Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Day One of Fallen Empire

Phew, what a day!  The launch of Knights of the Fallen Empire actually went really smooth.  The servers came up in a timely manner, and no emergency maintenance that I saw.  Pretty impressive considering all of the database changes that had to happen for this update.  There will be no spoilers in this post.

Once the servers came up, I just had to log in and check things out.  I looked around the interface, checked my mail, and other housekeeping type things.  I saw that the new Cartel Pack was out, so I bought one as it was just 200 coins.  Got a mount and a new type of companion gift for herbivores.  Wonder who eats that?  Then it was time to get some work done, so I logged out.

A bit later, it was time to start preparing to play the expansion.  One of my favorite changes in 4.0 unlocks companion conversations based on story progression, not affection. That meant all of my Trooper's companions had their conversation quests unlocked.  Since you 'lose' them in Fallen Empire, I wanted to do all of these before I started.   So I ran through a lot of conversations, some good, some not so much.  Treek was actually pretty funny.  I also allocated my Utility Points, as they got reset.  Then back to work for a while.

Finally, work was over and it was time to actually play the expansion.  I have seen Chapter One a few times on the streams, but it was still pretty awesome to see first hand.  The whole process of hitting play and getting in was really well done.  Very polished.  Everything about this expansion seems very polished.  So I did Chapter One, took me about an hour.  I look at everything.  The environment was really well done.  There was a lot to look at and a lot to hear.  I made THE DECISION, which started the stuff I had never seen before.

Chapter Two kind of just starts right away, which seems weird.  I didn't want to start it yet, so I esc'd out.  Then I got my quest reward, and hit 61.  That gave me access to the new Propulsion Grenade (something like that).  It's neat, but I don't know how useful it'll be.  The content isn't exactly challenging yet.  With the first chapter done,  I took a look at crafting.  The reward I received was a bit better than my gear, but not module gear.  So, time to craft a replacement.

I'm not sure I like the crafting changes in Fallen Empire.  Some, like the new assembly components, are fine.  But the process is a bit different now.  You start by crafting Blue's, which have a 60% chance of Reverse Engineering into a Purple.  It used to be 20%.  So, there is really no effort required to make the Advanced components.  The ingredients for the Advanced Barrel's changed too.  Before it required rare Scavenging materials, now it's Slicing?  I took Scavenging because it went with Armstech... strange.  Anyway, the barrel I made was an improvement, but still only required level 54 I think.  No other useful schematics for me to buy on the vendor, so that's it for crafting at the moment.  No need to make the barrel's for any companions.  The cap is still at 500, so nothing to do there either.

Speaking of crafting, having access to HK-51 and Treek came in handy.  You lose your other companions once you start Fallen Empire, so without them I wouldn't have been able to do anything.

Overall,  I had a really good time.  Fallen Empire is very high quality, and has lots of little details when make the experience better.  For example,  the new Companion screen has a section where it lists your interactions with certain companions.  I thought that was really cool.  There are also 50 Influence levels for each companion, a previously maxed companion starts at 10.  So lots of room to grow and fill bars if that's what you enjoy.

This is one of my longest blog posts in a while, so lets cut it off here :)