BioWare has unveiled Legacy of the Sith, the next expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, which will launch during the holiday season of 2021. It will start the game’s 10th Anniversary celebrations, which will continue throughout 2022!
This article contains absolutely everything we know so far about the upcoming SWTOR 7.0 Expansion. Of course, there will be more and frequent updates as we get closer to the release date.
First up is the official SWTOR 7.0 press-release, then we dive into the details with the July 1st BioWare livestream recap, analysis of the new features coming to the game and all the other good stuff!
Table of contents
Official SWTOR 7.0 Legacy of the Sith press release
This segment will show you the full and official press release announcement, which was kindly provided to me by BioWare’s PR representatives.
BioWare Marks a New Era for Star Wars: The Old Republic with Legacy of the Sith Expansion for the Critically Acclaimed MMORPG
SWTOR’s Next Major Expansion Kicks-off the 10th Anniversary Celebration, Delivering a New Storyline, Endgame Missions, Character & Combat System Upgrades and more
AUSTIN – JULY 1, 2021 – In honor of the upcoming 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare has unveiled Legacy of the Sith, the next major expansion which marks the beginning of an exciting new time for the critically acclaimed MMORPG. Legacy of the Sith will continue to build upon Star Wars: The Old Republic’s dynamic Star Wars storyline, sending players on a military campaign to secure a vital planet for their faction as they uncover the ultimate plan of the renegade Sith, Darth Malgus. The expansion also features enhancements to SWTOR’s player experience with the new feature, Combat Styles, that expand player options and an array of quality of life upgrades. Star Wars fans will have an opportunity to rediscover the award-winning story of Star Wars: The Old Republic in Legacy of the Sith this Holiday season on PC via SWTOR.com and Steam, kicking off the 10th anniversary celebration which will run throughout 2022 and introduce new content, events, updates and more.
Legacy of the Sith will take players on an adventure to the far reaches of the galaxy including the aquatic planet of Manaan in pursuit of Darth Malgus. The major update will increase the maximum number of levels players can achieve by 5 to level 80. The toughest challenges yet Star Wars: The Old Republic will also be introduced with new collaborative missions including a Flashpoint set in a mountaintop tomb on the remote planet Elom, as well as an Operation in the remains of a deep space research station.
The latest expansion will introduce the new Combat Styles feature which further expands on the deep custom Star Wars experience of SWTOR. Combat Styles will allow players to fulfill their ultimate Star Wars fantasy, independently choosing a specific class story and combining it with ability sets from other related tech or force wielding classes. Existing, returning and new players can look forward to improvements in creating their next Star Wars character through a refactored character creation system. In addition, updates to itemization and loadout experiences as well as streamlined class design further enhances the Star Wars: The Old Republic experience for new, returning and existing players.
Breaking down the press release message
That was the official press release, now, let’s take it to the next level and dig deeper! We’ll take a more detailed look at the planets and locations revealed, how they relate to SWTOR and the Star Wars Lore and, of course, analyze the new Combat Styles feature.
When will SWTOR 7.0 launch
There is not fixed release date yet for SWTOR 7.0 Legacy of the Sith. The targeted release window is “Holiday Season”. This typically means November or December of 2021.
Given the fact that BioWare is just starting to talk about the expansion, means that it is more likely for a very late November of early December to be a more accurate target window for the release of the expansion.
BioWare got a very bitter taste with the release of 3.0 too soon to the actual Christmas Holiday that the studio usually goes on around December 15th. I highly doubt that they will risk another “Ravagers fiasco” where a severe and very popular exploit was discovered in the Ravagers Operation shortly after the expansion launched, but because the developers were already on holiday, it was left in the game until early next year.
Since that moment the expansions were launching October-November. I expect Legacy of the Sith to be out in the last week of November. Again, I feel obliged to remind you that the official statement is only “this Holiday season”. The rest are my analysis and speculations on the possible release date.
Before the expansion goes live parts of it will be accessible for testing on PTS – SWTOR’s testing environment. This server is only available to SWTOR Subscribers and usually opens up before a big update. New stories are never present on this server, but nearly all other gameplay features and elements are.
