BioWare did a Livestream giving us a ton of info on what will be coming with Game Update 7.2: Showdown on Ruhnuk. The update will contain a brand-new planet called Ruhnuk that contains a daily area and storyline featuring the Mandalorians, major PvP changes, UI/UX improvements, iRating upgrades for endgame gear, new CM items, and the return of Life Day.
Table of contents
Before we begin, I wanted to sneak in an important message. Since the release of SWTOR 7.1.1, I have been working hard to revisit and update all my Combat Style Guides.
Some of the balance changes BioWare introduced were cosmetic, while others were really a big deal and demanded lots of testing and experiments that led to changes to recommended ability choices and even rotations in some cases. Take a look! Each guide has a label at the top notifying you when and for which patch it has last been updated.
Exclusive time-limited Livestream Code
Since this is a livestream, there’s a new code you can enter on swtor.com/redeem-code. The code is:
You’ll receive a deco artwork of Colonel Gallo (Republic Manaan storyline). The code only works until November 16th and capitalization does not matter.
New Planet: Ruhnuk
Ashley Ruhl (Narrative Director) and Robby Lamb (Senior Environment Artist) gave us a bunch of details about the brand-new planet called Ruhnuk where the Mandalorian storyline that started with the Spirit of Vengeance Flashpoint will be taking place.
Ashley Ruhl referred to Showdown on Ruhnuk as a “story chapter”, but did not elaborate on what that means. To me, it sounds like it could be structurally similar to Echoes of Oblivion, but nothing has been confirmed.
Environment of Ruhnuk
Ruhnuk is a dry, arid, plateau-based planet full of river valleys. Its first inhabitants did a lot of mining. It’s inspired by the Grand Canyon, Arizonan Copper Mines, and Colorado Plateaus. It doesn’t rain a lot, but when it does rain, it pours.
Apologies for the poor resolution, these screenshots were taken from a super-compressed video.
The planet is surrounded by a unique nebula that has kept it hidden (until now). These abandoned mining facilities have been taken over by Heta Kol’s Hidden Chain organization, so Ruhnuk is Heta Kol’s base of operations.
New Teaser Cutscene
Ashley and Robby also shared a little teaser cutscene where Shae asks the player character for their help in defeating Heta Kol on Ruhnuk.
No one at BioWare mentioned it, but it seems like the SWTOR’s shader has been significantly improved, especially on character faces. The armor sets also seem to have higher detail, as does the new planet.
“Showdown on Ruhnuk” Characters
Jay Watamanuik (Senior Game Writer) gave us some details about the characters in the Showdown on Ruhnuk story. He’s been with BioWare for 21 years and part of SWTOR specifically for the past 2.5 years.
It seems he’s been the main writer for the Mandalorian storyline starting back with the Spirit of Vengeance Flashpoint and he wrote the main story on Ruhnuk that we’ll be experiencing in 7.2.
Heta Kol – Enemy
We don’t know much about her beyond that she’s exceptional at recruiting fringe clans under her own banner, called the Hidden Chain.
Her organization attacked Shae Vizla’s Flagship, the Spirit of Vengeance, preceding the events of the flashpoint that shares the same name.
Bask Sunn – Enemy
Bask Sunn was the second boss in the Spirit of Vengeance flashpoint and you escaped his ship using the Opulent Dar’Manda Skiff. He’s super-rich, cares mostly about credits, and makes deals to prioritize his own survival.
Ri’kan Kateen – Enemy
Ri’kan Kateen is a Twi’Lek and brother of Sa’har Kateen who we saw briefly at the end of the Legacy of the Sith storyline. Unlike Bask Sunn, he’s ruthlessly loyal to Heta Kol for a currently unknown reason.
I hope that BioWare improves the quality of Ri’kan and Sa’har’s models before 7.2 is released…
She’s a very powerful padawan that’s gotten caught up in these major galactic events. Her allegiance is currently unknown, though at the end of Elom, we saw Ri’kan introducing her to Heta Kol.
Jekiah and Rass Ordo – Allies
Jekiah and Rass Ordo are Mandalorians and brothers. Rass Ordo accompanied you through the Spirit of Vengeance FP. Jekiah Ordo is Shae Vizla’s right-hand man.
Shae Vizla – Ally
Shae Vizla is Mandalore the Avenger. She appointed Jekiah Ordo as the Arbiter so he can speak for her and handle Mandalorian administration so Shae can focus fully on hunting down Heta Kol.
Torian Cadera – Ally
While she had control of the Spirit of Vengeance, Heta Kol specifically stole the Clan Cadera banner, which will be somehow important in the story. Torian is a member of the small Clan Cadera.
Akaavi Spar – Ally
Jay didn’t mention much about Akaavi other than that she is part of the story too. Akaavi Spar was originally a Smuggler companion that joins your Alliance along with Mako.
After briefly talking about Torian and Akaavi, he said that there will be additional short stories coming to explain how Shae Vizla was able to find Heta Kol, and what she’s been doing after the Spirit of Vengeance FP. Jay also referred to Showdown on Ruhnuk as “the next chapter in the Mandalorian Civil Wars”.
