The Skinny on the SWTOR Class Balance Changes on PTS 1.2


The patch notes for PTS 1.2 are up: http://www.swtor.com/test-center/patchnotes/313976

Simply put, the number and degree of class changes are significant.

I’m an advocate of the approach of tweaking fewer things, putting them on Live, and seeing how  balance is impacted. That has been the working mode of BioWare up through Patch 1.1.5. However, in 1.2 many classes are being changed in significant ways, and it’s hard to tell whether the changes will collectively bring classes into the desired balance.

After talking with my Maven guildees on Vent, below are our thoughts on the notable initial changes in 1.2. For brevity, I do not cover every single change.

Summary

  • Overall
    • Sustained healing for 2 of 3 ACs nerfed
    • Instagib / burst DPS nerfed
  • By AC
    • Guardian / Juggernaut significantly buffed
    • Sentinel / Marauder significantly buffed
    • Sage / Sorc healing took an arrow to the knee, for DPS no more proc to insta-cast AOE
    • Shadow / Assassin basically untouched
    • Commando / Mercenary sustained healing nerfed. Grav Round / Tracer Missile damage nerfed
    • Vanguard / Powertech can’t hybridize tank with right-hand DPS tree, and the RNG burst has been lowered for that tree
    • Gunslinger / Sniper buffed
    • Scoundrel / Operative healing buffed, DPS instagib nerfed

Sentinel (Marauder)

  • The Focus / Rage cost for CC abilites is being removed. I think this is a fair change, because previously you’d have engage in combat before having the resources to use CCs.
  • The “Execute” ability is usable at 30% HP instead of 20%
  • The healing debuff can’t be cleansed
  • Watchman tree
    • Can no longer talent the in-combat stealth to provide 100% damage mitigation. A nerf, since damage will break you back out of stealth
    • Cauterize can be talented to snare at 50%, so this removes the GCD contention with the “Hamstring” ability
    • Valor is now in Tier 1 of the tree, which is great as any spec can take it
  • Combat tree
    • Fleetfooted now buffs the Transcendence buff. This change keeps the Combat tree consistent with being about mobility and anti-kiting
  • Focus tree
    • Inner Focus causes Zen to provide up to 4 stacks of Singularity. This is consistent with the philosophy of being able to generate resources immediately (or not need them) to do something you want to do
    • Improved AOE damage via the Swelling Winds talent

Guardian (Juggernaut)

  • The Focus / Rage cost for CC abilites is being removed. I think this is a fair change, because previously you’d have engage in combat before having the resources to use CCs.
  • The “Execute” ability is usable at 30% HP instead of 20%
  • Finally, Guardian gets a CC effect early: Charge stuns at level 10. However, some players are concerned about building Resolve on the target, whereas the existing root effect does not build Resolve
  • Defense tree
    • Blade Barrier was moved down a tier. This fantastic ability will become reachable for Vigilance / Defense hybrids
  • Vigilance tree
    • Single Saber Mastery damage buff no longer tied to stance. Everyone will likely take it
  • Focus tree
    • Inner Focus causes Zen to provide up to 4 stacks of Singularity. This is consistent with the philosophy of being able to generate resources immediately (or not need them) to do something you want to do

Sage (Sorcerer)

  • Seer tree
    • Conveyance buffs have been nerfed. The fast-cast, mana-inefficient flash heal is having the mana cost reduction replaced by increased Crit Chance. The greater heal is having the cast-time reduction replaced by reduction in mana cost. Both are bad changes for PVP
    • Resplendence no longer removes the HP cost from Noble Sacrifice. Per Ryndar, this change is crippling. Right now NS is the only way to regain mana, which regens slowly, and in 1.2 it will cost HP to use again
  • Balance tree
    • Presence of Mind proc now only usable on spammable single-target spells. Significant nerf. No more insta-cast AOE

Shadow (Assassin)

  • No noteworthy changes

Gunslinger (Sniper)

  • Can finally enter Cover while rooted
  • Healing debuff effect added to the armor debuff ability
  • Sharpshooter tree
    • Burst Volley may be worth taking, as it will not only boost Alacrity but mana regen as well
  • Dirty Fighting
    • Crit Chance talent nerfed from 6% to 3%

Scoundrel (Operative)

  • The backstab ability’s cooldown increased from 9s to 12s
  • The opener from stealth now has a 7.5s cooldown. This is probably being added to prevent instagibs (Shoot First -> vanish -> Shoot First). In practice most of the better Scoundrel / Op players I know don’t rely on the instagib technique, but it is funny
  • Sawbones tree
    • Upper Hand limit increasable from 2 to 3
    • AOE heal amount increased and made more compact, cooldown increased from 12s to 15s
  • Scrapper tree
    • Not sure why they’re making the changes
  • Dirty Fighting
    • Crit Chance talent nerfed from 6% to 3%

Commando / Mercenary

  • Channeled ground-target (DFA / MV) AOE diameter nerfed from 16m to 10m – probably a good change
  • Full Auto attack animation timing fixed
  • Base cost for cast-time nukes reduced
  • Combat Medic tree
    • Crit Chance talent nerfed from 6% to 3%
    • Net-higher mana costs for healing
    • Healing buffs and damage mitigation buffs nerfed
  • Gunnery tree
    • Grav Round damage nerfed 10%

Vanguard / Powertech

  • Interrupt costs no mana
  • Shield tree
    • Some abilities moved off GCD
    • Mitigation tweaked (can’t tell whether it’s net-buff or net-nerf)
  • Tactics tree
    • Melee DoT can be talented to snare 30% for 6s
  • Assault Spec tree
    • The proc cooldown reset talent for High Impact Bolt now requires a specific stance to work. No more Carolina Parakeet (21/2/18) hybrids
    • The proc cooldown reset talent has a 45% / 60% change to proc but has an internal 6s cooldown – which is a net-nerf due to loss of RNG burst

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Posted in Commando / Mercenary, Guardian / Juggernaut, Gunslinger / Sniper, PVP, Sage / Sorcerer, Scoundrel / Operative, Sentinel / Marauder, Shadow / Assassin, SWTOR, Vanguard / Powertech
111 comments on “The Skinny on the SWTOR Class Balance Changes on PTS 1.2
  1. GammaWolf says:

    I was thinking of resubbing my combat medic who was almost full BM a month ago, but after seeing these MASSIVE nerfs just make me laugh at this disaster of an MMO.

    I already considered them weaker than sages in healing, now the 1 decent thing – sustain – is getting nerfed hard…..

    • taugrim says:

      GammaWolf :

      I was thinking of resubbing my combat medic who was almost full BM a month ago, but after seeing these MASSIVE nerfs just make me laugh at this disaster of an MMO.

      I already considered them weaker than sages in healing, now the 1 decent thing – sustain – is getting nerfed hard…..

      Merc / Commando healing isn’t weaker than Sage / Sorc per se – the main difference IMO is that Sage / Sorc has better group utility via the friendly pull and in-combat sprint, but neither of those abilities are getting touched in 1.2.

      The nerfs to sustained healing for Merc / Commando and Sage / Sorc healing seem over-the-top – one or two changes might be OK but cumulatively it looks like a lot.

  2. Crular says:

    Shadow / Sorc basically untouched

    You might want to change that to “Shadow / Assa basically untouched”

  3. ziggy says:

    nice to see another class getting a heal debuff and im glad its going to the slinger / sniper. seems like something they needed to make them a bit more desired in pvp. slingers / snipers seemed to be one of the least played class in end game pvp (at least on my server).

    strange that guardians / juggs get the stun on charge but not sent / mara? we lack any CC till leg slash at 18. guards / juggs have an aoe snare i think at lvl 14?

    overall i think the changes are nice, but like you, i rather them move more slowly and tweek here and there rather than a big overhaul. rift did something similar with patch 1.5(?) and it was crazy. sorta killed the game for me at that moment. hate to see the same thing happen here in ToR. we’ll just have to see. keep us posted! thanks

    • taugrim says:

      ziggy :

      nice to see another class getting a heal debuff and im glad its going to the slinger / sniper. seems like something they needed to make them a bit more desired in pvp. slingers / snipers seemed to be one of the least played class in end game pvp (at least on my server).

      Agree.

      ziggy :

      strange that guardians / juggs get the stun on charge but not sent / mara? we lack any CC till leg slash at 18. guards / juggs have an aoe snare i think at lvl 14?

      Sent / Marau at higher levels has much more group utility thanks to the Centering mechanic.

      But I agree that Sent / Marau should get their hamstring at 14 at the latest.

      ziggy :

      overall i think the changes are nice, but like you, i rather them move more slowly and tweek here and there rather than a big overhaul. rift did something similar with patch 1.5(?) and it was crazy. sorta killed the game for me at that moment. hate to see the same thing happen here in ToR. we’ll just have to see. keep us posted! thanks

      The difference between SWTOR 1.2 and RIFT 1.5 is that in RIFT the Rogue class was overbuffed to the point of silliness. The same thing happened with Pyro Mage in RIFT 1.6.

      Still, I think BioWare is tweaking too many things at once, including things that aren’t broken.

  4. Tommythepower says:

    They just killed range classes with mele still being king of 1 vs 1. So sad that bioware have no clue on how to balance classes.And the healing nerf is just beyond braindead.
    From now on i will no longer be playing my commando until my sub runs out.Until gw2 is out just gonna play around with mele to stay competitive. So funny every month bioware do these things to piss of the pvp playerbase.I could go on but there is no point, devs who dont listen and dont have the iq to understand basic game balance should be removed and never get a job again.

    • taugrim says:

      Tommythepower :

      They just killed range classes with mele still being king of 1 vs 1. So sad that bioware have no clue on how to balance classes.And the healing nerf is just beyond braindead.

      Right now 3 of the 4 strongest specs (31-pt tank Shadow/Assassin, middle-tree Scoundrel / Operative, right-tree Vanguard / Powertech, and DoT tree Sentinel / Marauder) in 1v1 are melee. That is true.

      But I think when you look at the scoreboards after each match, RDPS tends to outperform MDPS.

      The buffs to Guardian / Juggernaut seem fair and warranted, especially the removal of needing Focus / Rage for some CCs.

      I was surprised to see Sentinel / Marauder buffed to about the same degree. I do think some of the changes will simplify the micro-management of which ability to use on cooldown (e.g. Cauterize can replace Leg Slash as the snare).

      Tommythepower :
      From now on i will no longer be playing my commando until my sub runs out.Until gw2 is out just gonna play around with mele to stay competitive. So funny every month bioware do these things to piss of the pvp playerbase.I could go on but there is no point, devs who dont listen and dont have the iq to understand basic game balance should be removed and never get a job again.

      Up until 1.2, IMO BioWare has taken a relatively careful approach to class balance changes – there weren’t that many for a given class in a given patch, and none of their changes to date have broken anything.

