06/02/2017

Boosts Abound

Bioware continues to announce additional changes to the Galactic Command system at what I consider to be a pretty impressive pace. I just wish they were able to apply this enthusiasm to something more interesting and fun than fixing a broken endgame!

Aside from various CXP gain increases for specific activities and additional ways to help out your alts via the legacy system, the most interesting part of this latest announcement, to me, was that they are holding a (C)XP event until the release of the next major patch at the start of April, effective from this Tuesday. Going above and beyond anything they have done previously, this isn't just going to be double XP, but a 250% increase to both Command and regular XP.

I think Bioware's willingness to introduce a boost of that size for a whole two months and on such short notice shows that the current rate of Command levelling must be really slow for most players and that they expect to permanently increase CXP gains by a pretty significant amount. However, running it as an "event" first gives them an opportunity to milk it for additional PR, and if they change CXP gains at its end to "only" 200% of the old rate (just as an example), they'll still come out of it looking pretty generous. I don't think we'll see a reduction back to anywhere near the current levels once it's all over. It's hard to go back once you've opened the floodgates to that extent.

Of course this doesn't solve the issue of the Command crates' contents being useless way more often than not, but they've said that they are still planning to look into that as well. The main thing that actually worries me is that it's been suggested that Bioware might then also use the next major patch as an opportunity to add another tier of Command levels. Just imagine finally being able to make some progress with building a set during the event, and then they immediately make your gear obsolete again! I'd hate that, or at the very least I would consider April way too early to take that kind of step. Expect much outrage if they do.

However, the thing that has me most baffled about the upcoming event is that it's going to increase normal XP gains by 250% as well. I've expressed a strong dislike for things like double XP weekends in the past, so I'll admit that I'm coming at this from a biased point of view, but even I could see the benefit of changes such as allowing players to level up via the class story only. This however? I do not see the point at all. Levelling is already super fast anyway, why boost it by another 250%?

Only in my last post I was writing about how as a long-time player there is little incentive to want to rush alts to the level cap right now, but I dare say that for new players, levelling too quickly may even be detrimental to their overall experience. Level sync has fortunately alleviated the issue of outlevelling content before you're done with the story, but that doesn't mean that it's not a problem at all. As soon as a player hits fifty for example, he or she starts running into quests on the fleet and on his or her ship that will casually spoil the end of the class story in their intro, at a point when the power-levelled character is unlikely to be anywhere near it yet. And that's without even getting into things like giving people time to get to grips with their character's abilities.

I just don't see who the 250% levelling XP portion of the event is supposed to for. Or are there people among my readers who actually find the notion enticing? I'm genuinely curious.

11 comments :

  1. Hey Shintar. Schöne Grüße aus Deutschland. Ich lese seit ungefähr einem Jahr fleißig mit und habe mich auch durch deine vergangenen Posts "gearbeitet" (ein Genuss). Ich freue mich darüber, dass Du regelmäßig Content/Artikel bringst. Danke!

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    1. Danke, anonymer deutscher Leser! :)

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  2. Interestingly, the 5.1.1 Patch Notes also state that Starfighter Requisition will be boosted by 250% during this time as well.

    They really do like adding more and more things to this event as time goes by; next thing you know, they'll boost Alignment gain by 250% or something equally confusing. :P

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    1. Boost all the things! And then good luck keeping people engaged once they are being asked to come off that high again...

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  3. Well, since the xp bonus apparently applies to free accounts, the offer has actually made me idly ponder the vague possibility of downloading SW:tOR and trying it out. I don't have time to play it properly and I've never been that interested, not being much of a Star Wars fan or a fan of SF settings for MMOs, but even I might be able to get somewhere in the few hours I'd be willing to give it if the game was on fast forward...

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    1. Funny, you would have been the last person I would have expected to be interested in the option to rush levelling! Don't you always say that the low levels are the best part?

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    2. With levelsync, levels are pretty irellevant. Even gear is mostly something that can be ignored so long as you pick up new items every so often. Doing a super fast, story quest only boosted thing may well be a good way to see one or two of the class stories. I leveled several of my "main alts" back in the 12X exp event in essentially this way. Good times.
      I'm not playing much SWTOR at the moment, perhaps this event may let me power level some of my lowbie characters while basically being asleep at the keyboard :P

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    3. I have a paradoxical attitude to accelerated xp that comes, I think, from my love of a bargain. It always excites me because I feel I'm getting something for nothing. On the other hand, as you rightly observe, I strongly prefer low levels to high levels in most MMOs and I think leveling up is generally the best part.

      In MMOs I play a lot that works out fine because I've already leveled several characters the slow way so I can indulge myself when double xp comes around as a kind of naughty treat. For SW:tOR it would work the opposite way, in that it's an MMO I don;t really want to play but which I feel I ought to play just so I can talk about it from at least some degree of personal experience. The idea of being able to rush through it is attractive primarily because I find it hard to imagine enjoying it at all. I guess if I found I was enjoying it I'd have to stop and come back later when the xp goes back to normal!

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    4. I suppose I can relate to that to some degree. Even I'm kind of going: "OK, I don't like the sound of this, but it's only for a limited time so there's probably something I should be doing with it?"

      As for the rest, I'm getting the impression from you and other commenters that the target of the massive XP boost are people who don't like the game (much). I guess that's fair enough, but I'm not convinced that's really the audience they should be focusing on... :P

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  4. Ever since level sync became a thing, I've loved being 30 levels over the planet I'm on. Since I still get EXP, there's no downside. Even though I may hit level 70 in Act 1, I still don't skip the story. Heck, that's the part of the game I enjoy the most.

    Have all the boosts you want, I'm game!

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  5. It's the instability that bothers me most, I think. Make it slow, make it fast, but make up your mind and take it easy on the sugar rushes.

    MMOs rely on some discernible feeling of progress, at least vaguely tied to one's choices and actions in the game, even if that progress is personal rather than competitive. At the moment, everything - the gear, the xp gains - feels very arbitrary.

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