For those of you playing at home, SoR didn’t release until December 9th last year, which was only 20 days before I made last year’s predictions. And since game studios like to take a lot of vacation in December, it’s likely that the developers didn’t even know for sure that they would be making KOTFE in 2015.
That being said, this is will be a fun experiment. I’m going to look at last year’s predictions and compare them to the actual outcomes, and then I’d like to make a few predictions for 2016.
Where I was wrong
Two more raids
I was wrong about the very first prediction: I said that there would be at least two more raids coming in 2015, and there were zero. Unfortunately, because there were no new raids in 2015, much of the endgame community stopped playing the game all together. Obviously, they moved to games like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV, which did implement new raids this year.
That being said, the hard-mode version of Temple of Sacrifice was nearly impossible to beat because a little boss called the Underlurker. Not to mention the tight DPS timer on the last boss. But eventually, a guild called Zorz took down the raid in late January. The group was even rewarded with a plaque from BioWare to commemorate the achievement, but then the guild promptly left the game shortly after receiving the gift, possibly solidifying BioWare’s decision not to bother with new raids in 2015.
Two new PvP zones
I figured that I would be wrong about the PvP zone prediction. I’ll be honest, a lot of last year’s predictions amounted to my being hopeful. I had wished that BioWare might change its mind regarding PvP, but as you can see by reading the Killer score on my report card, I don’t believe that the developers even know what makes that group tick. So of course, no new PvP map was made, not even a new arena, which once seemed easily created given how quickly BioWare use to pop them out.
Where I was right
I am glad to say that I was mostly right about my nerf prediction. I truly wasn’t asking that certain classes be nerfed; I was really hoping that those classes that are most difficult to play would actually have better overall DPS for those who could perfect their rotations. For the most part I was right because my focus was on the Annihilation spec’d Marauder (Watchman Sentinel). For most PvE theorycrafting, that spec certainly made it back to the top of the chart over some of the other classes that have an easier rotation.
However, thanks to the mechanics of the raids this year, it didn’t matter because, practically speaking, having a close-ranged melee class in high-end PvE was too taxing on healers and is usually a detriment to a raid team as a whole.
More solo flashpoints
I was completely correct when I said there would be more solo flashpoints. How many new solo flashpoints did we get last year? All of them. Well, not all of them, but most of them. Nine flashpoints received a solo mode version. The idea behind this change to the core game was to encourage players to experience that part of the story. And they did.
More story more often
Although technically, we didn’t get story more often, it is BioWare’s plan to deliver it more often in 2016. However, it’s clear with the complete change to the storytelling approach that BioWare delivered on the “more story” part of the prediction. Knights of the Fallen Empire not only delivered some amazing story to the SWTOR universe but also shook the existing game to its core. If you read my interview from last week, you’ll see that developers decided that it wasn’t enough to just add more story to the game; they also fundamentally changed their approach to storytelling in the game, even going so far as to change the leveling process by steering the new player through the most important parts of the class story.
What I think about 2016
The developers have made a few off-handed comments about the content we might get in 2016, but the only thing truly confirmed is additional KOTFE content. Starting February 11th, subscribers will gain access to one new KOTFE chapter a month for the next seven months, totally 16 KOTFE chapters total. That will satiate us until August… hopefully.
Those paying attention would notice that BioWare mentions that these 16 chapters is not the end of this style of storytelling. The studio hinted at another season of stories coming before the end of the year. In fact, I will make my prediction now and say that the next season will release in November. (BioWare will want to release it in October like the last one, but it will be delayed.)
BioWare also hinted that it was working on a new warzone and that Shadow of Revan was not the end of raids. I believe that BioWare will continue its trend of releasing a minor expansion in the beginning to middle of the year and a big one at the end. So just before summer starts, we will see an expansion of this type, and with it will come a new Warzone and my biggest prediction: a revamp to PvP as a whole. BioWare will finally figure out that it’s just not handling PvP correctly and will attempt a totally different approach. I don’t know what that approach will be, but I’ll make a second prediction: That approach will ultimately fail, too. Sorry, BioWare, I love your work, but PvP has never been what you are good at.
As a side note, I wager we will also get a new raid at the same time we get the PvP expansion, but overall it will keep endgame PvEers interested for only a month. Those PvEers who stick around will be those who are still interested in the daily and weekly activities that are currently available in game.
You’ve now read my thoughts, but beauty is that this is only the beginning of the conversation. Let me know what your thoughts are for SWTOR in 2016 in the comments below. May the Force be with you in 2016.