So over the last few days the news broke, after an initial leak, that there’s a new expansion coming to Star Wars The Old Republic: Fallen Empire. I’m a bit surprised in terms of the suggested scope of this announcement. The expansion will raise the game’s level cap from 60 to 65, nothing unusual there, but it will add nine chapters of new story. For comparison the original game launched with four chapters per class story. They plan on adding new chapters monthly starting in early 2016 for an undisclosed period.
The announcement speaks of returning to a story focus and also of some kind of faction merge or removal of faction barriers. That sounds a bit like what Trion did with Rift post launch – allowing players of the two in-game factions to play together for PVE and PVP content to maximise grouping opportunities over any lore-driven divide. Details are lacking on the nature of the faction merge for now, will it be post level 60 only or from any level?
The move to one faction, the so-called Outlander storyline, will shake up the game for sure but it may also leave the leveling content in a rather awkward place. Like expansions in World of Warcraft or the Living Story in Guild Wars 2; new content in a MMORPG can mesh pretty badly with older content.
I’m not ready to return to SWTOR just yet, too many other games to focus on. This significant expansion certainly has the game back on my radar again, but I want to see more details of just what the developers mean by the ‘eight class stories’. If I do return to the game I’d have to seriously think about whether to continue with my level 51 Jedi Sage, a character I’ve invested a good amount of playtime in. The expansion will come with the option of creating a level 60 character (or boosting an existing one perhaps) so I may want to take the level 60 character option as a chance to try something different. That’s quite a quandary!
[Update: the level 60 character options have been clarified. You’ll get to create a new character at level 60 but not to boost an existing one.]