Should PvE Players Be Forced to PvP in SWTOR?

SWTOR: Should PvE Players Be Forced to PvP?Note April 2019: This post was originally published in 2015, but I had to fix some broken links. Despite its age, the requirements for these Alliance Recruitment Alerts is still the same, so I’ve left the post intact, as it was.

I had a weird and rather disconcerting experience while working on Odessan recently. Having got my first character through the first nine chapters of KotFE, I am now, as most people are:

  • Taking on the Sky Fortresses
  • Building up Research, Military, Force Sensitives and Underworld Contacts
  • Customising companion’s appearance (excluding those at Core Storylevel who we can’t customise)

As part of this first point, you are encouraged to meet with various people across the galaxy, to win their support for the fight against the Eternal Empire. That’s all well and good, until you’re asked to meet with M1-4X (a Trooper Companion). After a dialogue, you are given the mission parameters to win his support – mainly taking part in PvP Warzones (and winning).

Which begs the question: if I’ve logged onto a PvE Server with the sole intention of playing PvE, should I be forced to play PvP?

The Difference Between PvE and PvP

For anyone knew to SWTOR, it may be helpful at this point to quickly explain:

  • PvE / Player Versus Environment: pits the player against the programmed galaxy, with NPCs (non-playing characters). You can meet other players (and frequently do) but playing with them or against them is a choice. That means if you think you can do a [Heroic 2+] mission with just you and your companions, then go for it. If another player challenges you to a dual, you are free to refuse.
  • PvP / Player Versus Player: still offers you all the PvE stuff but with the added complications that other players can attack you at random. I once experienced this when needing to travel through a PvP area – Dealer’s Den on Tatooine. I didn’t get very far!

SWTOR Offers various other experiences to battle against other players:

  • Warzones (which I don’t really understand, especially when conversations about ‘ranked’ and ‘rated’ Warzones kick off)
  • Galactic Starfighter (GSF)
  • Huttball Championship

But up until now, despite the fact that SWTOR is an MMO, taking part in PvP was entirely optional. With me so far?

Enforcing PvP on PvE Gamers?

So I return to my question: if people choose to play an MMO in PvE mode, should they be ‘forced’ to PvP? I feel that with this current limbo stage between Chapters IX and X of Fallen Empire, BioWare have decided to keep people occupied as long as possible:

  • You need supply crates to build up the Alliance Base
  • You more of these crates to recruit each ally per planet to your cause
  • There’s a lot of on-planet travel time for the missions, even with the new (thank goodness) quick travel to Heroic Areas

So this is like a new ‘endgame’, while we wait for more chapters? I am only part way through my recruiting process and am now faced with Two Required PvP or Group Exercises in order to progress:

  • I am regretting not having achieved 100% Affection with Qyzen Fess because I now have to take on World Bosses which require a group
  • The M1-4X Mission in KotFE requires me to go win some Warzones.

I feel like I have had my possible achievement limited because I choose to play SWTOR to relax on my own without any obligations. They have effectively added obligations in-game, when all I want to do is chill. I don’t know if not recruiting Qyzen Fess or M1-4X to my cause will mean I am not well equipped for Chapter X. Who knows? But with being forced to PvP I feel I will enjoy KotFE just a shade less than I would have otherwise.

What do you think?

PvP Reactions From Twitter

This post seemed to spark reactions on both sides, so here are some of them!

Thanks so much for the discussion tonight people, really appreciated the interaction, PvP Tips and insights!

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10 thoughts on “Should PvE Players Be Forced to PvP in SWTOR?

  1. Playing Devil’s advocate but you’re not actually being forced to PvP – no-one’s standing there making you do it. It’s just that there’s something you want that requires you to play the game in a particular way. There are other PvP related achievements that perhaps don’t bother you (and rewards for those achievements like artwork and so on) and similarly for group related content – although yes, I understand the difference here is that M1-4X is seen as a PvE reward. I also gather that if you have a Trooper character then you won’t have to jump through these hoops anyway (nor if you’re already valor rank 40 but that won’t apply if you’re not into PvP) so while you won’t be able to get him on all characters, you would be able to get him on at least one (if you have a Trooper). Need to confirm that – will try on my SW to see if I can get Lt. Pierce.

