BioWare announced their plan to delay to January 2022 the upcoming R-4 Anomaly Operation for after the Legacy of the Sith expansion.

Back in July, when BioWare made the announcement of the upcoming Legacy of the Sith expansion, they stated that it will be a segmented one and more will continue to be added in the form of additional updates throughout the course of 2022.

Initially this plan was announced to only apply to the traditional things like tiers of gear and set bonuses and the new UI redesign. However, today BipWare announced that they will be staggering the release of the new R-4 Anomaly operation that was supposed to be part of the 7.0 expansion originally.

Another big reveal is the fact that the new operation will only be available in 8-man mode. All existing operations will continue to have their 16-man mode after the release of 7.0. The dev team prefers to focus on polishing as best as they can the small-scale version of the operation.

Another reason that the announcement doesn’t mention, of course, is the game’s aging engine. SWTOR’s graphics may look a bit dated, but the visuals have improved considerably since the game’s launch.

What remains a constant is the unbearable lag and FPS issues players inevitably experience during 16-man runs. It’s even works in the open-world boss encounters some times where a group of up to 24 players is possible.

The new R-4 Anomaly operation will be available for testing shortly after the 7.0 tests are over.

SWTOR R-4 Anomaly Operation - Deep Station

The release date for the expansion is still only referred to as “Holiday 2021” and now we know that the R-4 Anomaly Operation is targeting a release date in January of 2022.

Keep in mind that BioWare staff usually go on holiday around the middle of December. This allows me to speculate that they target a release date for 7.0 some time around the first one or two weeks of December. Most likely December 7.

Or they could take the risk and release the 10th anniversary expansion on the date the game launched – 21.12.2011 (for some of us it happened on 13th, because of the early access, for others it was 22nd because of time difference. So, plenty of choices!

What worries me is that BioWare wont leave us enough time to test the new operation and provide feedback.

Again, speaking from past experience, most of the team is silent in January and the first patch to the game often arrives no sooner than the middle of February.

Will the devs put in extra hours this Holiday to make sure we get as much of the new expansion as soon as possible?

Let me remind you that the Master Mode of the new operation was expected to arrive in January. Now the Story and Veteran Modes are targeting this month for release, which means that Master Mode will eventually be pushed back.

Last, but not least, I wonder if the Operation will add the traditional mod-able top tier gear that will be missing from 7.0 when it launches. BioWare recently confirmed that the initial top gear coming with the expansion will not be mod-able.

Below you can read the official announcement BioWare made today:

The greatest challenges we offer in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ are large group encounters called Operations. As we announced back in July, the next Operation coming to SWTOR is the R-4 Anomaly, where an obscure Sith cult harvests technology from an ancient weapon of terrifying power.

Ultimately, our goal is to ensure players have the best end-game experience possible. To help us achieve that goal, we‘re planning two changes for the R-4 Anomaly Operation.

First, the R-4 Anomaly Operation will only be available in the 8-player mode. The vast majority of our Operations are run in 8-player groups, so we are focusing on enhancing and carefully tuning 8-player mode for the R-4 Anomaly and all future Operations. Existing Operations will still be available in both 8 and 16-player modes.

Second, we’re staggering the release of the Operation and the release of the expansion. […] there are a number of gearing changes coming in 7.0, and we want to make sure players have ample time to gear up their characters, settle into Combat Styles, and get their groups ready for the next great threat to the Galaxy. But players won’t have to wait long for the Operation; with Legacy of the Sith coming Holiday 2021, we’re targeting January 2022 to release the R-4 Anomaly Operation.

This staggered release also allows us to quickly put our “players should continuously grow in power” gearing philosophy into practice. Players can expect new gear to acquire when the Story and Veteran modes for the R-4 Anomaly Operation become available!

Our goal is to get the R-4 Anomaly Operation on PTS shortly after the 7.0 PTS wraps! We can’t wait for players to take down this new threat to the galaxy. Stay tuned to SWTOR.com for more updates!

As a side note, there was a small patch for the PTS today. Nothing worth getting overly excited about, really. BioWare seems to have fixed some of the Legendary Items, which were missing Descriptions. Still, there are plenty missing as some Combat Styles have far fewer Implants and Ears with set bonuses than others.

Small update is visible to parts of the new UI that the devs are working on.

While it’s known that not the whole UI will be redesigned with the release of the expansion, I certainly hope that all of the constantly-visible and the most usable panels and windows will get their “new coat of pain” before the release.

There has been loads and loads of new information about SWTOR Update 7.0 lately. Some of it available for testing, a lot of it in written format as forum posts and blog articles on the game’s official website. If you have missed any of them, check out our detailed and thorough coverage here on VULKK.com!

If you have missed the most recent updates regarding 7.0, catch up! BioWare recently revealed how endgame gearing will work in 7.0 and spoke of some of the major itemization changes. A lot of the new Combat Styles for many of the classes are also available for testing on the PTS and we have detailed previews and analysis on the changes for all of them!

Author Lokzmir
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