Among those changes are the large-scale rework to leveling that will allow players to level to 60 more easily via planetary storylines, extensive rebalancing for Companions along with a large-scale system change to companion affection, and the stat rework that will affect every item in the game while making gear more straightforward. So even if you’re not going to be jumping into the expansion today, you can jump in and start exploring all of the many shifts to the game’s systems. That should keep you occupied for a week.
Producer Bruce Maclean welcomed players in a message on the official site:
It is my pleasure to welcome you to Early Access for Knights of the Fallen Empire Digital Expansion. You are the first group to officially start this epic new adventure, enjoy, and may the Force be with you!
Early Access is a special reward for those subscribers who were as excited as we are about this new expansion that signals a return to our BioWare story-telling roots. Entry to Early Access was announced when we announced the new Digital Expansion and was a reward for all Subscribers who were actively subscribed from July through early October. During each of those months, active Subscribers also earned several other unique rewards including the ability to have Nico Okarr as your Companion in-game! We appreciate your support and look forward to hearing your feedback on the epic new adventure introduced with Knights of the Fallen Empire.
For those who are not part of Early Access, get excited, as you are still going to get access to some of the exciting game enhancements that come as part of the update. You will immediately notice that beginning today, October 20th, we have made big changes to the gameplay on the core worlds as well as to Crafting, Combat, the Cartel Market, and more!
For those jumping into the nine episodic Chapters of Knights of the Fallen Empire, today, your character becomes the Outlander, a veteran of the Great Galactic War. Whether you are making a new level 60, or continuing to play your existing character, you will embark on an epic story-driven adventure where you choices matter and have impact on how your story evolves.
Knights of the Fallen Empire is a deeper and more personal story; a return to our BioWare cinematic storytelling roots. We hope that all of you enjoy this story as much as we enjoyed creating it. For our team, this expansion was inspired by all of you, our players. It is about the hero’s journey and the challenges that we face when we set out on that path…in a galaxy far, far away.
Best of all, this is just the beginning, we have more great Star Wars stories to tell in The Old Republic… so stay tuned!