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New Player First Impressions and Questions

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > New Player Help
New Player First Impressions and Questions

PLynkes's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 07:10 AM | #1
Hello there, everyone. Totally new to this, not just SWTOR, but to MMORPGs in general, so please forgive me if I come over as the consummate village idiot. Never really saw the appeal of this kind of game before, but caught some trailers for this one somewhere and something about it sparked my imagination. So here I am, and for the most part I must say I'm enjoying it immensely.

My character's story-driven gaming experience is very enjoyable, I didn't know MMOs had this kind of stuff. The conversations are great, and I like the moral choices and various options for pleasing or teeing off your companions (as a fan of the Mass Effect games I feel really at home here). Quite soon I ran into someone to do heroics with, and this person was very helpful and kind. He/she babysat me through Hammer Station (just the two of us, which was pretty cool), did a few other missions with me, and without any prompting or wanting anything in return, made me an arse-kicking light sabre. A sabre I am still using quite a few levels later, because it is miles better than anything I can buy or currently gets dropped as loot. It's really nice to know there are people like this around who are helpful to newcomers. You do hear such horror stories about people acting like complete tools in this sort of game.

Only a few minutes in I was invited to join a guild: Had no idea actually what a guild even was, but I thought I'd give it a go (if only to be polite), and am glad I did. They were running World Boss Hunts so I went on one of those: On Tatooine and with low-level me with the paint still wet on my new spaceship. It was quite the odyssey just getting to the world boss and that felt an achievement. Lot of fun, but of course the World Boss killed me pretty quickly. I quite like being in the guild, for one thing having the guild members chattering away in the corner while I'm playing solo is almost like having someone along with you. The conversations are usually funny, and when they aren't they're informative about the game.

Well that's the good, but here's the not-so-good. Only two things, really: One, why is everyone in such a damn hurry? Playing an heroic mission with some other guys and we get to a conversation. Suddenly the group chat is full of...

Press spacebar to skip conversation
Press spacebar plz
Spacebar plz

Jeez, does it not occur to you that I might actually want to, you know, listen to the damn conversation before I pick an option? Seems to me that most people I meet are in one hell of a hurry to charge headlong off into the sunset towards that mythical 50th Level, rather than enjoying the journey reaching it. Why is that? I hear there isn't all that much to do when you actually get there.

It reminds me a little of this thing we had at a local food festival. It was called "The Ale Trail" and was basically a pub crawl. At each of thirteen or so participating pubs around the countryside where you bought a drink, you would get a stamp in your little book. If you did this at all the pubs you got an engraved commemorative beer glass at the end. I used to go on it with my brother and some other friends. He would spoil it by constantly fretting about getting to the next pub and trying to rush us, instead of enjoying the one we were in. I could never understand that, it even impaired his own enjoyment of the day, but he couldn't help himself.

Anyway, sometimes playing SWTOR I feel like I'm back on the Ale Trail with my brother. I appreciate that folks like to play in different ways, and some might be on a second, third or fourth play-through, but I do feel a little out of step with other players at times, even the nice ones who aren't constantly nagging me to hurry up and press Space.

The other downer is since getting to Balmorra nobody seems to be doing heroic missions. It was real easy to put a group together on Korriban and Dromund Kaas, but everyone seems to be soloing on Balmorra. Hardly any LFGs in the Social Window, and almost no responses when people ask in General Chat. I'm ready to leave the planet as far as my character story is concerned, but there are still seven or so heroics I haven't done, and I'd like to. Do I have to resign myself to the fact that I'm not going to get to do them? Would be a shame to miss out.

Finally, I have slight concerns about my rate of levelling. I seem to be at a much higher level than the planet I'm supposed to be on is designed for. I haven't been pursuing any kind of conscious power-levelling strategy, I've simply been playing the content that has been put in front of me. My concern is that the game will become too easy. Am I doing something wrong? The reason I'm a little worried is that I noticed I had missed an heroic mission on Dromund Kaas and so went back to do it (just felt like it). I totally curb-stomped these guys who previously could kill me just by looking at me. Their shots were literally just bouncing off me and doing no harm at all, while I slowly walked around dispatching them one by one. It was great fun to feel like such a baddass for a change (the person I was playing with thought it was hilarious), but obviously, if the whole game becomes like that it will get boring very quickly.

