What to Expect in the 6.0 Onslaught Expansion!

Hello everyone! I’m extremely excited to share with you all the news I’ve learned about the upcoming 6.0 expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic. The next expansion will be called Onslaught, and is slated for release in September of 2019. This expansion will include a new storyline, new planets, a new operation, a new playable species and a huge overhaul of the gearing, stats and abilities systems. Like the previous two expansions, the Onslaught expansion will not need to be purchased. Instead, to unlock it and the previous expansions permanently, you will only need to subscribe for at least one month during or after the expansion’s launch.

Onslaught Expansion Storyline

The new expansion storyline focuses on a return to the war between the Republic and the Empire, and the war between Jedi and the Sith, a conflict which was re-ignited after the Knights of the Eternal Throne expansion and was explored heavily in the most recent update, Jedi Under Siege, on the newest planet of Ossus.

Fair warning, the rest of this video will contain heavy spoilers about the state of the galaxy. Players who want to have a full understanding of the new storyline will want to have finished all the expansions, Iokath, the Umbara flashpoint, the Traitor Among the Chiss Copero flashpoint, the Nathema Conspiracy flashpoint, and most importantly the Republic and the Empire versions of the Ossus storylines before September 2019. If you want to play these storylines, they can all be started from the terminal on your ship between levels 60 and 70.

This is the new storyline’s opening crawl:

War consumes the galaxy. Hungering for dominance, the ruthless SITH EMPIRE fights to destroy their ancient enemies in the GALACTIC REPUBLIC.

Assembling an overwhelming fleet of the Empire’s most powerful warships, DARTH MALGUS sets out to obliterate a new and highly advanced Republic shipyard on the planet Corellia.

Now, desperate to prevent this catastrophe, the Republic rushes to gather the force necessary to defend this vital facility – one that could finally turn the tide of the war in their favor…

A slightly different story introduction was posted on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic Website,

War between the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire blazes across the galaxy. Crucial resources dwindle as piracy and crime escalate dramatically. Amid this chaos, the Alliance Commander has the chance to tip the scales in favor of either faction, committing their elite forces to decide the fate of the galaxy.

As the Sith Empire prepares to make a decisive strike against a newly-constructed Republic shipyard on the planet Corellia, members of the Dark Council see victory on the horizon and begin plotting against one another in anticipation of the spoils. Meanwhile, Republic forces must race against time to muster reinforcements from across the galaxy in order to defend Corellia from the Sith.

Charles Boyd, the lead creative director of the game, said they wanted to bring the storyline back to the core conflict of the game, and allow players to work alongside their own factions again.

The new teaser art shows Tau Idair, a new Jedi character introduced in Ossus, in a duel with a re-animated Darth Malgus, who made a return in the same update on Ossus. Darth Malgus will be prominently featured in the expansion, and will be taking an aggressive stance against the Republic, in an attempt to win the war early. This onslaught is where the expansion’s name is derived from.

Charles Boyd, the lead creative director said, “Now that Darth Malgus is back, he’s commanding the Sith fleet in a devastating attack on the Republic. It will be up to players to stop him—or help him.”

New Planets

During the expansion’s announcement, the developers mentioned that they wanted a good mix of planets – some old and some new – for the upcoming expansion. Two new planets are being added, Onderon and Mek-sha, and players will see a return to Corellia through a new flashpoint.

Onderon

Onderon was the first “new” planet revealed for the Onslaught expansion. Onderon is a lore-heavy planet that was first introduced to gaming in Knights of the Old Republic II, but was also highly explored in the Tales of the Jedi comic series.

Onderon expansion

Players who are familiar with legends lore may know of Onderon as the planet highly connected to the fates of Ulic Qel-Droma and Freedon Nadd. In canon lore, Onderon was where a rebel cell was led by siblings Saw Gerrera, seen in Rogue One, and Steela Gerrera, from the Clone Wars series.

Onderon expansion

At the announcement event, the developers said the above concept art was the Grand Palace, and that Onderon is “an awesome planet, with laser-gun wielding beast-riding barbarians, scheming nobles, and jungles teaming with deadly monsters who literally fly down at you – so it’s a hardcore place”!

The official website gives us more clues about the story, “The search for allies leads to Onderon, a planet of untamed jungles and savage beasts. For centuries, Onderon has been a loyal member of the Republic – but will the planet’s newly-crowned King maintain that ancient allegiance?”

The planet’s harsh jungles are offset by its beauty, where nobles for generations have built their cities among the planet’s lush plant life.

Although the developers did not say which part of Onderon the storyline will take place, the story will likely be set in Iziz, the capital city, and the home of the Royal Court of Onderon.

