Haven’t played Star Wars The Old Republic since it launched back in 2011? Thinking about coming back after a long hiatus? Here are some of the major features changed or introduced to the game over the years, post-launch.
While most of these are the standard quality of life features you’d expect in any MMO, some are features unique to The Old Republic.
Keep in mind that some of these features and content are more accessible to subscribers than non-subscribers.
When it initially launched in Game Update 1.3 (June 2012), The Old Republic’s Group Finder System allowed you to queue for Flashpoints and Operations. It was revamped with a UI overhaul and additional content in Game Update 5.8 (November 2017).
In its current iteration, now called the Activity Finder, you can not only queue for various types of group PvE content (Operations, Flashpoints, Uprisings) but also PvP and even solo content. Combining multiple game types together into one convenient UI has proven to be a major quality of life feature for the player base. Adding solo content such as Daily Areas and Heroics offers quick and convenient travel options to many planets in the game.
Free to Play and Cash Shop
The Old Republic was one of the first MMO’s to introduce a F2P model and an in-game cash shop (known as the Cartel Market).
Little has changed with the F2P system over the years. It has remained quite restrictive compared to other MMO’s that have gone on to adapt the F2P model. However, that is all about to change. The Developers have listened to player feedback and are making some changes to the system in Game Update 5.10.4 (coming Tuesday 16th July).
The Cartel Market has gone through a few changes over the years. But more recently it has trended to adding items direct to sale rather than relying on the chance packs they used to release at regular intervals. There are now more items direct-to-purchase than ever before with more added on a regular basis.
Player Housing – Strongholds
Player Housing was introduced in August 2014 as the key feature of Game Update 2.9. Four houses were released along with quite a few decorations from a variety of sources. To date, eight different Strongholds have been released with another possibly being released sometime this year.
- Coruscant Apartment
- Dromund Kaas Apartment
- Nar Shaddaa Sky Palace
- Tatooine Homestead
- Yavin 4 Temple
- Manaan Retreat
- Umbaran Mobile Base
- Rishi Hideout
There is also the option of Guild Housing with Guilds being able to purchase a Guild Flagship and a Stronghold to use as Guild headquarters.
The only real downside to The Old Republic’s Strongholds is the hook system used to place decorations. Sadly, you can not place decorations freely wherever you like. Instead, you place them on different sized hooks.
The variety of decorations presently available is truly impressive. The Old Republic Team continues to release new decorations on a regular basis both on the Cartel Market and in-game.
Appearance Customiser and Outfit Designer Systems
Two key systems have been introduced that allow players to change their characters look.
The Appearance Customiser System allows you to change your characters various features such as eye colour, hair colour, scars etc. and even species for a small Cartel Coin fee (per feature). You can even preview the changes as you go without committing to them. This system was introduced as part of Game Update 2.1 in May 2013.
The Outfit Designer introduced in Game Update 3.2 (April 2015) allows you to create and save various Outfits for your characters. All you have to do is ‘stamp’ any piece of armour to the appropriate slot to make an outfit (which has a credit cost). You can also stamp preset dyes to just the chestpiece (and unify the colour of the outfit) or to individual slots.
Unfortunately, weapons are not currently included in this system. They are however slated to be added to the system post-Onslaught (exact timing unknown).
Legacy Datacrons were added to the game in Game Update 5.0 in late 2016. Once you’ve found a Datacron on one character, all of your characters automatically gain that datacron as well. While it is a Legacy System, it does not have any purchase costs associated with it.
Conquest is a system introduced in The Old Republic in Game Update 2.9 (August 2014). It is primarily a fluff system tied to Guilds that offers bonus rewards for completing content (through objectives). There is also a ranking system for Guilds.
Basically, it’s a points system, with specific objectives to complete (which change weekly) that gives rewards once you reach your personal target of 15,000 points. If you’re in a Guild, you can also gain additional rewards if your Guild reaches its collective point yield target.
The system went through a big overhaul in Game Update 5.8 (March 2018) with some great quality of life changes. These included offering Guild rewards regardless of a Guilds ranking (assuming point yield is reached) and adding different Guild yield targets so even small Guilds can get rewards.
As of Game Update 5.10.3 (June 2019), you can now earn points from doing pretty much anything in the game including killing enemies and completing missions. Gaining Conquest points is no longer tied directly to the objectives, you can do any content in the game (and completely ignore the objectives) to reach your weekly conquest goal.
The Old Republic’s Guild system has recently gone through a major overhaul. A bunch of new features were added and existing systems were improved in Game Update 5.10 (December 2018). Here is a list of the main features updated or added over the years.
- Guild Levelling System
- Guild Perks
- Guild Mail
- Guild Member Management Improvements
- Member Limit Increase to 1000 (early 5.0?)
- UI Overhaul
- Guild Recruitment Tools
- Guild Heraldry (added 5.10.2)
- Conquest (further integration)
All of these features were added or updated with the goal of making it more appealing for players to join Guilds and to make managing Guilds easier.
There have been a few overhauls and changes to PvP in The Old Republic over the years. One of the most notable was the removal of 8 v 8 Ranked PvP in Game Update 2.4 (October 2013). It was replaced with 4 v 4 Ranked which introduced a new type of map, Arenas, which are deathmatch instances to the game. Along with this came the introduction of Ranked PvP Seasons with tiers and rewards based on your highest earned rank. The Game is currently in Season 11.
More recently, two quality of life features were introduced to PvP. Cross-faction queuing and matchmaking in regular warzones. The matchmaking in regular Warzones isn’t as strict as in Ranked Arenas but it does make team match-ups generally more even, role wise.
When The Old Republic launched we had somewhat customisable Skill Trees. These were removed from the game in Game Update 3.0 (December 2014) and replaced with Disciplines. This new system locks you to a specific advanced class discipline (you can still Respec). The only way to customise your class (for now) is through Utilities. You get to pick 8 from a total of 24 utilities divided into tiers.
GSF or ‘space PvP’ was introduced to the game in December 2013 as part of Game Update 2.5. There are a couple of maps and game types available and different types of ships you can customise. Before joining the battle though, it’s best to familiarise yourself with the controls by doing the Tutorial (question mark symbol).
With The Old Republic’s next expansion, Onslaught, coming in September 2019 (free for all subscribers) now has never been a better time to return to the game!