Consult the SWTOR PTS Installation and Access Guide for more information if you plan to participate in the open testing for this expansion.
The new planet Elom
This planet has some vague presence in the Disney Star Wars canon, but it is more heavily involved in the Star Wars Legends.
The canon only briefly acknowledges the planet’s name and existence. The first official mention it gets is in the Star Wars The Force Awakens Beginner Game.
According to the archives this is a cold planet located in the galaxy’s Outer Rim Territories. It’s the homeworld of the Elom and Elomin species.
The Elom species themselves first appear in Star Wars Episode VI Return of the Jedi.
For SWTOR the first time Elom appears (mention only) is during the first expansion of the game – Rise of the Hutt Cartel.
The Legends have more to tell us about the planet and its inhabitants, of course! And we know how much SWTOR draws from the Star Wars Legends lore!
According to the Legends wiki Elom is located within a star system in the Sertar sector of the Outer Rim Territories region of the galaxy. The Elomin civilization claimed large portions of the planet’s surface for mining and limited agriculture, but vast tracts of wilderness remained. These areas included desert plains and small mountains, which were inhabited by nomadic packs of ranphyx.
What’s interesting is that the same source states that the Galactic Republic first makes contact with the Elomin species in 120 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) and with the Elom even later.
There’s not much confirmed information about the new Flashpoint that will take you to Elom. You will be exploring a tomb, located on a mountaintop.
Return to Manaan in 7.0
The Legacy of the Sith will take you back to Manaan. This planet is very well known to any SWTOR and KOTOR players.
Manaan is an ocean planet, located in the Inner Rim of the galaxy. Selkath are the sentient species calling this world their home.
The journey through the planet in Legacy of the Sith 7.0 expansion is not announced as part of any group content, but rather a solo experience during the storyline of the expansion.
Legacy of the Sith rises level cap to 80
The fact that the Legacy of the Sith 7.0 expansion will rise the level cap with only five levels from 75 to 80 is more than enough indication of the size of this expansion. It will likely be a little more than 6.0 Onslaught and less than 3.0 Shadow of Revan.
SWTOR has never had an expansion that changes the level cap with more than five levels at a time and Legacy of the Sith will be no exclusion of this rule.
Given the fact that this expansion marks ten years since the game’s release (December 2011) I personally was secretly hoping for a bigger content package, but given the situation and the conditions all developers work since Spring of 2020 and into 2021, it is understandable that we get only five new levels.
From the press release alone we clearly understand that this expansion will offer a single storyline for all classes. There will be some slight differences between the two factions, of course.
Also let’s not forget that BioWare split the narrative even further not long ago by giving players the chance to play as a spy. This should result in at least a few replays of Legacy of the Sith before you start feeling the boredom.
New Operation located in a deep space research station
Details coming up very soon. Please, check back in an hour or so.
The new Combat Styles feature
Combat Styles is a brand new gameplay feature releasing with the 7.0 Legacy of the Sith expansion to SWTOR. It will allow you to choose independently a story to play through and combine it with ability sets from other classes.
One of the officially released with the Press Release images shows a character yielding all kinds of weapons at the same time (see image below).
After the release of the second season of The Mandalorian TV Show on Disney Plus I suddenly wanted to be able to use the Amban JP Blaster Rifle on my Arsenal Mercenary alt. Combat Styles will allow me to do that.
“Combat Styles will allow players to fulfill their ultimate Star Wars fantasy, independently choosing a specific class story and combining it with ability sets from other related tech or force wielding classes.”
You will be able to set this up at the start of your character creation.
“Existing, returning and new players can look forward to improvements in creating their next Star Wars character through a refactored character creation system.”
If you select a Tech class, for example, you will be able to choose ability sets from all other tech classes in the game and play in a new way through the same content.
If you select a Force Class, you will have to be careful which choices you make, because there will be a Dark / Light requirement to access the counterparts of that class. This means that if you want to play a Guardian with a Lightning skill, you will have to “earn” it by choosing the dark side options in the story dialogues and build your Dark Side alignment.
One thing that worries me is the mention of “streamlined class design” in that announcement. How much more streamlined could it be?
