8 Tips for the Starting Star Wars: The Old Republic Player
Posted on Tuesday, January 3 @ 14:03:35 Eastern by Josh_Laddin
The galaxy is a cold, unforgiving place. Plenty of hardworking adventurers like yourself with hearts of gold (and eyes for credits) risk their necks out there every day in the titanic struggle between the Republic and the Sith Empire. Your heroics may go unnoticed or even viewed with malice, while some yokel like Jar Jar Binks in the right place at the right time gets made a senator. Where’s the justice in that? Well, it may not be a fair galaxy, but you’re not without some friends. GR is here to help turn you from daydreaming farmboy to legendary war hero with some pointers to thriving in The Old Republic.
1) Know what you want to be when you grow up.
The starting classes in SWTOR are somewhat deceptive; while they determine your basic abilities and potential, they are not your final class from a gameplay perspective. The Jedi Knight, Consular, Smuggler, and Trooper on the Republic side, mirrored by the Sith Warrior, Inquisitor, Imperial Agent, and Bounty Hunter on the Sith side, are more akin to “story classes” that determine your starting planet and your character’s story arc as you level. These four basic classes all have their own unique abilities, but it’s not until you leave the first planet and reach your faction’s main hub that you determine how your character will end up playing for the rest of its life.
It’s there where you choose an advanced class—each of the four basic classes splits off into two different advanced classes that each have their own distinct talent trees and roles in battle. A Bounty Hunter, for example, can either become a Powertech or a Mercenary. The Powertech can be played as a tank or dps, while the Mercenary can be a healer or dps. It’s not until this point (which is around level 10, give or take) that you make your real class choice, which in most MMO’s happens during character creation. Make sure you research and know ahead of time what advanced class you want to play, because this choice is a one-way ticket. If you change your mind, you’ll have to start a new character from scratch.
2) If you’ve never seen it before, kill it.
While it may not be the most tolerant thing to do, it’s definitely prudent to kill every new enemy type you encounter, even if it’s a little out of the way and you don’t have any quests relating to it. SWTOR is chock full of bonus quests that will automatically activate if you kill a new eligible creature type that you’ve never encountered before. These bonus quests task you to kill more of that same creature type and give you a nice XP boost when completed. They’re a good way to supplement your other quests, and you can often kill two birds with one blaster when a new creature also gets added to your codex for even more XP.
3) Travel off the beaten path—you just might learn something.
Completionists don’t need to be told to explore every nook and cranny of the game world, but even if you’re not, you’d do well to deliberately check out-of-the-way areas if you’re interested in maximizing your character’s stats—you might just stumble upon a Datacron. Distinguishable from a moderate distance by the soft glow they emit upwards, a Datacron is a small metal box that contains a historical record from an event that's even older than the Old Republic (old, old republic?). Accessing a Datacron adds the account to your codex for another minor XP boost.
But that’s not all—Datacrons have spoils to give, either in the form of collectable items that may form parts of a greater whole later on or in permanent stat gains. That’s right, many Datacrons will give you free stat boosts just for seeking them out! Granted, it’s only a few stat points here and there, but it does add up collectively over time for those of you who min/max your stats.
4) Pick off the weaklings first.
Even if you’re not a power-hungry Sith lord, thinning the enemy’s numbers by preying on the weak is just good fighting sense. SWTOR introduces a several-tiered system of enemy (mob) type: Weak, Standard, Strong, Elite, and Champion. Baddies in this game like to travel in packs, and oftentimes you’ll be faced with three or more enemies of varying types. A good rule of thumb is to pick off the lesser foes before taking on the bigger ones. For example, if you engage a group of two Standard mobs led by one Strong, your best bet for survival would be to eliminate the Standard ones with significantly less HP and save the Strong for dessert. Enemies ranked higher than Strong are probably too tough to take solo, so grab some friends! And that leads us to…