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How to Become a Contender: Supplemental(Bolster, PvP Gear, and You)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > PvP
How to Become a Contender: Supplemental(Bolster, PvP Gear, and You)

L-RANDLE's Avatar


L-RANDLE
12.16.2013 , 10:51 PM | #1
Hello everyone. L-Randle here, providing more details about the current state of PvP gearing in the Bolster World we all know and love. I am starting this as a supplemental to the main "contender" thread to discuss, confirm, and debunk some common traits that are present in the current bolster system. This will be aimed more towards new and returning players, as vets know that bolster is the wild Bantha, that even BW has yet to tame(explain), at least publicly. There has been many requests to post screenshots of what bolster is doing in certain situations, so I hope that my input will be helpful.

I am not submitting this to debate whether bolster should be present or how "strong" it should be. I want to maintain this thread as a help thread, not overly ripe with opinions. When I take the time to post these "long-winded" ones, I always want people to try to stay on task and keep the typical thread banter to a minimum. So with that, lets begin.

First, lets start with the basics:
Bolster is present in all levels of WZs. Whether your character is level 15 or 55, bolster works the same way. You can get a good idea of what levels your attack/heal ratings are from the start by hovering your mouse pointer over it and reading the tooltip value/range on the right (if using the default UI layout). This is crucial in how you approach bolster and whether a certain piece of gear yields better rating.

Ratings/Comparisions should be attained in bolster environments. With the complex nature of this mechanic, making determinations by stats, while outside of bolster environments, don't always tell the entire picture. Swap pieces inside of these environments.

Don't mix PvP modifications with PvE ones in a single item. I still see this one a lot, but is more for returning players. Previously, before bolster existed, there was a point where mixing say a +41 Power crystal (PvE), with a PvP mod and/or Enhancement was considered BiS for a MH/OH. This is no longer the case because of how bolster works. On one particular piece (say a weapon), if you mix, bolster will assume since "some" EXP is present, no additional EXP (by way of bolster) is needed. Bolster doesn't care what that number is, you get ZERO EXP from bolster, besides what is on the gear itself. The rule is: if you are not carrying MAX EXP, which is 2018, or at least something close to it (1800+), you are not only hurting yourself, but your teammates as well. Don't do it.

Bolster has no affect on Augments. There was a glitch in the way bolster looked at Augments, so BW removed them from consideration for bolster mechanics. This also means that "twinking" in lowbie is more pronounced than endgame, as the deltas between main/HP in the brackets are more skewed than endgame, where everyone is "about" the same level. I will speak more on this, as this thread continue [Edit], but understand the only REAL needs at endgame are Augments and stims. No using expense as an excuse, because getting credits is easy in this game. See this if you don't believe me....[/Edit]



Now for the "good" stuff:

As a basis, I am using my Carnage spec Mara that is geared mostly in Obroan gear to test whether certain items are more favorable in PvP. Here is the basis:
http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/...ps3d0818a2.png

With this build my rating for Force Scream/Blade Storm (for Pubs) is 2998. I will base the proceeding observations based on this number.


A few items, namely my MH(weapon damage/Force Power considerations), my gloves(non-weapon modifiable gear), and implants(non-modifiable gear) will be examined as to how they are affected by Bolster. TBH, there are even more combinations from what I will post, but, as I said earlier, this is geared more towards new players and returning players, so I am trying to limit this to a few items and provide advice.


Bolster current cut-off is level 66 Purples before a diminishing return on Bolster EXP starts.
Here is a screen of my toon with ALL crafted purple 66 modifications in my weapon. As you can see, my EXP drops to 1962. This is not favorable, as the EXP drop is too much, for the minor main stat gain. I hope that you all trust me when I say, any moddable piece, with all 66 purples or higher in each slot, will get a harsh DR on Bolster EXP. This is not advisable.

PvE combinations for MH/OH are BiS for PvP. As much as it pisses me off something fierce, MANY PvE combinations are close/BIS for PvP on MHs/OHs. My surge and crit are pretty much the same across the board(19%/76%). As long as you don't sacrifice Bolstered EXP, these are more favorable than Obroan MH/OH. Here are some screens:
Crafted 58 Purples: Force Scream: 3008
http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/...ps3077d8fa.png
Classic/Crafted 61 Purples: Force Scream: 3010
http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/...ps4da5419c.png

I also assume Lvl 63 purples and/or a mix and match combo(69/63/61) will also be more favorable than Obroan MH/OH, but I think these screens are enough to know that Obroan weapons are not even as good as crafted 58 purples, which in turn, makes them useless outside of OWPVP. You can get crafted/classic purples at level 50 for these items and be so close to BiS, you won't have to change anything upon entry to endgame PvP.


