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Fear of a Gank Planet- how to structure PvP to handle faction imbalance.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > PvP
Fear of a Gank Planet- how to structure PvP to handle faction imbalance.

va_wanderer's Avatar

02.13.2012 , 05:17 PM | #1
So, you got your PvP servers, swarming with Imps, ganking them Reps, degenerating what is supposedly PvP down to groups standing around in the snow trading AoE's meekly like sheep.

This, as everyone knows is what makes the PvP community collectively facepalm.

This is where the problem lies, and it's important.

The more PvP is split from the PvE of the game, the weaker it becomes.

Warzones pull players out of the game. Planets like Ilum are even worse- they literally put all the PvPers at endgame on a snowy wasteland that nobody who isn't PvPing has any real reason to visit! Gear has "PvP only" stats on it courtesy of expertise. It's treated as a separate game, except where "adjustments" for PvP end up frustrating PvE players and vice versa.

The most efficient way to become "the best" at PvP in TOR is to sit in the snow and trade AoE's until you get enough shinies in your bags to fill all your slots. High level players amuse themselves by camping lowbies out of sheer boredom on PvP servers for lack of anything better to do. PvP doesn't change the world, because it's tacked on to the game, doubly so on PvE servers.

How does this get fixed? How do we get people doing great things that also happen to involve shooting each other and slashing them to death with lightsabers, as is intended?

Intergrate PvP into the world- the environment. Make PvP actually "PvP+E".

Rewards: The simplest thing to do in PvP is kill each other. As we've shown on TOR, this means that if you can get the rewards by simply killing each other, people will be social animals and stand in herds to exchange gunnings-down like the sheep they are, simply to get their "PvP reward". This means that the rewards for killing other players should be the weakest PvP rewards- the "entry level" tier. Things like the L20 & L40 armor gear and lower level consumables should be from "kill other players", including warzones. These are skirmishes. They are small potatoes.

In PvP, providing a challenge that significantly depends on players is a failure. Zerging and faction imbalance result in what happened at Ilum- overwhelming force driving the weaker faction into safe zones, only to be ganked by dozens of rabid kill hunters the second any of them leave their refuges.

PvP areas must have significant and constant levels of PvE threats that require constant attention. Whether it's guards, giant robots or ticked off rabid wampas, it needs to be mean enough to require attention and provide distraction during PvP.

The best PvP rewards should come from attacking a PvE target in a PvP area. PvE targets that take a group to take down for minor rewards, targets that take 8+ to destroy for more significant ones. World-boss level enemies with PvE guardians that require an Operations group or better to successfully crack for the greatest rewards. In other words, focused effort.

All of these need to be put in areas where large amounts of PvE traffic happen to begin with. Republic PvP+E targets should be near/in where Empire players turn in/sell/hang out in hubs. Empire ones should be the same, only in Republic areas. On PvE servers, these targets should always be in zones that auto-flag the opposite faction PvP. Quest givers/turnins should rapid-respawn (and hostile) or be untargetable (like mission dropboxes) and also have significant other protection, such as guards/turrets near to hand. Invaders should have an environment that encourages them to rapidly penetrate to a target, take it out, and leave- if the other side doesn't thwart it. Likewise, the defenders if outnumbered can slow and disrupt an invading group if they're smart, causing the PvE defenses to finish the job.

Respawn for the invading group should be a considerable distance from their targets, preventing suicide rushes, defenders nearer but still not "on top" of the primary objective. On the other hand, PvE defenses for the target should be straightforward- the complexity should come from the enemy defender players, more than the environmental defenses. If these defenses (and the target) are specifically for PvP+E, they should be vulnerable to expertise like a player is.

Major PvP victories should be significant events and have long-lasting effects on the area. A successfully destroyed world-boss level PvP+E target should be a lingering wreck attended to by NPC repairers and the like until it's "repaired" and respawns, with smaller targets having similar effects on a less grand scale- clearly indicating the target is not available from a distance if possible. PvE areas near the target should show some alteration- added or removed mobs, a temporary shift in available respawn areas near the victorious area, that sort of thing. REALLY epic PvP+E kills should result in things like holocalls serverwide regarding the event from major NPC's like the Jedi Council or the Empire's High Command, reacting to the destruction.

va_wanderer's Avatar

02.13.2012 , 05:18 PM | #2
Rewards for the highest-end targets should be equivalent to the hardest-mode PvE targets available, with slightly lower PvE stats but a bit extra above and beyond in expertise- making the gear effective but not BiS for PvE but exceptional for PvP only- plus the usual. Titles, vanity gear, mounts, etc.

