‘Summer of SWTOR’ brings back the MMORPG

Squeaking in just under the wire for the dev team’s promised May delivery date, Star Wars: The Old Republic published its (remaining) 2017 roadmap yesterday. The overall take from the reveal? This game might just be returning to its MMORPG roots after a long sojourn in solo country.

“We have been saying for a while now our focus this year is to return to massively multiplayer and group-based content,” BioWare said. “Our focus on gameplay improvements will continue throughout this year and will include revisiting existing game systems to provide enhancements where needed whenever possible.”

The fun begins in June with the so-called “Summer of SWTOR,” as a small patch will activate the Nar Shadda nightlife event, add some new legacy perks, and introduce a new companion. July will see Game Update 5.3 with a oceanfront stronghold, class balance changes, and expanded instance offerings. Then August will push forward the story with Game Update 5.4 (and bring in a mysterious flashpoint).

The team spent some textual real estate discussing operations, PvP, story, companions, player communication, and quality-of-life improvements. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re interested in the future of this title. Quarterly roadmaps have been promised going forward, so expect to see one for the fall in another three months.

Source: SWTOR. Thanks Bob!
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30 Comments on "‘Summer of SWTOR’ brings back the MMORPG"

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Purewitz
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Purewitz

Please delete.

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Jadefox

The biggest problem I have is the pacing of the content. It’s just way to slow. Class Balance is way over due. DPS Sorcs and Powertechs have been nerfed in the ground over 6 months ago. That is an eternity in an MMO.

QoL inprovements lol. I’m sorry but BW has no clue what that means. Simple things like sort functions for storage(current system is worthless) and a legacy storage for credits. Should of been in the game 5 years ago.

I’m sorry but it really feels like there are about 3 people total working on the game.

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johnwillo

“I find your lack of faith…. fully justified.”

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Suikoden

Bioware said “We have been saying for a while now our focus this year is to return to massively multiplayer and group-based content.”

I don’t remember them saying that for a while. Maybe like once.

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Korthian

Did this take 6 weeks to provide a 12 week road map that hasn’t really provided any details about up coming content that people didn’t already know?

I’m sure the Cosplay event they held at the Star Wars Celebration announced the next op bosses and the new flashpoint. While class balance was going to be addressed when that member of staff got back from paternity leave over a month ago. As other than that it seems more hyperbole and worse claiming 5.2 as a success an update this site felt wasn’t great.

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Paragon Lost

(sigh)

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johnwillo

Summer of SWTOR?

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Purewitz
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Purewitz

I was thinking the same thing. When I just read this article, but you beat me by 13 hours. lol.

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Space Captain Zor

C’mon EA. Put this old dog to bed and build a proper Star Wars virtual world for us to play in and put it in the current post-ROTJ era.

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Sleepy

While I wasn’t sold on the KOTFE content, it was the unnecessary simplification that killed it for me. Taking equipment from companions, being able to change their role at will, and removing the skill trees.

Don’t get me started on the crafting changes, I used to really enjoy the crafting side of things.

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NeoWolf

“This game might just be returning to its MMORPG roots after a long sojourn in solo country”.

This ^ comparison annoys the hell out of me. I do not know how many times it has to be constantly clarified that Massively Multiplayers DOES NOT refer to grouping. It simply refers to many people being in the same game space at the same time. soloing is JUST as valid an MMO playstyle as Grouping is and people constantly implying or outright stating that you can’t be doing an MMORPG right if your soloing are just ignorant and ill informed. MMO’s are NOT defined by the necessity to group or the presence of group content.

Grrrrr with that out of my system.. I’d be interested to see how this push toward group play and activities they are going for will turn out for them. Because there has not been a massive outcry for more group content since early days of release and it only happened then because people were expecting more of the old norm.. There is in fact a very large community of happy people enjoying the story based content in SWTOR whether its solo centric or group experienced (and you can enjoy it ALL in a group right now anyway if you so choose).

Providing extra options is fine so long as it isn’t done at the expense of the enjoyment of your existing audience and customers otherwise your foot you will be shooting…

As a subscriber I shall be watching how this turns out. the first time they hit me with an occasion of forced grouping to enjoy the story will be the last month of sub they get from me, but hopefully they are smarter than that.

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Suikoden

All I can say is: Well Said Neo.
I support everything you said, but I don’t think that’s really what Justin himself was referring to.

But I agree, there should be no focus on Solo or Group. An MMORPG should evolve organicly with the player base. There should be myriad ways to play. Sometimes I want to solo because I have a little time or I’m too stressed from RK, and there are times when the kids go to bed and I want to hang out with some adults and go do group content.

