21/09/2017

Questing Surprises

After I finished my knight's class story, I was wondering what levelling goal to tackle next. Eventually I decided to go back to working on my Commando on the Ebon Hawk. She's been max level for a while now, but more than merely levelling her up, I had made it my mission a while ago to replay all the quests on Republic side on her, since it's so easy to skip them these days and it's been quite a while since I actually saw all of them. When I last left her, she had just finished the Balmorran bonus series.

Aside from the vastly accelerated XP gains, the levelling game also underwent a lot of more subtle changes in 4.0. I did write a first impressions piece about that shortly after 4.0's launch, but my focus back then was on a couple of Imperial alts. On Republic side, I continue to be surprised by changes that I haven't seen yet, such as when I mentioned a broken cut scene in a mission on Coruscant in this post.

One thing I already noticed back in February but about which I didn't write a full blog post at the time was the removal of what I considered an important story choice in the planetary storyline on Balmorra. At one point, after taking control of the planetary satellites, you have to choose between using them to help the Republic military (which was your original goal) or to save a bunch of slicers from being executed - with the latter option having the additional complication that said slicers are best buds with the guy who helped you gain control of the satellites in the first place. Except... when I played through this on my Commando, no dialogue wheel came up, and she just made the light side choice by default. Wait, what? I mean, I was playing light side anyway so I guess it wasn't a big deal, but it was still kind of jarring and I can only imagine how awkward it must feel if you were gunning for the other option.

As not many knowledgeable old-timers replay this content at any given point, the issue hasn't received much publicity, though I found at least one angry forum thread about it. Myself, I simply submitted a bug report about it, because I couldn't fathom why a choice like that would have been removed intentionally. Shortening bonus missions is one thing, but this? Just makes no sense.

As I finally continued to Quesh the other night, I was in for a positive surprise however. For as long as I can remember, there has been this mission on Quesh which is part of the main planetary chain and has you raiding a factory. During the mission dialogue, Broga the Hutt tells you about how he'd really like you to pick up some adrenals while you're over there (wink wink, nudge nudge), which seemed like pretty common "bonus mission talk". The problem was that there never was a bonus mission. Nothing appeared on the quest tracker, and I never found anything to click on inside the factory either. It was a mystery.

Now, as far as I can reconstruct things in hindsight, the bonus mission appears to have always been in the game files, but I guess some bug was preventing it from triggering properly. On the official forums, I found complaints from as recently as 2015 decrying the fact that the quest wasn't working. Well, imagine my surprise when I picked up the main mission this time around, and suddenly the bonus "Broga's Adrenals" appeared on my quest tracker. And lo and behold... when I arrived in the factory, there were crates on the floor that I could click on to pick up the long-lost adrenals! The best part was that on handing in, I was also given the choice whether I wanted to actually hand the adrenals over to Broga or claim them for the Republic. I was a bit surprised that the latter was considered the light side option - even if he's a Hutt, it doesn't seem very kind to agree to fetch something for him and then go: "Nyah nyah, I'm keeping that for my own people."


Still, it was amazing to me that they finally got around to fixing that bonus mission after who knows how many years and that as a result, I got to see something new in old content. I wonder if more such surprises await on the remaining planets that I haven't fully replayed since 4.0? If yes, will they be positive or negative?

8 comments :

  1. One unpleasant surprise to me on Republic Hoth was that they'd removed the multi-stage bonus mission from the Starship Graveyard which culminated in killing the Elite who guarded the entrance path to the Aim Datacron. A similar multi-stage Bonus Mission has been removed from Quesh, which I believe was attached to the mission to locate the Republic spy and infiltrate the laboratory near Attis Station.

    Meanwhile Belsavis has lost a mission in the Tomb area where you used to have the option to go into the Vault which holds the Esh-kha Culture Lore Object and pick up a mission there, but that mission has been totally removed.

    Apart from that, I'm not all too aware of changes to Republic planets aside from those which you've already mentioned.

    That said, special mention must go to the Bonus Series of Alderaan where - instead of being directed there via a separate Quest-giver on Fleet - you can only find the direct Quest-givers independently. This creates the rather hilarious moment on Republic where Major Brom berates you for being late... despite the fact that you didn't know you were supposed to find him.

    Also the impact of meeting Jace Malcom is lessened if you can just meet him at Level 28+ instead of having to wait until Level 40 as you did previously.

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    1. I don't really count curtailed multi-stage bonuses anymore, because those have occurred all over the place and aren't really a surprise anymore.

      The Belsavis quest you describe doesn't ring a bell based on location; you don't happen to remember what it was about?

      And you can't actually meet Jace Malcom at 28+ since the bonus series doesn't unlock until level 60 right now.

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    2. I might've guessed that based on the fact that it gives Alliance Crates. Hmm. Curious now to see whether there's a link between this and the fact that the Taris Bonus Series is the only one which DOESN'T yield the crates even if you do it post-61...

      Absolutely no idea about the exact details of that one Belsavis mission. I think it had something to do with scanning a terminal on three pylons within that area? I'll see if I can dig it up on something like SWtORSpy and comment with the link later.

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    3. Found it!

      Oh, and speaking about Belsavis; the quest to rescue the stranded transport has changed as well. Beforehand, you used to have to speak to a family member once you'd located and cleared the way for the transport; now it auto-completes once you've killed the enemies around the transport.

      You don't even get to have a conversation with the guard anymore; he just starts speaking and the mission updates as soon as you show up.

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    4. Ah, I remember that one.

      I think Taris and Balmorra are the two planets whose bonus series are still available at level, while Nar Shaddaa, Tatooine, Alderaan and Hoth require level 60 now when they didn't before.

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  2. I'm doing the same thing you are Shintar. You inspired me to go back and play both sides and see every quest. It's rather refreshing and nostalgic and reminds me of the best part of this game (my opinion). It's a welcome change of pace from conquest and endgame activities.

    The Balmorra quest change also renders an entire part of the map pointless - that Imperial base in the southwest corner serves no purpose without the dark side choice. I know it's nearly 2 years old, but removing content makes no sense to me. So much developer time wasted when they could have made KOTFE so much better.

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  3. For some reason I always figured that the "adrenals" mission was time based, and since I'd not play as often the mission vanished from my queue.

    And I'll sheepishly admit that I skip the planetary quests on Quesh as much as humanly possible. Hate the look of that place. (And Hutta too.)

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    1. I agree, its my least fave planet.

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