KotFE: Star Fortresses – A Division of Opinion?

KotFE - Star Fortresses in SWTORBefore I start this post, I just want to clarify: I have no problem with games being hard, or with other gamers being better than me. Most are!

KoTFE Star Fortresses Story Curve

While waiting for Chapter 10 of Knights of the Fallen Empire there are three key focusses for players:

  • Increasing Companion Influence (formally Affection)
  • Increasing reputation with: Military, Force Users, Research and Underworld Information.
  • The Star Fortresses ‘side story’

This last option is probably vital to your success against the Eternal Empire because you can gain new followers as a result of them. For anyone new to SWTOR, the Eternal Empire has placed so-called ‘Star Fortresses’ over most planets, stemming trade and draining resources. Different planets report different side-effects of these Fortresses on the planet itself.

Escaping a Star Fortress Shield Generator
Escaping a Star Fortress Shield Generator

Gaining Access to a Star Fortress

The first stage before you can even get to a Star Fortress is to gain 5 Resource Crates to your key contact. This is achieved via the new [Heroic 2+] missions. Once you have obtained those, then you can storm the Fortress On-Planet Shield Generator. This then opens up the [Heroic 2+] mission to take on the Star Fortress itself.

My First Negative Impression of KotFE

I have really enjoyed Fallen Empire as I have expressed in my KotFE Review. However last night I tried a Star Fortress on [Heroic 2+] – and it was not a pleasant experience.

I was able to make it all the way to the Boss. There were a few interesting outcomes – such as being imprisoned when beaten, and a well-thought through mini-puzzle to jump between sections of the Fortress’ core. There is also a drop from enemy troopers to help absorb high levels of energy damage (these sit in your ‘temporary abilities’ toolbar).

And that’s where it stopped. The boss, flanked by seemingly endless (and regenerating) Skytroopers, simply beat me down. My companion healer (which I need) died quickly and I ran out of the energy absorbers. I made it to the final stage but became massively overwhelmed. It was like input overload and I couldn’t both work out the strategy and defeat enough enemies and keep the heat off my companion.

In short: Despite it being a [Heroic 2+] I felt the deck was stacked against me.

Input From the Community

So I resorted to Twitter, as I often do. I saw people seemed divided between those that said the Star Fortresses (on Heroic, not Solo Mode) were easily Solo-able. Others said it was impossible. Falling into this latter category I wanted to understand the differences between my setup and those that were able to do it. Here are my findings – and I would love to hear anything you have to say too!

Inside the First Introductory Sky Fortress
Inside the First Introductory Sky Fortress
  1. Getting Level 10 Influence with Alliance Departments: I am on level 5 and 6 at the moment. According to one player, gaining Level 10 creates 4 new abilities which help DPS on Star Fortresses.
  2. High Companion Affection: some reported 30-50 affection with at least one key companion. My highest is Level 15 at the moment. Apparently higher Influence = better combat effectiveness.
  3. Gear Strength: my gear is 190-200. To do a Star Fortress some people reported having more like 208-220 grade gear. Most also seemed to have augments. I only have one augment at the moment.

Another Way of Forcing Groups?

Having already had one rant about PvE Players Being ‘forced’ to PvP, this is another sign that, in order to succeed, we need to group up. I appreciate this is an MMO, but with my health condition, I need to relax when I game and I find group missions stressful, which leads to more Fibromyalgia pain. Attempting a Star Fortress which felt impossible left me with massive neck pain and meant I couldn’t sleep. This is not SWTOR’s fault! But I also don’t want my health to be the reason I may struggle in future chapters of Fallen Empire.

A Question of Communication

I have no problem with hard missions. However, it would have been better to have had Communication or an in-game barrier to taking the Heroic Star Fortresses if certain criteria are not met – such as the Level 10 Department Influence. If I know actions need taking in a certain order, I am happy to follow that. Instead we are left with Social Media and Dulfy to get from gamers the best way forward. And guess work. And high repair costs for getting it wrong!

Any Other Input?

Do you have any additional suggestions on succeeding at Solo-ing a KotFE Star Fortress? I’d love to hear them and I’d be happy to add some to this list above!

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Fibro Jedi

A 30-something Shadow Jedi, married and have a small daughter. By that I mean "young", not just "short". I have a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia andI play LOTRO, SWTOR and FFXIV and blog about two of them. Social Media has connected me with so many people and some of those have become amazing friends too! As a hobby I am relearning drawing, which you can see on my DeviantArt profile.

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