SWTOR – Level 50 New Players Guide
By Matthew F. Hibben
In Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) players often upon reaching level 50 (the max level) are at a loss for where to begin their endgame experience. With so much content to explore a new player reaching 50 might be overwhelmed and under informed about what activities should take priority. This Game Tech article outlines what activities will give players in SWTOR the best bang for their buck.
Life Begins at 50
For many players, an MMO begins when they can partake in all of the content available. In SWTOR the “Endgame” experience begins at 50, where players can participate in various dailies*, hard-mode (HM) Flashpoints*, and of course Operations.
*Depending on the infrastructure of the player’s Guild, they will be able to skip many of these steps and jump right into Operations. This guide at its core is designed for players not in farming guilds, of which I believe there are many.
Ilum and Belsavis Dailies
High level repeatable PVE dailies are introduced to players who complete their class quest series. This usually occurs at level 50, however this will vary based on how thoroughly players complete each planet. These dailies take place on the planets Ilum and Belsavis. It’s important to point out that there are storyline quests related to both of these planets and the dailies associated with them, and that the dailies will require completion of the storyline components to unlock in many cases. Below is a list of the dailies available to players and the rewards associated with them, as well as any special information related to them.
Ilum Dailies: 7 (8*) DC
Poisonous Strategy (Heroic +2): Rewards 3 Daily Commendations (DC) and a level 49 epic enhancement. This daily can be run with a very flexible group setup. I typically run this with tank (myself) and a dps, with both players using healer companions.
A Tightened Grip: Rewards 1 DC
Operation Shatterstorm: Rewards 1 DC. Quest item spawns quickly, and moving between 2 spawn points can get this daily done with minimal clearing.
*Defend the Shipment: Rewards 1 DC. This quest is currently bugged, the exact nature of the bug is based on player’s not completing the defense duration and the item becoming unusable by other players. This daily can only be completed properly following a server reset (patch days, maintenance etc.).
Rightful Owner: Rewards 1 DC. Quest tracking for this and Sabotage can be buggy as far as where they are located on the map. Simply follow the path towards the PVP entrance and then south where many loot-able crates are located.
Sabotage: Rewards 1 DC. The device that needs to be activated for this quest is located near where players will complete Rightful Owner, simply keep an eye out for a drilling device that has a clickable panel.
Belsavis Dailies: 17 DC
Lights Out (Heroic 4): Rewards 3 DC and an orange companion weapon with level 50 modifications. This Heroic daily can actually be soloed a variety of ways. As a well geared tank using damage reduction cool downs, I simply run through clicking on the quest items while mitigating as much damage as possible. This method results in a death after the quest is completed due to taking damage from well over 15 epic targets as well as the boss target. Classes that can stealth can get to the clickable items from what I am told and avoid any deaths at all. Keep in mind players can do this quest the legitimate way through a party of 4 players, but I find that it is simply much more efficient to do the quest solo and take the deaths, vs. spending the time trying to gather 4 players.
Old Enemies (Heroic 4): Rewards 3 DC and a level 49 epic armor modification. This is yet another Heroic daily that players can shortcut through. I typically duo this quest, by going with a DPS class and simply charging through the instance and dying at the boss. A party of two with the right pets out can kill the target quite easily as long as interrupts are used on his heals effectively. Players can either quick travel out, or have the tank (myself) agro everything and kite towards the exit. Double stealth or even very well geared stealth classes, can solo/duo this quest without any deaths.
It is important to note that often I skip this daily due to the fact that the armor modification reward is not as good as the one you can buy with DC. I typically will only do this quest while completing my dailies on Bel (Belsavis) if someone else is requesting a group for it. Old Enemies falls into the realm of time invested vs. reward.
Unintended Consequences: Rewards 1 DC. This quest can be a huge pain if many players are currently on it as well. The quest item seems to have a very erratic drop rate. A huge tip for players finding themselves in a situation where spawn competition arises is to simply farm the targets outside of the quest tracked area complex. These targets will also drop the quest items, and as far as I have seen, never touched by players.
Invisible Threat: Rewards 1 DC.
Reluctant Volunteers: Rewards 1 DC.
Ancient Transmissions: Rewards 1 DC.
Found in Translation: Rewards 1 DC.
Droid Malfunction: Rewards 1 DC
The Carriers of Xenovirus Prime: Rewards 1 DC.
Deadly Mutations: Rewards 1 DC.
