals have posted a great video showing you how to get them, almost.

They did miss out the section on how to get Rakata Cubes on Belsavis. Luckily this video shows you how to do it:

It took me around 30 minutes to get my Rataka Cubes, so not bad really.

Once the three Green Matrix shards are in your possession, head to Drummond Khaas to the Ancient Assembly Chamber. This is the instanced cave to the left as you head up the outside stairs on the approach to the Dark Temple. Simply slap a cube into each slot and press the button on the console and you receive a new relic.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Level 50 Sith Warrior DPS Gearing Part 1

Given my Sith Warrior Juggernaut has hit level 50, I have begun the gearing process. The spec of the toon is DPS in the Vengeance tree, but the gear is the same for any old DPS Jugg.

First up is to hit the dailies to gain a couple of things. One is the daily commendations which are traded for two implants (Rakata Weaponmaster's Pakage) and a ear piece (Rakata Weaponmaster's Device). This runs to 120 x 3 = 360 daily commendations, a lot. However, the implants are bind on equip, so you can grind them on an alt, get a friend to buy them or get them off the GTN. Buy the items from a vendor in the first area on Belsavis.

Secondly is that 3 of the dailies give armoring, modifications and enhancements for any moddable gear you have. Now I have 5 armor items and a light sabre which can be modded. Alas these dailies are the group quest dailies, so cannot generally be soloed. They are:

Old Enemies - Belsavis
Freeing The Fallen - Belsavis
Poisonous Strategy - Illum

Get these done 5 times, plus Freeing The Fallen and Poisonous Strategy again for another mod and enhancement for your light sabre.

Accessing Dailies
To get the Belsavis dailies, do the Belsavis bonus quests starting at level 49, from the Imperial Fleet, or just go to Belsavis and you will get them from the landing port.

To get the Illum dailies, complete your class quest and then take the Illum quest from the Imperial Fleet, do a first set of quests and a lot of them turn into dailies.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Patch 1.2 UI Customization Video

No, not the official video Bioware posted up, no. Something far more different.

Here is the video I made of the patch 1.2 UI customizations, from the PTR. Now I had intended on looking at the Legacy system and other exciting things, but Bioware haven't got character copying working yet, so the only toons allowed on the PTR are your own low level toons. Oh, or you can level a character on the PTR which they probably won't wipe. Unless they do. No premade level 50 toons either, which means testing things on the PTR is restricted to low level things. Such as the new UI fiddlings.

The video is embedded above, but there are 720p and 1080p versions on YouTube so you can see the new UI menus very clearly. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Level 50 Now What?

I dinged level 50 on Eveaider, Sith Warrior, handing in the final quest of the Belsavis bonus quest series. When I hit level 49 I skipped over to Belsavis and, in the orbital space station, accepted the start of the bonus series.

Why? Because the quests on Belsavis turn into dailies which give daily commendations and mods. Plus doing 1 set of the quests got me to level 50!

So what now? Now to finish the class quest back on Corellia, plus do some side quests for commendations to get my gear upgraded. Then off to Belsavis to do those dailies for mods and commendations.

Once I complete my class quest, dailies open up on Illum, so I'll be able to do those for commendations too. Eventually I can buy some nice gear with these commendations which will see me ready for heroic flashpoints and raids.

However there is a wrinkle, and that is the lack of group finding and dungeon finding features. The daily quests which give mods and armour for gear all require a group of various sizes. This means lurking around waiting for people to answer a LFM message, or put out such a message themselves. Now thus waiting can be done while doing the other soloable dailies, but for those without a large play time, not finding groups can become annoying.

The lack of a dungeon finder is why I've run so few flash points. When the choice is hanging around the space fleet for an hour, or going to quest some more, I always choose questing. Now at level 50 the class quest is gone, I am left with dailies or hanging around the fleet looking for a group.

Roll on 1.3 and it's promised Flash point finder!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

New In 1.2

A shiny video for new things in patch 1.2. The new Legacy system stuff looks interesting, as does the new Operation. However, does this mean they are bumping the gear tier already, despite me not setting foot into an Operation or being level 50 yet!?

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

[Spoilers] Sith Warrior Chapter 3 and a half

Spoilers for the Sith Warrior story line ahead.

So, after the events on Quesh I headed off to Belsavis to hunt down and stop Darth Ekkage from being released from prison. She is a major assassin, and the sister of Darth Baras, so she cannot escape otherwise Baras' enemies will be in trouble. 

After trogging around on Belsavis I finally find her group of elite assassins and... persuade them to join with the Emperor. See, being the Wrath has it's advantages, I didn't even need to fight them. With them out of the way, I found Ekkage and of course killed the hell out of her. The planet was fairly fun, although mostly killing named characters from the story line.

With Belsavis finished, I headed back to my ship. Alas, I was ambushed at the space port by Lord Draagh, who informed me that Baras knew I was still alive (although not for much longer). Oddly he claimed to not be able to die, and indeed when he was almost dead he somehow regenerated to full, and so I had to defeat Draagh three times. The fight ended with him being tossed over the side into some flames, which should definitely kill him. This was pretty cool, and ups the ante quite a lot.

Next I was told by The Hand that I was needed on the planet of Voss. It was on Voss that the actual Voice of The Emperor was trapped, so I was to go and rescue the Voice. Recall Baras is pretending to be the Voice, and thus saying the Emperor's will, so everyone will do as he says.

After a lot of quests on Voss, I finally found the Voice in some Voss tomb. The Emperor was tricked by Baras into taking the body of a Voss native as his Voice, but then tricked into taking the Voice into this tomb, and because it was a Voss he was trapped. The only solution was to kill the body of the Voice so the Emperor's essence could be freed. This shows the scheming of Baras, that he has planned this entrapment for years. 

Alas, the big bad of Voss from the Dark Heart took possession of the Voice and so I had to defeat this evil first, before freeing the Emperor's essence. Talking to the Emperor was pretty cool, even if it was through the body of a Voss native.

My next mission was on Corellia, to help protect Darth Vowrawn, the only opposition to Darth Baras left on the Dark Council. Baras is trying to kill Vowrawn, and if he succeeds, Baras would make the Council accept him as the Voice of the Emperor and take control of the entire Empire!

However just after the conversation with The Hand, I was told by Quinn (my healer companion) that access to Corellia was blocked. I couldn't fly in, I needed a transponder which would make my ship look friendly. Happily he knew of a ship which I could go to and steal the transponder off. 

So some Voss bonus quests later, I am marching through this ship and discover no opposition at all. How odd. Quinn and I get to the room which is meant to contain the transponder, to discover no transponder. Then a cut scene starts, and it transpires that Quinn is still working for Darth Baras! He has been studying my every move and has programmed two killer droids to use all my weaknesses to kill me. Weaknesses like I have no healer now :) The entire ship mission was a trap to lure me to my death.

