What I'm Currently Working On: SWTOR

I've been writing the annual PVD Labor Day gaming round-up since 2009.  I usually have some non-gaming activities for the holiday, and at the time a matter of fact summary of what I was doing, with little analysis attached, seemed to be a good sort of filler.  In today's non-subscription era, the filler is looking like it will take over a week - I may need to re-evaluate.

In the mean time, the rundown continues with SWTOR.

Ordinarily, the looming free to play shift (along with last month's inexplicably short live event) would be enough to keep this game off the calendar until they finish re-launching.  However, there are some perks that could make a month of subscription time - especially as the relaunch gets closer - a worthwhile purchase.

Like some other conversions, there is going to be some bonus in cash store currency for staying subscribed despite the pending relaunch - with an extra bonus for being subscribed when the conversion actually happens.  Turbine approached this type of promotion for LOTRO by ruling that players had to remain subscribed continuously from the announcement to the relaunch in order to get any of the loyalty bonuses.  By contrast, EA is apparently not going turn away any customer by telling them they missed a deadline.  Bioware has also announced that species access will be grandfathered for existing characters - this could actually add up to more than $15 depending on how many alts you plan to make of how many different species.

Currently, I own a level 50 Trooper and a Sith Warrior in the mid-teens.  I really want to like the Sith Warrior - the storyline is excellent - but I just haven't been enjoying the gameplay.  Perhaps I've been spoiled by the medium range combat on the Vanguard trooper.  SWTOR combat encounters usually involve packs of several weaker enemies, not all of which will be in melee range, and my Warrior often finds that he has struck down his foe and that Vette is busy killing the next target while he stares ahead blankly.

At this point, my plan is to shelve the Sith Warrior and roll up a Chiss Agent.  I have yet to play a healing-specced character, and this particular combination was just about at the top of my to-do list anyway.  I guess I could even roll up all of the remaining classes - Sith Inquisitor (ranged force user), Jedi Consular (stealth melee - I may hit the same concern with melee, but if I'm doing ranged force user I feel like it should be purple lightning), Smuggler (though I might prefer to get the Chiss legacy unlock first for this), heal spec Bounty Hunter (on the theory that it may be like the Trooper, which I liked), and maybe Jedi Knight (though that's the same class I dislike on the Warrior). I won't finish most of these before the relaunch, but there's no harm in getting started.