Monday, 15 April 2013

SWTOR: Makeb exploration

I really liked Makeb - I'm not so sure our characters did.

I finally got to drag my boyfriend on to Makeb, to explore the new world and storyline. I'm sure he calls it 'girlfriend aggro'. Lots of "oooh" and "aaah" was following, and of course I couldn't keep my finger away from the PrntScr button.

Beware, loads of pictures to come!

Governor, now senator, Saresh came all the way over from Taris to give us a pep talk. Was she chased off Taris eventually by the Imps? I don't remember exactly. Either way, we had to go to the planet right away to help out the inhabitants who got suppressed by invading Hutts (try not to visualize this).

I liked Makeb's towns, with fancy looking buildings with round curves, small alleys and loads of plants.

I even liked its nature more though, about which more below.

A planet ain't a planet without some proper nerfs.

I don't know about you, but I really like the looks of this planet. The towns look very classy

The landscape is a funny mix, but it looks great. The trees remind me of Africa, the rocks of the prehistoric river eroded rocks of Australia. Not that I've been in any of those places myself, mind you.

And then the wildlife: a ridiculous combination of jungle and prehistoric animals. There are giant toxic frogs (picture to the right), dinosaurs and...
...giant walking sticks - do I need to tell more?

Story spoiler: while we were helping out the locals, we found that there was a lot of seismic activity in the area. Illegal mining activities of the Hutts was pushing the planet towards total destruction with rapid speed. It turned out that there was nothing to stop it, and we had to organize planet-wide evacuation.

It was cool to play our characters together again. Somehow, having them stranded on level 50 for a year and mostly doing raids made me forget how pretty they are and what their voices sound like. There are barely any cutscenes with interaction when you're level capped and only raiding.

I, the oh-so-diplomatic sage, got to give an inspiring speech in front of the soon-to-be homeless people of Makeb. The message was basically "Sorry about your whole planet collapsing, but at least you will live" and even so they clapped. Crazy people.

Tiger got to go nuts on a bunch of evil droids. You know that amazing feeling when you force push an enemy off a cliff or bridge? Now imagine the same with a whole army of droids...

 Good Hutt, bad Hutt

How do you tell? Well, good Hutts wear fancy body art and might just be the male option for Makeb flirting. (Mmm, inter-non-humanoid-racial same-sex relationships, now that would be something, Bioware!)

So this is what Fox News all exploded about.

Tiger wanted to go all the way on the 'gay planet' and romanced the cute research girl (above, and in the middle of the previous picture). Just when they finally got to kiss, the suppress-the-hood circlet bugged out and behooded Tiger, resulting in the most underwhelming kiss ever. You can't even make out any gender.

Personally, I think it's a shame that there are no same-sex relationships possible with companions and that the only option is a flirt with a Makeb NPC, but at least it's a step in the right direction. I do wonder if there's also something for our male players on the planet: who do they get to flirt with?

Here our characters look really cool looking out of the window while flying off into the distance, having saved all the people of Makeb. It's almost Mass Effect. Oh we're such heroes! Wait, what's that holocall?

Totally not an anti-climax

So after we flew away being heroes, we got this holocall from the high commander of the army, saying: "Hey again guys, after you left the planet suddenly started stabilizing again, so we can go back! Only now there are these mercenaries popping out of nowhere that are demolishing our villages. It would be great if you'd come back and help us kill them on a daily basis." 


What the hell? Where are those mercenaries coming from, all of a sudden? Who hired them? How did they know that the planet wasn't falling apart after all earlier than us? What made the planet stop from destabilizing   all of a sudden when our experts calculated there was nothing to stop it? What does the Empire have to do with all this? Did the Empire somehow delude us by creating the seismic activity to chase us away from the planet?

At least all these questions make me want to try out the daily quests to see if I can find an answer. It also makes that I want to get Fárah, my highest level Imp, up to 50 to see what happens when you do the Imperial storyline. Hopefully either of those will give some answers, otherwise my in-game life feels, you know, even more pointless than usual.

Disclaimer: Tiger only 'allowed' me to post these pictures of our characters if I would clarify that unify colours didn't work properly in the cutscenes: he really hates the turquoise leg pieces on Rheiya. Bugging hoods, turquoise legs and yellow oven mitts, ah well. And then I'm supposed to be the one who freaks out over cosmetics!


  1. Wow, wow, wow. You're right about pretty much everything. Both of your characters are beautifully attired and appointed (minus the cosmetic issues, of course) and that anti-climax is so bizarre and - quite frankly - sounds very typical of the jerk-you-all-over-the-place-story feeling I got when playing.

    (Quick side-note and spoiler: Suresh is now the Supreme Chancellor, or at least was at the end of my Shadow's story Chapter 3.)

