Of course, once I started the featured adventure through the tremendous story that was bugtown, I had to find a way around that compositional trainwreck. My character is a Smuggler, not an exterminator. Mind you, I've yet to actually smuggle anything, but that's beside the point! I figured the best way around that insect hole was to level through flashpoints. To my surprise, it actually worked.
I had barely stepped off my ship when I was accosted by a Republic private requesting that I speak to Commander Madine at once. I said, "You mean, ancestor to Alliance hero and bearded wonder General Crix Madine?" The private replied, "Um, yeah, if you say so. Will you come?" How could I say no to that? However, when I arrived planetside, Madine ordered me to take some Raid spray and exterminate the Colicoid superbugs that were infesting bugtown. To which I replied, "What do you expect when you name the place bugtown? And do I look like the Orkin man? And your great-great-great-great-great grandkid will have a better beard than you. Kark this poodoo. I don't have to listen to a word you say." I left to try my luck out on Cademimu or Taral V.
"I could do this all day," I thought. And I did. I did it all day and the next. Of course, as mentioned in the comments last week, I was unable to roll on the final drop after the third instance, but I still received XP and social points each time I ran it. Still, it wasn't all roses.
When I dropped into the instance, I noticed that I did not log into the beginning; I landed at the taxi platform halfway between the second and third boss. It's always a bad sign when you are in a PUG halfway through an instance. That usually means someone had trouble and a group member left. When a DPS leaves, then its usually a really bad sign because it takes a long time for group finder to pop for a DPS. But I was being optimistic; this would be fine. I had overleveled the instance, and I was very experienced at it.
As I stepped off the taxi to the next platform, the tank started badgering the other DPS, calling him a moron and such. We've all been in PUGs; it's not uncommon for people to speak to others degradingly because of the anonymity of the internet. Unfortunately, this particular barrage was due to his pulling the boss mob before I arrived. Normally, this would have been OK because the trash would have been cleared, and I could have run down to join the fray. However, one of the group members had sliced the taxi terminal, which allowed them to skip a huge chunk of trash. I had to wait at the taxi terminal until the rest of the group or the boss was defeated because I was now in combat and couldn't click on anything. I didn't receive any XP that whole time.
The group did eventually take down the boss, but I gained no XP from it, and of course, I didn't get any loot. And to top it off, the tank left after the boss fight, followed quickly by the other DPS. The healer and I cleared the trash to the last boss, hoping that by the time we reached him, the group finder would find another tank and DPS to help us out. For 20 or so minutes, we waited. It wasn't until we attempted to take on the boss ourselves that the group finder decided to let someone else into our instance. We defeated the boss in one try even though this was the first time our new tank had ever been here. (I attribute it to my awesome coaching, naturally.)
From that point on, I queued only for Taral V.
As a DPS character, I found my queue did not pop very often. In fact, the downtime was so extensive that I probably would have gained XP faster had I stayed on Balmorra, but sometimes it's worth it just to mix things up. And I actually enjoyed the leveling experience a bit more this week, despite the Cademimu debacle.
The Hyperspace Beacon by Larry Everett is your weekly guide to the vast galaxy of Star Wars: The Old Republic, currently in production by BioWare. If you have comments or suggestions for the column, send a transmission to email@example.com. Now strap yourself in, kid -- we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!