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!


Single-Player Content

There hasn't been much by way of pure single-player content added since last November. In fact, in terms of pure single-player content there's been absolutely nothing outside of the Alliance Alerts which I'll touch on later on in this post in their own section.

The only other aspect of content in this regard is the solo-story version of the new Flashpoint in 5.9. The Nathema Conspiracy showed us the final conclusion of the Order of Zildrog arc and left a hint that there was still more to come from 5.0's story.

Indeed, while the summer roadmap proved this would be the case, it was only in the subsequent roadmap in September that we learned what this would be. 5.10 was announced to include a new planet and daily area as well as the first faction-differentiating stories since Makeb all the way back in 2013!

Disappointingly, Ossus is to be released next month so I sadly can't include it as a proper discussion point for this section. As such we're left just looking at the Flashpoint and the Alliance Alerts as the only things that count as single-player content in some way.


Group Content

Gods from the Machine received its final two bosses, SCYVA and IZAX, in 5.7 in January and 5.8 in March respectively. Visually and mechanically, these two boss fights are much more memorable fights even in Story Mode compared to their immediate predecessors, and it's fitting that the final fight to be released for this Operation is also the one which I find to be the most fun.

To celebrate the fact that IZAX was (at the time) effectively meant to be a Master Mode fight in a Veteran difficulty Operation, BioWare turned him into something of a competition akin to the Nightmare Power buff; those who killed him in Veteran Mode prior to 5.9 received a legacy title and a (rather hideous) jetpack mount to show off their talents.

As mentioned, 5.9 delivered the third new Flashpoint of 5.0's cycle, The Nathema Conspiracy. Compared to the previous two, which are presently two of the very hardest Flashpoints in the game right now, I find Nathema much easier even in Master Mode and thus this makes it infinitely the most enjoyable of the trio from my perspective.

Although the summer roadmap only hinted at incoming Group Content the details were left very vague. After the July PTS accidentally included some specific Achievements, the September roadmap confirmed what these Achievements were hinting at; Gods from the Machine was finally going to acquire its Master Mode despite this having been announced as canned back in the spring.

My persistent paranoia feels vindicated.

Even during the times of doubting whether or not Master Mode would actually launch, a good number of people had concerns; Veteran Mode was already a "HardMare" style Operation, so Master Mode would theoretically be untouchable for those groups who struggled with any of the bosses in Veteran. Fortunately, despite earlier claims to the contrary, BioWare have stated that their intention is to somewhat lessen the difficulty of Veteran and Story Mode once Master Mode is released next month.

We learned just last week that we'll be getting a new piece of group-content early next year alongside a delayed release of the 258 main and off-hands. In other words, especially given how soon this will be after Master Mode Gods, this is likely to be an instanced raid-boss on Ossus. While this seems like it will be pretty much a repeat of the infamous Colossal Monolith of Ziost, hopefully this one will be a more well-rounded challenge. 

While they have now confirmed that 6.0 will have more Operations content we don't yet know how they'll deliver it. We may get a complete one at-launch (this is not necessarily discounting single-boss instances, however) or we may get another drip-feed as Gods was. We'll have to wait and see!

While I for one have no desire to set foot in Master Mode Gods, I'm pleased for the people who desire a challenge that they've got something extra to focus on between now and 6.0. I'm also very pleased that we will at least be getting one brand new boss-instance before 6.0 launches. 5.0's raiding legacy won't just be Gods after all!


Story Developments

Since we've only had one story update since last November, there isn't a lot to say here.

Nathema wrapped up the traitor arc through rather predictable means but simultaneously presented a group of villains with interesting backgrounds and motives. Vinn Atrius and GEMINI 16 both want to target the Alliance, but for vastly different reasons; Vinn, a native of Zakuul, wants to punish the Alliance for the damage inflicted to his homeworld while the GEMINI droid wants to free her sisters from the confines of the Eternal Fleet. I won't say how they attempt to accomplish these goals, but it certainly makes for a very interesting watch. 

One thing which Nathema has tried to do is wipe the slate clean by writing several long-term characters back into the story solely so they could be removed. While this is disappointing, and in one case infuriating to me personally, it does make it easier for BioWare to create a new environment with characters tailor-made for the situations instead of having to fit in a bunch of old characters out-of-the-blue while having to justify their total absence for the last few in-game years.