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Hirku

Well said, Neo, that annoys the freakin’ hell out of me, too. I fail to see how being locked away in a dungeon instance with a few other players is more massively multiplayer than me running around the full world questing mostly by myself while also chatting, role-playing, and spontaneously grouping with or assisting any of the dozens of other players I come across.

As far as the roadmap…I care most about story and since the only new story mentioned is a flashpoint (which I hate), on top of the fact that it’ll just be more of the Lana & Theron Show, I guess I’ll spend my summer (and money) somewhere else.

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Greaterdivinity

Not terribly impressed with the letter, especially given all the broken promises in the past and some of the overly vague/self congratulatory bits. We’ve heard all this from them before, multiple times. There are a few bits of the letter I liked (THE PROMISED COMPANION CUSTOMIZATION FROM KOTFE FINALLY COMING TO KOTFE COMPANIONS OVER A YEAR AND A HALF LATER? OH BOY!!!!), but overall it was pretty mmmeeeehhhhhh.

I’m still hoping Keith can turn things around for the game, but unless he can make some truly major changes at BW I can’t see it happening. Especially on the communication front, at least not unless he either replaces Musco or decides to communicate directly with fans and ignore the community team.

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Witches

Not sure anything can unbreak all the things they broke over the last years, but at least it looks like they have decided to stop breaking things.

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Rumm

“The fun begins in June with the so-called “Summer of SWTOR,” as a small patch will activate the Nar Shadda nightlife event, add some new legacy perks, and introduce a new companion. July will see Game Update 5.3 with a oceanfront stronghold, class balance changes, and expanded instance offerings. Then August will push forward the story with Game Update 5.4 (and bring in a mysterious flashpoint).”

One of those things is group content.

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Evan Schultheis

That’s the thing about SWTOR. It had been going in a bad direction for some time. Shadow of Revan saw a small but notable drop in active players and Subscribers (it was at 1.1 million around the time of patch 2.7 in 2014). However, Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne saw basically a mass exodus from the game over the past two years(-ish).

With the direction its currently taking, hopefully some people will come back. They’ve hinted that they’re working on a new PvP map (I guess if not with 5.4 then with 5.5) and they’re doing a new planet (Umbara) with a new Flashpoint as well as a Manaan Stronghold. They’re also finally getting to work on many in-game issues such as poor balance in GSF and with classes, and they’ve started to take a whack at the thousands of bugs that plague the game.

Hopefully things will improve for SWTOR, or at least stabilize. For once I’m looking forward to what’s coming for it.

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TheDonDude

Dunno if it’s too late or not, but this road map does check a lot of boxes that the player base have been asking for,

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Alex Malone

Just read through their roadmap, specifically because they say they want to bring back the MMO part……I couldn’t see any evidence of that!

1 new raid boss every 2 months plus a couple of pvp warzones…hardly MMO. At least it is more group orientated for those few who managed to stick it out this long.

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Sykes

It felt like a little bit of everything to me. Some story content, trickles of raiding content, a pvp warzone, GSF overhall, a stronghold, server event updates, QoL updates, solo and companion updates, a new flashpoint, etc. The roadmap ends in early August, and overall it’s a decent amount of content for 2 and a half months. But in the past they’ve focused on one thing and released in annual chunks (here’s a whole raid. Here’s all the story chapters. Here’s an expansion of GSF content. Etc). Whereas now it’s everything at once in smaller pieces. I’m not sure how it’ll feel – some of these aspects of the game have been really starved while waiting for their turn for updates – but hopefully it’ll come together.

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thirtymil

SWTOR design methodology:

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Jeremy

So, they tried to go almost 100% solo and realized that MMO players actually do like to play with others? Strange, right?

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Sally Bowls

They did a bad job of solo. Even the CXP which is billed as “play as you want” still had all the “but of course multiplayer earns a lot more rewards.”

Shrug, I think we proved that fansite/forum warriors, many of who do not play the game, prefer the grouping.

Regardless, I think the new guy will do better than the previous so that should help.

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bobfish

The question is, tactical flashpoint or normal/hard?

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kidwithknife

I suppose it’s easy for me to be dismissive since they don’t appear ever to be fixing the mouse acceleration bug that made this game unplayable for me, but still… is there really anybody left in SWTOR now who actually wants group play? I’d have thought they’d all have moved on by now.

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Jeremy Barnes

How nice, someone told them that their players could actually play together.

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