I get to fight Quinn and his two droids, sans healer. Alas I defeat them with utter ease... but I am not given the option to kill Quinn, even though all who betray me must die. Sadly I am forced to merely seriously injure him, then it's back to the ship. 

Still, this betrayal is pretty neat. The ending is sadly a little unconvincing, I allow Quinn to serve because he fails to kill me and pledges his allegiance to me again. What, like he did the first time he joined my crew? Better kill him off and go without a healing companion, I say. This episode exposes a serious weakness in SWTOR story telling - there is no way I can kill my companions, so I know full well Quinn will be back out on missions with me. What would have been far cooler is that I could kill him, then get someone else to be my healer. I'd have done it too!

On the ship Darth Baras calls, and tries to persuade me that the group I am working for does not represent the Emperor, but are in fact a rogue organization within the Empire. Not going to work, although the idea is intriguing. 

I am now off to Corellia to rescue Darth Vowrawn and kill the various assassins sent to kill him. With merely 2 levels to go until the cap, some serious speed will be needed if I am to resolve my class story lines before level 50.

I still really want to kill Quinn, though.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

[Spoilers] Sith Warrior Chapter 2 Shenanigans

I finally finished Chapter 2 of the Sith Warrior story line last night, and what an ending it was! The following contains spoilers for the SW story in SWTOR.

After hunting down the 4 members of the Republic War Council for Darth Baras and Plan Zero, I was heartily congratulated. The Republic were in shambles, their best war leaders dead by my hand. Now the Empire was ready for war, and the Republic was bound to fail.

One of the targets I had to kill was in his space ship above Quesh, but had somehow gotten wind of the plan to kill him, and escaped. Darth Baras' master, Darth Vengean, had attacked the target and due to the botch, had lost face on the Dark Council.

Now was the time to strike, Vengean was weak and his death would be supported by the council. I was helped by another of Baras' apprentices, Lord Draagh, and together we stormed the sanctuary of Darth Vengean and killed him. This allowed Darth Baras to ascend to a seat on the Dark Council, and our work together would begin. The aim - to destroy the Republic in a galactic war. Baras even called me his "friend".

However, it seemed that first I needed to go fix a problem on Quesh. Apparently the Empire's adrenal supplies were being threatened by the Republic. So off to Quesh I went and was sent to a cave to stop a bomb being detonated, which could destroy the adrenal factory.

I fought my way to the end, but I was too late to stop the Republic officer pushing the detonate button! Except the bomb failed to go off, allowing me to kill him and holocall back to Lord Draagh.

Now the fun began. Draagh revealed that the bomb was not meant for the adrenals, but for me. I had become too powerful for Baras, the real trigger was in the hands of Draagh and I was to die. The bomb was detonated and I ended up on the floor, dead? They forgot about the medical probe, clearly.

Through hazy vision I saw two shadowy shapes stood over me - they discussed whether to help or not. Eventually they decided to leave me there, and if I am "the one" I would come to see them at the base on Quesh. Most mysterious.

Obviously being the awesome Sith I am, plus having some uber modded armour, I recovered and headed back to the base. I met with the two characters who revealed that they are members of "The Emperors' Hand", a covert group who sit between the Emperor and the Dark Council and do his bidding. Not even the Dark Council suspect of the existence of such a group.

Now this is where it got really quite awesome - I was to become The Emperor's Wrath, working for the Emperor directly, above the Dark Council. My work will be striking down the enemies of the Emperor, the first of which is Darth Baras. Baras is trying to convince the rest of the Dark Council that he is The Voice Of The Emperor, speaks the Emperor's truths and should be followed. Quite why the Emperor won't come out of reclusivity and tell the Dark Council Baras is a fake is unknown.

Because Baras thinks I am dead, I can operate in secret, and the agents of The Hand Of The Emperor are every where. I was good with this plan, after all I owed Baras payback.

If you thought turning a Jedi Master and his apprentice was cool, working for the main man The Emperor in a secret uber-group is utterly awesome. Given who else was The Emperor's Wrath, the position is a very awesome one.

The first step is to stop Baras freeing his sister, one Darth Ekkage, imprisoned on Belsavis...

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Sith Warrior Vengeance pre-Shatter priority

Using this build in the Vengeance tree, I got the core skill of Impale early on. However, I have been playing without Shatter for a while, so here is what I've been doing.

Recall the Sith Warrior way is to build rage then spend it, your Assault and Sundering Assault build the rage, along with Smash and Force Charge. I tend to Force Charge into a pack of mobs, then Smash (which is rage free with this build). Then build some rage with 1 Sundering Assault, putting it on cool down.

Without Shatter, the priority is quite straight forward; Impale will apply a buff which makes Force Scream get 60% extra crit (thanks to the Savagery talent), thus you always want to Impale, then Force Scream before the buff falls off. So I tend to then Impale and immediately Force Scream.

After that it's a case of waiting for Impale to come back off cool down, so I build more rage, keeping Sundering Assault on cool down and filling in with Smash and Assault. The Decimate talent makes Smash hit hard, so it is worth using when not on CD, below Impale and a Savagery-enhanced Force Scream.

Sometimes you will be almost capping your rage before Impale is off CD, in which case I tend to spend the extra rage on a Retaliation, because it is off the GCD, so you can then immediately hit another spell. Going over the 12 rage cap is bad, but so is not having the rage to do an Impale.

Now the Savagery buff lasts 9 seconds, so you do not always need to Scream after you Impale. In fact, if the mob has low health, I will Assault to build rage and finish it off (with a single Assault), then Scream at the next target. Thus not over-killing the mob I was fighting. Even better is Force Scream works at range, so you can use it while running at a mob (if Force Charge is on CD).

This priority is all very natural and flows together well. Adding Shatter into the mix is a bit more interesting, it needs a Sundering Assault debuff on the mob to work, which can be tricky in packs, so I am still feeling my way through what order to use the skills in when you have Shatter.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Space Combat Guide

One thing I quite like in Star Wars The Old Republic is Space Combat. I've seen a load of video guides, so here is a text guide to Space Combat in Star Wars The Old Republic.

What is Space Combat?
Space Combat is best described as a rail shooter, in space. Where no one can hear you scream at that asteroid you just collided with.

The game camera follows a set route through the action, ducking and diving around asteroids, capital ships and clusters of fighters. Your ship is on screen and can move around the screen, you get a reticle to target your missiles and blaster fire, and must both target enemies and move your ship to dodge oncoming fire and objects. Like those annoying asteroids.

