The Nico Conundrum

Ever since the Return trailer, people have been asking after Nico Okarr. Much like Shae Vizla, there was never any sign of him and there were no answers as to where he had disappeared off to.

We're finally getting those answers with Fallen Empire, which many are happy about. What people are not too happy about, however, are changes to particular elements of his equipment. We as players will be receiving copies of his coat and blasters, but they are noticeably different from his trailer counterparts which has caused a bit of an uproar.

I have decided to take it upon myself to look over the gear in detail and analyse whether these complaints are justified and whether there are any "suitable replacements" for people disgruntled with the actual items. I will also be offering my own views on the matter which I shall get out of the way first.

As always, any images within just click to view larger.


The Unyielding Vault of Nightmares

For the longest while we've all been under the impression that every single Operation with its different iterations of difficulty would survive into Fallen Empire. The operations blog served as a confirmation to this.

Today, however, news has emerged that the Nightmare Iterations of both Eternity Vault and Karagga's Palace are being outright removed when the expansion launches. With them go the chance to earn the "Infernal" and "Unyielding" titles and every Nightmare Achievement, which, unlike the Makeb Weekly Achievements, are simply being moved to an "archived" section of Achievements and not permanently removed.

I can see why they've done this. Neither Nightmare EV and KP are anywhere near as challenging compared to their Hard Mode iterations as their later NiM cousins, so keeping these in the game would provide for a very simple manner of groups gearing themselves using Nightmare-Grade Gear week after week. To be fair, groups will be able to do this anyway using the "Highlighted Hard Modes", but better to have all Operations of this type present similar challenges rather than have two weak points.

I like to view this as a sign of how much Nightmare Modes have evolved since their introduction. NiM EV and KP were all about the "challenge" and never about the gear since it dropped the same as Hard Mode; Rakata. From NiM EC onwards, the challenge, whilst this was still a presiding factor, was ramped up significantly and NiM became its own considerable tier of progression with its own gear.

On the other hand, I am slightly disappointed that they aren't in some way tweaking these Operations at that difficulty and keeping them in, especially with the fact that they've been left behind ever since NiM EC was introduced. Eternity Vault is still one of the best Operations they have done, so it will be a shame to see it reduced to just Hard and Story Modes.

As far as I'm concerned, this change is thus a double-edged sword. I like that they are in some way managing this vast discrepancy between challenge between the various Nightmare Modes, but it is still disappointing that there wasn't another path beyond outright removal, or at least not that we can see to have been considered.


General Update

I'm still around, but haven't posted much due to other things taking up my time.

It doesn't help that since we are still seven or so weeks away from Fallen Empire - hard to believe that not even a year after Shadow of Revan we are once more under the shadow of another significant game expansion - so there hasn't been all that much happening in-game to discuss.

Indeed, most of what has been happening relating to SWtOR have been updates about how Fallen Empire will "work", and until the final Class Changes Blog goes live the vast majority of this is still under the "hush-hush data-mined" category as far as I'm concerned. Once all those are out of the way, there will finally be something concrete as a whole ideal to comment on much like the Companion Stream.

Hopefully, with Level 65 now creeping up on us, we will see the Rakghoul and Gree Events return once more, to give people one last chance to down the Eyeless and Xenoanalyst II before they get updated to that Level. It would be nice to see as it would also spice up the definitely-noticeable "downtime" prior to the expansion's release.

So just a short update on my whereabouts. I'm still here and about, but currently a bit "out of it", if you will. Hopefully within the next few weeks I'll be able to get back on my feet a bit more. I still need to finish up on my long-overdue Liebster Award post and follow-up on my old plans of doing PvP, since that took off more than I expected it to.