January 25, 2012


I don't think it can be argued one way or the other by anyone except the most diehard that PvP in SWTOR is absolutely broken. There are many issues that can point out why, but I think the biggest of all, for the level 50s anyways, is the Expertise stat. This is an archaic square peg in a round hole solution to item bloat that just shows that many developers are not really actually wanting to fix the issue as much as burry it in a stat and pretend it will go away on its own.

Why do I say this? Because now that SWTOR is bracketed off, just like in WAR, the 10 to 49 PvP game is actually fun. The PvP feels balanced and challenging. However, like in WAR, the top bracket is so gear dependant because of one stat that if you aren't geared for it, it's an uphill slog just to get that way. It's just despicably and badly set up. And this isn't even getting into the discussion of how bad Ilum was set up or the fact that anyone with half a brain could see how PvP was going to turn out before the 1.1.0 patch or how open world PvP would turn out with the 1.1.0 patch. There's no way that one could actually believe that BioWare was this dense, but realistically, the only way to call this is sheer and utter incompetence.

Now I know many will undoubtedly think I am being unfair and harsh in my assessment, but I am not. This is not forgivable anymore. This is 2012, mistakes like these in an established industry of MMOs are no longer and should no longer be forgiven. In the early heyday of UO, Anarchy Online, Dark Age of Camelot and maybe even the first year of World of Warcraft, things like this could be understood and forgiven because MMOs, for the most part, were still testing the waters for many things and certain things had yet to be established, but it's been now over 15 years since MMOs have gone mainstream, and MMOs have had longer than that behind the scenes. Many people don't even have cars half that old.

Many of the developers in SWTOR have had experience on previous titles as far back as Ultima Online in fact, some were developers on WAR, and many other MMO titles out there. Little known fact for many people, the development industry is constantly shifting, developers move games and companies regularly. If they were to be likened to anything, it was a publicly traded stock. I know in my tenure over at UO I saw no less than 4 completely new UO teams before I quit and I know WoW and DAoC have undergone similar situations.

However, back on track to me these mistakes with SWTOR are just not excusable anymore. This is 2012, Ilum should not have been launched how it was, they had a solid model for open world PvP to look on with WAR, the Exerptise stat was unnecessary and should have never been added, it just added bloat onto the game all because they wanted to appease PvPers too lazy to play the game any other way, and to appease PvErs who wanted to not let their egos be interrupted b the fact that PvP gear might be able to rival what they can get in dungeons. Realistically, if we were to fix this issue, they would have statted the gear appropriately for PvP and PvE, since one set of stats isn't good for one particular game play area versus the other. After all, my level 50 shadow would prefer more crit and surge for PvP but more Power and Accuracy for PvE. This whole expertise thing was just plain unneeded and tells me the devs would rather try to fit a square peg into a round hole instead of working in a real solution to this.

It's sad to me that myself and many others pretty unanimously agree that the pre 50 game is the most fun for PvP because of no expertise stat. Outside of a few fringe cases, the game feels balanced. But once expertise is thrown into the mix, you end up with basically a cluster fuck of stupid and incompetence as the developers would undoubtedly spend more time trying to balance the crap out and the end result, much like Blizzard, PvP is only accessible to the people with the gear, while the people without it are up a creek.

And that's another issue with this whole system; The PvP loot in general. Now, intelligent people would say if you put the work in you should be rewarded for your effort. SWTOR says hell no, not only do you have to work for it, you need to rely on a RNG mechanic for your loot. I know, personally, my luck hasn't been the greatest. It took me over 30 bags before I finally got my first piece of set armor for PvP, with either a lot of air in those bags or repeat copies of those (pre 1.1) useless relics. On the other hand, others were getting near full sets within a few bags. I know some people had it worse than me, while many others have reported having their complete set within opening a few bags. This was clearly not thought out, basically.

The sad part, I did the Eternity Vault Operation and within completing that run I had my full armor set plus extra accessories in one run. That's many levels of messed up.

Now, onto Ilum, I think people have said as much as they could. I agree with most of them to. The planet needs to be shut down, period. It's job has failed. The instances on the planet can be moved out to the stations, for whatever reason, but the rest of the planet needs to be just shut down until a real solution is given or the entire PvP area just blocked off. This area just needs to be shut down, it's purpose has failed and there is no reason to even bother with it outside of those that like easy mode, and quite frankly there are people that play that way, hence all the QQ and tears over operatives.

Anyways, on that note, SWTOR's PvP is just bad at 50. PvE is ok and the game provides entertainment there and probably will for some time. PvP, on the other hand, will need some drastic work and fast to salvage it. Things that should be done, Expertise get removed, gear redone to be more PvP centric instead of just PvE gear with expertise on it and a lowering of endurance and the main stat and Ilum should be made into a PvP lake with conquerable objectives and keep like game play with siege weaponry. That would go a hell of a lot further.


  1. One further aside I just thought of why this Expertise stat is pointless. The stat boosts damage, resistance and healing. So all it's doing is overpowering healers but basically doing nothing for damage and healing as long as people are equally geared. So this stat is entirely pointless and just overpowering people that don't need to be overpowered and making level 50 unfun for everyone except the baddies who think that killing undergeared people easily is a sign of skill.

  2. There's even more wrong with expertise than is currently obvious. I made a post about it on the suggestions forum that went largely unnoticed and a post someone else made in the pvp forum restating my points is currently up to 16 pages of "l2p noob" and other such crap from people who aren't good at reading what they're replying to.