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PvP 101: How To Become A Contender!

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > PvP
PvP 101: How To Become A Contender!

Lunez's Avatar


Lunez
05.10.2012 , 03:35 PM | #1
VERSION 1.16
UPDATED: 6-28-12
Big thanks to everyone who helped to make this guide sticky.

I want to start off by saying that I realize how hard it can be to compete as a fresh ungeared level 50 in the PvP arenas, where you are up against players that are much more skilled and geared than you. For those that want to overcome this challenge, then this guide is for you!

Step by step rules of engagement on how to become a contender int he PvP world, starting with a table of contents, followed by detailed explanations for each:

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1) Daillies, Commendations, and Valor
  1. Commendation Management
2) Gearing up for Warzones
  1. Level 1: Recruit
  2. Level 2: Battlemaster
  3. Level 3: War Hero
3) Expertise: What is it and what does it do?

4) Joining a Guild
  1. Teamwork
  2. Pre-Made Groups
  3. VOIPs
5) Consumables, Rotations, and Skills
  1. Consumables
  2. Rotations / Priorities
  3. Skills: Taunt
6) The DO's and DON'T's of PvP

7) Warzone Guides
  1. Hando's Civil War Guide
  2. Malissant's Civil War Guide
  3. Almar's Civil War Guide
  4. Highcommander's Huttball Guide
  5. Almar's Hutball Guide
  6. Almar's Voidstar Guide
  7. YouTube: The Holoterminal Ep. 10- SWTOR Warzone Tips - SWTOR Guides & News
  8. YouTube: SWTOR - Warzone HuttBall PvP - Walkthrough
  9. YouTube: SWTOR - Warzone HuttBall PvP - Walkthrough
  10. YouTube: SWTOR - Warzone PvP Civil War - Walkthrough
  11. YouTube: SWTOR - Warzone PvP Voidstar - Walkthrough
8) Conclusion
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



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1) Daillies, Commendations, and Valor
--------------------------------------------------------


Your goal from level 11-49 is primarily to learn how to navigate the maps and how to successfully complete game-winning mission objectives. Your secondary goals are to reach Valor Rank 40+ and to collect your Commendations. Go out there and die, attack, defend, guard, anything at all that will get you that one medal you need in order to get experience, credits, and warzone comms. For those of you that think this is impossible, it's not, simply standing at your node "defending" gets you a medal.

Daillies are your new best friend and since the recent update, changing the system into a 6 point Daily (1 point for Loss, 2 points for Win), it's now easier than ever to get your Daillies done in no time at all. Every time you complete a Daily, you receive a reward. Level 50 rewards grant you Commendations, and these will become very helpful in buy your equipment faster.

Level 11-49 Reward: Experience + Box
Level 50 Reward: Warzone and Ranked Warzone Commendations.



Commendation Management:

As you PvP your way up to level 50, you'll find yourself with fist-fulls of Warzone Commendations. You'll max out at 2000 so it's important to find things to spend them on so you're not wasting Commendations. Purchasing PvP items such as Warzone Stims and Medpacks are a good choice if you're Valor Rank 1-39. Once you reach Valor Rank 40, you can convert your overflow Warzone Comms into Ranked Warzone Comms. Ranked Comms will be important later on when you're ready to purchase War Hero gear.

Max Warzone Comms: 2000
Max Ranked Warzone Comms: 3500


NOTE: When converting/spending Warzone Comms, make sure you have nearly max (2000) upon reaching level 50 so you can begin purchasing Battlemaster gear straight out of the gates. Assuming you are Valor Rank 40 by then, and have enough Ranked Warzone, you can immediately purchase and convert your Battlemaster piece directly into a War Hero piece, which would give you a significant boost straight out of the gates.

Another route that some have suggested is if you have converted enough surplus Warzone Comms into Ranked Warzone Comms by the time you reach level 50, you can start buying Battlemaster pieces with your initial 2000 Warzone Comms, and convert Ranked Warzone Comms back into regular Warzone Comms in order to expedite purchasing your Battlemaster set. Since converting Ranked Comms back into Regular WZ Comms is a 1:1 ratio, you can essential start out at level 50 with 5500 Warzone Comms to purchase Battlemaster with.

NOTE: I would advice not converting Ranked WZ comms back into regular WZ Comms because you're basically throwing away 2/3 of your converted comms in the act of doing so. Save and apply them towards your future War Hero gear purchase.

