This is my TOP 5 list for Best Controversial things in SWTOR 4.0.
Beware, it may confuse you even more about my opinion on some things :D
Welcome to the most unusual and weird list you will ever see! This, I hope, will both surprise and entertain you. I have put together 5 very interesting and hoth (yes, with an “h”!) topics and have ordered them from 5 to 1 according to nothing else, but my personal interest and involvement in them. The weird things begin with the title itself. I doubt that I could have come up with a more unclear and confusing one. Like it? :P
This list contains things that are at the same time amazing as innovations and added features to the game, and also a great reason for arguing, disagreement and trolling.
Let’s begin and you will see what I mean when you hear them along with my elaborations. Shall we?
5. Real new story with meaningful choices
Even by just mentioning this, I already hear approval of half my audience and total disagreement from the rest. Story is no content. MMO needs more than just story to keep us paying this damn monthly subscription, Bioware! Screw you, I’m unsub’ing.
Oops, I started on the wrong foot, did I? The video is supposed to show the light side of things and emphasize on them. it should try to beat the negativity that stirs even in my own chest when I have to replay EV over and over again for new EndGame gear. And.. .oops again, now I went into another topic of my list… Will come back to this later.
The positive side to new real story is just that – It’s new, it’s entertaining, fresh and different. The presentation angle has changed, the cinematic cutscenes are not from the 2008 any more and even though the game’s engine still coughs blood even in solo play at times, the visuals have improved dramatically. Speaking of drama, and here comes a mini spoiler, how about getting stabbed from the back all the way through the belly and surviving? Can you ask for bigger drama than this? Actually, it could be more closer to a soap opera than a drama, but who cares, eh!?
We have new and old events that also could count as story if you are a role-player and are capable of adopting this style of gameplay. I am not and could not do it, so to me the returning events (most of them being monthly now) are just a chance to farm whatever I need in terms of tokens, reputation, gear. Luckily for me, I have maxed out my reputation with all of them long ago, so don’t need to farm, hehe.
Regarding these meaningful choices now. We haven’t really seen any of the promised long-term ones, but from The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, I learned that long-term may really mean a LOOOONG time before we see the consequences to our choices and decisions. So, let’s give more time to Bioware and see what they will surprise us with in future chapters. Remember, there’s not just season 1, but another one after it already planned before the Fallen Empire story cycle is complete.
4. Revamped EndGame Group Content
Ok, I lost you here, didn’t I? Wait, come back!
We all know there’s a positive side to the revamped content. I myself saw it already in these, how many (?), 3 months since Fallen Empire launched. In our small guild currently we have a team of 8 raiders. 4 of them had never done half of the old operations in HM and NiM. it was on one side a pleasure helping and explaining the tactics to 2-3.. 4 year old content to some, while on the other side it was annoying knowing that nothings is different inside the ops except for the level of the mobs and yet we cannot just enter and clear it in 40 min. Tactics needed to be explained to newcomers (not just in the guild, in PUGs that’s a daily routine even now, 3 months after release and it will always be like that as new players keep rolling in!), discussed and eventually even new positioning and roles to be tested depending on group setup and player experience.
I have to admit, that the time to feel like a SWTOR veteran has finally come. It still feels like yesterday when I was spamming the F5 on my keyboard waiting for the newly launched SWTOR.com to let me register and login, back in October 2008. BTW, did you see my SWTOR in Retrospect blogs and videos? No? You missed a lot, you know! :)
I somehow still find entertainment playing Denova, Dread Fortress and Palace, TFB… even Karagga. Oh, the helmet… how rare and unique that bell-hat was in 2011. Now we all have it on all of our alts.
3. Improvements to UI and Graphics
Pff. I keep complaining and raging at the aging buggy and glitchy SWTOR excuse of an engine. What the hell? Why is it here then andd as number 3 at that! Seriously? Am I trolling myself already? No, I have enough friendly trolls to do that for me during the Live Shows on YouTube and Twitch. So… let’s see what’s this all about, mm.
The small, but incredibly needed and long time asked for User Interface changes and improvements are without a doubt one of the best things that came with Fallen Empire. I made a whole dedicated video to show and explain what the changes exactly are for UIs in 4.0, so I wont bore you with that here now. Let me just mention the fact that we can now save and export our keybinds! Finally, Bioware! Thank you!
