SWTOR Summer of SWTOR Roadmap Update

Bruce Maclean posted an updated roadmap for SWTOR today outlining some of the new content players can expect for the summer of 2014.

Summer of SWTOR Update | 05.07.2014, 07:39 PM

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,

Bruce Maclean

  • BatteryH

    An intersting new credit sink, right before strongholds and guild starships. I wonder just how cutthroat things are going to get on the GTN in the search for more gambling money…

    • Josef Tauser

      They might include a daily limit on how many times you can use the slot machines.

  • Seph

    So a bunch of nerfs and buffs and bolsters and double rewards and a new place to stare at the GTN and the same old stuff and no truly new ops. Got it.

    • Argaria

      Agreed, nothing interesting for next four months rly. Starfighter and casino mini-games are fun for short time, but raiding is CORE of MMO. And we’re supposed to grind the very same operations as we did for past eight months. With only one difference, there will be more noobs running through bolstered KDY and jumping straight into bolstered operations when they hit 50. Raiding team of my guild is slowly degrading now, it’s very unlikely it’s going to survive next couple of months until new operation released.

      • Trogdor

        If they wanted raiding to be the core of the game, they wouldn’t say ‘you can’t do them unless you subscribe or fork over for a weekly pass’.

        • Daniel Moreno

          Isn’t it hard to type when you only have one overly muscled arm?

          • Trogdor

            I have many on-fire peasants to do my typing for me.

  • taylor

    huge disappointment. when is the new ops? when is the level increase? when is the next expansion? nothing new here other than “do no expect anything new in summer”

    • TJWoo

      Not entirely true if you consider the new flashpoints, but I’ll grant you it’s not equivalent to new ops. Best guess on new ops would be Sept-Oct and that it will be the conclusion to the story arc for Forged Alliances.

      New expansion would be Nov-Dec of 2014, possibly getting pushed back into Q1 2015. I only mention the possibility of being pushed back because they’re calling it “big” and they delayed Strongholds by 2 months.

    • Gangleotron

      I some how doubt their will be new ops before the new xpac is out, my guess is 2.9 comes out with strong holds and shortly after probably at christmas we get 3.0 xpac, 5 lvls etc

  • Sciclex

    So I’m very excited about the Slot Machines, I’ve always said this game was way too focused on the ground combat system and needed more distractions. So with the Strongholds and Starfighter and now small additions like this it seems it’s getting more toward the MMO environment of never running out of things to do.

  • Fran

    Oh my god. Please tell me we can play Pazaak at the Casino. I’ve been waiting for this update for ages. Any chance we’ll have multiplayer card games , too?

    • Daniel Moreno

      Unlikely, mosey over to Reddit and search for swtor_miner’s posts.

  • Unoshi

    oke so im looking forward to the double wz coms and such and glad to see another double xp weekend, gives me a chance to level all my too many toons up. but other than that..meh

    they said :I’m here to provide an updated look at the upcoming Summer of SWTOR in light of our recent Galactic Strongholds announcements. : and here i thought we would be getting more info on strongholds. anyhow at least a few things for me to look forward to but not that big of a deal

  • Nick Wrisley

    In the character guides how do you put the move and then click on them to be able to see what the move does?

  • TJWoo

    I think this news is awesome considering how low-key the roadmap was for the year when they originally announced it. Of course I was terribly disappointed with the original roadmap. We’re not going to change it, so we need to move on and not act like “OMG WHY ARENT THEY COMING OUT WITH 3 NEW OPS AND 5 PLANETS NEXT MONTH?!”

    Completely overhauling the gear requirements for SM ops is HUGE news too. Still not sure how I feel about that.

    It sounds like they’re packing a lot of events into the next 4 months while they work on two expansions. Events don’t take away from development, so it’s understandable.

    • TJWoo

      oh and I LOVE the sound of the Nar Shaddaa Nightlife event. I’ve always thought Nar Shaddaa’s inactive casinos had huge potential for fun as a mini-game or something. Can’t wait to see what they do with this.

    • RidDler2435

      A great way to not having to pug ops is to join a guild. Problem solved!

      • TJWoo

        I’m one of only two members of my guild that I know of that are not playing ESO, WSO, WOW, GW2, STO or some other game right now. No one is devoting more than a couple of hours a week to SWTOR and most have just left outright. Good for you if you still have a thriving SWTOR guild of people that are actually playing this game.

        • RidDler2435

          So find a new guild. If your server is dead, find a new server. Not everything is gonna fall into your lap, you gotta make changes yourself sometimes. I created a new guild a couple months ago. Albeit small one, but we’re doing ok in NiM.

