After the disappointment of the last patch, I went into The Nathema Conspiracy with pretty low expectations. Thankfully, that allowed me to come away actually feeling pretty pleased, even though the story has its flaws.
But I will grant the writers’ choices aren’t entirely without merit. I went into the flashpoint full of fire and fury, but this turned out to be one of the only times in my entire history with the game I’ve genuinely regretted a dark side choice. I think that shows that the story had some real emotional weight to it.
As for the other Big News, it definitely feels, again, like a cop-out, but I can’t say I have a better idea for how to progress the story. They had kind of painted themselves into a corner. It reminds me of the ending to Dragon Soul, actually. Not an amazing ending, but perhaps the best they could have managed.
And those issues aside, Nathema Conspiracy felt like a much stronger patch than A Traitor Among the Chiss or Crisis on Umbara. It’s still a bit shallower than I’d like, but there’s definitely more and better story content here than in the earlier patches. Despite some rather thin development leading up to now, it did feel like a very epic and intense conclusion to this particular arc.
I was especially impressed by how much the graphical fidelity of this game continues to improve. There’s some beautiful lighting effects in the new environments.
In terms of mechanics, it’s a standard SWTOR flashpoint. It’s too long, there’s way too much trash, and the bosses are HP sponges. But at least it’s not half as bad as Copero was.
In the end I think my favourite part of the patch may have been the quiet character moments with Lana at the end. I was definitely not expecting this to be a major patch as far as romance content goes, but I’m not complaining.
Honestly, at this point, I think Lana is the main thing that’s keeping me playing SWTOR. I don’t love the setting, and I’ve never much liked the gameplay, but as long as Lana’s there, I will be too. I’ve really come to enjoy her character.
I am having pangs of regret now that Vector’s back, though. I’m not sure I’ll ever have the courage to do his Alliance Alert. I don’t think I have it in me to break his heart like that.
Poor, poor Vector.