      That being said, the “shogun” approach in 1.2 makes me uncomfortable.

    • As opposed to every single MMO ever made where ranged is king. I would love for once in the history MMO that a melee class will be considered king and ranged is nerfved to the point where no one brings them. hh I can cream cant I.

  5. Ster-Ling says:

    Your analysis of the Guardian Focus tree changes overlooks the factt that Zephyr (-3sec CD to force abilities, notably Force Sweep and Blade Storm) is being replaced by a skill that refunds Focus on Slash crits.

    So big burst damage will now be on a 12-second cycle instead of a 9-second cycle.

    That’s a 1/3 increase in the amount of time between damage bursts.

    Also, Sundering Throw (2 stacks of armor rend and reduced CD on Saber Throw) is being moved from T6 Focus to T6 Vigilance.

    The way I read it, the absolute ceiling of damage output for Focus-specced guardians is going down.

    (this is colloquially referred to as a “nerf”)

    • taugrim says:

      Ster-Ling :

      Your analysis of the Guardian Focus tree changes overlooks the factt that Zephyr (-3sec CD to force abilities, notably Force Sweep and Blade Storm) is being replaced by a skill that refunds Focus on Slash crits.

      So big burst damage will now be on a 12-second cycle instead of a 9-second cycle.

      That’s a 1/3 increase in the amount of time between damage bursts.

      EDIT: nevermind, you are right, the AOE is every 9 seconds talented with Swelling Winds and Zephyr in 1.1.5. In 1.2, it will be just SW talent only.

      Keep in mind with the Inner Focus change, you can now charge, pop Combat Focus, and pop a full-stack Force Sweep AOE that is guaranteed to Crit. That is, you can open with AOE burst.

      • poisonman says:

        Taug, he is right, Force Sweep’s CD is originally 15s, Swelling Winds reduces it by 3 seconds which brings it down to 12s, and Zephyr used to reduce it another 3s while in Shii-Cho form to make it 9s, but Zephyr was changed.

  6. Gothic90 says:

    The change on Jedi Knights/Sith Warriors is kinda weird. The more played specs are buffed more, while the under-played specs, combat/carnage and vigilance/vengeance pure DPS spec (not the tank hybrid), practically remain the same.
    I can see combat/carnage remain the worst spec both in PvP and PvE. The first tier Valor buffs Focus/Rage tree way more than it buffs combat/carnage, as the Ataru form Zen is not very useful.
    I think Rage Marauder/Focus Sentinel will be the official melee cleaver in SWTOR 1.2. With a much easier time popping Zen, trinket, sweep, and then start cleaving with Slash.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Juggs and Guardians. With the resource system now, focus/rage specced JG/SJ will be able to run the tanking stance without getting focus starved, and thus have both the burst and utility. Also, tanks, whether hybrid or not, have their DPS increased, while Vigilance/Vengeance DPS spec isn’t changed much.

    Huge nerf on Sage healer.
    DPS Sorc/Sages are still strong; pure balance/madness is still a dot and root machine, while pure kinetic/lightning is still a strong cast time nuker. However, the AoE hybrid spec will be history.

    I kinda agree with the GS/Sniper buff, SM/JS shouldn’t be the only class with healing debuff.

    Scoundrel and operative changes are weird. 12s cd on back blast…what, do I look like I want to level a Scoundrel with auto attacks? Also, dirty fight/lethality is still a bad spec for scoundrel/operative. Overall, Scoundrels have bad DPS in PvE to begin with, and it’s further nerfed.

    I thought Merc/commando healer spec was strong, well, it depends on how much the nerf on sustainability is.
    I agree that tracer missile spammers are too easy to play, but a 10% nerf on tracer missile/grav round wouldn’t change the rotation a bit, both in PvE and in PvP.

    That’s what I think about the changes, for now.

  7. Gothic90 says:

    Actually, the changes in the patch note looks more complicated than I thought. I’ll comment about how some of the currently popular specs would fare. I don’t know if people will discover new hybrid specs.

    Guardian/Juggernaut:
    Hybrid tank: it will no longer be 14/27/0. I can see a tier 4/tier 5 hybrid coming, and with stasis mastery and blade barrier moved to tier 4 and force clap becoming a base passive ability, this will be a very strong PvP tank spec. From the changes it seems very clear that the devs want to make this hybrid spec the staple PvP tank spec for guardian/juggernaut.

    Pure defense tank: It seems devs want to make it a pure PvE spec.
    Vigilance pure DPS: It also seems that devs want to make it a pure PvE spec. Sundering throw moved to vigilance tree, plus the set bonus, will make PvE DPS guardians quite happy.

    Focus/Rage Smash bomb: can’t comment much on that. Changes are quite complicated. However, I think it will be possible for the focus guardian to run tanking stance to retain the utility now that inner focus is changed.

    Sentinel/Marauder:
    Watchman: actually, I don’t see a lot being changed, except people will want to spec for inflammation for easier snares. Other than that, play style is the same.

    Combat: not very much change on damage and zen effects. Looks like combat spec is still underpowered. However, with transcendence affecting the whole ops, and the changes to valor, and the change on fleetfooted, combat now offers great group mobility buffs.

    Focus: according to the patch note, focus sentinels will also have swelling winds, which increases the damage of sweep/smash. Combined with what I said in the previous post, it looks like a huge buff to focus/rage spec of sentinels and marauders. Frankly this change makes focus guardians/rage juggernauts redundant.

    • taugrim says:

      Sentinel/Marauder:
      Watchman: actually, I don’t see a lot being changed, except people will want to spec for inflammation for easier snares. Other than that, play style is the same.

      Combat: not very much change on damage and zen effects. Looks like combat spec is still underpowered. However, with transcendence affecting the whole ops, and the changes to valor, and the change on fleetfooted, combat now offers great group mobility buffs.

      Don’t forget that Valor was dropped to the 1st tier of the DoT tree, which means it’s low-hanging fruit for Combat spec as well.

      This is a huge huge change, because right now Watchman is the tree that provides the best survivability *and* the best group utility via frequently consuming 30 stacks of Centering.

      So Combat and Focus specs are getting buffed by the Valor change in a huge way.

      Sentinel/Marauder:

      Focus: according to the patch note, focus sentinels will also have swelling winds, which increases the damage of sweep/smash. Combined with what I said in the previous post, it looks like a huge buff to focus/rage spec of sentinels and marauders. Frankly this change makes focus guardians/rage juggernauts redundant.

      The Centering / Fury mechanic vs Protection mechanics will keep them distinct in terms of group utility. But yes, this will bring back Focus / Rage as a popular spec instead of simply running the DoT tree.

  8. flaschor says:

    you said “No more Carolina Parakeet (21/2/18) hybrids” but what do you think will be the changes of your iron fist powertech build?

    • Gothic90 says:

      Ironfist is slightly buffed as quell/riot strike no longer costs any resources. However, a big change is that Energy blast will be off from global cooldown, which may make a full 31 point tank spec more attractive.

      • taugrim says:

        Gothic90 :

        Ironfist is slightly buffed as quell/riot strike no longer costs any resources..

        Correct.

        Gothic90 :

        However, a big change is that Energy blast will be off from global cooldown, which may make a full 31 point tank spec more attractive.

        The change to EB is a nice once but it doesn’t change the fact that the ability is usable only once every 15 sec.

        It doesn’t feel like a worthy 31-pt talent. Check out the Shadow / Assassin 31-pt talent in the tank tree by comparison – that feels like what a 31-pt talent should be, worth investing to get.

        • Pander Beers says:

          It doesn’t feel like a worthy 31-pt talent. Check out the Shadow / Assassin 31-pt talent in the tank tree by comparison – that feels like what a 31-pt talent should be, worth investing to get.

          That’s the story of DPS Sage/Sorcerers – the top of their trees are still generally useless compared to, on average, the top tier talents that other classes get. A strong DPS Sage buddy of mine is still promoting the Hybrid build with some tweaks, focusing on the Momentum/Forked Lightning talent and going just a -little- higher in Telekentics/Lightning

  9. I’m not hopeful for my Corruptions (heals) Sorc in pvp. Seems like we just got squishier and won’t be able to heal for long fights anymore. Plus, the only way to get force back nukes our health down a bit, which is horrible for pvp. I see the sorc healer population dropping like a stone after this patch.

    I’ll have to play it for a while to see how it goes though.

    • taugrim says:

      Jacob Ratliff (@Gameronomist) :

      I’m not hopeful for my Corruptions (heals) Sorc in pvp. Seems like we just got squishier and won’t be able to heal for long fights anymore. Plus, the only way to get force back nukes our health down a bit, which is horrible for pvp. I see the sorc healer population dropping like a stone after this patch.

      I’ll have to play it for a while to see how it goes though.

      There is very good reason to be concerned. The Conveyance change to take away the cast-time redux on the greater heal is a significant nerf in PVP. But the kicker is the nerf to Resplendence as well.

      I think the nerfs for Sage / Sorc healing are focusing in the wrong area. The issue from a PVP balance perspective is not the healing throughput. It’s the utility via the friendly pull and sprint.

      Most people would agree – and BioWare acknowledged at the Guild Summit – that Scoundrel / Operative healing needed help. And they’re getting some buffs.

      • Russell says:

        Do you not think that the sprint/pull are abilities that only really have a large effect in Huttball? Healing throughput has an effect in the other warzones to a larger degree to do with door timers and speeder travel times and I could see in the longer term Voidstar at least being stalemates without ramping up the damage to a large degree.

        Isn’t a nerf to healing also a nerf to the power of tanks using guard?

        The sprint and pull also have very little effect in PvE an area where they get complaints the game is too easy already.

        • I think sprint/pull are just *seen* a lot more in Huttball. When you use them effectively, they are great in the other WZs. They have great uses for LoS and getting ranged out of trouble. I especially like it to pull people who are getting focused out of the fight.

          Especially if you think of mid in Alderaan, you can pull someone from the node/fight who is dying up to a ledge, heal them up, and you just saved them having to run back. It changes how a whole fight can go.

          • taugrim says:

            Jacob Ratliff (@Gameronomist) :

            I think sprint/pull are just *seen* a lot more in Huttball. When you use them effectively, they are great in the other WZs. They have great uses for LoS and getting ranged out of trouble. I especially like it to pull people who are getting focused out of the fight.

            Especially if you think of mid in Alderaan, you can pull someone from the node/fight who is dying up to a ledge, heal them up, and you just saved them having to run back. It changes how a whole fight can go.

            Well said. The sprint is fantastic for node coverage and defense.

            And the friendly pull is an excellent bail-out ability.

