Thursday 31 December 2015

SWTOR 2015 in review

As the odd days in between Life Day and New Year's eve were passing by, I found myself thinking about what has happened the past year in my favourite MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. The Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion is the first thing that came to my mind, but when you think about it, is was released only recently in November. Surely more has been going on this year... But wait, I have a blog! 

Browsing through the almost 100 articles I've written this year, I've collected the highlights of SWTOR 2015 for you in a month-by-month review. Enjoy!

January: The slot machine debacle

The year started with some controversy. About what, you ask: PvP? Raid difficulty? Class balance? No, the tumult was about a decoration. It was actually the players that asked for a nerf of the slot machine because the economy was getting disturbed on servers where players abused it with macros. In good SWTOR tradition, the developers gave it a good whack with their nerf bat, the result being that nobody uses the thing anymore at all.

February: Overtuned hardmode raids

Meanwhile in operation land, people where still battling the Ravagers and Temple of Sacrifice on hard mode. It became obvious that hard mode effectively had the same difficulty as nightmare mode in previous operations, causing many raiding guilds to get stuck somewhere halfway. I started fantasizing about wookiee rugs, crashed walkers and lurkerling guard dog decorations and found consolation in the appearance that everyone in general chat wanted to pug with me.

March: Torhead closed

In March we had to say goodbye to the popular fansite Torhead. Especially its feature to show the stats of items when mousing over was used on a lot of fansites, including numerous guild websites and this blog. A kickstarter project to construct an alternative was started, and the tooltips are available once more from TORCommunity (thanks to Pallais and Shintar for pointing this out).

April: Outfit designer

Then it was finally time: the highly anticipated  outfit designer ♥ was added to the game, allowing for players to look good while wearing legacy gear. Or it least, that is what I use it most for, ruining my wallet in the process.

May: Ziost

In May we got a bit of new story content with the release of the planet Ziost. It got mixed reviews, which partly may have had to do with a riot just before release: players had managed to get into the instanced world boss room before it was intended. I took the unpopular stance that the developers did what they could considering the situation.

June: SWTOR community

While not much new happened in-game, the community was active as never before. A great number of SWTOR blogs had participated in the Newbie Blogger Initiative, the new blog Gamers Decrypted really took off and delivered this blog's first guest post. And a personal highlight: Ravalation finished its first giveaway.

July, August, September: The waiting begins

In the summer, the developers seemed to be mostly occupied with building up a hype for their newest expansion. An accidental leak only increased the hype and was followed by a well-constructed trailer. Big promises were made about the upcoming Knights of the Fallen Empire, causing some concern whether it wasn't all a bit too much. Later story leaks were mostly ignored by the community in fear of spoiling it for themselves.

October: Preparing for KOTFE

This month was filled with preparation for the Knights of the Fallen Empire. Which was more confusing than it sounds, because nobody knew exactly what the implications of the announced changes were going to be. I made sure to finish all class stories and companion affection on the characters I planned taking through the expansion.

November: Knights of the Fallen Empire

The release of SWTOR's newest story-driven expansion was met with unanimous enthusiasm. The new planets looked gorgeous, the characters were interesting and the story was convincing, had depth and was nevertheless playful and humorous at times. Everyone had 'the feels' when that thing happened to their new favourite companion. In the Twitterverse, #SWTORfamily members changed their profile photos to honour a certain droid.

December: Where are we heading?

Now the dust has settled down, some anticipated worries about SWTOR's new direction are surfacing, most notably the complete silence of the developers when it comes to new group content. It looks like the game has worked itself into somewhat of a split, trying to be a single-player story-driven game and an MMO at the same time. While I didn't have the time to write about my worries on this blog, Shintar of Going Commando pretty much sums up my thoughts.

SWTOR in 2016

Me? I'm cautiously optimistic for the future of SWTOR. I'm looking forward to the new story releases more than ever before in the history of the game. At the same time I hope the developers develop new group content before too long to keep people involved with the game. Fact is, SWTOR hasn't had this many players since the initial exodus of 2012. 2016? Bring it on!


  1. Torcommunity has the same item popups, now, that Torhead used to have. Torcommunity is also up to date, whereas Torhead had long since fallen behind.

    1. Indeed, I've been using the tooltips for a while. Sadly they are sometimes very slow to load on my Firefox, but I don't know if that's the browser, the site or something else.

  2. Excellent post as always. I use to use Torhead, haven't been to the Torcommunity in some time now, not since all the leakage of KotFE, guess I should start using it again, Anyways I don't do much out of game at the moment, just when I thought of cutting my time back, it has now increased because of a recent event in there for me, which will hit my blog sometime today! lol 2015 was strange, maybe 2016 will be stranger!! One can only hope for the strangeness that comes into our SWTOR lives.

  3. I really enjoyed the story content but am also sort of sitting around, waiting for some news that's not story-related. Hopefully, the 2016 roadmap will indicate operations at the end of the year but it's been a bit long....

    1. Much the same for me. Luckily my guildies are still enthusiastic about the current raids (many of them weren't around when the classic ones were on-level) and I cherish my time playing with them.

  4. Many cool things I didn't realize were so new, having returned to the game in late April. KotFE was great, but Scooter and I returned to the character stories after one run-through. I have only the Imperial side complete, but we've been enjoying a joint Smuggler-Consular journey. Leveling is super quick when we do planet stories, too. My smuggler is 53, and we've only just finished Hoth.

    1. Gamers often complain about the lack of new content, but it wasn't all that bad when I look back at 2016. I even forgot to mention some things, such as the new Yavin stronghold in July (I was on holiday, so didn't post about it) and the introduction of scaled character levels (quite a game changer, after all). I think the months leading up to KotFE were the most boring, content-wise.

      It has been great to see you play through the stories of SWTOR once again. I enjoy reading your characters' adventures, even though I don't always have a witty comment ready. :)


You can insert links, images and videos to your comment using these tricks.