BioWare hosted a long and very unusual for their previously established standards live stream on Thursday March 18th. This event was the official reveal and announcement of SWTOR Game Update 6.3, entitled “Secrets of the Enclave”. This patch will deliver a continuation of the storyline from 6.2 through a brand new Flashpoint. A new game system called “Galactic Seasons” will bring you exciting (I mean it) new and old rewards and for the hard-core PvP players there’s some good news as well – Ranked Season 14 will begin with the release of 6.3. There’s so much to talk about and I wont even mention the upcoming PTS on both original client and Steam and the Double XP event teased for May… Let’s start!
The information in this article is based on official information from BioWare revealed during the live stream from March 18 2021 and the Galactic Systems blog, which was posted on the game’s website on the same day.
Table of contents
Stream host team and brief recap of previous updates
The live stream was hosted by community manager Eric Musco. The event lasted about ninety minutes and we heard from creative director Charles Boyd, design director Chris Schmidt and the newest addition to the community team Jackie.
The hosts used the opening minutes of the stream to warm us up by going over the two most recent updates to SWTOR – Patch 6.2: Echoes of Vengeance, which came out in December of 2020 and the first for 2021 Patch 6.2.1, which arrived in March. They skipped the smaller, but full of important bug fixes Patch 6.2.1a, which came out earlier this week.
Update 6.2 introduced the most recent story development for our characters, which also served as a truly epic conclusion of the Sith Emperor storyline. For now…
We were also left on a cliff-hanger as we learned that Malgus is eventually going to Dantooine for an unknown reason. The upcoming 6.3 will delve deeper into that plot line.
The new Flashpoint
Darh Malgus will take us to Dantooine’s ruined ancient Jedi Enclave. This area is widely popular and exploited in the Legends in Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic games as well as SWTOR’s predecessor Star Wars Galaxies. Fun fact – the Enclave is actually canonized location, mentioned in the “Gadgets and Gear” sourcebook, released in 2019.
The Flashpoint will have the same name as the title update – Secrets of the Enclave. There is no information why Malgus has gone to it and what he will be looking for there. This will be the main objective for both Empire and Republic players to discover, by the looks of it.
The Flashpoint will have all four standard difficulty modes:
- Solo Story Mode, where you will make your own decisions that will be recorded for the future development of the game’s narrative.
- Story Mode – a simple and easy-going group runs, where classes don’t matter at all and the challenge is pretty minimal.
- Veteran Mode – a step up in difficulty, where you would be tasked with following and completing at least some of the mechanics.
- Master Mode – the most challenging gameplay mode, where you will be tested to the maximum of your potential… for a Flashpoint.
There will be numerous new achievements for the completionists to farm and some new rewards to earn while doing so. This is standard practice. I would also not be surprised if there are a handful of hidden achievements. This is typical for BioWare’s design style.
BioWare shared a few new screenshots on the live stream to showcase and preview the new environment. That’s right! We are going to actually explore the Enclave.
The landing area on the top is nothing to write about – same Dantooine environment that we have already seen tons of times during our travels to the Dantooine’s Event and Daily Missions Area.
The next few images, however, show the interior of the Enclave and the actual area where the new flashpoint will take us!
We can easily spot the same old textures and resources re-used over and over. This doesn’t take away from the beautiful landscapes and cool dark corridors and “dungeon” like areas from the new Flashpoint.
New Characters meet old fan-favorite ones
This section will be more of a list of characters and brief description that we know about them from their previous appearances in SWTOR or elsewhere and we will also talk about some of the new names that will appear as temporary companions during the new story.
I am not a big fan of the SWTOR Galactic Starfighter, but a good friend of mine reminded me while I was writing my notes from the stream that her very first appearance was actually in there.
Krovos worked with Zasha Ranken and was involved in the Battle for Kuat. She rose to the rank of Darth after these events and later appeared in Onslaught as well.
