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Theorycrafting : Meta-game : Personalities & PvP


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I've come to the result that the current state of SWTOR PvP favours some RL personality types and others not.

I'm not sure about PvE yet; so far I cannot see such a bias there, but, again, I'm not sure there.


Here is why :


The TTK and the corollary of that, the TTL (Time To Kill + Time To Live) within SWTOR's PvP has come to a point where it is freighteningly short.


The current way of PvP clarly favours fast actions, and burst.

Bust most of all.


SWTOR PvP is like "Blitzkrieg".


This - as a result - favours personalities which are able to act fast, and are very much agile, too.

Fast action -> fast burst.


But - there are other personalities than that in RL, too.


The tactician, for example. As a "role model example", I outline him as such :


Working slow, but steady.

Working slowly, but thoroughly.

Working slowly, but with an extreme high quality.


This way of working is in my opinion a part of the person's personality.


And "slow, but thorough" is the direct opposite of "fast plus burst".


In the current state of PvP, both are completely incompatible with one another.


You can see it when you look at the games : Just compare Blizzard's Action-RPG called "Diablo" with the current game called "Divinity : Original Sin", or with "King's Bounty : The Legends", or with the "Age Of Wonders" series.


The latter named games are fully tactics-oriented.

Which on the other hand means that gamers who have learned in the past decade NOTHING BUT fast-burst games also called "Action-RPGs" are simpoly not able to play tactical games with the sme quality as is required to master them.

Which in result means that those mases of gamers will badmouth them and damn them as "unplayable". Simply because they have never learned to play "slow, but thoroughg" in games, or just don't have the necessary personaliy trait to play so.


Tactics in SWTOR is almost completely gone - at least in PvP. Everything is about fast gameplay - play as fast as posible ! - and burst.

The only tactics element consists of outlining how and when the other gropup will take ofer a node, or a membe of the own group (Z.B. Alderaan WZ vs. Arena).


And because of fast pace and burst gameplay, "slow but thorough" players have no place there. The game ist just over before they are able to think things through like a true tactician might be able to. Hence the decline of Chess as a game.


A similar thing is true for the character himself or herself : In SWTOR PvP, the own character is dead FAR before any long-term tactics can be applied - or things can be thought through, like the dynamics of the WHOLE battlefield.


Work which is ESSENTIAL for a true tacician, like estimating the weaknesses and the strengths of EVERY unit on the battlefield, just cannot be done - because the game is too fast, the own character gets killed far too fast before ANY alalysis method can be applied - and the match is FAR too fast over.


And "long-term tactics" - notics how weird this word sounds regarding PvP ? How alien it sounds if you try to apply it to PvP ?


It does because PvP is not "long term tactics". It just doesn't belong there, because the matches are too fast.

SWTOR PvP is like "Blitzkrieg". There is no thinking, just action.

As a result, thinkers do not belong into SWTOR PvP.

Only "action people" do.


However, since this is outlioned now, I'd like to poiint out that SWTOR was designed a LOT after the best-seller of the MMO scene : World of WarCraft (WOW).


Since SWTOR is designed so much after WOW, I suspect that this problem is there in WOW as well - and, because of WOW's über-dominance over the whole MMO scene - in almost every other MMO built after this "role-model" that WOW is, too.


I have never played WOW, so in the end I can't say.

But it is for sure that if you model something after one original, a part of that poriginal is transferred into the thing modelled after it, in pottery, in science, everywhere, also in MMORPGs.


I'm quite sure about gamers having been trained by the game industry what they present to them as well.

People adapt, and becausae in the last 10 years there have been frighteningly few true tactic-oriented games out there,

the gamers take what they can get - and the industry gives them no choice, but instead they publish the same game genre again and again and again and again - just because there is no risk involved in selling what has beensold well before.


And because of that - from the HUGE diversity in the 90s, the PC game markt has been degradedc to a monopoly or an oligarchy of mainly 2-3 game genres : Shooters, Action-RPGs, MMORPGs.

Everything else died out.

Or lives on as a "funny obscurity".


And because gamers have no choice anymore, they play what they can get - anbd THUIS get trained in THAT genre especially - and unlearn / forget to play OTHER game genres - like turn-bases tactic games (like the Age Of Wonders series, for example).


And that's why there is no tactics in WOW and all games that followed its model.

Like in SWTOR.



As a result, I'd like to see more food for those who are wirking slowly, but thouroughly.


This can perhaps be found in PvE, but even there, people rush so fast into battles that only the boss battles remain as the last souce of "tacticial involvement". And even there, the ONLY point of tactics remains to be the Trinity [Tank - Healer - damage dealer). Everything ELSE just does not exist by definition in SWTOR. Because the Trinity just does NOT define anything ELSE apart from these 3 roles.


