When the Dark vs. Light Event was first teased I was pretty excited. I am a veteran of all the SWTOR events going back to the original Rakghoul Pandemic in 2012, and because it’s been a couple years since Bioware has introduced a new event, I hoped we might see something new.
When the details were announced, however, those hopes were dashed. The Dark vs. Light event is clearly not like the Rakghoul, Gree or even Bounty Broker events. Given that we’re in the closing days of the expansion, I realized that DvL event was actually this year’s version of the Epic Story Boost, in which the material rewards replaced x12 class experience.
Once I accepted that, I decided to give it a go. There were many in my guild looking to reach Eternal and Legendary levels, and we worked together to reach those goals. Usually our group activity is dictated by the ops rotation or conquest objectives, so it was nice to leave that aside for a bit and do a little bit of everything else for a change.
While the list of objectives seemed long at first glance, by setting modest weekly goals and treating it like a marathon rather than a sprint, I found I could knock out achievements at a steady clip. Progressing eight characters to level 50 was the most time consuming part, but with the complete Victorious Pioneer armor, it wasn’t too bad. To keep things fresh, I made an effort to level each character in different ways: story, flashpoints, pvp, space missions, etc. For the one character that had to complete the story, I revisited my very first character’s class, which I hadn’t looked at since launch. It was neat to play it again with fresh eyes. However, of all the new characters I created, I really only connected with that one. Since I did the event on my home server, many of the characters I created were deleted to make room for the next one to level.
Without a doubt, banging out the world bosses, operations and Hard Mode Flashpoints was the most fun part of the event because I could run those things with guild mates. I honestly feel bad for anyone who chose to do that stuff on their own. Doing group content with friends is the best part of the MMO experience, and I’m fortunate that I play with a great group of folks who are always willing to help each other out. At this point we’ve got Hard Mode Blood Hunt down and can easily clear all the world bosses in one night.
The rewards have been nice. The experience boost armor makes leveling a breeze, and I think it’s a neat look for any Agent. The loot boxes have been okay. I can’t say I received anything ground breaking (a black/black dye was my rarest prize), but neither was I counting on anything in particular. My biggest surprise was how rare the Tunings turned out to be. It’s disappointing to get all the way to Legendary and not be lucky enough to get an item that was promoted as an exclusive reward of the event. Of all the guild mates that I’ve heard from, only one got a Tuning. It’s a bit of a drag.
The other rewards yet to come seem decent. We’re actually a bit short on Force using companions at the moment, so I’ll take another one of those. The turret mount seems silly, but it might be good for a laugh to trundle around in
Ultimately, the best part of the Dark vs. Light event was the content I did with friends and nothing inherent to the event itself. For that reason, I think an event with achievement based rewards is fine, but I did not like the fact that to earn those achievements I had to put aside characters I’ve been playing for years and start from scratch with characters most of whom will gather dust once the event ends.
As I said at the start, it’s been quite a while since the last event, and with the Rakghoul and Gree events on bimonthly schedules (and lasting two week during DvL), those old events, as much as I like them, are feeling pretty stale. We definitely are overdue for a new event with a unique theme, objectives and challenges. I’m not planning on it, of course, but it would be most welcome.
As a way to fill time between expansions, the Dark vs. Light has been fine, but I hope in the future Bioware can hit a higher mark.