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SWTOR finally offers it's very own NGE/Helm's Deep experience!

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Yes, it's true.  EAWare has pulled an NGE / Helm's Deep on us with the latest SWTOR expansion.

Crafting.  I don't care to go into everything for that, but suffice it to say that many of the professions are now useless.  All of them have to repurchase ALL the schematics, costing roughly 7.5 million credits if you are a craftaholic with each profession.  Companion crew skill crits/bonuses have been removed, so crafters handed out companion gifts to these bonus-offering companions for nothing.

Companions.  Their armor is toast.  Now they're just clones of each other.  Including the ones people spent real money on to unlock--Treek and HK-51.  Their affection cap has now been raised from 10,000 to 250,000.  No, I did not make a typo with that last number.  That's a lot of companion gifts you'll have to stand there passing out.  And if you start the new expansion story, they will take away your companion characters, sticking you with new ones for the story arc.  So if you were a crafter and were relying on their past affection to get you better crafting results, too bad.  You can earn your companions back after completing chapter 9 of the new story arc, via a terminal that hands out quests to get them back.  Naturally, the terminal is bugged, and no one can even pick up the quests.  But even if you could, one companion is locked behind a world boss that you have to kill, and another is locked behind doing 20 PvP warzone matches.

Once again, there's no new group content or warzones.  Just a few short chapters of story that will be over with in a few short hours.

I could go on and on.  Needless to say, these changes were so radical that not only has my family cancelled our subscriptions, but we didn't even feel like logging in to actually play the story.  We were just fed up.  I've never seen so many "I quit" threads on the SWTOR forums before.  Just like in LOTRO, of course, there are the thoughtless, airhead fanboys who jab, "Can I plz haz ur stuff?"

In the meantime, many of us, myself included, have been trying to get refunds in Cartel Coins for the companions we paid for, who are now missing skills and are clones of the ship droid.  Yes, that's right.  Treek and HK have lost their signature skills, and play exactly like any other companion.  Customer support merely gave me an automated message telling me to write a bug report.  But this change was intentional.  This is no bug.

Just thought I'd let everyone here know about this, in case some of you have gone on hiatus from SWTOR and were thinking of returning.  Don't waste your money.  Unless you want to be raked over yet again, just like with Helm's Deep.

I gotta tell ya, I'm sick of MMO companies pulling this.  These games just cost too much for the developer to suddenly shift directions somewhere radically different.  It's just a poor investment.  I think I'll get into coop action RPGs instead, supplemented with single-player RPGs for when I feel like a good story.

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Genuinely, I'm sorry to hear that. I was hearing a lot of buzz about it before it was released, but now it's either been silence or disappointment.

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Oh, that sounds terrible!

One cannot help but wonder why the collective execs decide on such sweeping changes.

I was actually planning to check back in, now that, after a long time, there are some halfway decent deals on 60-day-gamecards again.

Not that I was much attached to the game, but I was just the quest-hand-in short of getting the HK droid. That is now useless?

 

SNy

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What is strange is that on reddit in the MMO forums, there is not a word about this, and in the reddit SWTOR it is very hard to find this info. 

EDIT: I guess some players just don't realize this, and the general public has not caught on yet. I did look on the SWTOR forums and players look really unhappy.

Until this thread, I had a view Bioware was doing a really good job with this MMO and keeping it alive and thriving.

Edited by nosam9

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Oh, that sounds terrible!

One cannot help but wonder why the collective execs decide on such sweeping changes.

I was actually planning to check back in, now that, after a long time, there are some halfway decent deals on 60-day-gamecards again.

Not that I was much attached to the game, but I was just the quest-hand-in short of getting the HK droid. That is now useless?

 

SNy

He's pretty much the same as any other companion, but with different animations and voice.  They stripped him of his skills.  He now has heal, tank, and DPS modes just like the other companions.  His assassinate skill is gone entirely.  You basically did all that Easter egg hunt quest chain for an HK skin.  I'm sorry for your loss.  Shame you couldn't enjoy him before the change went through.  He was awesome.  By far my favorite companion, both for combat and witty conversation.

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I logged on to my trooper, who I'd left on his ship, only to find my companions half-naked or worse.  Went planetside to craft and didn't at all recognise what was left of my schematics list.  Good thing I'm not paying for this.

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Oh for f... sake... :(

Good thing about a year ago EA did something (modem drivers or what not) and I can't play SWTOR at all on my comp... Just when I paid for 3 month re-sub of course... 

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i played this game years ago, but deleted my toon and canx my sub, so i'm coming into this fresh with no real prior history.

as much as i hate to admit, i'm having fun--even if the companions are vastly OP.  i wonder if this is how people felt when they started playing LOTRO for the first time post HD?

this xpac is def designed to bring in new players, but i can totally understand how the changes would alienate the existing player base that has supported the game for the past few years.  it feels weird to be on the opposite end of the argument this time :)

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It's the Crafting that's the worst of it.

