SW:TOR Releases The Rise Of The Hutt Cartel Expansion: Hands-On Review Part Two

Welcome back to Part Two of The Inquisitr’s hands-on review of Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Rise Of The Hutt Cartel Expansion. Today we will examine the class quest chain and leveling from 50 to the new level cap of 55.

As we mentioned previously, the class quests begin with an in-game mail that advises the player to head for their personal spaceship and access the holo-terminal. Once aboard I received instructions to head for the Makeb Orbital platform, where I met with Darth Marr, a fellow member of the Sith Dark Council.

Lord Marr told me that a new mineral, Isotope-5 , had been discovered on Makeb. The mineral is capable of providing unlimited power from just a few ounces and Isotope-5 would be a great benefit to the Empire. Unfortunately, a corrupt scientist on the planet informed the leaders of the Hutt Cartel about the discovery of Isotope-5 and the Hutts sent a mercenary army to seize control of Makeb.

The Hutts mined the mineral in order to create an unstoppable droid army and managed to destabilize the planet’s core in the process. The planet is slowly being torn apart from the inside out and the millions of inhabitants are in danger. As a Sith Lord, I am not in the least bit concerned about the innocent civilians, but I do need to stop the Hutts and recover as much Isotope-5 as possible before the planet is destroyed.

Makeb is a glorious looking planet populated by a variety of sentient creatures and a strange menagerie of hostile beasts. The planet is somewhat unstable and subject to regular ground quakes that do a great deal of damage. Players must remain alert at all times as the planet is not particularly friendly to outsiders. Riding through areas on your speeder at top speed is likely to attract a large following of angry beasties who will dismount you and have you for dinner.

While there are no ground breaking new gimmicks in the Rise Of The Hutt Cartel Expansion, SW:TOR’S strong point has always been the the story telling and this expansion develops that part of the game to a high art. The story-line will keep you involved from start to finish and you will not be disappointed with the outcome. SW: TOR still has the most enjoyable leveling experience of any online game in existence.

The Sith Sorcerer quest line provides ample opportunity for my character to behave in the manner expected of a member of the Dark council of the Sith; ruthless, merciless, and completely focused on accomplishing all my goals no matter how many thousands of people will die as a result of my actions.

The progress to level 55 moves at a brisk pace. You wont need more than a few days to get to to the level cap and the new end game. Along the way, you certainly want to do as many daily quests as possible and save up all the basic commendations you earn from the quests. Basic comms are what you need to reequip your character to get ready for the end-game, so don’t be lazy and slack off on the dailies.

Players may complete their class quest line before they reach level 55, but there will still be plenty to do to get you to the cap. Repeatable dailies, flash-points, and a quest chain that sends players to Dromund Kass should do the trick.

If that isn’t enough to make you happy, Bioware introduced Macrobinoculars and Seeker Droids to the game and they come with a variety of new missions. These items will unlock access to additional story-lines and allow players to discover rare loot scattered throughout the galaxy. When you reach level 52, you will be able to complete a quest that will allow you equip the Macrobinoculars and learn their functions. Later, you will begin another quest that will introduce the Seeker Droid. While the new items are not absolutely essential to progressing in the game, they will add a great deal of variety and additional content, so I do suggest completing their quest chains.

When I stopped playing last night, my character was level 54 and I had completed my entire class quest chain. I don’t want to reveal too many details of the story, but I will say that the final boss fight was extremely well designed and quite challenging. My guildmate Mattgruff from The Sith Imperial Navy and my friend Atoli from the Sith Morte Sindacato Guild joined me and we managed to defeat our opponents in a rather spectacular encounter.

Now that we have examined the basics of the class quests and leveling, I am about to login to the game and complete my last half level to 55. When that is done, I will be able begin the four new Hard Mode Flashpoints and the two level 55 Operations: Terror From Beyond and Legions of Scum and Villainy. After I have played some of the new end-game content, I will return and let everyone know if Bioware lived up to their promise to revitalize Star Wars: The Old Republic. So far, they have done an excellent job and I am hoping the level 55 end-game content will be as enjoyable as the class quests. Until next time, happy gaming.