SWTOR system designer Bryant Wood brings clarifications and announced new changes and tweaks to how EndGame Gearing will work in SWTOR 7.0!
Updates and changes to Weeklies in 7.0
BioWare has clarified that weekly and daily missions will no longer retain their progress past their reset time, so weeklies will reset every 7 days (each Tuesday) and dailies will reset every 24 hours. The reset time is global; it is not based on when you pick up the mission.
In order to compensate for the weekly reset, many weekly missions are now shorter and most are repeatable. For example, the Galactic Conflicts weekly now only requires you to complete 2 MM Flashpoints instead of 3, and you can complete that weekly up to 3 times each week.
The only weekly missions that don’t appear to be repeatable are the ones that are linked to lockouts, so HM and NiM raids. It seems that BioWare has compensated for the non-repeatable nature of these weeklies by having them grant more Hazardous Matter Catalysts.
SM weeklies grant 20, HM grants 65, and NiM grants 175, so you have to complete 3 SM raids to get roughly the same amount of that currency as you’d get from 1 HM and nearly 3 HM raids to get the same amount as you’d earn from completing 1 NiM raid.
How Heroic Missions will work in Legacy of the Sith
BioWare has clarified that all Heroic missions will continue to be available each week, but there will be a rotating subset of them where the weekly is available. By rotating subset, I mean that only some of the weeklies are available each week and this selection changes each week.
This rotating subset for weeklies exists for other types of PvE content as well: only some flashpoints are available in Group Finder each week and only some Operations have weeklies.
Returning to Heroics, you’ll still get rewarded for completing whichever Heroic mission you choose, but you may not be contributing towards a weekly if that planet doesn’t have a weekly that week.
For heroics, it’s distributed where each individual mission gives 3 Aquatic Resource Matrices while the weekly gives 20.
The biggest reason for having a rotating selection of weeklies and having weeklies represent such a significant portion of the rewards is that it inhibits farming.
BioWare wants players to get gear through the content they enjoy, not sit there farming the same thing over and over again. No more endless Hammer Stations!
Many activities will yield Increased Rewards in 7.0
BioWare made a bunch of other improvements to gearing based on PTS feedback. If you haven’t been closely following how 7.0 gearing will work, you probably won’t care about this section too much. It’s great to hear that BioWare is listening to player feedback!
- Faster mission progress for the Legendary Item mission for PvP activities
- Slightly increased Role in Need rewards
- GSF Daily and Weekly rewards have been increased, Tech Fragment amount now matches what is given by Solo Ranked missions
- PvP gearing has been accelerated by reducing related currency costs and increasing reward amounts
- Tech Fragment rewards have been increased in a variety of activities to compensate for the reduced amount of Tech Fragments received from less frequent deconstruction resulting from less frequent gear drops (this is independent from gearing speed, in 7.0, players will receive gear less often, but almost all gear they receive will be an upgrade)
- It seems there was a bug where players could receive duplicate pieces of gear before all equipment slots had an item with at least 320 rating, but this has been fixed. If you don’t understand what this is referring to, don’t worry about it.
- Defeating a boss in a FP or Operation will always reward a piece of gear that will have item rating that is equal to a random piece of gear the player has equipped (RNG is back?). Bosses also have a chance to drop bonus currency. It’s unclear if 1 piece of gear drops for every player for every boss or if it’s just 1 piece of gear is guaranteed to drop from each boss and someone in the group will get it and be able to trade it.
- Daily Area and Heroic weekly missions will reward a crate that gives a piece of Noble Decurion Gear (Conquest track) at an item rating equal to a randomly chosen piece of equipped gear. This was done to make alt gearing easier for Conquest players.
- Story Flashpoint Missions will offer the player a choice between 3 Medals of Commendation or 3 Decurion Isotope Stabilizers.
To be clear, these are improvements made to the gearing system we will experience in 7.0 based on player feedback on the PTS.
And PTS 7.0 is shutting down today (the publication date). Shortly before or after the launch of the expansion BioWare will bring it up with new content from 7.1. Weapon Outfitter will be part of that 7.1 test phase as a result of delays and push-backs that BioWare announced earlier this week.
Stat Distributions on Armor
BioWare is actually putting some thought into the stat distributions on unmoddable armor!
Each Combat Style’s armor set will contain 2 pieces with accuracy, 2 Pieces with alacrity, and 1 piece with crit. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern to which pieces contain a given type of tertiary stat (accuracy, alacrity, crit, shield, absorb). For example, the Targeter’s armor has alacrity on the chest while the Force-Lord’s has accuracy on the chest.
With the 318 gear and accuracy implants/earpiece, I had 109.91% accuracy with a Kyrprax stim and an individual piece of armor has about as much tertiary stat as approximately 4.5 augments.
Sorcerer / Sage and Mercenary / Commando healer gear contains 3 crit enhancements and 2 alacrity pieces while Operative / Scoundrel healer gear contains 2 crit and 3 alacrity pieces.
Juggernaut / Guardian and Powertech / Vanguard tanks have pieces with 3 shield and 2 with absorb while Assassins / Shadows have 2 pieces with shield and 3 with absorb.
All this means that BiS builds will be possible with unmoddable gear. Tertiary stats provided by the BiS Legendary Items will determine which augments each Combat Style uses. Since the stats are being properly balanced, it’s actually just less work for the player. Gearing has only ever really been centered around the tertiary stat, which is exclusively found on the enhancement since DPS and Healers already use Versatile Armorings and Lethal Mods with the most mastery and power they can get their hands on, so we aren’t really losing any granularity by not having moddable gear.
The only thing that players can’t control is power/defense vs endurance, which is being controlled by rarity (green, blue, purple), which is defined by content difficulty and has nothing to do with the fact that gear is unmoddable.
Tank gear has a lot more variation, but they can still swap out whole pieces for DPS gear if they don’t need the mitigation and higher rarity gear offers higher endurance rather than higher defense chance, but tanks can still just change to a different rarity if they want more defense and still have the same amount of tertiary stat.
The only thing that’s unaccounted for are the R-variants for perfect min-maxing. Those are technically better, but they were brand new in 6.0, so we don’t know if they’ll be making a comeback. Honestly, I think they introduce more complexity than they’re worth and it would be better if BioWare just balanced all content around what is achievable exclusively with unmoddable gear.
If that was too much detail, just know that you shouldn’t have to worry about unmoddable gearing! BioWare has balanced the stats where players should be able to easily reach the stats they need.
I am happy to see that BioWare appears to be trying harder to communicate directly with the playerbase with longer dev posts on the forums and is clearly listening to player feedback, at least when it comes to gearing.
Hopefully, this continued improved communication will help to change some people’s minds about Legacy of the Sith.
The overview and analysis are based on this forum post by Bryant Wood, a SWTOR system designer at BioWare.
Alongside this announcement, BioWare released a new SWTOR 7.0 Legacy of the Sith Story Trailer. Check out what I managed to extract out of it in terms of information.