            • Russell says:

              Oh I agree they are useful but not nearly to the same extent as in Huttball. In those other cases the save is often at the expense of staying on the objective for even a short amount of time while in Huttball it’s more likely to be in addition to the objective. Use in Huttball also often allows the skipping of obstacles preventing or if to a higher level completely blocking pursuit.

              I actually think friendly pulls should be affected by resolve (but shouldn’t build it as that would allow you to resolve cap your own players before the goal) so a timely pull or well placed pushback at the last minute can’t be negated so easily. It would also mean resolve capping someone in the middle of the field would actually slow them down a little.

              The point though is the healing through long fights. Healing is the stable option, it encourages long boring drawn out fights or in the case of huttball just who gets to the ball spawn first. It has a global effect on the whole game and not just a definative advantage for one class in one wz and a kinda nice perk in the others. As I also mentioned a nerf to healing is also a nerf to tanking and it’s actually a nerf to sprint too as while it’s faster to get to an objective it’s harder to hold it.

  10. […] his guildies picked out what they thought where the most notable changes for 1.2, that can be found here! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  11. […] his guildies picked out what they thought where the most notable changes for 1.2, that can be found here! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  12. Mo says:

    Hey Taugrim, im a big fan of you and am also a PvPing whore on my Vangaurd. I currently use a 31/8/2 since there is currently no multi-spec and i tank Nightmore Operations frequently; switching specs can get pricy. I use BM/Champ combat teach gear.
    Anyways, ive come to ask you your opinion on the new talent Power Screen. In the notes it says this “Power Screen is a new 2-point skill that causes Ion Pulse and Energy Blast to build a stacking buff that increases shield absorption.” These points will obviously be easy to come by since Counterattack only costs 3 points as of 1.2.
    Do you think this will be a greater buff to Vangaurd SS in PvP or will it cause problems since your roatation will change? Im excited to see how this will stack since there is no longer a GCD on Energy Blast.
    If you could tell me your opinion on this and how you will adjust your VG to these patches it would be awesome :) Thanks

    • taugrim says:

      Mo :

      Hey Taugrim, im a big fan of you and am also a PvPing whore on my Vangaurd. I currently use a 31/8/2 since there is currently no multi-spec and i tank Nightmore Operations frequently; switching specs can get pricy. I use BM/Champ combat teach gear.
      Anyways, ive come to ask you your opinion on the new talent Power Screen. In the notes it says this “Power Screen is a new 2-point skill that causes Ion Pulse and Energy Blast to build a stacking buff that increases shield absorption.” These points will obviously be easy to come by since Counterattack only costs 3 points as of 1.2.
      Do you think this will be a greater buff to Vangaurd SS in PvP or will it cause problems since your roatation will change? Im excited to see how this will stack since there is no longer a GCD on Energy Blast.
      If you could tell me your opinion on this and how you will adjust your VG to these patches it would be awesome :) Thanks

      Until we can see how the stacking buff works, it will be hard to say how effective it will be. Keep in mind that Ceramic Plating was nerfed.

  13. Soujiro says:

    I’m just rolling a Sage, about level 24, and it’s really hard to maintain healing on matches where I don’t die much (like voidstar or alderaan). I was hoping on having more tools as I level up, but clearly they are getting nerfed, making sustained healing even more hard to achieve…

    This is really dissapointing.

    • taugrim says:

      Soujiro :

      I’m just rolling a Sage, about level 24, and it’s really hard to maintain healing on matches where I don’t die much (like voidstar or alderaan). I was hoping on having more tools as I level up, but clearly they are getting nerfed, making sustained healing even more hard to achieve…

      This is really dissapointing.

      Yea, Ryndar said that before getting Resplendence, at lower levels as Sage healer he’d go OOM at some point and basically drag some enemy DPS away from the fighting to kill him, so that he’d have a full mana bar back.

  14. Definitely, the Scoundrel/Ops needed a buff. I heard they were doing well in pve, but they really needed a pvp buff.

    But you’re right, the changes for sorc/sage really change the actual numbers that a sorc/sage can do, but the hard part for pvp was the utility that they had. But those skills were difficult to change because it was a lot of the mitigation that sorc/sages had. And that couldn’t be changed because the shield they get is one of the best “heals” we had. Difficult to balance. We’ll see how it goes when it’s live.

  15. Devilryuji says:

    Sigh, such is the way of MMOs. Even if things are working fine the whiners will eventually get their way. How many mmo’s is it now that’s actually more balanced at launch?

    Some of those class changes above I see as unneccesary.

    I played a sorc before I left, and there’s nothing overpowered about healing. The only overpoweered part was abusing the bug to get 2 procs in a row. Op/scr healing is on par with good management, boosting them makes no sense.

    Until there’s a proper DPS/HPS meter it’s hard to say.

    • taugrim says:

      Devilryuji :

      Some of those class changes above I see as unneccesary.

      I agree completely. K.I.S.S.

      I was much more comfortable with BioWare’s surgical / careful approach to class tweaking prior to 1.2.

  16. There are just too many changes overall for me to even grasp the big picture on this one. It may have taken weeks or months to balance things out as BioWare was previously patching it, but with so many changes at once it makes me wonder where they go from here. Perhaps they felt these changes need to happen asap with the debut of pre-season ranked warzones?

    I hope this goes smoothly because I would rather not see them change too much, too soon, and result in a string of patches where there needs to be mass changes to right the course. No one wants to ride that roller coaster.

    I find the nerfs to healing most interesting as a tank (oddly enough). In pvp I like to take on more of a support role bouncing around guard on hurting teammates, staying on top of taunts, and peeling. I’ll throw in some dps to help, but mainly I just try to support. I think the nerfs to healing may put more of an emphasis on that style of playing a tank than people who just slap it on the healer, or a random target to get medals.

    As a side note, a majority of these changes appear to be focused on pvp (I have a very limited knowledge on pve in SWTOR). I wonder how these changes will be received by the predominantly pve portion of the community?

    • taugrim says:

      Jordan Powell (@THRILLJO) :

      Perhaps they felt these changes need to happen asap with the debut of pre-season ranked warzones?

      I would have expected the game to have more stability going into pre-season than having a lot of fairly disruptive changes.

      Jordan Powell (@THRILLJO) :

      I hope this goes smoothly because I would rather not see them change too much, too soon, and result in a string of patches where there needs to be mass changes to right the course. No one wants to ride that roller coaster.

      Agree, and this is why class balance changes need to be approached surgically IMO. Change tends to make the playerbase unhappy, unless they’re being made to obvious problem areas.

      Jordan Powell (@THRILLJO) :

      I find the nerfs to healing most interesting as a tank (oddly enough). In pvp I like to take on more of a support role bouncing around guard on hurting teammates, staying on top of taunts, and peeling. I’ll throw in some dps to help, but mainly I just try to support. I think the nerfs to healing may put more of an emphasis on that style of playing a tank than people who just slap it on the healer, or a random target to get medals.

      Protection may be more valuable. TBD.

      Jordan Powell (@THRILLJO) :

      As a side note, a majority of these changes appear to be focused on pvp (I have a very limited knowledge on pve in SWTOR). I wonder how these changes will be received by the predominantly pve portion of the community?

      The nerf to sustained healing for 2 of the 3 healing ACs will be felt in PVE.

  17. Khaiell says:

    Remember that Bioware have all the data and we only guess dps/hps from end-of-the-warzone rankings.

    I had no problems healing in warzones as an Operative or killing as a Gunslinger but the overall match results were so heavily dependent on who was online at the point (ie. player skill differences made dps/hps difference unnoticable) that I wouldn’t dare saying what the general output of each spec is.

    And 1.2 starts ranked warzones where skill differences will be less dramatic and the class balance more important plus a combat log on top of that.

    Maybe BioWare see blatant output differences that would be exposed in combat logs of ranked warzones and this would create the mess that Blizzard caused with Death Knights that caused players to quit well paid tournaments in protest.

    • Conditioned says:

      Doesnt mean they make the right decisions. Besides you dont know that they actually have the data ie how much, which and how accurate. Dont nessecarily know how to intepret it. I find it highly unlikely that all dps-specs are within 5% of eachother for example and they still claim this.

      Taug: My guess is the reason they do major reworks is cause its less work in the long run than having to do the same buff/nerf several times for more or less value.

    • taugrim says:

      Khaiell :

      Remember that Bioware have all the data and we only guess dps/hps from end-of-the-warzone rankings.

      I had no problems healing in warzones as an Operative or killing as a Gunslinger but the overall match results were so heavily dependent on who was online at the point (ie. player skill differences made dps/hps difference unnoticable) that I wouldn’t dare saying what the general output of each spec is.

      And 1.2 starts ranked warzones where skill differences will be less dramatic and the class balance more important plus a combat log on top of that.

      Maybe BioWare see blatant output differences that would be exposed in combat logs of ranked warzones and this would create the mess that Blizzard caused with Death Knights that caused players to quit well paid tournaments in protest.

      It has nothing to do with having the data IMO. Changing this much stuff at once increases the risk that the changes will not have the desired effect.

      This is why in software and product development, you incrementally make changes, see how they affect customers and behavior, and then tweak more. This is part of the reason why “Agile” software methodologies have become so popular – instead of assuming you know the answer and design and implement a bunch of changes all at once (the Waterfall approach), you selectively make changes over time.

      • Khaiell says:

        1. I am surprised with people puting definite statements about how dps/hps will look like output-wise after 1.2 without having any actual data to test their theories against. It is a quackery.

        2. I love agile methods (having been a software project manager for 12 years) but they only go so far. You cannot change left-side traffic to a right-side one gradually. You don’t invent the ipod by gradually tweaking a casette player…

        • taugrim says:

          Khaiell :

          1. I am surprised with people puting definite statements about how dps/hps will look like output-wise after 1.2 without having any actual data to test their theories against. It is a quackery.

          I don’t think exact %’s are necessary to come to reasonable conclusions about the implications of some of the incoming changes.

          And I wouldn’t brush aside people being concerned based on their reading the patch notes without having tried them yet. Some of the changes are real head-scratchers, in particular the Sage/Sorc healing ones.

          Khaiell :

          2. I love agile methods (having been a software project manager for 12 years) but they only go so far. You cannot change left-side traffic to a right-side one gradually. You don’t invent the ipod by gradually tweaking a casette player…

          Is BioWare trying to change traffic from left-side to right-side though? I don’t think that analogy applies here.

          Class balance should be careful, thoughtful tweaking of classes toward their intended performance over time, which was the process used up to 1.1.5 – it should be iterative, and for the sake of the customer, it should be gradual and well-framed. Otherwise you risk overturning, and the subsequent yo-yo’ing.

          Also, the example of the cassette player and ipod doesn’t have anything to do with methodology IMO. Cassette players existed because the world was analog not digital, and the technology – no matter what product or software development methodology you use – was not there to support a small form-factor digital data device where the product (music) was distributed over a network that didn’t yet exist. The ipod was possible because technology made it possible – what Jobs did was create a different way of thinking about how we distribute / store / consume music.

