PvP Changes Coming in Game Update 5.9.2

There have been a number of Developer Posts lately detailing the planned changes to PvP in Game Update 5.9.2 (~July). Here they all are listed in one convenient place!

I will be updating this article as more changes are revealed.

Official Posts:

Influencer Sources:

  • Passionately Casual – Episode 46 – Road Trip
    • There will definitely be an Open PTS that everyone will be able to access!
      • Requirements – Must be subscribed and be willing to download the PTS.
      • They will likely be setting up scheduled playtimes to test the changes.

Contents


Warzones

Overall Goals
  • To shorten the average time of our Warzones to be around 12 minutes. We have a few WZs that are taking quite a bit longer than that currently.
  • We have some WZs that are exploitable due to environment hacking, we want to fix that.
Voidstar Changes

We want to give the offence a much better chance of completing the objectives. We want to make Voidstar more about a race to complete the objectives as opposed to a map which often ends in a stalemate. Fewer stalemates will shorten the overall time of the map.

  • The door now takes 6 seconds to arm (down from 8).
  • Defenders now have 15 seconds to disarm door bombs (down from 20).
  • Extending the bridges and lowering the shields now takes 6 seconds to channel (down from 8).
  • Forcefields are now blocking the reactor room doors until the bridges are extended.
  • Characters who hack their way into the last two rooms of the Warzone before the bridge has been extended or the forcefield is down will be killed.
  • Characters who attempt to hack through the hangar doors to place a charge from inside the hallway will die.

Further Clarification on Traversing the Gap and Bomb Planting

This will not be possible. There will now be a forcefield in front of that door until the bridge is lowered. Once the bridge is lowered you can begin planting on the door. You can still get across the gap to get in position to plant the bomb faster, but you can no longer bypass lowering the bridge.

Ancient Hypergates

We want running orbs to be more impactful to the WZs gameplay, with the goal of shortening each map.

  • Orbs now score more points (up from 6, review below).
  • Orbs scores ramp up each round of the game:
    • Round 1 = 12 points per orb delivered
    • Round 2 = 15 points per orb delivered
    • Round 3 = 18 points per orb delivered
    • Round 4 = 21 points per orb delivered
    • Round 5 = 24 points per orb delivered
    • Round 6+ = 27 points per orb delivered
  • Player corral forcefields have had their up-time reduced, the forcefield is now down for 10 seconds and up for 15 seconds (previously 30 seconds).
Alderaan Civil War

Shortening the match time.

  • Turrets now damage ships for 12 damage per tick (up from 10).
  • Characters exploiting by hacking inside of the capture terminals will now die when they do so.
Yavin Ruins

Further, differentiate the map from Alderaan Civil War along with shortening the match time.

  • Teams now start with 500 points (down from 600).
  • When players die they reduce their teams score by 2 (up from 0).
  • Characters exploiting by hacking inside of the capture terminals will now die when they do so.
Novare Coast
  • Any characters who leave the starting area prior to the match starting will die.
  • Players will no longer be able to cap a point outside of the intended 20m range (we’re looking at you, Phase Walk).
Huttball (and Queshball)

We have some concerns about the dominance of Classes with movement abilities in Huttball. The proposed changes will help encourage more team play in the Warzone. We also want to create more situations for counterplay and competition in Huttball while ensuring all players are rewarded for their efforts.

  • Players can no longer catch the Huttball while stunned. This creates more opportunities for counter-play, such as intercepting passes intended for a target you stun.
  • Adding attacker points for catching a pass from a friendly target:
    • Currently, the thrower of the Huttball receives 500 points, but not the receiver. We will increase the receiver to gain 250 points.
    • We would also like a touchdown pass to award both players equally (currently the thrower gets 500 more points). Here is what the new breakdown would look like:
      • Thrower: 2750 Attacker Points total
        • 500 Attacker Points from completing pass successfully
        • 2250 Attacker Points for throwing a scoring pass
      • Receiver: 2750 Attacker Points total
        • 250 Attacker Points from receiving a friendly pass
        • 2500 Attacker Points for possessing the ball for a score
Revised Changes (June 7th)
  • The Hutt will become bored of a single ball carrier and kill them after 45 seconds (down from 2 minutes)
  • To win before time expires, the winning team will need to score 10 times (up from 6 times)
  • The match will now last for a maximum of 10 minutes (down from 13 minutes)

The first change is intended to encourage passing the Huttball and increase tension when attempting to turtle for a win in a close match. The latter two changes will adjust how we approach this Warzone. If you see Huttball as a sport within SWTOR, we want to have the Warzone play out more as “who can score the most points within a 10-minute match” as opposed to “race to 6 points to win.” This will also ensure that all Huttball matches are 12 minutes or less (if you count pre-match). We hope that these changes along with our updates in matchmaking will lead to a lot closer and more compelling Huttball matches.


