SWTOR PTS 6.1.4 is now live and it offers most of the features advertised to arrive with the full update to the live servers in October 2020. Right now you can try the new Feast of Prosperity event, check out the new tier of Augments and test the Conquest changes among a few other gameplay and quality of life improvements!
BioWare pushed the SWTOR PTS 6.1.4 server up late on Tuesday, September 22nd. There will be a live stream with developers on Thursday to show off the new features you can try out on PTS, but if you don’t want to wait until then, let me give you a tour of what is new, what you can try and test right now!
All additional new information revealed on the stream that I did not cover already, will be included in this article, of course!
The Feast of Prosperity is not fully accessible on PTS
The Feast of Prosperity is a brand new in-game event releasing with SWTOR Patch 6.1.4. The update itself has no official launch date yet, but it is targeting October and most likely some time in the second half of October.
Feast of Prosperity is now available on the newly opened Public Test Server. This is a test environment that BioWare brings up for a limited time, usually shortly before a more important technical and feature-rich patch is about to be released.
The Feast of Prosperity is going to be a seasonal event. Similarly to Nar Shaddaa’s Nightlife it will also appear only once a ear around that time – September and October.
The event will last several weeks on the live server and will combine typical in-game event gameplay features, prizes and some unique for SWTOR activities.
The event is not fully deployed to the PTS at the moment. It will likely never be. BioWare is keeping some of the most interesting story-related segments as a surprise.
To test the Feast of Prosperity on PTS, copy your character as per the instructions in my guide, linked a few paragraphs above, and log in to PTS.
“The Feast of Prosperity event features new Daily Missions, Weekly Missions, and mini-game activities that you’ll be able to participate in on PTS. You’ll also have access to an introductory Mission, where you’ll meet Gaboorga the Abundant and Duuba the Magnanimous, the founders of the Feast, and learn a little more about them and their ambitions. When the event reaches the live servers, a new Story Mission will unlock every week, but on PTS, you’ll just get a peek at the introductory story mission. The rewards are not currently set up for the event, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see any. We encourage you to check out the dailies, weeklies, and mini-games and provide your feedback in the thread below.” – states the announcement forum post on swtor.com.
To get the starter mission, which is the only main story mission available for this event, go to the Fleet on PTS and pick it up from the crier NPC located just outside the Bazaar entrance on the outer ring.
All conversations are in “alien” languages in the cinematics. Remember, this event was created during a time period when all recording studios were closed down and everybody was/is staying at home.
The starter mission will take you to Nar Shaddaa, where you will speak to the two hutts organizing and hosting the event. My Marauder played it very suspicious during the conversations, but he could not extract even a glimpse of a shady activities out of them. If there are any, BioWare wanted to keep us surprised and has not added them to PTS.
Once you finish the main mission, the event opens up and offers a number of minigames and daily missions from the terminals right next to the two hutts.
The event offers several activities, involving cooking – a feature that was virtually non-present as an element in SWTOR’s nearly ten years of existence. I mean it’s one thing to purchase food-buffs from a vendor, but another thing to participate in the preparation process for that food!
BioWare calls these event-specific activities “minigames”. There’s a cooking minigame, a cantina rush minigame and a set of prep work daily missions.
Rewards, as BioWare confirmed, are intentionally not on PTS. Whether they are not ready yet or BioWare has come up with interesting new ideas for things to reward us with, this will become clear(er) when the event goes live with 6.1.4.
I am preparing a full in-depth guide to the event, but will hold off on it for the live release. Nothing we see and do on PTS is final, as most of you are very well aware.
Test for free the dreaded new tier of Augments on PTS
I covered the new tier of Augments reveal in a previous news article. Design director Chris Schmidt had the toughest job of them all to present the incredibly controversial idea of merging the highest levels of PvE and PvP players into one.
The new Augments are of iRating 300 and they are available on PTS for you to test them out. They will be craftable in the official update release by Cybertechs only.
It’s weird why BioWare did not opt to allow us to get the new Augments for free to test builds, stats balance and performance for free. The new Augments are on PTS, but they are released in the normal way, meaning you’d have to do NiM Operations and Ranked PvP on top of having a Cybertech character brought from the live servers.
Sevrahn’s BiS 306s PvE Spreadsheet has been updated to 6.1.4 already and all new possible calculations and build alternatives to achieve the ideal stats balance are included. Take a look. This shpreadsheet is referenced in many of the SWTOR 6.0+ Class Guides here on VULKK.com.