          I believe you can innovate a new product with Agile, so long as your vision / target is evolutionary.

          As an aside, there is a fantastic book from Harvard Business School Press called Design-Driven Innovation, which I recommend to anyone interested in the innovation space.

  18. Mo says:

    Ok, i found out via the public test servers that Power Screen works like this : each time Ion Pulse and Energy Blast hits, it procs and buffs for 2% absorption increase. It can stack up to 4 times and the buff lasts 15 seconds. (this is the stats with 2 points invested into the talent) Besides that i also learned that Ceramic Plating nerf is a meager 2%, instead of 6% absorb when 2 points are invested, its 4%. So, considering Energy blast is going to be more appealing in 1.2 since no more long animations and off GCD, and energy blast is always useful , you can stack up to 8% extra absorb pretty easily and makes up for that meager 2% loss on ceramic plating. Let me know your opinion on this Taugrim Thanks

  19. Omeleet says:

    Hiya Taugrim, been missing your streams lately. =O

    I feel like too much is changing with the patch. For the sake of brevity I will try not to completely restate the notes. Purely from a pvp perspective.

    Healer Hierarchy:
    Scoundrel/Op > Commando/Merc > Sage/Sorc
    The only healer now with a very powerful and reliable regeneration mechanic is the Scoundrel. I play a Scoundrel and so in the past I thought of Scoundrels as bringing the least effective heals to PVP because of the rampup time and the highly chaotic burstiness of PVP. They made KCloud super concentrated and the change to Diagnostic Scan makes it a must have talent for regeneration and an extra healing tool. I already see bad Commando healers depleting their ammo, I would take one to WZ for sure but they really got the shaft. Don’t even get me started on Sages.

    Melee Hierarchy
    Sentinel > Shadow ~= Vanguard > Scoundrel (See the bottom about Guardians)
    I just don’t see why you wouldn’t take a sentinel to rated WZ now. They bring so much to the table it is not even funny. Transcendence now affected by Fleetfooted, crippling throw immobilizes a target/20% healing reduction uncleansable, master strike immobilizes a target and will be baseline uninterruptible, 15% movement speed in Ataru, 50% damage reduction baked into Force Camo. Combat is the new Watchmen, it has SICK burst capabilities, and everything Watchmen brings to the table (bleeds/self heals) are just negligible in comparison, especially with Valor moved to the bottom of the tree. I would go so far as to say there would be absolutely no downside to having two combat sents for rated. Shadows and Vanguards are definitely still useful with their grips/guards/ranged utility and stealth and whatnot. Scrappers, heh, I would prefer not to take one to rated WZ.

    Ranged Hierarchy
    Gunslinger > Sage > Commando
    Gunslingers also bring the healing debuff, crit buff, cover is getting a nice fix. Being able to protect a node without compromising your position to charge is going to be valuable. Overall they just seem pretty useful to any team. Sages got a small nerf, they will still be pretty useful, especially with their utility. Commando changes are a bit iffy but I wouldn’t turn down a good one, they should just have to press more buttons is all seems to be the gist of it.

    I didn’t list Guardians because I don’t know a whole lot about them. From what I do know they will be even better tanks and subsequently better ball handlers. As far as damage roles goes I don’t really understand what they bring other than pure damage/charges snaring. So I will refrain from giving a comment.

    All in all I don’t really understand what their goal was with the patch, the game was *decently* balanced, it just feels like it got turned on its head now.

    • taugrim says:

      Omeleet :

      Hiya Taugrim, been missing your streams lately. =O

      I feel like too much is changing with the patch. For the sake of brevity I will try not to completely restate the notes. Purely from a pvp perspective.

      I agree with you take on how to rank the various specs in each role for 1.2.

      Omeleet :

      I didn’t list Guardians because I don’t know a whole lot about them. From what I do know they will be even better tanks and subsequently better ball handlers. As far as damage roles goes I don’t really understand what they bring other than pure damage/charges snaring. So I will refrain from giving a comment.

      That was the one thing I missed from your breakdown was the ranking between tank classes. IMO it will be:
      Shadow / Assassin > Guardian / Juggernaut = Vanguage / Powertech.

      Omeleet :

      All in all I don’t really understand what their goal was with the patch, the game was *decently* balanced, it just feels like it got turned on its head now.

      I think BioWare should have framed what their goals were for the balancing. It’s not clear overall or for each class.

  20. Hanshotfirst says:

    So long as I stick to relying heavily on offense as my primary defense I think my Pyrotech Merc will be fine, perhaps even improved by these changes.

    My Sorc really took one to the jimmy though. Guess I’ll have to finesse the heck out of Force Speed and Extrication to make up the difference.

  21. DasdeThwar says:

    The last 3 days I’ve been using and what got me to Battlemaster is the new Burst Control spec Taugrim listed recently. Been loving it cause it works great in PvP and well in PvE. Only change I did was I moved 1 point from the interrupt CD reduction and put it in the Recharge Cells CD reduction.

    Question is, I can’t tell in 1.2 how hard of a hit this spec will take O.o I hate to see my new love of the game go down the drain so fast.

  22. Crular says:

    I somehow didn’t see a need for nerfs at all. But then, maybe that’s because I am playing a Sith Assassin, which seem to fare quite well at the moment. Besides fixing obvious bugs I thought PvP was rather balanced.

    • taugrim says:

      Crular :

      I somehow didn’t see a need for nerfs at all. But then, maybe that’s because I am playing a Sith Assassin, which seem to fare quite well at the moment. Besides fixing obvious bugs I thought PvP was rather balanced.

      I was surprised Assassin / Shadow tank was not balanced, it’s nuts if spec’d and played correctly. Excellent damage, superb survivability, pull, and Guard.

  23. Lannadhor says:

    They indicated that Valor had moved to tier 1 in the Watchman tree — which talent did it replace or switch with?

  24. Irishbrewed says:

    The fact is, like you said, this is A Lot of changes… Looking on the outside they look fair somewhat or I could say “yeah maybe that makes sense” but the fact that all of this is going to be live at “once” gives me pause. Its risky to say the least to do too much tweaking ths early and at such a crucial time (dare I say fragile) for the game.

    My main is a maurader and I will say this. These buffs are and will be OP like in the hands of the players who can really play the class. The fact that maurader /sent suffer in “z” axis battles and are also impossible to play for anyone new to the genre I think it lends itself to give bioware one fat plate of skewed “metrics”. Therefore what you have is a class that can dominate if played at peak performance and a class that can absolutely stink in the hands of an average player. Force camouflage now gives 50% DMg reduc untalented now, and we can extend it an additional 2seconds and buffed speed (not sure where you saw damage breaks our stealth, it doesn’t. Or did they say it would?) The ability to debuff with obfuscate at no rage cost is sexy. I didn’t read anything about free cc tho. If that’s true then sign me up.

    Either way Mara/sent is one nasty class to balance and I’m not sure how it can be since the ranged classes have it a lot easier in the game as it stands. And like I said getting peak performance out of the class takes a lot of work in comparison to the other ones, I think that is why they are getting love. But expect a nerf/buff rollercoster with this class.

    Why is merc/comm getting a nerf in heals? I mean they seemed tough to solo, but man playing one is rather boring and nerfing them seems a bit harsh for such a boring spec to run. They need some procs aoes or something, not just a nerf….

    Death from above nerf… Renders it even more situational. But not a bad thing.

    Wish they would’ve done something with the Assassin tanks for pvp. I can see them everywhere when rateds drop….suckers are tough.

    Personally I think guard is a silly way to make tanks viable for pvp, and would like to see them more active in actually guarding someone. Not just a cheesy toggle from afar.

    Well can’t wait to see the patch and enjoy maurader goodness :p

    I would like to add. The FOTM club sorc/sages are littering the forums with tears…who didn’t see those “tweaks” coming ….. It’s time to reeeeerrrroooolllll….lol the nerfs don’t seems to harsh but boy the forum goers act like its doom & gloom…

    • taugrim says:

      Irishbrewed :

      The fact is, like you said, this is A Lot of changes… Looking on the outside they look fair somewhat or I could say “yeah maybe that makes sense” but the fact that all of this is going to be live at “once” gives me pause. Its risky to say the least to do too much tweaking ths early and at such a crucial time (dare I say fragile) for the game.

      Agree.

      IMO 1.2 should be focus on improvements to the game (e.g. the UI, the AH, animation issues, etc), new PVE content (new flashpoint and operation) and new PVP content (new warzone, and more importantly Rated Warzones).

      It should also include class balance tweaks – and I use the word tweaks intentionally.

      Irishbrewed :

      My main is a maurader and I will say this. These buffs are and will be OP like in the hands of the players who can really play the class. The fact that maurader /sent suffer in “z” axis battles and are also impossible to play for anyone new to the genre I think it lends itself to give bioware one fat plate of skewed “metrics”. Therefore what you have is a class that can dominate if played at peak performance and a class that can absolutely stink in the hands of an average player. Force camouflage now gives 50% DMg reduc untalented now, and we can extend it an additional 2seconds and buffed speed (not sure where you saw damage breaks our stealth, it doesn’t. Or did they say it would?) The ability to debuff with obfuscate at no rage cost is sexy. I didn’t read anything about free cc tho. If that’s true then sign me up.

      Either way Mara/sent is one nasty class to balance and I’m not sure how it can be since the ranged classes have it a lot easier in the game as it stands. And like I said getting peak performance out of the class takes a lot of work in comparison to the other ones, I think that is why they are getting love. But expect a nerf/buff rollercoster with this class.

      Agree. Right now Sentinel / Marauder arguably have the most complex and varied rotations of any DPS class.

      But that means that people who can handle the complexity will shine.

      A lot of the changes being made to Sentinel / Marauder will make them easier to play.

      Irishbrewed :

      Wish they would’ve done something with the Assassin tanks for pvp. I can see them everywhere when rateds drop….suckers are tough.

      They escaped the nerf bat via stealth!

  25. Irishbrewed says:

    @Taug

    What is your opinion on there will be no stat difference on high rated war hero gear compared to low rated war hero gear? Just vanity visual difference. I personally think its the right thing to do.

    • taugrim says:

      Irishbrewed :

      @Taug

      What is your opinion on there will be no stat difference on high rated war hero gear compared to low rated war hero gear? Just vanity visual difference. I personally think its the right thing to do.

      Support it 100%.

  26. Whac says:

    Why nerf the sage both dps and heal, makes the character not really appealing, 40k from lvl50, and now I have a junk character. Will level up my shadow.

  27. Irishbrewed says:

    Whac :

    Why nerf the sage both dps and heal, makes the character not really appealing, 40k from lvl50, and now I have a junk character. Will level up my shadow.

