SWTOR Consular Newbie Guide

SWTOR Consular Newbie Guide by JaeOnasi

You’ve chosen an exalted path—the Jedi Consular class. This is a great class to play in The Old Republic if you love Force powers, or if you are having a tough time deciding what role you want to play on a team—melee (or ‘tanking’), damage-dealing at range, or even some healing. This class can do all three, and you’ll get a chance to try the different skills out on Tython, your origin planet.

**SPOILER WARNINGS!** While I try to keep the guide as spoiler-free as possible, you’re going to see some things that you might want to discover for yourself in-game. Turn away now to stay completely spoiler-free. You’ll earn 50 Light Side points for staying pure.

Welcome to The Old Republic!
Once you’ve loaded the game and chosen your server, the first thing you’ll see is your character selection screen. If you’ve created a Consular already, great! If not, click ‘Create Character’ and have fun customizing. Race and gender give no advantages or disadvantages in game, so pick whatever looks good to you. When you’re satisfied that you have the hottest looking Consular in the galaxy, you’ll be taken to the opening crawl of your story. Enjoy reading it—this is YOUR Star Wars saga!

Your epic adventure begins!
A shuttle will fly you down to the surface of Tython, which is the origin planet for both Jedi classes. You’ll meet Master Yuon Par, who has taken you as her Padawan. You’ll also get instruction on how to move in game, find your quest log, locate taxis, and equip items. This is a good spot to click the ‘Options’ button on your top bar, and check out your preferences. If your game is running slowly, the graphics are usually the culprit. Turn shadows, anisotropy, and grass down or off. Lowering ‘ground clutter’ can help, too. Under ‘social’, check ‘allow access to same class stories’ if you plan on grouping a lot. This will let you join other JCs in their class stories. Note—only one of you will get credit if you’re grouped with someone who has the same class quest. There is a choice to auto-loot the area on right click—this is very handy. Add more hotbars, especially the bottom two. You’ll need them as you gain skills. I enabled all four bars and put the skills I used infrequently on the right bar. I set my left bar for crew member skills. There’s a tab at the bottom of the preference window for keybinds. Adjust them as you desire—there are a lot of options you can hotkey or rebind to keys you prefer. Click ‘apply’ to save all your options, and then ‘OK’ to close the window.

You’ll also notice tips on the right side of your screen from time to time–click those to open the tip windows and learn more. These are incredibly helpful, and you want to ignore these about as much as you want to be eaten by a Rancor.

People to See, Places to Go
Once you arrive at the Gnarls taxi stop, make sure to pick up the bind point. Get in the habit of unlocking all your bind points, which are usually located by the taxis and in cantinas. This gives you many more ‘quick travel’ options. You’ll thank yourself later when you want to hop back somewhere to turn in quests.

You’ll find your first skill trainer and some merchants in this area as well. Visit the trainer as soon as possible after leveling up to get your new skills. You need all your Jedi powers to defeat those enemies!

Know and love your skill trainers

The default hotkey for your skills is ‘p’. Most skills will be automatically added to your hotbars if you have an open space for them. Some are not, however. Also, passive skills do not need to be on your hotbars. They’re always active. The skills are unlocked on your bar by default, so you can move them around freely to suit your particular play style. Click the little padlock icon on the left side of the center skillbar to lock or unlock it.

I usually keep Force Wave in slot one, Project in two, Telekinesis in three, and my melee skills in four and five. Seeing items ripped out of the ground and thrown at your enemy is Very Cool, so I lean more towards using the Force skills. I have those hotkeyed on my number pad. If you prefer more of a melee style, move the lightsaber skills to slots two and three instead. The issue of mousing versus hotkeying the skills has caused many a debate and even a few nasty little flamewars. Do what works best for you and ignore the fruitcakes out there who tell you that you’re wrong for doing it that way.

Quests and Maps
Right near the Gnarls taxi, you’ll notice Master Relnex, who will have your first real quest for you. Quest givers have cut out gold triangles above their heads when they have quests to offer. The triangles will be filled in when you have a completed quest to turn into them. Why BioWare chose triangles, I don’t know. In any case, go find those students before the Flesh Raiders capture them!

Gold triangles lead you to new adventures.
Check your map periodically (default hotkey is ‘m’). This is a great way to find more quests and new areas to explore. Accept all the quests you can possibly find, including the bonus objectives that come from taking down your foes. All of those will give you experience points (XP) towards the next level and practice using the different combat and healing skills.

Tempting as it is to move your class storyline along, don’t rush through the Gnarls area. You receive XP for discovering Lore objects, unlocking new areas, and meeting new species. You’ll have your first dialogue option that offers Light Side (LS) or Dark Side (LS) points. You can role-play it the way you want, though there is currently a definite advantage to choosing one side or the other. Some gear is restricted to either LS or DS, and you have to earn a certain level of points to unlock those ranks. Your Jedi can turn to the DS, though it will be a challenging path to play. Dark Side Jedi do not turn into Sith and switch factions to the Empire, just as Light Side Sith do not switch factions to the Republic.

When you receive quest rewards, take the time to mouse over them to find out which attributes they boost. The main attribute for the JC is Willpower, with Endurance coming in a close second. Willpower raises the amount of Force power, while Endurance raises your hit points. Since you can only wear light armor, raising both is essential. Presence is useful for raising your companions’ hit points, but don’t worry about that one too much. At lower levels, you can also put points into Strength if you want to raise the amount of damage you do with your lightsaber. Gear with this stat may arguably useful for Jedi Shadows, but not for Sages, who need the extra Force points more than melee damage. At higher levels, Willpower is always going to be the better option, however. Don’t bother with Aim or Cunning.

After finishing up in the Gnarls area, you’ll be directed to the Jedi Temple. Take the time to explore the area in and around the temple thoroughly. You’ll find class trainers, several quests, a cantina, lore objects, and a variety of vendors, including one for your Tython commendations. Don’t bother buying armor at this stage—you’ll receive a number of armor pieces as quest rewards. The understudy’s foil is useful for killing the bad guys faster than your practice saber, but it’s not essential. Save up the commendations for the Consular robe that you can buy at the Specialty Vendor. That served me well through most of Coruscant, which is the planet you go to when you finish your work on Tython. Pick up a few medpacs and stims that boost your Endurance and Willpower. You can find these at Stim Vendors and Republic Medical Droids.

Health and Welfare
Make sure to use your Force Valor buff as often as it wears off. It lasts an hour. You can buff an entire party or even other players. If you buff other players who aren’t Consulars as you meet or pass them in game, you’ll find that some of them will stop to return the favor. Every bit helps!

What happens if your health drops during battle? Well, when your foes are lying at your feet, take a few moments to use your meditation skill. This will heal you and replenish your Force points. Always go into the battle with a full health bar whenever possible. What happens if your health bar drops to zero? You’ll have a screen pop up saying you were defeated. You will be presented with two options–revive where you’re at, or get revived at the nearest medcenter. If you’ve finished all your objectives and were ready to turn in your completed quests, or are in the middle of a huge mob that you have no hope of defeating, then being transported to the nearest medcenter might be more convenient. Otherwise, revive where you’re at. You’ll have 8 seconds of stealth to get to a safe spot to heal yourself and re-apply any buffs and stims. Then go finish off the bugger who defeated you and pick up those drops he so kindly left behind. Your armor takes damage during battle, but it takes a lot more damage if you are defeated. Make sure to repair your items at a vendor when you sell all those terrific drops you’ve picked up during your adventures.

Explore, Explore, Explore

Once you’re done with the Jedi Temple orientation, you will be directed to Kalikori Village to help the Pilgrims there and to solve some of the mysteries for your class quest chain. Following that, you’ll end up at the Forward Speeder Camp to foray into the ruins of Kaleth. Explore all the areas–you never know when you’ll find lore objects, new quests, security chests and crates, and the fabled datacrons. There are some gorgeous areas on Tython where you have a chance to stop and just simply enjoy.

Sometimes, you’ll receive a mission item when you accept a quest. That item will end up in your inventory (default hotkey ‘i’). Click the ‘mission’ tab. You can drag the item to your hotbar so that you don’t have to open your inventory every time you need to use it.

Enemies of the Republic are Everywhere
The enemies get tougher as you advance through the different zones, and you’ll see more challenging foes and even a few bosses. Generally, if the enemy has a name, it means BioWare cared enough about him to shower him with love, attention, and lots of hitpoints. You’ll have a better chance of surviving a boss encounter if you’re in a group or if you’re the same or higher level compared to the boss. Left-clicking on the boss will give you some of his stats so that you know what you’re up against.

Bosses often have better quality loot drops than the average enemy. Usually the drops will shine with a white light, but if you see green, blue, or especially purple, there’s something special there for you!

A gold shaft of light indicates a drop needed for a mission has fallen. Make sure to grab those up.

Dialogue Options Can Be a Lot of Fun
BioWare has done a terrific job of making the quests varied and fun. I had to laugh at the baby flesh raider quest and the subsequent dialogue choices when turning in the completed quest for the reward.

Heroic Quests
At the Forward Speeder Camp, you’ll also receive your first Heroic quest. Pay attention to the number of people it says you should have in your party before attempting it, usually 2+ or 4. You’ll need at least that many players, and companions don’t count. These aren’t called ‘heroic’ quests for nothing! These quests are also excellent spots for grouping up and earning social points. Don’t miss out on that.

Companions Join You on Your Adventures
Your first companion, Qyzen Fess, will join you on Tython. You’ll receive more companions over the course of the game. Once you have him in your party, your dialogue choices affect you in more complex ways. These choices many times give you not only LS/DS choices, but now also give affection points. If your companion likes the choice you’ve made, you’ll get rewarded with affection points. If he doesn’t like your choice, affection points will be subtracted. The codex entries in your log (default hotkey ‘l’) on your companions will tell you what they like and dislike, so make sure to read those if you’re planning on maximizing affection with them. Sometimes, your companions won’t like your LS or DS choices. This adds a new dimension to your conversation options.

Don’t forget to equip your companion with items, too, though the equipment he has when you first receive him should be sufficient on Tython. He can wear heavy armor, so give him the best you can find or buy. Despite the fact that his main attributes are Aim and Cunning (both ranged attributes), he comes only with a weapon proficiency in techstaff, which is a melee weapon. You can access your companion’s equipment in the character pane (default hotkey is ‘c’). You’ll see the companion tab right next to yours. You don’t have to worry about assigning attribute points or abilities to your companion. He automatically levels up when you do.

First Lightsaber!

Finally, the time will come for you to craft your own lightsaber. This class quest is the toughest on the planet except for maybe the heroic quest. Make sure you’ve reached at least level 8, and preferably higher. Remember to equip the lightsaber as soon as you craft it. You’ll need it! Once you’ve completed this quest, you’ll return to the Jedi Temple and learn some important news that will send you on even greater adventures across the galaxy.

By this time, you should be well past the ‘newbie’ stage and ready to tackle the advanced stuff. May the Force be with you!

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