You might think it’s a grind to get to level 65 in Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Knights of the Fallen Empire, but it’s actually quite quick to powerlevel through if you’re commited to a few things: not caring about the story and playing a character with stealth. These two key components can have you through the story missions in almost no time, with nothing but a break here or there to fight a boss enemy.
I don’t believe there is a faster way to hit level 65 than to grind the chapter missions. At the completion of the eight chapter, and turning in a quest for an alliance NPC, I hit level 65 after about ten hours of solid playtime. You can decrease that dramatically if you follow these easy tips.
First, there are two major timesinks in leveling in the expansion. The first is obviously the story. Here your spacebar is key, just keep smacking it until you reach an option. There should be enough contextual information as to what the choice is, especially if you’ve ran through it before already. If you haven’t played before, you may need to actually pay a bit of attention, because your choices do impact the overall story and your influence grind with various companions / characters in the alliance.
The second is trash mobs. In some instances you can’t avoid them, but that doesn’t mean you have to deal with the rest of them. If you’re a stealth class, like the Sith Assassin, then you can easily just stealth past everything. The XP they give isn’t involved with getting you to 65. On a character I skipped as much trash as I could, only fighting bosses and required encounters (when it spawns something to directly attack you). I spent the rest of the time in stealth, and still reached level 65 in the middle of the ninth chapter (which is just an introduction to the new hub / alliance system).
For each of the missions, everything is very linear. I used the default level 60 DPS build on my runs, keeping the companions in heal mode, which worked very well for me and didn’t require any input on my end. Most of the fighting that I had to do in my speed run was simply either trash I couldn’t avoid (spawned encounters) or bosses / objectives.
There isn’t many exploration missions between chapter 1 and chapter 8. The only exploration mission I can think of involves getting your speeder, which you’ll complete on your walk back through the forest at a specific point in the game. This gives you speeder training and access to a speeder, especially useful if you don’t get a speeder through any pre-order bonuses.
There really isn’t an easier way to explain it, you simply just start in Chapter 1, move through the objectives as quickly as you can, and then around Chapter 3, when you enter the bigger open areas, stealth around (or tether) trash enemies, and only focus on quest objectives. Skip as much of the dialog as you can, but remember it does have some major impacts (you cannot lose influence though, so don’t ever worry about upsetting a character, it just makes their influence grind longer).
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