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My 2021 Wishlist for Star Wars The Old Republic

Xam Xam’s SWTOR 2021 Wishlist with a focus on PvP, Character Customisation and Strongholds.

For me, there are three key pillars that keep me engaged in a Massively Multiplayer Online game.

  • Player versus Player Combat
  • Character Customisation and Outfits
  • Player Housing

I want to play with and against other people in a variety of PvP scenarios and conditions, I want my characters to look good while doing so, and, I want my characters to have nice places I created for them to hang out in between fights.

Story and lore an important drawcard, of course, and maintaining that is important to the game’s feel and longevity. But the three pillars I mentioned above are what will keep me occupied the most in an MMO.

For my 2021 Wishlist for Star Wars The Old Republic, I wanted to focus on these three pillars. Content, fixes and quality of life improvements are needed for all three pillars in The Old Republic in its current state. With the game being as old as it is and with its ongoing track record of small content updates, I’m not optimistic that I’ll get to see most of this stuff. The game’s future is riding on the highly-likely 10-year anniversary expansion. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens.


PvP

Fix the Rocket Out Stuck Bug Please

I’m sick to death of using Rocket Out in both PvP and PvE and getting stuck in terrain. This has been an issue since they added two charges to the ability in 6.0. Often when you press the ability once, it will do two Rocket Outs instead of one (consuming two charges), which causes you to get stuck. The terrain present makes no difference. It can be a completely flat area with no other objects around and you will still get stuck. Thankfully, a pull or knockback will get you out. But willing allies or foes are not always around.

I will not be actively PvPing again until this bug is fixed. At this point, it wouldn’t even bother me if Rocket Out went back to having just one charge (with it’s current or slightly shortened cooldown). If that’s what it takes to fix it, then so be it.


Bring Back Separate PvP and PvE Gear

For the next expansion, I would love to finally see the return of separate PvP and PvE gearing.

I want to PvP and have a currency system to buy the specific gear I want again.
I want to PVP and not rely on RNG drops to get gear.
I want to PvP and get gear at a comparable rate to PvE (via a currency system).
I want to PvP. I do not want to be forced to do PvE content I have no interest in, that makes me want to stab my eyes out, just to get the gear I need for PvP.

I want to PvP.

All Bioware has to do is rewind to 4.0. Not literally, of course, but look at how gearing was then and replicate it. Sounds simple? Hopefully.

The current gearing meta supports, indeed necessitates, having multiple sets of gear for endgame content. Endgame players already have multiple sets for different content. So adding separate PvP and PvE gear would make little difference to endgame players. If the gear is straight forward to acquire and less complicated then it currently is now (in terms of modifications), it should be less discouraging for new/casual players to have separate gear sets too.


Unranked PvP Rewards System Overhaul

I feel an overhaul of the rewards system is needed across the board for instanced PvP.

I have mixed feelings about the win condition requirement for weekly completion. When it was initially introduced, the quality of matches improved significantly. But it seems newer and/or very casual players are not a big fan of this change. They are getting discouraged by the lack of progress towards their weeklies despite getting a loot box with gear and tech fragments for every match completed. (So it’s not like they aren’t getting anything at all…)

Regardless, I would like to see an improved system that bases rewards earned on participation with bonus rewards for winning. Perhaps based on the medal system with some tweaking (the medal system could use some tweaks too) with extra bonuses for completing objectives. The win requirement for the weekly should still exist, of course. But I think a slight tweaking of rewards earned just from completing matches (based on performance, especially objectives) would make the blow of constantly losing less disheartening for players who oppose the win requirement.

But then again, an easier solution would be to add another weekly that is based on participation rather then wins. However, it should have fewer rewards than the ‘win’ weekly currently has. The rewards for completing the ‘win’ weekly should be increased in conjunction with this as well.

I would also like to see some more fluff rewards added to PvP that are accessible to unranked players as well. Even if it’s just adding stuff to the existing PvP Items Vendor and adding a high valor requirement for these new fluff items?


Cleanse Rework + Reducing Cleanse cooldown for Healers

There are a couple of major changes I feel are needed to improve cleansing in PvP.

I would like to be able to cleanse any effect that is cleansable regardless of what effect ‘type’ of it is. For example, as a Merc healer, I would like to be able to cleanse Whirlwind, a ‘force effect’. I don’t think the ‘effect type’ barrier should continue to exist in PvP. Period.

There’s also really no need for the Cleanse cooldowns to be as long as they are especially since we can’t cleanse damage effects (dots) in PvP. The fact that the cooldown is different for each class is also quite odd. Reduce the cooldown to 2-2.5 seconds. This way, only our resources are a barrier to regularly cleansing.

