On Feb. 20, in the midst of PlayStation 4 insanity, BioWare posted a new update for “Star Wars: The Old Republic”’s Public Test Server. They detail the releast of update 2.0, which seems to be due out alongside Rise of the Hutt Cartel. Whilst the patch notes for PTS are not final, here's the rundown on the new updates.
All eight classes will now be able to reach level 55. It is our belief that, due to this information, 2.0 will go live at the same time as, or shortly after, the launch of Rise of the Hutt Cartel, the first expansion for “Star Wars: The Old Republic”. While this is speculation, the majority of features contained in these notes are geared towards level 55 end-game content.
A new operation will be launched, titled “Scum and Villainy”. SV is a new Operation that will be set on Darvannis, where “mysterious forces are gathering an army of warlords and mercenaries.” This new Operation will be available to level 55 players in four separate difficulties, and will include seven boss lockouts. The Operation can be acquired from Ziost Shadow or the Gav Daragon on the Fleet.
A new legacy achievement system has been released for 2.0 as well. These achievements recognize accomplishments, such as completing all heroics on a planet, and milestones, such as maxing out companion affection, across all characters in your Legacy.
Level 55 hard modes are now available for four Flashpoints. Once you reach level 55, you will be able to run Hard Mode Athiss, Cademimu, Hammer Station, and Mandalorian Raiders. In addition, the Daily Mission Terminal on the Fleet has been replaced with a Primary Mission Terminal, which provides daily, weekly, and introductory missions for repeatable activities such as Flashpoints and Warzones.
As usual, the Cartel Market is disabled for testing purposes.
Classes and Combat
All classes can now reach level 55, as stated before. Class Skill Trees have been adjusted, and all Skill Points will be refunded. For details on individual skill changes, please refer to your Class Skill Tree tooltips.
The “alacrity” stat has been redesigned to prove universally useful. Previously, alacrity would simply decrease activation and casting time for skills. Now, the skill reduces activation time for all abilities, including instant abilities. If an ability is reduced below the 3 second global cool down, the global cool down is also reduced. Alacrity also increases resource generation for all classes by the same amount it increases the activation speed.
Expertise, a vital stat in PvP, has been changed. Each point of expertise will now grant a consistent percentage of bonus until the hard cap is reached. The hard caps include 60% PvP Damage Boost, 35% Healing Boost, and 37.5% Damage Reduction.
Stat bonuses from skills that were less than 10% will now show in the Character Sheet tooltips. Abilities whose cool downs are not whole numbers will list to the nearest decimal place. The global cool down will now trigger and reset properly when an ability with a cast time becomes an instant.
New Ability Highlights for Jedi Knights
A new ability, Twin Saber Throw, has been added for Jedi Sentinels. This ability throws both lightsabers at a target, striking everyone in its path and slows the movement speed of affected targets. This ability is trainable once you reach level 51. Zen (Ataru Form) has been redesigned. Now, while Ataru Form is active, using Zen will grant 30% alacrity. Rebuke no longer triggers from damage over time. Force Exhaustion now slows targets from 50% to 5% movement speed and deals damage, and Focused Resistance affects all types of damage.
Saber Reflect has been added for Jedi Guardians. The skill reflects all damage back to the attacker for 3 seconds. This ability is also trainable at level 51. A new ability, Visionary, builds up 1 Focus when attacked. Crowd Control effects that break on damage no longer break from damage redirected through Guard. Sundering Strike has been redesigned to have a 15-second cool down, apply 20% armor reduction and build 5 Focus. The armor reduction no longer stacks. Shien Form no longer generates Focus when attacked, and Plasma Brand now has a 12 second cool down and deals slightly more damage.
Pommel Strike and Opportune Strike have been removed from the game. Changes made to Sith Warrior are the same as listed above for Jedi Knight. For Marauder and Juggernaut changes, see Sentinel (Twin Saber Throw is renamed to Dual Saber Throw) and Guardian (Saber Reflect is the same) above. Soresu Form (Juggernaut) no longer generates rage when attacked.
