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Old 12-10-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
Zakhodit
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SWTOR: Getting Started

Most MMO's that follow the blueprint for quests developed in WOW all share one key concept. Get every quest you can and do them all at once. Often, Quest objectives are in the same area and you will knock out two or more at the same time in the same place.

If you're an MMO pro, this isn't the guide you are looking for. Move along.

For players that are new to the system, it can get confusing until you get used to it. If you are really new to MMO's and games in general (Like some of my friends) it can slow you down. Below I outline an alternate method to for SWTOR. Bear in mind, this method is only viable until ~level 8. past that you will start to fall behind the curve and could end up under-leveled. If you try to do it past level 12 you're really going to be in trouble.

But, if you stick to this for the first 8 levels, in as little as two hours of play time you'll have your first companion and all your crew skills It will give you a tiny head start in the land of crafting. This is not designed to be the “pro-guide” nor am I saying you are “doing it wrong” if you don’t follow my words to the letter.

Also, by “Two Hours” I mean the time spent actively gaining experience, and progressing the main story. There is a lot to explore and if you just rush through what I have outlined below you could miss it.

Before we actually get started, a note on aesthetics.

Unlike any MMO I’ve played before (WoW, WAR, EVE, Everquest, FFXI) you spend a lot of time looking at your character's face, and not the back of their head from fifteen feet up. And by face I mean up close, while he or she is talking. So much time that you begin to see flaws in the face you picked to represent yourself in game.

Whether or not appearance matters to you, it would behoove you, as you make your character, to take the time to design a character you like looking at. This step isn’t going to gain you any XP, but it will save you from staring at a mug you “randomized” to get into game quickly. Playing a Trooper or Bounty Hunter? Doesn’t matter. In most story line cinematics your helmet is removed.

Again, this is all up to you but the last thing you want is to realize at level 32 is that you loathe the way you look.

A quick guide to the fleet and back, all before level 10

The goal of this guide is to quickly get your first companion unlocked and get your crafting skills going. To this end we want to focus on these two things. Once you have these under your belt, you should have a better understanding for how the quests go, plus an NPC at your side if you need the help early. Now the standard method of get every quest you see becomes easier to cope with.

After your first cinematic, you will notice you have one quest in your log. For now, lets keep it that way. For now, ignore all those other triangles that promise excitement and adventure. You'll come back to them, I promise! As you focus on the story, you should unlock your companion at around level 5.

This does depend on what class you choose. The Jedi Knight gets his droid pretty quick. The Sith Warrior also gets Vette pretty early. The Trooper class doesn't pick up a side kick until just before they lift off planet. Regardless of what you play, the missions are quick and before you know it you'll be level 7 and on your way to the "The Fleet."

When you get to the Fleet station for your faction, open your map and look for the Crew Skill Venders. When you find them, all you have to do is right click on them and you'll learn the skill they teach. But don't stop at three! Talk to each and every one of them. Even if they are crew skills you don’t intend on getting! Each time you talk to one it’s 875XP. In almost every case I got level 8 just talking to these guys.

Once you have chatted up every crew skill vendor, take the time to sort out which you want. If you don't want a crew skill, there is an "Unlearn" button in the Crew Skills page. Once you are sorted out on Crew Skills, head back to your starting planet and grab all those quests you passed up. At level 8 you are still in the prime range for what the quests were designed for, and you'll have a companion at your side!

You can send your companion on missions to advance your crew skills, or keep them with you if you run into a tough quest. Now that you're more familiar with the quests, having several queued up won't be as overwhelming and you'll quickly move through them.

The main story line quests are what unlock your companions and your ship. So if you're around level 15 and you haven't got a set of keys to a new ride in your pocket, look for you main story and focus it down until you do.

It may be tempting, at level 12, to push on and try to get the ship early but this is a time to “complete your training” before you rush off to be a hero. Show up to that party at level 11 or 12 and expect to end up missing a hand, hanging upside down from a floating city, and praying for someone to come save your ass.

You don't really need your ship until you are past level 20 but it's fun to have. With that in mind, keep focused on getting all your quests. Being ahead on levels is much better than being behind.