Ruhnuk Daily Area
Caitlin Sullivan Kelly (Lead Writer) shared some details about the Ruhnuk daily area. It will be a separate 3-mission story arc, with its dedicated characters, rewards, and gameplay. The story arc has players tracking down one of Heta Kol’s followers, Kur Haran’gir.
Characters involved in the Ruhnuk Daily Area Story
Below is a summary of the characters and their roles that you will encounter as you progress through the missions.
Lane Vizla is the main point of contact for player in the Ruhnuk daily area. She’s a distant cousin of Shae, but doesn’t like people knowing that. Lane is a big tinkerer who is interested in technology, particularly the Basilisk War Droids, that gigantic green walker with a bazillion blaster barrels we’ve had as a mount for a while.
Kur Ha’rangir is the main antagonist of the daily area. Clan Ha’rangir is wealthy and arrogant. Kur is interested in technology, but only wants the best for himself, he doesn’t care about preserving technology for others. Caitlin mentioned that he’s been doing experiments on Ruhnuk that Heta Kol doesn’t know about.
It sounds like he’s doing technological experiments that might be irreparably damaging to said technology.
Daily Area Rewards
As with other daily areas, there will be a new reputation that gives titles and unlocks access to specific items on a reputation vendor. The new reputation is named Trat’ade and features 2 Mando’a language legacy titles.
The reputation vendor will also sell 2 titles: “Champion of the Avenger” and Celebrated and Remembered” as well as decos, mounts, pets, etc. Ruhnuk flora and mining excavation equipment.
Below is a sample of some of the rewards available in the new Daily Area.
Gameplay features for the new Daily Area
The daily area will feature your normal mix of regular missions, heroics, and weeklies, as well as a new lizard creature world boss named Kithrawl, the Flame and Darkness, that is supposedly the reason for the disappearance of the previous miners on Ruhnuk.
Caitlin referred to it specifically as a world boss rather than lair boss, so it isn’t likely to be instanced, but I don’t know why BioWare is still releasing world bosses in 2022 given the visual performance issues that occur as a result of too many players being in the same area.
We don’t have a picture of Kithrawl, but her description made me think of the Magma Wyrms from Elden Ring while Vulkk thought of the Balrog from Lord of the Rings.
You will also be able to unlock specific abilities on the temporary ability bar available exclusively on Ruhnuk similar to the abilities you could access on Manaan.
In addition, Ruhnuk will feature a new puzzle Datacron, so get ready to spend way too much time for a minuscule permanent stat increase!
Major PvP Changes
Eric Musco (Lead Producer) started by explaining the philosophy and goals behind the changes BioWare would be making to PvP in 7.2. They had 3 main goals:
- Increase PvP participation (better quality matches, shorter queue times, etc.)
- Encourage positive play (avoiding unhealthy behaviors)
- Ensure PvP is rewarding (not talking about gear)
All of the changes they are making support at least 2 of those goals.
Condensing the PvP Queues
Ranked PvP will be removed from the game with the release of 7.2! Instead, there will be 2 dedicated queues, one for 8v8 (Warzones) and one for 4v4 (Arenas), so you can pick which size game you want since they offer different gameplay. You will be able to queue for both at the same time if you want.
To be clear, there doesn’t appear to be any map selection within this. The only divide is between all 8v8 and all 4v4 maps. Players will still be able to queue as a group and the matchmaker will prioritize pitting groups up against other groups so you can still queue with your friends.
Condensing the queues drives participation and encourages positive play.
And in preparation of this, we have been hard at work to deliver up-to-date modern guides to every PvP Map in SWTOR!
How PvP Seasons will work and what access F2P will have
PvP will have a seasonal rewards structure that is very similar to, but completely separate from, Galactic Seasons.
It has nothing to do with the ranked PvP seasons of yore. BioWare aims to run multiple seasons per calendar year with a goal to have 3 of roughly equal length.
In order to progress in the PvP season, you can earn PvP Points by earning medals in matches and completing PvP missions. The concept of how, where and when you earn medals, has also been revamped.
Free-to-play (F2P) will no longer have a cap on the number of matches they can participate in, though subscribers will be able to progress through the season twice as fast.
In addition to the PvP Seasons, there will be a new PvP Currency and Seasonal PvP Vendor similar to Galactic Seasons Tokens and those vendors where you’ll be able to purchase PvP Seasonal rewards. The PvP Currency can be earned by progressing through PvP Seasons.
Ranked PvP Tokens are being removed with 7.2. They will not be converted, so spend them before 7.2!
The introduction of PvP Seasons and giving more access to F2P players makes PvP more rewarding and increases PvP participation.
PvP Season Rewards Preview
BioWare is still working on the PvP Rewards and deciding when they will be doled out, but they have some to share.
Two of these armor sets will be purchasable from the vendor using the new PvP Currency while the other two will be given out piece by piece through the seasonal schedule.
