5.0: And So, We Say Farewell

At long last, after almost a whopping 35 months, 5.0's time in the spotlight is coming to a close. I don't think anyone quite suspected what we'd be in for when Knights of the Eternal Throne launched way back on November 29th 2016; it's been an incredibly convoluted ride with its fair share of ups-and-downs and several substantial new features, retreads, and updates.

For the past two years, I've been creating posts looking back at how 5.0 had changed over the course of a year. The first time I did this it was because Eternal Throne had managed to provide a little bit of almost everything within its first year, being the first expansion since 2.0 to do so while simultaneously reaching the 365-day mark. It then just became inevitable that when it became clear that 5.0 would reach the 730-day mark that I would create another post doing the same and comparing how both years had been.

This may be considered as the third post in that particular sequence, but in looking over 5.0 I'm not going to list each and every aspect and analyse what changed. Not only would it result in an absolute shedload of retread - the only 'new' things since the last post were Ossus, Guild Heraldry, Dantooine, some brief missions for the Alliance, and new rewards for Nightlife - but it would also result in just far too much text for anyone to deal with. Both of the previous posts in the sequence were two of the longest posts I'd ever written, yet both were surpassed by my analysis of Ossus back in January!

Text overload.

Instead, I'm going to take this opportunity to look back at 5.0 and list my favourite and least favourite things to have come from it. So, with the servers currently offline for maintenance and Onslaught launching in just a few hours, permit me to indulge myself once again.


A Farewell to Galactic Command

Assuming all goes well, Onslaught will be arriving on our digital doorsteps tomorrow and with it ends the controversial system known as Galactic Command. While we're seeing a similar system, Renown, take its place the two are functionally quite different.

Command started life as the way to get gear before eventually turning into a more-or-less supplementary system. Renown is purely a supplementary system as gear is designed to come thicker and faster from other sources from the get-go. Command had various tiers which controlled what type of gear you'd be getting, while Renown only relies on your characters' gear rating to determine what gear it drops. Command had a large part of its 'income' come from CXP packs whilst Renown won't rely on these even half as much.

Finally, Command had a 'goal', a final tier that became easier to reach as time went on while Renown has no 'final' tier. While there is an Achievement for hitting Renown Rank 999, this is not something which is meant to be easy to accomplish.

It is this number that I shall be looking at today. Ever since hitting Command Rank (hereafter "CR") 300 on my first character, I decided to keep a running tally of the number of crates, and therefore ranks, that I would be acquiring from that point forth.

I can't exactly remember the reasons why I started this, but I've convinced myself that it's because I wanted to see how far I would get before CR 400 showed up. It never did, of course, but still I kept going with it. The end result is that, with nine characters above CR 300, I have a rough estimate for how much I have poured into this system across the past two years and eleven months.
  1. Miorahna - Jedi Guardian - CR 2,774
  2. Cal Pheiya - Gunslinger - CR 2,605
  3. Pippera - Sniper - CR 910
  4. Phirella - Powertech - CR 611
  5. Vhiallia - Jedi Sage - CR 523
  6. Vahnora - Sith Sorcerer - CR 498
  7. Ferok'ia - Sith Juggernaut - CR 435
  8. Jehnira - Vanguard - CR 353
  9. Vihala Relles - Jedi Sage - CR 324
Because of the nature of Command, these numbers aren't at all indicative of the amount of times these characters have actually been used throughout 5.0. Notably, my Powertech is fourth on the list because she is the one who I funnelled various CXP packs to when I decided to start acquiring 248 Hunter / Trooper gear. While she did see a fair bit of use, I don't think she would have advanced much beyond CR 200 in her natural play-time. 

To further illustrate this point, my second Sage Vihala has only been in-existence since mid-August yet she had almost managed to catch up to Jehnira, a character who has been in existence now for just over two years. Both characters gained CXP largely from doing their class stories and any quests they could find along the way, but Jehn still has the advantage due to doing ever so slightly more stuff after the fact while Vi still has got a few things left to catch up on. If either character had relied on CXP packs alongside this, they would likely both be closer to where Fero and Vahnie are. 

Additionally, this list does only include characters who reached CR 300. There are two characters who got to 70 who would still have earned their own Command crates, but the only one of those who would likely have got into double-figures wouldn't have got all too far (I want to say he got to about CR 40). 

Still, I find it quite amusing that my Guardian ended up being highest of all, given that she was actually the second character to hit CR 300. Due to the above factors I genuinely can't begin to estimate whether she saw more use than Cal, but I know the two are the most-played of all nine characters.

I'm looking forward to not needing to keep this list going throughout Onslaught. Even if one of my characters does manage to hit RR 999, it won't be for a while. Every character will conveniently have their Renown number increasing up until that point, so that's a large part of my work already done. 

Although, if they do decide to reset Renown Ranks sporadically as they've hinted at in the past, that may require a bit of list-making... 

I'll cross that bridge when it comes.


Revisiting the Consular

Although I started what seemed like a recurring series of posts relating to the various goings-on on the Onslaught PTS, it eventually became clear that this sort of thing would stop being viable pretty quickly. I had already seen several things I'd reported on be changed within a day or two after a post about the PTS and changes were becoming more substantial and reasonably fast-flowing as time went on.

Besides, it's only (theoretically) a week until 6.0 launches anyway, so to make another post so soon to the apparent deadline, when things may yet still change drastically compared to where they were on the PTS, is just horribly impractical. As such, most of my thoughts from the past however-many-updates are being collated into a "The Good, The Bad, and The Eeehhhhhs" post for a few weeks after 6.0's launch. 

Today's post, therefore, is to be on a different subject altogether. For the past two months, I've been taking a brand-new Consular through their class story.

The Consular's is not by any means my least-played story or not even the one that is the most outstanding; the latter honour goes to my Gunslinger (I think) while the former honour used to be shared across five classes; Agent, Consular, Inquisitor, Knight, and Smuggler. I've played through each of these stories in-full twice each, and the only reason why my Hunter, Trooper, and Warrior have seen more is due to my relatively turbulent history with individual characters of those classes.

Two things factor into why I decided to replay the Consular storyline. The first is because, well, my current 'main' Sage is an instant-60 so therefore lacks any class titles. The second is because the last playthrough wasn't really 'mine'; I shared the majority of the story with a friend who took their new Shadow along for the ride. Apart from forever searing my eyes with how absolutely nightmarish their character was, this meant that I never really had much opportunity to really memorise the story as a lot of the time it was drowned out either by us making silly screenshots or comparing the Light and the Dark perspectives.

Of course, that's not to say that I didn't take the opportunity to recreate the aforementioned screenshot when the time came...

Both of these points also essentially means that, now that Consular companions have been trickling back into the game, I had a particularly outdated viewpoint on every single one of them. I was keen, therefore, to not only experience an individual Consular playthrough again and to see what new things I would pick up this time around to relay back to the recent new stuff.