SWTOR: Double The Pleasure

December 15, 2011

Staying away from my class(es) of choice during the Star Wars: The Old Republic beta was probably one of the best gaming decisions I’ve ever made. From the beginning, I’d resolved to save some surprises for myself for launch, and I’m glad I did it this way.

BioWare had a few surprises up its sleeves as well. Unless my eyes deceive me, I’m pretty sure they’ve added a fine polish to all the visuals. For some reason, I found myself completely mesmerized by the “butt-flap” on my Bounty Hunter’s new chest piece yesterday. I’d definitely not given my armor much thought before, especially at such a low level, but as she ran I was amazed that the fabric just looked and moved and felt like it had actual weight…like real leather.

As planned, I played my Bounty Hunter as my solo character and made it off Hutta yesterday. I was probably higher level than most others when I finally did, because I spent much of my time aiding random strangers with their heroic group quests, even though I had already done them. I can’t claim it’s all altruism — while I enjoy helping others, the extra XP from killing mobs and being able to gobble up the bonus from their quest completions wasn’t anything to scoff at either.

Before hitting Dromund Kaas, I was also able to complete the flashpoint Black Talon, a rite of passage of sorts. It was made all the more enjoyable by the company, which included my guild leader as well as Syp from Bio Break.

* * *

It was a much different experience with my Jedi Knight, the character that I have tethered to my husband’s Jedi Consular. I’m aware of my constant joking complaints about the Spousal Leveling Contract, but in truth there are huge advantages to being grouped up almost 100% of the time.

Tython. Oh, Tython. I’d avoided playing either of the Jedi classes all through game testing, so this planet and its quests were utterly new to me. I’m so glad, because being able to explore a new MMO together is one of the best things about playing with my other half, and so at least we had this whole world to do so together.

And I know this sounds so corny, but…finally being able to get my first lightsaber was definitely the highlight of my time playing a Jedi so far.

As a Jedi Guardian/Jedi Sage team, we’re already mowing down our enemies like wheat before the scythe. Throw in companions, and we’re decidedly even more effective, even though our team of Twi’lek, Miraluka, lizard man and astromech droid all dog-piling on a mob may look a tad ridiculous.

We ended the night with a wonderful run through the Esseles flashpoint, with fellow RMCers Drannos and Tramell, who were up to some very evil things…


  1. I played a Jedi Knight in beta through getting the lightsaber. That was a really cool sequence, made even more epic by being all mine. No one was tapping their toes behind me to have their own spotlight moment.

    • I watched my husband’s consular get his in spectator mode first, and it was wonderful…though I was extremely jealous LOL. Luckily, right after we were able to get mine, and this time he watched in spectator mode. It was very cool to experience that together.

  2. I really wish I had a real life compatriot in this. I’d do exactly what you’ve done. I don’t think my wife’s that interested though. Apparently this stuff is nerdy.

    • You just need a nerdy wife. 🙂

    • Haha, what Rowan said. You need to convert your wife to the nerd side!

  3. Awesome! We played a bit of the Jedi stuff in beta, ironically because we weren’t planing to play them (at first) during the live game. It was a blast though.

    • Heh yep, it was the other way around for us 🙂

  4. You’re lightsaber hilt is HUGE! 😉
    I thought this post was going to be a special report on DoubleUnder.

    • Yeah, they never did do anything to the pringles-can sized hilts 😛

      If that were the case, the title would would be “Double the Torture” (DoubleUnder, if you’re reading this, buddy, you know I kid 😉 )

      • RIP DoubleUnder. You left before your time. Now get back to those box jumps!

  5. My wife finally got her access today and she’s working through Tython solo. With our schedule it might be rough to play together but I can’t wait to finally Duo with her. We’re going with a Vanguard/Sage combo.

    • Great combo! That to was very attractive to me at first, but it would have meant leveling separately for the first 10 levels or so…one of the downsides of the linear story.

      • Yeah, I was worried about that, too. However I figured out a way around that. I hopped on my trooper and got her to Fleet. Then I went back, decided which of my character concepts would map well as a Knight (Avonavi – WoW Shaman, Rift Cleric/Druid, now Sentinel), rolled her up and had her sitting at the Consular door waiting to play.

