SWTOR: Ding Level 50…Ding Illum Sucks

Last week I finally hit the level cap in Star Wars: The Old Republic, but didn’t have a chance to get to Illum until this weekend and holy crap does it suck.  Now if you’re already level 50 and have traveled to Illum, you probably already know what I’m about to say, but if you’re not, seriously take you time leveling, you don’t want to be on Illum.

To start, Illum the “PvP planet” isn’t even dedicated to PvP, half of it is PvE, which blew me away when I got there and I had to spend the next few hours completing more story missions. Yay!? =\

When I finished off those missions I finally made it to the other side of the planet where I was greeted with on-screen notification messages of players who were near certain control points. It seemed like there were a lot of notifications coming up, so I started to get excited that I was in for some good PvP action, however as I neared my first control point, I saw no one. I proceed to another point, controlled by the Republic (Im Empire) and again saw no one, so I figured I’d try to take it over.

To take over a control point, you have to destroy the enemy vehicles in the area, which by the way don’t attack you so after about a min, by myself, I took over the point. I though, ok, that was boring, what next? Finally a Republic player found me as I was leaving the control point and decisively thrashed me.  While I don’t like dying, at least it was something.

I continued to travel around from control point to control point for about 30 mins, seeing a few players here and there and getting my ass kicked a few more times until I finally found where everyone was. It seems about 100 players were lined up standing infront of a narrow bridge staring at each other. I hung out for about an hour getting some kills and valor points, however the lag was too much and I finally logged out in frustration.

Visting Illum has now fully convinced me no one working at BioWare has every played a PvP MMORPG. By far SWTOR has the worst PvP system I’ve every played and makes games like WoW look like the grand-master of PvP.

First, control points, which provide faction valor buffs, are almost meaningless. They’re so easy to take over, that if you do and leave, literally within a few mins you’ll lose it, which leaves the players with an empty feeling of accomplishment. Why bother when you’re just going to lose it 2 mins later?

Aside from those 5 control points, there’s absolutely nothing else on Illum, which is why players just sit there across from each other picking off overly aggressive players from time to time. The valor gained is also tiny compared to what you get in a warzone. In the hour I was there I probably gained 1000 valor points at most, which is pathetic considering I could have probably gain 4000 in the same amount of time had I joined warzones. However collecting points is not my main priority as I’ve grown to hate instanced PvP matches, so I’ll still take Illum over warzones.

Illum is a disaster when it come to PvP and if you do not agree, you are completely blinded by your love for Star Wars and BioWare. I’m sorry this is no an opinion, it is fact and unarguable.

BioWare has stated that in the month of February it will be releasing updates aimed to improve PvP, but at this point I’m convinced that improvements will not work. Illum needs to be completely scrapped, shutdown and remade from scratch if they want to have any decent PvP system at all.  Having completed the story and absolutely hating Illum, I’m left with nothing to do except Flashpoints and Operations.  I’ve yet to do any ops, so I guess that’s next for me.


  1. PVP servers are way more fun than PVE servers with instanced PVP. For one, by the time people get to the warzones they have been conditioned that they will die, so they are way less loss averse than most PVE server players. 2. Open world raids, putting together a raiding party and ganking is fun. It’s even more fun if another raid party attempts to hunt down the gankers. Fighting running battles across Tattooine is much more fun than any warzone I’ve ever played. The only real shame of it is that open world pvp on pvp server has no rewards.

    If you have never rolled a PVP server I highly recommend it, you don’t get ganked nearly as often as u think and getting behind enemy lines and mix it up is a lot of fun, especially if your the underdog population on the server. We don’t need Illum; we climbing through planets snatching your newbs up so hide yo kids hide yo wife, we gonna find you.

  2. The fact that there’s no reward whatsoever for open world PvP drives one more nail in the coffin for me. Maybe in six months or a year there’ll be some workable system but for now, do your storyline missions, run your FPs, and roll an alt.

  3. I am 50. I’ve seen different versions of Ilum from beta until now. I will say that Ilum is the best it’s ever been, but it’s also not as good for open world pvp as games like Lotro, WOW, or even SWG.

    There is just TOO FEW Npcs. And TOO LITTLE to do. No PVE mixed with my PVP makes it not work. People need solo-quests to do for some kind of benefit when there are zero players. Players need stuff to do or they get bored and leave. They need reasons to stay.

    In Lotro, there are these huge castles you can capture and when you do (here’s why you want them) they have daily quests to do with good rewards. The castles have NPC guards that are golds. You need about 18 players to take the castles with zero enemy players bare minimum. So you end up with fights of like 40 vs 30 with NPCs helping the underdog and awesome raids that are just amazing. Fantastic PVP in lotro. Love it.

    That being said, Bioware is new to this. Give them a break. They are smart, they will figure it out soon.

  4. I, and many others, agree with you completely. Ilum is a disaster of bad design, PvP at 50 sucks, World PvP is pointless, Warzones at 50 are imbalanced. Even sub-50 Warzones, which can be a lot of fun, are tainted by the huge difference between a 20 and a 45 and that the 45 can have PvP stat gear.

    BioWare doesn’t know how to do PvP. It’s a disaster. The Warzones have a creative design, but everything else in the game, concerning PvP, is broken and a mess. I don’t know how they can ever fix this without resetting PvP, removing the PvP stat, and scrapping the entire PvP side of Ilum and redoing it. It’s that bad.

  5. You forgot to mention that when there’s no other players to kill, the only thing to do is drive around for an hour looting boxes. The catch is that, there’s always other players looting the same box so you are literally playing “Who can loot the box once it spawns first?”

  6. Players in beta have been screaming for great rvr.The company seems to have no interest or understanding of rvr.Everyone who have any understanding of RVR knows DAOC is by far the best. SWTOR forums are covered with entreaty’s to just copy the features(they seem to be really good at copying) from DAOC…..and they won’t do it. Me…I got so frustrated I want back to the best rvr game ever( for the umpteenth time).

  7. What happened to all the comments that disagreed with you?

    I wonder what server you are on and if that may have something to do with your pvping experiences, or if there is a terrible inbalance between the factions. Time of day that you play will also affect your pvping experiences.

  8. PvP servers are pointless anyways.. Hitting level 39 and havent seen a enemy player EVER !
    Maps are designed so you don’t run in to eachother total fail…

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