Senior Producer, Bruce Maclean announced BioWare’s plans for the Summer of SWTOR 2014, and it does not look to disappoint.
| Bruce MacLean
Hi again everyone!
I’m here to provide an updated look at the upcoming Summer of SWTOR in light of our recent Galactic Strongholds announcements. The biggest changes to our Summer plans outside of Galactic Strongholds are Game Update 2.8. Here’s a look at the next four months including that update (and not including the May 4th, May 11th, and July 15th rewards deadlines already mentioned in Galactic Strongholds letter):
Game Update 2.8: on June 10th
- Nar Shaddaa Casino. For the first time, players are invited to the casinos on Nar Shaddaa to try their luck on the slot machines. Credits can be used to purchase tokens, which in turn can be used on slot machines. Lucky winners will receive certificates that can be traded in for unique rewards that will only be distributed during the Nar Shaddaa Nightlife event. This event will run from June 10th to August 19th.
- Double Fleet Requisition, Warzone Comms, and Credits from PvP matches. For three weeks at a time, events will run that yield increased rewards for participating players. Galactic Starfigher will grant players double the Fleet Requisition and double the credit rewards they would normally get. Warzones will similarly give players double the standard Warzone Comms and double the credit rewards. The increased rewards only apply to the rewards on the scorecard at the end of matches, not the rewards you get from daily/weekly missions. The Starfighter event will run from 2.8 – 2.8.1. The Warzone event will be active from 2.8.1 – 2.8.2.
- Groupfinder Operations Overhaul. Story Mode Operations will be more accessible to endgame players (levels 50 – 55). The Operations section in the GroupFinder window will list available Operations on a pre-determined schedule, rotating in different Operations every few days. Players who meet the level requirement of the Operation will be Bolstered, removing the requirement for endgame gear. Rewards have also been improved, making this a great opportunity for players to earn Ultimate Commendations and experience new content. These operations will also be for 16-man mode to ensure faster queue times (both 8 and 16 man need 2 tanks and that is typically the gating factor). 16-man is also more forgiving to mistakes and should increase the chances of a successful group.
- Nightmare Mode Dread Palace. Face the ultimate challenge, the Dread Masters in their palace with new Nightmare Mode mechanics and difficulty.
- Nightmare Dread Fortress update. The NM Fortress difficulty buff will be removed. All of the new NM Fortress mechanics are still in place but it should now be more accessible to larger groups. Fair warning: the unique title for defeating Nightmare Fortress with the buff present will never again be available to those who don’t unlock it prior to this game update.
- Two New Starfighter Variants will be available to pilots on both sides of the conflict. The Skirmisher Gunship fills a sniper role and brings dogfighting capabilities to the table, while the Assault Bomber is a heavy fighter that focuses on either mines or drones.
- The usual host of additional features, including some graphics improvements and class balance changes.
Events! We will be running every one* of our major recurring events over the period between 2.8 and 2.9. Events include:
- Double XP Weekend
- Gree Event
- Bounty Contract Week
*Except the Rakghoul Resurgence. Obviously, the Rakghoul plague was completely eliminated the last time, and the galaxy is absolutely safe from another outbreak. Right?
Game Update 2.9 is still on for August 19th with our expanded feature set for Galactic Strongholds Subscriber Early Access. The team is making great progress on Strongholds and we are very excited to share this with you. It’s worth noting that Game Update 2.9 will include the next exciting chapter in the Forged Alliances story arc, and we have a lot of folks working on something very big for later this year that I have yet to give details on.
May the Force be with you,
Here are my thoughts.
Gambling on Nar Shadaa – I love it, I just wish it had been Pazaak and not slots. Oh well, there’s always the Pazaak Cantina.
The Group Finder overhaul is interesting and it sounds like players will be able to run Story Mode Operations without having to grind out gear first. This means newly leveled players can earn comms and jump into higher level gear faster. Works for me.
Nightmare mode Dread Palace will also be made more accessible to players. My guild tends to be a bit more casual. This may be enough to get us into harder content.
Bounty week and the Gree events will be coming back. I’m especially looking forward to Gree event as I’m close to Legend rank, and want that shiny blue hamster ball.
Two patches will be out this Summer, 2.8 and 2.9 along with the much anticipated Galactic Strongholds. I’m really looking foward to the Nar Shadaa Sky Palace.
Summer is usually a dead time for MMOs, but the Summer of SWTOR is shaping up to be a lot of fun.