Welcome to the war, comrades. You have been selected to receive the latest training and tactics fresh from the warfront. The tried-and-true strategies you are about to hear are extremely effective and CLASSIFIED. Let’s get to the briefing. Today we are talking about gearing up for battle.
More after the Jump…
LAST UPDATED: Patch 1.6
One of the biggest factors in your performance in any part of the game is the gear that you wear. With regards to PvP, the gear progression is very straightforward, and there is a predictable amount of grind. This will be a two-part post, with this week’s focus is on the initial gearing-up process. Next week we will complete our look at PvP gear with War Hero gear, Elite War Hero gear, Augments, Color Crystals, and more! Check out Part 2 here!
Gear currently comes in three tiers of quality, with four more additional outdated tiers that might still be sitting in your inventory from pre-Patch 1.6. The current tiers are, from worst to best, Recruit MK-2, War Hero, and Elite War Hero. The old three tiers that are inferior to the current tiers, are Centurion, Champion, and Recruit MK-1. There is also another outdated tier called Battlemaster that was very recently phased out in Patch 1.6. This tier is better than Recruit MK-2, but is less powerful than both War Hero sets.
The first thing that is obvious to most people who have PvP’d a lot (or who have spent time around veteran PvPers) is there is a correlation with the names of the gear sets to the titles you gain at milestone Valor ranks. When a player reaches Valor rank 40, 50, 60, and 70, they gain the titles Centurion, Champion, Battlemaster, and War Hero, respectively. That being said, there is no correlation whatsoever between your rank and the gear that you wear, as there is no Valor rank requirement for any of the gear sets (though there was when the game first launched). We can probably bet that the next tier of gear will be named Conqueror though, since that is rank 80 and the next logical choice.
Different Tiers, Different Currencies
The three PvP sets are purchased with a variety of different currencies.
The first set you will probably own is the Recruit MK-2 set, which will be given to you via a quest at the PvP mission terminal or purchased with credits from your class’ Recruit vendor. You can either turn in the quest and take the gear (which may come in a variety of specializations like tank vs. DPS, depending on your class).
The next tier is War Hero, and this set is purchased with Warzone Commendations.
The best tier is Elite War Hero, and this set is purchased with a combination of Ranked Warzone Commendations and pieces of War Hero gear. In other words, you must already have the respective War Hero piece to trade in for the Elite War Hero piece. That being said, for items that are shells, like Head, Chest, Gloves, Legs, Boots, and Mainhand, you can take the mods out and only trade in the shell for the new Elite War Hero piece. This factor will come into play later in next week’s article when we talk about Augments.
Let’s talk about the first two steps to gearing up for PvP.
Pre-50 PvP – The Saving Process
Save those Comms!
If you are PvPing your way to level 50, you should start saving your Warzone Commendations ahead of time so you can purchase good gear (War Hero or Elite War Hero) the second you hit level 50. You cannot purchase the gear until you reach level 50, so you want to stock up on Commendations before you get there. If you are like me, you will PvP at each level and cap your Valor at that level, i.e. if you are level 25, you cannot go higher than Valor rank 25. Thus, since the earliest you can start purchasing Ranked Warzone Commendations is Valor rank 40, you want to start trading up to Ranked Warzone Comms from regular Warzone Comms at level 40 if you can.
Ideally, you would hit both currency caps before level 50 (2750 for Warzone Comms and 4500 for Ranked Warzone Comms). This would allow you to purchase the War Hero Mainhand (1550 Warzone Comms) and trade it up to the Elite War Hero Mainhand (3475 Ranked Warzone Comms + War Hero Mainhand). It is ideal to take the mods out of the War Hero Mainhand before you turn the shell in for the Elite War Hero Mainhand, especially if you are a dual-wielder. You can put Mainhand mods into an offhand shell. By doing this, you effectively will have a Elite War Hero Mainhand and a War Hero Offhand.
After that, you want to deviate from the previously best process of holding on to your Ranked Warzone Comms. I would recommend turning all of your Ranked Comms into Regular Comms. This will allow you to purchase more War Hero gear, closing the gap between Recruit MK-2 and War Hero. The reason this is now the best idea is because there is literally no gap in Expertise from War Hero to Elite War Hero. The only difference is in the other stats, and it is a very small difference. More on that in the next article!
Newbie 50 – The Awkwardly-Painful Process
I think it was probably their crappy gear…
Congratulations! You have reached level 50! You have owned the pre-50 leaderboards in your late 40s because of all of your extra skills and talents. But now, you officially suck again, back to the bottom of the hover-barge. You are facing off against the top-geared people on your server. Here is what can you do to mitigate the pain, and there will be much pain…
The first thing you should do if you have saved enough Warzone Comms to buy anything is to spend them all on new items at your PvP vendor. If you can do the Elite War Hero Mainhand, awesome. If you can’t, just buy as many War Hero items as possible.
After that, you need to decide what you will do with your Recruit MK-2 gear. Let me emphasize the following:
EVERY ITEM YOU WEAR SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST RECRUIT-LEVEL EXPERTISE!!!
I am not kidding, and I cannot make a large enough deal about this. If you walk into a Warzone with your Columni pieces on because they have better Endurance or Skill or Critical Rating or anything EXCEPT Expertise, then you are doing it wrong!
Expertise is king. Let me give you a few examples:
If you are a zero-Expertise person going against a person with even Recruit MK-1 gear on, you will have the following disadvantages. You will hit him for 15.39% less damage, and he will hit you for 18.20% more damage. That is kinda sad.
Now let’s look at the worst-case scenario, which will come up more often than you’d like: facing full Elite War hero. He will be hitting you with no Expertise for a whopping 25.30% more damage if you have zero Expertise, and you will hit him for 20.19% less damage. In other words, you will lose. No amount of skill will make up for that.
Let’s compare to using Recruit MK-2 gear. You will have no bonuses or disadvantages at all when facing other people in Recruit MK-2 gear, which is nice. You are on even ground. Already, we see a large improvement. Next, when facing War Hero, being dressed in Recruit MK-2 gear will give you less of a disadvantage; though they will still have the upper hand, it won’t be as drastic. You will hit him for 4.81% less damage, while he will hit you for 5.05% more. There are of course some additional stat increases, but not a very big difference at all now! They still have the advantage, but you now stand a chance at winning!
I should also note here that if you have Champion or Centurion gear left over from pre-1.2, you should definitely upgrade to the Recruit MK-2 set. The Expertise difference there is significant enough that you want to make the change. Don’t make me prove it with math; I can, so flee boredom and do what I say before I get started again…
I did all calculations here with equations and data from the game client. I used Mathematica, and you can see the PDF version of the output here.
In my next article, I will finish the discussion of PvP gear with gearing up War Hero, Elite War Hero, and beyond.
Use this information well, soldier. Fight for victory and die with honor. Till our next briefing, DISMISSED!