22/11/2012

Farewell, Battlemaster Gear

I downloaded the 1.6 PTS today and was immediately presented with a major surprise when I saw the following on top of the patch notes:

"Battlemaster PvP gear is no longer attainable in game."

WTF?

But of course then I realised: they are doing another gear reset. Battlemaster goes bye-bye, War Hero becomes the new medium tier, and Elite War Hero will be the new set to work towards. I have to say I'm feeling very ambivalent about this.

Some people on the forums are complaining that "all their hard work" will be diminished when the gear sets for which they saved up for months will decrease in value and effectiveness and need upgrading again. I can sympathise with that. After all, I wrote a whole post about how happy I felt when I finally completed my own War Hero set after months of grinding. And in PvE I've kind of come to loathe gear resets.

However, PvP is not the same as PvE. Cutting out a tier of gear doesn't obsolete any actual content (zones, raids) - we'll still be running the same warzones as before, plus the new one, so nothing changes there. And well, to me grinding for gear is honestly kind of part and parcel of the MMO package. After spending my commendations on hundreds of warzone medpacs for my alts for the past month, just to spend them on something, I appreciate the idea of actually having something slightly more interesting to save up for again.

I remember when 1.2 made my not quite completed Champion set obsolete and how sad that made me feel initially, but then I was actually pretty happy about getting to start on Battlemaster right away. I expect that it will be the same in this case, and this time I can't even complain that I didn't have enough time to enjoy what I earned.

The only thing I consider a slight downer is that Elite War Hero will use the same model as War Hero, and at least the trooper gear isn't even recoloured in a particularly interesting way. Then again, I can't blame Bioware for wanting to get some more mileage out of the look before replacing it, especially since the current Battlemaster models were used for a total of five gear sets (Centurion, Champion, Recruit, Recruit MK-2, Battlemaster) before going the way of the dodo.

One interesting side effect of the Battlemaster vendors being removed is that the schematic boxes for the orange versions of the gear are going with them. I checked on the PTS and at least in its current state, the boxes haven't been moved to any of the other PvP vendors. While this could still be subject to change, it wouldn't be unlike Bioware to remove those schematics from the game to make them rarer. Currently the crafted pieces aren't going for a lot on the GTN, partly because of the valor rank requirement to wear them, but partly also because they are so common. I could imagine them becoming more valuable over time if the schematics are truly going to disappear with patch 1.6.

In summary, start saving up those commendations for 1.6, as you'll be getting more bang for your buck once the patch hits, and if you have a Synthweaver or Armormech, make sure to buy any of the orange Battlemaster schematics that you think you might want to craft in the future while they are still available. If you get them all (like I did), it will set you back a few hundred thousand credits, but you can always think of it as preserving history.

7 comments:

  1. It can be disheartening, but new content generally obsoletes old content - that's the MMO Way (tm). I'm surprised people are kvetching about it; I can only assume they're new to MMOs in general.

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    1. Absolutely, I agree. However, there's always a delicate balance to be struck between changing things up often enough so that people don't get bored, and not alienating players with too many changes that make the game world feel inconsistent. (I actually feel sorry for the developers as far as that is concerned; it must be hard.)

      Personally I've been very happy with Bioware's pace in that regard and the way they've adjusted gear requirements slowly and gradually. Still, I can sympathise with those for whom the timing feels off.

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  2. The new "reset" can't come soon enough. After picking up SWToR again recently, playing in Warzones with Recruit gear on is an exercise in futility. The main/secondary stat difference alone is huge, and then you get to add a whole bunch more expertise on top of that.

    Goin against full War Heroes all the time is so disheartening that I've accepted that it'll take at least 2 weeks to get the Weekly done and I'm happy if I get 1 win/day. I'm seriously considering skipping pvp altogether (which was a blast at 1-49) and start focusing on pve.

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    1. Unfortunately another side effect of the reset will be that the gap between Recruit geared people and more experienced PvPers will grow larger again in the future.

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    2. Not to that degree though. The stat increses for EWH are not as significant as , say, going from BM to WH. Eventually the gap will close a bit.

      Do we know yet if the current recruit gear gets bumped up to BM stats?

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    3. There is no indication that Recruit will get another overhaul any time soon, and that's what I mean - now freshly dinged 50s will be up against War Heros and Elite War Heroes instead of "just" Battlemasters and War Heroes.

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    4. Still...

      right now, recruits get to chain lose for a couple of months, so that they can get full Batlemaster, maybe a couple of WH pieces, and they will still be at a big disadvantage.

      With the coming system someone who has pvp-ed while levelling will have enough commendations to get at least a couple of WH pieces and then all upgrades will bridge the EWH gap all that closer.

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