Back at E3 2012, we were treated to a trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic that gave us a rapid-fire taste of what we should expect to see added to the game over the remaining months of the year. Since then, most of the content highlighted in the trailer has been released, but a couple of additions remained out of sight with the end of the year fast approaching. Fortunately, that list gets a bit smaller with Game Update 1.6, which is currently on the public test server, and includes the new Ancient Hypergate Warzone that we’ll be discussing today.
The Ancient Hypergate is a Gree hypergate complex on the planet of Seline. Basically, both The Empire and The Republic are looking to secure the technology for themselves and controlling the area depends on keeping their respective faction's gate powered up so additional reinforcements can come through. In order to accomplish this, players have to control a set of energy pylons found on the map that discharge energy into the gate of the faction controlling them.
The pylons discharge energy every few minutes and the amount of energy discharged depends on the amount of enemy players killed during the period in between discharges of a pylon (or pylons) under your faction’s control. Double points are earned for controlling both pylons at the end of a cycle. Additional points earned for killing other players can be reset during a particular cycle by wresting control of both pylons from the enemy faction before the cycle reaches its climax. Players can also capture Gree orbs found in the map’s central chamber and bring them back to any pylon under their faction’s control for an immediate (and permanent) bounty of points.
One key twist to the Ancient Hypergate Warzone is the massive explosion that occurs once the pylons have completed a cycle and discharged their energy. If you don’t haul ass to the nearby bunker you’ll find yourself caught in the blast and defeated. Warhammer Online veterans who played the Khaine’s Embrace Scenario should be familiar with this mechanic. Once the explosion has subsided, the cycle resets and players get to do it all again. The point multiplier goes up each cycle, too. This gives the losing side a chance to catch up and also ensures that the matches don’t go on too long. The first team to score 600 points wins the match.
The map’s layout consists of a spawn point for each faction both facing the aforementioned central failsafe chamber on opposite sides. This central area is flanked by the East and West pylons and the Gree orbs can be found within the central chamber. This means you’ll have players fighting at both pylons and over the orbs in the center as well as players fighting en route to the chamber once the explosion countdown begins. Of course, since there is only one chamber to go around, the fighting doesn’t stop once you’ve gotten to ‘safety’ either. Ensuring the enemy doesn’t make it to the central chamber or is even thrown out of the chamber during the explosion phase adds another ripple of gameplay to the Warzone.
I’m personally excited to check out Ancient Hypergate on the live servers once it goes live with Game Update 1.6 (hopefully by the end of the year!). Instanced PvP is one of Star Wars: The Old Republic’s stronger features and Ancient Hypergate promises to be an enticing addition to the game’s existing roster of Warzones.
Are you excited for Ancient Hypergate and Game Update 1.6? Share your thoughts in the comments below!