30 Warzone Comms ----converts----> 10 Ranked Warzone Comms
10 Ranked Warzone Comms ----converts----> 10 Warzone Comms



----------------------------------------
2) Gearing up for Warzones
----------------------------------------

Level 1: Recruit

Once you're level 50 and are prepared to get serious about beginning the long glorious road to PvP greatness, you need to start by buying a set of Recruit gear from the PvP vendor. The only exception to this rule is if you already have enough Warzone Comms to purchase a Battlemaster piece, but in the end, you will have to fill in whatever is left with Recruit. (This is essential, don't think your teammates won't notice.)

Make sure to buy the right gear for your class. If you want to start playing prior to having the Recruit set, this is fine, but prepare to get squished. A full set of Recruit armor will run you 320k in credits, (as outlined below). A small price to pay for a hefty upgrade to your PvP potential.

Once you've gotten your set of Recruit gear (implants and relics included, the whole works) then you're ready to start learning the basics of tactical Warzone strategy. Break out those Warzone medpacks and Adrenals that you've been potentially hoarding while leveling up, and get yourself into the arena as much as possible. Team up with others often, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Those who don't ask, don't receive. Whatever you do, DONT get discouraged. Your glory days have just begun!

Piece ............. Credits
Chest ............. 31,700
Legs ............... 31,700
Head .............. 31,700
Gloves ........... 26,200
Boots ............. 26,200
Belts .............. 20,500
Bracers ......... 20,500
Ear ................ 17,000
Implant .......... 17,000 x2
Offhand ........ 19,300
Mainhand ..... 38,600
Relic ............ 11,300 x2
Total ........... 320,000


Level 2: Battlemaster

This is the part where most people get discouraged and fall to the wayside on. This is going to be a long tedious road, but not nearly half as tedious as acquiring the War Hero set, so stay focused and be relieved that Battlemaster is so readily available to you. Your primary goal at this stage is to reach Valor Rank 60 and to complete your Battlemaster set. (Don't forget your offhand, relics, and implants!)

This is going to be where you start seeing some serious advancement to your PvP experience. It's often suggested that you start with the most expensive pieces (chestpiece, weapon, or offhand), because they often offer the largest boost to your potential stat increase (including Expertise which is outlined in a later section). Another route is to simply buy the cheapest pieces first to ensure that you increase in prowess quicker. Buying cheaper items quickly also provides you with set bonuses earlier on, which will add to the gearing process of your power-creep.

Either way, you need this, and you probably will continue to suck until you get 2-3 pieces towards your set, and are able to take advantage of some of the set bonus'. Either route you take, dont give up. Only quiters give up, and only the extraordinary from here on out shall rise above the newbs who arn't willing to follow this path to PvP greatness.

Before you know it, you're going to start getting kills off of your fellow newbs and you're going to feel stronger--not as strong as the geared elites, but stronger than the newb fodder, and for this, you shall relish in your small victories. Zerg forward, do not look back, and do not pity the weak. Only the determined shall win the Warzone.

Piece ............. WZ Commendations
Chest ............. 1,425
Legs ................. 975
Head ............. 1,075
Gloves ............. 875
Boots ............... 875
Belts ................ 625
Bracers ........... 550
Ear .................. 625
Implant ............ 625 x2
Offhand ........ 1,550
Mainhand ..... 1,550
Relic ................ 550 x2
Total ........... 12,475


Level 3: War Hero

If you've made it to this step, then you probably don't need this guide, and therefore I will not be discussing this chapter in any great detail other than this is only obtainable after you have completed the previous Battlemaster stage. In order to convert Battlemaster into War Hero however, you'll need to exchange both the Battlemaster piece AND Ranked Warzone Commendations. NOTE: Ranked Warzone Comms are only obtainable by converting Warzone Comms at the Warzone vendor, or by completing Level 50 Daillies.

The moment your Battlemaster set is complete, start converting WZ Comms into Ranked WZ Comms!

Another important piece of information that people often forget is to make sure you remove your mods from your Battlemaster armor before converting the armor into War Hero gear. NOTE: There are multiple reasons to rip mods and will later be explained in future updated sections dedicated to Mod-Ripping.

