Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
SWTOR flashpoints

Apparently "weekends" in Bioware land last from Friday to Monday, so I was able to still play a bit of SWTOR last night. That enabled me to play my Sith Inquisitor through the Black Talon flashpoint I already did with my Sith Warrior. And just for fun and giggles I chose the "light side" option in my dialogue with the captain. And actually won the "roll", thus the group didn't kill the captain. And I was positively impressed how this did not only change the "fluff" of the mission, like the conversations. But it actually changed some combat sequences as well, at least for the trash mobs.

Only downside: Getting 100 light side points not only means you don't get 100 dark side points, but you actually cancel out 100 dark side points you earned earlier. Thus playing through the same flashpoint twice choosing different sides effectively nets you zero dark/light side points. And you'd need to either win the roll or have somebody else who choose the same option as you to win the roll to actually play through the different version. You might be better off replaying it choosing always the same side, but hoping that somebody of the other side wins to see the other version.
I decided, having witnessed the same issue with light/dark points, to ignore them and choose the options that feel the best for me/my char at the time.

If I need to do something to re-address the balance at a later date then I will but I'm not going to gameify the story even if there are repercussions for not having optimal light or darkside points...
Considering that all Flashpoints scale up to level 50 content in end game, I'm sure people will end up running them enough to eventually see both sides of the story.
I think it is a pity it shows at the conversation options which option is light or dark. Often it is obvious, of course, but it removes a bit of the element of genuine good vs evil. Conversations just become another xp bar.

Just realized there might actually be a game option to switch that off. If so, great. If not, they ought to definitely add that. Anybody knows?
I started a Sith Warrior this weekend after having played the Inquisitor the weekend before and purposely chose all light side options or just the opposite of what I knew I had chosen the week before.

I was pretty pleased with the changes. NPC's sending me gifts in the mail and people I saved rushing to help me. It was definitely interesting to see the other side.
@Phedre -- yes, there is an option (under "social" iirc) to disable the display of whether an option is LS or DS. Or you could just not hover over the convo wheel with your mouse and hit the number key too. I was doing that the 1st weekend I was in beta and I had absolutely no idea it would show me if an option was LS/DS on mouseover until someone told me. As a result, when I made choices I thought we morally right, I got some DS points on a LS character for "guessing wrong" as to what the Bioware devs thought was morally right, so. . . I'm glad to have the option, and I'll still take a DS option if I think it's the right thing to do on a character I'm trying to RP on rather than min/maxing stuff.
@Magson: Thanks! Great to hear they realized some players like to think for themselves. I did notice as well that it is not always obvious what is LS or DS. But like real life not everything I say works out the way I expect it.
I ran into one issue with the entire story line thing last night. My friend and I wanted to play together, so we both made Bounty Hunters. We grouped up and started doing the quests. Everytime it came to the story we had to enter seperate instances, thus forcing us to play alone. The story line and voice acting was great but it was a bit annoying to have to split up on half the quests.
Everytime it came to the story we had to enter seperate instances, thus forcing us to play alone.

Are you sure? I remember that whenever I entered an instance, a window popped up telling me that only one character of this class can enter UNLESS the other character grouped with him sets some option in the preferences. So I think the worst case scenario is having to play the instance through twice, with each of the two players being the story owner once.

That's actually exactly how it happend. It was either see the story twice or do it seperate. It was frustrating. I understand the story is suppose to be unique to your character but it was really annoying.
I am very pleased that people are liking the Light/Dark side and story play in SWTOR.

This new dimension to MMOs is exciting to see gain traction with the normal MMO gamer audience. I personally love the light/dark dynamic and can't wait to explore the light sith or dark jedi leveling experience.

When they said "story driven" I just cringed a bit but it seems to be working out well in the general audience.

Does it make SWTOR unique enough?
Does it equate to the opposing faction breakthrough that happened when wow came out?

It just really exciting to see a new artistic medium in it's early years... kinda like black and white movies to color.
I don't know if I would truly consider the Light/Dark side mechanic new, atleast not to gaming. In all honesty SWTOR plays exactly like other BioWare games. It isn't new, except for the fact that it's online.

Now that being said I had ALOT of fun playing it. I'm just not looking at it as a MMO. It's a single player RPG that is online, much like Diablo. I'm going to preorder it on Monday though.
@Epiny -- Setting under "Social" will allow multiple people of the same class into a story instance. No idea why it's off by default, but. . . there ya go.
It's off by default because if you run into someone's instance it doesn't complete for you. You will have to leave, reenter and do it all again.
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