Monthly Archives: March 2015

SWTOR Content Cadence

While I did not get around to publishing an article about the Gree, I thought about sharing a spreadsheet I’ve developed after the question was posed by some of my twitter friends (@talionbot and @heather_pls) about the timing between expansions and what constituted an expansion to Bioware Austin.

I meticulously went through all of the information located on the official SWTOR site’s Game Updates and Patch Notes pages.  After recording the name of the major game update (ignoring the minor ones which usually were fixes and not content related) and the date they went live, I made a simple formula for calculating the time until next update.

You can view my Google spreadsheet here!

Game Update Notes:

  • The first year before 2.0 had updates that were released at irregular intervals.  I can only assume this is due to the craziness of launching the studio’s first MMO.  There were probably assets developed for content that wasn’t ready at launch and required more work for a future game update.
  • From 2.0 to 3.0, the update intervals tended to be 8 to 9 weeks and more consistent.  With the addition of new systems such as Galactic Starfighter and Galactic Strongholds, this is quite impressive!
  • Although we only have one new content update past 3.0, it appears that the update intervals are getting longer, up to 11 weeks for tentative release of 3.2.
  • For major expansions, 1.0 to 2.0 was approximately 1 year and 4 months while 2.0 to 3.0 was 1 year and 8 months.  While the length between major expansions is increasing, it should be noted that digital expansions were released during the 2.0 to 3.0 era.  At this pace, I expect 1 expansion at the end of this year or early next year (more realistic).

Operation Notes:

  • I was not able to discern any relevant patterns or a regular cadence for operation updates.
  • When looking strictly at the introduction of new operations, the 1.0 and 2.0 ops tended to be released at half year intervals.
  • 3.0 operations (Ravagers and Temple of Sacrifice) however were released more than a year after the last 2.0 operations (Dread Fortress and Palace)!  This gap in operations content is alarming!

Flashpoint Notes:

  • Again, no consistent cadence for flashpoint updates.  During 1.0, only 2 FP updates were given, Kaon Under Siege and Lost Island.  The game did launch with 15 FPs, so I feel this is expected with the bigger focus on filling the lack of endgame content.
  • Between Lost Island and the level 55 HMs, there was almost a year of no new FP content!
  • Starting in 2.6 with the introduction of Tacticals, FPs were delivered at quicker intervals and there wasn’t a large gap since the year gap noted above.  It is rather clear there is a bigger effort to deliver FPs, first at the tactical level and later the corresponding HMs.

PvP Notes:

  • I have only recorded the major content updates, not any of the seasons / introduction of ranked.
  • There are only 4 updates of note:  Novare Coast, Ancient Hypergate, Arenas, and Quesh Huttball.
  • The length of time between updates varied, but it is on average greater than the operations or FP updates.  There were two times where 200+ days passed before a major PvP update was released.
  • Most people in tune with PvP already knew that PvP is not a focus for Bioware, and the timeline of updates does point to this unfortunately.
  • While not recorded, it has been almost a year since the last PvP update!

Please let me know if I made any errors on the spreadsheet.  I intend to keep this updated for future SWTOR updates.  If you have any other insights into the data, please post a comment!

I made this spreadsheet to give all of us players some insight into content updates.  Bioware Austin has certainly been working hard to give us new content in SWTOR, and I’m not intending to bash them by using this data.