Hyperspace Beacon: Why PVPers are abandoning SWTOR – again

I don’t usually like to jump into the PvE-v-PvP debate because no one wins, but I have started to see an exodus of PvPers from Star Wars: The Old Republic recently. Of course, many of the top PvPers have already left because they were bored or fed up with some system or another. But it can’t be said that BioWare isn’t trying to make improvements. But like everything that BioWare does to this MMORPG, it’s one step forward and two steps back.

Let’s take a few moments to talk about the latest fumble.

Amazing PvP items being added

At first, you might think that there is no reason to want to leave the game when there is so much being added for PVPers in Update 5.10. As someone who is not really a part of the PvP community, I can certainly see that perspective, and in a lot of ways, I agree with that sentiment.

In the last update, players were able to purchase the Rishi stronghold. Besides being the largest stronghold you can buy, it is the most PvP-centric stronghold we have. In fact, it’s the only stronghold with PvP mechanics built into the design. Players can group up and PvP in one of two arenas. One arena even has the ability to play Huttball. For a game that seemed to be opposed to player creating their own content since the beginning, the addition of PvP to any stronghold is a major shift in what I would consider the right direction.

Then in this next update groups and guilds will be able to battle each other in the PvP map of their choosing, which adds a level of control to the player that BioWare has never allowed on anything in the past. Even the open-world PvP hasn’t been this open in the past. Many bloggers and complainers seem to be skipping over this major boon to the PvP community.

Equal in all things

As many of you know, I came from Star Wars Galaxies where everything was integrated. There weren’t even different instances of the dungeons there. It was all open world. So the idea of having separate armor for PvP and PvE was foreign to me. I never really understood. it. We are all playing the same game, right? PvP was built into the game’s design. Although there were balance issues all the time, there wasn’t really a PvP community and a PvE community. At the same time, there wasn’t really any raids with heavy boss mechanics until late in the game’s life. I didn’t understand why there needed to be different armor and mechanics for the two different play styles, and to be honest, there really weren’t two different playstyles.

I’ve lived in this new world with instanced dungeons and instanced PvP for eight years now. This world has boss mechanics that are complicated and ever-evolving and a PvP meta that literally changes from week to week as players better understand the mechanics of their classes and the strategies of the different maps. So I understand the desire to have this separation. And as power-creep sets in, this separation can be more and more important for balancing purposes.

All things unequal

However, BioWare decided that PvP and PvE needed to be one and the same when it comes to armor. Expertise was the stat that players used to want in their PvP armor because it created additional damage in PvP only. Expertise also weakened that player against PvE content. But when Command Ranks dropped, the developers did away with that separation. And given the purpose of Command Ranks, I understood that combination, even though I completely disagree with the Command Rank system, in general.

As Command Rank rightfully fell out of popularity, BioWare started a component system that allowed players to purchase armor with components earned through Command Rank or other means. When developing this system to substitute out the Command Rank system, BioWare made it more difficult for PvPers to earn new armor because they would have to go through multiple steps to get the armor because they were given components of components instead of just components like PvEers. And as time has gone on and update after update was added, it has become more and more difficult for PvPers to earn the best armor.

Many PvPers now believe that PvPing to earn your armor is pretty much worthless when 5.10 launches. That’s why they left. They don’t want to be forced to PvE in a game where they have no interest in that kind of gameplay.

Image via Dulfy.net

Turnabout is fair play

As I mentioned on my last livestream with MJ, it’s about time that PvPers have to bend to PvE. For too many years PvEers have had their classes nerfed and gameplay ruined because the PvPers are usually some of the most vocal, and dare I say, whiny voices on gaming forums and other internet communities. It’s about time that PvPers had to deal with it working the other way around.

But as much as I want to say, “It’s about time the PvPers got screwed over, too,” I understand that keeping this game around will require making both the PvPers and PvEers happy. I think we all saw the population drop off when Knights of the Eternal Throne focused on only one aspect of the game. PvEers need PvPers and PvPers need PvEers to bolster a healthy playerbase – BioWare needs both to keep the game alive. I think that’s why it’s rumored that separate armor sets are coming back with the next expansion.

In fact, I believe that the next expansion should a step further and separate the abilities, too. I don’t necessarily believe that they have to change any specific ability sets, but rather have the abilities perform differently when they hit a PC than when hitting an NPC.

Where do you sit in the PvP-vs.-PvE debate? Do you think it’s about time that PvPers drew the short straw this time? Do you think the upcoming changes are terrible? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Every other week, Larry Everett jumps into his T-16 back home, rides through the hypergates of BioWare‘s Star Wars: The Old Republic, and posts his adventures in the Hyperspace Beacon. Drop him a holocom on Twitter @Shaddoe or send him a transmission at larry@massivelyop.com. Now strap yourself in, kid — we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!
Previous articleThe Stream Team: The forgotten boss of Secret World Legends’ Scorched Desert
Next articleTorchlight Frontiers’ Dusk Mage harnesses both dark and light

No posts to display

oldest most liked
Inline Feedback
View all comments