Here’s a run-down of everything coming to SWTOR in the next month and a half

    
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There is no eloquent way to explain everything that is coming to Star Wars: The Old Republic from now until December. So let’s just throw it all at you right now, then break it down later. The big parts will be hit right here, and the more nuanced items will come to future installments of the Hyperspace Beacon, promise. But most importantly, you should know that all of these additions and more will hit live servers sometime in early December when Update 5.10: Jedi Under Seige is live.

Yesterday evening, BioWare developers livestreamed for exactly 90 minutes, according to Community Manager Eric Musco (although the VODS are about an hour and 34 minutes). Inside that atypical stream, we learned that players will gain access to a Master Mode of the latest operation Gods of the Machine, this writer was correct that the new planet being introduced was Ossus, endgamers can earn a new gear set through crafting, and a good handful of companions will return.

But before the breakdown begins, here is a code that will give you portrait flair that you can use in game right now: SWCANTINA2018. Simply log in and go to the redeem-code page. After you enter the code, you will be able to log into game on any and all your characters and receive the portrait flair item.

Super-high-level PvE

The very first thing talked about during the livestream was Master Mode Gods of the Machine operations. The last thing we heard about operations was that we would no longer see Master Mode (or Nightmare Mode, as they used to be called) raids anymore. An educated guess would say that there were just not enough people playing them to warrant the development time. However, Producer Keith Kanneg insisted that they spend time creating the upper echelons of PvE content for those players who like a challenge.

In order to make these new challenges, two things had to happen. First, the Veteran Mode of Gods of the Machine had to be slightly scaled back. The content designers had not originally planned on making a Master Mode originally, so the challenge of Veteran Mode was scaled a bit higher than it would have been compared to the other Veteran modes of other operations. Secondly, we needed new gear. Players will now be able to gain a tier-5 gear set called Masterwork armor. Look for a full guide to Masterwork armor later, when our reporters have studied the intricacies of how to make the armor. But know this: There are multiple ways of getting the armor, and one of them is crafting.

Guilds are changing

Fundamentally, the purpose of guilds is to have an organized group of people who share a common gaming interest. Many times, a guild is tied to a specific game, but that’s not required. Those who have bound themselves to Star Wars: The Old Republic found it difficult to coordinate and manage a guild without utilizing some outside tools, but Update 5.10 hopes to change some of that.

From a management standpoint, the guild leaders had very little agency regarding the direction and running of the guild. The number of guild roles was very limited. A guild leader never really knew who was joining or exiting his guild unless he just happened to be online at the time. Now the guild interface has logging information for nearly every action happening in the game. Giving money, taking away money, banning people, and kicking people from the guild are now all logged. On top of that, the number of guild roles, as well as the options for those roles, has increased.

Musco also mentioned guild leveling. He said that XP for guilds will be granted through Galactic Conquests. As a guild gains levels, it earns guild currency. This currency can be used to purchase guild perks (More XP gain, better harvesting, etc.), which are slotted into your guild ship.

The most exciting thing happening to guilds has to be PvP challenges. This doesn’t just apply to guilds — groups can challenge groups — but stats can be tracked if the challenge is guild-vs.-guild. In the open world, one group can simply right click on the other group and select challenge. This will open an interface were the group composition can be seen and the challenge PvP map (Arenas, Warzones, and Galactic Starfighter are all in there) can be chosen. Although this challenge doesn’t give any XP or other rewards, it can be tracked on the guild’s landing page.

Ossus and the continuing story

Companions are probably the top priority for many players, and BioWare was clearly happy to announce that five companions will return when Ossus launches. Four of them have a direct connection to the Ossus storyline, according to Game Director Charles Boyd. Doc is a medic for the Jedi refugees on the planet, Nadia and Light-side Jaesa have been hanging out with the Jedi camp, and Khem Val has been wandering the wilderness. Dark-side Jaesa is also coming back, but her story doesn’t directly tie into the Ossus storyline.

Although many people probably took it as a joke, Musco and Kanneg confirmed that you will be able to romance Khem Val. We probably shouldn’t question how that will work. In fact, let’s pretend that the developers didn’t even say that and move onto the fact that you can now romance Nadia and both versions of Jaesa regardless of your character’s gender. In fact, Boyd said that they are working on ways for many of the previously hetero-only romances to work for same-sex characters.

As for the Ossus story itself, you’ll find a complete separate Imperial and Republic storyline. The promised Imperial-vs-Republic storyline will kick off on Ossus, and depending on what choice you made at the end of Traitor story arc, you may choose to help your faction or sabotage its mission on Ossus. You don’t get to completely change factions, but it possible to work against the faction you started in at the beginning of the game.

