Activity Bonuses

One of the things I've enjoyed about the introduction of Galactic Command are the changing activity and alignment bonuses that have come with it. The basic idea behind them is that while Galactic Command allows you to gain Command XP from almost anything, the game wants to gently nudge players towards doing more than just grind a single activity until they burn themselves out.

Of course, not everyone has the same ideas about gentle nudges. I was honestly shocked when during an episode of a podcast I was listening to, one of the hosts complained about the dark vs. light system, claiming that because the light side was victorious more often than the dark side on his server, he felt that playing his dark-side main was never worthwhile. This surprised me because he made it sound as if doing anything without benefitting from maximum bonuses was unacceptable, which is the sort of hardcore min-max attitude that you don't see in SWTOR players very often.

I've certainly never let the bonuses prevent me from doing something I really wanted to do, nor have I ever felt compelled to do something that I don't really like doing. I do however love them for everything in-between, to the point where checking which activity is eligible for the daily bonus on any given day has pretty much become the first thing I do upon logging in.

If flashpoints or warzones are the activity of the day, it's very likely that said activity will take up most of my evening, because I really enjoy both of them anyway, and the bonus just makes them feel extra rewarding.

My Galactic Starfighter play has probably benefitted the most from the introduction of Galactic Command, because starfighting is something that I'm not massively fond of but that I do enjoy in small doses. The problem is that I've always struggled with finding reasons to choose GSF over other activities that I enjoy more regularly on any given day. (For a while I played on various alts for Conquest points, but as my interest in that waned, so did my enthusiasm for GSF.) Galactic Command has provided me with an easy solution: Just play whenever it's GSF bonus day! I won't necessarily go for it every time, nor do I usually spend all evening in a starfighter, but the recurring bonus has certainly managed to make it a more regular part of my gaming diet.

Operations is a bonus I usually ignore, because while I enjoy them, we have our guild runs scheduled on particular weekdays whether there is a bonus on or not, and I rarely feel the urge to join additional runs on top of that.

Chapters and planetary missions also don't particularly enthuse me, and either of them being the featured activity of the day will usually be my cue to go play a low-level alt instead. However if I do have an interest in doing either of those things for whatever reason (e.g. I made a plan to finally get an alt through KotET), I often wait until they are the featured activity of the day, so that I'll at least get the biggest benefit out of doing them.

Uprisings are a funny one. For a while I did do them occasionally - not too long after they first came out - but I just haven't found them nearly as compelling as flashpoints, lacking the latter's replay value, so I actually haven't done one in quite a while.

As far as the dark vs. light bonuses go, I actually pay very little attention to them unless I'm planning to pop a bunch of accumulated CXP packs (then I will save them until the "correct" alignment dominates). However, the state of the galaxy can be helpful when it comes to deciding which alt to play. If I'm torn between two characters of opposite alignments, it's an easy choice to go for the one that currently benefits from a bonus.

Fun fact: I was originally planning to write this post yesterday, but then I saw that it was flashpoint bonus day and I spent all evening running flashpoints with guildies. Just goes to show.

Do dark vs. light and the daily Command bonus influence the way you play at all?


  1. "Do dark vs. light and the daily Command bonus influence the way you play at all?"

    My answer to your question: absolutely not. My interests in the game vary from time to time. Sometimes i run three OPs a night, or i pvp a whole week. Then again, i level an alt, enjoy the story. Or i go and work on my achievements (Bormus on Balmorra), etc. ...

    What i do in SWTOR depends on my mood. I do GSF when i'm in the mood for it, and not, when it's activity of the day.

    Only once i was really bored, and didn't know what to do, were the activity bonus helped me, to decide.

  2. For me, no. I just do my thing, and there are days when "my thing" means hanging around my Dromund Kaas stronghold and watching the view of the rain.

    1. Have you even participated in anything endgame in SWTOR before? Can't remember right now. :)

    2. In SWTOR? Unless getting caught up on the current questline counts, no. I got caught up on Ziost and did some dailies there as well as get caught up on KOTFE a couple of times, but if you mean raiding or BGs, no. I never have the time to spend raiding --the World Boss and Event Bosses notwithstanding-- and these days I'm hard pressed to fit in even a classic flashpoint.

      (The person who laughed at me when I mentioned that I was looking forward to the kids getting into high school so I'd have more free time was right. The youngest mini-Red brought all of here myriad activities with her to high school, and I've yet to see some extra free time with the younger two kids at the same high school.)

      I left a lot of stuff behind in WoW, BGs and other non-raiding endgame activities included. I've this bad feeling that when I finally do get the free time to play around the way I'd like, I'll be old enough that won't have the reaction time like I used to have.

  3. I tend to tick off a list of activities throughout the week, so DvL and the daily CXP bonus often help me decide what to do during a particular session, but I end up getting through my list by the end of the week.

    I like to work my way through the dailies (once per week for the weekly bonus) and FP weeklies every week on my mains on pub side and imp side, so I’ll often pick what toon to play at a given time based on whether it’s Light V or Dark V, and whether to run dailies or FPs based on the daily bonus. However, at other times I’ll ignore DvL and the daily bonus if I just feel like running dailies on my own, or feel like running PUG FPs (probably my favorite repeatable content in the game).

    My ops group runs every Tuesday night, so like you, I ignore DvL and the daily bonus for ops.

    I’m usually working my way through other content on an alt as well. If it’s neither Light V nor Dark V, and the daily bonus doesn’t appeal to me, then I’ll often take another alt through the expansion content. The variety keeps things interesting, and I find the experience slightly different each time because each of my toons approaches the story with a different background and personality.

    Having said all that, if I feel like doing something in particular then I’ll just ignore DvL and the daily bonus. For example, the other week one of my guildies was doing the macrobinocular and seeker droid quests, which I hadn’t done in ages, so I decided to run them on an alt, and had a blast.

    Thanks for the engaging post!

    — Brendan

    1. Haha, if you hadn't mentioned running ops on Tuesdays, I would have had to ask if you're in my guild! Because just this week, I ended up discarding all my plans for the evening as well to do a Macrobinocular/Seeker Droid heroic run with guildies, something I literally hadn't done in years. It was fun in my case as well!


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