I can't say about Nightmare Mode, since I'll never be able to get into such a group.



SWTOR PvP is about nothing but fastness & burst. Which favours people being able to do so.

People who are working "slow, but thorough" just have no place in SWTOR's PvP because of that - and likely in PvE not as well.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, this post is a couple weeks old, but I don't normally read this forum, so sorry if this is a bit of a necro. :D


I think I agree with you in part. I have seen "tactics" work. In AHG for example, I've been in a game where we really needed to steal their pylon. They were half-way decent, so had pulled back to defend for the win. Someone suggested a plan to attack them, and here was the key - make sure to keep them focused "away" from their pylon (i.e. keep them between you and the pylon so that at least that ones that are zoomed in too close will not have the pylon in their field of view). Our 1 stealth would wait for an opening and try to distracto-cap behind their backs. And OMG it worked!


But yeah, with the shortness of the games, you really only get like 1 chance to try some "tactic" thing, and if it doesn't work - game over you lose. :(


Anyway, I don't know if "promoting" other MMOs is going to get me banned or something, but I think you might want to try ESO (Elder Scrolls Online). Its PvP has its problems of course, and I only played it for a month or so. But I really liked what it seemed was possible. They had (I hear it's changed now) 90 day continuous campaigns on maps with 15ish? keeps that 3 different factions were fighting over. Each keep fight could be seen as one of SWTOR's WZs in size - sort of. But it's not like you queue up for a keep fight, you are just on the map, if you want to attack a keep now, you get on your horse (or run :) ), go there and start trying to take it.


I quit because I got into a ghost-town of a campaign, and ESO didn't have any good way to switch to one of the 2 (out of 20 or so?) campaigns that actually had people. And the campaigns were 3 months long! Here's a little write up I did for some buddies of mine when I was trying to convey what it was like (apologies in advance if this is not helpful, or appropriate or whatever)...


So, I heard a story once that after we defeated the Germans in WWII, we were rolling all the many MANY tanks down their streets, and there was some comment from their leaders about "oh, so this is how the rich wage war". I now know what that feels like (except in ESO I was the good guys, of course - FOR THE PACT! :) )


Got onto the PvP map, and see a group getting formed, so I join up - 3 of us. But soon there are 20 again! We assault... crap, I forget the name. But some little "half way there" fort. We had managed to scrape together about 3 siege weapons. I had a flame-blasting trebuchet! :) Basically, no real PvP opponents showed up, so we just killed off the NPC guards, and took it. Hurray us!


We advance to the next full-fledged keep. We get there and start setting up to attack the walls, but this time the enemy PCs are waiting for us - true PvP at last!


Then, well, came our defeat. We get beat back from our attack. They follow us to our little half-way-there-fort staging area, and attack us! The nerve. But wait, the map is also showing an attack on our Southern border! Is one a fake to distract us? No, while we fight an ever increasing group of enemies at the little fort, the Keep to the south falls. :( We realize we are being attacked by both of the other factions. How dare they gang up on us! (It's not like we are winning or anything.)


Some people are predicting the "south" guys are going to go for the next keep. I have just died, and you can't respawn at a place that's under attack (the little fort - we haven't lost it yet). So I volunteer to respawn/port over to that questionable now-our-new-southern-border keep (drakelow). I arrive, JUST in time to see the enemy putting up siege weapons. I sound the alarm! I call for help! I sneak around the top of the battlements, detailing enemy numbers. "Guys, I see no less than 6 siege weapons - they are here in force!"


But we still have only that little group of 20 people. We can't really defend both places. So me and about 4 other guys put up a token defense. The best part was when I got to set up burning oil and pour it down on the helpless bad guys attacking our keep door. :) But... "Drake is lost! I repeat, Drake is lost!" At the same time, the other group also loses the little fort finally. Now... "Both groups are advancing on Chalmus! Get to Chalmus! Everyone to Chalmus!"


