SWTOR and the Road Ahead…
BioWare released an article that describes, not in great detail but essentially what is happening for releases up to the mid year point.
Producer’s Road Map 2014, and they are setting the stage for what I believe is the 3.0 expansion pack which is possibly coming at the end of the year.
We knew 2.6 was coming, as this was the official release of Galactic Starfighter (GSF) which has at this point garnered wide praise, so with more ships and battle zones coming this looks set to go from strength to strength and certainly sets this MMO apart from many others in terms of variation in gameplay. The one area I am looking forward to is new “Tactical” flashpoint which is coming in 2.6. Suffice to say it is scalable, and they performed that test on scaling content very well with the Rakghoul plague on Alderaan in January.
2.6 is coming 4th Feb I believe which is the day of this post, so, there will be another influx of players as people who only play the game for GSF jump on board and since you can play it from level 1. It means that there will be people who just play that.
Is there a benefit to playing the game proper if I only want to play Galactic Starfighter?
Yes. But it isn’t needed. What the ground game will give you is access to more companions. The GSF game comes with its own set but there are also advantages of having use of the ground game companions. But if you are happy with the companions you have then enjoy the game.
These are always great, but they get very busy as perhaps new Alts are created to take advantage of this double XP. Be wary of those who are free to play, queue times might be lengthened as the number of people who log on go up substantially. And as preferred access got into Galactic Starfighter I did notice that on the weekends the number of players has grown substantially and across all planets there is a massive surge in population in the game.
But the double XP also helps out players legacy too. So, even if you have reach level 55 working on dailies or flashpoints will help the legacy experience along as well. I only have Alts to level during this period.
Double XP is slotted for the weekend March 14 – March 17
These new flashpoints are going to be the direction the game is going to take for future flashpoints, operations and the expansion at the end of the year. Two different (though I think they won’t be that different) flashpoints on Korriban (for the republic I am guessing) and Tython (for the Empire) where they are going to attack each other directly.
It is unsure if these are going to be a scaled flashpoint of a level 55 one, since they are looking at the Empire and Republic attacking each other the ground story of the game looks like it should be played through to understand most of the background.
They did this with the story thread about the Dread Masters, with the Empire and Republic coming across these ancient Lords of the Sith on Belsavis. Which also shows through the Dailies in Section-X and Oricon, also the Operations that have been released, The Eternity Vault (which is on Belsavis). We see the influence the Rakata had on the galaxy and we also see why not only the reason for the prison on Belsavis but also the reasons for them keeping these worst beings in there.
Karraga’s palace I feel lent the Rise of the Hutt Cartel Expansion and the Battle of Makeb and we see that god awful bell end hat that though a worthy prize from the operation, though it isn’t the only one, it looks as silly sitting atop Karraga as it does any player who wear it.
We see the seeds of the Dread Masters in Explosive Conflict as we find details of why the Trandoshian armies have been sought for this conflict and we come up against some of the toughest enemies to date with the Warlord Kephis unleashing not his plan but the one ordered by him. Though I do like Denova, it is a very nice looking place.
Terror from Beyond where we see more influence of the Dread Master’s plans as we head to one of the worlds controlled by the Gree and see the wonderful technology and the terrible horrors that await as you fight in one of the most interesting boss fights every, and a friend returns more powerful than before.
In Scum and Villainy we are told there is a massive arms sale going down on Darvanis and as you battle through the hordes of scum and villainy you understand the purposes of this as you get our first taste of the power of just ONE of the dreaded Sith Lords, Dread Master Styrak.
And now the location of the remaining masters have been found and all players Imperial and Republic alike descend into the despair that is Oricon. We battle through the inhabitants or corrupted soldiers from either side, and beasts of one ilk or another to reach the Dread Fortress and Dread Palace to hopefully throw down this menace in the galaxy.
With that aside you can see the depth the story has gone into to just for the Dread Masters I hope they put they same level of story telling into the new series of operations and flashpoints that will be coming soon.
In June they are proposing release 2.8 coming. There is this one line in there.
And much more… this is going to be the biggest update up to this point – we will reveal more once we are a bit closer to June
Doesn’t mean much in the scheme of things but it is also they are mentioning 2 digital expansions one being one like Galactic Starfighter in scope which is to my understanding will be in release 2.8 or 2.9. Then what it sounds like a new planet, level cap rise and more in one similar to Rise of the Hutt Cartel. So release 3.0 will be either in September or October, OR from a gut feeling, will be with the 3rd Anniversary of the game in December. But my gut is only ever right when it comes to food.
So, much is happening in 2014 for the game and I think we might know more about release 3.0 at E3 this year, since SWTOR was fairly absent from the event though they did have their community cantina on around the time of the event and in LA as well.
Changes in the release schedule this year which has been noticeable but if it is true they are planning on increasing this to help in removing some of the more pesky but I might say plaguing issues in the system it can only be a good thing, if that is what they do. So I hope they stick to their plans and that we have a great SWTOR year.