A mission has a timer which is typically of the order of 5 minutes, and you have objectives, such as shoot X missile launchers, or kill some named ship. When your time is up, the mission ends and you get your reward if you completed the objectives.

Rewards are space commendations, to spend on ship upgrades, and some ship upgrades are actually handed out at the end of the mission.

You take damage during the mission, so it can also end if your hull explodes.

How Do I Play?
When you get your class ship, you can use the captains chair to access the galaxy map. Some destinations on the map are planets, some are Space Combat missions.

Fly to a Space Combat mission and Bob's your Jedi Uncle - you enter the mission.

Left click on the mouse to fire lasers, hold it down to continuously fire. Right click fires missiles - you can target an enemy, right click and release, and the missile will seek the target. Alternatively, you can hold right mouse and move the cursor over multiple mobs, up to 4, to "paint" the targets. Releasing the button will fire all the missiles at once.

The character movement keys will move the ship around the screen somewhat, this should be used to avoid lots of laser fire, enabling you to target enemies with the reticle.

Space bar will do a barrel roll, which avoids lasers.

When Do I Get My Class Ship?
You get this upon completing your class quests on the second planet you hit, the planet after the starter planet. For Republic this is Coruscant, for Sith Drummond Khaas.

Note you just need to complete your class quest, not all quests on the planet. Thus if you have a high level friend, you can secure your ship at level 12-13. If you do the quests normally, you may get your ship at level 14-15.

How Do I Know What Difficulty Mission Is?
Space Combat missions have a description which tells you what level if upgrades are needed for the mission. They are also colour coded: grey, blue, red in increasing order of difficulty.

How Do I Upgrade My Ship?
Your ship will appear on the Character panel, in a Ship tab. It has slots which can have items put into them, similar to character armour. Upgrades come from various sources: Cybertech can craft ship parts, you get them from completing missions, and they can be bought from the Ship Equipment vendor in the Fleet. This vendor hangs out near the Galactic Trade Market terminals.

What Upgrades Are Available?
You can get a variety of items for each slot: energy shield, beam charger, beam generator, missile magazine, energy shield generator and ship armor.

Upgrades come in various levels, and are restricted by character level. This means until you are level 17 you cannot kit your ship out with level 1 starship upgrades. This design limits which encounters you can complete, sone are too hard until you have a certain level of upgrades.

A shield is recommended, there are few missions you can do without one. Without a shield your hull takes damage and when it is empty, the ship explodes. A shield will take damage and when you are not firing blasters, will recharge.

There are also slots for which you buy items with currency, which then unlock different gameplay. By which I mean abilities will appear on keys 1-6 during space combat and on the small action bar.

Shield modulator - this lets you either put power to shields, weapons or a mix. Full power to shields (captain) makes them regenerate quicker, but blaster power is rubbish so you won't kill much. Full power to bladders means slow shield regen but hard-hitting blasters. This is only available for commendations.

Proton Torpedo Tube - can be used to kill hard targets, by holding down the right mouse button while keeping the target under the reticule for 5 seconds.

EMP Generator - An AOE damage ability.

Electronic Warfare Pod - Means you can become untargetable by jamming your enemies. Useful for moments in missions where there is loads of fire heading your way.

The Imperial fleet, with Starship vendor area highlighted
Where Do I Get The Upgrades?
From the fleet, in the ring below the Galactic Trade Network is the Starship vendor, who sells items for credits. Also there is the commendations vendor, who sells items for space commendations, and moddable pilot style clothes.

Cybertech crafters can make parts as well, provided they have the schematics, which come from Slicing missions. Cybertech can make level 2 and 4 items, many of which are better than the tier above. There are also prototype (purple) items which only Cybertechs can make. So check the GTN.

The schematics for the tier 2 and 4 items come from Slicing missions, sometimes as well as a lock box you will receive some tasty ship schematic.

On your ship, from behind your captains chair, is a comms unit on the wall. This gives you your initial role play about space combat and also hands out daily quests to do certain encounters.

Completing a daily will award many more commendations, like 4 or 5. So they are well worth doing, until you buy everything from the commendations vendor.

Progression seems to be limited by your character level. The ship has no level, and is bare and only upgraded by items, the ultimate level-less MMO going on here. You need to level your toon to be able to equip the better items, which then makes your ship good enough to tackle the harder Space Combat missions.

At endgame, being level 50, you can equip everything and get doing those hard missions. To really succeed I suspect you need to grind credits to buy the purple ship items.

What Else Can I Spend Commendations On?
For 100 commendation tokens you can buy an Ancient Prototype Storage Box which contains a random Blue item. For the end game, you can spend 375 commendations on an Ancient Artifact Storage Box, which contains a random purple item. This can be armour or a mod and is reported as being level 47-49, thus is for end game. The items look like being BOE as well, so you can always sell them on the GTN for credits.

Given a day's worth of Space Combat missions will net around 100 commendations, this is a fun but risky way to grab some extra gear at level 50. It is likely easier to concentrate on the ground dailies, but if you have many spare commendations, why not spend them on purples?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Life At 50: A Player's Perspective, Sith Edition

Yes, I have another forum post from the guild describing life at level 50, this time from the Sith point of view. There are some spoilers in here.

**SPOILER ALERT** There is some reference to the level 50 Flashpoints with clips of their stories, do not read this section if you do not wish to learn what these Flashpoints have in store for you.

So your class quest is now at an end… is that the end of the story for you?

For me it definitely wasn’t. I had more to do at level 50 than when I was actually levelling the character.

The biggest one for me was my dailies. Grinding may not be your favourite thing in the world, but it is a necessary evil. Dailies gave me 250k credits per day, epic mods for my gear to bring my character up to raiding standards so I did not need much from Hardmode Flashpoints.

Starting in Belsavis having collected the Bonus Series quest from the Bulletin Board at The Fleet near the Sith Inquisitor Airlock entrance called “Inner Power” (available from level 48 about) where a droid stood called T9-M6; I headed to Belsavis Spaceport and handed it in to a man called Agent Brandis and took the shuttle to the surface.

Belsavis is an ancient prison planet, the republic’s dirtiest kept secret. Having done your missions whilst levelling and causing chaos its time to cause even more chaos as you progress to dailies and their rewards. Rewards are : Companion moddable weapons, blue “surprise” boxes, 3 commendation badges for heroic missions, 2 out of the three epic mods for your gear and 13k credits each or one commendation badge and 7k credits each. I personally get Affection for Telos Drellik or Ashara Zavros companions if they are out when I take the missions (so if you need this affection don’t accept the missions from another player collect them yourself) if they are out when the missions are collected.

Upon reaching the surface I headed to Imperial Domination Outpost Speeder point that was given to me and collected the quests. I had four missions to do here. “Invisible Threat,” “Unintended Consequences” “Heroic 4 Lights Out” “Heroic 4 Old Enemies.”

