Remember that post I made last week about finding moderation in MMO gaming? About resisting the temptation to “keep up with the joneses” outside of my adult lifestyle and being responsible? Yeah, so.. between 1pm on Saturday and 4:30pm on Sunday, I went from level 46.5 to 50 in SWTOR.
To be fair, it was actually an entirely planned gaming binge. Last weekend was an oasis of spare time, and the next few weeks look pretty busy. I wanted to get to 50 and be done with it. Also, I know from experience that when you don’t have much time it’s a lot easier to maintain a level-capped character than to level one.
Long story short, a pot of coffee and two energy drinks later I hit 50 after losing a game of Huttball, which seemed strangely appropriate. The best method of power-levelling I found was running the daily Heroic-4 and Heroic-2 quests on Corellia. Of particular note for fellow Imps is the quest Prison Busting, which has an associated bonus quest to kill 60 elite inmates. Grab three friends and knock it out — this area alone accounted for half of my level 59 XP bar.
Because my guild is both awesome and insane, literally 10 minutes after hitting 50 I found myself inside Eternity Vault. It was my first time there, of course, although most of the raid had been there before. A quick rundown of impressions by boss:
First Boss Guy – Not very difficult to heal. This fight involves getting out of line of sight of a missle barrage ability and not standing in things that really look like you shouldn’t stand in them. I actually got to use Recuperative Nanotech/Kolto Cloud in a way that was useful for the first time ever! Talent point validated! (Sigh.)
Lava Guy – This is exactly the kind of fight I love to do: there’s environmental awareness and moving, but not in a “you turned 2 degrees too much to the left so everyone dies now” way. Running, jumping, a few add waves to keep it interesting. This was a good time.
Pylon Boss – I was a little worried when we split the raid into two even groups, leaving me the sole healer for my team, but it turned out okay. For this boss, from what I can tell, we all just kill things like usual while two people do all the tricky puzzle bits. The mobs hit hard, so be prepared to laugh and battle rez (yes! me! with a BR!) if a DPS pulls aggro. I have no idea what the puzzle guys were doing, but it worked!
Individual Boss – You know, the idea for this boss is really simple but unusual. Basically everyone gets a mob and has to kill it. Tanks get the ones with the lowest HP, healers the next highest, and then of course DPS get the toughest. Someone starts the fight, your dude comes to life, and you have to kill it before he enrages and kills everyone. You cannot heal anyone else or assist them with their dude in any way. Go! Me and my awesome 10-minutes-old gear wiped the raid the first time, much to everyone’s amusement, but on the second attempt both I and my target died at the same moment and we won. (Note to self: Remember fighting Leo in SSC? Get some Accuracy trinkets or something, noob.)
Soa, the talky boss – A pretty epic fight! We did not kill this dude, but we will. There’s giant falling stairs you have to hope down and balls of lightning that follow you around and a “mind trap” with a dude you have to kill and occasionally tthe boss will whirl you around the room. It’s totally chaotic but not unreasonably so, and as a bonus you occasionally get to see your guildies jump to their deaths. I’m curious what Bioware had in mind when they designed this fight: are you supposed to run it until you remember where each piece falls so you can take the most efficient route down, or just wing it?
All in all, I’m actually pretty impressed with the encounter design in Eternity Vault. It was pretty easy at Normal difficulty (definitely designed with pugs in mind), and the mechanics themseves were familar but presented in new ways. Perhaps it’s just because the game is young, but there was no crazy boss crap for crazy’s sake, which is kind of the direction I think raiding is going in WoW.
So 90 minutes after hitting level cap I had killed 4 of the 5 bosses in Eternity Vault, earned two huge upgrades (hat and boots), and gained a bunch of weird new currencies from raid and PvP.
Then I went to bed. :)
Quick reminder that RIFT is trying to set a World Record today for Most In-Game Weddings in 24 Hours. I don’t have much time to visit Telara right now, but I will definitely be logging on later and marrying Accolade off to a friend! Trion is a nice company that tries hard, and they allowed same sex marriages in their game right off the bat (hi Bioware why won’t you let me love Kaliyo) so I will definitely participate and hope y’all to do so as well. Here are someone’s RIFT wedding photos if you need a little help to get in the marrying mood.