Update 1.7 – Any Day Now?

Posted: February 7, 2013 in Unknown Regions
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It seems like it’s been a long time since the last update to Star Wars: The Old Republic and players are anticipating the appearance of update 1.7 on the Public Test Server any day now. BioWare provided a bit of a tease this week with their Developer Blog explaining some aspects of the new Reputation system. I’ve been tracking the release schedules for some time now, and what better time to share it with all of you than now:

SWTOR Release Schedule

1.0 – Live 12/20/2012

1.1 PTS 01/06/2012 (17 days after launch.)
1.1 Live 01/18/2012 (12 days after appearing on PTS; 29 days after launch.)

1.2 PTS 03/16/2012 (58 days after 1.1 went live.)
1.2 Live 04/12/2012 (26 days after appearing on PTS; 84 days after 1.1 went live.)

1.3 PTS 6/06/2012 (55 days after 1.2 went live)
1.3 Live 6/26/2012 (20 days after appearing on PTS; 72 days after 1.2 went live.)

1.4 PTS 09/10/2012 (76 days after 1.3 went live)
1.4 Live 09/26/2012 (16 days after appearing on PTS; 92 days after 1.3 went live.)

1.5 PTS 10/11/12 (15 days after 1.4 went live)
1.5 Live 11/15/12 (35 days after appearing on PTS; 50 days after 1.4 went live.)

1.6 PTS 11/20/12 (5 days after 1.5 went live)
1.6 Live 12/11/12 (21 days after appearing on PTS; 26 days after 1.5 went live.)

In summary, here are the number of days between updates to the live servers:
1.1 – 29 days
1.2 – 84 days
1.3 – 72 days
1.4 – 92 days
1.5 – 50 days
1.6 – 26 days.

So how does the wait for 1.7 compare? As of right now, it’s been 58 days since 1.6 went live. That’s tied for the second longest wait period between a live publish and the next update showing up on the PTS. Considering the 1.7 update is a large one – the revamp of Ilum(which we don’t know much about yet) and the brand new Reputation system are surely complex systems requiring a good amount of development time and testing – it’s understandable that this update is taking some additional time to get ready.

Of course, players are becoming somewhat antsy because this is only the third update since the “We’re going to be delivering content on a more frequent basis” announcement from BioWare. Although BioWare did say that the period between 1.6 and 1.7 would be longer than their targeted 6-8 weeks due to the holidays and new year, this length of time is longer than expected. It’s also worth noting that with each passing day without seeing 1.7, so decreases the likelihood of seeing another update before the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion.

It seems we should see 1.7 landing on the PTS any day now and going live in the next 2-3 weeks. Which means the testing of ROTHC will have to start shortly thereafter in order to make their targeted Spring 2013 release date. It’s an exciting time for SWTOR and we should be seeing quite a bit new information becoming available in the coming weeks.

  1. Cleeyah says:

    Well, they said they’d publish RotHC in spring. Spring can mean as late as the 20th of June. Still lots of time for updates 1.8 and 1.9 if you ask me. ;P
    No, I don’t believe that BW would wait that long to get RotHC out of the door. People would cry bloody murder.

    • Jaspor says:

      Yeah, it’s a pretty big window. Maybe a fairly minor release in between, similar to the Life Day update that didn’t include much besides a Warzone that had been in testing for several months and the new Cartel Market items.

  2. I doubt there will be a 1.8 after 1.7 (assuming that the expansion is 2.0). We’ve been told that there are four Cartel Packs in the current shipment (forget what the exact term Damien used was) and the next shipment does not arrive until Makeb does. I doubt they would have planned an additional patch and no Cartel Pack to go with it, and it does not make sense to delay the expansion to create an additional patch now.

    Spring is a relatively soft launch window – that stretches to at least May and perhaps even June if you’re going by quarters. I’m inclined to agree with your assessment that 1.7 will go live around the end of this month, which would get them 3-4 months to finalize and test the expansion.

    Assuming the timeline is that long, it will will be fascinating to see what the reaction is as launch gets closer and people realize that they’re going to be locked out of the expansion for five days of “head start” that were reserved for people who paid in full five months in advance. I realize Bioware took a lot of flack for uncertainty about when people were going to be allowed in for the original game headstart, and at least now they are being clear about the plan. That said, this sort of thing is completely unprecedented for an expansion to a live MMO, and I’m curious how well it will go over.

    • Jaspor says:

      Thanks for the comments!

      I interpreted Damion’s comments at the time to mean “We’ve got one more pack left in this ‘wave’ and then we’ve got more stuff coming.” I could be wrong, but I don’t think he said the last one in this wave won’t be until Makeb. What I expect is one last pack with 1.7, and then a fairly big overhaul of the Cartel Market with Makeb. Meaning adjusted prices, new items available, and the new “wave” of random packs.

      I do agree the head start concept for the expansion is interesting and people will probably be pissed as it approaches and they realize they’ve missed out. Are we sure other MMOs haven’t done this? Maybe not 5 days, but a day or so for expansions?

      • Here’s Damien’s quote about the packs:
        “We develop a set of these packs (we call them a ‘Shipment’) at one time. Shipment 1 will have 4 packs associated with them (not counting the cheap pack), with one additional pack coming out before Rise of the Hutts. ”

        Regarding headstarts for expansions, my knowledge only goes back to the post-WoW era, and there are only so many games that have done well enough to even launch expansions during that window. The closest examples I can think of:

        – EQ2 did once have a promotion in which brick-and-mortar retailers got a seven day “headstart” exclusive in an effort to convince people to buy from stores so stores would stock more copies. This caused many problems for people located outside the US (EQ2 has global servers), but I wouldn’t really count that as a deadline in that anyone in the US who could get to a store (or order from one who offered launch day shipping – though that was another snafu with SOE’s approach) could get in on the headstart.

        – Setting aside expansions, there’s obviously a pretty broad history in the last five years for new MMO’s offering a headstart program at launch day. However, I’m not aware of any headstart campaign that featured a pre-announced deadline beyond which you could not join your friends on headstart day, even if you paid. Rift kept selling early access right up to the day the game launched (arguably to their longterm detriment, as the servers got overfull, they added too many in response, and that went almost as poorly for them as it did for SWTOR). GW2 briefly cut off new digital sales because their servers were full (Darkfall as well IIRC), but these were responses to real server capacity issues, not an artificial marketing deadline set months in advance of the game’s launch/NDA drop/etc. The closest precedent was SWTOR’s “first paid, first in” approach for the game’s original launch, but that was NOT something they were emphasizing as a deadline (which was the reason for some of the complaints they received).

        • Jaspor says:

          Nice quote find. Yeah, so I think the 4th and final pack will be with 1.7 and then we’ll see the next “Shipment” with the expansion.

          I think you’re right about that long a headstart for an expansion. It was cut off LONG before most people probably realized what it really meant. Will be something to keep an eye on.