As a stealthing Asssassin tank, there is only one of those dailies I needed a group for. “Old Enemies” requires you to kill a boss at the end, which has far too much health for you to take down alone even with your healer companion. However, with a stealthing player in the group, you do not have to kill the preceding 2 groups of trash before the boss. Go stealth, use blackout to avoid the first set of mobs, then stealth to the back of the boss. Hit him which exposes you. He will attack. Use Force Cloak to go back into stealth. The boss will then ignore you and head for the other three players at the entrance, without aggroing any of the other mobs you have skilfully passed. Then you have to return to the group at the entrance as quickly, but as carefully as possible in order that you do not pull any more mobs for the group to deal with. Having returned, I then taunt the boss back onto me that one of the more hard-wearing armour wearers have been tanking for me, and tank it myself. We proceed to kill the boss. This method in total takes literally five minutes, then I am free to do the rest of my Belsavis dailies alone.

“Lights Out.” For an assassin is totally soloable. I dismiss my companion. I can stand taking hits from packs of mobs, but for those of you who cannot, use the companion to distract them as you stealth to each console, deactivate it and use Force Cloak to return to stealth. If your cloak bugs and does not drop the mobs, then a skilled player can force speed run out of the entrance to drop them, as the dungeon area is only small. The other option is to go naked, as naked players and companions do not take repair costs at the time of composing this, and die twice, using your medical probe to revive yourself. The rewards for this as well as the Daily Commendation Badges is moddable gear for your companions, or a blue box with some random goodie item in.

“Old Enemies” gives you one of the mods for your gear, so is important. The other two missions are soloable anyway, but done with a group makes quick work of them.

Having handed these in, I head through the Rakatta Transporter to the northern part of the planet. At the Deep Launchpoint Transporter section I pick up three missions. “Found in Translation” “Invisible Threat” “Ancient Transmissions”

“Found in Translation” has bonus kills attached. I always do these, for my legacy experience. Legacy currently has no rewards, but it takes me but a few minutes to kill those extra mobs, and when it eventually does, I will have a nice legacy to purchase them with. My legacy from doing this and levelling alts currently stands at level 37. Some of you may have it a lot higher.

“Reluctant Volunteers” has “Trying To Impress” as a bonus. This elite is shown as a huge green and gold marker on the map. He doesn’t spawn often and people are there often waiting to tag him. You can solo him but if you see people waiting group with them so you both get the kill. Try not to finish him off you need to use the mission item on him at low health. This turns him green and completes the bonus mission. There is also a bonus to kill the trash around there too.

Having done “Found in Translation” and “Invisible Threat” I head back to Deep Launchpoint Transporter area and hand them in. This part is VERY IMPORTANT. Don’t head north thinking you should hand them in later.

So having done this I then head north to the last mission point, The Tomb Warlord’s Deep. Here I pick up three missions. “Heroic 2 Freeing the Fallen” “The Carriers of Xenovirus Prime” and one from the broken droid SD-9. However SD-9 will ONLY give you his mission IF you handed in the 2 missions above I advised you to hand in before progressing further North.

Whilst doing these missions, you encounter another terminal in a nearby tunnel where a droid gives you a final mission “Deadly Mutations.”

“Freeing the Fallen.” Again as a stealthier I can solo this misson totally. I jump up the sloping pillars in stealth to get past the first pack of mobs. The next pack after avoiding the patrolling mob, I use Blackout to sneak past the small gap on the left side of the group then on the final group I run into these, aggro them and pull them to the boss, then Force Cloak. The boss will go for the mobs. If the mobs kill the boss you get the kill as if you did it. If they don’t it’s a simple matter with your healer companion or however you play to take off his remaining health, but beware of his AOE it does huge damage so I kite him a lot. After he dies go to the very back and disengage the prisons. Mission complete. If you cannot manage the skill of aggroing the previous pack of mobs then go past it up the slope of the pillar to the right and take the boss down yourself. His health is pretty poor doesn’t take long. This mission gives you the second epic mod for your gear.

So 1.5 hours later and having completed 10 daily missions, I Quick Travel to Imperial Lodgement where you came in on the very South-East corner of the map and depart the planet. I head to Illum.

The missions for Illum the frozen contested world are available on completion of your Class mission that has been with you from the start. It sends you to The Fleet to T9-M6 the little droid. He gives you the bonus series for Illum and you need to complete this to gain all of the daily missions. Notice now for the first time ever, you have lost that Class mission that has been with you from level one. You no longer need it though.

I arrive on Illum through the spaceport and head to the surface. I land in Imperial Base Camp a bunker in this frozen waste-land with a lift to a basement where two level 50 Flashpoints “Battle of Illum” and “False Emperor” reside. Here I pick up four missions. “A Tightened Grip” “Defend the Shipment” “Operation Shatterstorm” “Heroic 2 Poisonous Strategy” These missions give 10k each mission for solo missions and the group mission gives you the final epic mod for your gear, and 16k credits.

“Defend the Shipment.” At the time of composing this, this mission is bugged. If you are in “Illum 1” when clicking on the crates it states “This is already in use” and won’t spawn the mobs to defend the shipment from. Due to this I re-locate to “Illum 2” where normally I have better luck. To re-locate, press your “M” key for map, on the bottom right corner is a drop down menu saying “Illum 1” or the current version of Illum you are on, just click on the other Illum version and it will go through the options to transport you there. However, if you do this, I would highly recommend doing your group for “Poisonous Strategy” first where the most players probably are to group with. General chat is where to make groups from.

“Poisonous Strategy” it says it is a 2 player mission. Yes it is doable with 2 players, provided they are either highly skilled at pulling the 2 Jedi elites from their AOE as it does a lot of damage, or, my preference is to go for a full group of four, with tank and healer and 2 DPS. Sure-fire way of not failing and doing the mission fast.

Next I travel from the Imperial Base Camp West to Imperial Waystation. Here I pick up a further two missions. “Rightful Owner” “Sabotage” both solo missions and easy to do.

So about one hour later I leave Illum, having completed six missions.

The dailies take me a total of 2.5 hours per day to do, or 2 hours if I do them with just one other person. If you do not have this amount of time priorities the Illum dailies. The commendation badges do give epic mods out too, but the gear from the commendations is amazing quality so they are better spent on gear really.

