Fallen Empires

It’s been a while since I posted something on Star Wars:  The Old Republic, and there’s been a good reason for that.  A couple, actually.  Star Trek Online has been the big thing lately (and yet another feature episode is on deck-I’ve been impressed by this activity recently), plus I’ve sort of been not doing much in TOR since the new content has required the Shadow of Revan expansion-which I did not purchase because of the treatment of the people who bought the Makeb expansion.  I steadfastly chose to wait until it followed suit with Makeb and became free to subscribers.

That moment is coming-but not how I had expected.

Bioware/EA has announced the next expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire.  And based on their announcement page, they mean what they say.  It will have level 61-65 content, which you can’t do without the Revan expansion.  So, when FE hits, that will go free to subscribers.  For that matter, so will KotFE.  The release is in October, which, if I recall, isn’t quite a year since Revan hit, but a lot longer than it had been between release and free for Makeb.

All by itself, that would have been worth posting about.  But some of the details emerging prompted me to put down early thoughts.

For starters, your character, whether Republic or Sith, will wind up locked away in carbonite for 20 years.  In that time, things go bad for both factions.  A new power comes in and beats the tar out of them.  Gee, wasn’t that the last expansion?  This time, though, you come in blind and alone, needing new companions-and some old ones.  Some of whom may not have been YOUR companions during your adventures thus far.  There are a bunch of chapters planned for release, with others for later.  I expect those chapters won’t be quite as in-depth as the preceding ones.  The entire original release was effectively three chapters plus prologue; I seriously doubt these will be on the same scale.

What makes me the most curious about all this is the logistics.  Are you losing all your companions when you take your long nap-with the equipment you have lavished on them?  What about your ship?  What happens with that?  What will they do about existing planets?  Particularly in light of the fact that not everyone will be doing the new content (free for subs, but what about the F2P folks?).  The idea is a bold one, but I can’t help but wonder just how this is going to work out.

This may be the reason why the devs have also included the ability to create a brand new character at level 60.  Try to avoid the crazy.

Well, I’m still a subscriber, and I’m still playing (I’ve quietly taken advantage of the 12X xp to level a couple advanced classes to 50 while I can), so I’ll be getting this expansion-and the little extras that come with it, like a custom chest piece (I’m presuming that part), custom guns, a new companion who is the basis for those previous mentions, and a speeder that hails from the Knights of the Old Republic days.  And while I have concerns, I’m willing to see just how Bioware is going to deal with them before I go into any panic modes.  In the meantime, I better put some extra time in to get my sixteen characters to 50, so I have all the species opened up except for Cathar.  Of course, I’ll still need to get characters to 60 when the expansion hits-but it’s a safe bet that my Agent and Smuggler will be leading the way for me.

Edit:  That 20 year figure might be inaccurate.  I’ve seen enough variation on the time frame involved that I’m not sure that’s an exact figure.  But it’s a question of “years”, not “months” that your character is on ice.

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