The Final Battle…or IS IT?!

And to all things…an ending.  Maybe.

Nobody is ever happy to see us. They're always shooting at us.

Nobody is ever happy to see us. They’re always shooting at us.

The Eternal Empire is in the middle of a little leadership crisis right now.  Due to events outside of Emperor Arcann’s control, most of the Eternal Fleet isn’t listening to him anymore.  But the good news is, he’s received intelligence on where he can find the man he hates the most:  his father.  Or more accurately, his father’s presumed avatar, the Outlander.  (That’s you, by the way.)  This sets the stage for the dramatic conclusion of the Knights of the Fallen Empire storyline for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Need I say there will be spoilers after the break?

But first, as always, some notes to mention before getting into the meat.  The Heroics nerf that came in with the last chapter has been reversed, to the payout values they had prior to the change.  There’s apparently been a nerf to Treasure Hunting boxes, however, which was apparently giving out credits like candy.  I don’t know this as a fact-I so rarely do crafting things anymore, or really most crew skill stuff.  Options have been added to the terminal in the Odessen base where you get your old companions, where now you can also get back companions who have been lost in the storyline-although it may not be working right for the most significant loss recently.

The reward for the month has already been acquired earlier, with the HK poster.  I haven’t heard when the HK chapter for folks who have stayed subbed all this time will land, but I expect sometime by the end of the month.

And the big news as far as I’m concerned:  Guss has returned!  And the guy’s trying to be what he couldn’t be when he met the Smuggler.  In the process, you’ll meet a Force user who’s…not what you’d expect.  And I can’t help but feel that perhaps there’s more to this guy than meets the eye-I kind of wonder if he’ll be showing up again in the future.  The actual recruitment isn’t all that hard, and is more about atmosphere than battle or treasure hunting.  (It does give you a good opportunity to snag a number of light/dark side points, though, if you need some by now.)  Note that you do have to have completed recruiting Blizz, though; he’s sort of essential here.

Also of note:  the Dark Vs Light event apparently will be ending a couple weeks prior to the Knights of the Eternal Throne expansion release; that’s in the Fall, and looking like October or early November, so I may have to do some serious acceleration on my work there if I want to hit my goals.  The “Building Character” posts may start slamming in multiple planets at once, because I need to up my game a lot here.

Okay, that’s the big stuff.  It’s time to take a peek at just what to expect in the mission and going forward.

When even wiseasses look this intent, you know It Just Got Real.

When even wiseasses look this intent, you know It Just Got Real.

If anyone thought SCORPIO would just leave you alone after she gloriously stabbed everyone in the back…nope.  Really, it was sort of obvious after the end of the last chapter that she’d tell Arcann where you were and let the two of you slug it out to the death-and hopefully, fry the survivors.  If any.  So when Arcann’s fleet shows up to hammer you into dust, your only hope is to take the repaired and fully operational Gravestone to the enemy-and board the Emperor’s flagship to take him down, once and for all.

Through it all, there’s betrayal and betrayal; and not all of it happens to the Outlander.  And when the dust settles, the danger has passed-but you still have a number of enemies out there.  Some of which are ready to team up, and some of which involves yet another of your own-maybe.  (I imagine that one depends on certain choices you make.)  It’s clear that while one danger is over, the fact remains that the Eternal Empire is still as much a danger as it was before-if not moreso, because the power on the throne is less inclined to rule with a light hand.  And when the previous “light hand” was Arcann’s, you know you’ve got a problem.

Plus, there’s that little issue about ex-Emperor Valkorion who’s still got that tie to you, and is disturbingly very satisfied where things are at for now.

The battles on the flagship have a number of big fights.  For the most part, they’re the usual sort of battle, even against Champion level opponents, they aren’t hard to intuit how to deal with them.  Having a healing companion helps, of course.  The big battle against Arcann is another story.  You might be able to down him with your own skill and ability, but a far better one is to make use of some equipment that is in the same room (which becomes available in the second phase of that fight); if you use it to deal with some of the attacks you get, you can use its special ability to lay a beatdown on the Emperor.  The last moments, in fact, allow you to live out the traditional “walk forward into blazing death, step by step, until you can reach the scumbag and whallop him”.  Plus, I’m pretty sure the item also heals you while you’re actually using it, so given the amount of damage Arcann can pump out, might consider using it, yes?

Incidentally, if you crafted that weapon in the HQ’s back yard a few chapters back, now’s the time to make use of it.  It finally comes in handy here.  I won’t say that it makes or breaks the opening phase of the fight against Arcann, but it definitely helps out.

So there are some loose ends.  A number of them, actually.

  1. What’s the real link between SCORPIO and GEMINI.  They share the same code base, even SCORPIO now claims a familial relationship here, and are linked to some kind of “Luminous Engine”.  You can’t drop lines like that and not get back to that!  For that matter, why did SCORPIO want the Throne, anyway?  She’s not the ruling type-as SCORPIO will admit.  She takes some actions, but they don’t seem like the end of the line-more of a new beginning.
  2. The Dark Sanctuary-and in fact, the Gravestone itself-remains a mystery.  Who or what built it?  Why?  What is the Sanctuary?  And is this tied in fact to SCORPIO’s original designers?
  3. What will become of the Eternal Throne?  There’s a new Emperor in town, and she’s not likely to simply stand around and do nothing.
  4. There’s one big and obvious loose end that would be too spoilerish for me to go into even here; suffice it to say, knowing what becomes of that loose end (particularly if you made one choice or another) has got to enter into what comes next.
  5. Imperials and Republicans are flocking to the banner of the Outlander.  What do their heads of government have to say about that?
  6. And the biggest one, of course:  where are the rest of your old companions?

There are probably others I’ve missed.

There are folks on various sites who seem less than happy with the way things rolled out, but I’m not one of them.  Knowing that this is only part one of the SWTOR saga being crafted out for us, and knowing that Knights of the Eternal Throne will be heading our way-whether it’s in monthly installments, one big drop, or both-I’m pretty happy with where things are at.  There’s more story to come for SWTOR-and I’m hoping they can build on what they’ve done so far.  There’s room to improve on things-I really do wish there’d be more reference to the Outlander’s life before being the Outlander-as a Jedi, as a Sith, as an Agent or Smuggler or Hunter or Trooper.  Their personalities shaped the character before Knights of the Fallen Empire, and it should continue to inform them as we head into the dangerous future before the Eternal Throne.

I’d also sort of like to see the character’s ship used more.  Every time the Outlander went somewhere, he was ferried by someone.  Hey, what’s the point of recovering the ship if it’s never used again?  And for that matter, let’s get some people on board it again-it’s been virtually empty except for a lone HK unit for some characters.

Well, that’s it for the Fallen Empire-you can make a case that by now, it has fallen.  But the pieces are still nice sized chunks to fight over, and it’s not dead yet.

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