7.2.1 PTS News - New Credit Sinks and More Seasons

While I was walking home from work on Thursday, I found myself thinking about SWTOR. Specifically, I was thinking about how it had been almost three months since the last patch and how we still had no clue what was going to even be in the next one, never mind when it would land. Life as a SWTOR player is certainly very hand-to-mouth nowadays. Anyway, I figured that surely Bioware would have to give us some kind of hint about what's coming up next soon, and what do you know, I came home to a whole news post about the 7.2.1 PTS going up and what to expect there.

First off, they're continuing testing of their new 64-bit client. I'm quite curious about that, but I've been suffering from a lack of disk space for months, so downloading a second SWTOR client is currently a no-go for me. I'm not tech savvy enough to know what exactly having a 64-bit client would mean for the average player, but someone whom I trust to know these things better than me explained it to me as basically allowing your PC to cache more information so that you might end up with shorter loading screens in places. That sounds like a good thing, though perhaps not that exciting for the average player.

Next up, Bioware are planning to combat inflation by adding some more everyday credit sinks in the form of adding costs to quick and stronghold travel. Naturally this has players on the forums up in arms, because as much as people love to complain about in-game inflation, they love to complain about measures to counter inflation even more. Personally I think it sounds like a great idea, even if the thought of adding a cost to something that was free for more than a decade seems a bit weird at first. However, I figure it's going to be just like planetary travel, a small thing you don't even notice after a while but that slowly removes some credits from the economy. I do think the suggestion I saw repeatedly to not start this at level one is a good one, as you don't want to make life too hard for genuinely new players. Plus veterans who like to hop to their stronghold immediately after character creation to sort out their inventory and maybe get some gear for their newest alt (guilty) shouldn't be prevented from doing so just for the sake of charging them a few credits right there and then.

What kind of shocked me about the news post was that it stated that 7.2.1 is also meant to include the launch of both Galactic Season 4 and PvP Season 2. With both current seasons scheduled to end at the start of March, and assuming maybe a month of turnaround from the PTS to live, that would mean no more than a couple of weeks break between the end of one set of seasons and the start of the next set.

I have to admit I'm actually not really happy about that, because while I've enjoyed Galactic Seasons so far, pacing is an important part of that enjoyment: going all in for several months, and then getting to take a break for a while, during which I play less and recharge the batteries so to speak. If Galactic Season 4 in particular is already meant to start so soon, I'm a little worried that I won't really have the energy to invest in it the way I got excited about the previous two seasons in particular. I can see why Bioware would have an interest in not having too much of a "lull" between seasons as I'm sure they work pretty well at keeping players engaged between story updates, but I can't help but wonder whether pushing out more seasons too quickly isn't going to just cause people to get burned out or bored more quickly as well.


  1. Game Rant had a reasonable view of what the 64 bit upgrade might give us at 64-bit Upgrade Change Impact. Right now Swtor runs two processes that each use 2 GB of RAM. Having access to more RAM means the game could cache things like your legacy bank instead of having to ask the server for a copy of its content each time (this is possible example). The game artwork could get more detailed as the game could handle larger textures. They could upgrade the graphics engine to, say, DX11 to give more options for performance.

    The big thing to me is that you don't do this type of work if the game is in danger of being sunsetted. Not that external issues can't kill Swtor, but it is doing well enough to see this type of improvement is good to see. :) That said, I don't see the client being released in a month or so. There's still no trees on the PTS! They are dealing with updated tools to make some parts of the game so until everything that currently exists shows up on the PTS (I hope) I can't see them launching 7.2.1 soon.

    Which is good as I'm with you on having nice breaks between the seasons. I like having a couple of months between seasons just to be able to focus on other things. If seasons start happening back to back or really quickly I'm likely to stop trying to complete the tracks and achievements for them. I don't want season to be a never ending marathon.

    1. Thanks for the link! Looks interesting. Not having the whole game freeze for a whole second or longer every time I open my bank would certainly be useful.

      I don't know whether releasing the new client would necessarily have to be tied to the next patch, so I wouldn't take lack of progress on that front as evidence that it's still far away. Plus if they really want to have three or four PvP seasons per year (which I think was stated somewhere previously), they do kind of need to keep those coming at the very least. But I'd certainly appreciate more of a break myself.

    2. Going to 64-bit is one of those foundational things that can have a big impact or a small one depending on how much they use the changes available at the start. I suspect they'll be conservative to make sure the game basically runs as well as it does now. Then they can add in more things that are RAM hungry as they touch various areas.

      I do think the new client is tied into the next patch as they are liking developing those features on the 64-bit foundation. Having the new engine get released along side of new content gives them a bigger PR footprint. Though I could be totally wrong. :) I just think having things for players to do while they deal with the inevitable engine bugs and issues across their entire player base is a smart decision.

    3. My perpetual companion pathing problems will likely not be fixed by this, but a body can hope.

    4. Not sure how exactly you define companion pathing problems... they do like to bounce around in funny ways, but I haven't really heard anything about people having serious issues with it in years.

  2. I'm also not too enamoured by the concept of both seasons potentially starting so soon after the current ones end. I can kinda understand the next PvP season starting a few weeks after season 1, because if they truly are aiming for three a year (assuming each lasts 12 weeks, that's 36 weeks), there isn't much time they can afford to have as downtime.

    GS4 being on the horizon sooner than anticipated is definitely a concern. I was quite hoping that PvP season 2 would have most of its runtime independent of GS4, given how involving doing both undoubtedly is, but alas no.

    Now that I have completed my secondary goal of getting all my characters 336-rating equipment, I'm very much in a mind to take a break from engaging in much by way of meaningful gameplay until 7.2.1, since if we're looking at GS4 being one month away rather than three as I would have assumed, better to create the opportunity to take a decent break than to be caught out and unable to really get into GS4.

    I hope that this isn't going to be a recurring pattern. Committing 14+ weeks' worth of time to running the seasons objective mill is not something that I want to do more times than absolutely necessary.

    But hey, maybe 7.2.1 will be the new 7.1 and take two - three months to be ready.


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