Monday, 16 April 2012

That PVP rant

I didn't even try PVP in SWTOR until my third character (the Gunslinger), but by then I had already had enough of the repetitive planet quests and wanted something else to fill the gaps between class story quests. I would never class myself as a real PVPer, I just like to hop into a Warzone and fool around for 15 minutes, but strangely enough I was soon hooked to running Warzone after Warzone, because they provided an exciting distraction from grinding quests, teams were usually pretty decent and the rewards were good.

SWTOR Warzone, Voidstar
Crazy gunslinger guy, riding a speeder like a boss.

I also found that I became a vastly better player after getting my butt handed to me over and over - I had to learn which abilities I could use to counter this class and that effect, how to cap and hold objectives using my wits instead of brute force.. and the hardest of all, learning not to use knockbacks to throw a Huttball carrier over my team's goal line. Usually I had a good time, because even the short chats I had with my team during WZ matches was more social interaction than I encountered while out questing.

However, last week's Patch 1.2 brought some unexpected changes to PVP, namely severely decreased rewards for the losing side - before 1.2, even if your side lost the Warzone match, you still got a decent reward for your effort and time spent. Post-1.2, you don't get ANYTHING unless you gain at least 3 medals during the match. This is problematic for several reasons:

Medal farming is deleterious to team play and completing Warzone objectives. Of course there are always kill farmers and those that "derp in the middle", but it's much worse now since everyone wants to ensure they at least get their 3 medals. If the opposing team is better organised and wearing vastly better gear, it can be a real struggle.

Team imbalance no longer ends Warzones - enjoy that 8v4 for the next 10 minutes, since half of your team quit after the enemy's first capture or score. And why wouldn't they, since there's no penalty for leaving and the rewards for losing are hardly worth the time anyway, so and it's often a better option to just quit a losing WZ and re-queue for another.

Late joiners don't always have enough time to gain enough medals, even if they contributed to objectives. If you end up in a WZ that's halfway done and your team is obviously losing, you might as well quit and re-queue.

Warzone medpacks and adrenals have become unsustainable - their costs were doubled in 1.2 (from 10 comms to 20) - do you want to spend that 20 comms you got from the last WZ lost to buy ONE medpack or ONE adrenal? Or save it for Battlemaster gear?

Before someone raises their voice about medals being much easier now - yes, it's really easy to get over 10 medals now if you know what you're doing (and if you really decide to farm them instead of completing objectives), but sometimes you just end up ganked so badly (hello 8vs4 matches) that even if you want to stick to the end you don't earn enough medals and you get zilch for being a punching bag for 15 minutes.

SWTOR Warzone, Civil War of Alderaan
My baby consular (lvl10), bravely holding a turret in Civil War. Gave me a chuckle when a lv14 BH tried to take it, but I just circled around the turret healing myself, so he gave up and ran away.

(For the record, I mostly play sub-50 PVP, since I enjoy it better than the expertise/gearfest that is lv50 PVP. I win more often than I lose.)

I wouldn't otherwise even write about this subject (since I'm a casual PVPer at best, always queuing solo), but I'm just disappointed now that after finding and enjoying a new side of the game, it's suddenly been made unnecessarily grindy and unfriendly. The rewards system before 1.2 worked just fine, and the only addition it really needed was a function to vote kick AFKers. I just hope Bioware will wake up and make SWTOR Warzones worth playing again, instead of encouraging people to quit matches until they land in a winning team.

(in before "baaw entitled carebears, L2P or GTFO")


  1. Luckily they fixed some of this a few days later. A good thing, as I just began to like PvP as well (though I play in the 50's bracket with my main). While I understand your arguments, I've just had enough of the behavior that most of the PvP freaks display in the forums ("BALANCING SUX, BIOWARE! /unsub", "Have fun with F2P"... you know the drill). Mimimimi, all of them.

  2. Yeah, I'm really glad that they did, and it didn't even take them weeks (or months) to do it! I've had some very enjoyable PVP for the last 2 days now, even in the lv50 bracket (and even though I always end up against this one damn Rep War Hero premade that just stomps over my team). Hardly any quitters anymore and the atmosphere is much better.

    It just occurred to me, now with better rewards for the losing side, WZ PVP is actually a rather good way for soloers to advance their characters and gain better gear than you get from solo dailies... might have to make a post about that soon :)