SWTOR Bolster Changes in Patch 5.1 Intended

Eric Musco went on the forums to clarify that the bolster changes with Patch 5.1 are intended.

Bolster Changes in Game Update 5.1 | 01.25.2017, 11:30 PM
Hey folks,

For those unaware, in Game Update 5.1 we made the following change:

  • Bolster now improves players up to 232 Item Rating (down from 250).

This change raised quite a few questions from the PvP community as to why we made the change. I spoke with the team about it and I want to start by confirming that this change is intended, let’s talk about why! When we released Game Update 5.0, Bolster was incorrectly set to Item Rating 250. The goal of Bolster is that it gives a player a minimum bar of power. That is so that they can enter PvP and not be too far behind someone who is at maximum gear, but it allows them enough room so that if they are a more skilled player, they can prevail. Still, getting gear is important and the 250 Bolster made getting any gear virtually unneeded for PvP progression.

The reason we moved Bolster down to 232 Item Rating is because of its rating relative to the best gear in the game, which is Item Rating 242. This means that someone with brand new gear entering into a Warzone is at worst, 10 Item Rating away from the best geared players. As an example, this works almost identically to how it worked prior to Knights of the Eternal Throne. During Fallen Empire, the best PvP gear in the game was item rating 208 and Bolster would raise your character to 200, an 8 rating difference. In short, the difference in power now should be almost identical to the difference that existed prior to KOTET.

That being said, part of this issue is that we did not communicate this at all to you ahead of time. Not only that, it was similarly missed in the patch notes so you received no warning at all of this change or why it happened. We messed up communicating this to you and I apologize for that. It was never our intent to hide this from you, it was just missed. I have been talking with the team yesterday and today about the changes that were missed and what procedures we can adjust to ensure we don’t miss them in the future.

Thanks everyone.


By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

91 replies on “SWTOR Bolster Changes in Patch 5.1 Intended”

“That being said, part of this issue is that we did not communicate this at all to you ahead of time. Not only that, it was similarly missed in the patch notes so you received no warning at all of this change or why it happened. We messed up communicating this to you and I apologize for that. It was never our intent to hide this from you, it was just missed.”

See Eric: this is the problem right here. Your communication with the players is bad. Really bad. It’s not the first time something like this happens. And it’s one of the reasons I got tired of you guys. You don’t really have an HONEST communication with the player base. And I doubt you ever will. I really don’t blame you, because you’re just the messenger. Still, you guys suck at this. You should really look outside of your little bubble and see how OTHER companies treat their costumers. That would be a real eye opener, I think.

Perhaps this should go on the SWTOR forum where Eric ‘might’ actually read this… not here on Dulfy where the SWTOR devs have little to no presence.

No, they read social media all right. Another person that writes here on Dulfy made a request regarding something that should be bound to Legacy and was not, and the dev’s response was to post it on social media (believe it or not). If more people complained of the same, they MIGHT do something about it. These guys are just great, aren’t they?

Anyways, I can’t post on TOR’s Forum, because I’m not subbed. πŸ˜‰

they watch dulfy a lot and the reason why yesterday I created a ticket and i the respond they also gave me a link for one of dulfy’s guides so don`t worry they see everything they just ignore it

He reads social media more than their own forums. Hence the reason that in the past few live streams they have answered questions, verbatim, asked on Dulfy threads and used items found on reddit to make fun of themselves. The Dev Stream Bingo they posted during the stream that Eric was gone was shared here on Dulfy and posted on Reddit.
Musco reads these forums much more than you think.

It’s a fine line, and something we have discussed endlessly here on Dulfy. Do they take criticism or just ignore it? Do people see the difference between guys that just spew “F**k YOU BW”, “This game is dead” kind of stuff and guys like me, who loved the game and are genuinely concerned that it’s going in a wrong direction?

If they label all of us that criticize as “haters” they might just not take our concerns in consideration.

And it’s a pity if that is happening…

I get pretty fired up about what is going on in SWTOR, mainly because out of the games I play it is still my favorite. But it is also the only one that I’m the most frustrated with.
SWTOR has so much potential and it can be so awesome, but these dev’s seem to be trying to kill it.

“But it is also the only one that I’m the most frustrated with. ”

Yeah. Right on mate. I wish people would stop calling us “haters”. “Frustraters” would be a better term. This game could be the final word on MMO’s imo. The story’s great, most f the old content is great, if not excellent. The universe is the best there is. I mean, it doesn’t get ANY BETTER than Star Wars, right???

