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Improving the pacing of 40-50 Flashpoints


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SW_display_name
05.25.2013 , 04:36 PM | #1
Here's how I tend to level my characters:
  • Ignore generic planetary missions, because I've seen them too many times
  • Go through my Class Story until I start to feel underleveled, because I love my class story
  • Queue FPs and Tank or Heal until I'm geared/leveled enough to continue my Class Story

So, I've developed an intimate feel the pacing of leveling FPs. I know they were designed in a time before Group Finder, but GF is now a valuable tool for leveling and I think you should consider restructuring the leveling FPs to accomodate this.

Basically, here's my experiences with each "decade" of leveling via Group Finder:

10-20
  • This happens so fast, it doesn't even matter. At this stage, the game is still heavily Class-focused and your mission chains bring you up very quickly. Missions on DK also aren't a chore like later planets, and gear is replaced rapidly, so I don't GF much.
  • Around 16-17 I start to hit GF more, see lots of Hammer Station and then Athiss. It has good pacing.

20-30
  • Again, the pacing here is good. You begin with Athiss, transitioning to Mandalorian Raiders and then Cademimu. All are good FPs with a nice pace and a lot of variety in the combat / pulls.

30-40
  • Here's where things break down slightly. Taral V/Maelstrom Prison and Boarding Party/Foundry are great FPs, but the leveling pace slows down, so you end up seeing these 2 FPs (and a random Cademimu sometimes, in the early 30s) far too much.
  • But, BP & Foundry (and opposites) are good FPs with fun design and a lot of variety. So, it wears a little thin, but the quality of the FPs themself keeps it from getting too dreary.

40-50
  • This is where things fall apart.
  • By this point, you've seen Foundry/Maelstrom enough times to never, ever want to hear Revan or Yoda Jr's voice again, ever. But it keeps popping, and popping, AND POPPING all the way to 45 (!).
  • Your only other option is Colicoid War Game, an amusing but brief FP that's light on actual "rotation" gameplay and mostly just a class-generic obstacle course + some dull turrets + a couple quick, dull fights. I like CWG, but it gets old incredibly fast vs. more robust FPs.
  • Finally, you have Red Reaper. But you don't really, because no one runs it, because you designed the opening pulls in a completely bafflingly sadistically hard way. So most people just stop queueing once RR shows up, or drop group as soon as they see it this FP crushes the souls of "not so good" Tanks and Heals, who just drown under the pressure.

Thus, what happens is 40-50 becomes "Foundry Foundry Foundry Foundry Foundry Colicoid Foundry Foundry Colicoid", even after 43 when Red Reaper opens up (because you see Red Reaper once or twice, if you're lucky). It's really, really boring.

Then a weird thing happens. You hit 45 and Foundry shuts off. This is a dead zone queues just don't pop, and if they do, it's almost always a boring Colicoid War Game because, again, people avoid Red Reaper. This lasts from 45-48. It's very slow, and very tedious.

Then you hit 48 and BOOM you're level 50. Why? Because False Emperor and Battle for Ilum open up, and you have tons of 50-55s queueing those for Classic Coms. Queues pop, groups faceroll through at lightning speed, and you blink-and-miss 48 through 50.

The pacing is really jarring. To recap:
  • 40-45: Sluggish endless Foundy / Colicoid runs
  • 45-48: Nothing pops, occasional Colicoid, very rarely a Red Reaper. Very slow leveling.
  • 48-50: Non-stop queue pops and you level incredibly fast

Here's my suggestions for how you can improve this pacing:
  • Cut Foundry off sooner, or open it later. It starts at 35 and you keep people in until 45. It's way too long.
  • Possibly move Colicoid down a few levels, so it gets mixed in to the mid-30s Boarding / Foundry endless cycle.
  • Tone down Red Reaper. It's an awesome FP and I love how vicious it is, but Group Finder people just cannot handle this kind of psychotic pacing. Red Reaper would make a great addition to the leveling FP rotation if you made it more in-line with other leveling FPs in terms of trash difficulty. (Past the first 3 rooms, it becomes a "normal" FP again)
  • Bring Directive 7 down in level. At 47, this lovely FP is wasted in Story Mode. If it started at, say, 44 or 45, it would get more "face time" in the queue. Which it deserves, because it's awesome.
  • Bring False Emperor and Battle for Ilum down a notch or two in Story Mode 46-47, maybe. Give them more time to be seen in the leveling curve.

Basically, you have this huge empty wasteland of FPs in the 40-46 range, and then suddenly dump some of the most awesome ones into the 47-50 range so fast that people barely have time to see it or queue it.