I figure that if the best PvP rewards mean you have factions charging into the heart of the big gathering grounds for the other side, people will be more tempted to actually, y'know- fight! Especially if they can do it from positions where there's more than them against the 20-man gank squad incoming with nothing else to worry about save teabagging their corpse. On PvE servers elsewhere, nothing to me was more exciting than seeing people raiding enemy cities, drawing in who-knows what for their faction in defense. Regardless of the results, whatever players defend and how- it'll mean each PvP-active raid will be a different experience and an exciting one.

In other words, PvP that is part of the world, that doesn't depend on masses of enemy players to still be a rewarding experience. Until it is, we can sit in the snow and hope for a better than won't come until devs stop tossing it outside in the cold to die.

-Fenix's Avatar

02.13.2012 , 05:34 PM | #3
Wasting your time, pal. The devs want to kill PVP. They hate when players other than carebears have fun.

Free bump.

va_wanderer's Avatar

02.14.2012 , 01:51 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by -Fenix View Post
Wasting your time, pal. The devs want to kill PVP. They hate when players other than carebears have fun.

Free bump.
See, and that's part of the problem. Separation of PvE and PvP content hurts both sides of the equation.

There's people who don't PvP. Which is cool. Heck, my main's on a PvE server. These people get annoyed that Bioware expends energy on PvP-only areas when they think PvE areas need work, and find PvP-oriented class changes disturbing their PvE-only play. Ops/Smugglers, looking at you here.

If areas are designed with PvP+E targets as part of the regular game, fixes benefit everyone more. If there's no PvP players, you still have challenging group/Operation-level targets that have some level of useful and unique reward to do things with. If players are there, even a few on the other faction participating- it's good for PvP as well as they will either 1) Be a known,small but disruptive (and hence entertaining) influence on a mostly PvE challenge or 2) A full-on PvP situation that everyone gets their fight on for with some PvE spice. The content is useful either way and doesn't end up being a wasteland of useless content to the majority of the playerbase.

There is no "separate but equal" situation for PvP. Integrate it into the world or it will fail to thrive. Warzones, arenas, huge swathes of PvP-content-only planets? This is reinventing the broken wheels of faction imbalances and gankage.

DsevenO's Avatar

02.14.2012 , 01:56 PM | #5
I support this thread; partly because of the content, and partly because of the retro Public Enemy reference.
Go Forth and Die

Cheeseblaster's Avatar

02.14.2012 , 05:53 PM | #6
I'll support this too. Being completely new to the MMO thing I've noticed people who have played other MMO's using those for their PVP experience and only using TOR as a PVE game.

PVP is fun, but it has the feel of a loose confederation instead of a team. And like you said there is too much incentive to go it alone and rack up the medals and comm's as opposed to playing like an actual team.
"This is war not kindergarten, suck it up"

va_wanderer's Avatar

02.15.2012 , 12:13 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Cheeseblaster View Post
I'll support this too. Being completely new to the MMO thing I've noticed people who have played other MMO's using those for their PVP experience and only using TOR as a PVE game.

PVP is fun, but it has the feel of a loose confederation instead of a team. And like you said there is too much incentive to go it alone and rack up the medals and comm's as opposed to playing like an actual team.
That's actually fairly common to PvP- tactics can often be as difficult as herding cats- think of your average warzone as a pick-up-group chosen at random, and you get an idea of how tough it can be.

That's another advantage to PvP+E content- you're planning more along the lines of a quick "raid", so you can plan a bit in advance, maybe take the guild in to hit a big target, or put together a more balanced group/companion choices.

Likewise, defenders aren't automatically focus-fired in this kind of situation- there's plentiful PvE type enemies likely engaging the same PvP group at the same time, so opportunistic players can hit and run under the cover of friendly fire, even popping in for timely interruptions or AoE barrages. Even a relatively disorganized defense just adds to the challenge of hitting the target, rather than the attackers simply mowing down every defender in the zone and camping the respawn.