Yes, I think it’s THAT good. I just wish they would stop making us replay it over and over again…


remember the augmentation kits MK 10? they were removed, then re-introduced. remember the 216 crafted by players items, nerfed to 212? the killing of the game started a long ago.

But what do people think is the likelihood that they turn it around, hire more devs, make the game like it was or better?

I’m not holding my breath, let’s put it that way. Still, that’s the billion dollar question isn’t it? All we can do is rant and protest, cry or whatever you wanna call it. And expect things turn around. If they don’t, you can find me somewhere on Tamriel…

ESO doesn’t censor their forums nearly to the degree that SWTOR does. Also the ESO developers are more open and communicate more than the SWTOR devs do. There isn’t as much dissention in the ESO forums as there is in SWTOR’s because ESO is actually making attempts to be a better game.

But what good does it do if nobody of significance is listening? Unless this is strictly for the purposes of venting. Energy would be better spent moving on to another game for people who are completely fed up with this one.

Venting is good. And I have a pretty good hunch that they do read this stuff. And I did find an alternative to this game. It’s called Elder Scrolls Online. The problem is: I need to get my Star Wars fix, and there ain’t no dealer other than this one…

Why would anybody from Bioware read this column when it’s “Biofail” this and “Swtor sucks” that every day for the last couple of years?

I have to be honest and say their communication is generally ok, with the streams and patch notes etc however this is a really bad one.
It’s like at the moment they can’t stop shooting themselves in the foot.

Comm on dude, the SWTOR dev team has the worst communication of any game out there.
I’m currently playing SWTOR, Marvel Heros, ESO, and NWO and SWTOR is the only game of the 4 where the devs are secretive, don’t put content on a PTS or closed beta before release and “forget” to put major changes in the patch notes. I’ve not seen “stealth changes” in any game other than SWTOR.
BW/EA has the WORST communication of any developer and are teh least transparent game development company out there. Even LotRO in more transparent than SWTOR.
This dev’s teams communication is garbage.

5.1 should have been on the PTS before being released and they should have taken customer feedback on this one. A little, actual play testing with real players and honest conversation with us would have went a LONG way in this case.
It has never been more obvious that they don’t actually play their own game. At least not on a live server with the rest of the community.

What about fixing the AoE sprites being all green in PvP now? It made playing the game super annoying. Do they even test their changes at all? Or do they only test if cartel market items can be bought.

“it was just missed” how can they have communication problem when there only a handful of people?? And don`t get me wrong they say that it was the communication with the players that was bad ,but truly it was that the guy who posted the patch notes wasn’t told of the changes I am 100% sure about that!!!

A lot of frustrated players out there. This ex post facto patch note announcement did them no favors. Or…did it? They now have a stream topic to concentrate on instead of dealing with the mass horde of unsubbed and/or angry raiders. Considering this was bookmarked as the big Operations stream a long time ago, I’m starting to wonder just how much time they will devote to it. There’s a littany of valid issues floating about.

Do those issues get the “soon” treatment in lieu of our Operations “come to Jesus” discussion? It’s a no-win situation for them, but it could have been avoided.

What if they say “We have some content for groups coming but cant share any more detail until we have more hard details near the end of year”. πŸ˜€

Or something like that..

Lmao, so when the bolster was set to 250, there was still armless dps behind you from 1mil and more damages, how it will be now ? The Dps pleb under 1mil damages ? That will be so fun to carry all of those trash now, ty bw it was rlly important to change that when it was good to rekt them on damage/dps meter with same gear just by having more skill. Who care about grinding a gear for pvp in 2017 ??????

Now it will be more and more frustrating to have much more damage than the retard who have farm like a pig to get his full 242 gear and have 1mil damage less than you full 230 -.-

I agree, but I understand Lithy. Maybe some people will say they play for fun. Maybe loosing is entertaining and funny for someone. But not for me, sorry.

No, I get what your saying, I have been know to ‘pug’ rep side PVP on Red Eclipse and it can be really depressing at the number of losses you can rack up.

oh boy you’re stupid
80-90% of regs dont have premades. people arent stupid because theres a premade on the other team, they’re stupid because they suck at a game thats honestly not that hard to play
so yea, negative IQ level

I wonder what you had in your mind when you wrote that and posted that, like you thought it would be fun, ” ohoh im so funny xd I returned it to him xdlol im such a clown hihi” ?

