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PVP: Vertical Progression should go the way of the Dodo

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion > Suggestion Box
PVP: Vertical Progression should go the way of the Dodo

ChazDoit's Avatar


ChazDoit
11.26.2012 , 07:59 AM | #1
I see that Battlemaster gear is beign discontinued, something that I feared will eventually happen after they discontinued Centurion and Champion, and now a new PVP set is beign introduced, this is what people call vertical progression, the idea that once you get to the endgame you progress throgh the game by adquiring gear that is numerically more powerful.

I think this is a bad direction for SWTOR to take with regards to PVP for several reason. First, It's grindy at it turns people away, designers might think that a bigger carrot on a stick it's gonna keep people playing but that's not actually the case, almost every PVPer I knew moved on to another game, mostly because they are done chasing carrots, people should PVP in your game because it's fun, because they want to earn prestige among other players and for their skills and achievements to be recognized, not to chase carrots, that is antiquated design if you ask me.

Also, Vertical Progression completely devaluates all your former achievements. Hey remember how hard you worked to get your Champion or Battlemaster set? What an achievement! well guess what? those sets are now obsolete so all that work you put into the game is now pointless, this turns people off instead of keeping them hooked.

Many new games have been moving to Horizontal Progression, which means that as you progress in the endgame instead of getting more upgrades to your gear, you get sidegrades, you get different options. I've been playing Planetside 2, they do this pretty well, Guild Wars 2 does this to an extent and also League of Legends, for anyone that has played LoL, Riotgames doesn't keep their players hooked by introducing more powerful runes, they do it by introducing a variety of different champions, and while the game is not perfectly balance, no game is, but if they decided to start selling Tier 4 or runes or Tier 5 of runes intead of new champions the game would die almost immediately.

In my opinion all PVP sets should be equally powerful and the differences should be only cosmetic, maybe you would want to add different set bonuses when you get all 5 pieces, but stat wise they should be relatively equal, I think that simply recoloring an old set and slapping a bigger stat number to it it's pretty cheap and lazy from Bioware, and probably that's why they do, it because it's cheaper and easier, but if they keep going that route they will end up turning everyone off.

Here are a couple of videos on the matter that I find really interesting:

"Power Creep" from Extra Credtis
"Why Games Should Scale Horizontally Instead of Vertically" by Taugrim

NinjaApacHe's Avatar


NinjaApacHe
11.26.2012 , 09:39 AM | #2
I like the vertical progression. I love this pvp and it's amusing to have new challenge to grind a brand new gear.
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Laurreth's Avatar


Laurreth
11.26.2012 , 10:18 AM | #3
I agree, and let me link-spam my take on "bringing up the rear" in this specific case.

The question is if one can stop vertical progression in PvP while keeping it going in PvE though, since at some point, the latter will outperform the former.

Players are magpies though, and most of us intrinsically want new shinies with higher numbers to make us feel like we achieved something. Making new armour purely ceremonial like the event rewards would not do that as much, since the sense of progression would be lost, and it would only really benefit those who liked the looks of new shells.

All in all, I think that Bioware should scale the game with more variety, e.g., new warzones or a new attempt at open PvP for the competitive folks, and some storytelling parts (Kaon under Siege and the recent Theoretika quest come to mind) and tough-as-nails mechanical challenges for PvP-inclined folks. Not escalating gear would have the added benefit of keeping hard stuff hard.

DarthBuckets's Avatar


DarthBuckets
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).

ChazDoit's Avatar


ChazDoit
11.26.2012 , 12:27 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by DarthBuckets View Post
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.
I understand that some level of progression is acceptable, even in Legue of Legends you need to get your summoner level to 30, but reaching that cap is pretty easy and once you get there is a leveled playing field for everyone.

What does adding a new set of gear and discontinuing the old gear accomplishes? War Hero is the new Battlemaster, and if you want to remain competitive you have to grind for a new recolored War Hero set with bigger stat numbers, but ultimately it doesn't change the PVP experience in any meaningful way, it's not new content and it doesn't add variety at all, only grind, it's the worst way to artificially prolong the gameplay experience.

One of the reasons I'm going F2P is because I don't see the value in these kinds of updates and I honestly think that it would be better if they didn't even add the new gear, at least your current gear wouldn't be rendered useless.

Darguth's Avatar


Darguth
11.26.2012 , 12:45 PM | #6
LOL and SWTOR are vastly different games. Comparing their PVP rewards system is like comparing apples to wall plaster. Completely different.

While I, personally, prefer horizontal rewards from PVP I'd like to put forward a few things that seem to be overlooked:

1.) Software development (including games) is not easy. One can not just wave a wand and *VOILA* something is created.

2.) Character classes in SWTOR are significantly more complex than LOL Champions. For starters, you have more than 4-5 abilities. A lot more. So, while adding a champion is relatively easy in LOL, it is significantly more challenging to create a new player class in an MMO that is ready for balanced PVP gameplay.

So, when you combine those 2 points, I think it pretty well spells out why this is not going to happen. At least not any time soon. It would take significant effort to change SWTOR PVP to more closely mirror LOL or even GW2's semi-comparable PVP system.

Why? Because SWTOR wasn't built to support systems like those, and developing those systems takes a lot of developmental resources. Resources that are limited and tied up in other tasks.

My (very rough) guesstimate--as someone that works in software development--that retooling the PVP system to reflect anything remotely close to what you're suggesting would take at minimum 6-12 months with a large number of resources dedicated to it. It would probably take much longer, and it ties up smaller projects that could be accomplished in a smaller timeframe while still providing "fresh, new content".

cashogy's Avatar


cashogy
11.26.2012 , 02:48 PM | #7
i would love to see vertical progression removed from pvp.
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RoninKetch's Avatar


RoninKetch
11.26.2012 , 03:04 PM | #8
/signed.

We are not even a year into this game and already we have Elite War Hero Armour Sets?

Where do we go from here? Do we get the Valour Rank cap raised? Or do we have Elite War Hero MK1,2,3?

Instead of a new armour set i would of preferred to have seen Ilum fixed and a few more WZ's introduced.

The gear grind is not a problem Iím in fully augmented War Hero, Iím just concerned about the future of PvP progression.

Miggzy's Avatar


Miggzy
11.26.2012 , 04:21 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by ChazDoit View Post
What does adding a new set of gear and discontinuing the old gear accomplishes? War Hero is the new Battlemaster, and if you want to remain competitive you have to grind for a new recolored War Hero set with bigger stat numbers, but ultimately it doesn't change the PVP experience in any meaningful way, it's not new content and it doesn't add variety at all, only grind, it's the worst way to artificially prolong the gameplay experience.
The difference between war hero and elite war hero is small so there really just making really good gear easier to get for everyone and this will make the game more balanced as well as competitive. Sounds awesome to me, and I have a few alts who are in full BM who I just couldnt grind out warhero for that I will be bringing out of retirement for sure.
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LilTsar's Avatar


LilTsar
11.26.2012 , 05:51 PM | #10
tiered gear doesnt belong in pvp. ideally should have mod vendors like the planetary ones. purchaseable for warzone comms or at a lower amount of ranked to encourage it.
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