        How it turned out is that my wife got in today and decided to just play. She’s already up to 8 and loving it. I told her to just play and not worry about my Vanguard. I can always catch up to her Sage or if she gets too far ahead she’ll just be catching up to my Gunslinger.

  6. The first time I received my lightsaber during beta I was so thrilled. It is not like I haven’t heard the iconic crack-vroom of a lightsaber firing up a million times, but when it was my own…it was AWESOME!

    • Yeah, and the music I had playing in the background when I got it…it was very powerful and made the experience even better.

  7. I don’t think it is your imagination – there is a noticeable improvement in textures with regards to armor. Cloth flows much more smoothly, especially while running, among other things.

    I am waiting on my queue to get back in (Iron Citadel is one of the most popular servers on there, it seems), or else I might not be writing this reply.lol I’ve disappeared off the grid since I got into early access.

    I have to say, the “flowing” gear (capes, long coats, etc) really makes a statement. It is one of the reasons why I love the hell out of the mod system. I got a trench coat on Dromund Kaas that I really dig — the mod system makes it possible to keep it relevant because I can just switch out better mods when needed. I may actually keep that coat until end game, unless I happen to find one I like better — which is a distinct possibility.

    The game has been all I hoped it would be, and much more. I am going to hit up the client to see if my queue is up now.lol

    • I’ve been lucky — I have yet to encounter a queue on SotE yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if by the 20th I’ll see one. Last night, we were “full” but still no queues.

      I’m liking the armor too…I have kept a few of my modable robes, one that’s a classic jedi robe an another that’s more like a cape ensemble. For now though, I am wearing and fighting in my slave girl outfit 😛

  8. When I logged i had to lower my resolution from the default the game gave me to get better framerates. I think I settled back on the resolution I had during the weekend open beta, but I’m not sure. In any case the game looks better than I remember, but I can’t point to any specifics…it’s just my general feeling. At the very least, the orange pixel has been taken care of 🙂

    • The defaults graphics also start off on low so I had to go into preferences to bump them up. I haven’t noticed too much change in the environments and stuff (though, yes, no more missing textures!) but I definitely see a difference in my armor…

  9. I see you’re using the yellow/black preorder crystal! I just got my first customizable carbine — take that, Blade! — and am enjoying the look.

    • Yeah, even if I’m not too crazy about the color, +4 endurance is nothing to scoff at especially when you’re a low level tank! 😀 I’m now using an orange crystal, but what I really want is a purple one. Crossing my fingers for a lucky drop or someone I know gets a schematic or something.

  10. Do the RP-PVE servers in *this* game have any rule-sets specific to it? I couldn’t find anything about it searching the forums. And I know games claim to uphold different standards on RP servers but they never seem to follow thru – Rift as an example.

    I’m not looking for anything too strict but just don’t want to see Jedibob or Hannsolo running around for example.

    • Honestly, it breaks my heart but there are no RP rules at this point. We have been taking pains to try to keep this sane in our guild, even though we have no RP rules in guild chat. But I have seen way too many ‘UMadBro’ and ‘DarthFett’ type names for my liking. And general chat is…well general chat.

      But I also have not seen the PvE or PvP servers, so who knows how much worse it could be.

    • Not too many MMOs I’ve played enforce the RP rules, unfortunately. I’ve seen my share of crazy/stupid names on RP servers over many games, but in my experience they never do anything about it either…that is, unless a name gets tagged for inappropriateness or something like that by a lot of people. In any case, I think the devs/GMs are going nuts these days with launch matters.

  11. Since I was in beta for limited windows, I used it as an opportunity to research the classes I wanted to play. Unfortunately that means that I’m still playing through content I’ve already seen on my Jedi Knight. I did get a chance to see a bit of new content though: the Esseles flashpoint.

    It was fun and the story was pretty good, but it seemed a little too tough at one point for a two man team (we ended up picking up two more people to get through it) and there were a couple of weird bugs but fortunately nothing that kept us from finishing.

    Still having a good time though.

    • The Esseles had been tweaked many times throughout beta — at one point, it was easily doable by two people and their companions, and then at another they upped the difficulty so it was meant for 4 players.

      I think they’ve found the right balance now…it’s still possible to clear it with 2 players, but it will be more of a challenge. Most groups I know grab 4 players anyway, to make it an easier time and also for the extra bonus XP and social points.

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