Star Wars: The Old Republic’s new character boost advances through levels — not story

Not all character level boosts were created equal. Star Wars: The Old Republic is experimenting with a new type of boost that will offer an interesting alternative to the one that it already has in place to help players skip over the core game and right into the latest expansions.

Instead, the Master’s Datacron boost will instantly advance a character to level 70 while retaining his or her spot in the story. The obvious application of this is to pay to overpower your character so that you can advance through the story without any actual challenge.

At 2,000 cartel coins, the character boost isn’t cheap, although one can be bought and sold for credits on the GTN. The Datacron also comes with a set of level 70 gear and instant access to your ship, even if you haven’t reached it yet in your storyline.

Source: SWTOR
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23 Comments on "Star Wars: The Old Republic’s new character boost advances through levels — not story"

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James Mock

20ish dollars is a great deal considering WoW’s boost is $60 or so.

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zeko_rena

Odd, I find SWTOR one of the most easy games to level in ever, I have an Imperial Agent that just got to Dromund Kaas and is level 31.

Plus the game has a level cap per planet anyway, I think Dromund Kaas is level 19, of course I can still keep leveling, but why buy 70 and still be level capped on the planets anyway.

“At 2,000 cartel coins, the character boost isn’t cheap”
I guess its a bargain if you compare it to that light saber for sale for 3750

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Alien Legion

Have then rolled back the level sync? If not, then what does it matter what your level is?

Most power Sith in generations? Bah, here are some level 70 cave rats to keep you busy…

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overbyte

This is a great addition to an mmo whose focus is on story.

By locking new players who use level boost token to play with their friends out of their class stories, the game denies them the opportunity to experience some of the best aspects of the game. This way they can experience all of that great content, receive level-appropriate rewards (xxp) and be available to do what the rest of us are up to as well. What is there to dislike?

Good on BioWare for trying something different, I say.

Alatar
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Alatar

For one aspect of this, I blame Netflix.

Binge-watching has accustomed us to consuming story content in one endless gulp, not stopping until it’s over. Forget one season at a time, we wait for the entire series to be done so we can just blast through it in one lost weekend, sleepless and constipated.

Storytelling in video games used to be fragmented, with many little stories, each standing on its own. There wasn’t an overarching plot, a story line against which everything else had to make sense. But as video games became more cinematic, more story and, somehow, less game, the push was on to make these experiences that were basically interactive movies.

Now we as players, conditioned to binge-watch, want to binge-play the story. I guess we’re okay with playing the game elements once we reach the end game, whatever that is, but the patience to consume the story one small bite at a time has left us.

I realize this is just one part of the big picture, but it’s something that has occurred to me while I’ve considered how games have changed and how our consumption of entertainment has changed.

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James Mock

Well I think there are a lot of factors that makes this specifically different from the Netflix still of binge. For one, this helps cater to the player that wants to play with friends already established in the game and at max. Secondly, this helps with people who want to play just want the story. It is basically an easy mode. Third point is… omg I’ve already leveled a character or two to max!

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starbuck1771

Hmm $20 to level in swtor compared to $60 in WoW. I think your wrong saying it isn’t cheap Justin. :P

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Sally Bowls

Cmon we are gamers. we are going to explo … I mean creative use of game mechanics. :-)

While a boost is $60, a new copy of Legion includes a boost and is usually $50 and this week is $25.

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Bryan Correll

The obvious application of this is to pay to overpower your character so that you can advance through the story without any actual challenge.

Unless they’ve (among other things) rolled back companion power since I last played then there already wasn’t any actual challenge in the story.

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Dug From The Earth

I keep seeing talk about being able to power through the story, as being the purpose of this.

After thinking about it, im pretty certain the game scales you to at least the level of the instanced off story zones, which would defeat the concept of powering through it.

Ive used the original level boost. I was upset to find out that my character didnt unlock any of the perks you get from completing your class story, by using the level boost. Nor could I go back and actually do the story, to unlock them. It had nothing to do with wanting to faceroll my way through the content.

Euclio
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Euclio

So strangely this sounds like a decent idea if you have CC to burn. You can be earning CXP ranks as you progress through the story, which is no bad thing surely? Not sure I’d put actual real cash down on this though.

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Ariel Domen

The leveling old model of the MMOs seem to be dying. It’s nice leveling once, but the second time I find it tedious and let’s not talk about that 10th toon lol. Maybe is the reason why MMO popularity is going down. They feel so grindy like you are losing your time leveling your chars in order to “play the real game/endgame”.