The Conquest changes bring much needed balance
The Conquest system is constantly changing. It rarely goes more than two game updates without BioWare implementing a significant change to it.
In 6.1.4 the major focus for the devs are Conquest Points that you earn from the many objectives you can complete to earn Conquest Points.
“After reviewing the Conquest values from Game Update 6.1.2, the team saw an opportunity to improve the overall experience for players. While there was a large increase in the number of Objectives a player could complete, there was an overlying point discrepancy, and the difficulty versus points ratio was off balance. This the easiest Objectives more appealing while turning players away from harder content. The goal with this round of changes is to make Conquest points reflect the time invested in completing Objectives.” – from the forum post announcing PTS coming up.
On a first glimpse I (and probably you) thought that BioWare is wielding the nerf-bat to the crazy amounts of Conquest Points we are earning since 6.0. That’s not true, though.
Balance is the word that best describes the upcoming changes to this system. In 6.1.4 you will be rewarded based on time and effort you spend completing a Conquest objective.
BioWare gave a great example with the changes made to the CZ-198 and Yavin 4 Daily Areas:
- CZ-198: Defeat Enemies is now worth 750 points (down from 2,000)
- CZ-198: Defeat Enemies 2 is now worth 1,650 points (down from 3,000)
- CZ-198: Mission Complete is now worth 1,550 points (down from 2,000)
- CZ-198: Weekly Mission is now worth 5,850 points (up from 4,000)
- Yavin 4: Defeat Enemies is now worth 750 points (down from 2,000)
- Yavin 4: Defeat Enemies 2 is now worth 1,650 points (down from 3,000)
- Yavin 4: Mission Complete is now worth 1,550 points (down from 2,000)
- Yavin 4: Weekly Mission is now worth 10,700 points (up from 4,000)
The total sum of all activities, because usually we do the whole Weekly clear when we do these, is actually rebalanced. CZ-198 is a lot quicker to complete than Yavin 4 and this now shows in the points you earn for each individual Conquest objective related to these activities.
BioWare’s David Staat shared a lot more examples of objectives that are changed as well as a few new ones that will arrive with 6.1.4:
Advancement, Companions, and Strongholds
- Companion: Benefactor is now worth 550 points (down from 3,000)
- Advancement: Amplifiers is now worth 550 points (down from 1,750)
- Stronghold: Decorator is now worth 550 points (down from 2,000)
- Renown: Rank Up is now worth 3,400 points (up from 600)
- Advancement: Gain a Level is now worth 3,400 (up from 2,000)
- Companion: Influencer is now worth 4,850 points (up from 2,000)
- All Daily Area Weekly Missions are now worth between 5,580 – 22,250 (up from 4,000)
- <Planet> Defeat Enemy is now worth 750 points (down from 2,000)
- <Planet> Mission Complete is now worth 1,550 points (down from 2,000)
- <Planet> Defeat Enemy 2 is now worth 1650 points (down from 3,000)
- Repeatable World Boss related Objectives are now worth 2,750 points (up from 850)
- Weekly World Boss related Objectives are now worth 10,700 points (up from 5,800)
- Missions: Bonus Missions is now worth 750 points (down from 2,000)
- Missions: Heroic is now worth 850 points (down from 4,000)
- Missions: Story Time is now worth 2,200 points (up from 600)
- Missions: Taskmaster is now worth 7,750 points (up from 3,000)
- Unranked: Medalist is now worth 1,800 points (up from 850)
- Solo Ranked: Medalist is now worth 2,400 points (up from 1,100)
- Team Ranked: Medalist is now worth 3,400 points (up from 2,100)
- Unranked: Victorious is now worth 2,200 points (up from 1,750)
- Solo Ranked: Victorious is now worth 3,100 points (up from 2,000)
- Team Ranked: Victorious is now worth 4,150 points (up from 3,000)
- Starfighter: Conquer the Skies is now worth 2,200 points (up from 600)
- Starfighter: Dominate the Stars is now worth 3,750 points (up from 3,000)
- Starfighter: Achiever is now worth 45,600 points (up from 4,000)
- Operation: Story is now worth 5,250 points (up from 3,000)
- Operation: Veteran is now worth 8,550 points (up from 4,000)
- Operation: Master is now worth 13,100 points (up from 7,500)
- Operation: Rally – Part 1 is now worth 9,250 points (up from 2,925)
- Operation: Rally – Part 2 is now worth 33,350 points (up from 10,000)
- Operation: Completion is now worth 100,000 points (up from 13,500)
As usual these values are basic, they do not include any additional bonuses and perks you can stack for extra Conquest Points. Also note that these are only a small example. As David explained “posting each and every change here would result in an incredibly long list“.