BioWare got rid of the Skill Trees with 3.0, they removed the unique stats each class had and replaced them with Mastery, they made most of the DPS classes fit into the same EnDGame Gearing template. What more could be streamlined, BioWare?
Loadouts coming to SWTOR in 7.0
After so many years of asking and wishing for it, BioWare finally decided to answer the players’ demands. SWTOR 7.0 will offer a fully functional Loadouts system.
You will be able to assign a predefined set of gear, abilities and utilities, outfits and more to a shortcut that will allow you to quickly and easily switch between your loadouts for different situations and playstyles.
SWTOR July 1st 7.0 livestream recap
BioWare hosted a livestream event on July 1st 2021 to officially announce the upcoming expansion to SWTOR. Update The 7.0 Legacy of the Sith is still a few months away at the time of this publication, but we know more than enough to get started!
The live stream started with a fifteen minutes pre-show. It included clips with messages from a number of developers that have been working on SWTOR for years and the all shared their passion and personal experience with the game.
The actual live stream started with a pre-recorded message from the game director Keith Kanneg. He officially announced the new expansion.
After Keith Eric Musco (now a game producer!) and Charles Boyd (creative director, still) took the “stage” and revealed a few additional details about the upcoming expansion.
Everything that is related to the expansion itself, the planets, the new gameplay features announced in the press release, I have included it all in these segments above in the article. Below you can read the additional information and new details they shared.
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I AM INCORPORATING THE LAST FEW DETAILS WE LEARNED FROM THE LIVE STREAM INTO THE ARTICLE. EXPECT THEM VERY SHORTLY!
Hopes vs Expectations vs Reality 7.0
Now that the big announcement is behind us, it is time to look with a fresh and clear head, Or try to. Being the Star Wars fan that I am, it is hard for me not to get overly excited from this announcement.
In the last few years SWTOR has gone from a bad to worse shape. The lack of content in the 6.0 expansion was annoying, but it looks great compared to what we received from the developers in 2020.
There’s no denying that it’s not hard to continue to support a nine (soon to be ten) years old game and its community with fresh and engaging content. Then we have all of the crazy things that hit our world in 2020.
With all of these factors, including the developers working from home for most of that time, it’s understandable that SWTOR suffered the consequences as well.
The 6.0 Onslaught expansion was one of the worst in my opinion. Its story was not very intriguing, but what shocked me was its length. It took me a little more to go through Onslaught on my first character than it took me to complete the 5.10 Jedi Under Siege Update.
In my book Ossus is by far the best story content that has happened to SWTOR for many years. The 6.2 story update brought together a huge number of classic SWTOR NPCs and presented an interesting story that served as (yet again) a conclusion to the Eternal Emperor’s storyline. But neither of these had the quality of the Ossus update. Just my opinion, of course.
Given the fact that we are coming out of an incredibly complicated 2020 and 2021 seems to not fall too far back in terms of surprises that prevent normal workflow, I am not expecting miracles from BioWare and the Legacy of the Sith expansion.
The title is the best part of this update for sure. I hope it wont remain so after it is released, but I am doing my best to suppress my own inner hype that is building up.
And why am I so hyped for something I have not even seen yet? I love Malgus. He is my favorite character in SWTOR. For some strange reason I like every bit of content where he is involved. The Secrets of the Enclave Flashpoint and story did its best to bore me, but it couldn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, the flashpoint had interesting interior and exterior design (especially the underground segments) and the achievements were fun. But its gameplay mechanics and especially the bosses were king of a lackluster.
The new 7.0 Flashpoint and Operation will have great design and visual appearance, but can the BioWare team pull it off gameplay wise? What do you think?
I’d like to end this segment and the whole article on a positive note – SWTOR is not going anywhere any time soon. The BioWare Austin team continues to support the game and has long-term plans for its future.
Lastly, I want to make an important notes: the information in this article is only from official sources: The press release, which was provided to me by a BioWare PR representative and the live stream event from July 1st.
For more news and updates about SWTOR 6.0 Legacy of the Sith expansion, remember to visit VULKK.com regularly and stay on top of things!