Star Wars: The Old Republic will celebrate its 10th anniversary in December, and it’s hard to imagine a better way for the MMORPG to celebrate that milestone than with the release of a new expansion pack. Star Wars: The Old Republic announced this sixth expansion, Legacy of the Sith, in July, but has now been given an official release date of December 14th – just a week before the 20th anniversary.
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In addition to delivering more chapters of the high-quality dynamic storytelling BioWare is known for, Legacy of the Sith is changing the Old Republic paradigm with new systems, character creation and gear progression. Game Rant was invited to a special press release where he got a first look at some of the locations, characters, challenges and systems that await players in just a few weeks.
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The Old Republic: Legacy of the Sith will take players to at least three new locations; some players will recognize it and others have never been seen before. Most of the story will take place on the ocean planet Manaan. Longtime Star Wars fans will recognize Manaan from the previous setting of the Shadow of Revan expansion, player strongholds and even earlier from Knights of the Old Republic. The catfish-like homeworld of Selkath is known for its natural supply of kolto – a valuable liquid substance used for medicinal purposes.
Although Manaan is known for his neutrality, Legacy of the Sith sees the Sith Empire trying to conquer Manaan so they can deprive the Republic of its supply of kolto. Under the direction of the draconian Darth Norok, a logistically minded Sith Lord who has never missed a lightsaber duel, the Empire invaded the ocean world, creating protected underwater bunkers to extract the precious material for itself.
The Republic characters will team up with Tau Idair and Arn Peralun, two characters introduced in the Onslaught expansion, to convince the tough-as-nails selkath Colonel Gallo that the Republic just wants to help them drive the Empire out of their world. Players can expect to see other familiar faces as well, such as collected Lana Beniko and outspoken Major Anri, as well as many new characters in the Old Republic.
Star Wars: The Old Republic plans to expand Manaan in future patches after the arrival of Legacy of the Sith. Sometime after the new year, a new endgame area will be added to Manaan, where players can participate in repeatable quests to earn new gear and equipment.
Flashpoints and operations
Eventually, Empire and Republic characters will be taken to the world of Elon; a planet mentioned earlier in the extensive Star Wars myths but never shown. They come to the mountainous planet in search of Darth Malgus – renegade Sith Lord and poster boy for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Malgus is looking for something in the ruins of a forgotten Sith Lord named Darth Null. The Republic sent science teams to investigate the ruins, while the Emperor’s liaison, Darth Rivix, sent extermination squads to exterminate the Republic and Malgus. Neither of them returned. Players will follow these teams and discover their destinies, thwart the opposing faction’s plans and prevent Malgus from achieving his goals.
Separated from the main story in Legacy of the Sith is the R-4 Anomaly, the new operation similar to an attack of the expansion. A continuation of the story of the Nature of Progress Operation from Onslaught, the R-4 Anomaly takes players to a secret Imperial research station that has been abandoned by the Empire and taken over by a dissident Sith cult known as Unmasked. While the exact challenges awaiting players in Operation are unknown, one look at the station – with its red and violet glows and weird, root-grown appendages – is enough to know that SWTOR is leaning towards space horror with this Operation .
The story that began in the Onslaught expansion and continues into Legacy of the Sith is a refreshing return to form. Star Wars: The Old Republic was built on the struggle between the Empire and the Republic, and while the Eternal Empire storyline is excellent, many will be happy to see that classic fighting is still front and center in SWTOR’s next release.
In addition to the continuation of the story, The Old Republic is implementing several new systems that will change the way players play. Character creation is undergoing a major overhaul, both in the UI and in character choice. Previously, each character class story had only two advanced classes, which influenced the type of weapon they used and how they fought. The characters made after Legacy of the Sith will choose one of eight source stories – the class and voice stories used by the characters – and their combat style, allowing players to customize the weapons, devices, lightsaber shapes and force powers they have access to regardless of the story. .
Tech-using classes will be able to choose from any of the eight combat styles previously available as advanced classes for the four blaster classes in the game. This means that a Bounty Hunter could use a sniper rifle previously available only to the Imperial Agent, or a Republic Soldier could wield blasters like the Gunslinger or Mercenary advanced classes did.
Classes that use force will initially be limited to the four light side or dark side combat styles, but may eventually unlock the ability to use dark side combat styles for Jedi characters and vice versa. Unfortunately, existing characters will be stuck with the combat style of their current advanced classes, but The Old Republic is giving subscribers the ability to choose a second combat style in Legacy of the Sith for the first time, and existing characters will be able to choose their new style from all those available to them.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is also shifting to a vertical gear progression style in Legacy of the Sith. Most of the RNG elements for item discards are being completely removed. Instead of equipment, players will collect coins that can be exchanged for equipment or consumable items that upgrade their lower-level pieces of equipment. This will allow players to gather more powerful gear in a more predictable and controllable way, and are more likely to be rewarded for their time and efforts.
Despite being an old MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic is still alive and well. The developers are aware of the game’s limitations and are trying to update it to a new generation of games. With nearly 200,000 active players, the game is still very active, and the exciting new story and systems that come with Legacy of the Sith will surely bring many new players into the game, while enticing old players to come back and see what has changed.
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