EDIT: This was re-written because, when I looked at it after the first page of comments showed up I see that I didn't make things very clear. I hope that this clears up the confusion and concerns brought up. And please keep in mind this is only a suggestion.

I’ll see you online, and may the Force be with you!

Last edited by Zakhodit; 12-11-2011 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:58 PM   #2
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In terms of the origin world, it's not really that difficult to get through all of the quests on the planet before you finally are able to leave. I actually do recommend that people stack as many quests onto their quest log since it will save a lot of time running back and forth and you'll end up finishing multiple quests at once.

In no time you'll find that you've completed all of the quests on the planet, have reached lv10-12, are ready to get your advanced class on the fleet station along with your crew skills, and are prepared to take on the first flashpoint with friends and continue your adventure without having to go back to your origin world.

Stacking a tonne of quests shouldn't be an issue and it's probably for the best if you do it early, even if you're new to the concept like I was not long ago, since it will help you learn how to manage it more quickly. Better to learn earlier in the game than later where things get even more complicated and you're trying to learn about other aspects.

As for companions, just note for everyone that each class gets their companion at different times, for example the Trooper gets his/her companion by the time they're ready to leave their origin world while the Sith Warrior gets their companion in the middle of doing their story quests on the origin world.

So yeah, my advice for the origin world would be to do everything that's available there and get the most out of it as possible. Don't skip anything cause BioWare has done a lot of fine tuning on those worlds to ensure that when you leave you're prepared fully for everything that is to come.

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Old 12-10-2011, 10:17 PM   #3
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Interesting idea for leveling, I hadn't really thought to skip and come back to all the sidequests later. When I played in beta I typically just did everything before moving on to the next area. It'd be interesting to find out which method is more efficient.


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Old 12-10-2011, 10:31 PM   #4
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It'd be interesting to find out which method is more efficient.
It depends on how you rate efficienty. If by efficient you mean that when you step onto the shttle to the Fleet Staion, you leave nothing behind you undone, then Lynk's suggestion is what you're looking for.

If efficient means that you have your crew skills as quickly as possible and are advacing them early, then you have what I outlined.

Neither, I think, is better than the other. It is simply a matter of play style.

The modivation for me to map out what I did was my friend, who play tested during Thanksgiving was very frustated because after an entire weekend of play he was level 11 and didn't have a companion, advanced class, or any crew skills.

He had flooded his log with quests and had ended up confused and running in circles. He was highly critical of the game and said it was confusing and poorly structured. I don't agree with what he said and I hope only to present a method to allow new players to keep on track.

A player could stick with the main story until they have their sidekick, and then open all the quests on the starting world. Or they could press on until they have their own ship and then look back.

The key point to all this is that it's not your level that dictates when you receive compaions or your ship, but rather your progress in storyline. How you wish to progress that storyline is up to you.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:00 AM   #5
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The game shoves directions in your face with indicators over NPC's heads and map markers. There's not much more they could do, other than have something like the giant quest trails SWG introduced in the post-NGE tutorial zone (along the lines of Skyrim's Clairvoyance spell, except constantly on, for those that never saw it).

You should definitely focus on completing a majority of side quests on a planet before advancing, otherwise you'll be setting yourself up to be underlevelled. You can get away with being a couple of levels under the suggested one on the 2nd (Coruscant/Dromund Kaas) and 3rd (Taris/Balmorra) planets, but you'll start to hit the wall by the end of the 4th planet (Nar Shaddaa).
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:43 AM   #6
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I would really not suggest people skip too many quests. If you outlevel the quest too far, you only get 5XP for the quest. Save yourself the headache and just get them done at the same time. Honestly just don't leave a planet until you complete all the quests in your log. Do the planetary bonus as well. IF you want to skip group content this is the only way to keep from having an underleveled character and looking for every old quest that isn't grey to complete.

I especially dislike the idea of doing multiple shuttles to just come back to the origin world. Too many load screens.

You want to be at least 27 before Tatooine. If you haven't done pretty well all of the side quests by leaving the 7th planet you WILL be underlevel for the that planet.


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Last edited by Tommycat; 12-11-2011 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:58 AM   #7
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Whoa, Let me be clear on something: I'm not advcoating rushing much past level 8.

