SWTOR 7.1 PTS launched with three of the five Bosses from the R-4 Anomaly Operation and some UI improvements demanded by the community!
BioWare has released part of the 7.1 update to the PTS including the first 3 bosses of the new R4 Anomaly Operation in SM and HM alongside some tweaks to the UI and other bug fixes. We are still missing the remaining 2 bosses in the new Operation, the new daily area on Manaan, and the ability to put weapons in outfitter.
BioWare has said that they plan to release an update containing a multitude of bug fixes and UI tweaks, many of which have been fixed on the 7.1 PTS, with an update that will occur before 7.1 is released, so something like a 7.0.1 or 7.0.0a.
UI Tweaks and Comparision
On the PTS, we can see several of the planned UI changes that should be making their way to the Live game prior to 7.1. I find it interesting that BioWare didn’t acknowledge complaints about the UI looking bad and only pointed out fixes that would help to mitigate sources of migraines, eye strain, and tropophobia.
It’s fair that medical concerns would be addressed first, but a lot of these fixes just seem to make the UI look better and I heard a whole lot more about that than the medical concerns that were mentioned.
Inventory visual changes
The difference is that the PTS version has less pronounced inventory slots. The Currency tab still contains currencies that are no longer in use, like Unassembled Components and Masterwork Data Crystals, though I no longer see the FPO screen where we can’t see our currencies. The game also still remembers which tab was open last whenever you open the inventory in a different way rather than always returning to the Inventory tab each time.
The inventory screen looks a fair bit better in my opinion, though I don’t think the current version on Live is as hideous as some people seem to think. Hopefully, the additional issues with the inventory UI are fixed before the next update.
Ability Tree visual changes
BioWare increased the thickness around the icon borders, grayed out unselected ones and added borders to the discipline passives. They also fixed the issue where the Ability Tree and Abilities tabs are disconnected from the list, though the light and dark depicting the active tab are still backward from the rest of the game’s interfaces. I can see why it’s like this, but it demonstrates a problem with the overall design of this window.
I would prefer if none of the icons were grayed out and the borders around discipline passives shouldn’t be there because that implies a nonexistent choice. Hopefully the borders around active icons will be centered by the time it is released to live.
It’s also weird that some discipline passives are still randomly located in the abilities and passives list rather than being included in discipline passives and this has created some confusion for players. I’m curious to see how it will actually look on Live, but so far, I think this pane is most in need of a more substantial rework.
Character Pane tweaks
Several improvements have been made to the Character Pane with the most obvious being the lighter blue background. The gear mods (most noticeable on weapons) have also been made into more of a pill shape rather than being circles and have their own column in hopes of mitigating trypophobia.
The changes definitely help the Character Pane to blend in better and it’s a little easier to actually see the little weapon mod icons in a pill shape too. I hope that BioWare also changes the angle of the character so that they aren’t staring at the ground. I can see how this pose shows off our outfit better, but maybe a few buttons to toggle through poses would be better for that.
Fixed Window Framing
Unless the Character Customization Menu is opened using the Character sheet, on Live you’d get a misalignment issue on the Combat Styles tab where the Ability Tree pane wasn’t aligned properly with the Character Pane. This appears to have been fixed.
You can see here with the PTS image that the bluer background also blends in better with the light blue framing.
R-4 Anomaly Operation is partially available
Both the vendors and (current?) entrance to the R-4 Anomaly Operation are located on Mek-Sha at Slugfall Harbor. The closest Quick Travel point is Slugfall Cantina. It’s unclear if this is meant to be the actual entrance to the Operation.
The vendors sell 330 Rakata Gear, 286 Augments, and MK-11 Augment Kits for 1 credit each. BioWare neglected to include vendors that sell Tactical Items or Legendary Implants, so don’t bother transferring a toon that doesn’t have those.
BioWare is looking for specific feedback about the first 3 bosses in R4-Anomaly Operation. You can provide that feedback in each of these threads on the SWTOR forums:
They mentioned that there is a (seemingly difficult) Kephess phase in VM of the Lord Kanoth fight, but to not provide spoilers on how to access it. BioWare is asking for very specific feedback, often about specific mechanics, so if you disliked Dxun, I would highly recommend checking out these new bosses on the PTS and provide feedback!
Regarding the bugs with the Malgus Fight on Elom
BioWare acknowledged the issue that many players were experiencing on the live server when fighting Malgus. They said they were unable to reproduce the issue on the dev server, but were introducing several fixes to the PTS to see if that would help.
Vulkk said he didn’t experience the issue on the 7.0 PTS either (I didn’t try it as to not get spoiled), but I noticed I didn’t encounter the issue when I did the fight in MM on the second or third day of the expansion but did notice it later on.
Since the bug causes you to fall through the floor after being moved, I’m curious if the bug has to do with the higher levels of lag present from the additional players on the Live server.
Hopefully, the fixes will prove effective. BioWare is encouraging players to test out the fight on the PTS to see if their fixes worked.
And if you still haven’t tried it, I have a guide to the Elom Flashpoint that will help you learn the boss mechanics and strategies quicker.
How to access SWTOR PTS
The Public Test Server for Star Wars The Old Republic is accessible only for active subscribers. It is currently live, but we don’t know how long it will remain so and what new features will be added to it or when. As soon as there’s a patch, you’ll be able to read everything about it here.
If you want to test things for yourself, here is a complete guide on how to access SWTOR pts from the normal launcher and through Steam.