Star Wars: The Old Republic has been giving fans the chance to play out their own personal experiences in a galaxy far, far away for five years. But many fans have wondered where their paths were leading them and how they fit into the grand scheme of BioWare’s MMO. With that in mind, they’ve set out to their make the player experience an even more pivotal role in the fate of the galaxy and to make that experience even more Star Wars than it was before with their next expansion, Knights of the Eternal Throne.
In Eternal Throne, players will get a chance to experience what it’s like to rule the galaxy. That’s right, you’ll get a chance to be the benevolent ruler of everything, just like you’ve always dreamed of. The choices you make will now echo throughout the known cosmos and bring with them consequences of the choices they make. For example you can choose whether to aid a foe who has been beaten nearly to death and gain a powerful ally down the line, or leave them in their injured state only to have them come back later as an even more powerful enemy. Even your smallest choices may require more thought before responding.
Your quest to sit upon the throne will take you through nine new chapters of the single player story and take you to a few new planets. During our hands-on time we got a chance to check out some of Voss, a brand new planet that has drawn attention from the new galactic ruler, Vaylin. It turns out her mother, Senya has taken refuge there after rescuing Vaylin’s brother, Arcaan.
You and Arcaan have a sordid past to the say the least. I mean, he only framed you for murdering the former emperor and tried to have you killed. You guys could still make nice, right? Or maybe you just wanna chop his head off with a lightsaber. Either way, his presence on the planet has caused some problems for the residents of Voss who are under heavy fire from the Empire’s Galactic fleet.
In order to battle your latest threat, you’ll have some new gameplay aspects added that pay homage to the classic film trilogy and provide players some interesting new variety. You’ll get to commandeer enemy vehicles and pilot a walker just like everyone’s favorite Wookie did on Endor (or will do in the future, because the game takes place in the past?). While the walker has the same mechanics as regular gameplay, the experience of smashing a stormtrooper into the ground with your mighty robot legs is amusing to say the least. Players will also get a chance to play dress up and go undercover for some stealthier missions. And you’ll even get to drive around those tiny little “black box” repair droids at points.
Once you’ve actually completed the new single player content and are sitting on top of the galactic throne, the real struggle begins in the new Galactic Command mode. Usurpers are around every corner and it’s going to be up to you to make sure your power is maintained. You’ll earn power and influence the galaxy as your XP is converted into command ranks. It’s also the first time that you’re going to have to pick a permanent side. The balance between light and dark will be constant conflict and you’ll have to decide which side you’re fighting for. As battles unfold that balance will affect everyone playing on the servers.
Part of Galactic Command is the new multiplayer Uprising missions. You’ll have to join guilds and explore planets in order to hunt down your enemies, then get your group of four players together to beat them down. Uprising missions are extremely fast-paced and action oriented that will require you to work closely with their strike teams if they’re going to be successful. Even with the high-level characters we played with during our hands-on time the Uprising level took all of our best communication skills and strategizing to conquer.
On top of all the new features, the nine new chapters, new modes of gameplay and uprising missions BioWare is also bringing up the last five years of end game content to max level. And in January you can expect to see a new mode for single player content called Master Mode, which promises to be the hardest SP missions in the game, ever. But why stop, there? In February fans should be getting a Master Mode for Uprising missions as well the second wave of Uprising missions.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is available now on PC. Fans will get their first taste of the Knights of the Eternal Throne expansion on December 2nd, 2016. Until then, may the force be with you.