Returning to the Stars

Galactic StarFighter, as I've already talked about before, is fairly brutal for a new player or character to get really 'introduced to'; from the sheer amount of time it takes to upgrade a ship to the clunky UI to the fact that some systems are left completely unexplained, there's a lot for new participants to take in.

So it is with Galactic Command that new players will be introducing themselves to the activity in an attempt to get as much out of the system as possible, since GSF is one of the most rewarding things you can do (a victory with eight medals earns at least 1,060 CXP dependent on whether or not your Alignment is winning or you have a CXP Booster on).

I'm not exempt from this; I really enjoyed GSF back in the day on Ziodus, but he was the only character who ever really did anything. Because I don't really want him to only be doing GSF (which he pretty much would be if he ever gets to 70, since I largely only refer to him as "the GSF character"), I figured it would finally be time to put my preachings about the activity being tedious for new players/characters to the test and get Calph her own set of ships.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not doing this purely so I can farm CXP. I just got caught up in the wind of fresh activity which hasn't been felt around GSF for so damn long, and I'm really enjoying being back, and it made more sense to me to get a currently-regularly-used character doing things rather than have the essentially-retired but more-experienced GSF character only doing GSF and nothing else. Having a new character with their own fresh potential does make things more interesting, although I don't think I'll be straying too far from what my previous playstyle was like...

After about two-and-a-half weeks of getting back into it... yes, it is brutal for a new character, but I do admit that I am coming from this with more than a base understanding of how each and every ship works, so my 'new' experience is totally different from somebody who is actually new to the activity. I may be somewhat rusty nowadays, but I do pick things up quickly when I am reminded of them visually.

Indeed, so far the most confusing thing to get my head around again is what exactly Communication does for the ship. Dampening and Sensor Range are fairly obvious (although Sensor Focus Range is another matter of confusion), but there's nothing to indicate what increasing your Communication range does for you. From what I understand, having needed to research it, it puts enemies your allies detect on the map if their own Communication range overlaps with yours.

So you may be 36,000 kilometers away from a pesky Gunship, but if a player on your team with a 23,000 km sensor range detects them whilst their 7,000 km communication range overlaps even slightly with your 15,000 km communication range, you can see them too.

When it comes to battles themselves, it is easy to see why new blood isn't easily kept, particularly on the Republic side. For whatever reason, at least on The Red Eclipse, in Deathmatches Imperials always seem to be the ones who use mostly-Gunship teams whilst Republic players, in their armies of Scouts and Strikes with only a few Gunships, get mown down in their dozens. When you get in matches like that, yeah, even veterans can get just a teeny bit despondent...


All in all, I am pleased to be back doing GSF. It's nice to see that Command XP has managed to increase interest and activity, even if - again - it can simply be derided as people trying their best to stay afloat in the Command System.

Ultimately, this does touch on something of a point. A lot of people do do whatever they can for Command XP without much care for what it actually is. Ranked and Casual PvP have both been 'infested' by CXP grinders, for example, which doesn't really result in a 'good' Ranked environment. The key to coping with the Command System and CXP is truly to focus mainly on stuff you enjoy, not to senselessly grind whatever you can since this will burn you out.

So, sure, take up whatever activities you want, but if you aren't enjoying taking part in whatever gives the most CXP, then this will ultimately harm your game experience since you will only see the grind and nothing else which could make these certain activities enjoyable. GSF, PvP, Operations, they all give a lot, but there is so much more to each of these which sadly the rush to grind is just making people ignore.


  1. GSF is the only activity that I have never really participated in in SWTOR. I did try one match, in which my inability to understand how to see range made me end up with a whopping 0 DPS dealt by my gunship. -_-

    Perhaps if you feel extremely generous one day you can drag me in there and explain things. The fact that I went in with 3 friends that *also* had no clue, probably didn't help matters... (But who am I kidding, I'm definitely handicapped when it comes to shooting things.)

    As for your last paragraphs, I totally agree: just doing things you enjoy is most important, then the command ranks will follow. Luckily for me, I enjoy about anything in SWTOR (apart from the aforementioned GSF).

    1. Sure, I wouldn't mind 'dragging' you along for a couple of matches at some point.

      Maybe using a Bomber is more your cup of tea, since this ship-class largely deals with automated systems over actually having to shoot things yourself?

  2. The Nickster19/01/2017, 18:23

    If I participate in GC I'm already doing "not playing the way I normally would". I normally would spread my time among many toons. Next December when the new expansion drops, I'd have twenty level 70's and all of them would be GC rank 20 or less.

    So if I make the decision to actually stick to one character and grind it out, then the efficient grind is the only grind. If Bioware is interested in letting you play a variety of activities, then they've got to make sure you can progress at roughly the same rate no matter what you do.

    Also, real "catch-up" for alts is needed. Even after 5.1 changes, it's still all about choosing a main and playing only that main. Not every alt needs 240 gear, just get them off of 228 quickly. Grind less to get to 234, grind more to get to 240.