There are also changes planned to how objectives are attached to planets. New objectives related to Heroics are being added:
New Planetary Heroic Missions
- Starting (Tython, Ord Mantell, Korriban, and Hutta) and Core (Coruscant and Dromund Kaas) planets will always remain available to all players.
- For Level 51+ players Alderaan, Balmorra, Belsavis, Corellia, Hoth, Ilum, Makeb, Nar Shaddaa, Taris, Tatooine, and Voss Heroic Missions will appear only when the planet in question is an invadable planet for that specific Conquest.
New Defeat Enemies Missions
- Starting (Tython, Ord Mantell, Korriban, and Hutta), Core (Coruscant and Dromund Kaas), and planets which include Daily Areas will always be available for all players (depending on the bracket).
- Alderaan, Balmorra, Belsavis, Nar Shaddaa, Taris, Tatooine, Hoth, and Quesh will be available at all times for Level 10-50 players.
- For Level 51+ players Defeat Enemies will appear only when the planet in question is an invadable planet for that specific Conquest, OR if there is an event related to those planets (such as Rakghoul Resurgence).[/INDENT]Corellia, Ilum, Voss, Mek-Sha, Dantooine will be available at all times for Level 10-70 players (depending on the bracket).
- For Level 71+ players Defeat Enemies for these planets will appear only when the planet in question is an invadable planet for that specific Conquest, OR if there is an event related to those planets (such as Relics of the Gree/Pirate Incursion/Rakghoul Resurgence).
All Bonus Series Missions will only appear when the planet they are related to is invadable for the current week.
Does that sound confusing to you? It is confusing. BioWare is attempting to diversify the available content from week to week. This, however, results in slightly limiting the choice you would have of what you want to do now.
Before you jump on the hate-train of how the Conquest system should free you up to do whatever you want instead of limiting you, here are a few things to consider:
- BioWare may not end up implementing all of these Conquest changes as you see them now on PTS.
- You do not need to bother with remembering what is available and when. There are plenty of Conquest Objectives each week and if you miss out on a few this week, they may very well be back next Tuesday.
- Forcing you to farm different content may inspire you to explore regions and segments of the game you haven’t been to in a long time. Not to be confused with the controversial decision to force players into the most hardcore PvE and PvP (reference to the new Augments).
What else is coming with 6.1.4
The new toxicity measures that Chris Schmidt revealed a few days ago (I explained them in the article about the new Augments a few days ago. Here is a quick reminder:
- Increased the severity of the actions taken against players who are harassing others and violate the Terms of Service.
- Vote Kick will not be available in Ranked PvP.
- If a specific role declines the queue for a match, the system will backfill their place with the same role, if it’s available.
- Ranked PvP now requires IR 306 gear to be able to queue up.
- Legacy Ignore feature is being added.
Another major (to a lot of PvP players) change is the nerf-bat that is pounding the Guard ability into the ground:
- While active, the guarded player takes 5% less damage and generates 25% less threat. In addition, so long as you remain within 15 meters of the guarded player, 50% of all incoming damage from enemy players is transferred back to you.
- You deal 50% less damage while guarding.
The major focus of this PTS is the Feast of Prosperity event, I think. I hope the new Augments will become available for free in the next PTS patch to allow us to easily test various options.
The Augments will be incredibly slow to get and expensive to craft or purchase, which makes them hard to do experiments with.
There are a few known issues with the current SWTOR PTS 6.1.4 build. BioWare posted a list to notify us all:
- The conversations with Duuba and Gaboorga for the introductory mission will play, but will not look as intended.
- The daily “Cooking: Jellied Glowshroom Stew” Mission may become blocked. If it does, use the kitchen door to exit and reset the mission.
- Interacting with the door to enter the “Cantina Rush” (Normal) Mission may not move players inside the phase as intended. If it does, abandon the mission and pick it up again from the terminal.
- “Cantina Rush” (Normal and Hard) Mission may not complete correctly when players have served enough tables. Use the door to exit the phase.
- In cooking Missions, ingredients may sometimes despawn or respawn suddenly. This won’t affect gameplay.
- The following Achievements are showing up for level bracket 10-49 when it shouldn’t be:
- Mek-Sha: Defeat Enemies
- Dantooine: Defeat Enemies
- Ilum: Defeat Enemies
- By design for PTS, the rewards are not implemented for the Feast of Prosperity event.