Darth Rivix first appeared in 6.0 Onslaught. He served as the liason of the Hand of the Empire. Rivix is voiced by actor Gideon Emery.
BioWare showed a lengthy interview with Gideon. I will add it to this section here as soon as it is available on YouTube. They promised that would happen a day or two after the live stream.
The way Charles Boyd introduced this character to Gideon was weird, to say the least. On the stream Charles admitted that he described Rivix as “sexy David Bowie vampire”.
I’d love to have a vampire story in SWTOR. We already had zombies, so it’s only natural that a vampire would also be featured sooner or later.
Arn is a Padawan of Tau Idar. He first appeared during the events of SWTOR’s most recent expansion Onslaught. He is a male human cyborg and is still struggling to understand and master the ways of the Force.
Aryn’s first appearance was in the novel Deceived (fantastic book, you should read it if you haven’t yet, also – the link is to Amazon and is affiliated).
Aryn Leneer is a Jedi Knight, formed Padawan of Master Zallow. Her strongest side is the Force empathy. She fled from Alderaan following the sacking of Coruscant. She fought Malgus, but he proved much too powerful for her. Malgus did spare her life, though. Will be able to see and interact with her in the game, all those years later.
Aryn is voiced by the same actress, who have her voice to Elara Dorne – Moyra Quick. She described Aryn in one quick and short sentence – “welcome to the world of kickassery”. Aryn plays by her own rules and is not afraid to break them when she deems it necessary.
Moyra’s inverview will also be available on YouTube shortly and as soon as BioWare upload it, I will embed it here as well, so check back in a day or two.
Can you romance these characters in 6.3
BioWare is popular with stuffing companions down your character’s throat and in most cases these companions can be romanced. This is not true only for SWTOR. It’s actually a tradition for the studio, established long before SWTOR was released.
Charles Boyd stated that for this update specifically they are not prioritizing romantic dialogue options. Understand it as “no, you wont be able to flirt” most likely.
Krovos is a maybe on the romantic outcome front. Her past was not established or even explored at all so far in the game and Charles gave us only a “maybe”. He also added that “she’s someone who might kill you in your sleep, so…”. Understand that as you wish.
Darth Rivix is “someone, who would definitely murder you in your sleep” in-game as Charles said, so this to me sounds like an almost certain no.
Aryn Leneer is married and has a child, so this was a strong and resounding no from Charles there.
The least negative answer in regards to a potential romantic relationship Charles left for Arn. Nothing at the moment, he stated, but they are open to developing this character in the future as a romanceable one.
What is the Galactic Seasons System
The Galactic Seasons is a brand new system coming to the game in Update 6.3. It is a natural expansion to the Login Rewards system, which was introduced in 6.2 last December.
This is yet another trick up BioWare’s sleaves to hold you, the player, close to the game and keep you logging in and playing. The game may have had the worst year in terms of story development in 2020, but at least on the new systems and features there are plenty of things to learn, enjoy and play with to keep you busy.
But first – what is the Galactic Seasons system in SWTOR? The Galactic Seasons is a months-long system, designed to reward both F2P and Subscriber players for completing Conquest-like objectives. It will last around five months and will allow you to level up 100 Galactic Seasons levels, most of them offering special and interesting rewards.
The devs promise these rewards to be of actual great and high value, not like the Login System’s trash that piles up in your inventory.
The image above is a placeholder and the Season’s name as well as the rewards are not real, but they serve to show how this system will function.
How will the Galactic Seasons system work
I will have an in-depth guide for this new system when it releases (or if it comes to PTS in a solid-enough state – more about PTS later), but let me briefly inform you of some of the key features it will offer.
When a season starts you will be able to level up thtough 100 levels, each one with the same XP requirements as the previous. To progress through these levels you will need to complete a conquest-like objectives. They will actually be displayed on your Conquest tab, but will be placed on the top and will not be conquest objectives, instead they will grant you Galactic Season XP.
