It seems that the Bioware/EA’s colossal (at least financially) MMORPG is slowly picking up. As the game went free to play following a great launch but mediocre early-stage, it has become increasingly profitable, motivating the developers to constantly release new content for it. Star Wars The Old Republic has received two expansion-packs to date, mainly Rise of the Hutt Cartel and the more recent Galactic Starfighter, which introduced an advance space combat system with a focus on Players versus Players.
For 2014, two more major expansions have been announced, one that will be similar to Galactic Starfighter, and one that will resemble RotHC. Active development for new Flashpoints, new Operations and PvP Seasons is well underway. Character balancement changes will be included this year, along with new gear and performance tweaks (which, if pulled off well-enough, could result in a revival of the initial Ilum mass-PVP). A major update on the 4th of February made Star Wars The Old Republic: Galactic Starfighter available for free-to-play players, and two more major contents are planned for release in the upcoming months. Here’s what they will include:
- February 4th: Game Update 2.6 – Galactic Starfighter Digital Expansion, Free-to-Play Launch
- Galactic Starfighter is now available to Free-to-Play players
- SIX new Galactic Starfighter ships featuring a new ship role, the Bomber – tough support ships that deploy mines and drones on the battlefield. They can even place Hyperspace Beacons which function as mobile respawn points for their allies!
- This update also introduces Galactic Starfighter Detailed Scoreboards with loads of new post-match information about your battle performance
- Your personal Galactic Starfighter Battle Record with detailed lifetime battle stats, and the ability to link each stat to chat
- Kuat Drive Yards is a vital starship construction site that is of interest to both factions, and forms the setting for a new modular type of flashpoint that contains different scenarios each time you play it. Kuat Drive Yards Tactical Flashpoint scales in difficulty with your level and is available to players starting at level 15
- April 8th: Game Update 2.7
- Two new Flashpoints on Tython and Korriban where the Empire and Republic confront each other directly, initiating a new storyline that will span updates across the entire year until its galaxy-shaking finale
- Nightmare Mode Dread Fortress Operation and a new tier of gear
- New Huttball Warzone on Quesh
- New Galactic Starfighter Battle Zone
- June 10th: Game Update 2.8
- Nightmare Mode Dread Palace Operation
- New ships and an entirely new Ship Role for Galactic Starfighter
- More information will be revealed as the update draws near
Another notable change this year will be the patching schedule, which will extend the time-frame between patches from two weeks to three weeks. While this means content will be coming to Star Wars The Old Republic at a slower pace, Bioware ensures us that the overall quality of the content will be increased, as they will have more time to properly test everything. With the new schedules, minor patches will be deployed every 3 weeks, while major patches will be coming every 9 weeks. “We feel the benefit of catching pesky bugs and improving quality is worth it and we remain committed to hitting our deadlines for all of our major content updates this year.” explained Senior Producer Bruce Maclean.
Overall, 2014 promises to be a great years for fans of Star Wars The Old Republic, and with many improvements over the last months, nay-sayers could actually give the game a go as well.