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Dug From The Earth

Leveling is becoming more and more story driven. Think of games like EQ1 and Daoc. There wasnt really a story. Leveling wasnt even quest driven. It was more from killing mobs, camping spawns, and doing dungeons.

The problem with story is that its often only interesting the first time through. Especially if there is only one, static, story line. When leveling was just about killing mobs, it didnt matter if you were killing them at 20, or at 60, or at max level. Its still very similar gameplay. If you enjoyed it, you could do it at any level, on as many alts as you wanted, without it feeling much different.

Unfortunately, the only real solution for games that are story driven (as far as questing/leveling goes) is to have more than 1 story arch. The problem however, is that story content has to be crafted by hand, something that can very easily become the biggest resource drain for a games development. Its why with games like Swtor, your unique class story, is only a small portion of the games quest/leveling content. The rest (the quests for each planet) are shared by all classes, because it drastically saved on time and development costs to do so.

I dont think its realistic to hope or expect for games to start having their entire play through be custom and unique to each class . Its unfortunate, because it would drastically improve the replayability of the game as far as alts go.

I think the best solution is probably to aim for more of a dynamic story questing system.

Imagine this. Devs create a set of 25 quests for a town players venture into. Each player would dynamically be assigned to see only 5 of those quests from 5 specific NPCs.. If you were grouped with someone, it would make sure that the 5 quests were the same between the members of the group to insure being able to play through them together. A few weeks later, you roll and alt and end up back in this town, only this time, you are given 5 other random quests from 5 different NPCs.

Now imagine every quest hub/town in the game being like this. This would make your additional play throughs on new characters be different each time. Of course, play enough characters, and you would start seeing repeated quests… but it would still be more variety than the single, static quest lines that exist in games today.

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Sray

I do agree with rafael below: this finishes trivializing the leveling process past the point of being a speedbump to the endgame to actually being a flat out negative aspect of the game.

However, I also see some merit in this. The game has pivoted back to the “endgame is the only game” model anyway, so why not allow players the best of both worlds? A person can jump directly into the “real game” while also being able to enjoy the bonus story feature (as it now seems to be).

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rafael12104

Why not just turn off all game play and just play all the cut scenes back to back?

Sheez…

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wratts

As far as cost goes, I will say that the free 100 cartel coins a month for having 2FA signed up, whether you login or not, makes the cost a lot easier to bear. Logged in for grins a while ago and was shocked that the credits just accumulate

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Zora

As far as boosts go this one goes to 11, figuratively speaking… not opposed to it, preserve story which is the meat and potatoes of the game and can be bought with ingame credits, all fine by me.

In hindsight it underlines how levels are vestigial and could be entirely be made away with, but that kind of redesign requires… more effort I think they are in the shape of putting atm?

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dr_lucien_sanchez

“The obvious application of this is to pay to overpower your character so that you can advance through the story without any actual challenge.”

Unless you are completely new to the game, and probably MMOs in general, then there is no challenge in the story anyway. I died a lot with my first character back in 2012, because I had no idea what I was doing (and to be honest I think things have been nerfed a bit since then too). Later characters never died at all to the class or planet story content.

Secondly, you won’t be playing early chapters as an overpowered level 70. You’ll be playing them as a level 70 scaled down to the level of the stage of the story you are at. Having those extra Lvl 70 abilities make things a tad easier, but it isn’t quite the “cheat mode” you are making it sound like. And it’s not as if it isn’t trivially easy without them anyway.

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Dušan Frolkovič

With the usual amount of xp-boosts they give out game wide, i do not think i ever did story level appriopriate, so not sure what the added benefit would be.

Also, did story instances not scale?

pepperzine
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pepperzine

This boost seems pointless to me, as you’re already overpowered for the main story and able to skip all the side quests if you’re a subscriber.

Richard de Leon III
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Richard de Leon III

I definitely prefer this type of boost. The early story is what attracts me to SWTOR not the end game.

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Hirku

The obvious application of this is to pay to overpower your character so that you can advance through the story without any actual challenge.

You can already do this for free because the game is stupid easy. You quest your way to the climatic boss and wipe him/her out in seconds, usually before they can finish taunting you. The cutscene introducing the fight takes longer than the fight itself.

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Montjoy Onew

The obvious application of this is to pay to overpower your character so that you can advance through the story without any actual challenge.

^ Aren’t you still leveled down to the content zone you are in?
As a second point the story has never been even a slight challenge to play through.

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