Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Old Republic Expansion

The Old Republic is releasing a mini-expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel. It costs $10 for subscribers, and $20 for non-subscribers.  It has 5 levels and a new planet.

Sadly, the class stories are not continued, with only two storylines, Empire and Republic being offered.

The real question, in my mind, is how will this mini-expansion interact with the current endgame. TOR has built up a fair chunk of PvE endgame by now, and I can't imagine that this small piece of content can totally replace that.  At best, I expect one or two flashpoints, and one operation. That doesn't sound like enough.

Maybe the power curve will be very flat, allowing the current endgame, or at least the latest two operations to stay relevant.

Still, this will be an interesting experiment.

9 comments:

Coreus said...

I get a strong feeling that these guys are just under an enormous amount of pressure to produce something with less regard to whether they really should.

I love SWTOR and find it hard not to wonder what the game might look like today had the developer's expectations been more in line with reality, or vice versa.

Anonymous said...

i can not back it up now, but I read somewhere that the current operations and endgame flashpoints will be buffed up to match the 5-level-difference

So it's basically just a little addition story-wise and leveling wise, with a little more pve content. not too bad I think, since you don't lose what is already there.

RJ said...

Why wouldn't it replace all of the current end-game? It's not like WoW still keeps it's old end-game stuff relevant after a 5-level expansion. And so much of the daily stuff was bolted on afterwards over time, so I could see the same thing happening with this expansion: Maybe one L55 daily zone at launch, with a few more bolted on as they add new raids.


Anyway, a comment on the forums suggested that the current end-game loot would carry one through to the new end-game. And given how the game currently gives you almost a full set of Tionese gear just for hitting L50, I do imagine that any levelling loot given during this planet will probably end up with players reaching maybe a little higher then Columni. So yeah, it likely will be fairly flat in terms of advancement.

Rohan said...

The bigger issue, more than operations, are the flashpoints. A normal expansion usually has 5 or more flashpoints/dungeons. That gives enough variety, even if there is only one raid tier.

I don't really see this expansion having more than one or two flashpoints, and that's not enough to sustain an endgame.

RJ said...

Given the way TOR handles it's flashpoints, there's no reason for a new batch to be tied to the one new planet, to be fair.

Rohan said...

Right, but the new flashpoints still have to be created. I don't think they have enough time/resources/scope to deliver the 5 new flashpoints necessary for a new endgame.

Also, don't forget one of the original knocks against TOR was that there was nothing to do at endgame. There's a possibility that situation will repeat itself with this mini-expansion.

Sol said...

If they bump the endgame content up, that forces all non-subscribers to shell out cash to play FP/Raids (which they already need to buy access to). So it could be an exercise to try to boost the subscription rate.

Green Armadillo said...

LOTRO has had this problem for a number of years now due to smaller expansions that look a lot like Makeb. Part of the slack just does not get picked up (i.e. I'd argue that LOTRO is not a great game to be a group player when viewed in terms of content), but beyond that the game relies heavily on content that scales with level.

It's also worth noting that SWTOR has six low-to-mid level flashpoints that I have never set foot in because they are not available as max level hard modes. That is presumably an untapped (if finite) resource for precisely this sort of occasion.

Redbeard said...

From what I recall, they were going to have a planet's worth of addendum to the class stories --about five quests per class-- which translates into about 40 new class quests total.