Regardless, a lot of stuff that the writers at BioWare had hoped to focus on through the scrapped additional Knights expansion has now been seen in-game and as such we can begin to move away to greener pastures. "Greener" is subjective, of course, as we're moving back to the Republic vs. Imperial galaxy, so understandably people who were pleased to see the Knights expansions move in a different path will be disappointed to be returning to the well-trodden paths.

Happily, it was confirmed in September that the story update in 5.10 will be delivered in a faction-differentiating storyline and it is likely that 6.0 will continue in the same vein. 



The Yavin Ruins warzone, having been originally scheduled for release within the first year of 5.0, arrived with 5.6.1 in December 2017, bringing with it a refreshing take on the established Alderaan Civil War format. There are more ways to enter the middle point, making for better attacking and defending strategies, and there are buffs which boost capping speed. For something that people feared to be a direct carbon-copy, the differences are enough that it feels very distinct.

The major criticism of this map is that it's a lot harder to communicate strategies as, while the two side turrets are officially labelled as "Jungle" and "Relic", the defensive points aren't as visually distinct as Snow and Grass on Alderaan are. I still prefer to just use West and East. 

Since the first year of 5.0 was far more PvE orientated it feels somewhat fitting that its second year should shift its focus to become more PvP orientated. Indeed, August through early October were termed "the summer of PvP" due to the amount of things that were being introduced or being changed.

To start with, the changes to pre-existing warzones were incredibly extensive. Even the format changed; every warzone, arena, and even GSF maps became cross-faction, a version of team-balancing (albeit an imperfect model) was introduced, and warzones were given higher priority in the group-finder than arenas.

The changes to the individual warzones themselves are very, very numerous. Across the board they've been updated to reduce the overall time of a warzone to twelve minutes, down from fifteen, through such means as increasing the downtime of forcefields and amount of points gained for completing objectives.

The list of exact specifics are too numerous to list in their entirety, so I'll just bow out here and list the associated Patch Notes for 5.9.2. The best thing done, in my eyes, is introducing colours to either side of Voidstar to improve player communication. Instead of just hoping that the team has a unified understanding of which side is which due to the abrupt switch of perspective halfway through, one side is now blue while the other is white. 

We've seen one new arena and one new warzone arrive in 2018; 5.9.2 introduced the Mandalorian Battle Ring arena and 5.9.3 introduced the third new huttball arena, this time on the planet Vandin. These aren't the only new areas introduced for PvP, however; the third location is actually set within the newest stronghold on Rishi. Teams can set up their own private deathmatches and even host functional huttball games. It's a nice novelty, but ultimately I don't think it will see too much use in the long term. 

While Vandin and the Battle Ring are - similar to Yavin Ruins - at their core repeats of old formulae, they also introduce new mechanics within them. The Battle Ring has much more of a three-dimensional aspect to it compared to several of the other arenas, with rapid-transit functionality included, and Vandin uses both the fire and acid traps of the original arena and Quesh while also introducing a new electricity-based trap. On top of this, it's also the only warzone you can fall out of entirely.

All in all, the summer of PvP has been decent. Some nice changes have been introduced to the majority of the warzones and it's nice to see them exploring with increased functionality within strongholds. 


Galactic Command

The changes made to Galactic Command in the first year seem to have left it in a state where BioWare are content with it, as nothing has changed or been added to the Command Crates or system since 5.6. In fact they now seem to be moving away from it, as 5.10 will be introducing the first gear tier in 5.0 to not have any major direct ties to Command; while 252 gear will have a rare chance to drop in tier IV crates, we're not getting a special tier all about the new gear.

What this means for the future of this system, only BioWare can know. We now know that the guild updates will include perks, both slotted and passive, which increase CXP gain so that suggests that Command is meant to stick around in 6.0. If they keep it purely as a supplement to getting gear rather than use it as the primary way of getting gear as they did originally I imagine it'll be fairly-well tolerated.

Depending on whether or not the RNG nature of the system improves further, of course. 



5.9 brought in the second set of new augments, which offered such a miniscule increase of stats over the ones introduced in 5.6 that many players haven't even bothered upgrading from one to t'other. It's also worth stressing that despite the tiny hike in stats, the cost to craft these new ones is substantially greater than their predecessors, which of course only adds to people's reluctance to get them. 

