Admittedly, I haven't touched my Commando since late January, due to the fact that I could see the train wreck that was coming later on. Once people figured out how to play their classes well, especially melee, it was apparent that DPS mercs/commandos would be at the bottom of the food chain.
Alas, I was vindicated, and at the present time DPS Mercs/Commandos are still in a bad place in PvP in the 50s bracket. Sure, they can do well in the 10-49 bracket, but that's irrelevant. The real balance should be in respect to the 50s bracket, and the fact is, Mercs/Commandos are severely under performing. They can do well when mostly ignored and allowed to free-cast, but in reality, this is almost never the case unless the opponent you're facing is awful. Any PvP'er worth his salt knows healers are the priority target, closely followed by Mercs/Commandos since they're basically free kills when under pressure. Whenever I log onto my Jugg/Sentinel/Shadow/Vanguard, I always consider Mercs/Commandos free kills, no matter how good the other player is. Some of them can put up a halfway decent fight at times, but even at their best, they can't get me below 40-50% health. It's a sad state of affairs for them.
So my question is, when is BW going to address the class? I think most can agree with me that it's in a bad spot. There's plenty of other threads regarding the issue, like this one: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=541411
That thread has hundreds of posts, some of them are pure whines, but many of them are filled with genuinely good ideas to improve the class. Yet, there hasn't been a single post from BW in response to the issue. Surely BW can throw the Mercs/Commandos in that thread a bone? If I were to post about the Coin Shop, I'd get a yellow post in an instant. Yet, this thread has hundreds of posts, but not even one response. What's the deal BW?
Merc/Commando damage is, for the most part, in a good place. Damage isn't really the issue. The problem with Mercs/Commandos is their extremely lacking utility/escape abilities. They have no disengage, they have no sprint, they only have 1 knockback, a root that only works in melee range (why?), a mezz (with cast time) on a 1 min CD and a 10m (why?) stun. Mercs/Commandos offer nothing that other classes don't also have, and other classes can do their job better. You don't see DPS Mercs/Commandos in rated warzones, why is that? It's because the other classes offer much more utility and survivability, and overall they do their jobs better.
In my opinion, Mercs/Commandos would have a lot less to complain about if they had some additional utility skills. If you parse that thread I linked, I'm sure you could find some gems that wouldn't overpower the class at all. For example, what if Mercs/Commandos gained 3-4 seconds of increased movement speed after using their knockback? What if their knockback also removed any snares they had on themselves? Why can't the root on stockstrike/rocket punch simply be added on to the knockback component it once had? What if unload/full auto was uninterruptible, like Tanksins' telekinetic throw/lightning and Warriors/Knights' ravage/master strike? What if they had a disengage/retreat that would send them back 20-30 meters on use with a cooldown? What if they had some type of sprint likes inquisitors/consulars? These kind of ideas are golden and would help the class immensely.
Please BW, I don't play my Commando anymore, but help these guys out and give them some love. I'm starting to feel bad every time I kill them in a warzone, it's just not fair. The class is in need of a much needed boost.
P.S. The interrupt you gave them should've been there at release.
Edit: Here's a list of good ideas that have been brought up in this thread and others, so that Devs could see them more easily:
- Unload made uninterruptable for Arsenal. tie it to the Barrage proc effect
- A talent box in the Pyrotech tree to make Power Shot instant cast.
- CGC snare returned to 50%
- 4s stun returned to 30m
- Burst run ability, think a cross between Hydraulic Overrides and Force Speed (for the entrie Merc AC)
- Arsenal needs a better slow. Increase duration of Unload slow talent box, increase Jet Boost slow duration through related talent box in that tree.
A sprint, like consulars/inquisitors.
A disengage/retreat that could send us flying away to an area we target 20-30 meters away.
Rocketpunch with both the knockback and the root, and make it native to the class, not just the arsenal tree.
Make unload unable to be interrupted, like ravage/master strike.
A speed increase and/or snare removal when you use your knockback. Preferably both.
