Hutts in mechs and other reasons to play The Old Republic's new Operation
Earlier today, we showed off the new survival-horror Flashpoint being added to The Old Republic in next week's content update, but what's in that patch 1.1 goodie bundle for raiders, like the heroes of the PCG US guild running weekly raid nights? How about a revamped Rancor, an homage to Bauldur's Gate, and the best Hutt battle you've ever seen in your life? Lead Flashpoint, Operation and PvP Designer Gabe Amatangelo dished the dirt on the new raid content coming next week.
Karagga's Palace exists in the game right now, but only has one boss fight, reminiscent of Return of the Jedi, where players have to take down a massive Rancor in the Hutt palace pit. Next week's patch will update that boss fight, hopefully curing most of the bugs currently plaguing raiders, and add four new boss fights to fill out the Operation. Hairy Tooth Gaming put together a nice walkthrough of the existing boss if you want to see it in action.
But that's old news. Let's get onto the upcoming boss fights! The new fights will still be considered Tier 1 difficulty, on par with existing Operations content, and will unleash the first part of the game's next big story arc that will carry through multiple updates, according to Amatangelo. This will be a full story Operation, with different consequences happening depending on the decisions that your group makes in the Operation.
[SPOILER ALERT] The story of the Operation is that the Hutts have been harrassing locals, and you've been sent to either "set them straight" or "settle it diplomatically", depending on your faction. You're given the option to engage or shoot your way through the palace, or try to settle it diplomatically--a choice that will affect later events. By the end of the dungeon, you discover that someone else has been coordinating the Hutt attacks, and that will be the spark that launches the next big wave of story content that'll carry across multiple updates.[END OF SPOILER ALERT]
When I first saw the above screenshot, released weeks ago to tease the update to Kragga's Palace, I thought it was a cool giant droid and went about my business. If you saw the same, go back and click on that image to see it at full resolution. Look all the way at the top of it.
Amatangelo told me that, "We were able to have fun with answering the question: how would a Hutt fight, anyways?" and warned me that the cut-scene revealing Kragga's fighting "style" would show all the characters' jaws dropping, but I wasn't adequately prepared me to see my first MechWarrior Hutt.
If that's not enough to get you to play this Operation, I don't think I want you reading my article. Go ahead and hit that Back button on your browser now. Alright, now that those joyless saps are gone, let's talk about the big element, other than story, that BioWare's been using to make their raids stand out from the rest: puzzles. The Eternity Vault and a few Flashpoints have decent puzzles in them for your group to solve, and Kragga's Palace is keeping the trend going with a Towers of Hanoi puzzle.
You may not know the classic Towers of Hanoi puzzle by name, but you've probably encountered it before--it's been used in many games, including Baldur's Gate and Mass Effect. It's based on moving different sized discs between two points, according to specific rules about which discs can be stacked on which. In one particular fight, players will find themselves battling a large sentinel droid inside a droid factory. While most of the team keeps the droid at bay, other members will have to solve Towers of Hanoi puzzles on the conveyor belt as fast as possible to pour lava over the droid, making it vulnerable to attack.
While the raid is considered a Tier 1 difficulty raid, meant for new raiders, Amatangelo says that the puzzles in Kragga's Palace will be significantly harder than the ones in Eternity Vault.