Star Wars: The Old Republic Onslaught Impressions
On the surface the new Onslaught DLC looks pretty good, the focus returns to the conflict between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. There is a new storyline that introduces new characters and has some old friends returning, which some players will be happy about. The 6.0.0 patch includes a refresh to in game icons/graphics such as the mailboxes and certain UI windows along with some nice quality of life improvements. Best of all for subscribers the DLC is free. I am not entirely sure yet if the DLC will keep this founder around for the long haul but so far it has piqued my interest. This is my first impressions of Star Wars: The Old Republic – Onslaught.
First, while it is nice to see the original conflict between the empire and the republic get some attention it initially feels like a letdown after last two expansions, there is not big bad to fight or external “evil” threat. Playing through the new story content the voice acting is decent and the story itself is OK, but it feels like the proper buildup in excitement is missing and that the climatic events are just injected to move the narrative forward. During my first run through the best part of the new storyline so far, having allied with the Sith Empire once again, is Major Anri the Twi’lek. Even interacting with Malgus again has been underwhelming, he is just there doing his thing for the empress and you are helping him out like a good underling? Lacky? Ally?...
Both the new planets are visually interesting and introduce some decent side characters that I love to hate… I am really looking forward to a second playthrough and being able to interact with the King again while making some different conversation choices. Once you get to the mined-out asteroid of Mek-Sha there is also at least a main adversary for you to focus on beyond just the Galactic Republic being the faceless enemy to defeat.
The level cap has been increased from 70 to 75 and once you hit the new max level your character begins to gain Galactic Renown ranks, this is the new rebranding of the Galactic Command system with the rewards now being related to your Item Rating. This new ranking system will reset on a seasonal basis allowing a character to earn new rewards and cosmetics with each reset. I still need more time to test this system to see how well it supplements my gear as I have only gotten one character to 75 so far.
Along with the level increase players also get one new gear slot for a Tactical Item which is meant allow you further customization of your playstyle. New gear set bonuses are also accessible starting at level 75. One addition I did notice very quickly was the legacy storage for crafting components. So many of my cargo bay tabs are now empty that I am still not sure what to do with all the extra space.
Unfortunately, there are still bugs present in the game that really should have been fixed by now and they take away from the experience of playing through the new DLC. I am still getting stuck on occasion at the launcher, when it hangs on verifying files, the easiest fix is to reboot my computer before I can jump into a play session. Companions can bug and end up flat on their face while you’re a running around after a combat. Enemies still can appear underneath the ground every so often and the only way to exit combat at that point is to hope your companion eventually kills the bugged mob.
After having resubbed this past month I am satisfied with my return to SWTOR and being able to swing a lightsaber again in a setting that I love, I wish that I could say more than that. Unfortunately, I don’t feel particularly invested in seeing what comes next. I think for me it is hard to get invested again in the game without knowing when we will see more content that has a decent amount of development support behind it. I am a bit disappointed that some of the bugs are still present in the game but to be honest I knew they would still be there when I resubbed. The new storyline is decent and seems to be setting things up well for future content… when/if it eventually arrives.
I have a couple of main concerns at this point. First, will the additional gear grind and group content be enough to keep me around after I have run through the new storyline a few times. Second, how quickly will new content continue to be released. Even with these concerns though there is enough here to keep me subscribed for at least one or two more months. I am looking forward to doing a full review once I have had a chance to go more in depth with the new features and gearing changes. If you left SWTOR because you ran out of story and new PvE content to complete I can recommend returning for at least a month.