Star Wars: The Old Republic is celebrating its tenth birthday with a massive expansion.

Star Wars: The Old Republic will soon be 10 years old, a time in which this superb MMO has grown from strength to strength. Bioware Austin has revealed that the game’s next major addition, Legacy of the Sith, will be released to commemorate the event. It will be available for free to subscribers and will be available later this year. The game was initially launched on December 20, 2011, therefore it is expected to be released around the same time.

Legacy of the Sith puts players “on a military campaign to secure a crucial planet for their side while uncovering the ultimate goal of the rogue Sith, Darth Malgus.” This cheerful character has long been a part of the Old Republic’s tale (here’s the wiki article), and it appears that rumors of his death were grossly overblown.

This narrative will be played alone or multiplayer, and it will also have “the biggest challenges yet” for groups in the game. “A Flashpoint set in a mountainside mausoleum on the distant planet Elom, as well as an Operation in the remnants of a far space research station” are among the co-op missions.

The expansion will also include a significant new feature called ‘Combat Styles,’ which will allow players to select a certain class tale and mix it with ability sets from “other related tech or force wielding classes.” I’m not ashamed to admit that the blurb for this really made me want to reinstall the game: “Play as a Trooper with a Sniper Rifle, a Sith Inquisitor with a lightsaber in each hand, or even a Jedi Order member covertly using Dark Side powers. Loadouts expand your capacity to personalize by allowing you to switch between play styles and gear with a single click.”

Along with the major adjustments, a slew of quality-of-life enhancements is on the way. The character creation mechanism will be overhauled, as will the “itemization and loadout experience,” which sounds great, as well as the simplification of existing class designs and a rise in the level maximum (now 75) to 80.

Bioware Austin is obviously optimistic about The Old Republic’s future, and why not: it promises frequent story updates, a rework of the PvP system, additional UI changes, “more Galactic Seasons, a new Flashpoint, new locales, tech modernization, aesthetic enhancements, and maybe even a few more surprises!” The Force is… no, I won’t be able to do it. However, this appears to be rather impressive.

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