SWTOR: Happy new year! Get ganked.

pvpWhen I rolled on a PvP server for my recent return to Star Wars: The Old Republic, I didn’t give it too much thought.  I did so because my multi-game guild — for some reason — was on this particular server, and sometimes PvP servers are pretty beneign.

In fact, most of my experiences to date have been pretty tame, to the point where I totally forgot that I’ve been constantly PvP flagged.  However, last night reminded me in a quick fashion why I was a fool to venture onto such a server.  You think I would have learned by now.

I’ve been questing on Tatooine, almost finished with both the world and personal story quest lines.  I was in the middle of the dune sea doing a short quest, and right after I triggered a brief cutscene, a level 60 Sith came out of nowhere to hack my character into short bits.  My immediate instincts were to fight back — flight is impossible, really — but when you’re 30 levels below, there’s no chance.  He was there to gank and I was there to be ganked for his ego.  You’re welcome, Mr. Tough Guy.

Fine, whatever.  I rezzed (no field medic probes for me, as I’m F2P) and started to venture into a giant underground bunker for the final planet story quest.  It’s one of those areas that is dense with mobs and takes a lot of methodical progress via fights to get through.  Nothing too above my capabilities… that is, until the Empire showed up.

At first it was just one guy who was there for the same quests, and I gathered had as little interest in PvPing as I did.  We even cleared mobs for each other and I tried hard not to accidentally catch him in my bomb blasts.  But as I’m finishing up a room, a Bounty Hunter comes out at me and starts going postal on my face.

This was the one shining moment of the night, as I actually managed to fight him off and kill him (see above screenshot as proof).  That’s a minor miracle, as my brain always locks up in PvP situations.  I’m like “HIT ALL THE BUTTONS IN A PANIC” with no time to think through and react appropriately.

Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.  For some reason, I was the only Republic player in this area, but there were just scads of Empire all over the place.  I want to reiterate that I needed to get through this place to wrap up the final quest, so I didn’t have an option to leave or do something else.  There wasn’t anything else to do.

Another level 60 Sith killed me.  Sigh.  I do the long, long run back, fight more mobs to get back into the bunker, only to turn the corner and have a pair of Empire players pop out at me and kill me again.

Now, I’m not here to grind any axe about PvP.  I intellectually understand why people like it and don’t begrudge its existence.  But man, I hate it, and this night was a prime example of why.  None of this was fun; it was being a punching bag for other players who cost me time and progress.  There was no help around and no epic team-ups.  Just a particularly vicious game of tag in which I was always It due to the color of my name plate.

I logged out, frustrated, and strongly regretting going against my experience by rolling on this server to begin with.  Listen, I like my guild, but even good people aren’t worth gaming aggravation.  This is not the kind of journey I want to have going forward, but I also didn’t want to reroll my character now that I’m level 30 and have invested some actual money into her unlocks.

Fortunately, upon some investigation I discovered that my account did have one free character transfer on it.  I didn’t have to think twice.  I said goodbye to my guild and moved my character back to the RP-PvE server on which my old stable of characters reside.  Yeah, it’s going to stink to have to scount around for a new guild, but to me it’s worth it to avoid being some PvP chump.

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12 thoughts on “SWTOR: Happy new year! Get ganked.

  1. Geldarion January 5, 2015 / 9:19 am

    Was your guild not willing to come help you? That is how to survive on PvP servers, a good guild!

  2. Redbeard January 5, 2015 / 9:32 am

    /sigh

    Been there, but on WoW.

    Even on PVE, there are a lot of people who try to get you to break the PVE Flag so they can gank you on Tatooine. That World PvP zone (Outlaw’s Den or something) seems to attract the gankers; I’ve even seen people trolling Gen Chat for “help running PVP in Outlaw’s Den” so they could turn and gank you at earliest opportunity.

    Thankfully, that’s about as rough as it gets on SWTOR. Unlike, say, WoW, where when I was on a PvP server I had to be constantly looking over my shoulder. (Even at 3 AM server time, because I would get up at 6 AM EST to play and I was on a PST server.)