SPEEDER - 110%

This is another thing that awaits you. Why do I want a speeder that is only 10% faster than the one I bought at level 40? Well, for me the biggest answer is the chance to dismount is nearly nill. I can wade through packs of mobs and not get dismounted. Maybe the dismount rate is reduced if you’re a DPS without the avoidances of a tank, but its still very high. This means you do not have to spend half your life killing mobs that have dismounted you and makes the whole mission experience a lot easier. You’re making all that cash on dailies now, so it is easily affordable, even if you have to purchase the Rank 2 and Rank 3 speeder training to achieve this. Yes, sadly you cannot jump from rank 1 speeder training straight to rank 3, you have to buy rank 2, which is why when I levelled I did not spend my cash on crew skills and used it on speeders instead. I have to have rank 2 speeder training so I made use of it and levelled my last 10 levels fast on the 100% speeder.

Quesh has some really nice level 40 speeders, some skins look like some of the level 50 ones. They are available at the first base you land at. I bought my speeder there before I was level 40 so I did not have to return to the planet to purchase it. The Fleet has a very small selection also.

Your level 50 speeder can be purchased from Voss has a wide selection, or The Fleet has a very small selection. On Voss the speeders are in The Market area.


Your level 50 Flashpoints. You may be able to access normal mode at level 48. There are dailies on The Fleet from the Supplies section on Bulletin Boards, with mission drop-box attached to hand them in to. As you level the other daily missions also give you huge XP rewards.

A Darth has become mad with power, and has taken over the Imperial fleet of Proto-type Stealth fighters. However you learn of one stealth-fighter has been put in a base alone so you go to the base as a group and capture the fighter.

In False Emperor you are flown on this stealth fighter to the Darth’s space station where you end up putting an end to his miserable existence.

As you leave Spacedock in the stealth fighter, the cinematic shows you flying out and the ship stealthing, The whole animation and experience is amazing.


In Illum each day you will see in general chat “invite to Ops.” These are players asking to be invited to the ops group for the two remaining speeder points on the planet that take you to PVP lakes where you do dailies from The Fleet and the area for PVP epic gear. You have fun killing Republic players.

So you’re level 50. Still lots to do, maybe not as varied but it certainly is a full experience. So, go out there, buy that new speeder, get that lovely epic gear, and become operations-ready all from the Dailies. Yes, eventually money is no longer a problem for levelling alts or whatever you want. Already I know a friend who joined Star Wars on release and is sat on 8.5 million credits, its that easy to make them. He has bought everything he could possibly want. Its all waiting for you, just find a friend to do the monotonous dailies with to chat to, and a group to run the Flashpoints with so you end up running them fast without wipes. Yes you do need all the mods from dailies to do False Emperor on Hardmode, but the easier Hardmode Black Talon can be done in half blue gear half epic gear as it is a lot easier.

Have fun and good luck to you new level 50’s.
 And a response describing more:
Good detailed post. You do the quests in pretty much same order I used to although as a non stealther I usually do the heroics grouped. The lights out quests can be solo'd as a non stealther too but does involve suiciding in to click the panels. I think (but not verified) that its just one prereq quest to unlock the SD9 one, but even so I'd still do what you suggest.

I'd also add that it is worth trying to do a daily hard mode (and weekly hard mode) quests - BT is good enough and should only take 30 mins, these give tokens towards tier items which are pretty nice. A quick note about the gear:

All the vendors are in the supplies area of the fleet.

- Tionesse: Tionesse is the lower level stuff that require Tionesse crystals and Tionesse commendations.
- Columi: This is the next up which require either Columi commendations or a token (a token is matched to a particular item type, e.g. "unnassembled columi Boundy Hunter boots" which can be handed in for one of the set peices for mercs (healer or dps set) or powertech (dps or tank specs ones)).
- Rataka: This is the highest level gear and can only be obtained with rataka tokens (same concept as columi tokens)

How to obtain the crystals/commendations/tokens:
- Hard mode FP, each boss/mini boss drops tionesse crystals (2 usually). Completing the flashpoint awards you 1 tionesse commendation. Some bosses in hardmodes (typically the end boss and sometimes one of the others) drop unassembled columi tokens which can be handed in directly for an item. Bosses can also drop some columi (normally the harder bosses) or tionesse level gear. Doing the daily awards you 2 (i think) tionesse commendations and 1 columi commendation. Doing the weekly (complete 3 hard modes) gives you 6 Tionesse commendations and 3 Columi commendations.
- Opertions (Normal): These drop Columi commendations on each boss (2 i think) as well as Columi tokens and other Columi level items.
- Operations (Hard): I think these drop the same number of Columi commendations and Columi tokens but the bosses also drop some rataka tokens
- Operations (Nightmare): These drop a higher ratio of rataka tokens to columi tokens, but other than that feels the same as hard modes.
Pretty nice, I look forward to grinding out 2 hours when I hit 50. I mean not... maybe I'll level an alt!

Monday, 6 February 2012

[Spoilers] I've Done A Bad Thing

Spoilers for the Sith Warrior story line ahead.

I got to the end of the Sith Warrior Chapter 1. After hunting down the mysterious Padawan's family, to flush her out, I found her family. Rather than kill them, I got them to swear loyalty to the Empire and sent them off to Drummond Khaas. When I contacted my master, Darth Baras, he was pleased... because he can torture them and make their daughter feel their pain. I claimed this was always part of my plan!

This plan, although horrible, did work and she contacted me to meet. Problem was, it was a setup and her master eventually called Baras out for a duel. Of course, he sent me and I faced her master in combat. Now this is the really bad part.

It seems the Padawan's master Nomen Karr has a vendetta against Darth Baras, and the combat on Hutta takes place over 3 encounters. Each time he is beaten and I taunted him to give into his anger to kill me. Long story short, at the end of the fight I had turned this Jedi Master to the dark side, complete with Sith corruption effects!

Jaesa Willsaam, the Padawan, then decides that she will take me on. I defeated her, and she is amazed she cannot kill me. She comes to realize the power of the dark side, that if I can turn her master, then the Light side is too weak. So not only have I turned a Jedi Master to the dark side, but I get a shiny new dark-side Padawan companion in the form of Jaesa.

Wow, what an awesome end to Chapter 1!

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Oh yes, finally Zero Punctuation have reviewed SWTOR. Check out the video below to see what they thought!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Skywalker Legacy

Given the Legacy system is intent upon tying up your toons together into some sort of family, let's take a look at the central family of the Star Wars movies, the Skywalker family.

Shmi Skywalker is the mother of Anakin, she was a slave in Episode 1, but a minor NPC otherwise. The father of Anakin is said to be "The Force". Anakin Skywalker was a Jedi Knight class who was bought out of slavery by Qui-Gon Jin (Jedi Knight) and subsequently married Padme Amidala, diplomat and gunslinger. Of course due to his mother's death and the influence of Palpatine (Sith Inquisitor), Anakin gained many dark side points and at the end of Episode 3, actually changed class to the Sith Warrior class.

Now the step brother of Anakin was Owen, who later married Beru. They are mere moisture farmers and thus again NPC class in SWTOR.

