Star Wars The Old Republics Lead Game Producer, Keith Kanneg, has finally published the long-awaited Autumn Road Map! There is a lot to dissect and analyse. So let’s get down to business!
For reference, here are the major Game Update dates (I mention them quite a bit):
- Game Update 5.5 – Tuesday, October 10th.
- Game Update 5.6 – Tuesday, November 28th.
United Forces Update – Server Merges
This is the biggest news to come out of the Road Map. United Forces is basically a fancy name for Server Merges and all the upgrades and changes it encompasses. The Servers are getting merged into five servers to US (one for each Coast) and 3 EU (one for each language English, German and French). By merging the servers, theoretically, the queues for our favourite Flashpoints, Uprisings, Missions, Warzones, Arenas, Galactic Starfighter, and Operations should be much faster.
SWTOR has also made a substantial investment in hardware, software, and network infrastructure to dramatically improve service and make the player experience ‘awesome’. Hopefully, this will help fix dsync and lag issues we see a lot in the game.
For more details on the Server Merges you can read my Article Everything you need to know about SWTOR’s Upcoming Server Merges.
Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty parts of the Road Map! I’ve arranged all the information by content type in nice, easy to read, dot points and snuck in some additional information!
Road Map Overview
- Unassembled Components will start dropping from Master Mode (NIM) Bosses in Game Update 5.5.
- Boss encounters from all Operations are going to go through balancing changes to ensure you can play whatever character desired.
- The next Boss in the ‘Gods of the Machine’ Operation, Nahut, The Son of Shadow will be released in Game Update 5.6.
- He has new mechanics that will make the fight very entertaining for everyone yet very challenging for our most veteran of players.
- Testing will begin on Scyva the fourth Boss, next month who will also deliver new mechanics to give progression groups a major challenge while getting them ready for the final Boss encounter with Izax.
- Izax will not go down easily and will be the most exciting encounter for ‘Gods from the Machine.’
- Scyva and Izax will both be released in early 2018 along with Master Mode versions of all five boss encounters.
- Bolster is being increased to Gear Rating 242 in non-ranked Arena’s and in Warzones in Game Update 5.5.
- Unassembled Components will become Legacy Bound in Game Update 5.6.
- A new PvP Map will also be coming out in Game Update 5.6 (no details have been revealed).
- A new Galactic Starfighter Map located in Orbit above Iokath will be coming out in Game Update 5.6.
- Extensive ship and component balance changes, as well as QoL improvements, are coming in Game Update 5.5.
Galactic Command and Gearing
- Galactic Crate content improvements – we’re adding another slot in each crate that, no matter what Tier you’re in, grants a small chance to receive a higher tier Mod/Enhancement, Grand Chance Cube, CXP Buff, or CXP consumable. This change is coming in Game Update 5.6 and will include all crates unopened prior to the update.
- Legacy Perk – For each character that reaches Command Rank 300, we will automatically add an additional 25% bonus CXP to your entire Legacy up to a maximum of 100%. You do need to purchase the initial 25% perk, but the additional 75% will be free. And, YES, this Perk is retroactive, so you will immediately benefit. This change is coming in Game Update 5.5.
- CXP for all areas of the game is in review – you can expect to see improved CXP gains from all content in Game Update 5.6.
- ‘Disintegrate’ is changing – instead of receiving more CXP, we will get Unassembled Components for armour and weapons. This change is coming in Game Update 5.6.
- Unassembled Components are becoming Legacy Wide in Game Update 5.6 and will be able to be sent to other characters in your Legacy.
- There will not be another new tier of gear this year.
- But, there will be a new tier of Augments coming out in Game Update 5.6.
- There will be more Class Changes in Game Update 5.5 for the following classes:
- Sniper/Gunslinger, Juggernaut/Guardian (DPS), Sorcerer/Sage (DPS), Operative/Scoundrel (Heals), Mercenary/Commando (Heals), Assassins/Shadow (DPS), Marauders/Sentinels. You can see all the specific changes here.
- Game Update 5.6 will include the first round of Utility Changes and other potential Class Changes.
Story and Companions
- The next Chapter of the story is going to take us to Copero a Chiss Planet in Game Update 5.6. We’ll find out what Theron has been up to with the Chiss.
- The story will be delivered through a Flashpoint.
- Ensign Temple will be returning.
- Several more Companions will be returning in the coming months.
- The ‘thrilling’ conclusion to the story will be in Early 2018 ‘on a planet you probably wouldn’t expect to return to’.
Strongholds and Conquest
- The maximum number of Strongholds we can have is being increased from 6 to 10 in Game Update 5.5.