On top of the story, Ossus offers 10+ daily missions, a reputation track, more datacrons to discover, two world bosses, and Seeker Droid and macrobinocular quests. The developers said that tons of decorations will drop from Ossus during missions.

Let’s test it

Lastly, the BioWare developers want us to test everything. They even said that the public test server could be available as soon as today, and Master Mode Gods of the Machine will be the first thing tested. In the coming weeks, we will see the guild improvements, the PvP challenges, and the Ossus dailies open on the PTS as well. However, we will not see the story on the PTS. In fact, Boyd warned us not to look for datamined content. Not only is it against the terms of service, but it will also likely ruin the story for you.

As previously state, look for more detailed information to drop in the coming weeks via Hyperspace Beacon articles, but for now, let us know your thoughts in the comments. Then look for Update 5.10 to go live sometime in December.

Every other week, Larry Everett jumps into his T-16 back home, rides through the hypergates of BioWare‘s Star Wars: The Old Republic, and posts his adventures in the Hyperspace Beacon. Drop him a holocom on Twitter @Shaddoe or send him a transmission at larry@massivelyop.com. Now strap yourself in, kid — we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!

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Carebear

What i am really waiting for is a rework to all classes and a better battle system…

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ghostlight

Or failing that, at least an upping of the difficulty of the original class stories, main planetary stories, and the open world stuff. The radical dumbing down that occurred with KOTFE nearly ruined SWTOR for me.

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Calvin Cool

I was thinking that for months but it didn’t make sense in my head until you said it.

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Rolan Storm

I’d love them to try.

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Travis Laborde

So, is Dorne back yet? If so, I might give this a try…

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Khalith .

Dark Jaesa!? My bae is coming back to me finally! I said if they ever brought her back I’d reinstall SWTOR in a heartbeat, guess I’m going to have to get all caught up and take care of that.

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kalech

Kinda disappointed that they added two female same-sex romances and no male one (except for Khem…) but I’m happy to hear they might rework the old romances. Going to assume any changed old companions will only be romanceable in the expansion, but it would be cool if they made it possible in the basegame/class story as well.

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drelkag

The recent livestream was one of their best yet. Got me hyped for 5.10.

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mysecretid

I really hope that all this signals the return of fun Star Wars adventuring to Star Wars: The Old Republic, but I have to wait and see if the game is actually as “back on track” as this news makes it sound.

I got a laugh before when I said this next expansion will be “Redemption or Ruin” for SWTOR as an MMORPG (at least for me), but I have to say that I wasn’t joking, despite my overblown phrasing.

Credibility can be a finite resource, and if EAware (a.k.a .”The Artist Formerly Known As Bioware”) face-plants this latest comeback attempt for SWTOR, they’d better hope that Anthem proves itself to be as big a hit as their marketing people are insisting it will be …

My opinions only, of course. Yours may vary.

Alomar
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Alomar

Wow, so nothing in 2 years to bring back the hardcore Kotor fans whose nostalgia outweighs the failed mmo features of this game. /sigh

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Threevo V

What the hell are you talking about? This game was butchered for the last few years because they were slaving over trying to make the game appeal to KOTOR fans at the expense of its mmo features.

This is long overdue. Its about time the devs go back to making this a palatable mmo instead of a budget KOTOR single player experience.

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Rolan Storm

This. No matter how much I loved KotOR they should stuck with MMORPG when they were made to do it. All this effort to try and make KotOR 3 inside SWTOR was looking good only in livestreams I saw, when I got into the game I felt none of KotOR atmosphere.

There are ton of things they can make beside story. Maybe they even consider adding procedure-generated areas with changing environments and such. Also new PvP feature mentioned above is very good step in right direction.

We got what we got. Social online KotOR never happened and making SWTOR into one will do no favors to this game.

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Zora

Tradition demands they will postpone launch a couple weeks which makes the patch probably dropping -after- the holidays, or right before but unplayable until the four-five devs left return to work in january

And yet… tons of decorations dropping, be still my double-crossing chiss secret agent heart….

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François Verret

Maybe the same-sex romances are one of the reasons they are holding back Kira. Just a thought. I like these changes.

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François Verret

I would definitely come back for that.

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Witches

“Companions are probably the top priority for many players”

Sadly this reality is hard to accept for BW, and not just in SWTOR it’s a problem in all their games, i remember how hard it was for them to accept that people wanted to romance Garrus or Tali instead of the designated love interests in ME, i also remember how they handled the revelation of Tali’s face, so expectation should always be VERY low, BW is the wrong company for most of their games, they simply don’t like their games and playerbase, i hope Anthem does spectacularly so BW can do what they really want to do and switch to making fps.

All the guild stuff sounds pretty interesting if it wasn’t for all those people i’d want to join a guild, seriously why not just let me buy a guildship so i can do conquest on my own?