I have Cubase 8.5 on my Win7 PC. It is not supported so I can’t create a ticket. I want to ask what will be involved in updating to Cubase 12, but on a Win 11 computer which I plan to use. Will I first have to put Cubase 8 on it to be an update rather than purchase from scratch. And how much will I be able to retain from my previous setup, like drum maps, etc.
I am not member of the staff but can answer a couple of your questions nonetheless.
You can only update to Cubase 13 now as that is the current version.
If you want to install this new Cubase 13 on a new computer you do not need to install Cubase 8.5 before. What you need to do, however, is to connect the USB licenser to that new computer. The Cubase 8.5 license on the stick will changed to a Cubase 11 license with a remark that this license got transferred to the new Steinberg licensing system. The actual Cubase 13 license will be a pure software based license which gets managed by a piece of software called Steinberg Activation Manager.
As soon as you got Cubase 13 sucessfully licensed you can unplug the USB licenser from that computer (and continue to use it on the current computer).
Every major version update of Cubase is going to be an individual install. The previously installed Cubase will not be overwritten. The effect is that you can have several versions of Cubase available on the same computer.