In theory, the simplest way to do this would be to incorporate the cleanse cooldown into the healer discipline trees. This way, healers can benefit from having a more effective tool at our disposal and DPS can still use it on occasion with the current cooldown time.

Would I cleanse every single bloody slow or snare? Of course not! Hell, it would be quite impossible to do so. At least with a reduced cooldown, I don’t always have to save my cleanse for CC’s or slows/snares on myself. Instead, I can use it on myself or teammates more regularly in situations where it would be beneficial for them to not be hampered with a slow or snare. Eg. when carrying the Huttball. Options are always good and a good healer will be able to capitalise on this change and bring greater value to their team.

We need a counter to the ridiculous amount of slows, snares and CC’s (crowd control) in the game. Cleanses can be part of the solution to address the stagnant combat in the game.

(I can’t speak for how these changes could affect PvE as it’s not my area of expertise).

You can learn more about how cleansing works in PvP, currently, in my ‘PvP Healers Guide to Cleansing‘ Guide.


CC Break Rework

As I alluded to above, the combat in The Old Republic is quite slow and stagnant compared to other more modern MMO’s. Another way to address this would be to reduce the cooldown of CC break abilities in PvP quite significantly. I think the absolute maximum cooldown for a CC break should be 30 seconds but ideally, it should be shorter than this. We also have the issue as with cleanses, where the cooldown varies depending on the class. The cooldown needs to be the same for all classes.


A new Warzone Map and/or Game Mode + Open World PvP

I would consider a new warzone map to be the least of my priorities. But it’s something I wouldn’t say no to assuming other fixes had happened first. Where would be the ideal setting? I would love to see a warzone set on Oricon with lava rivers you could knock players into. A new map with obstacles and traps in it that isn’t a Huttball game mode could be a lot of fun.

As for a new game mode, I’d still love to see the classic ‘Capture the Flag’. I have fond memories of playing ‘Capture the Flag’ in various early 2000’s FPS games such as Unreal Tournament 2004 and Star Trek Elite Force.

I am also gradually becoming open to the idea of adding deathmatch to Warzones. You wouldn’t need to create new maps for it, just use the existing maps and give them a deathmatch mode (except Voidstar that may need some tweaks). A map with obstacles and traps would work great for a deathmatch mode.

What I would really like to see though, is Bioware take a good look at open-world PvP and seeing what could be done to increase participation and incentivise it. Adding separate PvP and PvE instances and removing voluntary flagging destroyed organic open-world PvP in The Old Republic. These days, players/guilds just organise to trade kills with each other to earn the achievements. It’s not real PvP just players being boring and risk-averse which is a detriment to the game. When players do try and engage in open-world PvP they’re accused of being griefers.

Achievements alone are not enough incentive for organic play, clearly. Interesting titles admittedly can help, Oricon being the main example of this, but there have been no new legacy titles added to any open-world PvP achievements since Yavin IV.

I can’t really think of a solution beyond adding in a currency system for killing other players in the open world with some fluff rewards to buy and more titles to earn (but this could easily be exploited). It’s a shame Outlaw’s Den never had any fluff rewards attached to it.


ETA on Vandin and Quesh Huttball Map Fixes

An update from the developers on what is happening with the fixes for these maps and an ETA on their return would be nice.


Space Barbie – Character Customisation and Outfits

Character Customisation

Yes, I ask for these every year I do a wishlist post and I will keep asking until I get them.

  • New hairstyles – please! More medium/long length hairstyles would be a godsend.
  • Body tattoos – we have plenty of skimpy outfits which would be great for showing off tattoos! Just use the existing face tattoo’s as starting points?
  • More blonde hair colours – I want Lana’s KOTFE+ blonde hair, please.
  • Ability to choose dark side corruption level ‘look’ – for example, if you’re Dark Side V, you can choose to have the Dark Side II corruption ‘look’.

More character customisation options overall would be most welcome as the system has become quite stale. The pipe dream of course is to see our character model graphics updated to be more in line with KOTFE/KOTET characters. But alas, I don’t see that happening.


Weapons in the outfit designer ETA?

Forever stuck using Legacy Weapons. That’s the altaholic life. We can only dream of having weapons in the Outfit Designer at this point. It’s a feature long requested by players and a feature the Devs want to give us. Hopefully, one day, they will find a way.


