Two posts in one day! This is what happens when they announce details of a new Event on the same day as a pre-scheduled post. :P
Events in Star Wars: The Old Republic have been a mixed bag. The most well-known ones have been the Rakghoul, Gree, and Bounty Events, as they occur at various times throughout the year - whilst it used to be much rarer the Rakghoul Event now occurs once a month - whilst only two before this point have been utterly unique in of themselves; these were the original Rakghoul event and the long-gone Chevin Grand Acquisitions Race.
Since the Developer Stream on June 3rd, a new one-time event was mentioned: Dark Side vs. Light Side.
From what we understood at the time, it was a case of getting through various 'tiers' to unlock rewards whilst the overall number of Dark/Light points pooled decided on what a new Companion (pictured above) would look like.
Now that more details have been announced earlier today, it's far more complicated than anyone could have anticipated at the time.
It's worth stressing this point because it isn't mentioned anywhere on the main information page and only in the various "how to get this!" guides; only characters created on or after the 28th of June, when the event starts, will be eligible for this. Characters created beforehand don't get a look-in, which is a significant problem for players who just cannot bring themselves to create new characters; they've done all that needs to be done, and this event which yields some... interesting... rewards is virtually locked out to them. This event seems like it would far better suit the game back in 2012 or 2013.
Anyway, in order to be eligible for the maximum tier of rewards, players must have done the following on at least one of their characters.
- Completed all sixteen Chapters of Knights of the Fallen Empire
- Completed every Flashpoint in either Solo or Tactical Mode
- Completed every Flashpoint in Hard Mode
- Completed five GSF and Warzone matches
- Completed five Alliance Alerts
- Completed Shadow of Revan
- Completed the Eternal Championship
- Completed the Stronghold Introductory Quest
- Completed Ziost
- Earned 1,000,000 Credits on one Character
- Infected five Players with the Rakghoul Virus
- Found five new Datacrons on Ilum, Makeb, Nar Shaddaa, Oricon, and Voss
- Fulfilled five Bounty Contracts
- Killed five specific World Bosses (Cartel Warbot, Snowblind, Primal Destroyer, Ulgo Siegebreaker, and Worldbreaker Monolith)
- Killed five specific Operations Bosses (Karagga, Op IX, Sparky, Draxus, and TITAN 6)
- Killed fifty NPCs during the Gree and Rakghoul Events
- Killed fifty NPCs on Oricon
- Reached Alignment V with both Dark and Light
- Reached Level 25 with one Character
- Reached Level 50 with one Character
- Reached Level 50 with all eight Classes
- Reached Level 65 with one Imperial and one Republic character
- Reached 550 with all six Crafting Crew Skills
- Reached Valor Rank 5
- Spent 1,000,000 Credits on a specific Event Decoration on Odessen
- Unlocked HK-51 (can be done via Legacy unlock)
This is a lot of work to put in for anyone participating in the event. Interestingly, the majority of this only applies to Legendary Tier; you can complete up to Eternal Tier only (AKA the Companion reward) by ignoring well over 50% of the above list, which entails ignoring the following objectives:
- Completing every Flashpoint in Hard Mode
- Completing five GSF matches
- Completing five Warzones (although Valor Rank 5 is still a requirement for Champion tier)
- Completing Rounds 6 through 10 of the Eternal Championship
- Earning and spending 1,000,000 Credits
- Finding the five Datacrons
- Fulfilling the Bounty Contracts
- Killing NPCs and World/Operations Bosses
- Reaching Alignment V with both Dark and Light
- Reaching Level 50 with all eight classes
- Reaching 550 with the Crafting Crew Skills
- Unlocking HK-51
The sheer amount of grind required for this is insane, especially as this is all stuff which could be done on currently-existing characters. The 'necessity' to complete every Flashpoint in Hard Mode in particular is just absolutely brutal.
I find it amusing that, even though this is primarily a Dark vs. Light event, only the Legendary tier requires you to make any headway with both alignments. Everything else is pretty much "do this, do that" and can be summarised as fluff to extend the life of the event and make it "worthwhile". You'd have thought, given that the overall tally on Dark vs. Light choices is being used to determine a reward, that this would have far more importance throughout the Event as a whole. Considering that not many people who participate in the Event will bother with the eight classes requirement, this is also a lot of potential Alignment points just being wasted.
The rewards of this aren't all that inspirational, but they do seem quite nice.