-------------------------------------------------------------
3) Expertise: What is it, and What does it do?
-------------------------------------------------------------

To most newbs, expertise is one of those great mystery stats that you see on gear, but don't know enough about which often results in the newb ignoring it altogether. Truth is, it's an essential PvP stat that is critical in maximizing the effectiveness of your PvP prowess. Expertise comes in tier levels, and for each tier, you gain a PvP bonus that can be viewed under the PvP tab on your character screen.

What people don't often realize is that Expertise has a cap in which it begins to provide diminishing returns. The deminishing returns on your Expertise bonus occurs roughly around 20-30% and to go beyond 20-30% is potentially a wasted gear slot that could be utilized far greater with a different stat combination. Ways to maximize this effort are accomplished by either exchanging that item slot with a piece of non-PvP armor (usually an Implant or Relic), or more effectively, ripping out select mods and replacing them with superior mods that boost your stats in a more beneficial manner. NOTE: Guides on Mod-RIpping will be added in later updates.

The following is a chart that lists the Expertise tier levels, and their relative bonuses: NOTE: The following chart is slightly outdated, but it still provides you with a solid foundational idea of how the Expertise tier system works. When a post v1.2 patch chart is made available, I'll be sure to update the post accordingly.
http://dulfy.net/wp-content/uploads/...topvpbonus.png

The following is a screenshot of the character screen for one of my Jedi toons. The toon is wearing a complete set of Battlemaster War Leader's gear, including Relics, Implants, earpieces, the whole works. Take note of his PvP Damage Boost in particular which is over 22%:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-f...rtise+jedi.jpg

Technically, if all I cared about was PvP Damage Boost, I could displace one of his Expertise items, such as his relics, Implants, etc, with something else in order to reduce his PvP Damage Boost to the 20% soft cap level, and increase other, more important stats, with one that would provide a greater overall boost to my performance. Jedi for instance, benefit from Strength and Endurance, so I could swap out those Expertise Relics for something that is mopre Str/End heavy. As brushed upon in previous sections of this guide, one can also obtain maximum effects by ripping mods.

For more detailed information on Expertise, how it works, and it's deminishing returns, please check out the following website. It provides a great deal of charts and other nifty visuals that even the pro's like me find fascinating.
http://mmo-mechanics.com/swtor/forum...PvP Stat Guide


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4) Joining a Guild
--------------------------


Does excelling at PvP mean you need a guild and must PvP as a group? No, it does not, however you might find that working as a group can certainly help increase your effectiveness, or at the very least, teach your group how to work better as a team in the event you are all lacking in skills.

JOIN A GUILD. Unfortunately, not all guilds are created equal. If you want to excel at PvP, you probably don't want to stick around in your social guild that just wants to chat and complain about how unfair the game is. They can't help you, and likely, they can't help themselves either. Find yourself an ORGANIZED PvE or PvP guild. The reason I say this is because often within an ORGANIZED PvE or PvP guild, you will also find PvP'ers with good gear who are willing to help you gather gear, or more importantly, join you in some Warzones to team up against your enemies.

Warzone MVP votes. As a guild, you are almost unquestionably expected to give each other the MVP vote even if you both suck. These votes increase your valor rank by 50 points, in addition to +1 Commendation each vote, among other things that may or may not be implemented in the future. Don't forget to vote for your fellow guildies!

Teamwork.

Please please please understand that independance will always breed chaos. Only as one shall you stand strong. Very rarely does a single un-guilded player ever make it far within the PvP world without having dedicated their gaming playtime to becoming beastly in the field. Guild groups of 2-4 are awesome. Communicating with your team is Essential. I cannot emphasis this enough. If you see incoming attackers, CALL them out to your team. If you see them running away from you towards your teammates node, CALL them out to your team.

Pre-Made Groups:

You will often hear people on the forums complaining about what is often referred to as a "Pre-Made". Ignore their complaints. Those people can't help you. Working as a team in well-organized groups is one of the leading indicators of those who you want to listen to. People who habitually work alone, storm off on lone rambo crusades, or resist working in an organized group-fashion, are doomed to failure. Working as a team is the heart of what SWTOR PvP is based around.

NOTE: This should never discourage you from joining a Warzone solo. I find that the majority of my PvP time is spent from blind solo runs through Warzones, and I find it incredibly enjoyable. Over time, you will recognize others and they will recognize you, and eventually, you'll all get better at working together despite being from different guilds.

