Sep 14, 2011

Posted by in Breakdown | 8 Comments

Breakdown: PvP Rewards In The Old Republic

Breakdown is designed to to fill that stressful void while SWTOR.com is down for maintenance. Each Wednesday morning, we’ll look at a topic and try to break it down based on what we know, and what we can expect. In the end, we hope to educate, entertain, and prevent you from having your own Breakdown!

If you follow the official SW:TOR forums at all, you’ll see more than a few threads repeating themselves trying to clarify some of the basic features of SW:TOR. Here in Breakdown, we’ll try to present all the currently known facts about how the game works in an easy to read format. Hopefully, we can clear up a few misconceptions, and answer a few questions; maybe we’ll even fill you in on something you didn’t know.

For the first edition of Breakdown, we thought we’d cover the topic of PvP rewards. Without further adieu, let’s get started! There are a few different types of PvP rewards that we’ll cover: Open World PvP, Instanced PvP, and Valor.

First off, let’s start with defining what we know:

Commendations: The PvP token/badge used to buy PvP rewards.
Valor: PvP experience points.
Valor Rank: PvP level (the higher the level, the more experienced in PvP).

Instanced PvP: Grant Warzone Commendations and Valor.

  • Alderaan – Republic vs Empire
  • Huttball – Republic vs Empire, Empire vs Empire, or Republic vs Republic
  • Voidstar – Republic vs Empire

Open World PvP: Grant Mercenary Commendations and Valor.

  • Ilum – Republic vs. Empire (2 bases where factions fight for control).
  • Other Planet PvP/Open World PvP not yet announced – Republic vs Empire.

And of course, you can defeat enemy faction players in the open world on PvP servers. This would net only Valor, as Commendations are for objective based goals.

For Instanced PvP, players will join a match using a queue system. Once both faction teams have been filled, you will be loaded into the Warzone instance of your choosing to begin the match. Once the winning conditions have been met, the instance closes. So far in TOR, we’ve seen 8 vs. 8 Warzones, and we currently don’t know if there are other sizes.

In Open World PvP, the sides may not always be even, there are no “winning conditions” that will end the experience; it is a truly persistent battlefield that can have effects on the world around you. It can happen almost anywhere, but especially around PvP objectives such as the bases on the planet Illum. It remains to be seen how this open world objectives play out, and if in fact any side can “win” or what taking control would actually mean to gameplay.

Warzone & Mercenary Commendations: These can be used to buy various PvP boosts, as well as saved up to be used for purchasing PvP specific gear (there apparently will be a PvP stat that grants you an edge, but PvP gear is tuned to only give you a gear edge of ~10% over PvE gear, and vice-versa). These commendations are exchangeable for each other, though we don’t know if it will be at a 1-to-1 rate. This is designed to help those who favor one type of PvP over the other, and it is implied it will be the same gear regardless of Mercenary or Warzone reward.

Although unconfirmed, it has been alluded to by BioWare that Mercenary commendations will only be awarded for Open World PvP in the zones designed to support it, such as capturing a base on the world of Illum, while killing a player of the enemy faction in the Dune Sea would only net Valor.

Also worth noting is at the end of an instanced PvP match, you’ll see a “scoreboard” for about 30 seconds before the game releases you back to the open world. One unique element of instanced PvP in TOR, on this scoreboard you will have the opportunity to award a single commendation to someone else on your team. The scoreboard also tracks kills and damage as you might expect, but it also tracks healing done, damage absorbed and more so that you can commend your most effective healers and tanks for their role as well. Having the highest kill count won’t necessarily net the best rewards. BioWare is trying to use this system to foster team play and community in PvP.

Valor: No matter what kind of PvP you engage in, you will gain Valor points. They can grant you titles, and other types of perks (such as the highest ranking member of a Warzone being granted “leader” status, therefore capable of marking targets). While unconfirmed, Commendations are a reward based on teamwork objectives.

