After a lot of hassle, 4.1 and Chapter X finally launched earlier this week, setting in motion the final 'half' of the first season of Fallen Empire. It also brought with it a few other things, including two Alliance Alerts, and some very welcome Quality of Life change. I already touched on the crafting changes when they were first announced and there is no reason to touch upon them once again.
Without any significant spoilers, how do these hold up?
Chapter X is an... interesting... chapter.
You have a story which, for the most part, is fascinating to play through on an Agent yet underwhelming on other classes mixed in with dire repetitive gameplay with only two remotely interesting fights. That's it. Not even an hour's worth of content, and you'll be even more sick of Skytroopers by the end than you even thought possible.
The Sky Turrets are an interesting new enemy, though.
Hopefully this isn't particularly spoilerific, but I do find it fascinating to compare the situation of the character "Firebrand", obviously Kaliyo Djannis, to the first chapter of the Imperial Agent storyline. There really are a lot of parallels to be drawn which, for certain Agents, may make them feel that in helping her they're being brought down to the same low-point which, according to writer Alexander Freed, Kaliyo herself is at.
Beyond this, I must admit that I don't get the feeling that Kaliyo is a worthwhile long-term acquisition for the Alliance, for reasons which become very clear roughly halfway-through the chapter. It will be interesting to see how she flourishes, but at this present moment in time, I can easily see her being the most "droppable" of all new Alliance Main Characters from this point forth.
Eligible subscribers of course received two completable Alerts this month; HK-55 and Blizz.
HK's Alert is quite fun, as it is the first time players can actually fully-program an HK Droid, rather than receive the complete package, and permit or forbid certain terminations. This will in all likelihood have no story impact whatsoever outside of the Alert, but it's still interesting to see the scenarios he sets up.
Blizz's Alert involves just as much zaniness as any mission centered around Blizz deserves to have, exemplified by the fact that he now has an entire crew of Jawa-friends helping him around Hoth. Speaking of Hoth, I do find it amusing that both Qyzen and Blizz's mission requires farming of specific things on the planet to get their Influence up, although thankfully Blizz's is less tedious than Qyzen's.
Of course, Blizz was not supposed to be this month's Companion. Bowdaar was supposed to be brought in alongside the Eternal Championship, but last month they revealed that it wasn't ready and they switched Bowdaar out for Blizz. I'm pleased that they decided to do this, if only because it means that we get access to our favourite Jawa more quickly than otherwise.
Hailed as one of the greatest changes to the game in a very long while, every item which could previously stack to a maximum of 99 was changed to stack to a maximum of 9,999. Many a cargo bay has seen a great tidy-up as a result of this change, and it's fantastic to see this implemented at last.
Whilst not as long-standing an issue, people have been asking for the option to sort Companions by Influence Rank since Fallen Empire launched and people started accruing crews upwards of 24 members. With 4.1, this was introduced, again to a lot of praise. As an added OCD bonus, multiple Companions of the same Influence Rank are sorted in alphabetical order, so huzzah.
4.1 is not without its issues, of course. Not only did it take far longer than expected to be anywhere near smooth-running, but really annoying bugs still persist in the crafting and there's that Chance Cube debacle in the Cartel Market.
Otherwise, 4.1 is a decent update, and the QoL changes and Blizz are far-and-away my personal picks for the absolute highlights therein.