Welcome to the war, comrades. Let’s get to the briefing. We will be discussing the recent changes to PvP and future changes that just never seem like they will get here.
More after the Jump…
Today is an opinion piece, and I will do my best to prevent it from becoming “ranty.” The fact is, I am very dissatisfied with the things that have been happening with SWTOR PvP recently. I think that Corellian Run readers can tell that I still enjoy and love the game, due to the fact that I keep writing up posts about the PvP. I plan on playing this game for a long time, but I want to be honest about my opinions of changes. I am a reporter here, reviewing facets of a game. Yes, I love it, but it is time to be unbiased.
We Hereby Resolve…To Break CC
In Patch 1.4, there were a bunch of changes made simultaneously to make CC more deliberate in some ways and more idiot-proof in others. There were two areas that were affected, the availability of CC and “fixing” the Resolve mechanic.
Let me just say that I think the range decreases on CC was a good move. CC is now more of a tool to be used in 1v1 situations and in objective control, rather than randomly spiking CC across the map, just because you can. I have a Powertech and a Commando, so I fully feel the effect of not being able to use my CC at range as much, but I think it was a good change that doesn’t have a huge impact on PvE (because most bosses are CC-immune).
The changes to Inquisitors’ and Consulars’ knockback was a good one. It is a longer range, which is nice on a non-aimed ability, because there is never a good way to know if you are close enough without looking at the range on your targeting UI. The lack of AoE is good for other classes, because it was often annoying to be a collateral casualty to a 1v1 fight, getting knocked off platforms for no reason at all. Sometimes on my Sentinel, I would feel like I was never moving on my own, just getting pulled and pushed all over the place. That feeling still exists, but it is lessened.
Now for the real irritating problem of this patch: the Resolve changes. As a recap, Resolve was changed so overlapping CC effects don’t add overlapping Resolve costs. In other words, if someone is CC’d, adding a useless CC on top of them will not add any more Resolve, unlike pre-Patch 1.4.
This had two effects. On the one hand, pick-up teams no longer have to worry about accidentally double-CC’ing the ball-carrier in Huttball for example, so go ahead, CC away!
On the other hand, you now can suffer from 10 straight seconds of CC. Now, I know that no one class has 10 seconds of hard CC by themselves. But it takes less than 10 seconds to kill someone most of the time.
This has made the game unbearably frustrating in certain situations, as you can spend most of your time waiting for your Resolve meter to fill, only to reach full Resolve right before you die. I am not usually one to complain about PvP mechanics, but this is a particularly painful one. I am always in favor of playing smart instead of complaining, but there is literally no way to counter this if you have your CC-breaker on cooldown, which you generally will in the current state of the game. When the player is given no choice, they find something more fun to do.
I will give you the only tidbit of advice for this that I know at the moment. Before Patch 1.4, you should’ve waited for your Resolve to fill up all the way, then pop your CC-breaker for some free-to-run-around time. Now, the best course of action is to break the stun early and use a defensive cooldown, that way when you are sitting there getting pounded on until you get fully Resolved, you aren’t taking as much damage.
This is a sad strategy, as basically you are resigning yourself to 10 seconds of helplessness as you watch your health bar fail pitifully, but it is the only course of action that you have available to you.
Let’s review the reason why they implemented this change (source):
“it can frustrate players when pickup groups accidentally make a Marauder immune to Control because two or more teammates tried to stun him at once. The resulting unstoppable wrecking ball that the attacker transforms into made for a pretty poor experience for players trying to escape him.”
This is not at all what the community has asked for. Time and again, I hear “Man, CC in this game is awful,” “I’m always stunned,” “Please let our CC-breaker reset its cooldown upon death,” and “make roots and slows add to and respect Resolve!” I have never once heard, “please make it so we don’t get as much Resolve.” The reason they give is a ridiculous one too; a Marauder can be slowed, rooted, and kited, even while they are fully Resolved. In no way are they an “unstoppable wrecking ball.” True, many players don’t know what to do when they can’t CC an opponent, but the fact remains that a root to a Marauder or a Vanguard is as potent as a hard stun. None of their good skills can be used.
I really feel like Bioware was out of touch with their PvP community on this. Sure, there were people scoring in Huttball because we couldn’t stop them. It still happens (especially with the changes to Consulars’ and Inquisitors’ speed boost). But the game is less enjoyable to play now, and that is not what they should be going for.
Yay, A New Patch!…Oh Wait…
I remember checking out the websites and the fansites the first week of June and hearing about the new Warzone that was coming, Ancient Hypergates! Finally! Four Warzones hundreds of times gets old, so I was ecstatic about the prospect of a new system and place to play with and against my fellow gamers. Remember, we haven’t had a new Warzone since early April, so that has been over six months with nothing really new (Ranked Warzones were fine, but not used by the general community, and there is still no solo join option).
Fast forward two months from early June to early August where the new Warzone is playable at Gamescom! Finally! Two months of waiting, and if it is ready enough for people to play it at a convention, then surely we will get to see this soon!
