7.2 Livestream Thoughts and Impressions

I'm writing this shortly after having watched the official livestream about 7.2, because I'm actually excited by what I saw! I honestly went into this one with no real expectations, probably because both 7.0 and 7.1 have turned out to be somewhat disappointing to me, and I couldn't even think of anything to look forward to beyond the next story update (which is something that usually only gets touched on lightly in these streams to avoid spoilers). However, it turned out that based on what we were shown, 7.2 looks like it's actually going to be quite a meaty patch.

Story-wise, we'll be going to the planet Ruhnuk (pronounced "Roo-nik") to go after Heta Kol as hinted at the end of the previous story update, and that's all I'm going to say about that, even though there was some more talk about the characters we're going to meet there. Seek out additional information about that at your own discretion.

The first big surprise was that Ruhnuk is not just going to be a story location, but a proper open-world planet, with dailies, a new faction to earn reputation with, a world boss and even a new datacron! I've got to admit that this one completely blind-sided me, I guess because my thinking was that after they had to delay the release of the Manaan daily area, I wouldn't have thought that they'd already be working on another daily area at the same time, and one with more real estate than we got during what was supposed to be the main expansion patch 7.0.

I'm 100% here for a new planet though, even if I don't expect it to be very large. They showed a little flyby video which kind of gave me Athiss vibes.

Next they talked about changes coming to PvP, which started with Musco telling us that they're planning to abolish the ranked queue and that it's all just going to be the same thing now. My first thought was "Are we all going to be ranked all the time then?" but no, it seems they are simply getting rid of the whole concept of publicly ranking players and rewarding prizes based on ranking altogether. I mean, I can't claim to personally be sad about that, considering that I never really cared about ranked, but presumably there are people who do? Wonder how they're feeling about this...

Instead Bioware will introduce a PvP season track similar to the way Galactic Seasons work, where you "level up" through PvP and earn rewards within a limited time frame. I'm not really sure how I feel about that. Galactic Seasons have quickly grown on me, but I'm also quite content with having breaks between them. I'm not sure I really want another bar to fill for rewards running at the same time? I guess we'll see how compelling this turns out to be.

Other PvP changes included with the update will mean no more PvP restrictions for non-subscribers, and separate queues for 8v8 warzones and 4v4 arenas. Now, while I consider this a welcome change, it also cracks me up in a way because when arenas were first introduced nine years ago, I was quite unhappy with the fact that they were mixed in with the "regular" 8v8 warzones and not a separate queue, but then I quickly came to the conclusion that I didn't really mind them too much. I mean, if given the choice I'll probably only queue for 8v8 from now on, unless I know it's quiet and arenas give me a better chance of getting a pop, in which case I'd be fine with queueing for both. It's just not a huge deal for me at this point.

Finally, they'll also retune PvP medals a bit because they consider some of them too easy to get at the moment, and they'll add a new arena located on Onderon that looks like it should provide a lot of opportunities to play hide and seek.

There was a short note about gearing changes, in that both the minium item level dropped from all sources as well as the maximum item level attainable from all sources (except R-4) will increase by four to six levels. I guess this is the belated opportunity for people to gear up for R-4 veteran mode without actually having to kill anything in R-4 veteran mode first, but I'm not sure how much of a difference it's going to make at this point.

The final major item was that they're continuing to make updates to the user interface. The most exciting thing they mentioned in this context was that they'll finally be adding a colour-blind mode! As Mr Commando is red-green colour-blind and has often complained about the challenges of seeing certain kinds of circle mechanics, that's great news.

They are also changing the map so that no part of a planet is ever fully hidden anymore even if you haven't explored it yet, but instead you can see all the terrain from the beginning and it's just kind of greyed out. I guess my tips for how to get the Galactic Explorer achievement will become a bit outdated whenever that goes live. You'll also be able to have a semi-transparent map up on screen all the time, which is fine but didn't seem that big a deal to me considering the current map already goes semi-transparent if you have it open and want to move. I remember that was hailed as a very useful feature at launch, since you could keep it open while moving around. But I guess the functionality is becoming more granular/customisable.

