Understanding SWTOR’s Resolve Mechanic


Resolve is the CC immunity mechanic in SWTOR’s PVP. It’s made visible by the while arc bar above your portrait and target portrait, and you can see it on a character as the white bar beneath their HP bar.

Here’s how it works:

  • While a target’s Resolve bar is empty or filling up, that target can be CC’d
  • Once the target’s Resolve bar is full (>= 1000), the bar begins to drain and the target can’t be CC’d until the bar is empty

To understand how Resolve builds, let’s look at this in-game mail from Ryndar (he’s the Sage who healed for 400k+ in his 30s, which is the highest output I’ve seen in Beta or live across servers sub-50):

Reosir and I tested Resolve stuff and thought I’d let you know what we found out (I can elaborate more in vent).

Resolve provides CC immunity when it reaches 1000.  The Resolve bar under the nameplates is a bar that is actually out of 800, so you’ll notice it fills but doesn’t go white right away sometimes.

Stuns give 200 Resolve per second of the stun.
Mez (breaks on damage) gives 100 Resolve per second.
Knockbacks and pulls generate 400 Resolve.

When you reach or exceed the Resolve threshold of 1000, 50% additional Resolve is generated for the CC ability. So a 4-second stun generates 800 Resolve and if it goes over 1000 you get an extra 400.  So two 4-second stuns used back to back will generate 2000 Resolve (800 + 1200).

OK, so that gets us to the point where Resolve grants CC immunity until the bar has drained fully.

The next question is, how does Resolve drain? It depends on the state of the player in question.

If they have not yet reached CC immunity, i.e. Resolve < 1000:

  • Resolve starts to drain when the CC effect ends
  • Resolve drains at a rate of 25 Resolve per second

Example 1: 4-second stun gives 800 Resolve, which will take 36 seconds to drain completly (4 seconds for the stun and when it ends an additional 32 seconds).

Example 2: 8-second mez gives 800 Resolve and is canceled immediately will take 32 seconds to drain (drain starts instantly if the mez ends instantly and it will take 32 seconds to drain).

If they have reached CC immunity, i.e. Resolve >= 1000:

  • Resolve starts to drain immediately when the player becomes immune
  • Resolve drains at a rate of 100 Resolve per second

Example: 8-second mez followed immediately by a 4-second stun gives 2000 Resolve, which will drain in 20 seconds (whether you sit through the entire stun or break out of it immediately).

It’s important to note that snares (i.e. movement debuffs) and roots are not factored into the Resolve system. That is, they do not build Resolve, and their effects still apply to targets that have CC immunity.

The Resolve mechanic is the most elegant CC immunity / DR (Diminishing Returns) mechanic I’ve seen in any game, because it provides visibility into the immunity state of your target, when they will likely go immune (e.g. next CC applied), and how long they will be immune for. You can also “game” your Resolve to know when to pop your CC breaker.

In some games CC immunity / DR is tracked by the game but not made visible to the player.

As I’ve said elsewhere, SWTOR provides the highest skill-cap in terms of PVP for any game I’ve played, and the Resolve mechanic is another example of elegant, innovative design by BioWare.

UPDATE (2011/01/10): added drain rate information, per testing by Ryndar and Reosir.

UPDATE (2012/01/26): added notes about snares and roots and for abilities that apply multiple Resolve-building effects.

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Posted in Guide, PVP, SWTOR
47 comments on “Understanding SWTOR’s Resolve Mechanic
  1. nallard says:

    Maybe this is a dumb question, but I’m a little confused about one thing. If your resolve bar is at 700/800 and you get hit with a stun, will that stun break after 1 second or will you get the full duration and then be immune to the next stun, kb, mez?

    Also (so maybe I’m confused about 2 things) if you get hit with a stun, kb, mez while your bar is draining, does it empty faster? Or are you completely immune until it finishes draining at a steady rate?

    • You’ll be stunned for the whole duration, and like Taugrim explained if you’re at 900/1000 and someone tries to stun you for 2 seconds, you’ll get 900+200+200 resolve, so 1300/1000 as I’ve understood so you’ll be immune longer.

      It drains at a steady rate, no matter how many cc’s are directed at you.

