Look Boss! Da Plague! Da Plague!

  It’s hard sometimes being in a galaxy far, far away, a long time ago.  I mean, it’s bad enough that you have to worry about your own personal problems, like being chased by bounty hunters, or fighting the temptations of the Dark Side of the Force, or infiltrating Republic forces.  It’s bad enough that you have to worry about being shot at in the middle of a cold war that threatens to go hot at any time.  It’s bad enough that you’re just trying to stay in one piece as you hop from star system to star system.

  But no.  The last couple of weeks added even more abuse to the everyday life of a character in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Only in Star Wars can you get a news report indicating that a mystical Sith-ish plague is starting a pandemic outbreak.

  Players of the game will certainly recognize the term “rakghoul”, which seem to have much in comparison with werewolves crossed with zombies.  The Rakghoul virus generally changes a sentient being infected with it into…well, rakghouls.  Hailing from the planet Taris, these creatures have been mostly contained to that world.  Mostly.

  Oops.

  A couple weeks ago, the developer team at Bioware unleased the Rakghoul Pandemic event (which wrapped up early this morning).  The event included a number of daily missions that could reward a character with special social gear or a new pet (a tiny red rakling; so cute if you’re into tiny ravenous man-eating creatures).  It also included a number of other little surprises.  Like world bosses associated with the pandemic, and the prospect of catching a version of the plague yourself.  It didn’t change you into a rakghoul, but it sure could kill you.  (No gear damage was inflicted upon a character as a result of exploding in a pile of goo.)

  One of the little side effects from this sort of thing was that you could get Rakghoul DNA, which could be turned in to a vendor in the world that was the source of this pandemic:  Tatooine.  The vendor would trade samples in for a random “infected” customization for a companion, or for special green-with-black-core crystals to give blaster bolts and lightsabers a unique look-or at least more unique than the generic ones you find around.

  Sadly, I didn’t have much time to mess around in the last couple of weeks, so I missed out on a lot of this stuff.  I completed two dailies, and so I got a set of the boots for the special gear set, and I got enough samples to get one of the customizations-and since it was random, it’s likely one I’ll never use.  Oh well; that’s what happens with “random”.  What really drove me bats, though, was the mission to get the rakling pet.  Players who have done Tatooine know the Jundland Wastes area, and know it’s full of canyons-and the map is only somewhat helpful in navigating those.  Well, to get the Rakling, you had to track down a dozen location spread around the Wastes and the Dune Sea.  The Dune Sea ones were simple-it’s all sand!  The Wastes…well, finding your locations at areas that spanned the entire x-y-z axes can make your life rough.  Many was the time I went to where I thought I needed to go, only to realize it was actually far below me-and I had to take the long way to get there.

  And I won’t go into the detail about how one of the shortcuts required going through an Imperial stronghold.  (Yeah, naturally I was on my Republic character when I did it.)  If I hadn’t made that wrong turn, I might’ve gotten away with it.  And there was another shortcut that was a PvP area, and longtime readers of this blog will remember that I’m not the biggest fan of that.  I concede it was quite an adrenaline rush getting through the area wondering if another player was gonna take a shot at me while I was crossing.  Being at maximum level probably helped, but I surely wasn’t the ONLY one looking to do this mission….  But I finally got ’em all, and got my little rakling.  It jumps up and down on the dashboard of my starship when I fly to new systems.

  As you might expect, there are people who were happy with the event, and folks who had problems with various aspects of it.  But I put myself in the “enjoyed what I could” category.  I would’ve liked to have had the time to get a crystal or two, or complete that armor set, but I’ll live without ’em.  I would’ve even liked to try to get into a group to take on the world bosses.  I figure, though, that we’ll see a new pandemic someday-or another event that makes things interesting.  Honestly, if Bioware follows Blizzard’s model of doing events on a consistent basis, then it’s following a tried and true formula.  And I don’t think Bioware is ignorant of that fact.  I believe we’ll see those rakghouls again raging across Tatooine, someday.

  Yes, a post on Legacy is still coming.  It just needs to recover from being infected….

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