  • MrM

    Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak Paazak

  • y2z

    Seriously? That better be a hint that Rakghoul is coming back because I think by this time last year we had 5 weeks of Gree and so far this year we’ve had 1 week of Rakghouls!

  • AbnerDoon

    Bah except the rakghoul event. I wonder if they are going to hold it off till January.

    • Daniel Moreno

      The denial of the Rakghoul even is consistent with their announcement of it in the first place. It can’t possibly happen again, right? RIGHT?

  • Kazusano

    From a roleplaying perspective, how do you explain Jedi frequenting cassinos?

    • Trogdor

      The same way you explain Jedi riding on the back of Rancors.

      • TJWoo

        Or Jedi having partners and children. Even Jedi have vice and break the rules.

    • Josef Tauser

      Old Republic Jedi seem to have treated the Jedi Code very loosely. Look at Master Satele, she was the head of the Council and still had time to have a child.

      • Trogdor

        It’s one of the intricacies of the universe. It’s not that they’re treating the code loosely; they know very well that the order forbids what they’re doing. They’re choosing to ignore it because it suits them, and keep their relationships secret. There are many instances where these relationships come to light.

    • iceberg265

      Pretend you are on a mission to infiltrate a crimelord’s operation and the only way to gain his trust is to be a big shot gambler. I’m not even a serious RPer and that was not very hard. That is how I justify my Guardian playing Huttball.

  • Darth Marr

    Hey Dulfy do you know if this Casino Event will be up on PTS?

    • TJWoo

      Doubtful. Rakghoul Resurgence never went on the PTS.

      • Robert Hindy

        Rakghoul Resurgence was a “secret” though. Most events were on the PTS.

        We still have a few more builds to go on the PTS. We could see it in a future build likely.

  • Argaria

    I don’t understand the idea behind bolstered operations. Considering levelling can be done entirely through GSF/ bolstered warzones/ bolstered KDY, and then one can jump straight into bolstered endgame content, they are removing any gearing requirement from the game. Gearing is significant part of MMO, both for levelling and endgame. From game owner’s point of, they should make peeps to stay with the game for a long time. And at the same time they’re removing significant part of the game, where peeps spent time preparing their gear to be able to join operations. What’s the point of making game shorter? It’s going to suffer from this decision in long term…

    • Sayaendo

      Something to keep in mind. When Tionese/Columi/Rakata were in the game, the set pieces dropped in HM flashpoints. The only thing I’ve seen drop in HM fps any more is an Arkanian earpiece. The only way to get a set piece now is through ops.

      • Argaria

        HM flashpoints still drop Black Market gear, which is more than enough to begin with SM operations.

        Do Czerka Core Meltdown for Arkanian earpiece/implant. It’s still there.

        • Sayaendo

          Yes, but that’s the only set piece that drops in HM. You used to be able to get your pieces through HM fps, not mention being given a set of Tionese at level 50. For some classes, maybe the set bonus doesn’t seem like much, but it can be. And for the record, it’s not like I’m personally benefitting from the bolster – I’m in 168′s.

          • Argaria

            Got it, you’re right. Since 2.0 (introduced over a year ago), Arkanian set bonus gear is raiding gear only.

            You can still use classic comms to buy Campaign gear for Rakata bonus set (yes, it’s still called Rakata :) ). Still better than pre-2.0 where you’ve been grinding BH gear and then replacing expensive armorings for set bonus.

            • taylor

              Why do you need Arkanian set piece if you won’t do Ops to begin with?

              • Sayaendo

                I don’t understand the reasoning behind this argument. Better gear makes for easier, smoother runs in ALL content – flashpoints, ops, and everything else.

              • taylor

                Then why don’t you go to starter planets again with your L55 toon? Most people won’t play if it is too easy.

              • Sayaendo

                Arkanian set bonuses won’t make HM fps too easy.

              • http://mycrazymessedupbrain.tumblr.com/ Rex

                World of Warcraft says you are wrong about that.

          • iceberg265

            Set bonuses should be from raiding only. There is absolutely no reason that they should drop in HM FPs.

            • Sayaendo

              They were prior to 2.0, so why should they not drop in HM fps now?

              • iceberg265

                People used to think the Earth was flat, why should they not now?

              • Sayaendo

                Easy – because it’s not true and never has been. I still don’t see why some think only raid people should have set bonus gear. It’s not like they’re “epics” to use other game terminology. Set bonuses are useful in all areas of gameplay, especially if you play a healer.

