Developer Blogs

11.14.2012

Developer Update: Section X and HK-51 Missions in Game Update 1.5

Game Update 1.5 returns us to the story unfolding on Belsavis.

The Dread Masters, a cadre of incredibly powerful Sith who have abandoned the Empire to pursue their own mysterious goals, have escaped the prison in the midst of the galactic war. Agents of the Dread Masters, known as the Dread Guard, have decimated security forces on Belsavis and seized control of a corner of the planet designated as Section X. Earthquakes and tectonic instability have recently torn the area apart, burying several massive, ancient Rakata technological artifacts in the rubble. The Dread Guard have launched an expedition to unearth one such artifact, a powerful weapon which, in the wrong hands, could wreak havoc on the galaxy. Players from both the Republic and the Empire have been dispatched to put an end to the Dread Masters’ schemes, but what dangers await them in the darkness of Section X?

 

Section X introduces a new set of daily repeatable missions for both Imperial and Republic players, including two new Heroics. These missions offer more rewards than any previous daily area; more Daily Commendations than before, more Credits overall, and an additional source for Black Hole Commendations. With 1.5, we’ve added new Campaign Armoring mods to the Black Hole vendors on the fleet to ensure that players can acquire ideal stats, and to ensure that players wearing Columi or Rakata shells can customize the look of their gear while retaining their set bonuses. Additionally, we’ve added a lot of new stuff to our Daily Commendation vendors, including new activated relics and new schematics for extremely powerful Droid companion gear. Joining the fight in Section X will help you attain these new rewards faster.

 

Section X also introduces a new Heroic World Boss: Dreadtooth. Dreadtooth is a gargantuan, wandering Drouk under the control of the Dread Guard. Dreadtooth’s difficulty can be increased by defeating him and collecting a consumable called Dreadful Essence. Taking down Dreadtooth at his higher difficulty levels will require seizing windows of opportunity and coordinating a full, well-geared Ops group in public space. Unlike the Nightmare Pilgrim, Dreadtooth’s loot rewards are not part of the gear progression – defeating him earns you titles, bragging rights, and some fun items.

One of the most exciting new features of Section X is contained within a crashed Imperial transport ship in a nearby snowfield. I’ll hand things over to mission designer Matt Pucevich to tell you about our new Companion Droid, HK-51.

 

Hi folks! Matt Pucevich here.

So, the HK Droid series has always been a crowd favorite. When we made the decision to include an HK series Droid as a player companion, we knew that we had to make it special. In our minds, then, the mandate for HK-51 was pretty clear: It was time to make an epic mission chain.

This mission chain begins, as Jesse has stated, on the surface of Section X, within the wreck of The Fatality. Prompted by the Dread Guard's tenacious interest in the ship, players are sent in to explore the wreckage, soon discovering that the ship's cargo was a full company of Series 51 HK Assassin Droids. Years of neglect and Belsavis' own harsh environment have taken their toll on the Droids, though, and rendered them inoperable. It falls to the players to range out over the galaxy to seek out the schematics and components necessary to repair and claim their very own HK-51 Droid Companion.

The centerpiece of the mission chain, aside from HK-51 himself, is the Theoretika, a massive old Czerka ship that has lain derelict and deserted in space for a century. The Theoretika is a mood piece, and very different from the types of things we've done in the past in that the area is built around exploration and atmosphere (or lack thereof!). Players will notice, for example, that while they are exploring they won't have map notes telling them exactly where to go -- It's up to them to figure out how to advance through the ship.

Overall the mission chain was a blast to design and implement, and we've been getting really positive feedback from testing, so we're confident that the HK-51 mission chain will be quite the memorable moment for our players.

(As a side note: For some reason a lot of players seem to think that The Fatality wreck is located on Hoth. We cannot explain and are baffled by this impression, as the wreck in question on Hoth is clearly the Ambria's Fury. It must just be some mass delusion brought on by the Dread Masters)

We hope you’ll enjoy the new challenges awaiting you in Section X!

Jesse Sky
Lead Flashpoints and Operations Designer

Matthew Pucevich
Missions Designer