BioWare has announced several tweaks to EndGame gearing that will be coming in SWTOR 7.0.2 and these changes have been released to the PTS!
Note: This is not a joke. The announcement was released late on March 31st. This article is real news, in case you are doubtful because of the publication date.
As far as I know, this is the first mention of 7.0.2, so we don’t know when it will be coming except that it will be before 7.1 that has Weapon in Outfitter, R4-Anomaly Operation, and Manaan Daily Area.
The first two are on PTS 7.1, although the Operation is not complete yet. The Manaan Daily Area is expected to be available but isn’t at this moment.
Given that all of the 7.0.2 changes are on the PTS 7.1, I imagine we’ll see it on live fairly soon, perhaps within the next couple weeks.
Stuck Temporarily Removed In Ranked PvP
The /stuck command has temporarily been removed from Ranked PvP, this was done “to prevent exploitative behavior” … “to receive rewards in unintended ways”. I haven’t done Group Ranked in 7.0, but I imagine this has to do with players win trading to quickly get the rewards.
It seems that this behavior is coloring many of the tweaks BioWare is making to gearing rewards. Once 7.0.2 is released, players will be able to /stuck in Ranked PvP again.
In order to combat confusion around all the new currencies, BioWare has announced that they will be renaming the currencies to better articulate their source.
TodayInToR also pointed out that some of the currencies have a “-1” as part of their new name, which could suggest that there may be additional tiers of these currencies in the future.
It’s certainly possible that BioWare could do such a thing, but I think it’s extremely unlikely because they’ve never introduced additional tiers of the same currency during an expansion and currencies in 7.0 are complicated enough as it is.
Adjustments to Currency Payouts
With 7.0.2, there will be a multitude of tweaks to existing currency payouts. These tweaks focus on increasing the amount of Tech Fragments earned from many sources as well as increasing the overall rewards from PvP weeklies.
Later bosses in Operations will now drop more Tech Fragments than earlier bosses. In SM, the payout will look like this:
- Boss 1: 100 Tech Fragments
- Boss 2: 250 Tech Fragments
- Boss 3: 400 Tech Fragments
- Boss 4: 500 Tech Fragments
- Boss 5: 750 Tech Fragments
This ends up being 2,000 total Tech Frags from SM and will be 2,500 for HM and 3,000 for NiM (MM). For Operations without 5 bosses, the payment amounts will be balanced to reward an equal amount of Tech Frags based on average completion time.
I’m really glad that Tech Fragment payouts are being increased for Operations, but I don’t feel that nearly enough is being done for NiM raids, which are extremely challenging right now and pretty impractical to do for the sake of gearing. The vast majority of the NiM community is just farming Nefra and Dash’roode to get Rakata pieces and doing HM to get Catalysts to upgrade the Rakata to 330.
Almost no one is managing to actually clear the entire raid in MM, let alone the final bosses which tend to be more challenging, so the Weekly rewards are effectively nonexistent. This issue will only be compounded by the new ascending payout structure where an extra 500 Tech Frags simply aren’t worth completing the raid in NiM as opposed to HM.
A 50% payout increase isn’t even in line with the differences in other rewards. The NiM weekly gives triple the Catalysts compared to SM, so why aren’t we getting triple the Tech Frags too?
For both 6.0 and 7.0, BioWare has basically completely ignored the existence of prog where clearing a full raid in NiM, especially the newest one, is far less likely to occur than clearing HM or SM. This is even more problematic with how Operations now require you to clear all bosses where unless you have the exact same group, someone is going to miss out on getting the weekly. This is fine for SM and HM where it’s assumed that you’ll clear it in a single sitting and want to discourage LBLO farming, but it just doesn’t work for NiM.
It’s good for there to still be some slight ascending rewards to incentivize clearing a whole raid instead of just farming specific bosses, but the bulk of rewards for NiM content should be structured around players defeating individual bosses, not completing the whole raid.
The weeklies for NiM should be ridiculously rewarding to compensate for the difficulty. I’m talking like 10k-13k Tech Fragments (enough for 2 Legendary Implants) on top of the boss-focused rewards. Weeklies simply can’t be the meat and potatoes of gearing for NiM raiding.
Most currency rewards for the Unranked PvP daily and weekly are getting doubled or even tripled while the Group Ranked weekly has had its rewards reduced.
- WZ-1 Accelerants are now 110 (up from 55)
- Tech Fragments are now 1500 (up from 450)
- Daily Matrices are now 20 ( up from 8)
- Tech Fragments are now 150 (up from 75)
Group Ranked Weekly:
- Tech Fragments are now 1750 (down from 2000)
Galactic Starfighter is having its Weekly Tech Fragment payout slightly nerfed from 1000 to 850 in order to balance its payout with the rest of the game and make non-participation less attractive.
