Patch 1.4 has hit the test servers and while it may not be Biowares most robust update there are a handful of interesting changes along with a new Operation complete with a new set of gear. On the PVP end of things the resolve system and each class’s crowd control abilities have undergone a major revamp in the hopes of both reducing the amount of instant, long range crowd control abilities and instances of CC immunity due to overlapping control abilities. For a look at some of the major changes coming in Patch 1.4 read on.
The sole piece of new endgame content in Patch 1.4 is the new operation Terror From Beyond. It’s offered in both 8 and 16 man versions with two difficulties Story and Hard. Completing the operation will require that you defeat five new bosses, said to be some of the most challenging yet.
The story behind Terror from Beyond takes place on the Gree planet of Asation where an ancient device called the Hypergate has activated itself. Since then a whole whack of terrible baddies has been pouring out and threaten to challenge even the Empire and Republic civilizations. Your team must land on the planet, defeat the enemies that have already passed through, and close down the Hypergate for good.
This new operation is also where you’ll receive the newest tier of PVE gear, though it will have to be done in Hardmode to attain it.
As mentioned before there have been sweeping changes to the controversial resolve system, coupled together with changes to class control abilities that should make for an interesting change to PVP. But that’s not all; there have also been tweaks to AoE knockback abilities that will change them into a more targeted attack rather than the blast in all directions we have become accustom to.
In terms of specific class changes it looks as though Bioware wanted to bring long range insta-stuns like Electro-Dart and Force Stun on more of an equal playing field with other CC abilities that require an activation time or a pre-requisite state (i.e. Being in stealth) to activate. The route they’ve taken to do this is a drastic reduction in range for Electro Dart, Cryo Grenade, Electrocute, and Force Stun down to 10m. The only exception to this rule will be the Gunslinger and Sniper which will still have their Flash Bang/Grenade on account of them being quite helpless when presented with a foe within melee range.
The Resolve changes themselves on two fronts, the accumulation of resolve, and when that resolve will begin to decay. In the case of the former, how much resolve is gained for CC attack placed on a target is now dependent on the strength CC ability currently on that target, and how much time is left on that CC. Simply put if your team spams their crowd control abilities on a single target all at once, each ability (with the exception of the first) will add very little resolve to the meter. The less time remaining on the current CC effect on the target, the more your incoming CC will build resolve. Once that target has become immune to CC effects the resolve bar will not decay until all controlling abilities have worn off, as opposed to the previous method where it would slowly decay after the player became immune.
Finally we have the changes to Force Wave and Overload. Previously these two 360 knockback abilities would any players who happened to be nearby the Consular/Inquisitor in all directions. This being deemed a poor experience by all affected, it has now been changed to a frontal cone attack that will now throw anyone caught within the 15 meter 120 degree area in front of the player. The Mercenary and Commando’s similar ability has not been affected due to its longer cooldown and the fact that it is an advanced class ability.
If you’ve ever wondered what a Sith Warrior with mutton chops looks like with a ridiculous grin on his face, wonder no more. The new facial emote system will allow those who have been suppressing their emotions these last 9 months to let it all hang out. Just win a hard fought PVP battle? Throw on that happy face. Your tank just bail in the middle of a Flashpoint? An angled brow and extreme frown will let the rest of your party know just how you feel without saying a word.
The new emotes can be found in the social tab on the chat window along with all the other emotes.
All the companions out there looking to let their hair down will soon be able to do so. An option to hide your companions head slot will be included with patch 1.4. In addition to this players will now also have the option of matching their companions outfit color to chest. No more mis-matched armor for Mr. Riggs.
Accompanying the new operation Terror from Beyond will be a new tier of gear entitled the Dread Guard Gear. Upon release it will become the most powerful set of PVE armor available in game, and can be gotten from the various bosses of Terror from Beyond Hardmode.
While not bullet points the following changes warrant mention.