Taris was and still is one of the most ambivalent experiences in Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR). The third chapter of any hero´s story takes place on a planet which has had a thriving republican life 300 years ago, destroyed by a dark Jedi during the evens from the previous game, Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR). The Old Republic finally came back and tries to re-settle this world, which still is a post-apocalyptic jungle scenery.
This is a very spoilery retelling of my heroine accounts, but the goal of this blog is for me to remember my virtual adventures, so... this was my warning to any reader.
- at least the colour sceme fits to my heroine...
I can take back part of what I complained about in my last post: Here, my heroine "dies" her first time. This is during a so called "heroic 2+ mission", so it was made for two players minimum. So far, I did not have problems with these kind of sprinkled in-between missions. However, this time, there are groups of four, I might have overlooked one or the other area effect, and my companion Kira was specialised on damage dealing instead of healing. Whoops. Once Kira got switched to healing, my Guardian Jedi Knight of course was unstoppable again. Tank+healer combo always wins, because the game must accomodate all those nifty damage dealer players who are much squisher even when accompanied by a healer.
And also to take back about making it "too easy": The sheer numbers of enemies on your way to your next goal, it would indeed be tedious to fight them more than a few seconds. As much as I like tactical challenging combat, please not so without meaning on trash mobs who just seem to be placed there to slow you down... I better take that easy-going combat, then!
The missions there were in my past games, four years ago, exhausting. The landscape is huge, you are sent back and forth, up and down in the labyrinthian sceleton of former mega cities. It always seemed hard to keep track what you are doing why right now. This time, I am resolved to keep focus. But even still, after I am mostly through, I still might remember not all of what transpired down there:
Helped routing Rhakgouls around Republic base.
Rescued items for evacuated settlers.
Saved SIS agent and imprisoned "Locust".
Hunted clues about the former former lead scientist on the Old Republic´s weapons of mass destruction. Encountered Empire head of intelligence "Watcher One".
Solved dispute of alien refuges vs human "invaders".
Helped arrest a criminal mercenary, "The Locust".
Found ancient antidote versus Rhakgoul bite.
Let myself infect by Rhakghouls in order to help develop a new antidote.
Erased sensitive data in the middle of a pirate hideout.
Prevented a bad chemistry mix in a factory from blowing up.
Got again deceived by Watcher One.
Found deserters and let them, well, desert.
Found some more clues about the former former lead scientist on the Old Republic´s weapons of mass destruction. Raced to save a settlement from a Sith instead of catching Watcher One.
Supported a military research team in the Endar Spire (wink to KOTOR).
Helped a doctor find a cure versus a specific Tarisian cancer.
Found out about "the lost ones" (emotionally shattering nod to KOTOR).
Finally caught Watcher One in his lair, rescued the scientist.
My most annoying back-and-forth mission ever, is the one involving the lost ones. Imagine a game designer. And the player. The player will efficiently solve all missions before moving on, so he does not have to walk back long distances for something left behind and loose time with boredom. The game designer usually knows this and places the mission tasks accordingly. Now, this particular game designer decided to be a bit too helpful. Instead of following the long path of video messages from the lost ones, I go for some more near missions first, because they require less backtracking (short path). However, after being through with the long track, the game designer sends me exactly where I went first, making me back-track that long path plus the shorter path.
This made me already upset when I had played this part on my first time, four years ago. And I still freaking remembered this nuisance, tried to avoid it but did not remember anymore how the proper order was, and promptly did it the unefficient, backtracking way again... I think this was also in the past the point where the whole Taris chapter shifted from a relaxing to a tedious experience. And so, again.
Also still shaken from that "the lost ones" experience (played it already three times in the past, and it still is depressing to follow their downfall from civilisation to primitive and then to extinction), I can finally leave Taris, but the Governor stops me once more, for an emergency once more. I feel somehow reminded of real life; there is always something to do, right? The completionist within me obeys.
- behind my heroine, Taris´ derelict swoop tracks; another nod to KOTOR
It takes a while to leave Taris. Bonus missions lured my
completionist side. It turns out that the Rhakghoul have evolved, so far
as even having force sensitive speciment. An entire Jedi platoon gets
wiped out by one of them (yeah, another heroic mission here). Sentient
Rhakghoul means, the prime directive takes effect... erm... means that
Jedi should not take life of indigenious life forms who basically only
repel invaders. A Jedi holocron, kind of an AI-construct, is found and
it promises to try to teach the savages the light side of the force. Of
course, despite the losses of life, my heroine leaves it at that and
hopes that this new race does not become like Sith...
tourist hops to Bejik´s hideout are another nod to the places and
events of the precedessor game KOTOR. Some humorous episodes with
scientists trying to preserve animals which want to eat them and the
usual tragic losses of peaceful settlers round the picture.
After I am through with all those additional missions, I almost feel at home on Taris. One of the
last codex entries talks about how Taris was already severely harmed
before the obliterative bombing by environmental pollution, and that
nevertheless nature has adapted and reclaimed the planet after so called
civilisation had left. Yes, I think I can feel the force flowing freely on Taris, now.
there was a call for a flashpoint mission in between, and after Taris,
it is time to go into this one. So I think. Since the game is too easy
otherwise, I choose the four-player version of that particular
flashpoint mission. What can I say; I get my ass handed to me after the
first few trashmobs. Somehow, my companion does not heal as effectively
as she could, preferring to swing her staff lightsaber instead. How
annoying, but I am sure the game designers implemented this
intentionally, to keep a player-only challenge in the game!
Which leads me onwards to the next chapter of the story missions, Nar Shaddaa.