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3.0 and (HM) flashpoints


Marlowe

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Let me introduce that I obviousy have no idea what's in stor for us players in 3.0; I'm in fact very anxious for the upcoming teased and announcement, and for more reasons than one.

 

Looking back when 2.0 was released (and, relevantly, the level cap was raised), we had 8 (11 if you counted both factions) HM flashpoints to run. That dropped to 4 (eventually raised back to 6 when the Czerka flashpoints were introduced) as 2.0 hit.

 

Looking at the situation right now, if it so happens the level cap is raised again, we will face a similar situation (if somewhat less dire): down from 6 to perhaps 4 HM's (assuming the 4 Forged Alliance flashpoints get that treatment, ad that no new flashpoints are released, of course). Also, in case of a level cap, there will be even less reasons to run the original 8(11) HM's.

 

My suggestion, after this long introduction, is to create some sort of "Nitemare Mode" (for lack of another name); for HM's originally at level cap, it doesn't need to be any different. But for all other flashpoints (the 14 that are currently there), that mode would simply scale the Hard Mode for the level cap.

 

Even if there is not level cap raise, they should do this, in fact. I understand that there are people that chose not to get the expansions, but they are having more options to play than people that actually have.

 

Same thing goes for Operations, as a mater of fact. Nitemare Mode = always at level cap.

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My thought would be to go more in the direction of adding bolster to old hard modes (or just tweaking the old hard modes directly to scale them for the new level cap). A lot of level 50+ content could probably use a revamp of some sort, really. And it's got to be quicker and more straightforward to just scale the health and damage levels of what's already there for a different level than it would be to introduce a new difficulty level because the nightmare mode version would most likely need to have new gameplay mechanics thought up and programmed in to set it apart from hard mode and story mode. This would help to keep the variety of hard mode content available at max level high instead of creating a small new tier of hard modes and brushing the last batch off to the side. (And with the bolster approach it wouldn't be taking those old options away from the 50+ characters leveling to max level either.)

 

As you kind of mentioned, since the Makeb expansion we've had two separate tiers of "end game" content and after another level raise expansion it will be three tiers. That's three separate pools of current and former level capped content. For the characters at max level the previous cap's "hard mode" content will be pretty easy and the older cap's "hard mode" content will be a joke. Both of our ideas are attempting to see a way for those three small pools to merge into one large pool with all of the content being able to provide a reasonable level of challenge to everybody at a high enough level to start playing them. (In my idea 50-54 can play 50HM alongside the 60s, and 55-59 can play 55HM alongside the 60s. Because the level 60 bolster would apply in all of them and the enemies would all be scaled as 60HM.)

 

The way my idea is going there, group finder would be down a category. Currently 55s have 55HM and 50HM queues, and without any of these bolster / revamp ideas we could assume that the 60s would have 60HM and 55HM queues. But in my idea all three tiers of HMs would be in a unified queue. So I would also suggest a bolstered 55SM queue which takes all of the leveling flashpoints and puts versions of all of them bolstered to 55 in a queue together. Not hard modes, just something to fill in as that lower tier queue. I would also revise the heroics that end the seeker droid and macrobinocular quest lines a bit to treat them like flashpoints and add them to this queue. This makes these missions repeatable and gives people an easy way to group for them and (for most of us) gives us a chance to finally complete them.

 

I'd also suggest adding a level cap bolster to SM operations through group finder so that all of them can be in the same rotation instead of the current way which has separate rotations for 50 ops and 55 ops.

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Needless to say that as the content expands on the game, the old content will become more or less redundant. This is a common factor on MMO's, Bioware would need to counter this with having more a variety of content revamped up for us. The existing content is still good but needs a new facelift.

 

There are several ways on approaching this. With that being said with the level count expanding soon there is also the current Operations would need to be revised as well.

 

I had a thought about Black Hole Commendations should be changed a little bit to have crafting plans or lower end 156 gear drops (this could come from level 50 dailies or the lower end operations eg. KP/EV/EC and weekly quests)

 

I believe that the current storymode gear drops for EV, KP, EC would need a minimum of 162 gear followed by Hardmode/Nightmare 168 Underworld gear dropping Basic Commendations.

 

The level 55 raids like Scum and Villany, Dread Fortress and Dread Palace should stick with 168 for storymode and 180 Hardmode / 186 Nightmare gear (still focused on Elite and Ultimate comms)

 

In terms of Flashpoints, we do have a wide variety of them but when you hit level 50 and above, this should change to accommodate the endgame content. The gear drops would need to be least the minimum of 156 gear and none of these green, white, blue unnecessary gear drops that would have been useless and tossed out into the junk pile. I would have understood that any level 50 Flashpoints with Hardmode difficulty would have at least gear drops coming out left and right, with a random mount, random crafting plans or materials, tokens for Strongholds etc.

 

I think the Flashpoints should not be neglected as the content expands and players should be able to revisit them anytime. These are just my thoughts.

Edited by Satelerevan
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I expressed myself badly. What you described as the Bolster approach is what I had in mind.

 

Also, I like to look at what LOTRO does. Most (but not all) instances there are scaleable, with the one you run at level cap giving some added rewards for running them (mats, tokens, whatnots). I think BioWare could look at that idea and apply it somehow.

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