Star Wars The Old Republic announces The Dark Descent update with new flashpoint and ‘galactic seasons’

    
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Word.

Remember when Star Wars The Old Republic’s last update fell a little flat and we said we hoped that the promised influx of updates for the game in the wake of Anthem Next’s cancelation really brought the goods? You can be the judge of whether that’s the case, as as BioWare announced 6.3: The Dark Descent on its official livestream this afternoon.

At the heart of the update will be the latest flashpoint, dubbed Secrets of the Enclave. “Players will be joined by faction characters to follow the footsteps of Darth Malgus and journey to the ruins of a Jedi Enclave hidden away on Dantooine,” the studio promised on Twitter. Aryn Leneer will return for the Republic version (in fact, an interview with her voice actress took up a large part of the stream).

The other major news to come out of the livestream is that BioWare is dropping a new system called “galactic seasons.” According to the devs, these five-month spans will see players marching through 100 tiers that come with specific rewards as players progress.

“To progress, players will receive a set of Daily and Weekly challenges, called Priority Objectives. Comprising of existing and/or new Conquest Objectives, Priority Objectives will require the player to complete specific Conquest Objectives to receive Galactic Season Points. Priority Objectives are indicated by their new Conquest icon and are filtered to the top of the Conquest Objective list. Players can also earn Galactic Season Points through the Login Reward system by logging into the game any 4 days of the week. All Reward Levels will require the same amount of Galactic Season Points to progress. For example, going from Reward Level 1 to 2 takes the same amount of effort as going from Reward Level 99 to 100.”

It does appear there will be two different tracks: one for everyone, even F2P players, and a second one for subbers-only, meaning subbers can work through two tracks at a time. F2P accounts can also sub partway through and pick up the sub rewards they’d have gotten had they been subbed all along, although subbers progress more quickly. Really, the whole system appears to be designed to get you to sub and to play, but it might actually be worth your while, since rewards include everything from lockboxes to cartel coins.

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Holden Nagata

it would be stellar if we could get groupable story content again, like the og planetary missions… my only disappointment from the last story beat was that my partner and i couldn’t do it together until we finished the solo-story

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Pheeb Hello

I just want them to turn the game into an MMO, not a linear hub based online RPG.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Are they planning to revert the character UI? I haven’t tried to play since before the update. But I’ve seen numerous comments that they managed to take the character UI from “completely uninspired” to “completely unusable.”

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

Apparently the obnoxious side menu can now be collapsed and it stays collapsed between game sessions. Too early to tell if it’ll revert to open on the next server reset.

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Holden Nagata

SWTOR has one of the most inherently customizable UIs out of all MMOs; I wouldn’t call the base-UI “unusable” but even if you don’t like certain parts you can customize to your hearts content–including making windows smaller so they don’t block the play area

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treehuggerhannah

I’m a little nervous about this flashpoint after the mess of the last flashpoint.

…Which I’ve never actually finished because I ran into a game-breaking issue both times I tried it, and it’s so long with no checkpoints that I’ve wasted hours on it with nothing to show for it. I haven’t been able to motivate myself to try again.

Hopefully there’s a way to skip the last one and progress the story, and the next one is tested and balanced better.

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Java Jawa

Ugh being a player since 2011, this ain’t something I wanted.

First renknown grind, then conquest grind, now this. It’s a poo doo attempt at busy work.

Come on Bioware. Some meaningful content would be great.

Out of everything they posted, a new stronghold sounds the best to me.

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NeoWolf

Battle passes….urgh, a conquest system by any other name is just as lame.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Yep, pretty much what I thought. They’ve figured that other games did it and it gave them a revenue stream, so why not try it out?

Considering their whole system revolves around making them money by putting limits on you that you have to pay to remove, I’ve not funded them since 6ish months out from launch. It’s not a good idea to turn your game into a money treadmill…

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Raidervc

Something tells me the population that loves the storytelling, raiding, housing, etc or SWTOR, and the population that lives for 100 tiers of a battle pass, does not make a particularly pretty Venn diagram.

Me thinks SWTOR is hurting more than we all thought (and we all thought it was in rough shape) if they are going down this road.

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Greaterdivinity

It’s servicing different parts of the playerbase, I doubt everyone still playing is playing purely for the store given how infrequent those updates are. Now they’ll keep having story content updates, and this battle pass in the background as another retention tool.

It really does need additional monetization tools, because IMO it’s still a poor cash shop setup that sorta limits spending opportunities for subs while making spending opportunities for non-subs too unappealing.

I thought it was doing better under the new producer once things got settled? It seemed like it was in a very rough spot shortly after KotFE/ET but has stabilized since?

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Leiloni

I just took a break in February after playing for about 4 straight months and the only thing that surprised me about the playerbase was how big, active, and positive it was. I think this update makes sense given how many players have endgame characters (or often several). It gives people more things to do with them which is always a good thing and often these are the same players that will then hop on an alt and play through the storyline in another way yet again.

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James Crow

tbh im one of those who like storytelling and also the battlepass system for some cosmetic rewards and the good part is that you dont need to pay extra if you already subscribe.

ofc BP is not something that keep me playing without no new real story content

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Greaterdivinity

Eyyyy! *impersonates Oprah* EVERYBODY GETS A BATTLE PASS! EVERYBODY GETS A BATTLE PASS! EVERYBODY GETS A BATTLEPASS!!!!!!!!!

As long as they don’t lean on it as a crutch for actual content (grumbles in Division 2 and Rift) I like these systems. They’re a good way to retain players and give them some extra rewards, while adding in a pretty fair (usually) monetization tool.

And jedi ruins on Dantooine? I thought that’s where the rebel base was!

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Brazen Bondar

Yes! ruins….that we’ve been wanting to explore since Dantooine was released.
Not great that its behind a flashpoint (for solo players), but at least it’s not new story stuck behind an operation that no solo player can access.

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Leiloni

I’m wondering if they’ll have a solo story mode for the FP like they do a bunch of others?