    Just my opinion man, but dont let nerfs sway your class of choice, everyone will get some kind of nerf/buff throughout the life span of an mmo, and for the most part the nerfs are for the better over all quality of the game. Just a necessary evil, play the class you enjoy regardless of changes.

  28. Irishbrewed says:

    Irishbrewed :
    Wish they would’ve done something with the Assassin tanks for pvp. I can see them everywhere when rateds drop….suckers are tough.

    They escaped the nerf bat via stealth!

    lol. I really thing there will be some issues with Huttball and this spec once rateds hit. I could be wrong but boy there are some comps out there, where I can see the game simply coming down to who gets the ball first. Which will be rather lame from a DPS perspective. But the tanks/healing/gaurding in this game can really make a ball carrier impossible to bring down in premades. Needless to say I like huttball but its too easy to “game” imo. Maybe if they made the map a tad bit bigger it would give just alittle more time to focus a teams carrying strat, as is, a couple pullers on a assassin tank leads to a quick score everytime..

  29. Jhon says:

    Lol what?

    Finally, Guardian gets a CC effect early: Charge stuns at level 10

    Dude, this change is awful and no guardian want it. Your main Glap Closer/Focus Builder now gives resolve.

    For example:
    -You solo Q
    -Huttball
    -your theam have two or more guardians,
    -Enemy team gets the ball
    -Both Guardians leap to the flag carrier
    -Flag carrier is full resolve vs 2 secs of Stun

    Thats what will happens everytime and nobody will want guardians on their team, not even if they are spceted to be flags carriers.

    • Speaking of resolve, with all the changes in this patch I am surprised to see nothing has been done with resolve. I don’t consider it to be utterly broken, but I do think it’s not quite there yet.

      There was also an interesting comment I read on the forums last night. A poster made the observation that BioWare seems to be nerfing to get rid of specific hybrid specs. I know a while back that happened with the Assassins/Shadows and in 1.2 it seems like that’s happening again with a few hybrid builds.

      I’m not familiar enough with popular hybrid builds across the board to know if that is accurate though. Maybe BioWare’s goal is to make hybrids extinct in favor of pure 31 point builds?

      • taugrim says:

        Jordan Powell (@THRILLJO) :

        Speaking of resolve, with all the changes in this patch I am surprised to see nothing has been done with resolve. I don’t consider it to be utterly broken, but I do think it’s not quite there yet.

        What are the issues with Resolve in your opinion?

        It’s the best CC immunity system I’ve seen in any game. I prefer it over DR as its more visible on you and other players.

        Jordan Powell (@THRILLJO) :

        There was also an interesting comment I read on the forums last night. A poster made the observation that BioWare seems to be nerfing to get rid of specific hybrid specs. I know a while back that happened with the Assassins/Shadows and in 1.2 it seems like that’s happening again with a few hybrid builds.

        In 1.2, the following hybrid specs are history:
        – Carolina Parakeet for Vanguard / Powertech
        – Balance / Telekinetics Sage / Sorcs hybrid to have Presence of Mind proc to make AOE instant-cast won’t work.

        In 1.2, the following hybrid specs will continue to work:
        – Vigilance/Defense Guardian / Juggernaut will work probably even better
        – Gunslinger / Sniper

        • CuriousK says:

          Biggest problem with the resolve mechanic imo is that snares roots are not factored in at all. For melee classes or in situations where movement is required (think standing on a fire vent about to go off) Being 100% snared or rooted is just as deadly as getting stunned, and can completely negate your contribution to the WZ.

          t doesnt make sense to me that Resolve would not factor in snares/roots, they fall into the category of CC in my mind, why should they not affect the resolve bar, and be affected by full resolve?

          • taugrim says:

            CuriousK :

            Biggest problem with the resolve mechanic imo is that snares roots are not factored in at all. For melee classes or in situations where movement is required (think standing on a fire vent about to go off) Being 100% snared or rooted is just as deadly as getting stunned, and can completely negate your contribution to the WZ.

            Any class can get rooted in a fire vent.

            Some melee classes have abilities that enable them to cross over fire pits with little or no risk of getting rooted (e.g. charge, sprint, etc).

            CuriousK :

            t doesnt make sense to me that Resolve would not factor in snares/roots, they fall into the category of CC in my mind, why should they not affect the resolve bar, and be affected by full resolve?

            If snares / roots built up Resolve, this would be very bad for melee.

            • Curiousk says:

              Yes, any class can get rooted in the fire vent… even if they have full resolve. Any class can also get repeatedly rooted by multiple charges… even if they have full resolve. Thats precisely my point.

              Flip that perspective around, if your a melee and 3 sorcs successively root you with their electrical bindings coordinating with each other to do so, your getting rooted for 18s out of every 20…. and there will never be any recourse for you once your CC breaker is down. Your resolve bar will be full after the knockbacks accumulate, but you will continue to be rooted for 6s even after your resolve capped. You dont see a problem with this?

              I can see your point with snares, melee need some way to stay on their opponents opponents, but conversely there has to be SOME benefit to a full resolve bar when it comes to chain roots/snares. (even if its just a lessening of the effect, say half the duration of a root, or half the effectiveness of a snare)

              Roots are CC, snares are CC, the resolve mechanic was designed to mitigate successive CC attempts in a small time frame. It clearly does not when it comes to snares and roots.

  30. cecilandkain says:

    From a big picture, there are a lot of changes, even to things that didn’t seem to be an issue, I believe the reason this happened is the rebalancing of combat stats, particularly PVP stat. Perhaps giving our Expertise curve a Viagra is going to do more to combat than we would predict. These changes are likely to get ahead of that, set a new flag and work on ballance tweaks from there.

    Just from an Ops DPS perspective, I think your summary of nerf to insta gib is not accurate. a 7.5 second cooldown to Hidden strike is hardly noticable, Maybe if I was fighting someone really weak this would have been a fun novelty tactic, but rarely in a real fight am I going to want to reset combat less than 7.5 seconds in. The 12 second cooldown to Backstab is a big hit though, both in PVE and PVP. Since Backstab is the primary delivery device for Acidblade this reduces the 6 sec DOT uptime to 50% maximum. In PVP I imagine the changes to Ops will lead to a burst and hide playstyle.

    I adjusted to the previous nerfs, so I’m not too worried about these. I’m a terrible player and I murder people, I have to assume that the class is still OP.

    • Dixon says:

      DPS Ops aren’t OP, you’re either playing baddies or you’re underestimating your skill. As it stands now most of my guildies don’t want an op in their WZ at all. They take snipers for the buff and if they take an Op it’s a healer. As it stands I see the already abysmal operative server pop disintegrating.

      • taugrim says:

        Dixon :

        DPS Ops aren’t OP, you’re either playing baddies or you’re underestimating your skill. As it stands now most of my guildies don’t want an op in their WZ at all. They take snipers for the buff and if they take an Op it’s a healer. As it stands I see the already abysmal operative server pop disintegrating.

        Must be your server.

        Op / Scoundrel are very popular on Ajunta Pall, and we have a lot of skilled PVP players.

    • taugrim says:

      cecilandkain :

      Just from an Ops DPS perspective, I think your summary of nerf to insta gib is not accurate. a 7.5 second cooldown to Hidden strike is hardly noticable, Maybe if I was fighting someone really weak this would have been a fun novelty tactic, but rarely in a real fight am I going to want to reset combat less than 7.5 seconds in. The 12 second cooldown to Backstab is a big hit though, both in PVE and PVP. Since Backstab is the primary delivery device for Acidblade this reduces the 6 sec DOT uptime to 50% maximum. In PVP I imagine the changes to Ops will lead to a burst and hide playstyle.

      Most of the skilled Ops / Scoundrels I know do not do the HS/SF -> vanish -> HS/SF because it’s not needed in most situations.

      That being said, people do use it for fun or to bury someone. So it is a nerf to instagibbing people,

      • Chaz says:

        There is a big bug that Ops/scoundrels were really abusing the CD changes to the opener fixes it, one of the things this patch got right

  31. cecilandkain says:

    Dixon :
    or you’re underestimating your skill.

    Toss me a huttball sometime, you’ll think my monitor lost power.

  32. Wade says:

    It seems to me that 1.2 is taking a sledgehammer to a finishing nail approach. I would have rather seen them take a good hard look at the overabundance of CCs, damage types (force/tech), and every trick in the box utility that Cons/Inqs have. Itemization sorely needs work as well. Refinement of the resolve mechanic, too. After that, start adjusting the ACs as necessary.

    At the risk of full disclosure, I play a Sentinel that (God help me) mostly PUGs it up in warzones. The sheer amount of CC in the game is the source of the majority of my frustration, with damage type issues being a very close second. I get bounced around like a ping pong ball and it gets old really fast.

    Grav Round/Tracer Missile spam, for example, did need some work, but a 10 percent damage reduction wasn’t necessarily it. Those two classes are still one trick ponies with no real need to do anything else. Having 15sec CDs on the majority of their abilities doesn’t help.

    I don’t know. The impression I get from 1.2 is that Bioware doesn’t understand their combat system as well as they think they do. I’m going to chalk it up to a massive team that really isn’t communicating with each other very well.

    I rolled a guardian on Ajunta Pall to check out the PvP scene and had to just sort of helpless laugh that of the 4 warzones I played, 80 percent of the opposing team were Cons and Inqs.

    • baue8673 says:

      Yeah, I agree with you. They might have datamined some stuff, but I think they are missing the mark for fun. So many CCs and interrupts. I play a sent and a healing sage in PUG groups so I’m on both sides of the equation. Already, sages/sorc healers are the easiest to shut down. I think they had the highest throughput, but that drops off super fast when pressured. Then the double whammy of crushing their force regen. Not sure where Bioware is pulling this from.

      • taugrim says:

        baue8673 :

        Already, sages/sorc healers are the easiest to shut down. I think they had the highest throughput, but that drops off super fast when pressured. Then the double whammy of crushing their force regen. Not sure where Bioware is pulling this from.

        As a healer you have to “bait” the interrupt to get an opponent to blow it to interrupt a heal you don’t really care if it’s interrupted and locked out.

        E.g. bait with Deliverance, then cast Healing Trance for the Resplendence buff for Noble Sacrifice.

    • taugrim says:

      Wade :

      It seems to me that 1.2 is taking a sledgehammer to a finishing nail approach. I would have rather seen them take a good hard look at the overabundance of CCs, damage types (force/tech), and every trick in the box utility that Cons/Inqs have. Itemization sorely needs work as well. Refinement of the resolve mechanic, too. After that, start adjusting the ACs as necessary.

      I think the CCs are actually fine, given the Resolve system and various CC immunity buffs players have (e.g. Entrench for GS/Sniper, Resilience for Shadow/Assassin).

