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Eternity Vault story mode...isn't

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore > Spoilers
Eternity Vault story mode...isn't

Fedifensor's Avatar


Fedifensor
05.18.2012 , 03:46 PM | #1
For the past few months, I've been involved in weekly Eternity Vault operations. Our ops group started with normal mode, then eventually moved on to hard mode. While we were trying to beat EV, I was too focused on finding ways to win, and didn't pay much attention to the plot of the operation. Now that our group has successfully completed hard mode and moved on to Karagga's Palace, I decided to take a look at the story and immersion of Eternity Vault. There will be spoilers...though I've yet to see a group finish EV without reading online guides to get past the various tricks the op throws at you.

Something had bugged me about EV from the very beginning. Once I started taking a look at the story, the logic gaps in it became very clear to me. It starts out okay - there are automated defenses to contend with, which fits the backstory. It's a little odd that the droid waits until the turrets are taken down before appearing, but I chalk that up to overconfidence by the prison designers. It's when you get to Gharj that the plot begins to fall apart. You have a creature that lives in lava and has control of the rocks within its lair, that conveniently raises up islands for you to fight on, and a path for you to follow to the new island when the first one is about to sink. Why not just sink all the islands and let the attackers burn? This is something you would see in a console game, and the designers make no effort to come up with an explanation.

We then move onto the "puzzle boss". The puzzle itself is fine, if a bit simplistic for an advanced civilization. My question is, where are these random attackers coming from, and why are they split between sentient beings and random creatures? I can see the sentients caring about the pillars, but why should the acklay come after the group?

Next, we have the Infernal Council, and a completely unexplained mechanic to force one on one fights. *The battle itself is pretty cool, and I can see a lot of ways to explain the need for soloing the fight. Perhaps the Council needs to willingly open the way to Soa, and they will do so if you defeat them in a fair fight. The problem is that the designers didn't bother to provide an explanation.

Finally, we have Soa. This is a fight where you have to survive his onslaught twice before you're allowed to defeat him, connected by interludes where broken masonry magically floats in midair just close enough for you to jump from piece to piece without dying. Then, for some strange reason, pyramids start floating over Soa's head, and you have to maneuver the bad guy under them before you can take him down. None of this is explained, and it completely destroys immersion in the story.

This isn't Star Wars...it's Nintendo. All that's needed is a few name changes. Give the PC's names like Mario and Luigi, and Soa can be Bowser or King Koopa.

Now, before you conclude that this post is just a complaint, I would like to point out that these problems can be easily fixed with an additional cutscene and one extra NPC. Add in someone (or something) maintaining the prison, who contacts the PCs before they reach Gharj and offers to help them. It could be a Rakata warden, or a computer system - both of which have been seen in the Belsavis plot arcs. You don't even need to being in a voice actor, if the NPC uses "Rakata-speak".

Once you add that character, it's easy to explain the remaining inconsistencies via the NPC. Perhaps the NPC is slicing into prison subsystems, or automated safety features are being activated. Even the floating pyramids can be explained as a last-ditch security measure in Soa's prison that the NPC activates.

BioWare, now that EV has (most) of the bugs squashed, it's time to take it away from designers focused on mechanics, and give it to the people in charge of story. Ignoring the people who came to TOR due to story after using story as a main selling point is not a winning move.

Zaikrem's Avatar


Zaikrem
05.19.2012 , 08:38 PM | #2
They won't go back and add to the older Operations, especially not to add small amounts of story to each boss fight. There are also fairly simple explanations for the things you're complaining about.

Annihilator: He shows up late either because it takes him time to get there (the story assumes the turrets don't kill your entire group a few times) or because he's simply programmed not to get involved unless it's an emergency.

Gharj: He doesn't have some magical power over his cave. He jumps and lands hard and makes unstable parts of the ceiling fall and flattens the land he's standing on enough that the lava overtakes it. They're random parts that he doesn't have control over, we're just lucky that he doesn't think things through (due to being a beast).

Pylons: The Rakata defend Soa, the Ackleys are the Rakata's minions.

Infernal Council: Yea... not really sure. Maybe it's just a "The force did it" moment.

Soa: On the phase transitions he smashes the center of the area, destroys everything around him, but doesn't quite get the outskirts on his first try. Hence he destroys them piece by piece. Their floating could probably be explained by thin supports below them. As for the flying pyramids in phase three, he's been throwing giant objects at you all fight, and he's desperate at this point and tossing whatever he can find.

erei's Avatar


erei
05.21.2012 , 11:43 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Fedifensor View Post
Something had bugged me about EV from the very beginning. Once I started taking a look at the story, the logic gaps in it became very clear to me. It starts out okay - there are automated defenses to contend with, which fits the backstory. It's a little odd that the droid waits until the turrets are taken down before appearing, but I chalk that up to overconfidence by the prison designers.
I think he says he is made by SOA. One can guess he would probably have been attacked by the turret because he is not part of the defense system, that's why he come later.
Quote:
It's when you get to Gharj that the plot begins to fall apart. You have a creature that lives in lava and has control of the rocks within its lair, that conveniently raises up islands for you to fight on, and a path for you to follow to the new island when the first one is about to sink. Why not just sink all the islands and let the attackers burn?
He just shake the ground and rocks crashes around, making the island and the path. Yeah it's a bit stupid, but well, the whole idea of 16person shooting/cutting/electrifying/exploding 1 guy and he doesn't die for several minute is stupid anyway.

Quote:
We then move onto the "puzzle boss". The puzzle itself is fine, if a bit simplistic for an advanced civilization. My question is, where are these random attackers coming from, and why are they split between sentient beings and random creatures? I can see the sentients caring about the pillars, but why should the acklay come after the group?
You make a lot of noise, and it attract creatures. This part is the one who makes the most sense IMO.

Quote:
Next, we have the Infernal Council, and a completely unexplained mechanic to force one on one fights. *The battle itself is pretty cool, and I can see a lot of ways to explain the need for soloing the fight. Perhaps the Council needs to willingly open the way to Soa, and they will do so if you defeat them in a fair fight. The problem is that the designers didn't bother to provide an explanation.
You are right here. Same for SOA.


I think it's really difficult to put some logic behind a raid. Like I said, 16 or 8 people shooting 1 boss, and he don't die until half an hour or so passed. And those people are the best fighters the galaxy have. With the best weapons you can find. There is no explanation. There is nothing is SW like that. You shoot it die, or it's ray shield and you need heavy ordnance. You don't see a raid trying to kill palpatine for ages before he dies. Or Count Dooku.
The raid is fine in term of gameplay, the first boss is the typical raid boss, scripted event, etc... Same goes for Gharj. Then the pillars are totally teamplay and logic. Next come the individual skill, no teamplay at all here, it's more "show me your skill in defeating your enemy". That's cool. But there is not a lot of logic behind it.
I think you should take the story as a whole, event if it's just "bla bla ancient evil is awakening, you heroes, you kill him, save galaxy". The karagga story is better, the end talk about the future content, at least with the imp side. I won't spoil here.