7.3 Livestream Review

On Wednesday the Bioware team treated us to a livestream to preview what to expect from the next major patch, 7.3. It even started at a really good time for me! I've got to say I really like the way they run these streams nowadays. I still remember when these sorts of streams were always in the middle of the night for Europeans so that I rarely bothered to watch them, and even if I did watch the replay later, I didn't always find it very interesting. The current format is always entertaining to me though.

I was wondering a bit how things would shape up after Charles Boyd's departure since he was always such a great cheerleader for the game, but Musco and Jackie have continued to hold the fort just fine. There was a moment where Jackie completely stunned Musco by suddenly whipping out a fan that made me laugh out loud.

In terms of what was revealed about 7.3, as is my wont I won't be discussing every single thing here. If you want a full summary of the stream, Swtorista or Vulkk have got you covered as usual. This is more about sharing thoughts about the items that particularly interested me personally.

The main event of 7.3 is going to be a new story update and a new zone. I say "zone" because it's going to be an addition to an existing planet! The Interpreter's Retreat is going to be a new area on Voss, from the sounds of it similar to how the Black Hole was an addition to Corellia for example. I wasn't sure whether it was also meant to be a daily zone because they mentioned that it would feature Voss and Gormak working together and that we could steer them one way or another, which to me seemed to hint at another reputation to work on, but the zone's already gone up on the PTS and apparently it only contains regular missions.

There were some comments about how everyone should love this addition because Voss is many people's favourite planet, but I'm of course not one of them. In fact, when I did my ranking of all planets not long ago, Voss came in fifth from the bottom. However, I still liked this announcement because I always like getting new areas to explore, and it doesn't always have to be a whole new planet - adding to existing planets is fine too. While I'm not the biggest fan of Voss, it does make sense as a place to revisit since a lot has happened there since the base game's storylines.

Now, we didn't really get any information about what to expect of the new story in terms of length, but from the sounds of it, it should be decently chunky simply based on everything that's supposed to be in it. Under the title "Old Wounds" we'll primarily continue the Malgus storyline, but Shae and the Mandalorians are also going to show up, there'll be the aforementioned factions on Voss to deal with, and we'll also get an update on the "away team" we sent off to that mysterious planet quite some time ago now. They also showed a teaser clip of Tau facing off against Darth Rivix, so it sounds like there's a lot going on! I'm looking forward to it.

We'll also be getting a new flashpoint and apparently for the first time in forever it will not be part of the main storyline - Musco invited comparisons to Red Reaper. I tried to think back to when we last had a flashpoint like that, and at first I thought it must've been shortly before the introduction of solo modes for flashpoints, but actually the most recent example I could think of was Kuat Drive Yards, which was added in early 2014. Ever since then, flashpoints have always been used to drive the main storyline forward and wow, that's really been a while!

I've been trying to figure out what might have prompted this change and what difference it even makes - I guess it means they could justify not having any (significant) cut scenes in there? But then with the way they've been handling story in flashpoints since the end of KotET, the group version already had minimal to no cut scenes anyway, and I wouldn't think it makes a difference for the artists whether the cinematics they create for the solo story are set in the outdoor world or inside a phase? Honestly, I got nothing. Maybe I'll have some sort of epiphany when I actually see the result for myself. Either way, the new flashpoint will be called Shrine of Silence and will apparently feature an end boss that's going to look a bit like a plant-based Terror from Beyond.

I'm usually not that excited by the item previews they always do in these streams, but I've got to admit that some of the decorations they showed off looked really nice. I especially liked the giant tree and the Voss lanterns, which I always thought looked lovely.

In terms of systems changes, there'll be more updates to warzone medals - the changes they made with PvP season 1 made them a bit too hard to get sometimes and they're now slowly backtracking on that, while awarding medals for different achievements compared to the past. For example everyone's supposed to get attacker points in the future when the team manages to score in Huttball, which sounds nice.

They'll also continue their rollout of economic changes to battle inflation, which will include taxation of item and credit trades, but the thing that stood out to me the most was that their long-term plan is apparently meant to include a full revamp of the GTN and the addition of a buy order system, which honestly sounds pretty exciting! Still nothing about crew skills and crafting though...

We don't know when this patch will launch, but they already managed to push it onto the PTS mere days later. And while they mentioned on stream that Nar Shaddaa Nightlife is meant to start on July 11th and PvP season 3 on July 18th, they were also quick to add that neither of those are necessarily tied to the patch.

With 7.2 I think they actually launched the patch only five weeks or so after first unveiling it - if they can manage such a quick turnaround again, that would put the patch release into mid-June and would put us at a content cycle of about six months between major patches (with smaller ones in-between). We'll see whether that works out.

What was your favourite part of the 7.3 announcements?

EDIT: Almost forgot: if you didn't watch the stream but are reading this before May 18th, you can redeem the code LotsSahar to claim a free stronghold deco featuring Sa'har.


  1. I think my favorite part is that there was a 7.3 announcement. That they are delivering updates beyond just the Galactic and PvP seasons on a regular basis. We'll get story content and game content with the patch release which is good to see. While this isn't a six-month or year roadmap, it is better than silence or wondering if the dev team is at a maintenance mode level.

    Buy orders will be nice. I've liked that addition to Wow where you can place a buy order for gear, including things that would otherwise be bind-on-pickup to the crafter. Having a modernized GTN will be cool. I wouldn't be surprised to see crafting changes waiting on/being tied to the GTN changes. Tying crafting into the GTN buy order system seems like a reasonable thing.

    As a practical matter, the removal of daily resource matrices is a nice quality of life change for my alts. I mean, I like dailies/heroics, but not when they start to feel like a job. (Though this is more a forum extension of the 7.3 livestream.)

    1. Yes, I saw that announcement about no more daily comms and was quite excited. Might make a separate post about that at some point. I always thought it didn't fit with the whole "play any way you like" pitch for LotS that everyone also needed to do dailies on top of whatever else they were doing. Some people in my guild absolutely loathed having to do that - mostly the healer mains.

  2. RE The flashpoint change -- I was super excited to hear about this, and I think I understand the driving factor. Making flashpoints part of the main storyline in a way where progress is not just solo-able, but solo-required has actually been a blocker for some players.

    I have casual guildies who have been extremely frustrated by the required flashpoint-progression. Spirit of Vengeance and Ruins of Nul were particularly egregious offenders, and I have a couple guildies who are still unable to progress certain characters past SoV due to bugs. I have one guildie who waited 6 months before even attempting Nul due to the number of bug reports.

    So from a casual player perspective: the change is good because it prevents the flashpoint from becoming a story blocker. And from a dev perspective: it lets them 1) build the flashpoint with a little less concern for making it accessible to the most casual segment, and 2.) if they fail on QC, it's not "required" content for progression and they'll (maybe) take less flack for it.

    1. That's a good point I hadn't considered! Cut scenes aside, the nature of flashpoints enforces a certain structure with a minimum amount of trash pulls and boss fights. I can definitely see why some solo players would struggle with this even on solo mode. I'm not a fan of solo flashpoints myself because while I don't find them difficult, I do find the format tedious. Bioware's just been doing it this way for so long, it hadn't even occurred to me that there might still be gameplay concerns - but Ruins of Nul may indeed have brought these issues to the forefront again.

  3. There are some daily quests in the new area. Without spoiling too much, the closest thing to it is Mek-Sha, though I like Mek-Sha's repeatable content better.

    1. Interesting; it appears that I've been misinformed then! Either way it sounds like there's a lot of stuff to look forward to. 🙂


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