Jan 22, 2012

Posted by in Blue Milk & Cereal | 22 Comments

Blue Milk & Cereal: Are The Factions Balanced On Your Server?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

One of the talking points that seems to have emerged over the past week or so was that of faction imbalance. Some sources, although not a single official one from BioWare, report seeing an extreme tilt towards the Empire. Evidence of this has been provided in the form of endless Imp vs. Imp Huttball matches, and lopsided open world PvP on Ilum. But I’m not sure that paints the whole picture, let alone that of faction balance.

My opinion? Players who elect to join the Galactic Republic tend to be more into the lore and the story side of things, skewing more of their gameplay toward PvE. Players who join the Sith Empire, as I guess is the Sith way, are more concerned about individual power, and well… killing things. Hence, they gravitate more toward the PvP aspects of the game. Even if the factions are imbalanced just a bit, this could skew it even more.

Now, this is complete opinion and speculation on my part. We saw poll upon poll during beta that showed near 50-50 splits of players on whether they were going to roll Republic or Empire. My hunch is, that is much closer to the truth. In fact, the numbers BioWare did release revealed a slight advantage to creation of Sith Warriors over Jedi Knights. But nothing drastic.

So, just curious… what kind of server population balances are you seeing? Vote, but let us know in the comments what faction and what server you’re on!

How does the faction balance of your server look?

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  1. Chris Grooms says:

    I believe there is data that supports that possibly one server is even or in favor of Republic rather than Empire. It’s a severe problem.

  2. I think it’s totally baseless to say that “players who elect to join the Galactic Republic tend to be more into the lore and the story side of things” – there’s absolutely no reason to think this. I’m an Empire-only player, I only do PvE content, and I’m absolutely obsessed with Star Wars lore.

    If anything, I’m attracted to the Empire side because it deals with lore that is less-often explored! There are a hundred Star Wars novels about the adventures of heroic Jedi and dashing Smugglers, while TCW gives us Trooper stories every week. However, the secrets of the Sith and the lore explored in the BH/IA storylines is much more original, and unique. I think you’ll find that plenty of lore/story junkies avoid the Republic content because it’s a known quantity (specific plot developments aside).

    Just my two cents….

    • S/He probably didn’t mean everyone,but there is a larger draw for the 14 year old mentality to the sith side. Not that there isn’t the same mentality on the Republic side too.

      • The classic “the kids play this faction” line. We’ve all heard that before in other games, and it has never been grounded in anything more substantial than stereotyping of preferences. Childish mentalities have as much individual deviation as adults in their preferences.

        Likewise, the idea that one side attracts the more story-driven (“educated”, “creative”) players and the other attracts selfish pvpers is silly stereotyping. As Moza says, people who are interested in the story are just as likely to play Empire for the sake of experiencing a fresh take on little-explored lore rather than choosing the been-there-done-that Republic. The notion of the Republic being decidedly *more* attractive to story fans than the empire is so bizarre to me that I can’t imagine what the author’s line of reasoning is.

        People choose different factions because of aesthetic preferences. Simple as that. People are different, and have different preferences when it comes what things look/sound/feel like, as well as emotional/ideological tone. Grouping these up into nice, labeled boxes like “kids”, “adults”, “lore-fans”, “pvpers” and whathaveyou is an ultimately futile activity because there will always be hosts of exceptions to prove you wrong, and strong rational arguments to be made against such profiling.

        If there were a glaring factional imbalance in imperial favour, I’d guess that there’s several reasons why people find the imperial aesthetic more appealing. It might be due to the Republic’s over-representation in other franchise products, making the Empire seem fresh and exciting by comparison. It might be because Star Wars this iteration of the Republic (and the Republic in general) is very passive and easy to dismiss as “boring”. There are so many potential reasons for why people are pushed one way or the other, and something as subjective as aesthetic preference can never be fully dissected.

    • I am an empire only player and enjoy both pvp and pve. I love the lore of star wars and have been a fan since going to see the theatrical release of the original (was only 5 but it made an impression).

      I chose empire because of the lore. I wanted to feel like palpatine in my exploits and the sith inquisitor gives me that ability.

      You wanna blame anyone for the faction imbalance blame lucas. I am a good guy in real life when i roleplay i want to be bad :)

  3. Creating a character does not equate to playing a character. While a number of people have created Jedi, I suspect (and my observation has generally been) that the balance of actively played characters is on the Empire side.

  4. John Eakins says:

    Imp Fleet, 200+ people for half the day.

    Rep Fleet, might break 100 during prime hours on a weekend.

    Anchorhead is not even.

  5. My server is about 3:1 Empire to Republic, and I’ve heard that the ratio is fairly common across the board.

  6. I have played both sides and it seems to be better on the Empire side. The animations during combat seems to be better…the story is more interesting and not to mention there is a class that shoots lightning “freaking lighting” even when I played KoToR one and two or any Star Wars game I wanted the Lightning. I think many others can say the same thing… As I played the Empire side on our server I see Kem Val all over the place.

    Just saying that people are attracted to the Empire side due to the masses as well and finding groups are easier. This makes it easier to find groups without the LFG functions.

    I also noticed that with the variety of the companions on the Empire side have more options to be receptive to light and dark choices. Almost all the companions minus one are all about choosing light choices and will hate you when you choose dark choices. The construction and diversity makes a difference.

