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Cartel packs as we know them are gone. The structure, how many items per pack, how rarities are identified...gone. You could even go so far as to say that the whole Cartel Market has been altered as a result of these recent changes.
But what may seem like a disaster is really just BioWare's attempt to make things a little easier to understand, especially with the influx of new players jumping into both the base game and the new Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion. Here's what has changed
For starters, the packs themselves have now been altered. Each only contains two items (a huge step down from five-six items in the past), with one item of a gold, silver or bronze rarity rating and a companion gift. That's right - you're getting a companion gift in every single Cartel Pack. This is probably BioWare's way of making up to people with the changes made to the affection/influence system. Players who had maxed out affection with companions before the affection system was changed found that they had an even longer journey ahead of them to max out influence. So including more companion gifts helps players who need more influence to reach that goal.
- As of the new Force Alliance Pack, Jawa Junk has also made it's return and replaces companion gifts in some Packs.
- As of the Strategy Alliance Pack, packs now include four items total: Jawa Junk, Companion gift, and two slots for mounts, armor, pets or decrations.
The other item in the pack could consist of almost anything else that is included in the shipment. Standard Upper, Suplimentary and Lower Body Armor boxes, pets, mounts, and decorations are all included, only this time just one of them is included. With the addition of two new non-story companions, players also now have the chance to unlock more NPC's to fight alongside them.
Hypercrates, where they used to contain just 24 packs, now contain 30 of them due to the lack of items included per pack. For those of you doing the math, that's still less items per hypercrate than before, and is essentially BioWare's way of encouraging you to spend more money to get that one item you want.
Unless you're one of the lucky ones.
In addition, the Platinum pack, which was the bonus single-item pack included in all hypercrates, has been removed.
For those of you not willing to dish out the money to purchase the Cartel Coins for the Hypercrate, BioWare has also released Supercrates: the equivilant of a Hypercrate that contains 5 packs instead of 30.
BioWare has also made changes to the rarity system for Cartel Market items, reducing it to a three-tiere system consisting of Gold, Silver, and Bronze items. Gold, the highest rarity, includes the rare armor sets, mounts, and vanity pets that eveyone wants but almost nobody sees or gets, while Bronze, the lowest tier, gives more credibility to the bottom-of-the-barrel items that BioWare produces in abundance.
Gold, Silver and Bronze Packs
If you're just going after a specific item, then BioWare is also allowing you to spend Cartel Coins on packs with specific rarities and contents. For example, if you're after a specific mount, and you see in the collections that it has a Gold rarity, then you can buy a Gold Mount Pack and take your chances. These packs allow you to search for any number of Gold, Silver or Bronze
- Full Armor Sets
Each of these packs, depending on the rarity, will contain one item of the selected type and rarity. You could get any Gold mount if you opened a Gold Mount Pack, or any type of Silver armor set if you opened a Silver Armor Pack, and so on.
The items in these packs also include items from the first shipment of Black Market packs and everything afterward, so you have the chance to get something released in either the last shipment of packs or the first. Which you get is completely random.
BioWare has also added more Grand Packs for item categories that do not have enough items to be randomized into the Gold, Silver and Bronze packs. It's the same mechanic, and includes the following categories:
- Color Crystals
- Galactic Starfighter Items
- Companion Customizations
- Dye Modules
BioWare has also made clear that reputation items aquired in packs are now exclusive to Grand Packs.
What do you think of these new changes? Leave a comment below and voice your opinion!
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