Star Wars: The Old Republic – advanced classes update

This week Greog Zoeller, the Principal Lead Combat Designer for Star Wars: The Old Republic,  takes us through how the advanced classes game system has changed in the last few months based on iteration, game testing, and focus groups.

In Zoellers previous blog he introduced us to the advanced classes game system –  if you didn’t read it it can be found here.  Advanced Classes (AC) are obtainable on your home planet once your charcter reaches level 10, each main class has two distinct ACs to choose from that will define your role in parties from that moment on.

I’ll go into more detail on what each classes ACs are and what changes have been brought about a little later in the review. Each AC unlocks two exclusive skill trees then a third which is shared by both ACs( pretty much universal powers for that class.)A characters ability points can be allocated in three ways: through base class trainers, advanced class trainers, and through skill points spent in the advanced class skill trees.

Each skill tree allows access to both active and passive abilities. Active abilities are those that can be hot keyed and used in battle when needed and passive abilities are always working – once a point goes into it that ability is always on.

“It is important to note that the choices you make in your skill tree never subtract from your base class abilities; they instead improve and add to the character’s arsenal.”- Zoeller

Zoeller also goes into some of the differences you’ll get in your ACs within the same base class. Say you go with the Sith Warrior – your choices for ACs will be Juggernaut (Tank or Melee Damage) or Marauder (Melee Damage). One choice the Juggernaut can make is to learn Force Grip, an upgraded version of Force Choke, which takes away the need for the choke to be channeled, so instead of standing with his hand out stretched like Vader, the Sith Warrior can cast Force Grip and then move on to another enemy while the one being choked takes damage and is immobilised. The Marauder on the other hand can choose to learn Close Quarters, an  ability that allows the Marauder to use his Force Charge at any range so instead of just using it to close the distance at the opening of the fight , he can now leap from enemy to enemy on the battlefield dealing damage where it’s most needed at that time.

“As well as these two Advanced Class-specific skill trees, both the Juggernaut and the Marauder have access to the shared ‘Rage’ skill tree. Abilities in this skill tree improve the control, mobility and burst damage capability of characters who invest into it – all traits desirable to both the Marauder and the Juggernaut.”-Zoeller

The next part of Zoeller’s blog goes into what has changed in the ACs through the input of the game testers. I highly recommend reading this in full on SWTOR’s site Here! I will go into it a little bit, but it’s just too much information for me to cover every bit of what has changed, so I’ll list each base class along with it’s AC and it’s general role, and any major changes you should definitely see.

Bounty Hunter

Mercenary (Mid-Long Range Damage Dealing, Healing)

Healing is part of the “Bodyguard” Skill Tree for the Mercenary

PowerTech (Mid Range Damage Dealing, Tanking)

Imperial Agent

Sniper (Mid-Long Range Damage Dealer)

Sniper was reworked to be more viable in PvP, the AC got two new skills one allowing him to be entrenched in his cover so he cannot be knocked out of it, and Cover Pulse allowing him a knock back ability to keep melee players at range.

Operative (Close-Mid Damage Dealing, Healing)

Jedi Knight

Jedi Guardian ( Close Range Melee Damage Dealer, Tanking)

Based on the feedback from SWTOR community they added single saber DPS on one the Guardian AC skill trees, before it was a pure tank class.

Jedi Sentinel (Close Range Melee Damage Dealer)

Jedi Consular

Jedi Shadow (Close-Mid Range Damage Dealer, Tanking)

The Shadow AC got a new Skill tree that allows them to become an effective tank.

Jedi Sage (Mid-Long Range Damage Dealer, Healing)


Gunslinger (Mid-Long Range Damage Dealer)

Scoundrel (Mid Range damage dealing, Healing)

Sith inquisitor

Sith Assassin (Close-Mid Range Damage Dealer, Tanking)

The Sith Assassin much like the Jedi Shadow now has a Force and defensive lightsaber Tanking class.

Sith Sorcerer (Mid-Long Range Damage Dealer, Healing)

Sith Warrior

Sith Juggernaut (Close Range Damage Dealer, Tanking)

Similar to the Guardian the Juggernaut has gained access to a single saber DPS skill tree.

Sith Marauder (Close Range Damage Dealer)

The Marauder gained a short term cloak among other updates to this AC.


Commando (Mid-Long Range Damage Dealing, Healing)

The Commando, much like the Mercenary gained a healing focused skill tree, making the Commando a completely viable medic.

Vanguard (Close Mid Range Damage Dealing, Ranged Tanking)

Be sure to check out the full update on SWTOR’s Official Site, Lots of great info.

May the Force be with you!