15/03/2012

More tales from the warzone

Same-server warzones continue to fascinate me, and I want to document more of my experiences with them before the developers inevitably introduce cross-server queues.

After three months of playing, hopping into a warzone in the evening is starting to feel kind of homey. I haven't really made any friends there yet and don't talk much other than to make call-outs, but chatting isn't the only form of positive interaction you can have in a game. I salute my fellow troopers and prioritise healing them when they get nuked by the enemy because I know their pain. I know that when a certain tank says that he'll be covering a door or a turret, that place is a hundred percent safe and I won't ever have to worry about reinforcing it. I frown whenever I see "Trollgar" (not his real name) join a warzone I'm in, as he's left quite an impression on me that one time he went into an idiotic rage in chat about how our healers were supposedly so bad that they might as well be non-existent - while there were actually three of us working our butts off and we were winning the game. In fairness however, he's been behaving better lately, and I've actually found myself wondering whether I should revise my opinion of him - people are complicated.

Even though my side is the lesser populated one on my server, I actually ended up in a couple of Huttball games against my own faction as of late. I commented on the strangeness of this before when it happened to me on an Imperial alt, but playing against people from my own faction whom I actually knew was surprisingly fun. No whining about mirror classes that aren't actually mirrors and seem terribly overpowered, just a bit of friendly smack talk in general chat and the feeling of having a friendly brawl instead of a heated fight to the death as you punt someone you actually quite like into the nearest acid pool.

Of course there is a downside to this familiarity as well. For example there's an operative on Imperial side who still seems to be able to take people from full health to zero within a single stunlock even after the nerf to the class, and as soon as I spot him my spirits sink. I've seen people accuse him of using exploits as well, and while I don't know whether that's true, it certainly doesn't make me feel any more optimistic about my team's chances when he shows up. Similarly, some people actually remember who the enemy healers are, and even though I'm anything but a quitter, I actually had to log off in the middle of a Voidstar the other night when it turned out to be the third game in a row where the same two Imperials repeatedly made a beeline for me as soon as I left the starting area just to kill me over and over again - it simply became too frustrating.

At least when you play against strangers, the anonymity provides you with a bit of cover (in terms of gameplay) as they won't know your strengths and weaknesses the instant they spot your name. Not to mention that you can hope that randomisation will mix things up a bit. Just because your last game went badly, that doesn't mean that your next team won't be much better and the enemy terrible. In a same-server environment, you're much more likely to keep losing over and over again unless a lot of new players join the queue at once and mix things up.

Not really related to the same-server warzones in specific, but I'm starting to see why people have been referring to the acquisition of PvP gear in SWTOR as a harsh grind. I'm almost at valor rank 40 now and still mostly wearing Centurion gear because I lose the vast majority of my games and can spend entire evenings without getting a single win, which means no Champion bag for the day... and when I do get a bag, I never seem to get any gear tokens out of it. I wanted to hit my head against the desk the other night when a guildie mentioned that he had only just started trying out this PvP thing and proudly showed off the Champion chest piece he had got out of one of his first bags. Cursed, I say!

Still, I grin and bear it, because at the end of the day I'm still having fun sending little helicopters down on my allies and shooting them with green laser beams of goodness.

6 comments:

  1. After 1.2 it'll be much less a grind. But it isn't so hard to get champion gear, you always get commendations. Merc+Warzone will buy you a champ bag, which will always give you champ comms. Valor is also much easier to get now after 1.15.

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    1. Trust me, it is very grindy if the commendations from bought bags are your only source of gear. :P But yeah, we'll see how they change it some more in the near future. I do recall them saying something about wanting to make gearing up slightly less dependent on winning all the time.

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  2. The "nerf" to operatives was actually a buff for them, allowing a full stunlock. The exploit people are referring to isn't an exploit, it's a bug. Their initial backstab-like ability occasionally deals its damage twice when you use it instead of once as intended. It happens to the scoundrels too, but it seems to be much less frequent. So instead of opening up on you with 5k damage, it doubles for 10k and then you've got about 3 seconds to live if you're lucky.

    He is using that bug to his advantage, but he has no control over it. The only way for him to not utilize the bug is to not play his class. So he's not really exploiting or intentionally cheating, it really is a case where he can't help/control it unless he completely respecs or stops playing the character.

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    1. Thanks, that was quite enlightening, though I'm not sure that's what people on my server are talking about in their accusations in specific, as I've also heard repeated comments about terrain exploits for example. I'm not really an expert on these things and haven't made any further inquiries about it.

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    2. Terrain exploits could refer to any number of things. =\

      I did have my sniper fall through the floor in Huttball a couple of days ago, putting me beneath the platforms by the air vent. I could shoot through it but nobody could touch me. I also couldn't get out, but I did kill almost a dozen people in there before I got /stuck to work for me. Maybe something like that?

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  3. I got up early and grabbed the weapons crates on ilum every day for a week. The imps were mostly friendly and I managed to save the conendations for a chest piece. I got a token for the boots!

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