- The Conquest Bonus is being hard capped at 150 Percent in Game Update 5.5.
- The Conquest System is getting upgraded in early 2018.
Quality of Life
- In Game Update 5.6, we’ll be able to add Credits to our Legacy Banks. You will be able to keep Credits on your characters but you will have the ability to deposit Credits into your Legacy Bank similar to how Guild Banks work.
- The Stronghold Cap is being increased to 10 in Game Update 5.5.
- Group Finder Revamp – Significant upgrades to how you queue for multiplayer and solo activities – huge bonuses for all Random play choices, but also allows for easy selection of individual activities such as Daily Areas, Flashpoints, and Operations. Coming in Game Update 5.6.
- The Dark vs Light pop-up will now display less frequently and once a side has won, they will remain in a victory state much longer. This allows more time to work to defeat the world bosses and to reap the benefits! This is coming in Game Update 5.5.
- Taxi Points are being introduced to the Tatooine and Yavin Strongohlds for easier navigation in Game Update 5.6.
- Substantial improvements to the Iokath Daily Area – we’ve dramatically reduced the Iokath currency requirements for a variety of the daily quests coming in Game Update 5.6.
- A new Daily Activity System is being introduced in early 2018.
Schedule for the Rest of the Year
United Forces Foundation – Game Update 5.5 – October 10, 2017
- Unassembled Components now drop off all Master Mode Bosses.
- Improvements to Galactic Starfighter.
- PvP Bolster increased to 242.
- The Dark vs Light pop-up will now display less frequently and once a side has won, they will remain in a victory state much longer. This allows more time to work to defeat the world bosses and to reap the benefits!
- Substantial improvements to the Iokath Daily Area – we’ve dramatically reduced the Iokath currency requirements for a variety of the daily quests.
- New Galactic Command Rank Legacy Perk that will give up to a 100% CXP bonus under Command Rank 300!
- New Companion Customization Vendor available in the Fleet Bazaar. The vendors will sell older Companion Customizations for “opposite-faction” Companions. Ex: A Republic player could now get an older Vette customization.
- Additional Class Balance changes.
- Introduction of taxi points into the Yavin and Tatooine Strongholds for faster navigation.
- Cartel Market Store changes.
- United Forces structural changes (improvements not visible).
United Forces Formation – October 24, 2017
As we prepare for the United Forces update, we are planning an extended downtime on this day as we need to roll out all the new hardware and vital infrastructure changes.
United Forces Goes Live – Game Update 5.5.1 – November 8, 2017
- Server Merges – Today, we forge our new United Forces galaxy from a broader set of server communities into a set of larger, but fewer Servers. An extended downtime is planned for this effort.
- For a full week, we’re bringing back Double Rewards (XP, Command XP, Valor, Requisition).
- Simply log into play and qualify for the new Mini Mogul NM-1 mini-pet, inspired by one of our classic Operation bosses, Karagga the Unyielding!
- Unlock new achievements when you complete multiplayer activities using Group Finder and earn the merciless Darth Hexid Companion! More details here.
A Traitor Among the Chiss – Game Update 5.6 – November 28, 2017
- NAHUT – The 3rd Boss Encounter for Gods from the Machine Operation.
- New Flashpoint on Copero – Find out what Theron’s been up to with the Chiss.
- New PvP Map.
- New GSF Map set in the Orbit above Iokath.
- Group Finder Revamp – Significant upgrades to how you queue for multiplayer and solo activities – huge bonuses for all Random play choices, but also allows for easy selection of individual activities such as Daily Areas, Flashpoints, and Operations.
- Class Balance changes and a variety of utility adjustments.
- The launch of Legacy-wide currencies for Credits and Unassembled Components.
- Galactic Command upgraded disintegrate system – this QoL improvement changes how disintegrate works and instead of CXP gives you legacy-bound Unassembled Components.
- Ensign Raina Temple returns!
- Distribution of Special United Forces Rewards.
Anniversary Celebration – Game Update 5.6.1 – December 12, 2017
- Quality of Life changes.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Six Year Anniversary Celebration!
- Wookiee Life Day Celebration begins.
A Look Ahead to Early 2018
And, just a few tidbits about what’s right around the corner:
- The conclusion to this chapter of the story is coming where the Traitor reveals his true plan once and for all via a new Flashpoint.
- The final bosses and details about Master Mode for ‘Gods from the Machine’ Operation.
- An upgraded Conquest system and new Daily Activity system with great rewards.
- More multiplayer gameplay experiences for both PvP and PvE.
The next Road Map will be released in early 2018.
What did you think of the Road Map? Anything, in particular, you’re looking forward to?