Hyperspace Beacon: Why I don't do SWTOR's new GSI dailies

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Hyperspace Beacon: Why I don't do SWTOR's new GSI dailies
Hyperspace Beacon I don't do SWTOR's new GSI dailies
Nobody likes doing dailies. Dailies are a grind. Dailies are just something game designers use to keep players occupied until new content comes out. I've heard all those phrases before, and if dailies fall into one of those general categories, I don't do them. It is possible, however, that if doing dailies will help me acquire a significant reward (such as credits to buy that lightsaber hilt I've been eyeing), then I might overlook the grind to do the dailies anyway. But the key factor has to be time. In Star Wars: The Old Republic, time is your biggest investment. Despite what some players will tell you, there's a multitude of things to do at endgame. Unfortunately, a single player cannot do all of them all the time. You have to choose, and time to completion (or better yet, time to fun) weighs heavily in the decision-making process.

Let me help make one of those decisions for you: Don't do the GSI dailies.

Galactic Solutions Industries terminals can be found on Alderaan, Hoth, Tatooine, and of course, Makeb. Each terminal hands out five daily missions with one weekly mission shared between them. But that's not important because I'm suggesting that it's not really worth your while to do these missions. Why?

Hyperspace Beacon I don't do SWTOR's new GSI dailies
I love Star Wars lore, as I'm sure many of you are already aware. I also like the additions to lore that BioWare has made with Knights of the Old Republic and SWTOR. Galactic Solutions Industries is one of these additions that BioWare plopped in to help further its game plot.

According to lore, GSI was founded by inventor and tycoon Addalar Hyland on Nar Shaddaa. Having seated itself in the middle of neutral territory, the company was in a prime location to make money off both factions. Hyland's first major product was the GSI-B4 blaster pistol known to pack a powerful punch for an easily concealed weapon. However, most people are now familiar with the GSI industrial-grade Seeker Droid. This droid was originally designed to extract subsurface detonite mines. Now, Seeker Droids have been augmented to perform many different kinds of subsurface extractions, especially in hard-to-reach areas such as mountaintops and sea floors.

Hyperspace Beacon I don't do SWTOR's new GSI dailies
Credits earned: 53,470
Time: 45 minutes

Each of the planets I listed above has a set of missions that require you to use both the macrobinoculars given to you during the Shroud questline and the Seeker Droid given out at the beginning of the Dreadseed questline. And although those two questlines are rewarding, the daily GSI quests that coincide with them aren't really worth running more than one time apiece.

I mentioned time vs. reward above. The biggest reward gained in SWTOR dailies is money -- credits. I've examined the primary set of dailies on Ilum, Black Hole, and Belsavis. It takes about an hour and 15 minutes to run all of those dailies. And in the end, I gained 189,057 credits, which averages to about 2,520 credits per minute. The Section X dailies gave me 67,427 credits and originally took me 45 minutes, averaging 1,498 credits per minute. (However, I've become significantly faster since the initial report; it takes me only about 30 minutes to do the whole run now, which would make me 2,247 credits per minute.)

In contrast, the Tatooine GSI missions, which I think is the easiest set, gave me only 53,470 credits. (My totals include credits from mobs, greys, and vendored armor pieces, minus travel cost, if you're wondering why the total differs from other guides.) If you average that with the amount of time it takes for me to do these missions now that I know what I'm looking for (45 minutes), it averages to only 1,188 credits per minute. Let's say that I am eventually able to reduce the time to 30 minutes; that would still only make the CPM 1,782. That equates to 69,300 credits lost by doing the GSI quests instead of the other dailies. The weekly 19,642 credits earned from the Valued Partner Initiative quest does not make up for the credits lost. And if you're thinking that your results will vary because of the different mob encounters, bear in mind that only the four Heroic +2 missions have any sort of mobs to fight at all, and even then it's only one mob per quest.

Here's the wrench: The GSI quests give 6,940 points in GSI reputation. And the only way you can purchase items from the GSI vendor is to have good standing with GSI. There are certainly coveted items on the GSI vendor, such as the GSI EMP-03 Explorer speeder -- the one that looks just the like speeder from Return of the Jedi. However, I say "meh" to that and pretty much everything else on the GSI vendor. The only cosmetic items worth the credits, in my opinion, are the ones that drop from the Cartel packs.

Hyperspace Beacon I don't do SWTOR's new GSI dailies
Keep in mind that I believe the long-term gain is small, not that the missions aren't worth doing ever. According to the Bartle test, my secondary reason for playing MMORPGs is exploration, so all in all, I enjoy the GSI missions. So when I say don't do the missions, I mean don't do them over and over to earn credits. If you're a completionist and you have to have your GSI rep maxed, then of course, you're going to have to repeat these missions multiple times, but I suggest you do no more than that.

With each set of dailies BioWare produces, the overall gain is less and less, yet the money sinks like armor repair cost continue to increase. I'm not exactly sure what the devs have in mind, but I hope it pans out in the end. I seem to be losing more money than I'm gaining, which is ultimately not going to make me a happy gamer -- and I'm not alone.

Next week, I will begin my free-to-play experiment. I have proclaimed that I believe it's possible to play free-to-play and still have nearly everything you want, if you're willing to invest the time. If the experiment is successful, I should have a character doing endgame raids and flashpoints by the middle of next month. I will keep you updated on his progress in future issues of the Hyperspace Beacon. This should be a fun, honest experiment. I hope you look forward to reading it as I have doing it. See you next week.

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 larry@massively.com. Now strap yourself in, kid -- we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!
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