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SWTOR 1.3 Update “Allies” details. Character transfers, class changes, new systems revealed.


UPDATE 1.3, A NEW PATCH. It is a period of product announcements. Nintendo marketeers, striking from a hidden country, have won their first victory against the evil Playstation-Xbox Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to EA’s erstwhile ultimate weapon, SWTOR, an giant MMO created with enough money to feed an entire continent. Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, designer Austin Peckenpaugh races to his hotel aboard his scooter, custodian of the stolen plans that can save his people and restore freedom to the galaxy…

So, update 1.3 is going to muck around with classes an awful lot and fix many of the things we asked for in our Ten things Bioware must fix in Star Wars: The Old Republic. The patch notes are live herebut here’s a more readable summary, and a few details of what else is to come.

First, there are major changes to tanks. Their threat generation has been doubled, and all tank roles have been given more AOE threat building moves. They’ve also been centralised around the same survivability point – in particular the Shadow / Assassin tanks were as tough as other tanks with far superior self-healing, so they’ve been nerfed.
The DPS characters have also seen changes. The ranged chaps – Gunslingers / Snipers and Commandos / Mercenaries – have both seen changes. The former have had their capstone ability for Sharpshooter/Marksmanship changed from Rapid Fire (now a passive ability) to a Volley ability which allows them to manage their damage and energy more easily. Commandos / Mercenaries, on the other hand, have been changed to increase their reliability in Gunnery / Arsenal specs.
On top of that, further down the line, there will be a new social adaptive gear system, a new augmentation system, a revamped tutorial, a group finder, a raised level cap, Ranked Warzones, a new Operation (Terror From Beyond, which takes place on Asation), a new Hutt-controlled planet called Makeb and changes to Nightmare mode operations, a new 8v8 Warzone on Celine called Ancient Hypergates, the free trial and a hundred smaller tweaks.
Character transfers will be allowed soon, but only from selected servers. Presumably the massively underpopulated ghost servers where some of us are trapped. We should be able to jump server in the next few weeks.
Tab-targetting has been looked at, as well, with Bioware adding a new reticule to the target that will be jumped to next – and allow players to alter the way that the reticule jumps on the basis of what you can see, which sounds helpful.
Most welcome is the return of HK-47, albeit in the guise of HK-51, an upgrade, enhanced version of Revan’s custom assassination droid from KOTOR 1 & 2, the delightful chap who described love as “making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope.” He was also a boss enemy in Star Wars Galaxies.
The update is going to be live on the PTS from tomorrow and you can start downloading it now.