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New SWTOR PvP Details

The folks at Darth Hater run a nice SWTOR fan site.  I definitely recommend them as a place for legitimate SWTOR news and development content.  In today’s entry they’ve published an interview with Gabe Amatangel, SWTOR’s PvP designer guy.

Tank PvP gameplay sounds very similar to Warhammer Online.  Bioware essentially governs Mythic now anyway, so that’s no surprise… yet horrifying nonetheless since I’d rather have nothing WAR in my Star Wars.  Regardless, tanks being able to play that style of character legitimately in a PvP fight is something all PvP games really need.

The badge system already sounds convoluted and I suspect it will be tweaked before or close after launch.  Carroting people into behaving properly in a PvP match is the right idea, and they certainly seem to have a lot of the arcade-like aspects there including the “you’re unstoppable!” pizazz from games like DotA, but let’s be real here and realize that unless this is pulled off perfectly then it’s something players will ignore in favor of just blowing the enemy up faster.  At the end of the day, it’s still a battleground and it’s still e-sportesque which is a let down but not unexpected.

The CC idea is just weird.  Putting a bar above people’s heads to indicate their resolve and how affective CC will be against them seems like it worsens the situation rather then helping it.  The truly good e-sport PvPers, of which I am not one, will use that to min-max with ease.  It will make life harder for the average player.  What I read in the interview was a lot of talking around the fact that, yes, PvP will have CC and they’re going to try to hide it behind Star Wars/Sci-fi gloss.

“We want tactful strategy skirmishes” is a statement I can get behind.  Far too much of the PvP gameplay in MMO’s devolves into who can kill the other team faster instead of who can control the fight or use strategy to overcome their opponent.  In WoW it’s just about blowing up the enemy first regardless of what class you play and healing is only meant to try and add an element of prolonging the pewpew.

To sum it all up, lots of similarities to WAR and a few new ways of attempting to better problems we’ve seen crop on in past/current e-sport style PvP games.  When all is said and done I feel that they’ll realize that regardless of how nice their ideas are they’re still going to fall victim to the pitfalls of the model.  Hopefully it will be a lot more fun.

  • The Merovingian says:

    It’s sad that Bioware listened to the Mythic rejects instead of doing it their own, new way. They gonna pay the price for that.

  • Max says:

    In short SWTOR pvp will be instanced wow’esque formula with same mechanics (CC/Heal/DPS). What a novel approach!

  • Kaybek says:

    Warhammer actually had a very good PvP system, at least with regard to scenarios and renown rank. It seems that they’ve taken some of the things WAR did well and improved upon them. I’m still curious to see how open world PvP will work and what the drive will be to engage in open world PvP (why will it be meaningful in other words).

    Personally, I also hope they do something similar to what WAR did with the “Chicken” system in that high level people can’t go and gank low level people. That’s not PvP – that’s just ganking and I’m all for taking that out of a game.

  • guno says:

    There will be no meaningful open world pvp or any sort of open world pvp for that matter. Their pvp system is just a tag on to add another feature. Q in and pharm that’s it

  • Rinvan says:

    Well I read the interview & the badge system does sound a bit messed up at the moment. It really sounds like they want you to play PVP with actual tactics rather than a zerg rush. It will be interesting to see how that turns out.

  • Deigh says:

    Well they did just recently appoint Jeff Hickman to the SWTOR team, so WAR elements are probably inevitable.

  • Intruder313 says:

    I hope by “Tactful skirimishes” they meant “Tactical” 🙂

  • Intruder313 says:

    And now I wish I had an edit button….

  • Jim says:

    I’m not ashamed to say I really enjoyed the baseline W:AoR pvp mechanics on ce the dust settled and they got things somewhat balanced.

    I’ll admit this “Golden Age” of W:AoR lasted all of…3 weeks? But what a great 3 weeks it was.

    So yeah, I’m thinking the Old Republic battlegrounds will be fun. I really want to hear more on (what I’m guessing will be) Star Wars RvR.

    There’s an outside chance they could really hit a home run there…2% chance but that’s still waaaay more than any other game going.

    -crosses fingers-

  • Mesar says:

    I don’t get why you don’t like the CC bar.

    Personally I stopped playing a Dominator mage in Rift PvP, because too often I’d blow a cool-down on someone who had already reached the CC limit.

