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.