Rawr....*Strange Wookie Sounds*, the typical noise produced by Wookies. But it, such as the planet of Kashyyyk and many a Wookie are missing from The Old Republic. Since the release of Knights of The Old Republic fans have been awaiting the arrival of the forested planet of Kashyyyk. It's 2018 now and SWTOR is reaching it's 7th birthday, so where is Kashyyyk. Why still haven't we seen what so many fans have been waiting for? The same was said bout the planet Manaan until it was just dropped into the game, wanted but poorly realised. SWTOR has suffered quite a rough journey over the last few years. Since the release of the planet Manaan players have been disappointed with the directions and decisions made at BioWare. As acclaimed author H.G Wells write in his book the Time Machine, the future is now, and the future of SWTOR is looking very bright indeed.
5.10 is just around the corner, set to release in early December 2018, the interlude to greater things to come. A renewed focus on traditional Star Wars values, the battle between light, dark, Empire and Republic. After extensive exploration and analysis of 5.10 on the Public Test Server, I can be confident now more than ever that the recent changes made at BioWare are starting to become more visible. With increased texture quality and lighting. Unique new terrains, voice lines and game play changes. The implementation of such a loved planet as Kashyyyk couldn't come at such a better time. During previous years and the failures of Manaan, Kashyyyk could have meant the death of The Old Republic. Adding Kashyyyk, albeit still risky has a much higher potential yield for BioWare than before. The successful implementation of Kashyyyk could completely revitalise SWTOR and bring it back to its glory days. We have seen that BioWare is capable once again of great things. One major issue facing such a different and unique forest landscape is the large number of new assets and dialog needed. A concept already seen implemented on the new planet Ossus, albeit at a smaller scale.
Although, nothing less than ambitious can be said for BioWare's new goals, and Kashyyyk would have it's payoffs. Bringing back fans of Knights of The Old Republic, as well as hardcore MMO players with the new endgame content. Imagine a Kashyyyk operation, a Wookie or another ancient long forgotten foe than wanders the shadowlands. Despite consisting of a planet full of trees, it is nothing short of diverse and varied. With many levels and densities, shadowy depths and high tree villages.
The new direction at BioWare also comes with as mentioned earlier a return to traditional Star Wars storytelling, light vs dark. The planet of Kashyyyk doesn't fall short of fitting into this story concept, from the slave trade to creatures that feed from dark side energy. We would see rich new possibilities, a fight for domination of the planet or freedom for the Wookies. Will you enslave the Wookies once again or will you fight for their freedom. Such a focus doesn't also have to restrict to two factions, allowing third parties, such as Czerka Corporation to return. Other games, such as Mass Effect offer this, where your actions towards civilisations can lead towards friend or foe. In the upcoming war between the two mighty factions a Wookie alliance could be an incredible asset or a dangerous enemy. A similar concept as seen during the KotFE/KotET expansions, yet on a much larger scale. Stepping back from story components, the topography and unique landscape alone could increase the popularity of the game. Offering a playground that has not yet been explored. Who wouldn't want to wander around a dark, mysterious and foreboding forest. Additional content such as Datacrons and collectables can be used in unique new ways. Using the terrain to allowed a different type of exploration and movement.
I've never been a huge supporter of the Cartel Market and it's insidious ways of withdrawing money from the players pockets. Due to this a larger focus could be placed on world drops, giving reason to explore and hunt. Not just for trivial items to sell as trash but trophies and rare items that create a market outside of this. It would be a momentous and difficult task, not to mention the voice acting requirements. BioWare seems to be aiming for the stars, and Kashyyyk could offer nothing less than a once in a lifetime opportunity to completely revitalise this almost 7 year old game.