VOIPS:

Most guilds use a voice-over-ip service such as TeamSpeak, Mumble, Vent, Skype, etc etc. They do this because its amazing fun, and you dont have to type while tromping around the warzone. You want to know why that one guild on your server always seems to work like an organized platoon of army-ants? It's because they're talking to each other, not typing. Nearly 99% of ORGANIZED guilds use chat servers during PvP Warzones and PvE Raids. Get yourself a microphone and headset, its totally worth it.


--------------------------------------------------------
5) Consumables, Rotations, and Skills
--------------------------------------------------------


Consumables:

Know your skills! I can't say this enough. Learn to be intimate with all of your skills, AND your consumables. If you're a newb, I suggest going BioChem (with Bioanalysis and Diplomacy) so you can make your own stims, medpacks, and adrenals. This is what parts the pros from the ameteurs. Consumables. BioChem also allows you to make Rakata consumables which are re-usable, meaning they don't go away. You can use them forever, without ever buying more consumables again.

NOTE: Warzone consumables are superior to most BioChem consumables, and therefore are worth purchasing if you have the surplus Comms to spend on them.

Rotations / Priorities:

Rotations, also known as Priorities--- are the series of actions you take prior, during, and after combat. They often include strings of attacks interwoven with buffs that help enable or empower your maximum damage output and/or DPS (Damage-Per-Second). I highly recommend researching and testing all of your Abilities and/or Skills in order to decide for yourself which order you want to execute them in.

It is also highly recommended that you utilize one of the PvP "Training Dummies" to help yourself maximize your rotation effectiveness. You can find free-to-use Training-Dummies on the fleet, or you can purchase one for your Starship via Legacy rewards. This method of testing your rotation order can have drastic effects on improving your overall damage-output.

NOTE: Future updates to this section will include useful Rotations for each class.

Skill: Taunt

Taunt is your friend in PvP. If you have any taunts, (especially AoE taunts) spam them constantly. This will help your nearby teammates stay protected, which often in turn helps YOU gain more medals. You wouldn't believe how little people use taunts in PvP. They work, really, really well. Learn to love them.

------------------------------------------------
6) The DO's and DON'T's of PvP:
------------------------------------------------

DO's
  1. Work as a team
  2. KEY-BINDINGS! Use them!
  3. Pick and choose your key-bindings carefully.
  4. Use your buffs, they are your friend.
  5. Call out incoming enemies BEFORE they reach you or your node.
  6. To be continued...
DON'T's
  1. Try to be a lone rambo hero.
  2. Ignore your teammates.
  3. Ignore nodes and doors.
  4. Chase kills when you're supposed to be guarding.
  5. Ignore your healer.
  6. Call out incoming enemy after its too late, like when you're almost dead.
  7. To be continued...

-----------------------------
7) Warzone Guides:
-----------------------------


Hando's Civil War Guide
Malissant's Civil War Guide
Almar's Civil War Guide
Highcommander's Huttball Guide
Almar's Huttball Guide
Almar's Voidstar Guide

YouTube: The Holoterminal Ep. 10- SWTOR Warzone Tips - SWTOR Guides & News
YouTube: SWTOR - Warzone HuttBall PvP - Walkthrough
YouTube: SWTOR - Warzone PvP Civil War - Walkthrough
YouTube: SWTOR - Warzone PvP Voidstar - Walkthrough





--------------------------
8) CONCLUSION:
--------------------------


Don't get discouraged when you die a bunch of times, because it's expected to die over and over and over again until you've earned the gear, skill, and prestige to become one of the elite. I know, it sounds silly, it might even sound ridiculous, but its true. You need to fail before you can succeed. The PvP mechanics in this game are incredibly fair, competitive, and accessible. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You just need to pave forward, and take the steps necessary to achieve the foundation for a better learning-curve.

Also, just so you know, even we great and terrible PvP warlords fall in battle, there is no shame, there is only determination. Pave forward my young PvP padawan newbs, and you too, shall become PvP-Knights!

Meltheran's Avatar


Meltheran
05.10.2012 , 04:13 PM | #2
Some good info in this.

Only thing is I am pretty sure you don't have to be valor 70 for warhero gear. Only have to be rank 70 to wear the crafted gear.