    The planet does look like a lot of fun, and I think you have convinced me to return to SWTOR just so I can complete that. I will have to report back on what same-sex flirt options become available for male characters, and Sethladan currently just has a headband, so hopefully no hoods will interfere with any romantic interludes. I'm with you on the companion romances, though - Lieutenant Iresso is quite the handsome fellow (and seems quite taken with my male Shadow already--!). Nadia's a sweetheart, but I much prefer someone secure, organized, and mature. :-P

    1. Makeb is fun, and I do want to find out what male-flirt options there are (I hope there are any!). Don't expect too much from it, though, it's just a short flirt each time you talk to some NPCs - at least on the 'other' side. You do need to buy the expansion to be able to go there - on the other hand, I think it's only 8 euros or something. Let me know what you do!

      Iresso was my love interest on my sage, but I turned him down because I'm a jedi and love is bad and all that nonsense... I do feel a bit evil, but on the other hand, Iresso was a bit too much of a fan for my taste, he got a bit sticky.

  2. Those screenshots look really lovely. :)

    My boyfriend and I had lots of fun playing up to level 15 a little while before the game went f2p.. but then I heard such bad things about how f2p was done we've not gone back. I dunno.. is it feasible to at least experience the story and the worlds as a f2per? Though we'd be bummed about not being able to do pvp/flahspoints so that's a bit reason why we've held off.

    Also I dunno how I could add another MMO as I'm pretty into GW2 and only barely playing Lotro. :P

    1. Sounds like you have your hands full, Lothirieth, heh. But if you do want to try SWTOR, I've found no difficulty with playing F2P, and completed the full class story and all planets up to Ilum (through level 49) with no problem. The only potential hangup with respect to questing/story is that non-subscribers do gain experience at a slower rate (and don't get rest experience). This wasn't an issue for me as I'm a perfectionist and completed every quest anyway. I found that the experience rate was actually perfect for this playstyle as I'd always be just about the right level for everything (as opposed to Lotro where you outlevel content long before completing it).

      Also, there's no limit to the number of flashpoints you can run; as a non-subscriber you'd only receive quality drops from your first three attempts per week, though. PvP is a little more restricted, with only five warzones a week max, but that wasn't a big deal for me. I would, however, recommend making a $5 US investment in Cartel Coins and/or add a security key if you have a smartphone - the former gets you Preferred status and the latter nets you 100 Cartel Coins for free each month (sometimes more).

      Overall, I'd say it's definitely worth it if you mostly want to experience the story and play tourist. For end-game/hardcore playing...I just read Ravalation. :)

    2. Whoa, thanks Dan, you're truly the SWTOR F2P expert!

      The people that I hear being very negative about F2P are mostly old players who played actively on endgame level before the implementation and were totally set back by the restrictions. The setup of the game still seems to try to get people into subscribing (which I don't dislike so much personally - at least it keeps the game away from immersion breaking commercial stuff like in Lotro), so of course there are some restrictions. Well, Dan said most about that already.

      One last thing that many people freaked out over: if you're F2P, you can't hide your head slot. For cosmetic fans like me (and perhaps you as well) that means either find a nice head piece or wear none - or just buy a one-time unlock from the Cartel Market or the GTN (if you're lucky and a player posted it there).

      If you're playing on the Red Eclipse, don't hesitate to ask for any help! :)

    3. They can't unify colors either! I always found those restrictions odd, but BioWare seems to know what they're doing with the Cartel Market (and I think the F2P transition was handled about as well as any MMO has ever done it). Folks shouldn't be afraid of the F2P SWTOR experience; there's some restrictions, but the best part of the game (the 1-50 story) is completely free ... and completely worth it.

  3. Yes, the Republic is driven off Taris by the Imps, which is partially why Republic PC get to Taris as their third planet, whereas Imperial PCs get there seventh. Conversely, Balmorra ends badly for the Imps, reflected in the flipped planet order.

    It's a shame about the graphics glitches, but the pics are beautiful anyway.

    1. Ah thanks. I've only leveled one Imp character (and mostly through PvP), so I didn't really understand how it all went - it's always the question how much your character's influence on the world is anyway. When I played on Rep, it wasn't really clear that you got chased off Taris by Imps.

      Thanks for the compliment!

  4. Ahhh, I see we really did have the exact same thoughts about the ending of the story there, haha! (I hadn't read your post before I wrote mine.)

    Male characters get to flirt with the young scientist the same way as female ones. (I quested with a male trooper who was quite miffed that I kept winning the conversation rolls with her. :P) If anything I was disappointed that while I got two different female characters to flirt with, there were no males to romance on Republic side. :(

    1. No gay flirting? That's super disappointing. :(

      And *lol* on the same thoughts about the ending. I'm working really hard on leveling my Inquisitor (level 47 as we speak) to take a peek at Makeb Imp style. At least that is something to look forward too!


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