      Itemization / stats are changing in 1.2, at least on the surface with Expertise for the much better, and baseline PVP gear will be easy to acquire, which is a good thing.

      Wade :

      Grav Round/Tracer Missile spam, for example, did need some work, but a 10 percent damage reduction wasn’t necessarily it. Those two classes are still one trick ponies with no real need to do anything else. Having 15sec CDs on the majority of their abilities doesn’t help.

      Those spammers actually needed something to diversify their rotation, because they’re too easy to shutdown. Stick a MDPS in their grill and their DPS drops like a rock.

  33. Chaz says:

    Zoeller said this on the forums: “Let me also say that there’s significant under the hood changes to stats, diminishing returns, itemization stat budget, a new tier of gear with different stats and more diverse mods, changes to PvE and PvP math, etc.”

    So this whole class balance discussion we are having could actually be pointless because we dont know how the stats were changed, maybe healing is still very powerful or maybe they will add or remove DRs in ways that could change PVP in a big way.

    We cant actually know which classes will be buffed/nerfed because they are not telling us all the changes they are doing in 1.2 sadly.

    • taugrim says:

      Chaz :

      Zoeller said this on the forums: “Let me also say that there’s significant under the hood changes to stats, diminishing returns, itemization stat budget, a new tier of gear with different stats and more diverse mods, changes to PvE and PvP math, etc.”

      So this whole class balance discussion we are having could actually be pointless because we dont know how the stats were changed, maybe healing is still very powerful or maybe they will add or remove DRs in ways that could change PVP in a big way.

      We cant actually know which classes will be buffed/nerfed because they are not telling us all the changes they are doing in 1.2 sadly.

      The stats are changing, but unless the mana regen mechanic is tweaked to be based on stats (which it is not for neither Sage/Sorc healer nor Commando/BH healer), it looks pretty clear that sustained healing is taking a hit, no matter how the stats change.

    • Attic Lion says:

      Zeoller also said in another post that “Games are not balanced on paper,” a highly dubious and just plain ignorant claim for any game developer to make. Doubly so for the combat team lead.

      Also, we can plainly see some nerfs. We can easily tell that the Force Surge nerf is a very significant nerf in and of itself. Along with all the merc heat nerfs. We can openly state that these have no chance of being ignored because they deal with resources that no stats affect. The same also goes for the Force Bending nerf to Dark Heal. No amount of alacrity in 1.2 is going to allow you to replicate the same feat that is so crucial to current sorc PvP healing.

      It’ll be interesting to see what way Rated WZs go. Before the patch notes I would have put money on prefered teams being 3-4 healers, 1-2 marauders, and the rest dps assassins, pyro PTs, and a jugg to carry the ball. Now I’m not so sure, but it looks like taunts and self mitigation might become more important than heals and smash bombing is more viable. So I’m changing my expectations to 1-3 healers, 2-3 marauders, and a split between dps assassins and dps/ball running juggs.

  34. HR says:

    Hi Taugrim,

    Long time fan since Warhammer Online!

    I’m just coming back to SWTOR and find out that my sorcerer has been nerfed to hell. I decided to re-roll a bounty hunter. I’m definitely looking forward to learn some stuff as I have only the slightest idea on how the class is played. I’m hoping your Powertech guide is updated by the time I hit 50 :D

  35. jasonwilliams says:

    Hmm, to many tweaks in my opinion. I think they should tweak things slowly, not dramatically. It will be interesting, but a lot of people are very upset (mostly Scoundrels/Operatives). In regards to the Scoundrel/Operative cooldown to hiddenstrike/shoot first, I agree with that change completely. The cool down to back blast/backstab is a little excessive. The healing boost was needed, but probably going to be overpowered now (stay tuned).

    Snipers/Gunslingers got a bigger buff, which surprises me. I have a level 25 Sniper and I just wreck stuff in PvP and PvE to the point that it can be downright silly.

    I am will be waiting to see how this turns out. I have some flashbacks of Rift 1.5 changes that I cannot help think about. I seriously hope this does not turn out to be the same way. I think Rift 1.5 caused a lot of people to leave the game, due to the Rogue buff.

    • taugrim says:

      jasonwilliams :

      Snipers/Gunslingers got a bigger buff, which surprises me. I have a level 25 Sniper and I just wreck stuff in PvP and PvE to the point that it can be downright silly.

      Most people feel / believe that GS / Sniper is not a strong PVP class and that it lacks group utility. I agree with the latter, but that’s being addressed with the healing received debuff.

      I have taken out people 1v2 with my GS @ 24, when neither of them is a healer. It’s a strong class when played well, and I’m still learning.

      jasonwilliams :

      I am will be waiting to see how this turns out. I have some flashbacks of Rift 1.5 changes that I cannot help think about. I seriously hope this does not turn out to be the same way. I think Rift 1.5 caused a lot of people to leave the game, due to the Rogue buff.

      SWTOR 1.2 PTS is still nowhere near as silly as RIFT 1.5, which made 1 of the 4 classes ridiculously overpowered, to the point of faceroll.

      • Jason says:

        Utility for the group, yes, I completely agree. I also echo your statement that a well played GS/Sniper is a very strong class to play.

        O, I was not comparing Rift 1.5 to SWTOR 1.2. The big sweeping changes made me think of Rift 1.5. I just dont Bioware to get into the habit of big sweeping changes. Instead, smaller, tested changes are what I favor.

  36. Hanshotfirst says:

    Correct me if I’m mistaken, but won’t the changes to Conveyance (Force Bending) give Sages (Sorcerers) a longer cast time for their primary single-target heal than the other ACs?

    Deliverance (Dark Infusion) has a base induction of 3 seconds. Under 1.2, even when talented will have a cast time that at best is the same as the other ACs… untalented.

    This above all concerns me more than the proposed changes to Resplendence (Force Surge) or Presence of Mind (Wrath).

    • taugrim says:

      Hanshotfirst :

      Correct me if I’m mistaken, but won’t the changes to Conveyance (Force Bending) give Sages (Sorcerers) a longer cast time for their primary single-target heal than the other ACs?

      Deliverance (Dark Infusion) has a base induction of 3 seconds. Under 1.2, even when talented will have a cast time that at best is the same as the other ACs… untalented.

      You are correct, and this is why the Conveyance change blows. A heal with that long of a cast-time duration in PVP has multiple issues:
      1. the target may run out of LoS
      2. you may get interrupted or CC’d
      3. your target may die before the cast fires

  37. Attic Lion says:

    taugrim :
    Most people feel / believe that GS / Sniper is not a strong PVP class and that it lacks group utility. I agree with the latter, but that’s being addressed with the healing received debuff.

    The other major impediment the GS/Snipers face is being the only class in the game without some combination of escape abilities, significant damage reduction CDs, or healing. And the tools they do have have a distressing tendency to be lesser versions of what other dps classes get without any strings.

    A heal debuff, in a patch that looks to be largely reducing the impact of healing in general, isn’t a cure all for the archetype.

    • Attic Lion says:

      Well I mucked up that reply.

    • taugrim says:

      Attic Lion :

      The other major impediment the GS/Snipers face is being the only class in the game without some combination of escape abilities, significant damage reduction CDs, or healing. And the tools they do have have a distressing tendency to be lesser versions of what other dps classes get without any strings.

      Escape abilities?

      The AC has:
      1. 30m AOE mez
      2. 30m root
      3. PBAOE knockback
      4. melee stun

      Also, it’s the only AC with a long-duration full CC immunity.

      Significant damage reduction?

      The AC has:
      1. 30% mitigation on 3 attacks with Ballistic Dampers
      2. AOE 20% mitigation

      Also has 3-sec avoidance vs Melee and Ranged attacks.

      There might be more. This class is about gap control and blowing people up. I’ve found the survivability to be pretty solid, if I’m careful about how I’m rotating CCs.

      • Attic Lion says:

        taugrim :
        Escape abilities?
        The AC has:
        1. 30m AOE mez
        2. 30m root
        3. PBAOE knockback
        4. melee stun
        Also, it’s the only AC with a long-duration full CC immunity.
        Significant damage reduction?
        The AC has:
        1. 30% mitigation on 3 attacks with Ballistic Dampers
        2. AOE 20% mitigation
        Also has 3-sec avoidance vs Melee and Ranged attacks.
        There might be more. This class is about gap control and blowing people up. I’ve found the survivability to be pretty solid, if I’m careful about how I’m rotating CCs.

        1. Flashbang is great, no question about it. I wish it didn’t have any travel time, but it’s not a serious detriment. Though i find it more useful for peeling people off ball carriers than getting away.
        2. Leg Shot is also good. But again, it’s more useful for peeling, getting people stuck in fires, and making some pesky healer waste his Force Speed than it is for personal defense and escape. If only because the guaranteed root portion is so short.
        3. Remember when I said that GS/Snipers get the lesser version of things? This is one of them. 30s CD when compared to the Inq/Consular’s 20s CD. The only CD decrease for it is a talent in the very end of the Lethality tree that just got nerfed, compared to the BH/Trooper who can shave a few more precious seconds off with set bonuses AND can have a single target kb on RP/SS.

        Oh, and you can only use it while in cover. Are you in one of those myriad places where cover bugs out and won’t activate? Too bad.
        4. Another one of those “lesser versions.” The only ranged class with a melee stun. The shorter CD on it is very nice of course, but I’d trade away that and the talented movement speed buff for either longer range or a longer stun duration without much thought.

        Entrench is very nice too obviously, but I tend to have an issue classifying it as an escape ability since you obviously can’t move. It’s more of an offensive CD. I guess you could classify it as defense through overwhelming offense, but that seems pedantic to me.

        None of these compare favorably with say, Force Cloak/Cloaking Screen, Force Speed, talented Predation, Force Slow, or Force Camouflage. You can’t really break combat with Entrench and then go heal up somewhere quiet.

        As for damage reduction CDs:
        1. I hasten to remind you that Ballistic Dampeners are speced; since you didn’t include Diversion I have to assume you forgot one or the other. Going to tier 2 in an alternate tree is not a trivial expenditure.
        2. Ballistic Shield is as large an aggro magnet as using the big green healing laser CM Commandos get. It’s nice, but again, it’s worse than what other classes get. Like Reactive Shield, Force Armor, and Saber Ward.

        You can argue the group utility aspect of it I guess, but I’d prefer utility that didn’t endanger me and wasn’t also tied to my personal survivability. Stuff like Rescue, Infiltrate, Intercede, pulls, or Bloodthirst.

        You already spelled out the main limitation of Evasion, but also don’t get the dot cleansing effect that Ops/Scoundrels and Assassins/Shadows get on their related abilities.

