The First 6.0 Details

Another Star Wars: Celebration, another bunch of interesting reveals.

Of course we've had the big reveals of the Episode IX title, the first full details of Jedi: Fallen Order and its hero Cal (no relation), and, by the end of today, more information regarding The Mandalorian and the long-awaited seventh series of The Clone Wars.

However, as glorious as those reveals are, the one which is the most pertinent to this blog is the first official glimpse of the next expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic.


Incursions on a very remote planet

Hello there!

It has been a while since I've last posted here. This is due to various reasons, ranging from real-life making it difficult to blog consistently (February, for example, was devoted entirely to work-experience) to not really knowing exactly what to devote a post to next. I have quite a few drafts which I've started, at least. 

Today, BioWare have announced details of the next-but-one patch, 5.10.3. At long last, after several years of it being requested by the KotOR crowd, the planet Dantooine is making its SWtOR debut

This is not the only glad tidings, however, as Dantooine will bring with it the first in-game event since the Rakghouls resurged in January 2014. That's well over five years since a new event! That said, there's actually a fair amount of familiarity to this event; the main villains of the piece are the Nova Blades from Rishi, this time sponsored by the Imperials to attack Republic settlements.

Of course, because this event needs to cater to everyone, the Nova Blades just attack anyone that happens to get in their way. Pirates; who can trust them?

Since this event is going to be the first one which has any real significance to the story, this implies that there will be a very small story update to go with it; I'm guessing this will continue the rather superficial loyalist and traitor choice from Ossus rather than expand on it or allow a faction-switching mechanic like Iokath did. It's a very safe option for them at this juncture, as then they can save the expansion itself for any bigger developments on that part. 

In the meanwhile people who actually want to defect will likely need to put up with more forced-pretending, which I can't imagine to be very fun for them. 

While I am of course ecstatic to see both a new event and one of the final two missing planets from the original KotOR at last, I have to admit I'm somewhat saddened by the implication that Dantooine will only ever be an event planet. Since it is an actual planet at least that should at least mean that we won't be restricted from travelling to it at any point like the Rakghoul tunnels. 

I would have definitely loved it to have been more significant that it is seemingly going to be, but it's not the end of the world. They may yet create more separate areas on various planets, akin to Black Hole and Section X, which I would absolutely love to see for many planets across SWtOR

April is going to be something of a month of information for SWtOR; we'll hopefully be getting info pertaining to 6.0 next weekend from Celebration in Chicago but we definitely know that they intend to give us more information for 5.10.3 later this month, presumably when 5.10.2 has launched. 

I genuinely can't wait to hear what BioWare has to say.


Thoughts on 5.10: The Good, the Bad, and the Eeehhhhhs [Full Spoilers]

Fun fact: since Manaan was used to represent Copero, Ossus is the first actual new planet seen from space since Umbara.
Happy new year!

Now that that's out of the way, it's finally time for me to turn my attention to going over as much of what came with 5.10 as possible. Since this was a fairly major story patch, the most significant we've had since 5.0's nine Eternal Throne chapters, I decided to enact my "one-month spoiler-free" safety window, hence why it's taken me so long to get around to posting this.

Of course, as is the way of things, this 'safety protocol' was rendered somewhat nullified as BioWare promptly began churning out full spoilers for the appearance of a certain character on their website and social media channels. I can't say I blame them, as this move will undoubtedly attract several long-gone veterans just for this update alone.

Anyway, on with the stuff. 


2018 Companion Reunions: Volume 4 [Jedi Under Siege and Nathema Conspiracy Spoilers]

These pictures being in ascending-height order is completely unintentional.
Well, 5.10 has come at last and with it the final four reunion moments in 2018. With this patch we had the first companions since Raina Temple whose appearance requires completion of more than just Yuun's Alliance Alert, certain chapters of Fallen EmpireEternal Throne in its entirety, or the Iokath storyline.

All Republic players get to interact with Archiban "Doc" Kimble and Nadia Grell on Ossus, but only their respective former allies get to reclaim them as companions in a subsequent Alliance Alert. The Imperials aren't afforded such luxuries for Jaesa Willsaam and Khem Val, but that's due to some very specific "what-if" moments that would always have been exceptionally problematic to deal with for these companions should they have been made available to all.

In this post I will not be referring to any particular outcomes from either perspective of the 5.10 story. However, I will be making passing reference to what the Imperial characters are doing when they come across their respective companions. There are, however, far more overt spoilers for The  Nathema Conspiracy since there's a certain outcome which needs to be touched upon. 


That State of the Galaxy Report: Dark Councillors, Supreme Chancellors, and Hutts galore!

A couple of days ago, BioWare posted a 'State of the Galaxy' article setting the scene for Jedi Under Siege. Under the guise of a report by Lana Beniko (who else?) this article establishes where both of the main factions are at in terms of leadership in good detail, but also includes various tidbits that, while not crucial at this moment in time, are still good to know about at this stage.

So what is there that's of potential interest? Or, rather, what can I find to prattle on about this time around?


5.0: Another Year Later

So here we are. The 5.0 patch cycle has now started its third and hopefully final year of life. This is the only expansion in SWtOR's nigh-seven-year history to have completed two full years, and it's certainly been an interesting ride.

As some of you may recall exactly one year ago I published an article looking over 5.0's then-present history. As I described, the first year of 5.0 resulted in nearly every single game activity or function receiving something new. Has the second year managed to accomplish a similar feat or does it feel severely lacking in comparison?

Let's find out!


Character Differentiation

The one thing which has stuck with me across the years as I play SWtOR is that appearance is the one of the most important things when it comes to playing a character. I may like how a character looks in the creator, but if something is off when the character is 'born' and in the open world then I'm going to change that ASAP. 

Not even long-term characters of mine are safe from this. Several of the characters who still exist to this day have gone through various changes, sometimes even including species, for differing reasons. Sometimes it's just because a new hairstyle has come out that I want to try. Other times it's because I realised that my characters need to be more diverse than they were at a previous point.

For example, there was one time when I had six Human characters and only two aliens - a Twi'lek and a Sith Pureblood. Of those specific eight characters, only three are in-use to this day and two of these have become a Mirialan and a Chiss. 

I've recently taken this into overdrive, a recurring trend with some things these days it seems, to the extent that it is not just outfits which differentiates my characters: None of them use the same primary-Companion, mount, or even colour crystal(s) as another. Variety in species is still something of a sore point, but I'll go into that in more detail further on in the post.

This is a post which I tried to write last year before giving up the ghost without having really started. It's time to remedy this and bore you lucky, lucky people to death once again.

And hey, it is Picture-Posting Month. I might not hit my fifty images but I might as well get some mileage out of it.