Rise of the Hutt Cartel shares The Old Republic’s strengths and its weaknesses, and those who variously enjoyed and tolerated them the first time around will find something here, but don’t expect a revolution – and, to be honest, don’t expect the reignited affair to last.
At $20 for new preferred status sign-ups ($10 for current players), the price is right, and so is the content. New skill trees, plot threads, and some shady business dealings courtesy of the Hutt Cartel open doors many players thought previously closed by the leap to free-to-play, and dual lightsaber throws are worth all of the hard times.
Rise of the Hutt Cartel is the first proper expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic. And, like seemingly everything else associated with the name Bioware in recent years, it's not likely to please everyone. It is, in the truest sense of the term, essentially 'more of the same'.
If you’re still playing and just eager for anything new to do on your max level characters, RotHC is worth looking into. But if you’ve previously left TOR and are waiting to see if this new content makes it worth getting back in.
One thing I will add here is that since I had taken a couple of months off play there had been a lot of changes that for me were my first time, so that gave me more of a sense of additional content which some people who have been playing through that entire time may not have gotten the same impression.
The absence of new warzones, flashpoints, and class- and companion-specific missions reveal a dishearteningly diminished scope - but for the price, it's a significant load of content and a good excuse to fire up the ol' lightsaber, if only for a little while.
However, the game still feels highly skewed towards its subscribers, who enjoy significant advantages over those playing for free. Free-to-play players are still limited in the number of PVP matches and raids they participate in, for example, although they always have access to these parts of the game through premium unlocks and one-time passes.
The overuse of the mechanic where you search for parts and dig them out, something I would bet most people dislike, is puzzling to say the least, and all of that to end up at level 55 with much less content than we had at 50, because of the way they handled scaling of current dailies areas, flashpoints and operations.
For the time it has taken to get this going I really think a lot more content (outside of stuff for nerds who raid) could have been added in for the casual/PvP audience. But anything is better than nothing and I am marginally happy with ROTHC.
Rise of the Hutt Cartel has achieved something more: proof of a game with a growing content that integrates well with the current game. If BioWare fix some of the more annoying glitches in the next few weeks, I’ll be one of hopefully many touting SWTOR’s new expansion as one worth exploring.