Heavy Damage: Tricks of the PvP Trade Part 1

Heavy Damage is our weekly Tanking column – if you have suggestions of what you’d like covered, drop our resident Tank, Alec Bailey a line

This week we are going to be looking into PvP specific skills and abilities – what you should be keeping up and using on enemies. I’ll start with Huttball, then in the following weeks I’ll talk about Voidstar, and Alderaan Civil War (ACW).

Huttball is a PvP game that involves taking a ball from the middle of the arena to the opposing team’s spawn point. The premise of the game sounds much easier in theory than it is in practice. Aside from players that are trying to bring you down, you must deal with a varity of traps, such as acid pits, fire hazards and air vents that push you into the sky. The key part of Huttball is team work – I’ve found there are two optimal ways to score in Huttball – passing and protecting. The first option is a bit harder in a PUG. Passing doesn’t only apply to tanks – this strategy can be used by any combination of players. The latter of the choices, protection, is where your Tank abilities come into play. My usual strategy is once the match has started and everyone is waiting for the shield doors to drop so they can rush the ball’s spawn, I ask who’s a healer and who wants to carry the ball. Once this is decided, throw your “Guard” or “Protect” shielding ability on the ball carrier. The Healer will spot heal you and keep the carrier alive –  it helps if the healer is a Sage or if you’re Tanking as a Shadow because their knock-back ability is amazing for keeping melee players off the carrier. Here’s some other advice based on class:

Shadow – Use your knock-back and slows as much as possible to keep enemies off the ball carrier. Also throw out mind crush on any stealthers you see to keep them visible. And don’t forget your stuns. Once your character is a high level you’ll get Force Pull which is great for pulling enemies into traps.

Vanguard – use your Ion Pulse and Explosive surge as often as you can without completely depleting your ammo. These two skills lower the damage output of enemies so they help you and the carrier stay alive. Harpoon is used as a pull to either get a player off of a Healer or carrier, or for pulling enemies into traps.

Guardian – Force Sweep is key when guarding a carrier, does decent damage and it’s AoE, so you can damage more people also lowering their accuracy by five percent for 18 seconds. Sundering Strike should also be used everytime it’s available as it weakens an enemy’s armour, allowing your team’s DPS to burn them down at a faster pace. Guardian also has a bit of an advantage to guarding in its ability to Force Leap to enemies that are attacking the carrier. This is very useful because your Guard ability only works within a 15 metre range, and since it’s a PvP match you WILL be getting stunned and slowed. It’s helpful to be able to take out a pursuer then leap back to guarding the carrier. At high levels you’ll also get Force Push, a very deadly combination if you’re pushing and leaping to the same target – or to push attackers off ledges or into traps. Saber Throw is also a great ability to keep the ranged players on their feet and focused on you.

Overall, as a Tank you also need to remember to use all the tools at your disposal, your self shielding abilities like Saber Ward and the like should be used anytime your health is dropping steadily. Also, Taunts are extremely helpful – taunt everyone you can. Every time it’s off cooldown, select someone attacking you, the carrier or your healer and put a taunt on them.

The best strategy in PvP is to be prepared if you’re wanting to be serious and grind out some PvP games. Search for a group on the fleet and lay out a plan of attack before you enter the Warzone, or find yourself a guild that does a lot of Warzone games.  Remember, Tanks, keep your team alive and stay frosty.

May the Force be with you!


Enter the Warzones: Voidstar, Huttball and Alderaan

Another weekend, another piece of juicy SWTOR information released by Bioware. This week it’s all about PvP combat. Warzones are the areas designated for PvP in Star Wars: The Old Republic and Bioware had previously given out plenty of information on one of the Warzones, Huttball. They’ve now released information on a further two Warzones: Voidstar (a derelict Imperial Battle Cruiser) and Alderaan (that planet you might have heard about before).

There are video clips showcasing Voidstar, Alderaan and the previously announced Huttball here. Or check the Alderaan one out right now:
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Huttball and PAX 2011: Bring ‘Em On

This week Star Wars: The Old Republic released an update on the newest addition to the PvP game modes lineup, Huttball. Huttball is played by two teams put together at random, meaning each team can have both Republic and Empire faction players.

The only reason mixed teams are possible is the fact that Huttball is exclusive to Nar Shaddaa, the smuggler’s moon. The game looks to be very similar to a single flag capture-the-flag match in most games. Huttball is played in an arena filled with deadly fires, poisons, and traps. So you’re not just worried about death from an opposing team, but also from the arena itself. The arena also contains power-ups such as speed boosts and Jump-Pads allowing you to leap from level to level.

Once a team has the Huttball you can pass to your teammates but, be careful as your throw can be intercepted. If the player holding the Huttball is killed, the ball does not reset or drop – the player who killed the ball holder now has control of the Huttball.

The video Bioware put up today is a great montage of combat and gameplay from Huttball. Be sure that you watch the video hereon SWTOR’s official site to see all the action.

Bioware also announced they will be attending, with Lucas Arts, PAX 2011:

Throughout the weekend of PAX those who visit us at Booth 914 will be able to play through content from each of the four Origin Worlds. Attendees will also have the opportunity to get some experience with Player-vs-Player combat in the Alderaan Warzone, where Republic and Imperial teams clash in an effort to control and hold three different points on the battlefield.


They’ll also be hosting Panel starting at 2pm on Saturday August 28th where fans will be able to see all the new reveals and have a Community Q&A session with the minds behind SWTOR. Also at the panel Bioware will be showing some gameplay from Eternity Vault, a high level Operation taking place on Belsavis.

Flash Point 14: Synthweaving My Jockstrap Before Huttball

It’s been a busy news week so there’s no shortage of stuff to dissect. We also manage to work in some Mario Kart, Rollerball and Luke Skywalker’s inappropriate erections!

Points of discussion:

– Huttball PvP
– Eternity Vault Operation
– Crew Skills update on SWTOR website (link)
– Guild testing program and a plug for our Oceanic Guild Listing
– First guild blacklisting
– Pre-order copy limits
– Bioware too heavy handed in SWTOR forum moderation?
– Star Wars Books: we pick our faves
Cool Star Wars T-Shirts from New Zealand with a 10% discount for TOROZ readers / listeners (check the link for the code you’ll need to use)
– Shout outs for our forums, Facebook page, Oceanic Guild listing, and Twitter account.

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