        It’s not that GS/Snipers are unusable, but they are very suboptimal at 50 even in pug WZs. They don’t excel in a meaningful niche. Since every dps spec is supposed to provide roughly equal damage the lack of survivability is a great detriment to the class, even more so than the utility issue. This is only going to get worse in Rated WZs.

  38. Kyle Siko says:

    I play a JK Focus Guardian PvP 66val (my only char, so im not well versed in other classes skill names)

    The main things i was looking for in a “buff” was:

    1. Another counter-CC skill. 1 isnt enough for an “in your face” type class where our job is to disrupt DPS/Healers. The 2min cool down is too long and we would have enjoyed the benefits of being able to break CC more than once when youre getting focused by 2-3 Sorc and 1-2 Snipers

    2. A more viable shield for survive-ability. Saber-ward is “ok”, but the 3min CD make you pick in choose when you really want to spend it and by the time you actually figure “this is the time i want to spend it” you realize that you are being focused so heavily that it really doesnt make a difference. Meanwhile i see other classes with 99% damage reduction for X period of time at the cost of 50% of their remaining health (not much when youre about to die), and i also see Sages (i think) with a skill that “resists” for X period of time. Its not the absorb shield, it will fully negate a crit force sweep of 6k. We get Enure which heals for 30% (yay!) but we lose the buff after 10seconds. This is good for a 1v1 situation, maybe 1v2, but other than that, the incoming damage will melt through that 30% in an instant. Not to mention dying while you still have 20% health left and about to kill your opponent because your health has been taken away due to the time period running out is frustrating. I thought guardians should be “tankier” than our Sentinel/Marauder brothers, but it seems that while we get a 30% hp instant regen for 10 seconds, they essentially get immunity…

    3. Detect. Force Sweep and Cyclone Sweep are supposedly our detect skills, but their detect radius is ridiculously small or maybe even bugged (i dont know). Ive been in mid force sweep, ontop of someone, right when they hit stealth to escape and i didnt even detect them. They should have increased the radius of the detect of either of the skills and kept the damage radius the same.

    4. Make it so EVERYONE has to be facing their opponent in order to attack. If i have to, why dont other classes have to? (unless this was already addressed…)

    These were essentially my main thoughts for how to improve the Guardian class.

    Now at first glance of the 1.2 patch notes i felt elated that my Focus spec’ed Guardian was getting buffed, but after further analysis i realized that, on paper, i am being nerfed.

    1. 10% Damage reduction to my MAIN SKILL, force sweep.

    This is pretty big IMO, mainly because Sent/Marauders are being buffed and essentially making Focus Guardians obsolete.

    2. +3sec CD to Sweep & our 2nd highest damage output skill, Blade Storm and a +13sec CD (or so) to Force Push or Stasis (swtor on maintenance and forums down, and i cant recall >.<)

    What the heck?! So now our combo cycling is messed up due to longer CD. People complain that Focus Guardians are a "one trick pony" but i laugh at that. Sure you only really see us force sweeping, but thats because we spend time to actually set it up. We dont get to instantly cast it and have it do the damage that it does. Every other skill, besides Blade Storm and Sunder Strike (which is only used for defense debuff) are irrelevant. Even with the buff to Master Strike, it just takes WAY TOO LONG to get the full damage out of it and is almost not worth it. Ill use it as a filler sometimes while my mains skills are still on CD. Cyclone Sweep buff? It costs 3 focus for a minimal damage skill and is not worth it in PvP.

    3. Force Clap = 2 Sec FL stun & 1 sec ZL stun

    At first i thought this was great, something i could use to help counter healers while im trying to kill them, and essentially it still is, but think about Huttball…. We need leaps because were melee, if you have more than 2 Knights, theres gonna be resolve meter is gonna be ridiculous. Or even when youre trying to keep someone away from your objective while you cap, if someone uses 1 too many CC's, the person has a free ride to stop the objective. Really does more harm in PvP (especially since rWZ is coming) to the Focus Guardian.

    I loved the idea of being able to build 4 stacks of singularity instantly with Resolute because if we miss our Force Sweep after setting it all up, we dont have to re-setup our main combo in order to get 90% max damage out of our FS.

    Im torn on if Focused Defense would even be viable for Focus Guardians since it can be tough to maintain focus (at least for me) and with a 4 focus cost + 1 focus cost per each 3% health, i dont know if itll be worth it because ill just be running around with a wet noodle in my hand meele'ing. Might as well just bite the bullet and come back with 100% hp. Tough to say until i actually try it out in PVP.

    Overall i think the update will make Focus Guardians less viable and i might even look into switching to Vigilance instead because of all the changes to the core of the Focus Guardians play. Im disappointed atm because i have enjoyed building my FG to maximize its damage output. People seem to forget the FG's are fairly squishy if you focus them. Usually theyll have 16-17k health since most their mods/enh are power/surge/crit. We dont have any escape mechanism other than Guardian Leap, were not super tanky and now were getting our DPS nerfed and we can cause full resolve bars from our main gap closers… (sad face)

    -fuzz

    • taugrim says:

      Kyle Siko :

      1. Another counter-CC skill. 1 isnt enough for an “in your face” type class where our job is to disrupt DPS/Healers. The 2min cool down is too long and we would have enjoyed the benefits of being able to break CC more than once when youre getting focused by 2-3 Sorc and 1-2 Snipers

      Every class has a 2-min CC breaker (“trinket”). If you game the Resolve mechanic, you can effectively break the CC that Resolve-caps you.

      Aside from that, you can always CC first, dictate the action.

      Awe (60s cd) PBAOE mez
      Force Kick interrupt
      Force Push (60s cd) knockback / knockdown
      Force Statis (60s cd) channeled stun
      The new 2s stun effect from charge.

      Kyle Siko :

      2. A more viable shield for survive-ability. Saber-ward is “ok”, but the 3min CD make you pick in choose when you really want to spend it and by the time you actually figure “this is the time i want to spend it” you realize that you are being focused so heavily that it really doesnt make a difference. Meanwhile i see other classes with 99% damage reduction for X period of time at the cost of 50% of their remaining health (not much when youre about to die), and i also see Sages (i think) with a skill that “resists” for X period of time. Its not the absorb shield, it will fully negate a crit force sweep of 6k. We get Enure which heals for 30% (yay!) but we lose the buff after 10seconds. This is good for a 1v1 situation, maybe 1v2, but other than that, the incoming damage will melt through that 30% in an instant. Not to mention dying while you still have 20% health left and about to kill your opponent because your health has been taken away due to the time period running out is frustrating. I thought guardians should be “tankier” than our Sentinel/Marauder brothers, but it seems that while we get a 30% hp instant regen for 10 seconds, they essentially get immunity…

      If you are not popping Sabre Ward early enough to get the full 12s benefit, that’s on you. Some of the bubbles in this game last so long (12s or more) you have to pop them early to reap the full benefit.

      The 99% damage redux is for 5s and only Sentinel / Marauder get it. Yes, it is potent.

      Enure is great for FC’ing, holding a node under duress for a bit longer, staying above the 30% HP where execute abilities are usable on you, etc. I wish I had it on my other characters.

      If you are finding yourself too squishy, the tank tree for Guardian / Juggernaut has some of the best mitigation talents in the game.

      The issue is that you want high durability with your Force DPS tree, and from a balance perspective, that doesn’t make sense.

      Kyle Siko :

      3. Detect. Force Sweep and Cyclone Sweep are supposedly our detect skills, but their detect radius is ridiculously small or maybe even bugged (i dont know). Ive been in mid force sweep, ontop of someone, right when they hit stealth to escape and i didnt even detect them. They should have increased the radius of the detect of either of the skills and kept the damage radius the same.

      Only 1 of the 4 base classes has a stealth detect.

      Most of the time I just tap an opponent the second I see them flash anywhere near me, break them out.

      Kyle Siko :

      4. Make it so EVERYONE has to be facing their opponent in order to attack. If i have to, why dont other classes have to? (unless this was already addressed…)

      These were essentially my main thoughts for how to improve the Guardian class.

      If you are playing a melee and can’t face your target consistently with manual control, you are playing the wrong archetyp.

      MDPS requires the player be able to circle strafe and keep opponents in front of them consistently.

      Kyle Siko :

      1. 10% Damage reduction to my MAIN SKILL, force sweep.

      Did I miss this in the patch notes?

      A lot of the bursty abilities across classes were nerfed in terms of damage or extended cooldown.

      • Kyle Siko says:

        1. By the time i hit resolve im usually dead from being chain CC’d and focused. Not surprising since everyone is squishy when theyre focused, but it would be nice to have another CC breaker since my role is to disrupt the healer and other ranged DPSers.

        The two new stuns will be a nerf in a team battle, but great for a 1v1.

        2. Once again, Saber Ward is good for 1v1, but not really great when youre fighting in the middle of the pack and trying to take out their DPSers while being focused. The Sent/Marauder skill seems to be much more effective for this task. I think Enure is a great skill, but again the loss of the hp after the time limit is up is killer.

        Im not saying i should be more durable, im wondering why the Sent/Marauder class has more survivability skills with their 99% dam reduction and escape skills. In comparison we get a Saber Ward shield and Enure which, imo, isnt as effective.

        3. I honestly dont even know if Force Sweep is even a detect anymore. So im going to assume that it isnt. Cyclone Sweep is a 4m directional detect. Im curious what the range on other detect skills are and if theyre directional as well. With the amount of classes with stealth in this game, there should be a more viable way to detect then a skill that is only 4m and directional.

        4. Youre assuming that i cant keep people in front of me. Sometimes people get blown back or change directions unpredictably and that causes one to not be able to cast all of the sudden. If i cant cast because someone is behind me, but in range, but other classes can isnt that a disadvantage? You would think the same concept would apply to ranged classes. (again if it has, this point isnt even worth bringing up)

        5. Swelling Winds got a 10% nerf which directly effects Force Sweep which directly effects Focus Guardians.

        True that a lot of classes got a nerf, and i honestly dont mind the 10% dam reduction as much as the +3sec CD to FS and BS as well as the +13 CD to FP. If everyone got a nerf, cool, but thats not the case with Sent/Mar. Swelling Winds is now easily attainable for Watchmen Sents thus buffing their Sweeps (and whatever other buffs they got) making Focus Guardians obsolete.

        -fuzz

      • Kyle Siko says:

        Heres a post from someone on the SWTOR forum who address part of the issue why most Focus Guardians (and their sith counter-part) are frustrated with the buff to Sent/Mar.

        “Originally Posted by CoNfuSioN_
        Uh, Jugg/Guard are listed as a Tank/ ***DPS*** Class, and compared to sents/maras in the first place, our one trick pony rage/focus spec is really the only area where we were able to actually maintain enough dmg to be more useful than a sent/mara on a situational basis. (I put that in bold because i can’t draw it in crayon)

        A good sent/mara will tear apart a jugg in 1v1, so we had more group damage utility where you guys were always the better 1v1 fighters. Now you guys have our group dmg utility as well, but we don’t have dmg immunity on CD, invisibility on CD, etc etc. We have one extra leap and longer cool downs on all our focus abilities.”

