It's that time again, 5.10 is just around the corner and it's jam packed with content. Unlike recent expansions 5.10 offers a quality of content and size not seen since 2013 with Rise of The Hutt Cartel. Considering the number of expansions released and the highly negative and questionable press associated with the team at BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic this is monumental. Failure after failure became commonplace, fans were treated with their favourite companions being removed, entire systems being uplifted and changed, and an approach to story that stepped far from the realm of star wars and into dangerous murky waters. One of the biggest issues faced by SW:TOR was a dwindling community, the negativity and failure became too much for a large number of the community, leaving just a small player base behind. When the final expansion was released, Knights of The Eternal Throne, it felt like another day, regular place in the community.
The name Ben Irving spread like wildfire, the man in charge of the ship, the leader of this downwards spiral. By no means the game was dead, but these days were rapidly approaching. It looked like nothing was left for SW:TOR, the developers were unresponsive, with their only focus on rolling in what little money the MMO could still make. A saving grace for SW:TOR however was it's universe, Star Wars. That giant galaxy, full of alien life, mystical force wielders and a fan base unparalleled. Without it the game would have been mere dust by now, a forgotten relic of a bygone era, similar to that of Star Wars Galaxies. However unlike Galaxies, SW:TOR exists in a time of renewed Star Wars life, from blockbuster movies to comics, video games and an ever growing online fan base of new and old users. Skeleton Crew is the common used when describing the developers at SW:TOR these days, or it was. A small group of people left behind to keep the lights on, and that’s what SW:TOR truly felt like, just keeping the lights on, not bright but dim and faint.
Not too long ago did a speck of hope drift through the studio, in the form of Leadership change, a new captain at the helm. Going by the name of Keith Kanneg, little did we know that as the force regenerates so would the community and hope. In early 2017 we were given a new Road Map, development guide and platform to help us as a community understand the inner workings of the studio. It was full of dreary content, things not many people cared about. It was however, a start of better things. A new age of transparency, and a broader focus. We were met with the first new operation, God From The Machine. A move that breathed light into the end game experience, with new bosses and difficulties coming shortly. Sure, in the grand scheme of things this was just a small little stone in the expanding path. It’s not until news of 5.10 set to release during December did we really get to feel that giddiness, level of excitement and joy so common to the Star Wars scene. Something unfamiliar to SW:TOR since it’s release in 2011. You may be wondering, with such a dried up old corpse what could possibly be left for SW:TOR, what could 5.10 offer that uplifts this game and return it to it’s high standards and player base as seen at launch?
5.10 offers us an expanse of content, a new planet rich in it’s own unique models and terrain. This is rather exciting, yet just a mere speck of things to come. The most anticipated and biggest sign of hope for the studio is the return to traditional Star Wars storytelling, the conflict between light and dark, Empire and the Republic. Beyond this, we’re given more than just story, but a wealth of new game play features and content. Quality of life improvements and much needed bug fixes, such as the changes to the Guild System and decrease in Flagship base cost, from 50 Million to 8 Million. An increase in the level cap, from 70 to 75 and expanded crew skills. Furthermore 5.10 seeks to be truly remarkable and branch back out to other parts of the gaming community, such as hard core MMO players. An example of this varied new content is new datacrons, lore objects, world bosses, collectables, rare loot drops and not to forget, a ton of secrets and Easter eggs to find. Unlike the streamlined Flashpoint storytelling given to us previously we are set to forge our own story once again, to create our destiny and place among the stars.
5.10 is just the beginning, as traditional to values at the studio they like to drop subtle hints to future content and secrets, and this time it’s a big one. Only time will tell whether this update is the first big step forwards or another step backwards. I however hold hope, a concept usually foreign to me. Once the content releases and the rest of the community gets to witness the magic I have witnessed, the excitement will only grow and the anticipation and giddiness will drive us forwards, bringing back the much needed large player base
As a very strong teaser to the bright future and content of SW:TOR, I leave you this image.
- New storyline based on the rivalry between Sith and Jedi
- New Planet and Daily Area
- Nightmare Mode Gods From The Machine
- Tier 5 Gear
- Guild Improvements
- - Systems: Progression, Heraldry, PvP Challenges, and Conquest
- - Management: Guild Inspect, Logging, Mail, Ban by Legacy
- Companion Returns: Doc, Nadia, DS Jaesa
- New Planetary World Bosses
- 3 New Datacrons, Ossus
- A detailed secret quest chain, not discussed by BioWare.