Do I need to worry about this? What should I do about it?

Really sorry this post has ending up being so long. It's just that I'm enjoying this game and my enthusiasm got the better of me a tad.

NightHawke's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 07:27 AM | #2
Welcome to SWTOR.

The leveling rate is off for some planets/classes. Sometimes you will be higher, other times you will be sucking wind cause you are too low. If you are too high, dont worry about it, just push on through. Too low, do some warzones/space missions to get that level up.

People seem to be in a hurry because it is not their first time doing that heroic/flashpoint. The stories are great, I do love them, but the 100th time doing Esseles has me.... twitching.

And finally, people dont normally do heroics on planets like Belsavis because they are gearing to get off that planet as soon as possible. And you normally only get 3 planetary commendations. For some it is worth it, for others, not so much. Because I think Belsavis has you near level 40? Or is that Balmora? Anyhow, PvP gear is usually gotten and they dont need any current gear to help them level/pvp.

Again, welcome to SWTOR, hope your stay is enjoyable.
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Live by the Sword,
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Rehneu's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 07:34 AM | #3
Nice read. The poster above pretty much summed up the answers well enough.

Welcome to TOR!

Blackardin's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 07:55 AM | #4
Well that's the good, but here's the not-so-good. Only two things, really: One, why is everyone in such a damn hurry? Playing an heroic mission with some other guys and we get to a conversation. Suddenly the group chat is full of...

Press spacebar to skip conversation
Press spacebar plz
Spacebar plz
Keep in mind that, at this point, many have already either leveled a few toons, or have done that particular heroic a number of times. There are also those with the "wow" mentality derived from cross server LFG tools that tend to allow one's focus to be central to only their needs and desires.

I too tend to push the space bar at times after leveling a number of characters. I space bar automatically on previous content, but at least have the courtesy to allow other to read it. Some are not so courteous.

I would just explain that it is your first time through and to bear with you. Any reasonable player would tend to do so. If they complain, or purvey any vitriol, I would either note or remember the name for future reference. If they become vile, I would report the conversation (there is a tool for this) and put them on ignore.

In regard to leveling, being slightly higher in level makes leveling a bit easier and quicker. You can pass on side quests and just focus on both your class quest and planet quest if you choose to "catch up" and move to the next planet. They are all categorized in your quest log and skipping side quests do not penalize or prevent you from proceeding. Planet quest do not either, but they are chain quests with a beginning and end.

May the Schwartz be with you....

PLynkes's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 08:58 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackardin View Post
Keep in mind that, at this point, many have already either leveled a few toons, or have done that particular heroic a number of times.
Yes, that occurred to me as I was writing my post, but it didn't at the time. Thankfully it didn't cause too much friction as someone else in the group had been making more of a nuisance of himself, firstly by generally being annoying, and then by activating all nearby monsters, leaving the group and vanishing. I think the others were too relieved to be shot of him to worry too much about my noobish ways.

Quote: Originally Posted by Blackardin View Post
I would just explain that it is your first time through and to bear with you. Any reasonable player would tend to do so.
That sounds like good advice to me. Many thanks, guys, and for assuaging my levelling concerns too.

redfurry's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 09:19 AM | #6
Hello and welcome to the game!

As you mention, one of the strongest points of SWTOR is the class stories. you have probably heard, if not experienced yourself yet, that every class has a different story. This, combined with the Legacy features, encourages the player to play several different characters.

I think the fact that it's so easy to overlevel the content, is because the game is designed to not experience all of it on your first play through. That way, when you play a different character you won't be repeating all the same content once again.