The gear associated with tier V of Galactic Command was indefinitely delayed along with Gods Master Mode but when this was announced to be a thing for 5.10 so too was the gear. So in December we will be graced with 252 and 258 gear. Joy. The best 258 gear can be acquired through crafting and through purchase using a new currency called Masterwork Data Crystals. There's a lot to this gear, so much so that I can't summarise it, but the main takeaway is that it will take quite some time before anyone's able to get a full set of it.

Especially now that we know that it will be a further month or so before anyone has the opportunity to acquire the weapons.



The first year of 5.0 graced us with three returning companions; Elara Dorne, Malavai Quinn, and Raina Temple, all of whom were returned in the main story. Since then many more companions have returned, and almost every single one of them has - in contrast to all other companions since 4.0 - returned to the class they were originally associated with.

The Companions we've been given back in 2018 are: Akaavi Spar, Andronikos Revel, Ashara Zavros, Corso Riggs, Felix Iresso, Mako, Risha, and Vector Hyllus. 

These return missions have been little more than miniature conversations lasting no more than a few minutes, which is a far departure from all prior companion returns. There's virtually no gameplay associated with these Alerts, the exact reason for the character(s) coming back to you often comes across as very lackluster, and there's been a repeat offender of my biggest complaint about the companion returns from 2017.

You may remember in last year's edition of this post that I took severe issue with the return afforded to Elara Dorne and Malavai Quinn, for the simple reason that they disappeared from the story very quickly unless the player was a Trooper or a Warrior. No other class gets to interact with them beyond the initial cutscene so anybody new to the story playing, say, a Knight or an Agent would have absolutely no clue what makes their new ally 'tick' from their limited interactions.

In 2018 we got an Alliance Alert which returned two companions back at once; Akaavi Spar and Mako. Both were given to Hunters and Smugglers, but in the quest itself one spends half the mission's runtime waiting outside while the other is given the spotlight. While it does make sense to give the more familiar one of the pair the limelight, again a newer player unfamiliar with either would learn nothing about the Companion their character didn't know before from this mission. This treatment is incredibly frustrating and I'm extremely disappointed to see it occur with four decent characters across the last two years. 

Darth Hexid reared her horned head again in 5.9 as she was made a permanent reward of an Achievement requiring players to complete forty Group Finder activities. I like the fact that they've made her permanently-accessible in this way, and unlocking her nowadays is much more of a proper accomplishment than it was the first time she became available.

Master Ranos really received the short end of the stick in all of this, didn't she?

Around this time BioWare ran an 'event' centred around Nico Okarr and Shae Vizla, both of the Subscriber-exclusive Companions from 4.0 and 5.0, where Players would vote for their favourite representatives of 'teams' spearheaded by the two characters. The end result was initially predicted to be that the winning Companion would be given out again, but BioWare surpassed this expectation by giving both out at the same time. Great news for people who missed out on either originally and I imagine we'll be seeing this done again at some point in the future. 

5.9 also introduced a future companion, but this has been completely unintentional on the part of BioWare. A twi'lek by the name of Paxton Rall could be found in various cantinas around the galaxy and even had a hidden Achievement which could be completed. This was temporarily fixed, but I believe it managed to break itself shortly afterwards. Since we now know that Paxton will definitely be a subscriber reward, and in the upcoming update no less, it remains to be seen if the 'Cantina Crawl' Achievement can still be completed by free-to-play and preferred players. If it does remain so then it will be the only Achievement such a player can earn for a reward-companion mostly by themselves without actually being eligible to unlock the character. The only thing they may need help with is travelling to Rishi and Zakuul.

Fingers crossed for the non-sub Achievement hunters out there!

5.9's story also allowed players to finally tie the knot with either Lana or Theron, something which people have been asking to do ever since the romance became lockable at the end of the first nine chapters of Fallen Empire. Hopefully we get such options for Arcann, Koth and any future romance options in the next story batches!



Conquest received a massive overhaul in Patch 5.8. Planets were divided into three categories of yield - small, medium, and large - and contributions were set for each for the invading guilds to strive for. Outside of the #1 spot, the top-ten board no longer mattered, as any guild who hit the threshold received the rewards for the week. Finally, objectives were split into three categories; repeatable, daily, and weekly. 

