Fan Site Summit: Black Talon Flashpoint Impressions
During the Fan Site Summit, we were able to advance our characters as far as we could in the time allowed. For some of us, that meant completing our class story on Nal Hutta and moving on toward Dromund Kaas. While in transit to the Sith Capital, we were able to take part in the Black Talon Flashpoint. As the first Flashpoint avaliable to Sith players, Black Talon fills the same introductory role as the Esseles will for the Republic. Hit the jump for a closer look at our first full run through a Flashpoint in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
I was already on Dromund Kaas when Dover completed the Imperial Agent story on Hutta. We decided to attempt the Black Talon Flashpoint as a group, and we were joined by Sam and Musco from TOROCast. They just finished up their origin worlds as well, and we decided a full group was better then two. The following are my personal impressions.
At the start of the Flashpoint, I took stock of who was what level at the time. If I am remembering this correctly, we had two Level 8 players, one Level 9, and I was Level 10. Sam and I played Bounty Hunters while Musco and Dover played Imperial Agents. For reference, I tried to do this solo earlier at Level 8 and failed miserably, even with Mako backing me up. Thanks to the fact that I was unable to complete it, I was able to merge and synchronize my Flashpoint ID with the new group. Getting into the Flashpoint was a rather easy and welcoming process considering what was about to ensue.
None of us at the time had our Advanced Class yet, so no one had any heals at all in the group. We did, however, decide to pick up some medpacs in case we needed them, as we expected we probably would. As mentioned before in past coverage, everyone luckily has a revive ability, and this made it easier than having to run back and forth throughout the Flashpoint each time one of us died.
The Black Talon Flashpoint serves as the transition point to Dromund Kaas and introduces you to the politics that you will continue to encounter. One of the main characters of the Flashpoint is Grand Moff Kilran who you might remember from The Esseles Flashpoint video or the Biographies page on the HoloNet. Many of you saw the story of Black Talon and the decision to kill the captain or save the captain before, so there will not be much point talking about the story of it further.
The first thing you get when you walk in is the sense of how much has changed. If you remember the Black Talon Flashpoint from past videos, you may be surprised by how much things improved since the last time it was seen. Everything in it just looks vastly better; this is especially true of the skybox, which no longer has shuttles doing barrel rolls. We reached the pivotal point where you choose whether or not the captain lives after going through a few trash mob waves. As expected, Darth Hater and TOROCast were both in agreement on choosing the Dark side choice and continued on. There was some adversity going through the Flashpoint, but we only died a few times and never wiped.
One of the great things about this is that you also still earn experience points when you die, as long as you do not hit the "Return to Med Center" button. While it may seem counter intuitive to lay on the ground dead while your party finishes the fight, all classes can use an out of combat resurrection ability by right clicking on a fallen comrade. This means the Flashpoint will progress more smoothly if incapacitated players wait around for a friend to quickly pick them back up between battles, and the continued experience gain may be the carrot to keep you from self-rezzing at the entrance.
The Bounty Hunter's combat tactics at this level of a Flashpoint did not really change much from what we were used to; the exception to this was the addition of increased usage on crowd control abilities like Death from Above. Bonus quests are available throughout the Flashpoint, and these enable a party to gain access to new bosses who drop different loot. In our case, the bonus objective had us disabling control panels to allow access to a boss droid and, as expected, extra loot dropped as a result. Another bonus quest had us pick up a few objects for something later. This is the earliest Flashpoint in the game for the Sith faction and it seems to focus on teaching boss encounters basic mechanics; we mainly encountered tank and spank boss fights. The boss loot seemed geared towards one class or another through stat tendencies and armor ratings, and were mainly blue items with the occasional green.
After the Black Talon Flashpoint was over, we all were Level 10 and I was only a few kills away from Level 11. We all got to choose a piece of loot along with the completion of the quest. It seemed like a very good place to head for experience and loot that would help the transition into Dromund Kaas. I was thrilled with the entire thing and left feeling confident that BioWare knows what they are doing with the Flashpoints.
- Page 1 of 2
- Dover's Impressions