Creating a new level 60: Most people I know already have or are scrambling to get a character to level 60 and prepared to jump into the new content. Having boosted an essentially new character up to 60 in Rift (for the Nightmare Tide expansion), I can safely say I will not be taking advantage of this offer. I may get all of the abilities and and a decent set of gear, but I doubt there will be a corresponding “cash” infusion. And the boosted-to-500 crew skills won’t necessarily be great either, when I can’t afford the high-level crafting recipes.
Crafting/gathering: “You’ll be able to gather any resource no matter what your skill level (although your level determines how much you get).” This is like how fishing turned out in WoW and a few other games, where if you’re too low, you’ll just end up with trash, but at least you’re skilling up. I like it. I’m guessing Scooter will like it, too, since we’ve both encountered nodes while going through our story that we were unable to harvest. I don’t generally craft in MMOs because the gear never seems to be as good as what you can get from rewards or loot.
Legendary status: “Beat all of the personal storylines, get a fancy icon next to your name.” Sure why not. I want to finish them all anyway. My question is, does this refer just to the original stories or all the way through KotFE?
Companions: Companion stats will not longer be dependent on gear, but will be uniform for their level. So their clothing will be purely cosmetic. This is a great change, in my opinion, because I have quite a few companions currently in Imperial pilot gear (because it was free!), so I can adapt it as needed. With KotFE, I will be able to outfit them how I would like rather than be limited by stats (or armor type). Strangely, this was a major bone of contention for a number of people commenting on the MMORPG article. “Affection is being transformed into influence, which will reportedly affect how well that companion functions in combat.” If I am not mistaken, up till now, Presence affects combat effectiveness, while affection affects crew skill effectiveness. Hey, anything that helps combat right? Especially now that gear stats will not be a factor.
Cartel market companions: “Buy companions from other class stories? Or a grab-bag of new, non-story ones?” I don’t really care either way on this. I didn’t buy Treek, and see no need for HK, either. With companions being able to fulfill any role, I will be able have whomever I want accompanying me. I am attached to any given companion (or not) because of the way my own character has interacted with it. But other than the class companions’ stories, they may as well be battle droids for all it really matters. I don’t need companions from other stories to play the game.
Share keybind: Like Syp, I really think this should be standard on MMOs in 2015. In SWTOR’s case, I think this comes too late for me, though. I have my stable of alts full on Ebon Hawk, and don’t really have any toons anywhere else, except a really lowbie Warrior on Bergeren Colony, whom I have also already set the keybinds for.
Temporary ability bars: “A good idea for situational skills.” Is this feature user configurable? I’ll have to see it in action. My main ability bar already changes when my gunslinger is in cover, but I haven’t really seen much need for situational bars thus far.
Legacy datacrons: “Now they’ll be made retroactive. . .” So if I’ve gotten these on any one character, the buffs will be accrue to all my characters? Or do I need to run them again? The reason I ask is that I noticed my Legacy achievements don’t show all the work I did on my Agent that reached 50 and the end of the original story before they implemented the achievement system. I really don’t want to run another Agent just for the Ach-points. But I might consider the datacrons one more time if it’s the last time ever.
Leveling and level-scaling: The new leveling process will be streamlined, but will not be quite as fast as the current 12xXP buff. I suppose this is acceptable; although once I’ve gone through the planetside stuff on one character, I have little desire to repeat it. The things that I’ve shortchanged myself on in this regard are the social points and perhaps the LS/DS points that Scooter and I tend to rack up when we do the planetary stuff.
Level-scaling seems to be quite a bit more controversial. I personally prefer the optional mentoring system Trion implemented in Rift, where I can blast past lowbie mobs at my natural level or scale myself down to whatever level I choose to increase the challenge. However, as Syp pointed out, the auto scaling done in Guild Wars 2 seems to work pretty well. While mobs in GW2 are never trivial, they aren’t usually much trouble for characters who’ve been down-leveled.
Fallen Empire chapter interface: I have no experience with the GW2 Living Story that Syp refers to; I mostly avoided that stuff when I did play in Tyria. As far as replayability, I have that full stable of alts to level, I doubt I’ll be repeating much content on any single character (aside from flashpoints or operations if Scooter and I participate in those).
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Source: I Have Touched The Sky Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes