Bryant Wood, a systems designer for SWTOR, has taken to the forums to announce some quality of life (QoL) improvements to endgame gearing and explain how some new(ish) cosmetic armor can be obtained. This will be coming with 7.1 which is getting released on August 2nd.
Quality of Life Improvements to Gearing in 7.1
We finally have confirmation on several QoL improvements coming with 7.1 including increased power ceiling for gear, a cost reduction for legendary implants for your alts, 328 and 330 mods, and a (probably slight) stat redistribution for green and blue gear.
Increasing the Power Ceiling
Bryant Wood reiterated what we learned in the 7.1 Livestream that the iRating ceiling for endgame gearing will be increasing for everybody.
Reducing the Cost of Legendary Implants for Alts
Two achievements will be introduced for upgrading Two legendary implants to 330 and 334 respectively. Once you’ve done this, the SN-4RK vendor where you purchase and upgrade legendary implants will lower the cost of legendary implants and upgrades to the following:
- Tech Fragments: 6500 -> 2500
- Conquest Commendations: 100 -> 60
Notably, the Daily Resource Matrix (DRM, a fantastic acronym) costs will remain unchanged. It’s possible that Bryant just forgot to include that in his post, but given that the DRM cost is already pretty low (20) and we are getting a new daily area, I think it’s more likely that dailies will still be required.
I’m really glad BioWare is making this change. I don’t think too many people were asking for it, but as someone who has implants for every single discipline, I never bothered to upgrade most of them because the costs were just too ridiculous.
Moddable 328 and 330 Gear
Bryant confirmed that moddable 328 and 330 gear will be coming with 7.1 after all. We got to see a very work-in-progress (WiP) look at this on the PTS. In order to access moddable gear, you’ll need to talk to a pair of fugitive Rodians, aptly named Hyde and Zeek, in the Supplies section of the Fleet.
Hyde will give you a mission where you deconstruct rating of gear and then you’ll be able to buy mods from Zeek for that rating. It’s unclear if Zeek will only sell unlettered, A, and B, or if he will also include the R variants which were introduced in 6.0 that enabled exact min-maxing.
Only 328 and 330 mods will be available, not 332-340 like you’ll be able to get from HM R-4, meaning this will only be useful for players that do not intend to prog on the new raid in HM. Since PvP will have a 328 gear cap, everyone will need to be properly min-maxed.
If I recall correctly, the mods on the PTS were purchasable exclusively with credits. If this continues to be the case when 7.1 is released, it would function as a much-needed credit sink.
BioWare wouldn’t be able to offer 340 mods under this system because then players would just need to disintegrate a few pieces of 340 gear and they’d be able to immediately purchase a full set of 340 gear which would completely invalidate the elegant gear progression system they devised.
Given that BioWare plans to do multiple power ceiling increases over the course of 7.0, it’s likely that 340 mods will eventually appear on this vendor, but we don’t know if they will be available while 340 is still BiS.
BioWare should be able to create a mission given by Hyde that requires players to disintegrate a full set of 340 gear that would grant access to 340 mods and this wouldn’t invalidate their gearing progression system.
Stat Distribution Tweaks
328 or higher Premium (green) and Prototype (blue) gear will have their stat distribution tweaked “with the intent of making players feel stronger”. Bryant didn’t specify exactly what this would mean, but I imagine that the distinction between green, blue, and purple gear will be less significant.
This graphic by Elssha shows how stat distributions currently differ, so green and blue gear will likely have less endurance and more power after 7.1.
He also mentioned that Artifact (purple) tank gear will offer even higher endurance, likely by further reducing defense. It’s possible that the shape of the graph for DPS and healer gear will look similar to how it currently looks for tank gear.
If you’ll excuse my slight elitism, part of me wonders if BioWare could have achieved their goal of making players with green and blue gear feel more powerful by just upgrading the rarity color and not adjusting stat distributions at all.
New Cosmetic Armor in 7.1
We have confirmation that planetary cosmetic armor sets as well as dyeable versions of the Thyrsian / Decurion and R-4 Anomaly gear will be available with 7.1.
Planetary Cosmetic Armor Sets
BioWare has FINALLY confirmed that the cosmetic armor sets discovered on the PTS by TodayInTOR will be included in 7.1. These armor sets are sold by the Specialty Goods vendors on each planet and each piece cost 200k credits (at least on the PTS).
There were a few sets that weren’t up to date when they were photographed, but you can check out the (mostly) complete list of armor sets complete with pictures on TodayInTOR’s website.
Dyeable Thyrsian Gear Shells
Players will be able to purchase dyeable shells of Thyrsian gear called Thyrsian Fitted armor, which shares the same model as the Decurion gear. I didn’t even realize that BioWare neglected to make that gear dyable, but I guess it makes sense since you’re meant to upgrade it and dyes are destroyed upon removal.
Thyrsian Fitted armor will cost WZ-1 Accelerants and credits. BioWare has a track record of making gear like this only available during a given expansion; they might take it away once 8.0 comes out or make it much harder to get.
The cosmetic gear from 5.0 Command Crates didn’t become available again until 6.0 and now costs a bunch of Tech Frags and credits while the old set bonus gear we had much easier access to in 6.0 was largely unavailable prior to 6.0 and is now only available out as a random piece from Kai Zykken.
R-4 Anomaly Gear Shells
Bryant Wood reiterated that there will be cosmetic shells that are dyeable for the gear that drops from the new R-4 Anomaly Operation coming with 7.1.
You can find more information about 7.1 gearing and more pictures of all the R-4 Anomaly gear in my previous article linked here.
Game Update 7.1 is coming out on August 2nd and will include everything I’ve mentioned in this article. Stay tuned for more 7.1 coverage including a Manaan daily area guide, R-4 Anomaly operation guides for both SM and HM featuring graphics from Elssha, and updates for relevant existing guides like classes, endgame gearing, and Nar Shaddaa Nightlife!