Jan 10, 2012

Posted by in Breakdown | 17 Comments

Blue Milk & Cereal: What Do You Think Of Bonus Series Missions?

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Last week, MMORPG.com ran an interesting piece on the “Bonus Series” missions in Star Wars: The Old Republic. At first, I thought the topic was about the bonus quests that pop-up as you’re running around the world, where you have to kill 15/30/50 of some type of enemy to receive some extra experience. But then as I read it, I realized it was something else… Something much more sinister. As I learned first-hand when trying to leave Taris, there are entire sub-zones dedicated to a lengthy chain of extra missions!

At first you might ask “how can you complain about more content?” and that would be a valid question. My answer would be because of the presentation and the pacing.

By this point, you’ve already spent hours if not days questing on Taris. It reminded be of driving across Texas it look so long, and everything looked the same anywhere you looked. And my God, so many Rakghouls. Just when everything appears to be complete and you’re looking forward to a new zone, they hit you! And then, they don’t tie into the story in any meaningful way. They quest line is literally called “Taris: Bonus Series.” Intriguing, huh?

“But, Lethality, they’re OPTIONAL” you say? Yes they are. But if you’re what I believe to be the fairly typical MMO player, you’re somewhat of a completionist. How do I know there isn’t some kind of cool lore revealed there? Maybe there’s a datacron back there? At the very least, how on earth could I leave sections of the map uncovered?

In the end, I’m just not sure why they are even there. It seems like they were added without any thought or attention to the tuning or pacing of leveling. I’m already out-leveling all of my missions by a few levels at least, and I’ve done no PvP or Space Combat.

The bonus series on Taris sucked the wind right out of me. If the same thing is at the end of Nar Shadaa, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. What about you guys? Do you enjoy these “extra” quests? Do you skip them? Let us know!

What do you think of the Bonus Series missions at the end of a planet?

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  1. I LOVE the bonus series!
    Pre lvl35 you shouldn’t do them since you’re probally overleveled anyway on the planets, but after lvl35 they’re godlike exp/hr and allow you to skip some other quests you don’t like ~ like heroics ~ or the spacemissions (which I really hate)!

  2. It’s true that on taris, they don’t tie in to the story line, BUT on Tatooine atleast they do, and on nar shadaa, you just, stumble upon it, and understand something dark is afoot, wich gets some people hooked.

    • But why do they label then “bonus” missions? Why not just make it another planet story arc? I grew very frustrated by it the other night, the pacing was just terribly off.

  3. I don’t like any of the options on this poll. I would have preferred an option of, “Most of the time, they are fine. But Taris made me want to kill many Ewoks.”

    • My ploy to get you to leave a comment has worked! ;) I haven’t done any past Taris yet so we will see. Still feels tacked on.

      • I felt that the bonus quests in other areas were a natural progression. You were going somewhere to do a quest, killed something in your way, and suddenly an info droid come by and say, “Ohai, u has quest nao.”

        That is not how Taris felt. It was jarring and purely tacked on. There was no heroic feeling to it, which is what most other quests in the game feel like. I’ve been through most of Aldaraan and Tatooine and Taris is the only one that made me want to punch babies.

        • While it’s ‘nice’ of swtor to offer some filler for the option to grab a little xp and finish a rank before going off planet, I feel strongly that they shouldn’t bastardize the whole experience of immersion (heroic indeed, triumph of the human spirit, yada) for some cruddy filler options. It’s like putting some random puce exposition at the end of a novel’ chapter because you couldn’t afford a decent editor. I vote 2 thumbs down. In cases where it ties in well, I’m not opposed, but I think it would offer a better opportunity for some +real+ customization and differentiation between chars, and moreso, legacies.

  4. Sometimes they are a bit tedious but there’s a good amount of XP and credits to make doing them. When you do it with other people it’s not so bad

    • also I actually tend to leave the planet and do some other stuff and then come back so I’m not burned out of it (for instance last night I finished Quesh and now I’m back on Balmorra to do the bonus series and some heroics)

  5. I tend to do them and on Voss it was worth almost a whole level.

    I just hate the way they tend to grab you at the Starport just as your ready to leave though >.<

  6. Cosmic Cleric says:

    The problem I have with them is that not many do them, so trying to find a group for 4+ heroics is tough to do, and many times I leave w/o getting them done.

  7. i think they’re great. i usually am underleveled (i have no idea how, but i am), and these are a great opportunity for me to get some xp before i go to the next planet. i usually like to be a level or 2 ahead of the planet so i can skip some stupid quests or move on to my storyline quest when things feel grindy. i have participated in every planets bonus series thus far (im only 37 sw jugg) and they have helped a lot.

    i like them and think they should stay.

  8. Bonus series are ingenious. On my second char, I can skip quests I don’t like and use the bonus series to catch up. It’s also feasible to skip bonus on one char, do them on second char to have much more diff leveling experience.

    Too bad the system relies on player ingenuity to make use of it. In the world of mmo where players are zombies that like being spoon fed content, such customization options instead draw ire. Can’t please everyone no matter what u do.

    • Some people don’t actually play MMOs to level alts you know… some actually play with forward progression in mind.

      It’s a tacked on grind that doubles as content. There I said it.

  9. I don’t mind it too much. My problem is skipping over those damn triangles. My completionistic OCD kicks in. The annoying part is when you’re ready to move on to the next planet and already two levels above the starting level for the next planet and you have these staring you in the face. I just know from other characters that the extra little grind is worth it for a little extra gear, credits and XP. But I didn’t think I was ever going to get through the Tattooine ones on the imp side when I was just trying to get to the next planet before I went to bed!

  10. ScytheNoire says:

    Sometimes I just can’t wait to get off a planet, and then BAM! They want you to stay and do more crap for them. *sigh* But I need the commendations, so I guess I’ll stick around.

  11. I sometimes like 2 do them but I hate the fact that some quests (and i am not talking about class quest here) cant be abandonned .. some chain quests in bonus or other quests can not be abbandoned, so now im lvl 42 and stuck with 6 grey quests which i did not finish but can not abbandon so ill have to do those when i hit 50 ..

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