Player Housing

Significantly increased accessibility to stronghold decorations

There are already a fair few Stronghold decorations in the game. However, accessibility to decorations is a major issue that desperately needs to be addressed. I have not been able to finish my Rishi or Alderaan Strongholds because it is near impossible to get the decorations I need to complete them. They are either sourced from the Cartel Market and/or exorbitantly expensive on the GTN.

A starting point obviously would be to add every single Cartel Market sourced decoration ever made available for individual purchase for Cartel Coins through a separate interface. This could be done within the Stronghold Editor itself (similar to how ESO does it) or attached to the Cartel Market.

Add a Cartel Market Button to this UI that leads to a seperate interface showcasing all CM decorations available for direct purchase.

Another idea could be adding a vendor that works similar to Kai Zykken only, they sell Cartel Market sourced Decorations instead. This vendor could have a rotating stock of Cartel Market only decorations that are on sale for a limited time each week that cost Credits and Prefabs. I think this would be a fantastic way to make Cartel Market Decorations more accessible and give us an alternate way to spend our Prefabs.


Add new decorations to the Prefab vendors or add a new Prefab vendor

For real, the prefab vendors haven’t received an update since they came out. A couple of additional vendors have been added since Strongholds were introduced but that’s about it. The slate of decorations available has become stale and I find myself stocking prefabs with no way to spend them beyond buying more Jedi Fountains. An additional vendor that has pretty Cartel Market quality decorations where we can spend all types of prefabs would be appreciated.


A New Stronghold

The likelihood of getting a new Stronghold this year is fairly high. I would like to see them release a small Stronghold maybe Nar Shaddaa sized at the most.

I’ve always wanted to see a Stronghold on Oricon. The simplest way to do this would be to take the Dread Palace Operation and turn it into a Stronghold (and add a little outdoor space). But instead of just being able to outright purchase it, make it something you earn from completing the Oricon dailies (slowly) and the Dread Fortress and Dread Palace Operations (fast). Similar to how we had to earn the ‘tokens’ to unlock the Umbara Stronghold (when it was first released).

I’ve also liked the idea of having a Stronghold on Voss too. I’d like to see a small Dromund Kass/Coruscant sized two-storey house or a mini estate of some kind with balconies and a front and backyard all walled in. It could be ‘located’ on the outskirts of Voss-Ka so it has views of Voss-Ka and beyond.


Other Stuff

There’s a couple of other systems to do with open-world content I’d love to see improved and I’d love to see more content added to older planets.


Kill credit/loot outside of Group

Every other MMO I have played since I started playing The Old Republic has a ‘shared credit’ system. This means that if you and someone else are killing the same NPC in the open world and are not grouped, you both get credit for the kill, XP, loot etc.

It’s long past time that The Old Republic implements this system into the game. There would be no need to worry about anyone ninjaing bosses or mobs from you anymore as everyone who got a hit on it would get credit for killing it.

The only obstacle I can see to this kind of system would be faction locking, especially on shared planets? It may be tricky to implement without making PvE cross-faction.


More hidden achievements and secret things to discover pets, mounts, outfits, decorations, lore etc.

I want more reasons to go back to older planets to find little trinkets and other hidden things. Secret Pets, Mounts, Outfits, Decorations etc. I’d gladly do a series of missions or solve puzzles to earn pretty decorations!


World Bosses

In line with giving us reason to go back to older planets, make doing World Bosses meaningful beyond Conquest! Better loot and rewards even if it’s just cosmetic to start with would be fantastic! Maybe change up the mechanics on some of the vanilla world bosses to make them more interesting/harder to kill.

Even the light vs. dark bosses don’t get killed much because there’s little incentive beyond achievements. Honestly, they need to drop loot comparable to SM/HM operation boss at the very least. Tech Fragments, gear pieces, large amounts of credits etc. Also, have them spawn more frequently to give everyone a chance to taking them down so large conquest guilds don’t monopolise them (as happened when they were forced released).

Also, why isn’t there a World Boss on Rishi?


Given the significance of this year for The Old Republic, it will be interesting to see what content and improvements they will eventually come out with. I’m not expecting most of my wishes to be granted, of course, but I hope the community finds some of my ideas relatable or interesting.


What is on your wishlist for The Old Republic? Do you think it will be a big year for the game?

By Xam Xam

Owner of MMO Bits, and formerly the owner of Xam Xam Says, Xam Xam is an Aussie who has been playing MMO's for over 5 years and can't get enough of them. She mainly plays Healing Classes but will also DPS and reluctantly Tank (if she has one). She prefers to PvP but doesn't mind doing all the other 'MMO bits' as well.

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