    BioWare did a great job at balancing the factions as far as making sure that they are all equal in PVP but when it comes down to ensuring that people will want to be on the Republic side is a little lacking…. This could have been fixed or at least more tempting if we had imperial troopers, Smugglers in the empire and bounty hunters that can be in favor of the Republic, agents that work for the Republic. The right answer to this would be to allow the visuals from inquisitors to carry over to the dark consulars.

  7. As someone mentioned earlier you just need to log in to both fleets to see the difference in numbers. On Po5 it is about 3-1 for imps on the fleet. When it comes to pvp the imbalance is even more evident and exaggerated, easily getting into the area of 6-1 or even 8-1 for imps.

    The gear and animations just seem better for sith. They should have linked the force animations to dark side/light side rather than simply imperial/republic. That would have gone a long way towards giving players more choice and possibly evening things out.

  8. ScytheNoire says:

    It’s not even close on any of the servers. I play Republic on a PvP server and Empire on a PvE server (that’s how much guild rolls). It’s Empire dominated.

    This makes for horrible PvP in one way or the other. Open PvP, Empire dominates. Warzones, Republic gets in right away and so they get to gear up faster. And since this game has PvP based on gear at 50, not skill, Republic wins more in Warzones.

    BioWare are extreme n00bs when it comes to doing an MMO and it really shows. They got A LOT of work ahead of them. If only they would’ve done that third faction.

    • Since empire can queue for same faction huttball I just don’t see how the republic gets to gear faster.

    • Lord_Paladin says:

      Im confusd jow you reached the conclusion that the republic gears up faster and therefore wins more warzones. By what youre saying empire should have more well geared 50s than the republic.

    • Bioware are noobs because of faction imbalance? What?

      Factional imbalance is the product of player choice. That there is an imbalance now at the start is no failure of Bioware’s. It is merely an indication of where the interests/preferences of the current player base lie. People were given an option and they chose, perhaps overwhelmingly, one over the other. There is nothing in the mechanics or features of the game that forces this imbalance, and numbers were even throughout Beta.

      Imbalance will be bad for the game in the long run, but let’s not pretend like this is some catastrophic failure in game design. Bioware didn’t do this. People who bought the game were presented with an aesthetic choice, and they chose. Bioware is now faced with the question of how to proceed, but nothing about this is a failure. Factional choice is an important part of the dialogue between player and developer about player preference, and a meaningful step in the establishment of the SWTOR’s community and future.

      Or, more simply, you’re too jaded lol.

      • With respect, and regardless of aesthetics, there are well documented examples that clearly demonstrate imperial advantages in terms of combat mechanics. There is not to my knowledge any documentation that demonstrates republic advantages to balance these out.

        These advantages include the speed of certain attack animations, the durations of their secondary effects, and the number of abilities available.

        • Somehow I doubt that animation-effect delay for attacks like Mortar Volley provoked a domino effect across a game with a million players. Performance-wise that’s on the wrong side of the decimal point to compel masses and masses of people to make choices *in spite of* a strong inclination to roll Republic. A couple of hundred obsessive min-maxers, maybe. Not the majority of the game’s community.

          • Lady Republic says:

            It’s not just animation delay, it’s damage delay as well. Mortar Volley doesn’t do any damage until the very end of the spell, rather than consistent damage as it’s channeled. What this means in practice is, if you get interrupted any time before the last 25% of the spell, you lose ALL damage. Compare this to the DFA spell, which is a more traditional channeled spell – so even if it gets interrupted halfway through, it still does half damage compared to 0 damage from MV.

          • the delay effects all sides not just one mortar volly and death from above have both delays in damage, smart people like me do double click to get thing done but it is frustrating on both ends.

  9. They need to implement Valor and XP bonuses to the lower pop side. Its already been said but regardless of what the Dev’s stat say, the player base consistently remarks the empire grossly outnumbers republic. If you think this has no effect on pvp then visit Ilum. If you think warzones create a fair 8v8 experience consider that lvl 50 WZs have players from the Imperial side who have a distinct advantage in completing their dailies/weeklies on Ilum to gear up. It makes a difference. Level 1-49 WZs feel fairly even on my PvP server. The imbalances really show at lvl 50 when you see the amount of geared Imps vs. Republic players and the differences expertise make.

  10. Grass is always greener on the other side there is no way to really tell

  11. Michael Dotson says:

    I will say this any you all can take it for what you will. But with the exception of a new Imps on Belgoth’s Beacon who gained PVP infamy real early on, the Republic has the higher quality players. The Imps roam around Ilum killing 2-3 people in a group of 16. But when we get together as a group of 8, we drive them back to their base turrets. We 2 raids of them so bad one night, they changed instances to leave.

  12. SteezKnees says:

    Not drastic? look at the votes lol. The only slight advantage i see from this is that most of the empire will get new players which increases the bad to good player ratio. (going off pvp) however even if you have say 5 really good republic players it doesn’t help if they get zerged by 16 empire players. 3 of us republic players got rushed by 7 Imp on Ilum one day and managed to take down 5 of them before we were laid to rest. Yes they we’re geared out just bad player ratio again. But post Ilum patch 30 republic players won’t be able to overcome 70+ imp players. Though these numbers don’t mean anything in warzones (because it’s always 8v8) in Open world like Ilum it’s an issue even with cap. They need to introduce some sort of buff system that adjusts accordingly to the imbalance in open world pvp. Or faction cap instead of a whole cap. Just ideas is all

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