We race like the wind to Chalmus. I get there and get inside the keep before the siege begins. And we see the enemy siege weapons going up. OMG, they have about 30 of them! FRICKING THIRTY OF THEM! Well, we still have our walls... and you can setup defensive siege weapons on the walls. So I put a bloody fire throwing ballista up on the wall, and proceed to kill those suckers, and burn their siege weapons. But did I mention they had 30 of them? Jeesh - they finally target me up on the wall, and I die. By the time I run back they have breached the outer wall and have set up squads to kill off our reinforcements as we try to sneak past and get back to the keep (there are not enough of us to really do much against them out in the open). I die again. The call comes ("EVERYONE TO THE CHALAMO!" :) ) that they are just about through the door - bring some repair kits! I have some, and I try to sneak in again so that I can help repair the door. Again I am caught, and mercilessly slaughtered. :)


And finally Chalmus falls. We defended it for quite a while actually. I don't know which side got it. We retreated further back to one of our, I think, two remaining keeps and hoped they would now just attack and kill each other so that we can counter attack and get revenge tomorrow (it's a 90 day "campaign"). This is a blast so far. Feels like we are actually fighting a war (or what I imagine a sword & sorcery war would feel like) - even though it sucked to be on the losing side of it right now. We are definitely the poorest group on the map (out of the 3 factions) probably because we have the least number of players. 30 siege weapons! Yipes! I think I'm going to have nightmares. :)

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Enjoyed reading this.


I'm not going to post from a warzone objectives' view, but rather how the combat works.


There's a difference between fast paced gameplay and the illusion of fast paced gameplay caused by high burst. SWTOR is more the later. The burst is mostly crit based or proc based on relatively small health pools. Its very random and unpredictable. So it pretty much requires cooldowns being popped immediately when its not redistributed by guard and slowed down by taunts.


This leads to what looks like fast gameplay, but really is just high random burst. You don't really space your cooldowns out in most pvp encounters. You rarely hold big burst in your rotation for when your relic procs or when the healer or tank is CCed. You barely ever wait out defensive cooldowns. Its all about attacking. Rotation. Gear and luck. Using break to stay aggressive. Being aggressive with your attacking abilities and popping cooldowns before you think you're going to get attacked.


The player that waits to pop say reactive shield when they are at 50% or even 75% could die sooner than the player who blows reactive shield before he's even getting attacked. Because he could have it popped for that initial 9k hit. Whereas the more patient player will take the full 9k hit, because they got tab targeted. And now they're at 60%.


The guy that tries to wait out saber ward could easily die in its duration. Whereas the player who tries to burst into it can get lucky crits and not see any misses. Its a dps race. Rarely do you see anyone really outplaying someone else. Even with guard its not like people are holding burst for relic procs to get kills.


You mentioned WoW. Well WoW is much different. It has faster gameplay, but the burst isn't so consistent and luck isn't as much of a factor. You can get hit for 1/3rd of your health pool in WoW, but it requires a lot of set-up. It is a lot more predictable. And outside of that burst you aren't going to be taking much damage in between. Healing is a lot stronger. Tanks are not pvp viable for the most part. There isn't this reliance on guard and taunts. Instead of guard, players take less damage and have more team-oriented defensives.


You don't have surge. Getting a crit isn't as important. RNG is still there in the damage, but because you are dealing with a lot higher health pools, the RNG averages out better. You don't kill through freecasted healing. You can effectively peel incoming damage, because there is a lot more CC available. You don't even need dedicated healers to sustain yourself in 1v1 or 2v2.


Duels can last a lot longer. Dps vs dps duels depending on class can last upwards of 10 minutes if you are counting pillars. Cooldown, CC and burst management plays a bigger role. Rotation is still a factor, but its not the defining factor. And I'm just talking duels. SWTOR does have this, but its overshadowed by burst and aggresively attacking or spamming heals most of the time. There's really no comparison. Even when you have tank/healer/dps/dps its still not even close to WoW's 3v3.


If you haven't spent much time playing either of these two games, you might conclude that they are similar. They probably are when compared to other games. Its the same genre. But really they are very different. Wow is faster. Faster globals. Faster casting. You can't just kill through mechanics most the time. A mage who orbs with trinket proc and icicles with a healer cced and the off target covered is going to see a lot better results than someone who just randomly pops their **** because its off cooldown.

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Play a Sniper Marksmanship.


Is all about positiong, controlling your area, controlling attackers (peeling) all while dashing out as many kills as you can.


And I said kills on purpose. You are not there to top the dps chart, you are there to headshot people aggroed to your allies.


And this, kid, requires tactics


Was refreshing comyngo from a Pyro

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  • 4 weeks later...
It isn't. Alrik likes to bring science to various elements of the game. Can be quite intrurging and very miss informed too.


Yes, exactly this.


I try to bring several things into a "pattern" I see. I "see" networks, patterns.


To explain that, I can only use what I see - and if what I see is incomplete, it can lead into "very misinformed".


However, I try to be as scientific as possible. I see things there and apply them here ... When I see a similar pattern in both ...


I had been studying Geology at an University, to make this clear. So I do have a scientific background.

