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  1. #1

    Level 50 Beta End Game Review - Final Build

    Background
    I have been in MMOs for over a decade and have played roughly 75% of released boxed MMOs and beta tested many. Been a WoW guild/raid leader for last ~3 years and completed all normal mode content and ~ 20% heroic mode content while current in all raiding tiers pre 4.2. I am an avid poster on these forums and have been following the game for several years, huge Star Wars fan and love BW games. I have been in the beta for the previous 6 weeks and leveled an Imperial Agent Operative to max level, these are my experiences and opinions at max level in the recent build of beta. This is by no means comprehensive and omits subjects like companion gearing/affection, Space Combat, RP elements, and some other aspects of the game and is just a snapshot of level 50 from my eyes with roughly 30 hours played at 50.

    Things to do at level 50

    Solo Quest Play
    Go back and complete missed quests on previous planets + bonus series quests (credits + codex + legacy xp)
    Go out and search the world for datacrons (codex + stat boosts)
    Go to Ilum and do quests, there are dailies (credits + legacy + commendations for level 50 epic gear)

    Opinion
    Solo quest play will last a while into 50 simply to clear up missed quests and codex entries. However ongoing content seems to be limited to Ilum dailies, and repeatable H2s that can be solod. Nothing special here and not surprising IMO, a daily grind with gear rewards and a long grind seemingly looking at the vendor. This could use some improvements.

    Group (4man) Play
    Go back and complete H4s on the planets that you might have missed and bonus series quests (credits + codex + legacy xp + commendations)
    Run level 50 normal flashpoints (gear drops + credits + codex + legacy xp + correlia commendations)
    Run level 50 hard mode flashpoints ( gear + credits + legacy xp, +tionese crystals,+hard mode commendations, +bop crafting drops)

    Opinion
    H4s - Did not seem like a great deal on Ilum, although I might have missed some of them since I was trying to touch base on all aspects of level 50. Would like to see more H4 quests at end game with some dynamic rewards, H4s are challenging and really fun overall.

    Level 50 flashpoints - really entertaining and fairly well tuned. Trash is almost always faceroll except for a few cases where CC is required. Some bosses are pushovers and some can be really difficult, another tuning overpass would do these some good. Correlia commendations can be saved up to purchase ~ 48 blue gear or you can spend 36 on a level 50 random artifact(epic) box.

    Hard mode FPs - need a tuning overpass also. Most of the bosses have a pretty strict enrage timers that can be difficult to meet with fresh 50s. I ran as healer (there weren’t many at all on Darth Malak apparently) with a group a well geared level 50s in a mix of artifacts and blue level 49-50 gear and we hit the enrage on almost every boss that had one. Without parsing or combat log ability this could be very frustrating to new players. Each boss drops crystals which are a currency for level 50 artifact gear and last boss drops a BoP high end crafting item. Each HM FP awards a commendation that is another currency that can be traded for gear.

    TL;DR- The hard mode FPs and gear currency system reminded me of WoW BC heroics and badge system in a way. I have decided I like this aspect of the game and gearing up will definitely take time. The currency’s and the cost on vendors look to be a 7-10 instance cost per item (roughly).

    Multi Group (8man, 16man and 24man)
    Go out and form raids to take out world bosses (gear + legacy xp + codex + currency?)
    Go out and form raids to complete Operations (gear + legacy xp + codex + cuirrency?)

    Opinion
    World Bosses - I did not have the opportunity to kill a level 50 world boss so I am unsure of the extra rewards for killing one of these, however I did heal in a raid group that killed an upper 30s world boss on one of the planets. The world boss encounters are fun, getting 24 folks together to kill one of these, buffing up and trying to engage in an open world aspect reminded me of my EQ days of no instances. The encounter was pretty fun and hopefully this translates into the level 50 versions. My worry here is that if the rewards are too good then these spawns will be perma camped by raiding guilds and there will be no chance in random folks pulling together to get a kill, we shall see how this goes.

    Operations – I was able to get into a raid group for EV as heals. We went and tried this boss on 16 man normal mode and it was insanely overtuned, damage going out was insane and undoable so we split into two 8 man groups to try to get some attempts in. The people I was running with had done it in the previous build and said it was faceroll easy then, however it was not faceroll when I was in the raid. The pull took some coordination between the 2 tanks to pick up adds and CCs to hit the turrets, the first 10 seconds was pretty crucial and tanks/heals and cc had to be on their toes. The boss itself has straightforward mechanics that were very clear and it was obvious what to do at what moment. We did several attempts and progressed to get him down to ~10% when he started doing an overtuned aoe rocket ability that wiped the raid. Other folks cheesed the mechanic by LOS’ing the entire enrage portion and having a tank with CDs and spam heals burn through the final health.

