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DarthBuckets's Avatar

11.26.2012 , 11:31 AM | #4
I would definitely prefer more fluff rewards or additional incentive to PVP other than gear, but the bottom line is that vertical gear progression is effective at getting players in warzones and is the traditional model for these types of games. Participation and numbers are key.

If you made it to War Hero before 1.6, you already have a leg up because you can start getting Elite War Hero instead of getting War Hero first. If you never made it past Battlemaster (which has been in the game in some state since Dec 2011), then you would feel like starting over. In addition, the power gap between War Hero and Elite War Hero is pretty small (or at least much smaller than it has been in than in the past).

In my opinion, the initial gear progression works fairly well, but starts to get painful when you get into the pieces that require ranked comms due to the amount of commendations necessary:
* fresh 50
* Get recruit gear
* Get your feet wet in normal WZs and acquire basic PvP gear for viability (previously: Battlemaster, now: War Hero)
* Grind for BIS gear tier (previously: War Hero, now: Elite War Hero) in ranked or normal WZs.
* Optimize Mods for BIS
* When a new gear tier releases, trade in shells to skip the basic gear tier, then start grinding new BIS optimized gear.

Getting basic viable gear (BM/WH) is a bit of a commitment for most, but not insurmountable (and can feel rewarding). As it stands now, getting optimized BIS PVP gear is a rather arduous grind, and results in only a few having perfect gear, or a short period of time where most dedicated PVPers are on an equal gear footing before they release new gear. The risk of changing this model is that it would de-incentivize PVP for many players.

One reason that the gear grind is long is that there is no gating effect on commendations for BIS gear (you can grind all day - although comms from dailies add efficiency), so the costs need to be rather high or it is trivial. However, the major reason that gear progression seems bad is that the costs are tuned for playing in Ranked Warzones, which do not have heavy participation at all for various reasons. With a limited pool of 8man teams (server only, full premade only, no unique rewards besides very difficult to obtain Rating moddable pieces and a mount), matchmaking is almost useless and hinders participation further (a vicious cycle of people not wanting to queue for ranked because they get trounced by a few high rating teams because of a small pool of teams to play against).