It seems to accumulate similar to regular Experience, but counts towards your “Valor Rank.” This may be similar to Realm Rank for those familiar with Dark Ages of Camelot, or Renown from Warhammer Online. BioWare hasn’t been as forthcoming with details on what Valor Rank will grant you, but it’s been hinted that you may get PvP specific abilities in addition to PvP titles, and other cool non-combat perks. Players with a high Valor Rank will be the ones you know are heavy into PvP. This will also be a tool used by BioWare in Instanced PvP to try and balance the matches

In addition to the above PvP rewards you will continue to gain regular Experience and Credits for PvP interactions; you can even level up inside of a Warzone from defeating other players! BioWare has adopted a policy of rewarding you for doing what you want to do, and looking for new and inventive ways of doing just that. This was noted during recent conventions where characters were not reset during matches. They would start out at level 9 in the morning, and by the end of the day were level 12.

All in all, PvP is shaping up to be a very dynamic and interesting part of the game, with its own robust reward system. But we shouldn’t have expected anything less from not only BioWare, but Mythic, who brought us what is often considered one of the best PvP MMOs ever in Dark Age of Camelot.

Hopefully this helped organize and clarify a few points for you. If you have other information (that isn’t under NDA!) or feel we got something wrong, please let us know!  And remember, when the servers go down next Wednesday for maintenance, join us here at Ask A Jedi for another Breakdown!

  1. Great kick off
    I am interested in the gear rewards from PvP and how they are going to be impacted by mod-ing. can you get PvP gear and Mod it towards Operations to ‘get-by’ until you earn the next level of gear?

    • It may not work this way in SW:TOR, but in Warhammer the PvP gear you could get was very accessible from an early level and gave good stat bonuses that would translate well to PvE. And the times I’ve heard the “PvP vs. PvE gear will be about 10% difference in performance” I got the impression that it was directly related to the PvP Stat found on the PvP gear. So if all other stats are roughly the same and PvP gear just has the PvP stat tacked on too, then PvP could be a totally viable way to obtain decent gear for the rest of the content. It depends on if they lower the other primary stats on the gear (esp. endurance) to compensate for the PvP stat, and how much PvP vs. PvE it takes to get the top levels of gear (grind for weeks in PvP and eventually definitely get the gear thru Commendations, or grind through a dungeon for who knows how long and maybe get the drop you want. . .).

      That said: Bioware’s focus on story through the class quests will lead you on a PvE path to get all of your Companion Characters, your ship, AC, learning new abilities, etc. So it will probably NOT be viable to level up via PvP alone. However if it’s possible to do JUST story quests and PvP and skip most of the classic PvE “kill ten swamp rats” type quests, I’ll be in queues 90% of the time, regardless of the gear differences. PvP in SW:TOR is looking like it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

      • Lord_Paladin says:

        Thanks for the compliment Zlatto!

        As to your question, I couldn’t really say it any better than Prenerfed already has. PvP gear should at least be viable if you need to fill in for a missing piece, but then, TOR won’t have as much of a barrier to play as WoW did, so you’re never really going to need to “gear up” before tackling content. You can just walk right into the eternity vault with a pug, and once you’re comfortable and geared, you can try Hard Mode, but it won’t be anything different, just more challenging/difficult mechanics.

  2. This is good breakdown. I was pretty confused as to how this was going to work. Thanks.

  3. GingerTyger says:

    Wow! Great breakdown! Can’t wait for more! Just the thing I need to help understand a bit more before we all start playing. Don’t wanna be left in the dark, especially since i’m new to PC gaming.

  4. When the weekend testing was going on i went to ilum about lv 14 and found out that it is farly easy for one side to control lium. to easy I might add. I know i took it fr the repblic 2 times

  5. Great stuff so what is the breakdown of the rewards / level ect….. and is all of the stuff high level or can a 25 use some of it?

    Why is it that there is no real documentation available for this game? The makers did not supply anything that really details crafting or anything.

    • Lord Paladin says:

      PvP weapons come through at various levels, but if you want, you can save up commendations and buy a full set of gear at level 20. These are sold at your fleet station. I got my set at 20-21 and used a lot of it until almost 30.

      As for documentation, use your codex. There’s often a lot more there than people realize. Ask a Jedi also posted a link to the online pdf manual on the website.

      And of course you can stay tuned since I’m working on a crafting breakdown :)

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