SWTOR: A view on Balmorra

I realise it is very fashionable these days to be joyously hammering nails into SWTOR’s coffin – but do not include me amongst their number. I am still enjoying SWTOR at the slow pace I am playing it.

My main character is a Jedi Sage, which I have specced for healing. Given how little I actually group this probably sounds a little odd, but actually I quite enjoy letting my companions do a fair bit of the dps. Also, it’s very different from the Hunter I primarily play in LOTRO.

I have just finished Balmorra. I have to say I wasn’t sold on Balmorra at first, I found the first area a bit lacking. Then again, this may just have been the atmospherics of the place, a ramshackle beach-head of the Republic’s war effort. Once I moved out of Bugtown however I got quite taken by the individual story of Balmorra, of a resistance against the Sith Empire. Much of the language and ideology sounds very similar indeed to the Original Star Wars series (the rebellion of farmers etc) against the mighty Empire. This in turn of course ties directly into the American foundational myth. History and politics aside, it’s a darned good story. The Consular class story along this also had one of those wonderful Bioware moments at the end where your choice really felt in character.

The Bonus series, which I also did, was not quite as good. I think it may well have been the weakest bonus series thus far. I think this is because the main series of quests leaves one with a feeling of victory, but then the bonus series takes us back over some of the same battlefields again … which doesn’t quite work. I didn’t feel the same about Taris, for example, probably because the main story in Taris (or Nar Shaddaa thinking about it) don’t end such a triumphal note. One leaves knowing there is still work to be done … only that you are now needed elsewhere.

Leaving Balmorra I know have my third companion, Zenith. I rather like Zenith and his story. He’s a dark soldier, and perhaps one day I will have a dark-sider Jedi Shadow to see if one can’t explore his depths. While I might use him now and then, however, I don’t think he will replace Qyzen as my primary companion.

The story now takes me to Quesh. The name sounds like something either made up from leftovers (like bubble-and-squeak), or like something you step in. I can’t quite decide. Either way, I am looking forward to when I next decide to spend a few more hours in Star Wars.

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