Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fallen Empire: Alliances

I've finished the nine chapters of Fallen Empires that were released. Shintar makes a good point, when she describes the experience as "the borders between your personal story and the rest of the game are marked more starkly." The main story is very much a true single-player experience, the KotoR 3 that people have been asking for.

But after that come the more traditional MMO elements. Here, Bioware has done some interesting things. The main story of Fallen Empire is not complete yet. What's been released is more like Part 1. Where it stops, your character is setting up an Alliance to oppose the Zakuul Empire.

In some respects, it's like Garrisons from WoW. Only the focus is on recruiting new companions, and sending you out into the galaxy to accomplish things, rather than encouraging you to hang around your base.

One amusing element is that SWTOR now has a second conversation style. Bioware is touting it as a callback to KotoR, but it's real advantage is that your character is unvoiced. This allows Bioware to add these small pieces of content without calling in all 16 class voice actors.

In any case, there are 4 or 5 companions you can recruit through small missions or other tactics. For example, one companion requires you to participate in 20 PvP matches (wins count as 2 matches). Another companion requires you to hunt dangerous beasts, which you can do by killing World Bosses. Level sync makes that a lot more interesting. I like this because the only reward is a companion, of which you have plenty. So these missions are totally optional.

There are also Star Fortresses. Six worlds have Star Fortresses in orbit, and you have to do a mission on the ground to take out the shield protecting them. The Star Fortresses themselves are miniature instances, which can either be done solo or in a group of 2-4. It's pretty great content for just grabbing a friend and running through them.

Finally, all the planetary Heroic missions have been rebalanced and are available from your base, offering transport directly to the mission. This is essentially solo or duo content, and rewards lockboxes which you turn in to improve your base, and also gives you legacy cosmetic gear.

All in all, the Alliances seem like a strong and extensible system for solo and duo endgame content.


  1. I think the garrison comparison is a bit unfavourable... you don't need to hang out in your alliance base and it doesn't grant any gameplay advantages, it's just a sort of quest hub where you gather your companions. And you're still the one who actually goes out on missions.

    I like that the "old" companions that you re-recruit act differently based on your class. For example as a trooper, I didn't have to do any warzones to gain that particular companion; he happily came with me right away as he used to be part of my squad. :)

    Seeing the heroic mission "endgame" made me realise that this must have been the reason they introduced the level sync.

    1. I agree with you about garrisons. But I think it's still similar at a basic level. You have a base and are recruiting people to join you. I think that SWTOR choosing to focus on only those aspects was a stronger choice.

      Yeah, level sync allows them to reuse the old planets and add new content to them. Same thing with the Star Fortress recruitment missions.

  2. I'm coming back after last playing through Makeb. Any thoughts on where I should start? Any icy veins type of site that can tell me how to play my Guardian?

    1. Well, you have two options. You do get a free 60, so you could start a new character right away for the new content.

      If you want to continue with your current character, just board your ship. There will be a mission console which will start you on the Shadow of Revan expansion. Also make sure to do Ziost before starting Fallen Empire.

      As for class guides, I recommend Dulfy. The 3.0 guides should still be good for rotations. However, gearing has changed, so ignore that part of the guide. Just take the quest gear for your role.

  3. I'm enjoying the new XPAC, but I think in some ways, Bioware made a bad choice. Enforced 5-6 hours of solo play makes the game less fun for some people, like my wife. She enjoys gaming with me, but in general, she doesn't enjoy just sitting down and playing solo for a few hours. So far, even though she paid for the expansion and goodies, she hasn't played a single minute of the new stuff, BECAUSE she doesn't have a choice but to run solo. :(

    1. Yeah, it's a little unfortunate, because the rest of the expansion is *very* duo-friendly. The heroics and star fortresses in particular are really nice for a pair of players.