Freeing the Fallen (Heroic 2): Rewards 3 DC and a level 49 epic modification. This is another “solo” group quest. Players can simply run through the 3 pulls of elites and drag them to the boss target. If the player makes a large arc around the boss, the boss target will agro onto the droids allowing them to do the work for you. As with the quest Lights Out, this can be soloed without death by being a stealth class, or with minimal death by being a tank class.
The question I’m sure that will come up now is what do these DC do. Players can use DC to purchase very nice armoring modifications as well as weapon modifications (both hilts and barrels), and certain Rakata pieces. These modifications cost 8 DC each and will boost the player’s effectiveness quite dramatically. I strongly recommend players purchase all the armoring and weapon modifications for themselves and their companions first. Players can also buy very high level (Rakata) earpieces and implants with DC, however these pieces cost 120 marks each. The 120 number might seem daunting at first but keep in mind players can gain more than 20 per day, so try to think of it in terms of a very nice top end piece per week.
Hard Mode Flashpoints
Hard Mode Flashpoints (HMFPs) are dungeons that players can complete for very nice rewards. Taking a step back and focusing on new level 50 players, I will talk about which HMFPs players will want to start with. Black talon is hands down the easiest of the HMFPs players can engage in, and because of this, is the least gear dependent. Fresh faced level 50 players can do Ilum/Bel dailies for a few days and be good to go for this HMFP in a PUG (pick up group) setting. HMFPs reward Tionese level gear throughout the FP and the final bosses drop various Columi tokens. HMFPs give players a nice way to gain Columi set pieces as they either prepare for Operations or supplement a streak of bad luck in their OPS groups. HMFPs also drop various crafting related items including schematics for Tionese level gear as well as crafting materials used in some of the best items in the game.
I would recommend new 50s focusing on Black Talon for at least their first day or two at 50, as the other HMFPs have a much steeper gear check and learning curve associated with them.
A list of the HMFPs and the Columi tokens that drop from the last bosses:
HM Black Talon: Columi bracer token
HM Boarding Party: Columi glove token
HM The Foundry: Columi boot token
HM Directive 7: Columi pants token
HM Battle for Ilum: Columi offhand token
HM False Emperor: Columi chest token
HM Kaon Under Siege: Columi helm token
A Word about HMFPs
As you do HMFPs you will undoubtedly encounter other likeminded players with similar interest and experience levels. Talk with these players at convenient moments during the run and ask or offer to do more content if the group seems to be suited for it. Players that have already run HMFPs with you will have a better understanding of each other’s play styles and competency level. Many times I have done smooth runs with people I have never met, and have gone on to successfully complete many more HMFPs on a given night with the same group, simply by asking if they were game for more. I can’t stress enough the importance of the social aspect of grouping. Building a good rapport with players can lead to many options in terms of group setups for HMFPs as well as invites into OPS groups.
PVP Items and PVE
Players of SWTOR can engage in PVP (player vs. player) which reward various PVP items. These items are not just useful in PVP though, players can find use for these items in PVE (player versus environment) as well. PVP items that contain modifications can be removed and placed into orange (custom) items as well as into other types of items that allow for modification. The important thing about the modifications in PVP items is that they contain no PVP stats. The PVP stat (Expertise) is located solely within the base item itself. So players can strip mods from higher level PVP items and place them into their PVE items at a monetary cost.
Crew Skills and Endgame
I mentioned earlier about various items dropping in HMFPs that can be used to produce powerful items. Rakata pieces are the final tier of quality items in the game currently and various Crew Skills (CS) can produce these items in their critical version.
Synthweaving : For Sith classes Synthweaving can produce bracers and belts of the Rakata quality level, and beyond in their critical versions.
Armormech: For Tech classes Armormech can produce bracers and belts of the Rakata quality level, and beyond in their critical versions.
Artifice: For all classes Artifice can produce Relics of the Rakata quality level, and beyond in their critical versions.
BioChem: For all classes Biochem can produce re-useable consumables including stims, medpacs, and adrenals.
All of the examples listed are produced with a special drop from both HMFPs and OPS, Biometric Crystal Alloys. These items drop from the final bosses in HMFPs and from each boss in OPS, allowing players with the appropriate CS to produce incredibly good items early on in their level 50 careers. It is important to note that Biometric Crystal alloys are BOP (bind on pickup), meaning they cannot be traded, sold or purchased.
In conclusion I wanted to thank the SWTOR community as well as the developers for facilitating a game with both a large presence as well as the promise of more to come. It is my hope that players will take from this article a better understanding of the options available to them, as well as a clear path to achieve whatever objectives they seek.