What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
knights of the eternal throne
What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
The SWTOR team took to the forums for a lengthy explanation post about the “sweeping and severe” class changes coming in Update 5.3 and 5.4 this summer. While the devs say that they are “very sensitive” to the effects of nerfs, sometimes such decisions are needed to improve the game as a whole. And apparently SWTOR’s health isn’t the best right now, as much-needed balance adjustments were held off following Knights of the Eternal Throne until now.
“We had quite a few big changes to make, and that’s what you’ve been reading the last few weeks,” the team posted. “It is going to be rough for some disciplines as they are way over target, but it is important that we bring them in line. Additionally, we may have missed the mark with some of the changes and if we went too far or not far enough, you can expect to see additional adjustments in the future.”
The trailer, created by Blur and directed by Dave Wilson, was released to promote last fall’s expansion. It shows the backstory of a powerful Force-using family and the separate paths that certain members took over the course of their lives. Also, it has a girl Force-crushing an armored soldier like he was a soda can, so that’s pretty awesome.
If you need a refresher on the trailer in question, we’ve got it for you after the break.
With those words, you know you’re in for a rollicking good adventure — and some impressive and spellbinding music to match! On today’s episode, the Battle Bards return to Star Wars: The Old Republic to look at the music of the recent expansions. Has the Force been with this MMO’s soundtrack? I’ve got a
bad good feeling about this!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
We have already dived deep into some of the other aspects of the upcoming update, including the return of a couple of companions and being able to switch factions in the new daily area. However, the important details of the operation have been absent until now.
Fan sites released a handful of videos practically giving everything away. Although they did shy away from speaking about the exact details of the fight with the first god of Iokath called Tyth, we can see the whole veteran-mode fight in Dulfy‘s video. Likewise, SWTOR Central and Kid Lee give their impressions of the battle and Corellian Run, and Bad Feeling Podcast give us a couple of fun trailers. Check out what’s public down below!
Sure, it did the job, hit some of those familiar Star Wars notes, and slathered the myriad of game worlds in music, but I found it either too weird (the cantina tunes, mostly) or too long and bombastic to enjoy. Wasn’t the worst I’d ever heard, but certainly not near what I would expect from a game bearing the Star Wars moniker.
Yet while I wasn’t looking, BioWare has produced some incredible musical chops for the past two expansions. My mouth was often agape when I was listening to Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne, because I kept thinking, “What is this! What is this! This is the soundtrack this game deserved all along!” It was quite the pleasant surprise, let me just say, and today I’m going to share some of my favorite pieces from these recent expansions with you.
The new group content called Uprisings (pretty on the nose there, right?) is the focus of the next update. We’ll see five more four-player, intense instances launch tomorrow, along with changes to the Command XP system and (of course) a new Cartel Market Pack.
I talked to Charles Boyd on Friday to get his input on the new content and a breakdown of each new Uprising and the overarching purpose behind them all.
Xam Xam was glowing in praise for what it called a “wonderfully paced, intense, heartbreaking masterpiece.” Superior Realities was a bit more mixed but ultimately positive about the expansion: “Despite pursuing several plot threads at once, KotET is a very tight, very focused experience, and for the most part it’s an epic thrill-ride from beginning to end.”
As for the controversial galactic command system, Galactic Antics didn’t know what to think: “I don’t think I’ve come across a system such as this which has a direct negative counter to virtually every positive aspect about it before […] SWTOR has gone from a game which benefits both casuals and hardcore players to being a game which largely only benefits those who are willing and able to just grind.”
Have you ever watched a great movie and ever wished that the director would make a sequel but also not make a sequel, all at the same time? More often, we are usually begging for a sequel only to be disappointed by it. Star Wars had the exact opposite effect to on me. I thought the sequel was better than the original. However, when Return of the Jedi released, I can’t say that I was begging for a sequel to that. I’m not a fool; I wanted more Star Wars movies, but we hit the happily-ever-after moment. The story was done.
There have been some movies that wrapped up nicely that also did well when they received a sequel. The Terminator is the first example that comes to my mind. The sequel did just as well as the original, but that is rarer than the opposite happening. Although the Star Wars universe continued to turn with the books, when the creator went back to tell the beginning of the story, it fell flat. I have a fear that the same thing likely could happen to the story in SWTOR.
In any case, yesterday the Star Wars: The Old Republic devs rocketed through a 38-minute livestream in which they discussed the recent expansion launch, plans for the future, and of course, the morass of pain and suffering that is Command XP. The team said that it is willing to be “flexible” on the galactic command system and will be slightly unnerfing the payout of gold mobs to be 2 CXP per kill while significantly increasing CXP for uprisings and flashpoints. Players should be happy to hear that there are plans in the works to take away some of the RNG and allow characters to work toward specific pieces of gear.
Coming in the new year are five new uprisings, master mode chapters, master mode uprisings, and possible server merges. SWTOR is kicking off both its Life Day event and 5th anniversary on December 13th.
You can watch the full developer livestream after the break!
So what apparently happened is that some players realized that they could grind, grind, grind out the command XP to the weekly cap by continually farming gold mobs. The studio’s response to this was to nerf the XP for these mobs from 10 per kill down to (wait for it) one.
Needed or not, the nerf certainly rubbed many players the wrong way according to several forum and Reddit posts on the subject. “[Mobs] were actually rewarding to kill and I found myself looking for new ways of getting around areas I could navigate in my sleep,” one player posted. “Doing bonus missions I would have never considered otherwise. It opened up a completely new way to play for me, and now I feel like I’ve just had a door slammed in my face.”
We were invited to speak to two of the key developers behind this latest expansion for SWTOR to see whether this question was answered. Producer Ben Irving and Creative Director Charles Boyd spoke to a small group of press on the phone to answer our questions as well as talk about some of the lessons learned from last year and the changes the game made in response to those issues.
As we start to come to grips with the fact that we will be turning over the calendar into 2017 in one short month, it might just be for the best. In the real world, 2016 was a rocky, unpredictable year, and even among our collective favorite hobby, it featured some highs and lows that very few saw coming.
This will go down as the year that Daybreak broke our hearts, a mobile game erupted into a global phenomenon, drama over an illegal emulator sparked multiple stories, and some of the biggest MMORPG launches came from eastern imports.
So while there might be a few more huge stories left in 2016, let’s spend some time revisiting the major headlines to get a better feel for the shape of the year that we are about to leave behind.