Limitless Season

This week, somewhat coincidentally, I completed two goals I set for myself in SWTOR this year. The first is that I hit level 100 in the current Galactic Season without using any skips or catch-ups. When I started, I hadn’t specifically intended to do it in the minimum amount of time but when Ted from the State of the Old Republic podcast, compared skipping a day of Seasons to a snow day off from school, I began to make sure to complete all my objectives as they came up. As great as snow days are in the middle of February, they always come due as extra time in the classroom in June. Therefore I resolved to diligently complete my SWTOR homework so that I could jump straight into summer vacation at the end of the Season.

The second goal is that I completed the Limitless achievement, which saw me hit Renown rank 999 on one of my characters. I know I am far from the first to complete this one, but when I passed rank 500 earlier this year, I resolved to push the rest of the way through.

When it comes right down to it, I am like many MMO players who gain satisfaction from filling in bars, be they Experience, Reputation, Achievement or Legacy based. I’m not exhaustive in these pursuits, and if I’m being honest, I don’t always know why I set out to complete some tasks and not others. As far as the Galactic Season goes, however, I was motivated to unlock the Stronghold, and I once I’d gotten that far, I didn’t feel like it was significantly more work to get the rest of the way to the century mark. The Limitless achievement comes with a matching Legacy title and 20 sweet, sweet Cartel Coins, so I guess that was my goal. I’m sporting the title right now, but I don’t think of hitting the millennium rank of Renown so much as a feat of strength as a test of endurance.

I realize the term “grind” means different things to different people, but to me it is working towards a goal that can only be reached through specific, repeated, and monotonous gameplay. The classic example I’d cite is the Wintersaber Trainers reputation grind from vanilla World of Warcraft. Although it was made considerably easier to gain in later expansions, originally the only way to get reputation with this faction was to complete three and only three repeatable quests, the easiest of which was in a high traffic area with randomized mob spawns The reputation awarded by completing each quest filled only the merest sliver of that bar. When I did the grind, it required countless hours over months of running back and forth across the same zone killing the same mobs. It was a tedious, mind-numbing, and often frustrating process. I had different priorities back then, and I can’t possibly imagine doing it again, but I sure did love the Wintersaber mount I came away with after all that work.

Thankfully, nothing in SWTOR comes close to that. I hesitate to call earning Seasons levels or even the Limitless achievement a grind. At their very core, all I had to do was log on and play the game. I did play a lot to be sure, but not enough to drive me crazy. As I made my way through Galactic Seasons, I definitely developed a preference for certain objectives. The only ones I opted to avoid were the objectives to kill mobs. Finishing the Ossus weekly and still having to hunt down a dozen or so bugs was for me the least fun part of the first Galactic Season. I would truly prefer to lose a GSF match (and I lost a lot!) than mindlessly hunt mobs. But I know folks who disagree and look forward to those objectives. I can see the appeal of going out, playing your character and fighting monsters. On a very basic level, that’s what it was all about, but it’s not for me. While I absolutely hope to see a greater variety of objectives next season, I generally felt like the objectives I did get or rerolled kept me busy doing different enough things over the stretch.

When Season two comes around, will I jump into it again? To some extent, probably, but I don’t think I’ll be quite so zealous about keeping up. The strongholds were the only vendor rewards I didn’t already have. Since I have a head start on the second one for next season, I expect I’ll take it easy and enjoy the rewards as they come, unless there is something surprisingly amazing on next season’s track,.

I do have mixed feeling about the Limitless achievement. The main way I like to keep SWTOR fresh is by playing different characters from day to day, but to complete the achievement in a timely fashion, I really had to focus on just one, my Operative. To be clear, I did not complete the achievement in the quickest, most efficient manner possible. I certainly ran more than my fair share of Master Mode Red Reaper stealth runs, but I also made every attempt to mix things up with visits to all the daily areas and quick heroics in the course of each week. Even so I did get bored of the character, and might have run out of steam if not for the two double XP events this year. It’s not my proudest achievement, and if it gets reset or revised during Legacy of the Sith, I think I’ll give it a pass.

Panic at the PTS

Speaking of Legacy of the Sith, our first look at the expansion’s class changes have just appeared on the PTS, and there are major changes coming down the pike. I highly encourage everyone to check them out, give them a fair shake, and share their considered, thoughtful and polite feedback on the official forums. Player feedback had a big effect on how Onslaught turned out, and it’s important to let Bioware know how these changes will affect players. Remember that no one ever made a point by screaming like a monkey lizard. Be cool like Fonzie, not Salacious frakkin’ Crumb.



Filed under Galactic Seasons, General SWTOR, Legacy of the Sith, Onslaught

8 Responses to Limitless Season

  1. Todd S

    Ahh, the Wintersaber mount. WoW had so many excruciating grinds back in the day. Heck, I’m old enough to remember when just grinding up the (40?) gold for your mount training took weeks upon weeks of farming. I’m happy those days are gone in MMO’s, to be honest. Who has that kind of time any more?

    • TWIA-Mark

      Ah, yes! The riding gold sink. I had managed to scrape together enough gold to afford my first mount, but neglected to have enough left over to pay for the riding skill! A friend was on who could lend me the difference, but I had travel from Kharanos to Tanaris to meet him and then back again before I could finally ride. I’ll never forget that day. When it came time to buy my first Epic mount, I made doubly sure I had enough on hand!

  2. Congrats on those achievements! I’ve been looking at that Limitless achievement for quite some time, but my problem with it is the same that you had – focusing on just one character gets boring eventually, even if it’s my dearly beloved Shadow main.

    Since you mentioned the PTS, are you planning to share your thoughts on that here at some point?

    • TWIA-Mark

      I am going on vacation this week so my PTS time is super limited. For now, I’m not quite ready to freak out. SWTOR’s large number of abilities is overwhelming to lots of players and, I don’t think streamlining things is a bad idea. The danger comes in making a system where instead of getting to chose which abilities we want, we are instead are forced to pick which ones we have to lose; no one likes feeling less powerful after an expansion. And I also worry that simplified rotations might be too boring to play long term. I hope the feedback helps make all this work!

  3. Congratulations on both of these, but how did you manage to complete the Season a day before me? As I’ve also done every single objective since it launched, and I documented it all in writing so I know I didn’t just miss a day or anything…

    • TWIA-Mark

      I think I must have unknowingly benefited from the bug that caused Objectives to reset at 8 PM instead of 8 AM, and got to double dip one day. Can I call it a feature and not a bug? At the very least I did manage to avoid the two rampage objectives that I would’ve had to today.

  4. I didn’t think the Seasons was very grindy at all, I also disciplined myself to login everyday to complete the dailies, and with the help of the guild, the weekly ops all fell too, no problem. I only missed a few points on “Buggy Sunday” and I missed one Friday because it was a long day/week and then DnD night, I was just too tired to complete it that day… but I am done now, yay ! I don’t have to do PO’s til next season. I’ll still login for the login rewards, but since I’ve already done all of those, I’m not feeling pressured on that either. That’s one thing I love about SWTOR, the Grind Factor is low compared to other games.

    • TWIA-Mark

      I agree. SWTOR’s “grinds” are very low stress. Gearing is easy, and while there are a couple rare class sets, everyone has at least one decent set that they can purchase from the class vendors. And once you get to 306 on one character, your entire legacy is there as well. Reputations and achievements at best unlock cosmetics, so they’re entirely optional. Towards the end, the daily Season objectives did start to feel a bit like doing chores, but I also opted to finish it at best possible speed, so that’s on me. Next time, I’ll take it easier since I know that even if I take a two or three days off every week, I’ll still be able to complete the Season in time to spare.