This article will be covering the major features along with the patch notes for SWTOR Game Update 7.1 “Digging Deeper”, which releases on August 2nd.
Most of what’s coming with 7.1 was initially announced as part of the Legacy of the Sith expansion, but we ended up getting a fraction of that when 7.0 was actually released, making it easily the smallest expansion so far. On its own, Update 7.1 is quite large and rivals some of the biggest patches the game has ever seen.
Before we get into the major features, I want to clarify that we will not be getting a new crafting tier with 7.1. It seems to me that BioWare plans to do a (much-needed) revamp for crafting, so we’ll be stuck with the current grade 11 tier, including augments and BioChem items for a good while longer.
The R-4 Anomaly Operation is available in SM and VM exclusively in 8m (no 16m) and contains 4 bosses. You’ll be fighting these bosses on a Mass Shadow Generator space station.
The story picks up after the Dxun operation, and you’ll need to complete the story mission for Dxun (Nature of Progress) in order to gain access to the story mission for R-4 Anomaly. You can play the Operati
In VM, Lord Kanoth has a very small chance to drop a very cool mount called Wings of Nihrot.
There is a firey visual effect over the main part of the wings as well. The top and bottom wings actually look the same but are just at different points in the visual effect. Guides on both SM and VM of R-4 Anomaly will be out soon!
As of 7.1 everyone has access to higher tiers of endgame gear. Those that choose to prog on the new raid will have access to blue and purple gear ranging from 332 to 340 while players that stick to FPs, old operations, SM R4, and solo content (basically group finder and conquest stuff) will be able to obtain green and blue gear up to 330.
PvPers also have access to a new tier of 328 gear and gear for all players will continue to be capped at 328 inside warzones and arenas.
Mods will be available for purchase at 328 and 330 iRating after completing specific missions for a pair of fugitive Rodians on the Fleet. It’s possible we’ll eventually be able to purchase 340 gear from them as well, but that won’t be coming with 7.1.
We get the new daily area on Manaan complete with additional Imperial and Republic story arcs. At this time it’s unclear how long the new story on Manaan will be, but I wouldn’t expect anything too major.
My gut tells me that it’ll just be presenting the daily missions like Oricon, but more recent dedicated daily areas like Iokath and Ossus have had more extensive stories.
The dailies were available for testing on the PTS. They didn’t take very long to do and felt similar to CZ-198 and Ziost in terms of length.
The different areas are also pretty visually distinct and are quite beautiful, in my opinion. Manaan should offer a refreshing change of pace for players that do a bunch of dailies.
Unfortunately, in order to gain access to the daily missions on each toon, you’ll need to have completed the Manaan storyline released with the 7.0 update. This isn’t technically out of the ordinary, but it’s been less of an issue in the past because of the convenient mission skips that BioWare has included in the past.
For example, you don’t have to do Ziost and Iokath on every toon if you do the Inflection Point mission. Hopefully, BioWare addresses this soon by granting you access so long as you have completed the story on at least 1 toon (like via achievements) or by just completely decoupling the daily missions themselves from the story.
Manaan will also feature its own reputation system and vendor with a bunch of goodies including an adorable turtle pet!
Check out my PTS preview for a full list of rewards you can purchase from the new reputation vendor and stay tuned for my guide on the Manaan daily area!
In addition to the Republic and Imperial story arcs on Manaan, we get more story about Malgus, Elom, and the Twi’lek padawan from the Disorder trailer named Sa’haar Kateen.
Just like the new story on Manaan, we don’t have any information about how long it will be. I suspect that it will be similar in length to a Chapter, but again, we just don’t know.
It wasn’t even confirmed that we’d be getting new story content at all with 7.1 until the announcement from a couple of weeks ago that Charles Boyd would be leaving BioWare.
Given that the focus of 7.1 has almost entirely been about the new raid and daily area, not the story, I recommend keeping your expectations low.
BioWare has said that they plan more balance changes for future patches (hopefully at a much faster rate), but 7.1 brings a preliminary set of changes that will focus on many of the most egregious with DPS balance including:
Together, the changes do more to bring down the power level of the strongest DPS specs in the game such that the practical ceiling for damage output and survivability is a bit lower while the floor for the worst-performing DPS specs is higher. There were additional changes made to the announced specs compared to what was available on the PTS.
Thankfully, the better gear we’ll be getting will likely at least mostly eliminate the major viability issues that existed in 7.0.2 whereas the nerfs are enough to wrangle in damage output at the high end.
Practically all of the mDPS feel pretty capable, but a lot more needs to be done at the low end to narrow the overall difference between output among the different disciplines.
In particular, rDPS almost always perform considerably worse than mDPS. The only outliers to this trend in 7.1 will be Carnage / Combat and Lightning / Telekinetics. All of the other mDPS are pretty comparable to each other while all the other rDPS are far too weak, but also offer similar numbers to each other.