    TL;DR – The raiding felt comfortable and enjoyable. The challenge level of this encounter was good for a group of 8 folks coordinated in voice chat. My guess was the previous build was testing the bottom tier difficulty (that can be pugged w no gear) and what we were testing was the next tier up that requires more coordination. I have watched videos of the other fights and mechanics look similar to what we have seen elsewhere and their implementation looks good (outside of bugs of course) I think they have some work to do on operations before the first guilds hit 50, hopefully this will happen.

    Crafting
    Go out and farm materials or send companion on mission for crafting (+materials, +credits)
    Run HM FPs to get BoP crafting ingredients (+gear,+currencies, +credits, +legacy xp)

    Opinion
    Each crafting profession has numerous items they can make for end game. Some of these require the BoP drops from HM FPs. As an artifice I was able to craft a level 50 artifact relic after gathering a BoP alloy and some artifact quality gems. It is nice to be able to craft yourself viable gear that will last. Some of the material costs seem ridiculously high though, such as a level 48 LS pattern that took 3 of the BoP alloy, these probably need another overpass also. Reverse engineering the final tier of green patterns seemed to take forever for me to discover the blue versions (~15-20 RE’s each time) and I could not gather enough materials to test RE’ing the blue versions. Other crafters claim that getting a critical success on artifact quality BoP gear yields operation quality gear, I have not confirmed this but it seems like a cool idea.

    TL;DR – Crafting is pretty grindy, however I personally feel it should be that way, although some of the requirements need to be adjusted on particular recipes and possible a way to deal with the RNG of mission based gathering, possibly a vendor where you can trade in a gear currency for materials?

    PvP
    Go out to Outlaws Den on Tat for FFA Group PvP (possible 20 merc chest)
    Go out to Ilum and participate in open world PvP (+merc coms, +credits for dailies, +PvP box for daily,+buff to WZ valor)
    Go into Warzones (+legacy XP, +credits, +valor, +warzone coms,+codex)

    Outlaws Den – Fun little area in Tat, high level gathering nodes and chance at chest with 20 merc comms. You can kill anyone not grouped with you, has buffs similar to warzones and PvP vendors. This has the potential to be pretty cool, the 20 merc chest is not enough to lure people out here though and it is usually pretty barren. It is fun to come here and gather since you can kill anyone who is competition for nodes, on either faction.

    Ilum – The battle of Ilum needs some work, its huge and looks to be designed for massive amounts of folks to partake in (50-100 on each side). There are gathering nodes in here also which can draw some people in, however for the most part it was pretty barren. Scheduled battle of Ilums might go a long way into making this more fun and the only time I saw a good amount of people was during a scheduled event which had maybe 40 on each side. There is a daily that asks you to basically turn 5 objectives from republic to imperial side, and this can be done regardless of who controls ilum if there are people turning objectives back and forth. The area is absolutely huge though and takes a while to move between objectives. There is tons of potential for really fun PvP, if they tweak it and make it rewarding outside of the dailiy which awards an Artifact PvP chest.

    Warzones – Each warzone gives +valor toward your valor rank and wz commendation (50-75). People know about WZs so I won’t talk too much about this, at 50 you pretty much do the same shit you did at lower level except you get Legacy XP instead of normal and I don’t recall if the credit amount scales or not, they might give more credits too.

    Gearing – The PVP gearing system needs some work, badly. Currently the way to achieve end game PvP gear is through Artifact quality chests. Champions chests are a reward from the Ilum daily and purchasable on vendors for 200 WZ coms and 200 Merc Coms per 1 box. The Merc coms come from open world PvP on Ilum and from the chest in O Den. The rariry of Merc Coms means that in order to hit the amount required to purchase a box you have to trade in WZ coms at a rate of 3 to 1 per merc com. This basically raises the price of 1 Champions artifact chest to 800 WZ coms (the cap is 1k btw). On the same vendor there are also Battlemasters chest which contain higher quality PvP gear, these are the same cost as the Champions except they require you have Rank 60 Valor in order to open.

    Upon opening the chest you will get 1-3 Centurion coms (currency for Centurion PvP gear which is another set of higher quality gear on par with Battlemasters) and a chance at a random pvp gear token that can be turned in for a piece of gear (you can choose the stat breakdowns basically). So you can open a chest and get nothing but Cent coms, or you can open a chest and get a piece of gear you already have. This comes down to RNG and can be rough. I only opened a total of 9 of these chests, 4 were just coms, 4 were gear I could use, and 1 was a duplicate piece I already had (yay companions amirite?).

    TL;DR The system needs some work, I don’t mind the grind, the RNG can be infuriating though especially with duplicate pieces. Open world PvP needs some tweaking so Merc coms can be obtained on a more regular basis. At this point you will see PvP people sitting in the same 3 warzones all day to farm this gear, which has a ton of RNG to completing a complete set.

