SWTOR “reinvents” the tank role in PvP, or have they?
These innovations were certainly present in Mythic’s Warhammer Online. Considering that EA merged the Mythic development team into Bioware, Mythic’s design influence should be expected.
Warhammer provided some of the best pvp since Dark Age of Camelot, Bioware can only benefit from their influence if they choose to learn from Warhammer’s successes and avoid making the decisions that lead Warhammer’s eventual failure.
The lasting legacy of Warhammer online lies in the game mechanics that they championed. Realm versus Realm, public quests, leveling through PvP and the availability of PvP from level 1 are all excellent features that have largely become standard mechanics across most current MMOs. Subscribers now expect these features as standard content and will be disappointed if they are not present in SWTOR.
Massively’s report on Old Republic class balance gives further indication of Mythic’s influence. Many of the features discussed regarding the pvp role of classes shows that similar, if not identical pvp mechanics from Warhammer Age of Reckoning are being integrated. So far there has been no word on collision detection, something that defined pvp in Warhammer, and has since gone out of favor in subsequent games. The use of collision allowed tanks and other heavy front line classes to physically block choke points and otherwise make it difficult for damage classes to harass healers and friendly support players.
Members of our gaming organization have been involved with Beta testing SWTOR and report that there is a decided lack of pvp present in the game’s current build. Though they continue to laud the quality of Bioware’s PvE system as arguably the best content of its type they have experienced, they are concerned by the lack of world pvp and the extent of zone segregation between the Republic and Sith factions. In this respect Bioware has clearly decided not to learn from Warhammer, where factional fighting was present from the lowest levels and immediately encouraged players to fight for rewards and over critical battle field objectives.
“Tanks have always suffered in PvP. There just never seemed to be a good role for them. Usually, they would have to duel-spec or at very least have a completely separate set of armor to remain competitive. Star Wars: The Old Republic claims that this will not be the case in its game.”
“Last month, fans of TOR were invited to BioWare Austin for two days. During this time, players were able to not only play origin worlds as we reported last week, but they also were the first players outside of testing who were able to try out PvP.”
“The intrepid reporters at Darth Hater spoke to Lead PvP Designer Gabe Amatangelo about Warzones and character roles in PvP. He had this to say about a couple PvP tanking abilities.”