Fellow TORWarriors and PvPers, thanks for viewing yet another edition of SWTOR PvP. Today’s topic is a review piece on the new two week recurring open-world Player vs. Player (OPvP) world event on Illum.
During the ice filled planet Illum’s early days in Star Wars: The Old Republic, players were offed two quests for killing players in OPvP. This model ultimately failed miserably because players were swapping kills to complete their quest, latency (lag) would make even the best machines crash, and some factions couldn’t leave their spawn because of camping. The developers removed these quests from Illum, thus eliminating nearly all incentive for OPvP. For nearly a year, SWTOR fans have been craving some form of OPvP, and now we have it.
Incentivized OPvP – Illum offers two quests that give you 100 Warzone commendations. The first quest, [PvP] Data Retrieval/Data Recollection, is a simple kill/collect quest that can be done entirely avoiding other players. The second quest, [PvP] Charging the Pylon, brings nearly certain confrontation among other players.
Charging the Pylon requires a group of up to four to collect pylons scattered throughout the map, then return them into a center area. Only one person can turn this pylon into the central node with a one minute cool-down. Inevitability what happens are a bunch of people sitting around this deposit area waiting for the time they can deposit the pylon. Once the deposit area becomes active, an all-out brawl at the node ensues.
Personally, I enjoy this quest because of the Darwinian survival of the fittest model, though it is not perfect. It breeds competition, guild cohesiveness, and gives another reason to spend countless hours earning the top end PvP gear. However, I can see why this would be a nightmare for other players that do not share my same opinion (more on that later).
Rewards –The reward system is great because players can only receive 200 Warzone commendations, per player, per daily while this event is active. That’s roughly two to three Warzones or 30 to 45 minutes. The Illum quest rewards are decent enough to make players participate, but not overpowered making it impossible to gear your character without completing them. Giving players an alternative method of play is always a positive in my book.
Environment – The developer reconstructed Illum in the same manner as Terror from Beyond. The same dramatic sound constantly humming, the Trion lighting casting eerie shadows, or the vibrant colors, players can enjoy spending hours questing and roaming the fridge world of Illum. I stand around gawking and marveling at the level of detail put into this planet. From huge destroyed ships, to the overhead space ship that can be seen from far away, I feel like this is the type of quality I’ve come to expect from BioWare.
No Lag – The biggest surprise I had when I returned to Illum was the quality of the latency. The first day, my server had seven instances of Illum capping at around 50 players. This significantly lowered the lag and eliminating computer crashes that all players hate. My game has yet to crash or freeze while on Illum, great job developers.
Same Faction PvP – Probably the worst part about Illum’s PvP area is that everyone but your four member parties are enemies. Republic, Imperial, it doesn’t matter. Instead of bringing each faction together to kill a common threat, this event is making sparking conflict among the same faction. I believe this was a major mistake because it separates the community and does nothing to bring them together.
Broken Travel System – I cannot use my quick travel or emergency fleet pass to return to an area. The game seems to use the ability and leave me in the same spot. Whether designed or not, this has been extraordinarily painful. I even let an enemy kill me so I can use the medical center resurrection. Apparently repair cost has changed as well considering my repair bill was 12k credits. This could be improved upon.
Good People Are Punished –Today, during my initial set of dailies, more than three groups of players were working together, waiting in line at the pylon point, courtesies allowing each other to turn in the pylons. Eventually other players wouldn’t follow this same ideology and jump in front of the line and causing chaos. I can see why this would be unimaginably frustrating to players and wish there was some alternate to completing the quest without controlled mayhem (even though I enjoy it).
SWTOR feels transformed. Instead of players sitting in fleet waiting for Warzones or Flashpoint queues to pop, people are engaged. Players are taking advantage of new content and swarming the different planets to enjoy all the new things that it has to offer. I can see why some people might dislike this event, but more content means more things to do. BioWare isn’t forcing players to participate, but giving them an option. This update has giving me exactly what I wanted and have been salivating for nearly a year, a reason to enjoy open world PvP.
How do you readers feel about all of it? Have you gotten a chance to get in the game and try it out? Is this great for the game or just another mistake? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. In the meantime, thank you for reading and please enjoy!