Just to confirm the level to rating is:
right? That is they are all purple armoring/mod/enhancement?
I can confirm that 69 (162) hilts, barrels, mods etc are the "sweet spot" for maximising bolster/expertise and stats
Anything over this and you see big diminishing returns... Especially with 180 PVE gear which should never be used !!
I played in a match the other day with a guy on a Sorc running all 180 PVE gear... Sure he had 37k health and bigger than usual bonus damage as a stat.. But had 900 expertise... I politely chatted to him and tried to explain the bolster system and suggested he at least get himself some 156 or 162 gear if he wasn't going to use pvp gear... I was told "his" gear was the best and I didn't know what I was talking about (can't help some people)... It was in pylons too and he died 16 times and blamed our healers for not keeping him alive... Sigh
He kept playing more matches and then we kept ending up on opposite teams... To prove my point I put on some old 156 PVE gear I had on an alt and followed him on my own Sorc... He was so easy to kill and did hardly any damage... He eventually accused me of hacking... After the match I chatted to him and explained how I was able to do that... He was still sceptical... I left him with the advise to at least test it out... Haven't seen him since... But I hope I was able to help him
I also have full Brutalizer gear for 4 toons and also 162 gear... I have tested different combinations like Randle did...
(For those who don't know, there is a bolster terminal on the bridge of the ops ship in the fleet,... You can go there and test you gear and even use the practice dummies)
After a lot of testing between my 162 PVE gear and Brutalizer gear... I now run with a mix of pieces... After I get my set bonuses
Definitely don't use pvp weapons or off hand... Get 162 PVE ones
Also Bio don't even stat all the Brutalizer gear properly for your class... An example of this is when there is too much Crit or Alacrity when you don't need it.. Ie Assassin/shadow Alacrity...
If you have some 162 PVE gear already, you can save comms and spend the extra ranked comms (only do it with ranked or you'll have to do it again for the Ranked ones) to buy ranked pvp mods and enhancements to get the stats right on those standard Brutalizer pieces... On my Shadow and Assassin I swapped the Alacrity ones for Surge... And some Crit mods for power
Just today I was "questioned/accused" on my augment choices because people don't look at stats... They look at gear... After trying to explain how I change out unwanted enhancements and mods... That I needed to boost some other stats in an augment... I was told I was wrong... I invited that person to examine my stats next time instead of my "gear"... Thankfully that solved "their issue" with "my" augment choices
The best advice I can give is to work out what final stats you want/should have for your class before you start your build... Make sure you have a minimum of 1900+ expertise from Bolster... Mine is 1936
Don't just accept the standard Bio Brutalizer gear if it gives you the wrong stats... You are better off running the proper stats in 162 PVE gear... Or swap the mods/enhancements like I do
Don't use pvp weapons
Do augment everything
Go to the fleet bolster terminal and play around with your gear
Get stims to use in matches