Anakin and Padme had two children; Luke and Leia Skywalker. Luke was later to become a Jedi Knight class again, whereas Leia was again a diplomat/gunslinger like her mother. Luke was raised by Owen and Beru Skywalker, whereas Leia was raised by her adopted parents Bail and Breha Organa.

In the expanded universe there are offspring from marriages between Leia and Han Solo (Smuggler), and Luke and Mara Jade.

So there is plenty of opportunity to tie up Republic and Sith, and different classes into a Legacy.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Saturday Morning Maintenance?!

Saturday morning GMT? Really? How much more peak time can you get. Ah, Saturday afternoon. Let's hope the maintenance doesn't overrun!

Now we start to see the disadvantage of a global maintenance time, skewed toward the USA of course. The early hours of the morning CST are in fact bang in the morning in the UK. On a weekend day.

This does of course mean most hard players will be asleep until lunch time, having stayed up till the wee small hours. However, some of us can get up at a reasonable 9 or 10am, only to find the servers down.

Are Bioware rushing their fixes a little much, thus needing extra down time to fix what they broke in a fix?

So if you are exasperated and irritated by this odd maintenance time, why not try the following Free To Play MMOs:

Star Trek Online
Recently F2P, this game may have no end game and is clearly a generation behind SWTOR, but it's a lot of fun. The space combat really stands out and kicks the kolto out of the rail shooter in SWTOR. Plus it runs well on hardware that SWTOR would kill.

DC Universe Online
A superhero F2P game, a fair amount of customisation is locked into the cash shop, but you can roll a superman-like superhero and fly around. The early gameplay doesn't have quite the story of SWTOR, but it's fun enough killing bad guys with fireballs, or machine guns, or whatever power you choose. The game seems to need similar hardware to SWTOR to run well.

Sorry, I meant you could spend the downtime downloading these games. DCUO is 10 gigs, whereas STO will come down in 2-3 gigs. Maybe if you have great Internet pipes they will come down fast.

There's always single player games, I suppose. That, or lobbying the forums to get the EU maintenance moved to a better time!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Video Round Up

The Achievement Hunter show gives us the tips on Nar Shaddaa Holo Data crons:

A Trekkie reviews SWTOR:

Crew Skills guide:

How to get a purple colour crystal:

How to get a +10 stats datacron:

Space Combat dailies tips:

Brbrainerd continues his quest as a Jedi Consular (bad language):

Video Tip showing how to get a tricky datacron on Tatooine:

Crew Skills guide from I am Sam Gaming:

Weapon Modification Guide:

Total Biscuit interviews Gabe Amantangelo:

Monday, 23 January 2012

Life At 50: A Player's Perspective

Recently an informative post went up on our guild forums, about life at 50. This was written before Illum was ruined in patch 1.1, mind. From a Jedi Consular (so Republic side):
So you're all trying to get your characters to level 50 - can't decide which class to do, finding the adventure long. Well, to spur you along, I thought I'd give you a taster of what awaits you.

220,000 credits per day - no joke from dailies
Flashpoints that have some truly fascinating story lines. Imagine, flying in a prototype stealth fighter, killing Sith Lords...

Illum. A level 50 planet. Big Snowball. On here there is 2/3 of the playable area as a PVP warzone. The other part is dailies. You need to do the pre-chain that follows on from your class quest that you pick up from a well-rounded Twil'ek on The Fleet.

I take five dailies here - each giving just over 10k credits each.  I do an additional 2 person heroic daily giving just over 16k credits with epic Mod gear enhancements to choose from for your upgradeable gear.

Belsavis. Big Snowball with green bits - designated a prison planet. This is a lower level planet and as such the dailies here are available from level 47, but I can't say that the credits reward is going to be what I say here as they will probably reduce them in favor of giving you some XP for them.

To get access to these dailies, its done from a "Bonus" section. Go to The Fleet. There is a bulletin board box thingy that will give you a quest "Quarantine Failure." This takes you to Agent Moritt at Belsavis Spaceport near the shuttle that takes you to the surface. This then takes you to the Belsavis Bonus Series. Complete this pre-chain to gain access to the dailies. This pre-chain actually encorporates your first day's worth of dailies.

Meltwater Outpost. 3 dailies giving 7,175 credits each. One 2 person heroic daily giving epic Mod augments for your gear and 9,330 credits. One four player heroic daily giving about 10k credits. This one gives upgradeable weapons for your companions. There is an optional "lucky dip" box for when you've got all the items from the heroics on Illum and Belsavis.

Frozen Transport Center & Oasis Republic Post. 4 dailies, one as you enter from the teleporter and the other three from the blue holo transmitters in the Oasis Center. The Four Person heroic daily you picked up at the previous outpost is done in this section too. Also at the entrance to one of the tunnels you pick up a fifth daily to seal in a beast. If you fail to seal the beast in which is by no means hard - run - he can't be solo'd. There is also a second four player heroic quest picked up at the entrance to a tunnel in this area. This gives you the armoring enhancement for your gear. So in summary, these heroic dailies from both areas give you full epic mods for your gear and moddable weapons for your companions.

You also get a lot of Daily Commendation awards - 3 from four player heroic missions, 2 from 2 player heroic missions and 1 from single player missions. These can be traded in for epic gear.

Most of this area is done off story areas so you'll be going up against some rather poor level 50 gold elites. In both areas make sure you have your healer companion available (not out on a solo mission) and plenty of level 44 Exceptional Medpacs. Cheap things, and with the amount of credits you'll be making practically free.

In both areas do the bonuses that come up too - they give XP either for your levelling or for your Legacy. They haven't said what legacy rewards we are going to get yet, but they should be good.

Soloing heroic missions. Yes I do solo them, totally. I have stealth, the ability to stun mobs that haven't got the yellow buff that says they are immune to stuns, and can force cloak out of situations where I have to come out and let them hit me whilst attacking some console or disabling a console. All consoles you find on quests can be killed or disabled in combat and I would do this in combat. Frequently I've been clearing trash and someone has come up and killed the bonus objective whilst I was clearing until I learnt. I have died soloing heroic missions due to me not timing when I should force cloak or leaving the companion to attack which broke the stealth. If this happens I just run out of the story area and the aggro resets as they are only small. Companions in Heroics should be left on passive. Be aware though you're going to have to take boss aggro for a few seconds so if you're a healer with hots, make sure they are on. However, not all of you have stealth so no ability to solo these. Eventually my healer is going to be 50 too. He can't solo them. Killing is more fun anyway and a lot faster than my stealth runs. Taking any of you through is easy, and will make the dailies for those who have done the ground work to gain access turn from being a couple of hours to half the time.  However I wouldn't recommend using a companion in leveling gear as a player replacement until they have a bit of Flashpoint gear on them at least.  I tried doing a four player quest with a tank a few days ago on my healer and the healing was quite intense due to the low gear of my companion tank pet who was taking the aggro and his companion was dead mostly. We did our quest Jawa's Concern though.