    Final Thoughts
    If you thought that TOR was going to be incredibly new and innovative at max level and reinventing the wheel you will be sadly disappointed. If you are looking for existing end game methods and structures with a new setting, increased difficulty, and in the hands of BW you should give TOR end game a chance.

    Leveling from 1-50 in this game is stellar and hands down the best experience you can have in an MMO.
    They have the framework in place to make playing at level 50 incredibly fun. Major changes to the PvP gear system is needed and a tuning pass of hard mode FPs and crafting schematics is necessary at this point as well as dealing with Operation bugs. Lets hope BW can deliver on their promises post launch and fix some of the apparent issues so TOR can grow into a lasting experience that any Star Wars OR MMO fan could enjoy.
    Last edited by jearle; 2011-12-06 at 02:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Thanks for the info there, a lot was new to me.

    Cant comment on most of it, as I didnt get past lvl 20, but one point on illum: I think it will get pretty busy after release, as the endgame will be a little lacking and it seems like a place pvpers will head towards. If it is fun of course.

  3. #3
    The Patient thenextaverageguy's Avatar
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    Great read Jearle! Cannot wait for launch!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by jearle View Post
    If you thought that TOR was going to be incredibly new and innovative at max level and reinventing the wheel you will be sadly disappointed. If you are looking for existing end game methods and structures with a new setting, increased difficulty, and in the hands of BW you should give TOR end game a chance.

    Leveling from 1-50 in this game is stellar and hands down the best experience you can have in an MMO.
    They have the framework in place to make playing at level 50 incredibly fun. Major changes to the PvP gear system is needed and a tuning pass of hard mode FPs and crafting schematics is necessary at this point as well as dealing with Operation bugs. Lets hope BW can deliver on their promises post launch and fix some of the apparent issues so TOR can grow into a lasting experience that any Star Wars OR MMO fan could enjoy.
    This annoys me, the bit in bold. Its ok to sit there and say you have been in the beta , max out levelling but in all due respect the game aint even out yet so i think its safe to say no one knows what they have planned for max level apart from whats already in the game.
    Lets not forget when wow came out it was crap when you look back at it, i mean the first major update for me was the new dungeon Mauradon, then came Dire maul with Molten core and ony being end game content....now look at what we have ran through and done in the last 7 years.
    I think its safe to say there will be plenty to do , will be it completely different? maybe ... maybe not depends what bioware add into it and change, far too many people thinking it will be 100% diff than every other mmo when the fundamental basics of a mmo are all pretty much the same in every game.

    There is an old saying...'You dont have to make something different...you just have to make it better!' , pretty much what alot of large companies do when you look at certain things out on the market...yes including wow, it was all dont before but blizzard took the idea and just made it better no matter how much the idiots on this forum want to sit there and give it all the 'Wow never cloned this , wow never took ideas from anywhere its all new innotive shit , swtor stole/cloned from wow bla bla fucking bla'.
    Last edited by BatteredSausage; 2011-12-05 at 05:37 PM.

  5. #5
    Taking a recipe that is proven to work and expanding on it to make it better is a good thing IMO. It is really what I personally was looking for in an MMO.

    I'm sorry to part you bolded annoys you, but it is simply the experience I had in the beta up to this point, which upon release is probably what you can expect to see. Where do they go from here? Well that is truely up to the BW devs and they could change this and go in a totally different direction. But to think that the game is reinventing the wheel and will be totally different from anything ever made could lead to disappointment, which is why I was being honest in my opinion.
    Last edited by jearle; 2011-12-05 at 05:43 PM.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the write up. Some nice info there.

    Hopefully they make that pvp gear acquisition less rng and awkward. And hopefully they add combat logs so we can figure out how to down those bosses with enrage timers. Over the last weekend beta I asked for a combat log in every feedback box that popped up.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BatteredSausage View Post
    This annoys me, the bit in bold. Its ok to sit there and say you have been in the beta , max out levelling but in all due respect the game aint even out yet so i think its safe to say no one knows what they have planned for max level apart from whats already in the game.
    Lets not forget when wow came out it was crap when you look back at it, i mean the first major update for me was the new dungeon Mauradon, then came Dire maul with Molten core and ony being end game content....now look at what we have ran through and done in the last 7 years.
    I think its safe to say there will be plenty to do , will be it completely different? maybe ... maybe not depends what bioware add into it and change, far too many people thinking it will be 100% diff than every other mmo when the fundamental basics of a mmo are all pretty much the same in every game.

    There is an old saying...'You dont have to make something different...you just have to make it better!' , pretty much what alot of large companies do when you look at certain things out on the market...yes including wow, it was all dont before but blizzard took the idea and just made it better no matter how much the idiots on this forum want to sit there and give it all the 'Wow never cloned this , wow never took ideas from anywhere its all new innotive shit , swtor stole/cloned from wow bla bla fucking bla'.
    Its an opinion of what is available now. We all know MMOs will grow as time goes on, but he cant see the future (i think).

