With the new digital expansion, “Rise of the Hutt Cartel”, going live April 14, Electronic Arts and BioWare have begun their preparations for the new planet and slew of content.. Game Update 2.0 went live on April 9, and we received five days early access to “Rise of the Hutt Cartel”. After running the story on Imperial side and a round of dailies, we have nothing but good things to say about the upcoming expansion.
In this list, we will take a look at story aspects, scenery, new abilities, and other information uncovered during our last two days of early access. While we have not tried out the new Operation as of yet, we will also give readers a general idea as to what they should expect going in.
“Star Wars: The Old Republic” Digital Expansion “Rise of the Hutt Cartel” will be available April 14. Those who pre-order will receive a new title, a holostatue, and a new pet. Pre-orders will end on April 13.
Storyline and leveling is impressive
[Pictured: This is the location of a breathtaking view of Makeb, and is the location of one of the GSI dailies.]
We’ve only gotten through the Imperial storyline, and it’s very impressive – there is so much story, lore, and missions packed into this massive planet! The imperial story involves securing Makeb for the Empire, and running out the Hutts – among other things. We don’t want to get into too much detail, otherwise there will be an abundance of spoilers. With that said, the story is spectacular, and we can’t wait to get started on the Republic story.
We began our journey through Makeb with rather basic Level 50 gear – some Columi and Rakata with a couple Black Hole pieces – and the only difficulty we came across in the beginning was running a Heroic 4 with two people. That said, the level curve is pretty steep, and after the first two or three areas you will find yourself needing to grind a little to ease yourself into upcoming fights. You will want to gear up as you progress, which can be achieved through the Planetary Commendations Vendor, where you can purcase Rakata-grade item modifications.
[Note] Hazmat/Dreadguard gear should hold you throughout Makeb, and Dread Guard ratings are the minimum reccomendations for the endgame Operations Boss, Golden Fury.
Introducing Legacy Achievements
[Pictured: My legacy Achievement Window. Notice I’ve already obtained the achievements for completing all Imperial story missions – the two listed below are for the Republic.]
The new achievement system brings along many perks – just for running the game content! While Makeb achievements are shown in this image, there are achievements for all planets, flashpoints, and so much more!
Achievements unlock when you complete a certain requirement. These include, but are not limited to: Completing flashpoints (story and hard mode), completing certain story missions on a given class, tracking down datacrons and lore objects, and advancing Legacy levels. These achievements are Legacy wide, so those that are not faction specific can be done on alternate characters.
The one thing we enjoy the most about this new system is that some achievements grant rewards when they are unlocked. Some achievements unlock Legacy Titles, while others even unlock Cartel Coins, to be used in the cash shop.
Crew Skills now reach 450
[Pictured: My Crew Skills window and Cybertech window. The redoubt earpiece is for the guild’s Jugg Tank, and require new materials.]
With the advancement in character levels, Update 2.0 has brought us an increased Crew Skills level – 450! Leveling your crew skills is quick, but those who have not ordered the expansion may have some difficulty completing this, as the crafting materials appear to be exclusively located on Makeb.
Our only complaint was the lack of schematics as we advanced our skills. Once you reach 410 in Cybertech, for example, you will not recieve new schematics until 440, making leveling crafting skills a little time consuming.
New Gear for Level Advancement
Okay, let’s get our complaint out of the way: Level 53 Artifact weapons require Hero standing with Makeb forces. This means it will be a couple weeks of grinding daily missions in order to get these items. However, the armor does not carry a reputation requirement.
Section X, Makeb, and all Seeker Droid/Macrobinoculars missions grant Basic Commendations, which can be used to purchase new gear. From what we have seen, it appears orange and purple drops, starting at level 53, will outclass Columi and Rakata. In one instance, a blue Level 52 armguard outclassed a Black Hole Combat Medic piece.
[Pictured: Level 53 Combat Medic Blaster. Requires Hero Standing with Makeb; My medic’s current blaster, aquired from a Level 52 Heroic 4; My companions gimpy green, unmoddable blaster. Sorry, Blizz!]
Reputation with Galactic Services Industries and Makeb!
With new factions come new reputation sources! With the introduction of Makeb, we find ourselves grinding missions for GSI and Makeb reputation trophies – obtainable with all missions.
GSI missions began for us while working on the story arc for Makeb, where we were temporarily detoured to return to Dromund Kaas to speak with someone and obtain Macrobinoculars. Makeb missions began on… well… Makeb. Not much to say there.
Each mission will grant at least a green, with some heroics and the like granting blue or purple, reputation trophies with these factions.
New Operations Boss: Golden Fury
As soon as you reach Level 55, an operations mission will appear in one of the terminals on Makeb. The Operations Boss is known as “Golden Fury”.
Golden Fury is inside an instance called Toborro’s courtyard in Hutt Strongholds. From what we have been told by Dulfy, Toborro’s courtyard is actually a quest zone for Republic players – we have not set foot there. The base gear requirement for Golden Fury is Dread Guard, or at least gear with a 158 item rating, for storymode.
Due to a tank swapping mechanic, Dulfy suggests having two tanks in your group, whether it is 8 man or 16 man.
Once Golden Fury has been defeated, you will recieve three orange items and 4 Elite Commendations. The orange pieces are Level 53 items with Blue 66 mods – on par with rewards from Makeb heroic missions.