Diplomatic Investigations: 1.2 Update Favourites

Welcome to our weekly column dedicated to everything Consular and Inquisitor. If you have a suggestion for a topic you’d like covered in this column, drop Tim a line!

This is my third straight article about the Sith Assassin/Patch 1.2 and will be the last time I play on the public test server with patch 1.2 because it’s now live.  Well, the last time on the PTS for this patch – I’ll certainly be back for the next major release to check out what is new.

My Sith Assassin moved up to level 31 and just finished Chapter 1, which will apparently earn me two titles (one for reaching level ten on the test server, the other for finishing Chapter 1 also on the public test server).  Apparently these titles transfer over once patch 1.2 goes live.

It seems a lot of people were playing on the public test server just for the titles.  In actual fact I saw a player running around with a guild name of “Just Here For The Titles” !

As a writer for TOROZ I was lucky enough for SWTOR to copy one of my characters over to the public test server (meaning I got to play a clone of my level 41 Sith sorcerer immediately on the public test server). As it turned out, before that happened I was leveling my Sith Assassin and was enjoying it so much I continued playing that instead.  I did however setup the legacy for my copied character and had a play with the legacy system which looks pretty neat. My previous legacy name and experience did not copy over though, meaning I effectively started from zero on the test server. It’s a pity in a way, because I had a number of characters already leveled and of course there are now real and substantial benefits of that legacy experience.

Two benefits that I will find useful once I obtain them are a mailbox in my ship (yay!) and a Global Trade Network (GTN) in my ship as well.  Very handy.  I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve quick traveled to a location to resume where I left off and remembered I was going to list some items on the GTN.  Yes I know, I should be using an alt character and emailing the item to list on the GTN to them. I’d much rather have these items in my ship to do it there and then.

Being able to craft your own legacy weapon is nice as well.  But my favorite feature is a relatively simple one: the Sprint ability being available at Level 1.  Not to be confused with Force Speed which increases your movement speed by 150% for 2 seconds (without breaking stealth). Sprint, of course gave you an increase in movement speed by 35% while not in combat. Yes this is my favorite feature of patch 1.2.-  I personally find it infuriating to have to walk everywhere. I mean, I am Sith, I am a ruthless killing machine, I have a light saber and can generate lightning from my hands, but I have to walk everywhere? Whats the deal with that?

Such a simple change made a better experience in levelling for me.  Obviously it was 35% quicker to get to my destinations, something that is of particular importance in those early levels for experienced SWTOR players leveling up new characters.   I think those new to the game who start playing with Patch 1.2 will have no idea how spoiled they are. Let’s face it, the first time you play SWTOR you are probably taking it all in and having to walk everywhere is not that much of a pain, because by the time you start to think it’s a bit slow you gain the ability anyway.  Now it’s there from level 1.

Have you tried out the patch 1.2 yet and if so, what are your favorite features? Which is the feature you like most?

Guild banks?

Legacy weapons?

The new Operation and Flashpoint?

Combat log?  (I haven’t even looked at mine yet).

User Interface customisations (this one rocks).

The new Warzone maybe?

Something else?

Would love to hear from you, drop me a comment below.  Thanks for reading.

Diplomatic Investigations: Sith Assassin Tanking – Men in Tights?

Welcome to our weekly column dedicated to everything Consular and Inquisitor. If you have a suggestion for a topic you’d like covered in this column, drop Tim a line!

I don’t know about you, but for me the concept of a tank in an MMO is traditionally a character with heavy armor, and outfitted to the max.

So it came as a surprise when I found out the Sith Assassin or Jedi Shadow can be quite viable tanks in light (yes light) armor.  Yes I had read about it, but when it came time to playing it, that was different altogether.

The Sith Assassin gets around the lack of armour by having stances (well they are called Charges) like Dark Charge which increases the strength of the armor.

Below is a summary of my experiences moving from a ranged class (Sith Sorcerer) to a melee based one (Sith Assassin).

Of course one of the big differences is melee vs ranged – the Sith Assassin is a melee class so you are a heck of a lot closer to the action.   This is of course directly opposite to what the sith sorcerer and jedi sage classes are, which I covered previously.

Added to the mix is stealth which I had some experience with when playing my Imperial Agent operative.  I found it hard to not want to fight through all mobs instead of sneaking around them, almost like I was choosing the easy way out by not defeating anything that moves, which I tended to do with my sorcerer.

At the time of writing this article my assassin is only at level 19 so I cannot comment on some of the more advanced abilities, but one of the challenges I am facing is healing – or rather the lack of it with a Sith Assassin.  This is where the Jedi Sage and Sith Sorcerer rocked.  Even if you did not choose the healing talent tree, you were able to heal yourself or your companion.  This is not the case with the melee class.  So you better be sure you can survive a fight with the mobs you are taking on.  You can use medpacs of course but I sort of feel naked in a fight knowing there is no healing to back me up.

To get around that to a degree I am using Whirlwind to trap a particular enemy before taking on the rest, and also tried to be careful to make sure I use the appropriate interrupts (Jolt, etc) to minimize the damage caused by enemy special attacks. Doing this has made a big difference in where I end up at the end of the fight (dead or alive!).

The other thing that takes a bit of getting used to is the amount of Force you have.  The Sith Assassin and Jedi Sage have 100 Force (certain talents in skill trees can increase this a little), and this goes down (but also replenishes) quickly. This is a BIG difference to the Sith Sorcerer. If you are not particularly careful you will run out and have no attacks available since pretty well everything requires at least some force to use.

Fortunately, there is one attack you should always have on hand and that is the very basic Saber attack. It requires no force and should be what you are using to inflict some damage while waiting for your force to regenerate.   So make sure you have that mapped as chances are it will get a workout in most encounters.  Some damage is better than none after all.

In a later article once I have my assassin to level 30 or so, I will go though the rotations.  For now it does not make sense to do it, since it is changing regularly as new abilities become available to me.

Overall, I have to say I am enjoying the Sith assassin – it’s not like you lose all your ranged attacks.  For example you still have Force Lighting which is a staple for the Sith Sorcerer if you are in situations where it’s appropriate to attack from non melee range. That, and unlike Imperial agents they have lightsabers, double bladed ones at that!

In terms of companions I am still using Khem Val at this stage. The plan in battle is for Khem to hold aggro on the strongest enemy while I am mopping up the lesser powered ones and then I come in to assist Khem.  Plus as outlined above to use Whirlwind where necessary.  This has proven to be quite effective to date.

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back next week with another article!  Until then keep on gaming.   And if you are on the public test server, and are on the Sith side look for my two characters Mee (Sith Assassin) and Sil (Sith Sorcerer).