Things were off to a rocky start with this pretty quickly; while the small yield was reachable for most small guilds medium and large yields were far more of a stretch even for several established guilds. Additionally, various objectives were bugged in that they'd keep resetting which gave some guilds a bit of an unfair advantage depending on how many people abused this refresh. This new system also had a massive bug in the very first week! The World Bosses of Ilum during the Gree event would tick themselves off after a couple of random kills were made, so during that week people could just instantly gain up to 10,000 points on the first character they logged in on. 

Since the introduction, things have become a lot better. The yields were made easier to reach (5.9.3 would later make small yields even easier to attain), the bugged objectives were fixed (although it took a while for the persistently-resetting bug to be fixed), and they broke down some of the more grindy objectives into multiple chunks. The most notable change, however, is that while Total Galactic War started in this new system with the new three-planet limit when it came back again all of the planets had once more become available. 

The one thing I cannot say is that this system has made it any easier for an average guild to win a Planet. Mega-Conquest-guilds still exist which dominate the scoreboard across all three yields on virtually every occasion. While I myself have managed to bolster my planet-conquering Achievements by eight additional planets since these changes this is solely because my guild merged with a long-time 'friend guild' and in doing so, we gained several prolific conquesters who had helped them to some victories in the past. I therefore feel ill-equipped to comment on the state of victory accomplishment as I've seen my guild essentially become a 'mini' mega-Conquest-guild. While I welcome further Achievement points, I do have to say that I for one enjoyed the scarcity of winning planets once or twice a year at-most far more than I presently do winning one every few weeks or so.

As a system, Conquest now provides several more rewards than it did previously. For the guilds who hit their weekly total, the different yields offer varying numbers of credit tokens and resource decoration packs as well as augment crafting boxes for the medium and large yields. For individuals who manage to hit their weekly total, a vendor appears in the Crew Skills area which allows them to buy a whole slew of fantastic planet-themed decorations (finally including a moisture vaporator!) and a new item which instantly raises the Influence rank of a companion to Level 50.

This Commander's Compendium is one of those things which in previous years would have been solely accessible via the Cartel Market. It's excellent to get something of this sort as an earnable item rather than one which is simply bought with real money, and I hope to see more of this sort of thing done in the future.

Strongholds received a much-needed change with the new Conquest system; rather than needing to be fully-decorated to 100% to receive the full prestige bonus they now only need to be unlocked to 100%. It's still a lot of credits, but at least it's now much less of a headache to get to the full 150% prestige bonus than it used to be.

Of course I still decorate any of mine to 100% because I'm an obsessive completionist. I should really get that looked into...

5.9.2 changed the reset time of Conquest yet again. This time around the cool-down window was moved to Tuesday and exactly one hour prior to the new week's Conquest event. This means that Tuesday is a functioning Conquest day for both weeks, something which has never occurred before. However, it also means that if somebody was recording scores of every single guild-member for posterity's sake they only have a tiny window of an hour in which to do it. One of 5.10's guild updates will be a more reliable method of tracking Conquest points, so hopefully this will negate this issue entirely.

Conquest will take on a new form of life in 5.10, as Conquest points act as guild XP. Some greater flexibility will also be introduced into the system, such as a galaxy-wide rampage and the ability for guilds to pick-and-choose specific objectives using perks, which I am really looking forward to. Increased freedom to do more of whatever I want and still gain some Conquest points rather than have to stick to whatever events are up for the week so as not to 'waste time' and giving me some long-desired reason to actually have fun with it again? Yes, please!


Cartel Market

Yup, it gets its own section in this year's post.

Last year the Market received an interface overhaul but the actual Market itself operated the same as ever. While there was a steady amount of stuff that became available for Direct Purchase all the new stuff could only be found in the Cartel packs because lootboxes and microtransactions, as we all know, are a part of the unfortunate reality that is modern gaming.

That is such an abusable comment and I absolutely love it. It's the 'pride and accomplishment' of 2018.

In March of this year, BioWare shifted their priorities somewhat. Rather than introduce the usual new Cartel Pack based around newly-released items they took the majority of upcoming items - the exceptions being that particular month's newest decorations - and made them available for direct purchase. While this is a practice which has continued ever since that's not to say that there still aren't Cartel Packs around, unfortunately. The Ultimate Cartel Pack was created in this gap, providing a chance to gain any Cartel item that had ever been released including any which had recently been released.