BioWare needs to buff the damage output of rDPS and Carnage / Combat up to like where Lightning / Telekinetics is currently performing and then every discipline will be viable. The differences in AoE and burst capabilities between DoT and burst specs are more than enough to convince players to switch disciplines depending on the fight.
Tank and healer performance is also too unbalanced with Assassin / Shadows being too squishy while Operatives / Scoundrels provide too much AoE healing compared to what the other disciplines in those roles are capable of. I think this might have been intentional given the performance and popularity of those disciplines in prior expansions since the same is also true for how some DPS specs have been balanced this expansion, like Rage / Focus, Fury / Concentration, and Engineering / Saboteur. It’s possible we might see a narrower spread in terms of tank and healer performance as well; hopefully sooner rather than later.
You can read a more detailed breakdown of the balance changes to each Combat Style and Discipline in my dedicated articles from PTS 7.1.
The Nightlife casino event has returned to Nar Shaddaa; it will run from August 2nd to September 13th. You’ll be able to get a new set of Karagga-themed purple and gold weapons available from the Emperor’s Grace slot machine.
Typically, BioWare has made it so new items that only drop from the slot machine are available for purchase with Golden Certificates in the following year.
If you missed out on getting these sick shades from last year’s Nightlife event, they’ll likely be available for purchase with Golden Certificates this time around.
A boatload of cosmetic armor will be available in 7.1 coming from 3 major sources: endgame gear, specialty goods vendors on planets, and the Cartel Market.
Dyable, moddable shells of the Thyrsian gear (same model as Decurion gear) will be purchasable for credits and WZ-1 commendations.
In addition, there are 3 sets of dyeable, moddable shells that each come in four different color / VFX variations. You’ll be able to purchase them using the new currencies from the R-4 Anomaly Operation; they act as something to work toward after you’ve finished gearing. 1 of the sets is from SM while the other 2 are from VM.
Check out my preview on 7.1 gearing for a more extensive look at all of the different armor sets from R-4 Anomaly.
On each of the original planets, there is a Specialty Goods vendor next to all the rest of the vendors. For the past decade, these vendors have been extremely underutilized, only offering a few specific pieces of blue gear in exchange for credits.
With 7.1, each of these vendors will sell a unique series of 8 armor sets based with 1 based on each of the Origin Stories. Each piece will cost 200k credits.
These sets have been available in the game before, but they’ve never been as easy to obtain. Check out TodayInToR’s article for a PTS preview of all the armor sets you’ll be able to purchase in 7.1.
Several Cartel Market items will be coming in (or around) 7.1.
Check out my full preview of the new 7.1 CM items we were able to see on the PTS 7.1.
It’s unlikely that all of the items we saw on the PTS will be available as soon 7.1 is released. It’s also likely that there will be other items for sale that were not present on the PTS, including ones that aren’t visible in collections, like dyes and decos.
Update 7.0 gave us a small UI update mostly focusing on the character sheet and all tabs within it. Patch 7.1 continues to add new and improves several old elements.
The Outfitter tab will feature the same controls that have been present in the preview window (including the ability to drag your character around). It also features a reworked scrollable list of outfits.
Starting with 7.1 you will be able to choose a different color for the Combat Styles symbols. You can select from three predefined presets or create a completely custom color scheme.
The size of the text in the chat windows can not be scaled all the way up to 60. Before 7.1 the maximum size was 30.
While on the topic of accessibility, BioWare has one more change coming with 7.1 – the ability to customize the background and color of the subtitles in cutscenes.
The amount of Guild Commendations awarded for completing a guild conquest target in 7.1 is increased by ten:
For guilds that complete their conquest target each week, this will result in an additional 40 Guild Commendations per month, which should enable older, active guilds to more easily purchase the perks they want.
BioWare has given a free code that every player can use to claim a free portrait of Darth Malgus to hang on the walls of their strongholds.
To redeem it, go to swtor.com/redeem-code, The code is “LOTSMALGUS”.
This code is available until August 8th and was announced at the start of the 7.1 Livestream BioWare hosted on July 28th.
While a news like this is not technically part of the Update, I think it’s important to note that this is the final update for SWTOR with Charles Boyd as Creative Director.
BioWare announced a couple of weeks ago that Charles is leaving a few days after the release of 7.1 and there will be several people that will take on the lead roles in the dev team:
Whether we will see the game take on a different path and direction after Charles’ departure or the new team leads plan to continue on the same path, we will have to wait and see.
Due to various item changes, all the GTN auctions will be marked as expired. These items will be returned to players’ character mailbox which listed the sale. They can be relisted normally after the maintenance. More information in this post.
Patch notes for SWTOR 7.1 are sourced from BioWare’s official publication on swtor.com.
This article may be updated to reflect on a few of the new features that were not certain at the time of the original publication (a day before the patch went live). For any major new discoveries and new features, expect standalone guides coming very soon after 7.1 goes live.
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