              • iceberg265

                My point was that a bad idea is still a bad idea, regardless of it people did/believed it before.

          • disqus_stEzfEoBny

            Set bonuses, are awarded for finishing the elite content. HM FP’s are not elite content. Yes, set bonuses are good for any toon, but that means you need to join the rest of us in doing OPS. But the article above is talking about making them more accessible for casual players like yourself, so that you may now get your set bonuses, and still only need to set up an Operation que.

            • Sayaendo

              And, yes, this is why I think it’s a good thing. Also, I’ve done ops in the past – pre 2.0 mostly, only TFB post 2.0.

    • zenight

      We already had a story mode bolstered OP, the Rakghoul OP from the event was bolstered in story mode only, my guess? It was a test before doing it game wide.

      This seems like a decent enough change, casual players get to do OPs on story mode and hardcore players still have their hard modes and nightmare modes.

      The game will not “suffer from this decision in long term” not anymore then WZs did after bolstering, if anything it will mean more people doing OPs that normally wouldn’t.

      • Nexx

        Yes, and we 8 manned the 16 man Rakghoul op with no problem whatsoever. The game is being dumbed down to he lowest common denominator.

        • zenight

          *Story mode is being dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.
          Which was never where the challenge was anyway, I pug TfB, S&V, TC, DP and DF SM all the time already.
          Only difference is now it’ll be actually *harder* since a ton of people will join OPs with no idea of how the fights unfold…
          Right now the 5 OPs I mentioned are pugged by over-geared players with little to no challenge involved, I really don’t see how it’s being “dumbed down” when it hasn’t being a challenge for a while .

          • disqus_stEzfEoBny

            NiM hurts. I believe this game still offers a challenge to those people that are willing to put the time in and join raiding teams. The content drives the story, I totally agree with making it more accessible. Especially since we have a new level cap and gear tier coming down the line this year. Let’s face it, only the top 5% of players in this game even have a chance of finishing NiM DF/DP, I would say that is still a very good ratio, not everyone is cut out for HM/NiM OPS. So in conclusion, you’re absolutely right.

        • http://mycrazymessedupbrain.tumblr.com/ Rex

          Story Mode was always supposed to be the mode for everyone to see the “story”, hence the name. If you were dependent on Story Mode for challenging endgame content, you were already the lowest common denominator.

  • Trogdor

    I really, really hope they redesign the Sledgehammer. What were they thinking?!? “Oh oh guys, I got it. Let’s take the wing we chopped off the Rampart to make the Warcarrier, and glue it back on perpendicular to the bottom of the Warcarrier, so that the Sledgehammer looks absolutely atrocious and can’t possibly land on a flight deck.”

  • Nexx

    I love(ed) this game, but I’m sick of it getting watered down. Had a rare mount? Not any more, just go buy it. Had rare shells? They’re on the GTN. Need gear to do an op? Not any more! But hey! No new ops, but here’s a new house you can sit in and do nothing. Wait, still not good enough? Play slots???? I can do that on my stupid iPhone.

    • Noroxus

      No one cares about SM ops. Why is making them more accessible a bad thing?

  • taylor

    Bolstered Ops wont work because the problem with the SM Ops is never the gear it is the human stupidity. Mechanics will fail them even if bosses hit with wet noodles.

    • Trogdor

      That’s really not entirely true. As we’ve seen with flashpoints and even in other games like WoW, if you sufficiently overpower the content you can sometimes get away with ignoring the mechanics.

      What I’m more concerned with is that it’s going to have an underwhelming effect on their stated goal, which is ‘get more people experiencing endgame content’. Unless they make ops passes cheaper, or remove the restriction from f2p/preferred accounts.

      • taylor

        That is not their goal anymore .They are running away from the current model. I bet that next ops will be tactical ops. So they do not necessarily need or want skilled players. Ops cost money and resources. They can generate more revenue by selling a reskinned version of the same item for 20 bucks. they do not want to invest anymore. They want to divest.

    • Groober

      Ok, so what are you complaining about? If it’s not the gear then why is it an issue if the gear is taken out of the equation?

  • Darth Valux

    2 word summary: “Enjoy Wildstar”

    • zenight

      Never been a fan of morning cartoon graphics though…

    • RidDler2435

      Tried it for 5 minutes. I think I’ll pass.

    • http://mycrazymessedupbrain.tumblr.com/ Rex

      Tried the Beta, while gameplay wasn’t bad, the story, characters, and graphics play like a Saturday morning cartoon, and while there is nothing wrong with that, and I wish them the best of luck, after all competition helps innovation, it wasn’t my cup of tea.