The sheer amount of luck required to get anything good from this Ultimate Pack makes it something of a worthless purchase, even as a buy-to-sell option. Indeed, the only thing keeping this pack system in-relevance today are the reintroduction of Cartel Certificates and the unification of all previous Cartel reputations. Even then, the Cartel reputation can be farmed via a single decoration (although this does of course require having access to it). That's one hell of a step-down from where the Packs used to be.

New decorations have also been a regular addition to the Market. The various NPC bundles we've received over the past year and the various beach decorations in particular have been phenomenal. In fact, just in general the quality of stuff on the market has improved considerably during this period. Who'd have thought that actually giving the design team time to work on their crafts rather than having to churn out stuff every month would result in better items?

While the Cartel Market is still something of a nuisance, it's great to see BioWare changing things to be better by substantially toning down the terrible RNG element that had plagued the system ever since its inception. We still have a long way to go before it's gone from there completely but it's nice to see RNG being reduced even a little bit, almost certainly because of those lootbox-gambling investigations.

While it's great to see more things being introduced away from the Cartel Market rather than solely through it, we're still limited to getting the majority of the 'good' stuff with Cartel Coins. I don't think there's much that can really be changed about that, since things like certain Tunings are good money-spinners. Hopefully we'll get at least some more stuff in 6.0 that can be earned which would otherwise have been Market items akin to the Commander's Compendium.



5.9's big bad, Vinn Atrius, made his debut with a brand-new hairstyle. While his unique armour - of course - ended up on the Cartel Market a short while later, his hairstyle didn't. This is because the style had already been added to the appearances without requiring a Cartel Market unlock as soon as 5.9 launched.

For context, this was the very first time we've seen a free addition to Appearances which could be accessed by multiple species. With the sole exception of the free additions to togruta jewellery and facial-tattoo options, all other appearance options beyond the base ones had to be unlocked with Cartel Coins. Granted, this was the first appearance update following the re-prioritisation of the handling of the Cartel Market so we have no idea yet whether this will become the norm or whether this will only have been a one-off. Added to this, it was only one hairstyle, after all.

We could be getting at least one new hairstyle in 5.10, so we'll get a better idea about the future of further customisation options when this update hits. Hopefully we'll also begin getting more stuff for other species for some point as well. As pointed out by Pink Fish and Ashïa on Twitter when I excitedly pointed out this particular new hairstyle, we're yet to see such things as more facial-hair options or even additional zabrak horns. 

Paxton Rall got some people talking excitedly because he's the first in-game case of a purple twi'lek. Purple twi'leks have been requested since pretty much forever and now we have one! His unique skin colour clearly got enough people talking about it for Eric and co. to notice, as in the 5.9.3 Twitch-stream they explicitly discussed "twi'lek customisation" and how it was more difficult to adjust them due to their system with no further details gone into.

So while whether or not we'll get to see a purple twi'lek become a possible player option is presently unknown, the fact that there actually is a purple twi'lek in-game now has got to be an improvement. Just another thing for a future update to potentially bring to us.


Planetary Exploration

Within the past twelve months we haven't seen a single open-world planet. Indeed, since the last post we've only seen one planet be included in the various updates and that was through a Flashpoint alone.

However, while I can't really praise BioWare for this lack of non-instanced worlds I can praise them for the work that they've done for the majority of the planets over the past two years.

Considering that we've had to revisit Nathema, a planet that was previously barren wasteland, the fact that I'm finding myself saying that the planet has become absolutely beautiful is just so unexpected. Rather than just being rock, sand, and dust, plantlife has started erupting around the abandoned structures giving the planet a feel which is vibrant but still eerily spooky. I've said this about Copero and some areas of Umbara as well, but I really wouldn't mind being able to go back to the reborn Nathema outside of the Flashpoint instance and explore it in my own time.



5.9.3 relaxed one of the more restricting aspects of the Free-to-Play model. Whereas previously a subscription was required in order to chat in guilds and groups prior to Level 25 this is now no longer a restriction. SWtOR's free-to-play model is still one of the most aggravating in the MMO business, especially now they've removed the various passes for group content, but at least they're starting to relax some aspects of it.