Magyarian's Avatar


Magyarian
05.10.2012 , 05:01 PM | #3
Classic. Should get a Sticky.

One more suggestion: Remember this isn't real life. When ya die here, you're fine. Get used to die'ing. Embrace die'ing. Be one with your die'ing. Die'ing has no stat so embrace the conflict. More often than not, you'll figure out what you're doing wrong and suddenly stop die'ing.

Dracosz's Avatar


Dracosz
05.10.2012 , 05:03 PM | #4
I wouldn't consider gear to be the biggest determinant of how someone performs in a WZ. Mechanics (which you sort of brush in the last part of the article with VOIP communication) are the best way to better one's performance in a game, this can range from keybinding to general class knowledge.

Remember friends, knowledge is power
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lectotrans's Avatar


lectotrans
05.10.2012 , 05:11 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Meltheran View Post
Some good info in this.

Only thing is I am pretty sure you don't have to be valor 70 for warhero gear. Only have to be rank 70 to wear the crafted gear.
that is correct. well..that and you have to have the battlemaster component for that particular piece (i.e. forcemystic headpiece for warhero headpiece of that set)
Squadron 14-610Playing TOR since Beta
Now playing on Canderous Ordo!
Suung on PTS

Mandragore's Avatar


Mandragore
05.10.2012 , 05:39 PM | #6
good read. I like your style.

I would add something relative to the basic strategies (and differences therein) of each wz. Sort of a Do, and Do Not list? What do you think?
Mandragore Helm of Graush | Six'l'Six The Fatman
"Better than a jab in the eye with a sharp stick."

DNGDangerous's Avatar


DNGDangerous
05.10.2012 , 09:45 PM | #7
level 11-49, try to get your PVP daily as much as possible. this is important!

step1) try to get to valor rank 40 by level 40 (getting this out of the way will help a great deal- but if u cant or dont want to, thats fine- but your missing out on potential War Hero gear you can have right out of the gate.

step 2) save save save (this is important)
2A) save all warzone medpacks and warzone adrenals you can until you hit 50! these are awsome and will help recruits get to bm gear
2B) save your Warzone commendations and try to keep it near 2000, you can buy warzone medpacks or addrenals but never go under 1850 warzone commendations, and when you hit 49, definatelly dont go under 1950 warzone commendations
2C) Save credits! try to have 250k before level 50.
(i would honestly skip your Tier 2 speeder at level 40)
(if u want, you can purchase the level 40 and level 50 riding skill, and buy your 110% speeder without ever purchasing your 100% speeder)

step 3) if you did step one and hit valor rank 40 at around level 40 or 41, you can convert 30 warzone commendations into 10 Ranked warzone commendations! but still try to stay around 1800-1900 regular warzone commendations.
3A) when you hit 50, you should be able to buy 2 Battlemaster pieces, and the rest recruit gear. if you have enough ranked warzone commendations, you can convert 1 or both Battlemaster pieces into their respective War Hero Pieces.
tip for dps jugs and maras- the gloves are cheap, and generally have nice war hero stats. Both the Weaponmasters and Vindicators War Hero Gloves should have power surge enhancment.

if you saved your warzone addrenals- you can pop them before your big attack to hit a lot harder then a normal recruit would (its like having a couple seconds of battlemaster grade umph!).
if you saved your warzone medpacks- you can pop them when your getting jumped by those 3 pesky battlemasters that keep targeting you- giving you back 30% of your maximum hp back to you!

hopefully you saved enough of these 2 expendables to last you until your full BM+ gear!

step 4) enjoy! dont let people talk you down, we all started somewhere- and if your reading the OP's guide, at least it shows your trying- and thats the most important!

Lunez's Avatar


Lunez
05.10.2012 , 10:00 PM | #8
A lot of great suggestions. I'll be updating the original post accordingly with any and all items you all submit. THis would be a fine source of PvP info if we all work together in making it as comprehensive as possible. Also, yes, this should be sticky.

glenbruton's Avatar


glenbruton
05.10.2012 , 10:29 PM | #9
Nice post and very well layed out.

ShadowOfVey's Avatar


ShadowOfVey
05.10.2012 , 10:46 PM | #10
Also, play your level 50 more than an hour a week. I don't want to group with your lev 50 recruit geared jugg, then your level 50 recruit geared sniper, then your level 50 recruit geared sage. Gear a damn toon =P.