Dec 052012
 

By Geldarion

Briefing

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 will continue the discussion on Update 1.6.

More after the Jump…

Last week in Part 1, I went over the rules of the new Warzone, Ancient Hypergates. I also presented my thoughts and a video for your enjoyment. Today, I want to talk about the new developer post on Ancient Hypergates, the new Elite War Hero gear coming in 1.6, the changes to Battlemaster gear (i.e. the removal of Battlemaster gear), and my predictions of culture change post-1.6.

Developer Update: Ancient Hypergates

There was a developer update on Ancient Hypergates last week by Rob Hinkle, the Senior PvP Designer. This update is cool because it gives us a little backstory on the Warzone, which is tied into the Gree story line that Terror From Beyond introduced in Update 1.4. Rob then goes into the mechanics of the Warzone and sums it up quite succinctly. Be sure to check it out, as it is a good read.

Elite War Hero Gear

Patch 1.6 is going to introduce a new tier of PvP gear, known as Elite War Hero gear. This gear will be purchasable for the same price as the War Hero gear is on the live servers now, and War Hero prices are dropping to those of the Battlemaster prices on the live servers now. Battlemaster vendors are being removed from the game (more on that in a bit).

I think the name “Elite War Hero” is an indication of the purpose of this change. Up till now, all of the names have been related to the titles you get when you reach certain Valor ranks. We have already had Centurion, Champion, Battlemaster, and War Hero, which correspond to 40, 50, 60, and 70 respectively. I think that Bioware would not break this trend going forward, i.e. we will get a Conqueror’s set eventually. In the mean time, we have Elite War Hero, which is merely a a reskin of the War Hero gear with a very small improvement to the stats, so I think that its purpose is not to create a full new tier. I think its purpose is to create a smaller gap between the easy-to-acquire gear (WH) and the top-tier gear (EWH).

According to my brand spankin’ new calculations, there is about a 10.3% difference between Recruit MK-2 gear and the new Elite War Hero gear (only looking at expertise, which means a more likely 15-20% difference when other stats are counted in). If you look at the current state of affairs, Recruit MK-2 is only 8.22% different from War Hero, so there will be a 2% increase in the gear gap from the bottom rung to the top rung of the ladder when Patch 1.6 hits live servers (with the small increase in other stats from War Hero to Elite War Hero, it will probably be more of a 4% increase in the gear gap).

Now look at the current usual competitive matchup, which is Battlemaster compared to War Hero. We have a ~3% difference in expertise alone, which comes out to about 7-8% when you look at all of the stats.

When you change the usual situation from Battlemaster vs. War Hero to the new War Hero vs. Elite War Hero, it is quite clear where this gear gap will improve. You see, WH and EWH gear is not that different when it comes to non-expertise stats. I estimate there is probably only a 2-3% difference in the stats from the War Hero to the Elite War Hero gear. Combine that with the expertise gap of ~2%, and you are looking at a typical gear gap of about 4-5%.

Removal of Battlemaster Gear

This is a controversial change. Essentially, Battlemaster gear is getting removed from PvP progression. Gear you own won’t be taken from you, but the vendors are no longer available. This means two things:

  1. Don’t spend all of your PvP commendations right now. Save them up because WH gear will be much cheaper and you don’t want to get stuck with an antiquated set of gear.
  2. The Schematic boxes for Battlemaster gear are getting removed along with the vendors, so if you like a look, buy them now!

Since the vendors are getting removed and the Schematics are no longer going to be purchasable, you want to collect them all if you can. The boxes are bind on pickup, but the schematics that you get when you open the boxes are not. You only need to buy the boxes for one faction, since the actual crafted armor pieces change if you mail it or sell it to the other faction. In other words, what looks like the Battlemaster Agent headgear for an Imperial turns into the Battlemaster Smuggler headgear for a Republic character.

Culture Change Predictions

The great thing about Corellian Run Radio is we are not just one person giving our opinions on things. We have a whole staff of writers, each with our own perspective and thoughts on news in Star Wars: The Old Republic. The reason I say this is there was an article on our site a while back called PVP Changes that affect PVE and Vice-Versa written by Joe Foran. He commented how on how the Battlemaster weapons were an expedient way to obtain black-cored PvE crystals. This thought had not actually occurred to me, since I don’t really PvE, but it sparked my brain thinking about PvEers in Warzones, which in turn made me start thinking about the PvP community. I finally came to the question, “What will 1.6 do to the PvP community?”

I think that it will have three effects. The first effect will be that of renewed interest. People who have War Hero will start the grind for Elite War Hero. People will want to play more Warzones to get into Ancient Hypergates more often. Basically, queue times will probably be shorter than they are now.

The second effect will be a greater drive to do Ranked Warzones. With such a small gear gap, and a renewed interest in getting those Ranked Comms, Ranked Warzones might actually make a comeback.

The third effect will be kind of related to the article Joe wrote. I think PvE’ers will do fewer Warzones. Up to this point there have been two reasons to do PvP as a PvE’er. The first reason is the PvE crystals that Joe mentioned. The second reason is the set bonuses on Battlemaster armor are attached to the armor shell, not the armoring, which means you can put a really good quality PvE armoring into the shell and get the PvP set bonus, if that is better for your class. That trick will no longer be an option with the removal of Battlemaster gear, but at least any gear you currently have will still work that way.

Overall, I think the quality of Warzones will improve, since there will be a larger proportion of PvPers than PvEers than before 1.6, there will be a smaller gear gap, and there will be renewed interest. Good things for us!

 

So what do you think of the changes coming to the game in 1.6? Any thoughts?

Use this information well, soldier. Fight for victory and die with honor. Till our next briefing, DISMISSED!

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