Guilds were promised major updates throughout the year, with the September roadmap delivering more information. Guilds will soon be able to gain levels, challenge other guilds to PvP matches, and adjust how their members play the game through various perks. The PTS has revealed what some of these perks are and, as stated above, we were informed by BioWare that Conquest would be absolutely integral to the levelling system. It should hopefully breathe a new life into guilds, at least for the time being, since presently the SWtOR guild system is really quite stale.



All in all this past year of 5.0, while a lot slower than the first, has still been relatively productive. While we haven't seen as many in-game activities receive something new compared to the first year, there's still been a good amount of variety.

Some things have been left in a very similar, if not identical, state to where they were last year. Galactic Command is completely identical, no new Chapters have been added (and they're no longer going to be used as storytelling vessels for the foreseeable future), no new daily zones or open-world planets have been added, class balance has only had one very minor aspect touched on, no new Uprisings have been added, and GSF has seen no updates.

There have really only been two things in their entirety that 2018 has presently brought us that 2017 hadn't; a major Conquest overhaul and some new PvP instances. Combined with the above statements that's about nine things which either of the twelve-month periods have as being completely unique to them.

That's not to say that repeating things is bad - it's an MMO, that's bound to happen! - or that it always leads to inferior comparisons. Indeed, compared to last year, this year has given us the better Flashpoint and associated environment, a story update which is relatively more satisfactory than the previous ones, and the more memorable Operations bosses.

Very few companion returns in the past twenty-four months have been handled particularly well. The best of these returns has been Raina Temple since she actively got involved with the story, had a solid justification for being there, and her history was at least touched upon. Every other companion returned to us has been through at most two conversations which often do very little to educate newer people about this apparent 'good friend' they're reuniting with or meeting for the first time.

I've been touching on it at various points throughout this post, but it is worth stressing that the 5.10 update on the eleventh of December will contain a little bit of everything. We'll be getting a massive open-world planet in the form of Ossus, which will have a story update and some new daily missions, five returning companions, a new tier of gear, Master Mode Gods as well as more approachable Story and Veteran Modes, and the various guild updates. Ossus will also have three new datacrons (Endurance, Mastery, and Presence), two heroic world bosses, and seeker droid functionality. All of these are things which we haven't really seen since 3.0, but it will go one better by introducing the first new [HEROIC 4] mission since the one in the rakghoul tunnels and that was in 2.0!

It is also possible that the majority of identified characters in 5.10 will be made companions in the future, depending on how popular they prove to be. We know that two of them, major Anri and Tau Idair, will be temporary companions in the story but this is as close as they'll get for now to joining our rosters.

Amusingly enough, though it may not seem like it, these two will be the first utterly-new characters to write themselves into our companion roster as in the game's story no-matter-what since HK-55, Koth, and Senya. The only other story companion since then, Arcann, had already been established in the 4.0 story and his becoming a companion is purely player-choice-orientated. Meanwhile the gamorrean, Hexid, Ranos, and now Paxton Rall are tied to rewards of some form and aren't actually a part of the story proper. Thus, 5.10's storyline introducing upwards of four new potential permanent companions is, surprisingly, still something of a novelty.

Courtesy of the faction-differentiation this hopefully shouldn't feel as overwhelming as it seems from that one statement as four will become two. From here, two might potentially become one or even none at all if fan-reaction isn't high enough to ensure that certain characters will come back.

It is especially aggravating that 5.10 won't be out until next month, as based on what we've heard and seen from the PTS it looks very much like 5.10 will be the best update in the 5.0 patch cycle as well as probably the last few years. Had this been released prior to today this post would be much more positive about the previous twelve months than it actually is.

Regardless, 5.0 is finally beginning to come to an end. We still don't have an exact idea when 6.0 will land on our doorsteps, but I hope it'll be set for a late-Spring/early-Summer release. I'll endeavour to do another post doing an overall summary of the state of the game during 5.0's era once we know for sure in what state it will be ending. We now know that there will at least be a 5.10.1 or a 5.11 which will include the new piece of group content, but beyond that all that we know for sure are outstanding are the four final companion returns, guild heraldry, and the legacy /ignore list. Depending on how far along in development these are some of these may be out in the 5.0-patch cycle and some of these might be pushed to 6.0.