The deconstruct window is going to gain a delete section, which sounds just like an accident waiting to happen in my opinion. (Oh no, I just deleted all those things I meant to deconstruct!) However, apparently mass-delete is something people wanted? I can't say I've run into many situations where I had to delete a whole bunch of stuff at once. In fact the only one I can think of off the top of my head is when I opened a bunch of Alliance crates and got a lot of duplicate legacy armour pieces that I wanted to get rid of. Still, wouldn't it be better to come up with a workaround so we don't have to delete quite so much stuff instead of making it easier to delete a lot of things at once, e.g. by allowing more of them to be vendored for one credit? Just my own two centscredits on that one.

Finally on the UI front, they're unsticking a bunch of buttons from the mini map and instead letting you add them in a custom order to the top left or bottom right of your UI. I've got to admit that after just checking out the UI revamp in the latest World of Warcraft patch the other week the parallels to that game's pared-down mini map and tiny icons in the bottom right of the screen were striking. At least you should be able to increase the size of the things in SWTOR.

Last and (in my opinion) least, there are going to be some new rewards for Life Day and new Cartel Market items. Which is fine I guess, just not something I personally care about a great deal. I was just amazed that they featured someone with the job title of "Art Monetisation Director" on the stream as I figure that brandishing the word monetisation in front of players is a bit like waving a red flag in front of a bull. I hope he doesn't get any mean comments.

Anyway, it was a good stream overall, and they said that the PTS should go up soon, but I figure it's going to be a little while until we can actually play this update in the live game. While they proudly advertised it as "coming this winter" as if that's really soon, they don't have a good track record with releasing things in the run-up to Christmas (see the delay of Legacy of the Sith last year), so I personally wouldn't expect to see 7.2 until next year, either in late January or early February, even if that would mean that they'll have to split out the Life Day rewards to actually release them in time for the event.

P.S.: If you're reading this before November 16th, you can claim a free Colonel Gallo poster decoration for your stronghold by redeeming the code LotSGallore.


  1. I can see why they removed ranked PvP. The population base wasn't that big and it had to be a major headache trying to track and deal with various cheats, such as win-trading. I do feel that Swtor is slowly drifting into the niche of a casual-friendly MMO without a hardcore MMO gamer component. (That's neither good or bad.)

    I like the UI changes, as it is nice to see them continue to invest in the game engine and iterate on it. While I would like to see an update to the graphics engine or to 64-bit (for future proofing), I suspect those won't happen unless something forces their hands.

    1. Heh, I watched a bit of Xam Xam's 7.2 stream and I think you made a similar comment about the casualness there. It's funny because on some level I agree, and in fact think that SWTOR has been that way for many years, but then I look at something like R-4 and I can't say that doesn't feel like Bioware courting the hardcore...

    2. Yes, I did make that comment on Xam's stream. ^_^ I was a bit of tongue-in-cheek, but there's a nugget of truth there.

      I think they are trying to appeal to the hardcore in Ops as that type of endgame content is one of the signal features of an MMO. It's just it now feels that's the only place they are still trying to appeal to the hardcore. :/ (There's also the issue of less support costs with PvE players vs having to police the Ranked PvP players.) Unfortunately with so few Ops coming out over time, that appeal is pretty lowkey, at the moment.

  2. I may need to eat a hat or something. I have been really skeptical of this studio since the "there is no way a sane human would call that an expansion" expansion that was LoTS. However, by the end of the year they may actually have delivered on their promise of delivering a full expansion piecemeal during 2022.

    1. I still have "faith" in them in the sense that I think whatever happened with 7.0 was that something went very wrong in an unexpected way. The theory that higher-ups suddenly pulled off a large number of staff to work on the new Dragon Age game sounded plausible to me, but since there was never any sort of official statement, we can't know for sure. I can completely understand why their silence on the widespread disappointment with 7.0 was seen as off-putting by many.

      This preview does give me hope that they might have recovered from the worst of whatever happened and things might improve again in the near future. But then I'm very biased in their favour as I still love the game and want it to do well. 🙂


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