HoloNet Links #132
Hello, from what seems to be the frozen tundra of Hoth. Although it might not be the best time for being outside, there are plenty of things happening in-game to help keep you warm. Tuesday marked the official full release of Update 2.6: Galactic Starfighter expansion. Now everyone from Subscribers to Free-to-Play players can enjoy the new form of Space Combat in two types 12 vs. 12 PVP matches – Domination and the new Team Death Match. Besides the new type of Space Combat, Update 2.6 also brought other changes to the game.
Changes in 2.6, Road Map 2014 for SWTOR & more after the Jump…
Before we get into the details of Update 2.6, here is the official trailer marking the full release of Update 2.6 Galactic Starfighter expansion.
- Welcome to Update 2.6
Jack Wood, producer at BioWare, posted an official welcome to Update 2.6 on the SWTOR website. In this brief introduction, he highlights the free-form space combat and discusses in greater detail about the new type of gameplay in Galactic Starfighter – Team Death Match. As Jack states in the post, “The objective is simple: destroy as many enemies as you can as quickly as you can!” Along with all the killing in the game mode, there will be four boosts scattered throughout the map. These boosts range from bonuses for weapon damage, extra boost to your engines, and even extra bonus to the ship’s shields. These will be like Warzone PVP bonuses and are only temporary and will respawn in other locations in the map during the match. Now while you are in your starship killing enemy ships, capturing objectives or getting blown out of the sky yourself, there is a new and improved Battle Record for Galactic Starfighter. This is a great way to see how well you are doing or realize, like myself, it is fun being cannon-fodder lol.
image via sfcrowsnest.org.uk
Jack also discusses the new addition of Tactical Flashpoints to the Group Finder feature. The new Flashpoint, Kuat Drive Yards is one of these Tactical Flashpoints. Kuat Drive Yards is not only role neutral, like the two Czerka Flashpoints, but Kuat Drive Yards adds another element, level neutral for levels 15-55. This means you can play this Flashpoint with your friends even if they are level 55 and you are level 15. It has been bracketed into two groups 15-54 and level 55. This means those already level 55 can enjoy playing just with other level 55s if they so choose. I think this is a great way for higher level players to help lower players and still get some benefit. This will be extremely helpful for guilds to help their membership out. Most guilds already help each other out, but it usually required someone being around the same level or if higher level players helped in a lower level Flashpoint, the lower level players would hardly get a chance to participate or get much XP. This is a great step forward and I hope that BioWare builds upon this new style of Flashpoint in all the new ones added to the game. It would be interesting to see if this might even be added to existing Flashpoints as a way to refresh older content. Make sure to read through Jack Wood’s entire Update introduction for even more details.
Besides the above new additions to SWTOR, there were several other changes that can be found in the official patch notes for Update 2.6. Many changes were made to classes and advance classes…a moment of silence for Orbital Strike. Be sure to read through all the patch notes for complete details on all the changes and additions found in Update 2.6: Galactic Starfighter.
- SWTOR Road Map 2014
This past Monday, Bruce Maclean, Senior Producer at BioWare, posted a blog on the official SWTOR website entitled Producer’s Roadmap 2014. This post basically outlines the direction BioWare will be taking SWTOR this year. Below I have copied the timeline from the original post:
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
I did skip the timeline section concerning Update 2.6, since we have covered it earlier in this article and it is already currently in-game. Finally a new Huttball map for PVPers to play! I’m not a PVP player, but only one Huttball map since the game launched seems like this is long overdue. New Flashpoints are always welcome content in SWTOR. I am personally intrigued as to what is meant by the two factions confronting each other directly. It is encouraging to see that BioWare is working on a new storyline that will span from Update 2.7 till the end of this year. The story arc on Makeb, while good was a bit short for me. It is also good to see they are focusing more on the conflict between the Republic and the Empire.
On the downside, it looks like class storylines are going to have to wait. I understand that they require an immense amount of time in writing the stories, writing the dialog, not to mention the voice acting and animation for the dialog cutscenes. However, I would argue, can they afford to not continue the class stories? Yes, SWTOR came in 8th among Free-to-Play games generating $139 million in micro-transactions/Cartel Market, according to a report by SuperData.
Will this trend continue, especially with new MMOs hitting the market in 2014? BioWare made their niche by selling players on the story pillar in MMOs and despite the change in their subscription model since the game launched, I believe story, specifically the class stories is what set this game apart from other MMOs. No matter how many Imperial Agents there are in the game, there will not likely be one that made all the same choices in the class story or with the companion stories like mine did. That is what makes my character unique and I hope that all those choices will come back to my character good or bad in future stories in-game. Take some time to look over the 2014 SWTOR Roadmap post and let us know your thoughts on the direction the game will be going in 2014.
- Dev notes
I’m glad you brought this up! I can tell you that Season 1 will be ending with the release of Game Update 2.7. We are currently working on a blog for you all that will outline all the other information about the end of the season, including the rewards (and none of them are fireworks). Look for this to be up by the end of the month.
That’s all I can share currently, but if I get anything else, I will make sure to post it for you.
We now have more of a specific date as to when Season One of Ranked PVP will end. According to Tait’s post, it will end when Update 2.7 goes live and according to the SWTOR Roadmap for 2014 that will be around April 8th, 2014. That date is of course subject to change, but the PVP community does have a “ballpark” date now. Thanks Tait.
We looked into this and found that missile drones do indeed still fire at a player executing a defensive maneuver. This is due to the lock-on functioning a bit differently than a player’s lock-on. We’ll get this fixed in an upcoming patch!
Looks like someone forgot to tell the drones they can’t keep lock-on when a player successfully performs a defensive ability. Hmm either this is a bug or watch out Skynet is taking over drones in-game and has plans to take over the galaxy. Avoid the missile drones if you want to live or at least till a patch can be created to fix the situation.
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- SWTOR Music video
HunterFireFlower has created another SWTOR music video. This particular one was a request to create a video to go with the song Move Slow. There is not an overall story like in other of Hunter Fire Flower’s videos, but the editing and special effects fit the slower pace of the song perfectly. The video utilizes some simple in-game emotes and combat, but in the hands of an artist puts them all together in a way to best showcase the song. Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comment section below.
That’s all for this week! If you have a particular link, story, video, or topic related to SWTOR we would love to hear about it! You can send those to us here at Corellian Run Radio and we can place it in a future article. Just email us the links and/or the details for the event at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can also leave any link suggestions in the comments below, or in Corellian Run Radio’s Facebook group. See you next week!