Yesterday I told you what I thought about SWTOR‘s PvE from 1-40. Now I want to give you my quick thoughts on the PvP. My perspective is not one of a hardcore PvPer doing only warfronts to level, nor is it from someone who considers themselves god’s gift to PvP. I’m not a pro, nor will I put a pro-gamer tag next to my name to insinuate such. However, I have PvP’d extensively in MMO’s for over a decade and I’ve seen it all.
PvP in SWTOR is, currently, in a rough state. The lack of level brackets is an outright fiasco, which is why I wasn’t surprised at all to see that they’re adding them soon. Fighting in battlegrounds is not fun at all on my Guardian. I’ve had some really rough experiences with the lack of damage. I contribute by soaking up damage for others, but even then I feel like I’m not doing much. I’m fairly positive that it’s my problem and not the class’, but it feels like I have to have a pocket healer focusing exclusively on me to do anything.
Playing on my healer has been an entirely different experience. Even at level 12, when I went in and healed I topped the charts (sometimes the only healer on both sides) and knew for sure that my team won because of me. It’s only getting better as I get more healing abilities. I’m having a blast PvPing at level 18.
Improve the Warzone Design
Maybe it’s just me, but PvP in general feels clunky. A lot of people waving lightsabers around mosh pitting on doors is not doing it for me. I would have preferred a warzone fighting over the sarlacc pit for control points or something like that. Something more interesting than a space station with doors as your objectives. Anyone remember Star Wars: Battlefront? There were plenty of map designs that would have made great SWTOR warzones — yes, even vehicles could be an option.
Expand the Open-world PvP
You all know I’m not much of a WoW-style battleground system fan. I’d love to see the open-world stuff be expanded. Illum has real potential, and even Outlaw’s Den can be made into something that players value. There’s no reason we can’t get a big open zone with permanent 24/7 capturable objectives. The planet system just begs for something like DAOC’s battlegrounds system, or even the frontier. Take a planet, divide it into 3 major areas. One area for each faction as their territory and a middle area that is owned by one faction at a time. Within each zone would be bases that can be captured. There are no restrictions on which bases can be captured, except the unconquerable spaceport each faction lands at.
Owning the most bases on this planet would grant access to a special spaceport that players could use to shuttle to a neutral planet/moon with PvE benefits. Some awesome dungeon or boss or something that would entice players to constantly battle for control of the bases. When the other faction gains control of the most bases, the spaceport switches hands and the other faction can fly over and attack the current occupants. This would give incentive for players to constantly defend and attack, thus causing a community to form around the protection of bases at all times for the good of all.
That said… I’ve done ad-hoc open-world pvp on planets like Hoth, and I have really have a lot of fun. Mostly small skirmishes and gank attempts, but fun.
Like the PvE, PvP is not horrible. It’s not beyond repair. PvP is actually full of potential. WoW’s PvP underwent numerous changes until Blizzard finally arrived at the current system. My suggestions above for open-world PvP would not be hard (from a design perspective) to implement and they would make sense given the direction I feel SWTOR will go. SWTOR won’t fit into the E-sport PvP scene. Their best bet is to capitalize on the faction struggle inherent to their story and make a big show of it.