  • AlexTaldren says:

    This game has me bored to tears already. Next.

  • Stabs says:

    I think what’s scary is that you could sub the word “Rift” in for “Swtor” and read almost the entire article without noticing anything amiss.

    I know he says they’ve taken some ideas from shooters but that seems PR to mask how WOW-like the pvp is.

    Gabe Amatangelo: “Players at Level 10 will have access to all the Warzones.”

    Really? Who would have imagined that!

  • Rawblin says:

    @ Kaybeck “I’m still curious to see how open world PvP will work and what the drive will be to engage in open world PvP (why will it be meaningful in other words).”

    The answer is there will not be. World PvP that is. Queue-able Instanced PvP and Open World PvP are mutually exclusive. Period. You cannot ever have one, and the other.

    Sure, games can claim they have both, but in reality what they mean is there is the possibility* of both. The instance-queue negates the open world though, every time.

    Until some utter genius takes a step back, realizes that DAoC Battlegrounds are the only way to actually make Battlegrounds fun, and then implements them into a new game, it will all be a crap-shoot. Of course, until that same guy making that same game realizes that gear grinding as a PvP reward is also retarded, things will remain a crap-shoot.

  • The Merovingian says:

    @Rawblin: “Until some utter genius takes a step back, realizes that DAoC Battlegrounds are the only way to actually make Battlegrounds fun, and then implements them into a new game, it will all be a crap-shoot.”
    Well, technically, this isn’t true… there are WAY more (and I mean, a HUGE amount more) people enjoying WoW battlegrounds that there have been total people playing DAoC when the game was in its prime…

  • Russell Gusto says:

    PvP in SWTOR is lame, unoriginal, boring…list goes on and on. It feels more like WAR then WoW which is surprising and I’m SHOCKED Bioware is going this direction. Don’t fool yourself, this is a PvE game.

  • coppertopper says:

    @Meronvingian –
    Actually way more WoW players experienced DAoC battlegrounds like PvP then DAoC players did via Wintergrasp. And really liked it judging by its popularity. So the groundwork is set for an MMO to expand a bit on the idea of battering down doors and defending from walls. Don’t see ToR as that MMO…

  • Jay P. says:

    Keen
    Some Scary Questions. What if Wow Style games are the only ones being greenlighted by the moneyman? What if games like Rift, SWTOR, and probably Guild Wars 2 are the best they can do? Im beginning to think that people like myself who scream for an updated version of DAOC are in the minority. I hope Guild Wars 2 does a good job with their 3 sided world vs world. But i fully expect a dumbed down ez mode game, with great graphics and hopefully decent pvp. I’m beginning to think thats the best we can hope for.

  • Keen says:

    Then I need to get rich quickly or someone else needs to fund and make the games we want.

  • Max says:

    there are WAY more (and I mean, a HUGE amount more) people enjoying WoW battlegrounds that there have been total people playing DAoC when the game was in its prime

    Enjoying? Grinding honor points -maybe. I seriously doubt “many more” are actually enjoying it. Simple lithmus test -would you play wow bgs vs bots in offline single player? or even vs real players in the standard MP setup ( you join server ,play round ,disconnect -no rewards or gear))

    Thing is answer would be yes if it was genuinely enjoyable experience (like CS or TF2). But not so much in case of wow

  • The Merovingian says:

    @Coppertopper: Actually way more WoW players experienced DAoC battlegrounds like PvP then DAoC players did via Wintergrasp.”
    I’d like your source of those amazing numbers – considering there weren’t even 1/20 people playing DAoC compared to WoW.

    @Max: who are you to judge how other people are enjoying themself?
    It’s a common mistake made on the Internet generally – some people seem to think everybody is of the same opinion than they are, despite numbers obviously contradicting them.
    You seem to pretend being able to judge what other people enjoy based on what you think is best – and that’s a HUGE mistake. You’re proved wrong by numbers any day of the week.

  • Epiny says:

    @Merovingian
    Well said, for a politician; you didn’t actually address what either said. Coppertopper is saying the Wintergrasp is more akin to DAoC PvP and Wintergrasp is by and large more popular than BGs in WoW.

    Max is saying that if you aren’t willing to play BGs without rewards then you are not truly playing them for fun. I think that is a pretty obvious statement. He compared it to CS/TF2 because you don’t earn honor to buy crap within those game. You play them for the sheer pleasure of playing them. How many WoW players would set foot in a BG if there was no honor to be earned?

