In preparation for chapter XII (and to bridge the time my client needs to patch), I think it’s time for a recap of chapters X and XI. Never mind that I still haven’t posted my KOTFE “first impression” … ahem.
Oh Kaliyo, you lovely rascal. Honestly, I can’t share the discontent many expressed over the length and content of the chapter (even after getting nine of them with 4.0). I never expected more from it, story-wise. The only thing that could really use reconsideration is the actual gameplay between the cutscenes – very repetitive and flat out boring. All the skytroopers in all the corridors, all the time, basically. The cutscenes themselves are still exquisite, though; a huge upgrade compared to the base game.
As for the story itself, chapter X provided us with more insight into the Zakuulan society as well as a better understanding of who Kaliyo was before she joined the agent. They couldn’t have made a better choice to highlight the citizens’ lack of independence than letting the wild child herself terrorize them. They killed two birds with one stone here, in my opinion. Very well done. My RP-Serene wouldn’t have cared to blow up the city, but Darth-Nox-Serene enjoyed it quite a bit. (Ingame) Terrorism feels icky, though. That’s why Ayy found out that mass-killings aren’t actually her cup of tea and that she gives enough fucks to lead this rag-tag gang against Arcann.
KOTFE needs some more class flavour badly, to compensate the loss of the class storylines a little bit. Serene wasn’t able to be nearly as antagonistic as she should have been in the face of a highly decorated republican soldier joining her alliance, and Jorgan wasn’t nearly as antagonistic towards this F***** FORMER SITH COUNCIL MEMBER as he should have been, even if he desperately wants to oppose Saresh and yada yada yada. This whole thing starts to feel forced and cobbled together from this roleplayer’s perspective, either because the non-force users feel out of place or because Serene has to stand there and nod when her absolute worst enemies just walk into her base because BioWare says so. GET OFF MAH LAWN. They’re taking more choices away than they’re adding with KOTFE, if you ask me.
That said, I was overjoyed to see Jorgan in action again, who felt very much like his pre-KOTFE self. We also got to fight Skytroopers somewhere else than just in corridors this time (love the swamp). What surprised me was how much of an alliance this group suddenly was for me. It all slowly starts coming together in my head as the story progresses and the NPCs with all their very different personalities start forming bonds, however delicate they might be. I care. Finally. That eases a lot of the crew-loss-pain I felt after starting 4.0. Now all I need to do is play it on a trooper too;
gotta romance that Cathar…
One thing I have to admit: While I don’t appreciate the pressure KOTFE puts on you to build your character around the story and not the other way around, having Ayy confronted with her past (because she was a republican soldier before she went rogue and decided that bounty hunting is more her style) in this chapter was very interesting in regards to her character development.
Considering all of this, I’m actually quite happy with the current chapter format. It makes for regular story updates – you know, that facet of the game that BW/A successfully carved out as their niche – and lots of community chatter. I like that. It doesn’t really get boring until the next chapter drops, even if they’re only half an hour long. A little more general PVE and PVP polish to make that maintenance-mode feeling go away and this game would be in a good position again.
To come back to 4.3 and the fact that I’m happy: Martele hype! Valkorion hype! Dashade hype! Warzone hype! Names with spaces hype! PATCH FASTER, GAME!