7.5 Dev Stream Highlights

Yesterday it was time for another SWTOR dev stream, hurrah! As usual, this is not the place to find all the details about everything that was said, but rather a summary of what I thought were the most important points, with my own opinions sprinkled on top. If you're looking for something more comprehensive and less editorial, let me point you towards one of the sites below instead:

Now, on to my own thoughts...

7.5 Story "Desperate Defiance" on Hutta

We got a little more detail about the next story update coming with 7.5, without really getting into spoilers. As previously established, it will take place on Hutta where we'll be interacting with a number of new characters. My favourite of these was a Hutt called Yusinduu with a cool new look.

Again, without really going into spoilers, they said that Sa'har will follow up on what was said at the end of the 7.4 story, and apparently how we respond to her will have an impact on her development going forward - curious to see what that means.

My only slight disappointment was hearing that the new area on Hutta won't contain a new daily area or anything. It's not so much that I'm particularly dying to have a daily area in every patch, but it kind of sounds like there's literally nothing there other than whatever you do for the main storyline, which sounds kind of wasteful to me if true. We'll see I guess.

Graphical Updates for Hutta

They'll use the addition of the new area on Hutta as an opportunity to also give the planet as a whole a graphical update, which sounded good to me. I mentioned it in the past when they made similar changes on a smaller scale on Tython and Korriban.

The only thing that threw me for a bit of a loop was how utterly different the skybox looked in the footage with the updated graphics. Hutta's sky is currently dominated by yellow clouds that cause the whole planet to be basked in a yellow-ish hue, while the updated version seems to feature a uniform grey cloud cover that looked like it strongly changes the vibe. I don't know how I feel about that yet. If you like the yellow, go and take some screenshots while it lasts I guess!

Below you can see before and after shots of the sky over Jiguuna that I took in the live game and on the PTS. I'll admit the change didn't feel as drastic in game as it looks in the screenshots and the new version is definitely much crisper and more detailed.

I'm curious whether this update will also affect the Karagga's Palace operation, since it is also set on Hutta so might be sharing some assets (but I can't be bothered to check that out on the PTS).

Dantooine Spring Event 

We currently have Nar Shaddaa Night Life in summer (which will start on the 9th of July this year by the way), the Feast of Prosperity in autumn and Life Day in winter, so there was a gap in the calendar that the SWTOR team wanted to fill with this new event. It's going to be full of chill activities like growing crops, dancing around the Star Wars equivalent of a May pole, hunting for eggs (random Easter vibes?), looking after animals, baking and eating pies, and finally... fishing. Yes, after more than twelve years, SWTOR finally gets its own version of fishing!

I don't know, I can't claim to think that this was something that was desperately needed, but I've enjoyed it in other MMOs that have it as an activity, even when it worked in very different ways. The appropriately Star Wars twist on it is that you basically make a little probe droid do the work for you, the notion of which amuses me greatly.

A female twi'lek bounty hunter sitting by a pond that has a probe droid and two green circles hovering over its surface

Yes, I actually logged into the PTS to check this out.

I think this sounds like a lot of wholesome fun and I look forward to experiencing it in full once the event goes live.

Our Own Little Basilisk Companion

Another thing that will happen in 7.5 is that Lane Vizla finally manages to fix that little basilisk from Ruhnuk and it will become our companion - a proper one that fights and everything, not just a non-combat pet. It'll be called B3-S1 or "Bessie" for short. However, there'll be a twist, as we'll have to train the little bugger to truly make it ours, which will involve something called "ventures" and will require you to take Bessie out to do dailies over the course of a longer period of time. I have to admit my initial reaction to this were somewhat mixed feelings.

On the one hand: new companion that we actually have to work for and build a relationship with! Yes! I'm 100% on board with that concept, and we haven't really seen anything like this since the release of HK-51.

However, from the way it was described, I'm not sure why we need a new "feature" with a new UI just for this instead of it simply being a quest chain or tied to an achievement, because it doesn't sound that dramatically different from anything already in the game. In fact, it sounds a lot like yet another way of making us go back to old daily areas, which makes me somewhat less happy. Also, I'm waiting for clarification on whether there's going to be an option to just unlock Bessie for your alts via the legacy system after you've jumped through all the required hoops the first time.

PvP Season 6

This was a bit of a weird one. First off, they announced that they'll be changing the launch timing of PvP seasons and have them more regularly start alongside the big patches. I'm in favour of that in so far as it should avoid some of the weird overlap issues that have been occurring with Galactic Seasons sometimes, assuming that those will continue to go live on the x.1 patches between the major ones.

However, then the devs also said that they wanted to make PvP seasons longer to give people more time to complete them, which sounded fine enough to me, but then they also want to add extra levels and make each level require more points... someone on the forums immediately did the maths and it sounds like you will still need to play pretty much just as many matches each week as before, only for more weeks, which doesn't really sound like an improvement.

Also, they talked about adding warzone medpacks and adrenals as rewards for the extra levels, which made every PvPer go "what?" - you already get more of these through normal gameplay than you could possibly use (because of their internal cooldown, you literally earn them faster than you can click them), and every character that does PvP already has hundreds if not thousands of these. That just seemed... odd. I hope they'll review that particular plan based on people's feedback.

What Now?

There isn't an official launch date for 7.5 yet, but we're probably looking at a late May/early June release.

The Public Test Server is up and you can check out the graphics updates, the spring event and some of the "venture" stuff there if you like (no story content though).

The reward code they gave out during the stream this time was "MalgusWhen", which grants a Darth Malgus in-game poster decoration - if you don't already have it, because unfortunately this one's a repeat of a reward they handed out previously. If, like me, you already had it, you can still enter the code and it will say that you successfully claimed it, but you'll get nothing. It's valid until May 16th.

Speaking of things that are valid until May 16th - in order to celebrate Star Wars Day, there's also some other goodies available. Logging in between now and then will grant you another floating cube droid non-combat pet, there's double XP going on, a Cartel Market sale, and a 50% off Collections sale. Enjoy!


  1. Hutta not being yellow anymore... is this still my SWTOR? ^^

  2. Will baking pies give tech frags? Will the fishing rod be moddable with new Zeek mods unlockable after catching the champion fish...? Fingers crossed...


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