    This has nothing to do what Max, Copper, or I think is best. This is pointing out that Wintergrasp, which is like DAoC Frontiers, is more popular than BGs and that if there were no honor in BGs drastically fewer people would play them. I daresay the “twink” population is a more accurate representation of people who play BGs for fun.

  • The Merovingian says:

    @Epiny:
    “Max is saying that if you aren’t willing to play BGs without rewards then you are not truly playing them for fun.”
    Complete assumptions based on what YOU seem to think is fun. This can be translated into “if you don’t play the game the way I think is fun, you’re not having fun”. I can’t agree with that, sorry, even though it seems to be a pretty common way of thinking notably among ex-DAoC player, to my own shame for being one too.
    “his is pointing out that Wintergrasp, which is like DAoC Frontiers, is more popular than BGs”
    More assumptions. Where are your numbers? Wait… I hope you don’t pretend basing your arguments on forum posts right?

    Like many ex-DAoC player, you seem to take it for granted that the majority share your own conception of what is fun. That’s not true, possibly sadly, but it’s still not true, no matter how much you wish it would.

    Pretending a game’s PvP will be a “crap shot” because it doesn’t mimic the mechanics of DAoC, which is at best a minor game in the big scheme of MMORP games, is nonsensical.

  • gankatron says:

    “Max is saying that if you aren’t willing to play BGs without rewards then you are not truly playing them for fun. I think that is a pretty obvious statement. He compared it to CS/TF2 because you don’t earn honor to buy crap within those game. You play them for the sheer pleasure of playing them. How many WoW players would set foot in a BG if there was no honor to be earned?”

    I wish that had been the case all along. The quality of play would have improved dramatically.

    “Like many ex-DAoC player, you seem to take it for granted that the majority share your own conception of what is fun.”

    While technically true, this observation shouldn’t prevent us from making some basic assumptions about what the gaming community likes, especially if one more stringently defines a subpopulation such as the elusive “hard-core” PvP’er (although it could arguably be put forth that the latter is not the primary money-generating group for games like WoW). Perhaps it is a semantic point, but I do believe that most gamers would actually “enjoy” PvP’ing in a non-grinding environment (actually enjoying the moment), even if they would choose to have a game mechanic that supports their addictive desire to garner points toward gear (a long-term focus, at the expense of the actual PvP experience); note the word “grind” is seldom used to describe an enjoyable experience (outside of porn that is…).

    Back in the old days when I had to walk 5 miles in the snow to Gamestop in order to buy an actual box copy of my favorite game, I remember my first WoW PvP experience which was Alterac Valley. I am not being nostalgic (I leave that for Keen!) when I say that it was a awe inspiring experience. I was running around, perhaps to the chagrin of my teammates, observing this vast environment where people were engaged in all sorts of purposeful, and typing in strategies in chat; it went on for 4 hours and many people stayed. I don’t remember whether we won or lost, but I do recall that it was probably the most fun I ever had in a videogame. Now contrast this to the latter modified honor grinding token economy BG’s, which I found not just tedious, but frustrating, running past the AFK’ers by the cave entrance, while reading people in chat typing the mantra “A quick loss gives more honor per minute than a long victory”…

  • Pengin says:

    Couple things to add to this conversation that have been overlooked/not brought up –

    The CC Bar (called ‘Resolve’), from what I read, is up by your portrait, not over the avatar’s head.

    Read somewhere that PvP gear is 10% stronger than equivalent PvE gear.

    You can level solely through PvP

    Also, all characters will be able to participate in all the battlegrounds all the time. Bioware has a buffing system in place that they claim puts all players on a fairly equivalent playing field, where a character with low-level gear will be approximately 80% as strong as a same-class character with top-end gear.

    Time-to-kill was reported by many of the fansites to be substantially longer than they were used to (specifically remembering reading about having time to correct your mistakes), making the full-out dps approach much less appealing.

    I’m sure there’s other stuff, but it’s spread over probably 10-15 fansites that I really don’t feel like sifting through for links right now. Just thought this might add to the conversation.