It’s possible with the other boosts to Tech Frag payouts that there might be slightly less incentive for some players to throw in GSF if they are only looking for Tech Frags, but I really don’t think this will have much of an effect for most players since the bigger draw for GSF for most people is quick, easy, and consistent access to the Thyrsian Box with potential purple loot thanks to the fact that you don’t have to actually win matches to progress the weekly.
While they didn’t say it, the obvious next step for BioWare is to change the GSF weekly to require wins for progression rather than the current wins count x2 system as they did a few years back with regular PvP.
Now, time for a serious comment and a request!
To those of you that actively choose not to truly participate in content and prefer to do the easy thing just to get your rewards quicker, I kindly ask you to take a moment and consider the players who actually enjoy this type of content and how your actions affect them. If you don’t like GSF, don’t play it.
Do you remember the comment EA made on the Star Wars Battlefront Reddit about “pride and accomplishment”. The content in SWTOR is not nearly as grindy as it was in Battlefront at the time this comment was made and became legendary with the number of downvotes it received.
While you could really save up a bit of time by farming GSF “the lazy way”, would you truly feel like you have “earned” your EndGame Gear this way? There are other and better ways to show the developers that they need to reconsider the balance of rewards they provide for various content pieces available to EndGame players.
Check out the EndGame Gearing Guide. I have a lot of tips and a real step-by-step program you can follow to get your EndGame Gear in SWTOR quick enough so that you don’t feel bored while doing it. It will be updated for 7.0.2, of course, to mark the currencies changes and everything else.
OEM and RPM Availability Reduced
OEM-37s and RPM-13s will soon only be obtainable from the Spoils of War Vendor on the Fleet, but cost “only” 5,000 Tech Fragments instead of 10,000. They will no longer drop from NiM Operations and Group Ranked PvP Weeklies respectively.
In my opinion, this is a terrible change. Tech Fragments aren’t earned at a fast enough rate to make this much of a discount even with the change. Yeah, they cost 50% less, but considering that you need a ton of them to make a single gold augment, it’s still way too much. 50% off a $20 million yacht is still a tiny bit outside of my budget.
This change is so bad that it makes me wonder if they don’t want players to get gold augments at all right now, despite saying they want to make the “CM-1337 easier and simpler for players to obtain.” If BioWare actually wanted more players to have access to gold augs, it would make more sense to have the vendor sell the CM-1337 mat directly for something like 5,000 Tech Frags instead.
It’s also possible that BioWare wants to fully remove the incentives for regular players to win-trade in group ranked by eliminating both the gearing and credit incentive from the weekly and in order to be fair, they also had to get rid of OEMs dropping in Operations.
Regardless, if you have OEMs or RPMs now, I would recommend holding onto them until a little after 7.0.2 releases because the GTN price should go up as supplies run dry.
New Items in Collections
There are several new items in collections including a speeder and weapons set.
B-44 Marshal Speeder
This seems like it will actually be sold on the Cartel Market.
The preview was super buggy and incomplete, so we just have the drawing for now. Given the name and central turbine design, it seems this is inspired by Cobb Vanth’s (AKA the Marshal) speeder from the Mandalorian.
It’s unclear if we’ll also be getting Boba Fett’s armor, or at least Cobb Vanth’s rendition. It wasn’t listed in collections, but given that we’ve gotten other outfits from The Mandalorian and other TV / Movies like Solo and Bad Batch, I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that we could get Boba’s Armor too.
These are old weapon designs with higher-detail models and textures. It seems that they will be added to the 10th Anniversary Vendor rather than be sold on the Cartel Market.
I really like the “Reforged” concept and I hope that BioWare does it for other older weapons and especially armor sets. I wonder if BioWare plans to do the same at least for the archetypal class story outfits.
I am pretty happy about most of these changes. Most of them are a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, it really just feels like BioWare simply doesn’t have enough support from EA (meaning money and subsequently manpower) to run the game.
A lot of the gearing issues we are experiencing ultimately result from BioWare relying too much on using rewards like gear and cosmetics to lure the player around to less popular content and away from farming because they can’t dedicate development time to actually improving those types of content so more people want to play the content because they find it fun, not because they get rewarded, without significantly hampering the amount of actual new content that gets released.
Look at how short the 7.0 story was and how much of a delay there’s been to the new operation and daily area while all we got in return were controversial improvements to game systems like Combat Styles and some new UI.
I know some of you would blame BioWare at least partially for these issues because they chose to prioritize modernizing old systems over content, but at the end of the day, I think BioWare wouldn’t have to choose between modernization, refinement, and an acceptable amount of new content if EA had properly funded this game.