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SWTOR PvP: From awesome to pointless to ‘is it patch day yet?’

If you’re not already 50, don’t bother PvPing until next week’s patch. There’s no point. In the last two weeks, enough of the playerbase has hit 50 to make the leveler a moot point in warzones. If you catch a 50 alone, you might have a chance. Might. If there are other players around looking for a kill, which there will be, that chance evaporates like last week’s science experiment. Or if they have any of the set-gear, you’re also taking a big piddle toward the wind while they obliterate you.

Believe it or not, I actually think this shows how well Bioware knows their playerbase. The PvP situation has gotten progressively worse every day since launch — a bracket is desperately needed now to keep things balanced — but had it been in at launch, all we’d hear are frustrated powerlevelers with no one to fight. Releasing the bracket with next week’s patch comes at just the right time to prevent the all-too-common ragequit from the less dedicated majority. Once it goes in, we’ll be rosey.

PvP in SWTOR works with a bolstering system similar to that of Warhammer Online and RIFT. When a level 10 enters, they are given a boost to their stats making them roughly equal to a max level character. The level 50 — let’s say a fresh 50 with quest greens — may hit a little harder, but the real benefit comes from the extra skills at their disposal. If they play smart, they can and will beat a low-level in perpetuity. After they’ve been at the cap for a spell, they’d have to be AFK to lose in a 1-on-1.

The bracket is skipping even this slight chance and are relegating 50s to their own warzones. 10-49s will fight alone now, without the “instant win” hardcores that dominate today. And that is fantastic. The bolstering system isn’t perfect but it’s better than anything MMOs have presented so far. When a level 10 faces off against a level 49, sure, the 10 will be at a disadvantage — but it’s only a disadvantage. Play it smart and there are no more guaranteed wins. The level 10 has value beyond being cannon fodder. 10s, 20s, 30s, and 40s are all deadly if played correctly.

For some reason, the PvP in SWTOR has me more enamored than any game in the past (MMO-wise). It is just a hell of a lot of fun to have skill and strategy rule the day and gear be an after thought. That’s why these 50s need to go. Their competition is all about gear, and it turns the PvP paradigm on its head.

So until the bracket goes in, I’m out working on class quests.

How about you, have you had much luck in PvP?


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  1. Targeter

    Amen to that. I’ve done a little PvP in beta and on the Republic side and so far, it’s just a blast. Generally, the more coordinated team wins and it’s not very gear-reliant. Seeing the 50s out of the bracket will improve things, and you have to love the idea that we’re all PvPing together on the same server. That’ll develop some real server rivalries. The bolster system, like you said, is the most interesting way I’ve seen it done so far.

    1. Chris

      Definitely. Coordination, up until very recently, won the day and I suspect it still might. At the moment, it’s still possible for an uncoordinated team of geared-up 50s to steamroll the team of 25-30s. Adding this bracket should totally solve that and get us back to where it’s a blast time spend time with. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Anjin

    I wish I had something smart to say about this, but you’ve covered it quite well. Don’t accidently level to 50 while you’re out questing or you won’t be able to enjoy the new brackets. 🙂

    1. Chris

      Hey Anjin, glad you stopped by! Yes, what I didn’t mention in the post is that a new 50 will still have a heck of a time until they get some set pieces under their belt. I’m taking it nice and slow, though, so hopefully gear won’t become an issue for a long time for me. 🙂

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