Yesterday was the launch of the SWTOR expansion for anyone that preordered and I got to jump in and check out the new build. First thing that had to be done was to check out the discipline system and spend my points. The discipline system is pretty similar to what Blizzard did with their with their talent trees. Rather than having all these points to put into passive boosts they offer the passive boosts automatically and let you select which abilities you want in 3 different tiers as you level up. There was a few changes to abilities and a couple new ones so the rotation isn’t exactly the same but the class still feels the same. The first class I’m leveling is a sniper because my raid team has always been short on dps rather than tanks or heals so I made the decision to shelve my operative healer. Because of this I spent some time, maybe too much time, transferring my highest gear over to my new sniper that I leveled during the 12xp event. Overall the game has seen quite a few little changes that are quality of life improvements and you can get into the details over at Dulfy if you are interested in knowing more.
After getting my character all dialed in the next step was to solo all the Forged Alliance tactical flashpoints before starting the new planet. These new solo modes not only boost your stats while inside but they also give you a beast of a droid that tanks and heals to help you. As you make your way through all these tacticals it rewards you with gear to be prepared for the new planet. Since I had better gear sent from my old main character I ended up equipping all the rewards on my companion instead. By the time I actually set foot on the new planet I was already 3/4 of the way to level 57. Rather than jumping right into the quests I went ahead and queued up for one of the new tactical flashpoints and was quickly thrown into Blood Hunt. It went really smooth other than one hiccup on a boss that quickly went down on the second try. By the time I finished Blood Hunt it was getting pretty late so I finished one quest to hit 57 and called it a night.
I’m pretty shocked I got that far in really casual play last night. I am also kind of bummed that the old Forged Alliance tactical flashpoints are being used for the first level and a half of the new expansion. It wasn’t a big deal on my new sniper since he has never been in them but I have ran these a dozen or more times on my operative and I would of been upset being forced to do them yet again to start the new expansion. I guess I should of figured that was what was going to happen once they announced the solo modes and that they wanted everyone to see the story content within them. It just felt kind of lackluster spending my first few hours with a new expansion running tacticals that have been out since April.
Nevertheless, what new things I have seen so far have been awesome. Landing on Rishi for the first time and walking into the first hub was quite a site to behold (see above). I have to tip my hat to the environment guys on the Bioware team, they know how to make a really beautiful world with amazing color palettes. Mix that with the top notch music from Star Wars and it really pulls you in. Tonight will be a shorter session for me but I plan on putting WoW on the backburner (except for follower missions and garrison work orders) for now until I can at least get my sniper up to 60 and raid ready. Stay tuned for more posts as I make my way through the rest of the new content.