Aw cmon man!, let just hang ’round for a bit pls :((,how ’bout some of that delicious memes :^)

Next patch Sorc/sages will loose dps specs as its too good for this game. Too much aoe and burst. So only healnig spec will remain with utility specs

WHAT??? but i don’t want to bea healer, if i wanted to be a healer i would have made that spec since start..

Awhile back sorcerers had the strongest AOE ability without CD. Healing was also slightly stronger than any other class. But these things fell victims to the concept called balance or how I like to call it “all classes are equally miserable instead of unique”.

People were complaining about Sorcerers being too OP back in 4.0 so they kept nerfing them as much as possible, Sorc is now the worst dps in the game and completely useless for hard or nim ops, not to mention pvp.

If Sorcerers want to be good in dps, remove their mobility. Most of them don’t want that, so they have to get the shitty dps(and they were with all the roots and all escapes, you can’t disagree. “One has to learn to counter.” Yes but there needs to be a bit of balance too). In other words, it’s the community’s fault for making that class that way.
Agree or disagree, I’ve asked lots of people this specific question and they prefer the mobility over dps, for pvp that is.
It’s simple.

i main sorc, have over 70 days /played, been playing it for years
5.0 sorc dps is meh. madness feels like it got hit hard, and the numbers arent as consistent as they were in 4.X. lightning is actually somewhat viable in pvp right now, which is ok i guess, dont need to respec from pve to pvp
overall though, apart from healing (which is the best in the game, op healing “bug” does not make it better) sorc isnt that good. sure a decent sorc can solo all of hm kotet on first day of release (points to myself), but in pvp definately not OP

btw id trade away phase walk and give it to my sin any day, fuck u bioware for removing that :3

Best solution to this PVP fiasco is just play Overwatch. The classes are amazing as are the physics of game play. You never go up against the same premade like you have in Swtor because they have 40 flavors of light populated servers.

But Overwatch is so far from swtor about skill cap, you cant compared a game like swtor and a FPS with few class with auto aim/passiv healing or damages and even aimbot for one…

Both are good in term of pure gameplay, just SwTor is managed by a bunch of monkey

Hate to break it to you, SWTOR PvP skill cap… not that high. Can’t say compared to Overwatch as I haven’t gotten around to playing that yet, but SWTOR PvP is really *not* that hard to be good at.

Overwatch is the way to go, Quick play, no grinding gear, engaging matches.

SWTOR pvp is still fun, the ones who treat this as their lives wanna be huffy and puffy about it. Like seriously dudes, stop making it your life, queue up and just play.

Two completely different genres. Believe me, I tell everyone that if I feel the need to go PVP players, I’ll just hop onto a competitive FPS like Overwatch because gear is non-existent. But that’s the beauty of PVP in MMORPGs; the feeling of progression. Overwatch just has SR.

“We messed up communicating this to you and
I apologize for that. It was never our intent to hide this from you, it
was just missed.”

Like they missed to write ALOT of changes into the patchnotes because “it would take up too much time”. Umm… most other games do it with EVERY change because players deserve to know whats changed.

jub old buff to 200 with BiS 208 is realy like now 232 – 242, but before it was just the work of few days to get BiS vor PvP – now its just some month xD

…And they shit on the lone good thing that came out of 5.0

Sure class balance is terrible but the uber-bolster leveling the playing field made skill stand out and made regs enjoyable.

Not anymore. Now its advantage grinders.

“How can you kill that which has no life?”

So they DIDN’T want to level the playing field in PvP and make it skill-based?

Good to know. Now I’m reminded why ever since I bought Overwatch, that game was satisfying all of my PvP desires on its own.

You said it bro. I’m blown away by Overwatch. The frenetic gameplay on the most beautiful maps are riveting. Then you come back to a pvp match in swtor and it feels like you are wearing wet socks walking through a swamp.

if they want gear based pvp…. bring back Expertise maybe?
anyways I like this change. geared people should have a large advantage to those who don’t have gear

I haven’t played in a year and a half dude. I’ve been watching from afar and watching the game burn down while I enjoy superior MMO’s that actually release content.

I was hoping the change was getting rid of bolster entirely. It and level synch completely killed swtor for me. Until they’re gone I only sub long enough to do the main story stuff then immediately unsub.

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