Free players will earn XP at a slower rate. Also F2P and Preferred players will not be able to qualify for the “Subscriber” rewards. Premium players will be able to earn rewards from both tiers “Free” and “Subscriber”.
If you are not a subscriber when you start progression through the season, you will only earn the “Free” tier rewards. If you decide to subscribe at some point, you will automatically receive all of the “Subscriber” rewards up to your current level. If you have reached Galactic Seasons level 23, for example, while F2P, when you subscribe for a month, you will immediately receive all of the rewards from the “Suibscriber” tier up to Galactic Seasons level 23.
Note: If I call this system Galactic Command, know that it’s not on purpose. I try so hard to keep them separated in my mind. And for a good reason, actually. There’s no RNG in Galactic Seasons.
The challenges (conquest-like objectives) will be split into dailies and weeklies with a very limited number of options to choose from for your daily activity.
The Galactic Seasons system is all Legacy-based. This means that any XP you earn on any of your characters in your Legacy will contribute to the levels you earn and also any rewards you earn, will be Legacy-wide available and unlocked in the Collections tab.
If you enter a season later and want to catch up, you will have that opportunity, but you will have to pay a price – Credits (quite a lot) or Cartel Coins. The Credit sink promises to be real, and could be even bigger than the one BioWare recently added to the Amplifiers system with the “locked” re-roll switch toggle. The price to “catch up” using Cartel Coins will be fixed for each level.
What does “catching up” mean. If you prefer to spend money to gain Galactic Season levels, you can do so. This is BioWare’s way of allowing players to “earn” the rewards without spending time farming for them by completing in-game missions and objectives daily and weekly.
Chance to earn a brand new Influence 50 Companion
The major reward from the first season will be a brand new companion, called Altuur zok Adon.
- Altuur at Rank 50 Influence. Subscribers will have the opportunity to walk away from Season 1 with a new, fully influenced companion character.
- A high quality Weapon for Altuur. Subscribers will have the opportunity to earn a Weapon specific to Altuur.
- A high quality Armor Set for Altuur. Subscribers will have the opportunity to earn an Armor Set specific to Altuur.
- A Companion Customization for Altuur. Subscribers will have the opportunity to earn a Customization option for Altuur.
The actual name of Season 1 will be “The Stranger From Kubindi”, inspired by this new companion. What’s cool is that throughout the season as you earn season levels, you will unlock new lore pieces about this companion. This sounds like a strong promise from BioWare that Altuur will not just be another faceless, speechless and uninspiring addition to the already giant companions list we have for your characters.
Galactic Season 1 Free tier rewards list
BioWare revealed the upcoming rewards for the first season. Below is the list of rewards every single player will be able to earn, regardless of their subscription status:
- New Kubaz Companion Character: Altuur zok Adon
- Premium Adon Companion Gifts – Gifts for Altuur zok Adon which grant a large amount of Influence.
- Seasonal Armor Set
- Silver Cartel Weapon Crate – Contains 1 Silver quality Cartel Market weapon from a selection of previous Cartel Market Weapons currently not available for direct purchase.
- Silver Cartel Armor Crate
- Contains 1 full Silver quality Cartel Market armor set from a selection of previous Cartel Market Armors currently not available for direct purchase.
- Silver Cartel Mount Crate – Contains 1 Silver quality Cartel Market mount from a selection of previous Cartel Market Mounts currently not available for direct purchase.
- Galactic Season Tokens – Special Tokens which can be traded to Ki’at Thavo, the new Galactic Seasons Vendor located on the Fleet.
- Seasonal Decorations
- Seasonal Title
Galactic Season 1 Subscriber Tier rewards list
This is the list of rewards subscribers will be able to earn in addition to the “free” tier rewards listed above:
- 2000 Cartel Coins
- Prototype Adon Companion Gifts – Gifts for Altuur zok Adon which grant a large amount of Influence.
- Artifact Adon Companion Gifts – Gifts for Altuur zok Adon which grant a large amount of Influence.