Also if you've only half hour to log on and do something - prioritize the Illium soloable dailies. They give more than the Belsavis one so its a good bit of cash to put towards your character.

You're probably thinking now... I'm no mathematician but how can those few quests equate to 320k of credits? Well, what about all the cash you pick up off mobs, and the trash and maybe even unwanted greens you vendor? Keep your bags empty and when you're doing a minute's traveling time between quests send the companion off to vendor the grey's.

I used mine to do those Crew Skills that I didn't do whilst leveling my first. With this level of cash I upgraded his from nothing to max in a matter of hours play time. I did it whilst I was AFK and put the speakers on loud as the companions say things when they have finished their missions. This really is an AFK task as the end missions can take one hour each to complete. Doing it this way I had all the speeders at the various speeds to level with and this made me level up a lot faster.  In fact I am now spending my credits on the crew skills of my second character so he can level and do the skills whilst he levels as my level 50 is feeding him credits to do it this way with.

Speeder. Yes your level 50 speeder awaits! You may think this costly, or is it now you've all these dailies? Why do I need another speeder when this other one is only a bit slower? Its not about speed increase for me really. The max level speeder has a very low dismount rate if you hit mobs which means you're not constantly getting knocked off and having to waste time killing unwanted mobs. Great time saver. I also go between outposts in Illum on mine so again, no spending on taxis. I used a total of two taxi rides all on Belsavis and died only about three times, mainly due to my own stupidity doing the heroics during the whole exercise.

Flashpoints. Very intense compared to the lower level ones. Bosses have now got tactics that have to be done, and the storylines are so much better. Just to wet your appetite - the first one on Illum you are a team that has gone to capture a proto-type stealth fighter from the Imperial's. The second mission you infiltrate a Sith ship with the new Proto-type Stealth fighter. You see it leave your space dock and stealth and yes  its amazing. You finish off by killing the Lord Sith from the pre-chain.

The gear from Flashpoints is mostly moddable items, and what a player doesn't need your companions can use. Companions that are geared as well as you can be used in place of a player for when you're short. So, like me I'm a tank so my first I'm working on is the healer as that is a useful companion then I will work on gear for my ranged DPS companion. Healers could work on their tank companion.... Remember though, with companions the more affection they have for you the better they fight for you, so consider getting gifts for them if you're going to use it in raids. Also the more presence you have the better they work for you as well. So in the end you can have a whole team ready and waiting to fill up a group's slot.

So now you're 50... Life has only just begun. My alts get very little attention now.
So there is grind!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Sith Warrior and Jedi Knight Starter Guide P3

The final part of the guide. Parts One and Two.

Primary Stats
Alas SWTOR has not done anything to reduce the mass of stats that a typical MMO has. The Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior primary stat is Strength. Endurance is also important, to survive hits and especially if you are going the tank route.

Willpower is apparently no use now, as things have been changed to only use Strength, even force attacks. This is according to

Secondary Stats
There are also secondary stats which are:

Absorption - increases the amount damage is reduced by a shield.
Accuracy - increases the change to hit a target. When above 100% it continues to have benefit for armour penetration. Similar to Hit Rating in WoW.
Alacrity - casting or channeling haste, reduces the time of the GCD for instant casts. Similar to Haste in WoW.
Armor - increases the amount of armour you have, which absorbs physical and kinetic damage.
Crit - increases the chance of getting any sort of critical hit.
Defense - increases the chance of parrying or deflecting a hit, but not the damage absorbed when you are hit (see armor/absorption). Similar to Dodge in WoW.
Expertise - the PvP stat, this increases damage and healing done and reduces damage taken. Slightly similar to resilience in WoW, but also quite different.
Force Power - increases damage and healing which use force abilities. Similar to Spell Power in WoW, if spells were force powers.
Presence - increases companion abilities - healing, damage and health.
Shield - increases the chance an attack will be shielded. Similar to block in WoW.
Surge - increases the amount of extra damage a critical strike will do.

Ultimately ships in SWTOR are all the same during Space Combat, but the look and feel of the things are different.

The SW ship is a massive Tie Advanced like thing, it really seems to have been taken from X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter and grown somewhat. Although the ship looks like a Tie Advanced, it is pretty big consisting of several rooms inside. It is all utilitarian and Sith like, but looks pretty nice duking it out in space.

The JK ship is a grown version of the shops Obi Wan used in the new trilogies and the Clone Wars animated series. Inside it is quite Jedi like with a meditation chamber and some Jedi like fittings, to make you think you are still on Tython in the Jedi temple.

Well talents start at level 10 when you choose an Advanced class, so that will be the subject of another guide.

Friday, 20 January 2012

This Is The New Stuff

Get ready for it!
Ok, so Guild banks should have been a launch feature, and the same for dragging bits of the UI around. The Legacy system looks interesting and talk of "new powers" to use on your Legacy toons is intriguing.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Where Is The Skill Respec Trainer?

Now recently I wanted to switch from Juggernaut Tank to Dps spec, by refunding my skill points, commonly known as "respeccing". Otherwise known as resetting your talent points, or changing your build.

However I could not find the UI to do it, nor would my trainer let me drop my skill points. After much searching I finally found out where.

Luckily Gravity has made a nice post about it on his site, DarthJedi.

Short answer: at the Space Fleet, in the trainer area. Look for the Skill Mentor. Sometimes the role play gets in the way!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Sith Warrior and Jedi Knight Starter Guide P2

Continuing my starter guide to the Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior, at low levels, before the Advanced Class. See Part One for gameplay, resources and reactive abilities.

Spell Rotations
Rotations or priority as such, given there are no fixed rotations here. At low levels, you only have the one "form" where you just make Focus/Rage by striking, so things are simple.

Enter combat with a Force Leap/Charge, which builds up 3 Focus/Rage. Then do a Force Sweep/Smash to AOE damage the mob pack and stun them. At this point I tend to build some Focus/Rage with Strike/Assault, the basic attack.

You want enough Focus/Rage to use Riposte/Retaliation as soon as it becomes available, which means not hovering around 0 but probably 3 Focus/Rage.

However if the mobs are due to die, either spend all the Focus/Rage or be ready to Force Leap/Charge into another mob straight away, then spam some high Focus/Rage attacks on the next mobs for lots of damage. Wasting Focus/Rage makes the Jedi and Sith cry, you see.