  3. Shintar January 5, 2015 / 9:33 am

    That was a pretty bizarre read initially. “Is this really the same Syp that gave ArcheAge so much grief for not having PvE servers? Yet in a game where there are, he goes all-out PvP?” You did the right thing by transferring off; I’m still surprised you were dismissive enough of the whole thing to roll on a PvP server in the first place…

  4. Syp January 5, 2015 / 10:03 am

    @Gel – I mentioned it, but nobody seemed stirred enough to come help and I didn’t want to put anyone out.

  5. Arcadius January 5, 2015 / 10:22 am

    PvP enthusiasts often mention the small rush of excitement when an unplanned pvp encounter develops. They give the impression that after the fight, the combatants amicably go their separate ways.

    Instead, the reality is exactly what you described: repetitive, unrelenting antagonism, where even if you are the victor, you still don’t have the freedom to complete whatever PvE objective you had in mind.

    Best of luck on the new server!

  6. bhagpuss January 5, 2015 / 11:47 am

    A mixed PvE/PvP server is designed for people who want a very specific type of gameplay, which is different from both pure PvP and pure PvE. The idea behind it is that at any point you could either be doing PvE or PvP and you can’t opt out of either. Players who choose to play (and continue playing) on mixed ruleset servers like these don’t differentiate between PvE sessions and PvP sessions – every session is both. Being jumped in the middle of quest isn’t an interruption to PvE gameplay so much as it’s the initiation of a PvP phase within the PvE/PvP gameplay.

    You do have to have a particular way of looking at things to get the most out of it and it really does help if the structure of the game prevents completely one-sided fights like someone 30 levels above you being able to one-shot you.

    When DCUO was new I played through the open-world, non-instanced part of the game, which only goes from 1-20, on a PvP server and it was a first-rate experience. Heroes and Villains were roughly in balance and everyone was levelling up together. I rarely got through a mission uninterrupted but that never mattered. The fights were always worth it.

    When I cam back to DCUO a few months later and logged that same character in, though, the experience was very different. Few new players were around and there were gangs of roaming high-level Villains looking to gank any lowbie heroes they could find. After a couple of sessions of that I re-rolled on a PvE server.

    So, it’s situational but it’s also not a problem. So long as there are both PvE and PvE/PvP servers players can move around to find the experience that suits them best. We could use more and more widely-varying rulesets in my opinion.

  7. Ravanel Griffon January 5, 2015 / 1:51 pm

    I like playing warzones and occasionally PvP flag myself in the open world while doing dailies (Yavin comes to mind: kill 100 players there + other achievements and you get the Legend in the Making title). I’m not a great PvP player or anything, but I’m surprised at how many times I manage to win a fight, provided it’s fair. Sometimes I’ve been wondering if I shouldn’t have rolled on a PvP server instead. But then again, there’s nothing I enjoy about pointless ganking or unfair fights. Thanks for waking me up. 😉

  8. mmojuggler January 5, 2015 / 5:54 pm

    The only PvP I enjoy is the kind that takes place in specific zones (instances). Open world PvP is just flat out miserable. I was where you are now weeks ago – ready to leave a PvP server for a PvE one. I’d still be able to PvP by entering a Battleground and doing it, not while I’m just trying to quest or read the dang map.

  9. Xannziee January 5, 2015 / 6:46 pm

    I know the feeling as we have ow pvp in ArcheAge and I was in a similar situation leveling. Tho im used to dying in pvp so I dont mind much but still we lose time. So I always went questing with friends and that was my solution. A lot more fun and a lot safer (tho i like the feeling of not being safe too ^^ 🙂
    Hope u find a great guild! ❤

  10. saucelah January 7, 2015 / 12:50 pm

    The keys to PvP playing is a) not caring if you die, b) not playing if you find yourself frustrated, c) not caring if you’re not playing because you were getting frustrated, d) not panicking (see a), and e) not demonizing the opponents as bad people or Tough Guys, etc.

    Honestly, I used to feel exactly like you. Then I gave a few PvP games immersive long term tries, and I realized I was failing to perceive the situation positively. I fully believe that anger and frustration are usually a choice. Lingering on them certainly is a choice — I’ve had these experiences dozens of times and have forgotten all about them.

    And yeah, I have certainly experienced walking away amicably from a fight, and even talking to the person or being approached by the person to discuss what went well and what didn’t.

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