The latest monthly content release for the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion came out last week and I finally managed to fit in a playthrough yesterday. I was somewhat unsure whether I’d actually enjoy this one since I’m not a Gault fan and haven’t played Sith Warrior so Vette is a virtual unknown companion to me also.
Despite the fact that both new focus-characters aren’t that special to me or my character, I was very pleasantly surprised. I found the writing, dialogue and balance of the content to all be very enjoyable. Both Vette and Gault had some really great jokes and, in my opinion, the interplay between the two characters was believable. More importantly I bought into the reasons why they would end up agreeing to work for my Jedi in his ‘Alliance’ against Zakuul.
Perhaps the real star of this chapter for me was the setting – the gas giant Vandin. I’d read about gas giants and the orbital platforms operating within their atmospheres for some pen & paper roleplay preparations last weekend (for Alternity, not the Star Wars rpg). So to then be leading a mission to such a world in SWTOR had an extra angle of interest for me! The general background visuals of ships tethered to a central station were really impressive and I did seem to spend a lot of my play-session taking screenshots.
The overall balance of story to combat seemed good enough although the mission was certainly back to a more linear standard than last month’s chapter. That’s fine though given the setting on Vandin, wandering free in a gas giant’s atmosphere isn’t that practical! I do wonder if the combat has been slightly tuned this time around, I have no numbers noted to compare against previous chapters, but the fights seemed to take slightly longer without becoming tedious. I also was able to stealth around a lot more mobs than before, even one gold-label Knight of Zakuul, normally in earlier chapters they spotted me regardless of my attempts to stealth past them. My character is at the current cap so XP from fighting isn’t so important to me. I engaged enough mobs to complete any bonus objectives but otherwise used stealth to good effect where possible.
The gas giant setting in more open areas did offer some truly delicious opportunities to use the Force Wave to comical effect. There was also the mandatory boss fight towards the end of the chapter but I didn’t find it particularly challenging. Part of the reason for it seeming easier might be that through most of the chapter we actually have both of the named companions as active helpers.
I found this to be a really enjoyable chapter and I look forward to the next one in early June to see where the devs take the story next.