The most notable changes to the 2.0 Update is the addition of a new playable high-level planet, Makeb. This is actually a big milestone for the game, not just because of the addition inside of the game itself, but that the planet is an addition to the “establish expanded universe” cosmological makeup of the Star Wars galaxy as a whole. A new storyline chapter has been introduced for the planet, but unlike previous chapters, this one seems to be universal for each faction’s four classes (though different from each other depending upon the faction); Jedi Knights has the same missions as Smugglers do. While this does make grouping together to complete the objective easier, it also shows to me a lack of diversity. I’ve got a player-character for each class, and I like the differences in the storylines that each have, so I’m pretty disappointed that this addition seems to be universal to each faction’s classes.
Another addition is the availability of same-gender flirt options in NPC conversations. Up until this point, there had been no such options, and after many have requested it, the function is now available; however, because of the extensive recoding necessary to accomplish the feat, the flirting is not yet available to all NPC conversations from the start. At the moment, the only same-gender flirt options are restricted to Makeb.
Perhaps the biggest addition to the game was the Achievement system, in which various rewards—titles, in-game special currency—are given for completing a specific set of objectives. For the completionist in me, I really like this system, especially as it is bound to the account legacy and not a specific player-character. I can achieve the same objectives in a cumulative fashion by utilizing my several different PCs, although there are some that are specific to each class. Granted, the rewards are not major, and it really does seem as though the achievement system is there just to keep people busy, but I like it.
While not part of the 2.0 update, there were a couple of more additions to the game with the 2.1 release, most notably the option of unlocking the Cathar species as playable. This has been in the works for a long time, hinted around for about a year from what I’ve been able to gather, so there’s no real surprise about it (aside from the fact that everyone now seems to be a Cathar and a whole slew of feline-related character names have populated the server). For the heck of it, I rolled up a Cathar character to play with my partners just for fun, who also rolled up Cathars, so we’re no better than anyone else in the game it seems.
A really great addition in 2.1 was also the ability to modify armor with dye packs, changing the color scheme of what the PCs and their companions wear. I really love this aspect, as some of the color schemes for the armor I’ve picked up have really been ugly, and it would be great to have a big, bad Sith Warrior wear pink gear.
Two new side-quests have also been present in 2.0, though I’m still not sure how much I like them. Able to be picked up once you reach level 52, the Seeker Droid and Macrobinoculars missions run the PC around various planets seeking things. It really is a bit of busy work, and the end-line missions are super-hard even with a full group of geared level 55s. The Seeker Droid missions present a nice armor reward (which is the only thing that made it worthwhile for me), but I’m not a big fan of it otherwise; however, with the addition of these two quests and the mission gear that goes with them, there is also a new set of daily high-level/high-reward missions, too. If nothing else, I have another way of making credits.
With 2.0, there were some changes to already existing mechanics, most notably the end-of-game armor pick-up. Before, when a PC finished their storyline, they would be automatically granted a specific form of currency that they could then exchange for high-level armor and gear. This option has been removed with the cap being placed at 55 now instead of 50. I admit that I miss this, because that high-level gear was very nice (although at times ugly).
The individual planetary commendations (specific currency to each playable planet used to exchange for better gear) have been consolidated into one type, so that regardless of which planet you picked it up on, you can utilize it for any level gear (but you have to be at that level to even buy it). This has really helped me in gearing my level 50 characters, as I can exchange the commendations for the modification items I need.
Another small, but significant, change is that instead of modifiable gear being the only option for utilizing color crystals (which change the secondary bonus of the gear and the color of the energy beam/blade), it is now available for non-modifiable gear. While I personally try to utilize modifiable gear as much as possible, it is nice to know that there’s an option to add a secondary bonus to those characters and companions that I can’t gear yet.
Depending upon the outcome generated by the 2.0 release, there is likelihood for additional level cap releases (much like how World of Warcraft is now up to level 90 from its original 50), and there is likely to still be additional content thrown in as time progresses. There are some ideas that I certainly would like—such as the Social levels to be bound to the Legacy account, not to the individual PCs, and a Legacy-universal cargo hold to be accessible from all the individual PCs for non-bound items—but only the future will really tell us what is going on. I will wait, but, in the meantime, I’ll log-in and throw some high explosive rounds into a mob of pirates, making them sorry they every messed with me.