1.2 Pets and Rakghouls: SWTOR Is Worth Revisiting
Bragging time: Over the weekend an article I wrote last year about being a newbie disc priest on the WoW Arena Tournament server was published on PC Gamer. I feel all legit and stuff!
As someone who was kind of skeptical about SWTOR — I think it’s a great game for altoholics, but I am a single-character kinda gal — I have to admit that patch 1.2 has brought a lot of fun back into the game for me. The patch included a number of huge “quality of life” improvements, some of which I didn’t even realize I was missing, and feels much more like the game I suspect they would have liked to release back in December.
I feel a little sorry for Bioware now, honestly. I think there is no way their game could have lived up to its considerable pre-launch hype, but if they had launched with 1.2 included it would have been better recieved. (To be clear I think SWTOR was buggy, but undeserving of the angry mob treatment.) Folks often say that new MMOs are unreliable and should be avoided during their first six months, but that old chestnut seems to always be forgotten when something new comes along.
I know I advocate not taking any crap from your game distributor, but as has been argued to me in the past MMOs are as much a service as a product and it takes a little time for a new service company to find their feet.
Better late than never, I suppose, and 1.2 is definitely better. Being able to scale down and move around my UI instantly made me feel less claustrophobic, and speeders in space ports removed a lot of the tedium of getting around. As if that wasn’t all enough, along with 1.2 has come the first world event: Rakghoul plague outbreak! I’ve often criticized SWTOR for ignoring the lessons of its predecessors, but I definitely see elements of WoW’s pre-WotLK zombie outbreak in all this and as a fan of that event I could not be happier.
I’ll leave a detailed guide of the Rakghoul event to those who know what they’re doing, but to get started just head on over to Tattooine. Strange things are afoot in your faction’s space port city, and I very much enjoyed driving around and checking out what some of the weird new NPCs were up to. I stumbled on the daily (I believe) questline out in the dunes, and while repetitive daily quests are not necessarily my thing they were fun to go through at least once.
And of course what’s a plague without spreading it to others? If your character starts feeling.. lightheaded, say, you might consider porting back to the Fleet and standing in a large group of people for a while. (kaBOOM!) Apparently along with the dailies infecting others will earn you event currency which can be exchanged at vendors for fancy weapon color crystals, a pet, and most importantly to me a random companion plague customization kit. Turning companions into horrible zombies? All over it!
There’s also a separate quest (“Tracking the Origins”) during the event to get one of three different rakghouls. Cute or interesting pets are one of the reasons I love MMOs, so I was pretty interested in this. It turns out there are a few different types of pets out there that I had no idea existed, including orobirds and baby tauntauns. Collector tendencies: ACTIVATED.
As someone who tends to concentrate on one character the Legacy stuff is of varying interest to me, but I do like that it gives me projects to work on like earning maximum affection with all companions, and that was something that I felt was really missing with the lack of achievements.
Along with all this, Bioware has given 30 free days of game access to any players with a paid account and a character level 50 or legacy level 8 character, a free week to anyone who previously had an active account, and a free weekend to everyone else. I think a lot of people checked out SWTOR in the first week and perhaps wandered away for whatever reason, but if you intended to revisit the game “later” I totally recommend doing it now.