There’s a lot of change in the air for Star Wars: The Old Republic’s flashpoints and operations in the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion, and Senior Designer George Smith laid out BioWare’s plans for its group instances in today’s developer letter.
For starters, 14 of the story mode flashpoints will now have a solo mode, and most of them will also include level scaling, so players of various levels can try them out at the appropriate challenge levels. Hard mode flashpoints will all be doable between the level ranges of 50 and 65.
Meanwhile, the operations — SWTOR’s versions of raids — will all be raised to the new max of level 65. Various operations will be highlighted on a regular basis, offering gear for your character class (daily, for story mode) or greater general rewards (weekly, for hard mode). Unfortunately, fans of operations won’t have any new ones to look forward to with the expansion, as the dev team felt that it was more “important to first address some of the issues with our Elder Game before moving on to new content.”
Magicman and I have talked at length about how MMO players hate boring leveling grinds, and how MMO companies realize this at some point after their launch and put in all sorts of ways for you to skip it, whether through XP boosts (like SWTOR) or the ability to simply start with a higher-level character. In both of those cases, though, fixed-level group content, like most dungeons, get left behind, and finding a group for, say, a level 25 instance is all but impossible.
So good on SWTOR for trying to address that and make something out of often-skipped content. Now, could the next MMO please figure this out and do it from the start?