We know that Star Wars the Old Republic will be releasing a Road Map by the end of May. We don’t know much about what’s going to be in it but we did get this hint from Charles Boyd on the type of Content they’ll be focusing on.
Broader features that improve the overall gameplay experience and add better customisation and conveniance options.
It will certainly be interesting to see what they cook up in that regard. They seem to be aiming to have a broader mindset now when it comes to content so hopefully, we’ll see content for everyone’s playstyles. Realistically though, we’re no going to get everything we want and they will miss stuff that desperately needs addressing. And even if they do announce some amazing content it will probably be a long time before it is released. So it’s best to keep your expectations in check and not get too excited.
Here are my predictions as to what will not be in the Road Map (but would like to see on it). If the Developers prove me wrong then so be it. I’ll honestly be pretty darn happy if they do!
Cross-Server / Mega Server / Server Merges
Server Population is a major issue for the player base. There are quite a few servers with low to non-existent populations. Most of the remaining active players have moved off of these low population servers and have gone to the high population servers like the Harbinger (US) or The Red Eclipse (EU). At this point in time, they should just merge the remaining servers together somehow. Maybe 1 West Coast, 1 East Coast and 1 Server for each language for the EU? Either way server consolidation of some kind is desperately needed.
Whether they have the hardware/software capabilities for it (given the recent server issues they’ve been having) remains to be seen. They have said previously that to do Cross-Server, for instance, would cost them quite a bit of money and take a long time to implement. When this was brought up a couple of years ago now (I believe it was) they were not willing to go ahead with it. Has this changed with Keith being in charge now? Probably not.
Yes, character names are a major issue players bring up when it comes to server merges. Simply making it so we can have 2 or even 3 spaces in a name and offering a bunch of free character renames to each account solves this issue, in my opinion. That way you can have the name you want and have a middle name or 2.
One major advantage of merging the servers would be much more frequent pops for both PvE and PvP Content. Having ELO actually work as intended for Ranked Arena’s would probably revitalise the Ranked scene to some degree (assuming that there are favourable Class Changes) and make it more enjoyable for everyone. They would also have no excuse to not bring back 8 v 8 Ranked Warzones! Oh, and I would love to have separate Warzone and Arena Queue’s then I’d never have to do a blasted Arena again!
Honestly, as much as I love my character names it’s a small price to pay to actually have constant pops for all content and having people always around to do stuff with. Some kind of server consolidation would help to revitalise the game and possibly draw back some players who left. It won’t be a bad thing for SWTOR at all especially considering pretty much every other MMO has either mega servers or cross-server. So it really shouldn’t be a big deal and it’s pretty much expected of MMO’s at this point.
With Iokath Open World PvP not being that successful (probably due to lack of incentive to participate (no Legacy Titles) and the expense and poor quality/implementation of the ‘gimmicks’) I don’t think we’ll see much else this year in the Open World PvP department. I highly doubt we’ll see any brand new Warzones (or Arenas) even a reskin of an existing game mode (which wouldn’t be such a bad thing as long as it’s not Odessen Proving Grounds). A classic Capture the Flag style map would be a perfect addition to the game!
A classic Capture the Flag style map would be a perfect addition to the game! As long as they don’t overdo it with extra, confusing RNG mechanics like they did with Odessen Proving Grounds it should be great. Keeping it simple is the key!
We have been promised that Class Changes will be a part of the Road Map. Whether they’ll be good or bad however is another matter entirely. This isn’t PvP Content of course. But Class Changes can easily change the meta of PvP so it does have an impact.
This is a pretty obvious one but since they’re already gradually releasing Bosses for their new Operation, Gods of the Machine, I highly doubt they’ll announce a brand new Operation for this year. If anything we may get a rough timeline on when the remaining Bosses will be released.
Character Customisation System Overhaul
This is something I’d personally love to see particularly upgraded graphics of our characters along with a plethora of new customisation options such as more long hairstyles, more blonder hair colours, more eye colours, body tattoos etc. I’d also like to see improvements to the Outfit Designer mainly in relation to colour dyes. I’d love to see them add a colour dye system like Wildstar’s or even Elder Scrolls Online.
Yes, they said it was a part of their new focus to add more customisation options and they’ve also announced that they’re adding Weapons to the Outfit designer which is fantastic! But realistically I don’t necessarily see them taking the time/resources to update the customisation system to be in line with other more recently released Bioware games (which would be amazing!). They could add a couple of new little customisation gimmicks though. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Yes, they’re already announced that in Game Update 5.2.2 they’re making some changes to GSF aimed at making gearing out ships easier. But I highly doubt we’ll see any new content, like maps or ships announced for GSF. They really should add a way of dialling back on the sensitivity of the controls to make it more easier and less motion sickness inducing. If they did that then I’d considering playing it again.
I highly doubt we will ever see a return to the story Chapters format that was used for Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne. We are expecting more story though. At this stage, all we know is that they’re continuing the story with a Flashpoint set on Umbara currently scheduled to come out in Game Update 5.3.
What else do you think won’t be in the Road Map? What are your expectations for the Road Map? Comment below or Tweet me @Rach_Games.