I'm still trying to figure out wtf happened(as I've not had much time to play due to work and shit)

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Well, my reaction to KotFE is entirely different.  I think it's the most interesting, creative and immersive MMO content I've ever seen.

A lot of the information in the OP is wrong, I think.

Crafting.  I don't care to go into everything for that, but suffice it to say that many of the professions are now useless.

What makes "many" of them "useless" now, compared to before?  Which "many"?  Starting with a provably absurd statement is a bad sign...

All of them have to repurchase ALL the schematics, costing roughly 7.5 million credits if you are a craftaholic with each profession.

You do not have to repurchase anything.  Except in a relative handful of cases where a particular profession lost the ability to craft a particular type of mod (example: armormech now exclusively makes the endurance-heavy armorings, and synthweaving now exclusively makes stat-heavy armorings) you still have all old schematics. Complaining that you can't afford to purchase every last schematic for gear you've outlevelled and will never want to craft is kind of silly. 

 Companion crew skill crits/bonuses have been removed, so crafters handed out companion gifts to these bonus-offering companions for nothing.

Untrue.  Companions still get crafting bonuses based on your influence with them.  Affection is converted to influence on a 1:1 basis, so no gift was wasted.  In fact the bonuses for influence will be much larger once the companions reach the higher levels of influence achievable in the expansion.  The only thing removed was the companion-specific bonuses to a particular craft.  Which I think is a good thing. The time to complete crafting missions has been reduced across the board, by much more than any lost "efficiency" bonus.

The crafting changes, and the reasons for them, are explained here:

http://www.swtor.com/blog/crafting-changes-fallen-empire

Companions.  Their armor is toast.  Now they're just clones of each other.  Including the ones people spent real money on to unlock--Treek and HK-51.  

I never owned the pay-to-win companions, so I can't speak to that, but normal companion abilities were always only cosmetically different.  And they still are.

Their affection cap has now been raised from 10,000 to 250,000.  No, I did not make a typo with that last number.  That's a lot of companion gifts you'll have to stand there passing out.

Whereas before, you needed to keep around 100 pieces of gear upgraded, and replace it with every level cap increase, now companion gear is purely cosmetic.  That is a major improvement.  Now gifting = gearing, and virtually every quest includes a companion gift that you can distribute as you wish. 

And if you start the new expansion story, they will take away your companion characters, sticking you with new ones for the story arc.  So if you were a crafter and were relying on their past affection to get you better crafting results, too bad.  You can earn your companions back after completing chapter 9 of the new story arc, via a terminal that hands out quests to get them back.  Naturally, the terminal is bugged, and no one can even pick up the quests.  But even if you could, one companion is locked behind a world boss that you have to kill, and another is locked behind doing 20 PvP warzone matches.

The terminal was fixed with the patch on the official release day. So you are without your old companions for...a day or two, for story purposes?  What an outrage! 

Any companion that you had 10 affection with will not require a quest to recover, either (effectively, the quest auto-completes once you talk to them).  By the time you reach the end of Chapter 9, your new companions will have comparable or higher influence to the old ones.  You don't mention the fact that you have access to far more companions in KotFE, including characters from other classes, or even other factions, as well as your original ones.  As a Jedi Consular, I now have T7-01, one of my favorite companions in the game.  I think that's cool.  The new companions introduced with the expansion are extremely interesting and well developed. 

A huge expansion of the companion system, to include recruiting a whole military/logistic/diplomatic infrastructure to save the galaxy, is one of the core features of KotFE.  In my opinion they've done an excellent job with this, creating gameplay that supports the story and fleshes out the characters at the same time.

The dev blog for all the companion and related systems in KotFE is here:

http://www.swtor.com/blog/introducing-alliance-system

Once again, there's no new group content or warzones.  Just a few short chapters of story that will be over with in a few short hours.

There is new group content, the Star Fortress flashpoints - which have certain similarities to skirmishes (variable enemies within the same space), but admittedly it is not much at present. That is my one disappointment, although you can see clearly that an unbelievable amount of effort went into the story content.  They focused all their resources there, for the expansion, and it shows.  While not "new content" a number of flashpoints were made available in tactical mode for the first time, and older flashpoints now also have a solo mode added.

I could go on and on.  Needless to say, these changes were so radical that not only has my family cancelled our subscriptions, but we didn't even feel like logging in to actually play the story.  We were just fed up.  I've never seen so many "I quit" threads on the SWTOR forums before.  Just like in LOTRO, of course, there are the thoughtless, airhead fanboys who jab, "Can I plz haz ur stuff?"