Edited by AlrikFassbauer
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There's a difference between fast paced gameplay and the illusion of fast paced gameplay caused by high burst. SWTOR is more the later. The burst is mostly crit based or proc based on relatively small health pools. Its very random and unpredictable. So it pretty much requires cooldowns being popped immediately when its not redistributed by guard and slowed down by taunts.


This leads to what looks like fast gameplay, but really is just high random burst. You don't really space your cooldowns out in most pvp encounters. You rarely hold big burst in your rotation for when your relic procs or when the healer or tank is CCed. You barely ever wait out defensive cooldowns. Its all about attacking. Rotation. Gear and luck. Using break to stay aggressive. Being aggressive with your attacking abilities and popping cooldowns before you think you're going to get attacked.


Thank you for your comments.


I see 2 things in this :


First, that the game really seems to support aggressive play styles.


Second, that the high burst might indeed create a fake illusionof fast gameplay by simply dying faster because of burst.


In my opinion, a match which would last longer and - important ! - in this match increase the survival rate by several grades ! - would IMHO lead to a more consistent impression of especially new players.


What I mean is this : The higher the survival time = the longer the time the Character stays alive,

the more the pleyer - especially the Newbie - gets the impression of "wow, I can really do somezthing ! I can really contribute to the game !"


Which means in my opinion that the shorter the time a Character stays alive,

A) a feeling of frustration is created, and the more often the char dies, the more often the frustration builds up in stacks

B) the feeling of domination is created within players who are successful in playing PvP, and the more chars the player defeats, the more often the feeling od domination builds up in stacks.


So, in the end,m what Bioware seemingly seems to establish,

is a game that rewards players by giving them the feeling of Domination.


At the cost of players being punished by the feeling of Frustration.


But that doesn't work with all RL types of Personalities. Just take a look at the BIG FIVE.


Not everyone actually (actually ! ) enjoys the feeling of domination ! - which means / results in those RL Personalities not being "hit" by the reward which consists of the building up of the feeling of domination.


Other personalities feel rather rewarded by different things. Altruism, for example. SWTOR PvP doesn't reward altruism, at all, because Peelers just don't get ANY medals or MVP votes -

- simply because most people just look at the statistics board at the end of the match, see people not being at the top, and THEN decide that "this person is crap. He's a Bad."


So, Peeling, for example, as an example of Altruism, is NOT rewarded at all !


Another example is Healing. Which is rewarded more, because it actually has its own coplumn at the scoreboard !

Although ... Healing isn't that altruistic, because most Healers are uilt so that they'll die far too soon when they are not protected by other team members. So, healing others is quite an selfish thing, because healing others ensures the own survival.


I'm not sure, but I think that the class building model was or still is like this : Tank : Big. strong. Can withstand A LOT.

Healer : Small. Weak. Can withstand NOTHING.

Damage dealer : A mixture between both.

But this is only a theory of mine.

Mercs differ from that (heavy armor), Sages, howevber, comply to that (light armor).


However, seeing team memberes being killed very fast by multiple stacks of DDs can build up frustration, too.

Especially, when the Healer is the next target.


What is even more frustrating, however, is that bad habit that has recently evolved by attacking Sage / Sorc healers FIRST. People do know that this class complies to the "classical" cliché of the Healer : Having only light armor, and havong speed running and LOS as the only viable way of damage mitigation.

And that's why Merc / Commando healers are far too often left untouched. Because people know that they have heavy armor.


To come back to my main theme, I believe that SWTOR PvP rewards SOME types of RL personalities, and others not.


I have noticed that Bioware was never good at Psychology - and although they weren't, they tried to build up an MMO.

This is similar to planning a football / soccer match without having the slightest experience in how to deal mwith Hooligans.


Now, I fear, that SWTOR PvP is inbalanced because it rewards some kinds of personalities, and others not.

And if my theory is true, then SWTOR PvP rewards more the aggressive personality, the more selfish personality,

which could be an explanation why so many highly frustrated players switch sides and go to the side which is winning in PvP more.


It's because they want to have that feeling of

- reward

- domination


and furthermore


- absence of frustration

- the feeling of being able to acttually contribute to the game.


I don't believe that truly altruistic players would do spo, but that's only a guess.


IF that's true, then it has another implication :


IF imperial side players are indeed the more aggressive types of players,

THEN it is no wonder that the mirror class design leads into inbalance.


But that's only a new theory of mine.


It goes like this :


If there aree mirror classes,

but different RL Personalities


then some RL Personalities will profit from some abilities more than from others.