We wait over a month again until mid September, when Patch 1.4 hits the live servers with no PvP content at all, except the arguably game-breaking Resolve changes and the token new weapons (that have yet another huge grind to them, another gripe). The big, new Operation is in though, so yay for the 20% of the playerbase that does Ops…
So obviously, the next logical thing for Bioware to do in the next patch would be for them to throw a bone to the PvPers, right? I mean, we’ve been patiently waiting (or not-so-patiently, depending on the forum-poster) for anything, anything at all, to pique our interest. And Bioware has Guild Wars 2 to compete with now too, and I know a lot of PvPers went over there.
So my heart skips a beat to see that patch notes for Patch 1.5 have hit the PTS. I eagerly ignore my lunch (*gasp*) and navigate my phone’s browser to the page, squinting to see the tiny list of additions. Nothing for PvPers. No new Warzone, none of the remaining items that go with the new weapons, nothing.
So it has been over four months since the Warzone was announced, and it has been over two months since it was available to the lucky players that were able to go to Gamescom, and still we see nothing.
I was floored. Why doesn’t Bioware want the PvPers to be happy? They are in danger of losing a player to GW2 every single time that player gets stunlocked, and they don’t give us anything in the new patch? This is madness, I tell you!
Patch 1.5 looks fun, don’t get me wrong. I love HK-51, the whole idea of him. I think the quest-line will be pretty cool, from the initial looks I have seen of it. But I can’t use companions in PvP. I think that Nightmare mode Explosive Conflict is a good thing. But the PvEers JUST got Terror from Beyond. Nightmare Mode Explosive Conflict will be done by maybe 10% of the population. So PvEers get two patches in a row, and we get zilch.
And I am just talking about a single Warzone. We also have to consider the utter lack of any World PvP in the game. Ilum has been dead since Patch 1.2 in early April when the quests were removed. In general, World PvP has been on the back burner. It is unfortunate, as this is called Star Wars, not Star Beat-Up-On-One-Boss-And-Never-Fight-The-Other-Faction.
I am a little offended that I am a second-class citizen in a game that I have loved and supported since day one.
I am sorry that this is so depressing in tone, but I think I speak for the rest of the PvP community when I beg Bioware to step up and start paying attention to a VERY large portion of your playerbase. We are bleeding as a community already thanks to the innovative and unique spin GW2 put on PvP, and Bioware needs to compete, instead of sitting on its laurels. I have faith, and that’s why I still have a subscription, but I would like to see my faith fulfilled.
What do you think of the Resolve changes and the delay of Ancient Hypergates?
Use this information well, soldier. Fight for victory and die with honor. Till our next briefing, DISMISSED!
Ok good, I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels that the Resolve changes are utter bs.
I saw the recent announcement on the f2p restrictions, and if I only just PvP’ed in this game, I would probably go f2p until they add the new wz and world pvp/fix ilum.
But as of now I am progressing through TFB HM with my PvE guild. Yeah, I’m in a PvE and a separate PvP guild. Obviously I’ve been spending more time with the PvE folks as of late since there hasn’t been any new PvP for a lot longer than I thought. Since April? Dang!
Even the new pvp weapons they released in 1.4 don’t give much motivation to grind them.
Unfortunately, I think trying to meet this 6 weeks cycle of new content is outweighing any chance of balancing both playerbases.
If you’re on Pot5 I just got my jk guardian to level 50 and wouldn’t mind introducing you to PvE while waiting for bioware to deliver new PvP content. =P
Yeah, I just saw the f2p restrictions as well, and they went as expected. Unfortunately, there is a weekly pass, instead of a one time fee to unlock each warzone individually, otherwise I would go f2p just so I never have to do Voidstar again lol.
I can understand the motivation to do the 6-week content cycle, and I think that would work just fine, if they announced how many cycles it would take before each type of patch. For example, if they told me it would be two content updates before PvP content was added, I could be patient and wait. With this “mysteriousness” crap, I am frustrated by the continual ignoring of new PvP content.
I am on Pot5 with my Scoundrel, who I have been playing recently to get more information for the Smuggler column I write on TORWars. Unfortunately, he is only level 25 at the moment, so a little bit of time from 50, considering that I don’t play him exclusively. His name is Geldarion, if I remember correctly. I have several characters on that server that were all smooshed together when they merged, and one was named Geldarion. What is your character’s name on there? I’ll hit you up the next time I am on.
My guardian’s name is Kaiyne and I also have a Vanguard at level 22 if you wanted to do some lowbie pvp. Her name is Sylle. I’m curious to see if vangards melt face as much as they say on the forums.
I have to say my gut feel is that I spend a lot of time now either stunned, mezzed, or rooted. And every time I look over at my Resolve bar, it seems like it’s less than 75% full. My CC breaker seems almost useless due to it’s cooldown. I find myself dying while stunned wondering if this particular battle is worth wasting the CC-breaker on.
I know some people have combat logged some matches to see what the changes really resulted in. I will probably never do that much, but I will tell you that my overall feeling is that I am stunned, mezzed, and rooted an awful lot in pvp.
I’m sure there are reasons for the CC to be balanced the way it is, but I can tell you that when I get the ball first in Huttball, I should be able to run a few steps, blow all my defensive cooldowns, hit my CC-breaker, and pass the ball. Right now it honestly feels like a death sentence to be the first to the ball because you literally spend the whole time in a state where you can not pass it.
Overall the pvp play just feels incredibly choppy.