    Also, I thought PvP tanking/guarding in WAR was a good mechanic. If it wasn’t there most tanks would have just been underperforming DPS. Just because the overarching structure and systems in WAR were a mess doesn’t mean that everything associated with it is poison. That’s view that’s a little too internet-stereotypical for my liking. ‘Horrifying’, in particular, seems a little bit strong.

  • Rawblin says:

    @ Merovingian

    The amount of people that play WoW BGs has nothing to do with the fun value of said content. They simply grind it for honor, which is in turn a grind for gear. As is all of WoW.

    You compare the numbers of subs for DAoC and WoW as if they were even slightly related. They are not. DAoC came out long before WoW, in a time where an MMO wasn’t simply an endless grind for loot, but a fun and interactive way to immerse oneself in the world created by said company. DAoC was made by a company with no real history, and no huge following. Just because everyone jumped on the Blizzard bandwagon, and all they have ever known is an endless loot-grind for their entire MMO lives, does not mean it is better.

    My original point was simple, a non-instanced, static-zone Battleground is better in every way than a queue-able, instanced, cross-server loot grind. It builds community, it has objectives other than “cap this flag 3 times”, it is permanent and therefore lends even more credence to it being important.

    Also, gear grinding for PvP is a sad shortcut for a lack of content. Any time you constantly increase not only the gear available, but also leave out any form of stat caps, you are simply making your entire game all about “getting the next loot”. A great PvP system is having unrelated PvP levels…. *with meaning*.

    The reason I bring up DAoC, as most DAoC vets do, is simple. They understood this, and it worked well. Stat caps stop the game from becoming an *endless* loot grind (of course there is still loot to get, but it isn’t forever). It brings the focus for PvP back to actually having fun in and participating in said PvP.

    I wouldn’t ever dream of arguing about WoW subscriber numbers, they are obviously huge. But just because millions of people do something, does not mean it is the best way it can or should be done. They don’t know any better, it is all the MMO-style they have ever seen. Grind and grind and grind for loot, and then when the next expansion comes, start over. Yuck.

  • gankatron says:

    I never played DAoC, although given all of the praise I wish I had;; but a simple question, if DAoC was the one MMO to rule them all, why did it die down to a single server, as opposed to growing and keep putting out new content and graphic upgrades?

  • Rawblin says:

    There’s no real simple answer, but I believe the summary is that MMOs started becoming something mainstream, and so people were constantly looking for the “next new thing”. This transferred over to devs, and a lot of Mythic talent ended up elsewhere or gobbled up by the EA demon.

    So in total, it lost the ability to keep itself updated enough to remain in the forefront. With Blizzard launching an MMO under such a followed (and admittedly great) IP, I think all of the MMOs out at that time suffered a massive blow.

    Which is why I believe a true-to-form updated DAoC would be a great idea for the MMO industry at present. And hell, even if it totally bombed, at least someone would have tried doing something other than a loot treadmill.

  • Rawblin says:

    Sorry, lack of edit button*

    I would never claim DAoC was the “one MMO to rule them all”, by the way.

    I would more describe it as an excellent form of a PvP-Driven MMO. I hate where PvP has gone to in *ALL* MMOs released since. It was never designed to cater to the masses, and that is a large part of what made it great. When you try to make everyone happy, you end up with something so watered-down it doesn’t even resemble what it started out as.

  • coppertopper says:

    DAOC died in large part due to a phenominal expansion, that unfortunately broke PvP, and was not fixed until a couple years later. Its not unlike Gpotatoe and Allods Online, which otherwise would have hooked North American players if not for the obvious rip-u-off Pay-to-play setup.

  • gankatron says:

    Thanks for the info. I have always wondered why companies didn’t relaunch promising, yet currential inertial titles, as opposed to working from scratch…

  • gankatron says:

    *currently

  • Epiny says:

    Mythic had a chance to remake DAoC with WAR but they failed. They are repeating some of the obvious mistakes with TOR already, luckily TOR is suppose to be PvE centric so it would be as devastating.

  • Epiny says:

    would should be wont* no edit… 🙁

  • […] the system is that tanks get an actual role in PvP, just like they have (had) in Warhammer Online. Keen somehow thinks that taking a page out of WAR’s book is a bad thing. As far as I am concerned, he couldn’t be more […]

  • Epiny says:

    If this was my first MMO launch since WoW I would be excited. However it’s not, so I can see past all this smoke and mirrors and realize this game will probably be meh at best.