  2. Richard Ya says:

    @taugrim Can you look at the resolve bar and know if it’s rising or draining?

  3. Oozo says:

    Need to test the resolve count for pulls to make it complete. Snares shouldn’t build resolve… but roots, man roots… They are just as deadly as stuns in many cases. I really think they should build resolve, perhaps a lesser amount than stuns or knockbacks. The problem is there are knockbacks with a root component and pulls with a root component. They’d have to make sure that you don’t go immune with just one move (with exception to things like Mind Maze).

    • taugrim says:

      Oozo :

      Need to test the resolve count for pulls to make it complete. Snares shouldn’t build resolve… but roots, man roots… They are just as deadly as stuns in many cases. I really think they should build resolve, perhaps a lesser amount than stuns or knockbacks. The problem is there are knockbacks with a root component and pulls with a root component.

      I don’t have a separate root mechanic as Powertech (Vanguard), but I do know that when you talent the pull ability to have a root effect, this builds Resolve.

    • taugrim says:

      Oozo :

      Need to test the resolve count for pulls to make it complete. Snares shouldn’t build resolve… but roots, man roots… They are just as deadly as stuns in many cases. I really think they should build resolve, perhaps a lesser amount than stuns or knockbacks. The problem is there are knockbacks with a root component and pulls with a root component. They’d have to make sure that you don’t go immune with just one move (with exception to things like Mind Maze).

      Quick update in case you didn’t already know this: roots and snares are not factored into or impacted by Resolve.

      That is, you can root and snare a target regardless of their Resolve state, and they do not build Resolve.

  4. TeddyThief says:

    omg i feel so bad right now :D
    im lvl 30 valor
    and got 2 lvl 20 valor characters and still didnt know this =(

    thank you for that post! :D

  5. This is still pretty damn confusing.

  6. Cosmic Osmo says:

    Are snares and roots both completely separate from the resolve mechanic (ie. no resolve built, and always work, even during immunity)? I ask because I notice that sometimes I harpoon people (successfully) yet they don’t get the 3sec root from defensive measures.

    • Oozo says:

      I know that there are definitely roots that don’t build resolve. However, there *might* be different classifications of roots. It should be tested. Snare definitely doesn’t build resolve.

  7. Yeah that’s pretty much how it works. I’ve found out though that some skills and different abilities aren’t balanced Resolve wise… Some smaller CC skills seem to fill up the Resolve bar very quickly and some abilities like Operatives ‘Hidden Strike'(stealth opener) with the 2/2 talent which knocks down your opponent for 3 seconds fills the Resolve bar to max AND starts draining the resolve bar immediately. So does skills like sap. And I agree with @Oozo because the roots are so annoying… especially if sorcerer is specced correctly he has three different roots, two stuns and two snares… You simply can’t get close to them if they’re played correctly. IMHO root’s shouldn’t work if you’re immune from your Resolve… Snares? Sure.

    • So from the testing we did, your ‘Hidden Strike’ is pulling in 2 components to it (the knockdown and the 3 second stun). The testing we did used the Guardian’s ‘Force Push’ ability which has a knockdown and 2 second stun component. ‘Force Push’ generates 800 resolve due to those 2 components (400 for the knock-back and 400 for the 2 second stun). The game actually follows this split when calculating resolve. The test we used was ‘Hilt Strike’ (4 second stun) into ‘Force Push’. The results were a 4 second stun (which we let drain down to 1 second) that pushed me up to 800 resolve, followed by the knock-back component of ‘Force Push’ but no stun portion (I was able to run immediately) and I ended at 1400 resolve – 800 (4 sec stun) + 400 (knock-back) + 200 (bonus from the knock-back).

      The same thing happens to your ‘Hidden Strike’, 400 for the knock-back/knockdown and 600 for the 3 second stun, which pushes them to the 1000 resolve and probably gives them a 300 resolve bonus (the stun portion) leaving them at 1300. To verify that you can hover your mouse of the resolve bar on the enemy portrait and it’ll tell you the resolve that they are at.

  8. […] Understanding SWTOR’s Resolve Mechanic SWTOR PVP Video: Tips for Vanguard’s Harpoon (Powertech’s Grapple) RSS feed […]

  9. Dirk Pitt says:

    Now I dont understand this….

