SWTOR patch 1.1 Ilum PvP changes – first impressions

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Oh boy.  So I updated the Star Wars: The Old Republic patch 1.1 on my laptop and brought it to the office to test out the PvP changes on Ilum.  After a half hour of gameplay I feel like I got a proper taste of just what Ilum is going to be like now.  Luckily for you, I like to share.

In my personal / professional opinion, BioWare made the already bad system worse.  The overarching problem here is the massive server imbalance across multiple servers.  I believe the ratio on my server is 4:1 Empire to Republic.  While I understand this is not the case on EVERY server, it is a pretty common occurrence.

Why does server imbalance matter?  The changes on Ilum make PvP a near must.  PvP in a PvP specified area WHAT!?  Before you accuse me of being a carebear listen up to the faults in this system.  Let’s say there are 30 Imperials and 5 Rebels on Ilum trying to do their daily / weekly quests.  The server now sends a cross faction message to every player in the zone telling you when a player enters one of the 5 PvP objective areas. 

So what?  I’ll continue.  You are one of the scarce Republic players leaving your base on Ilum.  Suddenly 30 Imperial players all read that you are near the Republic base and they are filled with bloodlust.  Less than a minute later you have dark side infused savages tearing you apart fighting for that kill.  You respawn, try to hit a different area.  Same result.  You get frustrated and use your emergency fleet pass.  Now you didn’t complete your daily / weekly and the Imperials have 28 more kills to go.  While this quest can be completed, it takes a loooooong time.  Worth it?

So while this system is bad for the Imperials in this scenario, it’s impossible for the Republic.  Time for the arguments.  Why don’t you just get 11 of your friends / guidies, make an Ops group, and just stomp them in an organized way?  A great answer if you can pull it off.  Ideally this is what will happen; ops groups vs. ops groups, PvPing, getting their quests done.  While this would be ideal, I’m forced to think back to the whole issue of server imbalance.  Instead of it being 5:30; now it’s 15:90 or 30:180 and so on and so on.  This is grossly exaggerated, but you get the point.

I’m fully for the idea of needing, to you know, PvP – to complete the PvP quests.  I wouldn’t have it another way.  I’m also a fan of balance though.  World of Warcraft used tenacity to balance the world PvP specific zone Wintergrasp.  This buff boosted your stats if you were outnumbered.  Is this the answer to SWTOR’s problem?  Not necessarily.  If this condition continues through the outnumbered faction will eventually quit trying thus making it impossible for the larger faction as well.

In my opinion, this change was not the solution.  Ilum PvP before 1.1 was a joke.  It was truly free gear.  There was no PvP.  Each faction just would trade shots and complete their daily / weekly in a matter of minutes with no blood shed.  That’s not a PvP quest.  What was amusing about this system, is that when you didn’t want to play by the carebear rules people would bash you.  Some hilarious / vulgar things were said for my guild for wanting to PvP on Ilum.  How dare we PvP in a PvP specific area?  This system HAD to be changed.

After stalking through the SWTOR PvP forums, I have come to the conclusion that people are equally enraged about the mere fact that the system changed and they can no longer get easy Champion Bags.  No matter how Ilum changed, they are upset that it’s not simple and mindless anymore.  That’s to be expected.  I still subscribe to the newsletter that promotes PvPing in PvP quests.

So these are my first impressions of 1.1 Ilum PvP.  I want to be wrong and see everything work out and Ilum just become a complete bloodbath with moderate time spent to complete the daily every day.  However, as of now, I see the truly dedicated spending hours just to complete the daily and eventually people dropping off from even attempting it out of frustration or from it being too much of a time sink.  While I strongly believe the system had to be changed, this is not the answer.                  

Ac
Andrew Clouther Human, historian, teacher, writer, reviewer, gamer, League of Pralay, Persona fanboy, and GameZone paragon - no super powers as of yet. Message me on the Twitters: @AndrewC_GZ
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