swtor Star Wars: The Old Republic to get level cap increase, new planet, species, and companion

BioWare has unveiled some of the new content and features that will be coming to Star Wars: The Old Republic this year, including a level cap rise, new abilities, a new planet, new species, new companion, and lots of additional high-level content.

BioWare has unveiled some of the new content and features that will be coming to Star Wars: The Old Republic this year, including a level cap rise, new abilities, a new planet, new species, new companion, and lots of additional high-level content.

 
The level cap and new abilities will be the main attraction for most players. BioWare was tight-lipped about the exact number of levels involved, but we can likely expect it to be 5 or 10, a standard for most MMOs. We likely also won't see this until later this year, from September onwards, and perhaps closer to Christmas. The company has not revealed if this will come in a standard free update or as part of a paid expansion, but we expect the latter.
 
As with any level cap increase, new skills are to be expected. The E3 reveal video showcases two of these, a roundhouse kick for the Jedi Knight, and a spinning lightsaber attack for the Sith Inquisitor, adding some new AOE capability to the classes.
 
swtor lightsaber Star Wars: The Old Republic to get level cap increase, new planet, species, and companion
 
The increased level cap will mean more story for all classes, an important feature of the game from the beginning. Currently when players reach level 50 their main storyline ends and they are forced to play Flashpoints and Operations for additional story, or repeat the daily quests, which have begun to employ text-based instructions more often, moving away from BioWare's much-touted fully-voiced characters. We can expect a return to proper storytelling with the new content for each class, however.
 
From the rise to level 50 players acquired five primary companions, with a sixth in the form of a ship droid. A new companion will be available to all classes, the HK-51 Assassination Droid. It looks like players will have to fight it first before gaining control. It also appears that this is a shared companion across all classes, marking a sharp shift away from the unique companions of each class. This likely means that the same-sex romances that BioWare promised are even further away from entering the game. However, Ray Muzyka, CEO of BioWare, commented that “new companions,” plural, were on the way, so it may just be that the studio is keeping the others under wraps for now.
 
droid Star Wars: The Old Republic to get level cap increase, new planet, species, and companion
 
A new playable race will be available, the Cathar, a kind of humanised cat-people, which players will have encountered throughout the existing in-game world. Races are primarily cosmetic, of course, so this won't really affect gameplay, but it will some provide additional variety to the game. Again, Muzyka promises there will be new species, plural, to look forward to.
 
cathar Star Wars: The Old Republic to get level cap increase, new planet, species, and companion
 
Since players will need somewhere new to level up, we can expect to travel to the new planet of Makeb, a planet overrun by the Hutt Cartel, which will be the primary focus of the storyline there. This is a little-known planet that BioWare claims has never been seen before in the Star Wars universe. This gives the studio a lot of artistic freedom, but it may disappoint fans who were hoping for one of the more iconic locations, like Kashyyyk, the homeworld of the Wookiees.
 
makeb Star Wars: The Old Republic to get level cap increase, new planet, species, and companion
 
Fans of each type of end-game content will be pleased to know that there is new gameplay on the way. The first new space mission since launch, called Space Station Assault, is coming, replete with plenty of tight spaces to squeeze through while shooting down enemy ships. The illusive “secret space project” the studio has been working on remains a hermetically-sealed affair.
 
spacemission Star Wars: The Old Republic to get level cap increase, new planet, species, and companion
 
A new Operation, Terror From Beyond, looks like it will involve the invasion of alien forces from worm holes, leading to some pretty unique boss fights and encounters, including floating pillars and what appears to be a colour-themed battle that is sure to enrage the colour blind among us.
 
swtor op Star Wars: The Old Republic to get level cap increase, new planet, species, and companion
 
swtor op2 Star Wars: The Old Republic to get level cap increase, new planet, species, and companion
 
A new Warzone, Ancient Hypergates, will give the booming player-versus-player community lots to look forward to. It is not clear what the objectives are, but we can imagine it involves claiming and holding the hypergates. Regardless, it looks like there will be plenty of player-killing fun involved.
 
warzone Star Wars: The Old Republic to get level cap increase, new planet, species, and companion
 
Players can also expect a new version of Nightmare difficulty mode, which promises to be more difficult than its current version.
 
Update 1.3, which will release soon, likely in late June or early July, will feature a group finder and additional unlocks as part of the legacy system, which will let players gain experience faster in the core gameplay areas they love, whether it is PvP, space combat or Flashpoints. In July gamers will also be able to play the game for free up to level 15, giving a taste of the action in a galaxy far, far away.
 
Star Wars: The Old Republic may have lost many subscribers, dropping from 1.7 million to 1.2 million at the last EA earnings call, as well as a number of its developers, but it looks like there is still plenty of content to look forward to.