In the meantime, many of us, myself included, have been trying to get refunds in Cartel Coins for the companions we paid for, who are now missing skills and are clones of the ship droid.  Yes, that's right.  Treek and HK have lost their signature skills, and play exactly like any other companion.  Customer support merely gave me an automated message telling me to write a bug report.  But this change was intentional.  This is no bug.

Just thought I'd let everyone here know about this, in case some of you have gone on hiatus from SWTOR and were thinking of returning.  Don't waste your money.  Unless you want to be raked over yet again, just like with Helm's Deep.

I gotta tell ya, I'm sick of MMO companies pulling this.  These games just cost too much for the developer to suddenly shift directions somewhere radically different.  It's just a poor investment.  I think I'll get into coop action RPGs instead, supplemented with single-player RPGs for when I feel like a good story.

It saddens me to see reactions like this.  Your last paragraph makes me shake my head.   You would have preferred to get another "Rise of the Hutt Cartel" clone with a new set of throw-away planets and forgettable characters?

People rage about MMOs churning out the same, cookie-cutter pabulum over and over.  LotRO being a perfect example.  With this expansion, SWtOR has come up with a remarkable number of creative improvements to the game and how people will play it. 

I should add that, unlike Helms Deep, almost none of them affect how your actual character plays (there are, as is common in MMO expansions, a few tweaks to character abilities, but nothing remotely comparable to the Helms Deep revamp). 

I suppose if you thought the game was absolutely perfect before, then any change must be for the worst.  I think a lot of people will be happy to see an attempt to do something fresh that departs from the old and tired paradigm that we've had for years.

I found it almost impossible to log-out while doing the story content.  I was counting the hours at work until I could get back home and continue it.  This is MMO content without grind, and largely without "fetch" type time-sink quests.  It felt like being in an interactive movie.  A really, really interesting movie.  It is captivating.  Frankly I think the story may be the best Bioware has ever done.

I have not played SWtOR much since the first 9 months after it came out (I played heavily in beta during the 6 months before release, too).  I have kept my four main toons up with the level cap, but am by no means a heavy player.  I have walked away for 6-12 months at a time.  The point being, I am no fanboy.  I would rate this expansion 9/10 or 9.5/10.  The mechanical changes the OP complains about are without exception needed improvements and balancing.  There are quality-of-life improvements in a lot of other areas too, like how dailies and weeklies are handled, ease of travel around the galaxy, and so on.  The lack of significant new group content is the only blemish, and I expect that to be remedied eventually. 

I would sum up by saying it is an extremely ambitious, creative, well-designed, and successful expansion.  And FUN.

 

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Nice post, Belechannas. Thank you.

I haven't tried SWTOR yet, but want to some time.

Edited by nosam9

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Nice post, Belechannas. Thank you.

I haven't tried SWTOR yet, but want to some time.

You get one Level 60 character boost for subscribing, so you can start the new story immediately, but they have also streamlined the 1-60 levelling experience enormously.

http://www.swtor.com/blog/core-world-changes

Basically you can level 1-60 by doing nothing but your class story and the main story arc on each planet.  This eliminates the need to do any of the grindy "Kill X mobs",  "Collect Y widgets", "Clean Z privies"  type side-quests to fill up the XP bar (they are still available if you want to do them, but nobody in their right mind would).  Of course, the story quests do sometimes involve killing or collecting things, but they tend to be the most interesting and enjoyable parts of the content.  It would be like if you could get to the level cap in LotRO by doing only the epic and stuff like the Tomb of Elendil questline. and skip all the boar-killing and other filler garbage...

 

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Yeah, that is one massive bonus. Won't need to do all side missions on planets I've already done them on once on alts.

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Well I'm adding a subscription to TSW now. I dunno whether I will play or not but I don't want one of the few remaining good companies to suffer from people like me not paying up.

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As Belechannas already addressed I think OP is wrong in a lot of the cases.

This new SWTOR expansion definitely has major flaws like the lack of new PvE+PvP content and terrible balancing but the story is pretty solid considering you only have to subscribe for a month to get access to it. 

As for Treek and HK-51: They lost some of their moves as the Companions went from 7-8 moves to 5 but a lot of the signature moves are still there.

It's really obvious that SWTOR is trying to appeal to new Star Wars movie crowd by making the best parts of the Story a lot more accessible and enjoyable and they have done their job a billion times better than LotrO ever did with the Hobbit trilogy - not that that was any challenge.

I can actually see people having a go at the game and enjoying themselves as they play through the story. However, the endgame is a mess and has been so for a very, very long time, so once people have played through the story content the endgame will not really be able to keep them playing.

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