SWTOR: 1.2 Upcoming Patch: PVP is Going in the Wrong Direction

Take this as negative as you want, but I don’t like “cross the finish line, here’s a medal”. Granted, I run marathons and that’s exactly what happens. But, everyone that crosses doesn’t get a medal that says first place. I don’t cross and get a sponsorship from Nike. But that’s what PVP turns into in almost every MMO.

Essentially PVP gear should be:

  1. A Progression
  2. A Reward for Hard Long Term Work

The key is providing these 2 things without the expense of balance. Here’s where games fail. They make multiple sets that are tiered based on certain requirements and all that was really needed was some basic upgrade from the previous set. Really in all, to keep a balance of skill vs. time played you just a need a simple step function.

  • First set
  • Second set (5% better);
  • Third set (5% better);
  • Fourth set (5% better);

So that the final end game end all set is only 25% better than the first entry set. Yet, no game does this. The make the gear disparity 150%. And then wonder why 1) casual players prefer games like LoL to their PVP and 2) why those that have the gear get bored with being demi-gods. Geeh, I fucking wonder.

Does next tier gear really need a 50% advantage over the previous set? Will the player lack interest in working for that set unless it makes them practically invincible? The answer is yes and no. Yes, the player is of course wants to be godly, but only because he/she doesn’t know any better. And also mainly no, because the player wants better even if it’s only slightly better. Which is why the player will work in time to get such items.

And this leads me to where BioWare is about to grossly fuck up SWTOR PVP. To start, the gear for PVP was in effect grossly under thought. They made it so that the only stat that matters is Expertise, and then more over made 1 end game set that had a requirement for Valor. So once you turn 50, you can easily do a bit of work and get yourself into Centurion. Then you have a slight uphill grind to get Champion Bags through weeklies, dailies, and if dedicated, grinding the living hell out of Warzones. And then once you get Valor 60, you can start to earn your Battlemaster set. This almost works perfectly in a starting sense, as you can easily get into ‘my first’ PVP set with little work and then you have a goal of getting into full Champion while grind Valor. And then once to 60, you still have to work for your Battlemaster. The failure was in the great variance of stats in the gear. Making the Battlemaster gap too great.

With the changes upcoming in 1.2, we can call death to all long term progression. First being the death of any Valor requirement, meaning you have a leveling bar that is about to be as useless as the Legacy Bar is prior to 1.2. The second is the death of special gear commendations. Instead of working for Champion and Battlemaster items, you’ll have 3 (technically 4) sets to now chose from:

  • Recruit Set – Buyable by Credits.
  • Battle Master Set – Now Purchasable with Warzone Commendations. So this will be a slight grind, but with no barriers other than time.
  • War Hero Set – Purchasable through ranked Warzone Commendations. Basically, exactly like Battle Master except you have to do Ranked Warzones.

This is what makes me sad. This means, basically I can leap frog right into a War Hero grind. Why play regular warzones when rated will grant me the commendations I need for better stuff? It also means the grind for end game gear basically dies right in the first week of release. We will be seeing full War Heroes by the second weekend of this patch release. The other is the major differences in stats between sets. You are talking easily 50% better stats to Battle Master Sets from Recruit. I’m assuming War Hero is probably the same. So whoever is on top, stays on top with very little room for skill to overcome stats. 1.2 needs to be released with 2 things in mind so that we have some kind of barrier to break through:

  • Stats need to only be slightly better than the last set. With Battle Master have set bonuses, it doesn’t need 50% better over the Recruit. It needs to be at best 20%, more like 15%. And that step should remain true for War Hero
  • There needs to be Valor Requirements on the Gear

You are only setting up two scenarios here:

The death of normal warzones (which is okay, you should remove them altogether) and the inevitable boredom of PVP which will lead to a loss in PVP subscriptions much too early. You aren’t even providing a month’s worth of contained progression here.