    On this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFJKSrBD7-A&feature=player_embedded

    You stunned the player at 3.56 and the player had a quite a full resolve meter (if I understood the right bar…) so she should be pretty immune to stun or not????

    And if I stun somebody, is my resolve going up or his/hers (sorry sounds stupid but I am not the biggest MMO expert….)

    • Oozo says:

      That player was just short of having full resolve and being immune. They are immune when the bar below the health bar is white.

    • taugrim says:

      Dirk Pitt :

      Now I dont understand this….

      On this video

      You stunned the player at 3.56 and the player had a quite a full resolve meter (if I understood the right bar…) so she should be pretty immune to stun or not????

      And if I stun somebody, is my resolve going up or his/hers (sorry sounds stupid but I am not the biggest MMO expert….)

      The target had zero Resolve before I stunned.

      The target had 80% Resolve (800) as a result of the 4-sec stun. This is just as Ryndar and Reosir had mathematically determined.

      Watch the clip again.

  10. Potent says:

    Does the 50% overcap bonus on stuns apply to the whole duration of the stun or just the seconds that are over the cap?

    Also, while this system is innovative and a bit more intricate than most systems, it doesn’t necessarily seem better. People can still be hard cc’d for 5+ seconds, which is a long time, even with higher TTK.

    • taugrim says:

      Potent :

      Does the 50% overcap bonus on stuns apply to the whole duration of the stun or just the seconds that are over the cap?

      Not sure about this.

      Ryndar / Reosir, do you know?

      Potent :

      Also, while this system is innovative and a bit more intricate than most systems, it doesn’t necessarily seem better. People can still be hard cc’d for 5+ seconds, which is a long time, even with higher TTK.

      Getting chain-CC’d in any game is a frustrating experience. At least with Resolve you can see when you’ll become immune to it, and for how long.

      • Potent says:

        Getting chain-CC’d in any game is a frustrating experience. At least with Resolve you can see when you’ll become immune to it, and for how long.

        That’s true, the knowing *when* you’ll be going immune is a good and interesting design decision.

      • Full duration/effect of the last CC that hits you gets the 50% bonus.

        The test we used was ‘Force Lift’ (8 sec mez for 800 resolve) followed by ‘Force Stun (4 second stun for 800 resolve). We tested different times for stunning after the lift and the end result was 2000 resolve.

  11. Paravian says:

    Hey Taugrim,
    I was wondering if you could do a post on gear, and specifically the gear path at level 50. I know you’re busy levelling, frapsing, streaming and getting your guide together and I appreciate all it takes, but the one thing that is confusing me is the level 50 PvP gear. Up until level 50 it seems pretty straight forward, you get a set at 20 and a set at 40, wit3 4 sets available, crit heavy, power heavy, healing heavy, and a tanky version at 40 that has defence/absorb stats. You buy these with Warzone commendations. It’s the level 50 stuff that’s confusing. When do you start and how do you accrue Centurion commendations? then so on and so forth. Just looking at vendors, I didn’t see anything specific and couldn’t find anything in the codex.

    Cheers,
    Valkyriez

  12. Nyxx says:

    Hi taugrim,

    I thought you where playing Empire you rerolled Republic after all ?

    and something that has nothing to do with swtor but :
    What happened to cas ?

    • taugrim says:

      Nyxx :

      I thought you where playing Empire you rerolled Republic after all ?

      and something that has nothing to do with swtor but :
      What happened to cas ?

      Yes, re-rolled to Republic for the underpopulated side and fast warzone pops and better warzone mix.

      Cas(torcato) left RIFT very early on to go back to WoW and he isn’t playing SWTOR AFAIK.

  13. Steve says:

    Seems a bit broken or I don’t understand it right. I’ve seen people with full resolve bar yet still get rooted.

    Fing annoying in huttball when you just get constantly rooted one after the other.

    • Snares (slows) and Roots don’t seem to effect Resolve from the testing I’ve done.

    • Skroting says:

      i tried this, and i had no problem rooting while the target was imune, so it doesnt seem to be affected by resolve.

      Still havent understood the “shoot first”/”Hidden strike” resolve though, where does the extra 300 resolve come from? 3 sec stun 600 + knockback 400 = 1000, why does it end up at 1300? :O

      • taugrim says:

        Skroting :

        i tried this, and i had no problem rooting while the target was imune, so it doesnt seem to be affected by resolve.

        Correct, I’ve verified that as well.

        Skroting :

        Still havent understood the “shoot first”/”Hidden strike” resolve though, where does the extra 300 resolve come from? 3 sec stun 600 + knockback 400 = 1000, why does it end up at 1300? :O

        Check out Ryndar’s post on the calculation:
        https://taugrim.com/2012/01/04/understanding-swtors-resolve-mechanic/comment-page-1/#comment-6753

        Basically the knockback gives 400, then the stun gives 600 plus another 300 for reaching 1k resolve. So 1300.

      • The extra 300 comes from the bonus for breaking the CC cap. The 400 from the knockback happens first then the 600 from the stun caps it out which puts in an extra 300 on the top.

        If you want to test this get a Jedi Consular or Sith Inquisitor to duel with you. Have them cast their Force Lift/Whirlwind for the 8 second mez and follow it with Force Stun/Electrocute for the 4 second stun. You’ll notice your resolve number jumps to 800 for the mez and then to 2000 after the stun lands. This is because you get 800 + 800 + 400. That 400 bonus is given due to capping Resolve.

        The reason for this (I suspect) is to compensate for the drain rate when the resolve bar caps. It drains instantly at a rate of 100 per second when you get resolve capped. That bonus compensates for the stun (ie 400 extra for a 4 second stun that breaks the cap).

  14. One thing that I have noticed about the Resolve mechanic, while watching Taug’s streams, is that if a CC’d player has full Resolve (white color) it doesn’t actually start to drain (at least visually) until the stun/mez has been broken.

    This might actually be due to the fact that the ReBar (resolve bar) above a character’s head is only out of 800, as stated in the main post, and if a player has well over 1000 resolve than we’re not likely to see any drain until that players resolve falls below 800.

    Yay! I understand a mechanic to a game that I do not yet have! *happy-sad face*

    • The bar under the nameplate is only out of 800. So if the player gets hit by 2 4 second stuns back to back they will generate 2000 resolve. So you’ll end up having 12 seconds where the bar under the nameplate wont drain.

      The bar above the portrait is out of 1000. Same situation as above, it’ll be 10 seconds of no draining after a stun.

  15. Nathaniel says:

    It’s still by far not the most elegant or the best cc system ever. Roots and knockbacks (yes still not) not calculated into resolve it’s just one of the ridiculous stupid part of this,Getting knockbacked, and rooted at the same time, and few sec later again as a melee, well you can call this a good system but the truth is it’s actually a bad design, also chain cc-ed stuned with the current low TTK at the moment is makes me not pvp ing anymore. .

    • taugrim says:

      Nathaniel :

      It’s still by far not the most elegant or the best cc system ever. Roots and knockbacks (yes still not) not calculated into resolve

      Knockbacks (and pulls) build 400 Resolve.

      This is very easy to vierify. Duel someone.

  16. Sun says:

    Thanks for this!

  17. Darkremedy says:

    Yeah, this system does not work, sorry. I am a healer and I am constantly getting stunlocked with people just ignoring the resolve system. You have to get stunned anywhere from 2-3 times before the system even takes effect at which point I have already used my 2 min CD breakout skill and I am gonna be screwed for the next 2 minutes until I get that break out again.As I can be stunned for a good 10 seconds and STILL not have a full resolve bar I would like to say that this system is broken and NOT working as intended.

    • taugrim says:

      Darkremedy :

      Yeah, this system does not work, sorry. I am a healer and I am constantly getting stunlocked with people just ignoring the resolve system. You have to get stunned anywhere from 2-3 times before the system even takes effect at which point I have already used my 2 min CD breakout skill and I am gonna be screwed for the next 2 minutes until I get that break out again.As I can be stunned for a good 10 seconds and STILL not have a full resolve bar I would like to say that this system is broken and NOT working as intended.

      The Resolve system works.

      If you can record a single example of what you describe above, please post it.

