BioWare has announced additional EndGame Gearing changes for SWTOR 7.0.2 – a response to player feedback following the previous announcement!
A few days ago BioWare announced EndGame gearing changes related to Currencies, Rewards and PvP. Now they add more to the list of improvements and rebalancing of how you can get your Endgame Gear in SWTOR.
Thankfully, this new set of changes should help to mitigate the issues from the previous changes.
Tech Fragments from Operations Bosses
Tech Fragments will be more evenly distributed between bosses to prevent players from just farming LBLO. Here are the new Tech Fragment payout rates:
- Boss 1: 150 Tech Fragments
- Boss 2: 300 Tech Fragments
- Boss 3: 500 Tech Fragments
- Boss 4: 500 Tech Fragments
- Boss 5: 550 Tech Fragments
Total: 2000 Tech Fragments
- Boss 1: 200 Tech Fragments
- Boss 2: 450 Tech Fragments
- Boss 3: 600 Tech Fragments
- Boss 4: 600 Tech Fragments
- Boss 5: 650 Tech Fragments
Total: 2500 Tech Fragments
- Boss 1: 225 Tech Fragments
- Boss 2: 450 Tech Fragments
- Boss 3: 750 Tech Fragments
- Boss 4: 750 Tech Fragments
- Boss 5: 825 Tech Fragments
Total: 3000 Tech Fragments
As was mentioned with the previous changes, Operations with a nonstandard number of encounters will have Tech Fragment payouts balanced according to time and effort to complete.
I think this should fully fix the potential issue of people only going for LBLO. Completing the weekly + this payout should be enough to make people not bother to skip the first 2 bosses.
Additional OEM and RPM Cost Reductions
OEM and RPM costs will be reduced to 4,000 Tech Fragments each and crafting a CM-1337 will only cost 5 of each mat instead of its current cost. This will result in a total cost of 40,000 Tech Fragments per gold augment, which is still absolutely insane.
BioWare explained that they want players to shoot for Legendary Implants (neglected to mention Tacticals too for those that didn’t play in 6.0) before getting gold augs and that’s why the cost is higher, but they’re still ridiculously expensive.
To buy and fully upgrade a pair of Legendary Implants to 330, it costs 39,000 Tech Fragments. To get a full set of 14 gold augments, you would need 560,000 Tech Fragments.
You would need to complete 224 HM raids or 187 NiM raids to earn enough Tech Frags for a full set of gold augments for a single toon. Alternatively, you could also get that many Tech Frags from 659 GSF Weeklies, which translates to a little over 1300 GSF wins.
Did BioWare forget you need 14 of them for a full set or something?
A More Realistic Alternative Cost
Let’s do the math on something that’s more realistic, but still a bit outlandish if they do want gold augments to cost more than fully upgraded Legendary Implants.
Approximately 50,000 Tech Frags for a full set of 14 gold augs seems reasonable according to what BioWare says they want; that’s roughly 25% more than the cost of a fully upgraded pair of Legendary Implants.
Reaching about 50,000 ends up costing 3,500 per augment / CM-1337, so those could be sold directly for 3,500 a pop, or OEMs / RPMs could cost 350 Tech Frags each.
The Future Worth of OEMs and RPMs
Check your materials stash, see if you have any OEMs or RPMs (or related items) right now. You have a critical financial decision to make because the future worth of those mats will likely change significantly once 7.0.2 is released.
At the point, the economics are up in the air for selling the OEMs and RPMs. If BioWare decides to keep prices at 4,000 TF per OEM/RPM, then the availability of gold augs will functionally evaporate, resulting in the cost of these mats spiking significantly compared to their current value.
If BioWare did just forget that you need 14 augs for a full set for a single toon and plan to make a full set cost something in the neighborhood of 50,000 TF, the price of OEMs and RPMs will likely plummet as gold augments become readily available. This would also cause the cost of blue and especially purple augs to drop significantly as demand shrinks.
I think the safer bet is to sell your mats now since they’re still worth a lot and that’s what I’ll be doing. If you wait, they might increase in value, but not as much as they would drop in price if BioWare decides to return to reality.
Losses Will Count Towards Unranked PvP Missions Again!
BioWare understands that part of the reason that players have been picking GSF over Unranked PvP has to do with the fact that you get guaranteed progress towards the mission for each match, regardless of whether you win or lose, so they will be reinstating progress for losses for Unranked PvP weeklies.
Wins will count for 3x (not 2x) compared to losses. Especially when paired with the increased Tech Fragment payouts, this should make unranked PvP more popular again as a viable gearing path to 326 alongside GSF.
Improvements to Conquest Commendations and Tech Fragment Conversion
Conquest Commendations (AKA Medals of Commendation) will have their total currency cap increased to 2500 and the weekly cap increased to 1500. Both caps were previously 999. Conquest Commendations will also be exchangeable for Tech Fragments at the Spoils of War Vendor at 1:1 conversion rate and can be exchanged in increments of 50.
50 Conquest Commendations = 50 Tech Fragments
I’m not sure why you’d need to, but BioWare has only specified that you will be able to convert Conquest Commendations to Tech Fragments, not the other way around. It is not clear if you will be able to convert them in the other direction or if they plan to allow any other currency conversions. I’d personally like a way to convert my Decurion Isotope Stabilizers (FP currency) to something else like Tech Fragments since I don’t do too many FPs and don’t need blue gear anymore.
Single Currency Drops Changed to Multi-Currency Bag Drops
You’ve probably gotten more excited than was warranted from seeing random gold and purple beams of loot light streaming from the corpses of your defeated foes only for you to be let down by it being only a single unit of currency.
BioWare has announced that they will be changing these drops to be a bag containing a small amount of all current endgame currencies including:
I think that’s definitely enough currencies to make me feel excited about seeing those gold beams of light! Hopefully BioWare does end up allowing us to convert any of the specialized currencies into Tech Fragments too.
What these changes resolve and what issues remain
I’m happy that BioWare is quickly responding to players’ concerns and trying to improve the gearing process. With all these changes, gearing will be in a much better spot, at least for the vast majority of players. Overall, getting to this spot didn’t take very long either; the expansion will probably have been out for about 2 months by the time 7.0.2 is likely released and gearing will be in a better state then compared to what it’s been like in many past expansions after 2 months.
Don’t get me wrong, 7.0 gearing is far from perfect, but its biggest flaw for most players is just that it’s too complicated, and fixing that would require a more substantial rework than BioWare is probably willing to do.
The biggest remaining issues only pertain to Rakata / NiM gearing, which it really feels like BioWare has ignored. There is not a real path to get Rakata right now, everybody is just farming Nefra and Dash’roode while forcing drops for specific pieces using sub-320 gear and manually upgrading them 5 times because you can’t buy Rakata pieces directly or have a real shot at completing any NiM weekly unless you already have full 330 gear and are literally the best players in the game.
I admit that BioWare is in a tricky spot with NiM gearing. It doesn’t seem like they want to waste dev resources rebalancing old NiM raids multiple times over the course of the expansion, so in order for them to remain interesting and difficult content once the new tiers of gear come out with the next raid, they’d have to be a bit more difficult with the gear we have now, so the gearing path we have now might just be a necessary evil.
With how much work goes into wrangling ultimately arbitrary character power levels with things like gearing, stats, and level sync, I wonder if BioWare would be better off just getting rid of the notion of levels as we know them altogether.
Do we really need 5 more levels with every expansion? Aren’t ability trees, tactical items, and legendary implant effects enough progression on their own? Could gear be purely cosmetic? Tell me what you think!