There are two arguments:

People want even PVP that is based on skill. And to that my answer is, “no you don’t”. If that was true, you wouldn’t be playing an MMO. It’s always about progression and having the best. My skill should earn me reward. What does that matter if we all have the same thing? The other is that the cost of commendations is great enough to provide long term goals. And that I don’t believe. I have no doubts in the amount of War Heroes I will see in 2 weeks after 1.2.

I expected better PVP thought processes. This is a disappointing move

8 thoughts on “SWTOR: 1.2 Upcoming Patch: PVP is Going in the Wrong Direction

  1. You hit the nail on the head. I was VERY disappointed last night when I heard that valor was no longer tied to gear. Like you said, just make the gear 5% better than the tier below but make it require a certain valor rank. I know a LOT of PvP’ers who may unsub as all the valor they have earned along the way is now meaningless.

    The only suggestion I can make to Bioware if they are insistent on this system is to simply create a line of orange gear that is tied to valor. No mods, no stats, just a blank slate to out in whatever mods you want. At least then there would be something to work for.

    • I have two theories. One this is a easy change to appease all while they look at PVP on whole. Which means we could see another overhaul when they redo Ilum.

  2. Except… your wrong. In order to get the Battlemaster set you must use warzone comms. NOT rated warzone comms.

    And in order to get the War Hero piece you must trade in a BM piece as of the patch yesterday. So everyone who is starting with champ/ recruit gear must go through regular warzones in order to gear up to BM. Only then can they move on to ranked warzones and gear up to War Hero.

    Also… I don’t know where you got these numbers. War Hero gear is not 50% better than recruit gear. More like 25-30%. It’s the set bonus that is awesome (only attainable in BM or WH gear now) and since BM is so easy to get…. theres a progression but not a huge step. And all those fighting in ranked wont have to deal with those in non-ranked so it’s no big deal anyways.

    • so many things……

      1 You can not prove you are right by saying “your wrong” to somebody. It’s just a bad start. So “You’re Wrong” would make all the difference.

      2 Please go back and read, or read for the first time, either or. Find the spot where I say BM cost ranked comms. Can’t? Imagine that. I said they will cost reg warzone comms. It’s hard for me to accept your comment when it right under the actual fucking post. The proof of why you are Wrong is in fact right above it. I don’t even have to link it. For fuck sake.

      3 I said there is a 50% bonus to stats from recruit to BM. Not WH. And further more, it is a 50% disparity form BM to Recruit. And as of the latest patch they actually increased it even more.

      4 The only good in your comment is the additional information about the BM being required for WH. I am happy you posted solely on that reason. The rest I could punch a baby for.

  3. Not so much SWTOR related..
    Imho the difference between a max-set and entry-level should be even less than what you’ve proposed.

    Another thing..My main motivation for pvp is not progress (though I have an eye on it).. my main motivation is killing elves.. therefore I’m not playing SWTOR (which I never fancied as a PvP oriented game in any way), but stick with WAR as there are many elves to kill there. Keeps a grumpy dwarf happy ;)

    • Haha.

      Well, yes. I can’t really argue with the elves.

      It could be less, it doesn’t matter. I think what can be agreed on is the fact that anything near the stat differences they have are far too much to be shared in the same teir with.

      • I can’t comment on SWTOR, but in general I think that everyone who thinks that big power differences in a pvp game (no matter how hard to obtain) are right is not seeking engaging fights, but just wants to get to a next level of grinding stuff.. I’m old and still think that PvP should be mainly about skill and not about the time invested (though I want people to get a reasonable and small advantage, because of their time invested). Uh..I should stop here..”reasonable” is not solid enough and could end in a looong discussion about what reasonable is.

        Well..one thing though.. I think that high-end gear in any pvp game should give you a nudge on equally skilled, but not so good equipped opponents, but it should in no way make you invincible and be the sole factor determining the outcome of a fight. In PvE ? I couldn’t care less about power balance..

        A lot of MMO stuff is just grinding..and even pvp surrendered to it, because people (the paying customers) are used to it and don’t question this easy dev-path.

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