SWTOR: PvP changes coming next week

Eric Musco went on the forums today to inform us of some of the PvP fixes and changes we can expect next week after the maintenance.

Hey everyone,
Our combat and PvP teams have been hard at work addressing the issues of naked Bolster and the itemization issues attached to it (like War Hero gear). Here is some very detailed information on everything we are going to be doing to address these concerns right from Alex Modny. If you want the basic info here is a quick synopsis, read on for the full debrief:
TLDR: Going into a Warzone completely naked will now be worse than wearing gear. War Hero and Elite War Hero gear is viable again.

Quote: Originally Posted by Alex Modny

Naked Bolster

  • The main change being made to Bolster is how it treats item slots with no items in them aka the naked bolster. If there is a slot without an item in it, that slot will only be bolstered a portion of what placing an appropriate item in the slot would. This will remove the naked bolster situation. Being Naked in a PvP area will now be much worse the further you go up the PvP progression.
  • In addition to these changes we fixed many underlying bugs in the Bolster system and tweaked some numbers to make Bolster give a little less stats than it does currently. We also corrected an issue where relic slots were being treated in our system as expected to give out more Main Stats than they were. This caused relic slots to be overly valued in adding to your DPS stats when mostly they add Endurance and a Proc. All of these changes should pretty much squash out Naked Bolster as being undeniably better than any set of gear. There might be cases where Naked is ever so slightly worse but that is usually a case of the equipped gear being not so great for PvP. If you see players in PvP playing Naked from now on you should expect them to be underperforming stat wise and over performing cojones wise.

Elite War Hero

  • War Hero and Elite War Hero (referred to as WH and EWH from here on out) gear is now better! It is no longer worse than Naked Bolster. The reasons why WH/EWH had less stats and were worse than old Bolster is because it is ‘old’ gear and this ‘old’ gear used a different stat budget where it got its stats from. This ‘old’ stat budget (which isn’t used in 2.0) accounts for Expertise into the budget (Partisan and Conqueror do not) meaning they were lower in Main, Secondary and Tertiary stats to account for the Expertise the items had. This will be removed and the stat budget the Expertise was taking be refactored into the Main, Secondary and Tertiary stats. The net result is WH/EWH will have no Expertise and increased stats, but Partisan will still be better than it. The ranking you will see in effectiveness is WH < EWH < Partisan < Conqueror.
  • However, we have an issue with this conversion, the Expertise crystal in the WH/EWH weapons. Because this crystal is used in Partisan and Conquer and the system is unable to edit based on condition which item the crystal in the WH and EWH weapons still have Expertise. It is recommended that you replace this Expertise crystal with PvE crystals. We apologize that we weren’t able to fully take all the Expertise off the WH/EWH and that some players will lose customization, which is very important to us and to you.
  • Older PvP Gear (Battlemaster, Champion, Centurion, Recruit, and Recruit Mk2) did not receive this free upgrade conversion. At this point in the SW:TOR item progression, these items are simply out of date with the current power level and are not recommended for use.
  • There is a very important note in regards to how the bolster system handles mixing expertise and non-expertise mods on a single item: The short answer is, you shouldn’t do it. The longer answer is, players are much better off than when they decide to make an item a PvP-focused item, they replace all of the mods inside it with expertise mods. The bolster system handles “PvP” items slightly differently than “PvE” items, and putting even a single expertise mod inside an item tells the bolster that the item is a “PvP” item. The result of this situation can be less than ideal for a player in either content channel, and certainly isn’t working as well as we intended. We continue to discuss fixes to this particular issue, but players can work around the problem by making sure they are either pure PvE items or pure PvP items. Note: This is only with mods on a per item basis, mixing different items on a full character is fine.

Gear vs. Skill

  • Pre-2.0 PvP was all about your items. Being ‘the best’ meant you had EWH with augments and no one could touch you. This situation was unfortunate because it made the PvP game too harsh on the ‘have nots’ and made the grind to EWH much more bitter because of getting your face pushed in the mud day after day. The gear gap was too big and some players became non-contributors quickly because of the gear gap. It wasn’t fun for the majority of players. In 2.0 we don’t want to totally get rid of PvP gear progression, we still want a gear gap but we want to tone down how overpowered the top tier gear is versus the lower PvP gear so that the moment to moment gameplay is more enjoyable. We want everyone you group with to be contributors from a gear standpoint (them not responding to “inc grass 3” calls or not throwing you the Huttball when they are immobilized is something we can’t help :P). We have seen the argument of Skill vs. Gear throughout the existence of MMO PvP and we are of the opinion both are good for an RPG, falling on one side of the scale (gear has no purpose in PvP vs. gear is the only thing that matters in PvP) is not desirable. It is a balance act, sometimes it will slide too far on one side or the other and we will correct it but this methodology, the balance between skill vs. gear, will result in the most healthy PvP game and community possible for the long term.

P.S. Thanks DarthOvertone for making us laugh during this tribulation.

Our current plan is that you will see all of these changes after our scheduled maintenance on Tuesday, April 16th. Note that these changes are NOT to address the time to kill issues. We are still actively investigating that and will get back to you as soon as we have more information.


  • buttis

    Funny how he missed the entire FAIL about SWTOR pvp.

    The real deal with pvp in SWTOR is who can field a ‘better premade.’ More specifically; a better premade on voice vs randoms is beyond unfair.

    I think one time in 4 v 4 duel I beat our top pvp guys, and that was just dumb luck (I lived longer than their healer did).

    They could run in pve gear (or naked without bolster), and still newb stomp.
    I guess that really sums it up; don’t pvp without a preset premade. period.
    That is the failure of SWTOR.

    • wim wisselink

      Nope, the failure of SWTOR is the constant nagging of people.
      About every single pvp match will have 1-3 people together on voice. Its (almost) NEVER premade vs randoms.
      Also, having a good premade on voice isnt making the win. Using own brains is first to voice (if there are only 2 enemies against 6 of you, the other 6 enemies are most likely to cap the other side).
      In my opinion the failure of SWTOR (PvP) is that people are taking stuff waaaaay to serious. Just enjoy a good beating so now and then. Have respect for well played moves by the enemy and dont destroy the fun of other people. Trust me …. you will enjoy SWTOR much better that way.

      • buttis

        With over 1200 hours logged in pvp in SWTOR alone .. I have had many a beat down. I also have given my share.
        I have run premades, and been part of them. Good and bad.
        I also end up as ops lead if I dare to random que. If you spend enough time, your buddies wont be online. Then you get to spend your time getting beat.
        This is where the game fails. It is ALWAYS a failure of the system when they put randoms vs premades.
        They made this system, and for all its merits, this is where it fails. Badly.

        • Slojizz

          Agreed… The differences are stark in the premade vs random thing. When the average player on the other side has like 30 kills and the highest number of kills on your side is like 5, you know something is horribly broken… and when this happens over and over again it becomes an exercise in futility. And it’s not an issue of skill…

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