During the time of Freedon Nadd, the Beast Riders of Onderon were a group of dissidents cast away from Iziz by its rulers who had been corrupted by their former king. With so much lore from the Beast Wars to pull from, it’s safe to expect a large variety of creatures on the planet, many of which will likely be introduced as mounts.

At the announcement event, two of these beasts were introduced, including one nicknamed the “Onderon heavy” who looks like it will also be a mount, and a flying creature named the Onderon Dragonbat, a creature which does not exist in previous Onderon lore.

Some additional creatures from lore we may see include Bomas, Pikobis, Dalgos, Rupings, Falumpasets, Fambaas and Tee-muss.

Mek-sha

Alongside an existing lore planet being added to the expansion, the developers wanted to also add a planet “you’ve never seen before, never been to before, and never heard of before.” This brand-new planet will be Called Mek-sha.

Mek-sha is a mined out asteroid that has been turned in to a galactic refueling station for the scum and villainy of the galaxy – ne’er-do-wells, smugglers, mercenaries, pirates, refugees, and traders. It has been described as a “stacked up harbor in space – stuff floating out over the stars.”

Once controlled by the Hutts, you’ll be able to find trouble in all the back alleys – a place where opportunity and danger can be found in equal measure. Mek-sha is actually named after the developer who suggested the core concept of the planet, who described it as a “Hong Kong harbor in space”. The developers have mentioned it will be a place they think players will enjoy wandering around, and that it will be more of an adventuring area than a social hub. The Lead Creative director said they want it to be less of a war zone, and instead exist as a space where galactic outlaws live and work. This doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself in combat – there are areas that are very dangerous to go to, much like Nar Shaddaa.

Mek-sha expansion

Technically Mek-sha is actually an asteroid, and not a planet, but it sounds like it will be explorable much like the other planets in the game.

Mek-sha’s city aesthetics seem to be similar to Nar Shaddaa’s, including this new “boat” skiff design.

New Corellia Flashpoint

One of the things the developers really wanted to do was allow players to go back to existing planets in a meaningful way. The dramatic finale to the expansion’s storyline will take place in a new area of Corellia, which will be available to both solo and group-focused players.

New Operation – Dxun

A new operation for players who enjoy group content will be released with the launch of expansion, set on one of Onderon’s moons, Dxun. Although very little about the operation was revealed, we do know that the main villain will be the Czerka Corporation. Dxun has “even more and even crazier monsters” than Onderon does, according to the developers, and the plot will involve Czerka Corporation, seeing some opportunities for profits, who will be attempting to enhance Dxun’s beasts and sell them for a profit. The developers also mentioned things might get out of hand as “some other guys show up who enjoy hunting things for points”, so there is a good chance we might see Scorekeeper-worshiping Trandoshan hunters crashing Czerka’s party in the Dxun operation. We might also see Mandalorians , who were a key part of Dxun’s story in Knights of the Old Republic II. In lore, Dxun is also one of the resting places of Freedon Nadd’s tomb, and the place where Jedi Knight Exar Kun was turned to the dark side. Some of the creatures from lore we may fight as enemies and bosses include Cannoks, Devourers, Drexls, Gharzrs, Maalraas, Orbalisks, Skreev and Zakkegs, and of course any of the beasts found on Onderon or in Czerka’s intergalactic laboratories.

Nautolan – New Playable Species

Star Wars: The Old Republic has not had any new playable species for quite some time, and players were excited to hear that a new species was being added with the launch of the expansion. Nautolans will be added as a playable race in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and will be released in a variety of colors, and female and male Nautolans will be slightly different.

Although the details are not set in stone, the current plan by the developers is that players who are subscribed near the launch of the Onslaught expansion should receive Nautolans as a playable species for free. Players who subscribe or join the game later will need to purchase the species from the Cartel Market, similar to other purchasable species like Togruta and Cathar.

Nautolans will come in a variety of colors, but other customization options, like the bands on their head tentacles or markings like stripes or spots which can be seen on the most well-known Nautolans like Kit Fisto, have not yet been shown or discussed. More information about Nautolans and their customization options will be released closer to the expansion’s launch.

Nautolans have always been a fan-favorite for a new species, and in the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion a Nautolan companion, Sith Acolyte, Veeroa Denz, became available as a new companion for players who completed Chapter 9 of the expansion and her companion alert mission. Nautolans were chosen as the next species due to their similarity to humanoid face shapes, and their wide range of potential customizations like skin color, tentacles, tentacle bands and markings.

New Level Cap – Level 75

The new level cap in the Onslaught expansion will be level 75. With the level increase, every Advanced Class will receive a new ability, there will be a major renovation of gear, new set bonuses, and a new item type. The developers have said that although the level increase is only 5 levels from the previous cap, they believe that players will feel a distinct difference in their characters due to these major changes.