On the Graphics update. Heh, here I suppose some of you thought I mean real FPS improvements? No, of course not. In fact this would be the bad or the so called controversial part of this topic. The FPS, especially in Warzones and 16 man Operations seems to be going from bad to worse and for some gamers from barely playeble to “bye-bye SWTOR, I cannot look at this slideshow any longer”. I, as a trained on Restuss SWG veteran, have no problem getting used to lag…
2. The Subscription based Chapter per month Content
The negavites: Bioware is trying to seduce us with chapter based monthly story content to keep us actively paying. The money income is generally nice. It is known that the better funding a game development receives, the better quality and quantity of the end product is delivered to the players. Well, SWTOR has been on a big profit since the Cartel Store and F2P went live back in 2012. It hasn’t always shown constant rising metrics, but is profitable and provides Bioware and EA with a great income on regular basis. Let’s be honest, F2P saved our game and allowed it to live on.
Now, the good side of having to pay each month for 40-60 min of story content. No, guys. It’s not all and only the new chapter. Bioware may have a small team and struggle with regular content update cycles, but I do believe they do what they can with the resources available to them. It’s “just $15”, but it’s also a “full $15 FFS”. You know what I mean. The bright side is that Subscription allows players to fully benefit from the game, giving the chance to the so called totally casual players, who dipped into EndGame PvE and PvP a couple times per week until recently, to give it a more serious try now. The per-server-economy is supposed to flourish when GTN is filled with more competition from all new and old crafters. Limiting crafting as F2P and Prereffed status almost completely eliminates the possibility for the player to be competitive on the Trading Network.
We also are receiving some extra sub rewards as well as that weird and almost useless early access to new chapters. I seriously don’t understand the “2 days early access”, but it’s amarketing trick. Every time something is advertised as “early access” it’s more or less successfull. Well, not for my Patreon campaign as most of my Patreons really don’t care too much about the 1-2 days of early access, they just do it to support me. Thanks. But, enough with this off-topic.
Slowly, but I hope not too slow, we arrive at the NUMBER 1, my winner. Did you forget? All these 5 topics are absolutely totally personal and very biased according to my taste, opinion and preferences, they don’t pretend to represent the community’s visions at all. So, don’t be so surprised when you see my winner :)
1. Changes to Sentinel and Marauder
What’d you expect of me? Oh, wait, you may be a viewer and reader who had never before seen my content. In this case, let me tell you this. I am a sentinel/marauder player since day one and a melee DPS player since… forever (in SWG and LOTRO long before SWTOR).
For far too long my favorite class was neglected. One, because the content was for the most part really melee-unfriendly, two, because the ability priorities and not 1, but all 3 specs were more or less messed up and to some extend really unfriendly for various boss encounters and even PvP (Watchman/Annihilation 3.0 in PvP, really? I mean, nothing is impossible, but not everybody is willing to challenge themselves and be competitive with a weak PvP spec).
After 4.0 some of the much needed changes made to Watchman/Annihilation and Combat/Carnage refreshed up the specs to the point where they are not just absolutely useful and powerful, but also a lot more fun to play. Spreading DoTs like a mad monkey is a lot more entertaining now compared to Shadow of Revan and 3.0, Bursting the enemy down inside a 3s Precision/Gore feels somehow more stronger, simpler, yet very satisfying. Well, to me Concentration/Fury still remains broken as it fails to find its spot among the other 2 specs. Its long build-up phase and very weird AoE capabilities are no match to the “scream in terror” effect Combat/Carnage is capable of. The single target rotation for Fury is, again, longer than it needs and also falls under the parses of both other specs on the dummy.
Why did I pick this as my number 1? First, let me tell you that it was obvious to me this needed to be among the top 5, but it holds the first position, because of the single fact that I keep playing this class as my main. I resisted the temptation of switching over when Sentinels/Marauders were in their darkest ages after patch 3.0.
You know, originally I wrote double the amount of text for each of my picks. In the end, I decided it’s better to leave some things unsaid and provoke you to ask for them or just tell them to me in the comments below. It’s the better option compared to the possibility of boring you to death with too much explanation about each one and unintentionally forcing you to leave before you reach the end.
That was all. I hope you have enjoyed my presentation. It’s easy to make a Top 5 about popular topics and praise or curse them. I wanted to approach this from a different point of view and whether I succeeded, that’s up for you to tell me.