We were invited to a first look at Shadow of Revan, the new expansion for Star Wars: the Old Republic. In it, players tackle the galaxy-threatening Revan in the third installment of his centuries-spanning story. The event focused primarily on the game’s story and future content rather than the nuts and bolts of any new game systems.
The presenters for the event were BioWare Studio Creative Director James Ohlen, Senior Producer Bruce Maclean, and Lead Writer Charles Boyd. We were shown the tropical pirate planet of Rishi, where the mysterious Revanites had set up operations. Imperial players may be familiar with the Order of Revan from their experiences on Dromund Kaas, but it seems the Revanites have stepped up operations enough to warrant the attention of the Shroud. The biggest initial question asked of James Ohlen was why go back to Revan again? He confirmed my trilogy theory, that they felt a kind of closure was needed for the character. He added that they wanted a big bad for their story in this chapter who wasn’t just some random villain, but someone whose history led to this moment.
What was most exciting for SWTOR players was direct confirmation from Ohlen when I asked him point-blank whether there will be a SWTOR 4.0 beyond the end of Revan (the answer was YES!). He said that they had plenty of future stories they wanted to tell and they could finally get to it once Revan is dealt with for good. He added confirmation that SWTOR’s current contract and license is now bundled under the overall EA contract with Disney and Lucasfilm and that their deal is now ongoing. All three developers were happy about where the game will be going in the future, with Ohlen pointing out that with the movies coming up, it was an exciting time. He added that we’re now in a kicking-off point in the game’s history and that it was not slowing down. If anything, things were speeding up, and they’ll be happy to continue creating more content for the game as long as there are players around to play it.
Focusing on the actual content of the expansion, the developers hinted that there would possibly be more locations to visit off the beaten path other than just Rishi and Yavin IV. I got the impression that the Revan story was only part of the expansion and that something entirely new loomed toward the end of the 3.0 expansion cycle. When asked if the Shroud was involved in the expansion, a question brought up before in the public SWTOR livestreams led by Community Manager Eric Musco, it was confirmed that he wasn’t directly involved, although he is obviously watching. There will be other threats going on where the Empire and Republic won’t be in direct opposition but each tackling the same threat, such as how the Dread Masters worked before. However, they were pointed in their remarks that the factional conflict between the Republic and Empire wasn’t going anywhere, that there will still be plenty of opportunity for them to continue their war.
Looking at actual nuts and bolts content, after they reconfirmed that all four Forged Alliances Flashpoints would be soloable, I queried whether the Republic-side Maelstrom Prison Flashpoint would ever be similarly soloable for those who haven’t yet managed to group up to get through to find out where Revan has been for the past 300 years. They said that it wasn’t in the works yet. They were then asked about the deep lore regarding Yavin IV. Lore aficionados will recall that in the Tales of the Jedi stories, Exar Kun was said to have massacred all of the Massassi natives on Yavin IV centuries ago, so how could they be in this expansion? The devs were swift to shut down and say they were not ready to discuss that matter, so expect an answer to the question when you play through the content starting in December! For those wondering whether their class will be able to solo the Forged Alliances Flashpoints, rest assured that all of them should be able to do it, that they should work like any other solo instanced content.
Switching to an announcement scooped by Gaddock Teeg as I mentioned last time, Bruce Maclean reconfirmed that Togruta would be the next playable race and that like the Cathar, it would be a Cartel Market purchase. We were also told there would be additional options for crafters in the future, but specifics were not cited. However, the final major question asked was about the release cadence for next year. Again, the developers were unwilling to make an announcement at this time, so hopefully we’ll get more news on this after the holiday season is well and done.
So that’s our first look at Shadow of Revan and the future of Star Wars: the Old Republic. Let us know what you think about it in the comments below!