Huge Changes to Gearing, Abilities and States – Spoils of War

With the new expansion, the “Spoils of War” system will be introduced to the game, where “everything you know about items in the Old Republic is going to change.” These changes will allow more customization, allowing players to “live in the Old republic, and play Star Wars  exactly how you want it to be.”

The developers have acknowledged that the gearing system introduced in Knights of the Eternal Throne was not well-liked by players, and over the past two years have made big changes to the system to bring it more in line with how players enjoy gearing. Although these changes have made gearing more enjoyable, they’ve also created an extremely convoluted system that often isn’t fair to all players.

There will be new set bonuses, new items, and more loot everywhere, according to the developers. There will also now be horizontal progression, which will allow even players who have gained the best set of gear available to continue gaining gear. The example the developers gave was that if three players each play an Arsenal Mercenary Bounty Hunter, each one can be completely different. This will be accomplished through items that have a similar power or stat ratings, but do completely different things.

With the current gearing system, each discipline or combat proficiency only has one set bonus, which can be upgraded vertically by getting set bonus pieces with higher stats. There is not a lot of customization of abilities or goals when it comes to set bonuses – for example, if you want to be harder to kill vs doing more damage.

The developers walked through an example for the Sith Sorcerer – you’ll have the normal Sorcerer sets available, but you will also have Sith Inquisitor sets, and generic sets for all classes. These set bonuses might not just be combat focused – “What if all you do is jump ingame, you’re harvesting, and you’re crafting – what if there was a set bonus that made you better at that?” With the new system, the developers would like to offer bonuses that affect a large range of playstyles, to give players as many options as possible when they play, including XP and CXP boosts.

Mixing and matching small set bonuses, large set bonuses, and hybridization is another feature the developers would like to re-introduce to the game in the expansion.

New Tactical Items

Tactical Items are an entirely new items slot which is designed to change the way you play your class in a significant way by offering even more ability customization. These items have the potential to completely change your rotation, and create an entirely different way of playing the class you know and love.

Tactical items will be legacy-bound, and easily transferable between your characters on the same server. Characters will wear one tactical item which will most likely be a new item slot. This new item does not replace set bonuses at all, instead the new tactical items are in addition to your set bonus. Think of tactical items like any other gear item like boots, relics, or chestpieces, which just happen to have a special effect on it.

Tactical Items will modify one of your Advanced Class or Discipline abilities to work differently, which will allow players to use the ability in situations you previously wouldn’t – for example, being able to use the ability more often or against specific targets. Set bonuses will be focused on the broader tools your class uses, but not specific abilities. Some examples are sets that center around bleeds, force damage, lightning, shields, or cover.

The developers gave an example for the Lightning Sorcerer Sith Inquisitor. The Sorcerer has an ability called Chain Lightning which causes a jet of lightning to shoot towards one enemy, and then bounces between any nearby enemies. With tactical items, Chain Lightning could be changed to instead deliver a more powerful burst of lightning toward a single enemy, instead of bouncing. Or, with a different tactical item, Chain Lightning could be changed to instead bounce between many different targets and do double damage, potentially wiping out an entire room. In short, the example points out that Chain Lightning could be modified to be more heavily focused on single target with one tactical item, or to become more multi-enemy focused with a different tactical item. These tactical items will also offer pacifist options and non-combat options.

One of the developer’s goals of this system is to take abilities you love, and be able to create builds around them.

The developers also said gearing will be faster than ever, and due to the variety of items available, the developers intend to give players more drops than what you would have received previously. For example, right now if you get a pair of boots with a set bonus, you’re done. In Onslaught it may not be the set you were trying to get, so the developers want to give you more gear to have more opportunities to get the specific piece you’re looking for. The ways to get gear are not set in stone yet, but some potential sources of gear might be crafting, rare drops, and drops from bosses in operations. The developers did say that some tactical items would be easier to get than others – for example, there might be a simple tactical item at the end of the “crit” stat item gearing path, to help players learn about the different tactical item gearing paths that are pursuable, while other exceptional tactical items might drop from operations bosses and are something you have to work harder for.

At the time of making this video, the developers are seeking suggestions and feedback for both the new set bonuses as well as the effects for the upcoming tactical items for all classes and disciplines on the official forums. Their hopes are that once they have gathered feedback and created a list of potential tactical abilities, they will then post them on the official forums for additional feedback. The developers have also said they will be seeking feedback about how tactical items are earned ingame including what the best ways to earn gear are, and how fast gearing should happen.

With the addition of all these new set bonus gear and tactical items, the developers have mentioned they are well aware of the storage issues that come with introducing so many new items and hope to offer some solutions.

When asked about Galactic Command, they said that its status is currently in flux – it may stay as a supplementary way to get gear for playing the game in general, but it may change names and how exactly it works may change in the expansion.

PvP

During the live announcement about the expansion, the developers touched on some of the updates to PvP they made in the last year including adding the new arena the Mandalorian Battle Ring, adding the Vandin Huttball map, and creating the Rishi stronghold which has a heavy player-vs-player focus.

With the new expansion, there are currently no plans to add any new warzones or arenas, but that the changes coming to stats, gearing and abilities will drastically change the meta especially for PvPers. They also said the new gearing system should help close the gap and resolve the issues created when PvE players jump in to PvP with gear earned through non-PvP activities like operations. They also hope to have the bolster level higher than previous updates, allowing PvPer’s item rating and stats to have less of an effect in PvP matches. This higher bolster goes hand-in-hand with their goals of creating more horizontal progression, which will allow players to gear based on strategies of their own choice, which will allow them to be more competitive even if they do not have gear with greatest stats.

The new set bonuses and tactical items system will also further split the divide between gearing styles – the developers have said there will be “no such thing as PvE and PvP gear”, though they did float some ideas like set bonus or tactical abilities that cause resolve to decay at half speed, which would be be an extremely PvP focused ability. Instead of having PvP sets or PvE sets, there would be build-defining items across the board that affects your abilities and the way you play, though there may be some items that are more effective in PvP like items that grant boosts to crowd control abilities and burst damage abilities.

At the moment, there are also no plans to add any new Galactic Starfighter maps, even though there are members of the developer team who are passionate about GSF.

Legacy-Bound Gear

Sharing gear between characters has existed in the game for a long time, but it can only currently be done through a convoluted system that involves finding legacy gear, ripping mods out of existing gear, and mailing them or putting them in your bank, then pulling the mods out. The developer said they want to fix this and make it easier, so “moving gear around your legacy is the way it’s supposed to work.” Not only will the new tactical items be legacy-bound, but “left side” items like earpieces, implants and relics will also be legacy-bound.

Strongholds

The developers have mentioned that they have had a lot questions and interest when it comes to player housing. When asked if there would be a new stronghold, they said, “We’ve mentioned in the past that we had another new stronghold in the works, but we can’t announce what that is yet because it may not come together, or we may go in a different direction.” This potential stronghold sounds like it won’t make it in to the expansion, and they said their plans may also rely on people’s reactions to the new environments including Onderon, Mek-Sha, the new Flashpoint area on Corellia, and the new Dantooine area including the Jedi Enclave area.

Crafting

Although nothing was revealed about the state of crafting in the expansion, the developers have said they are very interested in making sure that crafting is up to date and stays relevant and useful. It also sounds like crafting may be a key component in another ingame project that the developers have not yet announced.

Companions

At the time of making this video, a majority of the companions have returned after going missing in the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansions. The four companions who have not returned are Kira Carsen, Lord Scourge, Zenith and Tharan Cedrax. When asked about companions, the developers said that there will not be any more companion returns before the launch of the expansion, and although some might return during the expansion, the developers are not ready to commit to any promises, and there is still a lot of work for the developer team before they can make any announcements. As for companions players have not seen in a while, players might see some old familiar faces in the expansion, as well as a little bit before its launch through some story tidbits which will be released alongside the Dantooine update 5.10.3!

Free Ingame Items

In honor of the developers hosting a community event at Star Wars Celebration, the developers have created a redeemable code: SWCELEBRATION19. To redeem the code, go to swtor.com/redeem-code, and once you put in the code you’ll receive a Celebration inspired character flair and four stronghold poster decorations on all of your current and future characters! This code will eventually expire, but we don’t know when, so please make sure to leave a comment below about whether it is still working or not!

New SWTOR Music

The developers have revealed one more small addition to the game. The character select screen theme music has received an update and will sounds something like this…

Sources

Watch Interview with the SWTOR Devs from KogASS_ on www.twitch.tv

Watch SWTOR Cantina Tonight 7:00pm CDT Right HERE!! from KidLee on www.twitch.tv

Watch Star Wars Celebration Pre-Cantina Event with @KogASS_ – talking to devs and to the fans! Of course they’ll be time for some playtime too 🙂 from Vemapris on www.twitch.tv



Questions or comments? Feel free to send me a message on Twitter @swtorista, Reddit /u/swtorista, Youtube Swtorista channel or by e-mail at the same name with gmail.com at the end. Have fun out there and may the Force be with you. ~ Swtorista