        @ http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=364616&page=2

        -fuzz

        • taugrim says:

          Kyle Siko :

          Heres a post from someone on the SWTOR forum who address part of the issue why most Focus Guardians (and their sith counter-part) are frustrated with the buff to Sent/Mar.

          “Originally Posted by CoNfuSioN_
          Uh, Jugg/Guard are listed as a Tank/ ***DPS*** Class, and compared to sents/maras in the first place, our one trick pony rage/focus spec is really the only area where we were able to actually maintain enough dmg to be more useful than a sent/mara on a situational basis. (I put that in bold because i can’t draw it in crayon)

          A good sent/mara will tear apart a jugg in 1v1, so we had more group damage utility where you guys were always the better 1v1 fighters. Now you guys have our group dmg utility as well, but we don’t have dmg immunity on CD, invisibility on CD, etc etc. We have one extra leap and longer cool downs on all our focus abilities.”

          @ http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=364616&page=2

          -fuzz

          Understood.

          I think a lot of people were surprised that Sentinel / Marauder were buffed as much as they were on PTS 1.2.

          The DoT tree on live is already very good for group contexts, and it also supports excellent 1v1 capability as well.

  39. Daniel says:

    Taugrim, I was wondering with the less frequent availability of HiB thus less crits giving back 1 energy cell, would it be worth moving the 2 points in intimidation over to rapid recharge which would reduce the cooldown on recharge cells to 90s?

    • taugrim says:

      Daniel :

      Taugrim, I was wondering with the less frequent availability of HiB thus less crits giving back 1 energy cell, would it be worth moving the 2 points in intimidation over to rapid recharge which would reduce the cooldown on recharge cells to 90s?

      Given that HIB proc reset will have an internal cooldown, Elemental damage will continue to be very important, so I think leaving the points in Intimidation is the right way to go.

      I spec PCS to help with mana, but that’s partly because I get focus fired a ton.

  40. Unski says:

    Very intresting changes and hard to predict how they affect balance. I just checked War Hero gear on PTS and full set gives 1291 expertise. If new formula is this http://sithwarrior.com/forums/Thread-SWTOR-formula-list?pid=17802#pid17802 it’s about 23%, that gives overall 5% damage reduction (1,23*0,77=0,9471) and healers get nice boost for pvp healing. So maybe those healing nerfs ain’t so bad afterall.

  41. frmorrison says:

    What do you think about using Parakeet with CGC active (so PPA can still proc)?

    Instead of using 4/6/31 for Pyro, I am leaning towards 4/12/25 to take advantage of Quell in 1.2? What do you think (assuming one wanted to be Pyro)?

    Did you see the buff to AP/Arsenal 5 stack Flame Thrower? At 5 stacks it gives a 70% slow and if it has any stacks it will not be able to be interrupted. Also Immolate adds stacks to Flamethrower in addition to Flame Burst. http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/powertech#i2i-917fe8e292-c

  42. CuriousK says:

    Attic Lion :

    2. Leg Shot is also good. But again, it’s more useful for peeling, getting people stuck in fires, and making some pesky healer waste his Force Speed than it is for personal defense and escape. If only because the guaranteed root portion is so short.
    3. Remember when I said that GS/Snipers get the lesser version of things? This is one of them. 30s CD when compared to the Inq/Consular’s 20s CD. The only CD decrease for it is a talent in the very end of the Lethality tree that just got nerfed, compared to the BH/Trooper who can shave a few more precious seconds off with set bonuses AND can have a single target kb on RP/SS.
    Oh, and you can only use it while in cover. Are you in one of those myriad places where cover bugs out and won’t activate? Too bad.

    Leg shot saves my butt over and over again vs melee dps, its even got its place vs ranged dps when playing the los game. Its short cooldown makes it even more powerful.

    With regards to the cover pulse, cover charge.

    Yes, it has a longer cooldown than the equiv in the consular/inq tree. Mind you it doesnt suffer from the animation delay that the inq/consular KB does either. Id call this a wash.

    You are aware that you can activate the knockback from a crouch right? and the only situations you wouldnt be able to crouch would be hanging over a ledge or the like (quite rare if your planning correctly) The restriction on cover pulse being used only from cover isnt as bad as you make it out here. Nearly every slinger/sniper that spends much time with his class uses “crouch” instead of “move to cover”. Move to cover is reserved for those occasions where you want to use the movement associated with this ability.

    • Attic Lion says:

      If you’ll read the comments you’ll see that Taugrim originally brought up Leg Shot and Cover Pulse as a rebuttal to my comment about snipers/GS not having an escape ability. An opinion I can’t say I share obviously. Leg Shot and Cover Pulse are more for delaying than escaping. Unless you’re on a catwalk in huttball I suppose.

      Speaking of Cover Pulse and huttball, have you really never seen the UNKNOWN EFFECT RESULT thing on say, the entire ramp immediately after the upper fire traps? It’s a very rare event for me to be able to take cover anywhere on those ramps. Even smack dab in the middle of the bloody things. Not to mention how often it buggers up when I’m on one of the catwalks and trying to shoot someone directly below me without giving up the higher ground. Thankfully the root thing is being resolved, but the terrain glitches are still very prevalent.

      Not that escape abilities things are huge necessities mind you, BHs and troopers as a whole work without any fight resetting skills. But they also get superior damage mitigation from things like heavy armor and Reactive Shield.

      Leg Shot and Cover Pulse both have their places, but I find it hard to call them “escape abilities” like Taugrim does in the face of things like Force Camouflage and Cloaking Screen.

      Really my whole point was that GS/snipers exist as a nexus where they A) have the least effective survivability tools of any class, B) little utility when compared to other classes, and C) aren’t designed to have the grossly superior damage necessary to justify either of those shortcomings. Resolving either A, B, or C would make the class much more useful and enjoyable. I personally believe the survivability issue is probably the best one to focus on, something as simple as changing Illegal Mods/Target Acquired into an ability that let you maintain cover only buffs like pull/charge immunities out of cover for 10s or making Ballistic Dampeners a base class passive would be marvelous. Though there is a lot to be said for making Ballistic Shield a ground placed effect. But I digress.

      It’s not that the class is horrible, or broken, or unusable. It’s that they are subpar by comparison.

  43. Curiousk says:

    Curiousk :

    Flip that perspective around, if your a melee and 3 sorcs successively root you with their electrical bindings coordinating with each other to do so, your getting rooted for 18s out of every 20…. and there will never be any recourse for you once your CC breaker is down.

    Correction, that should be rooted for 15s out of 20, havnt played my sorc in a bit.

  44. Hanshotfirst says:

    What if Bioware replaced the Sage/Sorc ability “Saber Strike” with a ranged attack (similar to Hammer Shot or Flurry of Bolts)?

    Do you think that might make the 1.2 nerfs a little more palatable? At least then they could kite while OOF or running away.

    Besides, I always thought it was dumb to give a cloth-wearing wizard a free wiffle bat attack.

    • Frank says:

      That (adding a free ranged attack for Sorcs) would likely imbalance them. Anyway, there are lots of things to cast while on the run. Saber Strike is very useful for Shadows/Sins.

      • Hanshotfirst says:

        I’m not seeing how a free ranged attack would imbalance Sorcs any more than it currently imbalances Mercs/Operatives. I appreciate utilities like force yoink and bubbles are nice, but they’re not *that* nice. We’re still talking about one of the squishiest classes in the game.

        And yeah, I should have specified I wasn’t suggesting Saber Strike should be taken away from Shadows/Sins, rather that it just should be replaced/modified for Sorcs/Sages (aka via a mechanic like Transmission/Force Reach).

  45. UO says:

    Hi guys. Can i ask for the players who have tested in the 1.2 PTS. Do the raid bosses in 1.2 favor the ranged over the melee, like it does in current raid content? Thank you

  46. TwinCinema says:

    As an assault spec vanguard Im disappointed by the change to the High Impact Bolt proc. What made this spec interesting to play was the random nature of managing those procs and their relationship to your ammo regen. With the proc timer now pre determined the dynamic playstyle of the spec is gone, I can’t actually see many reasons to chose Assault over Tactics, particularly when Gut can be talented to slow and DOTs do not prevent objective caps in WZs.

    • Zarovich says:

      Dots are as much apart of AP as they are in Pyro. So this change on objective caps will effect both specs. Pyro may still be the preferred spec over AP because the damage may still remain much higher even with the 1.2 changes. Although if there are major high issues for Pyro in relation to the 1.2 changes then that could be the deciding factor too on the better route to go.

  47. Zarovich says:

    For me with 1,2, I was surprised with the nerf on the Pyro tree. Powertech do really good damage but they only have 1 defensive cool and no escape mechanic. They are really limited outside of their damage for what they bring to a team. Of course I’m talking about a DPS specced Powertech (not tank specced) and this is even more obvious in Huttball. The one thing that can be nice in Huttball is their grapple but it doesn’t always work because of line-of-sight issues and the resolve system. More times then not, its countered by a Sorc/Sage pull afterwards that isn’t effected by resolve anyways.

    All the Maruader buffs was a surprise too since they are currently the terror in war zones prior to 1.2. But I’ll see what happens and if some of these buffs/nerfs end up being not balanced then I’m sure Bioware will make a change to it.

  48. Vithal says:

    I was just wondering, i’m going to roll a new character for 1.2 would a powertech be viable in endgame pvp at 50 yes or no?

  49. skenator says:

    Ed, are you familiar with the Guardian/Focus build that relies on swelling wind, force/guardian leap and or inner focus to hit for massive crits some being over 10k in 1.1?

    How do you feel this patch works out for those players? I feel there may have been a net loss since the cool down has been increased 3 sec for sweep and the cooldown on singularity triggering abilities was increased by 10 sec on stasis and 50% force crush.

    I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts on this and to know what you meant when you said that AOE was buffed for sweep on knight/sentinel, in what way has it been buffed and does that also apply to knight/guardians?

  50. […] case – the class balance gaps are too significant to ignore from a mechanics standpoint. With the sweeping changes to classes in 1.2, PVP outcomes are now heavily influenced by which classes your group […]

  51. […] case – the class balance gaps are too significant to ignore from a mechanics standpoint. With the sweeping changes to classes in 1.2, PVP outcomes are now heavily influenced by which classes your group […]

  52. […] case – the class balance gaps are too significant to ignore from a mechanics standpoint. With the sweeping changes to classes in 1.2, PVP outcomes are now heavily influenced by which classes your group […]

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