Whatever your feelings on Star Wars: The Old Republic PvP are, one thing was for certain: the open world PvP leaves a bit to be desired. Players mostly do Warzones for PvP in SW:TOR, but the best gear is acquired through doing your dailies and weeklies (is that a word?) on Ilum. The problem is, most people aren't actually PvPing to complete their objectives. These daily and weekly quests were set up in such a way that players could simply flip points by cooperating with each other and not actually fighting. This wasn't exactly what BioWare intended Ilum PvP to be like, and so changes were planned for Update 1.1.
The changes in Update 1.1, which went live today, made the notion of flipping points not nearly as rewarding as actually fighting other players, especially if you fight them near objectives. Great! Mission accomplished, right?
As it would turn out, the balance of Empire vs. Republic players is largely skewed towards the Empire on most servers, and with tons of people showing up for the increased Valor, the Imperial zerg has basically been able to farm Republic players for most of the day. Republic players have been pushed back all the way to their spawn points and are basically being spawn camped while Imperials rake in the valor. Let's just say players are pretty upset about this, and rightfully so.
Heck, even if populations were evenly split, the performance on Ilum has been atrocious due to the number of players in the zone looking to PvP.
After complaining up a storm on the forums today (including tons of "I'm canceling my subscription!" threats), BioWare responded with their plans to address the PvP issues raised today. I'll break down the response below.
An emergency patch is planned for tomorrow morning, which will accomplish the following:
- Factional spawn points on Ilum will kill opposing faction players who get too close, similar to the way Warzones work now.
- The overall population cap on Ilum will be reduced to improve performance in the zone.
In the interim, BioWare plans on disabling taxi service to the Open World PvP area on Ilum so as to stop further abuse until the patch is released tomorrow morning (servers will be down from 6AM EST to 11AM EST for the emergency patch). If you're still in the Open World PvP area of Ilum, you'll be able to taxi out.
I'm glad BioWare is attempting to address the fact people weren't actually fighting on Ilum, but I'm honestly shocked that they weren't able to anticipate some of the issues players experienced today. I'm getting flashbacks of early Warhammer Online, where players did nothing but Warzones and only entered RvR lakes to flip points. WAR has improved since, but it took a fairly long time before Mythic was able to find the right balance and make Scenarios and RvR equally appealing. I can only hope it doesn't take BioWare as long as it did with WAR to improve the open world PvP in Star Wars: The Old Republic.