  • Geedai

    Meh… I didn’t like the idea of bolstered operations too. I believe this will hurt the most at the average player which I consider myself in this group.
    For the casual player who login once in a while it may be nice to try some SM ops and be shouted out just for not knowing what to do but at least no one will be able to complain about their gear anymore…
    The top PvE players really only care about HM and NiM ops.
    But for me there were some nice challenges in SM ops and HM fps last year but now my main is ridiculously over-geared even for those. So I went to create new toons but leveling now is basically doing KDY over and over again. At least they put some variety into KDY but it’s too much brainless easy… Just enter, shoot/slash everything and you’re done! It is called ‘tactical’ but there’s no need of any tactic.
    There’s no much of a reason to play a tank or healer because it’s faster to finish KDY with 4 DPS anyway. Thus it will probably result in less tanks and healers being played on the long term and those who play them won’t have the opportunity to learn how to play properly. At least for me the FP’s were always a challeging way to learn my class while leveling.
    What use will be bolster if we won’t have more tanks and healers for SM ops and HM fps?
    What reason would anyone have to do HM fps if more comms can be gathered by jumping into bolstered SM ops?

    • disqus_stEzfEoBny

      K. IF you just do KDY over and over again, that is your call. I know that has been a quick leveling path, but it is actually faster to also finish the daily quests for Flash Points when leveling a toon, plus the daily rewards, as well as heroics and class/planet quests. If you don’t do that, and then get bored doing KDY, that’s just your problem. They mentioned above that they will be offering Ultimate comms, which will at least give some incentive for experienced players to do the lower content. The big issue with Tanks in endgame is the sorry state of their gear. The fact that almost none of the comm gear is beneficial to Tanks makes them almost pointless to run FP’s and OPS that are less than HM/NiM. However, since I have been leveling at least 3 toons in the past few months (Long time player since BETA, have 6 55′s), I would say there has been an influx in available tanks, and heals in the lower levels. I encourage all newer players to do what I do, purchase field respec. This allows you to be extremely versatile, and level faster, since leveling a toon in heal or tank spec is tougher and slower, but if you want faster que times, having field respec will really speed that up. And you still wont need 2 sets of gear till you hit the level cap anyways. Once you hit the level cap, you will need to expand into 2 sets of gear. I suggest getting your DPS gear first, unless you plan on doing OPS right away, or tons of Tactical/HM FP’s.

      • Geedai

        Actually I do all the regular FP’s too while leveling and some warzones also for some diversity, besides the class quests. But there are some times when the regular FP queue is taking so much to pop and that’s when I think “probably there’s no one in this queue because everyone is doing KDY”. Then I switch to KDY queue and boom! Instantly pop! That’s what gives me the impression that regular SM FP’s queue now take much more time specially if you’re a DPS only class.
        About the last suggestion, I totally agree, it’s good to level solo quests as dps and group as tank or healer. Usually I don’t even bother with respec while leveling, I just spec hybrid tank/dps or dps/healer with hybrid gear, which is fine for leveling and adds an extra challenge :) Then I buy field respec and 2 sets of gear only at endgame level.

  • Wakka

    I’m reading a lot of negativity towards the idea of bolstered ops below. I just wanted to say to keep in mind that they announced a planned level cap increase for this year. Therefore all these ops are going to become obsolete anyway, why not help people get into the sm versions now before everyone stops playing them? (e.g. how many groups do you see for sm lvl 50 ops?)

    I dont think sm bolster is gonna hurt anyone.

    • Geedai

      That makes sense, but it seems the new level cap is not comming until very late this year if not only next year. Then maybe this would be a good idea to do right before or right after the level increase, but this early, I’m not sure…

    • Wes

      I doubt they will be obsolete. When cap was raised last time they increased TfB and SnV to 55. And the only op they added last cap raise was TC.

      • Noreek

        Actually SnV and TC were added at the same time for Makeb. The only operation they upped from level 50 to 55 was TFB. And the main reason they did it I would guess is because they would not have released enough level 55 operations otherwise. And TFB didn’t even have a NiM out yet before Makeb.

        I can easily see them using bolster to reuse the existing operations to keep being relevant with the next level increase, that would be a way to keep the operations being useful for level 50-55 while giving them purpose when at the new level cap, more than KP & EC today (EV is still ran for the Classic op weekly, the other two less so).

  • Anysao

    “…and we have a lot of folks working on something very big for later this year that I have yet to give details on.”

    Sounds like foreshadowing of the new Forged Alliances themed expansion. Oh how I ponder what it will be.

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