Predictions for SWTOR 2021

What do I think is coming up in SWTOR in 2021? Swtorista predicts what’s coming up in the future of SWTOR through a deep dive into the game’s recent history and story.

What got added to the game in 2020?

  • Onslaught the expansion was added in the end of 2019
    • a different storyline for Imperial and Republic
    • Saboteur options
    • a new daily series on Onderon, a mix of quests on Mek-Sha
    • fun new datacrons
    • new secret exploration achievements
    • brand new gearing system
    • Tactical items
    • new set bonuses
    • new corellia flashpoint
    • new Dxun operation
    • Nautolans
    • All companions returned except Zenith
    • Star Wars: Fallen Order was also released in November 2019
    • Mandalorian Season 1 also released November 2019
  • 2020 was very content-light due to working from home and quarantine changing the schedule drastically for Bioware Employees, and making many Voice Actors unavailable until late in the year.
  • February 2020:
    • Very small story update
    • Alderaan Stronghold
  • April 2020:
    • Major conquest changes, almost an entirely new system, conquest points come really fast and different levels have different conquest objectives and rewards
    • month-long double xp
  • June 2020:
    • Nature of Progress: Master Mode Difficulty
    • Swoop Event
    • Ranked PvP Season 12 ended
    • Galactic Guide pop up box lol
    • Nar Shaddaa Nightlife returned, very bad bugs, but fixed and extended
  • July 2020:
    • SWTOR on steam!
    • Ranked PvP Season 13 start
    • PvP quests only progress on victories
    • disabled Vandin and Quesh Huttball maps
  • August 2020:
    • Steam achievements added for SWTOR and applied retroactively
  • September 2020:
    • Ranked PvP Rewards Replicas being added
    • Double XP Event month long
  • October 2020
    • New augments
    • Feast of Prosperity event
    • Legacy Ignore
    • Super short story update Meeting Jekiah Ordo
    • Game Release: Star Wars: Squadrons
    • At the end of October, Mandalorian Season 2 Release
  • December 2020
    • Echoes of Oblivion story (amazing)
    • The Spirit of Vengeance (disastrous launch… mostly fixed… mostly)
    • Login Rewards
    • Life Day Returns & Nine-Year Anniversary

Expansion

Will there be an expansion in 2021?

Prediction: Yes.

Hinted at here and other times said big things coming for the tenth anniversary.

Keith Kanneg: “I have a ton of memories and this year is no different. Almost a full decade and so much has changed, but a lot hasn’t (no, I’m not talking about the bug you reported 5 years ago). We have some major plans for our 10th year. I almost can’t wait to start telling you what’s up, when you’ll get involved, along with some really cool underlying changes I think y’all will appreciate.”

Chris Schmidt: “And yet, after all of these years, we find ourselves looking forward still. There are so many more stories to tell…so many more experiences we want to deliver and share with the community. What could be next? We dream big in Texas, so buckle up y’all!”

Expansion Date?

  • December 2021
  • Tenth anniversary will be December 20, 2021, holidays off from school and work, usually comes out around that time in the first or second week of December
  • Main thing that might move this around is other Star Wars releases

Expansion Name?

  • Echoes of Eternity
  • the_price_of_eternity in 2.0 /
  • cnv.exp.01.open_worlds.class.jedi_knight.the_price_of_eternity.doc_and_scourge
    cnv.exp.01.open_worlds.class.jedi_knight.the_price_of_eternity.stasis_cell
  • Lord Ravid https://swtor.jedipedia.net/en/npc/16141009965543863590
  • CSR David

What will be in the expansion?

Here are my predictions based on past expansions and the last few years of content…

  • New Storyline
  • 2 New Planets
  • A separate Republic story and Imperial story with saboteur options
  • An Operation in story mode and veteran mode (fun like Nature of Progress, not complicated like Gods from the Machine, will have lots of achievements and explorational things)
  • A Flashpoint
  • Level 80
  • Changes to gear – new tier or new horizontal progression?
  • A new daily area & reputation track
  • Lots of new exploration achievements and secret quests and new datacrons on at least one of the new planets
  • Few new high-quality armor looks from endgame and crafting
  • New stronghold later on
  • Some type of graphics upgrade

What I predict will NOT be in the expansion:

  • A huge expansion. The expansions seem to be getting smaller over time, but add more interesting features each time.
  • The ability to truly switch factions, or for a Jedi to become a Sith. The developers have mentioned true faction switching would be incredibly difficult. I think we will see a continuation of the saboteur options, but to what extent, I’m not sure. The Imperial Saboteur was able to kill up to three Dark Council members last expansion!
  • Port to console. A console port is incredibly difficult and it doesn’t sound like it’s on the developers agenda.
  • Weapons in outfit designer. Haha. It’s been so many years of not having it I’m taking it off my predictions list. In an interview recently they explained that they’re still very interested in it, but that it’s not a small thing to do, even though it seems like it would be.
  • New Engine or complete rehaul. Don’t think it’ll ever happen, it would probably be more worth it to shut down SWTOR and just make a new Star Wars online game at that point.
  • New classes. The developers recently said in an interview that it likely wouldn’t be possible to do a full new class and do it justice. We may see more ways to customize existing classes though.
  • Desync fixes. Also haha but in a sad way. At this point fixing desync seems like it’s something that isn’t possible. We still have some of the pvp maps removed and they don’t plan to re-introduce them until desync is fixed, and there’s not really been any news about that.
  • Huge changes to gearing. I think we will stick to the Renown and item-rating based system. Players do not seem to hate it as much as the Galactic Command system, it’s easy for newer players to get in to, friendly even towards solo players, wonderful for gearing alts with the legacy-bound gear, and its flaws, including difficulty finding the rare mods for min-maxing can be ironed out without having to re-do the entire system. This will hopefully give the team more time to focus on other parts of the game, unlike during other expansions when they had to revamp the systems. I think we will see new tactical and set bonus options, new augments for level 80, increased item-rating for level 80 to chase that I think will be very similar to the current system of gaining gear, and skip the innovation this expansion.
  • Old Republic movie or TV Show. Aw. I was hoping we might get one. And signs were kind of pointing towards maybe. But now that all the TV Shows and Movies for the next 2-3 years have been announced, and Old Republic isn’t on the list at all, I don’t think it’s going to happen.

What will the story be like?

  • New Storyline based on the Mandalorians
  • Separate Imperial and Republic storylines
  • Will feel longer than Onslaught (this was Onslaught’s major complaint, it was short)

 

The Sith

Sith

The Dark Council

Once Onslaught ends, the Dark Council is in bad shape, and no matter what choices you have made, there will be at least a few empty seats in the Reformed Dark Council, which under Empress Acina, had five seats.

In addition to current possible Dark Council members, there may be others still floating around depending on player choices, including:

  • Dark Council Member: Darth Jadus (Jadus is definitely alive no matter what choice the Imperial Agent made, though he has not shown his face since he left known space)
  • Dark Council Member: Darth Malora (Ossus, imprisoned or killed by the Republic, or removed from the Dark Council)
  • Dark Council Member: Darth Savik (Onslaught, imprisoned/employed or killed by the Republic, humiliated or killed by the Empire, or sent to Corellia if praised)
  • Dark Council Member: Darth Mortis (Nathema) * “Acina declared loyalty to Arcann and–allegedly–helped him eliminate several council members who refused to bow before the Eternal Throne. With her rivals out of the picture, Acina declared herself Empress of the Sith, and Arcann publicly acknowledged her claim. Whispered gossip suggested their relationship went much deeper than mere political alliance, though little exists to substantiate those rumors.” (Mortis is found not to be dead as he can be killed on Nathema by light side players who chose the galactic peacekeepr option instead of ruling as an emperor, emperor’s will not see him at all, and Indo Zal will take his place)
  • And the rest died in the Sith Warior story, Sith Inquistor story, Agent story, on Corellia in the various other class stories, in the Flashpoint expansion stories, and in the books and comics.

Darth Malgus

In Jedi Under Siege’s Imperial story on Ossus, Darth Malgus suddenly appears, having arrived in a shipping crate, scarred and modified, but alive.  When they player states they thought Malgus was dead, he replies, I was – or near enough, anyway, but won’t say more. After his arrival, he takes full command of the operation. Major Anri will tell you that she’d heard Malgus had been made the new Empire’s Wrath, a shadowy monster, but assumed it was just rumours. Darth Malora, no longer in command, tells you that, When you study the creatures of the galaxy as I have, you come to learn that there is always a bigger fish. Empress Acina may have Malgus on a leash – but that does not make her the only one who can pull it. Whether this implies simply that she knows the current Emperor is controlling Malgus, or if there is another, bigger fish out there also controlling Malgus, is unknown. At the end of Ossus, Empress Acina orders Darth Malgus back to the Dark Council, they can prepare him for the next assignment. If the player asks why Malgus serves Acina, Malgus replies, You should hope that you never do.

In Onslaught, Malgus is a major contributor to the plans on Onderon and Mek-Sha. At the end of the Onslaught expansion, it is assumed that Darth Malgus falls to his death in the Meridian Complex Shipyard on Corellia, but as we all know, Star Wars characters don’t seem to mind falls from great heights.

Republic players will not learn much about him at all, except that no one knows where he is:

General Daeruun: All Corellia forces are still on alert, but… it would seem Malgus has escaped us once again.
Hero: What about Malgus?
General Daerunn: If any ships had exited the system toward Imperial space, we’d know about it… perplexing, to say the least.

On the Empire side, the player learns more when they walk in to the Dark Council chambers:

Darth Vowrawn: A shame, that Malgus couldn’t enjoy the fruits of his efforts.
Empress Acina: His recovery will take some time, but rest assured, he will return to the fold soon enough. Victory over our ancient enemies grows closer by the minute.

Shortly after the meeting, the player sees Malgus restrained on an Imperial operating table. A doctor is assessing him with a droid’s assistance, and the droid says it has removed Malgus’s failsafe that was installed by Empress Acina or Vowrawn, as it was rendered inoperable and needs to be replaced, and it was cut by a lightsaber rather than crushed. Malgus escapes from his restraints and demands the droid and a ship, drawing his lightsaber, unafraid of the now-removed failsafe.

Later, Imperial players will meet with their new Imperial liason, Darth Rivix, in 6.1.

Hero: Any word on Darth Malgus? I haven’t seen him since Corellia.
Darth Rivix: You are not alone in that. No one has seen him since the battle. It’s all rather mysterious. Perhaps he was more badly injured than anyone knows. Or perhaps he’s gone rogue again… but surely that’s not possible.

Imperial players are then shown a memory, or dream, seen by a damaged Darth Malgus, where he resists the Emperor or Empress’s will, stating that he will not return.

After the memory, Darth Malgus awakes in a ship medical bay.

Medical Droid: Once again your vital signs have elevated far beyond ideal values. I am concerned that these episodes pose a risk of permanent damage.
Darth Malgus: Then stop them.
Medical Droid: I have already removed all physical modifications related to your loyalty assurance protocols these hallucinations are the result of psychological manipulation. To correct such potent mental conditioning is beyond my programs scope of practice. Honestly I am unaware of any technique capable of editing the pathways of your mind so extensively.
Darth Malgus: I have heard of one possibility. Set course for Dantooine.

On the Republic side, Republic players will see a short quest set on Dantooine.

Zaerid Korr: Aryn? Aryn what’s wrong?
Aryn Leneer: It’s him. Malgus.
Zaerid Korr: Malgus? What do you mean? What about him?
Aryn Leneer: He’s almost here. I can sense him. He’s coming to Dantooine.
Zaerid Korr: Then let’s be ready.

At the very end of Echoes of Oblivion, we see Aryn Leneer walk up to Satele Shan, who says to her, Aryn Leneer, I hear you have quite a story to tell.

Predictions

It seems clear that Malgus went to Aryn to seek out Jedi mind tricks to help heal his mental conditioning, and searched for her as the only Jedi that he has ever respected, which you can learn more about from the Deceived books. I have seen some players wonder if this plot line will be similar to Revan’s story in Knights of the Old Republic. Bastilla Shan, a distant relative of Satele Shan, captured dark-side Revan, and wiped his mind and memories. This allowed Revan to re-choose his own path, where the player can then lead them towards the dark or the light, without knowing about their complicated and tainted past. I’ve also seen some players say that they’re interested in a possible Malgus redemption story, with Malgus turning towards the light side after his mental conditioning is healed.

Malgus’s motivations and desires are more complicated than the average Sith’s. A fierce frontline warrior, Malgus believed that he was born to fight. His allegiances are also complicated, in that he was disgusted with that state of the politics of the Sith Empire, and also considered the Jedi to be fools. Apart from battle, the only thing he seemed to hold dear was his lover, who he murdered after realizing she was a point of true weakness for him. Now, Malgus has finally escaped one of the most “political” Dark Councils to have ever existed, but what he plans to do once his conditioning is removed is unclear. Will he attack the weak Dark Council, as he has done in the past, to cleanse them? Will he attack the Jedi Order, the fools that protect the Republic? Will he join the Mandalorians, seeking a truly powerful faction to fight for, with little politics? Or have his motivations been drastically changed since he has been re-animated, but was forced to play the part of loyal Imperial servant due to the failsafe and conditioning?

I honestly have no idea which direction Malgus’ story is going, other than I think that the Jedi will help remove his conditioning, or at least help by wiping his mind and memory. What Malgus hopes to do once he is truly free is one of the plot lines I’m most curious about.

The Jedi

The State and Future of the Jedi

Jedi Council

At the end of the latest expansion, the fate of the Jedi Order still seems slightly up in the air.

The Jedi Knight or the Jedi Consular is invited to be the first member of the newly rebuilt Jedi Council by Jedi Master Gnost-Dural, General Daeruun and Chancellor Rans, though that Jedi is not named Grand Master. Satele no longer seems to hold that title which we learned through a mail. The Jedi Consular would become the Master of Hidden Knowledge, and the Jedi Knight would become the Battlemaster, or remain the leader of the Alliance.

Task Force Nova

All Republic players are also invited to join a new initiative called Task Force Nova.

General Daeruun: Task Force Nova. A joint military and civilian effort to help the Jedi rebuild their Order.
Gnost-Dural: My research suggests that there are still countless Jedi scattered across the galaxy. We will find them, and we will build them a new home.
Hero: Why not return to Tython?
Gnost-Dural: Tython will remain a stronghold of the Jedi. But we have been seperated from the rest of the galaxy for too long. Our new home should be found amongst the people of the Republic, not hidden away.
General Daeruun: To achieve victory in this war, to secure the future of the Republic, we will need the military and the Jedi, fighting side by side once more.

At the end of Knights of the Eternal Throne on Republic side, we see repairs being made on Coruscant, overseen by Jace Malcolm, and Satele Shan training new padawans nearby.

Rebuilding the Jedi Order

If the player is an Imperial character who is betraying the Empire, they’ll have a saboteur meeting that hints at what’s coming up for the Jedi.

Jonas: Sal and her friends have some big plans coming up and I think you could be a big help.
Sal-Deron: Few Jedi survived the war with Zakuul. Scattered to the far corners of the galaxy, hidden, awaiting a sign of hope to return to the fold. We intend to give them that sign very soon, and when we do, the Empire will try to stop us at any cost. You can stop them in ways no one else can – warn us of impending attacks, feed us intel on lost comrades. You can help us save the Jedi.

This conversation, combined with Gnost-Dural’s wish to find the scattered Jedi, points towards the fact that the Jedi will be focused on rebuilding their new temple on Coruscant, and the player will help them find any missing Jedi who are still alive after the attacks made by the Eternal Empire.

Jedi Order Members

While we already know Gnost-Dural. Satele, and Satele’s new padawans will play a part in the new Jedi Order, it is difficult to tell who else might be involved. Many Jedi Masters died during the previous class and expansion stories, and countless more died during the attacks by Zakuul and the Imperial attacks on Ossus and Tython. Other existing Masters exist in a quantum state – they may or may not be alive, depending on player choices throughout the story. Tau Idair and her Padawan Arn will likely be involved, as well as Nadia who had taken a leadership role on Ossus, but almost all other well-known members of the Jedi Order are either dead, missing, stuck in a quantum state where they may be dead or alive, or have allegiances that may prevent them from fully joining the Jedi Order. For example, Imperial players can kill or capture Jedi Maaster Gnost-Dural, while Republic players save him, making him not an ideal major character for future storylines. Bela Kiwiks, one of the other few Jedi Council members who is still alive, is in a similar state of possibly dead or alive, depending on the Jedi Knight’s choices along the way. Aryn Leneer, though she has been disowned by the Jedi, may be accepted back in to the Order, especially depending on her involvement of Darth Malgus. Then there’s all kinds of force-sensitive companions kicking around whose wish to re-join the Jedi Order are tied to the player’s choices, including Kira, Ashara, Jaesa, and possible new Jedi trainees including Scourge, Temple, Senya, Arcann, and, uh, Guss, shining in the darkness and all. There’s also lots of fun side Force-sensitive characters you can redeem along the way or turn to the light side, and others that should be alive unless you went dark side Jedi and murdered them. Whether these characters, like Praven, Vivicar or Calphayus, show up at all is unlikely, but it would be really cool if they showed up in the background if not in the main story. Due to the quantum alive / dead state of some many Jedi, it’s fairly unclear who the main players will be in the new Jedi Order, and your guess is as good as mine. We’ll see Satele, Tau and Nadia for sure, but that leaves a lot of space open for Jedi Council members and other leaders to rebuild the Order. Even if the Jedi are able to return to Coruscant, the Order itself will be quite weak until more veteran Jedi can be trained, as many pillars of the Order like Orgus Din and Jaric Kaeden are confirmed dead, and many Jedi who do return may be badly physically or mentally hurt after the war waged by the Eternal Empire.

The Mandalorians

Unlike the Jedi and the Sith, the Mandalorians of the Old Republic are very fractured.

While many act as independent mercenaries, the Mandalorians are divided into clans each answering to their own leader.

During the original class stories, the Mandalorians had been loosely allied with the Sith Empire since the Empire’s return to the galaxy and have an enclave in the Citadel on Dromund Kaas.

When Mandalore the Vindicated fell in battle against the Eternal Empire, Shae Vizla, previously well known for earning Darth Malgu’s trust through the sacking of Coruscant, reluctantly assumed leadership over the clans. She had sizable shoes to fill: the fallen Mandalore was popular, respected, even revered. As a lone hunter, Shae had very little experience leading people, much less an entire culture.

With the clans fractured and beaten down after years of war with Zakuul, Shae had to adapt quickly to bring her people together. She proved to be just the leader the Mandalorians needed. Her introductory battle as Mandalore the Avenger was the clans’ first victory in six months.

With her impressive track record and ruthless combat tactics, Shae is perfectly suited for wartime leadership. Yet some believe the battle-hardened Mand’alor isn’t fit to lead long-term, and the end of the war may see more than one challenge for her title.

Shae Vizla, during the time period where the Eternal Empire held much of the galaxy in siege, instead of directly allying with the Empire, agreed to work with the Alliance for a chance to hit back at Zakuul.

Current Known Clans

  • Clan Ordo
  • Clan Vizla
  • Clan Lok
  • Clan Fett
  • Clan Varad (Mandalorian Raiders FP)
  • Clan Spar (one member, Akaavi Spar)
  • Clan Cadera (one member, Torian Cadera)
  • Clan Rook (false clan)
  • Clan Deshra from GSF
  • Clan Sharratt (from Nar Shaddaa)
  • Clan Lone (many joined with Clan Rook, but not all)

Mandalorians with Heta Kol

  • Clan Varad (from the Mandalorian Raiders Flashpoint)
  • The Ash’ad (former Shae Vizla followers)
  • Dar’Manda (from Mek-Sha)

 


 

Heta Kol’s Clan

  • Clan Varad (Mandalorian Raiders)
  • The Ash’ad (led by Mirli Lok)
  • Dar’Manda (Mek-Sha)

Clan Varad: Considered aggressive even by Mandalorian standards, Clan Varad has carved out a reputation for violence over decades, raiding and plundering from various hidden bases throughout the Tamarin Sector. Its chieftain, Mavrix Varad, is known to be particularly bloodthirsty; Varad warriors who cannot pass his demanding combat trials are used for sparring and hunting practice by the younger members of the clan. Though life in Clan Varad is unremittingly harsh, those who survive quickly become accustomed to a steady flow of plunder, credits and weapons. In recent times, the personality clashes between Mandalore and Mavrix Varad have grown impossible to ignore. Varad clansmen are no longer welcome on the Mandalorian stronghold of Geonosis, and Mandalore himself has privately described Mavrix Varad as “a rancor foaming at the mouth.” Clan Varad’s break with the Mandalorian leadership has surprised no one; its willingness to pick a fight with both the Empire and the Republic, however, suggests that even Mandalore may have underestimated the threat Mavrix Varad poses.