  8. #8
    ye that was my point, im not bashing op it was a good read, prob came off a bit wrong ill admit that.
    Thats why i said what i said in my second paragraph about making something better, thats all they have to do, i mean you will still have your grind and other things that we do in todays mmo's , but thats down to what bioware have installed. I hope they add some proper interesting things to it and make end game more interested that what were doing now in current mmo's.
    Im cant wait for release , and i also hope that bioware HAVE thought this out and have some proper top notch stuff to do at end game and beyond

  9. #9
    Good read, although I'm a little concerned there are too many currencies and it's going to be confusing/convoluted to figure out what goes with what to get what. But that may all just be because I'm not familiar with the system yet.

  10. #10
    Getting PvP gear is a bummer. Total domination by geared players in open PvP?

  11. #11
    Nice post. A lot of that was new to me.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Deviltry View Post
    Getting PvP gear is a bummer. Total domination by geared players in open PvP?
    I think the gear difference was more apparent in Warzones. I think they will have to do a firm splitting of brackets shortly after launch or something. The bolster system works pretty well if you have a level 15 go against a level 40 or so. But a PvP geared 50 will destroy that 15 and probably 2 of his friends before going down.

    I think full PvP gear gave ~ 12-15% damage reduction to player damage or something, I tried to calculate it based of # of pieces. I asked one of the healers but they wouldn't tell me. Maybe someone here got a full set and could share. The damage output of DPS goes through the roof though and thats a huge difference.

    Huge issue with World PvP is companions can be used, I forgot to mention that in the post. There has been lots of feedback on that topic on boards.
    Last edited by jearle; 2011-12-07 at 03:43 AM.

  13. #13
    Pit Lord philefluxx's Avatar
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    Well written Jearle and non-biased

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by harkonen View Post
    Thanks for the info there, a lot was new to me.

    Cant comment on most of it, as I didnt get past lvl 20, but one point on illum: I think it will get pretty busy after release, as the endgame will be a little lacking and it seems like a place pvpers will head towards. If it is fun of course.
    Its about time you got a proper avatar =)

  14. #14
    Thanks for the info. I was looking for the mechanisms behind getting the high level pvp gear. I'm not liking the RNG, but it is something that they can easily change if there is need for it.

  15. #15
    All of this seems pretty fun. I only got to do the first flashpoint, but I loved the story tie in and that your decisions change the course of the encounter. I hope that they keep that going to max level!

    Thanks you for all the info!

  16. #16
    Scarab Lord Loaf Lord's Avatar
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    The reason I was able to love this game from the get go was the fact that I knew and understood this game wasn't going to break the mould by much and stick to the traditional MMO style. People who were expecting something revolutionary and game breaking will complain, but then again it's their own fault for ignoring the obvious. I believe SWTOR is an evolution, not a revolution.

  17. #17
    Fluffy Kitten Forsedar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerendfs View Post
    Good read, although I'm a little concerned there are too many currencies and it's going to be confusing/convoluted to figure out what goes with what to get what. But that may all just be because I'm not familiar with the system yet.
    The currencies act in 'stages'. Once you hit max level, you will typically only have currencies for PvP and PvE. Currently in WoW, there are multiple different types. There are 2 for PvE and 2 for PvP, not to mention random tokens you get for the Darkmoon Faire as well as other places. Once you're 50, you'll be well aware of what you have and don't have and what you need.

  18. #18
    The Insane Glorious Leader's Avatar
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    It's good to know theirs options for things to do at lvl 50. A great platform for them to extend and add more over time. Great review thank you.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by jearle View Post
    I think the gear difference was more apparent in Warzones. I think they will have to do a firm splitting of brackets shortly after launch or something. The bolster system works pretty well if you have a level 15 go against a level 40 or so. But a PvP geared 50 will destroy that 15 and probably 2 of his friends before going down.

    I think full PvP gear gave ~ 20-25% damage reduction to player damage or something, I tried to calculate it based of # of pieces. I asked one of the healers but they wouldn't tell me. Maybe someone here got a full set and could share. The damage output of DPS goes through the roof though and thats a huge difference.

    Huge issue with World PvP is companions can be used, I forgot to mention that in the post. There has been lots of feedback on that topic on boards.
    ...companions in world pvp?

    D

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Deviltry View Post
    ...companions in world pvp?

    D
    Yes, IMO its terrible.

    There was some great OWPVP on Darth Malak server last night between Emps and Reps on Tatooine, we were grouping up in 16-24 man raids to go at them, they stayed in smaller groups so their companions stayed out, it was like they had a mini army of companions. Interesting use of game mechanics.

    I think they should be dismissed in the PvP area of Ilum and Outlaws Den.

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