Reactive shield making all of our abilities unable to be interrupted for the duration.
A talent that would give us the ability to proc a free and instant powershot, similar to the proc-style for a renewed Rail Shot for PTs.
Some sort of missile attack to AoE root/snare targets, or an ability that let's you disengage and roots/snares those who were at your previous position.
Rocket punch will increase speed of the player for 4secs by 30%. - i find after a rocket punch 4 seconds isnt a enough time to move back and get a cast shot off, with a speed boost we should be able to do this.
Again, this one change would solve the majority of Mercs problems:
- Muzzle Fluting changed from .5s cast reduction on Tracer Missile/Power Shot to 2s cast reduction (making them instant)
- Tracer Missile damage reduced by 20%, Power Shot damage reduced by 10%
- Heatseeker Missile damage increased by 20%, Thermal Detonator increased by 10%
Bam, the ability to maintain damage output while mobile. Reducing damage on Tracer Missile/Power Shot is necessary, but that damage is accounted for by transfering it to Heatseeker Missile/Thermal Detonator in order to keep Merc damage output where it is right now (which is a pretty good place).
How about Unload ROOTS the target for the duration of the cast instead of slow? Mighty useful for the damned leapers.
The new Power Barrier
Power Shot and Tracer Missile have a [50 / 100]% chance to generate a Power Barrier that reduces damage taken by 1% for 15 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times. Additionally, At 5 stacks you're immune to interrupts for the duration.
The new Fusion Missile
Range: 30 m
Fires a fusion missile that detonates on contact, dealing 1314 - 1773 kinetic damage to up to 3 targets within 5 meters and searing all targets with radiation burns that deal 1944 additional elemental damage over 6 seconds. Standard and weak targets enter a state of panic from the flames.
The new Muzzle Fluting
Reduces the activation time of Power Shot, Concussion Missile and Tracer Missile by 0.5 seconds.
4. Get rid of our crappy self heal and give us some utility/defensive CD. Gravity Field/Flame Defense that makes us immune to jumps and pulls for 5 seconds, on a decent CD? (60-90 seconds), Maybe Coordination/Light'em-Up! That gives the team a damage boost? Something to make teams want a Commando/Merc.
As far as escapes. If you were to add a speed boost after the successful root or have the knockback on top of the root, this issue would probably be resolved. Or maybe even having a "hold the line' ability on a successful root.
Stockstrike gives you a "Hold the Line" ability or a sprint. A lot of people want the knockback back. I don't. The reason being is you can't always knockback players. For example, often when I get lept to by a Knight I will perform my concussion charge which will do nothing. So I sit there slowed and get eaten alive. This will give me the ability to move out of melee range. However, the Knight will still have the ability to stun me and stay in melee range. Thus this move is not overpowered, but still helpful.
1. Redisgn Counter-Measures so it is not only an aggro dump, but a defensive tool. I'd either go with some kind of CC/Leap/Pull immunity for 3-4 seconds, or a tech/force immunity for 3-4 seconds. Naturally the CD should be 90 seconds or so. Since we're not talking about high mobility here, it's unlikely you'll see a merc jump the fire pit while immune to tech, and sprint into a goal line.
2. Reserve Power Cell should not only reduce ammo cost, but also provide intterupt immunity to any designated cast. Instead of being a useless "free" cast usually paired with Tech override (so we don't forget we have it), now it's a tool that can turn the tides in a pinch. If there are complaints about healers using it, simply make it a talented add on in the gunnery tree (being the tree that needs it the most.)
3. I can't even remember the name of that crappy self heal we get, but either remove it and replace, or add some kind of benefit onto it. Could be a full out self heal like sorcs got with an added crappy HoT, or I'd prefer some kind of defense boost while it's active.
1. a shield that actually shields damage. similar to marauders or assassin shield.
3. an improved way to apply fire DoT. something similar to PT/Van fire burst/ion pulse that will make rail shot more consistant.
4. increased speed, something similar to hold the line, that will make us helpful utility. node to node defense.