The Ash’ad: “I convinced Luth to come with me. I showed him we could no longer follow Vizla. We are warriors, we should be taking our fight to Zakuul, not the worthless machines on Darvannis. Vizla may be Mandalore, but Zakuul left no other challengers. Maybe this is her way of thanking them. I know there are others who feel the same, who will come with me too. There is a king who will let us hunt on his world. It is swarming with beasts the mightiest of us could only imagine. We can finally meet worthy prey again. The fool king wants tribute from our quarry, to slay offworld creatures and bring them to him from time to time. In return, he will leave us to hunt in peace. The di’kut doesn’t understand that acquiring his “payment” will bring us the honor we crave.
When we leave, Vizla will say we are not Mando’ade [Mandalorian], and those sheb’urcyin [sycophants] who have forgotten what that word means will agree with her. But if what she has made us is “Mando’ade,” [“Mandalorian”] then I want no part of it. I will be ash’ad. I will be someone else.”
–From the journal of Mirli Lok, leader of the Ash’ad [Someone Else]

Dar’Manda: In Mandalorian society, a Dar’manda is an exile–someone who has broken the strictures of honor and duty so severely that they are deemed unworthy of their heritage. It is considered by most Mandalorians to be a punishment worse than death. This designation is meant as a mark of shame, but Indigo’s crew on Mek-Sha bears it proudly, even continuing to brazenly wear their Mandalorian armor in mockery. Though he started his gang with just a few other exiles and a modest supply of stolen weapons, Indigo and the Dar’manda curried favor on Mek-Sha quickly by supplying those weapons to help overthrow Hutt control of the asteroid. The gang primarily deals in illicit weapons and takes on mercenary contracts. They’ve attracted dozens of other misfit outlaws over the years–many, but not all, true ex-Mandalorians like Indigo himself. The Dar’manda have such a notorious reputation that the mere presence of a few of their members is usually enough to deter attacks on their charges, due to both their skill in combat and their powerful arsenal of weapons.

Others: “They’ll want to reclaim honor fighting men, not machines… and Zakuul won’t be enough.”

Shae’s Clans

  • In Chapter 14 of Knight of the Fallen Empire, one of the Mandalorians claims that a dozen clans stand with Mandalore the Avenger, aka Shae Vizla, and she had pulled the clans from their homes to Darvannis. 28 died on Darvannis
  • Clan Vizla (Shae Vizla, Mandalore the Avenger, Bloodhunt)
  • Clan Cadera (Torian)
  • Clan Fett (Khomo Fett, Chapter 14)
  • Clan Beroya (Jos & Valk Beroya, Bloodhunt)
  • Clan Chorn (Breyer Chorn, Chapter 14)
  • Clan Ordo (Rass & Jekiah Ordo, Spirit of Vengeance)
  • Clan Ard (Dalash Ard, Chapter 14)
  • Clan Khazlan? (Vaor Khazlan, Bounty Hunter trainer on Rishi)

Other Old Republic Clans

  • Clan Kelborn (rebelled with clan Cadera)
  • Clan Itera (rebelled with clan Cadera)
  • Clan Spar (Akaavi Spar)
  • Clan Rook (Tayari Rook, false clan)
  • Clan Lone (Akaavi’s story)
  • Clan Sharratt (Nar Shaddaa, [HEROIC 2] Mandalorian Rage)
  • Clan Farr (Dromund Kaas)
  • Terror Brigade (former Mandalorians, Hoth, [HEROIC 2] The Terror Brigade)
  • Clan Rodarch (Asharl Panther codex entry)
  • Clan Lok (Mandalore the Vindicated, scattered, now mostly the Ash’ad)
  • Clan Jennis (Mandalorian Property investigation mission)
  • Clan Jendri (Revan book)
  • Clan Bralor (KOTOR II and Jogo)
  • Clan Deshra (GSF, Feedback Shields creators)
  • Clan Trana (Ression Trana, Galactic History 88: The Unlikely Champion)

Other media clans

  • Clan Sornell (Knights of the Old Republic comics)
  • Clan Vevut
  • Clan Tenau
  • Clan Skiratta
  • Clan Priest
  • Clan Kryze
  • Clan Keldau
  • Clan Jeban
  • Clan Gedyc
  • Clan Awaud
  • Clan Beviin
  • Clan Carid