I am calling for an explanation from the developers who handle class balance to discuss why there was a buff to Focus/Rage trees in the recent patch as well as explaining why the damage from Force Sweep/Smash applies before the animation even begins now rather than after the animation occurs like it did pre-1.4.
My concern is that there cannot be any preparation against a move like that with it's current timing mechanism as opposed to the past when there was time to activate available defensive cooldowns like Force Shroud/Resilience or Force Camouflage to counter it. However now, these moves that can potentially do 7000 damage to multiple targets, cost no resource, and be activated more frequently than an already low 15s cooldown used to restrict cannot be prepared for except by guessing when the players will use them. The closest analog to this damage timing mechanism is Death Field/Force in Balance which can only hit 3 targets instead of 5 and does not have a damage ceiling near that of Smash/Force Sweep.
I want an explanation of what the developers were thinking because there is no clearly justifiable reason for these changes. Thank you.
My favorite thing about the recent Focus buffs for my Guardian is that it's now easier than ever to 1v2 a couple people (contingent on them staying near each other for some reason)!
Can we take a second to discuss what's perhaps the more serious problem with Focus - does any other spec allow for such ridiculous stat-stacking? Power to a Focus specced Knight/Warrior is like crack to a, umm, crack addict? Or something. I have a thought that maybe this is what throws off Bioware's metrics. Some players in Focus aren't properly power-stacked, so they bring the numbers down, but the people who do stack power are able to do a lot more damage/burst.
For the uninitiated -
Force Sweep, when properly set up, does 2x damage AND auto-crits. Due to the auto-crit, you get 0 benefit from crit-rating AND reduced benefit from strength. But, also, since it auto-crits and your multiplier is about 100%, you're getting 2x return from any power you put in just due to the auto-crit, and then another 2x from that proc. So, power gets a 4x return in a focus-specced sweep when compared to a regular sweep which gets something like 1.4x return (assuming a 40% chance of crit). (Its coefficient is something like 1.35, but we can put that aside when comparing it just to other Force Sweeps - this does come up when comparing it to other abilities, though).
Now, previously, pre-1.4, sweep was already a decent portion of a Focus Guardian's damage, but now it's even more so. Let's say you're sweeping, with procs, every 12 seconds, and you're hitting on average 2 players. You're now getting an 8x (4x on the Sweep x 2 targets) benefit from stacking power relative to what you would be getting in another spec (it isn't an 8:1 benefit compared to other stats, though, since power and the other stat have different baseline benefits, I just mean when compared to those stats for a different spec) once every 12 seconds, which is once every 8 GCD, so you're essentially getting twice the overall benefit of power compared to what other specs get from power. Not to mention what this does to your burst.
This essentially makes it so that an improperly geared Guardian (or Sent) in Focus Spec does SIGNIFICANTLY less damage than a properly geared one (for other classes/specs, the difference in gear optimization doesn't seem nearly as large). So, as I said earlier, this might be creating a scenario where the "average" Focus-specced player is doing damage in line with the other specs in PvP, but min/maxers are doing damage way out of line.