BioWare has announced additional changes coming in 7.0.1 including the removal of the rotation for Flashpoints in Groupfinder and the weekly rotations for Daily and Heroic area weeklies.

Changes to Rotating Weekly Selections

Chris Schmidt, SWTOR’s Game Design Director, made a large post on the forums announcing that they are listening to player feedback and are responding to it by making several changes in 7.0.1.

Removal of Rotating Selections for FPs, Heroics, and Dailies

BioWare will remove the rotating selection of Flashpoints available in Groupfinder as well as remove the rotating selection of weeklies for Daily and Heroic areas. The studio refers to these rotating selections as featured content.

Since BioWare has opted to remove the featured part of featured content, you’ll be able to queue for any Flashpoint in any week and be able to complete the weeklies for any heroic or daily areas in any week.

From PTS

Since there will be more total weeklies available for Heroic and Daily Areas, each individual area will only be repeatable 2 times per week instead of 3. This change doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. There are so many weeklies, they’re essentially unlimited, especially when you bring alts into the mix. As soon as you finish off the weeklies on 1 toon, you can just change to a different one.

The weekly rotations will remain in place for old Operations, though the weeklies for the upcoming R-4 Anomaly Operation will be available every week.

Veteran Flashpoint Availability

Veteran Flashpoints will continue to have their current level restrictions, they will not all be available at level 15.

BioWare didn’t elaborate much on this. I haven’t leveled a toon in quite some time and don’t do too many FPs as part of that process. It’s my understanding that right now, some FPs are only accessible at certain levels, but in the past, they may have all been available at level 15.

From PTS

Tweaking Flashpoint Loot

The number of materials rewarded from the repeatable weekly Group Finder Missions will be increased, but the amount of materials gained by deconstructing Elite and Supreme Decurion gear will be reduced.

This places a tiny bit more emphasis on completing the weeklies to get gear. It might be enough to convince a few players to not farm if they don’t feel there’s as much to be gained from speeding through a specific FP like Hammer Station.

Standardizing Flashpoint Difficulty, Length, and Time

“We are committed to addressing some long overdue discrepancies in difficulty, length, and time to complete among all our Flashpoints”.

Enemy damage and/or health nerfs have been introduced to the PTS intended to be released in 7.0.1 for Spirit of Vengeance, Copero, Umbara, Nathema, and Objective Meridian with additional changes to coming to more Flashpoints over time.

It seems that BioWare has given up trying to herd players away from not farming the easiest and fastest content. I think it’s good for all FPs to offer a more consistent experience where farming will be less valuable, but BioWare will have to deal with how overall complexity differs as earlier FPs were designed to be completed at specific levels while post-launch FPs have been created as endgame content.

It’s difficult to quickly balance boss fights that you’d find in launch FPs compared to what you’ll find nowadays without adding more mechanics in MM. Most players seem to dislike when enemies have too much health or deal too much damage because it makes the whole thing feel like a slog. Meanwhile, eliminating complexity from the harder FPs arguably makes them less fun.

Given that BioWare has opted to not remove complexity from newer FPs, I’m interested to see what BioWare does with older ones. Hopefully they’ll also introduce solo modes for all FPs and actually remove the cutscenes from the group versions of older FPs to match what they’ve done with new ones where the cutscenes are completely removed.

Rationale for the Changes

Chris explained that the rationale for these changes was simply that players were unhappy with the rotating selection for those activities and it’s incredibly difficult to assess this sort of thing in theory or even via PTS because you can’t see how the different systems interact at scale.

Overall, I’m really happy with BioWare’s responses and responsiveness. It’s unfortunate that 7.0 has had such a rocky launch, but BioWare has been responding to feedback in a fair amount of time. 7.0.1 is scheduled to release on March 22nd.

More UI Tweaks from latest PTS patch

Ability Tree

The change introduced in the last PTS update to make active ability tree effects more pronounced has been refined. The outlines no longer overlap with the icons and the inactive options are just slightly darkened just enough to help you distinguish active from inactive.

PTS Version
Live Version

I’m pretty happy with the improvements, though I wonder when we’re going to get actual icons to replace the ones that are just light blue on a transparent background like Voltaic Engine or Energized Blade 7.0.

Character Model Orientation

The character in the customization window is now facing towards the horizon instead of looking down! I also didn’t notice until today, but it appears that the Damage stat has been fixed. It’s still not a perfect representation of projected DPS, but it seems to be pretty close.

PTS Version

Live Version

I’m really glad they’re finally fixing the direction the character is facing. That was probably the thing that bothered me the most about the new UI. I also find it intriguing that the Damage stat value seems to differ between DPS specs.

Stat Details Panel

The stat details panel has received various readability improvements including using a different color for each stat heading, switching the individual entries to contain lowercase letters, and increasing the size of the numbers.

PTS Version
Live Version

I’m really happy with this improvement! The changes really help to make the panel more readable.

Update 7.1 status

With the most recent PTS update, it seems that BioWare is now mostly focused on preparing for 7.0.1 which is focused on bug fixes rather than 7.1 which should contain mostly content.

BioWare made some tweaks to the first 3 bosses in the new R-4 Anomaly Operation. They have not yet released the 4th or 5th boss to the PTS. If you’re interested in the specific changes they made, you can check them out here; they’ll be tagged as [NEW].

The Manaan Daily Area has also not yet been added to the PTS and there isn’t any mention about bringing weapons to the Outfitter despite the fact that it’s also supposed to be coming with 7.1. I doubt we’ll hear much about 7.1 until after 7.0.1 has been released.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s really strange going onto the PTS and the game just overall feels better than it is on live and it makes me excited for 7.0.1 in a little less than 2 weeks. I’m glad that BioWare is listening to the players and is trying to fix the biggest issues we’re experiencing.

I’m also quite happy with the greatly increased transparency and look forward to hear what BioWare has to say going forward.

7.0.1 is scheduled for release on March 22nd and is focused on numerous bug fixes. You can check out my previous coverage of 7.0.1 and the 7.1 PTS: 7.1 PTS is up with new Operations Bosses and UI fixes.

Author Lokzmir
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Categories SWTOR News
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