Hey fellow Bloodfinians(?), there's been some really awesome PvP on the server lately, and in an effort to keep that going and to encourage it's growth I decided to start up a little guide. I'm going to try to cover everything I can think of, so hopefully there will be something useful for new players, and old. If you aren't sure how to go about getting into PvP, or need some inspiration, then hopefully I will be able to provide some useful information here to overcome that barrier for entry.
Since you can't do anything until you have a character battle ready, we should start with the first choice you need to make; you'll want to decide what you'd like to play. I would recommend that you eventually have 2 or possibly 3 different types of toons that cover different roles in a group, unless you're playing with the same group of players on the same toons consistently, but we can get to that later. Your options at their most basic level are Jedi, Ranged, and Melee. Within each of these basic groups however, your role can vastly differ. A melee might be a pure stacker who focuses on DPSing with their weapon, while another "melee" template might be a TKA with Combat Medic who focuses on applying and removing poisons and utilizing their combat profession primarily for survivability.
The most popular combat profession on Bloodfin right now is undoubtedly Jedi. Jedi have a variety of templates to choose from, they can focus their efforts on tankier DPS specialization or focus completely on a support role. As a DPS in Bloodfin's current state, Jedi doesn't necessarily excel against any particular opponent, but has consistently good damage against everyone. While certain Melee might potentially do more damage against a Jedi, or a Ranged more damage to a Melee, the Jedi's numbers are consistent against all of their opponents including other Jedi. The other tree's available to a Jedi grant them possibly some of the largest amounts of utility of any combat profession as well. These abilities lead to immense support potential for the Jedi. Jedi has hands down the best healing in the game, and the only consistent mind heal. Jedi has the greatest potential mobility. Powers also offers a variety of incredibly powerful support abilities. All of this makes for a very well rounded character almost no matter how you choose to specialize.
Master Light Saber/4xx4 Healer/4xx4 Defender/xx42 Enhancer/Enhanced Reflexes x3xx
This is a fairly common template after publish 7 put an end to there being a clearly supreme template. This is definitely a DPS oriented specialization. You're rather tanky vs. non-Jedi and other Jedi with the 4xx4 Defender. The combination of Defender with xx42 Enhancer also makes you incredibly difficult if not near impossible to consistently land states on. You have an additional 23 points with this template that you can either put into 4x42 Enhancer for increased mobility, or xx2x powers for intimidate. The second option doesn't seem as popular now that intimidate1 has changed however, as most people try to find a means to get xx4x in powers for intimidate2, weaken1 and weaken2, if they are going to choose to dip into powers at all. You could also choose to go 4x44 Healer to increase your support potential, and to help take pressure off your healers in group combat.
Master Light Saber/Master Healer/Defender 4xxx/Enhanced Reflexes x2xx
This is essentially the old FOTM template for Jedi on Bloodfin. It still is incredibly powerful and useful in the state of the game currently as well. In my opinion it might arguably still be the best template a Jedi can take. With the above we have 20 points left over. A lot of people will invest those 20 points into xx42 Enhancer, however 4xx4 Defender and 4xx2 Enhancer are also common options. With defender you become tankier against non-Jedi and get some state resistance. With xx42 Enhancer you gain superior state resistance, as well as additional resistance buffs (currently not functioning unfortunately). With 4xx2 Enhancer you gain superior mobility at the cost of state resistances. It's really up to your play style how to spend those last 20 points. Experiment and see what works for you
Master Light Saber/Master Defender/Healer 4xx4/Enhancer xxx2/Enhanced Reflexes x2xx
Commonly reffered to as the "PvE Template", this specialization actually still has some uses in PvP. It is generally self sufficient and holds up against Melee damage better than any of the other Jedi Templates. The template however doesn't offer as much utility as some of the other specs, and as a result we often hear people calling it "bad" for PvP. As much as I tend to agree it is important to acknowledge that this still has some use and viability in the proper setting.
Master Healer/Light Saber xxx4
The ultimate pacifist template, and invaluable asset to any group. There are multiple variations you can do for a support template, this is just pretty much the base requirement for the template. With your remaining points and you still have a ton, choose whatever you want, to accomplish your goals. Enhancer will provide more survivability and mobility. Powers will enable you to harass the enemy team more. Figure out what suits your play style and go from there. Just know you won't be a considerable damage threat, as you will be focusing more on helping your group.
So you decided you don't like taking damage ever? Well then, melee is definitely for you. Even the least tanky of melee specializations like Pikeman and Fencer can take absurd amounts of damage, and TKA's can seem virtually invincible if you don't have DoT's or a decent Ranged player. Melee are the tanks of SWG and they do it incredibly well.