In my example, more aggressive players will profit more from aggressive attack abilities than from more defensive abilities,

assumed that more attack oriented players will rather use more attack oriented abilities.


On the other hand, I assume that more non-aggressive players might not use more attack based abilitiesto the same extend like more aggressive players do,

and that more non-aggressivbe players might rather prefer more defensive abilities.


Assumed that

aggressive play = attack

non-aggressive play = defense.


Which sets up a new requirement :


That within each mirror classes, BOTH must have exactzly the SAME amount of



abilities, or there will be an inbalance towards the one or the other side,

if the one side is played rather by one kind of RL Personality,

or the other side is played rather by another kind of RL Personality.


Or, in other words,

more attack oriented classes might rather be played by rather aggressive players


more defensive oriented classes might rather be played by rather non-aggressive players.


Since I have no data, I just cannot sort this out and say "it is exactly like this !"

Which means that this is more oir less a cascade of guesses. :D


Another point : A defensive personality (just as an example !) might use more attack based abilities not to the same amount / percentage than the more aggressive player might be able to use it.

On the other hand, any more aggressive player might not be able to use more defensive based abilities to the same amount / percentage than the more aggressive player might be able to use it.


Which means, in the end, that the Developers must be REALLY careful with their design of the mirror classes ! Because everything going astray from "the way of the mirror" might lead into inbalances !


Which means in the end that both sides need their own combat developers. Defensive playing developers and aggressively playing developers. I personally doubt that ONE person can combine BOTH in one person.


And if the defensive abilities are not well-developed enough, then this game will get an inbalance towards the more aggresive -> more attack based player Personalities.

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  • 1 month later...

Just to add an Wikipedia article : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraversion_and_introversion


Quoted from there :


Although extraversion is perceived as socially desirable in Western culture, it is not always an advantage. For example, extraverted youths are more likely to engage in delinquent behavior.[32] Conversely, while introversion is perceived as less socially desirable, it is strongly associated with positive traits such as intelligence[33] and "giftedness."[34][35] For many years, researchers have found that introverts tend to be more successful in academic environments, which extraverts may find boring.[36]


The social attention theory


Yet another explanation of the high correlation between extraversion and happiness comes from the study by Ashton, Lee, and Paunonen (2002).[62] They suggested that the core element of extraversion is a tendency to behave in ways that attract, hold, and enjoy social attention, and not reward sensitivity. They claimed that one of the fundamental qualities of social attention is its potential of being rewarding. Therefore, if a person shows positive emotions of enthusiasm, energy, and excitement, that person is seen favorably by others and he or she gains others' attention. This favorable reaction from others likely encourages extraverts to engage in further extraverted behavior.[62] Ashton, Lee, and Paunonen's (2002)[62] study showed that their measure of social attention, the Social Attention Scale, was much more highly correlated with extraversion than were measures of reward sensitivity.


This would be a nice explanation why PvP is played like it is - and why MMOs are rather a place of extrovert activity ( bragging ! ) than for introverts, who'd rather prefer offline solo RPGs, I assume because of that.

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I agree with several points the OP is making. I too, play a sniper/gunslinger and know exactly what it means to be more of a tactician. I'm actively looking for places to perch away from people, hopefully mostly out of sight or direct line of vision, so that i CAN snipe away and protect ball carriers/healers. I make it my goal to protect rather than just top the charts, but the funny thing is, I do end up, most of the time, top in dps; but I really like feeling as though I've truly helped the team by making calculated choices on where I placed myself and which targets I took out first (always the healer or whoever is helping heal, unless the ball carrier or our healer is in big trouble).


One thing I will say regarding the differences between SWTOR and WoW: WoW has a lot more CCs. I wish SWTOR had just a few more. I'm not asking for the CC-fest that WoW has gone through, but just a few more would be nice. Since we don't have those few more, I use what I can however, this becomes difficult if I can't get to a good place to snipe from and some melee nearly instantly destroys me because they have insane burst and no method other than "me swing saber, you die". It's true I use my knock backs and leg "clipping", but those things wear off fast and they have slows and ways to catch up, too. I agree that there is a giant gap in playstyles and that it should be at least a little more balanced between them.

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  • 4 months later...

Lol. If anyone is playing SW:TOR for PvP, I feel bad for them. The huge amount of story content makes it obvious the game was meant for PvE and RP, with PvP thrown in at a last second because they realized, hey, some people just don't play games unless they have a chance to ruin other people. And if they didn't have PvP, they'd flat out lose money.


So the PvP system in SW:TOR has been garbage from the start.


That hasn't kept them from trying desperately to balance it, often in the process breaking classes for PvE. It's a messed up thing we have going on here.

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