Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Upcoming Changes to SWTOR

Amid all the angst over The Old Republic's performance (or lack thereof), there were a couple of interesting tidbits about future developments.

Level Cap Increase

This is interesting because Bioware did not announce an formal expansion, which is the traditional place where the level cap gets increased. So it's very speculative as to what exactly Bioware means by increasing the level cap and what are the ramifications for existing endgame content.

One thought I had is what if it is a very small increase, only one or two levels. So the new level cap could be 52 instead of 50. That would mean that end game content is still valid for capped characters. But increasing character level is a valid way of gaining power, not just getting new gear.

But maybe Bioware is going for a mini-expansion, like DLC. This would be an interesting turn of events, especially if it came with some amount of paid time.

A Dungeon Without Combat

In an interview with Massively, Daniel Erickson tosses out that in the pipeline there is "a new dungeon that basically is an adventure game with no combat".

That sounds particularly intriguing. I wonder what it will be like, what it will include to encourage replayability. Puzzles? Conversations? Will there be randomness?

I think its good to see Bioware continuing to change things up, to try out new ideas. Hopefully, subscriptions will stabilize for them, and The Old Republic will continue improving.

8 comments:

Redbeard said...

I wonder if the "dungeon without combat" will be like some of the single player areas in Age of Conan. If you're a rogue type, you were often best served stealthing around and stealing what you needed to get.

Coreus said...

I remember this one time I made an MMO and it only got three million subscribers. :(

More like three million idiots. Why would they waste their time on such an unpopular game?

Ted A. said...

I'll try to find a source, but the cap is being increased to 65.

They also didn't annouce just how quickly these features would be added. The level cap increase might be a ways off. Patch 1.3 (Group Finder) just went to the PTS (public test server).

Rohan said...

Cap increase from 50 to 65? That sounds like a huge jump.

Maybe 55 at the outside, but I can't see Bioware delivering 15 levels worth of content.

Ted A. said...

Okay. I see what I did. The F2P trial is level 15. I thought the new cap was raising 15. My mistake.

This source :http://dulfy.net/2012/06/04/swtor-e3-announcement-new-level-cap-news-species-new-ops-etc-coming-this-year/ says the new level cap is 55.

Ry said...

@Coreus I'm just curious what standard do you use to measure popularity? And which game are you talking about?
Wow gained 1mil users after 12 months, SWTOR is down at 1.3mil after only 6 months. Will it stabilize? We will see. Eve is celebrating 9 yrs and is at only 343 k subs. What is the benchmark you are using just so we can know where you are coming from.
EA stated it needs 800k subs to turn a profit, so at 1.3mil that Is 500k subs in the black for an estimated total of $7.5 mil profit monthly. That is nothing to sneeze at. Based on what info I could find SWTOR is tied for 3rd for subscribers right now in the MMO world with some of the more popular ones out there. But right now I am searching on my phone and my Net searching is a bit limited. http://www.alteredgamer.com/pc-gaming/35992-mmo-subscriber-populations/
Personal feelings aside SWTOR has numbers to keep its door open and with developers like 38 studios closing after making a game like Amalur which got some critical acclaim, it will be interesting to see where this all goes

Bearness said...

I don't think I've ever seen a level increase in MMORPG without an expansion pack. I'm not sure if that's a good idea unless they're providing significant amount of new land and dungeons. And if so, why not just make it into an expansion, unless they like providing stuff for free? Pretty curious to see how that works out.

neowolf2 said...

Ry: it is likely that SWTOR has continued to lose subs, if server activity plots are any indication.