Bioware announced the first substantial content update for Star Wars: the Old Republic, and it's coming in hot. "Rise of the Rakghouls," as it's been named, arrives next Tuesday, January 17. Along with the typical MMO patch fare of balancing tweaks and bug fixes, the update brings with it some sure to be welcome higher level group combat content. This addresses one of the chief complaints of the game's most dedicated players, many of whom have reached the level cap with one or more characters and are hungry for more to do now that they're there.
[UPDATE: BioWare sent over a trailer with a scene of the first contact with the Rakghouls. Check it out after the jump.]
Here are descriptions from the press release of the two big content additions:
Flashpoint: Kaon Under Siege is a completely new and unique group combat experience located on Kaon, a planet in the Tion Hegemony, a strategically important sector of the galaxy that has remained neutral, Groups of up to four Republic or Imperial players must race to Kaon to eliminate the Rakghouls outbreak, securing the allegiance of the Tion Hegemony for their respective sides. This Flashpoint will be available for level 50 characters only and will feature Normal and Heroic modes.
Operation: Karagga’s Palace is a continuation of the game’s second launch Operation. In the Operation, teams of 8 or 16 players will face off against Karagga and the Hutt Cartel after the Hutts abandon their famous neutrality and breach agreements with both the Republic and Empire. Concerned by the threat of another combatant in the war for galactic control, both factions send teams of their most powerful heroes to confront Karagga and determine his intentions. This Operation will feature Normal, Heroic and Nightmare difficulty modes.
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Bioware co-founder Dr. Greg Zeschuk described the new content, saying, "Rise of the Rakghouls adds a lot of the things our community has been asking for – additional higher level group content, features like anti-aliasing, PvP bracketing and more. In the future, game updates will be even more substantial, as we promise to continue to not only add to The Old Republic, but to also improve and refine the experience with the full Legacy System and new Guild features."
As Star Wars: the Old Republic continues its meteoric rise, continued content support such as this first update figures to play an important part in maintaining player populations. We'll be keeping a close eye on its reception next week and whether BioWare can maintain such an update pace over the coming months.