There has certainly been a mixed reaction to the new tier of gear being introduced to Star Wars The Old Republic in Game Update 5.10. Instead of the new tier being ‘drops’ from content or Galactic Command, it will instead be craftable. The schematics will drop exclusively from NIM GOTM with the new mats needed to craft the gear will drop from NIM GOTM, Ranked PvP and the new Daily Area.
The exclusivity of this gear has certainly drawn quite a negative reaction from the more casual player base and even those who aren’t so casual but don’t do NIM Raiding Content.
When players who don’t need the top gear in the game are far too used to getting the top gear handed to them on a silver platter (thanks to Galactic Command), it should be no surprise that most of them are rising up against restricting gear.
Whatever happened to doing the content that needed the gear so you could do the harder versions of that content? Oh right, Galactic Command. That RNG grind fest we’ve endured for nearly two years which I still loathe to this day.
Many forget that the best gear was once reserved only for NIM Raiders and found only in harder Operations. PvPers had their own separate gear and didn’t have to worry about their gear given how quick and easy it was to get.
Galactic Command destroyed meaningful gear progression and resulted in a complacent and lazy player base. A simple time sync doing easy content should not equate to getting better gear. Getting better gear should be linked to skill and time commitment (and should be guaranteed).
But, is implementing gear how they’re doing it in 5.10 really the best way to do it?
Making crafting a major component of gearing is certainly an interesting move–one that I am not personally opposed to. I would love to see crafting be more meaningful than it currently is and this is certainly one way to do it.
However, I feel the implementation of the system, in its current state, is not entirely fair to PvPers. Sure regstars realistically do not need the new gear but Ranked Players? You better believe they want the best gear. The hard-core PvP element prides itself on class mastery and having BIS gear just as much as any NIM player worth their salt. But this system effectively gives NIM Raiders all the power and control and disadvantages most PvPers.
But, let’s be honest, this new system wouldn’t be an issue, at all, if we had separate PvP and PvE gear. You could add this new tier of gear for PvE and PvPers wouldn’t even have to worry cause they’d have their own separate gear to get.
In an ideal PvP instanced scenario, PvP gear would be the best and the higher the tier your PvE gear was (in relation to PvP Gear), the more penalised your stats would be in PvP. This would encourage those who actually PvP to PvP to get the gear and in turn, PvE players to do Raids to get PvE gear. Most important of all though, this would eliminate the need to do content you do not like or don’t normally do simply for gear so you can do your preferred content.
The PvP gearing method in its current state is still quite slow and tedious and PvPers are forced to do Operations in order to gear faster. This needs to change. It could be as simple as reverting PvP Gearing to how it was in 4.0. You could add a crafting component in addition as well. I’m not sure how I’d feel about making PvP Gear heavily crafting focused–I still feel there should be a way to earn it/buy it with commendations. But, having crafting as a secondary option (again, separate from PvE) or even make the gearing process a little faster wouldn’t hurt.
Overall, I am not overly opposed to the new gearing system in 5.10 but I do feel that concessions need to be made for Ranked PvPers. Whether adding crafting is going to be an ongoing thing or not with gear going forward, separate PvE and PvP gearing streams need to be implemented at some point (6.0 perhaps?). This is primarily to ensure equal access to gear for both groups of players but also to ensure that they do not have to do each other’s content to get gear if they do not want to.
Let the NIM Players have their special gear. Gear they worked hard for and deserve but also give Ranked PvPers a better way to get it.
Why the rest of the player base is upset or even cares about this new tier is beyond me. I, for one, won’t be in any rush to get it.
TLDR – The player base is far too used to getting the best gear with little effort made on their part beyond grinding mind-numbing easy content. Quite the philosophy change from SWTOR’s earlier days and one that needs to revert back. Bring back gear to how it was in 4.0, at least. Sure add a crafting component but give us back separate PvE and PvP Gearing streams. That way, players are a lot less likely to have to do content they don’t like or want to do (as is often practised with Galactic Command).