There and Back Again

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The hills are alive, with the sound of--no, no, stop that, NO SINGING The hills are alive, with the sound of–no, no, stop that, NO SINGING

Over on the Inquisitor’s Roadhouse, Anexxia asks: “why the rush to 50?” Well, let me tell you who’s not rushing. There’s a story here.

Oh, how I love looking at Alderaan. I’m pretty well ready to go, though. It starts with Kyzur, a rotund miraluka Jedi Sage with a problem where his head clips through hoods. It took me 30-odd levels to realize I’d made a huge mistake. (Pardon the pun.) I just wasn’t having fun with the Sage playstyle at all. I loved the story, but evidently I am still primarily a melee player. Yet I still wanted to get my legacy. (Silly things are important to me.) So between levels 30 and 32, I tackled the first three quest hubs on Alderaan, then said “oh screw this” and did my story quest there, my end of act 1, picked my legacy out, and left Kyzur Epsilon Barsen’thor to take a well-earned rest on the Republic fleet.

Enter Jentra. Rolling out the door from day 1 as the action-oriented Shadow to Kyzur’s “let’s talk it out” Sage, I remembered why the Shadow/Assassin playstyle was the first one I played in beta. Fluid, fast, stealthy, loved it. I blew through Tython and Coruscant, slogged through Taris - which I am happy to say takes nowhere near as long the second time, mostly because you know where everything is - and was rolling through Nar Shaddaa’s first quest set when friend and NSTK guildmate Xindrola caught up to me. Somehow. Despite spending way too long on Taris. (Xin’s argument is that he was saving for a speeder because he’d blown a bunch of cash on investigation and armstech; upon being told that Nar Shaddaa was not the spread-out hot mess that is Taris, he hopped planet immediately.) I helped him catch up to me in the Kintan Kings quarter, then we duo’d the rest of Nar Shaddaa. All of it. To give you an idea how grossly overleveled we were at this point, we were able to immediately accept the Nar Shaddaa Bonus Series. (Level 28, I believe, is the minimum for that.)

We actually tried it at first, but it was slow going. “C’mon,” I said, “let’s just go to Tatooine.” And so we did. Everything fell before the combined might of a Shadow, a Commando, M1-4X, and Tharan Cedrax. Alderaan as well, which is where we left off last night - we still have the Glarus Valley quests, but he’s now completed his end of Act 1 and I’m doing mine tonight (again). But it was slow going at times. Xin’s still a bit new to MMOs (he played a little WoW, and I think someone talked him into FFXI because they were sadistic), so keeping him oriented in the right direction can be a challenge - I’m eager to kill Sand People for their rifles, while he’s busy trolling the wildlife by punting it into canyons with Concussion Charge, for instance. He still lives with family, so he (understandably) gets called away from the computer for minutes at a time - pretty frequently sometimes. Getting lost also happens occasionally. I want a leash sometimes.

We’re also still grossly overleveled. When we got to Alderaan, I was one level ahead, and every quest outside of my story content was grey. All of them. 5 XP apiece. Woohoo? (Even now, still at the last quest hub of Alderaan, I’m level 36. I’m pretty sure I’m at the high end of the level range for Balmorra.)

But on the upside, it’s a lot less boring than doing the same content again would be by myself. I get to see two stories for the price of one - 90% of the trooper stuff is available to me in Spectator Mode, and likewise for consular stuff for him. We have two crafters’ worth of crew skills available to us (granted, Armstech is really only useful for Tharan, but he is our healer). We can usually roll Heroic 4s with a combination of smart CC and, in one case, me kiting a boss around LIKE A BOSS.

And Social points? I am rolling in Social points. I’m 200 or so away from Social III. My Social points abruptly jumped during Tatooine; I was barely in Social I when I got there, but was at Social II and then some by the time we left - even before the bonus series.

Still, I wouldn’t characterize myself as being in a rush to 50. Pretty much the exact opposite. I am, however, in a rush to see something I haven’t seen before - I’ve been here before, and now I’m back again. Luckily, I’m on the verge of doing just that: every quest left on Alderaan is one I haven’t seen, as is every planet after Act I.


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