Today, SWTOR launched its 3.2 content expansion, “Rise of the Emperor.”
(Full patch notes can be found here.)

With it, comes Ziost, a new questing world, in the tradition of Ilum, CZ-198, or Oricon: not terribly long, but (more so than CZ-198) an interesting continuation of the story thus far. Like the rest of the Shadow of Revan expansion, it’s very solo-friendly and bizarrely has no heroic missions, just like Rishi and Yavin-4 (the expansion planets proper.) However, the entire quest chain isn’t available yet, with the rest allegedly unlocking on the May the 4th fan holiday, so perhaps there is more to see.

The main reason to play, outside of the story, is of course, loot. Entry-level endgame purple gear is item level 186, and the highest level currently craftable without reverse engineering operations items. The next highest gear that can be won is 192; Ziost missions give blue 190’s, so it’s a good stop-gap for those not progressing well in operations yet, looking to upgrade past 186 without operations, or those just hitting 60 and not possessing the commendations or crafting gear to get 186’s (or, not willing to, as it’s almost a moot point now.)

As the content is very story-based, there’s seemingly no group phases, which is a bit annoying when playing with someone else. Stefani and I recorded a video of us playing through Ziost, but all of the player phases are of me because I was the one recording! We’ll get that posted when we have a chance to edit it

So…is it something that should send you to this game if you haven’t played it? Obviously not, it’s just one tiny piece of a whole. But, if you’re already playing (or have already played) SWTOR, it’s a nice addition, and a cool bridge to the ultimate (probably operations-only) encounter with the Emperor.

Other highlights of the patch include:
-The Outfit Designer: This is a drag-and-drop interface that lets you pick gear you want to visually override your current equipment’s look. SWTOR has always been cool about letting you pick a look, what with its slotted gear design, but this lets you keep the look you want even when using set pieces (or if you want a green or blue piece’s look.) A little buggy now, as I couldn’t get it to unify colors properly, but it’s neat.

-CZ-198’s weekly no longer requires completion of flashpoints [dungeons.] This makes all the planetary weeklies easily soloable at level cap (with the possible exception of Oricon’s missions, as I never really finished those,) and Sector-X, which is easy, but literally requires four people to push switches at the end of one mission.

-Priority transports now have much shorter cooldowns, which completely disappear if you buy all of the related Legacy perks.

-No more realizing you forgot to unlock a quick travel bind point when you’re miles from habitation! All speeders and quick travel points now unlock as soon as you enter an area.

-I noticed on the CZ-198 weekly that it rewards a decent chunk of Elite Commendations now. I know it’s probably buried in the *boring* parts of the patch notes, so I didn’t read it. But if Elite Coms are easier to get now, there’s another way to get your 192s!

And that’s that! Happy Gaming!

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