This week, let’s continue this blog’s annual tradition of embarrassment with my top five predictions for SWTOR in 2022!
Before we begin, I should take stock of last year’s list. Even though my predictive track record is traditionally not good, last year was a total miss. Looking over the post, I did briefly consider that the year might end with an expansion announcement rather than an actual expansion, but discarded that notion as unlikely. Ah, youth!
So this year, there is nowhere to go but up! However, it’s been tough to come up with predictions this time around. I’ve already engaged in plenty of wild speculation about Legacy of the Sith, and it’s hard to predict too much beyond what little we know already. Nevertheless, I’ll try to focus my speculation to what happens after 7.0 and what we know of its content.
Ready for Launch
I feel certain that Legacy of the Sith will indeed debut on February 15, its second announced launch date. I’ll give them a day or two wiggle room, but I don’t imagine it is a stretch to say that folks at Bioware really, really don’t want another delay. Will there be bugs and glitches? Of course there will. This isn’t my first MMO, and I’m sure we’ll have to endure some growing pains as we gear up, wait for things to get fixed and see how players are actually interacting with 7.0’s new systems.
Hopefully most bugs won’t affect the average player, but veterans know to strap themselves in and get ready for a bumpy ride for the first part of the expansion. The early weeks of Legacy of the Sith should be an interesting time in SWTOR, but hopefully not too interesting!
That Eriadu That You Do
While much of what we know about Legacy of the Sith focuses on Darth Malgus and the conflict between the Republic and the Empire, I don’t think the burgeoning Mandalorian civil war will be ignored. I have a feeling the next phase of that story will take us to the planet Eriadu. Heta Kol’s interest in Clan Cadera may be leading her to Eriadu where Clan Ordo fought alongside Torian Cadera prior to his introduction to SWTOR’s main story. That Eriadu appears on the starmap of Heta Kol’s path through the Outer Rim is probably not a coincidence. Is it a hint or red herring? I’m sure we’ll find out this year.
Beyond that, I have no idea what might be coming next. I still think Darth Malgus might meet his end on Elom, but I’m no longer feeling quite as sure as I did at this time last year. Will Darth Nul be the next big threat to the galaxy? It seems like a safe bet, but it remains too early to tell.
Combat Styles and Load Outs are SWTOR’s big system changes coming with the expansion, but I fear an unintended consequence of characters having two Combat Styles is that the difference in gameplay between our characters might flatten out the uniqueness of our alts. I have many characters that I play to fill certain rolls in group content: a Shadow I made just to tank, a Sorcerer who only heals, etc. Come Legacy of the Sith when my group needs a tank while I’m playing my healer, I’ll just click a couple buttons to go from Sage to Shadow and Bob’s your uncle. While one character won’t be able to cover every single style, we’ll have more versatility in swapping roles. That’s pretty neat, especially since it will allow me to spent more time playing the characters I like the most, but I hope that doesn’t reduce out the importance of our Origin Stories especially when it comes to SWTOR’s ongoing narrative.
An Agent playing as an Operative and a Bounty Hunter playing as an Operative, should still have different story experiences. The difference can be subtle, but still feel big. For example: let’s see the return of our class ships as not only means of transport to new worlds, but also as settings for conversations. It’s become a running joke in the game itself how many of those Zakuul shuttles we’ve crashed, and I think it’s high time we take flight in our classic, iconic ships again.
I also think they can personalize the story with companion interactions. Instead of having Lana delivering the same exposition to each character, how about Troopers get their briefing from Jorgan, Consulars from Iresso, Sith Warriors from Pierce and Agents from Temple? Everyone would be getting the same information, but it would go a long way to make each play through feel different.
SWTOR has a huge cast, and wrangling them all into recording booths, especially in this day and age, must be a logistical nightmare, so I know what I’m suggesting is highly improbable, but I always like it when the game remembers that my Consular isn’t the same character as my Jedi Knight.
I was very happy indeed to see on the PTS several new hairstyles and complexion options in the character creator. More diverse and inclusive customizations are always welcome, and I hope what we’ve seen on the PTS is only the beginning. Obviously, I’d love to see more hairstyles, beards and make-up options for everyone! More skin colors and tattoos (including full body ink) for Mirialan, Rattataki, Togruta, Twi’leks and Zabraks! More elaborate horns for Zabraks and piercings for Rattataki! I’d love to see Cyborgs have access to weird and distinctive enhancements: glowing robotic eyes, segmented faces and mechanical jaws. How cool would it be if Valance’s half-metallic skull became an option for Cyborgs?
I could suggest new additions for days, but I do hope for more appearance options for our characters inspired by the evolving interpretations of the peoples of the Star Wars universe that we have seen since SWTOR‘s launch. I honestly don’t know how much bang for the buck new haircuts or tattoos get versus a cool armor set or weapon, but I definitely feel like the options from SWTOR’s character creator are starting to pale in comparison to the competition and the more of those we can get the better.
Once Porg Unto the Breach, Dear Friends
Look, you knew this one was coming. I seriously considered giving up on Porgs this year, and instead would’ve devoted this last prediction to a desperate hope and plea that SWTOR not embrace NFTs this year. But I want to keep the tone of this list light, and any such prediction would’ve ended with me curled up on the floor, sobbing “Please, God, no.” Beside SWTOR already has a cash shop, and while you may not like the Cartel Market, at least it isn’t preventing anyone from getting a PS5.
Moreover while watching Aviriia’s interview with Charles Boyd last fall, I couldn’t help but notice that, SWTOR’s Creative Director had a Porg perched on the bookshelf behind him. To that all I can ask is this: WHERE IS MY PORG, CHARLES? WHERE IS MY PORG?!
So this is it. I’m calling it now. 2022 will be not only the year of the Porg, but also the Loth Kitty, the Flesh Raider Baby, the Force Owl and the Rancor Toddler. I predict our characters’ menageries will overflow every wide-eyed, adorable critter the galaxy has to offer. But no Grogu, That’s just crazy talk.
So here’s to 2022! Last year was pretty quiet, and I hope SWTOR makes up for it with a tenth anniversary filled to the brim with new characters, breathtaking locations, exciting action and unexpected plot twists that we can all enjoy together. I realize this year’s predictions have ventured a bit farther into what I hope for Legacy of the Sith rather than what I actually foresee, but it seems to me that the days before an expansion are a great time to dream big. What are your hopes and predictions for this year of SWTOR? I’d love to hear your thoughts.