Here let me quote myself from the above post:

Quote:
This is a time to “complete your training” before you rush off to be a hero. Show up to that party at level 11 or 12 and expect to end up missing a hand, hanging upside down from a floating city, and praying for someone to come save your ass.
The idea is to get your crew skills and then get back down to your starting planet. Even if you ding lvl 8 while you talk to crew skill vendors you'll still be well within the level range of your starter world.

I'm not sure how what I wrote left the impression that you should bound your way to Tatooine via story line only, or that rushing on to the new world underleveled was some sort of "good idea." Please point out in my original post where I made that mistake and I'll edit it right now.

The main idea is: Two hours, you're level 8 with a companion and crew skills and back on your home world cleaning up that XP.

Again, only a suggestion, mainly for people who want to get a head start on advancing their crafting skills.
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:16 AM   #8
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Considering how fast you can clear your origin planet let alone level up during the first 13 levels, makes the advantage of gaining crew skills early pretty slim to non-existent from how I see things.

I think I get what you're saying... get a companion and crew skills early so you can send them on missions, etc and gain as many points as possible as soon as possible. Might be the way to go for the folks who are hardcore about crafting I guess..

I just can't really see how this would make much of a difference in the long run other than having folks going back and forth more than usual.

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Old 12-11-2011, 10:31 AM   #9
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Calculated out over a 6 months of playing: None at all.

Measured by my friends (who are mostly older [35+] and want the assistance of their companion as they plod through missions): Slightly better.

I suppose the difference in thought here was that I was looking at it from the point of view of helping my friends, who have zero experience in the games like this. Collecting every quest they saw, as I initially instructed them, made things worse since now almost every door they looked at had a green "go this way" icon.

Since some of them only play two hours a night, I was looking to give them some measurable accomplishment (by their standard) that they could go by. I fully expect them to take three days just to get to level 8. I'm sure some of them will still be on the starting world while I'm picking loot up in Alderaan.

Maybe the thread wasn't such a good idea, since clearly most people who read it are veterans of games like this. I wasn't trying to start a ruckus, just pass on a tip that helped my buddies.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:07 AM   #10
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If you are inviting friends to play with no prior MMO experience then you should be planning to group with them from the start and hand-hold them through the starter world at least. Leaving them to fend for themselves probably isn't the best idea. As much as TOR is fairly straightforward, the sheer scale of an MMO and the various unspoken universal concepts can easily overwhelm people unused to the format.
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:53 PM   #11
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FFS people, back off, Zakhodit is just presenting an alternative method for the early planets and you are all tearing into him as if there is something inherently wrong with having a different approach. Just present your method and let people see the alternatives that exists and decide on their own. Stop being so confrontational, stop picking apart every idea and saying why you think your way is better. Fact is people will have varying opinions just because someone's is different than yours doesn't mean you have to go out and prove that your way is better. This is why we can't have nice things!


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Old 12-11-2011, 06:10 PM   #12
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@ Zakhodit: Actually I'm really new to MMO's, it just wasn't very clear in your post why folks would take this method during the origin world part. But I do understand now after thinking about it that this method is a good way to get as much early crafting experience as possible. Once I got that it actually made quite a bit of sense actually.

Also, you shouldn't worry about the replies, we were just trying to figure out where you were coming from with your method... at least I was.


EDIT: Okay I've spent a little time thinking about this.

So, I'm playing the game using your suggested way of playing through the origin world, Zakhoditt. I'm only doing the class quest and making sure not to do any of the other quests (as possible) so I can get my companion and get off planet. Let's say I'm playing the Trooper and I get Mr. Cat (Aric Jorgan) as my companion and head off to the fleet station to finally get my crew skills.

Once I do this, I go back to Ord Mantell, my origin world, with my companion and my new crew skills and go through the missions left on the planet. However, now, because I have the companion and crew skills I am able to send Mr. Cat on missions... let's say Underworld Trading so he can gather up materials and gift items as well as level up the Underworld Trading (and possibly one of the crafting skills like Armourtech) as early as possible.

That actually makes a lot of sense. I'm levelling up my crew skills as early as possible and am potentially gaining affection from Mr. Cat from giving him gifts he brings back from Underworld Trading which will make him an overall more effective companion character earlier on.