It isn't really "wrong", per se, to be much higher level than the content. But it has a few problems:
- combat becomes trivial and thus boring
- the rewards are too low to be of any use for you
- if you are more than 5 levels higher than intended, the XP rewards become next to nothing (0 for killing enemies, 5 XP for completing missions)
The last point means that the problem corrects itself over time, but it will slow down your progression. If you are enjoying the journey it isn't that bad, but if you play with your guildmates often you won't want to be left behind because they are two planets further.

If the missions in your log turn grey, it means they will give only 5 XP. If you reach that point, try to do only your class missions on the next planet. That should be enough for you to arrive at the next planet with the intended level. When you create your next character, all the missions in that planet will be brand new!

Incidentally, that is why so few people do Heroic missions - they are not needed at all for your character progression, and for some the time spent trying to set up a group is time wasted. It may be lot of fun just to play with other people though - do try and find a group, you will eventually get lucky.

RexxThundarr's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 09:20 AM | #7
I agree with the others. I'd just add, if it's your first time doing something in a group, let the others know so they can provide guidance. Same goes for PvP. Most of us are happy to provide help, and you can just ignore the jerks.

PLynkes's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 10:17 AM | #8
Now that all makes a lot of sense. Something of an epiphany in fact: I hadn't considered the point that while I want to do everything a planet has to offer, I don't have to do it all with my current character. I'm not missing out by skipping stuff, because I'll be here again as someone else (at the very least I certainly plan to play all eight main class stories to the end before I'm through with this game, which will take quite a while judging by my first character). All those heroics will still be here then, maybe I'll have better luck finding groups another time.

Thanks again.

Optimus_Ares's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 11:14 AM | #9
Good post, and welcome.

Being a fairly new player myself, I know exactly what you went through. It's hard to find a group, and even when you do, it doesn't always end up pleasantly (ie. the group bailing on u mid heroic area with your qt on cd for example :P).

Luckily, the majority of the players I know by now are very decent, friendly and helpful, and if you manage to find yourself a helpful guild, you'll be all set to enjoy the game and do the stuff you want to do (ie. heroics). From what I've seen, a lot of people simply turn the public chat off, don't use the LFG function and don't mind grinding the same mission over and over and over until they hit the next level or leave the planet.

I plan on playing through most classes too, but I originally made the mistake of creating a trooper class on a sith server, only to find out that no-one plays on the rep side of that server so it has turned into a nightmare grind to get off planet/level up.

As the other said, following on the story quests should bring you up to the correct level for the next phase of the story before leaving a planet, however, the next planet will be tougher, so I always recommend going at least one level higher than what the mission difficulty rating is (just to be on the safe side). I had to do this since I had no support to speak of (ie. no other players to be found on that server/faction).

In the end, the flashpoints/heroics/group areas, are not mandatory for the main storyline progression. You can simply decide to skip past them, and you can generally do the story missions on your own with a comp. without a prob.

The shadowlands: Maxares (Powertech 50), Brire (Sorcerer 50), Vin'ce (Vanguard 41), Egrel (sniper 34), Hi'max (Jugernaut 30), Pyrres (Assasin 20),

Cynomen's Avatar

05.10.2012 , 11:31 AM | #10
Love to see posts like this. It has a mix of good and bad things but it is done in a constructive manner so it is well played in my book. Welcome to TOR and I see that you have had some good help already.

Some advise is to keep a pace that not only you can handle, but also enjoy. If that means you want to read through things, just mention that as you are out there with people and they will or should understand.

Expect some slow times, expect some times of struggle, and expect some people to be rude. Basically, you are playing with other people and not everyone has the same goals or play with the same knowledge, abilities, or inspiration as you. You will run into people who are only about trying to make others mad. You will run into people who expect you to know everything, have all the best gear, and if you don't you are a waste of time to them. You will also run into people who have no clue of what they are doing and will try your patience to the maximum as you try to help them.

MMO's in my opinion are about the people. The content brings us all together, but it is the people that makes the game the most enjoyable. Working with others, fighting against others, completeing things, helping each other all are the very meaning of MMO's. The best times are with others be it in a guild or a group.

I hope you can continue to enjoy your time in game and please never hesitate to ask questions, here or in game.
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