By spreading things out more, you would add a lot more variety and a lot better pacing to the 35-50 queue experience and probably get more people queueing the later FPs. I think it would really improve the feel of the late-game leveling experience, which gets a little sluggish and dreary around Chapter 3.

Roxas_kun's Avatar


Roxas_kun
05.26.2013 , 09:25 AM | #2
They need to revamp the first FP, Black Talon/ Esseles.
Make it actually require the holy trinity of RPG's (tank, heal & dps)! You can easily breeze through this, even for hard mode.

Enjoy the Colicoids FP. Its simple and fast, and gives good xp and drops. Except the 'maze' where people always get knocked off the platform.

In my opinion, Bioware should try introducing Ops at around lvl40+, rather than lvl50. Gives learning about Ops a gentler learning curve.

TrooperSev's Avatar


TrooperSev
05.26.2013 , 12:14 PM | #3
Wow. Great post. I was thinking of leveling like this on my next toon. Good to know what to expect.

Though 35-45 might be spent with some extra war zones so I don't burn out on foundry.
Dark Helmet - "So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb."

Seireeni's Avatar


Seireeni
05.26.2013 , 12:17 PM | #4
I have 2 characters, a sentinel and a mara actually, in levels 42 and 43. My sentinel has actually grayed out Maelstrom prison I believe, but still, even before I press the queue button, I can guess it's going to be Maelstrom prison/foundry that pops up first. And I'm pretty much always right.

If something was done to especially that, I'd be thankful.
There is a face beneath this mask but it's not me.
Red Eclipse - 22 characters - The Firslay Legacy

JouerTue's Avatar


JouerTue
05.28.2013 , 02:31 PM | #5
i do class quest as first on every planet.
then i quest while queing for FPs and WZs i always overlevel tatooine and quesh so i can skip aldeeran and hoth (planets i hate)
i like red reaper a lot, since it's the first test for my tanks and healers(only toons i roll)
your idea is really nice, i never done LI SM or FE SM, since in a second i'm 50 and gear comes really fast..

love the idea of low level ops :-)
great post!

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tanerb
05.28.2013 , 02:37 PM | #6
Support 100%

Sykomyke's Avatar


Sykomyke
05.28.2013 , 04:21 PM | #7
This is actually a really insightful post and I agree completely. Directive 7 is still one of my favorite Flashpoints. Funny thing is, CWG used to be the "group killer" not Red Reaper. CWG first pull used to be so ridiculously hard people would wipe and just disband because they didn't understand the mechanics + not having the innate regen on turrets. I would actually KILL for a challenging Hard Mode CWG.
"I find your lack of faith disturbing."
Sith Empire

JouerTue's Avatar


JouerTue
05.29.2013 , 01:58 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Sykomyke View Post
This is actually a really insightful post and I agree completely. Directive 7 is still one of my favorite Flashpoints. Funny thing is, CWG used to be the "group killer" not Red Reaper. CWG first pull used to be so ridiculously hard people would wipe and just disband because they didn't understand the mechanics + not having the innate regen on turrets. I would actually KILL for a challenging Hard Mode CWG.
i've never been as happy as when i joined a FP in progress and it was CWG just after the turrets...the first pull is a lot of fun to tank, and the enjoyoment raises the top is the patroller spots you.
just stop people who repair the droid (he breaks cc) and tell to interrupt the blue cast from the small droids and you are fine
i would like to see a new CWG HM but please get rid of the turrets! i'd prefer 1000 times killing the drones personally

Nkya's Avatar


Nkya
05.29.2013 , 02:34 AM | #9
It should be random. I followed a similar track at the end of my last character leveling, but the Red Reaper popped much more often. I wouldn't claim chaining the flashpoints is the recommended way to level up, however. You should have to consider some players are caped to level 50 and need a varied selection of flashpoints.

Directive 7, the battle for Ilum and the False Emperor status is odd. They can be selected from level 47 to 55 while the content is less than 50. Level 55 players are obviously overleveled and often overgeared for this flashpoints. Whenever we reach that level, we have no challenge with one or two level 55 are in the group. I remember a run where the level 55 healer just DPSed along the way (with the other level 55 DPS) without caring to heal the "low level" tank struggling for life. Such attitudes should have lead to wipes, but sadly didn't. It was just very unpleasant.

I would support removing them from the level 55's selection (or just take off the daily rewards)

Sefarad's Avatar


Sefarad
05.29.2013 , 03:01 AM | #10
Really good post. Signed