Story Flashpoints can be entered alone or in a group - they exist to see the story, and give you a special droid that will help you during fights.
Veteran Flashpoints are meant to be done with a group of four, with any combination of roles and can be done with a mix of levels.
Master Flashpoints are difficult and are meant to be done with an experienced high-level group of four, including one healer, two DPS and a tank.
I’m George Smith, Senior Designer in charge of Operations and Flashpoints and I am here to talk to you a little bit about what Knights of the Fallen Empire has in store for you.
First, a little bit of a backstory about the current state of group content in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. As you level your character, you have the opportunity to play through quite a few Flashpoints for gear and a break from your story. As you continue to play and progress in the game and pass the level range of those Flashpoints, you no longer play them, as they become obsolete. Similarly, due to the nature of gear progression or an increased level cap, as we release new Operations we continue to make older Operations obsolete. What this means is that we have a situation where we have a lot of group content, that many players don’t get an opportunity to play through. We believe that all players should be able to enjoy all the content in the game, and have exciting experiences available to them every week, and that is what we intend to bring you with Knights of the Fallen Empire!
For Flashpoints, we have made quite a few changes to give you more options on what to play, and how to play them. For starters, all of the Flashpoints which are important to the core story have had a Solo Mode added, similar to what we did for the Forged Alliances Flashpoints. Also, those Solo Modes are repeatable, so you can play through them again if you want! These Solo Mode Flashpoints use a new level sync system that lowers your character’s level and power to the level of the Flashpoint, ensuring that you’re experiencing the content at the difficulty level intended - you never have to skip story content because you’re over-leveled for it!
Next, most of our Story Mode Flashpoints have been converted to Tactical, meaning you can play them at any level between 10 and 65! These Flashpoints also bolster your character, so you never have to worry about being under-geared or under-leveled, and can play with friends of varying levels. As an added bonus, each player can also receive loot specific to their Class and their non-bolstered level, so running these Flashpoints is always beneficial.
Hard Mode Flashpoints are getting love as well! All Hard Mode Flashpoints, including the Red Reaper for the first time, will be available starting at Level 50 up to Level 65. There will be a small Bolster to allow different level ranges to play together, but you’ll need to bring a balanced group with a Tank and Healer just as with Hard Mode Flashpoints currently. Just like the new Tactical Flashpoints, each player can get their own individual loot suited for their class from entirely new sets of gear. This will provide the perfect jumping off point for getting you ready to tackle Operations!
Operations are a larger change, in that every single Operation in SWTOR will be raised to level 65! Every Operation will drop a new tier of Elder Game gear, as well as new vanity rewards such as Mounts, Vehicles, and Decorations for your Stronghold. Story Mode Operations will be playable from Level 50 to Level 65, and will grant a Bolster to ensure everyone in your group is prepared! Soa will once again be the ancient Rakatan Warlord who threatens to take over the Galaxy, with the challenge to match!
We are also making several Quality of Life improvements to Operations in the Group Finder to make a better, more engaging experience. Each day, a new Story Mode Operation will be available in Group Finder, and will all drop relevant gear for your character.
Nightmare Mode will also be available for all the Operations that had it previously, they will have a chance to drop top end gear as well as all the unique mounts and titles available currently.
For Hard Mode Operations, one Operation per week will be highlighted to give even greater rewards! Ultimately, the goal is that you will have a reason to visit all of our Operations and will feel rewarded for doing so.
We know that many players love our Operations and look forward to the introduction of new challenges, however with Knights of the Fallen Empire there will not be any new Operations. We felt it was important to first address some of the issues with our Elder Game before moving on to new content. These changes will allow us to be more flexible with how we release new content, as the content no longer needs to be tied to a new gear tier or level cap increase. Even without new Operations, though, you will have a whole lot of content to play at the level cap. Let’s go over everything you will be able to play in Knights of the Fallen Empire!
Solo Mode Flashpoints
These Flashpoints are repeatable, and made to be played solo or with a Companion. Your character will be adjusted down to the appropriate level so that you are experiencing the Flashpoint at the level and difficulty that is intended.
These 4-Player Flashpoints are available from level 10-65. Your character will be Bolstered so that friends of any level can play together!
Hard Mode Flashpoints
These Level 65 Flashpoints are designed to present more of a challenge to players. They provide a small Bolster, but still require a full 4-Player group, including a Tank and a Healer.
These 8 and 16-Player Operations are all available at level 65 in both Story and Hard modes. A different Story Mode Operation will be available in the Group Finder each day.
As you can see, while leveling your character, and when your character reaches level 65, there is a whole Galaxy out there available to you. So whether you want to take the journey alone, or with 15 of your closest friends, we can’t wait for you to get your hands on Knights of the Fallen Empire!
May the Force™ be with you!
A:Solo Mode is designed for a single person. You are given an droid that will tank and heal, leaving it up to you to deal most of the damage (though it can finish some fights on its own).
Story Mode is the basic group mode for a Flashpoint and typically requires a tank, a healer, and two DPS. Many Story Modes were low-level, with Hard Modes taking the same format but at a higher level and adding additional mechanics or difficulty, but since Patch 4.0 all SMs are now level-synced. There's also Tactical mode, which is designed for 4 players independent of role.
For the list of available Flashpoints and their available modes, see How does hard mode work? All SMs are soloable depending your capability. Some extras may not be doable — for example, the bonus boss in The Esseles requires 2 people to trigger.
There's also Operations (with Story and Hard modes), which are basically the same as Flashpoints except longer, harder, and requiring 8 or 16 people. (There are also "Lair Bosses" that are single-boss Operations — not to be confused with World Bosses which are not instanced.)
Additional fun fact: During the 3.x patch series, the Explosive Conflict operation was soloable on 8-man Story Mode. Thanks to Level Sync that is no longer the case.