Even though SWTOR has plenty of PvP options, the game is based on PvE — questing and following your character’s storyline. PvE can basically be broken down into three categories: quests, flashpoints and operations. Below you’ll find some details on each one.
- Operations & Flashpoints Infographic
Typical quests as found in most other MMORPGs can be found in The Old Republic as well. You usually gain them from NPCs, which have an indicator over their head: a broken triangle means you can pick up a new quest, and a solid triangle means you can turn one in. The game starts with mostly single-player experience and quests and as you progress you gain quests which are group-oriented as well.
Quests can be broken down into following categories:
- Class Quests: class quests can all be completed alone, but you can still get grouped with other players if you wish. There’s enough of them to get you to the level cap (50).
- World Quests: These are your standard MMO/RPG quests that you can pick up as you perform other tasks either in group or solo.
- World Arcs: These are grand, far reaching quests designed to be done in a group but can also be done solo.
- Flashpoints: Designed to be done as a group.
- Bonus Quests: You do not ask/find these they happen automatically. For example if you kill a certain creature you may get a quest to say kill 10 of them, it gives various rewards.
- Group Quests: Group Quests are quests of higher difficulty that provide a challenge to groups. They are aimed at either 2+ or 4+ players, and can be located either in the open world of in instances.
On starting planets (Hutta, Korriban, Ord Mantell or Tython, depending on your class choice) you’ll spend roughly 6 hours, before moving on to Coruscant (Republic) or Dromund Kass (Empire), which also have your faction’s capital city. Starting worlds have about 60% class quests, dropping to about 40% on the Capital worlds and then even lower for the rest of the game.
Flashpoints are instanced dungeons designed for a full group of players (4). They are spread throughout the game, most early ones as soon as you leave your starting planet.
Flashpoint missions are typically divided into a series of connected events, including conversations, boss battles, and other objectives. Each objective develops in both action and story, such as with enemy movement, changes in the environment, etc. This story aspect is designed to help players further develop their characters.
The combat experience is tightly integrated with the story (e.g., types of enemies, their AI behavior, their abilities). The moral choices in Flashpoints will sometimes have more consequences than Dark or Light Side points. Likewise, completing bonus objectives can sometimes open new options for the mission.
Below is a list of currently known flashpoints and some information about them.
- Faction: Republic only
- Description: When a Republic transport secretly carrying a high-profile passenger is attacked by Imperials, your team must defend the ship and eventually must decide the passenger’s fate.
- Location: The decision to enter the Flashpoint happens before the actual trip to Coruscant. The group is given the choice of which shuttle to take: the fast shuttle or the normal shuttle. The quest to enter the flashpoint is given only if the fast shuttle is taken.
- Level range: 8+
- Faction: Empire only
- Description: The captain of an Imperial transport refuses official orders to intercept a Republic transport, and your team must seize control of the transport and carry out the mission. Will you kill or spare the captain?
- Location: Unindentified space station
- Level range: 8+
- Faction: Empire
- Description: When a high-level Republic prisoner escapes from an Imperial prison, your team must track down the target and prevent an audacious attack to destroy the Sith Empire.
- Level range: 32+
- Faction: Republic
- Description: Imperials are holding a Jedi prisoner who is critical to the Republic war effort. Your team must travel deep into enemy territory to recover the key to liberating this Republic hero.
- Level range: 32+
- Faction: Both
- Description: Mutinous droids on a remote moon develop a technology that could lead to massive destruction for both the Republic and the Empire
- Level range: Endgame
- Inside some of the Flashpoints you’re going to find things. For example, if you have Archaeology, then you might find a secret door or a secret lever for another hallway wrapping around in a Flashpoint. If you have Slicing, then you might find a broken droid that you can slice and it can then assist you farther in the dungeon.
- There will be a heroic mode for some early level Flashpoints which sets them to level 50.
- While boss fights often require traditional tank and healer roles, some sections of Flashpoints are paced in such a way that healers can switch into damage roles and tanks can get a bit more reckless.
- There are no respawns in flashpoints.
- Flashpoints also contain optional mobs and bosses that can be killed for experience and loot.
- Flashpoints are not always linear: dialogue choices and performing bonus objectives open up other aspects of the instance such as more bosses and more ways to complete them.
- If you repeat a flashpoint, your last story decision will count for later events. Former decisions of yours in that flashpoint will be “erased”.
Operations are end-game raids designed for larger groups of players (8 or 16). You can’t bring companions into Operations. So far, we only have information on one.
- Faction: Both
- Description: A terrible threat has been uncovered in the prison Eternity Vault on the ice world of Belsavis
- Reset Time: 7 days
The operation starts after talking to a person of high authority within the players respective faction. This person will dispatch the players to Belsavis to stop someone known only as “The Infernal One”. The players will land just outside of the Vault itself and will have to fight past the automated defenses to get inside. These automated defenses consist of two turrets, multiple defense droids and an Annihilation Droid.
- Easy Hard mode operations do not share lock out timers.
- 8 man and 16 man (of the same type) Operations do share lockouts.
- There are World bosses on every planet that can only be completed using a raid size group.
- There are hard modes for both the 8 man and 16 man versions of the Operations. 16 man Operations will give almost double the loot to a 8 man, while heroic modes give significantly better loot.
The following useful infographic includes levels, locations and items for all flashpoints and operations in SWTOR: