SWTOR PVP in 1.2: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


The much-anticipated behemoth Patch 1.2 is finally here!

The Good

  1. The UI customization is excellent
  2. Game performance seems significantly improved
  3. The addition of Recruit PVP gear provides a viable option for fresh 50s to get decently geared quickly

Since SWTOR launched back in December, the UI has been the main source of criticism across the playerbase. The new Interface Editor provides a high degree of customization, is usable and intuitive, and allows for sharing of the UI settings across characters. My only nitpick is that it lacks “snap-to” functionality for aligning interface elements. But overall, big thumbs up.

Tip: make sure to turn on your Target of Target frame in the Interface Editor. You can do this by clicking on the Target of Target frame and checking the Enabled box.

The other sticking point for many players pre-1.2 has been the poor or inconsistent game performance. Players suffered from low / inconsistent FPS, lag in populated areas, and issues related to animations and their timing. In 1.2, the game performance is significantly better – the game plays faster.

I’m glad the Recruit PVP gear was added to the game, as fresh 50s were cannon fodder pre-1.2. Of course, not all fresh 50s will have or be willing to fork out the ~320k credits to buy the whole set. But the option is there at least for those who can afford it and want to help their team.

The Bad

  1. Ranked Warzones were delayed
  2. The PVP commendation rewards are out-of-whack with the cost of PVP consumables
  3. 9 of the 14 War Hero gear slots require the corresponding Battlemaster piece

PVP fans have been eagerly waiting for Ranked Warzones (RWZs), so it was disappointing to hear just 2 days before the Patch went live that RWZs were being delayed. That being said, as I wrote earlier, the planned temporary “flexible” and “mixed” matchmaking systems were unattractive, as they respectively paired solo-queued players against premades and RWZ-queued players against non-RWZ-queued players. In addition, these matchmaking systems did not address the real underlying issue: some servers have low populations and there is no cross-server queueing functionality. I am relieved that BioWare pulled the plug on RWZs instead of going live with those matchmaking systems and risk having them flop out of the gate – especially after the failure with World PVP in Ilum.

The PVP commendations rewarded from warzones no longer cover the cost of actively using warzone medpacs and warzone adrenals because of 3 synergistic factors:

  • The amount of warzone commendations earned from matches (particularly losses) has been reduced, and
  • The cost of the warzone medpacs and adrenals has doubled (10->20), and
  • The cooldown for these consumables has been cut in half (180->90 seconds)

Some of my guildees are getting around this by relying on their re-usable Biochem medpac, which is great if you went Biochem. While some folks stockpiled PVP consumables pre-1.2, many players will experience a commendations deficit per warzone if they use 4+ consumables per match.

Most of the War Hero gear pieces require the corresponding Battlemaster piece to trade-in. This is fine for players who only play 1 spec, play classes where there aren’t multiple viable sets to choose from, or already have all the Battlemaster pieces from various sets that they might use. And keep in mind that Battlemaster pieces are competing for the same commendations that are used to purchase the overpriced PVP consumables.

The Ugly

  1. The quality of the PVP experience experience has suffered due to much lower Time-to-Kill (TTK)
  2. Class balance is heading in the wrong direction

I hadn’t played on the 1.2 PTS due to the lack of character copy (there’s no way I’m going to re-level a character on a test server, that’s rubbish), but my guess was that TTK in 1.2 was going to be roughly the same or higher (due to the number of nerfs to burst damage and talents across classes, and Expertise scaling). For whatever reason (lower Endurance on gear, gap between damage and mitigation provided by Expertise, etc), the opposite is the case. TTK is down dramatically, and this has taken away SWTOR’s best attribute in PVP: drawn-out fights that allow for tactical gameplay. Fully-geared Battlemaster players melt under any kind of focus fire. PVP is now a gibfest.

Since November and up through 1.1.5, I have stated that SWTOR had the best class balance of the major MMORPGs. Of course, the balance was not perfect, but I thought BioWare was taking the wise approach from 1.0->1.1.5 of incrementally making class changes to improve balance. However, in 1.2 BioWare decided to make multiple, significant changes to 7 of the 8 Advanced Classes. In my gaming experience, so many class changes at once has rarely produced a positive overall outcome (with the exception of WoW’s Cataclysm expansion, which streamlined talent trees and added new class mechanics).

In 1.1.5, here is what I thought was overpowered in PVP and needed to be looked at in future patches:

  • 31-pt Shadow / Assassin tanks had it all: high survivability (Resilience, Deflection, plus self-healing), high mobility, very good damage, good debuffs, and Guard
  • Sentinels / Marauders had too much on-demand survivability and the best group buffs in the game
  • The friendly pull and sprint for Sages / Sorcs gave them a significant tactical advantage in group PVP, especially compared to the other 2 healing ACs
  • Assault Spec Vanguards / Pyrotech Powertechs had too much burst capability due to Ionic Accelerator / Particle Prototype Accelerator proc’ing multiple times in a short window
  • Scrapper Scoundrels / Concealment Operatives could easily gib people in smaller-scale fights (although they faced the same issue that other Rogue classes have faced in longer-scale combat)
  • Commando / Bounty Hunter healers were too mana efficient

Of the above issues, the latter 3 were changed in 1.2 but the first 3 were not. Sentinel / Marauder was buffed and Shadow / Assassin tanks were untouched. Simply put, the class balance in 1.2 is the worst I’ve seen since the game was launched, and I no longer believe SWTOR’s class balance is positively differentiated from other games on the market.

Closing Thoughts

I’m getting a sense of déjà vu: the sweeping changes in SWTOR 1.2 remind me of the sweeping changes in RIFT 1.5 and 1.6, in terms of having a negative impact on the quality of PVP. Yes, I know 1.2 went live yesterday, but I’ve been fairly accurate in projecting the impacts of live changes in the past.

I greatly enjoyed PVP in SWTOR from Beta through 1.1.5, even with the bugs and issues, because those are par-for-the-course with any new game. I am, simply put, bummed and disappointed with the PVP in 1.2. Things that were “broken” in terms of class balance were not addressed, and many things that were fine are now “broken” – and I mean in terms of how they work not bugs. I’m also concerned with the shift from careful, pinpoint class tweaking to across-the-board class changes. Is this going to happen again post-1.2, like it did with RIFT in 1.6?

P.S.:

  • If you play a Vanguard / Powertech, give me some time to sort out the changes
  • I haven’t had a chance to try my Gunslinger in PVP yet
  • I’m not planning on re-rolling as Shadow or leveling my 20 Sentinel, although both are fun classes and are very strong
  • Yes, I know Guild Wars 2 is coming, and yes, I pre-ordered it on April 10th as you probably did too. And yes, I know TERA early access on live is happening later this month. It doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been a huge SWTOR fan and want the game to flourish. The more games that are successful, the better it is for gamers and for the industry

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Posted in Commando / Mercenary, PVP, Sage / Sorcerer, Scoundrel / Operative, Sentinel / Marauder, Shadow / Assassin, SWTOR, Vanguard / Powertech
172 comments on “SWTOR PVP in 1.2: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
  1. Bobloblaw says:

    I’m not sure what it is, that’s lowering TTK so much, because I haven’t seen it. It seems pretty much in line with 1.1.5 in the WZs I’ve done so far, but one of my guildies ragequit because he was experiencing the same thing as you. He said it’s because his healing output was down ~40% (as a Scoundrel healer) from 1.1.5, but it simply didn’t match my experience at all.

    Now with you saying this as well it really has me wondering whose experience is more typical.

    • taugrim says:

      Bobloblaw :

      I’m not sure what it is, that’s lowering TTK so much, because I haven’t seen it. It seems pretty much in line with 1.1.5 in the WZs I’ve done so far, but one of my guildies ragequit because he was experiencing the same thing as you. He said it’s because his healing output was down ~40% (as a Scoundrel healer) from 1.1.5, but it simply didn’t match my experience at all.

      Now with you saying this as well it really has me wondering whose experience is more typical.

      Well, the healing % provided from Expertise was nerfed relative to the damage %.

      Maybe that’s what he was referring to.

      It did looks like Scoundrel / Op healers were doing much better yesterday. They deserved to get buffed. I’m just concerned that the other healing ACs took an arrow to the knee.

      • Bobloblaw says:

        I agree, I love love LOVE the scoundrel healing changes. I barely have to stop moving now. I haven’t played enough to really know how bad the Merc/Commando resource management is now, or if the increased cast time is wrecking sages as much as predicted.

        • Burek says:

          I think the issue Sages/Sorcs are having is that the lower TTK means more kiting, resulting in less “healing uptime” on targets – and a 2.5 second cast is just not feasible in a PvP scenario. Honestly, when I see a Sage under fire start casting their long heal, I know they are mere moments from being killed.

          • taugrim says:

            Burek :

            I think the issue Sages/Sorcs are having is that the lower TTK means more kiting, resulting in less “healing uptime” on targets – and a 2.5 second cast is just not feasible in a PvP scenario. Honestly, when I see a Sage under fire start casting their long heal, I know they are mere moments from being killed.

            Yep, the 2.5 second cast for the greater heal is brutally long in PVP: the healer may get interrupted, CC’d, or the target may move out of range / LoS or get killed.

      • Leiralei says:

        On my Commando people are dying before I get off my 1.3s heal, sometimes even before I cast the instant (click to select, hit the button and “target is dead” already). It’s that quick.

        On my server, the losing side just sits down now and waits for it to be over. The games are predetermined by which team has geared mara/sent or smug/agents.

        They’ve completely gone in the wrong direction with all of this, almost like trying to push people to GW2. Pity I can’t. Even more of a pity I can’t make my own game with you overseeing the class balance design.

        • This. I’m not a ragequitter, but I was really struggling with an overwhelming sense of discouragement after playing my commando healer in warzones for a couple hours, and went to play my gunslinger. My ammo management was horrible. I could keep one person alive as long as I stayed focused on him (and he’s a geared JG); the moment I tried dispelling someone else it seemed like he took way more damage than I could recover. I was routinely spending time locked out of my MP by 4-5 marauders in each zone and 18 seconds in between Bacta Infusions means I was desperately noodling… and with the nerfs to healing in ‘zones, I might as well have been shooting my mates instead. Not sure what I’m going to do with my toon at this point.

          • taugrim says:

            Keesa Bloodfin :

            This. I’m not a ragequitter, but I was really struggling with an overwhelming sense of discouragement after playing my commando healer in warzones for a couple hours

            You aren’t the only one.

            One of our 50 healing Commandos was really frustrated last night, for the same reasons you stated. He can’t keep up with the pace needed for healing.

            Really, offhealing the healers has become much more critical than it was pre-patch, and if you don’t have people to offheal you, Guard, and peel, it can be brutal.

        • taugrim says:

          Leiralei :

          On my server, the losing side just sits down now and waits for it to be over. The games are predetermined by which team has geared mara/sent or smug/agents.

          Yep, the incentives for the losing side have been reduced too much.

          There is little point in fighting the whole match when the commendations reward is very low for the losing side. It’s like the says in WoW where it was faster to give up in a BG for grinding Honor than actually trying to turn the tide of the match.

          I think that the gap between the winning and lose side, in terms of reward, shouldn’t be too big, or you end up creating a vicious cycle: stronger side wins consistently, gets rewarded more, and gets better gear / more consumables.

          Leiralei :

          They’ve completely gone in the wrong direction with all of this, almost like trying to push people to GW2. Pity I can’t. Even more of a pity I can’t make my own game with you overseeing the class balance design.

          The timing is unfortunate. A lot of people are / were hoping 1.2 would be a silver bullet to keep people around.

          One of our best players and a great guy (Tamgros) desubbed due to the delay of RWZs. And I don’t think he’s even seen how gibfesty the PVP is now.

          I would love to design a game. I know that there’s the generalization that balancing PVE and PVP across classes is impossible, but I think SWTOR was doing *extremely* well for a new game by 1.1.5, just a quarter after launch.

        • zioni says:

          Agreed. Our Sage and Commando healers were screaming bloody murder on Friday/Saturday. By day 3 Sunday they’d begun to make adjustments and were doing just fine. As far as squishiness goes, I play tank specs on both my shadow and my trooper. Expertise level is much more important on the squishy factor of my toons. Its quite noticeable as I add more battlemaster pieces that my surviveability and damage increase.

  2. Daximus says:

    Nice review of the changes. I would like to add to your Ugly list…the 14+ hours of downtime on a Friday certainly does not help those that were considering unsubbing…especially with GW2 prepurchase going on. I’m really looking forward to GW2 now, but I hope SWTOR gets it together.

    • taugrim says:

      Daximus :

      Nice review of the changes. I would like to add to your Ugly list…the 14+ hours of downtime on a Friday certainly does not help those that were considering unsubbing…especially with GW2 prepurchase going on. I’m really looking forward to GW2 now, but I hope SWTOR gets it together.

      A lot of people are looking forward to GW2 – not because it’s the next thing but because of the design decisions that the’ve made for the game. Rotating WvW, sidekicking, no healer-tank-DPS trinity, etc.

      Agree with you on SWTOR. This has been such a different game compared to others on the market, and the areas which were annoying (e.g. UI, AH) are getting addressed. I do wish they would backout 80% of the class changes and go back to the surgical approach. The shotgun approach is too disruptive.

      • Daximus says:

        Agree about GW2…as a longtime DAoC player (cleric) I look forward to the WvW action! Guardian for me! :)

        • Daniel says:

          I would also like to see swtor suceed (I really like my guild), but the constant poor decisions in the pvp design of the game are making me loose hope. It is incomprehensible that they can see gw2 coming, a game that is designed with pvp players in mind and put what seems like such a low priority on pvp content in addition to taking a relatively balanced situation and changing everything on the hope that somehow it will all work out.

          • taugrim says:

            Daniel :

            I would also like to see swtor suceed (I really like my guild), but the constant poor decisions in the pvp design of the game are making me loose hope. It is incomprehensible that they can see gw2 coming, a game that is designed with pvp players in mind and put what seems like such a low priority on pvp content in addition to taking a relatively balanced situation and changing everything on the hope that somehow it will all work out.

            Aside from bugs, the only really significant misstep by BioWare was Ilum.

            The warzone design has been very good overall – and Huttball is groundbreaking – and warzone bugs and class bugs have been getting fixed.

            So things were trending up from 1.0->1.1.5.

            Unfortunately, SWTOR is trending the wrong way in 1.2. With the current state of PVP, warzones are not as fun.

            • Daniel says:

              The problem is Ilum is a huge misstep. I like warzones, but what I really enjoy is open world pvp. I agree that it was probably the right move to delay the ranked warzones if they weren’t ready, it just feels like they didn’t put enough of a priority on pvp and it makes me less optimistic that they will in the future. In any case I will stick around a while and see how it turns out. If they haven’t made significant improvements by the time GW2 comes out then I will probably switch over. This makes me more sad than angry because I have a soft spot for star wars and prefer the setting to fantasy games.

  3. Burek says:

    I agree pretty much across the board. Time to kill is significantly shorter and it has a seriously negative impact on classes that aim to protect or heal others. I am still shocked that Sentinels/Marauders were buffed, and I wonder idly if the buffs to them are not partially responsible for the dramatic reduction in TTK.

    I can’t see how Bioware will let this stand, though, as it runs counter to what they had stated as their PvP goals before release. Unless, of course, those goals have changed.

    • taugrim says:

      Burek :

      I can’t see how Bioware will let this stand, though, as it runs counter to what they had stated as their PvP goals before release. Unless, of course, those goals have changed.

      That is a great point. What is on live now is not aligned with their stated PVP goals.

      Previous balancing changes were aligned with the PVP goal of long TTK.

    • Sorsha says:

      The evaluations I’m seeing of the Sentinel changes are too simplistic. When people said “Sentinels/Marauders” were overpowered – they were talking about Watchman/Annihilation spec. Would you say that all Scoundrels were buffed because Sawbones saw significant improvements? The same is true of Sentinels. The two trees that many considered subpar – Combat and Focus – were buffed in 1.2. I daresay that *no*one considered these trees overpowered in 1.15. Watchman saw no buffs to damage but they did receive 3 quality of life buffs: increased snare from 30 to 50% on Cauterize, focus cost reduction on Awe from 1 to 0 and Pacify no longer affected by the GCD.

      • taugrim says:

        Sorsha :

        When people said “Sentinels/Marauders” were overpowered – they were talking about Watchman/Annihilation spec.

        Correct.

        Sorsha :

        The two trees that many considered subpar – Combat and Focus – were buffed in 1.2.

        Correct.

        I also think that the move of Valor to Tier 1 of the Watchman tree was a huge change for making specs based on the other 2 trees much more viable from a group utility standpoint.

        Sorsha :

        The two trees that many considered subpar – Combat and Focus – were buffed in 1.2. I daresay that *no*one considered these trees overpowered in 1.15. Watchman saw no buffs to damage but they did receive 3 quality of life buffs: increased snare from 30 to 50% on Cauterize, focus cost reduction on Awe from 1 to 0 and Pacify no longer affected by the GCD.

        Pacify doesn’t cost Focus either. The Focus reductions to the CC abilities does help with Focus management, which should allow a player to use more Focus-consuming abilities, which tend to be the powerful ones.

        The healing debuff is no longer cleansible, so you don’t have to waste a GCD re-applying Cauterize before it would normally expire.

        The snare improvement for Cauterize means that you don’t have as much GCD contention with Leg Slash, which means you can use Cauterize and replace LS with a higher-damaging ability in your rotation.

        These aren’t direct ability or talent increases, but they should collectively improve your DPS.

        • Sorsha says:

          Watchman did not need any buffs, quality of life or otherwise. Before the first batch of patch notes were announced, I believed they would receive nerfs, and perhaps deservedly so.

          That said, the 3 QoL buffs that Watchman benefited from (2 of which apply to all Sentinel specs) provide only the tiniest boost to DPS and certainly aren’t the reason that TTK has gone down.

          Pacify is a purely defensive ability so in and of itself it does nothing to improve your DPS. In its current form, it does allow us to have a maximum 1 extra GCD per minute (or 45 sec if talented), bearing in mind that it is only useful against accuracy-based classes (non tech/force). Awe is an area mez, so again, no direct impact to DPS. Given that it is used every time it is up, sentinels gained a net maximum 1 focus per minute. However, watchmen are rarely ever focus starved. In the past several months of playing watchman, I can hardly recall a time in a warzone where I was unable to use awe due to lack of focus. This change will, however, help us in duels vs. stealth classes. Lastly, neither I nor any watchman sentinel I know uses leg slash, let alone has it on our hotbars. Cauterize in its previous form was more than sufficient and being kited was rarely a problem, except vs. sages/shadows, who will still be able to kite us in spite of the change.

  4. Daniel says:

    The short time I got to play yesterday before this latest patch fiasco I really noticed the increased squishiness of everyone. I am playing the 4/12/25 assault vanguard and before the patch against a comparably geared and skilled healer I could shut them down, but it took a while to kill them. Now even with my burst nerfed I can blow through a healer in no time whatsoever (especially the sages they are particularly squishy now). In addition before the patch if I had a guildy healer with me I was effectively unkillable by pubs (due to the lack of focus fire since everyone forgets that vanguards can dps and so they assume I am a tank and only a few of them target me), but now I am going down so quickly. The only difference between having a healer and not having one is that my death is delayed a little bit.

    • taugrim says:

      Daniel :

      The short time I got to play yesterday before this latest patch fiasco I really noticed the increased squishiness of everyone. I am playing the 4/12/25 assault vanguard and before the patch against a comparably geared and skilled healer I could shut them down, but it took a while to kill them. Now even with my burst nerfed I can blow through a healer in no time whatsoever (especially the sages they are particularly squishy now). In addition before the patch if I had a guildy healer with me I was effectively unkillable by pubs (due to the lack of focus fire since everyone forgets that vanguards can dps and so they assume I am a tank and only a few of them target me), but now I am going down so quickly. The only difference between having a healer and not having one is that my death is delayed a little bit.

      I haven’t tried spec’ing full-blown DPS yet (last night I was running 4/12/25) but maybe the reduced cooldown on the interrupt isn’t as valuable anymore, given that people keel over faster.

      I feel squishier in 1.2 as a tank than I did in 1.1.5 as a DPS.

    • zioni says:

      Its the expertise. Expertise levels make a huge difference in squishy feeling now compared to before. On my shadow tank I added 2 more Battlemaster pieces to complete my BM set b/w Friday and Sunday and then I began feeling like my old self before the patch in terms of survivability. However my burst is not as strong as before and Marauders give me a hard time now. They hit like trucks.

  5. Tommythepower says:

    What can i say other then that i agree 100% with everything you wrote.
    For me and i’m guessing the biggest kick in the face from BioWare is the low amount of
    commendations from a warzone, even if one did his best= takes forever to gear up and maybe gear up one companion while lvl up. So lvl up in SWTOR now doing only PvP is now dead. Not to mention this system on those servers were one of the faction rule with one of the faction always losing will be a disaster gearing up wise.Everyday it is more clear to me that bioware dont play their own game and dont know how to keep their PvP playerbase happy. And btw what is going on now is everyone one one side is leaving as soon as one side is starting to winn.

    • taugrim says:

      Tommythepower :

      What can i say other then that i agree 100% with everything you wrote.
      For me and i’m guessing the biggest kick in the face from BioWare is the low amount of
      commendations from a warzone, even if one did his best= takes forever to gear up and maybe gear up one companion while lvl up. So lvl up in SWTOR now doing only PvP is now dead. Not to mention this system on those servers were one of the faction rule with one of the faction always losing will be a disaster gearing up wise.Everyday it is more clear to me that bioware dont play their own game and dont know how to keep their PvP playerbase happy. And btw what is going on now is everyone one one side is leaving as soon as one side is starting to winn.

      Yep, the current game mechanics encourage the “vicious cycle” phenomenon.

      When the losing side isn’t rewarded much, it becomes the weaker side over time, which exacerbates the problem. Same goes for guilds. Very strong / organized guilds will gear up much faster.

      Winning plus getting slightly more commendation reward is sufficient IMO. But that’s not how it works in 1.2 now.

  6. Thank you for your swift summary to the changes you have experienced with 1.2 and it has only been out one day. I always enjoy your candid approach to the game while also factoring in differences in skill level and what is simply not working from a game design standpoint. I agree with you about the 31-point Shadow / Assassin builds being a serious problem. I play Vanguard (so imagine my elation when you finely decided to try it during the Beta) and your guides has helped me become one of the best Vanguards on my server. However, it is absolutely maddening to run into a Shadow or Assassin in a Warzone now, especially with the lower TTK. Seems to me that the changes made to Shield Specialist tree was more for PvE than PvP. Most of the new stuff just boosts shield chance which isn’t as effective in PvP.

    I feel like because PvP is pretty much a murder-fest right now, many of the intricate class v class strategies are not applicable as well as the different strategies when going into certain Warzones. I am wondering what BioWare’s response will be to the sweeping changes made in 1.2. Hopefully, they will start to re-tweak what they have done and shift PvP back to being less about super quick kills. I will stick with the game at least until GW2 because I love the game and I think BioWare is a good development company.

    Are the reasons you are not going to play your Sentinel because you think it is now an “easy-mode” class?

    • taugrim says:

      Shin (@ShinSutton) :

      Thank you for your swift summary to the changes you have experienced with 1.2 and it has only been out one day. I always enjoy your candid approach to the game while also factoring in differences in skill level and what is simply not working from a game design standpoint.

      Thanks, I appreciate that. I wasn’t sure if people were going to flame me for the article, given that it’s been 1 day.

      Shin (@ShinSutton) :

      I feel like because PvP is pretty much a murder-fest right now, many of the intricate class v class strategies are not applicable as well as the different strategies when going into certain Warzones. I am wondering what BioWare’s response will be to the sweeping changes made in 1.2. Hopefully, they will start to re-tweak what they have done and shift PvP back to being less about super quick kills. I will stick with the game at least until GW2 because I love the game and I think BioWare is a good development company.

      Yea, I miss more of countering that used to happen with the longer fights pre-1.2.

      Shin (@ShinSutton) :

      Are the reasons you are not going to play your Sentinel because you think it is now an “easy-mode” class?

      Not so much that. People know / knew Sentinels were strong.

      But I was asked a lot about Gunslinger / Sniper, as the general perception is that they are weak in PVP. My Sharpshooter Gunslinger was very effective in PVP in 1.1.5, despite that tree being perceived as not-good or not-mobile-enough. SS comes into it’s own at level 30-32 with Trickshot.

      If anything, the key decision point was before launch when I decided to play Vanguard / Powertech over Shadow / Assassin. Back then I knew that Shadow / Assassin was going to be strong, based on the tools and damage output.

      I was very tempted to play one but decided to go with VG / PT, which I thought would be less popular and support an unsual playstyle of melee and short-range kiting. What I didn’t realize back in Beta was how good the Shadow / Assassin 23/0/18 (and later 23/1/17) hybrid tanks would be, or later how incredible the 31/1/9 tanks would be. That is, Shadow ended up being even stronger than I expected.

      The problem now is that we only have 1 active BM Shadow and 1 active BM Sentinel. Basically if we don’t have both of them for Rated Warzones we’ll be at a significant disadvantage, since mobility is king in PVP. But it also sucks that PVP has become so class dependent.

  7. cecilandkain says:

    My experience last night brought issue to light that I had not noticed on the PTS playing 1-30 and reinforced one that I did see.

    I was unaware that the benifits from Expertise were being given different values from eachother. +damage done is highest, with +damage reduction trailing slightly behind it and + Healing done way behind the other’s. If you are a moderatly geared healer trying to heal a moderatly geared target who is being attacked by a Battlemaster geard player, you will find the feat next to impossible. This is less of a complaint about healing, and more of a indication that gear > all. Champion geared players can’t stand up to a battlemaster, so the new recruit level gear is basicly pointless, you’ll still be totally overwhelmed by a team of battlemasters doing their dailies.

    I faced on of our servers pro guilds in a random last night, Alderon, they rolled us at 2 of 3 points, and we were unable to make any headway at either any point. Eventually we fell back to our lone point as a team to basicly collect defender points. The team sent over 5 members leaving gaurds to prevent ninja caps and destroyed our whole 8 man team such that all we could do was file in as fast as we could back to the point after dieing. We still lost the point and the final score was 0/300~ For that effort of being a healer at every major conflict in the match and reducing the enemy’s shields to not quite half I was awarded _28_ commendations because I only earned 3 medals. 1k defense, 2.5k heal and 75k healing.

    I know there is a school of thought that says rewards should reflect success, but when you get rolled by a skilled group, they don’t need rewards, and the fact that they are earning them 4x as fast as unorganized players means that by the end of the weekend they will be rocking warhero gear and the “casual” players who are still building their battlemaster sets will be nothing to them, which doesn’t really sound fun for either party.

    • taugrim says:

      cecilandkain :

      My experience last night brought issue to light that I had not noticed on the PTS playing 1-30 and reinforced one that I did see.

      BioWare needs to implement character copying of 50s.

      Trying to get meaningful testing of 50 PVP without a critical mass of 50s on the PTS is a waste of time.

      cecilandkain :

      For that effort of being a healer at every major conflict in the match and reducing the enemy’s shields to not quite half I was awarded _28_ commendations because I only earned 3 medals. 1k defense, 2.5k heal and 75k healing.

      I know there is a school of thought that says rewards should reflect success, but when you get rolled by a skilled group, they don’t need rewards, and the fact that they are earning them 4x as fast as unorganized players means that by the end of the weekend they will be rocking warhero gear and the “casual” players who are still building their battlemaster sets will be nothing to them, which doesn’t really sound fun for either party.

      I agree 100%.

      Rewards between the winning and losing side need to be close enough that the game doesn’t create a vicious cycle or encourage people to stop fighting.

      • frmorrison says:

        Note, there was testing of ranked warzones on the PTS, which led to them being removed. However the testing was late in the cycle.

        Great original post. Damage seems king now, so for PT a 4/6/31 may be best.

  8. carson says:

    Great summary. Need to mirror this post on TOR forums.

  9. Tommythepower says:

    Posted the thread on the pvp forum so we are sure the devs will read it.
    http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=3917087#post3917087

  10. davin1023 says:

    I’m a huge proponant of SWTOR, and PVP in SWTOR, even though its the first time I’ve really gotten into PVP (thanks a lot to you Taugrim.) However some of these changes really worry me.

    In particular the TTK shortening. Since the beginning the Devs have talked about longer TTK’s and now that seems to have changed.

    As someone in pretty much full BM (I got really luck with comms) I can go toe to toe with most folks, and sometimes a couple of people, delaying them until reinforcements can arrive. I did some pvp last night after talking to a guildie who was complaining about how overpowered Tracer Mercs were. I chalked it up to him just complaining because he is young and hotheaded, but once I got into a few matches I noticed it and started paying attention. It wasn’t just Merc who were buring people down quickly, it was everyone.

    Warzone rewards seem VERY “off” to me. In particular if you loss warzones with no score, such as a 0 score Hutt Ball or Void Star. It seems that rewards are multiplied by your score, meaning 0 score give you 0 reward. If your team is horrible than I could see this being reasonable, though I don’t agree with it. But what about when you are talking about a 0-1 HuttBall or Void Star that comes down to the wire. These are GOOD games, and GOOD players playing their hearts out for no reward.

    I know, “PvP for fun, not for Rewards.” But rewards matter when that is the way you get gear and gear can have a large impact on gameplay. It really worries me, expecially coming from a heavily off balance PVE server. Not many of the republic players on my server are That into PvP, and I feel this is going to drive more of htem out. Causing the dispparity to get worse.

    BioWare needs to fix this and I think they need to fix it quickly or risk losing people. This is the first time I’ve seriously considered the future of the game.

    • taugrim says:

      davin1023 :

      In particular the TTK shortening. Since the beginning the Devs have talked about longer TTK’s and now that seems to have changed.

      As someone in pretty much full BM (I got really luck with comms) I can go toe to toe with most folks, and sometimes a couple of people, delaying them until reinforcements can arrive. I did some pvp last night after talking to a guildie who was complaining about how overpowered Tracer Mercs were. I chalked it up to him just complaining because he is young and hotheaded, but once I got into a few matches I noticed it and started paying attention. It wasn’t just Merc who were buring people down quickly, it was everyone.

      Yep, the experience in 1.2 does not align with the previously oft-stated intention of having long TTK.

      davin1023 :

      Warzone rewards seem VERY “off” to me. In particular if you loss warzones with no score, such as a 0 score Hutt Ball or Void Star. It seems that rewards are multiplied by your score, meaning 0 score give you 0 reward. If your team is horrible than I could see this being reasonable, though I don’t agree with it. But what about when you are talking about a 0-1 HuttBall or Void Star that comes down to the wire. These are GOOD games, and GOOD players playing their hearts out for no reward.

      I know, “PvP for fun, not for Rewards.” But rewards matter when that is the way you get gear and gear can have a large impact on gameplay. It really worries me, expecially coming from a heavily off balance PVE server. Not many of the republic players on my server are That into PvP, and I feel this is going to drive more of htem out. Causing the dispparity to get worse.

      People should PVP for fun, but in order for PVP to be fun, one needs to be decently geared and have access to the same consumables other players do – that’s fair IMO.

      The rewards system is now out of whack.

      davin1023 :

      BioWare needs to fix this and I think they need to fix it quickly or risk losing people. This is the first time I’ve seriously considered the future of the game.

      I have been pleased overall with the progression overall from 1.0 to 1.1.5, with the exception of Ilum.

      I’m concerned that many of the class changes didn’t make sense.
      I’m concerned that they changed the stats and such to make PVP a gibfest.
      I’m concerned that they deviated from a careful tweaking approach to mass-change approach for class balance.

  11. Leiralei says:

    “Commando / Bounty Hunter healers were too mana efficient” – Explain?

    Scoundrel / Operative healing looks better with the extra stack of TA possible, still a bit clunky but not as bad. Mine isn’t 40+ so isn’t a healer yet, but it looks better.

    • Bobloblaw says:

      As a 50 Scoundrel healer, for me, it’s about 1000% better than it was in 1.5. Really just as important as the extra stack is the extra 6s duration. Now if you are diligent about keeping HOTs up on 2+ppl, you won’t lose your built up UH stacks to timeout.

    • taugrim says:

      Leiralei :

      “Commando / Bounty Hunter healers were too mana efficient” – Explain?

      Scoundrel / Operative healing looks better with the extra stack of TA possible, still a bit clunky but not as bad. Mine isn’t 40+ so isn’t a healer yet, but it looks better.

      I was talking pre-1.2 for Commando / BH healer in PVP – by endgame they could sustain healing for a long time. I didn’t play one but that was the impression I had playing with and against other healers.

      • Leiralei says:

        Maybe I wasn’t geared enough, only partial BM before 1.2 dropped, but I was pretty constantly out of ammo unless there was a Sage outhealing me by 2-3x with less gear. Heh.

  12. jasonwilliams says:

    Just to toot my horn a little bit:

    https://taugrim.com/2012/03/16/the-skinny-on-the-swtor-class-balance-changes-on-pts-1-2/#comment-7983

    “I have some flashbacks of Rift 1.5 changes that I cannot help think about. I seriously hope this does not turn out to be the same way. I think Rift 1.5 caused a lot of people to leave the game, due to the Rogue buff.”

    This was my fear when I saw all the AC changes. Like you mentioned before, small changes to classes. Not big changes like what 1.2 is.

    • taugrim says:

      jasonwilliams :

      Just to toot my horn a little bit:

      https://taugrim.com/2012/03/16/the-skinny-on-the-swtor-class-balance-changes-on-pts-1-2/#comment-7983

      “I have some flashbacks of Rift 1.5 changes that I cannot help think about. I seriously hope this does not turn out to be the same way. I think Rift 1.5 caused a lot of people to leave the game, due to the Rogue buff.”

      This was my fear when I saw all the AC changes. Like you mentioned before, small changes to classes. Not big changes like what 1.2 is.

      Yep.

      I would have loved the focus of 1.2 to be the following:
      – game improvements to UI, AH, etc
      – new PVE content
      – new PVP content
      – restatting to make Expertise relevant so that PVP gear would be the BiS for PVP gear

      What I didn’t want to see happen is the laundry list of changes from the 1.2 PTS go live, which is more or less what happened. And I wasn’t expecting TTK to drop so much. Not much counter-based PVP.

  13. Karandor says:

    There are reports that mitigation was bugged in the inital patch last night. The TTK problems may be due to this, for instance some people were reporting that BH/trooper shield CD (adds 25% DR) was not work at all.

  14. BigRedJedi says:

    I suspect one of the biggest ‘under-the-hood’ changes that has turned PvP into a frag-fest was the alteration to the Expertise formula… Each point of Expertise now grants the largest benefit to your damage vs. players, second to damage received from players, and in a far, distant third is healing. The damage components dramatically outstrip either your Expertise-based mitigation or the capability of your team’s healers to counteract… Thus, DPS is overwhelmingly king right now, to the point that many PvP healers had already started re-rolling DPS last night, as it seems that the only path to victory now is whichever team brings the bigger guns.
    To say nothing of the severely un-balanced rewards at the end of matches…

    • taugrim says:

      BigRedJedi :

      I suspect one of the biggest ‘under-the-hood’ changes that has turned PvP into a frag-fest was the alteration to the Expertise formula… Each point of Expertise now grants the largest benefit to your damage vs. players, second to damage received from players, and in a far, distant third is healing. The damage components dramatically outstrip either your Expertise-based mitigation or the capability of your team’s healers to counteract… Thus, DPS is overwhelmingly king right now, to the point that many PvP healers had already started re-rolling DPS last night, as it seems that the only path to victory now is whichever team brings the bigger guns.
      To say nothing of the severely un-balanced rewards at the end of matches…

      In some games, the PVP stat only provides damage reduction, which I think is the wrong approach, because it makes healing increasingly difficult to balance.

      I was an advocate of how Expertise worked pre-1.2.

      Back then, Expertise provided equivalent amounts of damage and damage reduction, which essentially offset one another and made the PVP gear relevant for PVP.

      The main issue pre-1.2 was that Expertise had too much DR and didn’t provide sufficient benefit to go full PVP gear – the top-end geared players mixed in Rakata to better effect.

      Now Expertise gives lopsided benefits, which the corresponding problems.

  15. Mick says:

    I found yesterday that TTK in 1-49 Warzones was also significantly decreased. Despite reducing my Sniper’s burst damage, the patch also seemed to make it easier to kill opponents/be killed. Operatives and Scoundrels once again 3-shot kill/perma-stun, and any focus fire on a single target is almost assuredly going to kill said target. Healing is noticeably less affective, and my gut tells me this is in large part because Sorcs/Sages no longer have the ability to cast Dark Heal/Deliverance in 1.5 seconds. It’s now very obvious to see when one of those ACs is using their “big” heal, and interrupt it.

    I did not enjoy the PvP I partook in last night nearly as much as I have up to this point. I’ve been a big fan of the longer fights that require you to manage energy and cooldowns over an extended battle, but found that style of play non-existent. Instead it was simply enough for me to spam Snipe, Ambush, and Explosive Prove as frequently as possible (energy management no longer an issue with Sniper Volley in the Marksman tree) until I was FF’d, at which point no amount of running/defensive CDs/medpacks were going to save me.

    • taugrim says:

      Mick :

      I found yesterday that TTK in 1-49 Warzones was also significantly decreased. Despite reducing my Sniper’s burst damage, the patch also seemed to make it easier to kill opponents/be killed.

      I haven’t tried 10-49 yet but thanks for sharing that information.

      Mick :

      I did not enjoy the PvP I partook in last night nearly as much as I have up to this point. I’ve been a big fan of the longer fights that require you to manage energy and cooldowns over an extended battle, but found that style of play non-existent. Instead it was simply enough for me to spam Snipe, Ambush, and Explosive Prove as frequently as possible (energy management no longer an issue with Sniper Volley in the Marksman tree) until I was FF’d, at which point no amount of running/defensive CDs/medpacks were going to save me.

      Same boat as you.

      Loved the PVP experience in 1.1.5. Not enjoying it in 1.2.

  16. skenator says:

    Taugrim, you had previously said that aoe had been buffed for sentinels but you didn’t state if guardians had been buffed with what I’m guessing is “sweep” or not as well.

    Also do you feel that focus spec guardians have gained or lossed in 1.2? With specific regard to setting up massive guaranteed crits with stasis/leap singularity combos. I know the cool down of stasis has been increased 10 secs and crush went from 12 to 18 seconds on cd.

    Your input on this would be greatly appreciated!

    • taugrim says:

      skenator :

      Also do you feel that focus spec guardians have gained or lossed in 1.2? With specific regard to setting up massive guaranteed crits with stasis/leap singularity combos. I know the cool down of stasis has been increased 10 secs and crush went from 12 to 18 seconds on cd.

      Your input on this would be greatly appreciated!

      Not sure re: Focus-spec’d Guardians. IIRC the cooldown on Sweep is higher now, but you can pop a cooldown (can’t recall name offhand) to stack Singularity so you can burst when desired.

      The Vigilance / Defense hybrid seems stronger now that the 6% damage boost applies in tanking stance and you can get Blade Barrier for more mitigation.

  17. Ears says:

    Have to agree in the main.

    Not too fussed about sage healing nerfs, will need to be better with HOTs, shields, slows, CC and quick heals. The days of spamming channelled heals and short “big” heals are gone for PvP but I feel this is only right.

    Suprised you do not list the OP sage/sorc hybrid spec as a problem that was fixed this patch?

    One thing that should have been implemented was 8man vs 8man pre-mades. I am finding that active guild (20+ people online) PvP is much harder to organise/flourish without this. We would be willing to Q longer for this, our guild has been more PvE focussed due to this.

    Major problem for us in Europe is maintenance times, this emergency patch has meant game has been off all Friday afternoon and evening. Prime time.

    This patch has been a disaster for gamers who are not really interested in legacy, but a win for the story RP’rs. It is bioware I suppose….

    Think the game has massive potential but can’t help being dissapointed.

    • taugrim says:

      Ears :

      Suprised you do not list the OP sage/sorc hybrid spec as a problem that was fixed this patch?

      You mean the 0/20/21 specs, or whatever they were, to get the Presence of Mind proc that would then be used to instant-cast a long-cast AOE?

      I didn’t mention it because a lot of AOE capability was nerfed across classes. E.g. the diameter for Mortar Volley and Death From Above was reduced from 16m to 10m.

      Ears :

      One thing that should have been implemented was 8man vs 8man pre-mades. I am finding that active guild (20+ people online) PvP is much harder to organise/flourish without this. We would be willing to Q longer for this, our guild has been more PvE focussed due to this.

      I think the issue is that BioWare believes some servers don’t have enough actives to support 8v8 premades. My server (Ajunta Pall) is very active, but there are multiple low-pop servers.

      It sounds like your guildees would be fine waiting though.

      Ears :

      Major problem for us in Europe is maintenance times, this emergency patch has meant game has been off all Friday afternoon and evening. Prime time.

      It’s too bad the maintenance windows don’t vary based on locale. It would be more work for BioWare but a better, more consistent customer experience globally.

  18. GL7676 says:

    I consider 1.2 a complete reset of the PvP in this game.

    1.2 on Live is actually the PTS for PvP as there were not enough PvP guilds testing on PTS, mainly just PvE guilds.

    There will be subsequent update patches to rebalance the classes, TTK and WZ rewards once the metrics come in with the larger player base on Live.

    • GL7676 says:

      ps there will be even more rebalancing once Rated and x-server rated WZ metrics come in.

    • Leiralei says:

      It would be helpful if they had a way to fast level or transfer plus have free gear of various tiers specifically for testing purposes. Had the same problem in beta, not enough people got to 50 to actually TEST endgame stuff and balance before they reset the servers.

      In this, it seems a lot of guilds had applied to test but their characters weren’t copied over in time.

      • GL7676 says:

        From reading the PTS forum for 1.2 you can see that PvP wasn’t the main priority and that PvE was.

        Maybe in future patches when they start transferring PvP guilds, PvP would become a priority, but I still see needing a very large player base like Live to properly get the metrics needed to do proper PvP balancing.

    • taugrim says:

      GL7676 :

      I consider 1.2 a complete reset of the PvP in this game.

      1.2 on Live is actually the PTS for PvP as there were not enough PvP guilds testing on PTS, mainly just PvE guilds.

      There will be subsequent update patches to rebalance the classes, TTK and WZ rewards once the metrics come in with the larger player base on Live.

      I don’t want to pay for functionality that hasn’t been tested.

      It’s fine on PTS or in Beta, not fine on live 4 months after launch.

      I could have told you based on playing just a handful of 50 warzones on PTS that the TTK was going to be a major issue. I knew this after playing my first warzone yesterday.

      The issue is not that there “were not enough PvP guilds testing on PTS” – lots of guilds applied but there were plenty that didn’t have their characters copied. BW needs to implement character copy or they will never have a critical mass of testing on PTS. This is an industry standard practice.

  19. Charred says:

    I feel I should point out that the actual buffs to Marauders were to the underperforming trees. Pre-1.2, Carnage had unimpressive damage at best and Rage for Maruaders was weaker than the Juggernaut version because they lacked the increased smash damage that Juggernauts got. The 1.2 changes to Marauder actually slightly nerfed Annihilation (the tree that the majority of Marauders played) because they reworked Force Camo and removed the 100% damage immunity talent in Annihilation, as well as moving the increased Predation speed talent to Carnage. I agree that Marauders have way too much group utility and survivability though. No class should have the team utility (group sprint, group damage increase, healing debuff) that Marauder has, especially when you consider the myriad of defensive CD’s that Maruaders have.

    I can’t really comment on the lower TTK yet because I didn’t really get the chance to play any warzones last night, so I’ll reserve judgement on that until I’ve actually experienced it for myself.

    • taugrim says:

      Charred :

      I feel I should point out that the actual buffs to Marauders were to the underperforming trees. Pre-1.2, Carnage had unimpressive damage at best and Rage for Maruaders was weaker than the Juggernaut version because they lacked the increased smash damage that Juggernauts got. The 1.2 changes to Marauder actually slightly nerfed Annihilation (the tree that the majority of Marauders played) because they reworked Force Camo and removed the 100% damage immunity talent in Annihilation, as well as moving the increased Predation speed talent to Carnage.

      I know :)

      You are forgetting one very important change: moving the Centering/Fury building talent down to Tier 1 of the Watchman/Annihiliation tree, which makes it reachable for any spec and enables the Sentinel/Marauder to pop their 30-stack buffs more frequently.

      Charred :

      I agree that Marauders have way too much group utility and survivability though. No class should have the team utility (group sprint, group damage increase, healing debuff) that Marauder has, especially when you consider the myriad of defensive CD’s that Maruaders have.

      Agree.

      • Charred says:

        I actually think that moving Short Fuse down to the first tier of was necessary to balance Marauder dps for Carnage and Rage because it took way too long for those specs to generate enough Fury to use Berserk, pre 1.2. I played Carnage for a bit before switching to Annihilation and by the time you had 30 Fury as Carnage, the fight was usually over. Now this at least gives Carnage the chance to use Berserk in a fight The major problem is of course that Maruaders of all specs can now use Predation way too often for my liking.

        I’d prefer it if BioWare just removed or remade Predation at this point, so that Marauders were just a strong choice to bring for a PvP team, rather than a required part of the team.

  20. Brytag says:

    hi taugrim

    was actually looking forward to hearing ur take to the 1.2 changes. as always, ur thoughts on it our pretty much my exact take on it.

    yes i was very happy for the interface editor. then i went to pvp…man i was blowing ppl up quite fast (im a war hero sentinel). what also annoyed me was i remodded my gear pre 1.2 for more power/surge so i didnt get the new BM stat bonuses with the patch. however, people told me as long as i kept the original mods and replaced them, i would get the bonuses. i did not. so i wasted cash remodding and didnt get the new stats. not a huge deal, but its unfair. i mean why take away the new stats just because it was remodded? base stats are base imo.

    also, the system now encourages leaving WZs for a loss even moreso than before. on my 50 sentinel, a loss netted me a whopping 40 comms for my 10 medals and zero credits. zero! that doesnt even cover the fuel cost to fly to a planet lol. wins gave me around 70-80 comms and about 2-3k credits. i was getting 80-100 comms and 5 credits pre patch. so my point is, why stay in a losing match and waste 15 mins of u time for absolutely no reward? the game will further increase the gear gap between players. sure people say “oh get a premade and win” ok i do premade. but i also dont have people online at my beck and call to do premades. sometimes i play odd hours and i have to solo queue. i am not a leaver of games but i asked myself “why am i staying in this loss? ill get a max 40 comms and no cash” not to mention that BW removed the “the game will not close if there isnt enough players” there have been games i join that start 4v8. no right fof the bat ur at a big disadvantage. i have also been thrown into games that are near over. they end so fast i cant even earn the 8 medals so thus i get even less comms.

    healing took too big a nerf. again, just like in rift, people complained about healing and trion over nerfed it. u may disagree with me, but i said it before, when BW announced the 1.2 patch notes, they reminded me of rift’s 1.5 patch which lead me to leave rift.

    i am not a pve person. i only pvp. leveling alts via pvp is no longer viable cuz u get crap for credits which is barely enough to pay for ur training / companion crafting missions etc. not to mention speeder training. they raised the cost of pre 50 pvp sets/weapons. the weapons went from 580 comms to 900! the 40 gear i think is around 375 a piece instead of 210 or whatever it was pre 1.2

    • taugrim says:

      Brytag :

      was actually looking forward to hearing ur take to the 1.2 changes. as always, ur thoughts on it our pretty much my exact take on it.

      :)

      Brytag :

      what also annoyed me was i remodded my gear pre 1.2 for more power/surge so i didnt get the new BM stat bonuses with the patch. however, people told me as long as i kept the original mods and replaced them, i would get the bonuses. i did not. so i wasted cash remodding and didnt get the new stats. not a huge deal, but its unfair. i mean why take away the new stats just because it was remodded? base stats are base imo.

      That sucks. You could submit a ticket to Customer Service to fix it. They do a limited # of item fixes every 6 months. They recently refunded me 2 BM comms when I bought the wrong BM piece on accident.

      Brytag :

      also, the system now encourages leaving WZs for a loss even moreso than before. on my 50 sentinel, a loss netted me a whopping 40 comms for my 10 medals and zero credits. zero! that doesnt even cover the fuel cost to fly to a planet lol. wins gave me around 70-80 comms and about 2-3k credits. i was getting 80-100 comms and 5 credits pre patch. so my point is, why stay in a losing match and waste 15 mins of u time for absolutely no reward? the game will further increase the gear gap between players. sure people say “oh get a premade and win” ok i do premade. but i also dont have people online at my beck and call to do premades. sometimes i play odd hours and i have to solo queue. i am not a leaver of games but i asked myself “why am i staying in this loss? ill get a max 40 comms and no cash” not to mention that BW removed the “the game will not close if there isnt enough players” there have been games i join that start 4v8. no right fof the bat ur at a big disadvantage. i have also been thrown into games that are near over. they end so fast i cant even earn the 8 medals so thus i get even less comms.

      Yep. Unless you stack the deck in your favor, PVP is not an efficient use of time.

      I solo queue quite a bit, maybe one-third of my overall matches. I enjoy the randomness of it. But it doesn’t make sense to do anymore, because losing = time wasted.

      Brytag :

      healing took too big a nerf. again, just like in rift, people complained about healing and trion over nerfed it. u may disagree with me, but i said it before, when BW announced the 1.2 patch notes, they reminded me of rift’s 1.5 patch which lead me to leave rift.

      Yep, you’re the 2nd person aside from me to point this out.

      Brytag :

      i am not a pve person. i only pvp. leveling alts via pvp is no longer viable cuz u get crap for credits which is barely enough to pay for ur training / companion crafting missions etc. not to mention speeder training. they raised the cost of pre 50 pvp sets/weapons. the weapons went from 580 comms to 900! the 40 gear i think is around 375 a piece instead of 210 or whatever it was pre 1.2

      Yea this is a shame.

      I enjoy having the flexibility of leveling via PVP if that is what I prefer. But from a money standpoint, it won’t work. I’d have to grind much more PVE than I prefer to do.

  21. Brytag says:

    also i agree with you that what i enjoyed about ToR was the slower pace tactial fighting the game offered. people needed to work together to achieve kills / win the games. the game is now a pvp deathmatch and frankly it really lost its appeal. i really hope it gets fixed because, like you, i enjoy the game. but at this moment, i dont even care to log on. Im definitely looking forward to GW2 and if BW doesnt get their act together, i wont be looking back.

  22. Chaz says:

    Hey Taugrim, here are some of the reasons I think they might have gone with this approach, since you are a dedicated PVPer Im sure you can agree with some of this.

    Ties in Voidstar: whenever we got premade vs premade in voidstar is almost always a tie in the 1st door because the defender team is too hard to kill

    No comebacks in Civil War: Usually the team that caps 2 nodes in Civil War is the victor, unless they make a foolish mistake like not calling incoming or getting ninja caped

    Juggernats+Tanksins=Win in Huttball: whenever one of these classes get the a hold of the ball they usually just walk it in, specially if they were beign focus healed, there was no way to kill them.

    • taugrim says:

      Chaz :

      Ties in Voidstar: whenever we got premade vs premade in voidstar is almost always a tie in the 1st door because the defender team is too hard to kill

      No comebacks in Civil War: Usually the team that caps 2 nodes in Civil War is the victor, unless they make a foolish mistake like not calling incoming or getting ninja caped

      These problems could be fixed not via reducing TTK but by making it easier to cap nodes (e.g. shorter time to cap instead of 8 seconds), and by making access to edge nodes more equal in Alderaan.

      Chaz :

      Juggernats+Tanksins=Win in Huttball: whenever one of these classes get the a hold of the ball they usually just walk it in, specially if they were beign focus healed, there was no way to kill them.

      I agree with the change to make fire and acid hurt everyone equally, but I think the damage from those is *too* much now. A pull into fire basically = death, whereas before players could get out of it even though they lose a chunk of HP.

      • Chaz says:

        Yes I understand those issues could have been addressed more directly, I suppose they took the fastest, easiest way to do it.

        But you have to admit, how things were before, people tried to turtle their way to victory and there were a lot of stalemates.

        I played a few matches of novare coast and I see a lot of node flipping and back and forth between the opposing teams

  23. Jax says:

    Taugrim,
    I have been a fan of yours for a while and your videos helped me get the idea on tanking on my PT, but I am wondering if we(player base, or at least those that are in this post) are jumping the gun a little? I mean we have not had that much time to truly test anything effectively, and with the additions of combat we can get some true numbers to back things up. With any MMO or game major class changes are both exciting and scary. More times than not, at least with my experiences with WOW, we would hear the same thing after every patch in which class changes where done. Some classes might need to learn things over again and BW might need to tune things down for others. I truly think once the player base has time to re-figure things out, the game will return to a state of normality. I just believe we should be patient.

    • taugrim says:

      Jax :

      I am wondering if we(player base, or at least those that are in this post) are jumping the gun a little? I mean we have not had that much time to truly test anything effectively

      I truly think once the player base has time to re-figure things out, the game will return to a state of normality. I just believe we should be patient.

      We made it to 57 posts before someone mentioned the “the patch just went live” argument.

      This isn’t an issue of players re-figuring things out IMO. The mechanics and changes are what they are.

  24. drozd says:

    I totally disagree that shorter TTK is a bad thing. I can’t stand the cartoony WoW feel of hacking away at someone with a lightsaber that feels like a nerf bat, or pumping thousands of blaster shots into someone who can simply absorb it and ‘heal’ back up to pristine condition without a care. I guess I just prefer realism to ‘balance’, and I’d rather recreate the feel of the movies. I was a huge fan of Die by the Sword for instance and I think the long chess-match type of PvP encounter can be fun but would be better suited to the Aion style MMOs.

    • taugrim says:

      drozd :

      I totally disagree that shorter TTK is a bad thing. I can’t stand the cartoony WoW feel of hacking away at someone with a lightsaber that feels like a nerf bat, or pumping thousands of blaster shots into someone who can simply absorb it and ‘heal’ back up to pristine condition without a care. I guess I just prefer realism to ‘balance’, and I’d rather recreate the feel of the movies. I was a huge fan of Die by the Sword for instance and I think the long chess-match type of PvP encounter can be fun but would be better suited to the Aion style MMOs.

      That’s fine, but the stated design intent from the devs from Beta and up til now is that they wanted longer fights, i.e. high TTK.

  25. Gothic90 says:

    Hey Taug, this is my post in the suggestion box of TOR forum after 1.2 launched.

    http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=408120

    I think the most devastating problem of 1.2 is that the gear curve from fresh 50 to full new battlemaster gear, with the new expertise changes, is EXTREMELY steep. Also, the people who already have good gear (full BM without changing mods) start 1.2 with a staggering advantage because their BM gear also got auto-upgraded.

    The advantage is then again magnified when you get so few commendations out of losing a warzone.

    I don’t know why they put such massive amount of expertise on new BM and WH gear but it looks like a PvP vs PvE gear progression issue: there is only one tier of war hero gear. I’ll probably have to do a lot of very complicated calculations to sort this clusterf*ck out.

    All this reinforced my belief that gear progression and PvP never gets along.

  26. SpeKael says:

    Hi Taugrim – Thanks for a detailed walkthrough of your opinons.

    Things I’ve noticed as a Sage Seer is:

    – Very significant change on my survivebility towards the negative. Which currently means that I can’t afford to neglect any attackers. This results in dps dieing* fairly easy, since all my attention is now on keeping myself alive. Having, in my example, ~10% healing bonus from my expertise stat is not nearly enough to keep a dps with same expertise gear, which results in 20%, from killing me. Sums up to: Dps has a 10% damage surplus against me as a healer.

    *A side note is that now when medpacs+biochem stuff only can be consumed once per combat/fight session, it will also impact the general survivebility of players.

    – I found the change of our skills and tree fair an reasonable. Due to the fact force plays a role in 1.2. Which I must say it didn’t in 1.1.5. This will now result in more demand on how to go about the consumption of force in pvp.

    – Further I’ve enjoyed playing the new warzone (haven’t lost yet /victoryDance). It’s a nice addition and is much similar to voidstar regarding intensity of fighting.

    I hope you don’t /ragequits on us, since I love your streams and try to watch the live ones as much as possible (EU timezone inhabitant).

    • taugrim says:

      SpeKael :

      – Further I’ve enjoyed playing the new warzone (haven’t lost yet /victoryDance). It’s a nice addition and is much similar to voidstar regarding intensity of fighting.

      Agree.

      Novare Coast is another well-designed warzone.

      SpeKael :

      I hope you don’t /ragequits on us, since I love your streams and try to watch the live ones as much as possible (EU timezone inhabitant).

      Not ragequitting. Just…very disappointed, and concerned about the impact this will have on the PVP playerbase in terms of retention.

    • Eclipses says:

      I don’t get this…how could you not feel that the 2.5 sec ct on Dark Infusion is anything but a ridiculous misstep?

      2.5 seconds is a lifetime in pvp, especially in TOR with all of the cc and interrupts. It is our biggest heal and with all of the changes in regards to increasing dps almost across all the ACs and decreasing the TTK – I just can’t understand why this decision was made.

      Increasing dps for many ACs? Fine. Adding more heal debuffs and making them uncleansable? Fine. Reworking expertise to increase dps but lower heals? Fine. Making it so heal consumables can only be used once a fight? Fine.Changing core mechanics of 2 healing ACs and making one actually have to kill itself ot regen its resource. Fine.

      These things done in part or to a smaller degree MAYBE – but there’s no god damn way you can’t look at all of that together and figure it’s healthy for the game.

  27. Gothic90 says:

    As for class changes, I think many class changes are justified; some may be over the top, such as a total 23% increase to Master Strike/Ravage’s damage if talented as well as making it uninterruptable, but most of the problems come from the changes to expertise as well as the steep gear curve.

    So for class balance I’m still waiting to see what happens between two teams of full new BM geared people, because I’m still having a lot of fun on my level 35 guardian, and that’s why I think class balance isn’t that bad.

    • taugrim says:

      Gothic90 :

      So for class balance I’m still waiting to see what happens between two teams of full new BM geared people, because I’m still having a lot of fun on my level 35 guardian, and that’s why I think class balance isn’t that bad.

      One issue you will face at 50 that is not relevant while leveling is time-to-gear for BM while still trying to purchase WZ consumables.

  28. Arnie says:

    Enjoyed the post and agree with almost all. I do not think friendly pull, sprint is OP at all. They are good abilities as are Jedi leap and trooper enemy pull.

    The heal changes need time before I make an opinion. But….. I have seen healers dominate WZ’s because of the defensive nature of all WZ’s, guard a door,turret or carrier. I think that is what the developers do not like. That is not skill based, it’s classed based and I think Ryndar knew this deep down.

    • taugrim says:

      Arnie :

      Enjoyed the post and agree with almost all. I do not think friendly pull, sprint is OP at all. They are good abilities as are Jedi leap and trooper enemy pull.

      The mechanics are not symmetrical.

      You can chain pull a ball carrier twice and put them in position to score. There is no cooldown on being pulled.

      Also, pulling a ball carrier onto the catwalks means there are 2 players on the catwalk that opposing players have to deal with. Charge is just moving 1 player.

      The sprint makes a *massive* difference in covering ground to defend or cap a node.

      • Eaden says:

        I guess I’m not sure what you mean by no cooldown. I know I have one.

        Extrication
        Instant
        Force: 30
        Cooldown: 60s
        Range: 30 m
        Lowers the target’s threat by a moderate amount and, if the target is a party member, pulls the target to your location.

        If you mean from being pulled by multiple specs, then yes, but that means the sprint does not come into play for a second pull.

        • Zarovich says:

          This biggest advantage I think this ability has is the fact that its not impacted by resolve like Grappling Hook is.

      • Gun-Bunny says:

        taugrim :

        Also, pulling a ball carrier onto the catwalks means there are 2 players on the catwalk that opposing players have to deal with. Charge is just moving 1 player.

        And at least one of those two has a knockback to clear the catwalk, lol.

        A debuff on the pulled target that prevents them from being pulled again for a short period is needed.

        • Cinnax says:

          That would not work because they would not be able to be “Pulled Back” by defensive players. I would add a 50% movement debuff to targets of friendly pulls. While we are on it, why not a BH/Trooper ability for a reverse knockback that we can use on friendlies? Grapple does not work on players with full resolve. and can only be used on opponents. Usually the ball carrier is being hit with so many stuns that they have a constantly full resolve. I can barely use my grapple to pull them away from the goal.

        • Richardya says:

          Tank spec jugg/guardians rule at huttball. Pick up ball, pop defensive cooldown, jump to friendly target, jump to enemy target, push enemy target close to goal line, jump to enemy target once again, pop other defensive cooldown + endure pain and walk over the line.

      • arnie says:

        Respectfully disagree. The following ability is just as powerfull and everyone has it. Many of the things people say about forcepull can be done with throw the hutball. You can set up a line and pass pass pass pass score.

        Throw the Huttball
        Instant
        Cooldown: 5s
        Range: 30 m
        Throws the Huttball to the ground target. Closest player (friendly or enemy) to target will catch the Huttball. Must be carrying the ball to throw the ball.

        In order to friendly pull you need to take yourself out o the action and run ahead. People are always free to keep someone back to deal with the puller. Sprint is big but you are still carrying the ball with the self snare afterwards. Ot’s not like you sprint and goodbye everyone. It’s a dminating closing ability. The jumping aspect of force leap is more usefull.

        There are so many counters anyway. Enemy pull, root, forceleap. All the CC etc.

        Keep up the good work

  29. scarybadlady says:

    I tested on ptr and posted alot on ptr forums about the changes to pvp.

    First off without the ability to cpy a 50 and have everyone in qual gear levels for pvp testing gaveus the results we see here today. Wthout a controlled testing enviroment changes are never made correctly. Until testing is fixed balance will also not be fixed.

    Abut the healing nerfs. Healing is 1/3 of the balance in pvp the other 2/3 is dps and tank. However healing is what makes pvp fun. Pvp where u die and rez over and over is bad. A match thats decided by 1 or 2 deaths because everyone stayed alive and the game was tactical is was makes pvp fun. No one wants to die but everyone wants healing nerfed. Pvp stats are bascally a self bubble for healing urself.

    Healing in this game needs to be OP just the way a healer works needs to be harder. Until we have reasons to cleanse, interupts or dispell mechanics all we hve is healing and to nerf healing takes away any usefulness healers have.

    Good pvp and pvpers want to win by outsmarting or outlasting an opponent. Wihout that aspect then it becomes what it is now a gibfest and who can push cds faster like rifts macros 1 button kills.

    Ask usrself whats funner in pvp

    1 u die rez die rez die rez

    2 u stayed up the whole time in a wz that was deicded in the last second by being healed the entire time.

  30. Irishbrewed says:

    Taugrim, you sad it when you saw the Patch Report. Too many changes, unfortunately for SWTOR you were right. It’s way to early to make such drastic changes. I feel as if a lot of what Bioware is doing is somewhat knee jerk. At least it comes off that way when their testing methods are so questionable.

    It’s okay to call the patch Broken for pvpers. Because like Rift 1.5, it is. The games not going under and the sky isn’t falling, but us poor pvpers got Shwartzed with 1.2 :p

  31. Davidnewski says:

    I’m dissapointed that they listened to the QQers on the sentinel/marauder forums. I personaly have a lvl 50 sentinel and I can confirm that they were already strong pre-1.2. They only needed to fix the combat tree. As for mercenaries/sorcs, I prefer not commenting about them since I hate these 2 classes with a passion.

    • taugrim says:

      Davidnewski :

      I’m dissapointed that they listened to the QQers on the sentinel/marauder forums. I personaly have a lvl 50 sentinel and I can confirm that they were already strong pre-1.2. They only needed to fix the combat tree. As for mercenaries/sorcs, I prefer not commenting about them since I hate these 2 classes with a passion.

      Sent/Mara was the classic late bloomer. Pre-1.2, once you got high up in the Watchman/Annihilation tree, the class was very strong.

      I do think Sent/Mara is one of the more challenging classes to play from a rotation perspective and as a melee requires hand-eye coordination. But it has been over-buffed.

  32. gamesforwindows says:

    Not sure if anyone mentioned it above, but have you noticed PPA proccing even when railshot isnt on cooldown? Pointless and requires you to wait 6s to get a proc. It’s a complete waste and is making me seriously consider AP. Would love your input on this. I have been reading that many people on the PTR told Bioware about this issue but they didnt fix it.

    As far as the pvp goes right now, it is beyond broken. I don’t have a desire to log in and play and I probably won’t until its fixed.

    1.2 broke more than it fixed. Juggs/Marauders seem to be critting for almost 6k all the time and fights with anyone barely last more than 6-10s.

    I really enjoyed the PvP pre 1.2, but right now it doesn’t really require any skill to be good.

    • taugrim says:

      gamesforwindows :

      Not sure if anyone mentioned it above, but have you noticed PPA proccing even when railshot isnt on cooldown? Pointless and requires you to wait 6s to get a proc. It’s a complete waste and is making me seriously consider AP. Would love your input on this. I have been reading that many people on the PTR told Bioware about this issue but they didnt fix it.

      Yes, I raised this as an issue weeks ago:
      http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=377327

  33. Davidnewski says:

    I forgot to add that I also noticed the damage increase taken by my guardian. It’s true that he only has 330 expertise but my guardian was more resilient before. Sadly on my server, most of the imps are full BM geared which means people like me are free kills until we get better gears. I still like the 1.2 but they will need to nerf the damage output of some classes so we don’t die in 5 seconds.

  34. Unski says:

    I didn’t notice any huge damage buffs after the patch. Shield tech vanguard was still pretty durable in warzones.

    New expertise formula from http://mmo-mechanics.com/swtor/forums/Thread-SWTOR-formula-list?pid=19331#pid19331
    PvP Damage Boost % = 0.5 * ( 1 – ( 1 – ( 0.01 / 0.5 ) )^( Expertise / max(Level,20) / 0.8 )
    PvP Damage Reduction % = 1 – 1 / (1 + PvP Damage Boost %)
    PvP Healing Boost % = 0.3 * ( 1 – ( 1 – ( 0.01 / 0.3 ) )^( Expertise / max(Level,20) / 1.5 )

    So it looks like damage buff and damage reduction cancels eachother out and only difference is increased healing which seems to be about same percentage as before patch. Damage reduction and buff change boosts everyone damage about 3% compared to prepatch.

    And if we look class changes only pvp spec which seemed to get significant pvp damage boost was Sharpshooter. Few pvp specs got damage nerf like Scrapper, Assault Specialist. Other class changes weren’t so much about damage changes just other stuff.

    There just shouldn’t be any significant decrease in TTK. Maybe it is true that mitigation was bugged when patch first hit. Or healer class changes just made healing that much weaker. But it sounds pretty improbable that there was some huge damage buff across board if everything worked like it should.

  35. Warmaster says:

    I unsubscribed last night after 2 hours of playing. Juggernauts are still useless and now that they gave maurader the unique Smash play while nerfing it for the juggernaut just angered me too much to continue playing. Not to mention the Maurader still has better survival skills than my juggernaut even after the new skill was released. 4 rage + 1 rage every attack is just too costly for the little amount of heal and reduction it gives the juggernaut to even use the skill. I would attempt to use it in clutch situations and it would end up making me, simply put, a training dummy. No rage to fight back and minimal reduction to stay alive.

    I also have a level 50 powertech and was having better survivability with my recruit geared powertech than I was with my battlemaster geared juggernaut.

    I still don’t understand why they nerfed skills in each classes’ advanced tree while at the same time nerfing Reduction and Healing from the Expertise Stat. It just blows my mind how lame this game got in one single update.

    Juggernaut unplayable (main class)

    Powertech still playable but I don’t feel like putting in another 2 months getting his gear to where my Juggernaut is so that I can play competively again in Warzones.

    Don’t feel like rerolling cookie cutter Assassin just because a company screws up balancing classes.

    • Jorrus - bb says:

      Honestly, try playing something other than rage. It got a net DPS buff actually, if you start using payback. The AoE component of the spec needed a nerf. Besides, marauders will be playing carnage or Annih, rage is still relatively lackluster in comparison to both specs.

      Vengeance is VERY strong in the patch and can make more effective use of enraged defense than either spec and Immortal DPS sill has superior control and damage to a lot of other specs out there.

    • Davidnewski says:

      Juggs could hit people 500 expertise people for 6k damage with force sweep. They had to nerf that. Anyway, aside from the lower survivability if you are not full BM geared, I like the changes they made with juggs/guardians. I’m just waiting for server transfers to be available so I can transfer my guardian and sentinel off their respective dead servers.

  36. Jorrus - bb says:

    The issue is that in full expertise gear the damage increase against players outstrips the damage decrease against players (at 1113 exp it’s a 22% damage increase and a 17% damage decrease compared to 900 xp providing 17% damage increase against players and a 15% decrease). This effectively creates a situation where players that had a 2% effective differential between damage thresholds in 1.15 (700 exp players vs. 500 exp players) now have upwards of a 5-10% disparity.

  37. Jax says:

    taugrim :
    We made it to 57 posts before someone mentioned the “the patch just went live” argument.
    This isn’t an issue of players re-figuring things out IMO. The mechanics and changes are what they are.

    I was attempting to state fact. It is not my goal to start and argument or debat. The main point was to say give BW time. They will fix things. Truely, I would rather them over correct then tweak than not fix enough IMO.

    • taugrim says:

      Jax :

      taugrim :
      We made it to 57 posts before someone mentioned the “the patch just went live” argument.
      This isn’t an issue of players re-figuring things out IMO. The mechanics and changes are what they are.

      I was attempting to state fact. It is not my goal to start and argument or debat. The main point was to say give BW time. They will fix things. Truely, I would rather them over correct then tweak than not fix enough IMO.

      Understood.

      The thing that is discouraging to me, as I stated in the article, is that they’re moving away from what’s worked well in the past. Why all the changes at once? The incremental changes was a better approach. Less disruptive and *much* easier to tell whether they brought the game into balance.

  38. bfcatalin says:

    – I can get over the fact that they did not tone down the most popular classes in the game right in the beginning of 1.2 (they need to make profits)
    – I can get over the fact that they screwed up, again, the patch and EU/Asian prime time is wasted (I’m from EU CEST+1)
    – I cannot forgive their half thought changes and the poor math of the warzones commendations income. If the players were not so dependent on them it would be fine, but now the income is so lowered that I had to run warzones with standard med packs so I can actually complete my BM gear
    – The fights in warzones are so stupid: ended up in a warzone with 6 sorcs, all they did was AoE and we could not plant one lousy bomb on the doors. Needles to say that the other 2 were marauders

    Went against healers that before 1.2 were a bit hard to kill with a 0/23/18 build, but now they drop so fast that I feel bad going for them. I end up dropping them to 10% and then pull some sorc to burn down to let them have a little fun at least … this is not OK.

    Tank spec powerthecs are very squishy, at least that was the impression of the fights I had against them.

    The only thing they got right in 1.2 is the UI (which should have been a release feature for any MMO that wants to attract a healthy player base),the Legacy (it shows they thought this one through) and a solid performance increase (rep fleet with 130 players was holding up nicely). The rest is just, in my opinion, a dirty marketing trick that EA/Bioware pulled to have players resub for 1.2 release:
    – RWZs are not available
    – gear gap appears to increase despite their official posts (it seems that the grind for BM gear is a herculean effort (it can be done, but very hard)
    – the conversion of previous commendations is poorly implemented. To me (as a fellow developer) looks like something a TL or game designer thought over night

    • Bobloblaw says:

      Sorc is far and away the most popular class, and they took a HUGE nerf, probably the biggest of any class (except POSSIBLY healing commandos.)

  39. alyxdinas1 says:

    The TTK issue (although I’m loathe to use that word since I’m not quite as concerned about it) is certainly the most noticeable change insofar as the way combat feels. There are certain situations that seem to play out a bit differently now. Speaking as someone who played their tank largely peeling off opponents and delaying smaller packs, the latter tactic is definitely more difficult to do effectively since the overall length of combat time is shorter.

    That admitted, while the difference is there and you can tell it is there, I haven’t necessarily found my overall experience less enjoyable so far nor have I found that the basic tactics I employ have completely lost their efficiency. For other class types/playstyles, however, I admit ignorance.

    So it might be a misstep but it certainly doesn’t seem like something irrevocable or completely poisonous to the PvP experience, at least in my experience so far.

  40. Benjamin says:

    Nice write up Taugrim, this is pretty much what I experienced on my Vanguard last night.

    The only thing I would add is I hate the voice they put into the new warzone, it keeps yelling at you every 10 secs or so when you are losing … I’m at the point where I dont actually want the new wz to pop, even though I like the ‘dominion style’ system that really will allow for close games.

    Oh well, at least BW gave me a month free sub, could use that $15 to put towards my GW2 pre-order.

  41. Hanshotfirst says:

    Honestly, I think if ranked warzones had gone in as planned Bioware would have had another Illum on their hands. Pre-season or not, what’s the point of having a so-called ranking system with a tentative ruleset?

    Still hoping for the best with SWTOR, as I love the IP. But it may end up being primarily a RP/PvE title for me, in favor of games like Tribes Ascend and Guild Wars 2 for PvP.

  42. Whac says:

    PVP is as good as dead, no one is going to play and get nothing for it. This is crazy to not get a goal in huttball, and get nothing??? Who’s brilliant idea was that?? Just stupid.. I spent 10 minutes, we got creamed and I get nothing, idiotic…

  43. aceofspadez619 says:

    Taug, here’s an interesting take from a DPSer on the swtor forums on the overall TTK “issue”. I wonder what you think about it.

    His take was in response to a Scoundrel healer that was disgruntled/disillusioned and saw no point playing the healer b/c his group became more effective in terms of the outcome of the match when he played his Tank/DPS alt and no healers in the group at all. Mainly b/c a single DPS had an easier time burning a Healer down. The Healer had to choose to keep themselves up or heal others before inevitable death.

    In terms of group PvP dynamic, now that the the DPS role is now more effective people are complaining b/c now Tank+Heal have to actually work together to be effective where as before Heals had it pretty cake.

    Don’t think it is that simple, but the overall idea gave me pause. I’m not a healer and I’m still in sub-50 mainly PUG PVP (so I haven’t really noticed a huge TTK difference, probably due to expertise not being much of a factor yet). But do you think the “OP Healer” will recognize this and adjust play accordingly. Will groups need to actually start PROTECTING their healers as part of their strategy since they’ll drop faster without help?

    With the 1.2 changes do you see a loss to some of that flexibility that makes SWTOR so great, in my opinion? Is it going to make Sage/Sorcs the ONLY viable healers (and turn them to healbots). Part of the fun of this game is the various AC can fit all roles pretty well, and you can also change your role dynamically in PvP thanks to base class abilities/hybrid specs. etc.

    Although being a “pvp only leveler’, I hope the WZ rewards change doesn’t kill it. I like the better emphasis placed on winning (I hate Pugs that don’t even TRY, no matter how ineffective being in a pug is)…and if not trying reaped you the same rewards then I understand the rebalance. I just hope it doesnt make it tougher/pointless for a new PvPer to participate and probably loose a lot and be in a comm/credit/valor hole as a result.

  44. Synora says:

    I play a healing sage with Champion/BM Gear and have to say, I am sadly surprised by how fast I go down. Pre 1.2 I could stand a chance against some damage dealers and had some fun fights, that lasted some time. Now SWTOR PvP reminds me of WoW PvP somehow.

    Maybe it’ll get fixed.

  45. Taugrim: I’ve been grasping at straws since 1.2’s release for a Vanguard/Powertech DPS build that isn’t Iron Fist. My guild’s premade groups have enough tanks and require a burst DPSer. I have given several builds a try the day the patch came out and gave them significant testing.

    First, I tried a straight-up, 31-point Tactics/Advanced Prototype build (8/31/2) http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#801hMhZrsrrobfkzsZb.1

    This build threw everything at the opponent, but was clunky and a misstep in rotation meant being out of ammo real fast.

    I then tried a full Assault build (i.e. “Full DPS” 4/6/31 Spec). The advantage to this is that Incendiary Round/Missile allows the player some distance to begin DPS and throw a High Impact Bolt/Rail Shot. However, I felt the 6-second cooldown on Ionic Accelerator/Prototype Particle Accelerator hindered this spec for short-duration fights – especially considering the shorter Time to Kill, which you mentioned.

    I also did a hybrid of these two specs, “Run & Gun.” Again, the 6-second cooldown was not effective in short TTK encounters.

    I did some Googling and forum searching and found ideas for Tactics/Advanced Prototype spec putting low priority on High Impact Bolt/Rail Shot and avoiding Gut/Retractable Blade. The emphasis was put on stacking Pulse Generator/Prototype Flamethrower as quickly as possible using Ion Pulse/Flame Burst and Fire Pulse/Immolate.

    I created the following spec, though it may be similar – or even exactly the same – as a spec I believe is being called the “Tibetan Candle.” For now, I call it “Gutless.” Please let me know what you think:

    http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#801G0hZrsrrMrbzbsZb.1

  46. Cereyeth says:

    With the 1.2 changes my BM Guardian in full tanking gear and spec can still be cut down in just a few seconds by even just a couple of dps, and forget if I have guard up on a player. You expect the sacrifice in damage for better survival to be worth it. Might as well just go full dps and at least have the damage to show for it.

  47. sevenn says:

    Can you comment on operatives and scoundrels? I know I play a very unpopular class/spec but I fear that bw has committed to making this class/spec unviable in pve and restricted to only one way to play in pvp (burst and run every 2 minutes). Thanks.

  48. Bobloblaw says:

    Davidnewski :

    I forgot to add that I also noticed the damage increase taken by my guardian. It’s true that he only has 330 expertise but my guardian was more resilient before. Sadly on my server, most of the imps are full BM geared which means people like me are free kills until we get better gears. I still like the 1.2 but they will need to nerf the damage output of some classes so we don’t die in 5 seconds.

    Whoa whoa whoa. Just stop right there. Go buy the recruit set. I have full recruit and a couple of pieces of Champ (no BM yet) and have ~850 expertise. If you have only 330, you’re not going to be doing nearly enough damage, and taking WAY too much.

    • Davidnewski says:

      Like I said, I know I have low expertise. I have a mix of centurion and champion gears. It was the first time I logged since the patch was deployed and I wanted to test my guardian. Of course I have to upgrade my equipment lol! Not all of us played on the PTS and tested the extra damage boost that expertise provides now. Compared to the last patch, the change is BRUTAL, which was the whole point of my post. I’m not the only one who noticed that considering we were all getting farmed like crazy by the BM imps. I still managed to kill people though :p

  49. I had PVP geared Operative in patch 1.5, and I must disagree you with the Operative part, even when being highly objective. If you don’t just let the operative beat you down in one spot but you move, use CC there’s no way the operative will kill you before your friends notice the operative on the background killing (probably) the healer. POST PATCH 1.1.5. Of course it’s not always the best excuse to say that “x class does this better”, but 3-4 advanced classes had much more firepower in their use after the buff stacking and nerfs were done.
    On the good side are the ops medicine tree changes. The extra TA, +6s TA duration and the overall increases of the few key abilities really do a lot to the class. And I must mention that the channeled small heal ability Diagnostic Scan isn’t completely useless anymore. With some of alacrity you can get 3 ticks of healing in ~1,5 seconds and crits cause you to gain energy. With this you’re safe(“safeish”) to spam heal in PVE and PVP because you can get your energy back quicker if the adrenaline probe which renews your energy is on a cooldown. Now the ops healer is actually very useful in healing.
    Personally I’ve been experimenting with the hybrid spec again, 23-16-2. The nerfs to the damage side, 12 second backstab cooldown and making the talents worse in the Concealment tree have made a 31p concealment spec utterly useless imo. Currently when you stack your TA’s to 3 and start spamming Laceration(the damage was nerfed ~10%), you can do a lot of damage with a broad Medicine tree spec and your survability is superb, you can easily tank two or even three people, if you have a few cc’s off cd for a extended period of time.

    It makes me sad that they’re were still nerfing the Operative “burst” damage after the first initial one. It makes me more sad seeing classes like Assassin and Juggernaut(buffed) being almost untouched by the nerfing hand. I guess too many people play that class for it to suffer like the ops class did. Well that’s just a big conspiracy theory but what Georg Zoeller said in one of the blogs about the nerfs and a lot of people complaining and not a lot of people playing the class well… it’s not a big drift from an explanation to a conspiracy theory :)

    * WZ Supplies? Yes, a lot of people like me haven’t stacked thousands of the heals and damage buffs pre-1.2 and even the pre-50 PVP items seem to have a really high cost now, you almost outlevel your 2-3 items you get for that level before you reach the next tier of the items (34->38).
    * TTK? It is indeed out of whack. People don’t even have War Hero gear yet and it’s already went down so much. But a lot of that can also be contributed to the class changes, not just the expertise change. It’s just too much at the same time. They should’ve rolled out the class changes while everyone was waiting for 1.2 and not stick this lot of changes in the same patch.

    * Something I would like to see is a response from BW about the resolve, why you can still be rooted or be affected by various different abilities even when you’re fully on the resolve bar.

    • Bobloblaw says:

      They actually answered your resolve Q in the last Q&A. They view roots/snares as a part of a kiting/anti-kiting system, and not as a CC.

      Besides, it would absolutely WRECK the already wonky melee/ranged balance if roots/snares were affected by resolve.

  50. Dallin says:

    I’m sure someone covered this already, but I haven’t read every post yet. Sadly, this patch killed my Sorc healer in PvP. That’s all I did, I loved it and never felt OP. One Mara on me was enough to force me to heal myself and kite to live pre 1.2. It’s simply amazes me they chose to nerf heals to the ground through talents and expertise, while at the same time giving Mara’s (among other DPS) damage buffs.

    I chose to Unsub. I had a 46 Mara and a 44 Vanguard i enjoyed and I could’ve even chosen to play the really OP Tank Sin I had with the recruit gear. However, none of those were classes I loved, that was my Sorc. Maybe one day SWTOR will see some good PvP fixes, but for now, i’m done with it.

  51. cecilandkain says:

    taugrim :
    I agree 100%.
    Rewards between the winning and losing side need to be close enough that the game doesn’t create a vicious cycle or encourage people to stop fighting.

    A Fair Distribution would be:
    1/3 of the rewards should come from your 8 cap commendations
    1/3 of the rewards should come from winning the game
    1/3 of the rewards should come from participation.

    That is based on no research or complex math of any kind.

  52. B says:

    I just had a thought, and I was wondering what other people would think about it.

    What if Bioware were to remove gear effects from warzone PVP?

    Upon entering into a WZ an AC would get normalized to a certain baseline value which would in turn be tweaked based upon what spec the AC was using.

    PVP gear could still exist, it would carry similar stats to the appropriate level PVE gear, but with different more PVP-centric set bonuses like they already do. The stats would be competitive for open world or PVE applications.

  53. BaneFTW-Jenovah(Ajunta Pall) says:

    I think the biggest problem was that most of these class changes are amplified at max level. And with character copy to the PTS being pretty limited (I only heard about them towards the end of the testing cycle) it’s really hard to get accurate data on how so many class changes are going to affect balance.

    I agree that a lot of stuff should probably be rolled back. Will it happen… probably not, and if it does it most likely won’t be as fast as people want. My first impressions of the commendations change for the losing side was that it was to combat the afk/warzone leechers (in lieu of a working reporting feature)… but instead of punishing the guilty, it’s a sweeping pentalty for everyone on the team.

    Like you said, surgically changing things here and there has much less disruption on enjoyable gameplay than broad, sweeping changes.

  54. Screamingshot says:

    You can adapt to any change… or just move on. Those are our options. I ve been playing the most underrated and underplayed class (sniper) already and with success at that too. So i am adaptive despite anyone else says.

    But the latest 1.2 patch, as its current states ensures to drive away more fresh PvP players than it would attract surely. Or at best it will lead to a monotype of a single-class (or bi-class) domination throughout the servers. Once you get the diversity and tactics out of the PvP, even the laziest “i wants it all!” type PvP player will fed up with the mechanics and leave.

    In my opinion this last patch mechanics (if they stay as they are) are a sure ticket to ghost-town PvP zones/ Servers. Because with the new reward system the gap will get wider and wider beyond an untolerable point for the new PvPers.

    Having said that i (or many of us mature, cool headed PvP players) can adapt to changes, the real question is: “Should we even try? to adapt to a system that is destined to fail at its current state?”

    Regards to all of you and thanks for the review lad.

  55. EuchridEucrow says:

    Here is a pretty thought provoking collection of posts I saw by FireSomething on the forums(warning, I haven’t checked the math on this so I can’t attest to how fuzzy or not it is):

    “I’ve been seeing a lot of dubious math considering the changes to expertise in patch 1.2 so I would like to post my take on what the goal of the changes actually are for 1.2.

    I’m making one assumption on how the damage calculation works: expertise is multaplicative.

    Thus the formula for deriving how much damage you take is based on the following formula:

    (AttackDmg)*(1+AttackExp)*(1-DefExp)*(1-DmgReduction) = DmgRecieved

    And for the sake of argument I will be ignoring armor/resistance because they are unaffected by expertise. So that leaves the formula as:

    (AttackDmg)*(1+AttackExp)*(1-DefExp) = AdjustedDmgRecieved

    So pre-1.2 the battlemaster gear gave ~11% to all three categories. So pluging this into the formula as % values we find that expertise was behaving this way for the values of expertise that were available.

    (100)*(1.11)*(1-0.11) = 98.79%

    If they had just relaxed the dmr curve for expertise and allowed the pvp bonuses to grow evenly ending up with new battlemaster gear giving 22% to all three. It would lead to damage being reduced across the board in fights between similarly geared players.

    (100)*(1.22)*(1-0.22) = 95.16%

    Now I assume everyone is now thinking, “so what does it matter if everyone’s damage is reduced?”

    the problem comes from the fact that healers would also be putting out 22% more healing. Healing is unchecked by pvp bonuses.

    With the new values of the pvp buff what is indeed happening is that the damage is being brought closer inline to what people thought was happening with expertise pre-1.2. Dulfy has an excellent chart in this article detailing the gearing changes. http://dulfy.net/2012/03/22/pvp-gearing-in-1-2/

    With the new values of expertise on BM gear (22% dmg, 18% reduction) the cancelling is indeed happening like it was before 1.2.

    (100)*(1+0.22)*(1-0.18) = 100.04%

    For WH gear the same is true.

    (100)*(1+0.24)*(1-0.195) = 99.82%

    So as these two curves continue the stats do indeed cancel each other when two characters with equal amounts of expertise are fighting each other 1v1.

    Since this is getting kind of long I’ll break this into a few posts.

    Summary: The new damage curves actually lead to 2 characters at equal levels of expertise doing exactly 100% of their pre-buffed damage to each other as the expertise buff cancel with the new dmr curves.

    Next I’ll take a look at what happens when characters of different gear levels meet each other 1v1.

    This post is going to be short and focus on the input/output differential for players of unequal gear levels fighting 1v1. Again I’ll be using Dulfy’s graph that I linked in my last post for approximate values.

    This will just be a list of the % dmg received in the case of [Player 1] ->(attacks) [Player 2] and using the buff values as follows:
    Dmg Reduc
    WH: 24% 19.5%
    BM: 22% 18%
    Rec: 18% 15.5%

    WH -> BM: 101.68%
    BM -> WH: 98.21%
    Diff: +- 3.47%

    WH -> Rec: 104.78%
    Rec -> WH: 94.99%
    Diff: +- 9.79%

    BM -> Rec: 103.09%
    Rec -> BM: 96.76%
    Diff: +- 6.33%

    Then in the case of fighting a fully pve geared player the differentials are as follows:
    WH -> PVE: 43.5%
    BM -> PVE: 40%
    Rec -> PVE: 33.5%

    So in the case that you are wearing a full set of pvp gear that is obtainable in 1.2 you will never be at more than a 10% disadvantage expertise buff-wise, but it makes PvE gear completely non-viable for PvP which was BioWare’s stated goal. This is not much of an entrance barrier to a new 50 if they plan ahead and buy gear pieces as they level to use when they hit 50.

    Now the reason they reduced healing or rather did not increase it by much is because healing in pvp is unchecked by anything that a character can do except for stat inflation. Thus the PvP healing curve needed to be reduced to reflect what BioWare felt the increase in damage output sans expertise buff would be. This allows the game to have a PvP gearing dependency that creates a large zero-sum arms race.

    The nerfs that they gave to Merc/Comm and Sorc/Sage seem to be intended to bring them more in line with where Ops/Scound were pre-patch. From my experience in PvP fighting a BH/Comm that was in full BM gear require 2-3 people to kill depending on the skill of the dps and the timing of interrupts. Good sorcs/sages could easily achieve this as well. Ops/Scound on the other hand could be killed with 1-2 good dps interrupting/stunning intelligently. This is without the assistance of a tank or other dps.

    With a tank Merc/Comm were able to tank 4-5 dps without dying. (Maybe only 3-4 well geared/skilled players). That is over half of a WZ team.

    But by nerfing the resource management of Merc/Sorc it brings them more in line for PvP, and by not inflating pvp healing increases to offset anything other than stat inflation they make sure they don’t get to a point where healers are nearly immortal again.

    But with the way expertise is working now is not making the fights shorter. Between 2 evenly geared players they will take exactly the same amount of time as they did pre-patch as long as the increases to endurance on the PvP gear matches the stat inflation on the other gear.

    A lot of people that are perceiving the fights taking a shorter amount of time are most likely having trouble with a spec that was changed in the patch or they are trying to PvP in PvE gear which is not something that BioWare wants to encourage.

    If you mainly PvE it should be easy to pick up enough PvP gear through the recruit vendor to be competitive. What it stops is people that mainly PvE coming into PvP and rolling people that primarily PvP because the gear is the same or better. It offers two different progression paths with a low barrier to entry to each but a time investment goal to the player in each path. This is the fundamental way that MMO games work. They give you a progression path usually gear wise that you work through with a combination of skill and time investment where skill usually reduces the time investment required.

    WZ comm payout is a little low compared to the usefulness of the gear you get from it, and that some of the healing changes may have been a little harsh. But if the sky is indeed falling BioWare will most likely see it and catch it as they have with quite a few other things in this game so far. ”

    I’m not saying I agree or disagree with what he is saying exactly I just thought that he expresses his thoughts well and so far has been the only reasonable counter arguement to the kind of “sky is falling” posts that have cropped up on the pvp forums.

    P.S.: I am in NO WAY saying this blog post is a “sky is falling” kind of post.

  56. I have to admit after they brought the servers up today it seems to be a lot different. I am actually not dying after 3 or 4 seconds and my TTL has gone up a lot. I dunno if they screwed something up yesterday and didn’t have something switched on, but it seems like night and day compared to yesterday. I have only tried one match so far so it maybe different in other matches.

  57. Dey says:

    May I ask you what your thoughts are on Commandos in general.
    They seemed squishy before 1.2 (obviously heals could keep them standing) now their armor feels like its made out of tissue paper and have no survivability.
    I personally cannot take on anything melee 1 on 1.

    As for the healing efficiency. You have to remember too as a commando, im either healing your or healing me. Cant really do both due to damage output, we dont have a bubble like Sorcs/Sages to mitigate and trauma probe was to weak a heal. I dont think the efficiency was an issue really as we are kinda the paladin healers of SWTOR.

  58. Torathin says:

    Broke my heart but I unsubbed a few weeks ago.

    For some reason the problem of low population servers is lower on the totem pole for BW, even though it has rendered the game nearly unplayable to those of us on low pop servers. After all the time and effort I’ve put in, I have no inclination to reroll on Fatman like everyone else and do it all again.

    The negatives here, and in particular I find TTK and the blatant gear-grind obstacles the most egregious, just made me remember why I cancelled my account. It’s no longer fun.

    As with Rift, I really enjoyed playing SWTOR, so I hope they are able to make a think a little harder about the changes they are making. Until then, Diablo 3, TERA and GW2 just seem more fun, and I’m here to have fun, not work a second job.

  59. Cinnax says:

    I play a Powertech Tank. Since 1.2 there is no longer any need for people to focus me. A single Knight/Marauder can destroy me even with a focused healer aiding me. This means that healers have little hope for protection. Mt spec is only viable in PvE now as PvP has become a gibfest.

    It seems as though there are no real functions for classes now outside of preferred gameplay. As a Tank PvP is boring. You deal very little damage and you cannot take much more than most other classes. You can no longer survive a 2 V 1 situation long enough to receive aid from allies. Healers cannot keep up with dmg output anymore.

    As far as gear goes, I am utterly dissapointed. After grinding and grinding for Battlemaster rank so I can finally get the top tier of PvP gear, it is no longer top tier. The recruit gear is better EXP than the champion gear I had. I have to now grind WZ comms for Battlemaster gear, just so I can gring more comms for War Hero gear? All this while needing to spend more of the same comms on pots? Not to mention that I average 30 comms per WZ now even with 17 medals! The Battlemaster comms that I saved trying to get 3-comm gear can only be traded for a PvP crafting material. Daily PvP quests reward 99 wz comms and 99 RWZ comms. Quess what? Weekly PvP quests reward 99 WZ comms and 99 RWZ comms. That is 16 completable quests each week for 1584 RWZ comms. It will take you about 15 weeks to get full War Hero gear; that is while we wait for RWZs to be implemented.

    BioWare has stated many times that SWTOR is a story and PvE game. PvP is secondary and they treat it as such. Every “update” they make is focused on dragging people into the story content, creating multiple “alts”, etc. Open world PvP is…umm…a small free-for-all area on Tatooine?

    • Droppafatty says:

      I too play a Powertech tank using the Iron Fist spec. After the patch have now respecced to Pyro as ceing a tank was not viable. I barely took longer to take down and could not do enough damage to make a difference. It’s a real shame as we were just getting really interested in SWTOR over the past few weeks. I hope BW fixes some of these issues sooner rather than later.

  60. MMOPTICS@blogspot.com says:

    Well, we are trying to give this game another try with 1.2. Decide to try the PvP, which was fine before IMO, but now it’s not even worth the stress.

    Don’t know what is the problem at Bioware but they have the wrong idea about how MMOs.

  61. MMOPTICS@blogspot.com says:

    I need to stop posting on Iphones…

  62. mehmetsalgar says:

    They nerf the surge during 1.1 series patch while TTK was to low, now I am dying inside of 3s with 1.2 PVP

    I tought the purpose of this patch to create a difference between PVE gear and PVP gear with more expertise so people will not use PVP gear PVE purpose…..

    So extreme change of TTK is consequence of it while they didn’t apply the formulas correctly and it was the main purpose that was never communicated….

    I am lost, in 1.2 PVP I am stun locked and dead in 3 s, pre 1.2 I had a chance to counter act, now who ever Zerg the other side wins.

    I don’t know I ever bother to PVP, I was planning to level my Alts with PVP but with losers gets nothing philosophy it is not possible, I will not way play the class story again and again…..

    If this is a strategy to force people leveling with PVE and sub longer, it is going to backfire…..

    If I all of the thing I am citing are consequences instead of main purpose, it is much worst then I tought and MMO company that has no clue about its own mechanics….

    I am not big MMO player but I am Star Wars fan it will break my heart that another SW games fails like this….

  63. A very accurate post, as always. A couple comments:

    I agree the PvP medpaks and adrenals seem overpriced compared to our comm income. Otoh, I like the balance because it creates a real choice between using them to win, or gearing up. Also, it gives an advantage to optimised players who have no gear to grind for, but (when time comes) ranking to gain. They have the small advantage of being able to afford to use pvp medpaks, a kind of “gear advantage”.

    31 pt Assassins are definately hugely OP in huttball. On the three other WZs, I am quite confident my pyro Powertech is contributing more than them, all things considered. Overall, imo, it balances out. If so, this may be why they’re untouched. (whether we’re both overpowered compared to the average AC is another matter :)

  64. Ezel says:

    oh wussup taug!Bw finally nerfed bh and ia a bit and u starting waging whining-war on them? If u wanna go play guild wars 2 and tetra then go ahead-by all means. Cant rly say we will miss u-Cause lets be real here for a sec-Why are u doing all this? u know the blogs about all those mmorpgs(wow,rift and now lotro), in which u provide ppl with info and hints on how to play their class efficiently in pvp. Do u do it as a gesture of good faith? Cause u rly wanna help these guys? Or maybe cause of the money u make out of it!?:P Lets face it u earn huge sums of cash per month by donations, adds, ur t-shirt and so on and so forth stuff that ure selling..Thats why u dedicate such portion of ur free time in all this-for the money. And when 1 game stops attracting u and going towards the direction where u want it to go, u leave it carrying tons of ppl(ur so called-fans) in the next mmoprg who will prolly do as u wish and wont fail u. U gotta accept that vanguard/powertechs were insanly op and had to be nerfed sometime- they couldnt be killed in1v1-bubble with only 2min cd, sick burst dmg, tons of ccs, heavy armor- wtf!abundant oh-crap skills and usee where this is going..

    • taugrim says:

      Ezel :

      Why are u doing all this? u know the blogs about all those mmorpgs(wow,rift and now lotro), in which u provide ppl with info and hints on how to play their class efficiently in pvp. Do u do it as a gesture of good faith? Cause u rly wanna help these guys? Or maybe cause of the money u make out of it!?:P

      I started writing Guides in 2005.
      I started making narrated videos in 2008.
      I created this blog as the home for my content in 2009.
      I didn’t receive monetization on my YouTube channel until Oct 2011.
      I didn’t start streaming on TwitchTV until Nov 2011.
      I didn’t have any ads on taugrim.com until Feb 2012.

      So basically, I’ve been providing content for about 7 years, and only in the last 0.5 years did I earn a single penny from any of it.

      I write Guides and provide content because of I love sharing information, correcting misconceptions, and dialoguing about game design and mechanics with other players.

      If you want to believe that my primary motivation is money, that’s up to you.

      Ezel :

      Lets face it u earn huge sums of cash per month by donations, adds, ur t-shirt and so on and so forth stuff that ure selling..Thats why u dedicate such portion of ur free time in all this-for the money.

      I wish I were making “huge sums of cash per month”.

      Ezel :

      And when 1 game stops attracting u and going towards the direction where u want it to go, u leave it carrying tons of ppl(ur so called-fans) in the next mmoprg who will prolly do as u wish and wont fail u.

      I play games because they are fun for me. When they are heading south or no longer fun, I look for something else to play.

      I learned from my experience with Warhammer Online, which I played for 12 months despite watching most of my friends and guildees stop playing it within the first 6 months, that it’s too depressing and discouraging to continue sticking with a game when I know that it’s dying.

      SWTOR is not at that stage yet, but 1.2 is a significant step in the wrong direction. If you read the dozens of comments on this article, a lot of people agree.

      And if what you wrote is true, I’d be playing and blogging about League of Legends, which is by far and away the fastest growing and most popular game.

      Again, I play games because I enjoy them. It’s that simple.

      Ezel :

      U gotta accept that vanguard/powertechs were insanly op and had to be nerfed sometime- they couldnt be killed in1v1-bubble with only 2min cd, sick burst dmg, tons of ccs, heavy armor- wtf!abundant oh-crap skills and usee where this is going..

      Assault Spec Vanguards (Pyrotech Powertechs) were very strong 1v1, although there were a 3 classes with better counter-mechanics that would beat them consistently assuming equal gear and skill.

      • Trey says:

        Really no need to respond to these kind of posts, Ed. Something about pigs and mud… and most pigs have better punctuation.

        • taugrim says:

          Trey :

          Really no need to respond to these kind of posts, Ed. Something about pigs and mud… and most pigs have better punctuation.

          Understood.

          I do think it’s sometimes worth the time to nip inaccurate perceptions in the bud, as they say.

  65. Ezel says:

    Ezel :

    oh wussup taug!Bw finally nerfed bh and ia a bit and u starting waging whining-war on them? If u wanna go play guild wars 2 and tetra then go ahead-by all means. Cant rly say we will miss u-Cause lets be real here for a sec-Why are u doing all this? u know the blogs about all those mmorpgs(wow,rift and now lotro), in which u provide ppl with info and hints on how to play their class efficiently in pvp. Do u do it as a gesture of good faith? Cause u rly wanna help these guys? Or maybe cause of the money u make out of it!?:P Lets face it u earn huge sums of cash per month by donations, adds, ur t-shirt and so on and so forth stuff that ure selling..Thats why u dedicate such portion of ur free time in all this-for the money. And when 1 game stops attracting u and going towards the direction where u want it to go, u leave it carrying tons of ppl(ur so called-fans) in the next mmoprg who will prolly do as u wish and wont fail u. U gotta accept that vanguard/powertechs were insanly op and had to be nerfed sometime- they couldnt be killed in1v1-bubble with only 2min cd, sick burst dmg, tons of ccs, heavy armor- wtf!abundant oh-crap skills and usee where this is going..

    dont get me all wrong taugrim-i’ve been watching ur progress since wow and i may say that i was captivated by ur effort and u work in general- But lets face it u always pick the opest class in an mmo and provide hints just for it lol- Paladins were/still are the opest class in wow and correct me if i am wrong but last time i checked u were playing a pally back then:P Anyways man everybody is entitled to his own opinion and that is mine. What did u expect? to have vanguard as it is forever? it was ridiculously op and a class that required no skill at all to be played- flame thrower i think was and flame jet or smth imo sick…u could actually spam these and get plentiful kills.. Plus u selling t-shirts for 27 euros or so which is pure scam! t-shirt on its own costs like 2 euros on a good store in my country-seemingly u must have a sort of a provisions guy who sells them to u for like 0,5 each or even less. These prints cost no morethan 5euros if u go do it by ur own – so total 7euros- And again u will have a guy who does this for 2,5 or so- total 3 euros imao- half price than a genuine one.. And u actually sell them for 27 plus shipping cost..But ofc there always will be suckers around to buy them so:P

  66. Howard Chang says:

    Agreeing most part of the article, but why is sentinel’s group buff overpowered in pvp?

  67. Brytag says:

    Howard Chang :

    Agreeing most part of the article, but why is sentinel’s group buff overpowered in pvp?

    imo its not that the group buff is OP, its that sentinels/maraduars get so many kick ass group buffs. we get transcendence, inspiration, passive heals as watchman (although weak, they do add up, i had 100k healing in a voidstar match once), heal debuff, on top of already very strong damage.

  68. Irishbrewed says:

    Ezel :

    oh wussup taug!Bw finally nerfed bh and ia a bit and u starting waging whining-war on them? If u wanna go play guild wars 2 and tetra then go ahead-by all means. Cant rly say we will miss u-Cause lets be real here for a sec-Why are u doing all this? u know the blogs about all those mmorpgs(wow,rift and now lotro), in which u provide ppl with info and hints on how to play their class efficiently in pvp. Do u do it as a gesture of good faith? Cause u rly wanna help these guys? Or maybe cause of the money u make out of it!?:P Lets face it u earn huge sums of cash per month by donations, adds, ur t-shirt and so on and so forth stuff that ure selling..Thats why u dedicate such portion of ur free time in all this-for the money. And when 1 game stops attracting u and going towards the direction where u want it to go, u leave it carrying tons of ppl(ur so called-fans) in the next mmoprg who will prolly do as u wish and wont fail u. U gotta accept that vanguard/powertechs were insanly op and had to be nerfed sometime- they couldnt be killed in1v1-bubble with only 2min cd, sick burst dmg, tons of ccs, heavy armor- wtf!abundant oh-crap skills and usee where this is going..

    Youre about as dumb as rocks, the man ain’t whining about a particular class. He’s stating the obvious about the state of pvp as a whole. Taug puts out quality stuff and he does it because he enjoys it not because he has alternative motives of a fortune 500 company. Come on man pull your fanboy head out your arse.

  69. Torkar says:

    The thing I find most baffling is the changes to the rewards and costs of pvping.

    Looking at pre 50 characters it looks like BW is trying to discourage poeple from leveling through pvp. Fewer rewards, encreased prices. Taking away the Valour equirement on
    the first two tiers of pvp armor so you can into them quicker as a fresh lvl50.
    It’s like they said: ”PvP is all well and good, but we made this wonderfull pve leveling experience. Go experience it!”

    After that it has become a game of maximizing your commendation gain instead of maximizing your play. You can use that medpack to try and squeeze the most out of your play during a loosing game, but it might end up giving you a net loss in commendations. Do that often enough and you’ll be broke. Then you can’t use medpacks even if you wanted to. (Unless you’ve got Biochem as your proffesion, which I do believe is something they wanted to get away from with previous patches)
    This seems counter productive towards pvp being competative to me aswell as encourages people to leave matches that their team are loosing.

    While thinking about how to phrase my thoughts about this I started thinking about competition, sport and e-sport and came to the conclusion that many MMO’s/Games can’t be classified as a sport (e-sport) because a large section of gamers/game developers are somehow of the mindset that winning means you get an advantage over your opponent the next time the two of you meet.
    Does winning the Superbowl mean you get to play with a better football next season?

    • Davidnewski says:

      The increased price for pre-50 pvp gears and the fewer comms gained when you lose is a bad move on BW’s part. Now the weapon’s costs have almost doubled, it’s ridiculous. Maybe they did that so people would buy crafted gears instead? I don’t know but I still think it’s a bad idea.

      • Davidnewski says:

        err correction:the weapon cost went from 580 comm to 900. It’s still a significant increase.

  70. jasonnewington says:

    I’ve not personally noticed a reduction in TTK however the extreme reduction in warzone rewards for the losing side really worries me to the point where I feel I’m wasting my time.

    Add to that the fact that someone at Bioware thought that giving ZERO rewards for a warzone ,under any circumstance, and I’m now really concerned for the future of PvP in this game.

  71. Irishbrewed says:

    The fact that PvPers just got a new war zone and a new gear grind feels like just an obvious CARROT to me. Couple that with all the annoying changes to the classes and stats just makes pvp in swtor GRINDY & FRUSTRATING rather then fun or competitive.

  72. Gothic90 says:

    OK, after two days, I’ll give my final verdict of 1.2 PvP system.

    Basically it composes of two parts.

    1) Gear is the dominant factor that determines winning or losing.
    2) The main reward for participating in warzones is better PvP gear, but when you lose, you get little to no reward.

    and that is, by dictionary definition, catch 22.

    And that, I think, is a problem with any game that has (especially PvE) gear progression.

    Hope GW2 can invent something new. I can only hope.

  73. Crular says:

    After reading this blog post and all the comments I am glad I stopped playing a month ago. That ranked WZs didn’t make it into the patch and Bioware withholding that information until a day before deploying the patch speaks volumes. Guess they are in panic mode due to plummeting subscription numbers.

    Well, pre-purchased GW2 and I am sure it will put the final nail into SWTORs PvP coffin. If this game didn’t have the Star Wars IP people would turn away laughing hysterically.

  74. Cinnax says:

    You are sadly mistaken. I can understand that you do not agree with what Taugrim has posted…and to be fair it IS his opinion. However, an objective mind would see that he did not “whine” about anything. He simply stated his premise and supported his observations with facts. Is this not the way to submit a review?

    Bounty Hunters/Troopers were never OP. There were simple problems that allowed them to be more effective than intended. Tracer Missile/Grav Round spamming and the high frequency of Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt procs which reset this ability obviously needed to be addressed; and Taugrim pointed this out in earlier reviews and guides.

    Imperial Agents/Smugglers also need a bit of tweaking. First to eliminate their ability to “Double Tap” as well as their Stealth burst capability.

    This argument can be made for most of the classes. However, there is a difference between “tweeking” classes in order to create a more balanced PvP experience and committing to a full spectrum change. Rather than fixing a system that needed only a bit of TLC, they have created entirely new problems that will take them months to sort out. For a game still in its early stages, this move does not bode well for future changes and/or “fixes.”

    The “new” system favors DPS over strategy, utility, and skill. Rather than concentrated team-effort and tactical engagement it is a matter of “who can kill the other team first.”

    I generally do not like to make negative comments about other people’s opinions, but in the case of your reply I feel obligated to state the following:

    Your comment cannot be classified as an opinion. It is a simple troll post. If your attitude is an indication as to the majority “opinion” of SWTOR “fan boys” then the game is truly doomed. I bet you laugh when you are able to gib other players, but you also whine and cry when you are gibbed. You probably troll the internet searching for ways to cheat your way to victory because you are too insecure with your own ability to become a truly competitive and competent PvPer. I would not doubt that you have your own blog begging BioWare to implement your single button “instant-death” ability.

    I would ask you if it ever gets lonely on the sidelines watching other people play will skill and mastery, but it seems that the sidelines are full of other trollers like you.

  75. Grend says:

    As a tanking Jugg I actually found that I was lasting, on average, longer than before, but only when I pop all my CDs. Without them I feel a hell of a lot more squishy than I did pre 1.2 (and that’s saying something, even pre 1.2 I hated by over reliance to CDs to survive without a healer). The only saving grace so far has been the fact a lot of the people I have been up against have only had recruit gear.

    I can’t help but feel the change to healing was needed though. They were way to effective when properly organised and all of the old WZs could be steam rolled by healer heavy groups (score and ball hog in HB, heavily defensive play in both Voidstar and ACW). Having said that they did slingshot it in the other direction this time around, although I suspect this isn’t a case of lack of healing, but that there is way to much damage flying around. Especially now I am seeing a lot more Maras and Sins around.

    As for the class changes; the new heal is a lifesaver, but I do find myself more prone to rage starvation. That’s not really a complaint though, pre 1.2 I never had issues with rage and it I often forgot it was even part of my class. So its good to see I’m having to manage it more carefully than before.

    The one thing I wish they would change is my reliance on CDs. The only time I feel like a tank is when I have all of them off CD, without them I’m nothing more than a slightly less squishy DPS that hits like a fly.

    On a PvP side note I would love to know what people think about PvP exp legacy bonus coming in 1.3 and not 1.2. I stupidly assumed it would be in this patch and the lack of it has, surprisingly, really pissed me off. That may sound strange, but I would love to level another class and PvP is by far my most preferred way. The only thing stopping me so far is the small amount of exp gained through WZ passed level 30. The fact I have to wait yet another patch just to gain some assistance with that grind is infuriating.

  76. Ezel says:

    hehe taug u, ure good^^ A clever person never himself in business just out of sudden! He takes time to test his product, see how the crowd and the potential buyers respond it-are they interested, are they not? do they like it-would they like more on it? and then by taking into account all these u start to move on- What determines a clever business man is his patience and his passion about his job-and allow me to say that u have them both tag. And a clever business man never starts expanding too fast-he waits he gives it some time and he plays his most powerful card:time! in the end.That if he wants to be successful.And thats exactly what u did. U started out a few years ago like u already mentioned-back when mmorpgs were firstly being introduce and gamers werent in the same numbers as they are today and u began writing guides etc in order to attract ppl’s interest and make them become ur fans- U spent years manipulating their minds up to a point when if someone was to say something slandering/bad about u-they would rush at him and him.And it seems that u have achieved that as well-And nowadays while we are going through this massive and harsh financial crisis u are carrying out ur plan and start raising money for the future :P Cause come on dont tell me that these adds which show up while ure live-streaming dont pay u off at all or that u dont make at least a 600% profit out of these t-shirts and whatever else u re selling:P Cause like i said if i were to go to a store i would pay 2 euros for the t-shirt and like another 5 for the print- but u will be paying way less apparently like 3 euros- by selling them for 27euros – u make at least a 600% profit.So dude dont try cover this up.

    • This has f* all to do with 1.2? Take your envy and your grudge elsewhere, dude. If you don’t like what he has to say, write a counterpoint (something better than your stupid little diatribe about how tanks shouldn’t do damage (news flash – every tank class has a dps tree – you should see a Vig guardian if you think a dps vanguard has sick dps).

      If you think the author is taking advantage of someone, do it yourself and do it better. And if you don’t like him making money, just don’t buy the damn t-shirt, don’t watch the stream, don’t contribute to the readership. It’s that simple.

    • Cinnax says:

      Let me point out a couple things before I begin to address the so-called “points” you feel you have made in your post. First, if you are going to make a post, and expect others to read it, make it legible. Your use of punctuation (or lack thereof) as well as your grammar and spelling is atrocious. Fragmented sentences, run-on sentences, etc make it difficult to understand what you are trying to say.

      Secondly, before you can spout the mnemonics of business you must first understand them. In the real world, people who possess a skill usually create a business model supporting that skill to get paid for it. At least Taugrim has found something that he enjoys doing and possesses a talent for. If he chooses to make it a career opportunity, I say congratulations! His “guides” are not misleading and speak the harsh truth whether it angers some people or not. That is to be respected and commended. The moment Taugrim decides to “sell out” by making false reviews at the behest of some contributing organization, he will loose credibility with me, and many other people who follow his blog.

      Your post sounds like you are upset because you cannot afford a Taugrim t-shirt. I know many people, myself included, are under financial stress during these hard times but simply ask rather that insult. If you really want a Taugrim t-shirt let me know. I would be more than happy to buy you one.

    • EuchridEucrow says:

      It is painfully transparent that you have an agenda with these nonsensical “I can read Taugrim’s mind” trolls. The only reason you are back is because you managed to bait Taugrim into actually replying to you. Guess what? That lends no credence what so ever to your poorly constructed, barely legible “ballon juice”. Everyone here with a little brain-matter can see this and I would hope that Taugrim will just ignore you or, better yet, block you from posting.

      Or, hoping against hope, you might just fuck off on your own. We can always dream I guess.

  77. Irishbrewed says:

    Ezel :

    hehe taug u, ure good^^ A clever person never himself in business just out of sudden! He takes time to test his product, see how the crowd and the potential buyers respond it-are they interested, are they not? do they like it-would they like more on it? and then by taking into account all these u start to move on- What determines a clever business man is his patience and his passion about his job-and allow me to say that u have them both tag. And a clever business man never starts expanding too fast-he waits he gives it some time and he plays his most powerful card:time! in the end.That if he wants to be successful.And thats exactly what u did. U started out a few years ago like u already mentioned-back when mmorpgs were firstly being introduce and gamers werent in the same numbers as they are today and u began writing guides etc in order to attract ppl’s interest and make them become ur fans- U spent years manipulating their minds up to a point when if someone was to say something slandering/bad about u-they would rush at him and him.And it seems that u have achieved that as well-And nowadays while we are going through this massive and harsh financial crisis u are carrying out ur plan and start raising money for the future Cause come on dont tell me that these adds which show up while ure live-streaming dont pay u off at all or that u dont make at least a 600% profit out of these t-shirts and whatever else u re selling:P Cause like i said if i were to go to a store i would pay 2 euros for the t-shirt and like another 5 for the print- but u will be paying way less apparently like 3 euros- by selling them for 27euros – u make at least a 600% profit.So dude dont try cover this up.

    You’re just a BOY. Your TShirt math is flawed, now get to bed before your “mum”catches you on her computer.

  78. Jeadien says:

    Great write-up on everything that i’ve been seeing on the forums regarding the 1.2 release – expecially regarding the TTK issue. I’m a LOTRO vet and was really happy that the PVP in SWTOR had a similar feel ( and speed ) as LOTRO 1v1’s, where strategy and mechanics, used correctly over a period of time, won more matches over who could blow-up the other person the quickest.

    I actually haven’t played 1.2 on my Sorc yet, because as soon as I read the blog post about RWZs, SWTOR was uninstalled from my computer and then after watching the PVP forums i felt no reason to reinstall or resub.

    Good luck to ya Taugrim and everyone else from AP that’s posted here. I had a blast PVPing on that server, and SWTOR PVP prior to 1.2, and hope to see y’all in GW2 in a couple of months!

  79. EuchridEucrow says:

    Oh by the way, I don’t know if I have seen this posted anywhere but it seems that Ion Pulse, while procing the Plasma Cell DOT, isn’t procing the snare component from the talent Sweltering Heat. However, the Plasma Cell auto-refresh from High Impact Bolt through the High Friction Bolts talent IS procing the snare from Sweltering Heat. So “refresh” (from High Friction Bolts) seems to proc snare but “trigger” (from Ionized Ignition) isn’t procing the snare. I’ve tested this out on random elite mobs. I’ll kite them spamming Ion Pulse till I proc Ion Accelerator and the Ion Pulses, while applying the Plasma Cell DOT, isn’t applying the snare from Sweltering Heat. But as soon as I pop off my Ion Accelerated High Impact Bolts they get the Sweltering Heat snare from High Friction Bolt proc.

    • EuchridEucrow says:

      NEVERMIND THE ABOVE, FALSE ALARM.

      I think the problems I was seeing was lag related and was why I was getting inconsistencies with the Plasma Cell procs. I found the snare to VISUALLY show effect one to two seconds after the animation of Ion Pulse and therefor showed the APPEARANCE of a problem where there isn’t one. Sorry about that.

  80. EuchridEucrow says:

    EuchridEucrow :

    It is painfully transparent that you have an agenda with these nonsensical “I can read Taugrim’s mind” trolls. The only reason you are back is because you managed to bait Taugrim into actually replying to you. Guess what? That lends no credence what so ever to your poorly constructed, barely legible “ballon juice”. Everyone here with a little brain-matter can see this and I would hope that Taugrim will just ignore you or, better yet, block you from posting.
    Or, hoping against hope, you might just fuck off on your own. We can always dream I guess.

    Sorry, typo of “balloon juice” got past my proof-read.

  81. zioni says:

    I think your summary of 1.2 is pretty much spot on. I do not agree with your comments on Shadow/Assassin tanks being OP. I play a 31/10 Trooper Vanguard Tank and a 31/10 Shadow Tank and I find both to be very comparable in damage and utility. My stats in warzones are very similar on both in terms of overall damage and protection. Sentinel/Marauders hit like trucks now which I’m ok with. They needed to put warzone rewards for the losing team back at pre 1.2 levels. As it is now the rewards for losing are way too small. There is no incentive to finish a losing warzone.

  82. Lyogos says:

    There is no balance in this game pvp wise. A sage can tank a tank, which is silly. Scoundrels still have their double tap ability, as do operatives. In pvp as a powertech I feel uber gimped especially when imps roll nothing but dps. Heals rarely happen imp side which is sad. Given heals my tank becomes god like and can last a long time, without heals he is just a lousy dps. Bioware seems to shy players away from healing for whatever reason. I ask people in warzones all the time why are you a dps sorc? “Cause I spend more time dpsing then healing, why should I heal?” Give healers rewards for healing, well better rewards then what they get currently. Get rid of the cc fest and pvp would be more fun, more action orientated. I am all for stuns but have a system set up for stun immunity, cause the resolve system is broken. All too often I go to grapple a lesser geared non attacked, no resolve on their resolve bar sorc/ sage or sin/ shadow and they just walk right through the grapple. When I run to the goal line and have a full resolve bar, I get stunned, knocked back, rooted etc. While I know resolve does not do anything against rooting, it should.

  83. Matty (NR) says:

    Gunslinger is slighty improved. The burst output with an ability to trama almost constantly at range allows you to burn down targets getting heals. Interrupts, trama, solid burst specials makes it more viable. we never had solid survivability to comment on staying alive rates and time to kill for us was never that appropriate. IMO it was not the same opinion on these stats if you played gunslingers.

    • taugrim says:

      Matty (NR) :

      Gunslinger is slighty improved. The burst output with an ability to trama almost constantly at range allows you to burn down targets getting heals. Interrupts, trama, solid burst specials makes it more viable. we never had solid survivability to comment on staying alive rates and time to kill for us was never that appropriate. IMO it was not the same opinion on these stats if you played gunslingers.

      Also, the ability to enter Cover while rooted was another very positive change, since Cover provides so many benefits, especially if you have points in Sharpshooter (Marksman).

  84. Elroy Vrehen says:

    Seems with patch 1.20c (http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes at the moment of writing) they’ve adjusted the warzone commendation reward for the loosing side. Haven’t been able to check it out yet, but I hope it is restored to the old values.

    • taugrim says:

      Elroy Vrehen :

      Seems with patch 1.20c (http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes at the moment of writing) they’ve adjusted the warzone commendation reward for the loosing side. Haven’t been able to check it out yet, but I hope it is restored to the old values.

      I only played in 3 warzones today (all PUG wins), so I haven’t seen how much the losing side gets. Hopefully it’s been tuned appropriately.

  85. Shantie_AP says:

    First i agree on almos everything in your blog post, but i think bioware disagrees with you, there actually are a official response on pvp forums on the time to kill issue http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=4066157#edit4066157
    if im reading it right it says that bioware have changed direction for pvp.

    • Nightbird says:

      If you read points b, c, and d they have not changed their approach. They are actually fixing things that are causing TTK to be faster than it should. The only thing they have changed in their approach is the viability of PvP and PvE gear in their particular aspects of the game. PvP is no longer viable in PvE and vice versa.

  86. […] As I wrote over a month ago, Patch 1.2 had a very negative effect on the quality of PVP. […]

  87. […] As I wrote over a month ago, Patch 1.2 had a very negative effect on the quality of PVP. […]

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