19/12/2012

Expansion Time, Then?

I was rather surprised today to see that Bioware has announced that SWTOR's first "expansion" is supposed to be coming out early next year. I'm putting "expansion" in quotes, because from what they've revealed so far it honestly doesn't sound very much like what I think of as a traditional MMO expansion, more like two big patches glued together. Okay, so there's supposed to be a level cap increase, but other than that we only know of a single new planet so far and that's honestly... not that much.

More importantly though, all this stuff sounds like content that was originally supposed to automatically be included with our subscription. Sigh. Don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly annoyed about having to pay for more content, not to mention that six pounds are hardly going to break my bank. I love the game and I'm happy to support it financially. However, considering how many times they did tell us previously that subscribers would always have access to everything, it does sting a little. It would be nice to be thrown a bone every now and then. (Or maybe I'm just bitter because my game has been crashing to desktop five times a night for almost three months now, and even though it's a known issue with a 43-page thread on the customer service forums, there's still no fix in sight.)

As far as the expansion content itself goes... well, I'm sure the quests will be fun and everything, but I'm honestly still not sold on this whole level cap increase thing. I already wrote about my reservations on that subject when they first mentioned it at E3 back in June. I'd like to believe that they have a clever solution up their sleeves that won't just obsolete all the endgame content that they put out this year, but they haven't really given us any further details on the subject, so it's hard not to just picture another traditional gear reset, except without the swathes of new zones and endgame areas that usually come with such an expansion.

Basically I really don't know how to feel about this. More content is always good, and I'm definitely going to pre-order. But I'm slightly worried about the idea of hitting the new level cap and suddenly having a lot less endgame content to work with than we have right now.

8 comments:

  1. I think i'm looking forward to it but i'm not sure at the moment there are too few details at the moment.

    I agree with you Shin, I probably will pre-order it but I do feel a little cheated that I have to pay for it despite what they have previously said.

    However, we shall have to see whether i still feel that way when it actually comes out.

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  2. Regarding the increased level cap, the smart move would be to make all end-game group content (HM FPs, Ops) scale up to level 55 and then flag any new flashpoints coming with Makeb as T2. But I'm guessing everything will have to get re-itemized.

    Still better than scrapping all that content.

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    1. Maybe. The thing is, usually I don't mind the idea of obsoleting old content with a big expansion and replacing it with something new, but at the moment we have little evidence of there being enough new stuff to replace it with.

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    2. on Reddit and on Google+, I posted the idea I had, which makes the most sense:
      NiM Flashpoints

      the problem with scaling is that those who don't buy the expansion will be left out, especially those who JUST hit level 50... they can't do any of the scaled up end-game stuff... why not just make a harder lvl 55 version with better drops?

      simple!

      (but I just realized something... if EVERYONE gets a higher level cap of 55, even those who don't buy the expansion, that wouldn't be a problem, and scaling up would work... then again, without the expansion, it's basically a LOOOOONG GRIND to get that last 5 levels, so I'm still not sure... scaled up, it's not possible to do them and have to grind the levels elsewhere, which is a PITA)

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    3. Yeah, I just don't see how they could be adding 5+ flashpoints and 1-2 operations (a reasonable amount of content for the endgame?) in a 10$ expansion pack.

      If they don't want their playerbase to be sitting on their hands for 5+ months after they hit the new cap, they will have to scale some of the older content.

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  3. I had crash issues, but they were fixed when I patched my ATI graphics card to the latest driver. It's been stable ever since.

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  4. I was lucky I guess as the game client rarely crashed after launch for me, unless the problems started after I stopped playing in the summer?

    If the expansion brings a continuation of the main class story lines then I'd be tempted to buy it as a F2P player just to continue with my Consular's story. Eventually I'll probably get around to levelling my Trooper through his story as well so the value in the expansion is multiplied for each alt you have if more story content is included.

    Rift's paid for expansion and level cap increase seems to have been well received by most players, though the difference of course is that Storm Legion tripled the total playable world size - I do think one extra planet seems a bit stingy.

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    1. This particular crashing problem wasn't introduced until patch 1.4, which released at the end of September, so no, it wouldn't have affected you. Up until that point I'd had very few problems with the game myself.

      And they've said that ROTHC (what a clunky acronym) doesn't include a continuation of the individual class stories, just overarching storylines for both Republic and Empire.

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