Classic Melee Stacker
====Master Pikeman, Swords or TKA/Master Brawler/444x Fencer/Pistoleer xx4x/Enhanced Reflexes (Enough to get to at least 100 Melee and Ranged Defense)====
Master Fencer/Master Brawler/Pistoleer xx4x/Pikeman xx4x/Enhanced Reflexes (Enough to reach 100 Melee and Ranged Defense)
There are a ton of variations on Stacker specs, but these should give you a pretty good idea of what you're trying to achieve. You basically want your melee and ranged defense high enough so that with +25 to both, you reach the cap. After that we stack from other professions to get our Defense vs. States relatively high. It seems there is a point where diminishing returns start to kick in heavily in your Defense vs. so something like 70-100 before tapes works just fine.
Now we have some extra points to mess with. In the case of the first template, you have something like 9-13 points left over. There aren't a lot of things you can do with this. You can add them for more defenses, but it's not particularly necessary. I have liked picking up x4x3 Marksman since I already have it for the Pistoleer defenses. This will get you warning shot, and with a Quicktrigger pistol and some tapes, it might actually come in handy if your group is lacking a Force Run stripper. With accuracy tapes and snocake this also adds to the potential DoT weapons in your arsenal. Although your accuracy wont be the highest, you'd be surprised what actually sticks after a Fanshot or 2, same with your ability to successfully land a warning shot. This isn't something to rely on, but something you can make attempts at while trying to close the gap.
With the second template, we have something like 37-41 points left over. This gives you a lot more options. I would personally pick up 3(or 4 if you lose a little ranged defense)22x Medic, as it will probably be the most useful to you if you're not in a group. Besides that, you can experiment with the points as you see fit for your play style
Both of these templates also give you warcry2 which when used in a coordinated group, can be an incredibly deadly form of crowd control (silence) and one of the only crowd control abilities in the game.
Melee + Doc
====Master Pikeman, Swords or TKA/Fencer 444x/Doctor 3xxx/Enhanced Reflexes x1xx (you can also sacrifice some melee defense from fencer to get 4xxx Doc if you desire)====
Master Fencer/Pistoleer xx4x/Doctor 4xxx/Enhanced Reflexes 44xx
Both of these templates operate very similarly to their pure stacker counterparts, but have more utility to bring to the group. They can remove states, AoE cure poison and Disease, remove fire, and receive massive heals to Action and Health pools. Although you'll find yourself rarely using your heals, or state heals on others in group combat, it is nice to have the self sufficiency to take some pressure of your healers who can be healing squishier targets instead of you. The AoE removals however are an invaluable asset in group. A well played doctor can effectively neutralize an enemy teams combat medics, turning them into cannon fodder essentially.
The TKA and Swords templates you receive higher damage mitigation from, while Pikeman has the lowest mitigation but provides you with the highest damage potential and AoE knockdown, and Fencer with the second lowest mitigation, receives more states to apply; states like intimidate and blind are what help a Fencer mitigate more damage.
Master TKA/Fencer 444x/Squad Leader xxx3
TKA x434/Fencer x44x/Master Brawler/Squad Leader xxx3/Enhanced Reflexes x3xx
Master Fencer/TKA xxx4/Squad Leader xxx3
You can choose Swords or Pikes if you'd like, but TKA and Fencer seem to be the most ideal options on a support of this nature. The TKA specs will allow you to mitigate damage the best, while the Fencer one will be most ideal for applying DoTs and providing additional state application. Both of the TKA specs however, do receive some ability to use Fencer DoT's if they take a Snocake. This can be a trade off as a TKA often times can take another food in place of snocake because of their absurd accuracy. The Master Brawler spec provides you with some additional utility in the form of warcry2 at the cost of ~85 Unarmed Damage.
I believe the way things are currently for Squad Leader that Retreat is the only thing worth taking from Squad Leader if it means sacrificing survivability in your template. If someone can make a compelling argument otherwise, then I'd be interested to hear it.
Master TKA/Combat Medic 4xx4/3xxx Doctor
TKA x444/Combat Medic 4xx4/4xxx Doctor
Master Fencer/Combat Medic 4xx4/3xxx Doctor
With these your job is pretty straight forward, but incredibly important. The first two templates will provide you with greater damage mitigation. This can be incredibly helpful because often times a CM is the first person targeted in an engagement. The problem is that TKA doesn't offer as great of base Defense. Vs. and will be fairly easily stated. This can be pretty scary when you essentially are constantly being dizzied. With Fencer you sacrifice some of your damage mitigation for much better state resistance. In addition, as Fencer you have access to a massive amount of DoT weapons. Since your primary objective is to keep the enemy team as DoT'd as possible, Fencer synergizes with your group role a little more ideally. We pick up Doctor because we have the points for it, and this provides your group with AoE poison removal. No group can have too much poison removal in my opinion.
