First, I have to talk about the rewards. In true SWTOR tradition, the lower tiers of rewards give players crap and the top tier gives players something they have been asking for for a long time. Each tier of rewards builds on the previous one. Tier five (Rating 0001-1149) earns you a title. Tier four (1150-1224) adds a minipet to the rewards. Tier three (1225-1299) adds a ranked armor set that appears to be unique to your class. Tier two (1300-1499) adds a weapon set. Tier one (1500 or above) adds a rancor mount.
A title and a minipet are fine rewards. I have little issue with those, and as I understand it, the titles are unique based on your tier. Of course, the tier fours and fives will never wear their titles. It'd be like wearing a "loser" tag over your head. But what really upsets me are the armor and weapon rewards. I don't mind that they are reskins of existing sets, but the fact that they are reskins of the worst armor in the game really turns me off. Putting glowy bits on bantha poodoo does not make it suddenly more attractive. In fact, when these armor sets were placed on the test center, fan sites (per BioWare's lead) stated that it's subject to change, then were rightly upset when nothing changed going live. Now BioWare continues to put lipstick on a Hutt, telling us that it's pretty. Of course, this makes the Rancor the only worthwhile reward to obtain, and according to Community Manager Eric Musco only 5% of players have currently done so. Based on this information alone, I'd have to say that you might be better off staying with Uncle Owen for one more season.
Do you remember that scene when Obi-Wan Kenobi confronted General Grievous on Utapau? He jumped into the middle of a battalion Separatist droids. It was an extremely risky move, and tactically not very sound, but in the end it worked out for him. Of course, you can't believe everything you see in the movies, but maybe there is something we can take away from this maneuver.
I have heard a rumor that if you win all of your 10 placement matches, you will earn a 1500 rating. If you have a character that has not run any ranked matches, I suggest jumping all-in. Find a good team of friends, make sure you have all good set of augmented Conqueror gear, and dive into ranked PvP. Play to win. Find the best time for you to compete, when the stronger teams aren't playing. Run unranked matches at different times to find out when when your optimal time to pay would be. I'm am not suggesting that you win-trade; that will only lead to your getting in trouble with BioWare. The studio has already caught and banned players for cheating in ranked matches. If you can't win every match, then maybe it's time to return to the moisture farm. No one will fault you for trying. Good luck... you're gonna need it.
After four years, it's time to migrate the Hyperspace Beacon to a new home. I'm not leaving Massively; I will still have my Elder Scrolls Online column, and there is a chance that the Hyperspace Beacon can make a cameo here every once in awhile. I still love the Massively staff, who are some of the best people in gaming journalism, and journalism is not a term I use lightly. But since we can no longer run the Beacon on Massively, I have created a website specifically for this column: HyperspaceBeacon.com. I will continue to do my weekly editorials on Star Wars: The Old Republic, but having a site dedicated to this column means that I can cover more Star Wars-y stuff too. There are new movies coming out soon. Disney XD teased a new animated series set in the classic era. Marvel is taking over the comicbook job for Dark Horse. Things are changing, and I have a lot to talk about. If you're ready to move with me, angle the deflector shield while I make the calculations for the jump to lightspeed.
Hyperspace beacons are unmanned outposts in space which freighters and other starships use to traverse the reaches of the known galaxy in Star Wars. Just like one of those buoys in the black, I will continue to guide your Internet-class cruiser past the space debris to the best news, information, and commentary on Star Wars: The Old Republic and beyond. OK, Chewie... punch it.
The Hyperspace Beacon by Larry Everett has been your weekly guide to the vast galaxy of Star Wars: The Old Republic for the last several years. If you have comments or suggestions for the column, send a transmission to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now strap yourself in, kid -- we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!