After a slew of blog entries, forum posts, testing sessions and livestreams, BioWare has finally announced the release date of Star Wars: The Old Republic's next expansion alongside some fancy new key art. Legacy of the Sith will launch on the 14th of December for subscribers of the MMO.
We know plenty about the major 7.0 update's sweeping gameplay changes, since the developers have been banging on about them for months now, and the community has, understandably, also been quite fixated on them. However, in the mean time much less attention was being paid to the story side of things.
While we still know fairly little - more would likely venture into spoiler territory - it is clear that BioWare has a lot planned for the year-long anniversary celebrations coming after the expansion drops. Legacy of the Sith doesn't just usher in a new update cycle for SWTOR, but marks the tenth anniversary of the Star Wars MMO.
Players have eagerly been waiting for some sort of trailer to accompany a release date announcement, and while we didn't get one yet, what we did get in turn is just as exciting. First up, alongside learning that Legacy of the Sith will launch on the 14th of December, we also have been shown the key art for this expansion.
This is the picture you'll be staring at for the next while whenever you boot up the game. We admire the dedication of BioWare's artists to consistently not depict the face of Tau Idair even remotely accurately - this is the least similar she's ever been to her actual in-game model.
Anyway, there are some interesting things to point out. First up, Darth Malgus has had time for a fashion check-up ever since fleeing Dantooine as we can see on his brand new rebreather. The cybernetic apparatus has been part of the Sith Lord's face ever since we stepped into the galaxy far far away for the first time back in 2011, and has gone through a few design changes since.
Of greater interest is a Twi'Lek Jedi at the center bottom of the artwork. Whoever they are, they are a brand new character, and we doubt anyone minor would get such a prominent position on promotional material - in any case, their apparent importance was confirmed by the final, most important second of BioWare's 10 year retrospective.
Clocking in at less than a minute, this wasn't quite the big expansion trailer fans were hoping for - the video is essentially a montage of scenes from the already existing cinematic trailers that were released over the course of the game's promotional period, with two more being shown off before the release of Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne, respectively.
However, at the end of this montage, fans were treated to something they didn't expect - something they were told in the past never to hope for. A teaser of brand new cinematic footage. A split second of footage, showing what fans have deduced is the face of this new Twi'Lek character, rendered in full cinematic splendor.
The cinematic trailers of SWTOR are legendary in the gaming industry, famous on their own almost as much as the game itself. However, they are also exorbitantly expensive - estimates have placed each minute of cinematic content burning $1 million of EA's cash, and after the one we saw for KotET, BioWare employees have stated not to expect more - and yet, here we are.
Sometime between now and the 14th of December, Star Wars: The Old Republic will get its first new cinematic in years. If you ask us, that is definitely a worthy way to celebrate the game's anniversary.