KotFE Retrospective: My Picks for the 5 Most Tedious KotFE Chapters

When initiating this series, I had a couple of set objectives in mind.

The first is that it should be over by the time BioWare were ready to officially announce Eternal Throne. Get the 'current' stuff out of the way before looking forward to the new stuff.

The second is that no matter how many posts the series had - I never could get around to doing things the story 'did right' as a companion post to Story Issues for some reason - the Chapters would round off the series.

So it is that the Chapters come under scrutiny. As per usual, this series will take the form of two lists; one for my 5 favourites, and one for the 5 which I found most tedious. Usually, I'd start with the most positive and end on the negative, but since this series is making way for my views on the new, I figured it would 'help' if I ended KotFE Retrospective on a high note as opposed to a low note.

Or something like that.

Shall we get started?


The Companion Comparison: The 'Bog Standard' vs. The Cartel Beasts

Of all the Companions we can get in 4.0, very few are as infamous as the Cartel Companions. These are unique creatures and droids which are for most intents and purposes standard Companions; they can Tank, they can DPS, and they can Heal. They can't be sent out on Crew Skills, but otherwise there's nothing that should be standing out.

I was helping a guildie with their Legacy of the Rakata HM requirement for Dark vs. Light the other day when we turned to discussing Companion Tanks. A third guildie who suggested this Flashpoint as the first was using their Vette to Tank (a crime almost as heinous as making T7 and Scourge Heal) rather than my dedicated Tank Bowdaar.

For those who don't know, when Vette tanks she doesn't 'animate' properly; when leaping she stays frozen in place for a few seconds and then magically teleports. Unfortunately, this also results in grouping-up being much harder since mobs will rush to her previous 'reported' position first and then follow her back.

One such pull led to us commenting on how Bowdaar would have made the pull more convenient, and the first guildie opined that the K'lor'slug would also be a viable option.

According to them, at Influence 50, their K'lor'slug Companion would outperform their own Influence 50 Bowdaar as a Tank. This piqued my interest because unlike the vast majority of Companions, some of the Cartel Companions have no weapon slot whatsoever. While equipment is largely no factor for Companions, a different grade of barrel or hilt will still increase damage readouts in the tooltips (and thus actual damage output as well).

Being the proud owner of an Influence 50 Nexu - I'm quite fond of felines in general - I decided to investigate this further.

Long story short, he's (mostly) absolutely correct.


KotFE Retrospective: Least 5 Favourite Alliance Alerts

Following on from last week's post tackling my favourite 5 Alliance Alerts, this post will be looking at those which are my least favourite.


Wednesday Warzones #3: Beautiful Noises

It's time for another Wednesday Warzones!

Unlike the last two videos, this one actually uses footage from different nights! The first two were from four matches which were recorded on the 11th of September, whilst the third is one from a whopping nine matches which were all recorded on the 14th.

Needless to say, I have enough footage to make up at least two Warzones videos from these sessions alone, and trust me when I say that the chosen Odessen is one of the least bizarre matches from that particular session.

There's also a fair bit of swearing in this video. I normally don't mind the occasional bit of swearing, and I only edit it out if it's just a bit too much, like for example in the first video.

More to come in two weeks' time!


Session 1:

Vhiallia - Balance Sage
Tror ("Teloo") - Seer Sage
Mep'fan ("Suss") - Dirty Fighting Gunslinger

Session 2:

Kenkurian'ah - Combat Sentinel
Corriari ("Suss" again) - Shield Specialist Vanguard
Shíntar - Combat Medic Commando



Certain Missions have had a lot of tweaking since 4.0. This has had a set number of side-effects, but none more notable than the side-effect of every single Exploration Mission having been reset, even if you'd already completed them.

Of course, you wouldn't know this if, like me, your characters as of Fallen Empire had already progressed up to that point and had no reason to turn Exploration missions on in the first place. Characters who still needed to Level, of course, had far greater precedent to encounter this.

I myself had only just allowed Calph to access her Exploration Missions for the first time a couple of weeks ago - the exact reason for doing so eludes me - and had found myself baffled by the amount of missions which she apparently hadn't yet done. Sheriff Encot's hostage rescue is a mission I've always done, and yet she hadn't done it?

Eventually I realised why this was so, but it's still something which caught me off-guard.