Story Line
In this regard the two classes are quite different. The Sith Warrior story line involves doing missions for your Sith Master, being his personal "attack dog" and terrorizing the systems on his behalf. You assist in helping him gain power in the Sith Empire. The SW story line is very cool.

The JK on the other hand travels the galaxy aiding people and trying to root out a dark menace which the Jedi have detected, but can't put their finger on. The Jedi story, compared to the Sith one, is far more "nice" as you'd expect, but I have found some fun being mean and all dark side.

Dark/Light Side
Dark and Light side choices are available for either the Jedi or Sith. On both sides there is gear for either alignment, my Jedi has gone to the dark side and has Dark I alignment, so she can use a red light saber crystal.

There is a lot of fun to be had being a dark side Jedi, you get to do bad things and not many people find out, only your companion tends to know what you are doing. You simply lie to the Npcs and they buy it. Of course a light side Jedi will be as you expect.

Dark side Sith is most suitable for the messages of strength, domination and power the Sith project. Still, there are ample chances to be a total maniac in the story. You can also play nice and spare those you could execute, try to avoid killing people unnecessarily, which will get you light side points.

The companions available to the low level JK and SW are a tank type with ranged damage, and a ranged damage dealer respectively. These will both perform the role of ranged damage dealers, although I found the SW companion a bit more annoying, it's all down to personal taste of course.

Next part soon.

Razor SWTOR Keyboard Has The Touch

Just when you thought the G15 was uber, along comes this ere Razer SWTOR keyboard with touchscreen to really up things. I mean, its a keyboard styled for SWTOR, but with a touch screen interface where the numpad was, which runs apps which can do a load of things.

What things? Well being a numpad for one, or a macro recorder/player, or a web browser, or a video player. It is released "soon" but costs $249.99, which is a quite a lot. However, there is a lot of potential with the touch pad if they get some sort of API support from SWTOR. Like erm, mapping Force Leap to a mash of the keypad maybe?

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Rise Of The Rakghouls

For Patch 1.1, we get this on January 17th. A new level 50 Flashpoint set on Kaon, where mysterious things are afoot.

From Wookiepedia:
Rakghouls were a type of Sith-spawned mutants, engineered by the Sith Lord Karness Muur. Desiring an army to rule over and seeking a way to cheat death as so many other Sith before and after him did, Muur forged a talisman that he poured his spirit and power into, one that eventually came to be known as the Muur Talisman. Muur's talisman could turn almost any sentient being near him into a mindless rakghoul which he could control, but he found that there were exceptions: Force-sensitives and certain alien species could resist the talisman's effects. Thus, Muur engineered the "rakghoul plague", a virus-like disease that could be spread by a rakghoul's bite or a scratch from its claws, and that subjected the victim to a slower transformation into a rakghoul.
So it looks like the Rakghouls are back for some more content.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Sith Warrior and Jedi Knight Starter Guide P1

Given I am playing the Sith Warrior (SW) and Jedi Knight (JK), let's get going with some guides.

This first one given an introduction to the classes, but only talks about the base class, not the Advanced classes available for Sith Warrior or Jedi Knight.

Game Play At Early Levels
The game play for the SW and JK is exactly the same. The classes are both melee heavy, with little ranged abilities. You are up close and personal, waving your light saber in mobs' faces, hitting them to do damage.

One ranged ability worth mentioning however is Force Leap/Charge, which is an awesome charge effect where you leap through the air and land on the targeted mob with a smash. This is usually ready for each mob pull, and gives the JK and SW great mobility across a battle field.

You have no direct healing spells apart from the out of combat one, so you are quite reliant on killing mobs before they kill you, or using a healing companion when you get one.

Having said that, you have a number of powerful defensive cooldowns to use when the stuff hits the fan, such as a 40% damage reduction, or a very slow heal over time which can sometimes make a difference.

AOE damage for the JK and SW are quite weak. You get Force Sweep/Smash which damage mobs and stun weak ones, but it is for 5 mobs only and limited to 5 meters. It is on a 15 second cool down, so is only useful once during a typical fight. After that there is nothing at early levels.

The JK and SW use Focus and Rage as a resource respectively. They are the same thing, just different names. Each starts at 0 and builds during combat - some of your attacks will generate Focus/Rage, and some will consume it. Your maximum Focus/Rage is 12, so the combat involves using basic attacks to build it, then spending it on specials.

Force Leap/Charge builds 3 Focus/Rage, which is enough to pull off a Force Sweep/Smash straight away, thus doing a load of AOE damage to a mob pack and stunning them.

Reactive Abilities
There is Riposte/Retaliation, which can be used when a mob dodges or blocks your attacks, costs 3 Focus/Rage, never misses and is off the global cooldown. This means as soon as the icon lights up, you can use the attack, and should do so.

Part Two
Part Three

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Graphics Card in a Low End SWTOR System

Recall that my original system for the SWTOR beta was the following:

Windows XP Home
Intel Core 2 6600 @ 2.4 GHz
2.75 GB RAM
Geforce 7800 GTX 256 MB RAM

On that system I could get around 25-30 frames per second. You can show the frames per second in Star Wars The Old Republic by pressing Control - Shift - F together. They will then show in the left bottom corner.

Anyway, for the Christmas I got a new graphics card - an AMD Radeon HD 6850. To be precise a £110 Sapphire 11180-00-20R HD6850 1GB GDDR5. I plugged it in, did nothing whatsoever with the rest of the system, updated the drivers and started SWTOR.

On this new system I got between 50 and 70 frames per second. That's like double and then some.

Windows XP Home
Intel Core 2 6600 @ 2.4 GHz
2.75 GB RAM
AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB RAM

So by spending £110 on a new graphics card, but still mid range, I have made my aging PC run SWTOR perfectly fine. Sure, there are the occasional slow down, but the card is totally kicking ass. Now this is almost the difference between the cost of my SWTOR normal edition, and the Collectors Edition.

So if your PC is slow and rubbish, minimum spec, I can recommend upgrading the graphics card first and seeing what a difference just that can make.

Next up is an upgrade to an Intel i5 2400 system with 4GB of RAM and Windows 7 64 bit, so SWTOR can grab all the memory it likes. It likes a hell of a lot.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Video Round Up

IGN play SWTOR in Early Access and give us their thoughts:

Brbrainerd posts part 9 of his Consular series:

Daniel Erickson talks to Giant Brain:

Rurikhan is doing SWTOR videos, this one is a series about his Jedi Sage:

Part Two Three

G4TV review:

Total Biscuit interviews Stephen Reid:

Total Biscuit talks Space Combat:

Cooleobrad shows you what a massive mark-up over the normal edition can get you in-game:

A tutorial on combining matrix shards, that you collect from datacrons:

TGN.TV have up an interactive guide to starter planet Datacrons: