It’s 4am Wednesday 16th February. I’m sitting bleary eyed at my PC waiting for the latest update to Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) to install. Before I went to bed the previous night I’d seen tweets that Legacy Of The Sith should be available around 2am my time, but I slept in. It was for the best since the game didn’t come back up until 3am anyway. I’ve had a week with the update and I feel I’ve gotten a good handle on it.
Story-wise, Legacy Of The Sith introduces us to two new locations, the planets Manaan and Elom. The story content felt a little on the short side but not overly so. My first run through with my Republic Jedi Knight took me about 4 hours, exploring everywhere and killing everything. My second run on my stealth Imperial Sith Inquisitor (meaning I could stealth past most of the enemies) took me around 2.
In terms of the story content, Manaan felt out of place. It had no real impact in the on-going Malgus or Mandalorian storylines. While I enjoyed watching my companion Lana Beniko teasing straight-laced Jedi, nothing about it stood out. The Ruins Of Nul flashpoint had a much better story, following long term antagonist Malgus to the planet of Elom. I was surprised by the way it ended as well. No spoilers, though.
I was impressed with the second boss in the Ruins Of Nul flashpoint. A lot of the bosses in SWTOR tend to be some variation of the simple “don’t stand in the red” strategy. This one had some decent mechanics and you had to think about what you were doing.
Legacy Of The Sith changed quite a few other things as well. One of the biggest changes is Combat Styles. This lets players change their skill trees between battles with loadouts. It also separates the way you play from the story, allowing Force-wielding classes access to all the Force-based skill trees and tech-based classes the tech skill trees, even if they were previously only available to the opposing faction.
For existing characters you’re stuck with the original chosen class but you do get to choose another. My Jedi Knight was already a Sentinel, so I decided to pick up Sage, originally from the Jedi Consular. That allowed me to add a tank loadout to my Knight, as well as a stealth DPS loadout. I am a little disappointed that I wasn’t given the option to change from Sentinel as I would have really liked to create a healer loadout as well. Hopefully that will come at a later time.
There were also a couple of times I almost sold some gear that was needed for loadouts. When you change loadouts the gear that isn’t used is transferred into your inventory. This also means that if you’ve got significantly different loadouts you may not be able to change if your inventory is close to being full. You also can’t change loadouts if you’re queue for group content like flashpoints, operations or PvP. This one I understand. If you’re queueing for a particular role you need to stay in the role.
Legacy Of The Sith also changes how you earn end game gear. This has been communicated very well by Bioware so it’s not a surprise but I’m still not a fan. SWTOR has been using a system called Renown for end game gearing, where you can do virtually any content in the game and earn end game gear. Legacy Of The Sith does away with that for a more traditional gearing system where you have to do the hard mode operations (eight-player, long form content). With no OCE servers this content is locked out for me as the ping is prohibitively high, making them unplayable. I effectively can’t get the best end game gear.
Galactic Seasons returns with Legacy Of The Sith. A relatively new feature in only its second season, Galactic Seasons is basically a reward track with daily and weekly missions. Season One had an emphasis on daily missions. Season 2 has changed this to focus more on weekly missions. There are multiple weekly missions to choose from but you only need to complete seven.
Overall, I really love how Combat Styles feel and while the story content is perhaps a bit shorter than I would have liked, the promise of more has me excited. Dropping the Renown system annoys me but really you only need the best gear to play the hard content and if I’m not playing the hard content I don’t need the gear. Malgus is one of the best characters in SWTOR and I can’t wait to see where Legacy Of The Sith takes us.