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Star Wars: The Old Republic - The Coming Onslaught

Michael Bitton Posted:
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You may have missed it among all the other awesome Star Wars announcements at this year’s Celebration, but BioWare did unveil Star Wars: The Old Republic’s next expansion at the event and they’re calling it Onslaught. It was a curiously low key announcement and there still isn’t a trailer to be found, but Onslaught is coming in September and I’m glad that we’re getting it. Let’s dig in.

SWTOR’s current storyline brings the focus back to the iconic conflict between the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire and Onslaught will continue that story. It all comes down to a potentially decisive conflict on the planet of Corellia and players will have a chance to stay loyal to their faction of choice or undermine its efforts. The expansion positions the Republic close to defeat, but surprising no one, the Sith Empire’s Dark Council risks snatching defeat from the jaws of victory with by making power plays against each other.

Onslaught adds two new planets with the jungle world of Onderon (of KOTOR II & Clone Wars fame) and Mek-Sha, technically a mined-out asteroid, but we’ll call it a planet for gameplay purposes. I have to say I’m a bit apprehensive of these two planets. Are they truly new planets worthy of being included in an expansion? Or are they just glorified daily areas as we’ve seen in some recent SWTOR releases? My hope is on the former. I want fully explorable planets with planetary story arcs, side quests, and the whole nine yards.

It was great seeing Corellia for the first time in canon in the film Solo, but I’ve always found it a bit underwhelming in SWTOR. It’s just lifeless. Onslaught’s finale will return players to Corellia as part of a new Flashpoint and for me this represents another chance for the BioWare Austin team to take a stab at showing off the iconic planet in all its glory.

Onslaught will also add a new Operation on Dxun (again, KOTOR II), Onderon’s largest moon. I’ve never been big on Operations in SWTOR aside from running them once for the story, but this should be a welcome addition for fans that’ve been starved for new Ops content for some time now.

Finally, there’s the Spoils of War, a new system coming in Onslaught that aims to add additional depth to the way classes are played. The system adds new build-defining i Tactical Items that can be combined with new item sets to allow players to play the way they want. Not a whole lot of details here yet, but for me this is potentially the most fascinating aspect of the expansion.

While not officially part of Onslaught, Nautolans will be released as a playable race at the same time. Nautolans have been requested by fans for a long, long time now and they’ve been one of my most sought after playable races, as well. I’ve written about wanting them to be playable at least four times at this point, going all the way back to 2010. It’s been a long time coming, but I can’t wait to roll up a new Nautolan character for the expansion.

What’s your take on Onslaught so far? Will you be playing it when it drops in September?


MikeB

Michael Bitton

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB