Friday, June 26, 2015

The Road Map to Knights of the Fallen Empire

October 27th isn't too far away, so let's lay out the road ahead (as we know it) for the new expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire.

There are five bonuses for players if they are subscribed from July 31st to launch day (or, more technically 7 days before launch day).  A new companion, some blasters, a coat, a swoop bike mount, and early access.  These are earned in order ... each one can be earned individually, but you must be subbed for the first four in order to activate early access.  Also remember; these bonuses will be mailed to you either on Early Access start date (October 20th) or launch day ... they will not be available before then.

The official site lists them:

  • Subbed on July 31st - Nico Okarr, a new companion for KotFE
  • Subbed on August 31st - Nico's twin blasters (can be used for Nico or yourself)
  • Subbed on September 30th - Nico's coat (can be used for Nico or yourself)
  • Subbed on October 19th - Swoop bike-inspired mount (inclusion in swoop gang not included)
  • Subbed from July 31st to October 19th - 7 days of Early Access to KotFE

Remember, you must be subbed from July 31st to October 19th to get the early access!  If you miss one of the cutoff dates, you're shit outta luck on Early Access.

If you 'd like to sub, hey, gimme free cartel coins and earn yourself a goodie package by using my referral link!

Bioware has made a big deal over 'returning to their roots' with this expansion by making it story-focused.  It almost sounds like a is a single-player expansion (CONFIRMED).  My fears about the new story were solidified in an article/interview at MassivelyOP.  So what does it mean?  There will be a single story in KotFE, the story of the Outlander.  Much like KOTOR or any other Bioware RPG, you'll have a singular story to play.  Granted, the story will branch out and take twists and turns as you make choices, but this really means that the much anticipated and long awaited class story continuation is very much dead (for now).  Bioware states that there will be 'class flavor' in the Outlander story, but I sincerely doubt there will be much other than, "Hail <class name>, well met!  We have a mission for you.  Kill 10 droids!"

Is this such a bad thing, though?  If it's a true return to form for Bioware Austin and they really are channeling both KOTOR and Mass Effect, can it even remotely be a bad thing?  My personal belief is that it will be equal parts awesome and disappointing.  The class stories were something that made SWTOR so incredibly special and also so worrying ... their ability to carry on that much development on 8 different game stories at once was often brought up pre-launch as a potential failure of the game.

There's also a new free level 60 feature for KotFE ... sound similar to anything?

To be fair, I think this is a GREAT feature.  The ability to instantly make a new character at level 60 is a springboard to the new content.  It instantly engages new players and lets Bioware concentrate on the story they want to tell.  The downside is this; brand new 60s mean brand new players who don't really know what they're doing.  This is basically ok, though, since the multiplayer content will be pretty sparse.

Also remember that this is not a *boost* to 60.  You can create a new character at level 60.  Existing characters cannot be catapulted to 60.  Bioware also states that they are working hard on providing us 2 extra character slots for the new expansion; no need to delete old characters to clear space.  And finally, the level 60 option will of course be available in the Cartel Market because OF COURSE.  I'm not mocking it ... I mean, why WOULDN'T it be available?  It'll sell like hotcakes.

The lack of class story continuation is disappointing but ultimately practical.  When I was watching the E3 conference and the subsequent interviews/press releases, in the back of my mind I knew there would be no class story ... they reference 'the Outlander' way too often and way too heavily for me to think there'd be class-centric stories.  It makes me wonder if all the current companions will be jumbled up and spread throughout the expansion as quest givers instead of hanging with us.  I'm betting we'll get a whole new crew of companions instead, plus whatever Cartel Market companions we've bought over the years (Treek, HK-51).

It's a bit sad, but expected.  It still hasn't really affected my excitement for KotFE, but it has taken a tiny bit of the shine off.  Oh well.

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