Archive for the ‘Smuggler’ Category

Smuggler Diary – Level 50 Imbalance on Ilium

May 19, 2012

Last night I played the game for more or less the first time since the end of the rather fun Rakghoul Plague event. I’m doing the final Smuggler class missions on Ilium, and specifically the quest to save Commander Rans from the evil imps.

So not a daily, just the endgame mission(s). And I found it strangely unbalanced.

The task is to click on the controls of three communications arrays, before actually entering the prison, fighting the baddies, and the big final scene against powerful foes to free the commander. It was the attacks on the arrays I found unbalanced. Clearing out the imps surrounding the first two was weirdly easy. They were all various kinds of level 50, some Strongs. But doing the job was virtually effortless.

Then came the third array, which was guarded by a Level 50 Elite Sith. This was a challenge, but the solution was basically to cloak, get close enough to tranquilize him, and click on the terminal. Interestedly the cloak failed and I ended up in combat with him, but in this case clicking on something in combat worked. I got killed, but that stage of the mission was accomplished.

That isn’t the imbalance. Before I figured that part out, I checked out the area while cloaked, working out exactly where the terminal was. But cloaking failed, and I found myself fighting, and eventually getting killed (what I don’t like about the ability to cloak while in combat is that often when I go so my Companion keeps fighting, and when they get killed, the baddie comes after me anyway). The problem here, as in a few other places in the game, is that the baddies are too close together to revive from being killed. When you revivie, you get around ten seconds to get away. But here, in basically every direction, at the end of that run, you were still in the midst of baddies, and got killed again immediately.

Another thing I really don’t like about the game is the sliding timescale for reviving. The first time you get knocked out, you have to wait something like 10 seconds. The second time, it’s 30 seconds. Then comes two  minutes. All that is OK, although the third one seems a bit of a stretch. But the next revival takes 10 minutes. I really think the jump from two to ten minutes is way too much.

Here at the end of the game, I am getting bored. Bioware needs to keep my interest, not force me to wait ten minutes at a time before I can continue to play.

The prospect of just have dailies may very likely just end the game for me. I mean, all you do is do a quest, get some tokens for a reward, use them to buy armor (probably one item) and them do the same quest again the next day. To get more tokens for better armor, so you can do the same quest again.

The only alternative is to create a new character and start again (taking advantage of the thus far limited attractions of the Legacy system).

If BioWare really wants me to  keep paying them a monthly fee, they need to offer an expansion to this game fast. Otherwise continuing to play will be pointless.


When do we start smuggling?

April 20, 2012

I like playing a Smuggler in SWTOR, but where’s the smuggling? All the way to level 50, and with the rare exception all I’ve been is a freelance merc for the Republic.

It’s been fun, but I wish there was more to do in the game than shooting baddies.

Once again, that was a nice thing about Star Wars Galaxies, especially its holiday events, there was non-violent stuff to do. Especially now that we have the Rakghoul Plague event in SWTOR, it would be nice if one of the Dailies was solely humanitarian. I mean, even the Daily where you get Light points for vaccinating Tuskens against the Plague then has you shoot (often the same) Tuskens to recover their wrappings to make vaccine.

I started SWG as a Medic, and went on to be a Physician and Combat Medic (other alts were crafters and entertainers). I dreamed of becoming a Jedi, especially when the Village was introduced. But with the NGE I could become  a Jedi at once and I did.

After a while I realized since all classes had to be balanced, post-NGE Jedi were no more powerful than any other combat class, they just had light sabers. Towards the end I planned to respec to Smuggler to be like Han Solo. I already had a YT-1300.

Never happened, so when SWTOR replaced SWG, I went Smuggler, also because one kind of Smuggler is a healer, and I enjoyed being a healer in SWG. Of course, SWG Smugglers didn’t smuggle either, but there were vague promises about a coming update.

Please BioWare, take advantage of an update, or (even better) a beyond level 50 expansion, to let Smugglers smuggle.

There’s a thread on the Smuggler forum her:

Smuggler Diary – Fighting the Rakghoul Plague

April 17, 2012

Ground Zero for the Rakghoul Plague, the wreck of the cruiser Stardream

Rather than the boring Dailies on Corellia, or the more interesting unfolding class quests on Ilum, I’ve returned to my favorite planet of Tatooine to help combat the sudden outbreak of Rakghoul Plague. This is a special event, and as such is a little like the annual holiday events in Star Wars Galaxies, like Wookiee Life Day and the Galactic Moon Festival. But so far there is no indication how long the event will last. It does have special rewards, like the SWG events, in this case Rakghoul DNA which is supposed to be turned in for special items.