It's also -completely optional- for the defenders. On PvE servers, it's not forced PvP in a PvE area or even PvP-only in a PvP area. Defenders can flag up and join in, or not. As they like. It tends to be a surprisingly big draw on PvE servers, though- fights like these tend to get people's attention and draw out the spark for wanting to actually shoot at something besides a mob.
Help unify PvP and PvE content- PvP+E!

DavydM's Avatar

02.22.2012 , 08:27 AM | #8
I will start of by saying I am not against PVP at all (I quite enjoy it actually) but the whole idea of Valor and Expertise should be removed in my opinion - why do we need stats that are PVP specific? (I'd like someone to give me a good argument for PVP gear please? Other than they have it in WOW )

Combat works the same wether you are in PVE or PVP its just that if you PVP longer you get a bonus to your damage/stats from expertise/gear - It just makes elitests out of people who have more time to spend playing... It makes it harder for people who dont PVP all the time to be competitive and most casual players give up...

The only other game I have played that had a fair bit of PVP in it was SWG (DDO had PVP but it was rather limited) and there was no PVP specific gear in that game and everyone felt like they could give PVP a go and not be penalised if they only did it casually...

The only reason I see for PVP gear is to make people with less skill competitive because eventually the bonuses make up for there lack of skill - oh no it dosent because the people with more skill also can get the bonuses - makes no sense to me

I like the warzones in SWTOR but havent really done much PVP on Ilum it just seems as you said there is no real reason to go to Ilum other than to do dailies... I remeber the huge PVP fights that used to occur in SWG where everyone would get involved wether they were hardcore PVPers or just casual players and I miss that a lot
Squadron 419

Dalborra Conquerer Davyd Redstrum <The Shadow Syndicate> (Guildmaster)

Duncker's Avatar

02.22.2012 , 08:44 AM | #9
I read somewhere that the legacy system would help with pop imbalances eventually.. How, I'm not sure, but perhaps by giving a small bonus +hp, +dam or something like that to the minority side.

Kracin's Avatar

02.22.2012 , 08:45 AM | #10
good post, i agree, but it is going to take an awful long time for them to hear the voices of the players and realize that their system is horrid.

i guarantee that they did it this way in an attempt to be "different", but different does not = better. cookie cutter sometimes helps more than hurts, especially if you want people to buy your cookies.

problems lie with a couple of things as stated. pvp is not integrated into the game, it is a seperate entity, i was extremely disappointed that i had zero encounter with pvp on a pvp server until level 30 when i was ganked 10 times by level 50's who were bored and running around the republic areas.

i had hoped i would run into sith while leveling in the same areas because it seems like a smart thing to do, let the two factions have a taste of each other early on, especially in a pvp environment.

the other problems lie with the gearing and the warzones, warzones are great, but not this way. they are not a team game as is, they are a single person doing his own thing at its best. once everyone knows what it takes to get certain medals, that is what they are going to do, look out for number 1. if you know that you already hit 75k damage, and 75k heals, and a single kill award, you are going to sit near a capture point and get your two defender medals before times up as opposed to leaving just 1 person behind to hold it. a lot of people forget about the teamwork and go for their own gold and it ends up being a 16 person quest where you are competing for awards, not a win.

the other problem is that at the moment, the gear is something that defines the classes and it seems like everyone has 10 different CC capabilities, and only 1 way to break them. giving you a solid distaste for fighting in groups larger than 1. as you will quickly find yourself unable to move or do anything until dead. this makes the game much worse while in world pvp as you can imagine. avoiding being killed becomes a task in itself, 1 second near the wrong person and you won't get away no matter how hard you try.

i don't have many solutions, but i have read more than my fair share of ideas that would help turn the pvp structure around, can only hope that the patches that come in the next year will solve all of these issues and the game will pick up steam soon.

one more thing, i hope they fix the equipment and pvp awards so that it isn't so easily attainable.... i think having a random world drop + crafting be the main source of gear would offer a much more enriching pvp experience as opposed to worrying whether or not your enemy is in full champion, or full battlemaster, because there is no other options for playing the game once you hit that level.... basically once you max out, its a warzone grind and the rest of the game is obsolete.