Jan 10, 2012

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Breakdown: Warzones And You

Breakdown is designed to to fill that stressful void while Star Wars: The Old Republic is down for maintenance. Each Tuesday morning, we’ll look at a topic and try to break it down to the basics. In the end, we hope to educate, entertain, and prevent you from having your own Breakdown!

If you follow the official TOR forums at all, you will see more than a few threads repeating themselves trying to clarify some of the basic features of Star Wars: The Old Republic. 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 will even fill you in on something you didn’t know.
This week’s Breakdown is all about Warzones! In this article I’m going to tell you the basic ins and outs of how each one operates. No strategy here, but if you don’t want to look like a noob when you first set foot in your first PvP match, you’ll want to read what’s below. You may even learn something that will give you an edge over your friends and enemies!

Let’s begin by defining a few things:

Warzone Commendations: The currency you get for completing Warzones which can be used to purchase PvP items and gear.

Valor: Valor is like your PvP experience, or perhaps it’s better to think of it like social points. As you get Valor, your Valor Rank (like your Social Level) will increase. This will earn you titles, (Skirmisher at valor rank 10, and Duelist at 20) as well as the person with the highest Valor Rank being the Ops leader in the Warzone. Also there is PvP gear which requires you have a certain Valor Rank to use.

Badges: Badges are what you get for accomplishing certain things within a Warzone match (more on this later). Each badge you earn increases your reward by 50 Valor and 5 commendations.

Resolve: Resolve is the system that BioWare has implemented to help with chain CC. It is represented as a white/gray bar around your target’s picture (by their health bar), or around your own by your health bar. The bar fills up when you’re CC’ed and when it’s full, you become immune. It can be a tricky system to use, and I can’t explain it as well as forum poster Felnadir can here.

MVP: When a match ends, you will be shown a window that has all the players on the match, and their various different metrics. Next to each person’s name is a button that looks like a plus sign, and a trophy. Clicking this for a player will give them an MVP vote, and reveal to you who gave them to you. Each MVP vote gives you an extra commendation, and (in beta) could unlock special achievement titles (Such as the “Warzone Hero” title). These titles have not been seen in game since release, but it could be that their requirement was increased. Voting MVP can only help your faction, so remember to do it every match!

Alderaan Civil War

This is an Empire versus Republic Warzone. The objective is to control up to 3 of the planetary defense weapons.

The map is set up in an East – West orientation as seen in the image below. The way you capture turrets is by right clicking one of the three corresponding consoles. When you do this, there will be a short time before you “take control” of the turret during which the enemy can interrupt you.

Once you have the turret claimed, it will begin to open fire on the enemy ship until it is reclaimed by the enemy or the match is over. The first team to destroy the enemy ship wins.

Alderaan Civil War

Alderaan Civil War

Here are some tips for PvP on Alderaan:

  • When you start a match, there are only 2 speeders in the middle. These will take you on a circle around the entire map so that you can see what’s going on before dropping you off at your faction’s landing zone.
  • When you capture the East or West turret, you wills see an additional speeder on the far right or left. This speeder will take you directly to the side turret you captured, taking only 2-3 seconds to return to the fight instead of the 10 seconds the center speeders use.
  • If you look at the map, you’ll see that there is a wall at your landing zone. Once you go left, you cannot go right anymore without taking the tunnel under the center turret. There are 2 speed power ups down in the tunnel beneath the center turret to help you cross the map faster.
  • From either balcony at the center turret, there is a path that will take you east or west, and where it drops you out, there is a damage power up.
  • It takes 8 seconds to capture a turret.
  • Affecting someone with a dot will prevent them from being able to activate a turret control (by interrupting their activation timer)


In this PvP Warzone, you can face either your own OR the opposing faction. It was designed this way so that whatever the balance of PvP on your server, you could always have someone to play against. The objective of this warzone is to take the ball at the center of the map, and cross the line at the enemy’s side. You can run the ball, or you can pass the ball, just don’t kick the ball, cause the Hutt don’t have feet and the ball is actually a bomb and CAN explode if they don’t think you’re being exciting enough.



Here are some tips for PvP in Huttball

  • The “throw ball” power (it looks like a minesweeper mine) will be automatically added to your power bar upon first entering Huttball. If you can’t find it (or your bars are full) you can find the power listed under the “general” tab with the rest of your powers.
  • To score you -must- be on a catwalk. You cannot reach the other player’s endzone by running on the side or jumping into the pit in the bottom. You may take either the highest level catwalk, or the lower catwalk.
  • The air vents on either side of the ball will send you into the air to land randomly somewhere near by, you could land on the catwalk, or you could end right back in the middle where you started.
  • When you are the ball carrier, your movement speed will be drastically reduced. This makes it the most inefficient way to move the ball. As you will soon see, teams that set up passes for their ball carrier instead of running it, will win the game.
  • If the game reaches six points before the other team has scored, it will end the match regardless of how much time is left.
  • Beware the acid pits and flame vents, they will kill you very quickly, so don’t think you can just run through them! In fact, one of the best strategies is to knock the opponent into one of them and let it kill them!
  • The person who lands the killing blow on the ball carrier will receive the ball next.
  • To pass the ball, click on the power; you now have a ground target reticule. Point this at the ground near one of your allies and click to throw.
  • If you throw the ball at nothing, it will revert to the center of the map as a “neutral ball” and often this can be better than letting the enemy get it. Be careful! The enemy can intercept the ball!
  • The spawn area is gated, which means there is a force field preventing reinforcements from joining the match for 20 seconds. This continues whether you are there or not; you could spend anywhere between 0 and 20 seconds stuck behind that force field. In the center of the gate is a circle with four quadrants. As time ticks, one of the four quadrants will flash and disappear until there are none left and the force field drops. Don’t dally! While you are in the spawn point, you have a debuff that will boot you from the match if you remain in the spawn area for too long.