    I also don’t feel Bioware will make it so that M1-4X or Lt. Pierce are necessary to continue as they haven’t put blocks like that in before. Not that I can recall anyway. Sure it’s possible they might add some quests that need them but I suspect they’d be optional rather than mandatory.

    1. Granted there is a difference between being actively forced and withholding a benefit (progression). What is unclear at this time is whether your future capacity to fight the Eternal Empire is hampered by not having M1-4X or Lt Pierce. If you can fight okay without them then it is a “true choice”. If, in fact, you are massively hindered without them, then it’s a “False Choice” – because it will make future gaming much harder. If it’s a false choice, then to come full circle, you are effectively being Forced to PvP. The thing is at the moment, it is totally unclear what the tradeoffs and effects might be before chapter 10 rolls out.

    2. Small clarification: you still need to play all those warzones regardless of valor rank if your character is not a trooper with M1-4X on affection 8 or higher. I hit valor 80 today (hurray!) and got M1-4X a few days ago.

      1. Thanks for the clarification! My trooper is a LONG way from even starting KotFE, but thankfully is over Affection 8 already, so might be able to avoid this issue when he can start the expansion.

  2. So I have just gone and got a few companions on my SW, including Pierce – and I didn’t have to PvP to get him, so, yeah, there’s that. But I now have come to the conclusion that the only benefit to getting either Pierce or M1-4X is an easy way to earn affection with the Voss Alliance Specialist and lets PvPers do what they love doing to get that. I do highly doubt that they will block you from progression because it makes no sense to do that – especially given that when you start KotFE, you get two prompts checking that you’re sure about that.

    As you say though – we won’t know until Chapter 10 at the earliest. So really it comes down to what’s going to piss you off more: doing PvP know then finding out later you didn’t need to or not doing it now and finding out that you need to later?

  3. My husband who normally does not pvp was absolutely determined to suffer through enough matches to get Pierce. I would rather not pvp and decided to ignore Pierce. I have a huge stable of idiots without him. I will be shocked if there is anything later that would require or even benefit from Pierce when there are so many companions who could do the job. I can see completionists gnashing their teeth, though.

    1. Yeah I’m getting quite a Posse of followers now so I’m hoping I don’t have any detriment from not have one or two here or there. I’m not a completionist, so long as it doesn’t massively hinder progression I’ll be happy 🙂

  4. I have managed several different ways to net these additional characters:
    (1) My Smuggler already had Valor 53 when he went to meet with M1-4X, so he walked away with the droid in tow. Lucky him, hehe.
    (2) My Agent endured 20 matches to get a hold of Pierce, though. It was horrible, until several guild members jumped in and sort of cake-walked me through the rest of the warzones. Mind you, I’m always a healer so PVP is usually a fest of dying if I don’t have team members who I can follow around that kick tail while I heal them up fast.
    (3) My Warrior just talked to Pierce and he was like, “Hey, boss! I missed you!” Life was good for the two of them, as he followed her right back to Odessen.
    Here’s my take in the end:
    PVP is a pain, because there’s always some poop-head who chases me around yelling how “you suck!” and it utterly ruins any chance for enjoyment in even trying. I particularly despise the routine complaint that “you don’t heal enough”. Especially when the final tally typically has me healing well close to 2 million during every single match. I always want to yell at them as they’re zoning out, “Heal yourself, jerk!”
    That being said, every PVP match teaches me how much faster I can react, how each ability can function up against other abilities, how effective my rotations can prove, etc. I use them to better my PVE, basically.
    And there’s something cool about playing PVP with guild members. They yell into our Voice channel, “Hang on! I’m on the way!” And I want to cheer. So grab a friend, endure, and earn some Conquest points as you’re going, is what I do. Or maybe play more troopers … hehe.

    1. Heya Jeanne, sorry for the delay in replying, I have had a huge amount of pain today.

      Thankfully I have a trooper, but he’s just finishing up Voss I think, so a looong way before he starts KotFE. I think I might have to try WarZones, but my reactions are slow and last time I tried PvP I ended up in loads of pain (not just in-game, either!). Also for Pierce, I think he was either Influence L9 or L10 so for my warrior he also joined straight away which I’m very grateful for.

      I’ll have to draw on my guild(s) more. I’ll have to do that for the Star Fortresses in the New Year anyway, so thanks for the tip 🙂

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