Funnily enough, I had actually been looking for an excuse to go back to certain planets and finish off the missions which I had never done - either on Calph or on any of my characters - so this seems like a good time to start doing so.

By the time this game is done, I would love to turn around and say that I have completed every single mission which the game had to offer. I really do like a lot of the Exploration Missions, so I wouldn't mind completing them again, and I know that Voss and Corellia have literally dozens between them which I have never ever done simply because most of my characters hit 50 on or before Voss itself.

This re-questing has also had the nice side-effect of allowing me to catch changes which I wouldn't have thought to be a logical change. Most notably, the overarching mission for the Tatooine Bonus Series actually has similar rewards to a Heroic Mission nowadays.

So, yeah, just a short post today. Inspiration has been somewhat lacking due to hectic goings-on in real life, but hopefully things should settle down to normal shortly.


KotFE Retrospective: Top 5 Favourite Alliance Alerts

The Alliance Alerts formed a considerable bulk of the available missions during the lifespan of 4.0. We have seen no fewer than 21 Companions either join or re-join our roster as a part of this system, with a whopping total of 13 returning Companions and eight new Companions (including the Star Fortress ones).

Because I seem to have locked myself into a rut with this system when it comes to analysis - there's yet another pair of these posts coming up when it's time to look at the Chapters - I'll be dedicating two posts to these Alerts; the first will look at my personal favourites, and the second of course will look at my least favourites.

So, on with the list!


On Data-Mining


This post will not be directly describing data-mined changes coming to Eternal Throne. This is purely a rambling post describing my thoughts on the process when compared against BioWare's policy of silence. If you had looked at this post with interest to get some gleaned information, I'm sorry, but you'll be going away disappointed.


There comes a time before each and every patch when the data-miners come forth and reveal what's incoming. Many a Class Change, Cartel Market item, and Story spoiler has been revealed as part of this process, and so data-mining is treated with both reverence and disapproval by several sectors of the wider SWtOR community.

Expansions are no different in this regard; the data-miners are already out in force digging up all that they can find for Eternal Throne, although officially they won't post the majority of their findings until BioWare has had time to officially release details of the expansion, which is the fairest thing they could do.

This also raises an interesting situation for data-mining.

Since 3.0, BioWare have unfortunately managed to back themselves into a corner whereby they're "damned if they do, damned if they don't". From what I understand, their accidentally missing a 'scheduled' releasing of information regarding Shadow of Revan (and only by just a couple of days) has led to them enforcing a strict 'silence' policy with changes to both Fallen Empire and Eternal Throne until they're truly ready to reveal more.

The good thing about this silence policy is that once it was 'over' for Fallen Empire, they took to social media by force, streaming and blogging about the upcoming changes, but it still left a lot to be desired from what they had done for 3.0 with the comprehensive blog changes informing us of the approaching change from Skill Trees to Disciplines and then the steady updates to specific Classes over the subsequent months.

Their handling of 2.0 was even better than this, as they actually allowed players to access a modified 2.0 PTS which allowed them to boost transferred characters to 55, try out the new skills, and access the new HM Flashpoints and Operation.

Whilst it did take them a moderately long time to come out with more detailed information on changes for Fallen Empire, at least they'd made the announcement five months before it was supposed to go live!

For Eternal Throne, it definitely does not help that their silence policy is being enforced at a time when there isn't a lot else to actually do now. Neither the Dark vs. Light Event nor the HK Chapter will be universally completed, so for certain players there's absolutely nothing until Eternal Throne and they're not receiving any word to make them feel invested in the game's future. We don't even know an official release date yet!

Indirectly starving us for information therefore has also made the data-miners' situation far more precarious as well; anything they say is treated as 'word of God' and people base all of their expectations on changes which are still in motion. Given the negative response to certain currently proposed changes, it's hardly any wonder that BioWare no longer wants to blow their own trumpet at such an early stage anymore.

I personally don't mind data-mining. It gives a rarely-seen insight into the development process for this game, and even if the proposed changes don't make it into the game as they're initially suggested to, it's still quite interesting - and, dare I say it, fun - to hypothesise how this might change or that might change. Napkin theorycrafting can only go so far, of course.

