Today I reached 100% in Galactic Seasons 2 on all five SWTOR servers. My final mission was to complete 7 Seasons Objectives each week to earn the “Complete 100 Weeklies” achievement. I had already completed the Season Pass on all 5 servers and all of the bonus achievements over a month ago.
Galactic Seasons 2: Shadows of the Underworld, or GS2 as I call it, released alongside Legacy of the Sith in February this year. The major draw of GS2 was the brand new companion Fen Zeil, a doppelgänger of the legendary character Cad Bane. This season also saw progression changes from Season 1, namely the addition of Story-Cutscenes, Reputation System and Achievement Rewards.
Season 1 vs Season 2
Season 1(GS1) introduced us to Altuur Zok-Adon, a Kubaz sniper based on a character of the same species that attempted to snipe Grogu during Episode 4 of the Mandalorian. While GS1 was themed around Altuur himself, in order to unlock story content or read any lore surrounding the season, it was only available through a one-time cutscene and through Codex Entries you can earn by interacting with decorations obtained during the Season’s run.
Season 2 brought Fen Zeil, the Duros Bounty Hunter who had turned to a life of a leader after a Syndicate he once represented collapsed, heavily mirroring Boba’s career in the Book of Boba Fett.
Not only did GS2 up the story-quality with multiple progressive cutscenes, it also re-introduced Altuur from GS1 into the story, now being one of Season 2’s cutscene focuses, even if you missed Season 1.
GS2 made several key changes that improved both the quantity and quality over GS1.
The first of the key changes was a heavier focus on Story content. GS2 not only had a multitude of story-based cutscenes, but also included Altuur as a side character whether you played GS1 or not. The more you levelled Fen Zeil‘s influence (not the pass) the more story you unlocked.
The second major change was the inclusion of a Reputation track. In GS1 to unlock more lore you had to interact with the GS1 decoration rewards to unlock Codex Entries.
In GS2 players could now interact with Qi’us Dnar who was introduced in Fen Zeil’s tutorial quest and trade in currency in exchange for Reputation Point items to level up the Shadow Syndicate, which in turn would unlock bonus cutscenes with Fen Zeil and Qi’us on Nar Shaddaa.
The third and final major change was the overhaul of Galactic Seasons Objectives. In GS1 you were handed a list of Objectives that could change daily and had to complete them quickly. In GS2 Bioware changed the system to focus on giving you a larger list of Weekly objectives and let you picked which ones you wanted to complete, which was great! They also introduced several hilarious ‘gimmick’ objectives such as dressing up in disguises to plant false evidence.
Additionally GS2 now offered several achievements that unlocked bonus cosmetics and titles.
The Season Pass
GS2 followed a slightly different rewards path then GS1. While the currencies awarded (cartel coins, season tokens) remained the same the cosmetic rewards changed. A great GS2 addition was adding a Season Token as a repeating 4 day Login Calendar reward, previously during GS1 the tokens were exclusive to the Pass.
GS1 featured 1 armor set to be earned in the Free 2 Play Track, and 1 in the Subscriber track. GS2 placed both armor sets in the Subscriber track exclusively. GS1‘s armor sets were also Czerka themed, slightly distant from the theme “The Stranger from Kubindi” however this also was Bioware’s maiden voyage of Season Passes so they were still learning.
The GS2 weapons rewards were also quite thematically different compared to GS1.
GS1‘s weapons were all very ornate and antique, most likely inspired by the canon High Republic Series which was being hyped up at the time. This somewhat fit Altuur’s profile and backstory, moreso then the GS1 Armor Set’s that were Czerka themed.
GS2 added heavier, scrappier weapons, much more in-line with the Syndicate theme that GS2 was based on. The weapons featured unstable-blaster effects and scope lights, effects usually given exclusively to rare Cartel Market items.
The weapons also came with a default blade/blaster colour of Purple or Mint, something SWTOR hasn’t done before outside of the Cartel Market. This was great as it allowed F2P and Casual/Story players to earn not only a purple lightsaber(default) but also a wide array of blasters that shot with special effects and flair!
Like GS1, GS2 also featured a slew of other rewards and brand new ones.
During Season 1, players only earned enough Companion Gifts in the pass to level Altuur to exactly 50 and had to rely on buying more for Credits or use a Compendium on him on their alts to raise his influence.
In GS2, Fen Zeil not only had enough Companion Gifts in the pass to increase his level, but players could also be awarded a pack of 2 “Fen Zeil Compendiums”. Meaning that you could have Fen Zeil at 50 influence on 3 different characters.
GS2 also featured many more decorations over GS1, including a Disguise Terminal that allows you to play as Shadow Syndicate NPCs from the game’s story. Several Syndicate Soldier decorations and Computer/Furniture decorations were added as well.
Galactic Seasons 1 was Bioware’s maiden voyage into the Battle Pass system that is currently attached to any and every online game. While it was a good Galactic Season it was thematically disjointed, they didn’t know what players would love or hate, fixate on or abandon. They played it safe and gave us a run of the mill Battle Pass that was completely to free for all subscribers and F2Ps, with only some rewards being locked behind subscription.
Galactic Seasons 2 was a complete improvement in every way. The new Weekly Objectives system had me more excited then annoyed to level my pass, something that I felt during Season 1.
Adding story, cutscenes and lore instead of Codex Entries was a massive improvement. Fen Zeil is a great companion that I will continue to use after the season ends.
The rewards are not just cosmetically amazing but also thematically tied in with the Story theme and lore.
The theme “Shadow of the Underworld” cohesively fits with everything the Galactic Season has to offer and even expanded upon the lore of GS1. The inclusion of bonus achievements, rewarding not only Fen Zeil but also your ship droids 2V-R8 & C2-N2 new customizations was a simple yet perfect bonus to cap off everything that Galactic Seasons 2 had to offer.
Galactic Seasons 2 has been my favourite season yet and not only kept me logging into the game nearly every day, but completing weekly objectives reignited the population of Galactic Starfighter, an underrated minigame that not enough players get into these days.
I hope that future Galactic Seasons continue on the same system and mechanical track that Season 2 gave us, as I feel that it is perfect for this game. I eagerly look forward to news and the release of Galactic Seasons 3, especially what the next story theme may be.
I’m personally hoping for a Sith theme as we have had 2 Underworld themes in a row, but I’ll honestly be happy with anything.
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