SWTOR: Legacy of the Sith’s combat styles ‘separate story from gameplay’

    
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Forget a new planet or the resurgence of the Republic vs. Empire conflict in Star Wars: The Old Republic — when Legacy of the Sith arrives this winter, you know that everyone’s going to be showing up for the much-vaunted combat styles.

So let’s talk about combat styles, then! BioWare put out a new dev blog to explain how this shift to decouple class narrative from class functionality will “separate story from gameplay.” The long and the short of this is that you’ll mix-and-match a class role (combat style) with a story (origin story) to allow for more personal choice and playstyle.

While there is a lot of choice with this revised format, BioWare is keeping one significant limitations in place. Origin stories that are non-Force related can only have access to non-Force combat styles (and vice-versa). So no, you won’t be able to play a Bounty Hunter as a Light Jedi, no matter what your head-canon is howling for.

BioWare said that existing characters can choose a new combat style when Legacy of the Sith launches, so your veteran isn’t going to be left out of the party.

Source: SWTOR
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malrats

I’m really confused by this. Is this some kind of class-switching system? Like being able to switch jobs in FFXIV based on your equipped weapon/crystal?

Or does it just mean a Jedi Knight can switch between Guardian/Sentinel, Smuggler between Scoundrel and Gunslinger, etc?

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Malcolm Swoboda

It means Advanced Classes are really just the Combat Styles which are really just the gameplay classes.

When you make a Jedi Knight (story), you can be a Guardian, a Sentinel, but also a Sage, or Shadow if you think that fits you more, and then if you Dark Side point enough, you can later take on the (to my knowledge, still only cosmetic/RP difference) Dark Sided versions of each. You just won’t be able to do that up front because Bioware doesn’t want players to *entirely* separate gameplay and story here (Force Lightning up in Tython??). But if you’ve been on a suspicious path through the original campaign, and now you’re increasingly a free agent, maybe you can swap. And maybe future story content will explore this sort of option more.

Vice versa for Sith characters.

If you make a Smuggler (story), you can be all 8 former Advanced Classes, no LS/DS requirements. From Lv 1. They’re just the combat classes now.

Unsure whether this is an opportunity for Bioware to develop differences between these classes, but I think they should! Sages imo should be a bit more of something, where Sorcerers should be another, etc. But we’ll see now or later.

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malrats

Oh cool! So if I understand correctly, you would now only need to have ~3 characters? 1 Light side to swap between those classes, 1 Dark side to swap in the same way, and then 1 other character that can play as all of the remaining classes? Or is it not something where you can swap around at will? (Once again I’m picturing this as sort of like FFXIV where you only need one character to play every single class and you just click a button to change).

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Malcolm Swoboda

I guess it could be even two characters. One Tech character, one Force character assuming you’re willing to go the ‘opposite’ direction in L/S. Remember it only unlocks the opposite L/S, it doesn’t block off the one you started at (Light for Knight/Consular story).

This is going with the Light/Dark and Faction-Tech styles being often just cosmetic differences (but as I said, I’d prefer they have some differences at this point; why make Sage/Sorcerer the same mechanically when they don’t have to be anymore? Or save the change for 2022-23? ha).

So not all ‘jobs’ like FFXIV but down to 2-4 max. This at least fits in better with the game’s character variety being more personal RP and various story directions, rather than so Class Story (8) based.

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malrats

Thanks for explaining! I love this. Honestly, I’m always making too many alts and am someone who always has class envy, and this is going to make me come back and play the game. Plus I have like 2-3 level boosts sitting there for some reason lol.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Players can still make their 3rd-8th-16th character, but yes this should reduce the burden to make 3-8 characters (or more for advanced spec focus). Its almost all down to faction and RP now, the remaining divider from this change being Tech/Force.

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Dug From The Earth

This is all very cool

Side note: They might as well just remove the Jedi Consular story line after this, because its not like anyone is going to pick it :P

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Malcolm Swoboda

I picked it.

I just think it was one of the most missed opportunities at the start.

EDIT: Ah you mean after this :P, well, some will :P

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Sarah Cushaway

TBH I’m fine with just keeping my characters as they are without …whatever this is.

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Brazen Bondar

and you can do that :) It’s more about the Advanced classes than anything. No one will have to do anything or even know about it if they don’t want to.

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DJ Meowth

Unfortunately this new system is also pruning many class skills and introducing a “pick one of these three abilities” talent system similar to WoW’s, so even players not interested in ‘combat styles’ will still be affected by the update.

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Sarah Cushaway

Yep. My worry is the pruning goes too far. I think a few abilities can be consolidated, but I REALLY HOPE I don’t see a repeat of what happened with WoW (again…SWTOR already kinda went down that path several years ago, but at least they hadn’t butchered all the abilities).

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Sarah Cushaway

DJ Meowth sums it up.

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Patreon Donor
Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

If this had happened in 2011 I’d be all in. Any word of new textures for the game world at all? I jumped in about a month ago now and there were some areas that were hard to look at.

Fisty
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Fisty

New stuff looks great. Old stuff is still the old textures. No clue if they have plans to change the old.

Fisty
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Fisty

Can you switch these up at any time? Or do you have to lock in to the Origin Story upon creation? Like, would I be able to start doing a BH story with my already leveled up IA? Then switch it up again to do a different story? I know it says you can when it launches, but is it gonna always be that malleable?

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Bruno Brito

You probably can switch, the same way you could before. I just don’t know how it’ll work with the weaponry.

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Bruno Brito

Kinda what i suspected after researching a bit more. Your real class now is your spec, and the origin class will set your voice, story and choice of armament?

I don’t know if they clarified yet what you wield. For instance, is a Powertech Trooper wielding a pistol, like the BH class? Or a rifle, like the Trooper? I think your spec will define your weaponry, and i’m not really a fan. I wanna play a Rifle-Powertech for instance.

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bobfish

They haven’t specified, but based on the public test server, the Jedi Guardian “style” and the Sentinel “style” required single or dual wield lightsabers respectively, just like their current Advanced Classes on live.

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Bruno Brito

So, it’s basically locking you into the advanced class weaponry.

I’m not a huge fan, honestly. I kinda wanted to mix and match.

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Breck Bachle

A little out there to expect them to do new animations for every skill to go with every weapon.

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Bruno Brito

If the idea is to increase player agency and customization, then it’s not that far out there.