The fun begins in a Tatooine outpost called Thorazan (Imperials start instead at Zaroshe station). You head north of the outpost and find the wreck of the cruiser Stardream, ground zero for the infection. Most of the infected creatures one finds around the wreck are the proper level 27-28 for Tatooine, but when you start fighting in these quests, appropriate level enemies spawn.

The quest to defeat Captain Magnus

There seem to be three quests. One involves checking terminals and power cores around the ship, and then taking on Captain Magnus to recover his access codes. This was the hard part, he is an Elite (in my case level 50), and was very hard to defeat. In fact, I only did so because there were lots of people playing when I was and someone attacked my version of the Captain while I was fighting him (I repaid the favor by attacking several other people’s versions of the Captain for them).

Another quest involves taking blood samples from infected creatures to another outpost, and then taking a vaccine to local Sandpeople, after which you strangely turn on the Tuskens and kill a few to recover their infected wrappings.

Yet another quest takes you to an escape pod where there’s a fierce fight against those escaping from within who are infected. After that you fight infected livestock to recover samples, and examine a series of murals.

I bought Rakghoul vaccine from a medical droid before venturing out, which mostly worked. It was supposed to last six hours, but for some reason after less than an hour and a half I got infected with the Rakghoul Plague. Fortunately I had bought a second dose, which cured me. So stock up on vaccine (it is also given as loot during the quests).

Of course one quest is supposed to involve allowing yourself to get infected and blow up, giving you points if you infect enough other people. Haven’t tried that one.

Smuggler Diary – Ilum

April 16, 2012

The defeat of Lord Loyat

I grew tired of the Dailies in the Black Hole zone of Corellia after the first day, so went on to finish the Smuggler class quests on Ilum, the remote ice planet that is the last planet in Star Wars the Old Republic. Somewhat similar to Hoth, the back story is that Ilum is uninhabited but has rich resources of crystals for light sabers that both the Empire and Republic (that is, Sith and Jedi) are fighting over.

Despite no longer being able to earn xp, Ilium at least otherwise is like any new planet in the game, with a series of quests. That makes it a lot more interesting than Dailies on Corellia or Belavis (all of these reward you with Dailies Commendations, which is what you use to improve your gear from now on). What the excellent online walkthrough said was the end of the class quest was called “Crystal Ball” in which you have to defeat level 50 Elite Sith Lord Loyat. The difficult thing with this quest, according to online comments, is that you have to clear out the entire room of enemies before attempting Lord Loyat and her two Sith Protectors. Otherwise anyone in the room, no matter how far away, will “aggro”, that is, take part in the fight.

This is unlike the rest of the game, where enemies more than 30 meters away are indifferent to combat in their vicinity. It is made more difficult because there are five Sith Apprentices in the room, which are labelled as level 50 Strong, but seem much more powerful. They are also surrounded by weaker supporters. The standard approach here is to take out all the supporters first, even if you have to die in the attempt, so you can fight the Sith Apprentice alone. Otherwise, when they are accompanied they are virtually invincible, unless you are in a group.

It is complicated more by the presence of level 50 Strong Imperial Commanders. One useful technique for Smugglers is Stealth, you can cloak yourself, get within 10 meters of a powerful opponent, then use something called Tranquilizer to put them asleep for one minute. That is usually long enough to finish off their weaker companions.

Unfortunately, both the Sith Apprentices and the Imperial Commanders can see through Stealth. This also means that even when you die, if you come back to life at the same point, they will see through the Stealth there as well and kill you again. Since after a couple of kills your time to re-enter the game is 10 minutes, it actually often makes more sense at that point to return to the game in the nearby Republic Base. It only takes a couple of minutes to get back to the quest, anyone you have already killed is still gone (with a couple of irritating exceptions), and you can repair your armor and weapons at the  base, which is very useful.

One nice thing about Update 1.2 is that it puts your third and fourth toolbars on the left and right sides of the screen, rather than your having to scroll through toolbars at the bottom of the page. It was because of this that I discovered I had an Ability that allowed me to turn off an enemy’s attack for a few seconds. This was very useful in fighting the powerful Sith Apprentices.

But it was a slow slog, taking them out one by one. But in the end they were all gone except for Lord Loyat and her two companions. As usual when combat suddenly bursts out of a video (the video above is edited), I was unprepared and was killed. But, also as usual, on return I could set up the attack my own terms, and finally won.

Then, it turned out that the walkthrough had been superseded with at least one new quest, called “A Gentleman’s Agreement”. So there’s still stuff to do on Ilum before facing the dreaded Dailies.

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