This is a map that may be familiar to a few of those FPS fans among you. Typically referred to as “Assault.” The object of this map is to make it to the data core in the very depth of the ship while the enemy tries to stop you from breaching the door and getting to the next area. Your job will be to either plant a bomb on one of the two doors, or to defend and disarm a bomb should the other team plant one. The team that get’s the farthest, or the team that gets to the data core faster, wins.



  • It takes 8 uninterrupted seconds to plant the bomb, but only 3 seconds to disarm it. Once planted, it takes the bomb 20 seconds to detonate. Defend the bomb at all cost if you are an attacker, and try to disarm it if you are a defender. The best bet is to interrupt the other team before they can complete either action.
  • Once the next section of the ship is accessed, anyone defeated will respawn in the new area. This can mean it is actually not to your advantage to kill an attack once the doors have been breached or they may spawn ahead of your own defenders!
  • As in Huttball, the spawn points (other than the first one for attackers) are gated, meaning you may get stuck in your spawn area for as many as 20 seconds!
  • There are 3 sets of doors you need to plant explosives on, 1 bridge to activate to cross the reactor core pit, and 1 set of force fields you will need to lower before reaching the doors to the data core. Doing any of these actions will drop you out of stealth, and can be interrupted. Activating the bridge, or deactivating the force fields will cause a blue pillar of light to shoot up from you.
  • You can press the space bar to skip the video intros and get back to the match earlier. If you’re going from defender to attacker, it will play the Voidstar intro movie again. Waiting for the movie to automatically play out will take longer than marshaling time for the match and you will end up joining in late!


Through extensive testing, I have created a list of the most common badges seen in PvP right now. I believe there are a few more higher end badges, but as of the time of writing this, I had not seen one in over 25 Valor Ranks. As mentioned before, for each one of these that you get, you will gain an extra 50 Valor and 5 Commendations. 1 or 2 badges will give you a bronze medal in the score window, 3-5 badges will give you a silver medal, and 6 or more will give you a gold.

  • Quick Draw: 1 killing blow
  • Commando: 10 kills
  • Soldier: 25 kills
  • Assassin: 1 solo kill
  • Demolisher: 2.5k damage in a single hit
  • Annihilator 5k damage in a single hit
  • Combatant: 75k damage done in a round
  • Destroyer: 300k damage done in a round
  • Medic: 2.5k in a single heal
  • Trauma Surgeon: 5k in a single heal
  • Healer: 75k healing done in a round
  • Savior: 300k healing done in a round
  • Guardian: 2k damage prevented in a single life
  • Paladin: 10k damage prevented in a single life
  • Warden: 3k defense points in a round
  • Shield: 5k defense points in a round

If you haven’t read through it, you should also read up on the PvP Rewards article over on my other Breakdown which you can find HERE.

Do you have any more tips? What are some of the basics that you wish you had learned earlier in your PvP experiences? Please share with us below in the comment section. As always, I hope I’ve helped educate you on more of the basics, and I hope you’ll join me next week when the servers are down for another Breakdown!

  1. What are the requirements for each of those announcements during the game like “player x is unbeatable” and do you get any badges, commendations, etc… for that?

    • Unbeatable – 4 medals without dying
      Invincible – 7 medals without dying
      Immortal – 9 medals without dying

      • I can’t wait until I hit 50 and can get the expertise gear. I already do pretty well at lvl 36 rolling as telekenetic. I was balance but wanted to try TK. I like Balance, but I TK seems more fun for some reason.

  2. I’m not 100% sure, but I think Huttball ends when either team has 6 points. It doesn’t have to be a 6-0 sweep.

    Additionally, the badges for defense (tanks reducing damage) and defender points (anyone defending objectives) are as follows:

    1k Defender points
    3k Defender points

    2k Defense Without Dying
    10k Defense Without Dying
    5k Total Defense
    50k Total Defense

    But I don’t know the names of those badges off-hand.

  3. Huttball: On ball carrier death, the ball will go to the person closest to the dying ball carrier on the enemy team, not to the person with the killing blow. You can see this in effect when a ranged type (ex. gunslinger) scores the kill shot with other people crowded around the ball carrier.

    Note for those reaching valor rank 60: the only way to acquire battlemaster tier gear are from the battlemaster boxes awarded for completing the daily quests. This means that until they make the changes slated for 1.1, you could be in for some bad luck on collecting battlemaster gear.


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