Georg Zoeller goves us a full run down on the changes made to endgame gear coming in Game Update 1.2. To be honest, even playing on the test server, I found myself a little bit confused as I didn't have all my gear sitting side by side with the new stuff, so it was hard to tell what the changes were. I started to take screenshots to try and work out and how the differences but as you'll discover from Georg's post below, like I did, some of the items have completely changed or no longer exist, like Champion PvP gear. The one thing I do know is that if you like the look of your Champion Gear you have just a coupe of days to get your hands on it if you want modifiable versions because although it is being changed ingame to a blue item, if you currently have it, it will turn into an orange item and will not be downgraded to a blue entry-level PvP item.
This screenshot gives you the current test server pricing on PvP gear.
And the post from Georg:
There have been quite a few threads where you have voiced confusion regarding the end game itemization in 1.2 and I want to take the opportunity to clarify what you are going to see in the game when Game Update 1.2 goes live on Thursday.
One of the issues we are dealing with on the PTS Forums is that we are not only introducing changes from the current state of the game (1.1.5x), but also several changes a week. Without wiping our Forums weekly, it is inevitable that these updates cause significant confusion about what it is in the game, what is intended to be in the game, etc.
So, without further ado....
Tionese / Columi / Rakata Gear
These sets are not changing. Their stats have not changed from their pre 1.2 state and they are acquired in the same way as they were before 1.2, except for the following changes:
- The drop rate for Tionese commendations has been increased from all the existing sources.
- Columi can now be acquired, in addition to the existing sources, from the new Lost Island Flashpoint (Hard Mode) and their distribution rate has been slightly increased, mostly through weekly quests.
- Rakata can now be acquired, in addition to existing sources, from the final Boss of the new Lost Island Flashpoint (Hard Mode) and the story mode of Operation: Explosive Conflict on Denova.
A temporary change on PTS that modified some existing rakata gear has not been taken into the final version 1.2 based on testing feedback.
"Campaign" and "Black Hole" Gear
Campaign gear is the new tier of PvE set items we are rolling out with the Explosive Conflict Operation. It shares the set bonus with Rakata, allowing seamless equipment upgrades and is acquired through tokens acquired in Hard Mode of Operation: Explosive Conflict and the new World Boss on Belsavis.
All Campaign gear can also be reverse engineered for a chance to learn the associated schematic. For armor, this means a chance to learn the custom (orange) appearance of item, for implants, earpieces, mods, etc. This means learning to craft the item itself. All of these may be crafted critical for an additional augment slot or, in case of a mods, additional resulting items.
Campaign gear uses a different stat distribution from previous sets with greater variety of available stats and better base stats.
Unlike Rakata, Columi and Tionese gear, Campaign gear carries it's set bonus on the armoring of every piece. This means that players may transfer all mods and armoring out of campaign gear into any custom (orange) appearance available without losing the benefit of the set bonus. Please note that moving an armoring with a set bonus into a pre 1.2. item shell with a set bonus (e.g. a Rakata Shell) will be resolved with the armoring taking precedence (Sorry, no stacking here )
As mentioned previously, all armoring found in endgame gear now 'binds to slot' upon extraction - Armoring removed from a pair of gloves will only fit into another set of gloves. However, there is the possibility to acquire 'universal' armorings that fit into any slot through direct drops (e.g. not contained in an item). Those however will never carry a set bonus.
Black Hole Gear is similar to Campaign gear, but lacks the set bonus. It does however offer additional stat distribution options not available on Campaign gear. It also cannot be reverse engineered into appearances (although mods / earpieces, etc. can be learned).
Black Hole gear, unlike Campaign items, is acquired from trading in Black Hole Commendations found through weekly quests in the new Corellia area as well as the weekly quest for the Rise of the Rakghoul flashpoints (Kaon/Lost Island). It also drops on bosses in Operation: Explosive Conflict on all difficulties.
Two new color crystal variations may be found as part of the random drops in the new Operation: Black Core Purple and Black Core Orange. These colors are introduced separately from the weapons, which now come by default with more traditional colors available. It is worth noting that we are not extending the stat progression on crystals, meaning the existing +41 crystals found in 1.1.5 continue to be the top end of the crystal progression.
Centurion and Champion
Centurion and Champion gear, as of 1.2, has not changed, but will no longer be available for purchase. Existing gear on characters of course stays in the game.
Recruit gear is the new, blue entry level PvP gear available from the new PvP Recruit vendor on the fleet. It is acquired directly through credits without any Valor requirement and serves as a bootstrap to enable players coming straight out of the leveling game to participate in endgame PvP in the 50+ bracket. Power wise, it sits between Centurion and Champion, but lacks the set bonus and cannot be modified.
Battlemaster Gear, as of 1.2, no longer requires a 60 Valor rating and is acquired straight through Warzone commendations at the Battlemaster PvP vendor on the fleet.
As of 1.2, Battlemaster gear features an increased budget of expertise and an update stat distribution on a small subset of items on some classes.
These changes to the stat distribution are a result of issues fixed with the original Battlemaster set of mods. As mentioned before, we will automatically update your Battlemaster items to the new version when you log into the game the first time after 1.2 has been deployed, provided that the items still contain their original mods. Reinserting these mods into the existing gear will suffice for this purpose.
War Hero Gear
War Hero gear is the new tier of PvP items introduced with patch 1.2. It is acquired through trade in of 'ranked warzone commendations' and the corresponding Battlemaster Shell (empty appearance, mods may be extracted before trade-in). Some items do not require a Battlemaster trade-in but instead can be acquired by warzone commendations. War Hero gear does not require a valor rating.
I found this community created image to be a nice visual summary of the situation (although prices may still change as we put finishing touches onto the patch).
Just as with Campaign gear, War Hero items carry their set bonus on the armoring and all mods, including the armoring which may be extracted and moved into any custom (orange) shell in the game.
An additional upgrade option exists for players who wish to benefit from an additional augment slot but retain their Battlemaster or War Hero appearance: It is possible for crafters to obtain the schematics to create orange (and potentially augmented) version of the armor through 'schematic boxes' on the PvP vendor and sell the resulting items to players via the GTN.
It is worth noting that these crafted appearances will require the player to have Valor Rank 60 (Battlemaster) or 70 (War Hero) to equip.
As a side note, we will allow trading of Warzone commendations into ranked Warzone commendations at a ratio of 3:1.
All in all, PvP gear in 1.2 features a much stronger focus on Expertise in itemization and the diminishing returns cap for this stat has been modified to account for that change.
Color crystal wise, we've added Expertise crystals of various colors for direct purchase via warzone / ranked commendations, as well as crafted PvP expertise crystals of several colors.
Any more questions? I'll be monitoring this thread for a while and try to clarify what I can.