Each tier gives a specific number (in order: 5, 10, 10, 15, 15, 30) of "Force-Bound Dark vs. Light" packs, which then have a chance to drop a number of "Best of" Cartel items which can in some way be linked back to the Dark/Light ideologies. Such items include the armour for Revan Reborn and Satele Shan, mounts such as a Jetpack (quite how this applies as a "Dark" or "Light" mount is... eh?), and two new Weapon Tunings; Dark-Attuned (smoking) and Light-Attuned (essentially just bubbles).
Each tier also gives its own title; you become a Heroic, Destined, Valiant, Champion, Eternal, and Legendary Victor. I do find it slightly bemusing that "Destined" comes from the "Legacy" tier; couldn't they have named that one the Destiny tier to be more consistent?
Beyond this, rewards get progressively more varied:
- Legacy tier grants a Shade Stalker Runt minipet and the Helm, Chest, and Greaves of the Victorious Pioneer's armour set, which grants 50% XP boost when worn in its entirety
- Valiant tier grants a Victor's Trailblazer Bike and the Belt and Bracers of the Victorious Pioneer's armour set
- Champion tier grants the Victorious Trailblazer Armour set and the Gloves and Boots of the Victorious Pioneer's armour set
- Eternal tier grants either Darth Hexid or Master Ranos as a Companion, depending on which 'side' is victorious
- Legendary tier grants the Victor's Titan Turret mount and the Victorious Titan's armour set
These rewards are... interesting. There's a fair bit to say about most of them.
The minipet is neither here nor there. I mean, a Shade Stalker is nice, but this could be considered a "Dark" Force pet rather than a Force-neutral pet. That said, there aren't that many creatures yet represented in the game which have this balance, and after the slew of HK rewards it's nice to have something that isn't a Droid, so...
The bike is decent, but I do wish that we had a better view of it than just its profile. The same can be side of the Pioneer's armour set...
At least we have concept art for the Trailblazer armour set. This actually does look fairly decent as a "biker" set, so I can see a fair number of people using it alongside punky hairstyles and (unfortunately) scantily-clad Companions to show just how "edgy" and "cool" they are. Actually positive connotations? Uhm, it also makes for a semi-decent scout's armour set?
I find myself disappointed by the Companions. I was hopeful that they'd do something slightly more diverse than making them a player-created species, and whilst the Zabrak Sith makes an interesting choice (I wonder to what extent this could be due to Darth Maul's recent resurgence..?) the Chiss Jedi is just... perplexing. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's fantastic to see a Chiss Companion, but I feel that making her a Jedi is completely the wrong end of the stick. Bearing in mind also that there is no guarantee that she will even be the winning Companion, and the species choice could be wasted on all fronts.
The Turret Mount is just silly. Who'd want to pilot around a great big whopping gun which could feasibly explode on you with incredible ferocity? Additionally, the Titan's armour set is not pictured on the main rewards page, but I believe it is pictured as part of the Legendary guide:
If this is the Titan set, it's basically another Exarch-style set. Like we don't have enough of these at the moment!
In conclusion, I don't really know what to think of this Event. It sounded so promising when it was first mentioned, but now that more details have been announced, it just seems like such wasted potential.
I absolutely admire the dedication that the Developers have put into coming up with this Event. In a way, it feels very fitting that a significant Event designed specifically to honour the five years that it's been around should touch on every little aspect that people have been playing throughout this time.
That said, the base requirements are such that very few Veterans who have already planted more time into this game than deemed sane will be willing to put much effort into it, which is a shame, because this Event is clearly being catered to as many people as possible, and yet it's already alienated people without even having started. I consider it a very bad sign that as part of this I've actually dedicated a fair portion of this post to stating just how much can be skipped whilst still attaining the penultimate reward tier.
Ideally, this Event should have been around much earlier. In its current placement, it's just one more 're-grind' compounded on top of several other 're-grinds' that several people, particularly Raiders, have been complaining about ever since 4.0 launched.
As much as I think the execution of this is severely flawed, there wasn't all that much that they could have done differently if they wanted everyone to be engaging with the requirements. If veterans' characters were all eligible for the event, to the extent that they might even have completed up to Eternal tier and part of Legendary tier without even meaning to, then this would just mean that people would be, on the whole, apathetic towards the entire ideal.
As it is, they've potentially made more people apathetic towards this Event with the various requirements.
Rocks and hard places, I guess.