Star Wars: The Old Republic is no exception. Shadow of Revan changes a lot of game mechanics and expands the story of SWTOR. With all the interviews and Cantina Tour chatter, it's difficult to tell what is true and what isn't. So I thought it'd be best to make an FAQ to answer some of those ponderings.
When does Shadow of Revan release?
The official release date for Shadow of Revan is December 9th. However, if you preordered before November 3rd 2:59 a.m., then you will gain early access, which starts on December 2nd.
Do I have to subscribe to play Shadow of Revan?
No, Shadow of Revan is a paid expansion and can be accessed by a free-to-play player. However, to be eligible for the 12x XP bonus, you do have to be subscribed to the game.
Will we fight Revan? Is he the big boss?
All answers point to yes. In my interview with Lead Writer Charles Boyd, he all but confirmed that Revan will be the big bad of the storyline. However, he did not mention whether Revan would be the boss of the operation. I know a great number of people who will be disappointed if he's not.
Who will be the big boss after Revan? Are we going back to Empire-vs.-Republic stories?
I think it might have been a slip on Boyd's part, but during my interview, he mentioned that we will always have the Emperor, Darth Vitiate, as a big-bad when I asked about more Imperial-vs.-Republic content.
Will we encounter other canon baddies in the expansion like Exar Kun or Naga Sadow?
Boyd was cagey about this question, which leads me to believe that if there isn't content about Exar Kun or Naga Sadow in SoR, we will likely see something soon. That said, we know that there are villages of Massassi and that one of the operation bosses is a Massassi.
Is there a new level cap?
The level cap has been raised to 60, which means each class gets a new ability.
Are there new flashpoints?
Yes, there are two new flashpoints for SoR. There are also four new hard-mode flashpoints. The Forged Alliance flashpoints are now solo flashpoints because they are so integral to the story.
How do solo flashpoints work?
Generally, there are slightly simplified mechanics for the bosses, and you will also gain an extra companion, a droid that will fill any role that you might be missing with you and your companion. In other words, the droid will be able to tank, heal, and DPS.
Which flashpoints will get hard-modes?
The flashpoints that will receive hard-modes have not officially been announced, but we can extrapolate which ones they are by knowing which flashpoints will not receive hard-modes. Community Manager Eric Musco said that Colocoid Wargames will not receive a HM, which then means it's highly unlikely that Red Reaper will either. That leaves only four previously released flashpoints that do not have hard-modes: Tython, Korriban, Manaan, and Rakata Prime.
Are there new operations?
BioWare has announced that there will be two new operations with the expansion. We know that one of them is on Yavin because we've seen the Massassi boss. We don't know for certain where the other operation is, but most players are hoping that it's on Rishi and that we won't have another split raid as with Dread Fortress and Dread Palace.
Are there new PvP or GSF maps for SoR?
Shadow of Revan will not have a new PvP map, but BioWare told Werit that it "plan[s] on creating more Warzones in the future."
Is there a new species being released with SoR?
As reported by Goddock Teeg, Producer Bruce Maclean let slip at the NYC cantina that Togruta will be the next player species. In my interview with him a couple of weeks ago, Maclean confirmed that we will see the Togruta, but they will not be released until after SoR.
Anything of note going on with the Cartel Market and the new expansion?
Werit again got an answer direct from BioWare: "We have a new shipment coming, The Shadow Packs, chock-full of cool new stuff that's themed around the expansion."
Can players level with just the story quests with 12x XP?
Yes! However, the best way to do it is to level up to 47 with just the story, then hop over to Makeb. But don't forget to get the bolster on Makeb. And I would highly recommend that you join a guild with a 10% XP boost, or at very least, use XP boost items. The legacy XP does not work with 12x XP.
In order to gain the 12x XP boost, you need to pre-order SoR and subscribe to the game. You can literally level a character from 1 to 55 in 8 hours by just doing the story quests.
Will BioWare continue the 12x XP after SoR launch?
Although the 12x XP boost will end on December 1st, Dulfy reports that BioWare is considering adding something similar to character legacy. A 3x boost per class buff is a consideration, which would equal 12x if you had all four buffs.
Commendations are changing. What's the story there?
[Update: According to a post by Eric Musco, there will be an overflow when 3.0 launches, but we do not know the conversation rate, yet. Additionally, all items purchased before 3.0 that have a refund timer will be bound to you when 3.0 goes live.]
All the existing commendation on the PvE side will consolidate into Basic Comms. Classic and Planetary Comms are disappearing. Although you will start the expansion with zero Elite and Ultimate Comms, you will still be able to earn them through PvE content. Unfortunately, we don't have a conversion rate yet.
As for PvP Comms, right now they are all staying the same. Expertise will still be capped at 2018, and for the moment you will be able to keep the Warzone and Ranked Warzone Comms that you currently have. Bear in mind, however, that the new gear will not be able to be worn until level 60.
People say the Discipline system is the NGE for SWTOR. Is that true? What's happening?
The NGE for Star Wars Galaxies was a total change of the combat system, getting rid of classes and completely uprooting the way players experienced the game. However, the Discipline system in SWTOR is nothing like that. In fact, most classes will play the same at level 55. The major difference will be the path at which you gain the abilities.
When the whole system is public information, I will give more detailed example of how things work. Until then, Dulfy and SWTOR_miner put together a calculator incorporating what we know so far.
Will my combat rotation change with 3.0?
Any time you add abilities to a class, it will change the rotation. With Rise of the Hutt Cartel, the new abilities didn't change the synergy of the pre-existing abilities, but with SoR, the classes that we've seen so far have very prominent abilities are being added or changed, so we are likely to experience a bit of a change to the synergy.
Are there new companions in 3.0?
Unfortunately, there are no new companions being added to with the new expansion.
Will the Shroud make an appearance in SoR?
Boyd said that BioWare would like to use the Shroud in future stories, but for now, there are no new stories involving the Shroud. However, the seeker droid and the macrobinocular mechanics are employed in quests in the expansion.
If you have any other questions that I might not have answered, I will hang out in the comments to answer them for you. I'll see you there.
The Hyperspace Beacon by Larry Everett is your biweekly guide to the vast galaxy of BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic. If you have comments or suggestions for the column, send a transmission to email@example.com. Now strap yourself in, kid -- we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!
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