As we reported yesterday , Star Wars: The Old Republic is currently in the grip of the Rakghoul plague. A new series of daily quests and hidden challenges have cropped up on Tatooine, where a crashed starship has contaminated the local fauna with the virus, which turns living beings into small, bald, angry monsters.
UPDATE: Event will end April 24th at 12am PST. There's no time to waste, though, so here's a guide to getting the most out of your time on Tatooine.
DNA sample rewards
First up, what you're fighting for. The majority of the new items are sold by a Jawa vendor located north of the crash site, at around -893 -1919 in the Dune Sea. He shows up as a normal vendor icon on the map, so he isn't hard to find.
He'll trade you items in return Rakghoul DNA samples, which are earned through the steps detailed below. Unlike regular commendations, DNA samples are normal inventory items and are tradeable: if you're sitting on a lot of cash and want to skip straight to the items, it should be possible to bypass a lot of the below. Otherwise, however, here are the rewards and their prices:
- Level 31 green/black colour crystals - 75 samples
- Level 50 green/black colour crystals - 83 samples
- Infected companion lockbox - 20 samples
- Pale Rakling pet - 60 samples
The crystals are bright green with a black core, similar to the black/yellow crystal granted to pre-order customers. The infected companion lockbox contains a random companion customisation that gives one of your allies a unique, just-infected pallor. The pale Rakling, meanwhile, is a vanity pet that follows you around and presumably freaks out all those containment officers you keep passing in the street.(opens in new tab)
There are two main ways to earn your DNA samples:
Get bit, get sick, blow up
While fighting Rakghouls on Tatooine you have a chance to contract the plague, which manifests as a debuff on your status bar. If left untreated, the symptoms will progress to the stage where you're emitting a green fog, vomiting profusely, and your eyes are glowing. Then you blow up, infecting everyone nearby.
But it's not all bad news! Every time you explode, you earn 5 DNA samples. Presumably it's your own DNA, so it's best not to think about it too much. Infecting other players also unlocks an additional daily quest which tasks you with spreading the virus to ten other people. Completing this earns you a handful of extra samples.
Blowing up also causes only minor damage to your equipment, and repair costs seem to have been cut dramatically for the duration of the event.
This mechanic is why you'll see mobs of players at various points on the fleet station. By standing in a huddle and running back after they explode, players can quickly spread the virus to one another. This is currently the fastest way to earn samples, but as it can take up to 30 minutes to progress from initial infection to violent detonation, it's also slow and a little boring. As far as rubbing up against each other and trading infections goes, though, it's remarkably like university.(opens in new tab)
Kill things for science
The regular way of earning DNA samples is through the new daily quest lines. Encounters are scaled up to your level, so the majority of these are accessible for players above level 25 - basically, from the level you start questing on Tatooine. All of these quests use exactly the same mechanics as the rest of SW:TOR, so I won't go into the details of following your minimap and killing mobs unless the situation warrants it.
As a general word of advice, the event has players from both factions swarming around the quest areas. On PvP servers, getting ganked is a strong possibility - but there are always allies around, so team up.
Start by visiting the wreck of the Stardream just north of the Republic base in the Dune Sea. This will trigger the first daily, a multi-stage quest that takes place in the local area. This quest will also unlock the first few event-specific codex entries. There's also an escape pod in the wreckage that grants an additional quest, Passenger List, to track down crashed pods in the northern Jundland wastes.(opens in new tab)
While you're killing enemies around the wreck you'll probably loot a blood sample. This grants you an additional quest which will take you to one of the camps from your faction's Tatooine bonus series. After deciding whether to kill or cure the infected Sand People you'll be sent to their camp in the easternmost part of Jundland. There, you'll find an additional area daily, Outbreak. Both this and the Blood Sample quest involve tracking down infected sand people, which can be tough when the area is swarming with players. The slow but steady way is to find a less populated spawn area and claim it for your own, otherwise you'll be racing people for each spawn. Likewise, it's a good idea to hunt as far as possible from where a quest is actually granted. This is particularly useful when you're asked to kill the less-common infected Reeks, which are usually easy to find if you travel a bit further afield within the mission area.
While killing sand people you'll pick up the next daily quest, Hybrid Strain. You'll want to move east and scan the Jawas at the indicated location on your map. Scan them, then kill them. When you're done mopping up their filth, turn in the quest and head back to the ship wreckage in the Dune Sea. Here you'll use a a small console in the sand to get the quest, Pure Virus Sample. For this quest you will travel to the Rennar Outpost (Imperials) or Largona Outpost (Republics) and search for suspicious containers to scan. Beware! Each scanning attempt has the chance to spawn a very angry wookie. After you've turned in this quest head to the coordinates (2099,438) and use the datapad on the ground near the mural to pick up the quest, Newly Infected. For this quest you will scan Dewback corpses. When you have finished, turn in for the chest or belt.(opens in new tab)
Completing all of these quests will earn you 11-13 samples, depending on which rewards you choose. There are also pieces of social gear available as optional rewards. It isn't possible to get the whole set yet, but when it is these will allow you to dress up as a containment officer.
NOTE: The mechanics of these quests require you to have completed the the previous daily one day before you can pick up the next quest. This means if you complete Blood Sample and Passenger List on Friday, you'll have to wait till Saturday to pick up Hybrid Strain. No word yet whether this will be changed to allow people to get the full set of gear over the weekend.
List of Daily quests that award Containment Officer gear
- Blood Sample: Boots
- Passenger List: Gloves
- Hybrid Strain: Legs
- Pure Virus Sample: Helm
- Newly Infected: Chest or Belt
Earning your title
The most coveted reward so far is the 'Containment Officer' title, which allows you to run around infecting other players as a massive hypocrite. It's earned by unlocking nine new codex entries that tell the story of how the Stardream came to be infected with the Rakghoul virus, four of which you'll already have unlocked if you followed the instructions above. The next four are substantially more difficult (details on next page), and the ninth is granted, along with the title, immediately after the eighth.
It's worth noting that being granted the title currently seems to be bugged. Murri, guildmaster of the PC Gamer Mint Imperials, has successfully completed all of these steps and been granted the title. I've finished all of them, but the ninth entry has yet to unlock. We'll update this guide if there's something we've missed. In the meantime, though, get cracking with the stages on the next page.
UPDATE! Apparently the final codex entry was bugged - if you're stuck on 8/9 entries unlocked, you'll need to defeat world boss Urtagh again to make it trigger.
By Chris Thursten and Gavin Townsley