I have previously written an initial review of the Knights of the Eternal Throne Story. Now that I’ve had a chance to play the rest of what Game Update 5.0 has to offer, I figured it was about time I collect my thoughts.
If I could sum up how I feel about 5.0 in one word, it would be: conflicted.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the KOTET story and am enjoying PvPing again, I (still) do not like the Galactic Comand System gearing system at all. Honestly, if they had left gearing as it was pre 5.0, this would have been a somewhat decent Game Update. All that would be missing is new Operations and more Guild focused stuff (as per usual).
It has been a very long time since I’ve enjoyed PvP as much as I am now. They’ve finally given Mercenary’s defensive cooldowns that are on par with other classes. Mercenary healing has never felt better. I know there are a lot of people complaining about Mercenary’s but to me, it’s no different then Sorcerers in 4.0. There was a lot of bitching about Sorcerer’s and how they were hard to kill back then. I’m sure it’ll be like then and people will eventually get over it and move on. Honestly, Mercenary’s aren’t that hard to kill on their own it just requires more patience then the majority are used to. I guess most are just salty that can’t get an easy kill from a Mercenary anymore.
Yes, when there are multiple good Mercenary’s on the one team, it is frustrating. But honestly, how often does that happen? Not a lot. Most people playing Mercenaries at the moment are pretty bad anyway. They’ll get bored of their FOTM reroll in time.
It is just as I predicted, the ultimate lottery, RNG grind fest. I am still 100% against it. I feel it is an absurd way to distribute gear. It is not fun. Yes, you can do whatever you like for a chance to maybe get gear but it is a tedious, stressful, slow way to gear for endgame. Half of the time you don’t get anything of value or use to you and you’re lucky to get a decent piece of gear with set bonus.
If you supplement the RNG grind with crafting, it takes some of the pressure off. You can craft all the mods and enhancements you need and just leave your old set bonus armourings in from pre 5.0 until you get the higher level set bonus armourings. But getting the mats you need takes time and is a grind in of itself.
It is no secret that the Galactic Command System is not alt friendly. I have become a victim of this oversight. See, I’m one of those people who likes to swap around to different characters. I can’t just play the same character for hours on end I have to switch it up. This means that I have not gotten that many Command Ranks, my highest ranked character is rank 25 with my next highest at 19. It’s so frustrating because I really want to play some of my other characters but I know once I get them to 70 it will take me forever to gear them (even if I crafted) so I am less inclined to play them.
The interface for Galactic Command is quite handy and pretty. It’s nice to see an interface that brings together almost all types of content you can do in SWTOR in one spot.
I maintain my original sentiment from pre 5.0 that Galactic Command should be a fluff system, a bonus way for subscribers to get cool stuff and a little gear. It should be a supplementary way to get gear, though, not the sole way to get gear.
Dark vs. Light
On my server the Harbinger, up until recently, the Light Side ALWAYS BLOODY WON. It’s was so annoying! Now since Patch 5.0.1, it seems to be working more as intended with the Dark Side having now had a couple of wins on the Harbinger. It is certainly a nice system that adds ‘more’ to the game. Hopefully, they will add more items to the Light and Dark vendors down the road to keep things ‘fresh’ or they could even make the items on the vendors seasonal? That would be pretty nice. Oh and please add some decorations to the vendors.
The DvL World Bosses associated with this system are quite fun! They are more mechanically challenging than the original World Bosses which is great to see. The DvL boss I did was not particularly melee friendly so I had to really be on my toes on my Marauder but I loved that. I hate just mindlessly DPSing. I like it when fights force players to be more aware of their surroundings.
Crafting is a lot more important in 5.0 which is good to see. However, this is a symptom of the very poorly designed and implemented RNG gearing system. The only way for players to have guaranteed gear to get them started is to craft. To get into crafting further, you have to grind out content to get the mats and higher level schematics needed to craft. So crafting, while helpful is basically a secondary grind on top of the RNG lottery gear grind fest.
I’ve done all five Uprisings in Veteran mode and I have to admit, they were quite fun! They’re fast paced, straight forward and logical. What do I mean by logical? There’s no tedious walking and unnecessary mob grinding. The encounters fit in with their setting and offer more realistic, fast-paced engagements which are refreshing and enjoyable, unlike Flashpoints.
I’ve always hated Flashpoints. They are long, tedious and not really worth the time and effort. There are too many trash mobs, most of them take a very long time and engagements are unrealistically spaced out.
Admittedly, I found Veteran Mode Uprisings to be too easy. Although I was in a group with players who knew how to gear their characters, how to play their classes and who had basic raid awareness skills. That’s all it takes to get through Veteran Mode. Hopefully, Master Mode will offer more challenge.
Changes I’d Like to See
Again, please please please please please bring in an alternate way to get gear that isn’t reliant on an RNG lottery grind fest.
CXP grant changes: They need to make completing Operation’s give a significant chunk of CXP. People want to do content in large groups with as many of their guildmates as possible, not be restricted to Uprisings. This could also help to negate ad farming practices for CXP in Operations.
They also need to seriously consider adding a galaxy wide chat for each faction. That way it’s easier to get groups together for DvL bosses and other content in the game.
We NEED new Operations and other Guild Content ASAP
I want content that I can do with more than 3 people of my choosing. Uprisings are fun but they can only be done in groups of four. I want to be able to do stuff with multiple people. I want new Operations. This is the type of content guilds need to thrive. Content that can be done with multiple members at once. While open world bosses (like the DvL ones) can be quite fun, they are not as challenging as instanced Operations or similar content. There is also the issue in the open world of other groups/guilds ninjaing bosses off of your group/guild. This has become quite a frustrating issue on the Harbinger server. Having new instanced content negates this issue and ensures everyone gets the chance to experience and complete the content.
What do you think of 5.0? Do you like the Galactic Command Gearing System?