I just wish that they'd enable everyone to access a simplified variant of the PTS again, even if just to test out the Class Changes. Feedback from the wider playerbase is never really a bad thing - heck, it's lead some people to believe that BioWare use the Data-Miners as an indirect method of revealing changes and getting feedback from these - but right now there are just so many unknowns and confusions that any information, even if it's revealed to be totally inaccurate, is treated like an oasis in the Sahara.


KotFE Retrospective: The HK Rewards Scheme

Hey, if BioWare consider this a "selling point" for subscribing to Knights of the Fallen Empire then I can technically include it in this series!

Unless you've been living under a rock the size of Lotek'k you've probably heard of the HK-themed Subscriber Rewards which have been plaguing gifted to Subscribers since February 2016 and culminating in the Bonus Chapter Shroud of Memory which was released on Wednesday.

Of course, I'll be looking at each month's Reward and offering my views on whether or not it was a 'worthy' gift. Back in December, when I wrote a post detailing my criticisms of the handling of certain aspects of the game at that point, I opined that there couldn't be that many gifts which they could realistically 'do' for a Droid. Nico has his coats and his blasters, and HK has his blunderbuss, I guess?

Anyway, on with the list!


Wednesday Warzones #2: Arena Annihilators

It's time for another instalment of Wednesday Warzones!

Due to not having much opportunity to group up with other players throughout the last fortnight (noisy kitchen renovations all but nullify TeamSpeak for me, and when it was done for the day it was nearly time for other people to go do Ops or whatnot), again I've had to make do and mend and only use one day's worth of PvP footage for this video.

On the plus side, this means that this video is much shorter than last time. In grouping up for the Lowbie PvP Bracket with fellow bloggers Shintar and Traitine - who also streams several games including the occasional bit of SWtOR PvP - on Sunday, we encountered several Arenas and only three actual Warzones. It was a very hectic afternoon!

I completely forgot to record the first Arena (my bad!), but recorded the other six matches. In spite of this, I have not included footage of the Huttball and Novare Coast matches. Whilst I'm not averse to include defeats in these videos, my perspective makes for an absolutely rubbish viewing experience in both cases. 

Even with cropping footage down to the actiony bits, it's still too much to cut out to justify including either match.

Also if you're wondering why there's suddenly a "blip" sound effect when I talk when there wasn't last time, it's because of the VOIP program which we used on the day, which was GameVox. I haven't checked to see if it's possible to mute that, as it is quite aggravating even on my end!

Anyway, enjoy!

  • Coli'hara - Gunnery Commando
  • Zataa - Sawbones Scoundrel
  • Traitine - Tactics Vanguard


They Seek them Here, they Seek them There

Because last week I finally got around to delivering my thoughts on the Macrobinocular questline, I figured that it would make sense to follow it up with a post on the Seeker Droid questline as well.

Unlike the Shroud quest, this questline is neatly self-contained. There aren't any little twists to keep the story going, and everything is wrapped up nice and tidily.

As I've already described at length the intricacies of how this quest and the Macrobinocular quest were tied together, I won't be doing this again here. Everything will be about the Seeker Droids.


Remembering the Shroud: Preparation for Shroud of Memory

If there's one thing which I'm surprised that I haven't written much about, it's the two secondary questlines which launched with 2.0; the Macrobinocular and the Seeker Droid missions.

This is mainly due to one thing; there sadly hasn't been much reason to talk about either as nothing has emerged to encourage people to complete these quests especially since a lot of people just do the final Heroic-4 missions once and want nothing to do with them ever again.

Potentially, this might no longer be the case.

The HK-55 Bonus Chapter, Shroud of Memory, is confirmed to feature the antagonist of the Macrobinocular questline, the Shroud. He's had numerous mentions throughout 4.0 - a probe sits outside the Star Fortresses which can be scanned for an Achievement and Theron Shan mentions that he came across him as part of his idle chatter - so it will be nice to see him again.

Admittedly, it does hurt that our characters themselves won't be able to do so...

I figured that with the oncoming approach of the Shroud it would be good to finally send Calph to do as much of the questline as she could with the aim of completing it this weekend - just in case completing it yielded extra information for 'us' to pick up from the Bonus Chapter - and finally note my opinions on this infamous questline.

Although admittedly my timing on this post couldn't be worse, as I only just learned while making final preparations for this post's scheduled posting that this subject was touched on for exactly the same reasons over on MassivelyOP just two days ago, so now it looks like I'm pilfering ideas yet again. Yay for annoying coincidences!