    • Doubleunder says:

      My self and many guildmates agree it doesnt work. And the Dev’s wont confirm (from what I can find) how exactly it is supposed to work. I get CC’d with a full resolve bar often.

  18. […] PvP Fragen Zu resolve findest du hier einen gut erklaerten Guide (englisch). Grundsaetzlich ist es wichtig bei einem Balltraeger z.b. […]

  19. Doubleunder says:

    I am still confused about the “white bar”. I thought when my white bar was full, I could not be CC’d, yet I still get CC’d with a full resolve bar.

  20. Vauden says:

    Doubleunder :

    I am still confused about the “white bar”. I thought when my white bar was full, I could not be CC’d, yet I still get CC’d with a full resolve bar.

    The CC immunity is only effective while it’s draining. At least that’s what I’ve observed so far.

  21. Icolino says:

    To be honest, I still don’t get how Harpoon (vanguard) fits into the resolve system. As I understood the article above roots aren’t supposed to build resolve, although somebody mentioned they do indeed in the comments. So my harpoon should work correctly on every player, independent of his current resolve bar, but it doesn’t. Ok, seems like resolve is build by harpoon somehow, most logical thing would be the root effect (through talents). So I would think if an opponent I try to pull with harpoon and whose resolve bar is full would be pulled to my location but not be rooted. Again, this is not the case; everytime I try to pull a player with a full/white resolve bar, exactly nothing happens, except I can watch the harpoon animation beeing triggered and my opponent standing where he was before with my harpoon’s rope attached to his body for a short time. Am I simply not getting this or does harpoon not work as intended?
    As I wrote before, I would expect harpoon to work without limitations (AFAIK the force leaps/ storm and so on do also work regardless of the resolve system), only the root effect should be influenced by resolve.
    Can anyone tell me if I’m wrong or if harpoon is indeed not working as intended concerning the resolve mechanic?
    And not to forget: thanks for this article,Taugrim! :)

    • taugrim says:

      Icolino :

      To be honest, I still don’t get how Harpoon (vanguard) fits into the resolve system. As I understood the article above roots aren’t supposed to build resolve, although somebody mentioned they do indeed in the comments. So my harpoon should work correctly on every player, independent of his current resolve bar, but it doesn’t.

      You can’t pull a player who is white-barred or has a draining white bar, because they are Resolve CC-immune.

      Icolino :

      Ok, seems like resolve is build by harpoon somehow, most logical thing would be the root effect (through talents). So I would think if an opponent I try to pull with harpoon and whose resolve bar is full would be pulled to my location but not be rooted. Again, this is not the case; everytime I try to pull a player with a full/white resolve bar, exactly nothing happens, except I can watch the harpoon animation beeing triggered and my opponent standing where he was before with my harpoon’s rope attached to his body for a short time. Am I simply not getting this or does harpoon not work as intended?

      Actually, it works the opposite of how you are expecting it to, and what you are seeing is how it works.

      If you try to pull an opponent with an ability that has a root, but your opponent is white-barred (full or draining):
      1. your opponent is not pulled, but
      2. your opponent is rooted

      This is because roots and snares are not factored into the CC immunity system of Resolve.

      • icolino says:

        Thanks for your quick reply, I was really confused about harpoon (and kind of angry because I obviously misinterpreted the way it works and always thought something was wrong with my harpoon ^^)
        I just would have guessed that the pull works like, e.g., storm, so the “movement” itself is unaffected by resolve. Now I know better – PvP will be less frustrating I guess, not believing it is buggy any more. ^^
        Thanks again! :)

  22. BrianCharman says:

    Am I the only person which is confused by SWTOR’s Resolve mechanic? I understand the idea but in practice it just confuses me!

  23. […] Your total resolve (or CC immunity) can be thought of as a scale from 0-1000.  When you’re empty (or zero), you can be CC’d, as it fills up, you can be CC’d.  Once you reach 1000, you are immune to CC.  Certain types of CC add resolve based on type, duration, and breaks on damage. Note that the overhead bar is based on 800 not 1000, thus you need a clear full white bar in order to be granted CC immunity.  The below scale was tested and generated from an article on Tugrim.com titled Understanding SWTOR Resolve Mechanic. […]

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