BioWare added the full Galactic Season 2 to the SWTOR 7.0 PTS and it seems that we now can test everything that the expansion will bring!
A new update was released to the PTS today. Galactic Season 2 is active. Character copies are once again available, though achievements are not copied because BioWare still wants players to test the leveling process as a new player. They also want us to test the endgame gearing process.
Rewards for PTS Testing
BioWare is offering rewards for completing several different activities on the PTS:
- Logging into PTS
- Completing a Class Story on any Class
- Complete all expansion Story content
- Reaching item rating 322 with one of your characters and complete the PvP, Heroic, and Flashpoint Weekly Missions
- Completing all of the above
The actual rewards have not yet been announced, but stay tuned for their announcement later this week. Last time we were offered a couple of titles and an exclusive Kai Zykken Log Mount, but the requirements weren’t nearly as time-consuming.
I would recommend waiting to see what the rewards are before doing any of these activities since they’ll take such a significant amount of time to complete. The rewards will definitely need to be much better to encourage players to actually test these things. I think the best option would be for BioWare to just let players transfer the progress they make on the PTS back to Live when 7.0 is released, assuming they manage to meet one of those goals.
If you want people to completely level a toon and go through all the story content released over the past decade, let them bring that toon to Live! If you want people to try gearing on the PTS, give them the gear that they earned on PTS to those toons on Live!
If that isn’t feasible, it’s gotta be something worth many tens of thousands of Cartel Coins.
Testing Endgame Gearing
BioWare wants players to test the endgame gearing process. It’s a fair bit different from 6.0 and marks a return to ‘vertical progression’ like we’ve had in expansions prior to 6.0, though there are still several changes to the overall process compared to prior expansions.
BioWare is moving 4 and 6-piece set bonus effects to Implants and calling Implants that have set bonus effects Legendary Items. Armor (or right-side gear) will now just have stats. This comes with a whole host of benefits including faster gearing, improved customization from being able to mix and match bonuses, simplified gearing, and more available inventory space.
There is a new introductory mission where you have to complete various endgame activities in order to gain access to Legendary Items.
Most RNG has been removed from the gearing process. Bosses drop currency and can drop gear. Weeklies give a box that contains an upgrade for the lowest rated currently-equipped item.
The quality of the upgrade is determined by the Weekly mission you completed, which is determined by the type of content and difficulty, so more challenging content offers better gear. For example, an SM operation Weekly gives you a Tionese gear box while a MM operation Weekly gives you a Rakata box.
Multiple Gearing Tracks
There are several gearing tracks depending on the type of content you do. There are 3 tracks:
- Operations (Tionese / Columi / Rakata) – This gear has much higher item ratings, most of these tiers offer ratings that are higher than the max tier for the other two tracks.
- PvP (Thyrsian) – This gear has stats that are more specialized for PvP, like having less accuracy.
- Other PvE (Decurion) – This is the gear most players will get. It is earned through all other PvE content besides Operations like Conquest, Flashpoints, Heroics, etc.
The Thyrsian and Decurion gear have the same item rating ceiling of 326, though the PvP gear (Thyrsian) starts at a slightly lower item rating for some reason. Also, there are separate upgrade vendors for Conquest and Flashpoints, though as far as I know, you get the same gear from both.
Testing Story and Leveling
BioWare wants players to test out the story and leveling process as a new player. Since you’ll be able play through the Origin Stories with Combat Styles that use different weapons than the Origin Stories were initially designed to accommodate (note: weapons are still restricted to specific Combat Styles just like they are now), cutscenes now have to factor in that you might use a different weapon.
BioWare wants players to play through the Origin Stories with Combat Styles that use different weapons, like using an Assassin or Shadow with the Warrior story and tell them if any cutscenes look weird with the different weapons.
Galactic Season 2
The actual season is active now. We can finally see the decos we will be awarded.
These images also do a great job of showing off the new, clearer font that we’ve known will be coming with 7.0 compared to the older one.
For me, the only one that actually seems interesting is the Security and Monitoring System. I don’t care about RP, so the disguise terminals don’t matter to me at all. The other two decos are just minor reskins of the Mek-Sha.
I wish the couch was recolored like the table. Mek-Sha decos are super stylized and the orange and blue don’t match a lot of the other furniture so it’s difficult to use. Overall though, these decos don’t seem to be any better or worse than what we got in Season 1. I wish they were better and there were more of them.
Shadow Syndicate Reputation
There is a new reputation associated with Galactic Season 2. You can trade in Underworld Syndicate Plans for Reputation items through an NPC on Nar Shaddaa.
Underworld Syndicate plans seem to just randomly drop from things and there’s a new Jawa named Braazz in the Cartel Bazaar that can give you a buff that will increase their drop rate in return for purple Jawa Junk.
This seems ridiculously overcomplicated. Why not just have the reputation items drop from things instead of these Underworld Syndicate Plans?
Updates to the Reputation System, Character Perks, and Legacy Perks
With the previous update to the PTS, I noticed that the Legacy window only displayed achievements. Reputation, Character Perks, and Legacy Perks were nowhere to be found. I thought it was just a bug before, but I feel more confident now saying that they’re probably doing a bit of a revamp. We still don’t have much in the way of concrete info to go on though.
The reason I feel more confident saying this is because I noticed that a blue reputation trophy for the Underworld Syndicate only gave 25 reputation points, so I think that they might be rebalancing reputation, or at least shrinking the scale so we aren’t needing tens of thousands of reputation points to reach each rank anymore.
Legacy Perks will also need to be tweaked since they’re making Class Buffs passive bonuses instead of lasting 60 mins. The stat boosts from getting companions are also kind of weird and arbitrary when you think about it. “Oh hey in order to gear properly, you need to finish your companion stories”. The icons haven’t fit properly in their slots in years either.
We also know that the Renown character perks are getting removed since the Renown system is going away. It’s possible that the other boosts could be consolidated into a single generic XP boost as well since it’s kind of clunky and pointless to have so many.
I believe just about everything is actually on the PTS now that will be coming in 7.0, except for maybe some additional UI tweaks. The rest of the PTS will probably just be about refinement and polish unless there are some additional surprises. I think that this means BioWare will have over a month after they get back from holiday break just for finishing touches and polish. Hopefully Legacy of the Sith will be a smooth launch!
In my previous article I took a look at the Galactic Season 2 Rewards. If you have missed, check it out to complete your tour.