With Star Wars: The Old Republic’s expansion being delayed until February 15, 2022, I’ve had a lot of players asking me, is it worth trying or playing the game before the expansion hits?
I think this is a really great question, because many past players were looking to return for the expansion, and many new players who have heard about the game online or from friends have been wondering if it’s better to hold off until the expansion comes out, especially as there will be so many changes coming to the game.
I just wanna know if it’s worth playing
If you don’t care about the expansion itself, and just want a really solid 20-minute overview of what the game is like right now, check out my other videos called “Is SWTOR worth returning to in 2021?” for returning players and ” “Is SWTOR worth trying in 2021?” for new players!
For returning players, I think the answers is a little easier to sum up – if you left recently, for example in the last year or two, and have already caught up with the most recent expansion, there hasn’t been a ton that has changed, and you’re probably fine to just wait until the expansion comes out, especially if you were feeling burnt out when you originally left or if you have found a different hobby or game to check out in the mean time. If you do decide to return though, there is some definite perks and reasons you may want to rejoin early, especially if you’re not a player who feels they have “done everything”. One of the biggest reasons I’d suggest returning players to jump back into the game early is to level up and catch up in the story with any characters they want to jump immediately into the expansion with when it hits – for example, if only your Jedi is caught up, you may want to also go catch your Sith up to level 75 and the most recent storyline, so you can go experience both side of the expansion story as soon as it hits on February 15, 2022.
For returning players who have not played in a long time, for example if you haven’t played since launch or haven’t picked up the game in the last five years, there’s actually a ton of reasons to jump back into the game early. There have been many story additions and level additions over the years, and you will likely have the most fun when the expansion launches if you have at least one or two characters all caught up, especially if you want to play with other people or want to experience the new story as a solo player right when it comes out. The current max-level is 75, and you’ll be able to level up from there to 80 once the expansion hits, instead of starting off at say level 50 or 60 and having to work your way up from there if you re-join from the expansion.
One thing I would hold off on is creating any new characters as a returning player, as you’ll have a lot more options for creating new characters, especially as an experienced player who may have unlocked multiple story achievements and have the Dark 5 and Light 5 unlock. By the way, before the delay announcement, the developers announced that if you have an existing force-using character whose personal alignment does not match their faction – for example a Dark Jedi or a Light-Side Sith, you’ll be able to “flip” your combat style once the expansion hits – so for example your Dark-side Jedi Consular Sage could become a Jedi Consular Assassin instead, in the expansion. So if you want to unlock that option, you may want to log in and earn some dark or light.
One major reason to wait to return, especially if you struggle to learn your class in combat, is that there are some major changes coming to combat and abilities in the expansion. I’m not saying you’ll have to relearn every single ability in your abilities list, but there is a lot of changes coming up, and you’ll likely have to re-learn a lot not matter when you return. Personally, I’ve been enjoying trying out classes and learning them before the expansion hits so I can compare them after the expansion, but if you have limited time or don’t enjoy learning how to play you class, waiting for the expansion might be a smart idea.
New players are a whole different story and I think that there’s two major ways you can answer the question of whether you should start playing the game now or wait until the expansion.
So there are going to be some major changes when it comes to creating a level one character – you’ll have more options even as a brand new level 1 character than you do in the current game. For example, at the moment, if you decide to play as the Smuggler, you’ll only have two fighting styles available to you. When the expansion hits, you’ll be able to to choose between a total of eight – including combat styles that were originally reserved for other classes, for example you can choose the Sniper option which is normally reserved for the Imperial Agent class, which is pretty cool. However if you planned on playing a very classic style of character, for example, you planned to play a Jedi Knight and planned to choose Guardian as your combat style… well, that option is available before or after the expansion, so it doesn’t matter too much when you create that character.
Learning to play Star Wars: The Old Republic can be a bit of a overwhelming task for many new players, especially if they are not already used to playing other online massive games. For those who are newer to online multi-player gaming, even basic tasks like learning how to move around and figuring out where to go for your next quest can be a big step. In my opinion, if you fit in that category of not being a pro gamer, it’s actually a GREAT idea to join the game early. That way, you give yourself some time to learn the basics of playing before the chaos of the expansion hits!
On the flip side of that coin, there are going to be some major changes to the way the game plays when the expansion does hit. I’m not talking about walking around or finding quests – but the way you fight in combat might look very different when you log in the day of the expansion. If you’re the kind of player who likes to actually learn how to play decently in combat instead of using the equivalent of automatic attack, you’ll have a lot to re-learn and re-figure out when the expansion hits. So if you’re willing to wait, and willing to be a bit behind on the basics of learning the game, it might also be a good idea to wait until the expansion actually comes out and learn it all at once.
If you happen to already have friends currently playing the Old Republic though, I highly recommend starting NOW though. That way, there’s a chance you may even be caught up to max-level by the time the expansion comes out, or at least be close – the levelling in this game is very fast. This is because some types of group content are level-gated – for example, if your friend is playing on a max-level character, you won’t be able to join them for Operations or high-end Flashpoints at all until you are max level, you can’t join them for Player vs Player stuff unless they log into a low level character, and there’s a variety of random stuff that’s really aimed for max-level characters that you can do together. You may also have friends that aren’t currently playing, but are already max-level and are returning for the expansion, so you could be able to play with them as well if you are caught up.