The current black sheep of Bloodfin, it's not uncommon to hear about how bad ranged is in the games current state. Don't let this scare you away though; while this is partially true, another problem is the servers class imbalance. There are an incredible amount of Jedi out at any given time, and they are essentially a hard counter to Ranged in the current state of the game. With that said, in group PvP Ranged are incredibly useful. They mow through an enemy teams Melee stackers, and are crucial in trying to quickly eliminate an enemy Combat Medic from the fight. Warning Shot is another thing that in the current state of the game, makes ranged an incredible asset to their group; now you can remove that pesky force run and quickly deal with enemies your group can't catch up with.
Master Rifleman/Master TKA/Pistoleer xx44/Marksman 44x4
Master Rifleman/Master Fencer/Pistoleer xx44/Marksman 44x4
The idea here is to keep your distance as often as you can, utilizing your Rifle to dish out extreme amount of damage to the mind. With your rifle out you are relatively squishy when it comes to Jedi and to a certain degree some Melee (if they can close the gap). This is when you suddenly morph into a Melee. Other melee professions are perfectly fine choices as well, but TKA gives you the highest melee damage mitigation. Since the ultimate objective is to be doing damage with your rifle, it is in your best interest to try to make yourself as unappealing a target as possible. Hopefully once you go into TKA mode, the damage done to you will be virtually nothing (except from other ranged), and most people will move to another target enabling you to gain distance and switch back to your rifle again. An added bonus of TKA is you can also attack the mind still, so you have two weapon types that target the same pool.
If you choose something besides TKA, Fencer is the next strongest choice in my opinion. It doesn't provide you with as much mitigation, but it gives you access to a lot more DoT weapons when you're being focused.
Master Rifleman/Combat Medic 4xx4/Doctor 4xxx
Although not the most ideal CM spec, there is definitely potential here. If you know you'll be running with a Squad Leader and feel confident in your ability to kite, then it's a potentially deadly template. The problems it suffers from is that CM and Doctor don't synergize as well with the range of your rifles. You have to get in closer than your Rifle range to throw Poisons, or to apply DoT removal to the majority of your group. There are 13 points left over with this template. I recommend experimenting with them in Doc, possibly 44xx or 4x4x, or some combination of that. The wound treatment can be helpful, and the increased med use can get you more potent DoT removal.
Unfortunately in the current state of the server almost every other ranged profession is sub par compared to Rifles, but here are some other less conventional templates that still might produce results in the current meta. Hopefully these will be a good starting place to start innovating yourself.'
Master Pistoleer/Master Fencer/Marksman x4x4
Pistoleer is an often overlooked profession, and in all honesty is inferior to Rifleman in almost every way. This spec however does have some viability to it, and it is really fun to play. You get access to the two weapon types with the greatest availability of DoT weapons. You have Warning Shot. You also have the survivability thanks to Master Fencer. This was one of my favorite templates to play early on in live, but over time and especially on Bloodfin, it's kind of fallen out of favor. In the current PvP climate you'll find yourself mostly spamming Fan Shot and AoE Blind to apply all the DoT's that you should have. Then you sit back and watch it tick.
Master Pistoleer/Fencer 444x/Squad Leader xxx3
Master Pistoleer/Bounty Hunter 3x4x/Squad Leader xxx3
The first of these offers a lot of the same things as the Pistoleer stacker template, with a little less survivability when forced to go Fencer. You still have decent access to the Fencer DoT weapons once you've taken a snocake as well. Squadleader provides an incredible asset to your group, and gives you reassurance that you'll always be able to keep distance. I'd recommend using the extra points in the Enhanced Reflexes 4xxx. The choice is yours though.
The second is a much squishier build. You lose the ability to go into Fencer mode. This relies heavily then on you being able to keep your distance at all times. With Bounty Hunter you gain access to Eye Shot, and you can get investigation 3. This lets you Bounty Hunt when you'd like to give it a go, and in a group situation gives you the ability to track a target you know is with the enemy group. Ultimately I wouldn't recommend this one as strongly, but it is still pretty fun to play.
Master Pistoleer/Combat Medic 4xx4/Doctor 4xxx
Same as Rifles here. It synergizes a little better with the range of your weapon, but your weapon damage is subpar compared to Rifles. It does give you better access to additional DoT's though, through your pistols.
That's it for this post. Hopefully there was something useful in here for everyone.
written by Falco Lombardi