Am I getting it right?

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Old 12-11-2011, 08:17 PM   #13
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Am I getting it right?
That is excatly the idea.

For a new player, you are already immersed into the benefits of the game, I.E. Having a companion, crafting, yadda yadda. IF you run into a tough mission you can keep your companion at your side, but since most quests on the starter world are desiged to be taken sans NPC help, that should be rare.

For an experiecned player, he may actually be able to knock out all the missions on the starter world and get into space with no need to get back. OR he can get a jump on the Crew Skills. Honestly, I'm not sure how much of a jump it really is, maybe not worth the back track for some.

Either way, the important thing is to remember that if you do it for too long, you end up in a world of hurt since you will be way behind on levels. I think DarthParametric and Tommycat intuitively saw the danger in such a path and focused on discouraging players from doing that, which I understand.

I tried it with my Imp Agent and I was struggling with things the moment I hit level 11. I wanted to see how long the ride would last. With my Smuggler, I went right back to Ord Mandell and it was smooth sailing the whole way.

What I should do is re-write the OP so that it is more clear one what it's for, when and where it works and why. I don't want someone to end up in a mess because I tried to offer unclear and confusing advice.
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:23 PM   #14
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FFS people, back off
Psychotic much? I don't believe anyone was attacking/abusing Zakhodit, just proposing alternate takes on the scenario. It's interesting you mention people having the freedom to have different ideas, yet you are attacking other people for that very same thing.
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:05 PM   #15
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I don't believe anyone was attacking/abusing Zakhodit.
I didn't feel attacked. I was just worried that I had not made my idea clear.

And after re-reading my own post, turns out my fears were correct. I've re-written it, in the hopes to clarify my point.

I think now, my intentions are better understood and I won't be the cause of some poor Sith Warrior getting murdered by mobs on Balmorra because he's 5 levels behind where he should be.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:52 PM   #16
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@Zakhodit: Looks like somebody's beginning to take an interest in your handiwork.

http://www.forcejunkies.com/2011/12/...a-level-early/

Last edited by snommism; 12-12-2011 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:17 AM   #17
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@Zakhodit: Looks like somebody's beginning to take an interest in your handiwork.

http://www.forcejunkies.com/2011/12/...a-level-early/
Basically the same idea, although a bit missleading. No matter how you take quests, you gain XP at the same rate. The only thing your getting extra is craft skills. My brother and I are going to test this as soon as we get on. To see if there is any measurable difference.

Great use of a quote btw. I always wondered where Ben and Luke ninjaed off too.


"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:03 AM   #18
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@ Zakhodit: So, while I haven't actually taken your advice in the exact method that you've descriped in this thread, I have made sure to try to get some early crafting/gathering done by having the game open at times when I'm at my PC but not able to play and simply send Mr. Cat out to gather and craft items.

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Old 12-14-2011, 02:18 PM   #19
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Looks like I have a lot to learn, as I am going to be a complete MMO newb when I get TOR.

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Old 12-14-2011, 02:20 PM   #20
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Yeah, I have to say TOR was pretty confusing to me at times... even as somewhat of an MMO veteran.

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Old 12-14-2011, 05:45 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Zakhodit View Post
Great use of a quote btw. I always wondered where Ben and Luke ninjaed off too.
To docking bay 94 of course

Is there any benefit to waiting till you have your companion to head to the fleet, or should you do it at level 1?
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:45 PM   #22
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Is there any benefit to waiting till you have your companion to head to the fleet, or should you do it at level 1?
You don't get to the fleet station until you finish all class quests on you origin planet. Also each class gets their first companion character at different points in the class story. For example, the smuggler gets their companion about 2/3 the way though the class quests on Ord Mantell while the trooper gets their first companion at the end.

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Old 12-15-2011, 07:59 AM   #23
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Advice is like a buffet, if you scoop everything from one dish onto your plate, you miss out on a full meal.


"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:09 AM   #24
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You don't get to the fleet station until you finish all class quests on you origin planet.
ah, ok. My guildies were saying different. I won't get to test it myself till later today (hopefully)
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