Saturday, July 03, 2021

The Old Republic: Legacy of the Sith Announced

SWTOR has announced it's latest expansion, Legacy of the Sith, coming at the end of the year. It also kicks off the 10th anniversary celebrations of the MMO, which seems to be mostly flying under the radar these days.

Legacy of the Sith has the standard SWTOR expansion features: a new planet, some new instances, 5 new levels, and a new raid or operation.

However, the big announcement is that Bioware has managed to separate mechanical classes from stories. Apparently starting from Legacy of the Sith, you will first pick a story, and then pick a class to use. The classes are separated into Force and Tech, but you can use any Force class for any Force story.

So for example, you could play the Jedi Knight story with the Inquisitor theming and mechanics. I imagine it will make more sense with the Tech classes. For example, a Sniper in the Republic Trooper story does seem reasonable.

Bioware has also been vague about this, but they're hinting that you can switch classes on one character. Maybe you can take your Sniper and switch to Commando. Shades of FFXIV's character and class situation. This isn't confirmed yet, but it's certainly possible. All the work that went into separating out class and story might have been enough to make switching classes easy from a technical perspective.

Finally, the other interesting possibility is that Bioware can now introduce new mechanical classes. Before, any new class would require a new 1-50 class story, with all the requisite cutscenes and voice acting. But now a new class could just attach to the existing stories.

In any case, it looks interesting, so we'll see what future reveals bring.


  1. Interestingly, they went with a small difference between Force and Tech classes. On the Force side you'll need the appropriate Dark/Light side alignment to switch. On the Tech side you can just switch. I actually like the restriction on the Force users as that's thematically appropriate.

    From the stream, they did describe Combat Styles as basically Advanced Classes, so unless things change we'll be able to swap. Which has lead to the speculation that the new group meta will be forcing everyone to swap (or trying to) to a stealth class to avoid trash in flashpoints and operations. It could also make for some funny PvP matches if everyone or almost everyone is able to be a stealther.

    1. Honestly, I kind of feel like the Force Restrictions will be dropped between now and release. The thing is that people like playing a Light Side Warrior or a Dark Side Jedi Knight. So you have to be able to play a Light Side Juggernaut, for example. So that means that Bioware will have to put in an exception for your first Combat Style, so you can play it as either Light or Dark.

      So that sets up something weird, where if you start as a Light Side Juggernaut, you have access to 5 styles (Juggernaut, Sentinel, Guardian, Sage, Shadow). But if you start as a Dark Side Juggernaut, you only have 4 (Juggernaut, Marauder, Sorceror, Assassin). (And if you're neutral, you have access to all 8?)

      Basically I don't think the benefit is worth the added complexity.

    2. To be far, this may be a LucasArts restriction, not a Bioware one. We'll see.

      What I suspect will happen is that you'll need to get into the opposite side (Light 1 for a Warrior, Dark 1 for a Knight) to open up all eight Combat Styles. Given you can currently have Dark Side Knights, for example, using the normal Jedi powers I can't see Bioware taking that away from people. I wouldn't be surprised to see Force Users always having access to their base classes' initial Advance Classes regardless of Dark/Light side, but that everything else would be choice based. Messy, but how else are you going to grandfather in existing choices?

    3. Yeah, I wouldn't expect it to be that complicated. I would think that all Imperial Force users get access too all Imperial Force ACs by default and vice versa for Republic, and then you unlock access to the other faction's ACs by going against your own faction's "default" good/evil stance (without losing access to your own faction's defaults). But we'll have to wait for Bioware to confirm the details.

    4. Shintar, that would mean LS Imp has access to 8 styles, but a DS Imp only has access to 4. I think that doesn't seem balanced, and we'll end up with complaints that Bioware is pushing opposite-side play.

      Also, the way I understand what Bioware is saying, I think you can *start* the Warrior story as a Sage. If you then go Dark Side for the story, would that lock you out of your initial Sage class if you ever switched to anything else?

    5. I don't think it'd be unbalanced as it'd be the same for both factions and it's purely a cosmetic thing. You'll still have access to all the different play style options that exist on each faction right now.

      And no, you wouldn't be able to start a warrior as a Sage. The exact quote was: "You can't be making a level 1 Jedi Knight and immediately be shooting Force lightning; that wouldn't make sense."

    6. Oh, I must have missed that. If Force classes have to start as one of the faction classes, that would clean up a lot of the problems. I wonder if Tech will have that same restriction.