We'll just have to wait and see.

I personally hope there is no further story to come in 5.0, but then I was hoping the same of 5.9 and look where we are now.

All I'm saying is I don't want to have to do this do this whole nonsense again next November!

I'll end this post by saying that on the whole the second twelve-month period of 5.0 definitely hasn't left as good a taste in the mouth as the first. This is largely because 2016-2017 pumped out so much targeting almost everything and 2017-2018 hasn't really followed suit in quite the same breadth. It has still been an interesting year, and it really doesn't help matters that the most-exciting things of this particular patch cycle are still to come. If all we had were still mere promises rather than the detailed information we have now then it would be far easier to look back with a more favourable and impartial eye.

We're just too close to the new game-update for that to be feasible for me. 


  1. Lol, the Voidstar doors have different colours now? I can't say that I've noticed, nor have I heard anyone to refer to them by colour so far, so I'm not sure I'd call that a successful change.

    And boohoo poor you for having all those Conquest wins forced on you. ;P If it's any comfort things are bound to slow down soon simply because we're down to only needing one small and three medium yield planets.

    1. The large structural pillars which used to have red strips of light hold those lights, so this change is rather easy to miss. There is more to be done to make it a more 'worthy' change, ideally, but at least it's something.

      I think part of my issues with Conquest at the moment is the lack of any real variety in the new system. At least in the previous system you could change the focus of the week slightly by invading a different planet and thus benefit from the different boosts. This is why I'm really looking forward to the newer system's capability to increase the options for what we can do, but that of course depends on what perks are chosen.

    2. Epic wall of text :D Thank you, this was a perfect summary for someone who only rejoined the game in the last year, reading your last year post is on my todo list now.

      A few remarks. I really liked the Mako/Akaavi Alliance Alert. So I guess this needs a little perspective. I hadn't played for a few years and on my BH Mako was gone. So a) I was totally happy to get her back und b) I'm probably remembering this quest wrong, but I didn't find it shorter than many of the other alliance alerts. Or are you strictly comparing to Quinn et al in the main story?

      Also this sentence about Hexid confused me a little: "and unlocking her nowadays is much more of a proper accomplishment than it was the first time she became available." I faintly remember doing some thing ingame there, probably late 2017 or in spring? Something like "win 3 pvp matches" and thus essentially free?

      I also remember the Nico vs Shae stuff, but I didn't get them - so maybe I was not subscribed for that between some months where I was? Damn, I need to look this up.

    3. You're quite welcome, thanks for your kind words. :D

      My comparison of the Alerts in general is in comparison to each-other, since it's practically impossible to compare one of these missions to the story appearances. I should state that I have no issue with the conversations with the companion you already knew, but purely with the companion who was new to your character. I really liked the discussion my Smuggler had with Akaavi but felt that Mako received a very bad hand in how the Smuggler gets to know her.

      The length of that particular Alert was about standard. It just feels like there isn't a lot to missions like it since there isn't much associated gameplay, but then I'm not a huge fan of a lot of the ones which involve more than a fair amount. It's a mixed bag.

      Yup, that was how Hexid was first given out last November. The new way of unlocking her is very much like an extended version of that and as such she feels much more like a reward rather than being given out for the sake of it.

      I believe they were only given out to Subscribers then, yes. Hopefully they'll repeat this again in the future, especially since more people will be coming to the game with 6.0; certainly this whole 'event' seemed designed to be repeatable if it proved popular enough. Maybe next time around they'll include a way for people to get Master Ranos again, who knows?

    4. Thanks for the clarification. Yes, now that I think of it I maybe I didn't notice Akaavi being quite unimportant in this because I had just played my Smuggler a lot the month before. So it was more like "oh, Akaavi!" - If I (the player) hadn't seen her at all, or for lack of playing a Smuggler, not for years - then I might have noticed what you wrote.

      And about Nico and Shae.. I really like her, but it's not that I'm crying myself to sleep if I'll never get her - I do find 1-2 companions I really like per character, so I don't feel like I'm missing out. This would be different if they were easier to level or swappable between characters (thinking of Marvel Heroes here, where you shared your companions per account, so you only had to level each one to max level once, so it was no problem switching them around just for looks and voice).