Obroan is BiS for PvP on non-weapon, modifiable pieces. Outside of the MH/OH, Obroan does give a slight advantage in PvP, but with the cost of acquisition of Obroan, its not going to "kill you" not to be BiS, even for ranked. Please note, I switched back to my Obroan weapon to get back to my basis for a proper comparison.
Crafted 58 Purples: Force Scream: 2989
http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/...pse9956ade.png
Classic/Crafted 61 Purples: Force Scream: 2987
http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/...ps6fa83840.png

Level 63 and possibly some other combinations might yield a similar number to Obroan, but again the number are so close, that carrying any of these are just as favorable. or you can just min/max Obroan and be done with it with no experimentation.


Obroan is BiS for PvP on non-weapon, non-modifiable pieces. I didn't compare Obroan on Ear piece, it is BiS, just barely again though (no screens, but I will if you want). I did however test Conq implants versus my Crafted Purples (which were on the basis build; Force Scream=2998). Please note, I switched back to my Obroan Weapon and Obroan Gloves to get back to my basis for a proper comparison.

Conq Implants(2EA): Force Scream: 2977
http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/...ps80e4309d.png

So these are a clear nerf to crafted purples like these: http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/gear/500...-might-package
Which are what I have been wearing since 2.0.


Conclusion for Noobs(I say that with <3) and Returners that are entering 55 endgame PvP:


Contrary to popular belief, you don't need PvP gear to be competitive @ 55, even for ranked. Hopefully, I provided enough for people to understand bolster works better for new entries, than it does for "geared vets". The level of your modifications are minor before level 66 items because bolster gives HP/MAIN/EXP to close the gap, or, in some cases, eliminates it entirely, so PvP gear is not "needed" to be successful. Most of these items are attainable before your toon get to level 55. Plan accordingly.

Augments/Stims are the greatest delta in stats for endgame PvP. As I stated earlier, Augments are not included in bolster calculations. You can use MK-9 Augment kits at level 1, and you can buy endgame Augments to fill them at level 1. While you can't put the Augments into your gear until level 55, having them ready upon hitting 55 is key. With the above info, and endgame Augments, you can/will be MORE than on par with BiS Obroan players in some cases. When I hit 55 on my Sniper, I had 30K HP, full EXP and 750 bonus damage. That is on par with my base build, with mostly Obroan stuff, on my Mara. Plan accordingly.


Use this for a basis for PVP gear progression. Basically, when you hit 55 you should be buying PvP relics and non-weapon based, modifiable PvP pieces (which min/maxing those are a priority). If you happen to not have/find a crafter or have enough planetary/classic/elite comms for the other items (implants, ear, MH/OH), buy Conq/Obroan, but understand, they will need to be replaced. Plan accordingly.

[Edit] Upon further review, you should concentrate on min/maxing set bonus pieces and PvP relics only. Then trickle in the other stuff (Except for MH/OH which are 100% BiS)[/Edit]


Gear don't help L2P and balancing issues. Even with all this info. Understanding when and why to do things in WZ is far more valuable in PvP, than gear is. If you play more, you generally will be more successful. Class balance, team comp, knowing how to counter/knowing bad matchups, and ability to press buttons have far more of an impact than gear does. Temper expectations, dont quit because the going gets tough, and plan accordingly.

I posted this in the hope it would we stickied and not deleted by the Dread Masters(BW). Wish me luck!
The TLR version is:
@ 55
Buy your BiS Obroan PvP relics (2600RWZ COMMS; 1400 URWZ COMMS).
Augment everything.

Then,
Buy 4EA Obroan Moddable Non-Weapon Pieces for your set bonus (or in and Operative's case 2 PvP pieces + 2 PvE pieces)(10,000RWZ COMMS, 4000 URWZ COMMS).
Min/Max those 4 pieces.

Then,
Replace other pieces with BiS Obroan ONLY(except for MH/OH), as that is the only upgrade, but its not by much as I showed in the last update..

My newborn is crying so I'll leave it at this. More observations are welcome as I reserved another front page spot to adjust anything.

Regards,
L-Randle
PvP Gear Viability? Read this first.
Tired of being broke? Stop being Felica and read this.
I'm not trying to be Rambo..... I'm trying to be Ray Tango

L-RANDLE's Avatar


L-RANDLE
12.16.2013 , 11:15 PM | #2
[Reserved]
For Advanced Users:

I also just looked at Belt. Here are the results:
http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/...ps820998ef.png
Using my BiS Obroan my Force Scream was rated at 3172

Here is a 58 purple/69 purple combo: Force Scream = 3170
http://i1253.photobucket.com/albums/...pse2d53159.png

I did lose 170HP, and .02% crit rating, but I can say that with the sunk cost of obtaining a BiS Obroan Belt/Bracer, I would have rather spent those comms elsewhere. Also I should add, since you only need 4 pieces for set bonus, you could choose not to replace one(hands/feet/legs/chest/head) of the right side items, plus the belt and bracer, and MH, and OH, and the implants/ear until you are fully min/max on the set bonus items and have BiS relics.
PvP Gear Viability? Read this first.
Tired of being broke? Stop being Felica and read this.
I'm not trying to be Rambo..... I'm trying to be Ray Tango

ManiacDavis's Avatar


ManiacDavis
12.16.2013 , 11:32 PM | #3
Overall a good guide.
Man-iac - The Only Commando Left Standing
http://www.twitch.tv/rrmaniac

Joesixxpack's Avatar


Joesixxpack
12.17.2013 , 07:31 AM | #4
Analysis with evidence, very nice.
SifuStoli Sage | Joesixxpack VG | BBQ'Ribs GS | Hawt'Sauce Guard | Dark'nStormy Scrap
ilotSufiS Mara | BBQRibs Sin | BBQSammich PT | BBQSawce MM | Dark'n'Stormy Op Med
PROPHECY OF THE FIVE

jmsutton's Avatar


jmsutton
12.17.2013 , 09:03 AM | #5
What I get from this is what I already expected. The difference between all the trouble and lengths of exploiting bolster vs just using the PvP gear as it comes is.... less than 100 base ability damage.

This game is not so tightly/competitively tuned that it matters

Technohic's Avatar


Technohic
12.17.2013 , 09:31 AM | #6
Good read L.

Quote: Originally Posted by jmsutton View Post
What I get from this is what I already expected. The difference between all the trouble and lengths of exploiting bolster vs just using the PvP gear as it comes is.... less than 100 base ability damage.

This game is not so tightly/competitively tuned that it matters
The problem is, a lot of people don't realize they can get close to the same stats as the fully geared and show up significantly below 30k HP and without augments or stims. Or; there is a large portion who spend their initial level 55 coms on MH/OH and that does not help them nearly as much as the augments. All variances asside for how close or not you are with or without gear and bolster; it has become pretty constant on what you can do to minimize and sort of gap. Hopefully this guide could help others to see that without having to explain it every other day.
Quote: Originally Posted by proverbs 26:4
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him.

ManiacDavis's Avatar


ManiacDavis
12.17.2013 , 10:01 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by jmsutton View Post
What I get from this is what I already expected. The difference between all the trouble and lengths of exploiting bolster vs just using the PvP gear as it comes is.... less than 100 base ability damage.

This game is not so tightly/competitively tuned that it matters
Where the controvesy is though is the fact that you can buy items from the GTN and those items will bolster better than conqueror gear. In essence, for new players/characters it may be beneficial to not wear pvp gear or defer certain purchases of pvp gear. This guide also does not take into account set bonuses. For example, the scoundrel PvE set bonus increases their AOE heal by 15% whereas the PvP set bonus increases dodge by 1 second. A 15% PvE set bonus, while 10pts lower (hypothetical) stat wise is made better than Obroan PvP gear due to the set bonus.
Man-iac - The Only Commando Left Standing
http://www.twitch.tv/rrmaniac

Oakie's Avatar


Oakie
12.17.2013 , 10:29 AM | #8
So what I'm getting out of this is that you get the conquerer gear and just put the pve purple (58's) or (61's) and your instantly competitive and it is better than having expertise in your gear? I say this because I have full conqueror and my saber is Obroan. I sit roughly over 28k health my bonus damage is only 624 while I see others with about 800 and while mostly everyone else I see has 30k+. (I'm a deception assassion fyi)

That just makes no sense to me

Technohic's Avatar


Technohic
12.17.2013 , 10:31 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Oakie View Post
So what I'm getting out of this is that you get the conquerer gear and just put the pve purple (58's) or (61's) and your instantly competitive and it is better than having expertise in your gear? I say this because I have full conqueror and my saber is Obroan. I sit roughly over 28k health my bonus damage is only 624 while I see others with about 800 and while mostly everyone else I see has 30k+. (I'm a deception assassion fyi)

That just makes no sense to me
You should be able to hit real close to 30 K with fresh 55 greeens, really. Do you have full augments?
Quote: Originally Posted by proverbs 26:4
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him.

Oakie's Avatar


Oakie
12.17.2013 , 10:41 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Technohic View Post
You should be able to hit real close to 30 K with fresh 55 greeens, really. Do you have full augments?
No I haven't fully augmented my gear yet...just my saber...do you think that is the problem? If I augment all my gear I could have around 30k health? But say I were to do that...is there even a point of getting obroan then?