New Ability Highlights for Jedi Consulars
Sage: Force barrier, a new ability, has been added for Sages. The skill projects a barrier around the Sage, providing immunity to all damaged during the 10 second channel duration. Force Barrier is trainable at level 51. Benevolence now heals better, and now costs 70 Force. Weaken Mind now costs 30 Force, lasts 18 seconds, and damage is increased. Force Armor no longer has a cool down, Mental Alacrity is available at level 28, Disturbance costs 40 force, Healing Trance now heals for more, and Sever Force’s damage has been slightly increased.
A new ability, Phase Walk, has been added for Jedi Shadows. It allows the Shadow to place a mark that they can teleport back to at a later time. The ability doesn’t break stealth, and can be trained at level 51. Guard changes are similar to those of the Jedi Guardian, and all abilities that required double-bladed Lightsabers can now be performed with an Electrostaff. Force Break no longer has a cool down (Force Technique – Combat Tech now has a six second cool down). Kinetic Ward no longer has a Force Cost.
Tumult has been removed from the game. For Sith Inquisitor information, refer to Consular information for Sage (Sorcerer) and Shadow (Assassin).
New Ability Highlights for Smuggler/Imperial Agents
Gunslingers/Snipers have a new passive ability called Ready for Anything / Covered Escape. The new ability increases stealth detection, and ends when leaving cover. Another ability, called Hightail It/Spotter has been added. It will roll players forward up to 18 meters, landing crouched in cover.
For Scoundrels and Operatives, a new ability called Scamper/Exfiltrate has been added. Exfiltrate will roll the player forward up to 12 meters. A new passive ability, Street Tough/Preparedness has been added and increase energy regeneration.
Headshot, Cheap Shot and Eviscerate have been removed from the game. All new skills are trainable at level 51.
New Ability Highlights for Trooper/Bounty Hunters
For Commandos and Mercenaries, Electro Net has been added. This new skill ensnares a target, reducing its movement speed and dealing periodic DoT. A new passive ability, Mortar Salvo/Missile Salvo, has been added. The ability allows 3 weak explosive rounds to be fired before consuming ammo/generating heat and goes on a six second cool down. This skill is trainable at level 10.
For Vanguards and Pyrotechs, Shoulder Cannon loads missiles which can be fired at an enemy within 10 meters, depleting one charge with each missile launched. Additionally, Into The Fray/ Close and Personal increases the duration of Energy Shield by 3 seconds. It also vents 2 heat when the player suffers direct AoE damage and heals for .25% max health. These skills are available at level 51.
Companions and Crew Skills
Not much is new with companions. Some cutscenes now have improved camera angles. Reaction tooltips have been added to gifts to illustrate how a companion will react, and the missions “Master Gend’s Mission” and “Thanaton Strikes Back” will now grant affection properly.
As for crew skills, the patch notes simply state “All Crew Skills have a skill cap of 450”. Examiner Jessica Perez confirmed new crafting schematics and materials, which seem to only come from Makeb and Reverse Engineering level 55 end-game gear.
Commendations, Gear, Flashpoints and Operations
Players will no longer be able to receive any previous commendations. Commendations have been set to Planetary, Basic, Classic, Elite and Ultimate. Classic Commendations can be acquired from most level 50 activities, such as flashpoints and dailies. At this time, we know Section X awards Basic Commendations, but have not investigated the other daily zones at this time. Classic Commendations are used for most Daily Mission items, such as schematics, and Campaign gear. Tionese Crystals have been converted to Planetary Commendations, and weekly limits for commendations will be enforced. There is a 50 commendation limit on planetary, and we have not investigated other weekly limits at this time.
Black Hole vendors have been removed, and level 50 flashpoints now drop Black Hole pieces. As mentioned before, four Flashpoints are available at level 55 for Hard Mode, and a new Operation is available. Story Mode Eternity Vault now drops Black Hole Gear, and all Hard and Nightmare Mode EV bosses now drop Hazmat gear.
Set bonuses for gear are now held in the armoring modification rather than the shell. The bonus is tied to the type of gear the mod was extracted from. Some level 55 bonuses have been updated from their level 50 counterparts.
We will present a detailed analysis of the new update at a later date.