SWTOR: Guide to Warzones and PvP

PvP Is Among The Best

Star Wars: The Old Republic has the best instanced PvP maps of any game today.  Huttball and Ancient Hypergate are great examples of PvP objective innovation.  Standard capture the flag and king of the hill maps are fun, but a little spin goes a long way in making something feel new and fresh.  Nobody wants the same content rehashed in different colors, no matter how fun it is.

The 2.0 update brought some combat balance changes.  Bioware has announced they will maintain combat balance with small changes in future patches.  So far I have seen successful players in every class.  Pick what’s fun for you, and don’t worry about what spec good this month.  The sub-55 warzone experience is phenomenal.

This is a general guide to warzones and PvP.  If you’re looking for warzone tips and strategies, read here.

Valor Levels

Valor level is your level in PvP.  It is the equivalent to your character level.  Valor levels unlock titles and gear.  You gain Valor from PvPing just like you would gain XP from PvEing.  Normally you gain Valor the same time you gain warzone commendations at the end of a warzone, but you can also gain Valor in world PvP.  You can gain Valor up to your character level until you hit 50.  After your character reaches level 50, it goes up to 100.  Like XP, you gain Valor at a reduced rate as a Preferred or Free to Play account.  You unlock the ability to buy ranked Warzone Commendations at Valor level 40.

PvP Gear And Warzone Commendations

At lower levels (10-54), you can just use your regular questing gear for warzones.  Thanks to Bolster, it will already be optimal for PvP.  You can buy level 20 and level 40 armor on Coruscant, next to each class trainer.  You can buy PvP weapons for all levels on the fleet, next to the PvP terminals.

Thanks to the Expertise stat, PvP gear is the best gear for PvPing at endgame.  Expertise increases damage to other players, increases healing done to friendly players, and reduces damage you take from other players.  PvP gear is more than fine for doing dailies.  It’s the only kind of gear I use.  You can find PvP gear at your class vendor in the Combat area of the fleet.  Look at the set bonus to determine which set of gear is right for your spec.

TIP: Pick up one of the level 10 War Hero’s color crystals if you can.  A +41 crystal will continue to be the highest through the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion.

You can only buy PvP gear with (ranked) warzone commendations.  Warzone commendations are earned by doing warzones.  Your base gear will cost only warzone commendations.  The top end gear will require warzone commendations, ranked warzone commendations, and the corresponding base gear piece.  When buying top tier gear, the base gear piece must be in your inventory. You need to unequip it.

SWTOR Gear Upgrade Path

At Valor level 40 you can start to accrue Ranked Warzone Commendations.  Ranked warzone commendations come from ranked warzones, daily quests, and weekly quests.  You can also convert warzone commendations to ranked warzone commendations at a rate of 3 to 1.  The vendor standing next to the PvP quest terminal lets you make the exchange.  Hold down shift to purchase large quantities at a time.

SWTOR Vendor

TIP: If you’re getting full on warzone commendations, convert to ranked if you can or buy warzone medpacks/adrenals.  You can never have enough of these.

Warzone gear is good enough for doing dailies and regular Flashpoints.   If you’ve got a full set of ranked gear, you’re set for hard modes. PvP gear is the only gear set I own.

Warzones

Player versus Player, or PvP, is leveled through Warzones.  Warzones are instanced PvP battles between teams of players.  In Star Wars, there are three level brackets: 10-29, 30-54, and 55.  Every player is given ‘Bolster‘, a buff that brings their stats up to level 55 to even the playing field.  You gain valor XP in Warzones by getting medals, and a bonus for winning the warzone.  All XP is rewarded when the warzone is over, so you must finish to get any xp.  Each warzone has different objectives.

  • Huttball – Similar to football where you try to be the first team to score 6 times by getting the ball into the enemy end zone.
  • Novare Coast – Teams fight over 3 gun emplacement objectives in a race to knock out the enemy bunker shield first.
  • Civil War – Teams fight over three gun objectives trying to shoot down the enemy ship down first.
  • Voidstar – Teams try to place bombs on the door objectives to get to the end as fast as possible.
  • Ancient Hypergate – Teams take control of pylons and run as many cubes to their team pylon as they can.

There are daily quests as you level for warzones, as well as daily quests at endgame.  Be sure to pick them up each day for a nice xp reward, as well as some consumables.  At level 50 the daily quest rewards 100 warzone and 100 ranked warzone commendations.  You can pick up the dailies in the combat area at a mission terminal.

Your armor takes no damage from any PvP combat, in or out of warzones.  Because you have no repairs, the credit rewards from warzones are adjusted lower.

Warzone Arenas

Warzone Arenas have a similar play style to warzones.  The difference being that they are a series of three, five minute matches.  The team that wins two matches is the winner.  At the five minute mark each round, the arena is flooded with ‘acid gas’ and all players begin to take damage evenly.  This acid damage cannot be mitigated in any way.

You can only queue for ranked arenas solo, or with a group of four.  Groups of two or three can get into normal warzone arenas with the current system.  There are three different warzone arenas right now:

  1. Orbital Station Arena
  2. Tatooine Canyon Arena
  3. Corellia Square Arena.

Another map is already in the works and will be added soon.

Free To Play Warzones

As a non-subscriber, you can still run warzones nonstop.  You are allowed 5 warzones per week, per character with Preferred access.  This should be enough for one session of gaming.  Multiple alts means multiple sessions.  The warzones reset on Sunday morning and Monday morning right now.  I’m sure the second day is a bug, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Weekly Warzone Pass

warzonepassA weekly warzone pass will grant a single character unlimited warzones for 7 days.  That is 7 real time days from the moment you use it.  Your other characters will still have their standard five warzones each.  I mainly PvP on one character.  If you want to PvP on more than one character extensively, you may want to consider subscribing.  Read on to see why.

These weekly warzone passes cost about 200,000 credits on average on my server.  That’s about 1 hour of dailies for a full week of warzones.  Sounds like a fair trade to me.  It might even be feasible for two characters, depending on how much you play.  You can also buy Weekly Warzone Passes for 240 Cartel Coins.

Read here if your warzone pass is bugged.

Medals

Medals are earned by doing various things: killing 10 players, defending controlled objectives, getting a killing blow, and so on.  You need to earn at least one medal to get participation credit or experience in a warzone.  Staying at an objective to guard it will get you an easy medal in no time.  Medals reward 5 additional warzone commendations each, up to 8 medals.  After 8, you’re just showing off.

Don’t forget to vote at the end of the match!

World PvP

Black Hole, Section X, and now CZ-198 offer some good chances for world PvP.  In the Black Hole, every time I have gone looking for world PvP, I have found it.  My first time through the Section X daily, I ran into some world PvP right at the very end.  CZ-198 is now probably the best place to find wPvP.  Outlaw’s Den on Tatooine and of course the revised Ilum offer free for all world PvP.  Free for all PvP means that even members of your own faction can attack you.  None of this counts random encounters you may have while questing.  World PvP is easier to find on PvP servers.

More To Come

Unfortunately, a lot of the PvP content planned for update 2.4 was delayed.  Right now Marauders/Sentinels and Operative Healers are the best classes for PvP overall.  If you’re playing as a free to play player, you can see my Free to Play Guide here. If you have anything to add, critique, or just want to say good job, leave it in the comments below. If you found this guide helpful, please share it with your friends.  You can also check out my Twitch.tv stream to watch me play warzones.  I’ll answer whatever questions I can.

Thanks for reading!

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