- Legendary Adon Companion Gifts – Gifts for Altuur zok Adon which grant a large amount of Influence.
- Companion Weapon
- Companion Armor Set
- Companion Customization
- Seasonal Armor Set – A variant of the Base Set from the Free/Preferred Reward Track, but with more attachments.
- Seasonal Weapons – One of each Weapon type will be available. Weapons which can be dual-wielded grant two copies!
- Seasonal Mounts – Both Creature and Vehicle.
- Seasonal Tokens – Special Tokens which can be traded to Ki’at Thavo, the new Galactic Seasons Vendor located on the Fleet.
- Seasonal Decorations
- Seasonal Titles
The lists are sourced from this blog post by BioWare.
Galactic Seasons Vendor
Another exciting addition to the new Galactic Seasons system is the new vendor that will await you on the Fleet. Ki’at Thavo will have a number of exotic items on rotation and at certain point you will be able to find there some of the long-gone iconic items granted for different achievements and accomplishments to players in the past.
The vendor will trade you these things for a brand new Galactic Seasons currency (new tokens). You will earn very limited amounts of these new tokens during your progression throughout the season.
New Fleet Stronghold Apartments
This came out of nowhere and was only briefly teased on the stream. BioWare showed a couple of screenshots of a single room from what they call an apartment on the Fleet. There will be one on the Republic and another on the Empire Fleet, for both factions.
BioWare also teased some “surprises” in these apartments, but would not reveal what exactly we should expect. Pricing is also unknown at the moment.
The Fleet Stronghold Apartments will be available at the new Galactic Seasons Vendor. You will be able to purchase these “rewards” in exchange for the new tokens I mentioned in the previous segment.
While some of the offerings from the new vendor will rotate in and out, the new Fleet Stronghold Apartments will be available for a “very very long time”, Chris Schmidt confirmed on the stream.
PTS is coming to Steam, finally
BioWare is aiming to release SWTOR 6.3 onto PTS some time next week. If you are reading this after the publication date, which is very possible, the targeted week is 22 to 26 March 2021.
As usual, BioWare likes to leave PTS on for two to three weeks at least to collect feedback and introduce some initial changes This period is then followed by a couple of weeks downtime as the studio prepares the final patch for deployment.
The good news is that this time around the SWTOR Public Test Server (that’s where PTS comes from, in case you are new and didn’t know that term) will be available on Steam as well.
Eric Musco stated on the live stream that they plan to bring PTS to Steam tomorrow (March 19th) and make it available for download on Steam. The PTS itself will not have 6.3, however. It will be patched up to 6.2.1. But if you want to, you can download and prepare, so when the 6.3 is added there, you will not have to start from scratch next week.
Ranked Season 14
SWTOR 6.3 will give the beginning of the next Ranked PvP Season. This time around BioWare promises to reveal the season 14 rewards at the start of the season, so everyone will know what they are fighting for.
When will SWTOR 6.3 be released
The devs did not give us a release date target window yet, but based on previous experience and what we know about PTS cycles already, we can expect SWTOR Update 6.3 Secrets of the Enclave to release in the second part of April.
Double XP event is coming
Many viewers asked about a Double XP event. It is a tradition for SWTOR to bring it up around May the 4th and the predicted release date falls right into that schedule.
BioWare said that they plan to have the Double XP event shortly after 6.3 releases, not together with the update. If the patch comes up late April, this leaves a good two weeks window for all of us to play through the new story and enjoy the new Galactic Seasons system before we get back to leveling new characters for the Double XP event.
That was a very long one and if you reached the end with me, I would like to thank you. Thankfully BioWare started doing their live streams at a more reasonable times, so I don’t have to site like a… vampire (!) all night writing my coverage of their events :)))
Reminder: check back a day or two later for updated info and added video interviews with the two voice actors. They were both funny.
And if you have more time on your hands, why not go watch the full live stream archive. You might even catch some small detail I may have missed, who knows.