Arenas

There are quite a few places where players can exploit to prevent themselves from dying. We plan to address them and implement ways to penalize those players. Additionally, we wanted to take another look at how the acid mechanics work at the end of Arena matches to see if we can improve that experience for stalemates. Here are our thoughts:

  • Characters who hack their way into places they shouldn’t be, such as outside the arena or in the ground, will die.
  • Currently, acid causes characters to take 10% of their max health in damage every second, prevents stealth and all healing.
  • Acid will now work as follows:
    • Characters will take 1% of their max health in damage every second and reduce all healing done/received by 2% per stack.
    • Characters affected by acid will begin with one stack and gain one stack per second.
    • Acid will still inhibit stealth.

This will mean the very end of an Arena match will now get progressively more dangerous. This gives more time for players to fight each other and counterplay, before their inevitable acid death. This should also address cases where stealth characters, in particular, can just CC and run away to win a match.

Further Clarification on Acid

There are two effects that happen:

  1. Players begin taking 1% of their maximum health every second. This effect does NOT stack, it is always 1%.
  2. You receive a 2% penalty to healing every second. This DOES stack, it increases by 2% per stack.

What this means is that as players fight during the arena end phase, healing will continue to become less effective over time until it does nothing. That penalty plus the constant 1% damage will apply more and more kill pressure to the remaining players.


Matchmaking

    • All Warzone queues are now cross-faction.
    • The Unranked Warzone queue will now always prioritize Warzones over Arenas. An Arena match will only pop if there are not enough players to populate a full Warzone match at that time.
  • Role Balancing – 
    • Matchmaking will never place more than 2 tanks or healers on the same team in a Warzone or 1 tank or healer for an Arena.
    • Matchmaking will always do its best to balance the number of tanks and healers on each team. If there are 2 healers, each team will receive one if possible, the same is true of tanks.
    • In situations where there is an odd number of tanks/healers, matchmaking will do its best to place the combined number of tanks and healers evenly (example: there are 3 healers and 1 tank, matchmaking will attempt to make the teams 2 healers vs 1 tank 1 healer.)
  • Skill Balancing –
    • Matchmaking will more strongly take player skill into account when making teams (see quote below).
    • Premade groups queuing for Ranked and Unranked Warzones will now have their matchmaking skill based on the highest rated member, not the team’s average rating.
How Skill-Based Matchmaking will work 

Actually, since SWTOR launched players have always had a “rating” behind the scenes. I am hesitant to say rating since this isn’t the same thing as your Ranked score, but it’s the easiest way to explain it. This is more of a way that we approximate player skill solely for the purposes of matchmaking. This is also the reason we don’t expose this information since it is not really a rating (like Elo, etc).

In 5.9.2 we are making optimizations in how we use this information along with things like role, spec, gear, and more to try to create the most balanced teams we can.

Premade Composition

pre-made (in Unranked) can only have a max of 1 tank and 1 healer in their group.

Grouping Clarifications

We will never split up a group. If you queue as 4 players in a group, you will all be on the same team. However, keep in mind what you describe above is not possible, you could no longer queue if you had two healers in your group. You can only queue with a max of 1 tank and 1 healer in a 4 man group.

To your other point, if you are trying to “queue-sync” two 4-man groups together to be on the same team it is always possible they end up against each other as opposed to on the same team. Especially with the new factors in 5.9.2 such as improved matchmaking and cross-faction.


About Xam Xam

Owner of MMO Bits, and formerly the owner of Xam Xam Says, Xam Xam is an Aussie who has been playing MMO's for over 5 years and can't get enough of them. She mainly plays Healing Classes but will also DPS and reluctantly Tank (if she has one). She prefers to PvP but doesn't mind doing all the other 'MMO bits' as well.

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