As you can see, the PvP seasonal rewards will include things like stronghold decos, titles, PvP Season tokens, and Cartel Market crates. Mounts, pets, weapons, companions, and PvP gear currency were notably missing from the reward track.
New PvP Arena: Olympic Palatial Ruins
7.2 will also bring with it a new 4v4 Arena map on Onderon called Olympic Palatial Ruins. Here are some pictures of a short video they showed:
Potatoe resolution again, yeah. If only we could gain power from compression artifacts like the Jedi and Sith can from Force artifacts.
BioWare continues their quest to renovate and modernize the SWTOR User Interface as best as they can. They started this process long before 7.0, with the introduction of some of the 6.0 era mechanics and features – the rectangle clear and simpler windows started appearing before The Legacy of the Sith officially confirmed that the UI will be redesigned.
The Map gets a Visual and Functional Revamp
The next tool BioWare is focusing on with the UI redesign is the map and minimap of the game.
What’s changing with the Minimap
The minimap itself has been disconnected from all the buttons that used to be around it and is just the floating circle while the buttons are beneath it in a separate UI element called a utility bar.
New (Additional) Map Overlay Style
There is a new type of map overlay you will be able to enable. This is an alternative to the big map window where you can have just the map itself on the side similar to something like Mario Kart.
You can adjust things like filters, map size, and transparency. In addition, the terrain in the fog of war (undiscovered areas) is now visible.
Customizable Utility Bars
All the buttons that were around map before are now part of a separate bar called a utility bar that you can customize using the Interface Editor.
The welcome window where you currently access the Login and Galactic Seasons Rewards is also considered a Utility Bar and will be customizable in the interface Editor.
Updated Ability Tooltips
Ability tooltips can now optionally be attached to the mouse pointer like it is for gear instead of being above the map like it is now.
There will finally be a full colorblind mode! It supports 3 types of colorblindness:
Jackie noted at the end that the setting may not apply in loading screens because so much else is going on while the game is loading.
Deconstruct and Delete Window
You will be able to mass delete things using the improved Deconstruct and Delete window!
Instead of having to manually drag items out of your inventory into the void and confirming yes after each one, you will be able to just right-click items and it will automatically put items where they can go.
7.2 Gearing and Balance Changes
Bryant Wood (systems designer) announced that there will be new item rating (iRating) ceilings and floors for endgame gear, new legendary implants, currency conversions, balance changes, and quality of life (QoL) improvements.
All PvE gear (Decurion, Tionese, Columi, Rakata) will have a new ceiling of 336 while Thyrsian (PvP) will have its iRating ceiling raised to 332.
Hyde and Zeek will also sell 332 and 336 mods. The floor for PvE gear will be raised to 324 while the floor for PvP gear will be raised to 322 so that gearing doesn’t take any longer than it does now.
We will see forum posts soon about upcoming legendary implants, currency conversions, and QoL improvements.
New Cartel Market Items Sneak Peek
Bradley Lewis (Art Monetization Director) gave us a sneak peek of some of the new items that will be coming to the CM with 7.2.
Bradley actually has a workshop where he physically makes some of the weapons on the CM because it helps with modeling them to have something he can hold in his hands.
Life Day Event and 7.2 Release Timeline
7.2 will launch sometime this winter and bring with it the return of the Life Day event. Life Day is set to last for 5 weeks and there will be new items to obtain like the Snowglobes I mentioned earlier and this fancy new hat!
Jackie hinted at a more festive appearance for the Imperial and Republic Fleets for Life Day.
The 7.2 PTS is also coming soon. BioWare is trying to get it up this week in time for the extended weekend that NA folks have, but if not, the PTS will be out early next week!
Summary and Thoughts
Eric Musco and Jackie Ko ended the hour-long stream by summarizing everything that will be coming with 7.2 this winter:
- New planet called Ruhnuk
- Showdown on Ruhnuk Story (Chapter?)
- Daily Area w/ story arc, missions, world boss, reputation, and datacron
- Major PvP Changes
- No more ranked PvP
- New 4v4 map on Onderon
- PvP Seasons
- F2P Unlimited Queuing
- UI/UX Changes
- Map Revamp
- Utility Bar Customization
- 3 Colorblindness Modes
- Mass Delete Items
- 7.2 Gearing and Balance Changes
- Increased iRating Floor and Ceiling
- New Legendary Implants
- Balance Changes Announcement
- New CM Items
- Life Day Event
- PTS Available soon
Overall, 7.2 is looking to be a pretty big update for SWTOR. It’s unfortunate that BioWare couldn’t make ranked PvP work, but the other changes seem pretty awesome! On the PvE side, Ruhnuk looks GORGEOUS and may take the crown as my favorite planet (currently it’s Dromund Kaas).
If they pull this without delays and ship it before the Holidays, this update may be able to match the amount of content we got from 5.10 Jedi Under Siege a few years ago, which also offered similar types of new content, minutes the PvP revamp, of course.