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SWTOR incoming PvP changes

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Posted by: Andrew Clouther

While Star Wars: The Old Republic has only been out for a few weeks now, player vs. player violence has been rampant.  An official BioWare post boasts over a million Warzone matches played.  Nearly half of all of SWTOR players have participated in at least one Warzone.  The Empire has won more than half of all matches on all servers at 53%.

Those are some fun stats.  As for changes, level 50 characters are getting their own PvP bracket.  So while PvP matches try to balance characters to make it fair, level 50’s still have access to PvP gear and have ALL their abilities.  That gives the 50’s that extra edge.  I’m glad BioWare has addressed this and are fixing it.  This change is scheduled to occur later this month.

Ilum is also receiving some tweaks.  BioWare wants Ilum to be a strong source for Valor.  They want to add respawn points for contested areas, harder objectives, restriction of companions, and add better rewards.  As part of the increased Valor, they want to add a buff that gives more Valor per individual kill.  The dailys on Ilum will soon require kills and not just completion of objectives.  Killing players will have diminishing returns on Valor granted.

Other general changes for SWTOR PvP include “Ranked Warzone Matches, PvP Stat Tracking, Open World PvP Loot Drops, more Warzone medals for different objectives, Guard Optimizations and Target Optimizations.” What does all that jargon mean exactly, not entirely sure but some of it is obvious.  The goal is add even more competitive gameplay.

Happy hunting.  The official post is below:

Fellow PvPers, thank you for taking on the challenge of player vs player combat in The Old Republic!

In the first week after launch there were over a million Warzone matches played, with nearly half of all players participating in Warzones. Bad news for Republic players, though - the Empire currently leads overall, having won 53% of all Alderaan Civil War and Voidstar matches (across all servers). Huttball has been played the most, accounting for 39% of all matches – and yes, we’ll be adding a new same faction vs. same faction enabled Warzone in the future.

We are all really excited at the tremendous volume of participation we’ve seen in PvP thus far. Your interest and demand dictates what we’ll be delivering in the near future. I wanted to give you some insight into where we are with PvP development and where we are going.

First and foremost here is what we are addressing as a top priority:

Level 50 Bracket Warzones: Level 50 players will have a bracket of their own, playing in separate Warzone matches to lower level players. This is something we have wanted to do for some time and now that there is an increasing number of level 50 players we will be implementing the feature in January.

Open World PvP on Ilum: The planet of Ilum currently allows for open world PvP even on a PvE server, but the mechanics and incentives of the planet are not in as intended yet. We’re working on longer term goals for the planet and for other PvP areas, but expect to see some interim adjustments in January - such as more respawn points to focus conflicts, restricting Companion Characters from the area, and revisions to rewards. Ilum will also become a major source of Valor. Valor buffs will increase and decrease based on the objectives your faction owns. These buffs increase the amount of Valor you receive per player kill. However they do not give anything in and of themselves, so players will still need to defeat other players for significant Valor rewards. Additionally, daily and weekly missions will require player kills to complete. Player kills for quests and Valor credit will have diminishing returns per player killed. So, the more players that are fighting other players, the better it is for everyone.

Combat Gameplay: You’ll see several optimizations come online in January, and we are going to continue to tune this as time goes on.

We also have other exciting features coming in the near future including Ranked Warzone Matches, PvP Stat Tracking, Open World PvP Loot Drops, more Warzone medals for different objectives, Guard Optimizations and Target Optimizations.

Additionally we’re looking at ways to enable team vs. team, more level brackets and the ability to choose which Warzone you want to play in.

This is not a complete list of everything we’re working on that’s PvP related, but we have to keep some surprises for later! Thanks again for all your feedback and please keep it coming. We read as much as we can then cross reference with metrics to take action on features and tuning the game to ensure an enjoyable and competitive PvP community.

Gabe Amatangelo
Principal Lead PvP, Operations & Flashpoints Designer

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