  • gankatron says:

    I think the game will be quite cool, certainly for us Star Wars geeks, but the PvP will be standard fare; this is understandable as no investor wants to see so much money thrown in for so many years in order to take a chance on an unconventional, and therefore risky, PvP mechanic. If there is to be fundamental change, expect it to come from the indie companies, and hopefully then borrowed upon piecemeal by the WoW want-to-be’s…

  • The Merovingian says:

    Maybe nobody wants to invest in DAoC-like PvP because it isn’t as popular as some DAoC die-hard fans pretend it to be?
    Personally, DAoC is one of the worse MMORPG I’ve played, and I’ve played them all since UO beta. UO and AC1 beat the crap out of DAoC overall, and guess what… Anarchy Online’s world PvP in the expansion “Notum Wars” beats the crap out of the “PvP in a boxed zone” of DAoC.
    This is only my opinion, of course… it’s just a reminder that your own is only YOURS, though. Many people broke their “MMO Cherry” with DAoC and think it’s the greatest (PvP) game ever. First, it’s only a RvR game, just like WoW, and unlike UO or AC1. WoW PvP servers are actually more “hardcore” than any DAoC server except of course the failure that was Mordred, since in WoW you can be attacked everywhere after passing level 20, and not only in designated PvP areas.

  • gankatron says:

    @Merovingian:

    As I stated I have never play DAoC, but I am curious about a dead game that still has such a devoted fan base…

    ‘DAoC is one of the worse MMORPG I’ve played”

    …can you elaborate? Thanks.

  • wufiavelli says:

    Isn’t Arenanet using a DAOC type system for their PvP?

    Kind of destroys the No body using it factor.

    Hell even darkfall follows 3 factions. Does this mixed with other factors and turns the whole thing into a watery mess. But they still do it.

  • Rawblin says:

    GW2 claims to be basing its PvP on DAoC principles, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Regardless, it was stated. So obviously someone wants to invest in it 😉

  • The Merovingian says:

    “DAoC is one of the worse MMORPG I’ve played”…can you elaborate? Thanks.
    The game consists basically in rushing to level 50 in an awful mob grind since the quest were sparse and of poor quality. The PvE in that game was awful. It’s also DAoC which introduced “canned PvP”, precursor of battlegrounds and similar “PvP in a box” mechanics which killed world PvP compared to games like UO, AC1 or even AO. Hell, even WoW has more world PvP since as I said, after level 20 on a PvP server you are open to enemy attacks.

  • Rawblin says:

    It’s funny that you spout DAoC as “PvP in a Box”. I guess we have different ideas of boxes, because the Frontiers were at least as large as the PvE zones combined.

    I fail to see how seperating PvE and PvP zones is a bad thing. It seems to me your idea of world pvp consists of simply being ganked by higher lvl people because its a PvP-free-for-all. That is all the PvP you see on WoW servers btw. Running around and mercilessly ganking noobs… ohhh now that’s fun and requires skill.

    No thanks, I’ll take a permanent zone with level restrictions any day over that crap. And once I hit the level cap? Holy-moly its a whole new MASSIVE zone designed solely for PvP! In a box… rofl. That’s sad, Mer. You sound bitter, but I can’t figure out why.

  • Rawblin says:

    Hell, even Eve has a designated PvE and PvP zone. While it isn’t 100% safe in Empire Space, it’s still the newbie/safer area. With the massive PvP-designated area out past that in low and null-sec.

    Seems like a dynamic that works quite well in the games that have used it.

  • The Merovingian says:

    Of course, if I disliked a video game, I can only be bitter. It can’t just be that different people have different opinions. It seems to be a quite frequent reaction of ex-DAoC players, a very high intolerance towards those who didn’t think that that game was the second coming.

  • Jim says:

    Hey Keen, it’s the 10th! C’mon, time to post 🙂

  • gankatron says:

    Speaking about relauching or modifying previously promising, but stagnant titles, here is the latest from Allods online with their supposedly new commitment to actual Free to Play by reworking the inscence and death penalty mechanics…

    http://en.forum.gpotato.eu/?CD=ALLODS_EN_F004&TC=0000000000&MD=VT&US=Y&AS=Y&TNO=1204725&LREFF=http%3A%2F%2Fen.forum.gpotato.eu%2FIndex.aspx%3FCD%3DALLODS_EN_F004

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