I’m glad they finally released a follow up to the Rakghoul Outbreak World Event. The first event served as a nice distraction from the usual grind, especially since it came out before the Group Finder and Ranked Warzones. Of course, technically it was just another daily grind, but there were some nice rewards such as the Rakling Pets, the Companion Customization, and the Black-Green Color Crystals. The Grand Acquisition Race is the second World Event to hit The Old Republic, and I figured it’d be nice to go through the event and record my thoughts day by day, seeing whether or not I found it worthwhile.
They did a better job with the story behind the Chevin Conglomerate than they did with the Rakghoul Outbreak. For the former World Event, the quest line had additional quests added to it each day, giving out a new piece of the Containment Armor set every time. However, it had almost no story behind it. Off the top of my head, I can remember a ship full of Rakghouls crashing onto Tatooine and the planet being infected and quarantined. The new daily missions didn't add to the plot at all, if there really even was one. The only thing they added were codex entries. For the Grand Acquisition Race, Agent Reeho of the SIS contacted me. He suspected that the Chevin Conglomerate has a more nefarious agenda than just their desire for rare items. He led me on a chase around Coruscant and Nar Shaddaa, eavesdropping on Chevin representatives and finding a traitor to the Republic who was helping the Chevin listen in on the Senate. Although the main story behind the Chevin Conglomerate is not the most thrilling, I was impressed that they’re making it more episodic, which is something that I think better suits this limited time event. Today we find a traitor. Tomorrow, who knows?
However, I do think that they blundered when they gave players a quest that they couldn’t actually complete yet. Only after a little while did Agent Reeho mail me the three more quests that I needed to complete the main quest “The Grand Acquisitions Race," which requires the player to travel across Nar Shadaa and Coruscant to find specific items—all of which are found by doing mini-quests. In total, there were seven items that I was able to collect and three more that said something along the lines of “Come Back Later.” From what I gathered in general chat, people were wholly unimpressed. A better idea might have been to have a quest hub, where the quests you couldn’t complete were queued to be released the next day.
Completing the quests was also quite difficult at times, since there would be six or seven players showing up, trying to do the same quest. While I tried to get the Rakata Eating Utensils for “The Grand Acquisitions Race” quest, I found that Imperials were overrunning the area that the quest took me through (I was playing on a Republic Vanguard while doing this event). It led to some epic PvP street fights between Imperial and Republic questers, but also to some griefing that, at times, made me regret playing on a PvP server. However, the only really bad case was when, on the final part of obtaining the Utensils where you have to summon a gold mob, an Imperial—using stealth—would ambush you, then you would have to fight both him and the boss you just summoned. This is just a bit of whining though. Griefing is practically a tradition in the world of MMOs.
On the first day, I completed the available quests in an hour and collected 82 Tokens of Enrichment, the commendations of the Grand Acquisition Race. Over the next three days, I finished the remaining quests in about 15 minutes each. I’d say I spent maybe a total of two hours total on the entire event, while still getting enough Tokens to afford three pieces of the Social Gear set and one of the crossbows. I also got a companion pet and a new title (SIS Freelancer). Other than the odd completionist, I can’t see a lot of people being satisfied with the rewards given by this World Event. None of the gear was particularly great, especially if you play a class that can’t use a blaster or sniper rifle. However, getting a moddable Bind of Legacy rifle is very nice for those who are partial to rerolling. The speeder was a disappointment, since it was a 90% speed increase, which becomes obsolete by Rank 2. The Lobelot pet is a unique model—rather than just being a color pallet swap of a previous pet—and for those who like to collect rare vanity pets, the Lobelot is a nice addition.
So how did this compare with The Rakghoul Infection? I did prefer not having to repeat Dailies like the Rakghoul Infection required, even if it meant less Tokens to buy rewards. The only way to get more Tokens was to run the quest line on another character, either that or to continually search for the Smuggler Crates. However, the Black-Green Crystals were a better idea for a reward than having blaster rifles and sniper rifles, since every class can use crystals, while only Troopers and Imperial Agents can use the rifles. The biggest difference to me was the lack of big group quests. In the Rakghoul Infection, there were three World Bosses specific to the event (Urtagh, Infected Trapjaw, and Zama Brak) who eventually awarded the “Containment Officer” title and their codex entries. Although the reward may have been only for cosmetic purposes, it did give players a reason to get together and fight a giant monster. It also reminded players that the game is indeed an MMO. On the other hand, the only reason to group in the Grand Acquisition Race was to cut down on the waiting times for the quests.
Overall though, I thought the Grand Acquisition Race did well to distract from the normal grind. It could have used some sort of group aspect—like a Daily Group Finder Flashpoint with a boss fight and something useful that drops—but I did enjoy myself while doing most of the quests. Here’s hoping that BioWare comes out with another one soon.