Slightly Darker Side
One of the ways I have differed so far from my friends, is that I cannot seem to bring myself to do ONLY the class story line. As a result I am ridiculously over leveling the content, and last night I worked on finishing up Nar Shaddaa. I’ve been enamored with the concept of the vertical city since first experiencing it in Dark Forces. In SWTOR Nar Shaddaa is the darker and more disturbing cousin of Coruscant and provides a very similar leveling experience. You travel through hub sections of the city until you end up in Shadow Town and resolve the central conflict of the story and your class quest. As a Smuggler this setting feels extremely at home, and as you might expect I do in fact get into plenty of trouble with Bounty Hunters and Hutts. Generally speaking when I have played SWTOR in the past, I am extremely light side focused. In fact I generally have trouble not choosing the “blue” option on any quest dialog. As a Smuggler however… I am finding it a little easier to choose that “red” option.
I guess I am ultimately playing my version of Han Solo… the goodnatured lovable scoundrel. When lives of innocents are on the line, I always end up choosing the “right” option and get those light side points. However when I am in a situation where I serve to profit greatly by looking the other way… I find myself “playing the character” and finding it significantly easier to to take those dark side points… and console myself with a pile of credits. Similarly if I have been double crossed… or if someone is doing something truly heinous… I find it oh so satisfying to take that [Attack Them] option. Horrific Imperial Scientist gene splicing people? Nope! Blaster to the head with you! Try and talk my way out of a bounty hunter? Nope! Blaster to the head with you! My weakness seems to be damsels in distress however… because I know right now I am walking into a big trap but I am having to play it off like my character would. It will also likely end up giving me another opportunity for sweet sweet revenge… which I am sure I will be unable to resist taking dark side points for. Thankfully I have diplomacy as a Crew Skill… and even though it is likely at the end of a blaster… it helps to repair all those dark side points.
Cavalcade of Commendations
One of the good changes while not playing the game, is the fact that they standardized the planetary commendation system. Now when you complete anything you have the option of simply taking “basic commendations” instead of the planet specific ones, and at the same time they have increased the total number you get before fifty exponentially. This means that I am constantly swimming in a good supply of them, and I could probably constantly upgrade my moddable gear… but I am finding that I don’t really need to. Since I am using Treek as my tank and she came with a full set of mod gear, and I managed to piece together a workable set from the GTN and the pilot packs… it allows me to pretty much ignore every quest reward and just go for more commendations. Since I am quite overleveled I was 21 before leaving Coruscant, at which point I went to the fleet and kitted out both armor for myself and Treek in the best modifications I could find at the time. This rather easily carried me through until the end of Nar Shadda, at which point I dinged 30 and repeated the same process with level 29 gear. If I can continue this process of upgrading my gear “every other planet” I should be in really good shape to have a pile of commendations for other upgrades.
Last night I spent some of my pile of credits on making myself look cooler. At some point they added in dye slots to the gear, which allows you to “socket” a dye that comes in either single color or dual tone combinations. Most of the really cool combinations are exorbitantly expensive, but I found one I could live with that was black and grey for roughly 40,000 credits. Then I went searching for a really cool gun, and found this one that is originally a cartel item… that folks were selling fairly reasonably on the market. The gun you end up with at the end of the starter zone is functional but not that cool looking… so I was more than happy to cast aside “Flashy”. I dig the fact that it looks like the blaster rifles that some of the troopers have. It fits my shoot first, ask questions later style of playing the “Sawbones” healer. I have long said that “looking cool” makes your character feel cool, and I am pretty happy with my Chiss Smuggler. I am extremely happy that I re-rolled him ages ago as a Chiss instead of yet another human. I am starting to develop this “savior of the aliens” rep in my questing choices, which is kinda awesome since people keep pointing out the fact that I am another “alien scum”. Still having a surprising amount of fun playing through the Smuggler storyline that I ultimately missed at launch.